FERC Allows Rover Pipeline Startup in Michigan, Close to 100% Done

An order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued yesterday allows Energy Transfer (ET) to begin full operations along the North Market Segment of the Rover Pipeline–a $3.7 billion, 711-mile natural gas pipeline that runs from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and on to Canada via the Vector Pipeline. On April 13 ET asked FERC for permission to start up service along another major chunk of it’s massive Rover Pipeline (see Rover Pipe Asks FERC for OK to Open New Segments in OH, MI). ET eagerly wants to begin service along a 100-mile segment of Rover in northwest Ohio on into Michigan. FERC has been approving ET’s April 13th request in dribs and drabs. With yesterday’s approval, the entire length of the Rover pipeline is now substantially operational. There are still a few places not yet in service, but ET says they are on track to have the project 100% operational by the end of June. When fully operational, Rover will flow 3.25 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of Marcellus/Utica gas, some it going all the way to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada. Currently Rover is capable of flowing 1.7 Bcf/d. With this new addition, we expect that number will jump considerably…
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PA House Passes 5 Bills to Fix Broken DEP, Environuts React

In March the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee debated and voted to approve a slate of five bills aimed at fixing not only the slowmo way the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) approves shale permits, but also roll back some of the egregious regulatory overreach that now exists in PA (see PA House Committee Approves 5 “Fix DEP” Bills – What’s Next?). The vote to report the bills out of committee was along party lines, with zero liberal Democrats voting in favor of fixing the DEP. In a move that has alarmed and angered Big Green and its supporters, all five bills were voted on by the full House yesterday–and all five passed! Once again, not a single Democrat voted to fix the DEP. What happens now?…
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WV’s Thrasher Says Tariffs “Shouldn’t” Derail China Shale Investment

West Virginia Secretary of Commerce, Woody Thrasher, once again addressed the issue of an ongoing trade war with China at yesterday’s West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) conference at Oglebay Park. Last November Thrasher signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government, an agreement in which the Chinese pledged to spend $83.7 billion over the next 20 years in WV’s shale and petrochemical sectors (see China Agrees to Invest Amazing $83.7 BILLION in WV Shale, Petchem). So far, six months later, not one red yuan has been invested. And since that time, a trade war has erupted. President Trump told a number of countries, including China, that the U.S. has had enough of being screwed over in trade deals. It’s time to emphasize “fair” instead of “free” when it comes to trade. China (and other countries) have a history of “dumping” steel in our country–selling it at far below the cost of producing it. Such practices result in our steel companies closing their doors, sometimes permanently. Later on, when a country has the market cornered, the price goes up. Trump recently slapped China with a 25% steel tariff and 10% aluminum tariff. China isn’t happy. The question becomes: Will China use their promised $83.7 billion investment in WV as a bargaining chip in the trade war? Will China slow, or even cancel, their investments in WV’s shale industry? Back in April Thrasher, at another industry event, said he doesn’t think so (see WV’s Thrasher “Hopeful” First Chinese Project Announcement Soon). At yesterday’s WVONGA event, Thrasher reiterated that he believes there will be a flurry of announcements “soon” about the first projects China will invest in, and that China will not cancel their promised WV investments…
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Dominion Energy 1Q18: Important Updates on Key Projects

Late last week Dominion Energy issued its first quarter 2018 financial and operational update. Dominion is not only a large utility company (electric and gas), but also a huge pipeline company. Dominion has it’s fingers in a lot of Marcellus/Utica pies, so we like to keep track of the company and what it says about various critical projects for our region. Dominion CEO Tom Farrell had a lot of interesting updates, including updates for: Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a $6.5 billion Dominion pipeline from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina; Cove Point, the $4 billion LNG export facility that began commercial operations in April; Greensville County (VA) Power Station, a $1.3 billion natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant; and the proposed merger with SCANA Corporation, the main electric and gas company for much of South Carolina. Buckle up, there’s lots of news here…
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EQT Pay Dispute – Comparing CEO Salaries for Top M-U Firms

