FERC Approves Atlantic Bridge Project for New England/Canada

Although antis have tried to block major pipeline upgrades in the northeast/New England region, Spectra Energy continues to have success with building and completing its projects. Recently Spectra’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) project, which built ~37 miles of new pipeline and half a dozen new compressor stations along the Alogonquin Gas Transmission pipeline, went into service (see New England Gets Small Increase in NatGas Pipeline Capacity). AIM is now delivering an extra 342 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of Marcellus/Utica natural gas to New England. AIM is part of a larger plan from Spectra called the Access Northeast project to combine several pipeline systems to send gas into New England and all the way to Nova Scotia, Canada. Access Northeast has been frustrated by regulators in New England (see Spectra Energy Puts Access Northeast Pipe to New England on Hold). However, another important piece of the larger puzzle has now fallen into place. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just approved another piece of Access Northeast, called Atlantic Bridge. FERC previously granted the project a favorable Environmental Assessment last May (see Critical Project for Canadian LNG Exports Gets Favorable FERC Review). With certificates in hand, Spectra Energy can now start the bulldozers and begin construction. What does Atlantic Bridge entail? It beefs up capacity along the Algonquin and Spectra’s Maritimes & Northeast pipeline to carry more Marcellus/Utica gas into New England and now all the way to Nova Scotia…
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FERC Delay Pushes Back NFG’s Northern Access Pipeline Project

National Fuel Gas Company (NFG), the Buffalo-based utility giant with both a drilling subsidiary (Seneca Resources) and a midstream/pipeline subsidiary (Empire Pipeline) filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in March 2015 for a pipeline project they call Northern Access 2016 (later renamed to simply Northern Access Project, dropping the “2016” part). The $455 million project includes building 97 miles of new pipeline along a power line corridor from northwestern Pennsylvania up to Erie County, NY. The project also calls for 3 miles of new pipeline further up, in Niagara County, along with a new compressor station in the Town of Pendleton (see NFG’s Marcellus Pipeline from NWPA to NY Hits Resistence). In July 2016, FERC issued a favorable Environmental Assessment, paving the path for full approval (see NFG’s Northern Access Pipeline Gets Favorable FERC Review). NFG had hoped to have the project done and in-service by November of this year. However, due to foot-dragging by FERC, NFG has just announced a revision. They now say the project can’t get completed until “the second quarter of the Company’s 2018 fiscal year.” NFG doesn’t operate on a calendar year for reporting, they’re a quarter ahead. So the Company’s 2Q18 means 1Q18 for everyone else. Translation: NFG hopes to have it built and in-service by March 2018. In addition to the “bad news” of the delay, NFG sprinkled in some good news about production in 4Q16: due to an increase in Marcellus production, NFG’s calendar 4Q16 production (for subsidiary Seneca Resources) was up 16% over the same period in 2015…
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Wash DC Utility Selling Itself to Canadians, Marcellus Connection

In November rumors swirled that WGL Holdings, the umbrella company that owns Washington (DC) Gas Light Company and WGL Midstream, is considering selling itself to utility giant (and Spanish-based) Iberdrola (see DC NatGas Utility WGL Considers Selling Itself to Spanish Company). Although Iberdrola was sniffing around, apparently they didn’t offer enough money. WGL announced yesterday that instead of selling itself to Ibedrola, it is selling itself to Canadian-based AltaGas Ltd.–for US$6.4 billion. OK, so what does that have to do with the Marcellus/Utica? Plenty. For one, WGL’s midstream (pipeline) subsidiary will be one of the important ways nearly half a billion cubic feet of Marcellus gas will get to the Cove Point LNG facility in Maryland when that facility goes online later this year (see WGL & Antero to Provide Marcellus Gas to India via Cove Point). Second, WGL is the owner of 10% of the Mountain Valley Pipeline project, a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA (see WGL Midstream Buys More of Mountain Valley Pipeline). And third, WGL (the utility) is buying and using Marcellus gas for its customers in the Washington, DC area. At one point the utility tried to buy 25 of its own Marcellus wells, a plan rejected by Virginia regulators (see Virginia Rejects Deal for DC-based Utility to Buy Marcellus Wells). So yeah, this is a big deal with implications for the Marcellus…
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Marcellus Gas Saves 438 Jobs at PA Paper Manufacturer

Domtar Corporation designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes pulp, paper, and personal care products from facilities in Elk and Clearfield counties in North Central Pennsylvania. PA Gov. Tom Wolf’s office excitedly announced yesterday that the company has decided to stay in PA and not move, making “significant infrastructure and equipment upgrades at its facilities.” The decision means that 438 jobs will stay in the Keystone State rather than move elsewhere–good for Pennsylvania. Which is all mildly interesting. However, the primary reason they’re sticking around is what caught our eye: the operation is converting from burning coal for energy to burning clean, cheap Marcellus Shale gas. The PA Commonwealth Financing Authority is kicking in $1 million from the Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE) grant fund to pay for a three-mile natural gas pipeline to Domtar’s Elk County paper mill facility…
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Anti-Fracking NY Pays to Train Soldiers to Work in Gas Industry

