Columbia Asks FERC to Approve OH/WV Buckeye XPress Pipe Project

Buckeye XPress Pipeline map – click for larger version

In January 2017, TransCanada’s Columbia Pipeline subsidiary launched an open season for the Buckeye XPress (BXP) pipeline project (see Columbia Pipeline Launches Open Season for New M-U Project). BXP will expand service along the Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline from Ohio (and PA and WV) to send even more Marcellus/Utica gas to the Gulf via the interconnection at Leach, Kentucky. Columbia launched a non-binding open season to gauge interest in the project, which will use looping and beefed up compressor stations to increase capacity another 700 million cubic feet (MMcf) per day along the existing pipeline Columbia pipeline system. The open season (time when shippers express interest and sign contracts) was a success. But these things take time. On March 26, a year and two full months after the open season, Columbia filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking permission to build the project. The project includes building 66 miles of new pipeline to replace old pipeline in Ohio’s Vinton, Jackson, Gallia and Lawrence counties, as well as pipeline replacement in West Virginia’s Wayne County. Below is the lowdown on the BXP application…
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Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”

Anti fossil fuel nutters have been on a holy mission to stop a 3.5-mile, 8″ pipeline from being installed under the Potomac River since last summer (see Mountaineer Pipeline Under Potomac Latest Focus of Anti Movement). To hear them talk, you’d think this is the first time a pipeline has been drilled under the Potomac River–that drilling and installing a pipeline under the Potomac will result in an environmental holocaust. However, TransCanada, via its Columbia Pipeline subsidiary, has already built and operates 12 other pipelines that go under the Potomac River–just in the State of Maryland! Yet the president of the Washington County (MD) Board of County Commissioners, Terry Baker, says “the dangers are high” and “real” if this, the 13th pipeline, gets installed. Why, Mr. Baker, are the dangers “high” and “real” now–but they weren’t high and real the 12 other times a pipeline was installed under the river?…
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TransCanada Spending $1.9B to Bring More Canadian Gas to Northeast

TransCanada, one of Canada’s leading midstream/pipeline companies, cooked up a deal in 2016 to pipe natural gas from Canada’s West Coast to the East Coast in order to fend off cheap supplies of Marcellus/Utica gas that will flow into Canada from the NEXUS and Rover pipelines (see TransCanada Pipe Drops Price 42% to Compete with Marcellus/Utica). TransCanada dropped their pipeline price to lure drillers by (theoretically) making it less expensive to get gas from Western Canada, some 2,400 miles away, than from the Marcellus, just 400 miles away. Following a couple of open seasons and stiff regulatory hurdles, the plan was adopted and went into service last November (see TransCanada Pipe Begins Lowball Shipping to Compete with Marc/Utica). Last week TransCanada announced a $1.9 billion plan to expand its Western Canadian pipeline system in a bid to gather up and send even more Western Canadian gas to the East Coast–to compete with the Marcellus/Utica…
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Antis Pressure Maryland Gov. Hogan to Reject Pipeline Under Potomac

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan

In April 2017, MDN brought you the news that Columbia Pipeline (now owned by TransCanada) had filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build a 3.5 mile, 8-inch pipeline that will carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to connect the Mountaineer Gas system in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia with the Columbia Gas Pipeline in Pennsylvania (see New 3.5 Mile Pipeline Project to Drill Under the Potomac River). That tiny section of pipeline is part of the larger Eastern Panhandle Expansion project–a project to deliver natural gas via local distribution channels (local utility Mountaineer Gas) to a new industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV, and to provide gas to other local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. Anti fossil fuel nutters have been on a rampage to stop the pipeline from going under the Potomac since last summer (see Mountaineer Pipeline Under Potomac Latest Focus of Anti Movement). To hear them talk, you’d think this is the first time a pipeline has been drilled under the Potomac River. However, TransCanada, via its Columbia Pipeline subsidiary, has already built and operates 12 other pipelines that go under the Potomac River–just in the State of Maryland! Have you ever heard a peep about those pipelines and an environmental holocaust they’ve created? No. Why? Because putting a pipeline under a river is no big deal. It doesn’t harm the environment. Yet that’s what antis are claiming and will claim in a protest march today, aimed at pressuring the weak-willed Republican Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, into blocking this tiny, 3.5 mile project…
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Mountaineer Xpress Pipe Breaks Ground in WV on $100M Compressor

