Monday, May 20, 2019

Welcome to GasNewsOnline.com!  As severe weather pounds the plains of Oklahoma and Texas again today, spot natural gas prices are rebounding slightly in advance of June’s NYMEX close. 

Today, we’ll also review the latest interstate pipeline company critical notices plus provide an update on latest energy news and give you the latest National Weather Service temperature forecast for the month of June, too.

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At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) today, the price of the June 2019 contract increased by nearly four cents to about $2.67/MMBtu on Monday.  The price of the 12-month strip averaging June 2019 through May 2020 futures contracts has gained about six cents the past week to nearly $2.81/MMBtu. 

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

Net injections to working gas totaled 106 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending May 10. Working natural gas stocks are 1.653 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, rose by five cents, averaging $5.73/MMBtu for the week ending May 15. The price of ethane and natural gasoline fell by 2% and 1%, respectively. The price of propane, isobutane, and butane rose by 3%, 2%, and 1%, respectively.

According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending Tuesday, May 7, the natural gas rig count remained flat at 183. The number of oil-directed rigs fell by 2 to 805. The total rig count decreased by 2, and it now stands at 988.

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Global investment firm KKR and Western Natural Resources, LLC (“Western”) today announced a new partnership to acquire producing and undeveloped oil and gas assets in the Williston Basin.

Western’s CEO Heath Mireles and his team bring extensive operating experience to the partnership, having drilled, completed and operated thousands of wells over the Williston Basin’s long history. The Western team will leverage their collective experiences from time spent at large public operators as well as other private companies to acquire, manage and develop producing wells and drilling locations throughout the play.

Ben Conner, Director on KKR’s Energy Real Assets team, said, “The Williston continues to be a core area of focus for us as we see a significant opportunity to acquire high quality producing assets with attractive long-term value creation opportunities to be delivered through superior technical and operational execution. We have known Heath and members of his team for years and believe our partnership is well positioned to acquire and manage assets in the Williston for the long run.”

Western is a private company focused on the acquisition and exploitation of upstream oil and gas assets. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, its primary objective is to build and operate a large-scale portfolio of producing oil and gas wells and drilling locations in the Williston Basin.

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Today, NRG Energy, Inc. agreed to acquire Dallas-based Stream Energy’s retail electricity and natural gas business for $300 million plus working capital in an all-cash transaction.

“This transaction will strengthen NRG’s position as a growing, customer-driven energy company. It represents another step in perfecting our integrated business model,” said Mauricio Gutierrez, president and chief executive officer, NRG Energy. “Stream Energy’s retail energy business provides NRG an attractive opportunity to increase our national retail leadership position and potential for growth.”

Stream Energy, one of the largest direct selling companies in the energy market and one of the nation’s fastest growing retailers, serves more than 600,000 Residential Customer Equivalents (RCEs) in nine states and the District of Columbia. The transaction is expected to increase NRG’s market share in Texas, Pennsylvania and a number of other markets in the Eastern U.S., accelerating the pace of growth in these markets. The combination will also enhance NRG’s multi-brand strategy.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019 and is subject to various customary closing conditions, approvals and consents, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Georgia Public Service Commission, and antitrust review under Hart-Scott-Rodino.

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Late last week, Freeport LNG announced that it has received approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to site, construct and operate its fourth natural gas liquefaction train, to be integrated into its existing natural gas liquefaction and LNG export facility on Quintana Island near Freeport, Texas. Approval from the U.S. Department of Energy for the export of Train 4 volumes to non-Free Trade Agreement countries is anticipated later this quarter.

Freeport LNG’s Train 4 is expected to add over 5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG production to its existing project, increasing the total export capability of the 4-train facility to over 20 mtpa. Approximately 13.5 mtpa of this capacity has been contracted under 20-year tolling agreements to Osaka Gas Trading & Export, LLC, JERA Energy America, LLC, BP Energy Company, Toshiba America LNG Corporation, and SK E&S LNG, LLC, and approximately 0.5 mtpa has been contracted to Trafigura PTE LTD under a 3-year sale and purchase agreement commencing in 2020.

Train 4 operations are anticipated to commence in 2023.

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Now, let’s check the latest critical notices from the interstate natural gas pipeline grid:

Columbia Gas Transmission:

Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (TCO) continues to work with upstream operators due to the operational event experienced by Markwest at the originally referenced Salem Plant.  Markwest has since clarified that the outage was on a line feeding the Hopedale Fractionation Plant in Salem, WV. 

TCO encourages customers to coordinate with its upstream operator regarding scheduled volumes for Gas Days Monday, May 20, 2019 and Tuesday, May 21, 2019. 

At this time, the operational event is anticipated to be resolved later today, May 20, 2019.  TCO will provide an update as soon as information becomes available.  Please contact your Customer Services Representative with any questions.

***Previous Posting***

Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (TCO) has been notified of an operational event at the Markwest Salem Plant that is impacting scheduled deliveries into TCO.  TCO is working closely with Markwest and upstream operators to assess the impact, as well as a timeline for repairs. The Markwest Salem Plant impacts deliveries into TCO at the following points: 

642452 – CMG Majorsville

643053 – Gibraltar III

643106 – Majorsville-LXP

642645 – Sherwood1

642824 – Smithfield-Mobley

643185 – Sherwood-MXP

842867 – Braxton 

The current estimated impact is a reduction in supply on the TCO system of approximately 2.1 MMDth, necessitating a curtailment of scheduled volumes by the upstream point operators effective ID1 Cycle for Gas Day Sunday, May 19, 2019 and Timely Cycle for Gas Day Monday, May 20, 2019.  

El Paso Natural Gas:

EPNG remains concerned about delivery point operators taking their gas according to their scheduled quantities as a result of the forecast below average temperatures in the Desert Southwest. The SOC Warning for a high linepack condition issued on May 17, 2019 (Notice No. 605375) remains in effect.  

Washington Ranch is on maximum injection. 

Delivery point operators are encouraged to continue to take gas according to their scheduled quantities.  If the situation fails to improve EPNG will declare an SOC for a PACK condition. 

Supply operators are encouraged to reduce and/or maintain their deliveries into the EPNG system at their scheduled rates.   

Payback to the system, such as Payback (Imbalance Payback to TSP), may be limited or denied due to operational concerns related to the potential for a high linepack condition.  For scheduling questions, please call your scheduling representative at (800) 238-3764.

Also from El Paso:

EPNG will be conducting bottom hole surveys at the Washington Ranch Storage Facility starting Monday, June 10, through Friday, June 14. During this scheduled maintenance, operational flexibility will be extremely limited as no injection or withdrawal from the storage facility will be possible.   

Shippers are strongly encouraged to closely monitor their receipts and deliveries to ensure that their transportation is balanced during this time frame. If significant and persistent imbalances are experienced, EPNG may need to issue an SOC or COC, and/or take the necessary action to limit excess receipts into the system. 

Northern Natural Gas:

The results of the recent in-line inspections for sections of Northern’s pipeline system between the Beaver, Oklahoma and Mullinville, Kansas compressor stations have come back favorable and no additional reduction in operating capacity for Beaver North (Group 1025) is necessary.

The outage capacity will remain at 820,000 Dth for the group. As a result, Northern is willing to sell incremental capacity up to 62,259 Dth through Beaver North for Gas Day May 21, 2019.

Northwest Pipeline:

Due to high inventory levels at the Jackson Prairie storage facility (JP), Northwest is no longer accepting IT storage injections at JP beginning gas day Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

Northwest is not currently requesting SGS-2I storage customers vacate the facility.  Northwest will provide notice to begin the interruptible service vacate process when the Jackson Prairie facility balance is approximately 90 percent full. Discretion will be used to determine the percentage each interruptible storage customer will be required to vacate allowing Northwest to meet its firm obligations at the facility. Upon said notice, SGS-2I shippers will have seven (7) days to comply.

Northwest would also like to remind its shippers that the storage inventory levels as well as Park and Loan availability is posted each morning on Northwest’s website at www.northwest.williams.com.

