NEXUS Gas Pipeline Pre-Files with FERC, New Details Come to Light

but wait there's moreIn September 2012, three companies–DTE Energy, Spectra Energy and Enbridge–formed a joint venture to build a new Utica Shale pipeline from Ohio through Michigan and eventually into Canada, delivering Utica Shale gas to Midwestern markets (see New Utica Shale Pipeline to Midwest Announced). The new pipeline, called NEXUS Gas Transmission, will cost $1.5 billion to build, begin in Columbiana County, OH and cross through 11 Ohio counties and 3 Michigan counties in total (see list below). Some of the details were revealed last year when the Akron Beacon Journal filed an open records request (see OH Route of Proposed NEXUS Gas Pipeline Revealed). On December 30, NEXUS finally filed what’s called a “pre-filing” with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). We have a copy of that pre-filing document below, along with extracts (new details) and a new map showing where the pipeline is due to go…
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How Does NY Frack Ban Affect Wayne & Pike Counties in PA?

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s political decision to ban shale drilling in the Empire State continues to reverberate and affect the states around it–particularly Pennsylvania. Now that New York will disallow shale drilling for the foreseeable future, how does that affect Pike and Wayne counties in PA? Those two counties have the misfortune to sit in the jurisdiction of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). The DRBC, under former anti-drilling director Carol Collier, had a temporary ban in place for all of the territory under their purview. Collier “retired” last year and is now busy advising Gov.-elect Tom Wolf (shows you the kind of people he has around him). It was hoped that when a new director was appointed, Steve Tambini from the Pennsylvania America Water company, things would change. The director does not have the power to either authorize or ban fracking–that falls to the voting members from NY, PA, NJ, DE and the federal government. However, the director has a lot of influence. So with NY’s decision to ban fracking, is there any hope that fracking might still be allowed in the DRBC in Pike and Wayne counties? So far the DRBC is mum, and staying that way…
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Baker Hughes: Well & Rig Counts Go Up, Not Down, in 4Q14!

Very interesting. You would think that the oil and gas price apocalypse, which began in the late third/early fourth quarter of 2014, would mean that drilling rigs would be idled by the dozens and new well starts would plummet. According to numbers just released by Baker Hughes, you would be wrong. The average rig count for 4Q14 was 1,856 onshore rigs, up 14 rigs (1%) from 3Q14. Huh. The number of rigs in 4Q14 was up 159 rigs (9%) from 4Q13! Wow. And then there are well counts–the number of new wells spud or drilled. In 4Q14 there were 9,544 new wells were spud–virtually unchanged from 3Q14. Compared to 4Q13, new wells drilled were up 461 (5%). Double wow! We’re not saying the numbers won’t head south in 1Q15–we are saying that it’s helpful to mind the objective numbers and not the subjective hype you hear in the press when it comes to “slow downs” and such…
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DCNR Says PA May be Getting Shorted on Royalties for State Land

Before he left office, Pennsylvania Democrat Gov. Ed Rendell leased all of the state-owned land he could for gas drilling before he hypocritically slapped a moratorium on any further such leasing for his Republican successor, Tom Corbett. Turns out old Ed is crazy like a fox. PA not only got whopping big money from signing bonuses that Ed used to plug big holes in his overspending budgets, but now the state regularly receives $10 million PER MONTH in royalty revenues from all of that leasing. Thanks Ed! Just one problem, according to the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)–the state may be getting shortchanged on some of their royalty payments. The DCNR won’t say who they think is doing the short-changing. They’re running a full blown review right now…
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MDN Encourages Counter-Protest at SE PA Compressor Plant on Jan 24

In December the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finally, after a nearly two-year process, approved Columbia Gas Transmissions East Side Expansion project which will add 19 miles of new pipeline in southeastern PA and NJ to help fire a natural gas-fired electricity generating plant with cheap Marcellus Shale gas (see FERC Approves Columbia East Side Project in SE PA). All along there’s been opposition to a compressor station expansion Forks Township, Northampton County (see Columbia Hits Resistance to Compressor Upgrade in SE PA). As we’ve pointed out, it’s not much opposition–look at the picture of the so-called “packed auditorium” of people turning up to oppose it (see picture below). However, the anti-pipeline faithful don’t give up easily. There’s always one more Viet Nam, er, a, pipeline protest left in ’em. Even though the East Side Expansion (and compressor station expansion) is close to being a done deal, a group of anti-drilling/anti-pipeline folks will turn up on Sat., Jan. 24 at noon at the plant to protest. We think pro-drilling folks need to turn up as well. It’s time to fight this nonsense…
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Free 10-Week Class in Lancaster to Educate on Drilling, Pipelines

Here’s an educational effort we can get behind and support. The Farm and Home Center in Lancaster, PA (1383 Arcadia Road) is hosting a free series of 10 weekly classes about Marcellus Shale drilling and the pipelines that carry Marcellus natural gas. The series is sponsored by the National Science Foundation is reportedly is neither for nor against drilling and pipelines–it plans to offer “just the facts, ma’am.” Course instructor Terry Noll says there will be time for people to express opinions and ask questions. The series will also include field trips…
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Power Generation Biggest Driver for Expanded Natgas Use in 2015

According to a new report released earlier this week from the American Petroleum Institute (API), power generation will be the biggest driver for expanded natural gas in the U.S. in 2015. The report, titled “The State of American Energy Report 2015” (full copy embedded below) looks at not only natural gas, but wind, solar, biomass, nuclear and other forms of energy. America is now the world leader in energy production, something “unthinkable” just a few short years ago. Why? Thanks to the miracle of fracking…
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ICF Forecast: Coal in Trouble, Gas Price Flat, Alternatives So-So

ICF International, a leading provider of consulting services and technology solutions to government and commercial clients, has released its ICForecast Energy Outlook for the first quarter of 2015. The study highlights the near-, mid- and long-term future impacts of proposed U.S. federal environment regulations, including up-to-date analysis of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rules and regulation activities; gas, coal and power market prices and coal production; and renewable energy development. What does it say? Coal plants will continue to be strangled by EPA regulations, natural gas prices will remain flat/low in 2015, wind energy faces “uncertainty” ahead and solar continues to make microscopic progress…
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