NG Advantage Virtual Pipeline Project Near Binghamton is Dead

In March MDN brought you the news that NG Advantage, which had big plans to build a virtual pipeline (gas compression & trucking facility) on the outskirts of Binghamton, NY, appears to have given up on the Town of Fenton location for the planned project (see NG Advantage Looks Beyond Fenton, NY to Build Virtual Pipeline). That impression is now further strengthened by comments coming from the Fenton town attorney at a meeting last week when he said, “My sense is that they [NG Advantage] are abandoning the project.” Abandoning in Fenton, yes. But not outright abandoning the project. Fenton, and indeed perhaps Broome County, is the biggest loser. But rumor has it that NG is looking elsewhere, nearby, for an alternative location. MDN’s sources keep whispering Hancock, NY as a possibility (in Delaware County). We’ve also heard Deposit, NY mentioned (sitting on the border of Broome and Delaware counties, not far from Hancock). MDN remains a top cheerleader to have NG bring their project to MDN’s own neighborhood, truck traffic and all, in the Town of Windsor. Sadly, no word on a Windsor option from our sources. So what did Fenton and surrounding communities achieve with their “victory” in defeating NG’s project in Fenton?…
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Penn Twp Antis Try to Use PA ERA to Block Shale Drilling

Last November we updated you on a lawsuit filed by a group of radical anti-fossil fuelers in Penn Township (Westmoreland County), PA (see Penn Twp Ninny Nannies File Lawsuit to Block Apex, H&H Wells). A group calling themselves Protect PT, backed with money and legal help from Big Green group PennFuture, filed a lawsuit to try and stop Apex Energy and Huntley & Huntley (H&H) from drilling wells in the township. The lawsuit finally made it to a county judge who is hearing testimony this week. One of the “expert witnesses” called by Protect PT is retired and discredited Cornell professor Tony Ingraffea, who makes a living by traveling around the country bashing fracking (see our Ingraffea stories here). The peril with this particular lawsuit is that it uses Pennsylvania’s so-called Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA), which liberal PA judges have, in recent years, breathed new life into. The argument is that fracking denies those who live near this temporary activity their “right” to enjoy Mom Nature, therefore it should be banished forever. That’s what Protect PT is attempting to pull off–a total frack ban in the Penn Township…
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Trumbull Co. Residents Rally to Oppose 3 New Injection Wells

Town of Brookfield – Trumbull County, OH

Last December MDN told you about three proposed new injection wells planned for the Town of Brookfield, in Trumbull County, OH (see 3 More Injection Wells Coming to Trumbull County, OH). Highland Field Services (subsidiary of Seneca Resources/National Fuel Gas Company) brought two new injection wells online in Brookfield last year. Shortly after the two wells went online, Highland then floated a plan to build three more wells in close proximity to the existing two, a plan opposed by many in the town. Even though Brookfield Township trustees issued a “no more injection wells” letter to Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR), the ODNR ignored the letter and two weeks ago issued the necessary permits to build the three additional new wells (see ODNR Grants Permits for 3 New Injection Wells in Trumbull County). Last Thursday a group of town residents staged a rally against the three new injection wells. Do they have valid concerns?…
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Duke Energy SC Gas-Fired Plant Starts Up – Marcellus Connection?

W.S. Lee combined cycle gas-fired plant – click for larger version

We spotted news from Duke Energy that the company has begun operations at a brand new natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Anderson County, South Carolina. The W.S. Lee Station is a 750-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas plant that began serving customers on April 5. Duke began construction of the $700 million plant in 2015. It sits on the same site as two former coal plants that were shuttered in 2014. A third coal plant at the site was previously converted to burn natgas. Why do we care about a new electric plant launching in SC? Because it’s fed by natural gas, and we believe at least some of (perhaps most of) the gas feeding it comes from the Marcellus/Utica region. According to Duke’s press release, “The unit receives natural gas through a new dedicated pipeline that branches off the transcontinental mainline.” We’re pretty sure they’re referring to the Williams-owned Tranco (Transcontinental) Pipeline that crosses through Anderson County. Transco is the pipeline feeding the new power plant. Transco is bidirectional and increasingly carries Marcellus molecules south–some molecules all the way to the Gulf Coast (see Is Marcellus/Utica Gas Getting Exported from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass?). It stands to reason that it is Marcellus gas feeding, at least in part, this new plant located in Dixie…
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Kentucky County Suing to Stop TGP from Reversing Pipeline for NGLs