Please contact your Marketing Services Representative or the Northwest Pipeline Hotline at (801) 584-7301 if you have any questions.

Southern Natural Gas:

On Tuesday May 21, 2019, Southern will post the May/June/July and other 2019 Maintenance projects.

On Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 1:30 PM (Central Time) Southern will conduct a conference call/WebEx meeting and review the posted information.  For more information on how to participate in the conference call/WebEx, please review the Southern Natural Gas EBB posting dated May 20, 2019.

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The National Weather Service has published their initial temperature forecast for the upcoming month of June.  Temperatures are expected to be warmer than average along the Atlantic coast as well as along the Pacific coast.   Meanwhile, several states in the midsection of the country from the Dakotas and Nebraska down to Texas are shown with cooler than seasonal weather for June. 

That’s all for this Monday edition of GasNewsOnline.com.  Please let your friends in the natural gas scheduling and transportation business know about us! 

Also, our companion audio podcast is available via Apple PodcastsSubscribe today – it’s FREE! 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Welcome to GasNewsOnline.com!  April continues to show a springtime warm-up in many parts of the country, while Chicago recorded a five inch snowfall on Sunday. Yes, it is spring!

Today, we’ll take a look at the latest energy news, scan the interstate natural gas pipeline grid, and bring you an update on the six-to-ten day temperature forecast from the National Weather Service

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Working natural gas in storage in the Lower 48 states as of March 31, which is the traditional end of the heating season (November 1–March 31), totaled 1.137 Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) according to EIA’s Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report released last week

As of March 31, working natural gas stocks were 491 Bcf (30%) lower than the five-year (2014–18) average for the end of the heating season. This winter’s heating season ended at the lowest level for working natural gas stocks since 2014.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the price of the May 2019 contract decreased 7 cents on Monday to approximately $2.59/MMBtu. The price of the 12-month strip averaging May 2019 through April 2020 futures contracts fell to about $2.79/MMBtu.

According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending Tuesday, April 2, the natural gas rig count increased by 4 to 194. The number of oil-directed rigs rose by 15 to 831. The total rig count increased by 19, and it now stands at 1,025.

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Chevron Corporation announced Friday that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Anadarko in a stock and cash transaction valued at $33 billion, or $65 per share. Based on Chevron’s closing price on April 11th, 2019 and under the terms of the agreement, Anadarko shareholders will receive 0.3869 shares of Chevron and $16.25 in cash for each Anadarko share. The total enterprise value of the transaction is $50 billion.

The acquisition of Anadarko will significantly enhance Chevron’s already advantaged Upstream portfolio and further strengthen its leading positions in large, attractive shale, deepwater and natural gas resource basins. Furthermore, Western Midstream Partners, LP is a successful midstream company whose assets are well aligned with the combined companies’ upstream positions, which should further enhance their economics and execution capabilities.

“This transaction builds strength on strength for Chevron,” said Chevron’s Chairman and CEO Michael Wirth. “The combination of Anadarko’s premier, high-quality assets with our advantaged portfolio strengthens our leading position in the Permian, builds on our deepwater Gulf of Mexico capabilities and will grow our LNG business. It creates attractive growth opportunities in areas that play to Chevron’s operational strengths and underscores our commitment to short-cycle, higher-return investments.” “This transaction will unlock significant value for shareholders, generating anticipated annual run-rate synergies of approximately $2 billion and will be accretive to free cash flow and earnings one year after close,” Wirth concluded.

“The strategic combination of Chevron and Anadarko will form a stronger and better company with world-class assets, people and opportunities,” said Anadarko Chairman and CEO Al Walker. “I have tremendous respect for Mike and his leadership team and believe Chevron’s strategy, scale and operational capabilities will further accelerate the value of Anadarko’s assets.”

Transaction Details

The acquisition consideration is structured as 75 percent stock and 25 percent cash, providing an overall value of $65 per share based on the closing price of Chevron stock on April 11th, 2019.  In aggregate, upon closing of the transaction, Chevron will issue approximately 200 million shares of stock and pay approximately $8 billion in cash. Chevron will also assume estimated net debt of $15 billion. Total enterprise value of $50 billion includes the assumption of net debt and book value of non-controlling interest. 

The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies and is expected to close in the second half of the year. The acquisition is subject to Anadarko shareholder approval. It is also subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. 

Upon closing, the Company will continue be led by Michael Wirth as Chairman and CEO. Chevron will remain headquartered in San Ramon, California.

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It was a fairly quiet day on Monday along the interstate natural gas pipeline grid. Let’s check the latest postings:

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, April 16, 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 4,000 Dth or 104% 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.

This OFO will remain in effect until further notice.

Northern Natural Gas:

To Our Valued Customers:

After 38 years at Northern Natural Gas, Kent Miller, Vice President, Customer Service and Business Development, has decided to retire in April, 2020. With his guidance, Northern has risen from the bottom to the top in customer satisfaction. Kent’s commitment to the company’s success is evident in his actions and we appreciate the many contributions he has made over the course of his career. Please join me in congratulating Kent.

While we personally hate to see Kent transition into retirement, I am excited about the prospects the following changes will bring to Northern. Effective May 1, 2019, the following organizational changes will be made:

Kent will assume the role of Senior Vice President reporting to me, and will focus his efforts on the 2019 rate case, completing large transactions currently in negotiation, employee development and ensuring a successful transition.

Laura Demman will accept the role of Vice President, Customer Service and Business Development at Northern. Laura has been with BHE Pipeline Group for five years, starting as director of rates and tariffs. She was promoted to Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs in 2014, and became Vice President, General Counsel and Regulatory Affairs in 2017. She has played a key role in completing two innovative rate settlements at Kern River, and she supported efforts to advance Kern River’s successful strategy to remarket turned-back capacity in 2018.

Prior to joining BHE Pipeline Group, Laura was the director of the natural gas department at the Nebraska Public Service Commission for over ten years; she also worked at the Nebraska Legislature. Laura’s experience as a regulator provides an understanding of the issues facing our local distribution utility customers, and she will bring a unique perspective to her new commercial role.

Kirk Lavengood will be promoted to the role of Vice President, General Counsel and Regulatory Affairs for BHE Pipeline Group. Kirk joined Northern in 2003, working as the Vice President, Marketing. In 2010, Kirk was named Vice President, Business Development. Prior to joining Northern, Kirk worked at MidAmerican Energy Company as the director of short-term trading and as the director of gas supply planning. Kirk also practiced law in Detroit with the law firm Kerr, Russell and Weber, PLC, before joining MidAmerican Energy Company. Prior to practicing law, Kirk spent nine years in various marketing and financial capacities with ANR Pipeline Company and ANR Storage Company.

I look forward to the contributions Laura and Kirk will make in their new roles and am excited about what the future holds for Northern. Kent and Laura will be completing the transition in leadership of the commercial group over the next year. As this transition occurs, we commit to not missing a step regarding the quality of service that you have come to expect from Northern. Please feel free to contact either Kent or Laura regarding any question you may have about any aspect of your business with Northern.

Mark Hewett, President and CEO

Rockies Express Pipeline (REX):

The availability of the REX SRO program in Zone 1 will be limited to a net zero scheduled quantity effective Timely cycle for Gas Day April 16, 2019 and until further notice.

Zone 1 includes the following SRO locations:

REX/REX MEEKER HUB POOL RIO BLANCO (Location 43493)

OPAL HUB POOL (Location 43495)

WAMSUTTER HUB POOL (Location 43494)

REX/REX CHEYENNE HUB POOL WELD (Location 43492)

In addition, other PALS activity may be at risk of not being scheduled in Zone 1.

Southern Natural Gas:

On Tuesday April 16, 2019 Southern will post the April/May/June and other 2019 Maintenance projects. On Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 1:30 PM (Central Time) Southern will conduct a con call/WebEx meeting and review the posted information. 

Please visit the Southern Natural Gas electronic bulletin board for information about how to join Wednesday’s WebEx or the conference call. 

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The National Weather Service six-to-ten day temperature outlook through April 25 now shows much of the continental United States with warmer than seasonal average temperatures.  Only the Pacific Northwest will be cooler than average beginning late next week. 

