FERC Says Rest of Mountaineer XPress Pipeline OK to Start Up

On Friday TransCanada, owner of Columbia Gas Transmission, issued a press release to say the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the startup of the remainder of the Mountaineer XPress pipeline project. Just last week we told you that FERC had approved more (but not the rest) of the project to go online (see FERC Says More of Mountaineer XPress Pipeline OK to Start Up).
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FERC Says More of Mountaineer XPress Pipeline OK to Start Up

In January the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave permission to TransCanada’s Columbia Pipeline group to start up a portion of the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline in West Virginia (see FERC OK’s Mountaineer XPress Pipe to Start Up in WV). Yesterday FERC gave Columbia permission to start up a wee bit more of the project.
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Rest of Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Ready to Go Online Now

Last month the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave permission to TransCanada’s Columbia Pipeline group to start up a portion of the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline in West Virginia (see FERC OK’s Mountaineer XPress Pipe to Start Up in WV). Columbia says the rest of the Mountaineer project is now ready to go online.
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FERC OK’s Mountaineer XPress Pipe to Start Up in WV

click for larger version

In December, Columbia Pipeline asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to start up an additional section of its Mountaineer XPress Pipeline in West Virginia (see Columbia Asks FERC to Start Up 2/3rds of Mountaineer XPress Pipe). The good news is that on Wednesday, FERC said yes.
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Columbia Asks FERC to Start Up 2/3rds of Mountaineer XPress Pipe

In December 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final approval for the Mountaineer XPress pipeline project (see Leach XPress Goes Online; FERC Approves Mountaineer & Gulf XPress). The $2 billion project is ~170 miles of new pipeline meant to flow 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). At 2.7 Bcf/d, Mountaineer XPress is the second largest (by volume) new pipeline project for the Marcellus/Utica region–second only to Rover’s 3.25 Bcf/d pipeline. It is a big and important project. Last week Columbia, the builder, asked FERC for permission to start up 119 miles out of the 170-mile project, by Dec. 31.
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FERC Approves Mountaineer XPress Pipe Rate Increase

We spotted a story that contains information we don’t fully understand. Columbia Gas Transmission is currently building the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline, a $2 billion, 170-mile pipeline that will flow 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). At 2.7 Bcf/d, Mountaineer XPress is the second largest (by volume) new pipeline project for the Marcellus/Utica region–second only to Rover’s 3.25 Bcf/d pipeline. It is a big and important project. When Columbia (aka TransCanada) filed the original application, approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, they sought permission to charge $9.827 per dekatherm (one dekatherm is equivalent to one thousand cubic feet, or 1 Mcf) to flow gas along the pipeline. Put another way, shippers without a contract who want to ship along the pipeline will pay $9.83/Mcf to ship gas. Since gas typically fetches less than $3/Mcf, how can you make any money? That’s what we can’t figure out. Perhaps one of our sharp MDN readers can enlighten us? MDN Note: We have THE BEST readers! Dmitry Brown, a Senior Analyst with UGI Energy Services, wrote to clear up our confusion. The prices are per month, not per day. Shippers on MXP were expecting to pay $9.827/Mcf/month, or $ 0.32/Mcf/day. Columbia recently filed a request with FERC to increase the charge from $9.83/Mcf to a whopping $14.66/Mcf! The reason, according to Columbia, is that project costs have ballooned from $2 billion to $3 billion, “related to contractor labor costs, inspection costs, and outside services costs that substantially exceeded the contingency established for such charges.” Last Friday FERC approved the 49% increase. Now shippers will have to pay $14.663/Mcf/month, or $0.48/Mcf/day. Quite an increase…
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Columbia Sues WV Landowners for Delaying Mountaineer XPress Work

