$68K Fined for Byproduct Spills

For three spills of an oil and gas byproduct in southwestern Colorado, BP America Production Co. has been fined $68,000.

Produced water and other substances from cracked pipelines caused the gas byproduct to be released in the county.  State records shows the spills occurred in April 2018, November 2018 and April 2019.

BP has agreed to spend about $12.5 million by 2022 to repair or replace 17 miles of pipelines in La Plata County, reported by The Durango Herald on Wednesday.

‘Pipelines are cracking as a result of the stress of ground movement,’ BP attorney told the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission this week.

Source:
chron

Supreme Court Gets Request for More Time on Atlantic Coast Appeal

The U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco on Wednesday requested the Supreme Court a one-month extension for the time the government has to file a petition. The extension was to get enough time to appeal on a circuit court decision that is preventing Dominion Energy Inc., from building the Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline across the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.

The time will expire on May 28 without the extension and the Solicitor General is requesting the extension till June 25. The project's costs have ballooned due to legal and regulatory delays. Dominion would cancel the pipeline if the Supreme Court does not hear the case, analysts say.

If the Solicitor General joins the appeal, it would increase the chances the court will hear the case, said Dominion's Chief Executive Thomas Farrell and the company welcomed the news that the Solicitor General would join the case.

The company initially estimated that the 600-mile pipeline project would cost $6 billion to $6.5 billion and will be able to complete in late 2019. But due to the legal challenges the cost went up to $7 billion to $7.5 billion and the company is hoping to resume construction in the third quarter and complete it by early 2021.

The pipeline construction was suspended in early December after the Fourth Circuit stayed a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit that authorized building the pipe in areas inhabited by threatened or endangered species.

Source:
pgjonline

Cactus II Pipeline Tariff Waiver Request Denied

A new request to remove import tariffs on steel for Plains All American's Cactus II crude oil pipeline system got rejected by the Trump administration.

The U.S. Commerce Department had already denied Cactus II's similar request last year, citing the same reason that the waiver request was not a "complete submission". The company requested to waive import tariffs on hundreds of miles of steel pipeline imported from Greece.

The 25% steel import tariff announced in March 2018. The department has rejected waivers for 517.6K metric tons of steel, while granted waivers for 153.7K metric tons of steel, Argus reports.

Although, majority of requests from the oil and gas industry to win exemptions was lost to Department of Commerce, the department lifted the tariff on pipeline that Cheniere had proposed to import from Canada for its planned 1.4 billion cubic feet per day Midship natural gas.

Source:
seekingalpha

$3.3 Million Fined for Worst Oil Spill in California

Plains All American Pipeline company was fined nearly $3.35 million on Thursday for causing the 2015 spill that sent 140,000 gallons of crude oil gushing onto Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County.

The spill, considered as the worst California coastal spill in 25 years caused from a corroded pipeline that blackened popular beaches for miles, killed wildlife, affected tourism and fishing, including killing marine mammals and protected sea birds.

According to federal inspectors Plains had made several preventable errors, failed to quickly detect the pipeline rupture and responded too slowly as oil flowed toward the ocean.

“We take our responsibility to safely deliver energy resources very seriously, and we are committed to doing the right thing,” the firm said in a statement Thursday and had paid $335 million for the cleanup according to the company’s 2017 annual report.

Source:
latimes

Maryland Sued Over Blocked Pipeline

Columbia Gas filed the lawsuit Thursday against the state of Maryland to seek access to the property through eminent domain proceedings after a board of high-ranking state officials voted unanimously to reject a proposed pipeline that would across 3 miles of western Maryland.

The pipeline, which would carry natural gas, would run under the Potomac River near Hancock, Maryland. It would then extend from Columbia Gas' network in Pennsylvania to Mountaineer Gas' distribution system in West Virginia.

Environmentalists, residents and more than 60 state lawmakers have been vocal about opposing the pipeline. Against an easement for TransCanada's pipeline, Maryland's Board of Public Works, which includes Gov. Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot, voted 3-0 in January.

Source:
chron

Natural Gas Main Leak Contained in Michigan

Ottawa County Emergency Management said in a statement that a leak from a broken high-pressure natural gas main in western Michigan has been contained.

During a construction project on Wednesday afternoon, the gas main was struck in the Spring Lake village, northwest of Grand Rapids. Crews monitored natural gas levels in the area, although no injuries were reported.

