China Agrees to Invest Amazing $83.7 BILLION in WV Shale, Petchem

The “Art of the Deal” is still alive and well for Donald Trump. Trump along with an entourage of various state officials are currently on a trade mission in Asia. This morning (our time) a flurry of announcements were issued about Trump (and others) convincing China to invest $250 billion (a staggering number!) in various projects in the U.S. A whopping $83.7 billion of that (a full third!!) will be invested in one state–West Virginia. And the WV investment, according to the announcement, will be in “shale gas and chemical manufacturing projects.” The investment will come over the next 20 years, so yes, we’ll believe it when we see it. However, we cannot overstate how big and how good this news is for our friends in the Mountain State. While no specific projects are mentioned, we get this enticing tidbit from the announcement: “The projects will focus on power generation, chemical manufacturing, and underground storage of natural gas liquids and derivatives.” Sounds to us like we now know where the $10 billion NGL storage facility will be located (see WV Senators Ask Trump to Create NGL Storage Hub Commission). It also sounds to us like a cracker plant may be a possibility. And a number of Marcellus-fired electric plants. This is truly a “wow” story! Here’s the announcement released earlier today…
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Court Lifts Atlantic Sunrise Stop Work Order – 2,500 Back to Work

Yesterday was quite a roller coaster ride for Williams with regard to a work stoppage in building the $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline. It was just two days ago that the Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an emergency stop work order for Atlantic Sunrise, idling some 2,500 workers in PA and costing the company $8 million a day in downtime (see DC Court Forces “Emergency Stop” of Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Work and Sierra Club Pipeline Lawsuit Throws 2,500 in PA Out of Work). The stop work order was in response to a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club, Lancaster Against Pipelines and several other radical Big Green groups. Williams, the builder of the pipeline, filed a “Motion for Clarification” to ask the court what the order means, stop only the work on the pipeline in Pennsylvania? Or does the stop work order include other states too, where new gas supplies are already flowing? In their motion, Williams also asked the court to make the Sierra Club and the other radical groups to collectively post an $8 million per day bond–to cover Williams’ expenses if/when the radicals lose their case. After all, their actions are costing Williams $8M a day. Early yesterday the court responded to Williams’ motion with an answer: Stop work only applies in PA, and no, the court won’t make the radicals post an $8M/day bond. Bummer. That was the low point of the day. But then came a second response from the court in the late afternoon: The court said (our words), “The emergency stop work order is over, you can go back to work, and after reviewing the petition from the nutjobs, we’ve found they don’t have a case. Case dismissed.” That was the high point of the day. And so today, Thursday, Nov. 9, some 2,500 PA workers are back on the job laying pipe–including laying pipe through a cornfield in Lancaster County owned by a group of misguided nuns (who have sued to stop it). The nuns’ property will be the very first location to see the new pipeline installed and buried…
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Milestone: Construction Begins on Shell Cracker Plant Buildings

A major milestone has been reached in the mighty Shell $6 billion ethane cracker facility project. Over the past year or so site preparation has been vigorous. Work at the site in Monaca (Beaver County), PA has included building bridges, relocating a state highway, improving existing interchanges, repositioning a rail line, and preparing foundations for the new complex. The prep work is now largely done–and this week begins construction of the buildings that will house four processing units–the ethane cracker itself and three polyethylene units. Also part of this next (final) phase of construction: a 900-foot long cooling tower, rail and truck loading facilities, a water treatment plant, an office building and a laboratory. Oh! And let’s not forget that Shell will also build a 250 megawatt electric generating plant that will provide all of the electricity needed at the facility–powered by Marcellus Shale gas, of course! Here’s an update from Shell, with a picture of the site as it is now…
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Energy Transfer 3Q17: ME2 Startup Slips, Rover Complete in 1Q18

Energy Transfer’s top brass delivered some bad news and some good news on yesterday’s analyst phone call to discuss third quarter 2017 performance. Two projects vital to the Marcellus/Utica are being built by ET–Mariner East 2 (ME2) and Rover Pipeline. The bad news is that ME2, a natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline project that stretches from eastern Ohio across the state of PA to the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia, will be delayed an extra nine months. ME2 has a new in-service target date of “second quarter 2018.” Progress on ME2 is not as fast as it could be primarily due to an ongoing onslaught of lawsuits by Big Green organizations, coupled with delays from the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection. The good news for ME2 is that by Dec. 31st, 99% of the pipeline will be in the ground and buried. The news for Rover is all good. Rover is a $3.7 billion, 711-mile natural gas pipeline that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada. Rover had been dogged by problems with horizontal directional drilling (HDD), but those problems are now behind it. Yes, head of the Ohio EPA, Craig Butler, continues his Captain Ahab routine to try and stop the project (see OH EPA Director Manipulates Atty General to Sue Rover Pipeline). So far he’s been unsuccessful. At any rate, construction in Ohio and elsewhere is full speed ahead. On yesterday’s call ET CFO Tom Long said Rover Phase 1 (both A and B) will be done by Dec. 31st. That’s very good. Long said the company is “very confident” Phase 2 of Rover will be online no later than March 31, 2018. Also very good. Below we’ve grabbed excerpts of yesterday’s analyst call to share, covering both ME2 and Rover…
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4 Antis in Chester County, PA Win Election Using Big Green $

