Onshore drilling efficiencies and multi-pad drilling has begun to tell the tale in North America’s onshore unconventionals, with super independents ConocoPhillips, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Apache Corp. all reporting stronger-than-ever production.
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Princeton, NJ-basedNRG Energy Inc. said Friday it has begun commercial operations of its repowered 550 MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle generating plant at El Segundo, CA. The El Segundo Energy Center includes fast-start capability, allowing the plant to deliver more than half of its capacity in 10 minutes of start-up time and the balance in less than an hour. The new facility meets the state’s and the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s air quality standards, and it will use 30% less gas per megawatt than the original steam boilers at the site.
The six participating planning authorities of theEastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative(EIPC) –ISO New England,New York ISO,Ontario’s Independent Electric System Operator,Midcontinent ISO,PJM Interconnectionand theTennessee Valley Authority– have issued a request for proposals (RFP) to conduct an analysis of natural gas infrastructure and its interfaces with the electric grid within their combined footprints. The Gas-Electric System Interface Study, which is to be completed by mid-2015, “will develop a baseline of the electric and natural gas systems, including their planning, operation and interactions,” EIPC said. “In addition, the study will look at the adequacy of the gas system to satisfy generation needs over five- and 10-year horizons; identify contingencies on the gas and electric systems that could negatively affect the other; and examine the pros and cons of dual-fuel capability for generation versus expanding gas system infrastructure.” Study results are expected to help improve gas-electric coordination to ensure electric system reliability. Intent to bid notices are due by Friday (Aug. 9) and proposals are due Aug. 30. The study would be funded under aU.S. Department of Energygrant.
Production from unconventional wells in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale was strong enough to keep the U.S. gas output total at 81.84 Bcf/d in May, just 0.3% higher than the 81.61 Bcf/d reported in May 2012, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Interior Secretary Sally Jewelland the top leaders on theSenate Energy and Natural Resources Committeeexpressed support forPresident Obama’schoice ofMichael L. Connorto be deputy interior secretary, succeedingDavid Hayes. Since 2009, Connor has been commissioner of Interior’sBureau of Reclamation, and prior to that he served on Capitol Hill. “Mike will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position after two decades in public service working on energy, conservation and water issues,” Jewell said. Since 2009, Connor has been commissioner of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, and prior to that he served on Capitol Hill. If confirmed by the Senate, Connor would be the second highest ranking official at Interior, with statutory responsibility as the COO to help lead a department of more than 70,000 employees and an annual budget of about $12 billion. Connor would continue to serve in his capacity as Interior’s reclamation commissioner, while his nomination is being considered, Jewell said.Sen. Ron Wyden(D-OR), chairman of theEnergy and Natural Resources Committee, andSen. Lisa Murkowski(R-AK), the ranking member of the committee, echoed those sentiments. “Mike Connor is a superb choice to serve as deputy secretary of the Interior,” Wyden said. Murkowski agreed, saying Connor’s “integrity, work ethic and his ability to solve tough resource related issues will make him an asset to the secretary.”
Maritimes Canada natural gas consumers should consider taking up to 600 MMcf/d of firm pipeline capacity from the Marcellus Shale to ensure security of supply and avoid the $30.00/MMBtu gas prices seen last winter, ICF Consulting Canada Inc. said in a new study prepared for the Nova Scotia Department of Energy.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has called on FERC to eliminate a rule for bumping/no-bump of interruptible transportation (IT), which gives IT gas that is already flowing priority over firm transportation (FT) service.
TransCanada Corp. moved Thursday to calm a hornets’ nest of protest among its natural gas customers in Ontario, Quebec and the northeastern United States by making a formal promise to maintain service continuity.
Before leaving for a five-week recess Friday, the House of Representatives passed a series of Republican-sponsored bills aimed at restricting the ability of the federal government to impose what are viewed as costly regulations. However, the bills are expected to go nowhere in the Democratically controlled Senate. If they do President Obama has signaled that he will veto the measures.