ETP Says Much (Not All) of Rover Phase I Will Go Online in July

Rover route through Ohio – click for larger version

Last Friday MDN brought you the news that Energy Transfer is changing some of its previously planned underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to trenching in order to keep the 711-mile Rover Pipeline project that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada, on schedule (see Rover Pipeline Converts Some Horizontal Drilling to Trenches Instead). Phase I of the project is the section from eastern Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to the Midwest Hub in Defiance, OH, via what is called Rover’s “Mainline A” segment. That entire segment was supposed to be completed this month–July 2017. Ain’t gonna happen. However, Energy Transfer says a significant portion of Phase I–from Cadiz, OH to Defiance, OH–will be completed this month. That’s a pretty big portion of the Phase I project–essentially spanning the state from eastern OH to northwestern OH. If ET can pull it off, it will be an impressive feat, given delays imposed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission…
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NG Asks Judge to Toss Case Blocking Virtual Pipeline in NY

NG Advantage wants to build a “virtual pipeline” operation in ultra-liberal Broome County, NY, in a suburb of Binghamton. The location NG picked, after considering up to six locations in the region, was selected because of it’s proximity to major highways, proximity to the Millennium Pipeline, and availability of high-power electric lines. A virtual pipeline is nothing more than a compressor plant (series of compressor plants) that grabs gas from a pipeline, in this case the Millennium, and compresses it and loads it onto special tractor trailers that then deliver the gas to industrial customers like manufacturing plants, hospitals, and even small regional systems servicing homes. The location NG selected, in the Town of Fenton (within spitting distance of Hillcrest and Port Dickinson) was approved by the Town of Fenton after a detailed review. The area they selected is zoned industrial and is, in fact, a former dump site. However, residents from nearby neighborhoods (Hillcrest and Port Dick) were not aware of the project (so they claim) and when construction began to clear the dump site, and residents learned what was going to be built at the site, some of them demanded court action to oppose it. So far we’ve had two court cases asking county-level court (called “Supreme Court” in NY) to stop the project, which it temporarily did (see Court Halts Work on Broome Co. Virtual Pipeline, Residents Sound Off). MDN editor Jim Willis attended a meeting by NG Advantage held for area residents and he has to say the company is bending backward, forward, sideways, upside-down, back flipping–and in general doing anything and everything they can–to prove to residents that a few trucks an hour hauling natural gas is not the horror they have been led to believe it will be. But in an all-too-familiar pattern, the residents’ minds are made up and nothing short of shutting the project down will be acceptable. And so the fight now goes to court. Last week NG responded to the temporary restraining order, asking the judge to toss it out so they can get back to building the facility. If for some reason NG is blocked, the company will be out $23 million…
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Northern Access Pipeline Court Case Further Threatens NY DEC

NY DEC is on legal precipice

A new threat against the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation’s authority over pipeline projects is coming from yet another federal court. Last month MDN brought you the huge news that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Millennium Pipeline against the NY DEC for delaying a decision to authorize a 9-mile pipeline Millennium wants to build from their main pipeline to an under-construction natgas-fired electric plant in Orange County, NY, called the Valley Lateral Project. Which may, at first blush, seem like a defeat. It was anything but a defeat. The justices, in their decision, said that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has the right and responsibility to step back in and issue the water crossing permits themselves, overruling the NY DEC, if FERC so chooses (see DC Court Tells Millennium FERC Can Override NY DEC Pipeline Delay). A second court case in a different federal court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, is now progressing. That case was brought by National Fuel Gas Company in April against the NY DEC for a similar reason: delay and denial of federal 401 stream crossing permits for NFG’s Northern Access Pipeline project (see NFG Sues NY DEC in Fed Court re Northern Access Pipe Rejection). That case is now advancing and the lawyers for NFG are quoting the decision from the Millennium case as precedent for a ruling by the 2nd Circuit Court that the DEC cannot arbitrarily stop a federally-permitted pipeline project…
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JKLM Drilling 12 Utica Wells in Potter County, PA This Year

