US pipeline safety agency finalizes overdue gas storage facility rule
U.S. pipeline safety regulators finalized eagerly anticipated regulation governing the nation's natural gas storage facilities, fulfilling an outstanding mandate three years after the accident that prompted Congress to order the rulemaking. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's final Safety of Underground Natural Gas Storage Facilities rule sets federal safety regulations at the roughly 400 facilities that stockpile U.S. gas supplies.
States oppose LNG-by-rail transport, citing safety and climate concerns
Attorneys general from 15 states and Washington, D.C., pressed U.S. regulators to withdraw a proposal that would broadly allow transportation of LNG by rail, which some in the natural gas industry have said will lead to safer and less costly shipment of the fuel in states where pipeline shipments are restricted. The top law enforcement officials of Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and other states said in comments filed Jan. 13 that PHMSA should withdraw its proposal pending the completion of safety studies and the development of a detailed environmental impact statement that would include consideration of climate impacts.
Oil, gas purchases a cornerstone to US-China trade deal
If Chinese consumers and U.S. oil and gas producers can pull it off, China will be buying lots more U.S. oil and gas this year and next, according to the terms of the "phase one" trade agreement the two countries signed Jan. 15. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, China will purchase at least $30.1 billion worth of energy products in 2020, and at least another $45.5 billion in 2021.
Questions remain about Keystone XL construction despite plans to start
TC Energy Corp. unveiled a construction timeline for its controversial Keystone XL crude oil pipeline project to link Canada's oil sands region with a pipeline hub in the U.S. Midwest, but the company has yet to provide essential details of how it will proceed. In a Jan. 14 court filing, the Calgary, Alberta-based pipeline giant laid out plans to start moving heavy equipment and pipe to construction sites in February, with construction on the estimated C$8 billion-plus project in full swing by August.
Pa. agency orders Range Resources to plug troubled Marcellus well
Frustrated Pennsylvania environmental regulators ordered Appalachian shale gas driller Range Resources Corp. to plug a Lycoming County, Pa., well that they say is leaking methane into nearby private water wells or face further regulatory action. "We have attempted to resolve this in good faith but after numerous attempts, the operator still has not completely addressed these violations," Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell said in a statement. "Range Resources' refusal at times to accept responsibility and finally address this problem is unacceptable and that is why DEP is issuing this order."
Damaged Philadelphia Gas Works main found near deadly explosion
Philadelphia Gas Works Co. crews unearthed a damaged cast iron natural gas line near the site of a deadly explosion in South Philadelphia, according to the Pennsylvania Public Service Commission. Investigators from the Safety Division of the Pennsylvania Public Service Commission identified a crack in a six-inch cast-iron gas main, one of two Philadelphia Gas Works lines that run beneath the street directly in front of buildings damaged in the Dec. 19, 2019, blast.