Edition 42 – Monday, February 25, 2019

Welcome to GasNewsOnline.com!  This is where we bring you the latest publicly-sourced news and information about the natural gas business twice every week – all for FREE

Though Punxatawny Phil said we should only have a few more weeks of winter, another blast of cold weather will usher in the month of March for most of the country.  We’ll check the temperature forecast coming up at the end of this report.

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From the US Energy Information Administration’s “Natural Gas Weekly Update”:

Net withdrawals from working gas totaled 177 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending February 15. Working natural gas stocks are 1.705 Tcf, which is nearly 18% lower than the five-year (2014–18) average for this week.

The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, rose by 38¢/MMBtu, averaging $6.75/MMBtu for the week ending February 20. The price of ethane fell by 3%. The price of natural gasoline, propane, butane, and isobutane rose by 8%, 9%, 9%, and 13%, respectively.

According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending Tuesday, February 12, the natural gas rig count decreased by 1 to 194. The number of oil-directed rigs rose by 3 to 857. The total rig count now stands at 1,051.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the price of the March 2019 contract increased about 12 cents today on Monday to reach $2.84/MMBtu. The price of the 12-month strip averaging March 2019 through February 2020 futures contracts has climbed to reach about $2.94/MMBtu .

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Venture Global LNG, Inc. announced Friday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued the Order Granting Authorizations under Sections 3 and 7 of the Natural Gas Act for the company’s Venture Global Calcasieu Pass LNG export facility and associated TransCameron Pipeline in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

“With our FERC order in hand and our project contracted with binding 20-year sale and purchase agreements (SPAs) with Shell, BP, Edison S.p.A., Galp, Repsol and PGNiG, we plan to immediately commence construction activities in Louisiana in close coordination with FERC and other agencies,” Co-CEOs Bob Pender and Mike Sabel jointly stated. “This milestone is the culmination of years of effort, and we are proud of the excellent work done by our regulatory, environmental, legal and engineering teams. We are excited to begin construction of our Calcasieu Pass project and deliver low-cost LNG to our global customers in 2022.”

The 10 MTPA nameplate Calcasieu Pass facility will employ a comprehensive process solution from GE Oil & Gas, LLC, part of Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) that utilizes mid-scale, modular, factory-fabricated liquefaction trains. Venture Global has executed an integrated turnkey EPC contract with Kiewit to design, engineer, construct, commission, test and guarantee the Calcasieu Pass facility.

The company is also developing the 20 MTPA nameplate Plaquemines LNG export facility and associated Gator Express Pipeline in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The Plaquemines LNG facility received its draft Environmental Impact Statement on November 13, 2018 and expects to receive its final Environmental Impact Statement on May 3, 2019, according to the Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review issued by FERC on August 31, 2018. FERC has established a 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline of August 1, 2019. Plaquemines LNG has executed a binding 20-year SPA with PGNiG.

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A late February surge of cold weather will dominate the northern states to begin this week. Let’s review the latest critical notices from the natural gas pipeline companies’ electronic bulletin board systems:

ANR Pipeline:

Attention All ANR Shippers,

Effective gas day Monday 2/25/2019, Intraday 1 cycle and continuing thru gas day Wednesday 2/27/2019, in order to preserve system integrity and to ensure ANR is able to meet scheduled delivery commitments to all locations in ML7; ANR is, in accordance with the General Terms and Conditions, declaring an “Extreme Condition” as that term is defined in ANR’s FERC Gas Tariff §6.1, lowering the Swing Percentage from 10% to 5 %.

ANR is requesting, in accordance with §6.6.4 of its FERC Gas Tariff, that all receipt and delivery services, excluding ETS and FTS-3 services, to be at a uniform hourly flow rate over a twenty-four (24) hour period. ETS and FTS-3 shippers are required to be at their contractually agreed upon hourly rate.

Requests for operational flexibility with regard to variable hourly flow rates will be denied. All shippers must adhere to the flow rates applicable to the rate schedule of their nominated contract. Nominations on FTS-3 and ETS contracts to Secondary delivery gates must flow at an even-hourly rate

Requests for ITS-3 service will not be scheduled on ANR’s contiguous system in ML7,. Additionally, requests for Interruptible and Overrun delivery service on Rate Schedules ITS and IWS through Bridgman Westbound, Loc ID 226625, Sandwich Northbound, Loc Id 359925 and Crystal Falls-Fortune LK Loc Id 11661, WILL NOT be scheduled.

ANR is also reminding all MBS shippers that volumes not within operating tolerances and not at a uniform hourly flow rate of 1/24th of scheduled nominations will not be permitted.

In addition, ANR is not allowing any “Unauthorized Overrun” under Rate Schedules FTS-1, FTS-2, FTS-3, FTS-4, FTS-4L, STS and ETS. Please refer to ANR’s FERC Gas Tariff under each rate schedule for further detail.

As a reminder, per ANR’s FERC Gas Tariff §6.6.3, “Shipper will not have the right to receive quantities of Gas that it has not simultaneously nominated and delivered to Transporter at Receipt Point(s).”

ANR reserves the right to revoke any conditionally approved operational flexibility.

To clarify, ANR is NOT declaring an Operational Flow Order (OFO) at this time.


Columbia Gas Transmission:

As an update to the Critical Days currently in effect in Operating Areas 1, 4, and 10, shippers are advised that due to forecasted colder temperatures, storage levels, and increased market demands beginning Wednesday, February 27, 2019, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (TCO) may issue Transport Critical Days for deliveries to all Operating Areas and Storage Critical Days for withdrawals (MDWQ overruns) for all Operating Areas.  TCO will post the Critical Day notices, if warranted, on Tuesday, February 26, 2019.    

Also, TCO may have limited ability to handle non-ratable takes in the impacted Market Areas during this period.  Please monitor the Daily Capacity Posting for details. 

TRANSPORT CRITICAL DAY:  If a Transport Critical Day is called for Wednesday, February 27, 2019 until further notice, the following daily Transport Critical Day penalty will apply:

Applicable Penalty:  TFE – If Shipper’s takes on any Day exceed the greater of 103 percent or 1,000 Dths more than its Total Firm Entitlement (TFE), Shipper shall be assessed and pay a penalty based on the higher of: (i) a price per Dth equal to three times the midpoint of the range of prices reported for “Columbia Gas, Appalachia” as published in Platts Gas Daily price survey for all such quantities in excess of its TFE, or (ii) a price per Dth equal to 150 percent of the highest midpoint posting for either: Mich Con City-gate, Transco, Zone 6 Non-N.Y., or Texas Eastern, M-2 Receipts as published in Platts Gas Daily price survey for all such quantities in excess of its TFE.  Section 19.1(ii) penalties will only be assessed on days in which the daily spot price of gas exceeds three times the midpoint of the range of prices reported for “Columbia Gas, Appalachia. 

NOTE:  Takes in excess of Total Firm Entitlements (“TFE”) are penalized on Critical Days based on takes exceeding the aggregate daily amount of gas that TCO is obligated to deliver to a shipper under the shipper’s applicable rate schedule.  Each applicable rate schedule outlines this delivery obligation and, consequently, a shipper’s TFE. 

STORAGE CRITICAL DAY:  If a Storage Critical Day is called for Wednesday, February 27, 2019 until further notice, all firm storage services will be fully available.  Interruptible storage withdrawals (SIT and ISS), excess FSS withdrawals, and PAL loans and unparks will not be available if delivered in the impacted operating areas.  

 Applicable Penalties:

– FSS MDWQ- Withdrawn quantities in excess of 103% of the applicable contract MDWQ will be assessed a penalty based on a price per Dth equal to three times the midpoint rate for “Columbia Gas, Appalachia,” posted in Gas Daily.  

– FSS MMWQ – Monthly Withdrawal Quantities that exceed 30% (February Limit) of SCQ will be assessed a penalty of $5.00 per Dth.  

– FSS SCQ – If withdrawals from storage result in the FSS contract having a negative SCQ balance, a penalty of $5 per Dth will be assessed.

Dominion Gas Transmission:

Due to current weather forecasts, effective with the start of gas day (10:00AM ECT) Tuesday, February 26, 2019,there will be no interruptible or secondary firm capacity available at systems north of Sabinsville Junction in Pennsylvania and Stateline facilities in the northern portion of the DETI operating area, including, but not limited to, the following delivery points until further notice:

Corning Natural Gas 21000; New York State Electric & Gas 20700; Arlington Storage (Seneca) 20720; Rochester Gas and Electric 20600; Allegany Generation 23632; Niagara Mohawk 20500 and 20550; Fillmore Gas 23600; National Fuel Gas Distribution 20900; Steuben Storage 90005; Alliance/Lower Leroy 30005; Woodhull 23700; Indeck Silver Springs 30001; Tioga UGI Storage 90002; Tioga R-Gate 90008; Cornell 30170; Bethlehem Energy Center 30200; Iroquois Canajoharie 41101; Empire Lysander 40801.

In addition, deliveries off DETI at the following locations will be limited to primary only:

Tennessee-Brookview 40103; Tennessee-North Sheldon 40115; Tennessee-Morrisville 40114; Tennessee-Marilla 40113; Tennessee-Sabinsville 40120.

Please note that “Unauthorized Overrun Charges – Daily” rate of $10.00/dth will apply to deliveries made in excess of FT and FTNN entitlements while these restrictions are in place.

Florida Gas Transmission:

MARCH 2019 — FGT SUPPLY AREA MAINTENANCE IN ZONE 3

FGT will continue pipeline maintenance near FGT Compressor Station 10 in southern Mississippi. This maintenance is expected to continue through the end of gas day March 31, 2019.  During this maintenance FGT will schedule up to 1,150,000 MMBtu/day through Station 10. During normal operations FGT schedules up to 1,300,000 MMBtu/day through Station 10.

FGT will perform pipeline maintenance near FGT Compressor Station 11 in southern Alabama. This maintenance is scheduled to begin March 1, 2019 and to continue through the end of gas day March 31, 2019.  During this maintenance FGT will schedule up to 3,050,000 MMBtu/day through Station 11. During normal operations FGT schedules up to 3,250,000 MMBtu/day through Station 11.

Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (NGPL):

Natural has experienced a suspected leak on its Amarillo Mainline #3 in Hutchinson County, Texas in Natural’s Midcontinent Zone.  This is a Force Majeure event that requires Natural to temporarily reduce the maximum operating capacity northbound, thus limiting Natural’s throughput capacity from Segment 8 into the Midcontinent Zone as well as the Affected Area segments 5/6 flowing northbound into Segment 10 of the Midcontinent Zone.   

Additionally, transports associated with storage withdrawals will be impacted.  The Permian Pool (LOC 25077) and the Midcontinent Pool (LOC 25078) are located south (upstream) of the constraint. 

As such, effective for gas day Monday, February 25, 2019, Evening Cycle, and continuing until further notice, Natural will schedule Primary Firm and Secondary in-path Firm transports to no less than 87% of contract MDQ from the Permian Zone (Segment 8) flowing into the Midcontinent Zone.  Actual nomination levels and changes in pipeline conditions could result in changes to the percentages scheduled (lower or higher) on subsequent gas days.  AOR/ITS and Secondary out-of-path Firm transports continue to not be available for the duration of this restriction.  

For the Affected Area 5/6, effective for gas day Monday, February 25, 2019, Intraday 1 Cycle, and continuing until further notice (previously Monday, February 25, 2019, Evening Cycle), Natural will schedule a total receipt point capacity of 86,000 dth per day (formerly 186,000 dth per day) in the Affected Area.  AOR/ITS, Secondary out-of-path Firm transports and Secondary in-path Firm transports will not be available.Natural will be required to schedule down nominations for Primary Firm transports. 

Northern Natural Gas:

A System Overrun Limitation (SOL) has been called for all Market Area zones (ABC, D and EF) with 0% System Management Service (SMS) available for Gas Day Tuesday, February 16, 2019, due to lower than normal forecasted system weighted temperatures.

Sabine Pipeline:

Effective for nominations made for transport during the Gas Day Tuesday February 26, 2019, due to planned maintenance, Sabine Pipe Line LLC is limiting total receipt nominations to a maximum of 100,000 MMBtu/day at the following Henry Hub receipt point:

COLUMBIA GULF/HENRY HUB 11202

Please continue to monitor this website for updates.

Tennessee Gas Pipeline:

OFO DAILY CRITICAL DAY 1 FOR ALL AREAS EAST OF STA 245 AND STA 325 EFFECTIVE 2-26-19

Due to a forecast of colder temperatures moving into areas of the Northeast with associated higher demand,for the Gas Day of Tuesday, February 26, 2019, Tennessee is implementing an OFO Daily Critical Day 1 for all areas east of STA 245 on the 200 Line and all areas east of STA 325 on the 300 Line for all Balancing Parties (including LMS-PA, SA contracts acting as balancing parties, LMS-MA, and LMS-PL balancing parties).  This action is pursuant to Article X, Section 4 of the General Terms and Conditions of Tennessee’s FERC Gas Tariff.  

All delivery point operators in all areas east of STA 245 on the 200 Line and all areas east of STA 325 on the 300 Line are required to keep actual daily takes out of the system equal to or less than scheduled quantities regardless of their cumulative imbalance position.  All receipt point operators in all areas east of STA 245 on the 200 and all areas east of STA 325 on the 300 Line are required to keep actual daily receipts into the system equal to or greater than scheduled quantities regardless of their cumulative imbalance position. 

In addition, it is essential that delivery point operators schedule gas at meters commensurate with takes within the affected areas.  All LMS-PA, SA contracts acting as balancing parties, LMS-MA and LMS-PL Balancing Parties are required to maintain an actual daily flow rate not exceeding 2% of scheduled quantities or 500 dths, whichever is greater for under-deliveries into the system and over-takes from the system. Customers will be assessed a rate of $5.00 plus the applicable Regional Daily Spot Price per dekatherm for that portion of physical quantities related to under-deliveries by receipt point operators and over-takes by delivery point operators which exceed this tolerance.

Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company:

Subject:Operational Flow Order – Imbalance

Transco recently provided notice of limited flexibility to manage imbalances and recommended shippers maintain a concurrent balance of receipts and deliveries. In order to ensure system integrity, maintain safe operations, manage imbalances, and handle within-the-day volatility, Transco is issuing an Imbalance Operational Flow Order (OFO).

Beginning:  Tuesday, February 26, 2019 and until further notice

OFO Areas:  Zone 6

Tolerance %:  10% for gas Due from Shippers or Due to Shippers

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The National Weather Service six-to-ten day temperature forecast predicts another blast of artic cold weather beginning next weekend into the first few days of March as most of the lower 48 states will be at or below normal temperatures.  Only Florida and the desert Southwest will escape the cold temperatures through March 7. 

Thanks for checking out the Monday edition of GasNewsOnline.com.  We’ll return on Thursday to give you an update on pipeline conditions heading into the weekend. 

Remember that our companion audio podcast is available to you via Apple Podcasts.  Please tell a friend about us and subscribe today – it’s FREE

Edition 41 – Thursday, February 21, 2019

Welcome back to GasNewsOnline.com!   Count on us to bring you the latest publicly-sourced news and information about the natural gas business twice every week – for FREE

Though a relatively mild weekend awaits, Ol’ Man Winter will be returning to visit us again beginning around March 1. Stay tuned for the latest long-term temperature forecast!

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From the US Energy Information Administration, working gas in storage for the week ending Friday, February 15 decreased by 177 Bcf from the previous week.  The storage draw was 10% higher than the 162 Bcf estimate made by industry analysts. 

Natural gas volumes in storage are now 362 Bcf (or 17.5%) below the five-year average for the same week. 

In related news, the NYMEX natural gas futures price for March, 2019 rose 6 cents to about $2.70/MMBtu on Thursday. 

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Devon Energy Corp. announced yesterday that the board of directors has authorized the company to pursue the separation of its Canadian and Barnett Shale assets to complete its transformation to a high-return U.S. oil growth business. Devon will evaluate multiple methods of separating the assets, including a potential sale or spin-off. The separation will allow the company to focus on its top-tier, high-return U.S. oil assets and is aligned with Devon’s previously announced long-term strategic plan.

“With our world-class U.S. oil resource plays rapidly building momentum and achieving operating scale, the final step in our multi-year transformation is an aggressive, transformational move that will accelerate value creation for our shareholders by further simplifying our resource-rich asset portfolio,” said Dave Hager, president and CEO. “New Devon will emerge with a highly focused U.S. asset portfolio and has the ability to substantially increase returns and profitability as we aggressively align our cost structure to expand margins with this top-tier oil business. The New Devon will be able to grow oil volumes at a mid-teens rate while generating free cash flow at pricing above $46 per barrel.”

The company expects to complete the separation of its Canadian and Barnett Shale assets by the end of 2019. Devon has hired advisors for each asset, and data rooms for Canada and the Barnett are expected to be open by the second quarter of 2019.

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QEP Resources, Inc. Wednesday announced that its Board of Directors has commenced a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value, which could result in a merger or sale of the Company or other transaction involving the Company or its assets. QEP intends to engage in discussions with a variety of parties that have expressed interest in a potential transaction, including Elliott Management Corporation.

QEP cautions that there can be no assurance that any transaction will be approved or consummated. The Company does not intend to disclose developments relating to its strategic review unless and until the Board of Directors has approved a specific agreement or transaction or has terminated its review of strategic alternatives.

The Company also announced that, given the deterioration in commodity prices and that it was unlikely that the conditions to closing would be satisfied, the Company has agreed with Vantage Acquisition Operating Company, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vantage Energy Acquisition Corp. to terminate the definitive agreement to sell its assets in the Williston Basin to Vantage. QEP will continue to operate and develop its assets in the Williston Basin, including the Company’s South Antelope and Fort Berthold leaseholds.

Additionally, QEP has reassessed its organizational needs and intends to significantly reduce its general and administrative expense by approximately 45%, when comparing 2018 to 2020, to ensure its cost structure is competitive with industry peers. The Company expects the majority of these reductions will be implemented during the first half of 2019.

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Now let’s take a look at the latest notices from the electronic bulletin boards of the major interstate natural gas pipeline companies:

Algonquin Gas Transmission:

Algonquin posted its planned outages presentation from Wednesday, February 20, 2019  to its Electronic Bulletin Board.  See below:

https://infopost.spectraenergy.com/GotoLINK/GetLINKdocument.asp?Pipe=10076&Environment=Production&DocumentType=Notice&FileName=AGT+2019+Planned+Outage+Presentation.pdf&DocumentId=8aa1649f68e6c87f01690bf272270bea

ANR Pipeline:

ANR is performing planned compressor maintenance at its Jena Compressor Station located in the Southeast Southern Segment (Zone 2).

The capacity restriction is as follows:

Jena Southbound (DRN# 9505489):
320-MMcf/d (leaving 850-MMcf/d available) 2/25 – 2/26

Based on current nominations, it is anticipated that this posting may result in the capacity allocation reduction of IT, Firm Secondary and possibly a portion of Firm Primary volumes. Since ANR anticipates that this restriction may impact its ability to deliver all nominated Firm Primary services, ANR will apply the Reservation Charge Crediting Mechanism of Section 6.36.4 as necessary. This posting will be updated as more information becomes available.

Columbia Gas Transmission:

Columbia posted its monthly customer update conference call as shown below:

http://www.columbiapipeinfo.com/cpginfopost/webmethods/DownloadFile.aspx?Mode=V&S3FN=Columbia%20Pipelines%20Monthly%20Customer%20Update%2002_20_19.pdf&S3K=%5ctco%5cpresentations%5cColumbia+Pipelines+Monthly+Customer+Update+02_20_19.pdf

Gulf South Pipeline:

McComb (MS) Compressor Station Maintenance #2:  Start date:  February 27, 2019   End Date:  March 2, 2019

Montpelier to McComb Index 130 Scheduling Group:

Capacity could be impacted by up to 100,000 dth/d for the duration of the maintenance.

Contact your customer service representative if you have any questions/concerns.

Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (NGPL):

Effective for gas day Friday, February 22, 2019, and continuing until further notice, Natural is at operating capacity for southbound flow into Segment 22 through Compressor Station 300 located in Victoria County, Texas (Natural’s South Texas Zone).  AOR/ITS and Secondary out-of-path Firm transports are at risk of not being fully scheduled.   

Rockies Express Pipeline (REX):

SENECA COMPRESSOR STATION MAINTENANCE

On Gas Day Wednesday, March 6, 2019 through Gas Day Thursday, March 7, 2019, REX will be performing maintenance at its Seneca Compressor Station. Operating capacity will be limited to 0 MDth/d through Segment 400.

At this capacity level, primary and secondary firm quantities, as well as ITS/AOR are at risk of not being scheduled.

Southern Natural Gas:

Fairburn Force Majeure – Update #1

As posted in Critical Notice 703048, SNG has experienced an unscheduled station outage at the Fairburn Compressor Station.  Effective February 8, 2019, SNG is not accepting nominations at the TRNSCO/SNG FAIRBURN TO SNG FAYETTE – PIN 50069 until further notice.

Based on its investigation of Units 1 and 2 at the Fairburn Compressor Station, SNG has determined that Unit 1 has experienced damage that will delay its return to service for several months, with the in-service date to be determined. 

With regard to Unit 2, SNG is actively performing work and tests, and we believe, based on what we know right now, that completion of this work will allow us to return the unit to service in the near future. A further update will be provided once we have more information on the return to service timeline.

This unscheduled station outage constitutes an event of Force Majeure under Section 8.3 of the General Terms and Conditions of SNG’s FERC Gas Tariff until further notice.  SNG is working diligently to return both units to service.

Trailblazer Pipeline:

SUMMIT INTERCONNECT (SEG 10)

On Gas Day Tuesday, March 5, 2019, Trailblazer will be performing a hot tap on Segment 10. Capacity will be limited to 781 MDth/d through Segment 10. 

At this capacity level, primary and secondary firm quantities as well as ITS/AOR are at risk of not being scheduled.

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From the National Weather Service, the 8-to-14 day temperature forecast beginning March 1 shows that winter will return with a vengeance for almost the entire US.  Only portions of southern Florida and the desert Southwest are expected to see temperatures at or above normal for the first week of the new month. 

That’s a wrap for this Thursday edition of GasNewsOnline.com.  We’ll return on Monday to give you an update on pipeline conditions to start the new work week. 

Please tell a friend in the natural gas scheduling and transportation business about us! Remember that our companion audio podcast is available via Apple Podcasts.  Subscribe today – it’s FREE

Edition 40 – Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Welcome to GasNewsOnline.com!  We bring you the latest publicly-sourced news and information about the natural gas transportation business every week – for FREE

Though winter is still with us, temperatures for the East Coast may receive a brief reprieve later this week.  First, let’s check the latest energy news:

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From the US Energy Information Administration’s “Natural Gas Weekly Update” publication:

Natural gas spot price movements were mixed this reporting week, Henry Hub spot prices rose from $2.56/MMBtu last week to about $2.66/MMBtu at the close today on Tuesday.   At the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the price of the 12-month strip averaging March 2019 through February 2020 futures contracts is averaging about $2.82/MMBtu.

Net withdrawals from natural gas in storage totaled 78 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending February 8. Working natural gas stocks are 1.882 Tcf, which is 15% lower than the five-year (2014–18) average for this week.

The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, fell by 62¢/MMBtu, averaging $6.24/MMBtu for the week ending February 13. The price of ethane, propane, butane, natural gasoline, and isobutane all fell, by 9%, 9%, 7%, 3%, and 1%, respectively.

According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending Tuesday, February 5, the natural gas rig count decreased by 3 to 195. The number of oil-directed rigs rose by 7 to 854. The total rig count increased by 4, and it now stands at 1,049.

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Targa Resources Corp. announced today that it has entered into definitive agreements to sell a 45 percent interest in Targa Badlands LLC (“Badlands”), the entity that holds all of Targa’s assets in North Dakota, to funds managed by GSO Capital Partners and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities for $1.6 billion in cash.  Under the terms of the agreements, Targa will continue to be the operator.

The Badlands assets and operations are located in the Bakken and Three Forks Shale plays of the Williston Basin in North Dakota and include approximately 480 miles of crude oil gathering pipelines, 125,000 barrels of operational crude oil storage, approximately 260 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines and the Little Missouri natural gas processing plant with a current gross processing capacity of approximately 90 million cubic feet per day (“MMcf/d”). Additionally, Badlands owns a 50% interest in the 200 MMcf/d Little Missouri 4 (“LM4”) Plant that is anticipated to be completed in the second quarter of 2019.

Targa expects to use the net cash proceeds to pay down debt and for general corporate purposes including funding its growth capital program. The Transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019 and is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

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It’s time to review the latest critical postings from the interstate natural gas pipeline companies’ electronic bulletin boards:

Columbia Gas Transmission:

Section 4(c) of the FSS Rate Schedule in Columbia Gas Transmission, LLCs FERC Gas Tariff   requiring Shippers to withdraw a minimum of 10% of its Storage Contract Quantity (SCQ) for the months of February and March 2019 is waived.

Section 4(d) of the FSS Rate Schedule in Columbia Gas Transmission, LLCs FERC Gas Tariff limits shippers storage inventory on April 1 to a maximum of 25% of its SCQ.

Due to current storage levels, Columbia hereby notifies shippers that the maximum storage inventory on April 1, 2019 is being raised to 35% of shippers SCQ.  This increase applies to 2019 only.  The normal tariff limit of 25% remains in effect going forward.

Columbia is providing the additional flexibility to shippers as they plan their supply purchases for the remainder of the winter season.

Enable Gas Transmission:

This Operational Alert is being issued pursuant to Section 20, GT&C, of EGT s Tariff, to notify its shippers of planned maintenance at EGT s Chandler Compressor Station.  Effective March 4, 2019, EGT will begin planned annual maintenance on each of the engines at the Chandler Compressor Station, located in Latimer County Oklahoma and in EGT s Neutral Pooling Area.

The maintenance will impact one engine at a time and is expected to be completed on or before May 24, 2019.

The expected date ranges for each unit and the corresponding capacities through the station are:

               March 4, 2019 to March 9, 2019                     Approximately 975,000

               April 2, 2019 to April 18, 2019                           To be determined

               May 6, 2019 to May 24, 2019                             To be determined  

During each period, EGT anticipates impacts to transportation services, including firm transport.

Shippers whose receipts are in the West 1, West 2, and the western portion of the Neutral pooling area should nominate point to point in order to maintain the highest priority level of service.

Should any of the details of this plan change, EGT will notify its shippers by updating this posting.  EGT will schedule nominations on each impacted day in accordance with its Tariff. This alert will remain in effect until further notice.

Gulf South Pipeline:

Tallulah Compressor Station Maintenance:  Start date:  February 25, 2019    End Date:  March 2, 2019

Expansion Receipts Upstream Tallulah Scheduling Group.

Capacity could be impacted by up to 100,000 dth/d for the duration of the maintenance.

Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (NGPL):

FORCE MAJEURE – COMPRESSOR STATION 102

Natural has experienced horsepower issues at Compressor Station 102 in Natural’s Midcontinent Zone (CS 102), that will require this Compressor Station to be shut down for repairs.  This is a Force Majeure event that will require Natural to temporarily reduce the maximum operating capacity northbound, thus limiting Natural’s throughput capacity through CS 102 and CS 103 during this event.

The scheduling constraint will be at Compressor Station 103 located in Ford County, Kansas. Any gas received south of Station 103 for delivery north of Station 103 will be impacted for the duration of the event.  Additionally, transports associated with storage withdrawals will be impacted. 

As such, effective for gas day Monday, February 18, 2019, Intraday 1 Cycle, and continuing until further notice, Natural will schedule Primary Firm and Secondary in-path Firm transports to no less than 69% of contract MDQ through Compressor Station 103.  Actual nomination levels and changes in pipeline conditions could result in changes to the percentages scheduled (lower or higher).  For scheduling purposes, the Midcontinent Pool (PIN 25078) is located south (upstream) of the constraint.  AOR/ITS and Secondary out-of-path Firm transports continue to not be available. 

The stated scheduling percentage is based upon the current level of firm capacity contracted for during this event and is subject to change based upon operational conditions and Shipper utilization.  Permian Zone delivery points will be available as an alternative.  Any supply points downstream (north) of CS 103 will not be impacted by this constraint.

Continue to monitor Natural’s interactive website for any updates to the end date and/or scheduling percentages during this event. 

SoCalGas:

Due to forecasted low temperatures and expected high customer demand, SoCalGas is issuing a curtailment for electric generation customers on the SoCalGas and SDG&E system, in accordance with Rule 23, effective 12:00 AM PCT, February 20, 2019.

During this curtailment, electric generation customers will be curtailed based on current day‐ahead demand forecasts and weather conditions in coordination with the Balancing Authorities. This curtailment will continue until further notice. System conditions remain dynamic and are subject to change. Until further notice, a system‐wide curtailment watch for both SoCalGas and SDG&E will remain in effect for all other noncore customers. Customers are advised that they may be receiving a notice to curtail service.

Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline:

Line Segment 130 Force Majeure (UPDATE #15)

Southern Star will perform a shutout Friday, February 22 through Monday, February 25.

During that time, capacity will be reduced as follows:

0 Dth/d at the Kansas Hugoton Receipt Constraint

0 Dth/d Kansas Hugoton Delivery Constraint

0 Dth/d Cheyenne Plains Sand Dunes Location 16813

0 Dth/d KGST Ark River Location 14971

10,000 Dth/d NGPL Barton Location 121415

75,000 Dth/d KGST Alden Interconnect Location 208

Other locations on LS 130 are available, please see the Operationally Available report in CSI.

Capacity will return to 383,000 Dth/d effective gas day February 26, 2019, 9:00 AM CCT.

Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company (Transco):

Transco is performing facility modifications associated with Job No. 37 and 38 on the 2019 Planned Outage and Maintenance Summary on the Southeast Louisiana Lateral. 

