Ohio EPA Floats Plan for New Air Emissions Rules on Shale

regulations

Director of Ohio EPA, Craig Butler, doesn’t intend to let another Rover Pipeline project slip by his heavy hand of regulatory oversight (see Ohio EPA’s Craig Butler Goes Nuts, Demands $2.3M from Rover Pipe). Nor does Butler intend to let Utica Shale drillers ignore him either–even though the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) is the agency responsible for regulating oil and gas in the state. Ohio EPA has zero regulatory oversight with respect to federally approved projects like Rover. It has some oversight of Utica Shale projects–as they impact certain aspects of the environment. Ohio EPA is now floating the idea of exceeding U.S. EPA air emissions standards for pipeline projects and for equipment used at drill pads, and they want feedback.
Continue reading

Ohio EPA to Hold Water Permit Hearing for PTT Cracker Dec. 12

Still no sign from PTT Global Chemical that they will announce a final decision to proceed with building a $6 billion ethane cracker in Belmont County, OH, by the end of this year. The project was first announced in April 2015 (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). Since that time, PTT has purchased land, paid $100 million to get the cracker facility designed, and repeatedly said a final investment decision (FID) is imminent. It’s been imminent for more than two years now.
Continue reading

Permian Gas at Waha Hub Briefly Trades at $0, Implications for M-U

This one will make your head explode. We’ve been warning about this for some time, or rather, RBN Energy has been warning about it (and we’ve brought you their warnings). During a recent three hour period of natural gas trading at the Waha Hub (in West Texas), the price of gas went to negative 1 cent per thousand cubic feet (Mcf). You read that right. Someone was paying someone else to buy the gas from them! Why? Too much “associated gas” being produced in the prolific Permian Basin, and not enough pipelines to carry it to other markets. The Permian is all about oil drilling. Natural gas is a byproduct, to the point it may be worth giving it away for free just to get rid of it so a driller can keep pumping oil. The proliferation of natgas in the region is driving prices into the subbasement.
Continue reading

New England Utility Makes Ban on New Gas Hookups Permanent

In December 2014, Massachusetts-based utility Berkshire Gas Company announced the amount of natural gas they could purchase from the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) was at full capacity. There’s no additional gas supplies to buy–unless TGP should build their Northeast Energy Direct (NED) expansion project. So Berkshire was forced to tell new customers for natural gas in portions of Franklin County they would not be able to tap into Berkshire’s line (see Guts: No New Pipeline in MA? Then No New Natgas for Utility Customers). In January 2016, Berkshire had to expand the prohibition area, turning down new businesses in neighboring Hampshire County (see Shortages Begin: Tangible Result of No Pipelines in New England).
Continue reading

Bye Bye MLP – Dominion Energy Merging in Midstream Subsidiary

The move to dissolve MLPs (master limited partnerships) and replace them with a corporate structure continues. In March, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) took “significant action” to address the Trump tax cut legislation enacted last December (see FERC Takes Aim at Adjusting Pipe Rates in Light of Trump Tax Cut). FERC wants to be sure the tax cuts coming to electric companies and pipeline companies are passed on to consumers and pipeline shippers. The agency proposed new solutions to eliminate “tax loopholes” for natural gas pipelines. Closing these so-called loopholes eliminates certain tax benefits for MLPs.
Continue reading

Norfolk Antis Try to Discredit Competing Pipeline Safety Report

Ever notice how the antis apply a different set of rules and standards to those who support fossil fuels than they do to themselves? Here’s a great example. Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) wants to complete a decades-old project by building the final nine miles of the project from Norfolk, VA to Chesapeake, VA–called the Southside Connector Project. Those who oppose the project paid big bucks to “consultants” to write a report smearing the project as unsafe (see Norfolk Pipeline Foes Pay Former NTSB Execs to Bash Project). A couple of former NTSB executives sold themselves out for God knows how much money to attack the pipeline. The city itself hired some independent consultants to evaluate and study the proposed route. One of the consultants hired by the city previously did some work for VNG, and antis are jumping on that fact to try and discredit the findings of the independent report.
Continue reading

New Director of WVU Energy Institute Lays Out His Vision

James Wood, WVU Energy Institute

Brian Anderson has done important work as director of the West Virginia University (WVU) Energy Institute–working on a number of shale-related research projects. Anderson was recently tapped to become director of U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), where he will do equally important work. James Wood has been named as Anderson’s replacement at the Institute. Wood recently outlined his priorities. While Wood digs “clean energy research,” he remains committed to promoting projects like the NGL storage hub. Here’s Wood’s comments on what to expect from the WVU Energy Institute under his leadership.
Continue reading

Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Nov 27, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Range Resources: A well-positioned way to play shale gas; Rep. Bryan Cutler is bringing his Solanco roots to the highest level of state politics; November 23 Natural Gas Weekly: The fears of under-supply are exaggerated; Natural gas is up, but drillers are down; New projects expected to reverse Gulf of Mexico natural gas production declines; Russia flexes muscles as natural gas industry booms; India is losing the natural gas race to China; How fracking turned OPEC into the walking dead.
Continue reading