FERC Grants MVP OK to Begin Pipeline Construction in Virginia & W.V.

In January, MDN reported that Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP)–a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA–had received permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin tree clearing and construction of access roads and construction yards in five West Virginia counties: Wetzel, Harrison, Doddridge, Lewis and Braxton counties (see Mountain Valley Pipe Gets FERC Approval to Begin WV Construction). That was MVP’s very first permission to begin construction-related activities. It was the trickle. The flood gates burst open late last week when FERC began issuing what is (so far) four new orders. The new orders grant MVP permission to continue not only tree clearing and building roads, but also to begin construction of the actual pipeline itself. That is, digging trenches and laying steel in the ground–not only in WV, but also in Virginia. Construction is now under way in multiple counties in both states. We lay out where MVP is getting built, and what activities are now green lighted by FERC, below…
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CNX Resources Sells Its Conventional Wells in PA, OH, WV for $85M

We spotted an announcement by Diversified Gas & Oil that they have just cut a deal with two different companies–Alliance Petroleum and CNX Resources–to purchase conventional well assets from both companies for a combined price of $180 million. Alliance, based in Akron, OH, has drilled and maintained conventional oil and gas wells in the Appalachian region since 1985. While that part of the story is of passing interest, the more interesting part (for us) is Diversified’s purchase of CNX’s conventional (non-shale) wells in PA, OH and WV. This deal echos a similar deal done by Cabot Oil & Gas last summer when they sold all of their conventional wells in Appalachia (primarily in WV) to Carbon Natural Gas Company for $21.5 million (see Carbon Natural Gas Buys Cabot’s Conventional Wells in WV-OH-VA). The CNX deal with Diversified is for $85 million. Is this now a bona fide trend–shale companies shedding their portfolio of conventional assets? Perhaps! Below is the Diversified announcement…
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ME2 Pipeline’s $12.6M Shakedown Money Won’t Pay for Cleanup

Last week MDN brought you the news that Sunoco Logistics Partners had agreed to pay a massive (historically high) $12.6 million fine to the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) for “permit violations related to the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project” (see Sunoco LP Pays PA DEP $12.6M to Resume ME2 Pipeline Construction). Supposedly Sunoco’s ME2 construction activities have caused a few erosion issues here and some drilling mud leaks there–so-called “harms” to the environment. Surely some of the massive, historically high $12.6 million fine Sunoco is paying will be used to “fix” those problems, right? Wrong. Every single penny is going to other pockets (black holes) within the DEP, proving our contention that this was nothing more than a shakedown by a government agency. Essentially Sunoco had to pay DEP mobsters a “bribe” in order to restart work on the ME2 project. The DEP had Sunoco by the short hairs, blocking any new work until the money was paid. So what about “cleaning up” the problems created by ME2 construction? “[I]t’s highly likely that Sunoco will be required to clean up the damage caused by its botched construction, in addition to paying the penalty,” according to a former DEP Secretary. If that doesn’t beat all. Fine them AND make them pay even more for the cleanup. Welcome to doing business in Pennsylvania…
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Tallgrass has “Outstanding Quarter” Thx to REX Pipeline in the M-U

We still, to this day, marvel at how Tallgrass Energy Partners turned around what looked like a financial disaster, into a financial bonanza. Tallgrass built the Rockies Express (REX) pipeline that stretches from Colorado and Wyoming all the way to Ohio just in time for the shale revolution to hit. Whoops! Talk about bad timing! A significant portion of REX, it’s Zone 3 pipeline from Missouri to Ohio, was in danger of drying up in 2012 because of the increase in Marcellus/Utica gas being produced (see REX NatGas Pipeline Faces Stiff Competition from Marcellus). Tallgrass did an about face, reversing the flow of REX to run from Ohio to Missouri a year later, in 2013 (see REX Reverses Pipeline Flow from OH for Mystery Utica Customer). Since that time volumes along the Zone 3 portion of REX have done nothing but increase. A lot of Marcellus/Utica gas now flows from our region to the Midwest by hitching a ride on REX. The strategy of reversing the pipeline’s flow turned what was shaping up to be a disaster, into a bonanza. Yesterday Tallgrass issued its fourth quarter and full year 2017 update. While Tallgrass (as other pipeline companies) did well in 2017 in general, much of the company’s success came “as a result of incremental capacity sales in Zone 3” of the REX pipeline…
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Big Green Targets PA Marcellus via DEP Water Quality Review

The efforts by radical environmental groups like THE Delaware Riverkeeper and PennFuture to try and shut down the Marcellus industry in Pennsylvania never stop. Like ocean waves that continue to crash into the shoreline, Riverkeeper and PennFuture constantly, regularly, launch new initiatives aimed at hassling, slowing, stopping and reversing the Marcellus industry. Sometimes (often) their efforts are focused on filing frivolous lawsuits. Sometimes it’s a publicity stunt/protest. And sometimes they take aim at regulatory bodies, like the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). It is that last one that is the focus of a new campaign to stifle the Marcellus industry. Every three years the DEP conducts a review of water quality standards. Riverkeeper and PennFuture have put the call out to their radical faithful to inundate the DEP with public comments (due by Feb. 16) to create new regulations that will “protect” PA streams “from impacts like brine gas drilling wastewater” and “road salt applications in the winter”–perfectly safe salt that comes from processed wastewater. In other words, this is yet another attempt to shut down the drilling industry by neutering its ability to properly dispose of brine wastewater…
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PA Auditor General Goes After SRBC, DRBC with “First-Ever” Audits

2/14/18 Update: Shortly after this post went live, MDN received a tip from a reliable source that sheds more light on the audit and why DePasquale is moving forward with it. (Hint: He’s being forced to.) See our note below.

