East Coast Dominates LPG Exports via Philly’s Marcus Hook

According to RBN Energy, “U.S. production of natural gas liquids is projected to increase by 17% this year, and by another 10% in 2020.” NGLs cover a variety of hydrocarbons. Two NGLs, propane and butane, are further classified as LPG–or liquefied petroleum gas. Of the four “smaller” LPG export facilities here in the U.S., two-thirds of all exported LPGs last year came from one–Energy Transfer’s Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia.
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Chester County DA Gets “Free” Help with ME2 Pipe Criminal Probe

Tom Hogan – Chester Co. DA with vendetta against ME2

RINO (Democrat wannabe) Tom Hogan, District Attorney for Chester County, PA, continues his vendetta against Sunoco Logistics Partners and the Mariner East 2 pipeline–foolishly spending gobs of taxpayer money in a frivolous and fruitless investigation (see Chester County DA Goes Rogue, Targets ME2 Pipe w/Criminal Probe).
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Too Funny! Angry “Reporters” Call Mariner East 2 “Frankenpipe”

You know you’ve hit a nerve when so-called reporters (propagandists) at a Philadelphia-area newspaper drop all pretense of being objective in their reporting and begin calling a pipeline project made-up names–like calling Mariner East 2 “Frankenpipe.” Talk about petulant and childish!
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Sunoco Fined $225K for Small Leak on ME1 Pipeline in 2017

The Mariner East 1 pipeline sprung a small leak and spilled 20 barrels (~840 gallons) of ethane and propane in Berks County, near Philadelphia, on April 1 (see Mariner East 1 Sprang a Small NGL Leak Near Philly, on Apr 1). Sunoco Logistics Partners (i.e. Energy Transfer), builder and maintainer of the pipeline, shut it down and fixed it over the next several days. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), which oversees regulation of the pipeline, has just (a year and a half later) “requested” Sunoco pay $225,000 for violating various state and federal regulations. It was an $11,250 per barrel spill.
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Liens Against ME2 Pipeline Landowners Near Philly Dismissed

That was fast. Last week we reported that lawyers for a Mariner East 2 (ME2) subcontractor, United Piping Inc., had filed liens against the property of three landowners near Philadelphia because the ME2 contractor they worked for, Welded Construction, had declared bankruptcy and couldn’t pay them. And since ME2 builder Sunoco Logistics (along with Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline builder Williams) withheld payments from Welded, forcing it into bankruptcy, United figured they would extract their pound of flesh from landowners. Which, as we said, is outrageous and wrong (see Bankrupt Pipeline Contractor Leads to Liens Against PA Landowners). A day after that story broke, the companies involved (namely Energy Transfer, on behalf of Sunoco Logistics) got it resolved.
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Open Season – for Mariner East Pipelines?!

We spotted a notice from Energy Transfer, the company building (via its Sunoco Logistics Partners unit) the Mariner East pipeline projects, that seemed odd to us. It was an open season announcement, a time when companies can “sign on the dotted line” to reserve capacity along any of the three pipelines–Mariner East 1 (ME1), Mariner East 2 (ME2), or Mariner East 2X (ME2X). ME1, a repurposed gasoline pipeline built in the 1930s, has been up and running since 2016. ME2 & 2X are due to go online any day now. ME2 and 2X (built side-by-side) are about two years behind schedule. Normally a pipeline company won’t dig one shovelful of dirt or lay an inch of pipeline until/unless customers have already signed up during an open season. And yes, all three pipelines have had open seasons and have signed-up customers eager to use them. So what’s with this new open season? We think we know.
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Energy Transfer’s Rover, ME2 Pipes Rack Up 800+ Violations

Reuters has published a “hit piece” against Energy Transfer (ET) and two of its recent big pipeline projects–Rover Pipeline (in Ohio & Michigan), and Mariner East 2 Pipeline (in Ohio and Pennsylvania). Reuters is usually more balanced than, say, Bloomberg with these types of articles. Reuters usually doesn’t go out of its way to denigrate the industry. The article evaluates the number of permit violations issued for both projects. Together that number exceeds 800. Is that a lot? Reuters says they’ve analyzed “four comparable pipeline projects” and found an average of 19 violations per project (or 38 for two projects). So yeah, 800 vs. 38 sure sounds like a lot to us.
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Philly Antis Furious that ME2 Pipe Going Online by Christmas

Last week MDN picked up on news shared by top management for Energy Transfer that their long-delayed Mariner East 2 pipeline system will be up and running by the end of the year (see Energy Transfer 3Q18: Mariner East 2 Pipeline Online by Christmas). In order to get the full pipeline running, they’ve had to patch together substitute pipelines in a few areas where construction of the final pipeline is stalled due to problems like sinkholes. Antis have now picked up on the fact that ME2 will be live “by Christmas” and are furiously crying foul–that they couldn’t stop the project. They claim the “patchwork” of substitute pipelines will be dangerous and unsafe. Their complaints amount to a lot of spitting and sputtering.
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Energy Transfer 3Q18: Mariner East 2 Pipeline Online by Christmas

Yesterday the muckety-mucks from Energy Transfer (ET) held a conference call with Wall Street analysts to discuss the company’s third quarter 2018 update. Inevitably on such calls there’s talk about what’s coming up in addition to what happened in the previous quarter. ET is a big midstream (pipeline) company. Among their projects are the mighty Rover Pipeline, which reaches from Pennsylvania, West Virgina, and eastern Ohio all the way into Michigan, and the Mariner East 2 Pipeline, which runs from eastern Ohio all the way through Pennsylvania to the Philadelphia area. Rover flows natural gas, ME2 (and ME2X) will flow NGLs, mainly ethane and propane. According to Tom Long, ET’s Chief Financial Officer, ME2 will be up and running sometime this quarter. Since the end of this quarter is around Christmastime, we prefer to think of ME2 as a Christmas present for Marcellus/Utica drillers.
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FERC OKs Final 2 Rover Pipeline Laterals – Now 100% Online

