NY Asks FERC to Hassle AIM Pipeline, Restrict Flows

Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline project is an $876 million expansion of the existing Algonquin pipeline system designed to carry 342 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to New England states that badly need the gas. On March 3, 2015 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued their final approval for the project, allowing it to go forward. Construction began in 2015 and, following extreme opposition from New York State over a small portion of the project, it finally went online in in 2016. New York’s radical, anti-drilling governor, Andy Cuomo, tried to stop the Algonquin using the flimsy excuse that some of the drilling for the pipeline would happen a half mile from a nuclear power plant–a plant that’s shutting down anyway (see Gov. Cuomo Asks FERC to Halt Algonquin Pipeline Near Nuke Plant). A few weeks after Cuomo requested FERC shut it down, they told him “no”–which was the cue for Big Green groups to file an appeal with the liberal District of Columbia Court of Appeals (see Radical Enviro Groups File Appeal to Stop AIM Pipeline in NY/CT). Didn’t work. New York State’s two radically leftist Democrat Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, the Senator nobody knows about and nobody cares about, tried to stop it too (see NY’s 2 Radical Senators Call for Halt in Building Algonquin Pipeline). Didn’t work. Now that the pipeline expansion has been up and running safely for more than a year, you’d think they would give up. Nope. Cuomo previously ordered a “safety analysis” of the project, back in 2016. That report was just released (executive summary embedded below) and four state agencies, all under the executive branch umbrella (i.e., under Cuomo’s thumb), jointly wrote a letter to FERC asking FERC to further hassle the AIM project by restricting flows along it and shutting it down when work to decommission the nearby nuke plant begins…
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FERC Authorizes Tetco TEAL Phase II – Connecting to NEXUS Pipe

Here’s a project we’ve mentioned in passing as part of other posts, but until now, have not specifically focused on. In August 2017, Enbridge received approval (a certificate) from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to construct and operate the Texas Eastern Appalachian Lease Project (“TEAL Project”). TEAL boosts the capacity along the Texas Eastern Transmission Company (Tetco) pipeline and connects it to the NEXUS pipeline. NEXUS has been under construction since last October (see NEXUS Pipeline Begins Construction in OH, MI). TEAL will bump up volumes of Utica/Marcellus gas along Tetco by an extra 950 million cubic feet per day–nearly 1 billion cubic feet! The markets for the gas are the Midwest and Canada. The justification for the project, when it was filed two years ago, was “offsetting the impact of the decline in traditional western Canadian supplies available to serve these markets.” That was before TransCanada lowered the tolls along its pipeline to bring more western Canadian gas to eastern Canada. Oops. What’s done is done. On December 19, 2017, Texas Eastern received approval to proceed with construction of the Phase I TEAL Project facilities. Last week Texas Eastern requested permission to begin Phase II in Columbiana and Belmont counties (in Ohio), and yesterday FERC said yes…
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Eversource Looks to Reactivate Access Northeast Pipe Project in NH

In May MDN reported that a recent New Hampshire Supreme Court decision *may* breathe new life into a New England natural gas pipeline project believed to be dead (see NH Supreme Court Decision Puts New England Pipe Back in Play). The Access Northeast pipeline project would cost ~$3 billion and would connect four different pipeline systems: Texas Eastern, Algonquin Gas Transmission, Iroquois and Maritimes & Northeast. One of the backers is Eversource (formerly called Northeast Utilities), a utility company that desperately needs the gas that would flow through the upgraded system. Eversource had filed a rate case in New Hampshire requesting permission to pass along some of the cost of the pipeline to its electricity customers–because they will directly benefit from the pipeline delivering gas to electric power plants operated by Eversource. NH refused, and it was that refusal that was overturned by the State Supreme Court. The new news is that Eversource has withdrawn their original request because they are about to submit a brand new request for the same thing–and this time NH will have to approve it. Bottom line: The Access Northeast project appears to have rekindled to life, at least in NH…
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FERC Defends Atlantic Bridge Pipe Approval in DC Circuit Court

In January 2017 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted final approval for the Atlantic Bridge expansion project (see FERC Approves Atlantic Bridge Project for New England/Canada). The Spectra Energy/Enbridge project beefs up capacity along the Algonquin Pipeline, along with more capacity for Spectra Energy’s Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, to carry more Marcellus/Utica gas into New England and (eventually) all the way to Nova Scotia, Canada. Much of the project is now done–except in Massachusetts where a critical compressor station planned for Weymouth is stalled (see Massachusetts Blocking Atlantic Bridge Pipeline from Completion). Weymouth itself along with a smattering of radical environmentalist groups filed a lawsuit against FERC, claiming FERC did a “shoddy environmental review” before approving the project, arguing FERC’s approval should be overturned by the court. On Tuesday FERC fired back asking the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to toss the frivolous lawsuit and let them get on with finishing this critical project…
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NH Supreme Court Decision Puts New England Pipe Back in Play

A recent New Hampshire Supreme Court decision may breathe new life into a natural gas pipeline project believed to be dead–or at least on life support. Spectra Energy (now owned by Enbridge) first announced an unnamed pipeline project to shuttle gas from the Marcellus/Utica to New England in July 2014 (see Spectra Energy to the Rescue! New England Pipeline Expansion). In September 2014 Spectra announced they had named the project Access Northeast and added Northeast Utilities–now called Eversource Energy–as a partner (see Spectra Energy New England Pipeline Gets a Name & a Partner). In December 2014, Spectra formed an alliance with a competitor, the Iroquois Gas Transmission pipeline, to further extend the reach of the project (see Spectra Energy Alliance with Iroquois to Sell Marcellus Gas to NE). The project is pegged to cost around $3 billion and would connect four different pipeline systems: Texas Eastern, Algonquin Gas Transmission, Iroquois and Maritimes & Northeast. But then Spectra/Eversource was dealt a body blow by Massachusetts in 2016 (see MA Supreme Court Ruling Endangers New England Gas Pipelines). The project was dealt a second body blow in 2016 by New Hampshire when regulators said Eversource could not pass along some of the costs of the pipeline to electric rate payers (see NH Regulators Veto Access Northeast Pipeline Contract). The NH Supreme Court has just overturned the ruling by NH regulators and has said yes, Eversource CAN pass along some of the costs, because electric customers will directly benefit from the pipeline project…
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Massachusetts Blocking Atlantic Bridge Pipeline from Completion

In January 2017 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted final approval for the $452 million Atlantic Bridge expansion project (see FERC Approves Atlantic Bridge Project for New England/Canada). The Spectra Energy/Enbridge project beefs up capacity along the Algonquin Pipeline, along with more capacity for Spectra Energy’s Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, to carry more Marcellus/Utica gas into New England and (eventually) all the way to Nova Scotia, Canada. Much of the project is now done–except in Massachusetts where a critical compressor station planned for Weymouth is stalled. The delay is causing hardships in both Maine and in Canada, due to declining offshore gas supplies. Maine needs the gas for electric generating plants. Actually, Massachusetts itself needs the gas as much as Maine–but the obtuse idiots that pretend to run the state are resisting the project because it flows an evil fossil fuel. The Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) technically has until January 2019 to complete a health impact assessment (HIA) and make a decision on whether or not to issue an air quality permit. By all appearances the DEP is taking its sweet time. If the permit is granted by DEP, Weymouth then has until June 2019 to complete an appeals process. Meanwhile, folks across the border in Maine will begin to experience rolling blackouts if they can’t find a new source of natural gas…
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NY Idiots Demand Cuomo Stop Burning All Fossil Fuels by 2030

A small group of people whose bubble isn’t in the center of the level staged a “protest” on Saturday in Long Beach, NY (Nassau County), nominally against the Williams Rockaway Delivery Lateral pipeline project. The Rockaway project adds 3.2 miles of new Transco pipeline and related facilities in New York, from the Marine Parkway Bridge in Far Rockaway to offshore in the Atlantic Ocean. The protesters’ stated reason for opposing the project? Not because it may disturb underwater ecosystems. Not because it would temporarily disrupt the lives of those living nearby during construction. Not because of fears over water contamination. No. The stated reason is, “for the end to burning fossil fuels” and because they want NY state “to convert to renewable energy by 2030.” It is, literally, an impossibility to end the use of fossil fuels within the next 100 years. But these idiots refuse to use logic and reason. So now they’re targeting a minuscule 3 mile pipeline in an effort to vent their irrational rage. Meanwhile, up the Hudson in Westchester County, a different small group of nutters also gathered on Saturday to vent their rage for the same reason (anti-fossil fuel extremism), except the focus of their rage is Spectra Energy’s Atlantic Bridge Pipeline project…
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Tetco’s Access South, Adair Southwest Pipes OK’d to Begin Service

