Calif. high court blocks businesses' bid to recoup losses from Aliso Canyon leak
California's Supreme Court denied efforts by local businesses to recover losses incurred following the multimonth methane leak at Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon storage field that began in late 2015. The high court on May 30 affirmed a 2017 ruling by an appeals court that business owners could not recoup their losses from SoCalGas for purely economic damages, Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar said in an opinion.
Freeport LNG gets DOE approval to export from 4th train
Freeport LNG Development LP obtained federal authorization to export LNG from the fourth liquefaction train at its LNG export facility on Quintana Island in Texas to countries without a free trade agreement with the U.S. The U.S. Department of Energy announced the approval at the Clean Energy Ministerial in Vancouver, British Columbia, according to a May 28 news release.
Report: Mich. attorney general may close Enbridge Line 5 if no deal reached
Michigan's attorney general vowed to have an oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac closed down if the governor fails to reach a deal with operator Enbridge Inc. on a tunnel to house the infrastructure, The Detroit News reported May 29. "If they cannot come to an agreement that allows for a quick process of the decommissioning of Line 5 then I will act," Attorney General Dana Nessel said in an interview on the sidelines of a policy conference in the area. She will move to shut down the pipeline by the end of June, the report said.
White Star Petroleum files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Oil and gas producer White Star Petroleum LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and obtained $28.5 million in debtor-in-possession financing to bolster liquidity, according to a May 28 release. The Chapter 11 filing was made with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
Private-equity backed Sentinel files application for Texas crude export project
Private-equity backed Sentinel Midstream LLC applied for a deepwater crude oil export facility project in Texas that would be capable of fully loading very large crude carriers, the largest commonly used class of freighter ships in the oil trade. Sentinel, through its subsidiary Texas GulfLink LLC, submitted a license application to the U.S. Maritime Administration to develop the facility near Freeport, Texas, according to a June 3 news release.
California Public Utilities Commission president announces he is leaving office
Although his six-year term does not expire until January 2020, California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker announced that he will step down from the position as soon as July. Picker made his announcement toward the end of a May 30 meeting in the commission's San Francisco headquarters during which the agency issued a number of decisions on utility plans to cope with wildfire threats, including proposals to proactively de-energize power lines under extremely dangerous conditions.