Kinder Morgan Cancels UMTP – Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline

Once again it seems environmentalists in Kentucky have won–stopping yet another NGL (natural gas liquids) pipeline. On Wednesday Kinder Morgan, one of (perhaps the) largest pipeline companies in North America, announced it is canceling plans to convert part of its Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) that currently flows natural gas from the Gulf Coast to the northeast, to reverse the pipeline and flow natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the Marcellus/Utica region to the Gulf Coast. The project, called Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline (UMTP), would have cost $4 billion. Instead, Kinder says it will still seek to reverse a big portion of TGP, but will instead flow M-U natgas south, instead of NGLs.
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FERC Issues Final Approval for Rhode Island LNG Plant

Fields Point LNG – click for larger version

In June, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a favorable environmental assessment for a plan by utility company National Grid to build a teeny tiny LNG liquefaction plant in Providence, Rhode Island (see FERC Issues Favorable Enviro Assessment for Rhode Island LNG Plant). The Fields Point LNG plant, facing stiff opposition from a group of RI House and Senate members, will cost $180 million to build. The plant will liquefy 20 million cubic feet (MMcf) of natural gas per day and store it. Good news: earlier this week FERC granted final approval for the project.
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Energy Transfer Partners & Equity Merging into One Company Today

Energy Transfer is, on paper, several different companies. Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) is the mother ship–the main holding company. Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) is and has been (for us) the main company, builder of Rover Pipeline, among other projects. Nearly two years ago Sunoco Logistics Partners, a subsidiary of ETE, was merged into ETP (see ETE Merging Sunoco Logistics and Energy Transfer Partners). Sunoco, aka ETP, is building the Mariner East 2 NGL pipeline project. Although technically ETP is the builder, we still call the company doing the work Sunoco, because that’s what everyone else does. Confusing! Hopefully that confusion ends today. ETE announced yesterday that following a vote of unitholders (i.e. shareholders), as of today ETE and ETP are merged, and the new name is simply, Energy Transfer.
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Gulfport 3Q18 Operations Update: 11 New Utica Wells

Gulfport Energy, an independent oil and gas driller with significant acreage positions in the Utica Shale of eastern Ohio and the SCOOP Woodford and SCOOP Springer plays in Oklahoma, issued its third quarter operational (not financial) update yesterday. Gulfport is one of those companies that delivers its operational news first, and a few weeks later issues its financial news. Gulfport reports production continued to climb to new highs, averaging 1,427.5 million cubic feet equivalent (MMcfe) per day, a 7% increase over 2Q18 and 19% increase over 3Q17. Said another way, 1.43 Bcf/d.
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Rumor: FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre to Step Down

Kevin McIntyre – FERC Chairman

Kevin McIntyre, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) missed his second consecutive monthly FERC board meeting yesterday. McIntyre disclosed in March that he was diagnosed in summer 2017 with a brain tumor, but that it had been found early and successfully treated. When McIntyre missed last month’s FERC meeting due to “health issues,” tongues started to wag. Now that he’s missed a second meeting, “sources” in the swamp are saying he could potentially step down–soon. McIntyre’s chief of staff said his boss will issue a statement “in the coming days.” It certainly looks as if McIntyre will be leaving, which we find very sad.
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Will There Ever be a New Pipeline from Marcellus to New England?

Year after year New England sees historic price spikes and shortages of natural gas during the winter. It got so bad last year that several LNG cargoes from Russia were delivered (see 2nd LNG Tanker with Russian Gas Coming to Boston?!). Gas from the Russian Arctic is the ultimate insanity given that the Marcellus Shale is a few hundred miles away and our gas could easily supply all of New England’s growing needs. Yet New England refuses to allow new pipelines. It’s insane! As we ask the question in our headline, Will there ever be a pipeline built to New England? Answer: It all depends on politicians in New England.
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DOJ Asks Supreme Court to Stop Climate Lawsuit by 21 Kids

Lawyers representing a group of 21 children filed a lawsuit in 2015 that aims to force the end using all fossil fuels in the United States, to address so called man-made global warming (see Group of Kids Sues U.S. Govt to Force Action on “Climate Change”). In January 2017, the kids’ lawyers got to depose the incoming Secretary of State and former ExxonMobil CEO, Rex Tillerson (see Radicalized Kids Suing Over Global Warming to Depose Tillerson). In March of this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit refused to stop this charade (see 9th Circus Allows Climate Lawsuit by Radicalized Kids to Proceed). The Trump Administration continues to try and stop this nonsense. Yesterday the Dept. of Justice asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put a hold on the case.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Fri, Oct 19, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: NY: Winter electricity & natural gas bills expected to remain flat; slight rise possible for natural gas; NEXUS pipeline set to join natural gas traffic jam at Dawn Hub; Virginia Natural Gas celebrates Careers in Energy Week; Methane emissions continue to fall as oil, gas production soars says EPA; EPA aims to triple pace of deregulation in coming year; EIA data show weekly U.S. natural-gas supply above 3 trillion cubic feet; Natural gas pipeline rupture in Canada affects U.S. energy markets; White House shelves coal industry incentives plan; AMLO to suspend Mexico bid rounds until current projects start producing; China stops buying U.S. oil, two months after record total.
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Elba Island, Ga. LNG Export Startup Delayed (Again) – Now 1Q19

