Port Arthur LNG LLC, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, received FERC authorization to site, construct, and operate the Sempra-led Port Arthur LNG liquefaction-export facility under development in Jefferson County, Tex., moving the project closer to a final investment decision.
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued the order granting authorization for Tellurian Inc.’s proposed Driftwood LNG export project and an associated pipeline in Louisiana. The project would produce as much as 27.6 million tonnes/year of LNG for export.
The Canadian government has delayed until June 18 its decision on the contested expansion of the Trans Mountain crude oil and products pipeline between Alberta and British Columbia.
Canada’s National Energy Board has granted approval to Nova Gas Transmission Ltd.’s (NGTL) West Path Delivery project plan to construct and operate a 21Â½-km natural gas pipeline, two compressor station unit additions, and related facilities to supply southwest Alberta and connected markets with Western Canadian production.
Concho Resources Inc. and Frontier Midstream Solutions IV LLC have agreed to form Beta Crude Connector LLC (BCC) to build and provide crude oil gathering, transportation, and storage services in the northern Midland basin. Frontier will serve as operator. Each company will own equal equity interest.
Train 1 of the Cameron LNG project in Hackberry, La., has reached the final commissioning stage, marking the transition from construction to startup, said McDermott International Inc. Since the initial award in 2014, McDermott and Chiyoda International Corp., a US subsidiary of Japan’s Chiyoda Corp., have provided the engineering, procurement, and construction for the project.
Qatar Petroleum reported it has issued the invitation to tender package for engineering, procurement, and construction of the four LNG megatrains of its North field expansion project. The package has been issued to three EPC joint ventures: Chiyoda and Technip France; JGC and Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co.; and Saipem, McDermott Middle East, and CTCI.
Zydeco Pipeline Co., jointly owned by Shell Midstream Partners and Shell Pipeline Co., launched a binding open season seeking commitments for non-firm capacity crude transportation service on its 350-mile pipeline from Houston and Nederland, Tex., to St. James and Clovelly, La.
US Congressional Republicans reintroduced legislation aimed at simplifying and streamlining the federal process for authorizing exports of LNG on Apr. 10. The Senate measure, which Sen. Bill Cassidy (La.) sponsored with John N. Kennedy (La.) and Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) as cosponsors, would terminate existing prohibitions on both exports and imports of gas. As would the bill Rep. Clay Higgins (La.) introduced in the House.
US Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a bill on Apr. 8 that would require the use of professional engineers to approve local natural gas delivery system changes and on-site monitoring of pressure regulation stations so that qualified employees could quickly shut off gas flow in an emergency. Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Mass.) introduced a similar measure, HR 2139, in the US House the same day.
Total SA along with joint venture partners ExxonMobil Corp. and Oil Search Ltd. have signed a gas agreement with the government of Papua New Guinea that defines the fiscal framework for the Papua LNG project (Elk-Antelope field development) in the country’s Eastern Highlands. This follows the memorandum of understanding signed by the parties for development of the Elk-Antelope fields in mid-November 2018.
The number of incidents affecting people has decreased 20% as the total of US mileage and deliveries has increased more than 10% in the last 5 years, the American Petroleum Institute and the Association for Oil Pipelines jointly said in their 2019 Liquids Pipeline Performance Report on Apr. 8.
Tellurian subsidiary Permian Global Access Pipeline LLC (PGAP), Houston, is holding a binding open season to secure prospective shippers for a proposed 42-in. interstate natural gas pipeline connecting the Permian basin in Texas to southwestern Louisiana.
US House Democrats have called for speedier implementation of mandates in the 2011 and 2016 reauthorizations of the federal oil and gas and hazardous materials pipeline safety law. “It’s simply unacceptable that safety-critical rules passed by Congress 8 years ago are lingering somewhere,” House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter A. DeFazio (Ore.) said at the Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee’s Apr. 2 hearing.
Woodside Energy Ltd., Perth, has signed a heads of agreement with Chinese distributor ENN Group for the sale of 1 million tonnes/year of LNG from Woodside for 10 years starting in 2025.
Qatar Petroleum will solicit tenders for engineering, procurement, and construction of onshore facilities in its expansion of natural gas liquefaction capacity later this month, according to a project report by Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, minister of state for energy affairs and QP president and chief executive officer.
