midstream

Massive shale-driven production growth in the Northeast and soaring demand from the Southeast will turn the nation’s traditional south-to-north and west-to-east pipeline natural gas flows and price spreads upside down, according to a report by market analysts at BENTEK Energy.

In a bid to fulfill a campaign promise, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has proposed a change to the constitution to allow private companies to share in the development, transportation and refining of Mexico’s vast energy resources, which are reserved exclusively to Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). The changes would revert the constitution to its 1940 position, maintaining national ownership of all hydrocarbons but overturning 1950s-era changes that prevent any private interest participating in the energy industry.

During his 30 years in the energy business, Barry Davis has no doubt heard a fair amount of bluster and hyperbole about “big projects.” Yet, even a brief talk with the Crosstex president and CEO about the Cajun-Sibon expansion project leaves the listener keenly aware that in his mind there can be no understating the importance of this endeavor to his company.

SemGroup Corp. completed its acquisition of the gas gathering and processing assets owned by Chesapeake Energy Corp. in the Mississippi Lime play for $300 million in cash.

Inter Pipeline Fund has entered into a binding agreement with Canexus Corp. to transport bitumen blend to Canexus unit train rail loading operations near Bruderheim, Alberta. Under the terms of the 10-year agreement, Inter Pipeline will provide Canexus with 100,000 bpd of firm capacity on a new pipeline lateral from the Cold Lake Pipeline system.

Spectra Energy Partners LP and Spectra Energy Corp. will drop down Spectra Energy’s remaining U.S. transmission, storage and liquids assets to Spectra Energy Partners. The transaction is expected to close by year-end.

Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy recently hosted a conference, “Energy Market Globalization: Investment and Commodity Price Cycles and the Role of Geopolitics.” Much discussion focused on the relationships of oil prices to other economic indicators, and whether these relationships indicated that oil prices may tumble in the near future.

Increased natural gas utilization, and to a lesser extent oil development, is being hampered by a lack of market liquidity and spot pricing for the commodities both domestically and abroad. Roadblocks include insufficient pipeline connectivity in North America and into Europe, a dramatic lack of international energy infrastructure in Asia, and the regulatory and environmental delays that prevent the necessary investments from going forward.

Devon Energy Corp.’s board approved a plan to form a publicly traded midstream master limited partnership (MLP).

In 2004, the Gas Research Institute (GRI) natural gas measurement research program funding mechanism based on transmission pipeline throughput expired. That program provided substantial support, on the order of $40 million over 20 years, for advancing transmission measurement practice. However, the end of this funding mechanism did not spell the end of the industry’s investment progress in gas measurement research.

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