That’s all for this Tax Day Monday April 15, 2019 edition of GasNewsOnline.com.  We’ll return Thursday to provide an update on the interstate gas pipeline conditions expected for the weekend. 

Please let your friends in the natural gas scheduling and transportation business know about us!  Also, our companion audio podcast is available via Apple Podcasts.  Subscribe today – it’s FREE! 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Welcome to GasNewsOnline.com!  We review over sixty interstate natural gas pipeline companies for their most recent critical postings about changes in pipeline operating conditions. 

Today, we’ll also update you on the latest publicly released news from energy companies and provide the extended National Weather Service temperature forecast, too.  

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According to the US Energy Information Administration, working natural gas in storage was 1.13 Tcf as of Friday, March 29, 2019. This represents a net increase of 23 Bcf versus analyst estimates of adding just 10 Bcf for the week. 

Natural gas stocks remaining in storage are nearly 31% below the five-year average for the same week.

On the NYMEX, the price for May, 2019 natural gas futures dropped by over 3 cents on Thursday to finish the day at approximately $2.64/MMBtu. 

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An Austin, Texas oil and gas producing company, Jones Energy, Inc. today announced that, after engaging in extensive good-faith negotiations, it and holders of approximately 84% in principal of the First Lien Notes and approximately 84% in principal of the Unsecured Notes have entered into a restructuring support agreement (the “RSA”) on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 that contemplates a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring to be implemented through a prepackaged chapter 11 plan of reorganization. The Chapter 11 Plan will fully equitize the Company’s outstanding funded debt and include fully committed exit financing, strengthening its balance sheet and enhancing financial flexibility going forward. 

The parties to the RSA include, among others: (i) Jones Energy, represented by Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Jackson Walker LLP, (ii) an ad hoc group of holders of First Lien Notes, represented by Milbank LLP (the “First Lien Ad Hoc Group”), and (iii) an ad hoc group of holders of First Lien Notes and Unsecured Notes, represented by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (the “Crossover Group”).

Jones Energy, whose primary operations are located in the Mid-Continent and Anadarko Basins of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, will continue to operate in the normal course and its business operations will not be disrupted by the restructuring process.  The Plan provides for the satisfaction of all trade, customer, employee, and other non-funded debt claims in full, in the ordinary course of business, other than general unsecured claims against JEI and/or Jones Energy Intermediate, LLC (“JEI, LLC”).  Jones Energy continues to have adequate liquidity to meet its financial obligations to vendors, suppliers, royalty owners and employees, and expects to continue making payments to these parties without interruption. 

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PG&E Corporation today announced the appointment of William “Bill” Johnson as Chief Executive Officer and President and the appointment of 10 new directors to its Board of Directors. The Board appointments will be effective as of the next in-person Board meeting, which will be held as soon as practicable. The significant changes in leadership reflect PG&E’s focus on strengthening its safety culture and operational effectiveness and successfully navigating the Company’s Chapter 11 process.

Bill Johnson is concluding a more than six-year tenure as President and CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), with responsibility for leading the nation’s largest publicly owned utility in its mission of providing energy, environmental stewardship and economic development across a seven-state region.

Prior to his tenure at TVA, Mr. Johnson was the Chairman, President and CEO of Progress Energy.

The Board expects Mr. Johnson to begin his role in late April 2019.

In addition to the appointment of Bill Johnson as CEO and President, the Company today announced a refreshed Board that includes 13 highly accomplished individuals committed to further enhancing PG&E’s safety culture, understanding and properly responding to customer concerns and fairly treating wildfire victims, employees, retirees and other interested parties. Mr. Johnson, the management team and the Board are also committed to working constructively with regulators, policymakers and other stakeholders in an open and transparent fashion in support of California’s policy goals.

The PG&E Board stated: “We have heard the calls for change and have taken action today to ensure that PG&E has the right leadership to bring about real and dynamic change that reinforces our commitment to safety, continuous improvement and operational excellence. We believe our new CEO and the newly constituted Board will help PG&E address California’s evolving energy challenges and deliver what our customers expect from their energy company.”

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There are many interstate natural gas pipeline issues to be aware of heading into the weekend. Let’s check those out:

ANR Pipeline:

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 pipeline repairs north of its Celestine (Indiana) Compressor Station.

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

The total Cottage Grove Southbound capacity (LOC #505614) will be reduced by the following:

249 mmcf/d (leaving 900 mmcf/d available) 4/5 – 4/14

Based on current nominations through the Cottage Grove 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. This posting will be updated as more information becomes available.

East Tennessee Natural Gas:

ETNG posted its “2019 Planned Outages Presentation”.  Below is a link to that presentation. 

https://infopost.spectraenergy.com/GotoLINK/GetLINKdocument.asp?Pipe=10076&Environment=Production&DocumentType=Notice&FileName=ETNG+and+SGSC+Planned+Outage+Presentation_FINAL.pdf&DocumentId=8aa164a269da3c500169e3c1e2920153

Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America:

As part of its ongoing pipeline Integrity Management Program and the results of an ILI tool run on Natural’s OE #1 line between Compressor Station 156 (CS 156) and Compressor Station 801 (CS 801), Segment 2 of the Midcontinent Zone, Natural has identified anomalies at various locations that require pipeline remediation (see notice posted on March 28, 2019 entitled “SEGMENT 2/15 – OE #1 M/L (CS 156/801) – PIPELINE INTEGRITY)”. 

As a result, Natural is required to shut-in sections of the OE #1 line.  This is a Force Majeure event that limits Natural’s capacity eastbound through Segment 2, which is anticipated to continue through gas day Friday, May 31, 2019. 

For the duration of this Force Majeure event, transportation from receipt points west of CS 156 to delivery points east of  CS 801 will not be available.  Initially, the Segment 2 scheduling constraint will be at CS156 just east of mainline valve 16 (MLV 16).  Natural will complete this remediation in multiple phases impacting portions of the OE #1 Line beginning at CS156 and progressing eastward. 

Effective for gas day Friday, April 5, 2019, Timely Cycle, Natural will schedule Primary Firm and Secondary in-path Firm transports to 0% of contract MDQ eastbound through the Phase 1 scheduling constraint (CS 156).  AOR/ITS and Secondary out-of-path Firm transports will not be available for eastbound flow.

*Please review the NGPL electronic bulletin board for a complete listing of receipt points affected during this force majeure.

Northern Natural Gas:

On April 1, 2019, Northern filed its cost and revenue study as required by the FERC Section 5 order. The study reflects Northern’s cost of service and billing units through the test period that ends June 30, 2019.

Through this period, Northern’s filing demonstrates support for rate increases of 25% in the Market Area, 15% in the Field Area and 62% for storage services.

These rate increases are driven primarily by the increased investment for modernization and integrity work that occurred during the period from the last rate case in 2004 through June 30, 2019. The Section 4 general rate increases that will be filed as early as July 1, 2019, will be higher, reflecting increased depreciation rates and the 2019 modernization and integrity investments. The Section 5 rate increases will not be effectuated since the Section 4 filing will supplant the Section 5 cost and revenue study with Section 4 rate increases to be effective January 1, 2020.

Rockies Express Pipeline:

REX will be performing work at Cheyenne and receipts at WIC/REX SITTING BULL WELD (location 42722) will be limited to primary only effective for the ID1Cycle, Gas Day April 3, 2019 and until further notice.

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

Southern Natural Gas:

As a reminder, SESH pipeline’s operator notified Southern that it will be conducting maintenance at its Gwinville Compressor Station from Saturday, April 6 to Wednesday, April 10 which will reduce the available SNG – SESH capacity (Segment 380).

During this maintenance, SNG capacity will be reduced from 507,151 Dth/d to 382,000 Dth/d. This reduction in available capacity constitutes an event of Force Majeure under Section 8.3 of the General Terms and Conditions of the Southern Natural Gas Tariff.

Points impacted in Segment 380 are listed below.

