Feds Find More Corrosion, Issue Order re Exploded TETCO Pipe in PA

Spectra blazeAn update on Spectra Energy’s Texas Eastern Transmission’s (TETCO) “Delmont Line 27” which exploded in Westmoreland County, PA on April 29 (see Texas Eastern Pipeline Explodes near Pittsburgh, Antis Celebrate). We previously told you that not only was Line 27 out of commission, so too were three other pipelines running through the same corridor, meaning 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day is not reaching certain mid-Atlantic markets (see Update on Spectra Pipeline Explosion Near Pittsburgh). The early evidence points to corrosion along welded seams, although the jury is still out and the exact cause may not be known for months. One of the four lines that was offline (Line 19) was examined and certified by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in early May to go back online (see TETCO Pipeline Up & Running Post-Explosion; Antis Exploit Accident). However, the other three lines have remained idle pending further investigation and won’t be online again until at least November (see Ruptured TETCO Pipeline in PA Offline Until November). In an order issued on Tuesday, federal regulators with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) are requiring Spectra Energy to perform more testing and take corrective actions on the remaining three lines. Although the cause of the explosion is still not 100% verified, it’s still thought to be corrosion around welded pipe joints, i.e. bad pipe tape…
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Independent Research @ WVU Concludes Frack Waste is Safe

real-science.jpgIn November 2014 MDN told you that West Virginia University and Ohio State University received an $11 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy for a joint five-year study of Marcellus/Utica fracking and shale drilling (see WVU/OSU Get $11M Grant to Study Shale Energy Best Practices). The research project promptly got under way with baseline measurements and monitoring at the Morgantown (WV) Industrial Park where a new first-of-its-kind Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory will be located. With baseline measurements for air, noise, light and water at the site complete, the drill bit to start chewing away at rock and dirt in June (see Drilling for WVU/OSU’s $11M Study Gets Underway in Morgantown). We already have some of the first results from the WVU researchers, who have studied drilling wastes produced at two research wells. What did they find? Drilling wastes coming from the wells are far below federal guidelines for radioactive or hazardous waste. That is, they’ve found frack waste is safe. Some of the reason may be due to the “green” drilling mud being used at the site…
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Atlas Resource Partners Close to Chapter 11, NYSE De-lists Units

atlas-resource-partners-logoAtlas Resource Partners (ARP) is a publicly-traded exploration and production master limited partnership (“MLP”) with operations in basins across the United States, including the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays. ARP is a subsidiary of Atlas Energy Partners (AEP), which owns 100% of the general partner interest, all the incentive distribution rights and an approximately 23% of the limited partner interest in ARP. Essentially ARP is a big division of AEP. Atlas, as we’ve pointed out in the past, has sold most of its Marcellus assets in two huge deals: a $4.3 billion deal with Chevron in 2011 and in a $7.7 billion deal with Targa Resources in 2014. Atlas operates mostly conventional (some unconventional) oil and gas wells in a number of states: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana, Alabama, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. In February MDN broke the news that Atlas had laid off 150 employees (see Atlas Energy Issues 2015 Update + More Details on Company Layoffs). In March, we reported that AEP had lost its listing on the New York Stock Exchange and began trading on the Pink Sheets as a penny stock (see Atlas Energy “Penny Stocks” Begin Trading Today on OTCQX). ARP is following suit. Last week ARP reported the NYSE is in the processing of de-listing ARP’s units (the MLP equivalent of stocks). In addition to that news, we have some analysis below from a Seeking Alpha writer that ARP is heading for Chapter 11 bankruptcy…
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PA Game Commission Cuts ROW Deal with Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline map
Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline map – click for larger version

More progress for the Williams Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. Atlantic Sunrise is a $3 billion, 198-mile project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County. It is a much-needed pipeline to move more Marcellus gas south, to new markets. The progress is this: the Pennsylvania Game Commission has cut a right-of-way deal to allow the pipeline to traverse game lands in northern Lebanon County–including a crossing of the Appalachian Trail. But have no fear, Williams plans to drill under the Trail and not disturb the surface. In return for the right to cross a few acres of certain state-owned game lands in Lebanon County, the state is picking up a whopping 285 acres owned by Williams in Monroe and Lackawanna counties…
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Constitution Pipeline Gets a Little (Court) Help from Its Friends

