Kinder Morgan Says No Thx to Canadian Civil War, Selling Pipeline

An interesting development in the pipeline wars. Kinder Morgan has just agreed to sell its Trans Mountain Pipeline system to the Canadian government for C$4.5 billion ($3.5 billion U.S.). Why? Kinder is tired of the ongoing civil war in Canada over extending Trans Mountain from the oil sands of Alberta through British Columbia to the coast for exporting to Asia. As we reported last week, British Columbia is blocking the project and Alberta is now fighting back–and it’s nasty, a civil war in every way except armed conflict (see Canadian Civil War Previews What’s Coming in NY re Pipelines). The federal Canadian government wants this pipeline project to happen. Kinder lost its appetite to make it happen, so Canada is buying the entire project from Kinder, to ensure it gets built. What does an oil pipeline in western Canada have to do with the Marcellus/Utica? It’s a preview of things to come in U.S., where NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo is blocking pipeline projects that PA and other states critically need. We’re watching what happens with the Trans Mountain project as a proxy for what may happen here at home…
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Canadian Civil War Previews What’s Coming in NY re Pipelines

Two Canadian provinces that share a border, Alberta and British Columbia (BC), are in the midst of a heated argument/conflict/civil war(?)–over a pipeline. We’ve not covered the conflict, until now. The short version is this: Alberta has a rich deposit of oil in what are called oil sands. In order to get more of the bountiful supply of oil to new markets, in Asia, Alberta needs a new pipeline. Kinder Morgan operates the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and previously proposed expanding Trans Mountain–from Alberta through British Columbia to the shore where the oil can be loaded on tankers and sailed to other continents. BC has blocked the new pipeline, and so now Alberta has passed a law that allows them to stop existing oil and gas flows into BC. If that happens, it will bring BC to its metaphorical knees from lack of energy sources. Yes, it’s getting nasty. The Canadian federal government is also involved, attempting to pressure BC to allow the pipeline. What does that have to do with the Marcellus/Utica? If we were to say “Constitution” or “Northern Access”–perhaps the light bulb will go off. You see, we have a parallel situation here in the states. New York State is blocking gas pipelines critical to PA (as supplier) and to the New England states (as demand centers). At some point, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that PA will begin to turn off existing natgas flows into NY–and then what will we do? We New Yorkers would be royally screwed. Gov. Cuomo pay attention to our neighbors to the north. What’s happening up there is coming in your direction, if you don’t change course…
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What’s Happening with Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline (UMTP)?

What’s happening with Kinder Morgan’s $4 billion Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline (UMTP) project? In February MDN told you that Kentucky antis went to court to try and block a plan by Kinder Morgan to convert a portion of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) that flows natural gas from the Gulf Coast to the northeast, to reverse the pipeline and flow natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the Marcellus/Utica region to the Gulf Coast (see Kentucky Antis File Lawsuit to Stop TGP NGL Pipe Reversal). We told you in April that a Kentucky county has also gone to court to try and stop the pipeline reversal (see Kentucky County Suing to Stop TGP from Reversing Pipeline for NGLs). The pipeline reversal is part of the UMTP project. UMTP involves converting 964 miles of natural gas service on TGP (to flow NGLs), the construction of approximately 200 miles of new pipeline from Louisiana to Texas, and new storage capacity and laterals in Ohio. UMTP was originally slated to be done later this year. Since Kinder hasn’t even gotten to first base with this project, that ain’t gonna happen. What’s the holdup? And, will UMTP ever get built?…
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Kentucky County Suing to Stop TGP from Reversing Pipeline for NGLs

