Marathon Petroleum’s Newly Announced “Cornerstone” Utica Pipeline

MPC Cornerstone PipelineAnother new pipeline is on the way in the Utica Shale. This one will be built by Marathon Petroleum Corporation, the largest refiner in the Utica Shale region. The Cornerstone pipeline, as they’re calling it, will stretch nearly 50 miles from the MarkWest cryogenic processing plant in Cadiz, OH northwest connecting to M3’s fractionator plant in Scio and M3’s cryogenic processing plant in Leesville along the way as it terminates and connects to Marathon’s refinery in Canton, OH (see map below). The pipeline will carry, at various times, crude oil, condensate and natural gasoline.

The Cornerstone pipeline is slated to be built and in operation in 2016, according to Marathon officials. Here’s what Garry Peiffer, President of Marathon’s Master Limited Partnership MPLX GP said about the Cornerstone project on an analyst call yesterday:
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Into the Light: Open Season Announced Mariner East 2 NGL Pipeline

A few weeks ago MDN observed that Sunoco Logistics’ is planning a second Mariner East NGL pipeline to run alongside the pipeline they’re working to complete now that runs from western PA all the way to the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia (see Sunoco Logistics Planning Second Mariner East Pipeline for NGLs). We wouldn’t say Sunoco’s plans for a second pipeline have been shrouded in secrecy or conspiratorial, but we would say they haven’t exactly been forthcoming about their plans either–until now.

Yesterday Sunoco announced a binding open season to allow producers to sign up for capacity on the Mariner East 2 pipeline (official name). The open season began yesterday but we find no mention of when it will end, so perhaps it’s open-ended for now. (Usually open seasons last for a month or so.) The plan is to have this new pipeline operational in early 2016. Here’s the press release from Sunoco Logistics announcing the open season for Mariner East 2 (with map):
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NY Farm Bureau “Shoots Down” Anti-Fracking Plank at State Meeting

The New York Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization made up of volunteers–farmers–to lobby for agricultural issues. It is a superlative organization. The folks who belong are salt of the earth types of people–people who don’t want their land ruined because they make their living from the land. If anyone is concerned about the potential harm from hydraulic fracturing, it is the farmers on whose land the procedure will be done. They have a vested interest in ensuring their land remains workable.

So it’s no small thing that some farmers introduced a resolution that calls for a ban on fracking in New York. And it’s also no small thing that the resolution was voted down–overwhelmingly–by the majority of members. That is, New York farmers have looked across the border to their farming cousins in Pennsylvania, and over in Ohio, and in West Virginia, and they see that fracking has not harmed the land there and have rightly concluded it would work just fine here in New York too…
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Must-See Video Sticks It to Hollywood Anti-Frackers

Throwing their own words right back in their smug faces, a new video released on Tuesday by the Western Energy Alliance uses real people to tell the truth about fracking, and tells off the know-nothing Hollwood stars that appear in a recent anti-fracking video.

A Washington Times story about the new video appears directly below, followed by the video itself. Please take time to give it a watch–it’s under one minute long and will put a smile on your face like it did ours…
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OOGA Caves, Endorses New Higher Tax on OH Utica Shale

It looks like taxes on the Utica Shale in Ohio will go up. Yesterday OH Rep. Matt Huffman and Speaker William Batchelder (both Republicans) introduced House Bill 375 which would raise taxes on Utica Shale drilling. Efforts have been under way for the past two years by OH Gov. John “foreigner-hunter” Kasich. He’s into socialism these days–raise taxes on one set of people and give it to another. He’s had some assistance from his fellow Republicans in this regard–but the efforts have (thankfully) gone nowhere.

But now it’s different. This time the Ohio Oil & Gas Association (OOGA), long opposed to raising the Utica Shale tax, has endorsed the latest proposal, which means it’s probably not as much as Kasich wanted, but it’s certainly more that what it is now. Sadly, OOGA has also (for political expediency) endorsed the concept of giving “the extra money” raised by new taxes to voters (i.e. vote buying) in the form of a state income tax cut…
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PA DEP Sec. Abruzzo Grilled by PA Senate on Global Warming

We already had a high opinion of Acting Secretary of PA’s Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), Chris Abruzzo. But our already high opinion just went higher. Abruzzo has been “acting” secretary since the spring. He finally had his hearing yesterday before the PA Senate where senators got to grill him on various issues before they vote to confirm him as the real-deal secretary. At the hearing Abruzzo was asked about the global warming mythology and whether or not he believes in Santa Claus global warming.