Four local candidates in two townships in Chester County, PA (near Philadelphia) won seats on the town boards of Uwchlan and West Goshen in Tuesday’s election. They ran on a platform of using town resources to agitate and try to prevent the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline through their towns. All four candidates are the pocket of Big Green group Food & Water Watch, which contributed to their campaigns. Yes, Big Green has just bought themselves (another) four politicians in the Philly area. What’s new? The four will now embark on actions that will threaten their respective towns with potentially bankrupting lawsuits, should they follow through with their threats. We hope the residents in those towns will appreciate their taxes doubling or tripling to cover legal fees. The four “winners” were: Mayme Baumann and Bill Miller in Uwchlan, and Mary LaSota and Robin Stuntebeck in West Goshen (all Democrats). The losers were all the residents living in those two towns…
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Arkansas Frac Sand Getting Barged to Ohio for Marc/Utica Fracking

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Here’s something you don’t read about every day: frac sand being mined in Arkansas. Usually you read about sand being mined in Wisconsin or Illinois, or maybe in Oklahoma or even Texas. But we’ve never read about sand coming from Arkansas. Here’s something else you don’t read about every day: Sand from Arkansas is about to be barged up the Mississippi River, onto the Ohio River, and unloaded at a dock somewhere in Ohio. The sand, which will come from Select Sands, will be used for fracking Utica and Marcellus Shale wells. How cool is that?! Select Sands is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada), but operates what appears to be their only mining operation (at least the only one we could find) in Arkansas. According to a company announcement, this is the first time the company has used a barge to transport frac sand. Judging from a recent slide deck on the company’s website, it appears to us this may be their very first order from the Marcellus/Utica region…
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Anti-NEXUS Referendum in Bowling Green, OH Defeated by Huge Margin

When we notice municipal referendums and ballot measures related to blocking shale drilling and pipelines, we always highlight them. Such a ballot measure appeared on the ballot in Bowling Green (Wood County), OH on Tuesday. We honestly were not aware of it prior to reading an article in the Toledo Blade. The ballot measure called for a ban on pipelines that flow natural gas and other fossil fuels over city-owned property. It’s aim is to prevent NEXUS Pipeline from building nearby. Antis got enough signatures for this glittering jewel to appear on the November ballot. And how did the good people of Bowling Green vote? They saw right through this one–voting it DOWN by a huge margin: 61%-39%. That’s a blowout, politically. But you know antis. Nothing, including the truth, will ever change their minds. The Bowling Green ballot measure was the work of out-of-towners–the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF)–about whom we’ve written plenty (see our CELDF stories here). CELDF, based in Pennsylvania, targets towns with sufficiently large pockets of nutters who will sign on to their garbage. As they usually have to do, the CELDF needed to ramrod the Bowling Green ballot measure through a lengthy legal process, eventually getting permission from the Ohio Supreme Court before it could appear on the November ballot. How did the nutters take such a humiliating defeat? CELDF-hired lawyer Terry Lodge (from Toledo), pledged to bring the ballot measure back again and again in future, wasting taxpayers’ money…
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St. Louis Pipeline to Flow M-U Gas Gets Favorable FERC Review

In February 2016, MDN told you about Laclede Group, a St. Louis-based natural gas utility, with plans to build a ~60-mile pipeline from St. Louis through southwest Illinois and connect to the Rockies Express (REX) and Panhandle Eastern Pipeline (see New Midwest Pipeline to Tap REX’s Marcellus/Utica Gas). The new pipeline would bring low-cost Marcellus and Utica Shale gas from REX (now-reversed) to the utility–not only for resale to gas customers, but also potentially for new natgas-powered electric plants planned to replace retiring coal-fired plants. A year later Laclede renamed itself Spire, and the company filed an official application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build the Spire STL Pipeline (see Spire Files Plan with FERC to Flow Marcellus/Utica Gas to St. Louis). In September FERC issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) for the project (see a copy below). Although the project has been around for the past year and a half, radical anti-fossil fuelers are just now marshaling their efforts to try and block it. Here’s an update on FERC’s approval, and the efforts under way to try and stop the project…
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Massachusetts Backdoor Pipeline Ban Sailing Thru Legislature

One of the way pipeline companies afford to invest billions of dollars to build pipelines is via long-term contracts from would-be users of that pipeline. In Massachusetts, Spectra Energy (now a part of Enbridge) brokered deals with utility companies to provide them with cheap, clean-burning Marcellus/Utica natural gas. In order for those utilities to afford it, they would need to pass along some of the cost of building the pipeline to reach them. Wait, what? Electric customers would have to pay for a natural gas pipeline? Well, yes! Because the new, cheaper gas would produce electricity at a lower cost, thereby lowering their monthly electric bills. They benefit, directly, from such a pipeline. However, radical leftists took that arrangement to court and in August 2016 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled utilities could not pass along costs for pipelines to electric customers (see MA Supreme Court Ruling Endangers New England Gas Pipelines). For a variety of reasons, with that decision being one of the biggest, Spectra/Enbridge later decided to mothball plans for their pipeline project, in June of this year (see Enbridge Withdraws $3B Access Northeast Pipeline Application). The Massachusetts legislature is full of lefties, and they don’t want to leave anything to chance–that maybe in the future such a deal will come around again. So a pair of bills are now sailing through the legislature will make it permanently illegal for utilities to pass along the cost of pipelines to electricity customers. In essence, it’s a backdoor move to ban any more pipelines from getting built in the Bay State…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Nov 9, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: 39 First responder organizations get $2,500 each from Chevron; oil and gas can fuel growth in Stark County, OH; Rettew opens second office in OH for shale work; Alaska gets China backing for natgas project; Shell tapped to power LNG cruise ships; Europe tightens rules on natgas pipes; Total buying Engie’s LNG business for whopping $2B; and more!
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