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Oil and gas industry announcements: 16 January 2015

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


On January 9 the American Public Gas Association (APGA) filed motions to intervene in opposition to two LNG export applications. The first application was filed by Texas LNG LLC to export approximately 98.6 billion ft3/y to free trade agreement (FTA) and non-FTA countries from a proposed South Texas LNG export project to be located at the Port of Brownsville, Texas.

The second motion to intervene is in response to an application from Venture Global LNG LLC to export approximately 243.6 billion ft3/y of domestic LNG to FTA and non-FTA countries from a proposed LNG export project to be located at the entrance of the Calcasieu Shop Channel in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Venture Global has also filed an earlier application for LNG export, the sum total of this application and the earlier one is 487.2 billion ft3/y. The arguments APGA raised in its filings are similar to those raised in previous filings that focus on, among other things, the impact LNG export will have on the price of natural gas in the US including the harm it will cause for the current domestic manufacturing renaissance. APGA objections have consistently been focused on the policy impacts of LNG export as opposed to the merits, or lack thereof, of any specific individual LNG application.


CITGO Marketer Piedmont Petroleum recently completed its annual fundraising campaign to support Harvest Hope Food Bank, bringing the total funds raised to more than US$50 000 over the last five years. During the 2014 campaign, company employees raised more than US$18 000 and packed 300 boxes of food for the charity. Harvest Hope Food Bank feeds the hungry in 20 South Carolina counties, where 71% of the population routinely chooses between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care.


Versalis (Eni) has announced the temporary restart of the Porto Marghera, Venice cracking plant as a result of a supply agreement with Shell. The operation will provide temporary support to Shell; the plant restart is scheduled for the first half of February. This decision does not affect the development strategies which guarantee the long term sustainability of Porto Marghera’s site and which were jointly formalised with the institutions and social partners through the Memorandum of Understanding signed last November at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. The consolidation of the logistical system and the development of the site have also been confirmed, in anticipation of the creation of the new technological centre for bio based products, established in partnership with Elevance Renewable Sciences.

The temporary restart of Porto Marghera’s cracker confirms Versalis’ technological and industrial ability and allows the company to explore an interesting opportunity without disrupting the site’s general development strategy.


Greyrock Energy has announced the formation of a partnership with Nerd Gas to deploy GTL facilities in the US. Nerd Gas has invested in the previously announced Sterling Greyrock GTL project to confirm the commercial viability of small scale GTL. Through an affiliate, US GTL, Nerd Gas and Greyrock are partnering to explore the feasibility of gas to liquids plants in Wyoming and other locations. The Nerd Gas and US GTL team have extensive expertise in hydrocarbon technologies, including GTL.

Greyrock’s facilities produce primarily premium synthetic diesel fuel from natural gas or natural gas liquids using the company’s groundbreaking GreyCat catalyst and Distributed GTL (dGTL) solution. Modular gas conversion can be achieved from a variety of abundant gas sources, including natural gas, natural gas liquids, stranded gas resources and associated gas.

UK Government

UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Rt Hon Edward Davey MP, is visiting Aberdeen on January 16 for talks with oil and gas industry leaders against a backdrop of the recent dramatic slide in world oil prices. The Secretary is announcing that he is asking Andy Samuel, CEO designate of the Oil and Gas Authority to lead an urgent commission, working with industry, to identify key risks to oil and gas production in the UKCS and identify what further measures might be taken by government and industry to mitigate them. This is in the light of the recent very dramatic fall in global oil prices and is complementary to the strategic work the Oil and Gas Authority are already being set up to lead.

Davey said, “the oil and gas industry is used to volatile prices in world markets and will get through the latest downturn as it has in the past. However, given the huge value of the UKCS to the nation and the relatively high cost base that it has, I am concerned to make sure that it does so in the best possible shape for the future and well placed to deliver our goal of maximising economic recovery as set out by Sir Ian Wood.

“I am therefore today asking Andy Samuel, CEO of the new Oil and Gas Authority, to undertake an urgent piece of work, involving industry, to come up with practical measures to mitigate the immediate risks that the downturn in prices presents us with. There is a lot at stake and I know that industry leaders will lend weight to the work that I have asked Andy to do.”

Edited from press releases by Claira Lloyd

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