Williams Says Pipeline Biz Doing Great Despite COVID-19

The pipeline business is doing just fine, despite COVID-19. That’s according to Alan Armstrong, CEO of one of the country’s largest pipeline companies–Williams. On a conference call yesterday to discuss the company’s 2Q20 performance, Armstrong said: “[M]any people assume that natural gas demand would be greatly diminished by COVID-19 and a stalled economy. Fortunately, we have not seen that play out at all. In fact, natural gas demand has continued to grow, both broadly across the market and on our systems, in particular.”
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FERC Finally Approves PennEast Pipe Split into 2 Phases

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finally got its butt in gear and issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) for an amended request by PennEast Pipeline to break the project into two phases–building the pipeline through Pennsylvania in Phase One, and through New Jersey in Phase Two. FERC was supposed to issue its findings on or by July 10. Finally, after two weeks with no report, no explanation, and no communication, PennEast goosed FERC on July 24 (see PennEast Pipe Gooses FERC to Release Updated Enviro Review). The squeaky wheel…
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Third Lawsuit Filed Against Enbridge for KY TETCO Pipe Explosion

On August 1, 2019, Enbridge’s Texas Eastern Pipeline Company (TETCO) pipeline exploded in Lincoln County, Kentucky–killing one and sending six to the hospital (see TETCO Pipe Explodes in Kentucky Killing 1; Southbound M-U Gas Stops). In September we reported that at least two lawsuits had been filed against Enbridge and TETCO–one for wrongful death, the other by a couple severely injured and burned following the incident (see Two Lawsuits Filed Against Enbridge for KY TETCO Pipe Explosion). A third lawsuit, on behalf of 80 people “affected by the blast,” has just been filed by a personal injury lawyer now a year after the accident.
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What Happens to Leased Land for Now-Canceled Atlantic Coast Pipe?

ACP route through Virginia (click for larger version)

In July Dominion Energy announced it is throwing in the towel and canceling the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project that would have stretched from West Virginia to North Carolina. The company also announced it is selling its pipeline business to Warren Buffett (see Dominion Cancels Atlantic Coast Pipe, Sells Pipe Biz for $9.7B). Landowners along the pipeline’s route who signed leases to allow the pipeline across their property are now asking: What happens now? Are those leases terminated? Can someone else buy the leases and build a different pipeline?
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New Fortress Cracks the Code to Sell LNG Anywhere in the World

New Fortress Energy (NFE), which is building an LNG liquefaction facility in northeastern Pennsylvania and a dock on the Delaware River to export their PA LNG, is expanding rapidly. NFE issued its 2Q20 update yesterday. In reading a transcript of a conference call with analysts, the light bulb went off for MDN. NFE has figured out how to deliver (sell) LNG to just about any market on the planet. It’s pure genius. We’ll explain it below.
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NJ Town Wants Say in TGP NatGas Compressor Station Project

Last year, in an effort to flow more natural gas to a starving New York City, Kinder Morgan cut a deal with utility company Consolidate Edison 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, totally electric compressor station in West Milford Township (Passaic County), NJ.
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FERC Begins Enviro Assessment for Williams’ PennEast Competitor

Over a year ago, in March 2019, MDN told you about a new Williams plan to beef up the Transco pipeline in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to deliver an extra 760 MMcf/d (originally 1 billion cubic feet per day) of Marcellus gas to PA, NJ, and Maryland (see Williams Announces Transco Competitor to PennEast Pipe in NEPA). The project is called the Regional Energy Access expansion project.
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MVP Gets Permission to Cross Appalachian Trail from Park Service

click for larger version

While we were bitterly disappointed that Dominion Energy decided to cancel the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline project from West Virginia to North Carolina because they’re exiting the pipeline business altogether (see Dominion Cancels Atlantic Coast Pipe, Sells Pipe Biz for $9.7B), there is one good thing that came from ACP. Dominion fought through to completion a court case that went before the U.S. Supreme Court to allow ACP (and other pipelines) the right to cross under the Appalachian Trail (see Victory! Atlantic Coast Pipeline Wins US Supreme Court Case). One of the beneficiaries of that case is Equitrans’ Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project.
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ANR Pipeline Upgrading Compressors to Flow More Gas to Midwest

