ME2 Drilling at 2 Locations Near Altoona Shut Down for Leaks

In early March MDN reported that Sunoco Logistics’ underground horizontal drilling (HDD) work on its massive Mariner East 2 NGL pipeline near Philadelphia had resulted in several sinkholes developing (see 3rd Sinkhole Appears Near ME2 Construction in Chester County, PA). Yesterday we reported the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) had stopped ME2 HDD work in Lebanon County following a 50 gallon drilling mud leak (see ME2 Construction in Lebanon County Stopped for 50 Gal Mud Spill). And now, more trouble for ME2 HDD work. This time Sunoco’s work at two different locations in Blair County (Altoona area) has resulted in the DEP shutting down further HDD work at both sites. In one case, around 200 gallons of drilling mud leaked out where it wasn’t supposed to (called an “inadvertent return”)–into a wetland. In the other case, a drill pit overflowed and leaked diluted drilling fluid into the Frankstown Branch of the Juniata River. Here’s the latest in Sunoco’s series of unfortunate events…
Continue reading

Cove Point LNG: BP Ship Coming for 1st M-U Pickup; India Wants Swap

“Hey Jim, what’s happening with Cove Point LNG? Didn’t you say a ship was on the way to pick up the very first cargo of Marcellus molecules?” Great question. Cove Point did see its first cargo set sail in early March (see Cove Point Ships First LNG Cargo – But Not M-U Gas). However, that first cargo was imported gas (from Nigeria) used to test the facility as part of the commissioning process. The plant chilled the Nigerian gas and loaded it onto a waiting LNG tanker and the tanker left. So yes, the plant works, but the first batch wasn’t M-U molecules, so in our book it doesn’t really count. We also told you that a second LNG tanker, called Methane Spirit, was on the way to Cove Point and would be the first ship to load and distribute M-U molecules to distant shores. Orders have changed. Methane Spirit is no longer en route to Cove Point. However, a BP-chartered ship by the name of Patris is on the way to Cove Point. Meanwhile, those who keep an eye on these things say there is currently very little feed gas (i.e. Marcellus gas) flowing into the Cove Point facility. Meaning what? Meaning it looks like the original rumor from January that Cove Point won’t be up and running, shipping Marcellus gas until April, was correct (see Uh-Oh: Cove Point LNG Exports Possibly Delayed Until April). The Patris is not due to dock at Cove Point until April 9th. Meanwhile, as India gets ready for its first contracted shipment of LNG from Cove Point, the country no longer wants it! They want to swap their Cove Point shipments with someone else. We explain it below…
Continue reading

Is Lycoming County, PA in Midst of “Natural Gas Resurgence”?

Lycoming County, PA

In a recent interview, the CEO of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce said that in Lycoming County the “natural gas industry is enjoying a resurgence.” Which struck us as odd, given our own recent research into the number of wells being drilled (or lack thereof), and the decrease in natural gas production in Lycoming County. We suppose it all depends on what you mean by resurgence. A resurgence in drilling and production? We’d have to answer that with a “no.” However, if you’re talking about a resurgence in jobs related to the natgas industry because of new pipeline projects? Apparently that answer would be a big “yes”…
Continue reading

XTO Well Explosion in Ohio Still Under Investigation Month Later

On Feb. 15, XTO Energy was drilling a Utica Shale well on the Schnegg well pad near Captina Creek (York Township, Belmont County, OH) when they “lost control” of the well and it exploded and caught fire (see XTO Energy Utica Well Explosion in Belmont County – 100 Evacuated). Fortunately no one was injured. It took XTO 20 days to get the well capped so it would stop venting methane into the atmosphere (see Exploded XTO Well in Belmont County Finally Capped After 20 Days). It’s now 35 days from the initial explosion and XTO and state officials investigating the incident still don’t know why it happened. An XTO spokesperson updated Belmont Count commissioners last week on the aftermath of the explosion and how XTO is working hard to ensure area residents are well taken care of. Here’s the latest on the aftermath, and the ongoing investigation…
Continue reading

CIG Logistics Buys Sand Transload Terminal in WV from US Silica

CIG Logistics is a company in the business of moving sand used in fracking from point A to point B. CIG owns and operates a series of transloading terminals, along with trucks to deliver sand to well sites. A transloading terminal is a place where sand arrives via one form of transportation, say on a rail car, and leaves via another form of transportation, like a truck. U.S. Silica is the country’s largest sand producer. U.S. Silica also owns some of its own transloading terminals. CIG announced yesterday it has cut a deal to buy three U.S. Silica transloading facilities–two in Texas and one in the Marcellus, in Marshall County, West Virginia. CIG claims that with this deal they have become the “preferred transload provider to U.S. Silica” in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford in Texas, and the Marcellus Shale via the facility in WV. Terms of the deal were not disclosed…
Continue reading

FERC Rejects Blue Racer Midstream Plan to Change NGL Pipe Rates

We have to confess this story is a bit complex to understand. We will take a stab at making the complex understandable. Blue Racer Midstream has a subsidiary called Blue Racer NGL Pipelines LLC. The subsidiary operates the G-150 pipeline system, which provides batched propane and butane service. G-150 currently, located in West Virginia, connects a Natrium, WV processing plant to the TE Products Pipeline Co. (TEPPCO). The G-150 pipeline will also have a connection to the Mariner East 2 Pipeline when it goes into service, theoretically in June of this year. Currently the G-150 is flowing about 6,300 barrels per day of product through it–only 20% of its capacity. When the connection with ME2 is up and running, Blue Racer says it can handle 30,000 bbl/d through the G-150. However, Blue Racer itself signed up for most of the capacity (27,000 bbl/d). Blue Racer recently asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to allow it to have two different rate structures–a lower rate for “committed” shippers (Blue Racer itself with its 27,000 bbl/d) and a higher rate for uncommitted shippers. FERC rejected the request pointing out that existing shippers with contracts–namely Chesapeake Energy–would be left out in the cold in favor of Blue Racer moving its own volumes at lower prices. Yes, it’s complicated. Bottom line, Blue Racer can’t do what it wants and has to go back to the drawing board…
Continue reading

Atlantic Coast Pipe Asks FERC for More Time to Cut Trees

Dominion Energy’s $6.5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline (running from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina) is supposed to get built this year. ACP began to cut trees along the pipeline’s path in late January (see Atlantic Coast Pipeline Begins Cutting Trees in WV & VA (Not NC)). ACP chainsaws have been busy since that time. Due to restrictions for species like the threatened Indiana bat, tree cutting season is limited–from November 16 to March 31. ACP says it won’t be done by March 31 and is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to continue clearing trees in WV, VA and NC until May 15th. Antis are making loud noises that FERC should deny the request. What will FERC do? If they don’t grant permission, ACP will be delayed–perhaps by a year…
Continue reading

Other Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Mar 20, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: ME1 pipeline remains offline 12 days later; CNX Midstream completes purchase of gathering pipeline from CNX parent; NY spending money on natgas-powered vehicles; Louisiana gas market gets turned upside down; Arizona regulators sour on natgas, prefer so-called renewables; bill to ban fracking in Florida dies; o&g gets loophole in Trump tariff; natgas is under attack; Germany wants LNG imports; and more!
Continue reading