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NiSource Inc. and Columbia Pipeline Group announced July 2 separation of the two companies was completed through a distribution of all the common stock of CPG held by NiSource to its shareholders.

NiSource, based in Merrillville, IN, is one of the largest natural gas utility companies in the United States with over 3.5 million customers in seven states under the Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. The company also provides electric distribution, generation and transmission services for 500,000 NIPSCO customers in northern Indiana.

The 51st annual convention of the National Association of Pipe Coating Applicators (NAPCA) was held April 15-18 at The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, AZ Gainey Ranch, with over 200 attendees.

The convention’s business sessions heard updates from several speakers, including Rich Hoffman, executive director of the INGAA Foundation, who stressed to the group that “even in a downturned economy, safety has got to be the most important thing that we do.”

Republicans in Congress are working to pass legislation setting aside a new EPA and Army Corps of Engineers joint rule which makes it more expensive to build pipelines in areas containing streams and other small bodies of water. The rule would require pipelines - or anyone wanting to build in these tributaries and ponds - to first do site analysis and then, potentially, obtain a Clean Water Act permit. That is time-consuming and can be expensive. The EPA published the new so-called Waters of the U.S. – (WOTUS) rule in May which goes into effect Aug. 28.

Research development organization Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI) official opened its new Technology Development Center at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour Wednesday.

“We want you to think of this place as yours,” PRCI President Cliff Johnson told attendees, many of whom represented pipeline and service companies. “How would you use this space?”

The 30,000 square-foot facility broke ground July 7, 2014 on a 10-acre campus northwest of Houston with about half of the area earmarked for a state-of-the-art pull-test facility.

Perhaps the biggest single change for the oil business since the start of the slump is Halliburton’s deal to buy Baker Hughes. The mega-merger would radically alter the oil field servicing industry leaving two giants competing and a couple of smaller firms vying to take BHI’s spot as the new number three.

Think oil sands and Alberta comes to mind. Don’t tell that to Canadian oilmen in Utah, though, who expect to begin production at the first commercial oil sands mine in the United States by year’s end.

On June 24, U.S. Oil Sands Inc., based in Calgary, got approval from the Utah Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil, Gas and Mining for changes to the PR Spring project being built about 200 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. The company has agreed to submit a plan by Nov. 1 for monitoring the quality of air and water at the project.

NEW YORK — As drivers, shippers and airlines continue to enjoy lower fuel prices, the oil industry is responding to much lower profits with sharp cuts in spending and employment that are hurting economic growth.

Low oil and gas prices are good for the overall economy because they reduce costs for consumers and business. U.S. economic growth was higher in the second quarter, and economists say that was partly fueled by consumers spending some of their savings on gasoline at stores and restaurants.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Coast Guard officials were still trying to determine the source of a mysterious miles-long oil slick off California's Santa Barbara County shoreline, but a scientist said Thursday that it's likely the result of naturally occurring seepage from the sea floor.

Authorities said the 3-mile sheen was harmless to people and beaches remained open — in contrast to the mass closure that occurred in May when a broken pipeline spilled 100,000 gallons of crude oil, fouling sands, seabirds and fishing areas in the same general area.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel has approved energy legislation that would lift the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports and open some areas of the Outer Continental Shelf to oil and gas exploration.

Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, chairman of the panel, championed the plan to lift the restrictions. It passed by a party-line vote of 12-10.

Murkowski said lifting the ban would turn the United States into an energy superpower.

Democrat Maria Cantwell of Washington, who opposes lifting the ban, describes the votes as an important first step in a long journey.

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Opposing sides in the debate over the Keystone XL oil pipeline faced off Monday in front of the state regulatory panel that is considering for the second time in just over five years whether to approve the construction of the South Dakota portion of the long-delayed project.

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