NextDecade Corp. has entered into a 20-year LNG supply agreement with Shell NA LNG LLC. The agreement with Shell is for 2 million tonnes/year of LNG from NextDecade’s 27 million-tonne/year Rio Grande LNG plant at the Port of Brownsville in South Texas.
Global LNG trade occurred at record volumes for the fifth consecutive year, reaching 316.6 million tonnes, according to the International Gas Union’s (IGU) 2019 World LNG Report. This marks an increase of 28.2 million tonnes (9.8%), from 2017, the third-largest annual increase ever behind only 2010 and 2017.
The ExxonMobil Corp.-led PNG-LNG project in Papua New Guinea has made a midterm LNG sale agreement with Unipec Singapore Pte. Ltd. for the supply of about 450,000 tonnes/year of LNG over 4 years starting this month. Unipec is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinopec, one of PNG-LNG’s original long-term customers.
Noble Energy Inc. has sanctioned the Alen natural gas development project offshore Equatorial Guinea with the start of production expected in first-half 2021. Gas will be processed through Alba Plant LLC’s liquefied petroleum gas plant and EGLNG’s LNG plant at Punta Europa, Bioko Island—both onshore and Marathon Oil-operated.
Gazprom and RusGasDobycha have begun implementing plans for a large natural gas liquefaction and processing complex on the Gulf of Finland near Ust-Luga, Russia. The companies decided on final configuration of the complex, which will process 45 billion cu m/year of gas and yield 13 million tonnes/year of LNG, as much as 4 million tpy of ethane, and more than 2.2 million tpy of LPG.
President Donald J. Trump issued an updated presidential permit for the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline on Mar. 29. The move was seen as an attempt to jump-start the project’s construction after a federal judge in Montana blocked it in November and ordered further environmental reviews.
An indigenous coalition is forming in Canada with the aim of buying a controlling interest in the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project between Alberta and British Columbia from the federal government.
Shell Australia’s Prelude floating LNG facilities in the Browse basin offshore Western Australia have produced and shipped their first cargo of condensate. The 116,000-dwt tanker Advantage Atom loaded the cargo last week.
Energy Transfer LP and Shell US LNG have moved toward a final investment decision on the conversion of Energy Transfer’s regasification terminal at Lake Charles, La., into a 16.45 million-tonne/year natural gas liquefaction plant.
International news for oil and gas professionals
European mainland gas prices have fallen now to about $5/MMbtu, a 50% decline from late September peaks. The loss in supply-demand is due to warmer weather, large LNG imports, and more active renewables. Morgan Stanley argues that poor pricing conditions are likely to prompt US LNG utilization rate cuts.
The natural gas agreement for the $13-billion Total SA-operated Papua LNG (Elk-Antelope) project in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea is likely to be signed on Apr. 5, according to the country’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. He made the announcement when giving the opening address to the Papua New Guinea Petroleum & Energy Summit Mar. 19 in Port Moresby.
Williams Cos. has entered into a long-term partnership with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to establish a $3.8-billion joint venture that will include Williams’ wholly owned Ohio Valley Midstream system and 100% of the Utica East Ohio Midstream system. CPPIB will invest about $1.34 billion for a 35% ownership stake in the venture. Williams will retain 65% ownership, will operate the combined business, and will consolidate the financial results of the venture in Williams’ financial statements.
Nuevo Midstream Dos plans to expand a crude oil gathering, storage, and intermediate transportation system in the Eagle Ford shale following completion of a deal to acquire Republic Midstream from an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners.
Resumption of oil and gas geological and geophysical (G&G) data gathering on the US Mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf after more than 30 years would help advance scientific knowledge as well as identify and determine the value of potential resources there, US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Acting Director Walter D. Cruikshank told one US House Natural Resources (HNR) subcommittee on Mar. 6.
Construction of Texas Brownsville LNG LLC’s proposed LNG project could result in adverse environmental consequences, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in a Mar. 15 final environmental impact statement. Impacts would be less than significant if the project sponsor’s proposed impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures and the FERC staff’s additional recommendations are implemented, it added.
