The role of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the U.S. gas supplymix continues to grow. Last year’s third quarter saw a significantpercentage jump in LNG imports, and that trend likely will continuewith LNG import facilities being reopened in Maryland and Georgia.
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The role of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the U.S. gas supplymix continues to grow as 1999’s third quarter saw a significantpercentage jump in LNG imports. According to the U.S. Department ofEnergy’s Office of Natural Gas & Petroleum Import and ExportActivities, total gas imports grew by 15% over the third quarter of1998 while LNG imports were up a strong 221% over the same period.A 10% rise in Canadian imports and a 154% rise in Mexican importswere also noted. At the same time, U.S. exports of gas to Mexicogrew by 41%.
Letting no grass grow under the feet of its newly-created Carolinas empire, Carolina Power and Light (CP&L) got a jump on competitors by shortening both the length and the lead-time of its proposed interstate Palmetto Pipeline project and turning it into an intrastate. The pricetag on the project drops from $175 million to $100 million and it will run 82 miles (instead of 175 miles) along the right-of-way of now-integrated North Carolina Natural Gas to a new power plant being developed by CP&L. It will require no federal or state certification.
Producer investment in Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB)natural gas is expected to grow from the $8 billion spent in 1998to just under $9 billion by 2001, which should add up to about a 6%hike or 3.1 Bcf/d in production and 3.4 Bcf/d in maximum peak daydeliverability over the 1998 to 2001 period, according to a surveyby the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI). The report notes”the WCSB is moving into a period of tighter supply/demandbalances,” in which lower than estimated spending could result insupply shortfalls, while higher spending could create a surplus.The group’s “1999 Canadian Natural Gas Producer Survey &Deliverability Outlook” sees export capacity from the basinpossibly exceeding market demand in the short-term. “For year 2001CERI’s required production estimate equates to an 89% averageannual load factor on ex-basin capacity, notably lower than the95-100% factors experienced since the mid-1990s.”
A preliminary look at the Canadian supply situation prior to thewinter heating season shows a greater amount of field gas availablethis year compared to last but less gas in storage and less gas onthe way, according to officials at TransCanada Pipelines.Meanwhile, market demand continues to be strong. The bottom line,said Al Jamal, manager of TransCanada’s Western CanadianSedimentary Basin Strategic Assessment, is “the supply-demandbalance is still tightening up” and will continue to do so given anormal or colder than normal winter and a continuation of flatdrilling activity.
Cross Timbers Oil Co. of Fort Worth, TX, continues to grow itspresence in the Arkoma Basin with an acquisition from Houston-basedOcean Energy Inc. Ocean Energy agreed to sell its working interestin certain properties in the Arkoma Basin in Arkansas and Oklahomato Cross Timbers for about $235.3 million, which will be used toreduce debt. The transaction, which is subject to customary closingconditions, is scheduled to close by mid-September.
In an effort grow its natural gas asset portfolio, Aquila Energy, UtiliCorp’s energy services subsidiary, recently formed a gas asset acquisition arm called Natural Gas Partners. The new entity was created to purchase storage facilities, pipelines and other properties as well as enter alliances, management deals and partnerships. The unit, which has not yet reached its full work force, is based in Kansas City, MO.
CMS Gas Transmission and Storage Co., the new pipeline division of the Michigan utility, continued to grow last week as its subsidiary CMS Continental Natural Gas purchased Anson Gas Marketing and the Midcontinent Gas Pipeline from Chesapeake Energy Marketing. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Discoveries are approaching 1 Tcf in a southern portion of theNorthwest Territories, which is emerging as Canada’s hottest newnatural-gas drilling play, fanning flames under a simmeringregulatory and political dispute over pipeline service throughAlberta.