This should be interesting to watch. Democrat partisan hack PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is about to conduct an in-depth (very invasive and painful) “audit” of the finances for both the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) AND the out-of-control Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). That is, we have a Democrat turning on some of his own. DePasquale previously audited the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection during the administration of Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. DePasquale’s “audit” highlighted problems that had already been fixed, for years (see DEP to DePasquale: Problems Fixed Years Ago, Where Have You Been?). It was a political stunt, meant to embarrass Tom Corbett and shame the Marcellus industry. When that didn’t work, DePasquale ran a sham audit two years later looking at the impact tax–the money raised by shale drilling–that looks and acts and walks and quacks like a severance tax in PA (see PA Anti-Drilling Auditor General Bashes Impact Fee Spending). His audit found the system needs better paperwork. Yeah, that’ll fix things. More paperwork. DePasquale’s targets have been Republicans and the things they like, as in drilling. So it surprised us to learn that DePasquale will now go after (at least in the case of the DRBC) some of his own. Perhaps DePasquale will “discover” all sorts of nasty problems with the SRBC, but the DRBC will be clean and pure as the wind-driven snow. That’s what we expect from a partisan hack like DePasquale…
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Boston Globe Takes Aim at Mass. Politicians Blocking Gas Pipelines

It’s fun to watch the left eat its own. That’s exactly what’s happening in Boston. We’ve provided a fair bit of coverage on the issue of lack of pipelines in New England and the fallout from it. Because of lack of natural gas pipelines, both natural gas AND electricity prices in New England are sky high. Natgas is used to generate most of New England’s electricity. When it gets cold out, residents and businesses use more natgas for heat, causing a shortage of natgas, further causing insane price hikes. At some point, there just won’t be any more gas at any price–and that’s when rolling blackouts begin. It will happen sooner than you think. Important politicians in New England, like U.S. Senator Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren and Attorney General Maura Healey (both from Massachusetts) have actively worked to block new natgas pipelines. The result? LNG tankers with illegal Russian gas are supplying a good share of the region’s natgas supplies during cold snaps. It’s disgusting. It’s so disgusting, even the far-left libs who write and edit the Boston Globe can’t stand it anymore. The Globe published an editorial yesterday titled “Our Russian ‘pipeline,’ and its ugly toll,” taking Healey and the enviro left to task. Yeah, it’s fun to watch the left eat its own!…
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Trump Infra. Plan Will Spur New Pipe Projects; Overrule States?

On Monday, President Trump released a $200 billion infrastructure plan that he hopes will generate $1.5 trillion in funding with states, local governments and the private sector. The ambitious plan aims to improve roads, bridges, airports, drinking water and wastewater systems, waterways, water resources, brownfields and Superfund sites, energy, rural infrastructure, public lands, and veterans’ hospitals. Compare Trump’s brass tacks get-it-done plan to Obama’s long-forgotten “shovel ready” B.S. plan. Trump knows how to get things done. Part of the infrastructure plan would speed up the permitting process for pipelines by removing Congress from the approval process for pipelines to cross national parks. Which, of course, has enviro lefties in a panic. Predictably, Democrats panned the plan. After all, they couldn’t get the job done, so they couldn’t possibly support someone from the other party who CAN get the job done. Below are the details of Trump’s “get it done” infrastructure plan, along with a Reuters story about how the plan (if adopted) may spur new pipeline projects. Reuters theorizes this plan may, among other things, remove recalcitrant states like New York from having a role in approving pipeline projects. Perhaps Trump’s plan can revive the Constitution Pipeline project!…
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Exxon Fights Back, Countersues AGs & Big Green Attorneys

It’s about time! The gloves need to come off and our side (pro-fossil fuel) needs to aggressively launch lawsuits against the lawyers and groups who continue to launch a barrage of frivolous lawsuits against us, trying to shut down all fossil fuel companies (but not before they empty fossil fuel company coffers). Exxon is fighting back. The gloves are off. It’s time to talk about Fight Club–out in the open. We have, from time to time, chronicled the lawsuits launched by New York State’s out-of-control Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman, Massachusetts AG Maura Healey and other lefty Dems formed an unethical secrecy pact in their campaign to shake down Exxon Mobil by claiming the company “knew” man-made global warming exists and that burning the nasty fossil fuels the company produces contributes to it (see Smoking Gun: AGs Signed Pact to Keep Exxon Documents Secret). It doesn’t matter that man-made global warming is an unproven theory–not even real science. Schneiderman and his cabal of legal jackals tried to gang up on the Exxon Mobil water buffalo–except this time the water buffalo prey is healthy and is fighting back, by launching lawsuits against Schneiderman and others whom he is colluding with. It’s time to take down the jackals…
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Other Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Feb 14, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: American Energy Partners scores more money; PA is welcoming the energy Renaissance; Williams donates $10K to PA College of Technology; Florida plant cuts deal to export LNG to Puerto Rico; FERC asks NARUC for “candid” input on grid resiliency; U.S. launches probe on pipeline dumping from other countries; OPEC gets nervous about shale oil uptick; and more!
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