TGP’s Extraordinary Security to Build 2-Mile Pipeline in Mass.

In March 2016–more than a year ago–the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s (TGP) $86 million Connecticut Expansion project (see FERC Approves TGP Connecticut Expansion Pipeline Project). The project includes building 13.42 miles of new pipeline loops in three states: Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. When completed, the new looping will serve an additional 72,100 dekatherms of (mostly) Marcellus Shale gas to three utility companies in Connecticut. A pretty low-key project overall with just 13.42 miles of new pipeline. But anti-fossil fuel kooks object to very square inch of new pipelines–no matter where they are constructed. (Perhaps if pipelines flowed marijuana instead of fossil fuels, they’d feel differently about them? But we digress.) The State of Massachusetts did its best to block construction there, but eventually lost and was forced to grant an easement for a lousy 2 miles of pipeline. And now, more than a year after getting a green light from FERC, TGP is finally beginning construction. The security they must maintain to construct a lousy 2-mile pipeline is, in a word, extraordinary…
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NRDC Study Finds No Groundwater Contamination from Fracking in WV

MDN has previously chronicled bought-and-paid-for research done by Duke University’s Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment (see Duke Hit Piece on Shale Water Usage from Same Park-Sponsored Prof and Latest Case of Duke U Bought & Paid “Research” by Park Foundation). Here’s how it works: Park funds Dr. Vengosh’s “research,” and he conveniently “discovers” all sorts of nasty things about shale fracking, publishing his “research” in obscure, peer reviewed journals. Mainstream media picks it up and runs it. Readers who only scan headlines get the impression fracking is evil. Mission accomplished for Park (another hit on fracking) and for Vengosh (another buck in his pocket). But last October that pattern changed. Vengosh released new research that found there’s really nothing to worry about after all when it comes to Marcellus Shale wastewater (see Duke U Researcher Tries to Repair Reputation with Wastewater Study). He’s just done it again. Vengosh and researchers from Penn State, Ohio State, and Stanford University published a study on Monday in which they declare fracking “has not contaminated groundwater in northwestern West Virginia.” They did find that on occasion wastewater spills have fouled creeks–something everyone knows. But then, on occasion rail cars overturn with nasty chemicals not related to fracking that foul local water supplies. This is not news. Still, the fact that this study, which contains real research in monitoring water wells over a three-year period, coming from Duke University and Vengosh, marks a turnabout. The really interesting news is that the study was funded, in part, by the virulently anti-drilling National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The NRDC did not get their money’s worth with this one! We doubt Vengosh can expect any more funding from the NRDC in the future. Below are details about, and from, the study that finds fracking in WV is peachy-keen…
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Report: Blocking Pipelines in Northeast an Economic Disaster

Last year the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, via their Institute for 21st Century Energy intiative, launched a “What If…?” series to counter the radical “keep it in the ground” movement–a movement that irrationally hates the use of fossil fuels. In August 2016, the Chamber released their first such report, titled “What If…Energy Production was Banned on Federal Lands and Waters?” (see Chamber Report Details Why ‘Keep it in the Ground’ a Disaster). In September 2016, the Chamber released their second report (see Report: What If America’s Energy Renaissance Never Happened?). In October 2016, they released the third report (see Report: What If the U.S. was Forced to Pay EU Energy Prices?). And in November 2016, just prior to election day, the Chamber released the fourth report, titled “What If…Hydraulic Fracturing Was Banned?” (see Report: What if Fracking was Banned, as Hillary Wants?). The Chamber is back with a fifth report, titled “What if…Pipelines Aren’t Built Into The Northeast?” (full copy below). Like the Chamber’s other reports, it offers sobering details about what’s coming with a lack of pipeline construction. In the states examined–New England plus New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia–the report finds that lack of additional pipeline infrastructure would cost over 78,000 jobs and $7.6 billion in GDP by 2020. New York State alone would see $1.6 billion less in state GDP, and the loss of 17,400 jobs. Scary stuff…
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PA Enviro Justice Listening Tour Continues to Draw Almost No One

Last December the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) said it would go on a “listening tour” in early 2017, to focus on so-called environmental justice (see PA DEP to Conduct ‘Listening Tour’ for ‘Environmental Justice’). The DEP finally set up a schedule for its listening tour, which began in March in Greene County (see PA DEP Conducting “Listening Tour” for “Environmental Justice”). Our take: “environmental justice” means asking poor people if they’ve been abused by the oil and gas industry in any way–and if they have a beef, the DEP will “do” something about it. The first session in the tour was interesting for several reasons. For one, just a handful of people turned out–a maximum of 30 in the crowd. For another, the po’ folk didn’t bother coming. It seems only radical activists bothered to turn up, claiming to represent the abused, repeating the same tired, old lies they always repeat. Another stop along the tour was held last week in Williamsport, PA. The pattern repeats. If anything, there were fewer people in the crowd–about 20 according to the local newspaper. Next to nobody turns up for these things. Why is the DEP wasting its time, and PA taxpayers’ money?…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Apr 25, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: March construction starts up 5% thanks to Marcellus/Utica pipelines; NY hurts energy development over dubious concerns; Rover Pipeline’s early messes don’t inspire confidence; officials speak out re Rover’s spills; PA wants more oversight of gas industry hiring practices; oil investors who bet on higher prices, lost; Trump signing more exec orders this week on energy, environment; oil majors lead the pack in a mad dash for gas; nuclear power subsidies robbing wind and solar; and more!
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More Canadian LNG Heads to New England; Why Not from Marcellus?

