Some Mariner East 2 Construction Resumes During Lockdown

The confusion over whether or not the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline project has (a) shut down all construction, except certain tidying up aspects at certain locations, or (b) has permission by the state to keep on building, is still not 100% settled. On Monday we told you that ME2 construction was in the process of ceasing under orders issued by Gov. Wolf (see Mariner East 2 Pipeline Construction Shuts Down re COVID-19). However, the PA Dept. of Community and Economic Development granted a waiver to ME2 for certain activities.

3/27/20 UPDATE: As we suspected and have now confirmed with an unnamed (but highly reliable) source, the ME2 sites issued waivers to continue construction on Wednesday, March 25th were areas deemed necessary to continue work in order to protect the environment or the public. While there are numerous “sites” where activity has resumed, it represents less than 20% of total project sites. For example, places where there were open cut ditches or partially complete HDDs (underground horizontal directional drilling), the company requested and was approved waivers to restart construction–after an extensive review by the Wolf Administration.
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Mariner East 2 Pipeline Construction Shuts Down re COVID-19

As we told you last Friday, there was some confusion over whether or not construction of the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline, which is nearing completion, is included under Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s “stop work” order to prevent PA residents and workers from further spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus (see Is ME2 Pipe Construction Stopped Following Wolf COVID-19 Order?). Pipeline infrastructure and utilities are on the “life-sustaining” list, both in PA and as a directive from the federal government. However, “Utility Subsection Construction” was on the non-life-sustaining list–due to be temporarily shut down. ME2 construction continued after Wolf’s Thursday order. The confusion has now cleared, and yes, ME2 construction is in the process of ceasing.
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Time to Finish Mariner East 2 Pipeline Says SEPA Former Senator

In January the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) finally, after more than a year, agreed to lift a moratorium on new construction work for several Energy Transfer pipeline projects in the state, including the Mariner East 2 and 2X projects (see PA DEP Clears Way for ET to Complete Mariner East Pipelines). A few weeks later the DEP assessed a $1.95 million fine on the Mariner East 2 project (see PA DEP Slaps Energy Transfer Again – $2M Fine re Mariner East 2). Fine paid, permission granted…At least ET can restart work on ME2 now, right? Wrong.
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Lancaster Couple Guilty of Trespass re Mariner East 2 Pipeline

Last December the husband and wife team of Mark and Melinda Clatterbuck got themselves arrested for illegal trespass and disorderly conduct at a Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline site near Philadelphia (see Antis Arrested for Trespass Near ME Pipe Claim “Intimidation”). This isn’t their first pipeline trespassing offense and arrest. The couple said the December arrest was “harassment” and “intimidation.” A Chester County judge didn’t buy that line of reasoning and yesterday convicted them, ordering the couple to pay a fine plus court costs.
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PA DEP Slaps Energy Transfer Again – $2M Fine re Mariner East 2

Two weeks ago the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the largest fine for a single company/project in its history. DEP slapped Energy Transfer (ET) with a $30.6 million fine for the construction and subsequent explosion of the company’s Revolution gathering pipeline in western PA (see ET Allowed to Fix/Restart Revolution Pipe…After Record $30M Fine). As part of the fine, DEP said ET could restart construction to fix Revolution. DEP also said ET could restart construction for another project: Mariner East 2 (ME2). Yesterday the other shoe dropped when DEP announced a new fine related to ME2 work–for $1.95 million.
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Another Mariner East 2 Pipe Sinkhole Opens in Delaware County

Credit: PA Environment Digest Blog (click for larger version)

Once again drilling work to install Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 Pipeline in Middlefield Township in Delaware County, PA (near Philadelphia) has resulted in a sinkhole. This one is about the size of a 15×15 swimming pool. Sunoco reports the hole exposed a 12-inch pipeline flowing NGLs (no holes, no leaks in the pipeline). The company immediately filled in the sinkhole and covered over the NGL pipeline.
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Another $319K in Fines Levied on Mariner East 2 Pipeline in PA

Sunoco Pipeline, a division/part of Energy Transfer, has just been fined (again) for work related to the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project. This time around Sunoco got two fines: One for problems with their work in 2018, to the tune of $240,840, and one for work done back in 2017, to the tune of $78,621. Total bill: $319,461. So far the Mariner East project (ME1, ME2, and ME2X) has incurred over $13 million in fines with over 80 violations.
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Too Funny! Angry “Reporters” Call Mariner East 2 “Frankenpipe”

You know you’ve hit a nerve when so-called reporters (propagandists) at a Philadelphia-area newspaper drop all pretense of being objective in their reporting and begin calling a pipeline project made-up names–like calling Mariner East 2 “Frankenpipe.” Talk about petulant and childish!
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2 Workers Injured Working on Mariner East 2 Pipe Near Pittsburgh

Pipeline Inspection Gauge

Two workers were injured, one seriously, when a “pig” they were operating at a section of the nearly completed Mariner East 2 pipeline (near Pittsburgh, in Westmoreland County) accelerated and hit them late Sunday. What’s a pig? It stands for Pipeline Inspection Gauge–a device used inside a pipeline for cleaning, inspection and maintenance, and fluid batching. A pig is pushed along the inside of the pipeline by the flow of liquid or gas or (in this case), air. A pig launching station is used to insert the pig into a pipeline using a series of valves and hatches. The pig is pushed through the pipeline by the fluid/gas/air to the pig receiving station. We don’t have all the details for how this accident happened. What we know is that two workers, a man and a woman, were operating the pig when it hit them. Both were taken to the hospital. The woman was later released, but the man sustained a broken arm and is still hospitalized.
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Energy Transfer 3Q18: Mariner East 2 Pipeline Online by Christmas