Rowan County, KY

In February MDN told you that Kentucky antis went to court to try and block a plan by Kinder Morgan to convert a portion of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline that flows natural gas from the Gulf Coast to the northeast, to reverse the pipeline and flow natural gas liquids from the Marcellus/Utica region to the Gulf (see Kentucky Antis File Lawsuit to Stop TGP NGL Pipe Reversal). The reversal is part of a $4 billion project called the Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline (UMTP) project. The first step in reversing the existing pipeline was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last October (see FERC Advances Plan to Reverse Part of TGP to Haul M-U NGLs to Gulf). Antis in Kentucky got their bluegrass knickers in a twist over FERC’s action. They filed a request for “rehearing” of FERC’s decision, which is the first step in a process that typically ends up in court. Normally FERC has 30 days to decide on a rehearing, however, they have a tactic they call a “tolling order” which allows them to extend the amount of time to make a rehearing decision–indefinitely. FERC pulled out the tolling order card and played it last November (see FERC Frustrates Kentucky Radicals Seeking to Stop TGP Pipe Reversal). The ticked-off antis filed a lawsuit challenging the FERC tolling order. While all of that continues to play out, one of the Kentucky counties along the TGP route–Rowan County–is filing its own lawsuit to stop the reversal and conversion of the pipeline. No, Rowan County has no standing to file such a lawsuit, but apparently they’ll need to learn that the hard way…
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Kentucky Antis File Lawsuit to Stop TGP NGL Pipe Reversal

Kentucky antis have gone to court to try and block a plan by Kinder Morgan to convert a portion of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline that flows natural gas from the Gulf Coast to the northeast, to reverse the pipeline and flow natural gas liquids from the Marcellus/Utica region to the Gulf. Part of the 964-mile project runs through Kentucky (see KM Plans to Convert Tennessee Gas Pipeline to Flow M-U NGLs South). The first step in the reversal process was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last October (see FERC Advances Plan to Reverse Part of TGP to Haul M-U NGLs to Gulf). Antis in Kentucky got their bluegrass knickers in a twist over FERC’s action. They filed a request for “rehearing” of FERC’s decision, which is the first step in a process that typically ends up in court. First the “aggrieved party” (antis are in a perpetual state of being aggrieved) must request a rehearing. If FERC denies the rehearing request, antis (Big Green groups with deep pockets representing them) then file a lawsuit in federal Appeals Court to try and stop FERC from continuing to approve the project. Normally FERC has 30 days to decide on a rehearing, however, they have a little tactic they call a “tolling order” which allows them to extend the amount of time to make a rehearing decision–indefinitely. FERC pulled out the tolling order card and played it with the TGP project last November (see FERC Frustrates Kentucky Radicals Seeking to Stop TGP Pipe Reversal). The antis aren’t waiting. They’ve just filed a lawsuit challenging the FERC tolling order. Here’s the latest from the enviro nuts in the Bluegrass State…
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Part of TGP’s Broad Run Pipe Expansion Starts Up in Kentucky

In December 2016 MDN brought you news about Kinder Morgan’s “Broad Run Expansion Project” that will expand transportation capacity of natural gas on the existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) system. Antis tried to stop the project, but the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected their pleas (see FERC Denies Anti Request to Stop KM’s Broad Run Expansion Project). The Broad Run Expansion includes construction of two new compressor stations in Kanawha County, WV, one new compressor station in Davidson County, TN, and one new compressor station in Madison County, KY. TGP is also increasing compression capacity by modifying two of its existing compressor stations in Powell and Boyd counties in KY by replacing existing capacity with new, higher-rated horsepower compression units. The project will provide an extra 200,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of transportation capacity along the same path as the Broad Run Flexibility project, which was placed in service on Nov. 1, 2015. All of the additional gas will come from Antero Resources and their Marcellus/Utica program. Kinder/TGP has been busy working on the $406 million project and the pieces are now coming together. On Monday, FERC sent a letter to KM/TGP telling them the brand new compressor station in Madison County, KY can begin operations. KM plans to have the entire project up and running by June 1st of this year…
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UTOPIA has Arrived! KM OH Pipe Flowing Ethane to Canadian Cracker

UTOPIA Pipeline route – click for larger version

In January 2016, Kinder Morgan (KM) committed to building the UTOPIA (Utica To Ontario Pipeline Access) pipeline, a 12-inch ethane pipeline that will run ~240 miles across the state of Ohio where it will connect with another pipeline and flow ethane all the way to a cracker plant in Canada (see Kinder Morgan Ready to Move Forward with UTOPIA East Pipeline). However, all was not utopia with UTOPIA–some Ohio landowners got a bumble bee in their bonnet and refused to deal. KM first sued them using eminent domain, then decided to alter the route instead and signed leases with more reasonable landowners (see UTOPIA East Pipe Re-Routes Around OH Antis, Drops Eminent Domain). Last June, KM’s vice president of public affairs, Allen Fore, said UTOPIA was under construction and due to go online in January 2018 (see UTOPIA NGL Pipeline Under Construction, Should be Online Jan 2018). And so it has! Yesterday KM announced UTOPIA is up and running and flowing ethane from the Utica/Marcellus all the way to a cracker plant in Canada…
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FERC Frustrates Kentucky Radicals Seeking to Stop TGP Pipe Reversal