606400 SESH – CENTERPOINT TO SNG
606500 SESH – GULF SOUTH TO SNG
606700 SESH – ETC TIGER TO SNG

Texas Eastern Transmission:

As posted on January 21, 2019, Texas Eastern Transmission, LP (TE) experienced an unplanned outage on its 30″ system south of the Berne Compressor Station (Berne) in Berne, Ohio. As a result of lines 10 and 15 south of Berne being returned to service, all restrictions related with this Force Majeure have been lifted.

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The National Weather Service has updated its six-to-ten day temperature forecast.  In a dramatic reversal from Monday’s report, the weather service now shows that the northern half of the US will have cooler than seasonal temperatures coming up for late next week.  Temperatures along the Gulf Coast and much of the South will be at or slightly above normal during the period.

That’s a wrap for this Thursday edition of GasNewsOnline.com.  We’ll return on Monday to give you an update on pipeline conditions and the latest energy news. 

Remember that our companion audio podcast is available via Apple Podcasts.  Subscribe today – it’s FREE

Enjoy the basketball this weekend!

Edition 44 – Monday, March 4, 2019

Welcome to this busy Monday edition of GasNewsOnline.com.  With cold weather gripping much of the United States, we will cover the latest critical postings from the interstate gas pipeline grid along with a few news stories from the energy business, and, of course, take a look ahead at the temperature forecast from the National Weather Service.  It is all FREE from GasNewsOnline.com.

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Cheniere Energy, Inc. and Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc. announced today that Substantial Completion of Train 1 of the Corpus Christi liquefaction project was achieved on Thursday, February 28, 2019. Commissioning is complete and Bechtel has turned over care, custody, and control of Train 1 to Cheniere.

“Train 1 at Corpus Christi has achieved Substantial Completion, becoming the first liquefaction train placed into operation at a greenfield liquefaction facility in the lower 48 states,” said Jack Fusco, President and CEO of Cheniere. “This momentous achievement was made possible by Cheniere’s professionals and our EPC partner, Bechtel, who worked diligently together to ensure a seamless transition from construction to operations. I’d like to thank the Cheniere team and Bechtel for their world class execution, which has enabled us to continue our impeccable record of bringing trains online safely, ahead of schedule, and within budget.”

“The entire Bechtel team is very proud of our contribution to Cheniere’s success on the U.S. Gulf Coast, as we hand over custody of this historic first Texas LNG train,” said Brendan Bechtel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bechtel. “It was three years ago that we were able to support Cheniere’s entry into the LNG export market with Train 1 at the Sabine Pass Liquefaction project. With five trains now completed and operating well ahead of schedule, we are excited to continue working alongside Cheniere to deliver their next wave of trains with the reliability of outcome that Cheniere and Bechtel have become known for delivering. This program is a great example of how a one-team approach can bring world-class results, and I want to congratulate Jack and the Cheniere team for fostering this environment of collaboration and mutual success.”

Under sale and purchase agreements (“SPAs”) with Endesa S.A. and PT Pertamina (Persero), the date of first commercial delivery is expected to occur in June 2019, upon which the term of each of these SPAs commences. Additionally, bridging volumes are expected to begin in June 2019 under an SPA with Iberdrola, S.A.

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Last Friday, Cheniere announced that Midship Pipeline Company, LLC has issued Notice to Proceed to Strike, LLC, M.G. Dyess, Inc., TRC Pipeline Services, LLC, and Cenergy, LLC to construct the Midship natural gas pipeline and related compression and interconnect facilities (the “Midship Project”). The Midship Project received final Notice to Proceed from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in February 2019 and is expected to be placed in service by the end of 2019. Midship Pipeline is indirectly and jointly owned by Cheniere and EIG.

To complete financing of the Midship Project, Midship Pipeline entered into senior secured credit facilities with total commitments of up to approximately $680 million. The credit facilities consist of an approximate $615 million construction loan facility and a $65 million revolving credit facility. Proceeds from these credit facilities will be used to fund a portion of the costs of developing, constructing, and placing into service the Midship Project, to fund working capital requirements, and for related general corporate purposes.

The Midship Project is being developed to create pipeline capacity of up to 1,440,000 Dekatherms per day of firm transportation to connect production from the emerging STACK and SCOOP resource plays in the Anadarko Basin in Oklahoma to growing Gulf Coast and Southeast markets. The Midship Project is expected to consist of approximately 200 miles of 36 inch diameter new mainline pipeline, several laterals, compressor stations and interconnects that will provide receipts from STACK and SCOOP processing plants and provide deliveries to Bennington, Oklahoma, as well as access to downstream markets including the TexOk hub near Atlanta, Texas, and the Perryville Hub near Tallulah, Louisiana. Midship Pipeline has secured commitments from subsidiaries and/or affiliates of Cheniere, Devon Energy Corporation, Marathon Oil Corporation, and Gulfport Energy Corporation.

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Also on Friday, TransCanada Corporation announced the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had approved the full in-service of its Mountaineer XPress (MXP) project, allowing the company to increase the flow of gas on MXP and begin operating its Gulf XPress (GXP) project. The projects are a vital link between Appalachian natural gas supplies and growing markets in the U.S. and beyond.

“Mountaineer XPress and Gulf XPress are extremely important to TransCanada as they provide much-needed takeaway capacity for our customers, while also growing our extensive footprint in the Appalachian Basin,” said TransCanada President and Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling. “Both projects will also deliver attractive long-term returns and stable cash flow for our shareholders.”
                                                         
Designed to deliver clean, affordable, domestically produced natural gas, MXP is comprised of 170 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline, three new compressor stations, and modifications to three existing compressor stations – representing an investment of approximately US$3.2 billion. The pipeline is capable of transporting 2.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day to the TCO Pool and Leach markets on the Columbia Gas Transmission System. MXP is underpinned by long-term contracts with customers.

Partial in-service of the approximately US $600-million GXP project includes placing into service four new compressor stations located in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. Together, these facilities will provide additional capacity of 530,000 million cubic feet of natural gas per day on the Columbia Gulf Transmission System, which equates to approximately 60 percent of the project’s total capacity. GXP is also underpinned by long-term contracts with customers and is expected to be placed into full service in the coming weeks.

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With cold weather gripping the majority of the nation on Monday, several interstate gas pipelines posted operational notices on their electronic bulletin board systems to start the new week:

ANR Pipeline:

ANR is performing planned maintenance at its LaGrange Compressor Station on its Tie-Line located in Indiana in the Northern Fuel Segment (Zone 7). ANR will reduce the LaGrange Westbound location (LOC #314515) capacity by the following:

175-MMcf/d (leaving 525-MMcf/d available) 3/12 – 3/15

Based on current nominations, it is anticipated that this posting will result in the capacity allocation reduction of IT and Firm Secondary volumes. This posting will be updated as more information becomes available.

El Paso Natural Gas:

Pipeline Conditions – Permian Basin Weather Concerns 

The Permian supply basin is experiencing significant underperformance issues related to the winter weather that moved in overnight. Actual receipts into the system are approximately 545 MM below scheduled quantities for Gas Day March 4 (79% of schedule). A combination of freeze-offs and power outages coupled with road closures are impacting the ability of receipt point operators to restore supply to the system.  The Permian Basin overnight lows tomorrow morning are forecast again to be significantly below the seasonal average and additional supply underperformance is anticipated. 

Delivery point operators are encouraged to review their scheduled supplies to ensure that they are aligned with their flowing quantities.  Supply operators are encouraged to maintain their deliveries into the EPNG system at their scheduled rates.  Underperformance caps will be placed on underperforming supplies and if necessary EPNG will declare an SOC for DRAFT condition. 

Imbalance payback off the system, such as Make-Up Delivery (MD) transactions, may be limited or denied due to operational concerns related to maintaining adequate linepack. 

Washington Ranch is fully operational.

Gulf South Pipeline:

Index 300 Maintenance Pig Run:  March 20 – March 21, 2019 and again beginning March 27 – March 28, 2019

Capacity could be impacted by up to 25,000 dth/d for the duration of the maintenance. Based on current nominations and operational conditions Gulf South does not anticipate any customer impact.