Elwood Energy power plant (click for larger version)

Some exciting news to share about a potential new (or rather expanded) customer for Marcellus/Utica gas in Illinois. TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) announced yesterday it will spend $400 million on the Elwood Power/ANR Horsepower Replacement Project. The project will replace, upgrade, and modernize certain facilities along the ANR Pipeline system, one of the largest interstate natural gas pipeline systems in the U.S.
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Wealthy Va. Landowners Consider Next Moves Post-ACP Cancellation

Earlier this month Dominion Energy announced it is throwing in the towel and canceling the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project that would have stretched from West Virginia to North Carolina. The company also announced it is selling its pipeline business to Warren Buffett (see Dominion Cancels Atlantic Coast Pipe, Sells Pipe Biz for $9.7B). Uppity, wealthy Virginia landowners who didn’t want the pipeline buried under their horse pastures are still celebrating. Now that the hangovers have mostly cleared up, the uppity landowners are asking questions about what comes next. Can they sue Dominion to recoup legal costs in fighting the project? Can the legally-obtained easements against their properties for ACP be sold to someone else who wants to build a different pipeline?
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GE Announces 3-Yr Plan to Fully Divest from Baker Hughes

Less than one year after buying Baker Hughes, GE decided it didn’t want its bright shiny new toy anymore and would divest itself of Baker Hughes (see GE Dumping Baker Hughes in Bid to Boost Stock Price). Baker Huges separated from GE last October and has been its own company since that time. However, GE still owns 37% of Baker Hughes (BKR) stock. Yesterday, as part of GE’s 2Q20 update, the company announced it will liquidate all of its remaining BKR stock over the next three years.
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Multiple Lawsuits Filed re FirstEnergy Nuke Bailout Bribery Scandal

FirstEnergy is in the middle of an excrement storm. The company’s former subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions (now called Energy Harbor) allegedly paid $60 million in bribes to Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and several of his associates to gain their assistance passing the hugely unpopular House Bill 6 (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law). HB 6, which became law, gives Energy Harbor $1.1 billion in ratepayer funds to prop up the company’s uneconomic nuclear power plants. Multiple class action lawsuits have been filed against the FirstEnergy and Energy Harbor since the bribery scandal news broke…
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PennEast Pipe Gooses FERC to Release Updated Enviro Review

PennEast Pipeline is a $1.2 billion, 118-mile brand new (greenfield) pipeline project planned between the Wilkes-Barre, PA area and the Trenton, NJ area. The project has faced stiff opposition from nutty Big Green groups and from the Democrats who have seized control of NJ. Because of NJ’s opposition (and a court case now before the U.S. Supreme Court), in January PennEast asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to break the project into two phases (see PennEast Asks FERC to Break Pipeline Project into 2 Phases). PennEast wants to build Phase One (68 miles) in PA, and later on (after the lawsuits are finished), build Phase Two (50 miles) in NJ. FERC was supposed to issue a new environmental assessment (EA) on the revised two-part plan by July 10…but did not.
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CNX Resources Buying/Merging in Rest of CNX Midstream for $357M

CNX Midstream began life as a joint venture between CONSOL Energy (the forerunner to CNX Resources) and Noble Energy, and was called CONE Midstream (“CO” from CONSOL and “NE” from Noble Energy). Noble decided to completely exit the Marcellus/Utica and ended up selling their half of CONE to CNX for $305 million in early 2018 (see CNX to Buy Noble’s 50% Share of CONE Midstream for $305M). The company was then renamed CNX Midstream (see CONE Midstream Gets a New Name: CNX Midstream Partners). Although CNX owns a majority of CNX Midstream, there has (until now) remained a certain portion owned by outside investors. That will soon come to an end as CNX is buying out the remaining portions it doesn’t own for $357 million. CNX Midstream will now be owned 100% by CNX Resources.
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