Emergency responders cleared the scene after it was contained Friday morning, Director Nick Bonstell said in a statement. The main is expected to be repaired by Thursday afternoon.

Source:
Chron

National Grid Halts Natural Gas Hook-Ups for NYC and Long Island

National Grid announced that it will not accept any new natural gas customers in its New York City and Long Island service areas. Last week, New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) denied Williams' application for water quality certification for the construction of their Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline.

National Grid said that until state regulators approve permits to William’s, all new natural gas hook-ups for the NYC and Long Island area will be halted. "While we continue to receive applications for new and expanded firm gas service ... none will be processed until the permits are received and (NESE) is allowed to proceed," National Grid said in a statement. 

The pipeline was approved by the FERC on May 3, but the New York DEC, in denying the permit, said the project “fails to meet New York State’s rigorous water quality standards” and “would cause impacts to habitats due to the disturbance of shellfish beds and other benthic resources.”

The NESE would be a 400,000-Mmcfd, 24-mile sub-sea pipeline costing $1 billion that will extend from the New Jersey shore across Raritan Bay and interconnecting with Williams' existing Transco pipeline into New York.

Source:
Pgjonline

Texas Considering Bill to Bring Penalties for Pipeline Damage

Texas lawmakers are considering a bill that would reinforce penalties for damaging or trespassing around oil and gas operations. This effort comes after states around the country have introduced similar measures. This bill is considered despite the opposition from environmental groups who say it would quell peaceful protests and overly criminalize offenses.

Trespassing, damaging or destroying the facility, or impairing or interrupting oil and gas operations will be considered a third degree felony with between two and up to ten years in prison. Also a fine of up to $500,000 under another provision in the bill is also considering if organizations found guilty of breaking the law.

Gas lobbyists and environmental activists went head-to-head over the bill at a public hearing on Wednesday at the Texas capital. Both groups clashed on whether the bill would suppress Texans' right to legally protest pipeline projects and over its necessity.

Demonstrations such as those in North Dakota against the Dakota Access oil pipeline resulted in hundreds of arrests and cost the state $38 million. Republican state Rep. Chris Paddie of Marshall who is sponsoring the bill wanted to classify any oil or gas pipelines as critical infrastructure, placing them in the same category as power plants and water treatment facilities.

Source:
usnews

Williams Partners 24-Mile Underwater Pipeline Permit Denied

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation denied a water quality permit for a 24-mile Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline project from New Jersey to Queens. The pipeline project would expand the Transco pipeline and would allow National Grid to bring natural gas from Pennsylvania’s shale gas fields to the metropolitan region.

The pipeline was initially approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on May 3, but the environmental groups opposing the pipeline states that the pipeline will threaten marine life and extend the reliance on fossil fuels rather than renewable energy sources. Williams Partners, the pipeline developer said the project is crucial for meeting rising demand for natural gas in New York City and Long Island.

In denying the permit, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said the project “fails to meet New York State’s rigorous water quality standards” and “would cause impacts to habitats due to the disturbance of shellfish beds and other benthic resources.”

”Our team will be evaluating the issue and resubmitting the application quickly,” said Chris Stockton, a spokesman for Williams Partners. “We are confident that we can be responsive to this technical concern, meet our customer’s in-service date and avoid a moratorium that would have a devastating impact on the regional economy and environment.”

Source:
pgjonline

Kinder Morgan Seeks Dismissal of Permian Highway Pipeline Lawsuit

The lawyers representing Kinder Morgan filed a motion on Tuesday asking a state district judge in Travis County to throw out the lawsuit against the pipeline operator’s Permian Highway Pipeline route. They assert that the Texas Constitution and state law uphold the company's rights.

Opponents filed a lawsuit stating that the pipeline route unfairly runs through residential areas of Kyle, about 20 miles south of Austin, near the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park in Stonewall and less than a mile away from Jacob's Well, a popular summertime swimming hole near Wimberley.

"The lawsuit is a prime example of why eminent domain exists – to allow important infrastructure projects that provide significant public benefits," Kinder Morgan said in a statement.

The 423-mile pipeline project will move 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Permian Basin of West Texas to the Gulf Coast. Kinder Morgan maintains that the project will unlock production bottlenecks in the Permian Basin. But members of Texas Real Estate Advocacy and Defense Coalition, or TREAD contend that no alternative routes were presented to the public or considered.

