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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.

July 29, 2013

Senators Delve Into Speculators’ Control of Commodity Assets

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.

July 29, 2013

Spot Prices in 2013 Return to ’09-’11 Levels, Says EIA

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.

July 29, 2013

Chesapeake Gets Ratings Boost from S&P

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).

July 29, 2013

Marcellus/Utica De-Bottlenecking on Horizon, Barclays Says

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.

July 29, 2013

Louisiana Lawsuit Targets Pipelines for Coastal Damage

A lawsuit filed last week against pipeline companies in Louisiana by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E) is an example of a state agency and its lawyers looking for a big payout, the head of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) told NGI Wednesday. A lawyer for the plaintiff, however, said his client only wants the pipelines to do their share of the work in restoring protections for the state’s coast.

July 29, 2013

Consol JV Cracks Upper Devonian Code

Consol Energy has drilled its first Upper Devonian Shale well, in Greene County, PA, with results that bode well for the 300,000 acres it controls with commercial Upper Devonian potential.

July 29, 2013

George P. Mitchell: A Quintessential American Story

George Phydias Mitchell, 94, who is credited with pioneering unconventional drilling techniques that have opened up North America’s natural gas and oil potential, died Friday at his home in Galveston, TX.

July 29, 2013

ERCOT Preparing for More Gas-Fired Power

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.

July 29, 2013

BOP May Have Ignited Offshore Gas Well

Federal regulators, working with Walter Oil & Gas Corp., said Friday they were continuing to oversee and coordinate response efforts to secure the producer’s South Timbalier Block 220 natural gas well in the shallow Gulf of Mexico (GOM), which blew out last Tuesday and ignited a fire later that night.

July 29, 2013
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