Marcellus/Utica Gas Heading South on Expanded El Paso Pipeline

Examples of the enormous economic power of the Marcellus/Utica to influence the entire nation’s economy keep coming–almost daily it seems. Latest example: Kinder Morgan’s El Paso Pipeline Partners announced yesterday that not only has the most recent “open season” (when buyers and sellers of natural gas commit to using a pipeline in the future when it’s built) resulted in commitments for the original proposed expansion of 600 million cubic feet of natgas per day (Mmcf/d), they also have additional demand for another 400 Mmcf/d. That’s demand to deliver 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (Bcf/d) to markets in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.

And where, do you think, will the extra 1 Bcf/d of gas supplies come from? You guessed it: The Marcellus and Utica Shale…
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Kinder Morgan Sells Tennessee Pipeline to Itself

Stories about pipelines are not very glamorous, but when the pipeline in question is one of the major pipelines that carries Marcellus Shale gas—it’s important nonetheless. This story is sort of inside baseball. Kinder Morgan, the country’s largest pipeline company, recently concluded the acquisition of another huge pipeline company—El Paso (for $21 billion). As part of the deal, for regulatory reasons, they are required to sell the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) and a half interest in the El Paso Natural Gas pipeline (EPNG). They just announced a deal to do so, selling it to Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, which is a subsidiary/related company to Kinder. So Kinder has sold a pipeline to itself, in essence.

Here’s the press release:

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Major New Marcellus Pipeline Planned from NE PA to Albany

El Paso Corp, owner of the country’s largest natural gas pipeline system, including the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, is planning to build a new Marcellus Shale gas pipeline from northeastern Pennsylvania to Albany, NY. It would be a major 36-inch diameter pipeline moving a lot of gas. The target market for the gas is New England.

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How Many Ethane Pipelines will the Marcellus Shale Support?

In yesterday’s Pittsburgh Business Times, reporter Anya Litvak does a good job of analyzing the prospects for various ethane pipelines that may (or may not) be constructed from the Marcellus region to other geographies in order to process the ethane into ethylene (a raw material used in making plastics). She keyed off the news that the joint venture from El Paso Corp. and Spectra Energy to build a Marcellus Ethane Pipeline Systems (MEPS) didn’t attract enough interest for it to go forward.

However, as MDN mentioned yesterday, Enterprise Products Products is building an ethane pipeline and Chesapeake Energy will be its first customer (see this MDN story). That pipeline is due to go in service in 2014.

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Group of Investment Managers Target Drilling Companies Who Use Hydraulic Fracturing

godfatherA group of investment managers who belong to an organization called The Investor Environmental Health Network have banded together (some might call it collusion) to put pressure on energy companies who engage in natural gas drilling by using hydraulic fracturing. Their aim? To stop fracking of course, but that’s not what they say in their press statement. They’re just little ‘ole investors encouraging companies to “do the right thing” …
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