The maintenance is scheduled from March 4, 2019 through April 10, 2019. The following locations listed below will be unable to flow during this time.

St. James – LIG          9002670          2888/4635       Receipt/Delivery

Thibodeaux                 1007206          3533                Receipt

St. James Faustina       1006268          3328/4362       Receipt/Delivery

LaRose                        9002040          3590                Receipt

Transco will provide notice of any changes to the current schedule. If you have any questions, please contact your Transportation or Customer Services Representative.

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For the next six-to-ten days until the end of February, the National Weather Service is predicting cold winter temperatures will continue in full force for areas west of the Mississippi River, the Rockies, and to the West coast.  Along the Gulf Coast and up the Atlantic seaboard, temperatures may climb a little above normal for all locations except New England. 

That wraps up this Tuesday edition of GasNewsOnline.com.  Please look for our next update on Thursday afternoon for the coming weekend.  Remember that our audio podcast is available to you via Apple Podcasts.  Subscribe today – it’s FREE!

Edition 39 – February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine’s Day from GasNewsOnline.com!  With winter about pounce again for much of the western and northern portions of the country this weekend, we will bring you several critical postings from some of the nation’s largest natural gas pipeline companies.

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It’s Thursday, February 14, 2019, and that also means it’s time for the weekly gas storage report from the Energy Information Administration:

Net withdrawals from working gas totaled 78 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending February 8. Working natural gas stocks are 1.882 Tcf, which is 15% lower than the five-year (2014–18) average for the same week.

The New York Mercantile Exchange March, 2019 natural gas futures price held steady at about $2.58/MMBtu on Thursday.  The 12-month strip from March, 2019 through February, 2020 held firm at about $2.80/MMBtu.

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In other energy news:

Encana Corporation and Newfield Exploration Company announced that their strategic combination has been approved after special shareholder meetings.

Newfield stockholders will receive 2.6719 Encana common shares for each share of Newfield common stock. Upon completion of the transaction, Encana shareholders prior to the merger will own approximately 63.5 percent and Newfield stockholders prior to the merger will own approximately 36.5 percent of the combined company.

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On Tuesday, Dominion Energy announced an initiative to reduce methane emissions from its natural gas infrastructure by 50 percent over the next decade, based on 2010 levels. The initiative will prevent more than 430,000 metric tons of methane from entering the atmosphere, the equivalent of taking 2.3 million cars off the road for a year or planting nearly 180 million new trees.

“We recognize we need to do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to further combat climate change,” said Diane Leopold, President and CEO of Dominion Energy’s Gas Infrastructure Group. “We’ve made significant progress, but we’re determined to go much further. With this initiative, we are transforming the way we do business to build a more sustainable future for the planet, our customers, and our industry.”

Dominion Energy will achieve the historic emissions reductions announced today in three primary ways – reducing or eliminating gas venting during planned maintenance and inspections, replacing older equipment across its system with new, low-emission equipment, and expanding leak detection and repair programs across its entire system.

Gas venting during planned maintenance and inspection is the largest source of methane emissions from Dominion Energy’s transmission and distribution pipeline system. In order to perform maintenance or inspection on pipelines and compressor stations, natural gas sometimes has to be removed from the system, which was historically done by venting it into the atmosphere. A primary focus of the company’s initiative will be dramatically reducing or even eliminating venting during maintenance activities.

While gas venting is the largest source of methane emissions, there are other minor sources that can add up to larger volumes. Dominion Energy is focused on reducing these sources by replacing older equipment with new low-emission equipment.

“A great example is our program to replace natural gas-powered pumps at our gas producing wells with solar-powered electric pumps, which reduces methane emissions at these facilities by more than 90 percent,” said Leopold.

The company is also replacing other aging equipment across its system, including bare-steel pipe, cast-iron pipe, valves, fittings, joints and seals to reduce or even eliminate these emissions sources.

Over the last decade, Dominion Energy has made significant progress finding even the smallest emissions using infrared cameras. This program will be dramatically expanded to detect and repair these minor emissions sources across every part of the company’s natural gas system – from production and storage to transmission and distribution.

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Earlier this week, American Electric Power announced that its competitive renewable energy subsidiary has signed an agreement to acquire Sempra Renewables LLC and its 724 megawatts (MW) of operating wind generation and battery assets for approximately $1.056 billion.  The final acquisition cost will be subject to closing and working capital adjustments.  

Sempra Renewables, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, jointly owns all or part of seven wind farms and one battery installation in seven states. Five of the wind farms are jointly owned with BP Wind Energy. BP Wind Energy will retain its ownership share of those projects.  

“Our long-term strategy is focused on diversifying our generation portfolio including expanding our ownership of renewable generation. We targeted $2.2 billion of capital investment in competitive, contracted renewables by 2023. Adding these high-quality renewable assets to our portfolio will achieve a significant portion of that goal this year. The long-term contracts and attractive returns associated with these existing assets will be immediately accretive to earnings and solidify our projected 5 to 7 percent earnings growth rate. The business also includes a pipeline of development projects that could provide additional value,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer.

The seven operating wind farms have an average capacity factor of 37 percent. They are located in Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. They all have long-term, power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 100 percent of the energy produced with investment-grade investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities and electric cooperatives. The project PPAs have an average remaining life of 16 years. AEP operating units AEP Ohio, Indiana Michigan Power and Southwestern Electric Power Company have PPAs with two of the wind farms.

AEP expects to finance the acquisition with a combination of debt, equity, and/or equity-linked securities. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019 and is subject to approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Hart-Scott-Rodino clearance.

AEP has announced a plan to cut its carbon dioxide emissions 60 percent from 2000 emission levels by 2030 and 80 percent from 2000 emission levels by 2050.

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With cold weather still controlling much of the country, let’s review the latest critical postings from some of the nation’s interstate gas pipeline companies:

ANR Pipeline:

ANR Pipeline Company Notice of Force Majeure (Updated 2/11/19)

This is to notify all contracted parties of ANR Pipeline Company (“ANR”) that pursuant to Section 6.7 of ANR’s FERC Gas Tariff, ANR has declared a Force Majeure event in effect for natural gas transactions in its Southeast Southern Segment (Zone 2) to perform unexpected and uncontrollable compressor repairs at its Jena Compressor Station located in Louisiana.

The Force Majeure declaration during the outage will apply to services southbound through the Jena Compressor Station as listed below. The Reservation Charge Crediting Mechanism of Section 6.36.2 shall apply to this outage.

The total Jena Southbound capacity (LOC #9505489) will be reduced to the following:

320-MMcf/d (leaving 850-MMcf/d available) 2/12 through 2/18

Based on current nominations through the Jena Compressor Station, it is anticipated that this posting will result in the capacity allocation reduction of IT and Firm Secondary, and may impact a portion of the Firm Primary volumes.

Columbia Gas Transmission:

Shippers are advised that due to forecasted colder temperatures, lowered storage levels, and increased market demands beginning Saturday, February 16, 2019, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (TCO) may issue Transport Critical Days for deliveries to all Operating Areas and Storage Critical Days for withdrawals (MDWQ overruns) for all Operating Areas.  TCO will post the Critical Day notices, if warranted, on Friday, February 15, 2019.   

Also, TCO may have limited ability to handle non-ratable takes in the impacted Market Areas during this period.  Please monitor the Daily Capacity Posting for details. 

TRANSPORT CRITICAL DAY:  If a Transport Critical Day is called for Saturday, February 16, 2019 until further notice, the following daily Transport Critical Day penalty will apply:

Applicable Penalty:  TFE – If Shipper’s takes on any Day exceed the greater of 103 percent or 1,000 Dths more than its Total Firm Entitlement (TFE), Shipper shall be assessed and pay a penalty based on the higher of: (i) a price per Dth equal to three times the midpoint of the range of prices reported for “Columbia Gas, Appalachia” as published in Platts Gas Daily price survey for all such quantities in excess of its TFE, or (ii) a price per Dth equal to 150 percent of the highest midpoint posting for either: Mich Con City-gate, Transco, Zone 6 Non-N.Y., or Texas Eastern, M-2 Receipts as published in Platts Gas Daily price survey for all such quantities in excess of its TFE.  Section 19.1(ii) penalties will only be assessed on days in which the daily spot price of gas exceeds three times the midpoint of the range of prices reported for “Columbia Gas, Appalachia. 

NOTE:  Takes in excess of Total Firm Entitlements (“TFE”) are penalized on Critical Days based on takes exceeding the aggregate daily amount of gas that TCO is obligated to deliver to a shipper under the shipper’s applicable rate schedule.  Each applicable rate schedule outlines this delivery obligation and, consequently, a shipper’s TFE. 

STORAGE CRITICAL DAY:  If a Storage Critical day is called for Saturday, February 16, 2019 until further notice, all firm storage services will be fully available.  Interruptible storage withdrawals (SIT and ISS), excess FSS withdrawals, and PAL loans and unparks will not be available if delivered in the impacted operating areas.  

 Applicable Penalties: 

– FSS MDWQ- Withdrawn quantities in excess of 103% of the applicable contract MDWQ will be assessed a penalty based on a price per Dth equal to three times the midpoint rate for “Columbia Gas, Appalachia,” posted in Gas Daily.  

– FSS MMWQ – Monthly Withdrawal Quantities that exceed 30% (February Limit) of SCQ will be assessed a penalty of $5.00 per Dth.  

– FSS SCQ – If withdrawals from storage result in the FSS contract having a negative SCQ balance, a penalty of $5 per Dth will be assessed.

East Tennessee Natural Gas:

ETNG Operational Flow Order – Tracy City to Topside — LIFTED – Thursday February 14

Effective immediately, East Tennessee Natural Gas (ETNG) is lifting the Operational Flow Order for all meters located between Tracy City and Topside issued on February 8, 2019.

Gulf South Pipeline:

McComb (MS) Compressor Station Maintenance:  Began February 13, 2019  – Ends February 23, 2019

Capacity could be impacted by up to 100,000 dth/d for the duration of the maintenance. The following meters are in the Montpelier to McComb Index 130 Scheduling Group.

