With domestic natural gas production reaching an “unprecedented” level, net imports of gas into the United States in 2012 fell 23% while total gas exports increased about 8%, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
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Sabal Trail Transmission LLC, a joint venture of Spectra Energy and NextEra Energy Inc., has been named the winning bidder to build a 465-mile interstate natural gas pipeline project by Florida Power & Light (FPL) to provide transportation services for its power generations needs beginning in May 2017. FPL, the largest power company in the state, put out the request for proposals for a new pipeline in December. Sabal Trail would have an estimated price tag of $3 billion and originate in Tallapoosa County, AL, extend through Georgia and terminate at the Central Florida Hub near Orlando (see NGI, July 8). Through a capacity lease with Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line (Transco), natural gas supply would be accessed at Transco’s Station 85 in Choctaw County, AL. The pipeline, when completed, would have the capacity to transport more than 1 Bcf/d to serve local distribution companies, industrial users and natural gas-fired power generators. According to the Energy Information Administration, Florida generates 62% of its power from 1.1 Tcf of natural gas.
Members of a panel testifying at a hearing of a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs subcommittee last week warned that allowing global conglomerates to own multiple pieces of the production and marketing chain for any commodity, including oil and natural gas, while simultaneously also speculating on the price of those commodities, opens the door to potential manipulation of prices.
Spot prices for U.S. natural gas at most major trading points increased on average 40-60% in the first half of 2013 (1H2013) from a year earlier as demand eclipsed supply, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported last week.
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) on Friday revised its outlook for Chesapeake Energy Corp. to “stable” from “negative,” citing the new CEO as part of the reason. Former Anadarko Petroleum Corp. executive Doug Lawler took over in June (see NGI, May 27).
The opening of the Mariner West I ethane pipeline and new processing plants should provide some relief to current wet gas constraints in the Marcellus and Utica shales, and the plays should be largely de-bottlenecked by the end of next year, according to analysts at Barclays.
Last year, natural gas-fueled plants accounted for 57% of the generating capacity in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and more than 44% of energy use. As the reliance on gas-fired power grows, ERCOT is working with other organizations to protect against and prepare for a large-scale system-wide blackout.
The capacity of underground natural gas storage facilities increased by about 2% from November 2011 to November 2012, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a new report. The increase was seen in both demonstrated maximum and design capacities.
Oneok Inc. plans to spin off its natural gas distribution business to create ONE Gas Inc., which would be one of the largest gas utilities in the United States with more than two million customers in three states and the only publicly traded, 100% regulated, pure-play gas distribution utility.