The United States has completed its bilateral consultations with Japan for the country’s membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). If ultimately approved, membership is seen as potentially aiding U.S. liquefied natural gas to Japan (see Daily GPI, March 19). “Since November 2011, the United States has been engaged in consultations with Japan focused on Japan’s readiness to meet the TPP’s high standards for liberalizing trade and investment, and to address specific bilateral issues of concern in the automotive and insurance sectors, as well as other Japanese non-tariff measures,” said Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis. “…[W]e are pleased to welcome Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiations pending a consensus agreement among the current TPP members and the completion of our respective domestic processes.” Through the TPP, the United States and 10 Asia-Pacific countries are seeking to negotiate a next-generation, regional trade agreement.
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Royale Energy Inc. said Wednesday it struck a $43 million joint venture (JV) agreement with an unnamed company to fund exploration costs on its Alaska North Slope acreage.
PAA Natural Gas Storage, parent of Pine Prairie Energy Center, on Monday said it successfully completed a nonbinding open season for bids on an aggregate of 12.5 Bcf of firm storage capacity with a starting date of April 1 during 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Federal officials have given a green light for a project in eastern Utah to drill an exploratory well in the Harley Dome natural gas field to capture helium, which, if the operation proves successful, could result in a helping to build supplies of the scarce gas.
Enbridge Bakken Pipeline Co. Inc. has completed and placed in service its 77-mile Bakken Pipeline Project Canada, which connects to the Enbridge Pipelines Inc. (EPI) Mainline and carries crude oil from the Bakken Shale to North American refinery markets, Enbridge Energy Partners LP (EEP) and Enbridge Income Fund said Monday.
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP) has completed the dropdown of 50% of El Paso Natural Gas Co. LLC (EPNG) and 50% of the former El Paso Midstream assets in Utah and South Texas from Kinder Morgan Inc. in a deal worth nearly $1.66 billion, including $560 million of proportional debt at EPNG. KMP now owns 100% of both EPNG and the midstream assets. The transaction closed on and is effective March 1. KMP purchased the assets at about eight times 2013 earnings. EPNG is a 10,200-mile pipeline with a design capacity of 5.6 Bcf/d. It transports gas from the San Juan, Permian and Anadarko basins to California, other western states, Texas and northern Mexico. The midstream assets include Altamont gathering, processing and treating assets in the Uinta Basin in Utah and the Camino Real gathering system in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas.
Oneok Inc. and its pipeline partnership currently are experiencing more than 90,000 b/d of ethane rejection across the natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline systems, a level expected to be in place “for much of the year,” a top executive said last week.
Apache Corp. said operations have been completed at a well at Main Pass 295 in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico that had an uncontrolled flow of natural gas fluid flowing underneath. The operator detected the flow on Feb. 4 and activated a blowout preventer, but tests indicated that the hydrocarbon had migrated from the bottom of the 8,300-foot hole to a shallower sand formation 1,100 feet below the sea floor (see Daily GPI, Feb. 19). A relief rig was sent to the location in case a separate well had to be drilled. The bottom of the well has been plugged and cemented, and the gas migration has been stopped, Apache said. Management still is evaluating the next steps for the well, which is in 218 feet of water.
KW Express LLC a partnership of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP) and Watco Companies LLC, has entered into a long-term agreement with Mercuria Energy Trading Co. Inc. to construct a 210,000 b/d crude-by-rail project at the Greens Port Industrial Park on the Houston Ship Channel. The project will allow Mercuria Energy Trading Inc. to source crude from various locations, including Cushing, OK, West Texas, the Bakken Shale area and Western Canada for delivery by rail into the Houston Ship Channel for distribution to various refiners via pipeline and barges. The facility will have the capability to unload and load up to three unit trains per day of crude oil and condensate as well as provide for up to 100,000 b/d of barge loading capacity. KW Express will own 85% of the project and, together with Watco, operate the project once completed. Mercuria will own the remaining 15% interes