A lawsuit filed last week against pipeline companies in Louisiana by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E) is an example of a state agency and its lawyers looking for a big payout, the head of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) told NGI Wednesday. A lawyer for the plaintiff, however, said his client only wants the pipelines to do their share of the work in restoring protections for the state’s coast.
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Spot prices for U.S. natural gas at most major trading points increased on average 40-60% in the first half of 2013 (1H2013) from a year earlier as demand eclipsed supply, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported last week.
The opening of the Mariner West I ethane pipeline and new processing plants should provide some relief to current wet gas constraints in the Marcellus and Utica shales, and the plays should be largely de-bottlenecked by the end of next year, according to analysts at Barclays.
Oneok Inc. plans to spin off its natural gas distribution business to create ONE Gas Inc., which would be one of the largest gas utilities in the United States with more than two million customers in three states and the only publicly traded, 100% regulated, pure-play gas distribution utility.
Most of the United States — and particularly parts of Texas and the Northeast — can expect above-normal temperatures through October, but the Southeast may see some relief from the worst of summer heat, according to forecasters at Weather Services International (WSI). The forecaster also trimmed the number of tropical storms it expects to form in the Atlantic Basin this year.
The United States could produce 5 million b/d from shale oil deposits by 2017 and may become the world’s largest oil producer — reaching up to 16 million b/d in just a few years by combining shale with conventional oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biofuels, according to a researcher at Harvard Kennedy School.
The California Public Utilities Commission has approved a 50% increase in the working capacity of one of the state’s largest merchant-based underground natural gas storage facilities, Wild Goose Storage LLC, north of Sacramento. Regulators unanimously agreed that Wild Goose may expand its working capacity from 50 Bcf to 75 Bcf, the third expansion since it was opened as the state’s first competitive storage facility in 1999. Wild Goose is interconnected with two major gas transmission pipelines of San Francisco-based combination utility Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which operates its own network of underground storage facilities in Northern California, totaling more than 100 Bcf of working capacity.
Exco Resources Inc. is paying Chesapeake Energy Corp. $1 billion for something wet and something dry: about 55,000 acres in the liquids-rich Eagle Ford Shale of Texas and about 9,600 acres in the drier Haynesville Shale in North Louisiana (see related story). The deal’s dry gas component is viewed by analysts as a steal while the Eagle Ford acreage is considered to be marginal.
Forced back into action following the Thursday Independence Day Holiday, physical gas traders in quiet trading Friday for weekend and Monday delivery managed to push most price point averages higher by a few cents, except for in the Northeast and California. Coming off dollar-plus losses on Wednesday, a number of Marcellus Shale-related points reversed course Friday to gain 80 cents or more. California was the only area in the red, with multiple points dropping a nickel to 15 cents.