FERC Approves NEXUS Pipeline, Project on Track for 2017

approvedAs MDN predicted, yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the NEXUS Pipeline project (see FERC Expected to Approve NEXUS Today; Surveyors have Armed Guards). More precisely, FERC issued a positive Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). These projects are complex and the final Certificate is yet to be granted that allows Spectra Energy to begin digging–but that Certificate is now just a formality. The big nut to crack was the FEIS. With that now granted (executive summary of FEIS below), the final Certificate is on track to be issued in the first quarter of 2017. That is, NEXUS is on track, on time, and WILL get built despite the objections of anti-fossil fuelers. The NEXUS Pipeline is a $2 billion, 255-mile interstate pipeline that will run from Ohio through Michigan and eventually to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada. It is a critically needed pipeline to move Utica and Marcellus Shale gas from an over-saturated market in the northeast to markets in the Midwest and Canada. But FERC’s approval is not only great news for Marcellus and Utica Shale drillers, it’s also great news for Ohioans as there are numerous taps along the proposed route that will deliver plenty of cheap Utica gas to Ohio residents and businesses. And lest you believe the anti lie that FERC is nothing more than a rubber stamp for the pipeline industry, there are some 38 mitigation projects NEXUS will have to make when building the pipeline–projects that will come at great expense. FERC does it job and does it well, balancing the need for more energy with the impacts that infrastructure will have on landowners and the environment. Here’s the great news, along with some of the reaction…
Continue reading

Rover Pipeline in Hot Water Over Demolishing Historic House in OH

taken to the woodshedFERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) is not happy with Energy Transfer and their Rover Pipeline. There are two major pipeline projects planned for Ohio: NEXUS and Rover. NEXUS got some FERC love today (see today’s lead story). Rover, on the other hand, is getting the cold shoulder from FERC, from a self-inflicted wound. Let us explain. As a reminder, Rover (an Energy Transfer project) is a $3.7 billion, 711-mile Marcellus/Utica natural gas pipeline that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada. The short version of what happened is that in May 2015 Rover purchased a house in Carroll County, OH, located near where the pipeline, and a compressor station for that pipeline, is due to run. Rover bought the house to use for offices for several Rover affiliate companies. After buying it, they determined it was “ill-suited for its intended purpose” and decided to demolish the house. Problem was/is, that house was under consideration to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. The house was not yet on the list of Historic Places, but was on a list of properties under consideration. Rover should have reported their decision to demolish the house to FERC but didn’t, which has Rover in hot water with FERC and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Will Rover’s action kill the project? No. Will it slow down Rover and end up costing the company boatloads of money? Most likely, although Rover disputes that interpretation of events…
Continue reading

Statoil’s Tax Overpayment Cases Bounced Back to WV County Courts

StatoilStatoil, based in Norway, is a big player in the West Virginia Marcellus Shale. Statoil paid property taxes to Brooke, Marshall, Ohio and Wetzel counties (all in WV) in 2015 and later found, during an audit/review, that they had overpaid those counties. They overpaid Brooke by $1.8 million, Ohio by $2.9 million, Wetzel by $1.6 million and Marshall by $342,000. The WV Tax Department argues that Statoil “acted negligently” and exercised “poor judgment” in not finding the mistake sooner. All four counties voted to deny Statoil’s request, so Statoil took them to court, asking the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals to hear the case. However, the Appeals court has just ruled that the cases are not “complex” and don’t require “special treatment,” so back to county court the cases will go…
Continue reading

Anti-Drillers Lose 2-Yr Case Against Muskingum Watershed District

Gavel-falling.jpgFor several years MDN has tracked and reported on a lawsuit brought against the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) by an anti-drilling couple in Guernsey County, OH–Leatra Harper and her husband Steven Janstro (backed by the odious Food & Water Watch). At last check in April 2014, the couple had won the right to continue on with the lawsuit (see Anti-Drillers Win Minor Victory Against Muskingum Watershed Dist). Their aim was to prove the MWCD had violated the original deed to the property by allowing drilling–that by allowing shale drilling on MWCD-owned land, it frustrates the original purpose of the land as stated in the deed, which is to use the land for “recreation, conservation, or reservoir-development purposes.” The case made it all the way to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Last week the Sixth Circuit dismissed the case. The anti-drillers have lost…
Continue reading

FirstEnergy Flips the Switch on New Marcellus Power Line

FirstEnergyFirstEnergy is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. FirstEnergy loves the shale industry. We told you in December 2014 that FirstEnergy was planning to invest $100 million in new electric transmission projects to service the growing Marcellus and Utica Shale industry in WV (see FirstEnergy Investing $100M in Electric Projects for WV Marcellus). FirstEnergy’s construction crews have begun erecting steel poles for a new 18-mile high voltage power line that will run through Harrison and Doddridge counties in WV in April (see FirstEnergy Installs $92M Electric Line in WV for Shale Industry). Great news! FirstEnergy flipped the switch on the new line and the electric is now flowing…
Continue reading

FERC Denies Anti Request to Stop KM’s Broad Run Expansion Project

request-denied.jpgKinder Morgan’s Broad Run Expansion Project will expand transportation capacity of natural gas on the existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline system. The project includes the construction of two new compressor stations in Kanawha County, WV, one new compressor station in Davidson County, TN, and one new compressor station in Madison County, KY. Tennessee Gas also expects to increase compression capacity by modifying two of its existing compressor stations in Powell and Boyd counties in KY by replacing existing capacity with new, higher-rated horsepower compression units. The project will provide an extra 200,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of transportation capacity along the same capacity path as the Broad Run Flexibility project, which was placed in service on Nov. 1, 2015. All of the additional gas will come from Antero Resources and their Marcellus/Utica program. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Certificate to build the project in September. However, several anti-drillers filed an appeal, asking for a stay claiming a removal of 40 acres of forest for a compressor station would irreparably harm Mom Earth. FERC has just ruled against the stay and told the antis Mom Earth will be just fine. Fire up the backhoes!…
Continue reading

OSU’s Helpful Tips for Negotiating a Pipeline Contract

helpful-tipsPipelines have been, and continue to be, a big deal throughout the Marcellus and Utica region. Landowners who are approached about placing a pipeline through their property should (1) never sign the standard contract presented, and (2) never sign anything without first running it by a lawyer. Beyond that, what else should landowners think about/do when negotiating a pipeline easement? Clif Little from the Ohio State University Extension gives us some helpful tips…
Continue reading

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Dec 1, 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: Sierra Club lies (again) about PennEast Pipeline; Vermont missing out on low natgas prices; Mass. residents gear up to oppose compressor station; OPEC agrees to cut output & prices jump; valuing our energy infrastructure; Sept natgas output lower despite higher prices; US will be 3rd largest natgas exporter by 2020; and more!
Continue reading