Marcellus/Utica Gas Soon Heading to Canadian Capital of Ottawa

Iroquois Gas Transmission System is a natural gas pipeline that brings gas from eastern Canada to the New York City area. It is owned by TransCanada Corporation, Dominion Resources, KeySpan Corporation, New Jersey Resources Corporation, and Energy East Corporation. There have been plans, for years, to connect the Constitution Pipeline to the Iroquois and flow Marcellus/Utica gas to Canada by converting Iroquois to be bidirectional. As we all know, the Constitution has been stalled since 2014 because of the corrupt State of New York blocking it. There’s still hope that Constitution will get built. In October they asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to override the New York and allow the project to proceed (see Constitution Pipeline Asks FERC to Override NY DEC). Iroquois is no longer waiting on the Constitution. They’ve pushed forward and recently Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) voted to approve changing the Iroquois on their side of the border to be bidirectional, allowing Marcellus/Utica gas to begin flowing into Ontario–eventually all the way to the capital city of Ottawa by hitching a ride on TransCanada’s pipeline network. How cool is that? Marcellus/Utica gas supplying the capital of Canada. A report by the Ontario Energy Board says Marcellus/Utica gas is projected to supply up to 74% of Ontario’s natgas demand!…
Continue reading

TransCanada Sells Iroquois Pipeline to Itself, Part of $765M Deal

Last week TransCanada announced they are “selling” their interest in the Iroquois Gas Transmission pipeline and a second pipeline, Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS), to a subsidiary of TransCanada for $765 million. Every now and again big energy companies transfer some of their assets to different subsidiary companies, on paper. We say “on paper” because nothing really changes with the management of the assets–in this case two pipelines. However, money does change hands because usually there are different sets of investors for the different subsidiaries. So TransCanada “sold” themselves (different set of investors) these two pipeline systems. Iroquois is majority owned by TransCanada–in two pieces. After the drop down sale, TC PipeLines will own both pieces, representing 61.1% of the Iroquois system. Iroquois is a 416-mile interstate natural gas pipeline extending from the U.S.-Canadian border at Waddington, NY, through New York State and western Connecticut to its terminus in Commack, NY, and from Huntington to the Bronx, NY. The second pipeline part of the transfer deal is PNGTS–an interstate natural gas pipeline company providing natural gas transportation service for gas utilities, paper mills, and electric generation plants throughout New England. Here’s info about the deal, and an overview for each pipeline system…Continue reading

TransCanada Selling Stake in Iroquois Gas Pipeline – to Itself

Companies in the oil and gas space, in particular midstream (pipeline) companies, have complicated ownership structures on paper. There are usually a number of subsidiary companies. Sometimes these companies have a “mother ship” which is owned by stockholders, and a subsidiary that is a master limited partnership (MLP), which is a different kind of corporate structure. MLPs don’t have shares of stock but instead issue units (about the same thing as shares of stock). MLPs give the unitholders certain tax advantages not offered to stockholders. Yes, its complicated. The important thing to know is that often these large pipeline companies have layers within layers. Which is the setup for this story. TransCanada, which purchased Columbia Pipeline Group last year for $10 billion (see TransCanada and Columbia Pipeline Tie the Knot Today). TransCanada controls another subsidiary called TC PipeLines, an MLP. On Monday, TransCanada issued a notice that it intends to “sell” its ownership stake in the Iroquois Gas Transmission System (an important Marcellus pipeline) along with its remaining ownership in Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS), a New England pipeline, to its TC PipeLines subsidiary. Why? To raise money. How can a company selling something to itself raise money?…
Continue reading

FERC Settles Investigations into 3 NE Pipelines Overcharging

case closedIn January of this year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) launched five investigations into four pipelines, three of which operate in the northeast, to determine whether or not those pipelines have been “substantially” overcharging their customers with the excuse of “we have to recover our costs” (see FERC Investigates 3 Northeast Pipelines for Overcharging). Although you might think the free market would govern what pipelines charge, pipelines, like other utilities, don’t operate in a totally free market. You can’t just up and leave one pipeline and take your gas to another. The government grants permission to operate, and the government keeps an eye on the rates charged–just like they do with your local gas and electric company. In the case of interstate pipelines, the government agency monitoring how much they charge is FERC. Apparently someone complained and FERC is now on the case. The three pipelines in the northeast were put under the microscope: Empire Pipeline, Iroquois Gas Transmission System and Columbia Gulf Transmission. The case is now closed for all three…
Continue reading

Iroquois Gas Pipeline Offers to Cut Rates for Customers

Iroquois Gas
Click for larger version

This past January the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) launched five investigations into four pipelines, three of which operate in the northeast, to determine whether or not those pipelines have been “substantially” overcharging their customers with the excuse of “we have to recover our costs” (see FERC Investigates 3 Northeast Pipelines for Overcharging). Although you might think the free market would govern what pipelines charge, pipelines, like other utilities, don’t operate in a totally free market. You can’t just up and leave one pipeline and take your gas to another. The government grants permission to operate, and the government keeps an eye on the rates charged–just like they do with your local gas and electric company. One of the pipelines under investigation is the Iroquois Gas Transmission pipeline, which runs mostly through New York State. Iroquois has just filed an offer to lower rates for its shippers, to make the FERC investigation go away…
Continue reading

