PennzEnergy Co. and Sonat Exploration Co. formed a joint ventureto develop mineral interests underlain by coal bed methane at the700,000-acre Vermejo Park Ranch in northeast New Mexico.PennzEnergy has held the bulk of the mineral rights since 1970.
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Shell Oil affiliate Tejas Natural Gas Liquids LLC and EnterpriseProducts Partners L.P. have formed joint venture Entell NGLServices LLC to develop a gas liquids transportation anddistribution system. Entell’s initial asset base will includesubstantially all of Enterprise’s existing pipeline facilities inLouisiana. In addition, Entell will create a pipeline systemlinking storage at Breaux Bridge, LA, to Mont Belvieu, TX. Entellanticipates the system being capable of distributing products fromkey NGL sources in southern Louisiana directly to major NGLmarkets, including the lower Mississippi River corridor, Dixiepipeline, Lake Charles, LA, and Mont Belvieu.
Despite the advent of retail gas and electric competition instates such as California, Georgia, Ohio and Pennsylvania,UtiliCorp United officials do not regret their decision earlierthis year to shelve retail commodity marketing and disband theEnergyOne partnership with PECO Energy. The outlook for retailcompetition is still quite bleak, UtiliCorp Chairman Richard C.Green, Jr. said last week at a press briefing in Washington, D.C.The status of the retail market has not changed, and regulators andlegislators still appear headed in the wrong direction.
Peoples Energy and Dominion Energy announced they plan todevelop and operate a 300 MW gas-fired electric generating peakingfacility near Elwood, IL, 60 miles southwest of Chicago. The $90million project is expected to be completed in time to providepower to the grid in summer 1999.
Enron Corp. is jumping into the California electric power marketwith a plan to develop a 500-MW gas-fired, merchant power plant inPittsburg, CA. Although the figures are not their analysis, EnronCapital and Trade Resources officials said the state needs some6,000 MW of new generating capacity by 2002.
Central Maine Power Co. and New York State Electric & Gas(NYSEG), have received conditional authorization to develop a planto settle one of the last frontiers of gas distribution, Maine, butBangor Gas, a joint venture between Energy Pacific and BangorHydro, may beat them to it. CMP Natural, the joint venture betweenCMP and NYSEG, received preliminary approval from the Maine PublicUtility Commission (MPUC) to serve 60 Maine communities withnatural gas but the PUC staff still has to review the details ofits business plan application and issue a draft order. That hasbeen done already for the Bangor Gas project, a smaller projectthat would serve the greater Bangor area. Bangor Gas partner BangorHydro has some concerns of its own, however.
Shell Exploration & Production said it will spend nearly $1billion to develop three oil and gas discoveries that will add morethan 300 million Boe to the Gulf’s deep-water inventory. Thesethree projects, Angus, Europa and Macaroni, will increase thenumber of Shell working interest deep-water developments to 14, themost in the industry. Each project will be developed with subseasystems tied back to existing platforms.