Stalled Seneca Lake Propane Storage Project Gets FERC Extension

propane storage at Seneca
Propane storage at Seneca Lake – click for larger version

Some mildly good news for the much-needed propane storage facility proposed for Schuyler County, NY. MDN has extensively covered the fight to get the Seneca Lake Storage Project permissioned. In 2009 Inergy filed a request to convert a depleted salt cavern along the shore of Seneca Lake into a propane/natural gas storage facility. Inergy was later bought by and merged into Crestwood Midstream, and Crestwood Midstream later became Crestwood Equity. The New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation has been sitting on its hands from the beginning, refusing to grant the necessary permits to allow the facility to open. Sound familiar? Same old delay and later deny strategy from Cuomo. Since the DEC is completely dysfunctional at this point, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which is involved with approving the facility, has granted a two-year extension to Crestwood (and Crestwood subsidiary Arlington Storage Company) to give them more time to woo, cajole, entice and do whatever they can to get the DEC off it’s rear-end. Of course the FERC extension has sent the crazies protesters, like Sandra Steingraber, into orbit…
Continue reading

Crestwood 1Q16: Spills the Beans on Antero DUCs; Pipe Delays Good

Don't Spill the BeansCrestwood Equity Partners (nee Crestwood Midstream) issued its first quarter 2016 update last week. In April Crestwood announced that New York City utility giant Consolidated Edison Inc. has formed a 50/50 joint venture to purchase ownership of pipelines and storage facilities in the PA and NY Marcellus region (see Utility Giant ConEdison Buys a Piece of the Marcellus Midstream). The newly formed jv, called Stagecoach Gas Services, will continue to be operated by Crestwood. Stagecoach and other projects in the Marcellus/Utica get an update in this latest quarterly report from Crestwood. We also grabbed some of the unscripted commentary from Crestwood’s quarterly analyst phone call. Interesting tidbits from that include comments by CEO Robert Phillips that the cancellation of Kinder Morgan’s NED pipeline and the delay of Williams’ Constitution Pipeline gives Crestwood a big opening and huge advantage with the Stagecoach deal. Also interesting: Crestwood doesn’t foresee Antero Resources (one of its major customers) completing 22 already-drilled wells and bringing them online until 2017/2018. Did Crestwood just spill the beans on Antero’s plans in that neck of the woods?…
Continue reading

Utility Giant ConEdison Buys a Piece of the Marcellus Midstream

ConEdisonNew York City’s largest utility company–Consolidated Edison Inc.–has formed a 50/50 joint venture to purchase ownership of pipelines and storage facilities from Crestwood Equity Partners (formerly Crestwood Midstream) in the PA and NY Marcellus region. ConEdison is ponying up $975 million for assets Crestwood says are really worth $2 billion. The newly formed jv, called Stagecoach Gas Services, will continue to be operated by Crestwood and includes four natural gas storage facilities (Stagecoach, Thomas Corners, Steuben and Seneca Lake) with a combined storage capacity of approximately 41 billion cubic feet; and three natural gas pipelines (MARC I, North/South and the East Pipeline) with a combined throughput capacity of 2.96 billion cubic feet per day. Here’s the details…
Continue reading

Crestwood 2015: $2.3B Paper Loss, Marcellus Pipeline Volumes Up

Houston, TX-based Crestwood Midstream, which these days calls itself Crestwood Equity Partners, operates midstream businesses in multiple shale resource plays across the United States, including the Marcellus. Crestwood is engaged in gathering, processing, treating, compression, storage and transportation of natural gas, among many other activities. Crestwood owns the facility along the shore of Seneca Lake in New York where they want to convert a depleted underground salt cavern into a propane storage facility–something that protesters frequently get arrested for opposing (see Criminals Arrested Blocking Crestwood Seneca Lake Facility). Yesterday Crestwood issued their fourth quarter and full year 2015 update. The distressing news is that Crestwood lost $2.3 billion for the year. But let’s put that in context. Almost all of it was a paper loss. Of the $2.3 billion lost, $821 million was for depreciation of assets, and $1.4 billion was “goodwill impairment”–meaning the overall perception of the company’s value took a hit. In 2014 Crestwood lost just $10 million. We suspect the true money-out-of-pocket loss for Crestwood in 2015 was closer to $100 million, not nearly as bad as it seems at first. Below is a portion of the update, including a couple of Marcellus pipeline updates from the company…
Continue reading

Is Crestwood Exploring Sale of Marcellus Assets to Antero?

