API CEO calls for certainty in oil and gas infrastructure permit process

American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard is calling for greater certainty in government permitting, particularly in states where oil and natural gas infrastructure remains scarce, Route Fifty reports. Among the comments Gerard made in his recent 2018 “State of American Energy” address were that streamlining the permitting processes could help lower highest-in-the-nation energy costs in New England where natural gas prices spiked during the “bomb cyclone” that struck the region. Gerard said resistance to energy infrastructure projects is strongest in New England despite its access to natural gas in the nearby Marcellus shale region. For more, read the full story.


New proposal increases offshore drilling for oil and natural gas

A new five-year plan proposed by the Trump administration “would vastly expand offshore drilling [for oil and natural gas] around the United States, with leases available in the Atlantic and Pacific regions, as well as offshore Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico,” reports the Houston Business Journal. The newspaper says a new draft proposal for the National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2019-24 would make more than 90% of OCS acreage available for exploration and development. The new draft proposal includes 47 potential lease sales: 19 off the coast of Alaska, seven in the Pacific Region, 12 in the Gulf of Mexico, and nine in the Atlantic Region. For more, read the full story.


FERC to review certification policies for natural gas pipelines

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will review its policies on certification of natural gas pipelines, according to FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre. In a news release, McIntyre said the commission will examine the Policy Statement on Certification of New Interstate Natural Gas Pipeline Facilities, issued in 1999, as part of a pledge he made during his Senate confirmation to take a fresh look at all aspects of the agency’s work. Click here to read the FERC release.


FERC signs off on Mountaineer Xpress, Gulf Xpress projects

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has granted certificate approval to the Mountaineer XPress natural gas pipeline project in West Virginia, Platts reports. The news service says the project, sponsored by TransCanada's Columbia Gas Transmission, is expected to support natural gas production in the Marcellus shale play and increase deliveries from the Appalachian basin to neighboring regions. Platts also says FERC granted certificate approval to Columbia's Gulf XPress project, which will add compressor stations in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi to allow for bidirectional flows of gas between Appalachia and the Gulf. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Return of oil and gas jobs not keeping pace with increased production

Although the U.S. Department of Energy expects American oil production to reach an all-time high in 2018, there has not been a corresponding uptick in rigs and jobs, reports the Houston Chronicle. "We are supplying the needs of the market with way fewer jobs," Texas economist Karr Ingham told the newspaper. Estimating that Texas had around 300,000 upstream oil and natural gas jobs in December 2014, Ingham says that number fell to 192,000 in late 2016 and drillers have only brought back about 31,000 jobs since then. For more, read the full story.


Appalachia NGL storage hub clears hurdle for $1.9 billion loan

Plans for an underground natural gas liquids (NGL) storage hub in Appalachia have cleared the first big hurdle, reports the Associated Press (AP), with the Appalachia Storage & Trading Hub initiative receiving approval in the first of two application phases for a $1.9 billion U.S. Department of Energy loan. The news service says the Appalachia Development Group, which is heading the project, also is trying to secure $1.4 billion through other financing. Appalachia Development Group CEO Steve Hedrick told AP it would take several more years for the project come to fruition. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Chevron Phillips reaches milestone on ethane ‘cracker’ plant in Texas

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP’s $6 billion Gulf Coast petrochemical investment has achieved another milestone with the company’s ethane “cracker” plant at Cedar Bayou in Baytown, Texas now mechanically complete, reports the Houston Business Journal. The newspaper says the cracker facility is currently undergoing system checks and final certifications before becoming operational. It will produce at least 1.5 million metric tons of product annually. For more, read the full story.


Cabot Oil & Gas sells Texas assets to focus on Appalachian basin

Cabot Oil & Gas said it is leaving parts of Texas to focus on the Appalachia basin, UPI reports. The news service says Cabot is selling 74,500 net acres of oil and gas assets in the Eagle Ford shale play in Texas to an affiliate of Venado Oil & Gas for $765 million. Separately, Cabot said it sold its remaining interests in East Texas to an undisclosed buyer for an undisclosed sum. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Energy department looks at NGLs potential in Appalachian region

The U.S. Department of Energy has published a natural gas liquids (NGLs) primer that showcases the resource potential of NGLs, specifically in the Appalachian region. The primer explains what NGLs are, how they are used, recent market developments and the supporting infrastructure in the Appalachian region. For more, read the full report.

National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Moody’s says oil and natural gas to continue recovery in 2018

Oil & Gas Journal reports that a new forecast by Moody’s Investors Service predicts the oil and natural gas industry will continue its slow recovery in 2018 “as upstream companies increase production, helping the midstream and services businesses as well.” Moody’s says excess supply will continue to dampen oil prices in the coming year, while natural gas prices will benefit from higher demand although price gains will still be limited. For more, read the full story.

Global, National
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