NEXUS Pipe Seeks to Begin Construction Oct 10; List of Contractors

NEXUS Pipeline map – click for larger version

Something just now coming to light. Last week NEXUS Pipeline sent a request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting that it be allowed to begin construction of the pipeline “on or before” Tuesday, October 10th. That’s next Tuesday, folks! NEXUS is a $2 billion, 255-mile interstate pipeline that will run from Ohio through Michigan and eventually to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada. NEXUS received final approval for the project from FERC in August, the first major pipeline to get approved following a newly restored quorum at FERC (see New FERC Quorum Votes Final Approval for NEXUS Pipeline). Two weeks ago one of the final remaining hurdles came down when the Ohio EPA granted a water permit for the project (see Ohio EPA Grants Water Permit to NEXUS Pipe, “Learned” from Rover). The project still faces court challenges (see CORNballs, Sierra Club Continue to Fight NEXUS Pipeline in Court), however, those challenges are long-shots. Given that all permits have been issued, last Thursday NEXUS sent FERC a request to begin construction (see the request below). As part of the request, the contractors that will build the pipeline were named. We’ve pulled those names into a handy list, for those looking for jobs and those who want to sell goods and services to the companies actually building the pipeline…
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Latest PA Budget Bill Drops Fix for Slow DEP Permit Reviews

In an issue that’s growing old, fast, the Pennsylvania legislature has still not dragged the dead horse known as the 2017 state budget across the finish line. It all started months ago when the Republican-led legislature passed a $32 billion budget–with only $30 billion available to pay for it. Big mistake. The pressure was intense to pass a severance tax to help fill the gap. Traitorous Republicans in the Senate caved to that pressure and in July passed a budget bill that hikes taxes on lots of things, including a severance tax (see Traitorous PA Senate Republicans Pass Severance Tax Bill). As part of that misguided and mangled budget bill, Senate Republicans slipped in fixes to the state Dept. of Environmental Protection’s chronic delays in issuing permits related to shale drilling (see PA Senate’s “Olive Branch” of “Relaxed Regulations” for Drillers). As we said at the time, the writing was already on the wall–Democrats would lobby to remove the DEP fix and leave the severance tax. The DEP fix (surprisingly) continued in further revisions to the budget plan–until yesterday, when the DEP fixes came out. Fortunately there is still no severance tax. However, Republicans have floated a plan to nearly double the tax on hotel/motel rooms. Such a tax would make Philadelphia’s hotel tax a staggering 21.25%, the highest in the nation! Gov. Tom Wolf is (so far) not commenting on the hotel tax idea–he still wants a severance tax and said so yesterday. So although a severance tax appears dead, and we think it’s 99% dead, it’s not yet 100% dead–so we need to remain vigilant in our efforts to kill it. And although the fixes to the DEP would be most welcomed, they won’t happen as part of the budget. There’s still some hope those fixes will happen apart from the budget bill. Here’s the latest word on PA budget negotiations…
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Shell Pays $43/Foot in Recent Deal for Ethane Pipeline Easements

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In February 2016, MDN exclusively broke the news that Shell had begun to sign leases with landowners for a 97-mile ethane pipeline (two branches) to feed their mighty cracker plant (see Exclusive: Shell Leasing Land for 2 Pipelines to PA Cracker Plant). Since that time we’ve tracked any news we could find that reveals what Shell is paying landowners in Beaver County (and elsewhere) for the right to run the ethane pipeline (called the Falcon Ethane Pipeline) across their land. So far, we’ve seen rates as high as $75 per foot, and as low as $43 per foot. In the most recent round of easements–the first signed since August–Shell once again paid landowners $43/foot. Here’s the details of where the latest easements were signed, and for how much…
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PTT Global Signs Memorandum with Ohio re Belmont Ethane Cracker

On Monday, Mr. Supattanapong Punmeechaow, president and CEO of PTT Global Chemical (Thailand’s largest petrochemical company) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with JobsOhio regarding PTT’s proposed ethane cracker plant. The MOU pledges to “enhance the well-being and quality of life” for those living in the area near the proposed cracker plant. PTT announced in April 2015 they are interested in building a $5 billion ethane cracker plant complex in Belmont County, OH (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). Since that time, all of the signs have been positive. PTT has said a final investment decision will be forthcoming by the end of this year. The MOU signing ceremony on Monday is yet more evidence that this project will happen. The ceremony itself is kind of interesting. It was not held in Ohio–but in Washington, D.C. where a trade delegation from Thailand was visiting (Punmeechaow was part of the delegation). So John Minor, president of JobsOhio, traveled to D.C. for the signing ceremony, which was held in what we can only describe as a garage…
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FERC Advances Plan to Reverse Part of TGP to Haul M-U NGLs to Gulf

There’s lots of acronyms in that headline, so right up front let us restate the headline in clearer language: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just taken the next step to advance a project by Kinder Morgan to reverse a portion of the mighty Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) to reverse its flow, to go from the northeast to the southwest, in order to haul Marcellus/Utica natural gas liquids (NGLs) to the Gulf Coast. Currently TGP hauls natural gas (not liquids) from the Gulf to the northeast. With a bumper crop of natural gas produced by the Marcellus/Utica, gas from the Gulf is no longer needed. Kinder Morgan, the owner/operator of TGP, first floated the idea to reverse 964 miles of their pipeline back in 2013 (see KM Plans to Convert Tennessee Gas Pipeline to Flow M-U NGLs South). The pipeline reversal is part of the broader $4 billion Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline (UMTP) project. The first step in making the project a reality is to get FERC’s permission to “abandon” (stop using) the 964-mile segment, called Pipeline No. 1, from Louisiana to Ohio. TGP filed to get permission to abandon it in Feb. 2015. Last Friday FERC granted permission for TGP to abandon that segment of the pipeline. Plenty of people objected to the plan, including existing natural gas customers along the 964 miles who now get their gas from TGP. FERC investigated all claims and found the project will not negatively impact the environment, or the pocketbooks, of those who objected. The question now is, when will work begin to abandon that portion of the pipeline?…
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New M-U Pipes Ease Constraints, Another 4.5 Bcf/d Coming Early ’18