The following is highly speculative and the equivalent of rumor, but sometimes it’s fun to engage in a bit of rumor-mongering. We spotted a post on the investor website Seeking Alpha that posits the following theory: Crestwood Equity Partners (i.e. Crestwood Midstream), owner of major pipelines and other facilities in the northeast and in other locales, “may” be looking to sell their Marcellus operations to Antero Resources and their Bakken Shale operations to Tesoro Logistic Partners. It must be said up front the person authoring the article owns units (i.e. shares) of Crestwood (CEQP) and is in no way objective. Articles on Seeking Alpha attempt to persuade investors to buy or sell securities. However, the rationale laid out in the article intrigues us and we think it’s worth pondering whether or not Crestwood is about to shed large parts of the company, and what that might mean for our region…
Continue reading

Criminals Arrested Blocking Crestwood Seneca Lake Facility

We Are Seneca Lake
We Are Seneca Lake criminals being carted off in a paddy wagon

When someone organizes and repeatedly shuts down a legal, functioning business with so-called “civil disobedience,” it’s not civil and it’s not an act of disobedience–it’s a crime. If you show up with a bunch of nutters to block the entrance to a facility once and the cameras are there to record it–you’ve made your point. Anti fossil-fuel radicals opposed to creating an underground propane storage facility in a depleted salt mine along the shore of Seneca Lake (in upstate New York) have recently stepped up their so-called civil disobedience at the facility–staging weekly blockades at the site three weeks in a row. One of those instances was on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, when Sandra Steingraber, so-called scholar in residence at Ithaca College (where she’s paid to agitate and never teaches a class) invoked the name of Dr. King attempting to tie the great civil rights struggle with anti-fossil fuel nuttery. It’s offensive. Below is a rundown, with the names of the latest criminals who have colluded to try and shut down a legal business, Crestwood Midstream, from operating the facility they own at Seneca Lake…
Continue reading

NY Fractivists Block Seneca Lake Facility, Santa & Grinch Dance

We’ve written many stories over the past few years about anti-drilling zealots who oppose the plan to convert a depleted salt cavern owned by Crestwood Equity Partners (nee Crestwood Midstream) along the shore of Seneca Lake, in Schuyler County, NY, to store liquefied petroleum gas (i.e. propane). The protests are typically a dozen people or less and often organized by Sandra Steingraber, a minor celebrity in fractivist circles. Steingraber is a so-called “scholar in residence” at Ithaca College. They pay her to do nothing but trot around making anti-fracking speeches, no doubt funded with money from the Park Foundation. A group of antis once again assembled in front of the Crestwood facility a few days before Christmas in an illegal blockade of the facility. What’s interesting about this latest infraction is that they no longer even pretend the facility would somehow be unsafe for Seneca Lake or nearby residents–a common lie they use in an attempt to scare the general public. No, this time the mask came off and their message was loud and clear: they oppose the facility because it would store a fossil fuel and in their irrational minds, all fossil fuels are evil. Or as their Christmas-themed sign said, fossil fues are “dirty energy” and that equals “naughty.” So-called renewable energy sources, like solar, are “clean” and “nice.” These nutters believe their “superior” intellect should dictate which energy sources *you* use, and they won’t stop insisting on your energy source until they’re either in jail, or in a retirement home (many of these old hippies are nearing that age)…
Continue reading