Mobile Bay Delivery Scheduling Group – Capacity could be impacted by up to 150,000 dth/d for the duration of the maintenance.

Moss Point System Scheduling Group – Capacity could be impacted up to100,000 dth/d for the duration of the maintenance.

Northern Border Pipeline:

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 March 8th, 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.

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 and Wednesday, March 5 and 6, 2019, due to lower than normal forecasted system weighted temperatures.

Northwest Pipeline:

Effective for gas day Wednesday, March 6, 2019 and until further notice, Northwest is revising its current Overrun Entitlement as follows:

Receiving Party locations north of the Plymouth South constraint point, including the Spokane and Wenatchee laterals, will be revised from a Stage I (3%) Overrun Entitlement to a Stage III (13%) Overrun Entitlement.    

For Receiving Party locations between the Kemmerer compressor and the Plymouth South constraint the Stage II (8%) Overrun Entitlement will be lifted.

Even though the Entitlements are being changed or lifted, Northwest is not allowing balancing off the system. Customers can avoid future Entitlements by procuring sufficient supply for their market needs.

Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line:

On Sunday, March 3, Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line experienced a rupture downstream of the Centralia Compressor Station. This outage will require a section of the 400 Line to be shut-in for repairs, reducing mainline capacity.

Effective immediately, until further notice, Panhandle will be limiting nominations through Haven to 1,125,000 MMBtu/day, with gas scheduled in accordance with Section 8.8 (c) of Panhandle’s FERC Gas Tariff. This outage will be considered a Force Majeure event pursuant to Section 20 of Panhandle’s FERC Gas Tariff. 

Shippers are encouraged to bring in physical flowing gas from their Primary receipt point, or physical market area receipt meters downstream of this outage in order to avoid the constraint, and potential scheduling reductions of their nominated activity.  

The cold weather restrictions outlined in Critical Notice ID 8196 will remain in effect. Panhandle will be requiring all Enhanced Firm Transportation (EFT) shippers to limit their physical deliveries (takes) to a one-sixteenth hourly rate of the nominated volume. 

Updates on the impact to shipper nominations will be posted as they become available.

Southern Natural Gas:

Based on the weather forecast predicting colder temperatures as well as the corresponding increase in projected demand on Southern’s north and south systems, we are notifying all Shippers that the existing Type 3 Level 1 OFO is being upgraded to a Type 3 Level 2 OFO and is also being expanded to include all of the following groups listed below effective the start of the gas day, Tuesday, March 5, 2019 until further notice.
OFO Type 3 Level 2: Daily Demand Exceeds Capacity

TARIFF SECTION 41.2
EFFECTIVE DATE: March 5, 2019
EFFECTIVE TIME of OFO: 9:00 AM (CCT)

PENALTY: $15.00 + Highest Regional Daily Price* per Dth for quantities taken in excess of the tolerance

TOLERANCE:  Greater of 102% of the Daily Entitlement or 200 dth

Southern Star Central Pipeline:

System Advisory Notice:

Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline is issuing a Storage notice to protect the integrity of SSCGP’s storage facilities. A number of storage customers have inventory levels at or below five percent (5%). This issuance requires all TSS, STS, and FSS customers to have inventories at or above zero (0 %) and asks TSS and STS customers to also ensure they have at least one (1) day of inventory available. Failure to voluntarily comply could result in the issuance of an Operational Flow Order (OFO).

Tennessee Gas Pipeline:

EMERGENT REPAIR AT STATION 323A – SEGMENT 324 – EFFECTIVE 3-05-19 

Pursuant to Article XII of the General Terms and Conditions of Tennessee’s FERC Gas Tariff, Tennessee is posting notice of an emergent repair issue impacting a unit at Station 323A in Pike County, PA. Tennessee has personnel on site and repairs are underway. Tennessee is estimating the current impact to be up to 200,000 Dths at Segment 324 (FH). Based on current nominations, Secondary Out of the Path nominations and Secondary In Path nominations pathed through Segment 324 (FH) are at risk as early as Timely Cycle for the Gas Day of Tuesday, March 5, 2019.

Also on Tennessee Gas…

Due to a forecast of colder weather and higher demand moving across most of the system, effective for the Gas Day of Monday, March 4, 2019, and until further notice, Tennessee Gas Pipeline, L.L.C.  (“Tennessee”) is implementing an  OFO Daily Critical Day 1 for all of Zones 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 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 of Zones 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 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 of Zones 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 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.

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 Tuesday, March 5, 2019 to all parties, with the exception of those governed by a FERC gas tariff, in Texas Eastern’s Market Area Zone M2-30.

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.

During the effectiveness of this OFO, all parties must be balanced such that actual receipts of gas into the system must be equal to or greater than scheduled receipts into the system. The penalty shall apply to each dekatherm of actual receipt quantities that are less than scheduled quantities minus 2,000 Dth or 98% of scheduled receipt 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.

Texas Gas Transmission:

Below normal temperatures have moved into the Texas Gas service area for the first part of this week. While it is fully expected that all primary firm service obligations will be met, the following services/activities are subject to scheduling reductions until further notice:

Imbalance Payback from Transportation Service Provider

Park Withdrawal

Loan

ISS Withdrawal

FSS Overrun Withdrawal

Interruptible and out-of-path Firm Transportation

Additionally, Texas Gas is requesting all shippers take deliveries within their contractual hourly rights so that receipts and Deliveries match their associated scheduled quantities. 

If shippers do not voluntarily comply with these provisions, Texas Gas may be forced to issue an Operational Flow Order, which could result in penalties for shippers.

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).

Effective:    Tuesday, March 5, 2019 and until further notice

OFO Areas:  Zone 6

Tolerance %:  5% for gas Due from Shippers

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The National Weather Service six-to-ten day forecast into March 14 is showing that Texas and most areas east of the Mississippi River will show a warming trend while temperatures remain below normal over the Upper Midwest, the Rockies, and the West Coast regions. 

That’s all for this chilly Monday edition of GasNewsOnline.com.  Please come back on Thursday for an update on the interstate gas pipeline conditions expected for the weekend. 

Please let your friends in the natural gas scheduling and transportation business know about us!  Also, our companion audio podcast is available via Apple Podcasts.  Subscribe today – it’s FREE

Edition 43 – Thursday, February 28, 2019

Welcome to this Thursday edition of GasNewsOnline.com.  We’ll bring you a few publicly-released news stories from the energy business, take a look at the latest interstate natural gas pipeline companies’ critical notices, and check next week’s temperature forecast from the National Weather Service.  It is all for FREE from GasNewsOnline.com.

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From the US Energy Information Administration, working gas in storage for the week ending Friday, February 22 decreased by 166 Bcf from the previous week.  The storage draw was slightly lower than the 171 Bcf estimate made by industry analysts. 

Natural gas volumes in storage are now 424 Bcf (or 21.6%) below the five-year average for the same week. 

In related news, the NYMEX natural gas futures price for April, 2019 was up a penny at about $2.81/MMBtu on Thursday. 

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On Tuesday, Dominion Energy provided the following statement:

“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denied the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s (ACP) request for an en banc rehearing related to the Court’s invalidation of the project’s U.S. Forest Service Appalachian Trail crossing authorization.  ACP’s en banc petition was supported by the Department of Justice on behalf of the U.S. Forest Service, as well as several prominent industry, labor, and business groups.

“Dominion Energy expects an appeal to be filed to the Supreme Court of the United States in the next 90 days.  The company is also pursuing legislative and administrative options as previously discussed on Dominion Energy’s Feb. 1, 2019 earnings call.  We are confident that the U.S. Departments of Interior and Agriculture have the authority to resolve the Appalachian Trail crossing issue administratively in a manner that satisfies the Court’s stated objection and in a time frame consistent with a restart of at least partial construction during the third quarter.  We will continue to work to resolve the outstanding biological opinion issue as well as any impediments to the project’s crossing of the Appalachian Trail, and believe, as a result, that at least partial construction will recommence in the third quarter of 2019.

