Regulation

U.S. Judge Revises Environmental Ruling on Pipeline Permits

A U.S. Judge partially revised a ruling that blocked pipeline crossings below streams and waterways, allowing crossings for utility and maintenance projects but continuing to require permits for pipeline construction projects.

Regulators Ease Storage Rules, Fees for Texas Producers

Texas oil and gas regulators voted to temporarily relax their rules for underground crude storage and waive related fees and surcharges that producers typically pay.

Texas Will Not Mandate Oil Production Cuts

Texas energy regulators on Tuesday said they will not mandate oil production cuts, ending a month-long debate about whether they would wade into global oil politics for the first time in 50 years as crude prices cratered.

U.S. Delays Pipeline Approvals After Environmental Ruling

Pipelines and utility projects across the country could face long delays and increased costs after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers halted a nationwide permit program citing a recent federal court ruling that declared the permit illegal.

PHMSA Eases Pipeline Regulations, Enforcement in Response to Pandemic

Responding to the impact Covid-19 on midstream staffing and resources, PHMSA has issued two guidance documents to ease some operating requirements, allow discretion in enforcement and provide flexibility to support the critical needs of state and industry partners.

Oklahoma to Allow Struggling Oil Producers to Halt Output Without Breaking Contracts

Oklahoma's oil regulator will allow struggling producers to shut-in wells without having to break a lease declaring unprofitable production an economic waste.

Drones Become Additional Inspection Tool in Permian Basin

Data collection, inspections and safety within the basin have become increasingly important among oil and gas enterprises in the Permian Basin, and drone technology has emerged as a front runner to transform operations.

PHMSA Issues Notice of Discretion Concerning Operators and COVID-19

PHMSA told pipeline operators on March 20 that the administration recognized the constraints they face in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, adding that certain employees may be required to work outside of their classification.

Oklahoma Judge May Recommend Ruling Oil Production 'Economic Waste'

An Oklahoma Judge will recommend the state's oil and gas regulator approve an emergency order declaring oil production in the state could constitute economic waste, a spokesman for the state's Corporation Commission said.

PHMSA Proposes Mandatory Shutoff Valve Installation for Some Pipelines

Natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines will have to install automatic shutoff valves (ASVs), remote control valves (RCVs) or equivalent technology on all newly constructed or entirely replaced pipelines that have nominal diameters of 6 inches (152.4 mm) or greater if the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) finalizes a proposal it issued in February.

House Democrats Consider Anti-Pipeline Regulatory Changes

Democrats in the House have introduced two bills that would negatively affect interstate pipelines. The legislative efforts align with a broader push by Democrats, including presidential candidates, to enact “green” energy policies, which will vilify natural gas, if not at least tarnish its reputation, as a climate-preferred alternative to coal and oil.

Texas Oil Hearing Stirs Debate but No Decision; Oklahoma Sets May Hearing

Texas energy regulators listened as top executives on Tuesday debated whether the state should cut oil output by 1 million barrels per day, but did not indicate how they might vote after more than 10 hours of sometimes dire testimony.

FERC Issues Favorable Environmental Assessment for Double E Pipeline

Summit Midstream and Exxon Mobil's Double E pipeline carrying natural gas from the Permian Basin to the Waha Hub in Texas has received a favorable environmental review from U.S. regulators.

Enbridge Applies for Construction of Great Lakes Pipeline Tunnel

Enbridge applied for permission to construct a pipeline tunnel beneath a waterway connecting two Great Lakes to replace an aging 4-mile stretch of its aging Line 5.

German Court Rejects Last Obstacle to Nord Stream 2 Construction

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project cleared another legal hurdle in Germany last week.

U.S. Senate Confirms Danly to FERC, Widening Republican Majority

The U.S. Senate on Thursday easily confirmed James Danly as a Republican member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, widening the Republican majority on the panel.

Federal Regulatory Actions Ease Pipeline Construction

Two key Trump administration environmental regulators have made moves to wipe away potential barriers to new pipeline construction. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued a proposed rule that would make it more difficult for environmentalists to block infrastructure construction because of concerns raised about the project’s creation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

State Awaits Final EIS after Answering Final Questions from FERC

With an additional 2,000 pages of charts, data, maps and explanations, the state-led Alaska liquid natural gas (LNG) team finished out 2019 by answering the last batch of questions from federal regulators for the project’s final environmental impact statement (EIS).

Alaska LNG Passes Major Permitting Milestone, Hurdles Remain

A U.S. energy regulatory report for Alaska Gasline Development Corp's proposed Alaska liquefied natural gas project found it would provide economic benefits to the state but could cause some significant adverse environmental impacts.

Canada's Supreme Court Dismisses Trans Mountain Pipeline Appeals

Canada’s Supreme Court said on Thursday it would not hear five separate appeals of a lower court’s decision related to the Trans Mountain oil pipeline, clearing another hurdle for a project that has been stalled for years due to opposition over climate concerns.

ExxonMobil Proposes Framework for Methane Regulations

ExxonMobil today released a model framework for industry-wide methane regulations that includes specific guidance related to transmission pipeline blowdowns between compressor stations.

Transco Takes Another Shot at NJ Pipeline Approval

Transco's Northeast Supply Enhancement Project, which would take natural gas to customers in New York City and Long Island, is back before New Jersey regulators.

FERC Weighs Plan to Build Pacific Connector Pipeline in Oregon

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is set to decide this week on a proposed natural gas pipeline and marine export terminal in Oregon that is likely set up a court battle over state's rights if approved.

U.S. Gives Iraq Sanctions Waiver for Iranian Gas Imports

The United States has granted Iraq a 45-day sanctions waiver enabling the country to continue importing vital Iranian gas and electricity supplies, two Iraqi officials said on Wednesday.

Texas Railroad Commission Adopts New Pipeline Safety Rules

Texas regulators have adopted new safety rules that prohibit natural gas distribution pipeline operators from installing underground cast iron, wrought iron or bare steel pipelines.

FERC Approves Chesapeake Utilities Pipeline Expansion

Chesapeake Utilities has announced that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued an order approving the Company’s proposed Del-Mar Energy Pathway Project.

FERC Boosts Natural Gas

An order issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in December against state subsidies for nuclear and renewable energy – called “out-of-market subsidies” – apparently gives a big boost to electric utilities using natural gas and the pipelines that feed them.

NPC Offers Improvements to Regulations

The National Petroleum Council (NPC) released a report focusing on pipeline permitting solutions, which suggests the regulatory process for infrastructure needs to be simplified to eliminate redundancies.

New OPA90 PREP Guidelines Bring Flexibility to WCD Response Testing

Oil transfer and storage businesses (onshore), which fall under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA90), are familiar with the 2016 National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) Guidelines.

Canadian Court Dismisses Challenge to Trans Mountain Expansion

Canada's Federal Court of Appeal on Tuesday dismissed a challenge to the approval by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion, clearing some uncertainty from the project.