Enbridge Supported by Wisconsin Supreme Court in Dane County Case


A ruling from the Wisconsin Supreme Court has allowed Enbridge Energy to continue on with their pipeline project in Dane County without any additional insurance, despite the local government putting a requirement on Enbridge’s permit for a $25 million environmental liability policy.

Wisconsin lawmakers stepped in and passed a provision blocking local municipalities from putting liability requirements on an operator if they already had sufficient insurance. After a couple back and forths of courts contesting Enbridge’s quality of insurance, the high court ruled that Enbridge does have comprehensive insurance. According to Enbridge, they have $860 million worth of general liability insurance, including coverage for ’sudden and accidental’ pollution.

Despite the ruling, several people within local government have been adamant that Enbridge has yet to provide proof of adequate insurance for ’sudden and accidental’ cases. Concerned about the decision, Patricia Hammel, a landowner’s attorney, stated that it “allows Enbridge to operate the largest tar sands pipeline in the U.S. across Wisconsin without adequate insurance and exposes our people, land and water to the consequences of a catastrophic spill.”

Enbridge’s oil spill in 2010, in southwest Michigan, polluted almost 40 miles of the Kalamazoo River and cost them $1.2. billion. In addition, the United States fined them for missing deadlines on pipeline inspections prior to the spill, costing them an extra $1.8 million. The cleanup lasted until 2014.

Meanwhile, Enbridge has finished their $1.5 billion pipeline make-over and built the Waterloo pump station, which, according to a spokeswoman of Enbridge, Jennifer Smith, is necessary in order to “ensure a reliable source of energy for decades to come.”

Source:
Chron

Anadarko and Occidental to Enter Merger Talks Despite Chevron's Merger Agreement

Anadarko announced on Monday that it will enter merger talks with Occidental Petroleum (OXY).

The news comes as Occidental made a hostile takeover offer for Anadarko with a cash-and-stock bid value of nearly $57 billion. Oil giant Chevron’s bid valued the company 20% less. The bidding war for Anadarko reflects the intense desire for oil companies to acquire the best shale assets in America.

Anadarko and Occidental had been in merger talks prior to Chevron’s takeover deal. Acquiring Anadarko's Permian assets would lift Occidental's output in that shale oilfield to 533,000 barrels per day, further solidifying their spot as the number one producer in the Permian. The combined company would be worth about $100 billion and produce about 1.4 million barrels of oil per day.

"We believe our signed agreement with Anadarko provides the best value and the most certainty to Anadarko's shareholders," Chevron said on Monday.

Anadarko cautioned that there "can be no assurance" that talks with Occidental will result in a better deal than the one already reached with Chevron.

Despite the new negotiations with Occidental, Anadarko said the Chevron merger agreement remains in effect. The Anadarko board reaffirmed its recommendation in favor of the Chevron deal "at this time."

Chevron certainly has the firepower to increase its bid. But Chevron must also guard against overpaying for Anadarko.

If Anadarko goes with Occidental, Chevron won't be left empty-handed. Under the terms of their merger agreement, Anadarko would owe Chevron a break-up fee of $1 billion if it reaches a takeover deal with another company.

Source:
CNN

Lake Charles LNG: Final Investment Decision Taken by Energy Transfer and Shell

Energy Transfer and Shell announced that they had signed a project framework agreement to advance the proposed Lake Charles LNG export terminal and that they plan to issue an invitation to tender for engineering, procurement and contracting companies to start bidding on the project, in a joint statement released on Tuesday morning.

“We are pleased to be moving forward with Shell in progressing this major LNG export project," Lake Charles LNG President Tom Mason, President said in a statement. "We believe the combination of our assets and Shell's LNG experience will create a platform for exporting natural gas from the U.S. Gulf Coast to the global marketplace that is unmatched."

Shell entered into a 50-50 joint venture with Energy Transfer in 2016 to develop a liquefaction plant that can produce up to 16.45 million metric tons of LNG per year. Under the terms of their joint venture, Energy Transfer will own and finance the proposed liquefaction facility while Shell will oversee engineering, design and construction work as well as operate the terminal once it is complete.

"Lake Charles presents a material, competitive liquefaction project with the potential to provide Shell with an operated LNG export position on the U.S. Gulf Coast by the time global supply is expected to tighten in the mid-2020's," Shell Vice President Frederic Phipps said in a statement.

If built, the export terminal project is estimated to create up to 5,000 local jobs during construction and 200 full-time positions when fully operational. Shortly after the shale revolution in 2015 that created a surplus of natural gas in the United States, Energy Transfer got permission from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build an export terminal at the site in 2015. The facility site was originally developed as an LNG import terminal in 2006.