Constitution Pipeline map
Constitution Pipeline map – click for larger version

In perhaps the sleaziest of sleazy political moves, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the non-science-based political decision to deny the Constitution Pipeline stream crossing permits in April (see NY Gov. Cuomo Refuses to Grant Permits for Constitution Pipeline). The man is a menace to all New Yorkers. He caves to his radical, fringe left on a regular basis, as he did with his decision to deny the Constitution Pipeline. Williams, Cabot and the other partners in the project aren’t taking it laying down. They sued New York State in federal court with the very real possibility that the court will neuter NY’s decision-making role in the project (see Williams Sues NY Over Constitution Pipe – DEC May Lose Authority). The Constitution doesn’t stand alone. A number of national industry organizations are coming to the Constitution’s defense. On Tuesday the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) and other groups together filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. “Amicus curiae” means “friend of the court” in Latin. The brief (full copy below) makes the point that states should not be the tail that wags the federal-oversight-of-such-projects dog. That is, the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is preventing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) from doing its job. One government entity (especially a state) cannot block the power and authority of another government entity (in particular the federal government)…
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Halliburton 2Q16: $3.2B Loss, Lays Off Another 5K, Thx to Obama DOJ

Halliburton logoThe second-largest oilfield services company in the world, Halliburton (once run by the evil puppet-master himself, Dick Cheney) issued their second quarter 2016 financial and operating update yesterday. The company reports losing $3.2 billion during 2Q16, largely because the Obama Dept. of Justice nixed a buyout of Baker Hughes by Halliburton, which triggered a $3.5 billion payment from Halliburton to BH (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated” and The Road Ahead for Baker Hughes – Post Halliburton Deal). Halliburton also reports revenue fell 15% and they laid off another 5,000 workers during the quarter. Here’s the update…
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Bear Head LNG Parent Lays off 13 People, “LNG…difficult market”

LNG LimitedWe’ve previously reported on a number of LNG (liquefied natural gas) export projects planned for the eastern shore of Canada. There are four to five such projects, depending on how you count them. However, one of those projects–Bear Head LNG in Nova Scotia–seems to have the most momentum. It seems the project has received most (if not all) of the necessary permits it needs to proceed, the most recent one issued just last week (see Bear Head LNG Gets GHG Plan Approval from Nova Scotia). However, the parent company building Bear Head LNG, Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (headquartered in Australia), reports laying off a group of 13 high level executives in a bid to save money. With tens of thousands of people losing their jobs over the past few years, a company laying off 13 people seems pretty minor. But the way LNG Limited is presenting the news, and the way it’s being covered in the media, it makes us wonder about the financial stability of the company and indeed the future of the Bear Head LNG project. After all, if they fire 13 people to save what amounts to $3.15 million (A$4.2 million), and a project like Bear Head costs billions of dollars to build, oy vey!…
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Carl Icahn’s Cheniere CEO Buys 37,604 Shares of Stock

Jack Fusco
Jack Fusco

After firing Cheniere Energy’s CEO and co-founder last December, Charif Souki, corporate raider Carl Icahn then installed his own puppet to run the LNG exporting company (see Carl Icahn Installs New Puppet as CEO of Cheniere Energy). The man Carl hired is Jack Fusco. Apparently Jack is confident in himself and in the future of Cheniere. After all, people like Icahn buy just enough stock to control the company, then they fire a bunch of people and sell off assets in a bid to raise the stock price so they can sell and exit with gobs of money in their pockets. That’s what evil corporate raiders do. Back to Jack. Fusco is reported to have snapped up $1.5 million worth of Cheniere’s stock a few days ago. Which makes us wonder–what does Jack know that we don’t?…
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Quick Primer on U.S. Electric Grid & How it Works

EIAAs we’ve been saying for well more than a year now, it’s important to understand the electric generation market because natural gas and electric generation are joined at the hip. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that natural gas will power more electric generation in this country than another other source, including coal, THIS YEAR (see EIA Says NatGas-Fired PowerGen to Reach New Record High in 2016). The bright minds at EIA have just issued what we would call a tutorial on how the electric grid works in the U.S. It’s carved up into regions (called interconnections) and smaller networks exist within those regions to ensure reliability and backup. Here’s a quick and excellent look at how electric generation works in the U.S….
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Jul 21, 2016

best of the restThe “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Ohio natgas production up 1000% in 10 years; antis plot to compare fracking with Zika virus; PA health report destroys “fracking causes asthma” study; Vermont scales back on renewables; searching for gas under Jackson, MI; Obama spending your money to give solar panels to poor people; end of the road for Stone; and more!
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