002424 GREENSBURG CITY GATE

002432 KENTWOOD CITY GATE

002549 MONTPELIER & PINE GROVE CITY GATE

002559 TANGIPAHOA CITY GATE

002583 KENTWOOD BRICK & TILE PLANT

002690 HOLMESVILLE (TO TRANSCO)

013087 TRANSFER @ MONTPELIER / ST HELENA

013456 TRANSFER @ HOLMESVILLE (TRANSCO)

022114 WALTHALL (TO TRANSCO)

022182 MONTPELIER/ST HELENA (TO FGT)

022573 TRANSFER @ WALTHALL (TO TRANSCO)

Kern River Gas Transmission:

Kern River reminds its customers of the colder than normal weather and high demand is forecast for Kern River’s market areas through February 21, 2019.   Kern River shippers and delivery point operators are requested to align daily scheduled nominations and physical receipts and deliveries to maintain line pack and system integrity.

Kinder Morgan – All Pipelines – DART Business and Training:

Kinder Morgan will be offering one-on-one meetings to discuss your DART related business and training needs for any of the interstate pipelines that Kinder Morgan operates.  These meetings will take place during select days the week of March 18th in our Houston office.

Please indicate the date that works for you, topics you are interested in discussing, and the pipeline(s) you do business on.   The individual meetings and times will be set up with the appropriate departments based on the pipeline and topics of interest provided.

Potential topics include:  Commercial, Confirmations (PDA’s), Contracts/Capacity Release, DART Set-up,  Imbalance Management, Invoicing, Nominations (Rankings), Operations (Gas Control), Park and Loans, Pipeline Scheduling, Rankings, Report Subscription(s), Scheduled Quantities, Segment Scheduling, Storage, and other topics proposed by shippers/customers.

Please return the form (posted on each company’s EBB) to DartTrainingReservations@kindermorgan.com by Friday, March 1st.  If you have any questions, please contact your Scheduling Representative.

Midwestern Gas Transmission:

Midwestern Gas Transmission Company (Midwestern) will hold a conference call on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. CCT to discuss its Fuel Retention Percentage Adjustment annual tariff filing, to be filed March 1, 2019, effective April 1, 2019.

The draft schedules will be posted on Midwestern’s website in advance of the call.  An updated posting will be made when the schedules have been posted for customer review.

Customers are invited to participate by calling toll free: 1.877.820.7831.

Participant Passcode: 125665

If you have any questions, please contact Aaron Wright, Regulatory Analyst, at 918.732.1418 or aaron.wright@oneok.com.

Mississippi River Transmission (MRT):

Due to the potential for maximum utilization of northbound firm Main Line capacity causing a potential supply deficiency in the Market Zone, MRT is issuing a System Protection Warning (SPW) effective 9:00 a.m. Friday, February 15, 2019 and continuing until further notice.

 During this time:

 1)           MRT may not schedule any IT or AOR volumes for delivery north of Glendale.

 2)           Firm volumes may be limited to their primary direction of flow on the system north of Glendale.

 3)           MRT may not schedule volumes that result in a daily short position in either the Market or Field Zones.

 4)           The use of imbalance positions may not be scheduled.

 5)           Pool transfers will not be permitted from MRT s Field Zone to its Market Zone.

 6)           Customers with primary delivery points north of the Glendale Compressor station and a receipt point that utilizes South to North transportation, will be required to nominate and source all, or a portion of, their total nomination at primary receipt points and/or at available Market Zone supply locations, not to exceed applicable maximum receipt point quantities in order to support their primary deliveries.

 7)           Shippers whose firm transportation contracts have Texas Gas Boardwalk (Boardwalk) and/or EGT Olyphant (Olyphant) and/or Noark listed as primary receipt points, must schedule the full amount of their primary receipt point quantity each of those points or, if the primary receipt point is Boardwalk and/or Olyphant, at an alternative Main Line receipt point that is north of their primary receipt point (Olyphant and/or Noark) if they desire to fully utilize their contract MDQ. Shippers may elect to forego nominating their full primary receipt point quantity at any/all of these points, however, such shipper’s maximum scheduled and confirmed contract quantity shall be limited to their contract MDQ less any primary receipt point quantity at Boardwalk and/or Olyphant and/or Noark that is not scheduled and confirmed.

 8)           Instantaneous flow rates for shippers delivering to meters located in MRT s Market Zone cannot exceed 110% of their daily entitlements.

Shippers whose deliveries are affected by any of the Seven (8) conditions above are encouraged to source supply at their primary receipt points, MRT’s East Line, MoGas, or reduce applicable delivery volumes.

Failure to comply with this SPW may result in Customers being issued an individual OFO.  Nominations will be confirmed and scheduled in accordance with MRT s Tariff.

Northern Natural Gas:

A System Overrun Limitation (SOL) has been called for all Market Area zones (ABC, D and EF) with 50% System Management Service (SMS) available for Gas Day Friday, February 15, 2019, due to lower than normal forecasted system weighted temperatures.

Northwest Pipeline:

Northwest is revising its current Overrun Entitlement as follows:

Receiving Party points north of the Plymouth South constraint point will be revised from a Stage I (3%) Overrun Entitlement to a Stage II (8%) Overrun Entitlement; and  

Receiving Party points north of the Kemmerer compressor station to points south of the Plymouth South constraint point will be revised from a Stage II (8%) Overrun Entitlement to a Stage III (13%) Overrun Entitlement.

These changes are effective at the beginning of gas day Thursday, February 14, 2019, until further notice.  Northwest is requesting customers to continue to stay on rate to help mitigate the potential for tighter entitlement levels over the next few weeks. 

Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline:

With a colder weather forecast across the Southern Star system, Southern Star is issuing a winter weather watch beginning Friday, February 15, 2019 at 9:00 AM CST. Southern Star requests that shippers adhere to the following criteria:

• Customers with TSS and STS contracts should ensure that their flowing gas to storage gas withdrawal relationship is per their contractual agreements

ISS withdrawals and PLS withdrawals will be available on a limited basis

Incremental Loans will be available on a limited basis

Imbalance makeup for gas due others (Southern Star off-system) will be available on a limited basis

Receipt and delivery point operators should ensure that flowing volumes match confirmed scheduled Quantities

Southern Star will issue underperformance notices to each point operator not delivering the scheduled quantities they had confirmed. Southern Star will unilaterally reduce scheduled quantities per the tariff to match actual flow if the delivering operator does not remedy the underperformance in accordance with the notice.

If customers do not adhere to these requests, or if actual weather or operating conditions require it, Southern Star could issue a system wide, point or shipper specific OFO on short notice.

These conditions are expected to remain in effect through Wednesday, February 20, 2018.

Tennessee Gas Pipeline:

OFO DAILY CRITICAL DAY 1 FOR AREAS EAST OF STA 254 EFFECTIVE 2-17-19

Due to a forecast of colder weather and higher demand moving back into the northeast, for the Gas Day of Sunday, February 17, 2019, and until further notice, Tennessee is issuing an OFO Daily Critical Day 1 for all areas east of STA 254 on the 200 Line only for all Balancing Parties (including LMS-PA, SA contracts acting as balancing parties, LMS-MA, and LMS-PL balancing parties).  This action is pursuant to Article X, Section 4 of the General Terms and Conditions of Tennessee’s FERC Gas Tariff.  

All delivery point operators east of STA 254 on the 200 Line only are required to keep actual daily takes out of the system equal to or less than scheduled quantities regardless of their cumulative imbalance position.  All receipt point operators east of STA 254 on the 200 only are required to keep actual daily receipts into the system equal to or greater than scheduled quantities regardless of their cumulative imbalance position.  In addition, it is essential that delivery point operators schedule gas at meters commensurate with takes within the affected areas.  All LMS-PA, SA contracts acting as balancing parties, LMS-MA and LMS-PL Balancing Parties are required to maintain an actual daily flow rate not exceeding 2% of scheduled quantities or 500 dths, whichever is greater for under-deliveries into the system and over-takes from the system. Customers will be assessed a rate of $5.00 plus the applicable Regional Daily Spot Price per dekatherm for that portion of physical quantities related to under-deliveries by receipt point operators and over-takes by delivery point operators which exceed this tolerance. 

THIS DAILY OFO CRITICAL DAY 1 WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. TENNESSEE WILL INFORM CUSTOMERS BY EBB WHEN THIS OFO WILL BE LIFTED.

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The latest six-to-ten day temperature forecast from the National Weather Service continues to show the Western US receiving the brunt of the colder than average temperatures.  Meanwhile, the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Northeast should see normal to slightly below average temperatures while the Southeast stays at or a little above normal for the third week of February.

That wraps up this special Valentine’s Day edition of GasNewsOnline.com.  With President’s Day celebrated on Monday, please look for our next update on Tuesday for the coming week.  Remember that our audio podcast is available to you via Apple Podcasts.  Subscribe today – it’s FREE!

Edition 38 – Monday, February 11, 2019

Welcome to GasNewsOnline.com for Monday, February 11, 2019!

As the week begins, many northern states are receiving another reminder than winter is still in full control of the weather (at least for another five weeks according to Punxatawny Phil’s recent prediction).  Many of the natural gas pipelines, though, are relaxing weekend restrictions beginning Monday as the short-term forecast shows a little improvement during this week. 

However, another round of cold weather is on the horizon by this weekend.  We’ll cover the updated short-term temperature forecast at the end of this post.

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Let’s check some of the latest energy news…

At the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the price of the March, 2019 contract on Monday was about $2.64/MMBtu, up six cents from Friday’s close.  The price of the 12-month strip averaging March, 2019 through February, 2020 futures contracts is now approximately $2.84/MMBtu.

Below is an update from the US Energy Information Administration’s “Natural Gas Weekly Update” publication last week.

Net withdrawals from working gas totaled 237 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending February 1. Working natural gas stocks are 1,960 Bcf, which is 17% lower than the five-year (2014–18) average for the same week.

The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, rose by 6¢/MMBtu, averaging $6.72/MMBtu for the week ending February 6. The price of natural gasoline, ethane, propane, butane, and isobutane all rose, by 8%, 2%, 3%, 2%, and 1%, respectively.

