European imports of LNG from US suppliers face weighty constraints, witnesses told the US Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “Most [European Union] members in central and southeastern Europe do not have LNG regasification terminals and can rarely access LNG supplies through the EU’s collective natural gas distribution network,” US Assistant Sec. for Fossil Energy Steven E. Winberg testified at a Sept. 14 hearing.
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released a draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Driftwood LNG export project and an associated pipeline in four Louisiana parishes. The project would provide gas and process to produce as much as 27.6 million tonnes/year of LNG for export, FERC reported. Comments are being accepted through Nov. 5.
Global Energy Ventures Ltd. (GEV), a Perth-based developer of global integrated compressed natural gas projects, has signed a heads of agreement with National Iranian Gas Co. (NIGC) for the sale and purchase of 240 MMcfd of natural gas to the port of Chabahar in Iran accessing the Oman Sea.
Summit Permian Transmission LLC, a subsidiary of Summit Midstream Partners LP, The Woodlands, Tex., is extending its binding open season for firm natural gas transportation capacity on the Double E Pipeline following a high level of interest from prospective shippers, the company said.
ExxonMobil Alaska Production Inc. and Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (AGDC) agreed to certain key terms including price and a volume basis in a gas sales precedent agreement signed by officials on Sept. 10 in Anchorage. The agreement represented an important milestone for the Alaska LNG project, the parties noted.
MarkWest Liberty NGL Pipeline LLC, a subsidiary of MPLX LP, has launched a binding open season to solicit commitments from potential shippers for a proposed pipeline to serve Appalachian producers.
Oneok will spend $295 million for a second expansion of its West Texas LPG pipeline system, which includes the construction of four pump stations, two pump station upgrades, and pipeline looping that will increase the West Texas LPG mainline capacity by 80,000 b/d, and additional infrastructure to connect West Texas LPG with Oneok’s Arbuckle II Pipeline project.
Due to concerns that key pipeline projects may fail to start up by their 2019 target dates, Permian producers increased their 2020 oil-basis hedge positions by 431% in this year’s second quarter, according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest analysis of oil and gas hedging activity.
US federal safety regulations for small distribution systems used for propane and other LPGs should be improved for clarity, efficiency, enforceability, and applicability to risk, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) recommended in a Sept. 10 report.
Excelerate Energy LP, The Woodlands, Tex., and Transportadora de Gas del Sur SA (TGS), Buenos Aires, have agreed to study the technical and commercial viability of a liquefaction project in Bahia Blanca, Argentina, to liquefy and export natural gas during the summer season.
Equinor ASA has completed installation of a 283-km, 36-in. OD crude oil pipeline connecting its Johan Sverdrup development in the North Sea to the Mongstad oil terminal outside Bergen, Norway. Johan Sverdrup is on the Norwegian continental shelf about 140 km west of Stavanger in 115 m of water. The crude line’s deepest point is 537 m.
The US House of Representatives passed a bill on Sept. 6 authorizing small-scale exports of LNG by 260 to 146 votes. Thirty-seven Democrats joined 223 Republicans in casting aye ballots. Three Republicans and 143 Democrats opposed the measure, which moved immediately to the US Senate for consideration by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline LLC (KMTP), a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Inc., and EagleClaw Midstream Ventures LLC, a portfolio company of Blackstone Energy Partners, reached a final investment decision to proceed with the Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) Project.
Privately held NextDecade Corp. and McDermott International Inc. have agreed not to execute an engineering, procurement, and construction contract for NextDecade’s 27 million-tonne/year Rio Grande LNG plant at the Port of Brownsville in South Texas.
Energy Transfer Partners LP, Magellan Midstream Partners LP, MPLX LP, and Delek US Holdings Inc. have received sufficient commitments to proceed with plans to construct a 30-in. common-carrier pipeline to transport crude oil from the Permian basin to the Texas Gulf Coast region.
The Industrial Energy Consumers of America asked congressional energy leaders to hold hearings examining natural gas pipeline cybersecurity. “It is well known that US national energy infrastructure is regularly under attack by entities that wish to do great harm. When so much is resting on the reliability of natural gas pipelines, we cannot help but be concerned that the security requirements under the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are voluntary, not mandatory,” said IECA Pres. Paul A. Cicio.
The US Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission jointly signed a memorandum of understanding on Aug. 31 to expedite coordination between the agencies during permit application reviews for proposed LNG export facilities.
