As part of the reauthorization of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 this year, a senior pipeline official asked Congress to relax a controversial standard requiring pipelines to reinspect facilities in high-density areas every seven years.
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El Paso Corp. will pay the state of Arizona $3.4 million, invest another $43 million in capital improvement projects in the state and accelerate $30 million in already-planned pipeline integrity expenditures as part of a settlement that received final approval from the Maricopa County Superior Court on Monday. The settlement covers pending litigation against the company from the western energy crisis in 2000 and 2001.
Almost two years after Enron Corp. imploded and exposed the flaws in the rest of the energy merchant sector, a Standard & Poor’s (S&P) analyst suggests in a new report that diversified energy companies with marketing and trading activities still don’t provide enough information for investors to discern all of the credit risks or the potential earnings.
The utility sector is continuing to benefit from an ongoing improvement in credit fundamentals as well as an overall increase in the “risk appetite” of investors in 2003, according to a report issued last week by CreditSights analysts.
Pioneer Natural Resources Tuesday reported a vast improvement in first quarter 2003 earnings over last year and a 45% growth in daily production over the last 12 months. Company officials predicted production would continue to grow at a 12% compounded annual rate over the next five years.
A strong performance by Columbia Energy Group’s transmission,distribution, and exploration and production operations last yearin spite of 17% warmer than normal weather and lower commodityprices was significantly tainted by several major blunders in itsenergy marketing operations.
Northern Border Partners LP reported a 15% increase in earningsper unit. Earnings improvement from the first half of 1997 wasattributed mainly to return on equity from investment in theChicago Project, an $839 million expansion and extension of theNorthern Border Pipeline system.