Virginia Grants Key Permits for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Although the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) was federally approved a year ago, in October 2017 (see FERC Approves Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipeline Projects), the $6 billion pipeline from Dominion Energy running from West Virginia through Virginia into North Carolina had not yet secured all state-required permits. The remaining holdout has been Virginia. Late Friday afternoon the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) finally issued a “401” permit for crossing streams and rivers, which clears the way for ACP construction to begin in the Old Dominion.
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Sham “Risk Assessment” of ME2 Pipeline Released by Philly Antis

MDN told you in July that Philadelphia antis were paying $50,000 to a “consultant” to produce a faux report that will say the Mariner East 2 (ME2) natural gas liquids pipeline is dangerous, a nightmare waiting to happen (see Philly Antis Commission Faux “Risk Study” Targeting ME2 Pipeline). Sure enough, Quest Consultants–a company that sells itself to the highest Big Green bidder–has released their “report,” and it says exactly what Big Green told them to say.
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Columbia Gas Already 80% Done Replacing 48 Miles of Exploded Pipes

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (NiSource) continues to try and recover from a series of explosions in its local delivery pipelines north of Boston in mid-September (see Local NatGas Pipes Explode Near Boston Killing 1, Injuring 25). The explosions and resulting fires tragically killed one teenager and injured 25 others. It left some 8,600 households and businesses without natural gas–for months. In early October, Columbia said it would replace all ~48 miles of natural gas mains, and all 6,100 affected service lines, by Nov. 19 (see Columbia’s Master Plan to Restore Gas Service in Mass. by Nov 19). To Columbia’s credit, 80% of the mains are already done, and over half of the service lines.
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Kinder Morgan Cancels UMTP – Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline

Once again it seems environmentalists in Kentucky have won–stopping yet another NGL (natural gas liquids) pipeline. On Wednesday Kinder Morgan, one of (perhaps the) largest pipeline companies in North America, announced it is canceling plans to convert part of its Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) that currently flows natural gas from the Gulf Coast to the northeast, to reverse the pipeline and flow natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the Marcellus/Utica region to the Gulf Coast. The project, called Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline (UMTP), would have cost $4 billion. Instead, Kinder says it will still seek to reverse a big portion of TGP, but will instead flow M-U natgas south, instead of NGLs.
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Energy Transfer Partners & Equity Merging into One Company Today

Energy Transfer is, on paper, several different companies. Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) is the mother ship–the main holding company. Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) is and has been (for us) the main company, builder of Rover Pipeline, among other projects. Nearly two years ago Sunoco Logistics Partners, a subsidiary of ETE, was merged into ETP (see ETE Merging Sunoco Logistics and Energy Transfer Partners). Sunoco, aka ETP, is building the Mariner East 2 NGL pipeline project. Although technically ETP is the builder, we still call the company doing the work Sunoco, because that’s what everyone else does. Confusing! Hopefully that confusion ends today. ETE announced yesterday that following a vote of unitholders (i.e. shareholders), as of today ETE and ETP are merged, and the new name is simply, Energy Transfer.
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Elba Island, Ga. LNG Export Startup Delayed (Again) – Now 1Q19

The East Coast’s second LNG export plant to come online, after Cove Point in Maryland, will be Elba Island in Georgia. In July, Kinder Morgan, the builder and primary sponsor of the project, pushed back startup for the plant from the third until fourth quarter of this year (see Elba Island, Ga. LNG Export Startup Delayed to 4Q18). In what appears to be a pattern, Kinder has just delayed startup again–now estimated to be first quarter of next year.
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Dominion Officially Axes Compressor Station Plan Near Mt. Vernon

In July MDN told you that Dominion Energy had decided, at least unofficially, to abandon a plan to build a compressor station across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon–the home and estate of our illustrious first president, George Washington (see Dominion Surrenders to Mt. Vernon – Relocating Compressor Station). Mount Vernon caretakers said the station would junk up their pretty view, which Dominion disputed. Regardless, Dominion said it would work with Mount Vernon on a plan to locate the compressor somewhere else that wouldn’t interfere with the view. Dominion has just made it official. On Monday they said they won’t build the station where originally planned.
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Belmont, OH Leaders Say PTT Cracker Decision Coming This Year