In mid-March, the country’s #1 producer of natural gas, EQT, suddenly and without previous warning lost it’s President & CEO, Steven Schlotterbeck (see EQT CEO Steve Schlotterbeck Suddenly Quits, Leaves Company). Steve is the man who guided the company through its acquisition of Rice Energy last year (see EQT Buys Rice Energy in $8.2B Deal, Becomes #1 Gas Producer in US). It was a tough battle against multiple corporate raiders who didn’t want to see the deal happen, but Steve held it together and made it happen. The notice from EQT was short and sweet and said Steve had resigned immediately, due to “personal reasons.” MDN was the first to disclose what those “personal reasons” were: a pay dispute. According to Steve, the board wasn’t paying him what similar CEOs at competitors are making. So he quit. Makes you wonder how much Steve was making, and what CEOs at other large Marcellus/Utica drillers make. We spotted an article in the Pittsburgh Business Times that reveals what Steve made last year. We did some digging to find what comparable CEOs make. The numbers we discovered may surprise you…
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Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) Wants Feds to Regulate Fracking

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, Democrat from Ohio

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, Democrat from the 13th District in Ohio, signed up last week to co-sponsor a new bill called the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals, or FRAC, Act. In fact, all 61 co-sponsors of the bill were Democrat–no Republicans–which is a big, fat, red flag. A totally partisan bill. Democrats have been trying this trick since 2009. It’s nothing new. Supposedly the FRAC Act will require “transparency,” forcing frackers to disclose which chemicals are used in hydraulic fracturing. The thing is, drillers already disclose that information! What the FRAC Act is REALLY all about is federal regulation of the oil and gas industry by doing something that has never been done before: subjecting oil and gas drilling to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. We’re tired of revisiting this topic, but feel compelled to set the record straight because of this renewed attack on the industry. Fact: There is no “exemption” from the Safe Drinking Water Act for drillers–they never were under the Act to begin with! The U.S. Constitution vests the power to regulate oil and gas activity with the individual states–NOT with the federal government. What Ryan and his fellow libs are trying to do in forcing oil and gas under federal regulation is a bastardization of the Constitution–an erosion of states’ rights. Which is why Ryan needs to be voted out of office. Shame on him. He’s from one of the biggest stars in the shale firmament–the Ohio Utica. And yet he’s pushing to kill it. There’s nothing “common sense” about the FRAC Act, as Ryan claims. It’s all “nonsense.” Here’s the latest attack by Dems at the federal level, a group that wants to kill the shale miracle in this country…
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Unholy Alliance Between Greens & Landowners Harming Environment

Different people oppose fossil fuel projects for different reasons. It’s easy to simply paint everyone who opposes fossil fuel projects with the broad brushstroke of calling them “antis.” Yes, they are “anti” something–pipelines, shale drilling, compressor station, etc. However, many who are “anti” are really just “not in my back yard” (NIMBY), not driven by a particular ideology beyond a perceived threat to their own property. Then there are those we call antis who *are* driven by ideology–an irrational ideology that says all fossil fuels are evil and we must convert to so-called renewables now, before it’s “too late.” The problem is when NIMBYs (i.e. landowners) form alliances with agenda-driven, anti-fossil fuelers. Landowners figure, like the old Arab proverb, that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Landowners who oppose pipelines, drilling, etc. are striking a bargain with the devil when they form these alliances in opposing their pet projects. When a particular battle is over, landowners may be surprised to learn that they themselves are the next target for groups like the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, Riverkeeper, Food & Water Watch, etc.–the very groups they thought were their friends. We spotted a column in the Houston Chronicle that does a great job of exploring this issue, well worth the couple of minutes it takes to read it. Landowners who adopt the NIMBY mindset, and the radical green groups they align themselves with, are actually harming the environment by their actions–not saving it. Here’s how…
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Other Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, May 2, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: ETP hopes PA will allow ME1 restart this week; just about everyone at DEP hearing bashes ME2 work; Gov. Wolf urges lawmakers to pass natgas tax; PA House advances bill to role back conventional O&G regs; Memphis, TN electric now powered by natgas; Exxon makes move to be Permian’s biggest driller; shale oil puts U.S. in driver’s seat; rig count roars back; Britain holds on to more of its own natagas; and more!
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