Source:
chron

 

$6.5B Deal to Sell Buckeye Partners to an Investment Firm

Buckeye Partners, a Houston pipeline operator which had struggled financially, decided to sell itself to an Australian investment firm focused on pipelines, terminals, roads and other infrastructure for $6.5 billion.

"Buckeye's Board recently reviewed strategic options for the business and determined that IFM's proposal to acquire Buckeye is in the best interest of Buckeye," said Buckeye Chairman and Chief Executive Clark Smith.

"This acquisition is aligned with IFM's focus on investing in high quality, essential infrastructure assets that underpin the economies in which they operate," said Julio Garcia, head of North American infrastructure for IFM.

The pipeline operator owns about 6,000 miles of petroleum pipelines, 115 terminals and a large supply of storage tanks focused primarily along the East Coast and Gulf Coast, and IFM is a global firm with a U.S. headquarters in New York that is owned by a group of Australian pension funds for nonprofit firms.

Source:
chron

$800 Million Agreement in Acquiring Stakes by Shell

An agreement to acquire Shell’s 25.97% equity interest in Explorer Pipeline Company and 10.125% equity interest in Colonial Pipeline Company for US$800 million was made by Shell Midstream Partners, L.P. This agreement will increase Shell Midstream Partners’ interest in Explorer and Colonial to 38.59% and 16.125% respectively.

“This acquisition is evidence of our strategy in action – we will continue to build scale with diversified assets that provide robust, ratable cash flows,” said Kevin Nichols, CEO of Shell Midstream Partners. “The Explorer and Colonial systems have the capacity to deliver some three million bpd of refined products, providing energy to key demand centers of the United States.”

Explorer Pipeline’s 1830-mile pipeline transports gasoline, diesel, fuel oil and jet fuel with a capacity of 660,000 bpd and is recognized as one of the nation's leading petroleum products transporters serving more than 70 major cities in 16 states.

Colonial Pipeline’s 5,500-mile system moves gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from the Houston area to destinations in the South along the East Coast and New York Harbor and is the largest refined products pipeline in the United States.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.

Source:
worldpipelines

$1.7 Million Valley Energy Gas Pipeline Expansion Plan Approved

The plan to construct a natural gas pipeline expansion across and under the Susquehanna River in Bradford County by Valley Energy Inc., got approved by The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Approximately 18,000 feet of distribution mains will be construct by the company, which will enable service for residents and businesses in the East Athens area.

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE) awarded $850,000 for the project.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend Valley for its practical commitment to extending natural gas service,” PUC Chair Gladys Brown Dutrieuille said.

Source:
pennbizreport

Line 3 Replacement Project Could Exceed C$9 Billion

Delays to permits in the United States will cause Line 3 replacement project cost to exceed previous cost estimate of C$9 billion ($6.71 billion), Enbridge Inc, said on Friday.

The company said in March that the in-service date would be the second half of 2020 and reason for the delay is of slower-than-expected permitting in the U.S. state of Minnesota. Line 3 will carry 760,000 barrels per day of western Canadian crude to U.S. markets, once completed.

“The late schedule likely means higher costs on the U.S. side although we are running under budget in Canada,” Enbridge chief executive Al Monaco said, adding that returns remained “very robust” and the company did not expect any cost overruns to be material to its financial outlook.

Source:
reuters

Trans Mountain Oil Pipeline Expansion Likely to Proceed

The controversial expansion of Trans Mountain oil pipeline will be proceeded by the Canadian government. Justin Trudeau’s federal cabinet will meet to discuss the expansion on June 18 and the plan is to double the pipeline flow out of Alberta to the west coast in British Columbia, Bloomberg reported.

The expansion would add 590,000 barrels of daily shipping capacity and will be a boon for Canadian oil drillers struggling from a lack of pipelines. British Columbia has been strongly opposing the project, which forced Kinder Morgan to reconsider its commitment to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline, and to sell the project to the Canadian government in August 2018.

The leaders advocating for the pipeline expansion is conducting consultations with First Nations regarding the project, in an attempt to address all possible concerns that opponents may have. Work on the project could start fairly quickly if the outcome of the consultations are positive.