Last Friday three county commissioners from Belmont County, OH took a field trip to visit Beaver County, PA, touring the Shell ethane cracker site and talking with Beaver County officials about how the project has impacted that area. Tuesday night, a member of the Potter Township (PA) Board of Supervisors came to a meeting of local leaders in Belmont County, to talk about the Shell cracker project and what such a project in Belmont could do for the Ohio Valley. PTT Global Chemical is supposedly close to making a final investment decision on building a cracker in Belmont. The interesting comment coming from Tuesday’s meeting was about the timing of a decision to build the PTT cracker: “It [the decision] will be revealed by the end of the year.” So says Belmont officials.
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Va. Governor Refuses to Stop Mountain Valley Pipeline Work

Va. Gov. Ralph Northam

The pressure DC swamp dwellers and anti-fossil fuelers from across the country (indeed from across the world) have put on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (a Democrat) has been intense. They want Northam to abuse his executive authority, in contravention of the law, and block both the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) projects in his state. Northam’s predecessor, Terry McAuliffe (also a Democrat) created the state’s first Environmental Justice Advisory Council. That Council, packed with anti-fossil fuelers, has advised Northam to block ACP and MVP. Northam has just given his own Council a polite but firm, NO.
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The Winners of the PA DEP $12.6 Million ME2 Hunger Games Are…

Que the music with dramatic drums, cymbals and trumpets. Camera A, zoom in on Secretary McDonnell. The whole state is watching. It’s time for the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to announce the winners of PA’s Hunger Games-style contest to grab a piece of the $12.6 million “fine” paid by Sunoco Logistics Partners for “permit violations related to the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project” (see Sunoco LP Pays PA DEP $12.6M to Resume ME2 Pipeline Construction).
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Mountain Valley Pipe Keeps Building Despite Court Action re Permits

Mountain Valley Pipeline, a project of EQT Midstream, continues to work on constructing its 303-mile long project from West Virginia into Virginia–despite a recent court order overturning some of the permits for the project (see Court Overturns MVP WV Permit; FERC Shutdown Coming Again?). The fact that MVP is working as fast as they can despite a partial shut down has antis fit to be tied. Which puts a broad smile on our face.
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FERC Gives Atlantic Coast Pipe Permission to Cut Trees in Va.

In September the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) lifted a stop-work order for the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project that stretches from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina (see Victory! FERC Lifts Stop Work Order for Atlantic Coast Pipeline). Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit took further action to overturn permits that affect about 21 miles of the project (see 4th Circuit Again Blocks NPS Permit for Atlantic Coast Pipeline). However, most of ACP remains under construction. Yesterday FERC granted ACP permission for tree cutting in Buckingham County, Va.
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Nine Energy Buying Magnum Oil Tools for $493M

Nine Energy Service, an oilfield services company that competes with companies like Halliburton and Baker Hughes, operates in a number of shale basins, including the Marcellus/Utica. Magnum Oil Tools is a “downhole technology” company providing completions products including dissolvable frac plugs and a number of other patented inventions. Magnum also has operations in the Marcellus/Utica. Yesterday Nine announced it is buying out and merging in Magnum in a deal worth $493 million.
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Cove Point LNG Plant Restarts After 3 Wks Offline for Maintenance

On September 21, Dominion Energy stopped pulling gas from pipelines into the Cove Point LNG export facility (on the shoreline of Maryland) in order to conduct scheduled maintenance (see Cove Point LNG Plant Down for 3 Weeks of Maintenance). Cove Point liquefies and exports some 3/4 of a billion cubic feet (Bcf) each day. True to their word, over the weekend (three weeks later) Dominion began pulling gas again. By the way, all of the gas feeding Cove Point comes from the Marcellus/Utica region–most of it headed to Japan and India.
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Sections of Mountain Valley Pipe Wash onto Landowner’s Property

It’s one thing for mud and sediment to wash away from a pipeline drilling site due to heavy and relentless rains–as we have experienced in the northeast these past few months. But it’s another thing entirely when actual sections pipeline sitting at the construction site float away! That happened in Franklin County, Virginia last Thursday. The landowner, who was (and is) opposed to the 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline from slicing through his property, has complained repeatedly about erosion and sediment from the construction path spilling over onto his farmland. Friday morning he woke up to MVP pipes washed onto his cornfield following torrential rains and wind, the leftovers of Hurricane Michael.
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NTSB Report: Columbia Gas Bad Work Order Caused Explosions

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has just released a preliminary report on what caused a series of explosions and fires in a natural gas pipeline system 25 miles northwest of Boston in mid-September (see Local NatGas Pipes Explode Near Boston Killing 1, Injuring 25). The NTSB confirmed that the cause was overpressurized pipes due to workers capping off an old pipeline that contained sensors telling the system to pump more gas than needed. The question becomes, Who’s at fault? NTSB says the fault lies clearly Columbia Gas themselves.
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