What’s in the water in Kentucky? Seems to be a state full of anti-drilling, anti-pipeline nutters. Kentucky has been responsible for killing at least one pipeline, the Bluegrass Pipeline that would have flowed Marcellus/Utica NGLs (natural gas liquids) all the way to the Gulf Coast (see Bluegrass Pipeline Aborted Before It was Born – RIP). That project would have involved laying 200 miles of new pipeline through Kentucky, and wealthy horse farms would have none of it. Kinder Morgan is making a run at a similar project–but this time the pipeline is already in the ground. Kinder Morgan, as we previously reported, is working on a project to convert 964 miles of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, part of which runs through Kentucky (KM Plans to Convert Tennessee Gas Pipeline to Flow M-U NGLs South). Kinder wants to reverse the flow of TGP, which currently sends natural gas from the Gulf Coast to the northeast, turning it around and sending natural gas liquids from the Marcellus/Utica to the Gulf Coast. The first step in the process was recently approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see FERC Advances Plan to Reverse Part of TGP to Haul M-U NGLs to Gulf). Antis in Kentucky have their bluegrass knickers in a twist over FERC’s action. They’ve filed a request for “rehearing” of FERC’s decision, which is the first step in a process that will end up in court. First the aggrieved party must request a rehearing. If FERC denies the request, the antis (using Big Green money) then file a lawsuit in federal Appeals Court to try and stop FERC from continuing to approve the project. Normally FERC has 30 days to decide on a rehearing, however, they have a little tactic they call a “tolling order” which allows them to extend the amount of time to make a rehearing decision–indefinitely. FERC has pulled out the tolling order card and played it with the TGP project–and that has the Kentucky nutters fuming…
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FERC Clears TGP Orion Expansion to Begin Service to New England

In October 2015, Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) filed their official, full application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking approval for their Orion Project (see Tennessee Gas Pipeline Files PA Orion Project with FERC). The $109 million project consists of 13 miles of new “looping” pipeline in Pike and Wayne counties, Pennsylvania. The project will boost capacity on the TGP by another 135 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d), allowing TGP to pump more yummy Marcellus Shale gas to Mid-Atlantic and New England states. FERC gave final approval for the project in February of this year (see TGP Orion Project in NEPA Gets Final Approval by FERC). In March, Big Green group THE Delaware Riverkeeper filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third District requesting the court overturn a Clean Water Act permit granted to the project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In August, the Third Circuit rejected Riverkeeper’s request in a humiliating defeat (see Dela. Riverkeeper Loses Fed. Court Case Against NEPA Pipeline). According to the original plan, the TGP Orion upgrade will be complete and in-service by June 2018. December 2017 is certainly “by June 2018” and that’s a good thing, because Orion is now done and FERC has just given TGP the green light to start it up…
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Indians & Hippies Couldn’t Stop Connecticut Expansion Pipeline

In March 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s (TGP) Connecticut Expansion project (see FERC Approves TGP Connecticut Expansion Pipeline Project). The project includes building 13.42 miles of new pipeline loops in three states: Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. When completed, the new looping will serve an additional 72.1 million cubic feet per day of (mostly) Marcellus Shale gas to three utility companies in Connecticut. The $86 million project is in no way connected to TGP’s now-dead Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline project. However, antis continued to pitch a fit and try to block the project. A local Indian tribe in Massachusetts threatened to sue, accusing FERC of violating the National Historic Preservation Act by not protecting “ceremonial stone landscapes” supposedly found along the path of the pipeline (see Indian Tribe Fights FERC Over Tiny Pipeline in Mass.). After that, a group of old hippies got themselves arrested in Massachusetts for blocking construction of a 2-mile section of the pipeline through a state forest (see Bunch of Old Hippies Arrested in Mass. for Blocking Pipeline Work). We postulated at the time that maybe if underground pipelines flowed marijuana instead of fossil fuels, they’d feel differently about them. At any rate, neither the Indians nor the hippies could stop it. Yesterday FERC gave Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline subsidiary permission to flip the switch and turn on the expanded pipeline…
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FERC Advances Plan to Reverse Part of TGP to Haul M-U NGLs to Gulf