Earlier this week TransCanada (i.e. Columbia Pipeline) broke ground for a new $100 million compressor station that will flow gas through the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline. MDN previously told you that at the end of December the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final approval for Mountaineer (see Leach XPress Goes Online; FERC Approves Mountaineer & Gulf XPress). The $2 billion Mountaineer XPress will build ~170 miles of new pipeline to flow 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). At 2.7 Bcf/d, Mountaineer XPress is the second largest (by volume) new pipeline project for the Marcellus/Utica region–second only to Rover’s 3.25 Bcf/d pipeline. It is a big and important project. On Tuesday, even though the temps were frigid and the snow was flying, Calhoun County commissioners along with reps from TransCanada broke ground on an important new compressor station being built to flow gas through Mountaineer XPress. Calhoun has not seen any shale drilling, although neighboring Ritchie County (to the north) and Gilmer County (to the east) have. Mountaineer XPress and this compressor station are helping Calhoun participate economically in the shale miracle, which Calhoun’s commissioners expressed thanks for…
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Old Hippies Turn Out at WV DEP Hearing to Oppose Mountaineer Pipe

In April 2017, MDN brought you the news that Columbia Pipeline (now owned by TransCanada) had filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build a 3.5 mile, 8-inch pipeline that will carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to connect the Mountaineer Gas system in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia with the Columbia Gas Pipeline in Pennsylvania (see New 3.5 Mile Pipeline Project to Drill Under the Potomac River). That small section of pipeline is hotly opposed and part of the larger Eastern Panhandle Expansion project–a project to deliver natural gas via local distribution channels (local utility Mountaineer Gas) to a new industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV, and to provide gas to other local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. There are three phases to the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project: Phase One runs a 22.5-mile, 10-inch-diameter steel pipeline from Morgan County to Martinsburg; Phase Two includes a loop to Charles Town; and Phase Three will build a four mile segment of pipeline into Martinsburg. The WV Dept. of Environmental Protection held a hearing on Phase One on Tuesday, at the Berkeley Springs High School. All of the people who spoke at the hearing, some 33 of the 80 people present, spoke against the project. If you look at a picture of the crowd, you’d swear you were at a ZZ Top look-alike convention. That is, a bunch of old hippies. Here’s a report on the Tuesday hearing…
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Leach XPress Goes Online; FERC Approves Mountaineer & Gulf XPress

In mid-December MDN told you that the Leach XPress project–some ~160 miles of new natural gas pipeline and compression facilities in southeastern Ohio and West Virginia’s northern panhandle which will flow 1.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas all the way to Leach, Kentucky (hence the name)–would go online January 1st (see Leach XPress Starting Up Jan 1 – Marc/Utica Gas Heading to the Gulf!). And indeed it did! TransCanada, the owner of the project, announced Leach XPress is now online and flowing Marcellus/Utica gas to Kentucky. And from Kentucky, the gas flows south–some it all the way to the Gulf Coast via the Rayne pipeline. TransCanada also announced that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just issued final approvals for two more Columbia Pipeline-related projects: Mountaineer XPress and Gulf Xpress. Both projects will carry significant volumes of Marcellus/Utica gas to new markets. Mountaineer XPress will build 170 miles of new pipeline to flow 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). At 2.7 Bcf/d, Mountaineer XPress is the second largest (by volume) new pipeline project for the Marcellus/Utica region–second only to Rover’s 3.25 Bcf/d pipeline. Gulf XPress consists of building seven new midpoint compressor stations along the existing Columbia pipeline system in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, with the aim of moving an additional 875 million cubic feet (MMcf) of Marcellus/Utica gas per day southward, to the Gulf Coast region. Here’s the details, along with a copy of the FERC approval, for these two important projects…
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Leach XPress Starting Up Jan 1 – Marc/Utica Gas Heading to the Gulf!

Last week Columbia Pipeline Group (now part of TransCanada) filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin service on their Leach XPress pipeline. This is BIG and important news. In August 2014, MDN told you that Columbia Pipeline Group decided to move forward with investing $1.75 billion dollars for two new projects: Leach XPress and Rayne XPress (see Columbia Gas: $1.75B for 2 Projects to Send Marcellus Gas to Gulf). The Leach XPress project involves building ~160 miles of natural gas pipeline and compression facilities in southeastern Ohio and West Virginia’s northern panhandle, flowing 1.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas all the way to Leach, Kentucky (hence the name). Rayne XPress works hand in glove with Leach. There is an existing natgas pipeline from Leach, KY all the way to the Louisiana Gulf Coast, called Rayne. The pipeline is named for the location it flows to: Rayne, Louisiana. The Rayne Xpress project beefs up the Rayne pipeline with new compressor stations to add an additional 1 Bcf per day of capacity–Marcellus and Utica Shale gas capacity that will flow to the Gulf Coast. Rayne went online in early November (see FERC Clears 1 Bcf/d Rayne Xpress Pipe to Begin Service). When Leach goes online Jan. 1, 2018 (yes, we expect FERC will approve it), Marcellus/Utica gas will begin flowing along the combined pipelines all the way to the Gulf. That’s big news!…
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TransCanada Says FERC Approval for Mountaineer XPress May Slip

