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Over the last decade, the oil majors have spent many billions on upstream exploration activity, hoping to find new gushers to replace their mature assets. But gone are the days when oil companies would take on new mega-projects with tens of billions of dollars in exploration costs.

While we constantly analyze short-term data, the industry has a longer-term problem. And it is not related to what lies below the ground.

WASHINGTON — If there was one thing most economists agreed on at the start of the year, it was this: Plunging oil prices would boost the U.S. economy.

It hasn't worked out that way.

The economy is thought to have shrunk in the January-March quarter and may barely grow for the first half of 2015 — thanks in part to sharp cuts in energy drilling. And despite their savings at the gas pump, consumers have slowed rather than increased their spending.

San Antonio-based pipeline operator NuStar Energy and global energy company CHS announced Friday the companies jointly develop an expanded pipeline and terminal network that will increase supply of propane in the Upper Midwest.

“We are excited to pursue this strategic alliance with NuStar," said Andrew Combs, vice president, propane. "The investments support our long-term commitment as a reliable supplier of propane.”

Kinder Morgan announced Friday it received notification the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) declined its application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the proposed 360-mile Palmetto Pipeline from Belton, SC, to Jacksonville, FL, is part of the system.

UPPER TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — South Jersey Gas is again seeking permission to build a 22-mile natural gas pipeline in New Jersey's Pinelands. The company on Thursday filed an amendment to its 2013 application, which government regulators rejected in 2014.

The company argues the pipeline to the B.L. England Generating Station in Upper Township meets standards for approval.
At issue is how much gas would be used by customers outside the Pinelands.

The company says the pipeline would make customers less vulnerable to an outage in the event of an accident or natural disaster.

HOUSTON (AP) — Vanguard Natural Resources LC will acquire Eagle Rock Energy Partners LP in a $474 million deal.
The agreement was announced Thursday by the Houston-based companies.

Vanguard will also assume $140 million of debt from Eagle Rock Energy Partners, which will become a wholly owned indirect subsidiary. The agreement requires approval of the boards of both companies.

EAST HAMPTON, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut Natural Gas has begun construction on a 10-mile natural gas expansion project in East Hampton, the company's largest such project in 30 years.

The subsidiary of UIL Holdings Corp. said Thursday that the gas main will serve nine East Hampton schools and municipal buildings, will reach major businesses and will make natural gas accessible to residential users and more than 400 other commercial customers.

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — More than 6,000 gallons of oil has been raked, skimmed and vacuumed from a spill that stretched across 9 miles of California coast, just a fraction of the sticky, stinking goo that escaped from a broken pipeline, officials said.

Up to 105,000 gallons may have leaked from the ruptured pipeline Tuesday, and up to 21,000 gallons reached the sea off the Santa Barbara coast, according to estimates. The environmental impact still is being assessed, but so far there is no evidence of widespread harm to birds and sea life.

June 24-26
The San Luis Resort - Galveston, TX