In August 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) for three Spectra Energy projects: Access South, Adair Southwest and Lebanon Express. The three are part of an expansion of the Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) pipeline (see FERC Approves 3 Spectra Energy Pipe Projects in Marcellus/Utica). The three are part of an expansion of the Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) pipeline, owned by Spectra Energy, which is now owned by Canadian midstreamer Enbridge. The combined projects will transport an additional 662,000 dekatherms per day (or 662 million cubic feet, or Mmcf) of Marcellus and Utica Shale gas from Pennsylvania to Ohio, Kentucky and Mississippi. In December 2016, FERC issued a final approval (see FERC Issues Certificates for 3 Spectra Energy Pipe Projects in M-U). Since that time Spectra/Enbridge has been busy building. Lebanon Express, which was renamed Lebanon Expansion, went into service in August. Access South and Adair Southwest are now ready to begin flowing. On Tuesday, FERC gave Tetco permission to begin partial service on the two systems, which will begin pumping (for now) 416 Mmcf/d of Marcellus/Utica gas to new markets. Which will make Rice Energy and Range Resources happy–they’re the two companies reserving all of the increased capacity the upgrades will bring…
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The Circuitous Route Marcellus Gas Takes to Get to Nova Scotia

Yesterday MDN brought you the exciting news that Marcellus shale gas molecules have been/are finding their way all the way to Nova Scotia, Canada (see Marcellus Gas Now Flows All the Way to Nova Scotia). A paper mill in Nova Scotia has been buying Marcellus gas since this summer to power the plant, via a now-reversed portion of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline (M&NE). Today we spotted a different article that sheds more light on how our gas is getting to our Canadian cousins. In yesterday’s post, the paper mill operator was quoted as saying: “For the majority of the summer I’ve been importing Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania and some from an exchange in Ontario.” Which we thought odd. We searched every map resource we could find and found no pipelines from Ontario to Nova Scotia–they don’t exist. The only pipeline into (out of) Nova Scotia is M&NE. Enter the article we spotted today. The article below chronicles the fight in Weymouth, Mass. to block the expansion of a compressor station there. Enbridge (i.e. Spectra Energy) plans to expand the compressor as part of the Atlantic Bridge project. Atlantic Bridge will flow more Marcellus gas north into Maine, and potentially beyond Maine into Canada, via the M&NE. The compressor is needed to flow more gas along the existing pipeline. While the article is largely about the fight over the compressor station and implications of further delays in building it, it is the other details that supplied the missing pieces of the puzzle that explain how our gas currently gets all the way to Nova Scotia…
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Marcellus/Utica Gas “Briefly Trapped” by Tetco Pipeline Outage

Canadian company Enbridge owns the mighty Texas Eastern Transmission Company (Tetco) pipeline system in the U.S. Last Wednesday, as workers were installing test equipment along the line in Noble County, OH, the workers noticed soil around the pipeline moving around. Not a good situation. So they shut off the flow of gas through that section of the pipeline, south of the Berne compressor station in Noble County. That portion of the pipeline went from flowing 1.6 to 2.3 billion cubic feet of gas per day (depending on the news source), down to flowing zero. The situation was investigated and the pipeline returned to service on Sunday, Oct 15th. In the meantime, from the 11th to the 15th, Tetco declared the situation “force majeure”–meaning “due to circumstances beyond our control we have to shut it off.” We assume force majeure was declared because shippers who wanted to move gas through the pipeline, and buyers on the other end, were screwed for a few days. Shippers lost money from gas they could have sold and buyers had to scramble to try and find other sources to meet demand. Economic losses for both. We’re guessing declaring force majeure lets Tetco off the hook legally for any potential monetary damages its customers experienced during the outage…
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FERC Grants Atlantic Bridge Pipe OK to Begin NY Construction