In July 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a favorable final environmental impact statement (EIS) for both the Mountaineer XPress and Gulf XPress projects (see FERC Issues Favorable Final EIS for Mountaineer/Gulf XPress Pipes). Both projects are part of Columbia Pipeline Group (now owned by TransCanada), expansions of the Columbia Pipeline system. A favorable EIS means it’s a foregone conclusion that FERC will issue a certificate for the project to proceed–at some point. Mountaineer XPress includes 165 miles of new pipeline with approximately 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of transportation capacity from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia. Gulf XPress consists of constructing seven new midpoint compressor stations along the existing Columbia pipeline system in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, with the aim of moving an additional 875 million cubic feet (MMcf) of Marcellus/Utica gas per day southward, to the Gulf Coast region. So far FERC has not given these two important Marcellus/Utica projects the final go-ahead. During TransCanada’s annual investor day webcast yesterday, Stan Chapman, president of TransCanada’s US natural gas pipelines business told investors (and the public) that although they had hoped for FERC approval by the end of this year, it’s now likely the approval will “slip into January”…
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FERC Approves WB Xpress Pipeline Across WV, VA

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Friday granted final approval for Columbia’s WB Xpress pipeline project. In Jan. 2016, Columbia Pipeline Group (now owned by TransCanada) filed a full, official application with FERC for the $850 million WB XPress Project (see Columbia Pipeline Files to Build $850M WB XPress Project in WV/VA). WB XPress consists of two new compressor stations, 26 miles of pipeline replacement located along existing corridors (11.6 miles of it in Monongahela National Forest), and 2.9 miles of new pipeline in Virginia and West Virginia. The WB XPress Project will expand capacity of the Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline system in the region by 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), linking Marcellus gas supplies to new markets. FERC issued a favorable environmental assessment for the project in March of this year (see FERC Gives Columbia WB XPress Enviro Thumbs Up). In September, the U.S. Forest Service gave their blessing (see WB XPress Pipeline Gets Important USDA Approval for Natl Forest). And now the fat lady has sung: FERC has issued a final approval for the project, meaning the next step is for construction to begin…
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TransCanada 3Q17: Plethora of Pipeline Updates for Marcellus/Utica

TransCanada Corporation, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, released their third quarter 2017 update yesterday. On July 1, 2016, TransCanada completed its buyout of Columbia Pipeline, a $10 billion deal (see TransCanada and Columbia Pipeline Tie the Knot Today). Columbia had/has a plethora of pipeline projects in the northeast, projects very important to the future of our region and flowing gas through it and out of it. We recently told you that one of those projects, Rayne XPress, was cleared to begin service and is now up and running (see FERC Clears 1 Bcf/d Rayne Xpress Pipe to Begin Service). We also told you that another project that works hand-in-glove with Rayne, called Leach XPress, is also supposed to be online this month. However, it’s been delayed. We learned from yesterday’s 3Q17 update that the new plan is to have Leach online in “early January 2018.” In addition to updates on Rayne and Leach from the 3Q17 update, we have news about Gibraltar Midstream, WB XPress, Mountaineer XPress, Gulf XPress and several other projects that impact our region…
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FERC Clears 1 Bcf/d Rayne Xpress Pipe to Begin Service

In January of this year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted to approve and issue a certificate to Columbia Pipeine’s Leach XPress and Rayne XPress pipeline projects (see FERC Approves $1.8B Leach & Rayne XPress Pipeline Projects). The two projects work together to move Marcellus/Utica gas all the way to the Gulf Coast. The Leach XPress project involves construction of approximately 160 miles of natural gas pipeline and compression facilities in southeastern Ohio and West Virginia’s northern panhandle, flowing 1.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas all the way to Leach, Kentucky (hence the name). Rayne XPress works hand in glove with Leach. There is an existing natgas pipeline from Leach, KY all the way to the Louisiana Gulf Coast. That pipeline is called the Rayne, for Rayne, LA. The Rayne Xpress project beefs up the Rayne pipeline with new compressor stations to add an additional 1 Bcf per day of capacity–Marcellus and Utica Shale gas capacity that will flow to the Gulf Coast. Both projects are scheduled to go online this month. Leach XPress isn’t ready yet, but Rayne XPress is. Yesterday FERC granted Columbia Pipeline (now owned by TransCanada) permission to begin flowing gas along Rayne–Marcellus/Utica gas–all the way to the Gulf Coast…
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TransCanada Pipe Begins Lowball Shipping to Compete with Marc/Utica