This story is deliciously ironic. New York State under man-child Gov. Andrew Cuomo has refused to allow hydraulic fracturing in unconventional shale deposits, although there is still fracking in conventional wells (see After 6+ Years, Andrew Cuomo Bans Fracking in New York). Cuomo has gone so far as to try and stop important pipeline projects that will flow shale gas from Pennsylvania into New York, like the Constitution (see NY Gov. Cuomo Refuses to Grant Permits for Constitution Pipeline). So we find it ironic that state funding is now being used in Watertown, NY to offer a free six-week retraining course for active military and veterans, a course that trains them for jobs in…wait for it…the fracking industry. With backing from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council and Department of Labor, the Continuing Education Division at Jefferson Community College (JCC) and the Fort Drum Soldier for Life program are currently hosting “Natural Gas Bootcamp,” a six-week career skills training program, on the JCC campus. We can assure you there is no fracking anywhere near Watertown. The JCC will hold five such training boot camps this year. So Gov. Cuomo’s state-funded Economic Development Council is training workers who will promptly move out of state to get jobs in an industry the state bans. Brilliant…
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New Poll: 62% of Virginians Support Mountain Valley Pipeline

The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA. The project, which filed an official application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in October 2015, is being built by EQT, NextEra Energy and several other partners including WGL (see today’s companion story). The project has faced stiff opposition from landowners in West Virginia (see Mountain Valley Pipeline Sues 103 WV Landowners for Survey Access). The project has also faced opposition from landowners in Virginia (see Mountain Valley Pipeline Wins Right to Survey in VA w/o Permission). Fortunately the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is signaling its favor for the project (see FERC Gives WV to VA Mountain Valley Pipeline Provisional Thumbs Up). However, that doesn’t stop rabidly radical organizations like the Sierra Club from spreading lies (see Sierra Club Attacks Mountain Valley Pipeline with Sham Report). Mason-Dixon Polling & Research conducted a public opinion poll of Virginians, to see what residents think of the project. The results are in. The question asked was this: “The proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline would transport natural gas underground from West Virginia to Virginia to help meet the demand for energy in homes and businesses in various regions of Virginia and the southeastern United States. Do you support or oppose construction and operation of the Mountain Valley Pipeline?” The response? Some 62% of Virginians support the pipeline, while only 26% oppose it (and 12% are clueless)…
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William Penn Foundation at Center of $100M Dela. Basin Collusion

One of the worst of the worst non-profit organizations that continues to fund anti-shale activities in the Marcellus/Utica is the William Penn Foundation. By all rights their non-profit (i.e. tax-free) status issued by the IRS should be revoked because of their overt support of anti-fracking initiatives. But we’re not holding our breath. MDN friend Tom Shepstone has written extensively about this odious organization and the many puppet groups it supports (see Tom’s article No Pipeline Capacity? No Jobs? Blame William Penn Foundation.). Here’s just some of the money issued by William Penn to radical anti groups: Sierra Club Foundation – $350,000; Penn Future – $275,000; Clean Air Council – $200,000; Delaware Riverkeeper Network – $290,000; New Jersey Conservation Foundation – $205,000; PennEnvironment – $110,000; EarthJustice – $200,000. Millions of dollars buys a lot of influence (and a lot of people). Another organization supported in part by William Penn is the taxpayer-funded StateImpact Pennsylvania, a PBS train wreck. StateImpact is a mouthpiece for William Penn. So we found it interesting that they ran an article (no doubt commissioned by William Penn) that admits William Penn and nearly $100 million (from William Penn and other sources) is at the nexus of some 40 “conservation” groups colluding in their attempt to keep development out of the Delaware River Basin. That development includes farming and shale drilling…
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Wacky Anti-Fossil Fuelers Get Even Wackier with Trump Proposals

Anti fossil-fuelers are fit to be tied with the inauguration of Donald J. Trump. They’ve become hysterical–as in funny and as in their pronouncements that THE END is near. Trump signed Executive Orders on Tuesday to grease the skids for both the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL Pipeline (see Trump Signs Executives Orders to Restart DAPL, Keystone XL Pipes). That had the antis eyes popping out. Then came a directive to the Environmental Protection Agency freezing grants and contracts–to stem the bleeding. There’s also a “media blackout” at EPA. This has caused antis’ heads to begin spinning like the girl in The Exorcist. We enjoy spontaneous and frequent bouts of laughing out loud as we read the inane things being spouted. Here’s just a few, for your entertainment…
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Deloitte Report: Navigating the New World of LNG

Despite near-term headwinds, the long-term future of global liquefied natural gas is positive for participants able to adapt to a more fragmented market, new and different customer expectations and more short-term and flexible commercial arrangements, according to Deloitte’s new report “Navigating the new world of LNG” (full copy below). In the near term, the industry expects to face headwinds of slowing demand growth, recent and imminent supply capacity expansions that could overtake the pace of demand growth, and a lower price environment that challenges the economic viability of new developments. But, “Long-term, strong underlying demand drivers and the opening of new markets could provide substantial opportunity for participants”…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Jan 26, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Trump’s exec orders open the door for more Marcellus/Utica projects; Dominion adds 2 to board; pig poo to the rescue; House working to roll back Obama energy rules; EPA just delayed 30 enviro orders from Obama; Henry Hub price set to rise; Harold Hamm fires back at Russia; Trump to name LaFleur to head FERC; robots taking over drilling rigs; France can’t meet its own power demand (but bans fracking); and more!
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