It’s one thing for a landowner (or Big Green supporter, sometimes one and the same) to oppose a pipeline project by protesting, asking politicians to get involved, writing to regulatory agencies, etc. We have a great American tradition of free speech. Go for it. But it’s quite another thing to “harass, intimidate and interfere” with work crews in an area by screaming at them and shooting your “large caliber gun” near where they’re working. Columbia Gas Transmission is currently building the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline, a $2 billion, 170-mile pipeline that will flow 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). At 2.7 Bcf/d, Mountaineer XPress is the second largest (by volume) new pipeline project for the Marcellus/Utica region–second only to Rover’s 3.25 Bcf/d pipeline. It is a big and important project. And yet, a single couple whose land the pipeline does NOT cross can delay the entire project with threats and intimidation and interference. That’s the charge Columbia has made in court. On April 30, Columbia sued a couple in Doddridge County who live near an active construction site for Mountaineer XPress, claiming their hostile actions toward workers have caused a delay for the entire project–and that’s costing Columbia big bucks. Columbia wants to ask a jury to extract some of that lost revenue from the hostile couple as compensation. Lesson: Your (hostile, threatening) actions have consequences, and may cost you money…
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Mountaineer Xpress Pipe Breaks Ground in WV on $100M Compressor

Earlier this week TransCanada (i.e. Columbia Pipeline) broke ground for a new $100 million compressor station that will flow gas through the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline. MDN previously told you that at the end of December the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final approval for Mountaineer (see Leach XPress Goes Online; FERC Approves Mountaineer & Gulf XPress). The $2 billion Mountaineer XPress will build ~170 miles of new pipeline to flow 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). At 2.7 Bcf/d, Mountaineer XPress is the second largest (by volume) new pipeline project for the Marcellus/Utica region–second only to Rover’s 3.25 Bcf/d pipeline. It is a big and important project. On Tuesday, even though the temps were frigid and the snow was flying, Calhoun County commissioners along with reps from TransCanada broke ground on an important new compressor station being built to flow gas through Mountaineer XPress. Calhoun has not seen any shale drilling, although neighboring Ritchie County (to the north) and Gilmer County (to the east) have. Mountaineer XPress and this compressor station are helping Calhoun participate economically in the shale miracle, which Calhoun’s commissioners expressed thanks for…
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TransCanada Says FERC Approval for Mountaineer XPress May Slip

In July 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a favorable final environmental impact statement (EIS) for both the Mountaineer XPress and Gulf XPress projects (see FERC Issues Favorable Final EIS for Mountaineer/Gulf XPress Pipes). Both projects are part of Columbia Pipeline Group (now owned by TransCanada), expansions of the Columbia Pipeline system. A favorable EIS means it’s a foregone conclusion that FERC will issue a certificate for the project to proceed–at some point. Mountaineer XPress includes 165 miles of new pipeline with approximately 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of transportation capacity from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia. Gulf XPress consists of constructing seven new midpoint compressor stations along the existing Columbia pipeline system in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, with the aim of moving an additional 875 million cubic feet (MMcf) of Marcellus/Utica gas per day southward, to the Gulf Coast region. So far FERC has not given these two important Marcellus/Utica projects the final go-ahead. During TransCanada’s annual investor day webcast yesterday, Stan Chapman, president of TransCanada’s US natural gas pipelines business told investors (and the public) that although they had hoped for FERC approval by the end of this year, it’s now likely the approval will “slip into January”…
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FERC Delays EIS for Mountaineer XPress & Gulf XPress Pipelines

delayedThe Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just thrown a little cold water on two important pipeline upgrades to carry more Marcellus/Utica gas to southern markets. A final environmental impact statement (EIS) was due from FERC for both the Mountaineer XPress and Gulf XPress projects no later than April 28, 2017. FERC says that deadline is going to slip by three months due to reroutes and additional environment information requested. MDN has previously reported on Mountaineer XPress, which includes 165 miles of new pipeline with approximately 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of transportation capacity from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). We have not, however, reported on Gulf XPress, which seems to be a project different from other Columbia projects we’ve highlighted, including Rayne XPress and Leach XPress. The Gulf XPress project does not appear to be either of those projects renamed (or original thought). Gulf XPress consists of constructing seven new midpoint compressor stations along the existing Columbia pipeline system in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, with the aim of moving an additional 875 million cubic feet (MMcf) of Marcellus/Utica gas per day southward, to the Gulf Coast region…
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Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Seeks Tax Break from WV Counties

