New Pipeline Designed to Connect M-U Gas to Gulf Coast LNG Exports

Gulf Run Pipeline – click map for larger version

An exciting new pipeline project to tell you about. Two days ago Enable Midstream Partners announced a plan to build an interstate natural gas transportation project called the Gulf Run Pipeline. The pipeline itself is 165 miles of large-diameter pipeline to be constructed from northern Louisiana to Gulf Coast markets. The pipeline will connect to other pipelines, and that’s how Marcellus/Utica gas will reach it and go on to the Gulf Coast. In fact, the plan is to connect to multiple pipelines that in turn connect to not only the Marcellus/Utica, but also to the Haynesville, Barnett, and the Mid-Continent shale region too. The Gulf Run Pipeline project is backed by an agreement with an undisclosed “cornerstone shipper” that has signed up for 20 years, committing to use 1.1 billion cubic feet per day of capacity along the pipeline–to deliver the gas to an LNG export plant. If the LNG plant doesn’t get built the deal is off and the pipeline won’t get built. Still, Enable is confident enough in the project that they are running a non-binding open season from now until Oct. 26…
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4th Circuit Again Blocks NPS Permit for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Last week we told you that the forces of good had overcome the forces of evil–evil being the Sierra Club and the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and their mission to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) from getting built (see Victory! FERC Lifts Stop Work Order for Atlantic Coast Pipeline). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stop-work order for ACP in early August came after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals pulled permits for approximately 100 miles of ACP, in response to a lawsuit filed by the Clubbers and SELC (see Federal Court Stops Works on Some (All?) of Atlantic Coast Pipe). The Fourth Circuit overturned permits granted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), granted to ACP to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway. FWS and NPS reworked and reissued their permits, which is why FERC lifted the stop-work order. Predictably, SELC, on behalf of the Clubbers and a few other far-out leftist groups, filed an appeal with the Fourth Circuit to overturn the newly-reworked permits. The Fourth Circuit has just issued an order temporarily blocking the NPS permit (not the FWS permit), while they consider the new lawsuit. The NPS permit stops 21 miles of pipeline work. The radicals are demanding a new stop-work order from FERC for the entire project (we despise these loathsome people). Dominion isn’t budging–they will keep working everywhere else on the 600+ mile project. Hopefully FERC will not issue a new stop-work order for the entire project…
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Mountain Valley Pipeline Cost Goes Up $1.1B, Online by Late 2019

The price tag to build the 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline is going up. When first announced, the project, which will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA, was originally estimated to cost $3.5 billion. That number was tweaked this summer to $3.7 billion. Now MVP (i.e. EQT Midstream) says it will cost a whopping $4.6 billion–more than a billion dollars higher than the original estimate. Why the big hike? Two things, says MVP: (1) A work stoppage imposed by the courts and by FERC (thank you Sierra Club), and (2) heavy rain. The rise in cost is due more the former rather than the later. It was only yesterday we ran a story about how much it costs, per mile, to build a major pipeline in the northeast (see How Much Does it Cost to Build a Pipeline in the Northeast?). The costs to build all northeast pipelines continue to rise because of frivolous lawsuits by groups like the Sierra Club (nasty organization). We told you yesterday that it’s costing MVP’s chief competitor, Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline, $8.5 million per mile to build. Doing the math with the new/higher cost, the 303-mile MVP project will cost $15.2 million per mile to build! Ouch. The one bit of good news coming from MVP is that they say the project is still on track to be built and flowing gas by the end of 2019…
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Senate Committee Hears Testimony on Foreign Meddling in PA Shale

The Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee yesterday heard testimony from several witnesses on the topic of foreign meddling meant to suppress or stop Marcellus Shale production in the Keystone State (and beyond). There were three witnesses, all of them stars (and all MDN friends). One of the three was MDN buddy Tom Shepstone, writer of the always-excellent Natural Gas Now website. As he so deftly does, Tom connected the dots between foreign money and (in this case) the Heinz Endowments, further connecting Heinz to non-profits like THE Delaware Riverkeeper and PBS’ StateImpact Pennsylvania. Here’s how it works: Chris Heinz (one of the directors of the Heinz Endowments) is heavily invested in a Ukrainian gas company. That company is competing with, and wants to suppress, American (including Marcellus) gas from being sold to Europe. Heinz Endowments pumps big money into Riverkeeper, StateImpact and other anti-fracking shill groups, enabling them to file lawsuits, launch negative PR, and make all manor of mischief to slow and stop Marcellus drilling. Which benefits Chris Heinz’s back pocket. The solution, according to Tom, is “sunlight.” Force these non-profits to disclose who is funding them. And get the Auditor General to investigate the “unholy alliance” between these nonprofits and foreign entities. We’d add a third item: Get the IRS to investigate funders like Heinz, organizations that engage in overtly political activities via proxy, in violation of their tax-exempt status…
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PA Republicans Support Bill to Make Pipeline Trespass a Felony