Source:
oilprice
bloomberg

Oxy Wins Anadarko, Chevron Opted to Walk Away

Occidental Petroleum wins the nearly $40 billion bidding war for Anadarko Petroleum, while Chevron said it will bow out and doesn’t want to overpay. Oxy was determined to acquire Anadarko and its assets in West Texas' booming Permian Basin. The win will make Oxy as the Permian's top producer for the foreseeable future.

Initially Anadarko agreed to be bought by Chevron for $33 billion bid at $65 per share, but Oxy kept sweetening the deal until Anadarko could no longer say no for an offer of about $38 billion at $76 per share. Oxy critically increased the cash portion of its cash-and-stock bid from 25 percent to nearly 80 percent in order to assuage the concerns of many investors and to avoid a shareholder vote.

"Winning in any environment doesn't mean winning at any cost," said Chevron Chief Executive Michael Wirth. "Cost and capital discipline always matter, and we will not dilute our returns or erode value for our shareholders for the sake of doing a deal."

"We look forward to signing a merger agreement with Anadarko and realizing value for our shareholders as soon as possible," Oxy said Thursday in a prepared statement after Chevron backed out. Chevron walks away with a $1 billion breakup fee.

Source:
chron

$30 Billion Louisiana Driftwood LNG Project Eyes Final Decision in 2019

Final investment decision to build the proposed $30 billion Driftwood liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Louisiana will be taken in 2019, Tellurian Inc confirmed on Wednesday.

The company said that it is on track to make a final investment decision and start construction in 2019. The operations will begin in 2023 and is project is designed to produce 27.6 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG or about 4 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of natural gas.

The first phase will likely comprise 16.6 MTPA and together the projects would produce over 150 MTPA of LNG. The company is also developing three pipelines in Louisiana - the 4.0-bcfd Driftwood pipe, the 2.0-bcfd Haynesville Global Access and the 2.0-bcfd Delhi Connector - and the 2.0-bcfd Permian Global Access in Texas and Louisiana.

Source:
reuters

Partial Service on Plain’s Cactus II Pipeline Expected to Start in Q3

Cactus II pipeline construction from the Permian Basin to Corpus Christi, Texas, is on schedule, said Plains All American Chief Executive Officer Willie Chiang during an earnings call late on Tuesday. Also the partial service to Ingleside is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2019.

“We are at full speed ahead on progressing the project ... the pipe’s been ordered,” Chiang said, adding that discussions with additional potential shippers is ongoing.

He added that the full service on the Cactus II pipeline is expected by the first quarter of 2020. Another pipeline from the Delaware Basin, called the Wink-to-Webster project, is targeted to be placed into service in the first half of 2021, which is expected to have a capacity of more than 1 million barrels per day.

Source:
reuters

Howard Energy Partners Made Deals to Enter into Natural Gas Gathering System in Oklahoma

Howard Energy Partners, a San Antonio pipeline operator has announced on Tuesday that the company had made a deal with a major North American oil and gas producer to enter Oklahoma market. They plan to build, own and operate a new natural gas gathering located in Sooner State's prolific STACK shale play that needs more pipeline capacity.

Although the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Howard's new pipeline system will be anchored by fee-based, long-term acreage dedications totaling approximately 10,000 acres in Dewey and Custer counties in central Oklahoma.

The service is expected to begin by the end of the third quarter of this year with an initial capacity of 110 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, which can be expanded to support more wells and companies in the area. Gathering pipelines are used to move natural gas from individual wells to high-capacity and large transmission pipelines.

Source:
chron

 

Occidental’s Bid Picked by Anadarko Pressuring Chevron to Respond

Anadarko Petroleum said on Monday that it is going with the acquisition offer offered by Occidental Petroleum's jilting Chevron. Now Chevron has four days to up its offer or walk away with the $1 billion breakup fee negotiated in its earlier merger agreement with Anadarko.

Chevron and Anadarko previously agreed to a deal with Anadarko valued at $65 per share and Chevron offered $33 billion to buy Anadarko, but Occidental offered about $38 billion at $76 per share.

"Oxy seems desperate to get this deal done," said Jennifer Rowland, an energy analyst with the financial services company Edward Jones. "They're like a pit bull that bites on and just won't let go."

Comparing to Chevron, Occidental is much smaller, but Occidental has proven itself determined to complete a deal it has pursued for nearly two years. Anadarko have extensive holdings in the Permian Basin oil field in West Texas, where both Occidental and Chevron are leading producers.

Source:
chron