Let the battle begin! TransCanada, one of Canada’s leading midstream/pipeline companies, cooked up a deal last year to pipe natural gas from Canada’s West Coast to the East Coast in order to fend off cheap supplies of Marcellus/Utica gas that will flow into Canada when/if the NEXUS and Rover pipelines get built (see TransCanada Pipe Drops Price 42% to Compete with Marcellus/Utica). TransCanada dropped their pipeline price to lure drillers by (theoretically) making it less expensive to get gas from Western Canada, some 2,400 miles away, than from the Marcellus, just 400 miles away. The original open season last year was a bust because TransCanada insists on a 10-year commitment (see TransCanada Plan to Lowball M-U Gas Using Canada Pipeline a Bust). TransCanada revived their plan in February. Although it looked almost like the same deal all over again with the same 10-year term and about the same price, TransCanada dropped a minimum amount to be shipped and is letting shippers opt out after five years under certain conditions. The changes worked (see TransCanada Says Plan to Lowball M-U Gas Worked, Shippers Sign Up). A bevy of regulatory approvals were required, the biggest being from the National Energy Board. The NEB finally gave their blessing in September (see Canadians Approve TransCanada Pipe Lowball Plan to Compete with M-U). Yesterday, on Nov. 1st, TransCanada said they began shipping western Canadian gas across the country at the new lowball prices…
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Some Rover Gas Flows All the Way to Gulf Coast LNG Export Plant

Two weeks ago MDN brought you analysis from RBN Energy that hints at least some Marcellus/Utica gas molecules are flowing all the way to Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG export facility (see Is Marcellus/Utica Gas Getting Exported from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass?). In part 2 of the series, the expert analysts at RBN make a compelling case that an increasing amount of Marcellus/Utica gas is going to the Sabine Pass facility via the newly-minted Rover Pipeline and the connection it has with TransCanada’s ANR pipeline. RBN connects the dots…
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Competition Heats Up Between W. Canadian & Marcellus/Utica Gas

Last week MDN reported the Canadian National Energy Board (NEB) had approved of TransCanada’s plan to lowball the price to haul natural gas all the way from Alberta (in western Canada) to the Toronto Dawn Hub in eastern Canada (see Canadians Approve TransCanada Pipe Lowball Plan to Compete with M-U). TransCanada cooked up a deal last year to pipe natural gas from Canada’s West Coast to the East Coast in order to fend off cheap supplies of Marcellus/Utica gas that will flow into Canada when/if the NEXUS and Rover pipelines get built (see TransCanada Pipe Drops Price 42% to Compete with Marcellus/Utica). TransCanada dropped their pipeline price to lure drillers by (theoretically) making it less expensive to get gas from western Canada, some 2,400 miles away, than from the Marcellus, just 400 miles away. TransCanada’s pipeline theoretically can ship 3.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas from west to east. When Rover Pipeline is full online sometime in 2018, it will ship up to 3.25 Bcf/d of Marcellus/Utica gas to the Dawn Hub. If NEXUS Pipeline ever gets built, it too will one day flow gas all the way to the Dawn Hub–up to 1.5 Bcf/d. TransCanada is attempting to get there first. In this clash of the titans, between western Canadian gas and Marcellus/Utica gas, who wins? There will be a number of winners, including the drillers shipping the gas. And the pipeline companies shipping the gas. But perhaps the biggest winners will be Ontario residents who use natural gas. Their prices to buy and use gas are heading much lower…
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Canadians Approve TransCanada Pipe Lowball Plan to Compete with M-U

Looks like begging works. TransCanada, one of Canada’s leading midstream/pipeline companies, cooked up a deal last year to pipe natural gas from Canada’s West Coast to the East Coast in order to fend off cheap supplies of Marcellus/Utica gas that will flow into Canada when/if the NEXUS and Rover pipelines get built (see TransCanada Pipe Drops Price 42% to Compete with Marcellus/Utica). TransCanada dropped their pipeline price to lure drillers by (theoretically) making it less expensive to get gas from Western Canada, some 2,400 miles away, than from the Marcellus, just 400 miles away. The original open season last year was a bust because TransCanada insists on a 10-year commitment (see TransCanada Plan to Lowball M-U Gas Using Canada Pipeline a Bust). TransCanada revived their plan in February. Although it looked almost like the same deal all over again with the same 10-year term and about the same price, TransCanada dropped a minimum amount to be shipped and is letting shippers opt out after five years under certain conditions. The changes worked (see TransCanada Says Plan to Lowball M-U Gas Worked, Shippers Sign Up). The plan needs a bevy of regulatory approvals, the main one being the Canadian National Energy Board (NEB). In hearings before the NEB two weeks ago, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers pleaded their case that the plan get approved (see Canadian Drillers Beg NEB to Approve Pipe Plan to Compete with M-U). Without it, western Canadian gas simply can’t compete with cheap, abundant Marcellus/Utica Shale gas flowing north. In somewhat dramatic terms, Canadian drillers claimed the “future of western Canada’s natural gas industry could depend on pipeline company TransCanada winning regulatory approval” of their lowball plan. The NEB bought it, and has just approved the lower rates…
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