Flashback: In May of this year, Energy Transfer CEO Thomas Long said Rover Pipeline would be fully online by June 1st (see ETP Update: Rover Fully Online by June 1, Mariner East 2 Online 3Q18). Whoops. Gotta watch those “forward-looking statements” Tom. A large portion of the pipeline, designated Phase 1A, finally began flowing natural gas on Sept. 1st (see Big Portion of Rover Pipeline Now Up & Running – Thru Most of Ohio). Other bits and bobs have come online since that time. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held back final approvals for some Rover laterals (offshoot pipelines that gather gas from various locations) as a way to force ET to perform clean-up work (see FERC Continues to Block Rover Laterals Until Restoration Work Done). The final two laterals, located in West Virginia, are now cleared to begin operation.
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PA DEP Stops Revolution Pipe Repair Following New Problems

On Sept. 10, Energy Transfer’s 24-inch gathering pipeline in Beaver County, PA, called the Revolution Pipeline, caught fire and exploded during testing (see Revolution Pipeline Near Pittsburgh Explodes – Home & Barn Destroyed). Fortunately, nobody was hurt, although a nearby home, barn and two garages were leveled by fire from the blast. That area, like much of the northeast, has been pounded by rain week after week and month after month. All that rain resulted in a landslide, which caused the explosion. Since that time ET has been working, pushing dirt around the entire 100-mile length of the pipeline to ensure there are no other problems. Yesterday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) put a stop to that work, at least for now.
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Mariner East 2 Pipeline Going into Service “Next Few Weeks”

There’s a series of private events held each fall, sponsored by investment banks and investment firms, that won’t allow media to attend. Supposedly the events allow companies to speak off the record (to investors and analysts) about things they’d rather not have on the public record. We think its a farce…since it keeps us out of those meetings! Inevitably, if there’s big news, it leaks out. And such is the case with news from a recent event hosted by Height Capital Markets in Washington, D.C. At the Height event, Energy Transfer (i.e. Sunoco Logistics Partners) told analysts that the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline project “will be in service as soon as it is mechanically complete, which is expected to be in the next few weeks.”
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Energy Transfer Partners & Equity Merging into One Company Today

Energy Transfer is, on paper, several different companies. Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) is the mother ship–the main holding company. Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) is and has been (for us) the main company, builder of Rover Pipeline, among other projects. Nearly two years ago Sunoco Logistics Partners, a subsidiary of ETE, was merged into ETP (see ETE Merging Sunoco Logistics and Energy Transfer Partners). Sunoco, aka ETP, is building the Mariner East 2 NGL pipeline project. Although technically ETP is the builder, we still call the company doing the work Sunoco, because that’s what everyone else does. Confusing! Hopefully that confusion ends today. ETE announced yesterday that following a vote of unitholders (i.e. shareholders), as of today ETE and ETP are merged, and the new name is simply, Energy Transfer.
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Mariner East 2 Pipe Startup Delayed Due to “Regulatory Issues”

ME2 Pipeline (red dotted line) – click for larger version

Energy Transfer Partners and their Sunoco Logistics unit had previously predicted the Mariner East 2 NGL (natural gas liquids) pipeline would be up and running no later than Sept. 30. That date came and went, and the pipeline is still not ready. According the ET, the reason is due to “regulatory issues.” Meaning, what exactly? We have a list of the “issues” holding up ME2 from launching.
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Empty Victory for Antis: PA PUC Blocks ME2 Valve Stn in W Goshen

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) blocked Sunoco Logistics Partners from building a valve station for the Mariner East 2 (ME2) project in West Goshen Township, Chester County where it wanted to build it. The PUC voted to accept a “Recommended Decision” issued by Administrative Law Judge Elizabeth Barnes that blocks construction of the valve station. Barnes has a history of ruling against ME2 going all the way back to 2014. Fortunately, most of her rulings have been overturned by the PUC. In this case it was not. But in the end, it doesn’t matter, because Sunoco said last December they’ve changed their plans and won’t build the valve station in West Goshen at all (see PA PUC Votes to Let ME2 Pipe Restart Construction in West Goshen). As a way of attempting to block the pipeline through their community, West Goshen objected to Sunoco building a new valve station for ME2 across the street from a valve station for Mariner East 1. West Goshen wanted the valve station built next to the existing ME1 valve station, but Sunoco wanted to build the new station across the street, citing safety concerns. West Goshen appealed to the state Public Utility Commission (PUC). In July 2017, Judge Barnes agreed with West Goshen (no surprise there), stopping not only construction of the valve station, but also construction of the ME2 pipeline itself through the township. The portion of the decision blocking pipeline construction was overturned. In December 2017, Sunoco gave up the fight to build the West Goshen valve station, period. Of course the antis who run West Goshen like a private fiefdom still objected! They said Sunoco hasn’t said what the alternative to building the valve station (a safety feature) would be. Hey, West Goshen’s “leaders” were the ones who didn’t want the valve station in the first place. West Goshen’s “leaders” are the ones who have made the pipeline through their community “less safe” because they didn’t want the valve station. Now they get to live with their actions. So reading that the PUC has, nine months later, ratified Barnes’ decision to block the valve station is somewhat strange. There’s no “there” there anymore. Sunoco dropped the valve station plan long ago. We hope West Goshen antis enjoy their empty victory…
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