There’s lots of acronyms in that headline, so right up front let us restate the headline in clearer language: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just taken the next step to advance a project by Kinder Morgan to reverse a portion of the mighty Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) to reverse its flow, to go from the northeast to the southwest, in order to haul Marcellus/Utica natural gas liquids (NGLs) to the Gulf Coast. Currently TGP hauls natural gas (not liquids) from the Gulf to the northeast. With a bumper crop of natural gas produced by the Marcellus/Utica, gas from the Gulf is no longer needed. Kinder Morgan, the owner/operator of TGP, first floated the idea to reverse 964 miles of their pipeline back in 2013 (see KM Plans to Convert Tennessee Gas Pipeline to Flow M-U NGLs South). The pipeline reversal is part of the broader $4 billion Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline (UMTP) project. The first step in making the project a reality is to get FERC’s permission to “abandon” (stop using) the 964-mile segment, called Pipeline No. 1, from Louisiana to Ohio. TGP filed to get permission to abandon it in Feb. 2015. Last Friday FERC granted permission for TGP to abandon that segment of the pipeline. Plenty of people objected to the plan, including existing natural gas customers along the 964 miles who now get their gas from TGP. FERC investigated all claims and found the project will not negatively impact the environment, or the pocketbooks, of those who objected. The question now is, when will work begin to abandon that portion of the pipeline?…
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TGP’s Susquehanna West Project Gets Green Light to Begin Service

In April 2015 Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) subsidiary filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build 8.2 miles of new looping pipeline in Tioga County, PA and beef up two compressor stations in Bradford County, PA. The $142 million project is called the Susquehanna West Project. It will increase capacity along the 300 Line section of TGP, bumping it up by 145 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d). All of the extra capacity is spoken for by Statoil and the wells they’ve drilled in NEPA. Last September, FERC approved the project (see FERC Approves Another KM Pipeline Project in the PA Marcellus). The project was forecast to be done and dusted, going online, by Nov. 1. Usually we bring you news about such projects being delayed. In a happy reversal of that trend, last week FERC granted Kinder Morgan permission to bring the project online, NOW, a full two months ahead of schedule. Christmas came early this year…
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Dela. Riverkeeper Loses 2nd Court Case Against NEPA Pipeline

Last week MDN brought you the news that THE Delaware Riverkeeper had lost a federal lawsuit against Kinder Morgan’s Orion Project to expand the Tennessee Gas Pipeline in northeast Pennsylvania (see Dela. Riverkeeper Loses Fed. Court Case Against NEPA Pipeline). Riverkeeper argued that both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the PA State Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) should not have issued Clean Water Act stream crossing permits for the project. Last week a federal court ruled that the U.S. Army Corps was well within its right to do so. This week the other shoe dropped. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third District ruled that the DEP was also within its right to issue a permit. In this case, two strikes and THE Delaware Riverkeeper is out. The project, which received full Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval in February of this year, remains on track to be built/online in June 2018…
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Dela. Riverkeeper Loses Fed. Court Case Against NEPA Pipeline

In March, Big Green group THE Delaware Riverkeeper (leftist political lobbying arm for the William Penn Foundation that funds it) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third District requesting the court overturn a Clean Water Act permit granted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Kinder Morgan’s Orion Project in northeast Pennsylvania. Yesterday, in a humiliating defeat, the Third Circuit rejected Riverkeeper’s request and ruled the Army Corps was well within its right to grant the permit (full copy of the ruling below). In October 2015, Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) filed their official, full application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking approval for the Orion Project (see Tennessee Gas Pipeline Files PA Orion Project with FERC). The project will cost $143 million and construct 13 miles of “looping” pipeline in Pike and Wayne counties, Pennsylvania. The project will boost capacity on the TGP by another 135 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d), allowing TGP to pump more Marcellus Shale gas to Mid-Atlantic and New England states. The project received full FERC approval in February of this year (see TGP Orion Project in NEPA Gets Final Approval by FERC). The project remains on track to be built/online in June 2018…
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