M-U Companies Collaborate with Eco Group on Pipeline Report

Over the years the Nature Conservancy, whose mission is “to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends,” has put its support behind restrictive, anti-drilling measures. However, they’re not typically one of the Big Green groups that actively goes out of its way to block all fossil fuel extraction. They’re not as bad as the Sierra Club, or NRDC, or Earthworks. In what is perhaps a new chapter in cooperation with the industry (sure to get them tossed off the Christmas card list by other Big Green groups), the Nature Conservancy worked with eight of the largest pipeline companies in the U.S. (all but one with operations in the Marcellus/Utica) to produce a report titled, “Improving Steep-Slope Pipeline Construction to Reduce Impacts to Natural Resources” (full copy below). The report’s aim is to provide a list of best practice aimed at reducing the environmental impacts of natural gas pipeline construction. Particularly in areas prone to landslides. Working with Nature Conservancy on the report was Dominion Energy, Enbridge, EQT Midstream Partners, Kinder Morgan, NiSource, Southern Company Gas, UGI Energy Services and Williams–all of which have committed to adopting the guidelines put forth in the report. Notice that Nature Conservancy’s approach is not “never build another pipeline again”–as it is for most Big Green groups (including the ones we listed above). Instead, Nature Conservancy worked with pipeline companies to develop standards and practices that will protect the environment, while still allowing for pipeline construction. That is, they are being reasonable. Hats off to the Nature Conservancy for their efforts and reasonableness. Unfortunately for them, they are now sure to be ostracized by their Big Green brethren…
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UGI Expanding NEPA Gathering System to Flow More Cabot Gas

UGI, a large utility (and pipeline) company located in Pennsylvania, has announced they will expand a northeastern PA pipeline gathering system. UGI built what they call the Auburn Gathering System between 2011 and 2015–46 miles of pipe, two compressors stations and various other pipeline related facilities located in Susquehanna, Wyoming, and Luzerne counties (near Scranton). UGI spent $215 million to build the system, a system that currently flows 470 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas. Much (most?) of that the gas comes from Cabot Oil and Gas in Susquehanna County. The new news is that UGI build two new compressor stations, adding to the existing two, which will increase flows through the system by another 150 MMcf/d–all of the increase coming from Cabot. Here’s the good news that more Cabot gas will soon flow through the Auburn System, connecting with two of the biggest pipeline systems in the country–the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (Kinder Morgan) and the Transco Pipeline (Williams)…
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Progress for UGI Energy’s LNG Peak Shaver in Bethlehem, PA

UGI LNG’s Temple I installation near Reading, Pa. with 3-million-gallon storage tank.

In February MDN reported that UGI is proposing a new LNG peak shaver for Bethlehem, PA. The project hit some early opposition, so UGI tweaked the design, keeping it alive (see UGI Energy Tweaks LNG Peak Shaver for Bethlehem, PA). An LNG peak shaver is a unit used for storing surplus natural gas, to have extra natgas on hand and ready during times of peak consumption during really hot summers or really cold winters. Sometimes your local gas utility will build and use a peak shaver (small LNG storage facility), so they don’t run out of natgas at a critical time, and to help with keeping prices lower by drawing down from storage if prices spike. Low prices make for happy customers. We’re interested in such facilities because of their potential as a new demand source for our plentiful gas supplies. UGI’s Bethlehem project includes building an 80-foot high LNG tank. Last week the Bethlehem Planning Board voted 3-0 to approve the tank, meaning more progress for the project…
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UGI Energy Tweaks LNG Peak Shaver for Bethlehem, PA

UGI LNG’s Temple I peak shaver near Reading, Pa. with 3-million-gallon storage tank

It’s time to learn something new (there’s always something new to learn in this industry). Ever hear of a peak shaver? No, nothing to do with that thing guys use in the morning to shave off the stubble. An LNG peak shaver is a unit used for storing surplus natural gas, to have extra natgas on hand and ready during times of peak consumption during really hot summers or really cold winters. Sometimes your local gas utility will build and use a peak shaver (small LNG storage facility), so they don’t run out of natgas at a critical time, and to help with keeping prices lower by drawing down from storage if prices spike. Low prices make for happy customers. UGI, a diversified energy company with both midstream (pipeline) operations and one of PA’s largest utility companies, uses peak shavers. We’ve written about their use of peak shavers in the past (see UGI Building LNG Plant in NEPA, Local Marcellus Gas to Feed It). We’re interested in such facilities because of their potential as a new demand source for our plentiful gas supplies. UGI is proposing a new peak shaver for Bethlehem, PA. The project hit some early opposition, so UGI has tweaked the design, meaning they can proceed…
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UGI Pipeline to Feed Scranton NatGas-Fired Power Plant “On Track”