Source:
chron

Export Auction for WTI Crude Oil to Be Held by Enterprise Products Partners

An electronic auction will be held on April 4th by Enterprise Products Partners for its domestically produced West Texas Intermediate crude oil that will be exported from its Houston Ship Channel terminal.

Enterprise has become the largest exporter of crude oil in the United States since the federal government lifted a ban on exporting crude oil less than four years ago, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of crude oil shipments abroad. Chicago-based trading firm CME Group will conduct the online auction on behalf of Enterprise.

"With the recent success of the first ever electronic auction of U.S. crude oil for export, the market has demonstrated its demand for transparency, efficiency, accurate physical pricing and access to reliable supplies of crude oil with consistent quality standards," Enterprise Senior Vice President Brent Secrest said in a Wednesday morning statement.

Using Enterprise's distribution network, the Houston futures contract has access to more than 4 million barrels per day of crude oil, 45 million barrels of crude oil storage and 18 deep-water docks.

Source:
chron

Open Season Announced for Regional Energy Access Expansion

A binding open season for Regional Energy Access from March 8 to April 8, 2019 has been announced by Williams today. Regional Energy Access is an incremental expansion of the Transco interstate pipeline to provide firm natural gas transportation capacity to markets in the northeastern United States as early as November 2022.

Regional Energy Access is being designed to provide up to one million dekatherms per day. "Regional Energy Access is a cost-effective expansion along an existing Transco corridor that will ultimately deliver more than a billion cubic feet of new natural gas supply with minimal environmental footprint,” said Scott Hallam, senior vice president of Williams’ Atlantic-Gulf Operating Area.

This expansion minimizes environmental impacts by maximizing the use of existing Transco pipeline infrastructure and rights of way. It is anticipated that the project will include approximately 34 miles of pipeline looping and additional compression along existing Transco facilities.

The preliminary design of the project consists of additional compression and selected pipeline loop segments along the existing Transco pipeline corridor. Although the final capacity, scope and cost of the project will be determined by the results of the open season.

Source:
businesswire

Moda Midstream Planning to Build a Second Supertanker Berth to Handle Three New Pipelines

An expansion project to build a second berth to accommodate supertankers is in consideration by Moda Midstream LLC at its crude export terminal in Ingleside, Texas, the company’s CEO Bo McCall said on Thursday.

As three major pipelines by Plains All American Pipeline LP, EPIC Crude Pipeline LP and Enbridge Inc., starts service, the expansion to the terminal is necessary. Also the company is increasing the facility’s crude storage capacity from 2 million to 12 million barrels.

“When these new pipelines come online, there is going to be close to 3.5 million barrels a day coming into the market,” McCall said. In order to handle other types of tankers, Moda is also studying the feasibility of building an additional pier with two more berths, McCall said.

Moda’s loading ability per supertanker will rise to 1.5 million barrels once the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves the contract this year to dredge the Corpus Christi ship channel to the Ingleside facility to a depth of 54 feet from 47 feet.

Source:
pgjonline

Open Season Extended on 650-Mile Jupiter Pipeline

Jupiter Energy extended an open season until May 31 for the 650-mile, 36-inch Jupiter pipeline stretching from the Permian to the Port of Brownsville.

“We're very pleased with the results of the initial open season period for the Jupiter Pipeline,” said Albert Johnson, president of Jupiter Pipeline. “The supplemental period validates our belief that the interest for transportation commitments on the pipeline is as substantial as expected.”

The pipeline will be originating near Crane, Texas, and Gardendale/Three Rivers, Texas and is the only pipeline out of the Permian Basin with access to all three deep water ports in Texas (Houston, Corpus Christi and Brownsville). It is expected to be operational in fourth quarter of 2020.

It will have direct access to a fully capable VLCC loading facility off coast at Brownsville, where the Jupiter Brownsville Terminal will consist of up to 10 million barrels of storage, three docks and an offshore VLCC loading facility.

Source:
pgjonline

Tioga Gathering System to Be Acquired by Hess Midstream Partners

Hess North Dakota Pipelines agreed to purchase the crude oil and gas gathering assets of Summit Midstream Partners’ Tioga Gathering System for about $60 million gross or $12 million net to Hess Midstream.

The acquisition includes 73 miles of crude pipelines and 79 miles of gas pipelines. In a separate deal, Hess Midstream’s sponsor, Hess Infrastructure Partners (HIP), agreed to acquire the water gathering assets of the Tioga System from Summit Midstream Partners which includes 75 miles of produced water gathering pipelines.

