The Department of Energy (DOE) proposed a $10 million cut infunding for natural gas research and development (R&D) as partof a $17.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2000 that it forwarded toCongress earlier this week.
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The U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday it will resolve a civilcourt case between a group of oil companies, headed by BP AmocoProduction Co., and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe over rights androyalties to natural gas produced from coal in the San Juan Basin.The Supreme Court will hear arguments in April with a decision dueby the end of June.
Los Angeles-based ARCO said after-tax special charges in thefourth quarter are expected to total $890 million. Net chargeincludes asset write-downs, restructuring costs, and a tax refund.Asset write-downs are a result of investment impairments totaling$790 million after tax and mainly related to expectations of lowercrude prices. Properties involved include some assets acquired aspart of the Union Texas Petroleum (UTP) purchase and other assetsin the UK North Sea, Middle East and North Africa. Essentially allof the oil and gas properties impacted are overseas.
The leadership of the Gas Industry Standards Board’s (GISB) topdecision-making committee has been in the hands of the pipelinesand producers for a number of years, but the gavel has been passedto service companies and distributors in 1999. This changing of theguard has left some feeling uneasy as they wonder whether a radicalchange in direction is in store for the standards-setting group inthe year ahead.
Union Pacific Resources Group Inc. said it will take a whopping$760 million after-tax, non-cash charge to fourth quarter earningsfor asset impairment under Financial Accounting Standard 121. UPRalso said its 1999 plans include continuing its cost-reductionprogram and a preliminary capital budget of about $500 million.Excess cash flow of more than $250 million will be used to furthercut debt to keep the company’s $2 billion de-leveraging program ontarget.
CMS Energy Corp. went on a shopping spree last week, taking amajor stake in one of the Rocky Mountain region’s hottest newproducing areas, the Powder River Basin, and adding to its growingMidcontinent midstream asset base with the purchase of Heritage GasServices, L.L.C.
For the second day in a row Friday, the futures market was ableto shrug off sizable losses in the physical market to trade oneither side of unchanged. No fresh news was seen to inspire theNovember contract outside its unusually narrow 3 cent trading rangeand the market was left to settle at $2.164, a 1.2 cent loss forthe day.
The 1 Bcf/d Vector Pipeline project has taken the lead amongmajor pipelines designed to move gas east from Chicago. Vector wonpreliminary approval on non-environmental grounds from FERC lastweek, which puts it ahead of the TriState Pipeline, IndependencePipeline and the Tennessee Eastern Express projects in the strugglethrough the regulatory process.