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California Public Utilities Commission voted April 9 to penalize Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) $1.6 billion for a 2010 gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people and destroyed more than three dozen homes in suburban San Francisco. The penalty comes as the state’s top regulator, Commission President Michael Picker, has called for a larger review that suggests the energy giant could be broken up.

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.

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

The EnLink Midstream companies, EnLink Midstream Partners LP and EnLink Midstream LLC, announced a definitive agreement to acquire Coronado Midstream Holdings LLC, which owns natural gas gathering and processing facilities in the Permian Basin.

Northeast Utilities, which operates New England’s largest energy delivery company, has become Eversource Energy. All of the company’s subsidiaries, including Connecticut Light and Power Co., NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas, Public Service Co. of New Hampshire, Western Massachusetts Electric Co. and Yankee Gas Services Co. have begun operating under the Eversource brand.

The company serves more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and employing a workforce of more than 8,000 New Englanders.

Spectra, in partnership with The Mosaic Co., held a Gas & Pipeline Industry Training Roundtable Feb. 5-6 in Houston. The forum was held to share best practices in training and create a dialogue among industry leaders to better identify how gas and pipeline companies can enhance their training programs.

Newly sworn-in Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton told about 165 members of the Texas Pipeline Association (TPA) members in Houston that he will be looking to the oil and gas industry for “good, sound advice” on improving regulations during his tenure. The Texas A&M University graduate said it is imperative to establish a “level playing field for operators” where regulations are concerned and in some ways work as an advocate for Texas’ energy interests, which must compete with other states.

Linde North America has completed installation of the gasifier vessel, a significant step in the construction of its new gasification train at its La Porte, TX facility. The plant is part of an investment that includes a state-of-the art air separation unit (ASU), which is also under construction. The gasification plant is scheduled to come on-stream in early 2015.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) signed a two-year alliance with the National Service, Transmission, Exploration & Production Safety Network and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities among workers in the exploration and production sector of the oil and gas industry.

Venture Global LNG has announced plans to develop an LNG export facility, the Calcasieu Pass Project, in southwestern Louisiana. The project, south of Lake Charles, will be built, operated and manufactured in Louisiana and will create 1,500 construction jobs, 326 indirect jobs and 100 permanent jobs for the community.

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