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Even in the midst of an oil price crash globally, alternative fuels for transportation stimulate conversation at just about any business or public policy gathering, and increasingly natural gas has had a ringside seat for those discussions. In fact, even sustainability advocates who see zero-emission as the ultimate goal give the natural gas sector credit for creating more interest in alternative fuels, particularly among businesses.

Price Decline Lowers Tax Revenues in Top Oil-Producing States

The Energy Information Administration reported March 12 that the decline in spot oil prices in the last half of 2014 and first month of 2015 has reduced oil and natural gas production tax revenues in some of the largest oil- and natural gas-producing states.

Pembina Pipeline Corp. plans to expand the Vantage pipeline system for an estimated $85 million. The expansion entails increasing Vantage's mainline capacity from 40,000 bpd to 68,000 bpd through the addition of mainline pump stations and the construction of a 80-km, 8-inch gathering lateral.

The mainline expansion is supported by a long-term, fee-for-service agreement, with a substantial take-or-pay component. The gathering lateral is underpinned by a fixed return on invested capital agreement. The expansion is expected to be in-service in early 2016.

Sempra Energy announced that its IEnova and Sempra LNG units have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a subsidiary of Pemex, Mexico's state-owned petroleum company, for development of a natural gas liquefaction project at the Energía Costa Azul receipt terminal in Ensenada, Mexico. Pemex would have the opportunity to become a customer, natural gas supplier and investor.

"This is an important first step in working with Pemex on the development of liquefaction facilities at Energía Costa Azul," said Mark A. Snell, president of Sempra Energy.

The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) wants the EPA to revise its proposed requirement that interstate and intrastate pipelines measure emissions from pipeline blowdowns. This would expand an existing greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting rule which already cover s compressors and other equipment.

The digital edition of Pipeline & Gas Journal, March 2015, Vol. 242, No. 3.

In 2013, SGS PfiNDE received a call from a client pipeline company which transports a light hydrocarbon product with entrained particulate and sediment through a 150-mile section of pipeline in Minnesota.

The company encountered a challenge when, after cleaning the first 20-mile section of the pipeline, the cleaning tool became blocked by, what was determined to be, the excessive buildup of sediment in front of the cleaning tool. Due to the large amount of sediment in this particular line, the tool had gathered enough sludge to completely stop any further progress of the cleaning pig.

If you are lucky enough to have grown up in Texas, you are all too familiar with how popular culture, particularly Hollywood, has glamorized the life of a wildcatter or roughneck. The movie Giant depicts James Dean on a windswept Texas countryside, sopping head to toe in newly discovered oil. While maybe a compelling drama, as a Texas Railroad Commissioner, I can tell you this is far from reality.

In recent years, the technological advances in recovering hydrocarbons trapped in tight formations, like shale, using unconventional drilling methods (horizontal drilling in conjunction with multi-stage hydraulic fracturing) have made U.S. oil production grow dramatically.

The Texas Railroad Commission adopted new rules in December concerning pipeline permit applications involving 16 Texas Administrative Code §3.70. It has been three years since the state Supreme Court’s opinion in Denbury Green, which took a dim view of the commission’s “check the box” rules regarding Form T-4 pipeline permit application which automatically created common carrier status to the pipeline operator.

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