Flint Hills Resources, Ingleside, Tex., plans to expand storage and outbound crude loading capacity at its storage terminal in Ingleside, Tex., to 380,000 b/d.
Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal on Aug. 30 declared the regulatory review of Kinder Morgan Inc.’s (KMI) Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion impermissibly flawed, effectively halting work on the crude oil transportation project. The court based its decision on a failure to include project-related tanker traffic as part of its evaluation. It also cited KMI’s failure to consult with indigenous peoples.
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorized builders of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) to resume construction along roughly 200 miles of the project in Virginia and West Virginia on Aug. 29 to best protect the environment.
Enbridge Inc. and Spectra Energy Partners LP (SEP) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Enbridge will acquire all outstanding public common units of SEP at a ratio of 1.111 common shares of Enbridge for each common unit of SEP.
US Senate Republicans, including Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (Alas.) and four of its GOP members, called on the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve pending LNG export applications as they sought more information about FERC’s approval process and available resources in an Aug. 21 letter to FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre.
Australian Industrial Energy (AIE) has let a contract to Norwegian group Hoegh LNG to provide the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) for its planned LNG import terminal at Port Kembla on the New South Wales coast south of Sydney.
Willie Chiang will become chief executive officer of Plains All American Pipeline LP and Plains GP Holdings when Greg Armstrong, chairman and CEO, retires on Oct. 1.
The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America’s board of directors has affirmed its commitments to minimize methane emissions released from member companies’ interstate gas transmission and storage facilities because of continuing concern about climate change, INGAA reported.
Midcoast Energy LLC launched a nonbinding open season for a new pipeline to be incorporated into the existing Midcoast East Texas system to provide natural gas transportation services from the Carthage area to the Houston Ship Channel elsewhere along the Gulf Coast.
A federal court judge has ordered the US State Department to conduct a supplemental EIS for the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline to consider the Mainline Alternative route that Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved. But Judge Brian Morris, of US District Court for Montana’s Great Falls Division, did not vacate the presidential border-crossing permit that the project has received in his Aug. 15 decision.
The ExxonMobil Corp.-led PNG-LNG project joint venture in Papua New Guinea has signed another midterm LNG sale and purchase agreement, this time with BP Singapore Pte. Ltd. for LNG supply starting this month. It is the second such agreement for the PNG-LNG project in four weeks.
Medallion Pipeline Co. LLC, Irving, Tex., has begun a supplemental open season soliciting additional binding long-term commitments for expanded capacity of its existing crude oil pipeline system in the Midland basin after successfully closing the recent open season.
Tallgrass Energy LP is holding an open season soliciting binding shipper commitments for crude oil transportation service on its proposed 30-in. OD, 700-mile Seahorse pipeline. The pipeline would carry as much as 800,000 b/d from the Cushing, Okla., oil hub to St. James, La., operating as a multigrade common batch system.
Akshay Kumar Singh has joined Indian Oil Corp. as director (pipelines), responsible for the state-owned company’s 13,400-km network of crude oil, product, and natural gas lines.
The board of Australian gas pipeline company APA Group has unanimously recommended its shareholders vote for a $12.98-billion (Aus.) takeover offer from Hong Kong firm CK Infrastructure Holdings and Power Assets Holdings at a meeting scheduled for late November.
Williams Cos. Inc., Tulsa, has received a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorizing the Rivervale South to Market project—an expansion of the Transco natural gas pipeline to serve the US Northeast.
Execution of upstream oil and gas projects is improving, says a new study by Wood Mackenzie. Midsize to large projects in growing numbers have been delivered on target during the past 12 months.
The US Department of Energy issued a final rule aimed at expediting approval of small-scale natural gas exports.
Leaders of countries with Caspian Sea coasts have signed an agreement on territorial claims under dispute since collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Clarification of at least some legal questions will ease impediments to oil and gas exploration and development and to pipeline construction.
ExxonMobil Corp. plans to support the proposed Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) Project, signing a letter of intent for subsidiary XTO Energy to contract for as much as 450,000 dekatherms/day of capacity on the pipeline.
The first shipment of LNG from Yamal LNG’s Train 2 in northern Russia has been loaded for shipment. Train 2 adds 5.5 million tonnes/year, doubling the plant’s capacity. A third 5.5 million-tpy train is expected to start operations early in 2019. Train 2 was commissioned 6 months ahead of schedule, according to majority-owner PAO Novatek.