Abruzzo had the unmitigated gall to speak the truth (always a dangerous thing to speak truth to politicians). He said he thinks global warming is happening a teeny bit, but it’s not adversely affecting humans or animals or plants. It’s minor. Not a big deal. And it’s certainly not something PA can or should address with heavy-handed government policies. Well! You would think he had grown two heads right there before their very eyes! Some of the warmers were ready to roll out the old elevated platform they used to hang people from who were thought to be witches! Three cheers for Abruzzo, who has brass…er, Christmas ornaments…for not sugarcoating his views. Here’s how his grilling was reported by the reliably anti-drilling StateImpact Pennsylvania:
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Supply Chain: WV Company Specializes in Hard-to-Lay Pipelines

Looking to get a piece of the Marcellus/Utica  Shale business for your company (i.e. plug in to the supply chain)? Think niches. An interesting story about a West Virginia construction company that specializes in digging and laying pipelines for the oil and gas industry. But they don’t specialize in the easy stuff–they specialize in the hard stuff…laying pipeline over hills and mountains.

The company, Ronald Lane Inc., has to hang their backhoes from two to four steel cables, dangling on the side of mountains! And they have all the work they can handle because of the Marcellus…
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Will Winter Storm Cleon Affect Marcellus/Utica Pipelines?

Can foul weather mess with the shale gas market? Sure it can. If a bunch of snow (or freezing rain) drops, it can slow drilling operations–trucks and personnel coming and going to drill sites may be stopped for a time. However, one thing you may not think could be affected but sometimes is affected, are pipelines. Not because of snow and freezing rain, but because of super low temperatures.

Natural Gas Intelligence/Shale Daily published an article yesterday about winter storm Cleon (yes, they’re now naming winter storms, can you believe it?!) and its impact on natural gas pipelines. Some pipelines have announced they are increasing flows ahead of Cleon just in case (so there’s plenty of supplies). Cleon, with brutally low temperatures, is moving from West to East and will soon affect the northeast–the Utica and Marcellus in particular. Pipelines are “hardened” against cold weather (and baby it’s going to get cold outside). However, prolonged foul weather (especially cold weather) sometimes interrupts pipeline flows…
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More Global Warming Flummery – Latest Scare Report Issued

A new report is out on the hazards of global warming…blah blah blah…fill in the blanks. If the warmers detect the general public doesn’t believe as fervently as they used to about global warming–if people are going a little bit squishy and starting to ask uncomfortable questions–it’s time to ratchet up the rhetoric and start talking about impending doom and a coming environmental holocaust. Trouble is, they keep doing it–decade after decade–and the environmental holocaust never seems to arrive. So they have to start blaming hurricanes and big winter storms–things we’ve had for, oh, millions of years–on global warming. Do they really think we’re that stupid?

And so enters yet another shrill global warming flummery study from the left-leaning National Research Council–because the general population needs another good scare. The compliant New York Times does as good a job as any at trumpeting this latest false alarm. We learn that even though global warming hasn’t really caused any problems yet, when it does, baby it’s gonna happen “all at once” and be “really bad”…honest…
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New Electric Power Plant in Lancaster Powered by Marcellus Gas

Even though there’s no Marcellus Shale under Lancaster County, PA, the county is about to benefit from the Marcellus Shale. A new electrical generating power plant is planned for Lancaster County that will be powered by cheap Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania–meaning lower electricity prices for the 390,000 homes it will power. It also means a new 9-mile natural gas pipeline will be built, and a 7-mile water pipeline.

Lots of jobs in building the plant and the pipelines, some landowners will benefit from having the pipeline cross their property, and everyone in the region gets lower cost electricity. It’s a win/win/win situation–thanks to the Marcellus…
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