Natural Gas

PG&E pleads not guilty to charges in deadly blast

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pleaded not guilty Monday to charges in a new indictment that accuses the utility of lying to federal investigators looking into a fatal pipeline explosion in a San Francisco Bay Area neighborhood.

Steve Bauer, an attorney for the company, entered the plea in federal court to all 28 counts, including obstruction of justice. The new indictment — announced last month — replaced a 12-count indictment that related to PG&E's safety practices but did not include an obstruction charge.

Prosecutors say PG&E tried to mislead federal investigators about pipeline testing and maintenance procedures it was following at the time of the 2010 explosion in the city of San Bruno and for six months afterward.


US producer prices rise just 0.1 percent in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — Falling gasoline costs lowered the prices that U.S. companies received for their goods and services last month, keeping overall inflation in check.

The producer price index rose 0.1 percent in July, following a 0.4 percent gain in June, the Labor Department said Friday. The index measures the cost of goods and services before they reach the consumer.

EIA predicts steady increase in power sector’s use of natural gas


The Lower 48 states will see an annual 1.3 percent increase in natural gas use by the power sector over the next 25 years, in large measure because of the boom in natural gas production, according to a prediction from the Energy Information Administration, Platts reports.

Cheniere, Exxon to benefit from DOE changes to LNG review process


Cheniere Energy, which has already won construction permits from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its plans to add liquefaction capacity to its Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, and Exxon Mobil, whose Golden Pass project in southeastern Texas is well into its FERC review, stand to gain from changes in the way the Energy Department will review requests for LNG exports, FuelFix reports.

New England looking at two different pipeline proposals


Even if they can figure out how to pay for the work, authorities in New England trying to improve the region’s energy infrastructure are faced with two different proposals for natural gas pipeline construction: One from three utility holding companies or another from an aggregator, E&E reports.

Blackstone buys into Haynesville Shale on Shell selloff

The New York Times

One of the buyers as Royal Dutch Shell shed assets this week was private equity giant the Blackstone Group, which picked up a 50 percent stake in a gas field in the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana for $1.2 billion, The New York Times reports.

Columbia to build pipelines to move Marcellus, Utica gas


Houston-based Columbia Pipeline Group has announced plans to spend $1.75 billion to build two new pipelines to move natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays into the Northeast and also to connect to systems linked to the Gulf and the Midwest, FuelFix reports.

Dominion Photo

DOE finalizes new LNG export review approach

The Energy Department is set to finalize its new process to review liquefied natural gas exports to non-free trade agreement countries, one that could slow the pace of new approvals to follow the handful issued to date.

The department said the changes would go into effect immediately upon publication of a notice in the Federal Register on Friday, less than a month after a comment period ended.

Shell sells shale gas rights for $2.1 billion

Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell drilling rights in shale formations in Louisiana and Wyoming for $2.1 billion in two transactions.

In one of the deals, announced Thursday, Shell will also receive drilling rights to land in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Shell is working to focus its onshore U.S. drilling program on a few of the more prolific formations in an effort to boost profitability. The company wrote down the value of its shale acreage in the U.S. by $2.1 billion last year amid lower natural gas prices.

Analysts eye power generators in predicting gas storage build


Analysts surveyed by Platts were predicting that Energy Information Administration numbers on last week’s natural gas storage build would come in between 81 and 85 billion cubic feet, which they’ll examine for signals power generators are continuing to switch from coal to gas.


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