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Transco begins flows to Sabine Pass; trade deal pullout cuts off fast approvals


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Transco begins flows to Sabine Pass; trade deal pullout cuts off fast approvals

Transco starts gas flows to Sabine Pass LNG terminal

Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC has begun sending gas on its Gulf Trace expansion project, which is expected to fully enter service Feb. 1, to Cheniere Energy Inc.'s Sabine Pass LNG export terminal.

The pipeline delivered 646,858 Dth on Jan. 23 and 601,458 Dth on Jan. 24, according to SNL Energy pipeline flow data. FERC in August 2015 cleared the Transco expansion and Cheniere affiliates' related East Meter pipe project in an environmental assessment. At full capacity, the projects would provide 1.2 MMDth/d of additional firm gas transportation capacity from Transco Station 65 in St. Helena Parish, La., to Sabine Pass. Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC and Sabine Pass LNG LP were approved by FERC on Jan. 18 to place into service the East Meter Pipe project. (FERC dockets CP15-482, CP15-29)

US withdrawal from trade deal cuts off avenue for quick approval of LNG exports

President Donald Trump's executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership means LNG export hopefuls will remain without an expedited approval process for exports to countries like Japan, a key outlet for the fuel in a glutted global market.

Trump on Jan. 23 signed an executive order pulling out of the agreement, which was backed by President Barack Obama but never ratified by the Republican-controlled Congress. Trump on the campaign trail had slammed the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, and other multilateral trade deals, which he said hurt American workers. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said that pulling out of the TPP was symbolic of "a new era of trade policy" and that Trump will consider bilateral trade deals moving forward. He added that Trump will also look to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.

'A compelling match': Canada's AltaGas to access shale regions with WGL buy

AltaGas Ltd.'s announced purchase of Washington, D.C.-based WGL Holdings Inc. is a "seminal event" in the history of the company, CEO David Harris said in a conference call Jan. 25.

As part of the deal, announced earlier in the day, Calgary, Alberta-based AltaGas will pay US$88.25 in cash for all outstanding shares of WGL, a utility provider with well over a million customers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. WGL also has a power marketing business and midstream assets in the Marcellus and Utica shales. AltaGas said the deal should close in the second quarter of 2018, pending regulatory approval.

The acquisition is valued at C$8.4 billion, or, as stated in the announcing news release, US$6.4 billion.

First Nation examines change in Pacific NorthWest LNG site

The Lax Kw'alaams Band in British Columbia will hold meetings to discuss a potential site change for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project that would move docking facilities from Lelu Island to nearby Ridley Island.

According to the Lax Kw'alaams' website, members can attend three "community engagement sessions" from Jan. 28 to Jan. 30. The First Nation's band council will provide an update on possible changes to the project, which is led by Petroliam Nasional Bhd., or Petronas.

Bloomberg reported on Dec. 28, 2016, that Petronas is considering the relocation of marine facilities in an effort to cut costs and minimize environmental impacts.

FERC asks National Grid to work with RI authorities for proposed LNG project

FERC staff encouraged National Grid LNG LLC to work with Rhode Island authorities during the development of the proposed Fields Point Liquefaction project after the company and the state's environmental agency disagreed over how certain components of the project should be regulated.

In a Jan. 17 letter to the company, staff said it was "not clear whether the subject Rhode Island regulations and processes are preempted in this proceeding" because state regulations are pre-empted only when they interfere with those of the commission. Instead, FERC staff said National Grid should "cooperate with state and local agencies regarding the location of pipeline facilities, environmental mitigation measures, and construction procedures."

Magnolia LNG signs nonbinding deal for half its capacity with Indian customer

LNG Ltd.'s Magnolia LNG export project signed a nonbinding agreement for the supply of up to 4 million tonnes per annum of LNG, half the terminal's planned capacity, to a floating import terminal off the east coast of India for 20 years.

The heads of agreement is dependent upon conditions including Magnolia LNG closing on Vessel Gasification Solutions Inc.'s Krishna Godavari LNG terminal, as well as on Vessel Gasification Solutions satisfying "defined credit requirements underpinning their LNG purchases within agreed timeframes," according to a Jan. 23 news release.

"It's a positive step for Magnolia. It indicates that they're in the marketplace, engaging offtakers," Ernie Megginson, president of the energy projects consulting firm Megginson & Associates Inc. and former vice president of development for Magnolia LNG, said in an interview. "There's a lot of work to be done to move from [a heads of agreement] to a binding agreement, but this is a good first step."