Worst Fears May Come True with PennEast Pipeline Court Decision

Yesterday MDN brought you news of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruling that disallows PennEast Pipeline from using the 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). We expressed a grave fear that this ruling, which sets a precedent, may result in new pipeline projects in lefty states (like NY, NJ, MD, CA, etc.) getting blocked. Turns out we’re not the only ones who believe that may happen.
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Dominion Confident Courts Will Restart Atlantic Coast Pipe

What’s the status of Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), a 600+ mile pipeline that will run from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina? Only 35 miles of pipeline is currently built, and all construction, at the moment, is blocked by the U.S. Fourth District Court of Appeals. Almost all of the workers for the project (thousands of them) have been laid off. Big Green groups with deep pockets have harassed the project from the beginning by filing lawsuits, blocking construction. Yet Dominion Energy, the primary partner and builder of ACP, remains “confident” the pipeline will, eventually, get built. When?
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Federal Court Rules PennEast Pipe Can’t Run Thru NJ State Land

Well, score a victory for the forces of evil. Sometimes Darth Vader wins–that’s life. Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that PennEast Pipeline cannot use the power of eminent domain to “condemn” (take possession of) land that is owned or otherwise controlled by the State of New Jersey because it violates the Eleventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. According to the judges, the Eleventh Amendment says states have sovereign immunity from such actions.
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Italy’s Snam Wants to Buy and Operate Rover Pipeline

In July rumors circulated that Energy Transfer is looking to sell its 33% ownership stake in Rover Pipeline, a project they worked so hard to build (see Energy Transfer Considers Sale of Rover Pipeline for $2.5B). Tongues are wagging once again. The rumor now is that Snam, an Italian natural gas infrastructure company, is interested in buying Rover and is, even as you read this, conducting due diligence to make it happen.
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Orion Drilling Sued EQT for Canceling 2 Rigs, EQT Won

EQT contracted two drilling rigs from Orion Drilling in 2014 that later, in 2015 and 2016, experienced trouble–like a 50,000-pound drilling block slamming to the ground kind of trouble. EQT canceled the contract and would no longer use the two rigs. Orion sued claiming breach of contract. A jury decided EQT was in the right by canceling the contract. Orion asked a judge to overturn the jury decision and order a new trial. Yesterday the judge refused, meaning the jury decision stands and Orion now owes EQT $2.8 million to cover EQT’s attorneys’ fees and costs. Ouch, that didn’t go as planned.
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Broader (Serious) Implications from NEXUS Pipe Court Ruling?

On Monday MDN told you that radical anti-fossil fuelers and the City of Oberlin, OH won a minor victory of sorts against the long-completed NEXUS Pipeline project (see DC Circuit Court/Antis Continue to Hassle Long-Done NEXUS Pipe). We’d like to further unpack that decision and possible (serious) implications it may have for other pipeline projects. Let’s dig deeper.
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Work at Sunoco’s Marcus Hook Causes Range to Tweak NGL Forecast

Sunoco is performing “optimization work” at the Marcus Hook export terminal this month. Marcus Hook is where two (soon to be three) Mariner East Pipelines terminate, hauling NGLs (propane, ethane, butane) from western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio all the way to the Philadelphia area. At Marcus Hook the NGLs get separated and most (not all, but most) get loaded onto ships for export to other countries. Sunoco needs to upgrade a few things to export even more. They’re shutting down Marcus Hook this month, and that’s a (temporary) problem for the main shipper sending NGLs to the facility–Range Resources.
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Philly Dem Senator Loses Bid to Shut Down ME Pipelines

PA State Senator Andy Dinniman

In April 2018, a Chester County, PA (Philadelphia area) Democrat State Senator by the name of Andy Dinniman (who we think looks like Tony Soprano) filed a formal, legal complaint with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), asking the PUC to shut down and keep closed all of the Mariner East pipeline projects–ME1, ME2, and ME2X (see Philly Dem Senator Tries to Shut Down ME2 Pipe Construction). It took long enough, but the PA Commonwealth Court, whom Sunoco appealed to, ruled yesterday that Dinniman’s complaint is meritless. The court ordered the PUC to dismiss Dinniman’s complaint.
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PA DEP Changes Sides, Says Marcus Hook Should Get 1 Big Air Permit