It’s been a while since we’ve updated you on a little-known (but rapidly becoming better known) company called JKLM Energy. In May 2016, the last time we wrote about JKLM, we told you the company had successfully drilled and was flowing gas from Potter County, PA’s first Utica Shale well (see Potter County, PA’s First Utica Well Fracked & Flowing). JKLM is owned by Terry Pegula, the guy who sold most of his Marcellus assets and used the money to buy the Buffalo Bills football team (see Buffalo Bills Stay in Buffalo, Thanks to $1.4B of Marcellus Money and Buffalo “Marcellus” Bills – Team Sold to Fracker for $1.4B). Pegula’s former company is East Resources. [Update: an alert MDN reader informed us that Pegula still owns East Resources.] JKLM is Pegula’s way of keeping his finger in the Marcellus/Utica pie. So what’s the latest? According to a brief article we spotted, JKLM “continues to move forward with an ambitious plan” to drill a dozen Utica wells in Potter County this year…
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ME2 Pipe Workers Make Positive Impression in Lebanon County, PA

Here’s not something you read every day, especially in Lebanon County, PA where local media seems only too interested in covering negative stories about pipelines: “What I have heard has all been positive – that the workers were willing to go beyond anything that might be expected of them and do little special things for the landowners.” That statement is from a town official in Lebanon County, talking about Mariner East 2 pipeline construction workers who are busy in the Lebanon County installing the first of two ME2 pipelines. Of course, not everyone is happy. But then, not everyone is always happy with anything–even a sunshiny day! Here’s what’s happening in Lebanon County with ME2…
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ME2 Pipe Work in Chester County Creates Water Well Issue for Some

While the construction of the Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids (NGL) pipelines in Lebanon and Lancaster Counties appears to be sailing along with very few issues (see today’s companion story), the project did hit a small bump in the road in nearby Chester County, PA. A dozen families reported their water wells became cloudy–or lost pressure–after underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD) by Sunoco Logistics Partners in attempting to install pipes underground in places where digging trenches will not work. The company put up five families in local hotels for several nights. Sunoco also provided bottled water for all of the affected families. The working theory is that bentonite clay (i.e. drilling mud) is the source of the cloudiness. Fortunately, bentonite is non-toxic and used to manufacture many products, including toothpaste and kitty litter. The incident, while troubling and inconvenient for the families involved, has not set back the project–at all. Drilling and construction of the pipeline resumed on Saturday…
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VA DEQ Schedules Public Hearings for MVP, Atlantic Coast Pipes

In April MDN told you that the Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) had succumbed to political pressure from the MANY lib Dems in the state that oppose benign pipeline projects, like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), and changed their minds about the process they will use in issuing water quality certifications under Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act (see Virginia DEQ Plans to Give 2 Pipeline Projects Detailed Exam). The DEQ will examine each segment of both ACP and MVP before issuing the required permits. The DEQ has scheduled five public hearings (i.e. circus freak shows) to accept comments on the projects. The hearings (scheduled below) will be held in August…
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York, PA Elec Plant Dropping Coal for Now, Burning Marcellus Gas

Brunner Island Power Plant

The Brunner Island Power Plant is located in York County, PA, but straddles Lancaster County. It is a huge 1,490 megawatt coal-fired electric generating plant, and has been the target of environmentalists for years. In February, MDN told you that the new owners of the plant are investing $100 million to retrofit the plant so it can, at least part of the time, burn Marcellus Shale gas (see York County, PA Electric Plant Begins Using NatGas as Fuel). The plant was issued a draft permit by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) in April allowing the plant to discharge pollutants (into the atmosphere) and heated water into the Susquehanna River. The DEP is holding a public hearing on the draft permit, on July 24 in Manchester, PA. All of which sounds rather mundane. However, in coverage of the upcoming hearing, we read that Talen Energy (the new owner) “plans to burn little or no coal until 2019 as part of a ‘site evaluation.'” Now that is interesting. If true, that means either right now, or very soon, almost all (perhaps all) of the fuel powering the plant is Marcellus Shale gas…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Jul 10, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: CONSOL CEO says Trump Admin wants to facilitate Marcellus/Utica; the recent surge in northeast gas production; 11 more Utica permits in Ohio; Mountaineer NGL looking for NGL storage customers; US will speed up approvals for o&g exploration on federal land; OFS companies go on the hunt for artificial lift; and more!
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