Business News

November 2016

Enbridge U.S. director of public affairs to lead panel discussion at 2017 Pipeline Opportunities Conference

With national attention on the Dakota Access controversy, Pipeline & Gas Journal’s upcoming Pipeline Opportunities Conference will focus on the unprecedented challenges facing current and future construction projects in the industry.

The conference, now in its 13th year, will be held March 21, 2017 at the Omni Galleria Hotel in Houston. Jeff Share, Editor of P&GJ and founder of the meeting, said several well-known experts in the pipeline business will detail the issues that developers are being forced to contend with in order to get a project permitted and built. Don Santa, president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), and Andy Black, president and CEO of the Association of Oil Pipelines (AOPL), will share a panel to discuss the results of the 2016 general election and how that will likely affect pipelines and fossil fuel industry in general. They will also discuss news events that are impacting projects, now and in the future, and what actions the industry is taking to overcome these roadblocks.

Also leading a panel discussion on dealing with anti-pipeline activists will be Terri Larson, director of Public Affairs for Enbridge U.S. who also leads its crisis media training. Larson has been lauded by peers and community leaders for helping to lead Enbridge’s efforts in Michigan after a disastrous spill in 2010.

According to Share, President Obama’s rejection of the proposed Keystone Pipeline last fall and the growth of climate change as an environmental and political issue has led to a surge in opposition to fossil fuels and pipelines that are growing increasingly vocal and in some cases violent. What makes the issue even more alarming to the industry was the federal government’s recent decision to delay construction of certain parts of the Dakota Express pipeline until questions involving Native American rights are resolved. The government also suggested that future projects could be stopped even after construction starts, if it is decided that they may violate the National Energy Policy Act or don’t take into account the interests of Native Americans.

“The number of activists isn’t large, but they are well-organized and fed by a constant stream of misinformation from social media and certain biased news media,” Share said. “The oil industry has always been political in nature, but we never really saw much opposition to pipelines until recently. As the industry continues to move into more populated areas, especially on the East Coast, it only promises to get worse. There is a way to respond to these challenges, it’s not easy and does take time, but some companies are much better at it than others. They need to share that knowledge and that’s what our next conference will be about. If we don’t get this problem fixed, there will be fewer projects in the future as operators will prefer buying pipelines than building new ones, as we’re already seeing.”

ACS Steel slates Goad as VP of Marketing

ACS Steel Company LLC has hired Shawn Goad as the new vice president of Sales & Marketing. Shawn will be responsible for developing business opportunities with current and prospective clients while creating customized solutions to customers’ needs.

Shawn is well known throughout the steel fabrication industry both locally and regionally with 20 years of experience. During his career Shawn has served in various capacities including estimating manager, sales manager, project management, production management, technical sales and engineering with local steel fabricating and steel processing companies.

In addition, Shawn has a proven track record of facilitating long term business relationships with both customers and industry leaders.

EnLink strengthens executive leadership team

EnLink Midstream LLC and EnLink Midstream Partners LP announced new changes to its executive leadership team. 

Michael J. Garberding, has been promoted to EnLink president and chief financial officer, responsible for leading the company’s execution of long-term financial and growth strategies. Additionally, Benjamin D. Lamb was promoted to the executive leadership team as executive vice president of Corporate Development, an addition that emphasizes EnLink’s commitment to growth.

EnLink’s executive leadership team includes:

Barry E. Davis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Michael J. Garberding, President and Chief Financial Officer

Steve J. Hoppe, Executive Vice President and President of Gas Business Unit

McMillan (Mac) Hummel, Executive Vice President and President of the Liquids Business Unit

Benjamin D. Lamb, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development

DTE Energy pockets gas midstream assets

DTE Energy announced it will purchase midstream natural gas assets in support of the company’s strategy to continue to grow and earn competitive returns for shareholders.

The agreement calls for DTE to purchase 100 percent of Appalachia Gathering System (AGS), located in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and 40 percent of Stonewall Gas Gathering (SGG), in West Virginia, from M3 Midstream. In addition, DTE will purchase 15 percent of SGG from Vega Energy Partners.  The combined purchase price for the assets to be acquired by DTE is $1.3 billion.

These assets gather natural gas produced in the Appalachia region and provide access to multiple markets, including the Great Lakes region, through interconnections with Columbia Gas Transmission, Texas Eastern Transmission and the NEXUS Gas Transmission project currently being developed by DTE and Spectra Energy.  Demand for natural gas in the Great Lakes region is expected to increase significantly, driven by coal to gas conversions for electricity generation and economic growth. The low-cost natural gas supply from the Marcellus/Utica region is expected to serve this growth and displace higher cost alternatives.

Sunoco Logistics acquires Vitol’s crude platform in Permian Basin

Sunoco Logistics Partners LP has acquired the Vitol Group’s Permian Basin crude oil system for $760 million plus working capital. Included in the acquisition are an approximately two-million-barrel crude oil terminal in Midland, TX, a crude oil gathering and mainline pipeline system in the Midland Basin, including a significant acreage dedication from an investment grade Permian producer, and crude oil inventories related to Vitol’s crude oil purchasing and marketing business in West Texas. As part of the agreement, Sunoco Logistics Partners LP also acquires the remaining 50 percent interest in SunVit Pipeline LLC. SunVit connects the Midland terminal to the partnership’s Permian Express 2 Pipeline, a key takeaway to bring Permian crude oil to multiple markets. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016, subject to certain closing conditions and regulatory approval.

Michael J. Hennigan, president and chief executive officer for Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, said, “The addition of the Vitol system is an excellent synergistic fit to our growing crude platform in the Permian Basin. The Permian Basin is the most prolific of all of the US shale areas with strong growth expectations. The Vitol pipeline assets are located in what we believe are the three best counties in the Midland Basin. Adding a two-million-barrel terminal in Midland is very complimentary to our Permian strategy.”