US natural gas systems clearly demonstrated their resilience during three recent major weather events, a study commissioned by the Natural Gas Council concluded.
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a stop-work order for the proposed Mountain Valley interstate natural gas pipeline. Opponents immediately said the Aug. 3 action was a major setback for the planned 303-mile system from West Virginia to southern Virginia, but the project’s sponsors noted on Aug. 6 the order itself indicated that it could be temporary.
A subsidiary of EnLink Midstream LLC, Dallas, has launched a binding open season for volume commitments for common carrier transportation service on its Avenger Crude Oil Gathering System in the Northern Delaware basin.
Officials from three leading US groups that support increased exports of US LNG separately addressed concerns on Aug. 3 over the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s announcement that tariffs ranging 5-25% will be imposed on US LNG.
Targa Resources, NextEra Energy Pipeline Holdings, WhiteWater Midstream, and MPLX plan to jointly develop the Whistler Pipeline project to provide an outlet for natural gas production from the Permian basin to markets along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Tallgrass Energy LP, Leawood, Kan., plans to build a crude oil pipeline from Cushing, Okla., to the St. James, La., refining complex, as well as a separate new export-capable liquids terminal near the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Perth, has let a contract for define phase engineering services for the main trunkline to shore in its proposed Scarborough gas field development on the Exmouth Plateau off Western Australia to fellow Perth company Subsea Engineering Associates Pty. Ltd. (SEA).
The US Department of Energy issued a final rule aimed at expediting approval of small-scale natural gas exports. The July 26 Federal Register notice applied to gas and LNG exports to countries not having a free-trade agreement with the US of no more than 51.75 bcf/year, which qualify for a categorical exclusion under DOE’s National Environmental Policy Act regulations.
The Inpex Corp.-led consortium at Ichthys gas-condensate field in the Browse basin 220 km offshore Western Australia has started natural gas production from its subsea wells to the massive 120,000-tonne Ichthys Explorer production platform.
US Reps. Pete Olson (R-Tex.) and Gene Green (D-Tex.) introduced legislation that would help the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission offer higher salaries to specialized engineers who play critical roles in reviewing applications to construct LNG projects.
International news for oil and gas professionals
Oneok Inc., Tulsa, has acquired the remaining 20% interest in the West Texas LPG Pipeline LP from Martin Midstream Partners LP for $195 million. Oneok will become the sole owner of the natural gas liquids pipeline system. Oneok completed the acquisition of its initial 80% interest in West Texas LPG in December 2014.
Energy infrastructure company Jemena has reported that construction of Australia’s 622-km Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP) has been completed. The line extends from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory to Mt. Isa in Queensland and connects the Amadeus to Darwin pipeline Northern Territory grid with the Queensland (and South Australian) grids.
Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Perth, has exited the Sempla Energy-led Port Arthur LNG gas export development project in Texas. Woodside joined the project 3 years ago but is now citing lower-than-expected returns than would justify the investment as the reason for walking away.
The ExxonMobil Corp.-led PNG-LNG joint venture in Papua New Guinea has signed a midterm LNG sale and purchase agreement with PetroChina International (Hong Kong) Corp. Ltd. for the supply of LNG from the Southern Highlands project beginning this month.
An Edmonton member of the Canadian Parliament voiced support of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion after being sworn in as minister of natural resources on July 18.
Enterprise Products Partners LP plans to develop a crude oil export terminal off the Texas Gulf Coast. The terminal would be capable of fully loading very large crude carriers with capacities of about 2 million bbl. Enterprise has started front-end engineering and design and preparing applications for regulatory permitting.
Denying a report that the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission notified LNG project sponsors that there would be a 12-18 month delay in processing applications, Chairman Kevin McIntyre said the commission has made significant strides “in reforming the permitting process in working with federal partners, eliminating duplicative processes, and streamlining procedures that will significantly reduce our LNG permitting timelines.”
Medallion Pipeline Co. LLC, Irving, Tex., has launched a binding open season to solicit long-term, firm shipper commitments for a major expansion of its crude oil pipeline system in the Midland basin.
The Exxon Mobil-led Mozambique Rovuma Venture SPA submitted its development plan to Mozambique’s government for the first phase of the Rovuma LNG project, which will produce, liquefy, and market natural gas from Mamba fields in Area 4 block offshore Mozambique.