Columbia Pipeline Group is trying to convince counties in West Virginia where its proposed Mountaineer XPress Pipeline will be built, to reduce the amount of property tax they will have to pay under WV state law. Mountaineer XPress Project (MXP) includes 165 miles of new pipeline from Marshall County, WV to Wayne County, WV with approximately 2.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of transportation capacity from existing and future points of receipt along or near CPG’s system (see Columbia Pipeline’s Mountaineer XPress Project Accepted by FERC). In addition to new pipeline, the $2 billion project also includes constructing three new compressor stations and upgrading three existing stations. Columbia is shopping the concept of a PILOT–a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes. Such a plan essentially means they will pay less money than a county would otherwise collect in regular property taxes on the pipeline. Here’s the strange thing–the counties and school districts affected would end up keeping more of the money collected from PILOT payments than they would from regular property tax payments. It’s actually a win/win–Columbia pays less and more of the money paid stays local. Go figure…
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Columbia Pipeline’s Mountaineer XPress Project Accepted by FERC

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Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Project Map – click for larger version

Columbia Pipeline’s Mountaineer XPress Project (MXP) includes approximately 165 miles of new pipeline from Marshall County, WV to Wayne County, WV with approximately 2.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of transportation capacity from existing and future points of receipt along or near CPG’s system (see our previous Mountaineer XPress stories here). In addition to new pipeline, the $2 billion project also includes constructing three new compressor stations and upgrading three existing stations. Columbia announced yesterday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has accepted Columbia’s “pre-filing” application for the project. Columbia will file the formal/full application next April and if all goes well, they plan to begin construction in the fall of 2017…
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Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project

As we mentioned last year, NiSource/Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG) has a lot of pipeline project irons in the fire (see NiSource 3Q14: A Lot of Irons in the Fire, Spending Billions). One of those irons is the Mountaineer XPress, which includes approximately 150 miles of new pipeline with approximately 2.7Bcf per day of transportation capacity from existing and future points of receipt along or near CPG’s system, most of it located in West Virginia. The project is close to most of the region’s third party processing plants in the Utica/Marcellus, with deliveries to the TCO Pool; Leach, Ky., at an existing point of interconnection between TCO and CPG subsidiary Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC (CGT); and other “mutually agreeable points.” CPG held a non-binding open season for Mountaineer XPress last year. Now it’s time to begin putting signatures on contracts. CPG announced a binding open season that started last Friday and will run through April 23rd…
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How Marcellus/Utica Gas Feeds Sabine Pass & Cameron LNG in La.

Last week MDN brought you an RBN Energy article that outlines how Marcellus/Utica gas hitches a ride to the Gulf Coast to feed several LNG export facilities–specifically the newly-minted Cameron LNG export facility (see Marcellus/Utica Gas Heads to Gulf Coast to Feed LNG Export Beast). LNG exports along the Gulf Coast are a hugely important current and future market for Marcellus/Utica gas. Today RBN is back with more details on the intricate network of pipelines used to get our gas to both the Sabine Pass and Cameron LNG export facilities located in Louisiana.
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Marcellus/Utica Gas Heads to Gulf Coast to Feed LNG Export Beast

Marcellus/Utica gas hitches a ride to the Gulf Coast to feed several LNG export facilities. We previously outlined how some gas flows to Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG plant via Williams’ Transco system (see Williams Confirms Transco Now Ships Gas Directly to Cheniere LNG). We also told you about Utica gas reaching Sabine Pass via a connection from Rover Pipeline (see Some Rover Gas Flows All the Way to Gulf Coast LNG Export Plant). The experts at RBN Energy outline how M-U gas is flowing to the newly-minted Cameron LNG export facility (also in the Lake Charles area, near Sabine Pass) via the recently completed Mountaineer Xpress and Gulf Xpress pipeline expansions.
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Tug Hill Ramps Up Low-Cost Utica Drilling in WV Panhandle

The last time MDN reported on Tug Hill Operating was more than two years ago, a story about Tug Hill’s XcL Midstream subsidiary working to build a new gathering pipeline system in West Virginia to flow gas that would come from Tug Hill’s THQ Appalachia drilling subsidiary (see XcL Midstream Building New Dry & Wet Gas Gathering Pipes in WV). Both the midstream and drilling subsidiaries have been busy over the past two years. In fact, Tug Hill’s THQ subsidiary says it has unlocked the secret to drilling cheap Utica wells in the Mountain State.
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