The Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas facility is turning into the US gateway to global strength as an LNG exporter, industry figures said as the terminal held its grand opening. Cheniere Energy's $20 billion facility has sent seven cargoes since February. "This is really a new chapter in LNG and LNG trading," said Neal Shear, Cheniere's interim CEO and president. "... The US is now poised to be one of the top three global LNG suppliers by 2020."
Enterprise Products Partners said it has plenty of capacity to increase US crude exports from its Gulf Coast hub. The company said crude accounts for two-thirds of its oil exports, with condensate making up the rest. Company officials said more crude volume could be absorbed without additional spending.
A proposed federal investigation could threaten the future of twin pipelines used by Enbridge to move 23 million gallons of crude oil and liquid natural gas daily through Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., introduced legislation calling for an 18-month study of whether the Great Lakes face a serious risk from the lines.
The Sinclair Refinery in Casper, Wyo., is closed through May while the company overhauls or replaces most of its major equipment. Hundreds of workers have been hired to upgrade the facility, which opened in 1923 and typically gets a "turnaround" every four or five years to maintain equipment. This overhaul is significantly larger, refinery manager Jim Ruble said, though he would not estimate the cost.
Alaska state lawmakers are eyeing a cut in tax credits for crude oil producers as they seek a way to close a $4 billion budget deficit. The oil-rich state did away with its income tax in 1980 to rely on oil sales revenue for most of its income, but falling prices have eaten away at the state's budget receipts. "Changes to our oil and gas tax credit program are absolutely critical," Gov. Bill Walker said.
California lawmakers are advancing legislation temporarily banning gas injections at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, the site of a leak that forced residents to relocate. The measure would formalize a ban issued by the state's governor, who prohibited injections until Southern California Gas thoroughly tests all wells at the site. The bill would also require the state to consider whether it should shut down the facility.
The Iowa Utilities Board has refused to reconsider the permit granted to Dakota Access to build an interstate crude oil pipeline through the state but said it will still investigate whether the developer negotiated in bad faith with landowners. Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, received a hazardous liquid pipeline permit in March for the Iowa portion of a 1,168-mile pipeline it plans to build from North Dakota to Illinois.
A new participation agreement with an unidentified partner will allow Whiting Petroleum to boost its production in the Bakken Shale without a capital budget increase. Whiting will be able to finish 44 wells in the Williston Basin, thanks to the deal that calls for the partner to pay 65% of the drilling and completion costs in exchange for a 50% working interest in the wells.
Pennsylvania state regulators plan to spend $1.56 million over the next five years to broaden air quality monitoring at natural gas infrastructure sites in the Marcellus Shale. The project will add sensors to track fine particulate air pollution near clusters of large natural gas compressor stations.
Plains LPG Services has dropped its federal permit request to move oil through a pair of 98-year-old pipelines under the St. Clair River, according to two US representatives from Michigan. Reps. Candice Miller, R-Mich., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., said they were told that hundreds of public comments voiced concern about the condition of the pipelines.
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