Hess Midstream Partners chief operating officer John Gatling said, “We are excited to extend our infrastructure footprint with the agreement to purchase the Tioga System’s crude oil and gas gathering assets.”

The Tioga System, located in Williams County in western North Dakota, is complementary to Hess Midstream’s infrastructure and is delivering volumes into Hess Midstream’s gathering system. The completion of the acquisition is expected to take place in the first quarter of this year.

Source:
pgjonline

Part of $3.2 Billion Mountaineer Xpress Natural Gas Pipeline in West Virginia Gets Approval to Be Put into Service

The FERC authorized TransCanada’s request on Monday to commence service on part of its 170 miles Mountaineer XPress natural gas pipeline in West Virginia. The approved portion of pipeline stretches about 21 miles in Marshall and Wetzel Counties.

The 2.6-billion cbfd Mountaineer pipeline project was about 45 percent complete and expected to be completely finished in February/March, the company said earlier this month.

The company also said that it plans to put its $600 million Gulf XPress gas pipeline into service along with Mountaineer. The 0.88-bcfd Gulf project includes seven new compressor stations in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.

The Mountaineer and Gulf projects are two of several pipes designed to connect growing output in the Marcellus and Utica shale basins in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio with customers elsewhere in the United States and Canada.

Source:
Reuters

Pin Oak Terminals Plans to Build Short-Distance Pipelines on Newly Acquired 236 Land

Pin Oak Terminals is expanding its footprint at the Port of Corpus Christi through the purchase of 236 acres of land near an existing Pin Oak facility, the company announced on Tuesday Morning.

Pin Oak plans to build short-distance pipelines on the newly acquired land connecting storage terminals to existing company owned docks as well as new rail facilities that are also planned on being built.

Although financial terms of the real estate deal were not disclosed, the company reported that it plans to develop the land to accommodate 10 million barrels of bulk liquids storage that can be shipped via rail or tanker.

"We are excited to be expanding our footprint through this acquisition which will bring incremental tankage and logistics solutions to our customers," Pin Oak Holdings CEO Mike Reed said in a statement.

”Pin Oak is in a unique position to offer its customers a full logistics solution through its direct refinery connections, Suezmax vessel and barge dock capabilities, truck loading and unloading bays, and direct access to two Class 1 railroads.”

Source:
Chron

$1 Billion Worth of Pipeline Projects Halted in Central Mexico Due to Alleged Extortion

TransCanada has halted their combined $1 billion pipeline projects in Central America. The company cited numerous delays, runaway costs and alleged acts of extortion for their two natural gas pipelines.

The construction was halted in the state of Hidalgo on the Tuxpan-Tula Pipeline and the Tula-Villa de Reyes Pipeline, an open letter published in several Mexican newspapers by the company’s Mexican subsidiary said.

"The social and legal uncertainty that prevails in this state makes the continuity of our investments impossible," the company wrote in the statement. "On multiple occasions, social groups have made irrational requests that border on extortion and have performed acts outside the law."

As a part of the two nation’s historic energy reforms, TransCanada won contracts with the Mexico state-owned power company to build two pipelines – both consisting of $500 million contracts each. The initial contract was for the 163-mile Tuxpan-Tula Pipeline that would move natural gas from the coastal state of Veracruz to power plants in Hidalgo. In the following months, the company received an April 2016 contract to build another pipeline to move natural gas from Tula to the State of San Luis Potosi.

TransCanada also reported that it is facing legal uncertainty and higher than expected costs to obtain permits from various municipalities.

A clause in the contract permits TransCanada to collect revenue on the pipeline as long as delays are not from TransCanada’s doing.

Source:
Houston Chronicle

OPEC Reaches Agreement to Increase Global Output of Oil by One Million Barrels Per Day

OPEC has reached an agreement on Friday to increase supply by one million barrels per day, which is one percent of global supply.

The agreement comes after OPEC leaders met in Vienna Friday, with diplomatic discussions starting as early as Wednesday. 

Initially, Saudi Arabia and Russia were happy to comply with China, India, and The United States’ requests to have OPEC increase the cap. 

Conversely, Iran strongly opposed plans of increasing oil output, however yesterday’s meetings with various ministers seemed to have brought them closer to coming to an agreement.

Certain countries too small to return to full quotas will struggle after underproducing oil in the past. Other countries will not be allowed to fill the gap to even out total output.

Iran spoke against having members with larger supply capabilities fill Venezuelan output gaps as well as demanding that U.S. sanctions be mentioned in the group’s post meeting.

Source:
Reuters