Natural Gas

Associated Press

Menendez blocks Barrasso from adding gas exports to Ukraine bill

A Republican amendment to authorize liquefied natural gas exports to Ukraine was turned back on Wednesday in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., ruled the amendment by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., out of the committee's jurisdiction during debate over a Ukraine aid and sanctions bill. The committee ultimately approved the bill, with $1 billion on loan guarantees to Ukraine, on a 14-3 vote.  

Spot natural gas prices jump in NY, dual fuel plants might switch to oil


With another winter storm approaching, spot natural gas prices in New York have spiked to levels above $20/MMBtu, which could lead to an increase in demand for cheaper fuel oil as dual fuel plants switch over, Platts reports.

Office of Sen. Barrasso

Senate panel rejects natural gas export amendment to Ukraine bill

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday turned aside a bid by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., to authorize liquefied natural gas exports to Ukraine as part of an aid bill sought by President Barack Obama.

Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., ruled the amendment was not in the committee's jurisdiction. His ruling was not challenged by Barrasso and other Republicans.

Barrasso said he would bring up the amendment when the full Senate debates the bill. The amendment would authorize LNG exports to Ukraine and NATO countries and is similar to legislation he introduced with other senators last year.

LNG export applications are currently reviewed by the Energy Department on a case-by-case basis, with six approved to date and more than 20 pending. Barrasso said his amendment would lessen the need for Europe and Ukraine to buy gas from Russia, and improve U.S. national security.

Menendez and other Democrats said Ukraine has no way to import U.S. gas and that domestic prices may rise if a big increase in exports is allowed, and that the amendment might slow the bill's consideration on the Senate floor.

Iranian president visits Oman in outreach to Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran's President Hassan Rouhani held talks with the leader of the nearby sultanate of Oman on Wednesday, his first official trip to an Arab country since taking office last year.

The visit is aimed at boosting bilateral relations between the two countries, though it also has the potential to further ease tensions between the Islamic Republic and Western powers. 

Oman stands out among Gulf Arab states for its ability to balance friendly relations between Iran and the West. A tangible sign of the growing bonds between the neighbors came late Wednesday with the signing of an initial deal to build an underwater pipeline that would ship Iranian natural gas to Oman.


Wyoming high court remands fracking secrets case

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming Supreme Court ruling Wednesday will give environmentalists another chance to argue in favor of public disclosure of the ingredients in the chemical products used in hydraulic fracturing in the state.

The high court sent their case back to a lower court on a technicality, but noted that Wyoming didn't offer enough evidence that the state oil and gas supervisor was correct to withhold the ingredient lists in response to requests for them. The lower court will need to review each piece of information sought on a case-by-case basis, the justices ruled, rather than generally uphold the supervisor's judgment.

"Neither this court nor the district court has a sufficient basis to determine whether he acted properly or not," the justices wrote.

Corpus Christi plant fire: 4 workers hurt

The Associated Press

A flash fire burned in a south Texas natural gas processing plant owned by Enterprise Products Partners LLP Tuesday afternoon, injuring 4 workers, according to The Associated Press, which reported that a company spokesman said an investigation into the cause was underway but plant operations didn't get interrupted.

US gas boom not easily used as tool against Russian coercion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States, with its abundant supplies of natural gas, would seem to have an easy answer to Europe's fears that a strong response to Russia's rapid takeover of Ukraine's Crimea region could prompt Vladimir Putin to shut down gas lines that keep European homes warm, factories humming and electricity flowing.

Trouble is: Right now there's no way to get meaningful American supplies across the Atlantic Ocean.

Turning U.S. natural gas into liquefied natural gas (LNG), a process that makes the fuel transportable by ship, is very expensive. Beyond that the U.S. government has — until recently — been stingy with permits to build those facilities. And regulations make it difficult to sell U.S. gas to nations that aren't in free trade compacts with Washington.

Senators propose faster approvals of nat gas lines from wells

Three Republican senators from western states on Wednesday introduced legislation to speed up permits for natural gas pipelines on federal lands, which they said are needed to reduce flaring at wells.

The bill, the Natural Gas Gathering Enhancement Act, would exempt local lines that take gas from wells to processing plants from the National Environmental Policy Act, among other provisions. It was proposed by Wyoming Senators John Barrasso and Mike Enzi, and North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven.

Obama to host new Ukrainian PM at White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a diplomatic dig at Russia, President Barack Obama is hosting the new Ukrainian prime minister at the White House, a high-profile gesture aimed at cementing the West's allegiance to Ukraine's fledgling government.

The meeting Wednesday between Obama and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk comes as a pro-Russian area of Ukraine readies for a referendum Sunday to determine its future. Voters in the Crimean Peninsula will be given two options: becoming part of Russia, or remaining in Ukraine with broader powers.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote on Ukraine aid bill

Washington, March 12, 2014, 2:30 pm

Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting on Ukraine aid and sanctions bill. Tentative. 


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