Cove Point LNG in Maryland Loads Milestone 100th Commercial Ship

Dominion Energy’s Cove Point LNG Terminal loaded its 100th commercial liquefied natural gas (LNG) ship this week. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Rakola, click for larger version)

Seems like just yesterday that Dominion Energy’s Cove Point LNG export plant opened for business–in April 2018 (see First-Ever Shipment of Marcellus LNG Leaves Cove Point, Maryland). Fast forward a year and a half later and on Monday, November 11, Dominion loaded its 100th commercial LNG ship. Let’s celebrate!
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FBI Investigates Wolf Admin for Corruption re ME Pipe Permits

(Sacrificial) lamb roasting on a spit

Earlier this week the Associated Press, which sometimes can and sometimes can’t be trusted, broke an exclusive bombshell story in which they claim “sources” have told them the FBI has launched an investigation into the Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf administration over how permits came to be issued for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project. The focus of the investigation is on whether Wolf and his administration “forced environmental protection staff to approve construction permits” and whether Wolf or his administration received anything in return for those permits. Favors. Corruption. Kickbacks. That’s what’s being implied by the leakers who, of course, spoke only on condition of anonymity.
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PennEast Pipe to Appeal Bungled Fed Court Decision to US Supremes

In September, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a precedent-setting decision that disallows PennEast Pipeline from using the federally-delegated power of eminent domain to cross properties either owned by, or with easements granted to, the state of New Jersey (see Federal Court Rules PennEast Pipe Can’t Run Thru NJ State Land). PennEast asked the full court (all of the judges) to rehear the case, which they refused (see Fed Court Refuses to Reconsider PennEast Bad Decision – Now What?). We outlined two possible options for PennEast’s next move, one of them an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. PennEast chose that option yesterday.
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Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline Project Ready to Start Dec. 1

The Risberg Line, a 60-mile pipeline from Crawford County, PA to Erie County, PA, and from there across the border into Ashtabula County, OH, began construction in February (see Construction Begins on “Massive” PA to OH Risberg Pipeline). In October RH energytrans, the builder, said the project would be ready by Dec. 1 (see Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline Project Almost Done, Ready by Dec. 1). And by golly, it is! Earlier this week RH energytrans asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to start it up by Dec. 1.
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Dirt Being Moved at PTT Ohio Ethane Cracker Site – Still no FID

Credit: WTOV (click for larger version)

It’s that time of year again, when we hear rumors that PTT Global Chemical will make a final investment decision (FID) about their $7.5 billion ethane cracker project planned for Dilles Bottom in Belmont County, OH. The decision is always “coming soon.” Hopefully. Maybe. Any day now. But maybe not until next year. Can you tell we’ve grown weary of the rumors? This time it might (underscore MIGHT) be different. This time it’s not rumor but some action that caught our interest. Steubenville, Ohio TV station WTOV has video of dirt being pushed around at the site. Which we take to be a good omen.
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UGI Completes 4th Expansion of NEPA Marcellus Gathering System

UGI Energy Services, the pipeline subsidiary of UGI Corporation (utility company) has just completed the fourth expansion of their northeastern PA pipeline gathering system called the Auburn Gathering System. In May 2018 MDN told you about UGI’s plans to add another two compressor stations and more gathering pipelines to benefit Cabot Oil & Gas (see UGI Expanding NEPA Gathering System to Flow More Cabot Gas).
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Energy Transfer 3Q – Mariner East Shines, Revolution Back Soon

Energy Transfer (ET), the big pipeline company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, issued its third quarter 2019 update yesterday. ET is the builder of the Rover Pipeline in the Utica Shale, the Mariner East trio of pipelines in the PA Marcellus, and the Revolution gathering system in southwestern PA. With Rover built and fully operational, our interest was in locating information/updates on the ME and Revolution projects. We hit paydirt in yesterday’s update.
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MarkWest Gets New CEO, New Processing Plants Coming in M-U

Last week Marathon Petroleum, the parent company of MPLX (formerly called MarkWest Energy) announced some big changes during their third quarter update. Namely, they have caved to “activist” investors (we still call them corporate raiders) and their demands to split the company and dump the current CEO (see Partial Activist Victory: Marathon to Sell Speedway, CEO Retiring). The one thing activists didn’t get was a commitment to sell off the MarkWest/MPLX division. What we overlooked at the time (correcting it now) is the fairly big news that the MPLX division got a new CEO, and they continue to build new natural gas and NGL processing plants in the Marcellus/Utica region.
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EQT Hammers Equitrans to Lower Gathering Price – Deal Close?

