Regulators

Industry Briefs

California regulators have approved a one-time contractual waiver to allow Chevron Corp. to lower its obligation for capacity on Sempra Energy’s Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) backbone natural gas transmission system by 9,000 Dth/d. The waiver is effective through the end of Chevron’s three-year contract with SoCalGas on Sept. 30, 2014. Involved in the case is Chevron’s role as a California gas producer delivering up to 25,000 Dth/d into the SoCalGas system. Chevron’s total capacity on the SoCalGas system will drop to 16,000 Dth/d. The change was necessitated when the gas utility was forced to close one of the interconnecting pipelines used by Chevron in 2011 because of demands from the owner of the pipeline right-of-way. Since that time, SoCalGas decided it would not build a replacement line, forcing Chevron to lower the capacity volumes covered in its multi-year contract.

September 28, 2012

Industry Briefs

Natural gas and electric utility bills will decrease in the fourth quarter for Xcel Energy’s Colorado customers, assuming state regulators approve the combination utility’s proposed new rates, effective Oct. 1. Xcel asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to OK monthly gas utility bills going down by an average of $6.15 for residential customers and $23.16 for small businesses. Commodity prices for the two customer groups will be 44.19 cents/therm and 43.84 cents/therm, respectively, compared to rates of 52.11 cents/therm and 52.33 cents/therm in 4Q2011. For electric customers, monthly bills are expected to drop for residential ($3.21) and small business ($26.79).

September 19, 2012

PHMSA Aims to Reduce Serious Pipeline Incidents by 2016

With efforts by pipelines and state regulators, the Pipeline and Hazardous Safety Administration (PHMSA) said it anticipates a significant reduction in pipeline-related deaths or major injuries over the next four years.

September 17, 2012

Eaglebine Purchase, IPO Planned by Texas Producer

Energy & Exploration Partners Inc. on Monday said in a filing with U.S. regulators that it intended to raise up to $275 million through an initial public offering (IPO) of its common stock. In conjunction with the filing, the producer said it had agreed to buy acreage in the Eaglebine formation of Texas from Chesapeake Energy Corp. for $125 million.

September 13, 2012

LNG Exports Move Closer to Reality

A series of recent decisions by regulators and moves by operators of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities indicate the logjam of LNG exports may be easing.

August 27, 2012

Shell, Partners Double Size of Proposed Canadian LNG Export Facility

Shell Canada Ltd. and its trio of Asian energy partners have asked Canadian regulators for approval to build a facility near Kitimat, BC, that would be capable of exporting up to 24 million tons/year (MMt/y) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) beginning in 2019. The proposed facility is double the size of the one Shell announced in May.

July 31, 2012

Industry Brief

Oregon regulators extended for another 12 months the same portfolio of retail energy options for private-sector natural gas and electric utility customers throughout the state. The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) followed the recommendation of a third-party options committee in letting stand current programs for residential and nonresidential customers of NW Natural, PacifiCorp and Portland General Electric Co. The programs are designed to give utility customers options for supporting alternative energy development. Customers will continue to be able to voluntarily participate in NW Natural’s greenhouse gas emissions offset program and the two electric utilities’ offers for time-of-use, green source and wind power sources.

July 20, 2012

Minor Quakes, Injection Well Suspicions Continue in Texas

Concerns over natural gas development and its potential to cause earthquakes continue to linger in Johnson County, TX, after the area has experienced about 10 modest quakes during the last month.

July 17, 2012

Enbridge Blasted for Oil Pipeline Rupture

As California regulators and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) have found in the wake of what has been termed a preventable fatal pipeline incident, Enbridge Energy Partners LP is learning similar lessons from the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) assessment released earlier this month on the 2010 30-inch diameter oil pipeline rupture and spill in the Kalamazoo River in Marshall, MI. As in the PG&E pipe rupture two months later in San Bruno, CA, the NTSB report clearly pointed to company and regulatory failures.

July 16, 2012

California ‘At-Risk’ Pipelines Stir Concerns

A report in Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle based on a utility filing to state regulators earlier this year has raised doubts about the safety of Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s (PG&E) natural gas pipeline system and the utility’s nearly two-year effort to improve safety and reliability since the fatal San Bruno, CA, pipeline explosion.

July 5, 2012
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