“The project cost and timing guidance provided on the company’s Feb. 1 earnings call fully contemplated the possibility of an unsuccessful en banc request.  Therefore, yesterday’s Fourth Circuit decision does not alter our operating EPS guidance as provided to the investment community on that call.  Dominion Energy remains confident in the full completion of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline along the entire 600-mile route.”

The 600-mile underground Atlantic Coast Pipeline will originate in West Virginia, travel through Virginia with a lateral extending to Chesapeake, VA, and then continue south into eastern North Carolina, ending in Robeson County. Two additional, shorter laterals will connect to two Dominion Energy electric generating facilities in Brunswick and Greensville Counties.

Dominion Energy is a 48% owner of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

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Western Gas Equity Partners, LP (“WGP”) and Western Gas Partners, LP (“WES”) today announced the completion of their previously announced merger of a wholly owned subsidiary of WGP with and into WES, with WES continuing as the surviving entity and a subsidiary of WGP (the “Merger”). At the effective time of the Merger, each WES common unit (other than certain WES common units held by affiliates of WGP) converted into the right to receive 1.525 WGP common units. Based on the WES units outstanding, WGP issued approximately 234 million WGP common units to WES unitholders in connection with the Merger.

Immediately following the Merger, WGP changed its name to “Western Midstream Partners, LP“, and its common units will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the ticker symbol “WES” when the market opens today. In addition, Western Gas Partners, LP has changed its name to “Western Midstream Operating, LP”, and its common units will no longer trade on the NYSE.

“With the closing of these transformational transactions, Western Midstream has a simple, clean capital structure and offers its customers a uniquely scalable and integrated, multi-commodity solution,” said Robin Fielder, Western Midstream’s Chief Executive Officer. “As a result of our organic growth opportunities and the accretive acquisition of midstream assets completed today, our portfolio is projected to deliver more than 50% Adjusted EBITDA growth year-over-year and generate healthy distribution per unit growth and coverage through 2021 without the need for equity financing.”

Effective upon the closing of the Merger, Messrs. Steven Arnold, Milton Carroll and James Crane, each of whom previously served as an independent director on the Board of Directors of Western Gas Partners, LP’s general partner, joined the Board of Directors of Western Midstream Partners, LP’s general partner.

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CenterPoint Energy Services (CES) has been ranked as the number one major Natural Gas Marketer in Mastio & Company’s recent Natural Gas Marketer Customer Value/Loyalty Benchmarking Study.

“We are honored to receive this recognition,” said Joe Vortherms, CenterPoint Energy’s Competitive Energy Businesses lead. “Our number one ranking is a testament to our employees and their commitment to providing safe and dependable services to our customers.”

CES is a leading provider of a wide range of competitive energy services to meet the unique needs of customers across the United States. CES delivers reliable natural gas and energy services to natural gas utilities, large industrials and municipalities, as well as to other large-volume market segments.

In its 22nd edition report, Mastio analyzed customers’ responses to determine their perceptions about the best supplier based on the company’s prices and the benefits it offers. CES ranked highest in several categories, including reliability of natural gas supply, speed of contract negotiations and the sales team’s knowledge.

The 2018 findings were based on interviews with more than 500 natural gas customers. The analysis also included approximately 2,400 responses to five open-ended questions regarding suppliers. The data was gathered through telephone interviews with key decision makers from August through November 2018.

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On Wednesday, the Board of Directors of Summit Midstream GP, LLC (the “Board”) has named Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Leonard Mallett, as President and Chief Executive Officer on an interim basis, effective immediately.

By mutual agreement with the Board, Steve Newby has stepped down as a director, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Summit Midstream Partners, LLC (“Summit Investments”) and Summit Midstream GP, LLC (collectively with Summit Investments, “Summit”). Mr. Mallett will maintain his COO responsibilities during this interim period. The Board has engaged an executive recruiting firm to assist it in conducting the search for a permanent CEO.

SMLP is undertaking a series of strategic actions (together referred to as the “Transaction”) to place SMLP in a stronger financial position with increased flexibility to fund accretive growth projects and settle the Deferred Purchase Price Obligation (“DPPO”) by 2020.  Among other things, the Transaction is expected to result in SMLP retaining approximately $85 million of incremental cash flow annually, which will improve its overall credit profile, reduce its cost of capital, and create a more competitive MLP, while significantly reducing its reliance on the public equity capital markets.

The Transaction consists of the following actions:

  • Sale of Tioga Midstream, a non-core gathering system in North Dakota, to affiliates of Hess Infrastructure Partners LP for $90.0 million, subject to customary closing adjustments;
  • Prepayment of $100.0 million of the DPPO and an agreement to fix the remaining obligation due in 2020 at $303.5 million;
  • Elimination of SMLP’s economic General Partner interest and incentive distribution rights (“IDRs”) in exchange for 8.75 million SMLP common units issued to a wholly owned subsidiary of Summit Investments; and
  • Establishment of a new distribution policy through the reduction of SMLP’s distribution per common unit to $0.2875 per quarter, beginning with the distribution to be paid in respect of the first quarter of 2019.

Mr. Mallett, interim President and Chief Executive Officer commented, “The Transaction announced today will drive improved operational and financial results with greater emphasis on our core focus areas, including the Utica, Williston, DJ and Permian. We are streamlining our business with a non-core asset sale, a strategy that we intend to dedicate even more focus and attention to evaluating in the near-term.  We are also positioning our balance sheet to fund attractive growth projects in 2019 as well as the DPPO by 2020, and further aligning the General Partner and the Limited Partners with the elimination of the IDRs.  We believe these actions bring notable benefits to SMLP’s credit profile, distribution coverage and cost of capital, which we believe will enhance long-term unitholder value.”

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March is roaring in like a lion as many interstate pipeline companies have posted critical notices related to cold weather for the next few days:

ANR Pipeline:

Attention All ANR Shippers and Storage Customers

Storage – Effective immediately for gas day Thursday 2/27/2019 and until further notice, per Part 6.18.12 of the ANRPL Tariff, General Terms and Conditions, Infield Storage Transfer Requests will be restricted if the request results in an increase to ANRPL’s service obligations, such as, but not limited to, requests from either Rate Schedule DDS or MBS to Rate Schedule FSS. All Infield Storage Transfer Requests will be considered on an individual basis.

Also, effective gas day Saturday 3/2/2019, Timely cycle and continuing thru gas day Wednesday 3/6/2019, 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.

Colorado Interstate Gas (CIG):

With significantly colder temperatures and moisture being forecast beginning Saturday, March 2, 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. In addition the following actions will be taken:

NNT overrun withdrawal requests will be allocated to 100,000 dth; Payback OFF the system will not be accepted; Payback ONTO the system will be approved; Absent other capacity concerns, interruptible services may be at risk. 

Columbia Gas Transmission:

Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC will be commencing service for an additional 750 MDth/d of its Mountaineer XPress (MXP) project capacity effective Gas Day Friday, March 1, 2019.   Nominations will be accepted beginning for the Timely Cycle for Gas Day Friday, March 1, 2019.  Please monitor the Daily Capacity Posting effective for Friday, March 1, 2019 for capacity changes related to MXP. 

Columbia Gulf Transmission:

Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC began service for 530 MDth/d of its Gulf XPress (GXP) project capacity effective Wednesday, February 27, 2019.   Nominations are now being accepted.   

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 28, 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.

Gulf South Pipeline:

Tallulah (LA) Compressor Station Maintenance:  Start date:  February 27, 2019   End Date:  March 9, 2019

Expansion Receipts Upstream Tallulah Scheduling Group.

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

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 28, 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, March 1, 2019, due to lower than normal forecasted system weighted temperatures.

Northwest Pipeline:

Due to the declining deliverability at Jackson Prairie described in Notice # 19-042, and the anticipated reduction of available gas supply at Sumas beginning Wednesday, February 27 as a result of Enbridge work, Shipper compliance with Realignment and Must-Flow OFOs will be critical to avoid issuance of a Supply Shortage OFO.