The East Coast’s second LNG export plant to come online, after Cove Point in Maryland, will be Elba Island in Georgia. In July, Kinder Morgan, the builder and primary sponsor of the project, pushed back startup for the plant from the third until fourth quarter of this year (see Elba Island, Ga. LNG Export Startup Delayed to 4Q18). In what appears to be a pattern, Kinder has just delayed startup again–now estimated to be first quarter of next year.
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Dominion Officially Axes Compressor Station Plan Near Mt. Vernon

In July MDN told you that Dominion Energy had decided, at least unofficially, to abandon a plan to build a compressor station across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon–the home and estate of our illustrious first president, George Washington (see Dominion Surrenders to Mt. Vernon – Relocating Compressor Station). Mount Vernon caretakers said the station would junk up their pretty view, which Dominion disputed. Regardless, Dominion said it would work with Mount Vernon on a plan to locate the compressor somewhere else that wouldn’t interfere with the view. Dominion has just made it official. On Monday they said they won’t build the station where originally planned.
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Belmont, OH Leaders Say PTT Cracker Decision Coming This Year

Last Friday three county commissioners from Belmont County, OH took a field trip to visit Beaver County, PA, touring the Shell ethane cracker site and talking with Beaver County officials about how the project has impacted that area. Tuesday night, a member of the Potter Township (PA) Board of Supervisors came to a meeting of local leaders in Belmont County, to talk about the Shell cracker project and what such a project in Belmont could do for the Ohio Valley. PTT Global Chemical is supposedly close to making a final investment decision on building a cracker in Belmont. The interesting comment coming from Tuesday’s meeting was about the timing of a decision to build the PTT cracker: “It [the decision] will be revealed by the end of the year.” So says Belmont officials.
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Va. Governor Refuses to Stop Mountain Valley Pipeline Work

Va. Gov. Ralph Northam

The pressure DC swamp dwellers and anti-fossil fuelers from across the country (indeed from across the world) have put on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (a Democrat) has been intense. They want Northam to abuse his executive authority, in contravention of the law, and block both the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) projects in his state. Northam’s predecessor, Terry McAuliffe (also a Democrat) created the state’s first Environmental Justice Advisory Council. That Council, packed with anti-fossil fuelers, has advised Northam to block ACP and MVP. Northam has just given his own Council a polite but firm, NO.
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M-U Uses More NatGas for Electric Generation than Any Other Area

PJM Interconnection is a regional transmission organization (RTO) operating the electric grid in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia, including PA, OH and WV. It is the largest competitive wholesale electricity market in the U.S. (second largest in the world), with more than 1,000 companies (1,376 generation sources) as members, serving 65 million customers with 177 gigawatts of generating capacity. It’s yuge! EIA published numbers yesterday quantifying natural gas-fired generation in PJM. The upshot: natural gas has eclipsed coal in electric generation in PJM, and PJM uses more natgas plants in both raw numbers and as a percentage of electricity generated, than any other power grid.
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Univ of Tennessee Studies PA Fracking Effects on Water Health

It seems that universities in states outside the Marcellus region are fascinated with the Marcellus. They love to “study” it. Or at least, the Marcellus is a goldmine for them in research grants. The latest outsider to study the Marcellus is the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Using a National Science Foundation grant, researchers from UT “will look at how aquatic microbial communities are impacted by biocides associated with hydraulic fracking.” That is, they’re studying whether or not fracking, because it has a low presence of chemicals, is creating superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics. Will fracking cause a new Black Plague?
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Wisconsin Frac Sand Mines Increasingly Dependent on M-U

Some of the best frac sand to be found–the finest particles–come from Wisconsin sand mines. Once upon a time Wisconsin was the primary frac sand producing state, for both the northeast and the southwest. But then Texas oil frackers began experimenting with Texas sand and found they could use it. No, the Texas sand is not quite as fine (or good) as Wisconsin sand, but it works. And it’s cheap, because transportation costs are low. Shipping sand from Wisconsin to Texas by rail costs big bucks. The northeast is not blessed with its own sand mines for fracking, so we still depend on places like Wisconsin. And now, increasingly, Wisconsin depends on us.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Oct 18, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Ohio Public Utilities Commission to help with gas restoration in Massachusetts; Columbia Gas launches “Back-to-Business” initiative to support to affected businesses; Business groups ask SCOTUS to shut down Massachusetts #ExxonKnew shakedown; PUC delays natural gas plant vote; Duluth hearings will go on; Emails show law firm pitched San Francisco on idea of suing energy producers; NYMEX Nov natural gas futures rise to $3.268 MMBtu on weather-related issues; Global warming to leave us crying in our costlier beer; Venture Global LNG to supply U.S. natural gas to Poland; U.S. LNG 25% cheaper than Russian gas: PGNiG; U.S. shale surges as Saudi Arabia issues veiled supply threats; How high can oil prices go?; Asia’s natural gas prices are rising – now higher oil prices and tariffs could cause more pain.
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