Yesterday the muckety-mucks from Energy Transfer (ET) held a conference call with Wall Street analysts to discuss the company’s third quarter 2018 update. Inevitably on such calls there’s talk about what’s coming up in addition to what happened in the previous quarter. ET is a big midstream (pipeline) company. Among their projects are the mighty Rover Pipeline, which reaches from Pennsylvania, West Virgina, and eastern Ohio all the way into Michigan, and the Mariner East 2 Pipeline, which runs from eastern Ohio all the way through Pennsylvania to the Philadelphia area. Rover flows natural gas, ME2 (and ME2X) will flow NGLs, mainly ethane and propane. According to Tom Long, ET’s Chief Financial Officer, ME2 will be up and running sometime this quarter. Since the end of this quarter is around Christmastime, we prefer to think of ME2 as a Christmas present for Marcellus/Utica drillers.
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Mariner East 2 Pipeline Going into Service “Next Few Weeks”

There’s a series of private events held each fall, sponsored by investment banks and investment firms, that won’t allow media to attend. Supposedly the events allow companies to speak off the record (to investors and analysts) about things they’d rather not have on the public record. We think its a farce…since it keeps us out of those meetings! Inevitably, if there’s big news, it leaks out. And such is the case with news from a recent event hosted by Height Capital Markets in Washington, D.C. At the Height event, Energy Transfer (i.e. Sunoco Logistics Partners) told analysts that the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline project “will be in service as soon as it is mechanically complete, which is expected to be in the next few weeks.”
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Mariner East 2 Pipe Startup Delayed Due to “Regulatory Issues”

ME2 Pipeline (red dotted line) – click for larger version

Energy Transfer Partners and their Sunoco Logistics unit had previously predicted the Mariner East 2 NGL (natural gas liquids) pipeline would be up and running no later than Sept. 30. That date came and went, and the pipeline is still not ready. According the ET, the reason is due to “regulatory issues.” Meaning, what exactly? We have a list of the “issues” holding up ME2 from launching.
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Mariner East 2 Pipeline 99% Done, Online in ~2 Months

With all of the negative news stories from mainstream media in Pennsylvania regarding the Mariner East 2 (ME2) Pipeline project, and the seemingly endless challenges by Philadelphia politicians in bed with Big Green groups to try and block the project, here’s a couple of facts to warm your heart, and give antis heartburn: (1) ME2 is now 99% done; (2) ME2 will most likely go online in the next two months–by the end of 3Q18. There will still be a few small areas where ME2 proper is not online in two months–locations near Philadelphia where there have been sinkhole problems. But Sunoco Logistics Partners (aka Energy Transfer), the builder, has a workaround–repurposing an out-of-service pipeline for a few months…
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Mariner East 2 Pipeline Protester Sentenced 2-6 Months in Jail

Huntingdon County, PA landowner Ellen Gerhart, adamantly opposed to the Mariner East 2 pipeline being constructed across her land, had her day in court on Friday. Gerhart, as we recently reported, was accused of violating a 2017 court order preventing her from interfering with ME2 construction on her property. It was alleged that she continued to do so anyway, against a judge’s order, and on Friday, July 27 she was arrested and jailed (see Central PA Landowner Arrested, Jailed for Violating ME2 Court Order). A week later, on Friday, Aug. 3, Gerhart stood before the judge as evidence was presented (videos and testimony from pipeline workers) that showed Gerhart had indeed violated the order. So the judge sentenced her from two to six months in prison, plus a $2,000 fine. Which is sad, but necessary. We (still, so far) live in a society where flagrant violation of the law is punished. The judge said she caused a hazard for pipeline workers…
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ETP Update: Rover Fully Online by June 1, Mariner East 2 Online 3Q18

Yesterday Energy Transfer Partners held its quarterly conference call with stock analysts to discuss first quarter 2018 results. On the phone call we got some updated information about timing for two critical Marcellus/Utica projects: Rover Pipeline and Mariner East 2 Pipeline. As recently as last week MDN was under the impression that Rover–a $3.7 billion, 711-mile natural gas pipeline that runs from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and on to Canada via the Vector Pipeline–would be 100% done sometime by the end of June. Not so according to ET’s CFO Thomas Long, who said on yesterday’s call that Rover will be fully done and in service by June 1! That is really good news. That means the full capacity of 3.25 billion cubic feet per day of Marcellus/Utica gas will flow to the Midwest, Michigan and Canada within the next three weeks. As for Mariner East 2 (ME2), that project was knocked off its original schedule following an extended shutdown of construction by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environment Protection. ME2 is actually two pipelines, not one. The first ME2 pipeline, according to Tom Long, will be up and running sometime by the end of September this year. The second ME2 pipeline, referred to as ME2X, will be done by “mid-2019.” Here’s a couple of excerpts from the conference call, along with the full ET 1Q18 update…
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