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week granted permission to Algonquin Gas Transmission (i.e. Spectra Energy, now owned by Enbridge) to build new pipeline infrastructure in New York State, part of the $452 million Atlantic Bridge expansion project. Atlantic bridge was approved by FERC back in January (see FERC Approves Atlantic Bridge Project for New England/Canada). The project beefs up capacity along the Algonquin Pipeline, along with Spectra Energy’s Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, to carry more Marcellus/Utica gas into New England and (eventually) all the way to Nova Scotia, Canada. Over the shrill objections of antis, including both U.S. Senators from Massachusetts, FERC allowed construction to begin on Atlantic Bridge in Connecticut back in March (see FERC Grants Atlantic Bridge Pipe OK to Begin CT Construction). Miracle of miracles, the corrupt NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation issued water permits for the project in May (see NY DEC Grants Water Permits for Atlantic Bridge Pipeline Project). And now FERC is giving the green light for construction to commence in NY. What work is happening in NY?…
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Tetco Pipe Drilling in Athens, OH Hits Gas Pocket, Catches Fire

Click for larger version of map

As part of drilling underground (directional horizontal drilling, or HDD), Enbridge hit a pocket of natural gas in Athens County, OH about 400 below the surface. The gas leaked out and caught fire last Wednesday, partially burning the drilling rig. Fortunately the rig operators have the presence of mind to evacuate quickly and no one was hurt. The fire closed a section of Route 681 southeast of Albany, OH until Friday afternoon. According to press reports, the work being done is for the Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline (Tetco). This next bit is our own conjecture (we are not 100% sure), but we think we know which Tetco-related project Enbridge was working on. A year ago, in August 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved three Spectra Energy pipeline projects all part of the same package to flow more Marcellus/Utica gas to the South (see FERC Approves 3 Spectra Energy Pipe Projects in Marcellus/Utica). The three projects, which together will add an additional 662 million cubic feet (MMcf/d) of capacity along Tetco, are Access South, Adair Southwest and Lebanon Express. We believe the work being done was for this trio of projects. Given the location of the fire (Athens County), it was likely the Adair Southwest project (see the project map). The Enbridge website lists Range Resources as the shipper that reserved capacity along the Adair Southwest portion of the upgraded Tetco (200 MMcf/d of capacity). Below is the news would could find regarding the fire…
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4 Tetco Pipe Projects Ready Soon Will Add Extra 1 Bcf/d Capacity

Four Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) pipeline projects are expected to be completed by the end of this year and when they are, they will together flow an extra 1 billion cubic feet per day of Marcellus/Utica gas to more profitable markets in the South, as far away as the Gulf Coast. The four Tetco projects are: Gulf Markets Expansion Phase 2, Access South, Adair Southwest and Lebanon Extension. As fate would have it, Tetco experienced a fire while drilling under a highway for what we believe is the Adair Southwest project (see today’s companion story, Tetco Pipe Drilling in Athens, OH Hits Gas Pocket, Catches Fire). Three of the four projects–Access South, Adair Southwest and Lebanon Extension–are part of the same umbrella filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Those three together will flow an extra 662 million cubic feet (MMcf) per day of gas to Ohio, Kentucky and Mississippi. Some of that gas will then catch a ride on the Gulf Markets Expansion Phase 2, flowing gas to Louisiana and Texas. Here’s the exciting part: Some of that gas will go to LNG export facilities, and some will go by pipeline from Texas to Mexico. Cool! Marcellus/Utica gas finding its way to other countries via the Tetco pipeline. Which means some Marcellus/Utica drillers will get higher prices for their gas. Here’s an update on Tetco’s four pipeline projects combining to boost prices in our region, and carry our gas to other parts of the world, and which drillers will benefit…
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Mass. RINO Gov. Baker Orders “Review” of Compressor Station

