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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

Western U.S. to Bake Through Summer’s End, WSI Says

Most of the United States — and particularly parts of Texas and the Northeast — can expect above-normal temperatures through October, but the Southeast may see some relief from the worst of summer heat, according to forecasters at Weather Services International (WSI). The forecaster also trimmed the number of tropical storms it expects to form in the Atlantic Basin this year.

July 29, 2013

LNG Approval Delays Costing Billions, Think Tank Says

Pro-business Washington, DC, think tank American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) has a new paper extolling the benefits of exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) that it hopes will light a fire under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its export approval process.

July 22, 2013

Noble Offshore Capacity ‘Sold Out,’ Margins Increase

Rates for offshore rigs improved and the amount of downtime fell between April and June, helping to buoy offshore drilling contractor Noble Corp. to higher-than-expected profits.

July 22, 2013

Apache GOM Sale Shifts Focus to Onshore

Apache Corp., which had planned to sell about $4 billion worth of assets by the end of the year, accomplished that goal and more last week after agreeing to sell Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Outer Continental Shelf operations and properties, and the asset retirement obligations, to a Riverstone Holdings affiliate for $5.25 billion total.

July 22, 2013

Slightly Higher Natural Gas Prices Forecast

Wells Fargo Securities analysts last week increased their outlook for natural gas prices to reflect 2Q2013 average pricing. They also expect to see “slightly increasing” gas output as badly needed infrastructure in the Marcellus, Utica and Eagle Ford shales comes online.

July 22, 2013

California Recommends PG&E Pay Additional Penalty

In what would be an historically high fine, the safety staff of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last week amended its $2.25 billion penalty recommendation against or Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) concerning the San Bruno, CA, natural gas pipeline rupture, to include a minimum of $300 million paid to the state’s general fund.

July 22, 2013

McCarthy Confirmed as EPA Chief

The Senate Thursday confirmed Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ending a four-month long stalemate between Republicans and Democrats over her controversial nomination.

July 22, 2013

Industry Briefs

Tennessee Gas Pipeline has launched an open season through July 31 for firm natural gas transportation capacity on the Connecticut Expansion Project, which would deliver gas from its existing interconnect with Iroquois Gas Transmission in Wright, NY, to Zone 6 delivery points on Tennessee’s 200 and 300 Lines in Connecticut. The project, which would require upgrades and modifications to the existing pipeline system in New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut, is slated for service by November 2016. Available capacity would be about 72,100 Dth/d. The pipeline has entered into binding precedent agreements with three anchor shippers. Inexpensive shale gas has recently caught the attention of the Constitution State. In June Connecticut gas distribution utilities Yankee Gas, Connecticut Natural Gas and Southern Connecticut Gas, filed a joint gas expansion plan with the state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (see NGI, June 24). The plan outlines how the utilities would meet expansion goals proposed in the Gov. Dannel Malloy’s comprehensive energy strategy and the the recently enacted HB 6360 (see NGI, March 18). The utilities plan a “structured approach” to add 280,000 new gas heating customers over the next 10 years.

July 22, 2013

Nucor to Spend $700M-Plus to Fuel Encana’s Natural Gas Drilling

Steel manufacturer Nucor Corp. said it plans to spend more than $700 million on natural gas drilling over a two-year period to meet its contractual obligations with Encana Corp. for low-cost gas supplies.

July 22, 2013