Consulting firm Solomon Associates LLC said a consortium of eight North American natural gas transmission companies have commissioned a cost benchmarking analysis of their combined 20 pipeline systems. Solomon will base this study on the concepts and methodologies developed for its fuel refining studies and later adapted for liquid pipeline studies. Other North American and global natural gas transmission companies will be invited to participate in the natural gas pipeline benchmarking study. In 2001, Solomon launched its liquid pipeline studies in Europe, which expanded worldwide. Its specialized, multiclient operating cost benchmarking studies for energy and power generation facilities enables companies to better measure, manage, and maximize their performance. The results of the natural gas pipeline study will remain confidential. No pipeline participant will see other individual pipeline company results, only cost and performance ranges and averages. The benchmarking study will be completed at the end of the third quarter. Detailed information is available by calling (972) 739-1719 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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A consortium of major Canadian-based oil and gas companies have selected Calgary-based CGI Group Inc. to build and maintain a sustainable production accounting method that could be used by the companies over the next two decades. Devon Energy-Canada, EnCana Corp., Husky Energy and Talisman Energy signed a co-venture contract for an undisclosed amount whereby CGI will build, maintain and enhance a single accounting method to be used by the energy companies. CGI said the method would be designed to increase efficiency, improve the quality of information by providing end users more time for data analysis and ultimately result in the ability to make better business decisions. The new system will be available to other oil and gas companies that operate in Canada. Terry Johnson, senior vice-president of CGI’s western Canada operations, said the CGI expects other oil and gas companies ” to embrace and implement this leading edge solution.” CGI is one of the largest information technology services firms in North America, and it currently serves more than 700 petroleum companies and natural resource trust management organizations worldwide.
Aquila Inc. said it received US$477 million after fees and expenses for its Australian energy investments from a consortium representing Alinta Limited, AMP Henderson and their affiliates. The proceeds were about US$32 million higher than earlier estimates mainly because of a stronger Australian dollar. Aquila said the net proceeds will be used to repay obligations under its recent 364-day secured loan and for other actions to strengthen the company’s balance sheet. Aquila’s investments in Australia included a 34% investment in United Energy Limited, the first electric distribution system to be privatized by the state of Victoria. Aquila purchased its interest in UEL in 1995. Prior to the sale Aquila also owned a significant minority interest in Alinta, a natural gas distributor and operator of a retail gas business in the state of Western Australia, and an interest in Multinet Gas, a gas distribution business in Victoria. The sale of the Australian investments is part of Aquila’s back to basics strategy, which has involved exiting the energy trading business, selling international assets and merchant power plants and refocusing on its utility operations in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Michigan.
Aquila Inc. said it received US$477 million after fees and expenses for its Australian energy investments from a consortium representing Alinta Limited, AMP Henderson and their affiliates. The proceeds were about US$32 million higher than earlier estimates mainly because of a stronger Australian dollar.
Promax Energy entered into a farmout joint venture agreement with Trident Exploration Corp. of Calgary to develop coalbed methane (CBM) under its Cessford properties in Alberta. Terms of the joint venture include a 12-well pilot program with all costs of the test borne by Trident, which will earn the right to commence a commercial drilling project on customary oil and gas industry terms. CBM production has become a significant and rapidly growing source of natural gas supply in the U.S., and interest is increasing in the CBM potential of Western Canadian coals. The Promax acreage hosts both shallow and deeper coal seams of interest. “The extensive and contiguous Promax land position, coupled with its database of logs, samples and seismic lines, will allow Trident to move rapidly in identifying the most prospective areas and starting a pilot project,” said Trident President Jon Baker. “Access to the Promax gas infrastructure and drilling economies will enhance the commercial potential for CBM development.” Promax is focused on natural gas in southeastern Alberta. It is well positioned to play a key role in the development of 500,000 acres of shallow gas in the Cessford area of Alberta, including platform production from the Medicine Hat/Milk River zones and potential higher productivity from up to 15 other horizons.
Northern Border Partners L.P. (NBP) entered an agreement topurchase Bear Paw Energy, LLC from a consortium of investors for$370 million in cash and stock. Bear Paw Energy has gathering andprocessing operations in the Powder River Basin (PRB) in Wyomingand the Williston Basin in Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan.The company has about 226,000 acres under dedication and 600 milesof gathering pipelines in the PRB. Bear Paw holds over 2,800 milesof gathering pipoelines and four processing plants with a capacityof 90 MMcf/d in the Williston Basin. “Once completed, we will haveadded over $625 million in non-regulated assets to the partnershipwith our third major acquisition in a little over one year. Ourtotal mix of non-regulated businesses will be slightly over 25%,”said Bill Cordes, CEO of NBP. “These strategically located assetswill fit, both commercially and operationally, with Crestone EnergyVentures and Northern Border Pipeline.” NBP said $185 million willbe paid in its own common stock, with the remainder paid in cashand assumption of liabilities. Pending shareholder and regulatoryapprovals, the acquisition is targeted for completion by the end ofthe first quarter.
With a bid of C$97.8 million, a 50-50 consortium of BP CanadaEnergy Co. and Anadarko Canada Corp. was the top bidder last weekfor one of eight exploration licenses off energy rich Nova Scotia,in an area about 60 miles east of the prolific Sable Island naturalgas field off the east coast of Canada.
With a bid of C$97.8 million, a 50-50 consortium of BP CanadaEnergy Co. and Anadarko Canada Corp. was the top bidder last weekfor one of eight exploration licenses off energy rich Nova Scotia,in an area about 60 miles east of the prolific Sable Island naturalgas field off the East Coast of Canada.