Energy Transfer 3Q17: ME2 Startup Slips, Rover Complete in 1Q18

Energy Transfer’s top brass delivered some bad news and some good news on yesterday’s analyst phone call to discuss third quarter 2017 performance. Two projects vital to the Marcellus/Utica are being built by ET–Mariner East 2 (ME2) and Rover Pipeline. The bad news is that ME2, a natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline project that stretches from eastern Ohio across the state of PA to the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia, will be delayed an extra nine months. ME2 has a new in-service target date of “second quarter 2018.” Progress on ME2 is not as fast as it could be primarily due to an ongoing onslaught of lawsuits by Big Green organizations, coupled with delays from the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection. The good news for ME2 is that by Dec. 31st, 99% of the pipeline will be in the ground and buried. The news for Rover is all good. Rover is a $3.7 billion, 711-mile natural gas pipeline that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada. Rover had been dogged by problems with horizontal directional drilling (HDD), but those problems are now behind it. Yes, head of the Ohio EPA, Craig Butler, continues his Captain Ahab routine to try and stop the project (see OH EPA Director Manipulates Atty General to Sue Rover Pipeline). So far he’s been unsuccessful. At any rate, construction in Ohio and elsewhere is full speed ahead. On yesterday’s call ET CFO Tom Long said Rover Phase 1 (both A and B) will be done by Dec. 31st. That’s very good. Long said the company is “very confident” Phase 2 of Rover will be online no later than March 31, 2018. Also very good. Below we’ve grabbed excerpts of yesterday’s analyst call to share, covering both ME2 and Rover…

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