The Pittsburgh Business Times is reporting that EQT and Equitrans (formerly EQT Midstream) are “inching closer” to a renegotiated agreement for Equitrans to continue EQT’s natural gas gathering and shipping. During conference calls with analysts last week, both EQT CEO Toby Rice and Equitrans President Diana Charletta were said to be “optimistic” about the eventual outcome of those negotiations. Our interpretation is that EQT is hammering Equitrans to lower the cost of gathering and transporting their gas.
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Con Edison Capping Investment in Mountain Valley Pipe at $530M

Consolidated Edison, the huge gas and electric utility that services much of New York City and its suburbs, recently said the company will cap its investment in the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project. There is an amount beyond which they will not go. Con Ed is one of five investor/owners of MVP. The primary owner and builder of MVP is Equitrans (EQM Midstream Partners), the former EQT Midstream.
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Fed Court Refuses to Reconsider PennEast Bad Decision – Now What?

This is a huge disappointment. In September, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a precedent-setting decision that disallows PennEast Pipeline from using the federally-delegated power of eminent domain to cross properties either owned by, or with easements granted to, the state of New Jersey (see Federal Court Rules PennEast Pipe Can’t Run Thru NJ State Land). PennEast asked the full court (all of the judges) to rehear the case (see PennEast Asks Full 3rd Circuit to Reconsider Bad Decision). The full court just refused. What now?
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Atlantic Coast Pipe Reps “Optimistic” Building Resumes Summer ’20

Yesterday MDN reported on Dominion Energy’s third quarter update from last Friday, a session in which CEO Tom Farrell commented the company’s commitment to building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is “unwavering” (see Dominion Energy 3Q – Commitment to Atlantic Coast Pipe “Unwavering”). Last Thursday a pair of ACP representatives gave an update to Upshur County, WV commissioners at one of their scheduled meetings. The reps did a deep dive into the details of what is currently blocking construction, and gave their best guess about when construction (in Upshur and elsewhere) will resume.
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Dominion Energy 3Q – Commitment to Atlantic Coast Pipe “Unwavering”

Dominion Energy released their third quarter 2019 update late last week. The company reports earnings of $975 million ($1.17 per share), an increase of 14.2% from the previous year. Dominion, as you may know, is a huge company involved in not only the pipeline business, but the utility business. They generate and deliver electricity to millions of customers. They deliver natural gas to millions of customers. The key issue right now for us with regard to Dominion is the status of their Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project. CEO Tom Farrell says that ACP is still a go.
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NFG 4Q – Low Gas Price Good for Customers, Not for Company

National Fuel Gas Company (NFG), headquartered in Western New York (near Buffalo), is the only remaining fully integrated energy company left in the Marcellus/Utica region–maybe in the country. Meaning they are the only company that drills for the energy (oil and gas), pipelines the energy they discover to market (midstream), and is also the utility company that delivers the energy to end users. Big company. Important company. NFG’s drilling arm is called Seneca Resources, and their pipeline/midstream arm is Empire Pipeline. Last Friday NFG issued its quarterly (and full year) update. Both Seneca and Empire got talked about.
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2 Utilities Cut Enbridge Off at Knees re Mass. Compressor Station

With friends like these, who needs enemies? Two utility companies–National Grid and Eversource, both operating in Massachusetts–are the primary customers for the gas that flows through the Spectra Energy/Enbridge Atlantic Bridge pipeline project. The last piece of that project is to build a compressor station in Weymouth, MA. National Grid and Eversource now say the Weymouth compressor is not necessary–they have enough gas without it. Thanks guys! You just screwed Enbridge royally.
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