[begin political rant] Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is a RINO–Republican in Name Only–and not all that different from another RINO who was once governor of the Bay State: Mitt Romney. We personally find RINOs disgusting. Why don’t they just switch parties and be done with it? Join the Democrats, or if the lib Dems are too far to the left, join the Establishment Party, which is really what they all belong to anyway, regardless of the D or R after their name. [end political rant] Gov. Baker has (surprise!) caved to pressure from radical, insane environmentalists in his state who want to stop a compressor station from getting built in Weymouth, MA. The compressor is part of Spectra Energy’s (now Enbridge) federally-approved Atlantic Bridge project (see FERC Approves Atlantic Bridge Project for New England/Canada). Atlantic Bridge will beef up capacity of the Algonquin Gas Transmission and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline systems–to move more Marcellus/Utica gas to New England and Canada. The compressor station in Weymouth is situated along the Alogonquin Gas Transmission pipeline. The radicals have been ranting about this project pretty much from the beginning. In February, Massachusetts’ two Democrat U.S. Senators, Ed Markey and the faux American Indian, Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren, asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to withdraw its approval of the project (see Mass. Senators Ask FERC to Reverse Atlantic Bridge Certification). Since that time, the radicals have continued their campaign to stop Atlantic Bridge. On July 11th, the Boston Globe ran a “you darned well better find a way to stop this compressor station, Gov. Baker” article, and less than a week later, Baker wilted like a picked flower, and said he will sic various state agencies on the case to try and find a way to slow it down. However, Baker does admit that in the end, the state likely can’t do a thing about the compressor, because it’s a FERC-approved project…
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Enbridge Withdraws $3B Access Northeast Pipeline Application

Last December Spectra Energy pushed the pause button on their Access Northeast Pipeline project, a roughly $3 billion project in New England to connect four existing pipeline systems (with enhancements): Texas Eastern, Algonquin Gas Transmission, Iroquois and Maritimes & Northeast (see Spectra Energy Puts Access Northeast Pipe to New England on Hold). Spectra’s original strategy was to bring natural gas to New England by cutting deals with electric companies who need the gas to produce cheaper electricity at their natgas-fired power generation plants. However, the green environmental Nazis came out in force against the plan, (sadly) aided and abetted by Spectra’s competitors, and those plans are now in ruins with three states blocking any such plans. So Spectra changed strategies, targeting local natural gas distribution companies (LDCs) as potential customers (see Spectra Energy Changes Strategy re New England Pipeline). Spectra needs customers to sign on the dotted line–committing to long-term contracts–before they can raise the funding and build the project, so they pushed the pause button last December. Since that time, Spectra completed selling itself to Enbridge (see Spectra Energy is No More – $28B Merger with Enbridge Complete). So just to confuse things, the Access Northeast project is now an Enbridge project. Yesterday Enbridge sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the agency that oversees such projects, to officially withdraw the application. But the project is NOT dead. Enbridge says they will be back to file again–once the New England states get their energy policy crap together…
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Enbridge Axing 1,000 (Mostly) Spectra Energy Jobs

Last September MDN reported on a midstream deal with major implications for the Marcellus/Utica: Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge Inc. announced an all-stock deal to buy out pipeline operator Spectra Energy, based in Houston, for $28 billion (see Canadian Enbridge Buying US Spectra Energy for $28B). Spectra has a number of critical pipeline infrastructure projects under way or planned in the Marcellus/Utica region, including the planned Access Northeast pipeline to New England, the mighty NEXUS pipeline planned to span Ohio, the currently under construction Algonquin Incremental Marketing (AIM) pipeline project, and three projects (Access South, Adair Southwest and Lebanon Express) under way to expand one of the largest natural gas pipelines in the U.S. (and in the northeast)–the Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) pipeline. The merger was completed in February (see Spectra Energy is No More – $28B Merger with Enbridge Complete). Unfortunately, this week Enbridge announced they are axing around 1,000 jobs (6% of the workforce), to “address the overlap” and optimize “synergies” in the newly-combined company. Most of the 1,000 jobs being axed are from the Spectra workforce in the Houston area. We wonder how many top managers were “overlap” and “synergy optimized?” Yeah, likely none…
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