TransCanada Working to Restore Partial Service on Leach XPress Pipe

We told you last week that Columbia Gas Transmission’s Leach XPress Pipeline, which only came online in January, experienced an explosion and fire in Marshall County, WV (see Leach XPress Pipeline Explodes in Marshall County, WV). Most of the 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of Marcellus/Utica gas flowing through the pipeline is now stopped, which has caused shippers (drillers) to find alternatives, including Energy Transfer’s Rover, Tallgrass’ Rockies Express (REX), EQT’s Equitrans, and Enbridge’s Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) pipelines to flow gas out of the region (see Other Pipelines Pick Up Slack for Exploded Leach XPress). Although a fix for the exploded portion of Leach XPress is likely months away, TransCanada, the owner of Columbia and the Leach pipeline, is working on a plan to quickly restore part of the pipeline to service in southeastern Ohio–which would reconnect Monroe and Belmont counties to the pipeline…
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WV DEP Fines Rover Pipe $430K for Water Pollution Violations

Rover Pipeline (Energy Transfer Partners) has agreed to pay a $430,030 fine to the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection for water pollution violations related to construction activities for the pipeline. The “consent order” was dated May 15 but not released to the public until Tuesday of this week. The proposed deal is now open for public comment until July 13. Rover received 18 notices of violation and 2 cease-and-desist orders dating back to April 2017. Most of the violations relate to failure to control erosion and for allowing sediment water to leak out of construction areas. WV DEP has not yet signed (officially accepted) the order, but it certainly appears to be a done deal. Here’s the news and a copy of the consent order…
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What Will Convince Investors to Spend $10B on M-U NGL Storage Hub?

One more item to share with you from last week’s second annual Appalachian Storage Hub Conference convened at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh/Southpointe. As we previously highlighted, most of the event revolved around the proposed plan to build a $10 billion ethane storage hub (see Southpointe Event Focuses on M-U NGL Storage Hub). One of the panel discussions addressed the issue of how to attract that kind of money. $10 billion is just a number on paper. How much is that, really? West Virginia is the state most frequently mentioned as the host state for the $10B project. WV’s budget for this fiscal year is $4.3 billion. So the investment needed to build the proposed storage hub project would run the entire state of WV for more than two years! Where do you get that kind of money? And what do investors look for when deciding to spend that kind of money? That’s what the panel discussed…
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Eversource Looks to Reactivate Access Northeast Pipe Project in NH

In May MDN reported that a recent New Hampshire Supreme Court decision *may* breathe new life into a New England natural gas pipeline project believed to be dead (see NH Supreme Court Decision Puts New England Pipe Back in Play). The Access Northeast pipeline project would cost ~$3 billion and would connect four different pipeline systems: Texas Eastern, Algonquin Gas Transmission, Iroquois and Maritimes & Northeast. One of the backers is Eversource (formerly called Northeast Utilities), a utility company that desperately needs the gas that would flow through the upgraded system. Eversource had filed a rate case in New Hampshire requesting permission to pass along some of the cost of the pipeline to its electricity customers–because they will directly benefit from the pipeline delivering gas to electric power plants operated by Eversource. NH refused, and it was that refusal that was overturned by the State Supreme Court. The new news is that Eversource has withdrawn their original request because they are about to submit a brand new request for the same thing–and this time NH will have to approve it. Bottom line: The Access Northeast project appears to have rekindled to life, at least in NH…
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Despite Court Ruling, Atlantic Coast Pipeline Continues Construction

In May MDN told you that the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals had invalidated (vacated) a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that allows Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) to accidentally kill a few bats and bumble bees (classified as endangered) as it builds the massive $6.5 billion, 600-mile project from West Virginia to North Carolina (see U.S. Fourth Circuit Court Vacates Key Permit for Atlantic Coast Pipe). The Sierra Club and several other radical, far-left groups were behind the court case that led to the decision. However, as it turns out, the decision doesn’t really hurt the project all that much. The vacated permit isn’t so “key” after all. Of the 600 or so miles of pipeline getting built, the vacated permit from Fish and Wildlife only affects about 10 miles of pipeline (see Only 10 Miles of Atlantic Coast Pipeline Affected by Court Ruling). The radicals are back, not happy that only 10 miles of pipeline is idled for now. In a “but, but, but, but, but” request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the antis argue FERC should shut down the whole enchilada–because they don’t like having just 10 miles shut down. Meanwhile, Dominion keeps up steady-and-sure construction of the project. It’s getting built, even as you read this…
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DOE Publishes New LNG Export Study – Seeks Comments

How much American-extracted natural gas should get exported? That question is the focus of a newly published study, titled “Macroeconomic Outcomes of Market Determined Levels of U.S. LNG Exports” (full copy below). The study is the fifth in a series commissioned by the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE). The study/research, performed by NERA Economic Consulting (NERA), looks at the impacts on the U.S. for various export scenarios. Export a lot? A little? Somewhere in between? There are 21 proposed LNG export facilities in the pipeline right now, requesting permission to export to “non-FTA” (non-Free Trade Agreement) countries. DOE wants to make the right decisions about how many of them to approve. This study and its numbers will help guide their decision-making. The study is now available for public review and comment, until July 27…
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Democrat Natl Committee Bans Contributions from Fossil Fuel Cos.

The Democrat Party has just made it official that they will now openly discriminate against and target natural gas, oil and coal companies–and the people who work for them. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has voted to adopt a policy of not accepting campaign contributions from evil, vile, nasty fossil fuel companies. Irrational, far-left kooks have taken over the Dem party. It is now the official position of Democrats to assassinate the fossil fuel industry. If you work for/in the fossil fuel industry, know this: the Democrat Party is targeting YOUR industry and YOUR job for extinction…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Jun 14, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Lebanon County town supervisors ask PA to permanently shut down Mariner East pipelines; M-U + Permian will supply 55% of all U.S. gas by 2030; Shale Crescent attempting to rebrand region; Duke Energy flips switch on SC gas-fired plant; Permian production surpassing all of OPEC except Saudi Arabia; U.S. shale firms missing out on higher oil prices due to hedging; side effect of more oil drilling – indigestion for gas drillers; FERC chair wants to speed up pipe & LNG approvals; what happened to the IPO market in oil & gas; and more!
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