Blue Racer Barges NGLs to Gulf Coast on the Ohio River

Blue Racer Midstream logoThis post will not make anti-fossil fuel nutters happy. You know how antis have moaned and groaned at the prospect of allowing barges on the Ohio River to transport produced water–naturally-occurring salty water that comes out of the ground long after fracking operations are over. Antis complained so much that the Obama Administration politically prevented the Coast Guard from moving forward with a barging plan (see Coast Guard Caves to Political Pressure, No Wastewater Barging). The “funny” thing is, there are substances 100 times more toxic than produced water traveling on barges up and down the Ohio every day! But let’s not let facts get in the way of a good [drug-induced hippie] protest, right? In June we brought you the story that Blue Racer Midstream, a joint venture between Caiman Energy II and Dominion that owns several natural gas processing and fractionation plants, 650 miles of natgas gathering pipelines, and 155 miles of NGL and condensate pipelines in OH and WV, is planning to barge NGLs (natural gas liquids) from their facilities in WV down the Ohio River to the Gulf Coast (see Blue Racer Midstream to Begin Barging on Ohio River This Year!). The exciting news is that Blue Racer began their NGL barging program in October…
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Landowner Appeals Range Well Contamination Case to PA Supreme Crt

lawsuitFor some time we’ve followed the story of Range Resources and their (former) wastewater impoundments in Washington County, PA. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) fined Range a whopping $4.15 million for violations in September 2014 (see PA DEP Fines Range Resources $4.15M for Wastewater Impoundments). Some of the nearby neighbors claimed that Range’s leaky impoundments (a quarter of a mile away) contaminated their water wells. One of those landowners was Loren Kiskadden, who sued Range in civil court. The problem is, the DEP determined that the nearby Yeager impoundment had not contaminated Kiskadden’s well, which led to allegations that the DEP had bungled the investigation (see Did DEP Mishandle Range Wastewater Impoundment Investigation?). Kiskadden had to press on, because if the DEP doesn’t reverse its finding, he has no civil case against Range. Press on he did (see Hearing on Range Yeager Impoundment/Water Contamination Continues). The matter was heard by the DEP’s Environmental Hearing Board (EHB). The EHB found that Kiskadden didn’t have a case–his well was not contaminated by Range’s impoundment. So Kiskadden and his lawyers asked for a re-hearing. The result of that re-hearing came in December 2015 and we thought it finally closed the door, once and for all, on the case (see DEP Final Determination: Range Didn’t Pollute Kiskadden Water Well). But no, that was not the end. Kiskadden appealed again, and in October 2016 a Commonwealth Court appeals panel affirmed the EHB’s 2015 dismissal of Kiskadden’s appeal of the DEP 2011 ruling that Range’s Yeager site operations did not contaminate Kiskadden’s well water. Case closed, right? Nope. Kiskadden has one card left to play, and he’s done it. Kiskadden’s attorneys have appealed the case to the PA Supreme Court…
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Panda’s Marcellus Gas Power Plants Fined for Using Too Much Water

Panda Power FundsOver the past two months Panda Power Funds has brought online the first two built-from-scratch-to-use-Marcellus-gas electric plants, both in northeast Pennsylvania (see First NatGas Power Plant in Marcellus, Panda Liberty, Goes Online and Panda’s 2nd Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Goes Online in PA). Before Panda owned and built the “Liberty” and “Patriot” power plant projects, they were first owned and begun by Moxie Energy. Moxie secured all of the necessary permits and then sold the two projects to Panda (see Moxie Liberty Sells PA Electric Plant Project to Panda Power and Panda Power Buys Rights for 2nd Marcellus-Fueled Electric Plant). Panda is also building a third power gen project by converting a former coal-fired plant into burning Marcellus gas (see Panda Power Building 3rd Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant in PA). Word has come out that when Panda was building the two Moxie-purchased plants, Liberty and Patriot, they used more water than the original plan called for. Panda says Moxie’s original plan didn’t allow for enough water needed to properly test the plants. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) has been in talks with Panda about all three of their projects and the water overages for each. News reports say that Panda has worked out a deal with the SRBC to pay the agency a $97,000 fine for using too much water…
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FERC Delays EIS for Mountaineer XPress & Gulf XPress Pipelines

delayedThe Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just thrown a little cold water on two important pipeline upgrades to carry more Marcellus/Utica gas to southern markets. A final environmental impact statement (EIS) was due from FERC for both the Mountaineer XPress and Gulf XPress projects no later than April 28, 2017. FERC says that deadline is going to slip by three months due to reroutes and additional environment information requested. MDN has previously reported on Mountaineer XPress, which includes 165 miles of new pipeline with approximately 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of transportation capacity from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). We have not, however, reported on Gulf XPress, which seems to be a project different from other Columbia projects we’ve highlighted, including Rayne XPress and Leach XPress. The Gulf XPress project does not appear to be either of those projects renamed (or original thought). Gulf XPress consists of constructing seven new midpoint compressor stations along the existing Columbia pipeline system in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, with the aim of moving an additional 875 million cubic feet (MMcf) of Marcellus/Utica gas per day southward, to the Gulf Coast region…
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Fairmount Santrol Buys Back $213M of Debt, Issues $175M in New Stock

Fairmount Santrol logoFairmount Santrol, an Ohio-based sand producer that sells sand as a proppant for use in Utica and Marcellus Shale drilling, raised $161 million from a new stock offering in August (see Fairmount Santrol’s New Stock Offering Exceeds Expectations). Like most companies in the oil and gas industry, Fairmount continues various strategies to strengthen its balance sheet and (frankly) stay afloat. Evidence: On Tuesday of this week the company announced it had repurchased $213 million of outstanding loans to the company. The company has enough credit and/or cash on hand to do so, and by doing so, they will save nearly $10 million a year in interest payments. Good for them! Two days later (yesterday) Fairmount Santrol then announced another new stock offering–floating 20 million shares looking for another $175 million. However, someone else is selling the stock and Fairmount won’t see a dime of the money raised…
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Ceremonial Groundbreaking on US’s Biggest NatGas Electric Plant

dominionIn March 2015, Dominion–a huge natural gas and electric utility as well as a midstream company–announced plans to build the State of Virginia’s (indeed the country’s) largest natural gas powered electric generating plant, in Greensville County, VA (see Virginia’s Largest Electric Plant to be Powered by Marcellus Gas). The $1.3 billion state-of-the-art natural gas-fired electric generating station will generate 1,600 megawatts of electricity. Dominion’s own 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (when built) will provide cheap, abundant, clean-burning Marcellus/Utica Shale gas to power it. In June, Dominion actually broke ground at the construction site (see Dominion Begins Building Virginia’s Biggest NatGas Power Station). However, yesterday there was another groundbreaking for the project–or perhaps it was the ceremonial groundbreaking–or perhaps they actually began to build the structure itself. We’re not sure. What we do know, from reading the article below, is that the local region is pumped about this plant, a plant that will bring $2.5 billion of investment, 1,000 construction jobs to build it, and ongoing tax revenue of more than $8 million a year. No wonder the residents of Greensville County love this project!…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Dec 2, 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: Activists backed with lib $$ protest against Trump & natgas; petition with out-of-state signatures may affect OH Wayne National Forest lease sale; Williams closing OKC office, moving people to Tulsa; OPEC cutback may trigger drilling boom in US shale; North American natgas prices will rise due to LNG, petchem demand; the frac spread; and more!
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