4 Antis Opposing NY LPG Storage Facility Lose Big in Local Election

Today’s lead story on MDN is about the defeat of two anti-drilling Martians in Tuesday’s election–but this story is a close second in importance. Since 2010 a debate has ragged in Schuyler County, NY over whether or not to allow then-Inergy, now-Crestwood Midstream, to convert a depleted salt cavern along the shore of Seneca Lake into underground storage for LPG–liquefied petroleum gas (i.e. propane). We’ve covered the story extensively on MDN over the years. The current status is that an administrative law judge is reviewing the plan, but ultimately the head of the state’s Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will grant a final decision on whether or not to allow the plan to move forward. Unfortunately the DEC is mired in politics–controlled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo who is in turned influenced by his lunatic left wingnuts. Over the years some of those wingnuts like Sandra Steingraber, so-called “scholar in residence” at Ithaca College (paid to do nothing but trot around lying about fracking), and Josh Fox of Gasland fame have protested and gotten themselves arrested at the facility during publicity stunts. Antis need a forum to vent and they can’t get themselves arrested every day (that gets old), so they turned to the local town board (Town of Reading) where the LPG plant would be located. Board meeting after board meeting they bleated and blatted about the facility–to the point the board has forbidden any more discussion of the issue. So the antis mounted a challenge to the local town supervisor, two town board seats and the town clerk. In Tuesday’s election, all four antis running for those seats went down to a HUGE defeat. Wasn’t even close. Which is noteworthy, and heartening, that in our beloved overtaxed, over-regulated, over-liberal New York State there are still clear-headed people who see through the lies and smears of the antis. Here’s the story of their defeat, and why Reading is so important in this debate…
Continue reading

Crestwood Midstream 3Q15: Marcellus/Utica Pipeline Volumes Drop

The Houston, TX-based Crestwood Midstream, which these days calls itself Crestwood Equity Partners, operates midstream businesses in multiple shale resource plays across the United States. Crestwood is engaged in the gathering, processing, treating, compression, storage and transportation of natural gas; storage, transportation, terminalling, and marketing of NGLs; and gathering, storage, terminalling and marketing of crude oil. Whew. Lots of different things! Yesterday Crestwood issued its third quarter 2015 financial and operational update. We’ve snipped out just those brief sections that touch on the Marcellus/Utica region, below. Among the news you’ll be interested in: The gathering pipelines operated by Crestwood in the southwest saw lower volumes in 3Q15 than in 3Q14, a result of low prices for natural gas and drillers deciding to shut-in some of their production. Crestwood continues to believe Antero Resources will soon complete 22 wells that will hit the Crestwood system sometime in 2016. And in the northeast part of the play, Crestwood expects to complete an expansion of the MARC I pipeline, connecting to the mighty Transco, “in the coming weeks.” Meanwhile, system volumes in the northeast are also down year over year…
Continue reading

Crestwood Using New GE Software to Tweak Compressor Stations

world class nonsenseMDN’s Jim Willis comes from the marketing world having held marketing positions at various publishing companies over the past 25 years or so. Sometimes (like you) Jim wants to pull his remaining hair out when reading press releases larded up with tech and marketing speak. Just say it in plain English, please! We came across such a press release from GE–as in General Electric. We waded through a tangle of “optimized compression” and “asset level” and “condition-based” phraseology to bring you this news: Crestwood Midstream is using new software from GE that will improve the compressor stations they operate in WV, allowing Crestwood to move more gas using the same equipment. There, that wasn’t so hard, was it? Why can’t marketing types learn the lesson that simple language is better!…
Continue reading

Crestwood Equity/Crestwood Midstream Complete Merger

mergerExactly one month ago MDN told you that Crestwood Equity Partners LP and Crestwood Midstream Partners (with operations in the northeast)–two different companies on paper–would merge (see Crestwood Equity/Midstream Announce Date to Merge Two Companies). Crestwood Equity Partners is a master limited partnership (MLP) that operates an NGL supply and logistics business and previously owned, on paper, 4% of Crestwood Midstream Partners, a pipeline business operating in multiple U.S. shale plays. Crestwood Midstream also had an NGL business. The two said they would complete a merger of the separate companies by yesterday, Sept. 30–and by golly, they did…
Continue reading

MarkWest Energy Takes Top Honors in Midstream Survey

mirror mirrorMirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest midstream company of them all? As it turns out–it’s MarkWest Energy, the premier midstream company in the Marcellus/Utica! EnergyPoint Research has just published the results from its 2015 Oil & Gas Midstream Services Customer Satisfaction Survey, and MarkWest Energy received the top rating–for the fourth consecutive time. Other northeast midstreamers rating tops in at least one category include Crestwood Midstream and Williams…
Continue reading

