Dave Hager, 56, who has been running Devon Energy Corp.’s exploration and production (E&P) program since 2009, has been promoted to COO, giving him responsibility for all operating areas and related corporate functions. Hager had been COO of Kerr-McGee Corp. prior to its 2006 merger with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Tony Vaughn, 55, will move into Hager’s former job as executive vice president of E&P. Vaughn has been senior vice president, exploration and strategic services. He joined Devon in 1999 after spending 12 years with Kerr-McGee.
Articles from Giving
In an effort to revive his plan to levy new severance taxes on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and natural gas liquids (NGL), Ohio Gov. John Kasich has proposed giving 25% of the tax proceeds to 33 counties in the state’s Appalachian region, home to Ohio’s Utica Shale drilling.
National Property Holdings LP plans to develop the Alamo Junction Rail Park and serve the Eagle Ford Shale region’s growing demand for rail-based logistics and warehousing. The project joins another recently announced park targeting oil/gas patch-related industrial development in the region.
Bipartisan legislation (HR 1900) introduced by U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) seeks to bring more certainty to the interstate natural gas pipeline permitting process, giving federal agencies up to 90 days after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues a certificate (one-time 30-day extension for unforeseen circumstances) to complete their work. The time line would apply to any federal agency charged with issuing a permit for an interstate gas project, including the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (right-of-way grant) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Endangered Species Act; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Clean Water Act); and the Environmental Protection Agency (emissions permit). Pipeline projects require as many as 10 permits. The time limit would codify existing regulations following the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), which were intended to expedite projects. A study this year by the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America found that the percentage of federal authorizations for interstate pipes that were issued more than 90 days beyond FERC’s issuing environmental impact statements (EIS) or environmental assessments (EA) rose from 7.69% before EPAct became law to 28.05% after implementation (see NGI, Jan. 21). Federal authorizations granted 180 days or longer after FERC issued an EIS or EA rose from 3.42% to 19.51%. Cosponsors of the legislation are Reps. Jim Matheson (D-UT), Pete Olson (R-TX), Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Bill Johnson (R-OH).
Chesapeake Energy Corp. has altered former CEO Aubrey McClendon’s noncompete agreement, giving him the right to acquire oil and natural gas holdings that are adjacent to the company’s wells in which he holds a stake. However, McClendon first would have to offer to Chesapeake the rights to purchase the adjacent properties on the same terms, and if more than 40% of the properties are next to the company’s operations, he would have to obtain its consent, according to a Form 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing indicated that Chesapeake would pay McClendon almost $50 million in severance, with the last payment in July 2014. He also is allowed the use of a company aircraft through 2016. McClendon agreed, for one year from the effective date of Jan. 29, 2013, not to hire any Chesapeake employee after April 1 except an employee assigned to provide accounting support or as an assistant; who had been terminated, but had not voluntarily departed; elected to accept any voluntary severance or retirement program offered by the company; or for whom the company consented in advance.
Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell on Wednesday filed legislation intended to provide cheaper energy to Interior Alaskans by giving the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) the ability to provide up to $275 million in financing for a natural gas liquefaction plant and for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) distribution system within the Fairbanks North Star Borough.
EV Energy Partners LP (EVEP) said that although it has received offers for its acreage in the Utica Shale, the company does not expect to announce an agreement before the end of the year.
Alliance Pipeline has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $500,000 for violating FERC regulations with respect to capacity auctions two years ago, specifically giving shippers a misleading impression about the amount of unsubscribed capacity on its system.
The election may have left the balance of power in Washington basically unchanged, but the lame duck Congress, which convened this week, may turn out to be not so lame, and the outlook for natural gas interests on Capitol Hill is good, according to Regina Hopper, CEO of America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA).