COVID-19: Biz Continuity Plans Pay Off for Pipelines, Utilities

The oil and gas marketplace is often described as being divided into three sectors: upstream, midstream and downstream. Upstream is drilling and producing, midstream is processing and transporting (basically pipelines), and downstream is end-users of all types–converting oil and gas into various products and/or delivering it to end-users. The COVID-19 coronavirus has the power to affect any and all three areas. However, the midstream and downstream (in particular pipeline companies and utility companies) do not expect this insidious virus to affect their operations. Why? It’s called business continuity planning.
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PA PUC Approves Aqua America Purchase of Peoples Gas for $4.3B

Aqua America, the nation’s second-largest water/wastewater utility company headquartered near Philadelphia, announced in October 2018 it would buy Peoples Gas, the nation’s fifth-largest natural gas utility company headquartered in Pittsburgh, for $4.275 billion (see Aqua America Buys Peoples Gas for $4.3B – Old Pipes, Similar Nature). It took a while, but the last hurdle was cleared yesterday when the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission gave its blessing on the deal.
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Con Ed Pays Customers to Turn Over Control of Thermostat

The New York Public Service Commission recently approved a petition by Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison) for a $5 million, three-year natural gas demand response pilot program, one of the first demand response projects for natural gas. Demand response (DR) programs, somewhat common in the electricity sector, helps manage utility usage during periods of peak demand. How do they do it? In the case of Con Ed’s now-approved program, the utility will pay its customer to use less natural gas.
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