January's top stories: Ale completes $34bn contract, TransCanada sues US

Ale completes final load-out for $34bn Ichthys LNG project in Thailand, First gas shipment starts from $18bn Australia Pacific liquefied natural gas project, TransCanada sues US over $8bn Keystone permit denial. Hydrocarbons Technology wraps up the key headlines from January 2016.


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Ale completes final load-out for $34bn Ichthys LNG project onshore LNG facilities in Thailand

Ale has completed the contract awarded by Cuel by loading out the final module for the Inpex-operated $34bn Ichthys Project onshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Thailand.

Previously, Cuel awarded a contract to Ale's Thailand branch to perform the load-out, site move, as well as weighing of total 151 modules of inter-connect piperacks, jetty piperacks and slug catcher area and pig receiver PAU's for the project.

The weight of the modules ranged from 24t to 1,928t.

First gas shipment from $18bn Australia Pacific liquefied natural gas project starts

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The first shipment of natural gas from the A$24.7bn ($18bn) Australia Pacific liquefied natural gas (APLNG) project has started from the LNG facility located on Curtis Island, near Gladstone in Queensland.

The LNG vessel Methane Spirit carried the first cargo.

APLNG is a joint venture project between ConocoPhillips (37.5%), Origin Energy (37.5%), and Sinopec (25%).

TransCanada sues US over $8bn Keystone permit denial

TransCanada has filed a lawsuit against the US Government to reverse President Barack Obama's rejection of the $8bn Keystone XL pipeline that was planned to connect the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin in Alberta to US refineries.

The lawsuit filed in a federal court in Houston, Texas, described the rejection of the company's permit to construct the pipeline as 'unconstitutional'.

In a separate action under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), TransCanada said the denial of the Presidential Permit was arbitrary and unjustified.

British Columbia opposes Kinder Morgan's $3.81bn Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in Canada

Pipeline

The Government of British Columbia (BC) said it will not support Kinder Morgan's C$5.4bn ($3.81bn) proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline in Canada, if some conditions raised by it are not met.

In its final written submission to the National Energy Board (NEB) panel, the government said that that Kinder Morgan has not provided adequate information on proposed spill prevention and response for the province.

The government further said it will continue to evaluate the project based on the company's ability to meet the five requirements established in 2012 to consider the construction and operation of heavy-oil pipelines in the province.

Canada announces new measures for pipeline reviews

The Government of Canada has announced interim measures for pipeline reviews that could delay two major projects, TransCanada Corp's Energy East pipeline as well as expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline.

A review of these two projects is currently in progress. The five principles announced by the government will guide its decision-making on various natural resource projects.

Canada is set to take measures to ensure consistency with these principles for the two projects.

Chevron begins natural gas production from $6.4bn Chuandongbei project in China

Chevron

Chevron's 100%-owned subsidiary Unocal East China Sea has commenced natural gas production from the first stage of the long-delayed $6.4bn Chuandongbei project in southwest China.

Originally, the project was due to become operational in 2010, but was delayed as it is a complex field containing high hydrogen sulfide content.

The Chuandongbei project is a sour gas joint E&P project between China National Petroleum (CNPC) and Chevron and covers over 800kmĀ² in Sichuan province and the Chongqing Municipality.

Cheniere Energy seeks $2.8bn to refinance Sabine Pass facility and pipeline in US

Cheniere Energy Partners is seeking to borrow about $2.8bn from 13 financial institutions to refinance its Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas import facility and a pipeline in the US.

The company will use the proceeds to prepay the $400m senior secured term loan at Cheniere Creole Trail Pipeline (CCTP), redeem or repay the $1.7bn senior secured notes due in 2016 and the $420m senior secured notes due in 2020 issued by Sabine Pass LNG (SPLNG).

SPLNG and CCTP are completely owned by Cheniere Partners.

Oklahoma approves $1.4m funding for research on earthquakes linked to wastewater disposal wells

Oklahoma

Oklahoma has approved the use of nearly $1.4m from the state emergency fund to carry out research on earthquakes that are believed to be linked to wastewater disposal wells serving oil and gas operations.

Governor Mary Fallin announced the funding following lawsuits filed by residents in Oklahoma and Logan counties in the US against oil companies claiming that their houses are damaged due to earthquakes.

The funds would be directed to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) and the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS).