Mountaineer XPress Unplanned Maintenance Knocks 2 Bcf/d Offline

Can a single pipeline suddenly going offline in the Marcellus/Utica cause the biggest daily drop in natural gas production across the country–ever? Apparently it can. Yesterday TC Energy’s Columbia Gas Transmission subsidiary announced an unplanned outage (for maintenance work) for the Mountaineer XPress pipeline in West Virginia (near Leach, Kentucky). The “force majeure” outage knocked nearly 2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of gas flows offline until at least next Monday, July 13.
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M-U Pipelines Continue Construction Despite Pandemic, Lawsuits

Two of the largest not-yet-completed pipeline projects in the Marcellus/Utica, Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), are currently on hold with no construction activity due to various legal challenges by Big Green (see today’s story, Mountain Valley Pipe Update: Done and In-Service Early 2021). However, there are several other large and small M-U pipeline projects where construction continues, even with restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic. Which pipelines?
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FERC Tells Antis “No” for Rehearing Potomac Pipe Decision

Anti-fossil fuelers are on a holy mission to stop a 3.37-mile, 8-inch pipeline from being built under the Potomac River by Columbia Gas (see Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”). The pipeline, from Maryland on one side of the river to West Virginia on the other side, will be built to feed a larger pipeline project from Mountaineer Gas called the Eastern Panhandle Expansion. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the project in July 2018. In August 2018 a group of radicalized anti-fossil fuelers filed a request for a “rehearing” (reconsideration of the decision)–the first step on the way to filing a court case against the project. FERC took its sweet time, but last week the agency finally turned down the antis’ request for a rehearing.
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TC Energy Says Marcellus/Utica Drillers “Tapping the Brakes”

TC Energy (once upon a time called TransCanada Corporation) is a major pipeline company in North America. The company has a big presence in the Marcellus/Utica region via its Columbia Pipeline subsidiary. Last week TC Energy issued its fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 update and hosted a quarterly conference call with analysts. While the official update contains a mention about the company’s Buckeye XPress project (see TC Energy/Columbia Finally Get FERC Approval for Buckeye XPress), of primary interest for us were comments by TC management about Columbia’s M-U customers and what the company might do if drillers come knocking on the door in “financial distress.”
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FERC Favorable EA for Columbia Louisiana XPress, M-U Gas to Gulf

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has taken the first, very big and important step of approving an environmental assessment (EA) for TC Energy/Columbia Transmission’s Louisiana XPress Project. TC/Columbia filed an application with FERC last July for the project (see Columbia Asks FERC to OK Louisiana XPress, M-U Gas to Gulf). Yes, there’s a direct tie-in to the Marcellus/Utica…
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TC Energy/Columbia Finally Get FERC Approval for Buckeye XPress

Buckeye XPress (click for larger version)

Last May the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finally, after a months-long delay, issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) for the Buckeye XPress (BXP) pipeline project (see Buckeye XPress Pipe Project in OH, WV Gets Favorable FERC Review). In October, Columbia (i.e. TC Energy) tried to goose FERC into issuing a final approval to build the project. Last Thursday FERC finally granted that approval–once again after a months-long delay.
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Fed Court Rules Columbia has Right to Use OH Gas Storage Field

Medina, Ohio

In a phenomenally complex court case decided last July by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Columbia Gas (TC Energy) won the right to continue storing natural gas in an underground storage field near Medina, Ohio. The landowners, who claim Columbia owes them (more) money for using the land under their property, appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supremes turned it down yesterday, meaning the Sixth Circuit ruling stands.
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Fed Judge Upholds Maryland Decision to Block Pipe Under Potomac

In May, Columbia Gas Transmission was forced to haul the State of Maryland into court over the state’s refusal to grant an easement to drill a tiny 3.5-mile pipeline under the Potomac River (see Columbia Gas Sues Maryland to Allow Pipeline Under Potomac). In June, Maryland’s anti-fossil fuel Attorney General, Brian Frosh, asked a federal court to dismiss the lawsuit (see Maryland Asks Fed Court to Dismiss Lawsuit Questioning Pipe Rejection). Yesterday a liberal judge with the U.S. District Court in Baltimore sided with Frosh, sadly.
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Marcellus/Utica Gas Heads to Gulf Coast to Feed LNG Export Beast

Marcellus/Utica gas hitches a ride to the Gulf Coast to feed several LNG export facilities. We previously outlined how some gas flows to Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG plant via Williams’ Transco system (see Williams Confirms Transco Now Ships Gas Directly to Cheniere LNG). We also told you about Utica gas reaching Sabine Pass via a connection from Rover Pipeline (see Some Rover Gas Flows All the Way to Gulf Coast LNG Export Plant). The experts at RBN Energy outline how M-U gas is flowing to the newly-minted Cameron LNG export facility (also in the Lake Charles area, near Sabine Pass) via the recently completed Mountaineer Xpress and Gulf Xpress pipeline expansions.
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TC Energy Plan to Move Western Canadian Gas to East Coast Approved

Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) has approved TC Energy’s agreements with natural gas retailers in Eastern Canada, to flow Western Canadian gas to Canada’s East Coast and New England. TC Energy (formerly called TransCanada) cooked up a plan to expand an existing pipeline in New England and connect it to a point in Quebec to flow gas from the opposite side of the continent, Western Canadian natural gas (over 1,000 miles away), into New England and from there back up into Canada (see TransCanada Plans to Move Western Canadian Gas into New England).
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Columbia Asks FERC to OK Louisiana XPress, M-U Gas to Gulf

Columbia Transmission is on a mission to flow more Marcellus/Utica gas south–all the way to the Gulf Coast in Louisiana. Earlier this week Columbia filed a new application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build the Louisiana XPress Project, a project to beef up flows along the existing Columbia pipeline system by an additional 850 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) by adding and expanding several compressor stations in Louisiana. Most, if not all of the M-U gas that will flow through it, is heading to Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG export facility in Lake Charles.
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TC Energy Sells Columbia Midstream M-U Assets to UGI for $1.28B

Exactly three years ago, TransCanada Corporation (now renamed TC Energy) completed a deal to buy out and merge in Columbia Pipeline Group for $10 billion (see TransCanada and Columbia Pipeline Tie the Knot Today). Columbia (now TC Energy) owns significant assets in the Marcellus/Utica region. Yesterday TC Energy announced it is selling some of those M-U assets to PA-based utility UGI for $1.275 billion.
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Maryland Asks Fed Court to Dismiss Lawsuit Questioning Pipe Rejection

A month ago Columbia Gas Transmission was forced to haul the State of Maryland into court over the state’s refusal to grant an easement to drill a tiny 3.5-mile pipeline under the Potomac River (see Columbia Gas Sues Maryland to Allow Pipeline Under Potomac). Earlier this week Maryland’s anti-fossil fuel Attorney General, Brian Frosh, asked the federal court to dismiss the lawsuit.
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PA Shuts Down 2 NatGas Pipes in Clarion County Following Explosion

Last Tuesday evening a 68-year-old woman was home in her bed in Clarion County, PA when she heard an explosion and a wall collapsed on her. She freed herself from the rubble and drove to a neighbor’s house for assistance. The home, a garage and greenhouse were all destroyed as a result of the explosion and fire. The cause? Natural gas “migrating” in the basement of the home. A local delivery pipeline and a nearby transmission pipeline were both taken out of service while the PA Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) investigation unit takes a look at the cause.
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Columbia Pipeline Shareholders Sue re 2016 Sale to TransCanada

TransCanada Corporation, which renamed itself TC Energy earlier this year, made a play for and bought out/merged in U.S.-based Columbia Pipeline Group in 2016 (see TransCanada and Columbia Pipeline Tie the Knot Today). TransCanada paid $13 billion for Columbia, including assumption of $2.8 billion of debt. Columbia has major pipeline operations throughout the Marcellus/Utica region.
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