Lisa Glatch has been named chief operating officer of Sempra LNG, a unit of Sempra Energy. Justin Bird has been named president. Both will report to Carlos Ruiz Sacristan, chairman and chief executive officer of Sempra North American Infrastructure.
International news for oil and gas professionals
US sanctions will be necessary to stop construction of the proposed Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, speakers indicated at a Mar. 12 Jamestown Foundation (JF) event. “The project is divisive and essentially anti-European. US involvement will be crucial in strengthening European opposition to it,” said Piotr Wilczek, Poland’s ambassador to the US.
Chevron Australia has let a master contract to Aker Solutions for a subsea compression system for the company’s Jansz-Io field offshore Western Australia. The first stage of the contract is the front-end engineering and design of a subsea compression station that will boost gas recovery at the field, which is part of the overall Gorgon region development that supplies gas to the 15.6 million-tonne/year LNG and domestic gas plants on Barrow Island.
Venture Global LNG Inc., Arlington, Va., will expand the scope of its LNG development business to 60 million tonnes/year based on customer demand, expanding its 2016 process equipment supply agreement with Baker Hughes.
Argentina plans to build natural gas pipelines and hopes to attract more oil and gas investment for the Vaca Muerta shale play in the Neuquen basin, according to Argentina Energy Minister Gustavo Lopetegui. Analysts estimate Vaca Muerta needs investments of $5-10 billion/year to boost production compared with current investments of about $4.3 billion/year.
Nord Stream 2, the controversial gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, advanced a step in Europe during February—but only a step.
BP PLC has let contracts to McDermott International Inc. and Baker Hughes for subsea umbilicals, risers, and flowlines (SURF) and subsea production system equipment at the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim natural gas project offshore Mauritania and Senegal.
Williams Cos. Inc., Tulsa, has launched a binding open season for Regional Energy Access, an incremental expansion of the Transco natural gas pipeline, that will serve the US Northeast as early as November 2022. The open season runs to Apr. 8.
India’s first East Coast regas project, Ennore LNG terminal, was commissioned by Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOC). IOC, through its joint venture company Indian Oil LNG Pvt. Ltd., set up the 5-million tonne/year capacity LNG import terminal at Kamarajar Port, Ennore.
The US Department of Energy issued a long-term order authorizing exports of US-produced LNG to Venture Global Calcasieu Pass from an export terminal it is building in Cameron Parish, La. The Mar. 5 order will allow Venture Global Calcasieu Pass to export as much as 1.7 billion bcfd of gas as LNG to any countries that do not have a free-trade agreement with the US and are not prohibited from trading with the US under US law or policy.
Total SA acquired from PAO Novatek a direct 10% interest in the 19.8 million tonne/year Arctic LNG 2 project near Russia’s Gydan Peninsula. Arctic LNG 2 envisages building three 6.6 million-tpy LNG trains on gravity-based structure platforms in the Gulf of Ob.
Start-up of Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project, which will ease a transport bottleneck in the Alberta oil sands, will occur in the second half of 2020 instead of by the end of this year, the company says. The Minnesota government has provided Enbridge a permitting timeline indicating all remaining state permits required for Line 3 construction will be provided by November. The company earlier thought it would receive final state permits in the second quarter of this year.
Chevron Australia has begun supplying gas for domestic use in Western Australia from its Wheatstone project facilities near Onslow in the northwest of the state. Besides producing LNG for export, the Wheatstone plant has the capacity to supply 200 terajoules/day of sales gas into the domestic grid for decades.
US Sen. Energy and Natural Resources Committee member Bill Cassidy and two other Republicans on the committee introduced a bill on Mar. 1 aimed at reducing delays in decisions for LNG export terminals and other projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. S. 607 would address a shortage of qualified engineers, scientists, and mathematicians necessary to review such applications and begin to remove a serious backlog.
The Queensland government gas given the thumbs up for Arrow Energy’s proposed $10-billion (Aus.) Surat gas project that is expected to come on stream in 2020 to produce gas for LNG exports as well as sales gas for domestic markets. Arrow, a joint venture of Royal Dutch Shell PLC and China’s PetroChina, is expected to bring 5 tcf (5,000 petajoules) to market during the next 27 years.