Perhaps this is an overstatement and a tad too generalistic, but once again Republican lawmakers have shown they are the party of law and order, while Democrats have shown they are the party of lawlessness and disorder–at least in Pennsylvania. Yesterday the PA House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee tweaked and then passed (on a party line vote) Senate Bill (SB) 652 which makes trespassing on rights-of-way of “critical infrastructure” (pipelines, power lines, refineries, etc.) a felony instead of a misdemeanor. Democrats don’t like it, because their party’s members are typically the ones who engage in illegal trespass in order to slow down and block work on things like don’t like–like pipelines. Dems maintain they have a right to “free speech” to illegally block pipeline work, just because they don’t like it and can’t stop it using lawful means. The difference between the two sides could not be more clear…
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Proposed Meadowlands Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant in Trouble

Manneken Pis – famous statue in Brussels, Belgium

MDN reported in April that a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi wants to build a huge, new $1.5 billion natural gas-fired electric generating plant in the Meadowlands (New Jersey), just outside of New York City (see Marcellus Electric Plant Proposed for Meadowlands to Power NYC). The North Bergen Liberty Generating Project, at 1,200 megawatts, will help replace some of the electricity lost when the Indian Point Nuclear plant located in New York along the Hudson River closes down in 2021. We suspect that since the mighty Transco pipeline, which flows mostly Marcellus molecules in the northeast, will feed the Meadowlands project, this plant will become an important new market for PA Marcellus production. The town where the plant will be located, North Bergen, is jazzed about the plant (see NJ Town Ready to Approve Meadowlands Marcellus-Fired Power Plant). And wonder of wonders, liberal Democrat NJ Gov. Phil Murphy approved the first in a series of required permits in July (see Surprise! NJ Issues Permits for Meadowlands Marcellus-Fired Plant). Yes, it did seem like things were going too well. The Sierra Club has been lobbying nonstop to defeat the project, and their efforts at spreading doom and gloom are, unfortunately, bearing fruit. Somehow the Clubbers have convinced the New York ISO (the electricity authority for NY, where the electricity from this plant will be sold) to claim it doesn’t really need the electricity after all. Even though 25% of its electricity will soon disappear from the grid when Indian Point closes. NY’s claim now means the project will be delayed and that the builders will need to produce a report proving NY really does need the electricity. An electric peeing match. The Clubbers have also spread rumors to neighboring towns, telling them the plant will poison their air, so some neighboring towns are now opposed to the project…
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Lobbyists Tell PA Lawmakers Nukes Safer than Gas-Fired Plants

Sometimes you can’t convey it all in a headline that should be 65 characters or less (in order to make the Google gods happy). In this case, the longer headline we would have used is this: “Lobbyists tell Pennsylvania lawmakers that nuclear powered electric plants are safer from cyber and physical attack than natural gas-fired plants (and therefore should be preferred to gas-fired plants).” That was the upshot of a hearing held yesterday by the PA House-Senate Nuclear Caucus, a hearing in which nuclear energy lobbyists claimed “no mandatory physical or cyber security standards exist for natural gas systems” in contrast to the nuclear energy industry that has to meet “demanding security requirements.” We should hope so! We hope that nuke facilities are more strictly regulated than natural gas facilities. If a nuke goes offline/has an accident/is overtaken in a physical attack, thousands of people die and it’s an environmental disaster. If a natgas-fired plant goes offline, the lights go out for a while. Big difference, we would say…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Sep 26, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: PA General Assembly advances bill on conventional drilling; Natural gas company helps flood victims; NEXUS revenue questions: Sen. Gardner to meet with Woodmore board; State PUC urges Philly to get rid of ‘duplicative’ gas commission; Shell’s Pennsylvania cracker on schedule, budget; Environmentalists causing delays for midstream pipeline companies; For environmentalists fighting natural gas, safety issue comes to the forefront; Natural gas surges past $3 as traders focus on low storage levels; Houston energy co.’s unsolicited acquisition offer rejected; LNG shipping rates spike, no end in sight; OPEC sees competition with U.S. shale oil subsiding after 2023; Oil giants use size to overcome fracking challenges.
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