Rowan County, KY

In February MDN told you that Kentucky antis went to court to try and block a plan by Kinder Morgan to convert a portion of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline that flows natural gas from the Gulf Coast to the northeast, to reverse the pipeline and flow natural gas liquids from the Marcellus/Utica region to the Gulf (see Kentucky Antis File Lawsuit to Stop TGP NGL Pipe Reversal). The reversal is part of a $4 billion project called the Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline (UMTP) project. The first step in reversing the existing pipeline was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last October (see FERC Advances Plan to Reverse Part of TGP to Haul M-U NGLs to Gulf). Antis in Kentucky got their bluegrass knickers in a twist over FERC’s action. They filed a request for “rehearing” of FERC’s decision, which is the first step in a process that typically ends up in court. Normally FERC has 30 days to decide on a rehearing, however, they have a tactic they call a “tolling order” which allows them to extend the amount of time to make a rehearing decision–indefinitely. FERC pulled out the tolling order card and played it last November (see FERC Frustrates Kentucky Radicals Seeking to Stop TGP Pipe Reversal). The ticked-off antis filed a lawsuit challenging the FERC tolling order. While all of that continues to play out, one of the Kentucky counties along the TGP route–Rowan County–is filing its own lawsuit to stop the reversal and conversion of the pipeline. No, Rowan County has no standing to file such a lawsuit, but apparently they’ll need to learn that the hard way…
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Permian NatGas Increasingly Competes with M-U in Midwest

The biggest oil play in the United States is the Permian, located in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. In March, MDN warned readers that natural gas in the Permian, which is a byproduct of the oil wells drilled there (i.e. “associated gas”), is increasingly competing with Marcellus/Utica gas (see “Free” NatGas in Texas Permian Changes Shale Gas Economics in M-U). A few weeks later we shared a Bloomberg article in which we learned the price of natgas in the Permian at major trading hubs is now lower than the price for hubs around the Marcellus/Utica (see Natural Gas Prices in Texas Permian Drop Below Marcellus/Utica). Our narrative continues with insights from the experts at RBN Energy. In a recent blog post, RBN looks at the three markets where Permian gas can flow out of the basin: “west to Arizona and California, south to Mexico and north to the Midcontinent and Midwest gas markets.” The route north to the Midwest is now being pursued by Permian gas, and that gas is competing with Marcellus/Utica gas molecules that travel to the Midwest via the Rockies Express and Rover pipelines…
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Trump Action Improves Pipeline Reviews by Federal Agencies

President Trump presides over the signing of the agreement. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead.

Eight months ago President Trump called for the government to speed up reviews and permitting of major infrastructure projects. It’s hard to drain the swamp–the entrenched bureaucracy that is Washington, D.C. resists it at every turn. But change it he has! On Monday, 12 federal agencies, including 7 cabinet-level departments of the Executive Branch, signed an agreement to better coordinate reviews and to guarantee that critical infrastructure projects can get reviewed and approved (or not approved) within a two-year period. Among those signing the agreement were the Department of Interior (DOI), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Infrastructure projects includes, prominently, pipeline projects. No more dilly dallying at one agency, and then a year later on to the next agency only to be repeated. Reviews will now be done concurrently (instead of sequentially), among other changes…
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Other Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Apr 10, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Sierra Club-backed WV anti-fracking event a flop-o-rama; National Lab looks to the future of fossil fuels; William Penn Foundation’s plan to create playground for elites; PA loses 1 rig, OH & WV each gain 1; FERC commissioner says New England faces “horror story” of expensive power; natgas prices unmoved by snow and low inventories; Bahrain shale find puts world oil market on notice; Canadia shale drawing super-major interest; and more!
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