Sales Competition Undermining LNG International Prices, Says ExxonMobil

Sales competition is undermining international prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to ExxonMobil Corp.’s export terminal proposal for the northern Pacific Coast of British Columbia (BC). The supermajor and Canadian affiliate Imperial Oil Ltd. noted the competition in a filing with the National Energy Board (NEB) to build terminal that could export as much as 30 million metric tons a year (mmty) to overseas markets.

July 8, 2013

Industry Brief

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.

July 8, 2013

Bakken Effort Aims to Up Pace of BLM Permitting

With industry, a U.S. senator and North Dakota state officials all focused on robust permitting applications for oil and natural gas development in the Bakken Shale, the Bakken Federal Executives Group is the latest attempt to streamline federal processes that are criticized for being too slow.

July 1, 2013

House Passes Go-Nowhere Bill to Expand Offshore Access

The House Friday passed legislation that would open more federal waters to oil and natural gas exploration and production, but the bill has next to no chance of advancing in the Senate and being signed into law by President Obama.

July 1, 2013

Industry Briefs

ExxonMobil Corp. has filed for permission to export 30 million metric tons a year (mmty) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the west coast of British Columbia (BC) (see related story). The Irving, TX-based operator said in an export license application with the National Energy Board that it is assessing potential construction sites in the Kitimat and Prince Rupert, BC areas for an LNG facility that would include six processing units. The project would be a partnership with its majority-owned Canadian subsidiary Imperial Oil Ltd. If all goes as scheduled, gas exports could begin in the 2021 to 2023 time frame, the filing indicated. The BC venture, to be known as WCC LNG Ltd., would be supplied with gas from Western Canada fields. During the life of the project, gas also could be sourced from other North American basins. In May ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum International, which are sponsoring the proposed Golden Pass Products LNG terminal in Sabine Pass, TX, launched pre-filing for their proposed 15 mmty project (see NGI, May 20).

June 24, 2013

Court Rejects Dodd-Frank Challenge

A U.S. District Court judge in Washington, DC, has dismissed a challenge by Bloomberg LP of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Dodd-Frank regulations of the multi-trillion over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market. At the same time, a coalition of associations urged the agency to maintain the $8 billion threshold for swap dealing activity that a participant may engage in before it becomes subject to the requirements.

June 17, 2013

Spectra Stepping Up MLP Dropdowns

Under pressure from an activist investor, Spectra Energy Corp. (SE) said last week it would drop down all of its remaining U.S. transmission and storage assets to Spectra Energy Partners (SEP) by the end of the year.

June 17, 2013

Demise of Oneok’s Marketing Arm a Sign of the Times

Oneok Inc.’s energy services segment, which markets and contracts to provide natural gas and transportation, has “contributed greatly” to the company’s past, but it’s no longer a good fit with today’s marketplace, CEO John Gibson said in a conference call last week.

June 17, 2013

Royalties Top 1,000% in Some Pennsylvania Counties

Rents and royalties reported on Pennsylvania income tax returns from 2006 to 2010 have increased 61% statewide, and 119% in counties with Marcellus Shale activity, according to a report by the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (AIPP). Rent and royalty income for landowners and mineral rights owners in the state rose 34% in counties with no Marcellus activity.

June 17, 2013

Spectra Shares Bounce on MLP Dropdown News

Shares of Spectra Energy Corp. (SE) spiked Wednesday the day after the company said it would drop down all of its remaining U.S. transmission and storage assets to Spectra Energy Partners (SEP) by the end of the year. Analysts joined investors in cheering the move and raised their ratings on SE shares to “buy.”

June 13, 2013