According to experts speaking at the Platts Houston Energy Forum held yesterday, new pipelines going into service in the Marcellus/Utica region are having an effect. Pipeline constraints–not enough capacity to get the gas to markets outside of the region–are easing. Prices in some areas of our region where gas is bought and sold are improving (going up), but prices still have a long way to go. Perhaps the biggest eyeopener is that at least in the near-term, we may end up having more pipeline capacity than gas to fill it. By next spring, another 4.57 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of new pipeline capacity will go online: Access South and Adair Southwest projects on Texas Eastern Transmission will add another 520 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d); Leach XPress on Columbia Gas Pipeline will add 1.5 Bcf/d; Rover Pipeline will get finished, bringing online an additional 2.55 Bcf/d (on top of the existing 700 MMcf/d flowing now). Here’s what the experts had to say about what’s coming down the pike in our region over the next year or so…
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Lancaster PA Hospital Goes Political with Anti-Fracking Article

Perhaps it’s time for those who support using clean-burning natural gas to find a new hospital–if they live in the Lancaster, PA area. In the fall edition of The Journal of Lancaster General Hospital, an anti-fossil fuel doctor who practices at the hospital published an outrageous political smear job pretending to be a scientific article–lying about natural gas and its extraction and its “pollution” of the environment. Dr. Alan S. Peterson, M.D., who specializes in geriatrics (he’s 71 himself), is an anti-driller with a history of activism against the shale industry. In an article in the Fall issue of the Journal, Peterson quotes a number of discredited “studies” funded with money from Big Green groups to make a case against the shale industry. Unfortunately, the article is dressed up scientific garb, giving it the illusion of accuracy. It is nothing more than typical anti hoo-ha. Two weeks ago Dr. Peterson penned an op-ed for a local Lancaster news outlet opposing a plan to fix dramatically slow response times at the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) when issuing permits related to shale drilling. Peterson is political, plain and simple–and he opposes the extraction of fossil fuels, which says all you need to know about Dr. Peterson, and about Lancaster General…
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Antis Rally in Orange County, NY Against Clean-Burning NatGas Plant

For more than two years MDN has chronicled the journey of Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) to build a $900 million Marcellus gas-fired electric plant in Wawayanda, NY, called the Valley Energy Center. Early on the project faced court challenges, but a judge gave final approval to build it in September 2015 (see Orange County, NY Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant OK’d by Judge). On Aug. 30, the Cuomo-corrupted NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a letter to FERC and Millennium, denying Millennium the right to build a 7.8 mile pipeline to feed the new plant (see Corrupt NY DEC Denies Water Permit for 7.8 Mile Power Plant Pipeline). Two weeks later overrode the DEC and told Millennium they can build it anyway (see History Made! FERC Overrules NY DEC on Millennium Pipe Permit). A group of anti-everythings in Orange County are adamantly opposed to the project–and they think if they can stop the pipeline, they can stop the project. Not true. If a gas pipeline is not run to the plant, CPV plans to use fuel oil instead (see If NatGas Pipeline is Blocked, NY Elec Plant Will Use Oil Instead). One way or the other, the plant will be completed in early 2018–and go online, producing electricity. As for what powers it–that remains to be seen. We found it interesting (and amusing) that a group of ninny nannies staged a rally on Monday in Wawayanda (where the CPV plant is under construction), to once again oppose the project–and to encourage the Orange County Legislature to pass a non-binding resolution against the project, hoping for…hoping for we’re not sure what! The plant is getting built. It’s a done deal. It’s going online early next year. It’s a done deal. The only thing that remains is to decide if clean-burning natural gas will power it–or much dirtier fuel oil. Apparently the antis are too obtuse to grasp this simple fact…
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Con Edison Plans to Pay Customers to Use Less NatGas

This story is really rich. Consolidated Edison (ConEd) is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies. ConEd is a utility, operating in the New York City area. It is one of the largest (perhaps the largest) seller of natural gas in NYC area. In a press release that has us equally laughing and crying, ConEd floats a new plan to meet the “growing natural gas demand” it’s seeing from customers. Early in the release ConEd states the facts: “construction of new natural gas pipelines [in New York] is not keeping pace with growing demand.” Why? Because New York has a corrupt governor, Andrew Cuomo, who caters to wild radicals that give him money for his campaigns. Yes, CORRUPT. And so Cuomo issues edicts to executive agencies, like the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), to deny permits for new pipelines. Hence, NY doesn’t have enough pipelines to flow increasing demand for natural gas. ConEd just admitted that. So how does ConEd plan to solve the problem they have? Maybe anchor a floating LNG import terminal off Long Island? Nope. Virtual pipelines to haul more gas to its facilities? Nope. How about rail cars hauling CNG or LNG? Nope. Here’s the brilliance at ConEd–they want to raise everyone’s gas and electric rates so they can pay building owners to not use as much gas! What?! That’s right, ConEd has filed a rate case with the New York State Public Service Commission that requests permission to raise rates and pay people to use less natural gas. Welcome to Wonderland (i.e. New York), Alice…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Oct 4, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Ohio school gets $42M from single natgas power plant; US Senate discusses $10B NGL hub for northeast; natgas fuels manufacturing in PA; Trumpe EPA plans to repeal Obama Clean Power Plan; Scotland gets ready to ban fracking permanently; new LNG trucks from Volvo; and more!
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