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), which once supported (in court) Sunoco Logistics Partners method of requesting permits for the Marcus Hook facility (near Philadelphia), has just flip flopped and change sides, now siding against Sunoco and the permits the DEP itself issued for the Marcus Hook facility. DEP is now siding with the radical Clean Air Council demanding that all of the work at the Marcus Hook facility be done under a single emissions permit, not separate permits.
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NJ Falsely Claims PennEast Pipe Application Incomplete…Again

Taking a chapter from the corrupt New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (a political tool of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo), the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) is trying to run out the clock on the PennEast Pipeline by telling the project that its latest (now second) application for a federal “401” water crossing permit is “incomplete” and therefore they won’t even consider it. It’s a political move by a corrupt state agency–done at the request of Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy.
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DC Circuit Court/Antis Continue to Hassle Long-Done NEXUS Pipe

Since late last year we’ve tracked a lawsuit brought by radical antis and the City of Oberlin, OH against the long-completed NEXUS Pipeline project. Last Friday the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the court that handles challenges to regulatory agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), refused to drop the case and told FERC to once again try to justify the project in light that some of the gas gets exported to Canada.
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Schramm Scam? Debtor Owed Big Money Disputes Ch. 11 Sale Terms

Schramm, headquartered near Philadelphia in West Chester, PA, is a major manufacturer of drilling rigs. In June the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to the “prolonged downturn” (less drilling) in the oil and gas industry (see PA Rig Manufacturer Schramm Files for Ch. 11 Bankruptcy). From the beginning of the bankruptcy process, one of the company’s biggest creditors, DNOW LP, has challenged the Chapter 11 bankruptcy application–implying the bankruptcy as structured will hand over ownership to existing owners, preserving their equity in the company, at the expense of wiping out the company’s debts to companies like DNOW.
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FirstEnergy Asks OH Supreme Court to Block Bailout Referendum

FirstEnergy continues its desperate attempt to prevent a referendum measure from hitting the fall ballot in Ohio that would overturn a recently passed (very bad) law that bails out FirstEnergy’s failing nuclear power plants in the state to the tune of $1.5 billion. Earlier this week we told you FirstEnergy is running tinfoil hat commercials claiming China would soon control Ohio’s electric grid if the bailout bill is overturned (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). Now FirstEnergy is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to block the ballot measure, denying voters the opportunity to vote.
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NC Regulators File Objection to Williams PA Leidy South Pipeline

This story is befuddling–we’re still trying to wrap our heads around it. The North Carolina Utilities Commission has filed a protest with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) objecting to Williams’ Leidy South expansion project, a project that is being built 100% in Pennsylvania! Why are NC regulators objecting to work being done in another state 500 hundred miles away?
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Nine Energy Trims Down, Sells Production Solutions Biz

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. Last October Nine bulked up by buying out Magnum Oil Tools, a “downhole technology” company (see Nine Energy Buying Magnum Oil Tools for $493M). Now Nine is slimming down by selling off its Production Solutions division (i.e. well services business) to Brigade Energy Services for $17 million. Along with the sale goes a reduction of 24% of Nine’s workforce.
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KM Evacuates Elba Island LNG Ahead of Dorian, More Delays

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Disappointingly, Kinder Morgan’s Elba Island LNG export facility is still not up and running. According to “frustrated” KM CEO Steve Kean, “We were making very good progress on Elba, and then Hurricane Dorian happened.” Sure, blame it on the hurricane. KM wisely evacuated personnel working on the Elba project to avoid Dorian–we have no issue with that. But let’s be honest, this project is WAY behind schedule, originally supposed to be online last year. And it’s one of the smaller LNG projects!
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