According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending Tuesday, January 29, the natural gas rig count increased by 1 to 198. The number of oil-directed rigs fell by 15 to 847. The total rig count decreased by 14, and it now stands at 1,045.

Five LNG vessels (three from Sabine Pass and two from Cove Point) with a combined LNG-carrying capacity of 17.3 Bcf departed the United States from January 31 to February 6.   Foggy weather conditions near the Sabine Pass LNG facility along the Texas and Louisiana border caused some delays in export volumes for the week.    

Cold weather and a polar vortex blanketed much of the Lower 48 states from January 29–31, resulting in record natural gas consumption in the United States. Estimated total natural gas demand posted a new single-day record on January 30, topping the previous record set on January 1, 2018. Total estimated consumption by the power, industrial, and residential/commercial sectors and total estimated natural gas exports—by pipeline and as feedstock to liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities—reached 145.9 billion cubic feet (Bcf) on January 30, which was two Bcf higher than the previous record set in 2018.

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With warmer weather on tap for a few days this week, many of the interstate natural gas pipelines have dropped their operational flow orders and warnings to start the week. Here are the latest critical postings:

Columbia Gas Transmission:

Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC will be commencing service for an additional 320 MDth/d of its Mountaineer XPress (MXP) project capacity effective Gas Day Tuesday, February 12, 2019.   Nominations will be accepted beginning for the Timely Cycle for Gas Day Tuesday, February 12, 2019.  Please monitor the Daily Capacity Posting effective for Tuesday, February 12, 2019 for the new Internal Constraints related to Markwest – Sherwood B. 

Dominion Gas Transmission:

Effective start of gas day, Tuesday, February 12, 2019, PL-1 restrictions will be lifted (supersedes Notice ID: 211694).

Northern Natural Gas:

A System Overrun Limitation (SOL) has been called for all Market Area zones (ABC, D and EF) with 50% System Management Service (SMS) available for Gas Day Tuesday, February 12, 2019, due to lower than normal forecasted system weighted temperatures.

Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company:

The Operational Flow Order – Imbalance (OFO) currently in effect on the Transco system in Zones 4 and 5 will be terminated effective February 11, 2019 at 9:00 AM CST.

Circumstances leading to the issuance of the OFO are expected to improve; however, Transco has limited flexibility to manage imbalances and strongly encourages all shippers to manage their system requirements to ensure a concurrent balance of receipts and deliveries daily. The current OFO in Zone 6 will continue until further notice.  Mild temperatures are forecast for portions of Transco’s market area that may require additional action. Please continue to monitor the 1Line system for updates.

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The National Weather Service six-to-ten day temperature forecast predicts another blast of artic cold weather beginning this coming weekend into early next week as most of the lower 48 states will be at or below normal temperatures.  Only Florida and portions of southern Texas will escape the cold temperatures through February 20.

Thanks for visiting GasNewsOnline.com!  We bring you the latest publicly-sourced natural gas news and information twice weekly.  All for FREE!  Make sure to subscribe to our FREE audio podcasts on iTunes! 

Edition 37 – Thursday, February 7, 2019

Welcome back to GasNewsOnline.com! After a week of warmer weather across much of the US, temperatures are returning to normal across the West and Upper Midwest.  A number of natural gas pipeline companies have posted critical notices regarding colder weather conditions for their systems.

Before we cover those notices, let’s check out the latest energy news:

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The US Energy Information Administration released its weekly estimate of natural gas volumes in storage.  For the week ending February 1, working gas in storage decreased by 237 Bcf.   

Stocks were estimated to be 415 Bcf or 17.5% below the five-year average for the same week. 

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Yesterday, as part of its ongoing commitment to reducing wildfire risk, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) submitted its 2019 Wildfire Safety Plan to the California Public Utilities Commission. The safety plan marks an expansion of enhanced and additional safety precautions PG&E began implementing in 2017 and 2018 to address the growing threat of extreme weather and wildfires across its service area.

Given the continued and growing threat of extreme weather and wildfires, and as an additional precautionary measure, PG&E’s plan includes expanding and enhancing its Community Wildfire Safety Program to further reduce wildfire risks and help keep customers and the communities it serves safe. Ongoing and expanded efforts include further enhancing vegetation management around power lines, conducting enhanced safety inspections of electric infrastructure in high fire-threat areas, and a hardening of our electric system.

Also included in the 2019 plan, PG&E announced additional and enhanced safety precautions including the expansion of PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) program to include all electric lines that pass through high fire-threat areas – both transmission and distribution. While customers in high fire-threat areas are more likely to be affected, any of PG&E’s more than 5 million electric customers could have their power shut off for safety only as a last resort when forecasted fire danger conditions warrant.

“We know how much our customers rely on electric service. Proactively turning off power is a highly complex issue with significant public safety risks on both sides – all of which need to be carefully considered and addressed,” said Michael Lewis, Electric Operations senior vice president. “We understand and appreciate that turning off the power affects first responders and the operation of critical facilities, communications systems and much more. We will only turn off power for public safety and only as a last resort to keep our customers and communities safe.”

To be clear, the decision to initiate a PSPS is informed by local forecasts, so PG&E is not indicating that it would ever turn off power to all customers at once. Instead, due to the complexity of the electric grid, and the web-like connection between transmission lines, distribution lines and substations, there is a possibility that some customers outside a high-risk fire threat area could have their power turned off based on the need to turn off a specific high-voltage circuit. The expanded program includes timely notification to customers of potential PSPS events.

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With another blast of winter affecting the northern half of the US for a few more days, let’s check out the latest critical postings from the interstate natural gas pipeline companies’ electronic bulletin boards:

Algonquin Gas Transmission:

In order to maintain the operational integrity of the system, Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC (AGT) is issuing an Operational Flow Order (OFO) pursuant to Section 26 of the General Terms and Conditions of AGT’s FERC Gas Tariff effective 9:00 AM CCT, February 8, 2019, to all parties, with the exception of those Operational Balancing Agreements required by FERC regulations, on the AGT system.

This OFO does not affect the ability of AGT to receive or deliver quantities of gas for scheduled nominations to any customer or pipeline.

***During the effectiveness of this OFO, all parties must be balanced such that actual deliveries of gas out of the system must be equal to or less than scheduled deliveries. The penalty shall apply to each dekatherm of actual delivery quantities that exceeds the greater of 2,000 Dth or 102% of scheduled delivery quantities. The penalty will be equal to three times the daily Platts Gas Daily “Daily Price Survey” posting for the High Common price for “Algonquin, city-gates” for the day on which such violation occurred as indicated in AGT’s General Terms and Conditions Section 26.8. In addition, AGT will not permit retroactive nominations to avoid an OFO penalty.

AGT may be required to issue an hourly OFO pursuant to General Terms and Conditions Section 26.7(d) to impose further restrictions in order to maintain the operational integrity of the system.

As previously posted AGT, requests that customers/point operators on AGT be aware of the impact non-ratable hourly takes from the system may have in causing delivery pressures reaching lower than desired levels. As a reminder, AGT’s system is not designed to sustain delivery pressures above contract levels while making non-ratable/accelerated deliveries above scheduled quantities for more than 6 consecutive hours, to be followed by flows below scheduled quantity for the balance of any 24 hour period.

Furthermore, if customers/point operators don’t manage hourly takes from the system, 1) delivery pressures will be impacted and /or 2) AGT may be required to impose further restrictions or courses of action in order to maintain the operational integrity of the system.

Correspondingly, the OFO issued on February 6, 2019 will continue to be in effect until 9:00 AM CCT, February 8, 2019.

This OFO will remain in effect until further notice.

ANR Pipeline:

Attn: All ANR Shippers

Due to projected cold weather forecasts, current operational conditions, and nomination levels, it is increasingly important that ANRPL shippers maintain sufficient receipt and delivery volumes to minimize imbalances and ensure system integrity.

As of February 7, ANR is not taking further action at this time other than to notify our customers of the projected weather forecast. However, ANR Pipeline will continue to monitor pipeline operations and the weather forecasts, and may take further action if necessary. Please continue to monitor our EBB for updates.

Columbia Gas Transmission:

Shippers are advised that due to forecasted colder temperatures, storage levels, and increased market demands beginning Saturday, February 9, 2019, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (TCO) may issue Transport Critical Days for deliveries to all Operating Areas and Storage Critical Days for withdrawals (MDWQ overruns) for all Operating Areas.  TCO will post the Critical Day notices, if warranted, on Friday, February 8, 2019.   

Also, TCO may have limited ability to handle non-ratable takes in the impacted Market Areas during this period.  Please monitor the Daily Capacity Posting for details. 

TRANSPORT CRITICAL DAY:  If a Transport Critical Day is called for Saturday, February 9, 2019 until further notice, the following daily Transport Critical Day penalty will apply:

Applicable Penalty:  TFE – If Shipper’s takes on any Day exceed the greater of 103 percent or 1,000 Dths more than its Total Firm Entitlement (TFE), Shipper shall be assessed and pay a penalty based on the higher of: (i) a price per Dth equal to three times the midpoint of the range of prices reported for “Columbia Gas, Appalachia” as published in Platts Gas Daily price survey for all such quantities in excess of its TFE, or (ii) a price per Dth equal to 150 percent of the highest midpoint posting for either: Mich Con City-gate, Transco, Zone 6 Non-N.Y., or Texas Eastern, M-2 Receipts as published in Platts Gas Daily price survey for all such quantities in excess of its TFE.  Section 19.1(ii) penalties will only be assessed on days in which the daily spot price of gas exceeds three times the midpoint of the range of prices reported for “Columbia Gas, Appalachia. 

NOTE:  Takes in excess of Total Firm Entitlements (“TFE”) are penalized on Critical Days based on takes exceeding the aggregate daily amount of gas that TCO is obligated to deliver to a shipper under the shipper’s applicable rate schedule.  Each applicable rate schedule outlines this delivery obligation and, consequently, a shipper’s TFE. 

STORAGE CRITICAL DAY:  If a Storage Critical day is called for Saturday, February 9, 2019 until further notice, all firm storage services will be fully available.  Interruptible storage withdrawals (SIT and ISS), excess FSS withdrawals, and PAL loans and unparks will not be available if delivered in the impacted operating areas.  