The American Petroleum Institute released the third edition of API Recommended Practice 1160, “Managing System Integrity for Hazardous Liquid Pipelines,” on Feb. 27. It said RP 1160 provides a process for establishing safe pipeline operations, including robust assessments of potential risks and establishment of systems to safely and sustainably manage them throughout day-to-day operations.
BP PLC has let a contract to TechnipFMC for the engineering, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning of a floating production, storage, and offloading unit to be deployed offshore on the maritime border of Mauritania and Senegal, moving forward Phase 1 of the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim natural gas project. The award is a continuation to the front-end engineering design contract awarded in April 2018.
Enterprise Products Partners has placed into service its Shin Oak NGL mainline from Orla, Tex., to its NGL fractionation and storage complex at the Mont Belvieu hub. The 24-in. pipeline has an initial capacity of 250,000 b/d and provides takeaway for increasing NGL production from multiple basins, including the Permian, where NGL volumes are forecast to nearly double within the next 3 years.
Jupiter Energy Group has launched an extension of the open season that began in November 2018 for binding shipper commitments on the Jupiter Pipeline, which is expected to be operational in fourth-quarter 2020. The open season will now end on May 31.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. plans to build in Fujairah what it calls “the world’s largest single underground project ever awarded for oil storage.” It let an engineering, procurement, and construction contract to SK Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd., Seoul, for three underground storage caverns with capacities of 14 million bbl each.
Hess Midstream Partners LP subsidiary Hess North Dakota Pipelines LLC agreed to purchase the crude oil and gas gathering assets of Summit Midstream Partners’ Tioga gathering system.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) entered into a landmark multibillion-dollar midstream pipeline infrastructure partnership with institutional investors KKR and BlackRock. Newly formed ADNOC Oil Pipelines will lease ADNOC’s interest in 18 pipelines transporting stabilized crude oil and condensate across ADNOC’s offshore and onshore upstream concessions for a 23-year period.
Canada’s National Energy Board recommended the approval of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline expansion project as it delivered its reconsideration report with 156 conditions and 16 new recommendations to the federal government on Feb. 22. NEB’s recommended approval came despite the board’s conclusion that project-related marine shipping would likely cause adverse environmental effects on the southern resident killer whale and on indigenous cultural uses associated with the animal.
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission adopted a new approach for consideration of proposed LNG terminals that considers direct greenhouse gases from the facilities. It applied the approach for the first time when it considered and approved Venture Global LNG’s Calcasieu Pass LNG export project in Cameron Parish, La., it said.
Stable supplies and unstable prices will characterize global oil markets during 2019, speakers generally agreed during a Feb. 21 discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Volatile prices are still the primary energy expenditures driver. We’ve had kind of a wild ride,” observed Howard Gruenspecht, a CSIS senior nonresident energy and national security associate who formerly was the US Energy Information Administration’s deputy administrator.
The three LNG plants on Curtis Island near Gladstone in Queensland are unlikely to ever fulfill their combined nameplate capacity of 25.3 million tonnes/year, according to a new study by Adelaide-based energy analyst EnergyQuest. The problem is a shortage of coal seam gas (CSG) reserves on which they rely.
The US Appeals Court for the District of Columbia upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the proposed Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline by denying several environmental groups’ petition for review of the decision.
The Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) combine has agreed to acquire the Ironbark coal seam gas project from Origin Energy for $231 million (Aus.). Ironbark—not to be confused with the BP PLC-led group’s conventional gas prospect of the same name offshore Western Australia—lies near Tara in the Surat basin of southeast Queensland.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. reported that Mozambique LNG1 Co. Pte. Ltd.—the jointly owned sales entity of the Mozambique Area 1 coventurers—has entered into a 20-year, 1 million-tonne/year LNG supply agreement with Indonesia’s state-owned Pertamina.
US District Judge Brian Morris issued a new ruling allowing TransCanada Corp. to build and use pipe storage and container yards for the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline. But the Feb. 15 order reportedly continues to block construction of worker camps, effectively keeping work from beginning on the project.
