Trump administration scores legal victory in repeal of Obama-era fracking rule
In the latest victory for President Donald Trump in his repeal of Obama-era fracking regulations for oil and natural gas production on federal and tribal lands, a federal judge ruled against a challenge to the rollback. Siding with the Trump administration, the federal district court judge determined that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management adequately explained its repeal of the hydraulic fracturing regulations.
Iowa board allows Dakota Access to double oil pipeline flow
The Iowa Utilities Board approved an amendment to the hazardous liquid pipeline permit of Energy Transfer LP-led Dakota Access LLC, allowing the pipeline company to move forward with its plan to increase oil transportation capacity to up to 1.1 million barrels per day from 550,000 bbl/d. The state board also authorized Dakota Access to move forward with planned enhancements for its pump station in Cambridge, Iowa, according to a March 27 news release.
CEOs from 2 Permian drillers ask Texas regulator to set oil production limits
Two major Texas-based independent oil and gas producers requested the state's oil and gas regulator to intervene and place limits on the state's production as companies deal with a rapid collapse in prices. The CEOs of Parsley Energy Inc. and Pioneer Natural Resources Co. — both companies hold significant positions in the Permian Basin — sent a letter to the three elected members of the Railroad Commission of Texas on March 30, requesting a hearing be held in April on the subject of setting production limits.
Pipeline opponents ask federal, state governments to shut projects over COVID-19
A large number of environmental and citizen groups asked leaders in the federal government and state governments to place a moratorium on the construction and approval of natural gas pipeline and LNG export terminal projects during the COVID-19 pandemic. A coalition of about 200 groups including environmental advocates Sierra Club and Delaware Riverkeeper Network made the request in an April 3 letter to the U.S. Congress, state governors and attorneys general, the U.S. EPA and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Oneok gets regulator's approval to build NGL lateral pipeline in North Dakota
Oneok Inc. received the approval of a North Dakota regulator for the construction of its planned $100 million NGL pipeline lateral running from the company's Bakken NGL pipeline in the Williston Basin to Hess Midstream Operations LP's Tioga natural gas processing plant. The North Dakota Public Service Commission on April 1 approved Oneok's application to build the 75-mile, 16-inch diameter NGL pipeline lateral and associated facilities in Williams County, N.D., after deeming the company's application complete on Jan. 22 and holding a public hearing on March 6.
Study for Mountain Valley pipeline extended, but developer says schedule intact
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has acquired a third extension, this time until April 27, to complete a key Endangered Species Act consultation for the 304-mile, 2-Bcf/d Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC natural gas transportation project. The timing of the Fish and Wildlife Service's release of a biological opinion and incidental take statement is closely watched because revised documents could renew momentum for the project.
Sierra Club leads legal war against LNG projects in Brownsville, Texas
The Sierra Club joined a Texas city, local groups and residents to sue federal agencies over authorizations for three proposed LNG export projects that would be sited around Brownsville, Texas, following an opening salvo against NextDecade Corp.'s Rio Grande LNG terminal and a connected pipeline in February. The legal actions are additional complications for project developers that already face an economic downturn and a difficult global LNG market amid low commodity prices and the coronavirus pandemic.