Crestwood Equity/Midstream Announce Date to Merge Two Companies

mergerMore high finance stuff–this time in the midstream world. Crestwood Equity Partners LP and Crestwood Midstream Partners are, on paper, two different companies. Crestwood Equity Partners is a master limited partnership (MLP) that operates an NGL supply and logistics business and currently owns, on paper, 4% of Crestwood Midstream Partners, a pipeline business operating in multiple U.S. shale plays. Crestwood Midstream also has an NGL business. The two Crestwood companies merged with and took over Inergy Midstream in an $8 billion deal in October 2013 (see Crestwood/Inergy Complete Their Merger Today, Worth $8B). Now, in a move they call “simplification,” Crestwood is combining the two companies, Equity Partners and Midstream, into one. Yesterday the two companies jointly announced a special meeting on September 30th to vote on the proposed merger/simplification. Back in May when the company announced plans to merge the two together, Wall Street didn’t like it, sending Equity Partners’ stock down 17%…
Continue reading

3 Potential Buyers Identified for Eureka Hunter Pipeline Deal

silhouette questionFinally we know. In June Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR), majority owner of subsidiary pipeline company Eureka Hunter, said it was negotiating to sell all of its ownership of Eureka Hunter to an unnamed buyer for $600-$700 million (see Magnum Hunter Cuts Deal to Sell Eureka Hunter & 2 New JVs). Two weeks ago Magnum Hunter CEO Gary Evans continued to tease that the sale is imminent and will bring in around $550 million (see Magnum Hunter About to Close 2 Deals Worth $1 Billion Cash). Cash amounts and deadline dates seem to be “fluid,” shall we say, when it comes to MHR statements. We still haven’t heard who the potential buyer is. That is, until now. Bloomberg is reporting the potential buyer is…
Continue reading

Crestwood Midstream 2Q15: Slight Net Loss; MARC II Still Alive

Crestwood Midstream Partners issued their second quarter 2015 update yesterday. Unlike Sunoco Logistics Partners which generated and distributed the most money ever in a single quarter (see today’s Sunoco LP story), Crestwood experienced a net loss of $42 million over the same quarter last year. But when you dig deeper you find that $40 million of that was a devaluation of its assets on paper. In other words they only lost around $2 million of cash in operations. Compared to the deep hole drillers are in, Crestwood’s shortfall is nothing. Crestwood has operations in the Marcellus as well as several other major shale plays. One bit of news we noticed from this update: Crestwood “continues to move forward with customer discussions and preliminary design work for the 1.0 Bcf/d MARC II pipeline project to interconnect with the announced Penn East Pipeline project in 2017.” We first told you about the MARC II in October 2014 (see Crestwood Announces Successful Open Season for MARC II PA Pipeline). No mention in the 2Q15 update about the Seneca Lake propane storage project that is still, inexplicably, not approved by the NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation now going on six years…
Continue reading

Binghamton Newspaper Runs Anti-LPG Propaganda as “News”

A well-known activist and anti-driller flying under the label of “reporter”–Tom Wilber–was actually paid to write six, possibly seven articles for the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin appearing in the print edition on Sunday. The so-called “Watchdog Report” in the P&SB takes aim at an underground liquefied propane storage facility proposed by Crestwood Midstream along the shore of Seneca Lake (in a depleted salt cavern) and is what laughably passes as “news” these days in the People’s Republic of New York–where the only “news” allowed in Democrat rags like the P&SN is bad news when it comes to the shale industry. In most newspapers the entire section appearing in the P&SB, which amounts to free advertising for the virulent anti-drilling group Gas Free Seneca, would properly be labeled as an “Advertisement” or “Advertising Supplement.” But not in the P&SB. Unsuspecting readers of the P&SB are treated to a couple of front page stories about “environmental concerns” about the very safe underground storage facility planned near Seneca Lake. When you look further in, the entire first section of the newspaper is jammed with more stories–six in all–plus a seventh that was almost certainly written by Wilber labeled as an “editorial” from the newspaper itself. Example of the extreme bias: one of the stories is about railroads, tossed in to create FUD–fear, uncertainty and doubt–about the LPG facility by stating that LPG from the Crestwood facility will be hauled by railroad over a creaky old railroad bridge through historic Watkins Glen State Park with its beautiful gorges and waterfalls. The image is what would happen if there was an accident and the train fell into the gorge. Of course Wilber doesn’t bother to report that carloads of really nasty, toxic chemicals traverse that same railroad bridge each week–it’s only LPG (simple propane that would evaporate) that has him concerned. Wilber calls it a potentially “epic hazard.” What a joke…
Continue reading