If there is insufficient gas supply physically available to comply with Must-Flow OFOs, Northwest will issue a Supply Shortage OFO. Non-compliance with a Must-Flow OFO will result in penalties, unless Northwest accepts an affidavit, executed by an officer of Shipper, declaring that gas was physically unavailable for OFO compliance. Northwest will not accept such an affidavit if is aware of the physical availability of supply.

Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line:

Weather Alert – Based on current cold weather forecasts, Panhandle is preparing for increased pipeline utilization and reduced operational flexibility. Effective Gas Day Saturday, March 2, 2019, until further notice, Panhandle is requesting all delivery point operators to minimize over-takes and all receipt point operators to minimize their under-deliveries into the system. 

Intraday scheduling reductions may be implemented to ensure that nominations match actual flowing quantities. Shippers are encouraged to submit their nominations for the Timely cycle. Evening and Intraday nominations are subject to scheduling reductions based on nomination levels and physical capacity. 

The following nominations are subject to scheduling reductions based on nomination levels and physical capacity:  Interruptible and Secondary Outside-the-Path.

Similarly, all storage customers are requested to stay at or below their Maximum Daily Withdrawal Quantity (MDWQ). Storage customers should adjust flowing volumes to remain at or below these limits. 

To ensure system integrity, Power Plant Operators must have nominated supply.  Panhandle may limit Auto-Unpark nominations on the pipeline for the duration of the extreme weather. These limits will be evaluated on a daily basis.

Rover Pipeline:

Weather Alert – Based on current cold weather forecasts, Rover is preparing for reduced operational flexibility. Effective Gas Day March 2, 2019, until further notice, Rover is requesting all delivery point operators to minimize over-takes and all receipt point operators to minimize their under-deliveries into the system. Intraday scheduling reductions will be implemented to ensure that nominations match actual flowing quantities.

Rover may limit Auto-Unpark nominations on the pipeline for the duration of the extreme weather. These limits will be evaluated on a daily basis.

Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline:

Due to severe weather conditions forecasted, Southern Star is issuing a Winter Weather Warning effective Friday, March 01, 2019. The following actions will be taken to preserve system integrity:

Firm Storage withdrawals will be limited to MDWQ (AOS will not be allowed)

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

Storage customers should ensure that their storage balances are at the appropriate levels for the duration of this notice

ISS withdrawals and PLS withdrawals will be unavailable

Incremental Loans will not be available

Imbalance makeup for gas due others (SSC off-system) will not be available

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

Intraday scheduling reductions will be implemented to ensure that nominations match actual flowing quantities.

Operational flexibility will not be available during this time.

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 the request, 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, March 06, 2019.

Trunkline Gas Company:

Weather Alert – Based on current cold weather forecasts, Trunkline is preparing for increased pipeline utilization and reduced operational flexibility. Effective Gas Day Saturday, March 2, 2019, until further notice, Panhandle is requesting all delivery point operators to minimize over-takes and all receipt point operators to minimize their under-deliveries into the system. 

Intraday scheduling reductions may be implemented to ensure that nominations match actual flowing quantities. Shippers are encouraged to submit their nominations for the Timely cycle. Evening and Intraday nominations are subject to scheduling reductions based on nomination levels and physical capacity. 

The following nominations are subject to scheduling reductions based on nomination levels and physical capacity:  Interruptible and Secondary Outside-the-Path.

Similarly, all storage customers are requested to stay at or below their Maximum Daily Withdrawal Quantity (MDWQ). Storage customers should adjust flowing volumes to remain at or below these limits. 

To ensure system integrity, Power Plant Operators must have nominated supply.  Trunkline may limit Auto-Unpark nominations on the pipeline for the duration of the extreme weather. These limits will be evaluated on a daily basis.

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From the National Weather Service, the six-to-ten day temperature forecast calls for more cold weather for all areas of the lower 48 states except for the desert Southwest and south Texas through March 10.  Brr!!!

That concludes this busy 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 let your friends in the natural gas scheduling and transportation business know about us!  Also, our companion audio podcast is available via Apple Podcasts.  Subscribe today – it’s FREE

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 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 35 – Thursday, January 31, 2019

Welcome to another “Polar Vortex” edition of GasNewsOnline.com!  While we search over fifty interstate natural gas pipeline companies for their critical postings, a lot of other news is happening this week.  Here at GasNewsOnline.com, we’ll update you on the publicly released news from energy companies and will give you the latest National Weather Service temperature forecast, too.    All for FREE!

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The US Energy Information Administration released its weekly update on natural gas in storage today.

Working gas in storage decreased by 173 Bcf from the previous week (versus an estimate of 189 Bcf by industry analysts).  Stocks were still 328 Bcf (or 13%) below the five-year average for the same week. 

On the NYMEX, the March, 2019 natural gas futures price has decreased by about 4 cents on Thursday at approximately $2.82/MMBtu.

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Consumers Energy greatly appreciates conservation efforts by all its natural gas customers across Lower Michigan to assist with a supply issue on the company’s gas distribution network. Conservation, even by gas customers served by other utilities than Consumers Energy, is making a difference.

Thursday morning, the company is cautiously optimistic that public requests to reduce gas use are having a positive effect.

However, with Thursday’s continued historically cold weather, the company asks that conservation measures continue through the end of the day Friday, Feb. 1.

Repairs at the Ray Compressor Station are ongoing and the station is partially in service, providing natural gas to our distribution system. However, customers are requested to continue to conserve energy until the end of the day Friday, Feb. 1, to allow for temperatures to moderate and additional repairs to the Ray Station.

“As a result of an unexpected incident at a Gas Compressor station on Wednesday January 30 in Southeast Michigan, we are asking customers to temporarily reduce gas usage at this time while we continue to contain the incident and help keep Michigan residents warm during this cold spell,” said Garrick Rochow, Senior Vice President of Operations for Consumers Energy.

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Tallgrass Energy, LP (NYSE: TGE) and Blackstone (NYSE: BX) today announced that affiliates of Blackstone Infrastructure Partners (“BIP”) have entered into a definitive agreement with affiliates of Kelso & Co., The Energy & Minerals Group, and Tallgrass KC, LLC, an entity owned by certain members of TGE’s management, to acquire 100% of the membership interests in TGE’s general partner, as well as an approximately 44% economic interest in Tallgrass, for total cash consideration of approximately $3.3 billion. Affiliates of GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, will be a minority investor in the transaction.

“Blackstone’s scale, long-term capital, and investment expertise across the energy industry make it an ideal partner for our business as we continue to create value and invest capital in accretive growth opportunities,” said Tallgrass President and CEO David G. Dehaemers Jr. “We appreciate the successful partnership we have had with Kelso and EMG since 2012 and thank them for their significant support. We look forward to working with Blackstone to continue maximizing value for all stakeholders.”

“Tallgrass is managed by an exceptional team that has an outstanding track record of commercial, operational and financial success,” said Sean Klimczak, Global Head of Infrastructure at Blackstone. “This transaction represents a rare opportunity to invest in a large-scale U.S. midstream infrastructure platform that connects high-production supply basins to key markets and is underpinned by long-term contracts. We are excited to partner with and to support the established Tallgrass management team over the long term as they execute on their robust backlog of attractive growth projects.”

Closing of the transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions and is expected within the first quarter of 2019.

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On January 29, 2019, PG&E moved forward with its previously announced plan to file for Chapter 11 with the following press release.

We are continuing to provide safe and reliable electric and natural gas service. We are not “going out of business,” and we expect that there will be no disruption to the services you expect from us as a result of the Chapter 11 process.

Our extensive restoration and rebuilding efforts to help communities recover from the devastating wildfires are continuing. We are committed to these efforts and safety remains our most important responsibility.

PG&E is also working very hard to address future wildfire risks and continuing to make critical investments in our systems and infrastructure to further improve safety. Our Community Wildfire Safety Program includes:

  • Conducting detailed and enhanced safety inspections of more than 50,000 transmission poles and towers and 5,500 miles of transmission lines in the highest wildfire-threat areas;
  • Aggressively removing vegetation in areas of high wildfire risk, including trees and branches near power lines and trees at risk of damaging our lines;
  • Investing in more real-time monitoring and intelligence like 1,300 new weather stations and nearly 600 new, high definition cameras to enhance weather forecasting and modeling;
  • Installing stronger and more resilient poles and covered power lines in the highest fire risk areas; and
  • Replacing equipment to further reduce wildfire risks and tailoring upgrades based on terrain and weather conditions using more granular analysis of fire-prone regions.

