Reports swirled around Washington last week that the White Houseplans to tap Bill Richardson, U.S. Ambassador to the UnitedNations, as the next secretary of the Department of Energy, butthere was no official confirmation. If true, this would mark thesecond time Deputy Energy Secretary Elizabeth Moler, who mostconcede is best qualified for the job, has been edged out of thetop energy post.
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Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) on Tuesday submitted to FERCan offer of settlement that it insists will save pipeline customersmore than $260 million over the next five to six years.
Chevron U.S.A. Production Co. announced the discovery of a largenew natural gas trend offshore Mississippi in the Gulf of Mexicothat could hold 1 Tcf of gross reserves. Chevron said the VioscaKnoll Carbonate Trend is unique to the Gulf in part because of itssize and because it’s the first offshore gas reserves to originatefrom Lower Cretaceous reservoirs. The Lower Cretaceous, however,has been productive onshore in Texas, Louisiana and in Mexico.
Cumberland Gas Pipeline Co., a general partnership of Williamsand AGL resources subsidiaries, is holding an open season for firmcapacity that started Monday and runs to May 29. The 141-mileCumberland Pipeline will initially consist of existing pipelineinfrastructure created by combining the 27-mile Suwanee lateral onWilliams’ Transco pipeline and Atlanta Gas Light’s 102-milemainline. The pipeline will run from the Transco mainline in WaltonCounty, GA, to Atlanta Gas Light’s interconnect with East TennesseeNatural Gas Co. in Catoosa County, GA. New facilities are expectedto be expanded north into Tennessee.
Laclede Gas Co. and Williams agreed to provide additional gasservice into the St. Louis area through a project that will expandthe Williams Gas Pipelines Central service area eastward fromKansas City to the St. Louis area. The project involves conversionof an existing 200-mile Williams petroleum pipeline to gas service.Williams also will install new compression, pipeline and deliveryfacilities. The project is fully subscribed, and firm service isexpected to begin in the fourth quarter.
Shell Exploration & Production said it will spend nearly $1billion to develop three oil and gas discoveries that will add morethan 300 million Boe to the Gulf’s deep-water inventory. Thesethree projects, Angus, Europa and Macaroni, will increase thenumber of Shell working interest deep-water developments to 14, themost in the industry. Each project will be developed with subseasystems tied back to existing platforms.
The proposed merger of Pacific Enterprises and Enova Corp. wascleared by the U.S. Department of Justice following a settlementagreement that calls for the merged company to divest itsgeneration assets and seek additional DOJ approval of any purchasesof existing power plants exceeding 500 MW of capacity inCalifornia. It calls for Enova to follow through on its previouslyannounced auction of San Diego Gas & Electric’s (Enova’sprimary electric utility subsidiary) two fossil-fuel power plants,located in Carlsbad and Chula Vista, CA. The agreement ends DOJ’sreview and clears the merger under the notification requirements ofthe Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act.
Add another pipeline project to the list of those that wouldmove gas eastward from the burgeoning Chicago market center.Crossroads Pipeline, in conjunction with CNG Transmission and EastOhio Gas, scheduled an open season for firm transportationbeginning Monday, March 2 and concluding April 20.