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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Department of Transportation’s proposed regulation tackling oil train safety may have been dealing mostly with tank car construction, but the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is also reporting on the volatility of Bakken crude, E&E reports.
A 20 percent increase in revenue for Noble Energy in the second quarter on higher shale production wasn’t enough to sustain last year's profits, which fell 49 percent compared to the year-ago period, to $192 million, FuelFix reports, noting the company dropped $187 million on commodity derivatives.
Alberta-based Encana Corp. reported a 31 percent drop in second quarter operating profit despite an increase in its production of oil and natural-gas liquids, but CEO Doug Suttles maintains the company’s results were strong and it would stick to its strategy of shifting away from natural gas, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Repsol’s $524 million adjusted net income in the second quarter was lower than in the period a year ago but beat analysts’ expectations, Bloomberg reported, noting that output from new wells and improved margins for refining helped the company – reported to be shopping for a major acquisition – overcome problems with production in Libya.
International oilfield services company Weatherford announced a second quarter net loss of $145 million on lower revenues, although it says it has nearly completed a plan to cut 6,600 jobs, FuelFix reports.
Utilities like Pacific Gas & Electric and Sempra rank highly in the use of renewable energy and promoting energy efficiency, while Entergy and Dominion Resources are near the bottom of the list of 32 of the nation’s utilities in an analysis compiled by Ceres and Clean Edge, groups which promote sustainable energy, Forbes reports.
There will be a court-supervised bidding process involved in the restructuring of bankrupt Energy Future Holdings, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday, in which the prize will likely be the Texas transmission business Oncor, The Wall Street Journal reports.
EU governments are considering new sanctions over the Ukraine crisis to limit Russian access to capital markets, as well as energy technology and weapons, Reuters reports, noting discussions are set to continue Friday with no action expected before next week.
The Washington Post reports on problems in Pueblo, Colo., where Black Hills Power, the utility servicing local residents, moved away from coal-fired generation and Xcel, the utility that built a new coal-fired plant in the area, stopped selling power locally and people were left scrambling to cover soaring bills.