TransCanada 1Q16: Sets its Sights on the Marcellus/Utica

TransCanadaTransCanada Corporation is Canada’s largest midstream (i.e. pipelines and storage) company. TransCanada is the company that wanted to build out the Keystone XL oil pipeline into the United States, but the Obamadroids squashed it (it would flow nasty, icky oil through it). TransCanada is also making a major play to move into the Marcellus/Utica region by buying out/merging in Columbia Pipeline (see Rumor Comes True: TransCanada Buying Columbia Pipeline for C$13B). What’s happening with the buyout? We learn quite a bit from TransCanada’s first quarter 2016 update, released last Friday…
Continue reading

FERC Approves Expansion of Dominion Pipeline in Upstate NY

stamp of approvalGood news! The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) have approved Dominion’s $165 million New Market Project, a project that expands Dominion’s transmission pipeline from western New York across the state to the Capital Region of the state, near Albany. As with any fossil fuel-related project, radical environmentalists objected (see NY Antis Flood FERC in Fight Against Dominion’s New Market Project). The favorite tactic of anti-drillers is to “demand” that FERC exceed its authority by not only evaluating whether this specific project will have negative impacts on the envirnoment or health of people living near it–but also consider that the pipeline means more shale drilling and possibly (gasp) exports. FERC, under law, cannot consider those things. And when they follow the law and do their job, it sends anti fossil fuelers into a tizzy fit. As they are now with the announcement that FERC has approved the New Market Project (albeit seven months late)…
Continue reading

Dominion Closes on Deal to Buy 26% of Iroquois Pipeline

iroquois
Click for larger version of map

In August MDN told you that Dominion had cut a deal to purchase 26% of Iroquois Gas Transmission System, which is a 416-mile, FERC-regulated natural gas pipeline running from the Canada-U.S. border near Waddington, NY, through New York and Connecticut to South Commack, NY on Long Island, and to Hunts Point, NY in the Bronx (see Dominion Buys 26% of Iroquois Gas Transmission Pipeline). The $286.5 million deal gives Dominion a bigger seat at the Marcellus/Utica table. Dominion announced that as of Tuesday, the deal closed…
Continue reading

Dominion Buys 26% of Iroquois Gas Transmission Pipeline

Dominion has just purchased themselves a bigger seat at the Marcellus/Utica midstream (pipeline) table with the purchase of 26% of the Iroquois Gas Transmission System. The Iroquois, you may recall, is one of two pipelines that will connect to the Constitution Pipeline to be built by Williams starting later this year. The Constitution will flow 650 million cubic feet (MMcf) per day of Marcellus Shale gas mostly from Cabot Oil & Gas wells in Susquehanna County, PA. The 125-mile Constitution will run from PA into New York and connect with the Iroquois (and the Tennessee Gas Pipeline) in Schoharie County, NY. The Iroquois is a 416-mile interstate natural gas pipeline running from the U.S.-Canadian border at Waddington, NY, through NY and western Connecticut to its terminus in Commack, NY, and from Huntington to the Bronx, NY. The Iroquois supplies clean-burning natural gas to local distribution companies (LDCs) an electric power generators in New England and the greater New York City area. Increasingly the Iroquois is flowing Marcellus Shale gas. It is that pipeline that Dominion has just purchased a major piece of…
Continue reading

Spectra Energy Alliance with Iroquois to Sell Marcellus Gas to NE

In July Spectra Energy announced a pipeline project that would compete with Kinder Morgan’s plan to run a pipeline across Massachusetts to help alleviate natural gas bottlenecks in New England (see Spectra Energy to the Rescue! New England Pipeline Expansion). Spectra’s pipeline eventually got a name and a partner: The $3 billion project is called Access Northeast and the partner is Northeast Utilities (see Spectra Energy New England Pipeline Gets a Name & a Partner). Yesterday, Spectra announced not a new partner, but a new alliance with a competitor. Iroquois Gas Transmission has agreed to provide Marcellus Shale gas to Spectra’s Access Northeast pipleine. The two will connect at the Wright, NY Interconnect in Schoharie County…
Continue reading

Iroquois Gas Open Season for New South-to-North Marcellus Pipeline

Iroquois Gas Transmission System announced yesterday a non-binding open season to gauge interest in their new “South-to-North” project that will move and additional 300,000 dekatherms per day of Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania and New York to as far north as Canada. There’s a change! Normally natural gas comes from Canada–now we’re sending it the other way.

The new “SoNo” project, as they call it, would not involve any new pipeline construction but will instead rework existing pipelines and compressor stations. Target in-service date is November 2016. The open season lasts from now until January 24, 2014…
Continue reading