Commonwealth LNG Permit Application Accepted by FERC

The permit application filed by Commonwealth LNG to build an export terminal in southwest Louisiana was formally accepted by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday morning.

The project is expected to be in service by the second quarter of 2023 as per the timeline submitted in Commonwealth LNG's application. The proposed export terminal will receive 390.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from a pipeline to make 8.4 million metric tons of LNG per year.

The company is seeking permission to build six liquefied natural gas production units known as trains on a 393-acre property along the Calcasieu Ship Channel about 50 miles south of Lake Charles.

FERC's formal acceptance of the permit application is an important step in moving the proposed project closer to a final investment decision, said Commonwealth LNG President and CEO Paul Varello in a statement.


Five-Year Extension Requested to Build Lake Charles LNG Export Terminal

A five-year extension to build the proposed Lake Charles LNG export terminal was submitted to federal regulators by Energy Transfer. As per the federal permit that was received in December 2015, the 240-acre liquefied natural gas export terminal project was supposed be operational by December 2020.

The LNG export terminal project got delayed and never got built due to complex international contract negotiations for the delay, Energy Transfer said in a letter. The company asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to extend that deadline until December 2025.

"The project sponsors are eager to continue to move forward with the project and receipt of the requested extension is a necessary step," Energy Transfer Chief Regulatory Officer Michael Langston wrote in the letter.

Energy Transfer is not expected to make a final investment decision on Lake Charles LNG until early 2020, Langston explained in his letter. The proposed export terminal is authorized to produce 16.45 million metric tons of LNG year.


Proposed Coastal Gaslink Pipeline Not Subject to Federal Regulation

Canada's National Energy Board said on Friday that TC Energy Corp's proposed 416-miles Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline to supply the LNG Canada project in northern British Columbia is not subject to federal regulation.

According to the board’s decision, the company will not have to submit a new application for approval and cuts the risk of extra regulatory scrutiny delaying construction. The pipeline will run from Dawson Creek in the northeast of the province to the proposed LNG facility near Kitimat on the Pacific coast.

"Coastal GasLink is an integral part of LNG Canada and pipeline development is key for the timing of the project coming online," Wood Mackenzie analyst Dulles Wang said. "That (pipeline development) has always been viewed as one of the biggest risk factors and this decision clears that up."


LNG Limited to Boost Production Capacity at Louisiana Export Terminal

LNG Limited, an Australian company has been seeking permission from federal regulators to boost the production at its proposed Magnolia LNG export terminal in Louisiana. The company has already been authorized to produce 8 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas per day, but has made a request to increase the capacity to 8.8 million metric tons per year.

"LNG Limited is committed to building the safest low-cost and most efficient LNG export facility on the U.S. Gulf Coast," LNG Limited Chief Executive Greg Vesey said in statement. "We thank FERC for their previous diligence on Magnolia and are ready for the continued engagement as the agency performs analysis on Magnolia's capacity increase best answered through the preparation of a supplemental EIS."

A notice of intent to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement for the production capacity increase was issued by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on last Monday. The company is still waiting on its first supply contracts and a final investment decision on the Magnolia LNG project.


Aramco to Buy LNG from Sempra

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., also known as Aramco, under a 20 year agreement, will begin buying 5 million tons of liquid natural gas per year from San Diego based Sempra Energy. As part of the deal, Aramco also will make a 25% equity investment in an LNG export facility under development in Port Arthur, Texas.

"With global demand for LNG expected to grow by around 4% per year ... we see significant opportunities in this market and we will continue to pursue strategic partnerships which enable us to meet rising global demand for LNG," Amin Nasser, the company's CEO said in a news release.

"At Sempra Energy, we are developing one of the largest LNG export infrastructure portfolios in North America, with an eye towards connecting millions of consumers to cleaner, more reliable energy sources," said Jeff Martin, CEO of Sempra, in a statement. He added that partnering with Aramco will help develop the facility and enable the export of American natural gas to global markets.

Sempra Energy recently received authorization for the Port Arthur LNG facility from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct and operate the facility and related pipelines.


