PA’s UGI Corp. Deal to Buy WV’s Mountaineer Gas Company

UGI Corporation, one of Pennsylvania’s largest natural gas utility companies, is buying Mountaineer Gas Company, one of West Virginia’s largest natural gas utility companies, for $540 million. UGI serves 700,000 customers across PA (and one county in Maryland). Mountaineer serves 215,000 customers across WV. Both companies are big buyers of Marcellus/Utica shale gas.
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Columbiana County Asks OH Gov. to OK Shale Gas Pipe to Lake Erie

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Two weeks ago Trumbull County, OH’s Board of Commissioners sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine requesting DeWine order a feasibility study on a “lake-to-river natural gas pipeline” project that will extend along the State Route 11 corridor from Columbiana County all the way to Ashtabula Harbor on Lake Erie. The pipeline will flow Utica gas produced in Columbiana (and surrounding counties) to manufacturers located along the Erie shoreline.
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FirstEnergy Nuke Bailout Payments Blocked by Ohio Supreme Court

FirstEnergy is up to its metaphorical rear-end in alligators. Not only has the Ohio Supreme Court blocked (for now) the collection of annual $150 million payments from the residents of Ohio given to FirstEnergy to prop up its uneconomic nuclear power plants, but multiple (over a dozen) lawsuits have been filed against the company by some of FirstEnergy’s biggest investors alleging fraud that has caused the company’s stock price to plummet.
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NJ Gov. Murphy Flip-Flops, Wants to Block Dela. River LNG Terminal

The five voting members of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) met in early December and voted 4-0 (one abstention) to approve a 1,300-foot-long pier in Gibbstown, NJ which will be used to load LNG tankers (see DRBC Does Right Thing, Approves NJ LNG Export Terminal). One of the “yes” votes was from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. Following withering criticism from radical environmentalists, Murphy has flip-flopped and now says he opposes the LNG export terminal–after he voted in favor of building it.
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NJ DEP Approves TGP NatGas Compressor Station to Help NYC

In an effort to flow more natural gas to a starving New York City, Kinder Morgan cut a deal with utility company Consolidated Edison in 2019 to provide more gas by beefing up capacity along its Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) that feeds NYC, allowing Con Ed to avoid cutting customers off from natgas hookups (see Con Ed Deal May End Westchester, NY Gas Moratorium…in 2023). Part of KM’s plan to beef up TGP includes building a super-quiet, zero-emissions electric compressor station in West Milford Township in Passaic County. The West Milford compressor is one big step closer to reality following approval by the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP).
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PA Marcellus Rig Count Goes Down in 2020, Staying Down in 2021

The Pennsylvania Marcellus rig count ended 2020 at its lowest for the year. There were 18 shale rigs working in mid-December, down from 25 at the same point in 2019. Oil and gas data provider Enverus (used to be called Drillinginfo) cautions we should not look for drillers to add rigs in 2021, even if the price of natgas goes higher. Enverus says PA’s Marcellus drillers have (our words) learned their lesson.
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Other Stories of Interest: Mon, Jan 4, 2021

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Environmentalists see opportunity for legislature in 2021, but also expect repeats of old fights; DEP sets Jan. 13 virtual hearing on Chapter 102/105 permits for Phase I PennEast Pipeline project; Biden and Harris know energy development is a winning issue in Pennsylvania; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Apparent radical leftist attack on gas lines in Colorado, leaving thousands without heat; Negotiators announce deal on climate change bill; Massachusetts will require all new cars sold be electric by 2035; NATIONAL: Evangelicals salute the Biden climate team; ‘A slap in the face’: The pandemic disrupts young oil careers; Why President Biden won’t be bad for natural gas; Five U.S. LNG projects get export term extended through 2050; US producers capture record volume of associated gas production in 2020; The top 10 RBN energy prognostications for 2021; John Kerry: false prophet of the climate apocalypse; INTERNATIONAL: Company produces methane-capturing face mask for cows.
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