Applicable Penalties: 

– FSS MDWQ- Withdrawn quantities in excess of 103% of the applicable contract MDWQ will be assessed a penalty based on a price per Dth equal to three times the midpoint rate for “Columbia Gas, Appalachia,” posted in Gas Daily.  

– FSS MMWQ – Monthly Withdrawal Quantities that exceed 30% (February Limit) of SCQ will be assessed a penalty of $5.00 per Dth.  

– FSS SCQ – If withdrawals from storage result in the FSS contract having a negative SCQ balance, a penalty of $5 per Dth will be assessed.

Colorado Interstate Gas (CIG):

With significantly colder temperatures being forecast beginning Wednesday, February 6, 2019 through Friday, February 8, 2019, CIG is anticipating an increase in demand on its system which will limit its ability to manage imbalances associated with supply shortfalls. Therefore, when necessary to minimize imbalances and protect system integrity, underperformance caps may be placed on nonperforming receipt points effective until further notice.

Dominion Energy Transmission:

Effective start of gas day Friday, February 8, 2019, and continuing until further notice, DETI will not schedule any IT or Non PL-1 firm transportation on its PL-1 system. This includes deliveries at the following locations:

40209 Columbia of Pennsylvania (Pleasant Gap)

21305 Texas Eastern Chambersburg (East Coast)

40201 Texas Eastern Chambersburg (PL-1)

40202 Texas Eastern Steckman Ridge

40224 Baltimore Gas and Electric

22000 Washington Gas and Electric

23500 Dominion Cove Point Loudoun

40704 Transco Nokesville

40303 Virginia Natural Gas

22400 Doswell

22500 City of Richmond

22600 VA Electric & Power

22700 Columbia of Virginia

22800 VEPCO (Lady Smith)

22900 Genon Mid-Atlantic (Dickerson)

30016 Panda Stonewall

30230 PL-1 customers with delivery points north of Leesburg compressor station may not effectuate deliveries  to any PL-1 point south of Leesburg. PL-1 customers with delivery points south of Leesburg compressor station may effectuate deliveries to PL-1 points both north and south of Leesburg. DETI can effectuate secondary and IT deliveries to points north of Leesburg compressor station if sourced from the receipt of DETI-Loudoun (40704) or Transco-Nokesville (40303) via displacement. DETI can effectuate secondary and IT deliveries to points south of Leesburg compressor station if sourced from the receipt of Transco-Nokesville (40303) via displacement.

Please note that “Unauthorized Overrun Charges – Daily” rate of $10.00/dth will apply.

East Tennessee Natural Gas:

Due to impending colder weather, in order to maintain the operational integrity of the system, ETNG is issuing a Balancing Alert Operational Flow Order (OFO) pursuant to Section 14.7 of the General Terms and Conditions of ETNG’s FERC Gas Tariff effective 9:00 AM CCT, February 8, 2019 for all meters east of the Boyds Creek Compressor Station.

This OFO does not affect the ability of ETNG to receive or deliver quantities of gas for scheduled nominations to any customer, storage field, or pipeline.

During the effectiveness of this OFO, balancing parties under Rate Schedules LMSMA and LMSPA must be balanced such that actual deliveries of gas out of the system must be equal to or less than scheduled deliveries out of the system and actual receipts of gas into the system must be equal to or greater than scheduled receipts into the system. Additionally, balancing parties with meters west of Boyds Creek will not be allowed to utilize undertakes at meters located west of Boyds Creek to offset overtakes at meters located east of Boyds Creek.

The penalty provisions under Section 47.5(b) of the General Terms and Conditions of ETNG’s FERC Gas Tariff shall apply for failure to conform for each dekatherm of actual receipt quantities that are less than scheduled receipt quantities and for each dekatherm of actual delivery quantities that are greater than scheduled delivery quantities, in each case with a tolerance of 2% of scheduled quantities or 500 dekatherms (whichever is greater).

In addition, ETNG will not permit retroactive nominations to avoid an OFO penalty.

Gas Transmission Northwest:

GTN OFO Watch (Posted 2/6/19)

Effective immediately, GTN Pipeline is issuing an OFO watch.  GTN Pipeline is concerned about the operational integrity of its system as a result of low line pressures.

The OFO watch is in effect through gas day February 15th, in order to allow for GTN pipeline system to regain its operational integrity. GTN has limited flexibility to manage imbalances and strongly encourages all shippers manage their system requirements to ensure the matching of receipts and deliveries daily.

Absent voluntary imbalance management by shippers to ensure daily balancing, GTN may be required to take further action, including the immediate issuance of an imbalance Operational Flow Order. If further action is required, it may be necessary for that action to become effective immediately, with no additional prior notice available.

This posting will be updated as more information becomes available.  Please contact your GTN Nominations Representative with any questions regarding nominations or scheduling at (888) 750-6275.

Kern River Transmission:

Line pack continues to decrease (approximately 75,000 Dth over the past 24 hours) despite Kern River’s warning of colder than normal weather and expected high demand in Kern River’s market areas. Additionally, several upstream and downstream operators have declared some form of strained operating condition.

Therefore, all Kern River shippers and delivery point operators are required to align daily scheduled nominations and physical receipts and deliveries. If line pack continues to decrease, Kern River may take corrective action to increase line pack by limiting physical flow at delivery points where a negative imbalance was created during prior gas days to ensure line pack and the integrity of the system is maintained.

Mississippi River Transmission (MRT):

Due to the potential for maximum utilization of northbound firm Main Line capacity causing a potential supply deficiency in the Market Zone, MRT is issuing a System Protection Warning (SPW) effective 9:00 a.m. Thursday, February 7, 2019 and continuing until further notice.

 During this time:

 1)           MRT may not schedule any IT or AOR volumes for delivery north of Glendale.

 2)           Firm volumes may be limited to their primary direction of flow on the system north of Glendale.

 3)           MRT may not schedule volumes that result in a daily short position in either the Market or Field Zones.

 4)           The use of imbalance positions may not be scheduled.

 5)           Pool transfers will not be permitted from MRT s Field Zone to its Market Zone.

 6)           Customers with primary delivery points north of the Glendale Compressor station and a receipt point that utilizes South to North transportation, will be required to nominate and source all, or a portion of, their  total nomination at primary receipt points and/or at available Market Zone supply locations, not to exceed applicable maximum receipt point quantities in order to support their primary deliveries.

 7)           Shippers whose firm transportation contracts have Texas Gas Boardwalk (Boardwalk) and/or EGT Olyphant (Olyphant) and/or Noark listed as primary receipt points, must schedule the full amount of their primary receipt point quantity each of those points or, if the primary receipt point is Boardwalk and/or Olyphant, at an alternative Main Line receipt point that is north of their primary receipt point (Olyphant and/or Noark) if they desire to fully utilize their contract MDQ. Shippers may elect to forego nominating their full primary receipt point quantity at any/all of these points, however, such shipper’s maximum scheduled and confirmed contract quantity shall be limited to their contract MDQ less any primary receipt point quantity at Boardwalk and/or Olyphant and/or Noark that is not scheduled and confirmed.

 8)           Instantaneous flow rates for shippers delivering to meters located in MRT s Market Zone cannot exceed 110% of their daily entitlements.

Shippers whose deliveries are affected by any of the Seven (8) conditions above are encouraged to source supply at their primary receipt points, MRT’s East Line, MoGas, or reduce applicable delivery volumes.

Failure to comply with this SPW may result in Customers being issued an individual OFO.  Nominations will be confirmed and scheduled in accordance with MRT s Tariff.

Northern Border Pipeline:

Northern Border OFO Watch (Posted 2/6/19)

Effective immediately, Northern Border Pipeline is issuing an OFO watch. Northern Border is concerned about the operational integrity of its system as a result of extremely cold weather.

The OFO watch is in effect through gas day February 16th, in order to allow for the Northern Border pipeline system to regain its operational integrity. Northern Border has limited flexibility to manage imbalances and strongly encourages all shippers manage their system requirements to ensure the matching of receipts and deliveries daily.

Absent voluntary imbalance management by shippers to ensure daily balancing, Northern Border may be required to take further action, including the immediate issuance of an imbalance Operational Flow Order. If further action is required, it may be necessary for that action to become effective immediately, with no additional prior notice available. This posting will be updated as more information becomes available

Northern Natural Gas:

Operational Alert – A System Overrun Limitation (SOL) has been called for all Market Area zones (ABC, D and EF) with 0% System Management Service (SMS) available for Gas Day Friday February 8, 2019 due to lower than normal system weighted temperatures.

Northern is expecting record cold temperatures and record market deliveries this week. At this time, Northern does not anticipate the need to call a Critical Day. Northern will continually evaluate the condition of the system, and will make all efforts to call a Critical Day in advance of the gas day if the pipeline system experiences low line pack or other conditions, including significant natural gas price volatility, that threaten the integrity of Northern’s pipeline system. Customers are encouraged to nominate supply volumes sufficient to cover anticipated loads to prevent the need for Northern to call a Critical Day.

Northwest Pipeline:

Please keep in mind that pursuant to All-shipper Notice No. 19-016, Northwest is currently under a Stage II (8%) Overrun Entitlement for all Receiving Parties north of the Kemmerer compressor station which began on gas day February 06, 2019.

Effective gas day Saturday, February 9, pursuant to All-shipper Notice No. 19-017, Northwest will be under a Stage I (3%) overrun Entitlement north of the Plymouth compressor and a Stage II (8%) overrun Entitlement in the Kemmerer to Plymouth corridor.

Northwest would like to clarify that the Stage I (3%) overrun Entitlement north of the Plymouth compressor includes the Spokane and Wenatchee laterals.

PG&E – California Gas Transmission:

PG&E’s California Gas Transmission has revised the Low Inventory System-Wide OFO for gas day 02/08/2019 to a Stage 4 at $25.00/Dth, 5% tolerance.

Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline:

With a colder weather forecast across the Southern Star system, Southern Star is issuing a winter weather watch beginning Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 9:00 AM CST. Southern Star requests that shippers adhere to the following criteria:

Customers with TSS and STS contracts should ensure that their flowing gas to storage gas withdrawal relationship is per their contractual agreements

ISS withdrawals and PLS withdrawals will be available on a limited basis

Incremental Loans will be available on a limited basis

Imbalance makeup for gas due others (Southern Star off-system) will be available on a limited basis

Receipt and delivery point operators should ensure that flowing volumes match confirmed scheduled quantities

Southern Star will issue underperformance notices to each point operator not delivering the scheduled quantities they had confirmed. Southern Star will unilaterally reduce scheduled quantities per the tariff to match actual flow if the delivering operator does not remedy the underperformance in accordance with the notice.

If customers do not adhere to these requests, or if actual weather or operating conditions require it, Southern Star could issue a system wide, point or shipper specific OFO on short notice.

These conditions are expected to remain in effect through Saturday, February 9, 2018.

Texas Eastern Transmission:

Due to impending colder weather, in order to maintain the operational integrity of the system, TE is issuing an Operational Flow Order (OFO) pursuant to Section 4.3 of the General Terms and Conditions of TE’s FERC Gas Tariff effective 9:00AM CCT February 8, 2019 to all delivery parties, with the exception of those governed by a FERC gas tariff, in Texas Eastern’s Market Area Zones M1-24, M2-24 and M3.

This OFO does not affect the ability of TE to receive or deliver quantities of gas for scheduled nominations to any customer or pipeline.

During the effectiveness of this OFO, all parties must be balanced such that actual deliveries of gas out of the system must be equal to or less than scheduled deliveries out of the system. The penalty shall apply to each dekatherm of actual delivery quantities that exceeds the greater of 2,000 Dth or 102% of scheduled delivery quantities. The penalty will be equal to three times the daily Platts Gas Daily “Daily Price Survey” posting for the High Common price for the geographical region, as defined in Section 8.5(a) of the General Terms and Conditions of TE’s FERC Gas Tariff for the day on which such violation occurred. In addition, TE will not permit retroactive nominations to avoid an OFO penalty.

TE may be required to issue an hourly OFO pursuant to General Terms and Conditions Section 4.3(H) to impose further restrictions in order to maintain the operational integrity of the system. TE will inform customers via EBB when this OFO will be lifted.

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The National Weather Service temperature forecast for the next six-to-ten days shows that the Northwest, Rockies, Midwest and Great Lakes areas will to see below average temperatures while the above-normal temperatures remaining across the South, Mid-Atlantic, and New England.

You’re now up-to-date courtesy of GasNewsOnline.com.  All for you, and all for FREE!  Please tell a friend in the natural gas transportation business about us, and check out our FREE podcasts on iTunes. Have a great weekend!

Edition 36 – Monday, February 4, 2019

Welcome back to GasNewsOnline.com!  On Saturday’s Groundhog Day, Punxatawny Phil prognosticated only six more weeks of winter. 

Will Phil be correct this year?

The bitterly cold weather for the Midwest and East Coast has taken a temporary break (for now).  With it, many interstate natural gas pipeline companies have relaxed operational restrictions which were commonplace last week.

We will also update you on the latest publicly-released energy news and the temperature forecast for the next ten days in this edition of GasNewsOnline.com!

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From last week’s US Energy Information AdministrationNatural Gas Weekly Update”:

At the NY Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the February 2019 contract expired last Tuesday at $2.950/MMBtu.   The March, 2019 contract was down about seven cents on Monday to about $2.67/MMBtu.  The price of the 12-month gas futures strip from March, 2019 through February, 2010 is approximately $2.90/MMBtu.

Net natural gas withdrawals from storage totaled 173 Bcf for the week ending January 25. Working natural gas stocks are 2.197 Tcf, which is 13% lower than the five-year (2014–18) average for the same week.

The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, rose by 16¢/MMBtu, averaging $6.67/MMBtu for the week ending January 30. The price of propane fell by 2%. The price of natural gasoline, ethane, butane, and isobutane rose by 1%, 8%, 4%, and 5%, respectively.

According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending Tuesday, January 22, the natural gas rig count decreased by 1 to 197. The number of oil-directed rigs rose by 10 to 862. The total rig count increased by 9, and it now stands at 1,059.

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Dominion Energy has provided cost and schedule updates on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.  The company currently expects that construction (which is currently delayed for a portion of the route) could recommence during the third quarter of 2019 with partial in-service now expected in late 2020 and full in-service in early 2021.  Based on that schedule, the company now expects the project cost to be between $7.0 and $7.5 billion, excluding financing costs.  Similarly, the company currently expects the Supply Header project to enter commercial service in late 2020 at a project cost of $650 to $700 million.

Thomas F. Farrell, II, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said: “We remain highly confident in the successful and timely resolution of all outstanding permit issues as well as the ultimate completion of the entire project.  We are actively pursuing multiple paths to resolve all outstanding permit issues including judicial, legislative, and administrative avenues.  We will continue to accrue AFUDC equity earnings and expect ACP to contribute to our operating earnings in 2019, 2020 and for decades to come.”

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On Friday, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. and Vectren Corporation announced the successful completion of their merger. The combined company, which is named CenterPoint Energy and headquartered in Houston, has regulated electric and natural gas utility businesses in eight states that serve more than 7 million metered customers and a competitive energy businesses’ footprint in nearly 40 states.

With the merger, CenterPoint Energy has assets totaling approximately $29 billion, an enterprise value of $27 billion and approximately 14,000 employees. CenterPoint Energy’s businesses include:

CenterPoint Energy will continue to trade under the ticker symbol “CNP” on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Chicago Stock Exchange.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, which was announced on April 23, 2018, Vectren shareholders will receive $72.00, along with a prorated dividend of $0.41145, in cash for each share of Vectren common stock owned as of the close of business on Feb. 1, 2019. Additionally, Vectren common stock, which previously traded under the ticker symbol “VVC,” has ceased trading on and was delisted from the NYSE effective today.

“I look forward to watching the newly combined company thrive in this evolving industry,” said Carl Chapman, outgoing Vectren chairman, president and chief executive officer. “CenterPoint Energy was the right partner for Vectren and I am confident this merger will have a positive impact on all stakeholders. I sincerely thank the employees and shareholders who have been part of the Vectren journey.”

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On Friday, Chesapeake Energy Corporation announced that it has completed its acquisition of WildHorse Resource Development Corporation. The merger was previously approved by Chesapeake shareholders and WildHorse stockholders at special meetings held on January 31, 2019.

At the election of each WildHorse common stockholder, the consideration consisted of either 5.989 shares of Chesapeake common stock (the “share consideration”) or a combination of 5.336 shares of Chesapeake common stock and $3.00 in cash (the “mixed consideration”), in exchange for each share of WildHorse common stock. 

As a result of the merger, WildHorse common stock will no longer be listed for trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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With most interstate pipelines removing cold weather-related operational flow order notices over the weekend, Monday’s review of the interstate gas pipeline bulletin boards promises a calmer week ahead:

ANR Pipeline:

Update: ANR continues the unplanned compressor maintenance at its Mooreland Compressor Station located in Woodward County, Oklahoma, in the Southwest Area (Zone 4). During the period of Feb 1- 9, ANR Shippers can expect higher than normal pressures in the pipeline segment upstream of the Mooreland Compressor Station.

Since the last posting, ANR has made the following changes. The outage was extended from Feb 5 to Feb 9. This posting will be updated as more information becomes available.

Also on ANR:

Due to compressor repairs at the Eunice Compressor Station located in the Southeast Area Segment (Zone 1), ANR will limit the Eunice Eastbound (LOC #226641) capacity to the following.

Eunice Eastbound capacity restriction (LOC #226641):

By 40-MMcf/d (leaving 548-MMcf/d available) 2/1 – 3/31

ANR has made the following changes since the last posting. Updated the operationally available capacity from 400-MMcf/d to 548-MMcf/d. There is no further capacity impact required for the Patterson Compressor Station planned maintenance. The RIVERWAY(TO BRIDGELINE) (LOC #42593) 100-MMcf/d limitation has been lifted. The ST. MARTINVILLE TO LRC (Loc #218192) and WEEKS ISLAND (LOC #233620) firm primary only restrictions have been lifted.

Based on current nominations, it is anticipated that this posting may result in the capacity allocation reduction of IT, Firm Secondary and possibly a portion of Firm Primary volumes. Since ANR anticipates that this restriction may impact its ability to deliver all nominated Firm Primary services, ANR will apply the Reservation Charge Crediting Mechanism of Section 6.36.4 as necessary. This posting will be updated as more information becomes available.

Dominion Energy Transmission:

Subject: TL-400 Restrictions Lifted Effective ID1

Due to warmer weather forecast, effective ID1 of Gas Day, Monday, February 04, 2019, DETI will accept Secondary and IT transport for deliveries west of Gilmore Compressor Station (Ohio). 

Kern River Transmission:

Colder weather and higher demand are forecasted in Kern River’s market areas through Friday, February 8, 2019. Therefore, Kern River requires all shippers and receipt and delivery point operators align their daily scheduled nominations with physical receipts and deliveries to ensure Kern River’s line pack is maintained at current operating levels.

Customers should visit Kern River’s Daily Operational Report (DOR) at http://services.kernrivergas.com to monitor system conditions and other important information.

Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (NGPL):

SEGMENTS 33/36 – MARKET AREA –OPERATIONAL CAPACITY AVAILABLE 

Effective for gas day Tuesday, February 5, 2019, and continuing until further notice, Natural has operational capacity available for gas delivered into the Market Area on Segment 33, downstream of Compressor Station 113, and on Segment 36, downstream of Compressor Station 201.  AOR/ITS, Secondary in-path and Secondary out-of-path transport services are available for deliveries to Segment 33 and Segment 36.

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The National Weather Service temperature forecast for the next week to ten days shows that the Northwest, Rockies, and Upper Great Lakes are expected to see below average temperatures while the above-normal temperatures may linger across the South and Mid-Atlantic regions through the middle of February.  The Northeast and New England are expected to return to normal temperatures for this time of year.

You’re now up-to-date courtesy of GasNewsOnline.com.  All for you, and all for FREE!  Please tell a friend in the natural gas transportation business about us, and check out our FREE podcasts on iTunes!