Companies Urge FERC to Quickly Approve Cheniere's Oklahoma Midship Pipeline

At least two exploration and production companies have asked U.S. federal energy regulators on Tuesday to expedite their approval of Cheniere Energy Inc’s proposed $1.025 billion Midship natural gas pipeline.

Gulfport Energy Corp and Marathon Oil Corp both told U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that Midship’s expedited approval is needed because of the lack of capability from current pipeline infrastructure to accommodate anticipated demand from the South-Central Oklahoma Oil Province, the Sooner Trend Anadarko Basin Canadian, and Kingfisher plays in the Anadarko basin in Oklahoma.  

“Delays in the project’s timely commencement of construction would create a detrimental delay in the ability of large quantities of stranded gas to reach the market, adversely impacting producers, shippers and consumers,” Gulfport said in a filing with FERC made available on Wednesday.

The Midship project is designed to deliver 1.44 billion cubic feet per day (bpd) of gas from the STACK and SCOOP plays in the Anadarko basin in Oklahoma to existing pipelines near Bennington, Oklahoma. 

LNG export capacity is expected to rise to 3.9 bcfd by year end and 8.7 bcfd by the end of next year, making the United States the third biggest LNG exporter by capacity.


Final Report Analyzes Alternatives for Enbridge Line 5, Suggests Current Route is Safe

The final version of an independent analysis assessing the future of Enbridge's Line 5 twin pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac suggests that the lines are safe to remain in operation.

The analysis was commissioned by the state of Michigan and conducted by consulting firm Dynamic Risk of Calgary, Alberta. The analysis suggests six options for the future of Enbridge's Line 5 that carries 23 million gallons of oil and liquid natural gas daily between Superior, Wisconsin and Sarnia, Ontario.

A section of the pipeline includes a five-mile segment beneath the Straits of Mackinac where it divides into two pipelines. This section has been contested by Native American tribes, environmental groups, and others who say it poses a high risk to the waterway.

The 379-page analysis suggests alternative options to the pipeline route, like shutting it down entirely and transporting oil through other pipeline networks, building tunnels beneath the straits, or moving the oil by rail or barge.

The report does not endorse a specific action but says the underwater pipes are sound and that prospects of failure due to corrosion are small.

Public comment on the report will be accepted by state agencies for 30 days.

Houston Chronicle

Enbridge Consolidates into Former Spectra Headquarters; Job Cuts on the Way

Enbridge, which recently completed its $28 billion purchase of Spectra Energy, is moving its office from downtown Houston and consolidating into Spectra Energy's old headquarters on Westheimer Court near the Houston Galleria by end of the year.

Job cuts are on the horizon in Houston, but numbers and timing are still being determined. The company's plan is to grow, but the large-scale merger will inevitably bring duplication of corporate positions, resulting in some cuts. According to the company, personnel reductions will be the main reason for Enbridge's estimated $540 million in pre-tax savings from the merger.

Enbridge stated that its three partnership businesses, Enbridge Energy Partners, Midcoast Energy Partners, and Spectra Energy Partners, will keep their names, locations, and will not be consolidated due to their effective business models.

Enbridge CEO Al Monaco said the merger will help the company grow amid strong opposition to new pipeline projects, which have "become the point of attack" from environmentalists and aboriginal groups. He also said the merger will increase the company's network of gas and natural gas liquids pipelines, a resource he believes is going to be a huge part of the future.

Fuel Fix

Sunoco Logistics Receives Permits to Begin Pipeline Construction

Sunoco Logistics Natural Gas Liquids Segment Map ( Sunoco Logistics )

Sunoco Logistics Natural Gas Liquids Segment Map (Sunoco Logistics)

Sunoco Logistics announced Monday that it has received the necessary permits from the Department of Environmental Protection to begin construction of its 306-mile Mariner East 2 pipeline.

The Mariner East 2 pipeline will carry 275,000 barrels per day of propane and other natural gas liquids from Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale natural gas fields to a processing and distribution facility in Philadelphia, expanding the capacity of its existing Mariner East 1 pipeline by four times.

Operations are expected to start in the first half of this year, according to Sunoco Logistics.

Sunoco Logistics