Queensland has granted a petroleum facility license to Melbourne-based energy infrastructure company Jemena for the construction of a natural gas processing plant that will form part of the Atlas Pipeline project. The Atlas project involves the delivery of gas from 100 coal seam gas wells on acreage owned by Senex Energy Ltd., Brisbane, in the Surat basin of southeast Queensland near the townships of Wandoan and Miles specifically to the domestic market.
The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration, issued a final rule requiring railroads to develop and submit comprehensive oil spill response plans covering route segments used by high hazard flammable trains.
Williams Cos. and Targa Resources have entered into agreements to expand key systems that will link the Conway, Kan., and Mont Belvieu, Tex., NGL markets. As part of the agreements, Williams will build the 188-mile Bluestem NGL pipeline from its Conway fractionator and the southern terminus of the Overland Pass Pipeline to an interconnect with Targa’s Grand Prix NGL pipeline in Kingfisher County, Okla., while Targa will build a 110-mile extension of Grand Prix from southern Oklahoma into the STACK region of central Oklahoma where it will connect with the Bluestem pipeline.
Chevron USA Inc. has entered into a long-term LNG supply agreement with GS Caltex Corp. that calls for the delivery of LNG to South Korea from Chevron’s global supply portfolio.
Howard Energy Partners (HEP) and NextEra Energy Partners will jointly develop additional natural gas transportation projects in the Eagle Ford shale region of South Texas.
Sentinel Midstream, Dallas, has reported plans to development Texas GulfLink, a proposed deepwater crude oil export terminal near Freeport, Tex. The completed facility will be capable of fully loading very large crude carrier vessels.
The Origin Energy-ConocoPhillips combine Australia Pacific LNG has let a package of gas gathering and infrastructure works worth $90 million (Aus.) to CPB Contractors—the Australasian construction company of Sydney-based engineering firm CIMIC Group—for the Surat basin of southeast Queensland.
Six public and trade associations have asked US Transportation Sec. Elaine Chao “to act expeditiously” to approve revisions to the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s federal natural gas pipeline safety regulations. “PHMSA’s rule will advance gas transmission pipeline safety by defining specific requirements to facilitate the use of 21st-century pipeline safety technologies and processes,” the groups said in their Feb. 7 letter.
Gray Oak Pipeline and Kinder Morgan Crude & Condensate launched an open season for long-term crude oil transportation service from Gray Oak line origin points in the Permian basin to KMCC delivery points at or near the Houston Ship Channel. Delivery from the Gray Oak system to HSC would be achieved through a connection in South Texas.
Excelerate Energy LP's Northeast Gateway Deepwater Terminal, about 13 miles offshore Boston, reported that it reached a peak send-out rate of more than 800,000 MMbtu/d of regasified LNG a week earlier. The Feb. 1 volume was a record for the facility, officials said.
Shell Australia let a multimillion-dollar contract to global engineering groups Wood and KBR to deliver integrated front-end engineering and design for Shell’s Crux gas-condensate development project in the Browse basin off Western Australia.
A federal appeals court vacated the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEP) denial of a water-quality certificate to the proposed Northern Access natural gas pipeline project on Feb. 5. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit remanded the matter back to the state agency with instructions to more clearly articulate its basis for denial.
ExxonMobil Corp. and partner Qatar Petroleum have made a final investment decision to develop the Golden Pass LNG export project in Sabine Pass, Tex. Construction will begin in this year’s first quarter with the plant expected to begin operations in 2024.
New training courses on pipeline construction safety will begin soon in West Virginia, Ohio, and California as part of a groundbreaking partnership that was launched less than a year ago, the presidents of the American Petroleum Institute and North America’s Building Trade Unions (NABTU) jointly announced on Feb. 4.
The Perth-based Australian subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell PLC has begun the approval process for a potential $2-billion (Aus.) development of its Crux natural gas-condensate field in the Browse basin license AC/L9 offshore Western Australia as a tie in to the company’s Prelude floating LNG (FLNG) facilities.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. reported that Mozambique LNG1 Co. Pte. Ltd.—the jointly owned sales entity of the Mozambique Area 1 co-venturers—has entered into LNG supply agreements with Shell International Trading Middle East Ltd., as well as a co-purchasing agreement with Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. and Centrica LNG Co. Ltd.