March's top stories: Novatek sells stake in Russian project, Centrica completes Cumbria project

Gas producer Novatek completed the sale of a 9.9% equity stake in the Yamal LNG project in Russia to China's Silk Road Fund (SRF) for €1.8bn, and UK-based Centrica completed the £80m Barrow Gas Terminals project in Cumbria. Hydrocarbons Technology wraps up the key headlines from March 2016.


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Novatek completed sale of 9.9% stake in Russia's Yamal LNG project for €1.8bn

Gas producer Novatek completed the sale of a 9.9% equity stake in the Yamal LNG project in Russia to China's Silk Road Fund (SRF) for €1.8bn.

Following the deal, Novatek owns 50.1% interest in the project, Total 20%, CNPC 20% and the remaining 9.9% is owned by SRF.

Under the transaction, Novatek received a 15 year loan of €730m from SRF in December 2015 for financing the project.

The Yamal LNG project will involve the construction of an LNG plant with three trains, with total capacity of 16.5 million tonnes per annum.

Centrica completed £80m Barrow Gas Terminals project in Cumbria, UK

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UK-based Centrica completed the £80m Barrow Gas Terminals project in Cumbria to connect the South Morecambe and North Morecambe terminals through a new 1.1km pipeline.

The 36in pipeline is to transfer the south terminal gas underground to the neighbouring terminal. The project also included upgrades of the North Morcambe terminal.

Following completion, Centrica said that gas produced at Morecambe gas fields will be processed by the North Morecambe terminal before going into the National Grid's transmission system.

Barrow Terminals project manager Willie McComb said: "The last two years have seen 200 people from across both local and national companies working together to make sure the project is completed safely, and we are delighted gas is now being processed through the North Morecambe Terminal to mark the end of this major investment."

FERC rejected Veresen's proposal to construct Jordan Cove terminal in Oregon, US

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the US denied Veresen's proposal to construct the Jordan Cove terminal in Oregon.

FERC also rejected the application submitted for the construction of the 232-mile Pacific Connector gas pipeline.

The Pacific Connector pipeline will originate near Malin, in Klamath County, Oregon, and terminate at the Jordan Cove LNG.

Terminal.t was designed to serve Jordan Cove LNG's gas supply requirements, as well as new gas supply requirements in Oregon.

US proposed new regulations to strengthen pipeline safety requirements

The US Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) proposed new regulations aimed at strengthening safety requirements for pipelines carrying natural gas.

The proposal will add new assessment and repair criteria for gas transmission pipelines and expand the protocols to include pipelines that are in areas of medium population density or moderate consequence areas.

Providing regulatory certainty to pipeline operators, the rule also addressed four congressional mandates from the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011, one GAO recommendation, as well as six NTSB recommendations.

European Commission approved Trans Adriatic Pipeline agreement

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The European Commission approved a deal between Greece and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which will allow the new gas pipeline to enter Europe.

The commission found the deal is in line with EU state aid rules and the project will improve the security and diversity of EU energy supplies.

European Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: "The Trans Adriatic Pipeline will bring new gas to the EU and increase the security of energy supply for south east Europe.

New York governor urged regulators to halt Algonquin gas pipeline construction over safety risks

New York governor Andrew Cuomo urged federal energy regulators to halt construction on Spectra Energy's Algonquin natural gas pipeline, stating it may pose safety risks as it will be near the Indian Point Energy Centre.

Cuomo directed state agencies to issue a letter calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to suspend the pipeline construction until the completion of a comprehensive safety review.

Cuomo said: "Over the past several months there have been a series of serious incidents at the Indian Point Nuclear Facility, which my administration is investigating.

"At the same time, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a natural gas pipeline in close proximity of Indian Point.

"I am directing my administration to commence an immediate independent safety analysis of the natural gas pipeline project and until that occurs, we urge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to suspend the project."

Militants attacked Statoil's in Salah Gas plant in Algeria

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Militants attacked Statoil and BP operated In Salah Gas plant in Krechba, Algeria, using a vehicle and a mobile weapon firing explosives.

Three strikes were identified at the plant, however, the incident has caused no damage to the plant but the central processing facility (CPF) was closed as a precaution.

Statoil said that more than 600 employees were working at the plant at the time of the incident and three of them belong to the company.

None of the employees were injured, and the three employees are safe inside the plant.

Statoil has not planned any evacuation from the plant or any other plants in Algeria.

The company is working with relevant authorities and following up on the incident. It has demobilised its emergency organisation in Stavanger, but the joint venture and the partners are continuing to monitor the situation.

Presidents of Kenya and Uganda held meeting to discuss new oil pipeline

The presidents of Kenya and Uganda and oil company executives were set to meet to discuss the construction of the Uganda-Kenya oil pipeline, a key part of the Northern Corridor Infrastructure Projects (NCIP).

At a meeting to be held at State House, Nairobi, President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni plan to discuss a route for the pipeline to transport the two countries' oil.

Once the pipeline route is resolved, oil companies in Uganda and Kenya will be able to make final investment decisions on developing oil fields.