National gaslines

$4.2 billion natural gas pipeline approved

A federal agency has approved construction of a $4.2 billion natural gas pipeline extending from West Virginia to Michigan, turning aside objections from some landowners and environmentalists.

Energy Transfer Partners LP’s Rover Pipeline will carry up to 3.25 billion cubic feet of gas daily from the Marcellus and Utica shale production areas of West Virginia, western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.

The 713-mile-long line will reach across northern Ohio and veer into southeastern Michigan, where it will connect with the existing Vector Pipeline in Livingston County.

Dominion Resources plans name change

Richmond, Virginia-based energy giant Dominion Resources is planning to change its name.

The company announced Feb. 6 it will seek shareholder approval to be renamed Dominion Energy Inc.

Chairman, president and CEO Thomas Farrell II said in a statement that the new name will unify the company’s brands throughout the 18 states where it does business.

The change will take place later in the year, pending the approval of shareholders at the company’s annual meeting this spring.

Rig count hits 729

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 17 this week to 729.

A year ago, 571 rigs were active.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Feb. 3 that 583 rigs sought oil and 145 explored for natural gas this week. One was listed as miscellaneous.

Oklahoma increased by six rigs, New Mexico and Texas were each up by four and Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado and Wyoming each increased by one.

Louisiana lost one rig.

California, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia were all unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May at 404.

UGI seeks rate hike

UGI Penn Natural Gas customers could see their bills jump about 11 percent if state regulators approve a rate increase.

The public utility, which serves Northeast and Central Pennsylvania, asked the state Public Utility Commission on Jan. 19 to allow it to raise service delivery rates for residential, commercial and industrial customers.

The increase, if granted by the PUC, would raise rates for the typical residential customer using 9,120 cubic feet per month by 10.6 percent or $8.34, from $78.53 to $86.87, according to UGI.

UGI wants the rate increase to take effect March 20, but expects proceedings with the PUC to delay it until late October, it said.

— Associated Press