Gaz Métro LNG loading

4/24/17 Update: A sharp MDN reader wrote to alert us that in all likelihood, the gas getting liquefied by Gaz Métro is coming from the Marcellus/Utica. See a special note below.

Gaz Métro is the largest natural gas distribution company in Quebec, Canada where its network of 6,200 miles of underground pipelines serves some 300 municipalities and more than 200,000 customers. Gaz Métro also has a presence in Vermont, with more than 310,000 customers through its subsidiaries Green Mountain Power and Vermont Gas Systems. One of the business units Gaz Métro operates is a liquefaction, storage and regasification (LSR) plant in Montréal–which has been in operation for 45 years. Last year via a major investment from Investissement Québec and the government of Québec, Gaz Métro tripled the plant’s liquefaction capacities. And now Gaz Métro is making a play to sell more gas–a lot more gas–to New England. Gaz Métro is using Canadian gas, liquefying it, and selling it to New England–when the Marcellus is as closer or (often) closer to the very markets where Gaz Métro is selling its LNG. So if the dunderheads in New England keep rejecting pipelines, why don’t we just ramp up an LNG operation here in the Marcellus and send them gas via tanker trucks, like Gaz Métro is doing?…
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Keeping Trans Energy’s Bacon Out of Fire Earned Law Firm an Award

Last October EQT announced a deal to buy Trans Energy, Inc., a public pure-play driller in the Marcellus in West Virginia, which will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of EQT (see EQT Buys Trans Energy + 60K Marc/Utica Acres in 2 Deals for $683M). EQT also bought Trans Energy joint venture partner Republic Energy’s share in their Marcellus jv. The land is located in Marion, Wetzel and Marshall counties (in WV). When the deal closed, investment bank Gordian Group strutted around making some big boasts about their role in the deal. Gordian, via a press release, took credit for keeping Trans Energy out of bankruptcy court and for soaking EQT on the purchase price (see EQT Closes on Trans Energy Deal; Investment Bank Makes Big Boasts). It seems Gordian isn’t the only one strutting about the the EQT/Trans Energy deal. International corporate law firm Haynes and Boone, with a big energy practice in Texas, also assisted with the deal. In fact, in a Haynes and Boone press release, they boast that keeping Trans Energy solvent long enough to sell out to EQT earned the law firm the 2016 “Out-of-Court Restructuring Deal of the Year” award by The M&A Advisor…
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Dela. Riverkeeper Protects Wm. Penn Foundation’s Tax Exemption

MDN friend Tom Shepstone has long pointed out the incestuous connection between THE Delaware Riverkeeper and the William Penn Foundation. William Penn is a nonprofit that, according to its nonprofit charter, cannot use its considerable wealth to engage in political activities. So like an organized crime ring, William Penn uses Riverkeeper as the front organization to do its dirty work–investing millions in the Riverkeeper to carry out its (William Penn’s) radical environmental agenda. All at an arm’s length–to protect William Penn’s tax exempt status (hello IRS and PA Attorney General’s office, are you reading this?). It is a thinly-veiled shell game of money changing hands. The William Penn/Riverkeeper shell game is exposed in a recent article in the Washington Examiner
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Even Without CPP, NatGas Will Dominate Electric Power Gen

Last week the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) released a report by Pace Global about the “critical role” of natural gas in generating affordable (and clean) electricity in the U.S. The report, titled “Natural Gas: Essential to a lower carbon energy future” (full copy below), finds that whether or not the U.S. federal government adopts Obama’s disastrous so-called Clean Power Plan, the shift was already underway and will continue–from using sources like coal to using natural gas to generate electricity. It is the single, biggest factor in lowering carbon dioxide emissions–if you care about that sort of thing (which we don’t). Along with the Pace report the NGSA released four key policy recommendations that will encourage even more use of natgas in power generation, and increasingly important market for Marcellus/Utica gas…
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Dear President Trump: FERC Needs a Quorum. NOW.

