The worst of the flooding in Western Canada has subsided and field operations for the energy sector are getting back to normal, but access to downtown Calgary’s offices was still blocked Wednesday as power restoration and building inspections were taking longer than expected, according to officials.
Articles from Downtown
As industry and energy regulators again were forced to stay away from their offices in Calgary’s flooded downtown a state of emergency still prevailed Monday in the city and much of southern Alberta, according to government and industry sources.
The climax of a three-day “Stop the Frack Attack” anti-hydraulic fracturing (fracking) rally in Washington, DC, on Saturday had been advertised by its organizers as an event that would bring “thousands of people from across the U.S. and around the globe” to protest the practice.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair John Wellinghoff and a California regulator examined the Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) emergency response center in downtown Los Angeles during a national regulators’ meeting, and they found a potential national model, according to Michel Florio, a member of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
In the midst of a regional trucking transportation hub in the Inland Empire 50 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, a regional government association is leveraging state and federal grants totaling nearly $20 million with a major national trucking company, Ryder System Inc., to put hundreds of compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) rigs on the road.
Chevron Corp. expects to restaff its downtown New Orleans office by the end of 1Q2006. The 750 employees who worked there were evacuated when Hurricane Katrina struck the city last August. Melody Meyer, vice president of Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico business unit, said the move back to the city was a “key milestone” for the company. “There is a strong feeling of homecoming for the employees who have already returned. Having our employees once again working together in New Orleans provides a sense of return to normalcy.” Most of the company’s New Orleans-based employees continued to live and work in Louisiana following the massive storm. Many of those displaced worked out of a Chevron office in Lafayette, LA, where the company built a temporary housing complex for employees and their families. In October, Chevron opened a temporary office in Madisonville, LA, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain.
As the Port of Long Beach, CA, 25 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, methodically works through the development of an environmental impact assessment, proponents and opponents of a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal in the harbor city continued to butt heads last weekend. A neutral city official in attendance said the confrontation was probably a draw in terms of the number of people on each side.
With a bid of $55.5 million, a group led by a Houston cardiologist won an auction to buy Enron Corp.’s headquarters. The 50-story tower in downtown Houston had been owned by a syndicate of banks that included J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which bought it in the 1990s for $285 million and leased it back to Enron. The company had moved into the building in 1986, according to a spokesman. The building is carried on Houston’s tax rolls for $93 million. The transaction is scheduled to become final Dec. 16, pending approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Proceeds from the sale will go to the bank syndicate. An adjoining 40-story skyscraper, which was built for Enron and nearly new when the company declared bankruptcy in Dec. 2001,sold for $105 million about a year ago.
Coral Energy and Shell Trading U.S. are planning to co-locate their operations in Coral’s offices in downtown Houston. It is not a merger, a company spokesman said, and the units will not combine operations. Coral, which markets natural gas and power, and Shell Trading, which markets oil and products, will shed some of their combined 1,200-member workforce where there is redundancy. The cutback will be accomplished through voluntary actions, retirements, normal attrition, and relocations within the corporation.
Although the official word at Dynegy Corp. is that its merger with downtown Houston rival Enron Corp. remains on track, a source close to the negotiations said Dynegy is “talking to all of the parties involved in this transaction,” and suggested that the deal could be revised in the very near future.