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ExxonMobil said Wednesday that it has reached a final investment decision and started construction on a new unit at its Beaumont, Texas refinery that will increase crude refining capacity by more than 65 percent, or 250,000 barrels per day. The third crude unit within the facility’s existing footprint will expand light crude oil refining, supported by the increased crude oil production in the Permian Basin area.

 “With access to terminals, railways, pipelines and waterways nearby, the Beaumont refinery is strategically positioned to benefit from Permian production growth,” said Bryan Milton, president of ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants Company. “The addition of a third crude unit in Beaumont will enhance the refinery’s competitive position and truly establish it as a leader in the U.S. refining industry.”

Startup of the new unit is anticipated by 2022. The project is expected to create up to 1,850 jobs during construction and between 40 and 60 permanent jobs once completed.

ExxonMobil’s integrated operations in Beaumont include a 366,000 barrel-per-day capacity refinery, as well as chemical, lubricants and polyethylene plants. ExxonMobil has approximately 2,100 employees in the Beaumont area and its operations account for approximately one in every seven jobs in the region.

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With much of the country still dealing with extremely cold weather, let’s take a look at the latest critical postings from the interstate natural gas pipeline companies around the lower 48 states:

Algonquin Gas Transmission:

With the impending colder weather beginning Wednesday January 30, 2019 and in order to maintain the operational integrity of the “G” system, Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC (AGT) is requesting all customers/point operators on the “G” system to fully nominate their 6% “G” system contracts to the appropriate “G” system meter station. In the event customers do not properly nominate in such a manner, point operators will be limited in their ability to take non-ratable/accelerated deliveries above scheduled volumes to these meters for 6 consecutive hours.

Furthermore, AGT requires that customers/point operators on the “G” lateral be aware of the impact non-ratable hourly takes from the system and the impact it could have on system operations. Delivery pressures could reach lower than desire levels to the extent point operators’ hourly takes exceed their maximum hourly transportation quantity (MHTQ) based on their scheduled quantities. AGT’s “G” lateral is not designed to sustain delivery pressures above contractual pressure obligations if:
1)Point operators’ hourly rates are exceeding their MHTQ levels based on nominated quantities or
2)Point operators’ hourly rates are exceeding 1/24th of the daily nominated quantity for more than 6 consecutive hours (or greater than 6 hours on any gas day)

Furthermore, if customers/point operators do not manage hourly takes from the system within their scheduled MHTQ limits AGT may be required to impose further restrictions or courses of action in order to maintain the operational integrity of the system including the issuance of an hourly OFO pursuant to General Terms and Conditions Section 26.7(d).

ANR Pipeline:

Attention All ANR Shippers (Lifted 2/1/19 Timely Cycle)
This posting supersedes CN ID #9059

Update: Effective February 1 at the Timely Nomination Cycle, ANR is lifting the restriction limiting customers delivering north of the Woodstock compressor station to their contractual primary delivery points.

Based on current nominations, it is anticipated that this posting may result in the capacity allocation reduction of IT and some Firm Secondary volumes. This posting will be updated as more information becomes available.

Columbia Gas Transmission:

Pursuant to Section 15 of the General Terms and Conditions of Columbia Gas Transmission LLC’s (TCO’s) FERC Gas Tariff, TCO is declaring a Force Majeure effective immediately for the ID-1 cycle for Gas Day 31.

The Force Majeure will impact volumes flowing through the MXP (Markwest) Sherwood Plant (Loc Prop 643185) receipt location only at this time.

A need for an investigative dig has been discovered that necessitates further action. TCO will keep shippers apprised of any changes in operational restrictions for this outage.   

For the Timely cycle for Gas Day Friday, February 1st and until further notice, the MXP Sherwood receipt location will be set to zero Total Capacity. 

TCO will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.

Reservation charge credits will be determined per the process set forth in the General Terms and Conditions, Section 38 of TCO’s FERC Gas Tariff.  Any shipper eligible for reservation charge credits should review this section and comply with the described process to ensure receipt of any credits.

Florida Gas Transmission:

FEBRUARY 2019 — FGT SUPPLY AREA MAINTENANCE IN ZONE 3

FGT will continue pipeline maintenance near FGT Compressor Station 10. This maintenance is expected to continue through the end of gas day February 28, 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. This maintenance is scheduled to begin February 1, 2019 and to continue through the end of gas day February 28, 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.

Gulf South Pipeline:

Vixen Compressor Station Maintenance

Begins: February 4, 2019  –  Ends: February 8, 2019

Expansion Receipts Upstream Vixen Scheduling Group.

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

Please contact your customer service representative if you have any questions.

Mojave Pipeline Company:

Force Majeure Lifted – Mojave-Topock Unit #2 

The Force Majeure event that was declared on January 18, 2019 (Reference Critical Notice #604348) at Topock Compressor Station with Unit 2 has been resolved.  

The available capacity through the Segment 3000 constraint will be increased to 463,000 dekatherms (Dth) per day effective Cycle 1 (Timely) for February 1, 2019

Northern Natural Gas:

Effective Gas Day 02/01 and until further notice, the Carlton Resolution flow obligation will be at 100%.

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 1, 2019, due to lower than normal system weighted temperatures.

Northwest Pipeline:

Notice ID:  19-014

Subject:  Overrun Entitlement north of Kemmerer for all Receiving Parties

Due to a forecast of colder than normal weather, Northwest is declaring a Stage III (13%) Overrun Entitlement for all Receiving Parties north of the Kemmerer compressor station beginning gas day Saturday, February 02, 2019 until further notice.

If you have any questions, please contact your Marketing Services Representative or the Scheduling Hotline at (801) 584-7301.

Rockies Express Pipeline (REX):

Effective for the ID 1 Cycle, Gas Day Thursday, January 31, 2019 and until further notice, REX is partially lifting the capacity constraint at Markwest – Seneca (Loc 56116) and accepting receipts up to 200 MDth/d. 

Sabine Pipeline Company:

Sabine Pipe Line LLC (“Sabine”) plans to perform maintenance to one of the units at its Henry Compressor Station (the “Compressor Station”) which will reduce overall available compression capacity at the Henry Hub.

Maintenance is scheduled to occur February 4 through February 8. 

While we do not expect capacity in this area to be affected, we encourage shippers to closely monitor the website for capacity updates.

Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline:

Winter Weather Warning will terminate effective 1/31/2019 ID1 cycle due to elevated temperatures.

Thank you all for working with Southern Star during this weather event.

Texas Eastern Transmission:

Texas Eastern Transmission, LP (TE) hereby declares a Force Majeure in accordance with Section 17 of the General Terms and Conditions of its FERC Gas Tariff. The Force Majeure event is due to an unplanned outage on its 36″ system at the Marietta Compressor Station (Marietta) in Marietta, Pennsylvania which occurred on January 31, 2019. While efforts to repair the compressor station to full capacity are underway, the estimated time of restoration is unclear at this time.

TE will post updates to the status of repairs as they are known.

Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company (Transco):

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:  Friday, February 1, 2019 and until further notice

OFO Areas:  Zone 6

Tolerance %:  10% for gas Due from Shippers

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With the Midwest, Great Lakes, Middle Atlantic, and New England still dealing with another day of the latest Polar Vortex cold weather outbreak, the National Weather Service six-to-ten day temperature outlook paints a brighter picture for those regions by this time next week. 

The forecast for February 6 – 10 is now calling for warmer than seasonal temperatures generally east of the Mississippi River to the East Coast while the West Coast and Rockies get their first winter cold blast of this new year. 

That wraps up an eventful January here at GasNewsOnline.com!  Please let your friends in the natural gas scheduling and transportation business know about us.  Our companion audio podcast is FREE and available via iTunes.  Check it out!