We reported back in February that a group of far-left House of Representatives Democrats sent a letter to President Trump imploring him to appoint new members to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see Anti-Drilling Democrats Ask Pres. Trump to Fill Up FERC). Then in March, a group of lefty Senate Dems did the same thing (see Senate Democrats Send Letter to Trump Requesting New FERC Members). FERC is the agency that, among other things, reviews and approves interstate oil and gas pipeline projects. The agency has been without a quorum since Feb. 3, when Norman “cry baby” Bay quit in a huff (see FERC Commissioner Resigns Threatening Major M-U Pipeline Projects). So why would those who hate FERC want it staffed up and humming along? Because without a quorum, FERC can’t hear requests for re-hearing. In Democrat-land, you want to get to a liberal judge as quickly as possible to stop a pipeline project. Dems can’t litigate until FERC denies a request for re-hearing a decision to green light a pipeline project. Without a quorum, previous decisions stand and pipelines are getting built–a five alarm emergency is radical enviro-land. So they’re trying to pressure Trump to appoint at least one more commissioner, stat. But the antis aren’t the only ones. Now those on the pro-drilling, pro-pipeline side of the isle are joining the chorus and attempting to “encourage” (pressure, cajole, goose) President Trump into getting more commissioners appointed asap. The Natural Gas Supply Association, American Gas Association, Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance, Independent Petroleum Association of America and Interstate Natural Gas Association of America penned a joint, open letter to President Trump, published in a major Washington, DC newspaper, requesting he get at least one FERC appointment done. Soon. ASAP. Now. Even if that happens, it’s likely to take another two months before the new commissioners are seated and working…
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Kinder Morgan 1Q17: Profit Up 45%, M-U Projects Online in ’17

Last week Kinder Morgan, the largest midstream (i.e. pipeline) company in the U.S., filed its first quarter 2017 update. 1Q17 saw a profit of $401 million, up $125 million (45%) from 1Q16. Revenue was up $229 million (7%) to $3.4 billion. And costs rose just $65 million (3%) to $2.4 billion. All in all a good start to 2017. However, as always, what we’re interested in is an update on key projects that Kinder Morgan is working on–projects that are located in or close to (with an impact on) the Marcellus/Utica region. Projects like the Utopia Pipeline in Ohio, the Elba Island LNG export facility in Georgia, the Orion Project in northeast PA, and the Louisiana pipeline project, going bi-directional to move our gas to the southwest. There were plenty of updates about projects of interest to the Marcellus/Utica (particularly those coming online in 2017) in the latest quarterly report…
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PwC Report: Oil & Gas M&A in 1Q17 Saw “Stunning” 160% Increase

According to one of the top accounting/consulting firms in the world, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), mergers & acquisitions (M&A) activity in the oil and gas sector in the U.S. set a new record high in 1Q17 for the first quarter of any year–$73.04 billion in deals. The report, titled “US Oil & Gas Deals insights first quarter 2017” (full copy below), says the market is quite pleased with The Donald’s pro-energy policies and is loosening up the money to fund new exploration and production. In fact, first quarter spending represents a “stunning 160% increase in deal value year over year.” Some 53 deals were announced in 1Q17, with upstream (i.e. exploration/drilling) taking the lion’s share with 32 deals worth $36.6 billion…
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Big Chemical Selfishly Wants to Block NatGas Exports

Big Chemical–companies like Dow Corning, BASF, Eastman Chemical and others, via their trade association, have launched a war to try and block American-made natural gas from getting exported to other countries. The reason? They want the natural gas they buy (in very large quantities) to be as cheap as possible. They recently sent a letter (copy below) to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry asking Perry to create barriers to exports of natural gas, ’cause you know, it’s “America First” now baby, and we want that gas all to ourselves. Strumming the patriotic heartstrings, the the Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) says keeping all the gas here will grow more American jobs–and The Donald loves jobs for Americans. These are the same companies that, at the drop of a hat, left our shores and built plants in other countries. To play the patriotic “keep it all home” card is disgustingly hypocritical…
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Calendar of Marcellus/Utica Events for Apr 24 – Jul 23

Events related (or of interest) to the Marcellus and Utica Shale, primarily pro-drilling events.

To have your event included (or if you are aware of a worthy event you believe should be on this page), please send the details and/or a link to have it included to the [email protected] email address. Thank you!
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Apr 24, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Texas Eastern gets FERC permission to shut down pipeline between OH & PA; NY AG abused his investigative power with #ExxonKnew witch hunt; Marietta college student presents on waterless fracking alternatives; why every state should care about the DRBC lawsuit; PA natgas to the rescue!; Marcellus worker sought in attempted murder investigation; Mass. senators ask FERC to shut down Connecticut Expansion plan; how shale boom turned the world upside down; greens make natgas their next target; and more!
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Mariner East 1 Sprang a Small NGL Leak Near Philly, on Apr 1

Mariner East Pipeline Project map – click for larger version

The Mariner East 1 pipeline sprung a small leak and spilled 20 barrels (~840 gallons) of ethane and propane in Berks County, near Philadelphia, on April 1. Sunoco Logistics Partners, builder and maintainer of the pipeline, shut it down and fixed it over the next several days. The entire episode, which happened 20 days ago, is only now coming to light. Sunoco is being criticized by antis for not taking out a major advertising campaign to announce the leak. Sunoco says they alerted the National Response Center (NRC), the proper federal authority (a program of the U.S. Coast Guard). Apparently it is the job of the NRC to alert the public. Although this was a small leak which was quickly contained and with no long-term effects, Sunoco seems to have missed an important life lesson: He who gets there with the bad news first, wins. Sunoco LP should have (in our opinion) been more proactive in publicly announcing the leak and the steps taken to contain and fix it–and to reassure folks that measures will be taken to prevent any such leaks in the future. There would have been a day or two of hit pieces by “mainstream” media, and then the story would have disappeared. Now, the story will linger and be used against the company should any more minor spills happen…
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