Invenergy is currently building a state-of-the-art, combined cycle 1,480 megawatt Marcellus-fired electric generating plant in Jessup, PA, just outside Scranton. Construction on the plant–called the Lackawanna Energy Center–has been under way for well over a year now. Some 1,200 people are currently working at the site. MDN previously reported that Cabot Oil & Gas with their prolific Susquehanna County production will feed the plant (see Cabot Cuts Deal to Supply PA’s Largest NatGas-Fired Electric Plant). We also reported that two different companies are building pipelines to supply Cabot’s gas to the plant–UGI and Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline (see UGI to Feed Jessup, PA Electric Plant with Marcellus Shale Gas and NEPA Pipeline for Power Plant Gets Positive FERC Assessment). We have a pipeline update. Work on UGI’s pipeline began in May and is close to being done…
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UGI Buys NatGas Pipeline Gathering System in NE PA

UGI is a major utility company in Pennsylvania, providing natural gas and electric service to 700,000 Pennsylvania residents across the state. UGI, via its Energy Services subsidiary, operates natural gas storage facilities, compressor stations, LNG plants and local pipeline gathering systems. UGI operates several gathering systems in northeastern PA. Yesterday the company announced is has purchased an existing gathering system from Rockdale Marcellus for an undisclosed sum. The Rockdale gathering system consists of 60 miles of gathering lines–along with dehydration and compression facilities–located in Tioga, Lycoming and Bradford counties in northeast PA. The system was purchased, on paper, by UGI subsidiary Texas Creek, so the gathering system has been rebranded UGI Texas Creek. MDN has a map of the new system below…
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UGI Adds Marcellus Gas Service to Town Between Scranton, W-B

It is a story we see happening more and more frequently–local distribution companies (LDCs, your local gas & electric company) are adding new customers in places previously not served by natural gas lines–because of the presence of the abundant, cheap, and clean-burning Marcellus Shale. The latest such story we noticed of this type comes from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. If you ever whiz through Scranton, and then Wilkes-Barre, motoring down Interstate 81 (as we’ve done hundreds of times over the years), one of the townships you pass through without knowing it is Dupont (in Luzerne County)–quite close to the regional airport in Avoca, not far from Montage Mountain ski resort, and a whisker away from Moosic. Utility giant UGI has begun a program to install natural gas pipelines to 123 homes in Dupont, to provide Marcellus Shale gas to those homes…
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UGI Marcellus-fed LNG Plant in NEPA Now Online

In May 2015, MDN brought you news that UGI Energy Services, a subsidiary of northeast PA utility giant UGI Corporation, announced they will spend $60 million to build a new LNG production plant in Wyoming County, PA (see UGI Building LNG Plant in NEPA, Local Marcellus Gas to Feed It). The facility will liquefy locally produced Marcellus Shale gas–with a capacity of up to 120,000 gallons of LNG per day. There will also be a storage facility on site. UGI said the market for LNG is rapidly growing. Not only do trucking fleets, like UPS, use it, but drillers use it to power rigs and industrial plants use it in locations where there are no natural gas pipelines. Some good news to report: The plant is built and now in operation…
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Marcellus Gas Now Powers Mohegan Sun Casino in the Poconos

Mohegan Sun Pocono CEO & President, Anthony Carlucci, UGI Energy Services President, Joe Hartz, Director of Capital Expenditure for Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, Jeff Seidel, and UGI Business Development Manager, Steve Johnson, all spoke at and celebrated this milestone. In attendance also, was Cassandra Coleman with the Pennsylvania Governor’s office and Chief of Staff for Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Carroll, Ron Ralston.
Click for larger version

The Mohegan Sun Pocono casino, located near Wilkes-Barre, PA, is now powered by Marcellus Shale gas. On June 20 casino officials along with utility giant UGI and local/state politicians gathered to unveil an all-new co-generation energy plant at the casino. The plant uses Marcellus Shale gas to create electricity. The resulting heat is also trapped and used, to heat water, etc. (the “co” in co-generation). The plant cost $3 million to build. Roughly $1 million from a grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority. The new plant reduces the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino’s so-called carbon footprint by 3,900 metric tons annually–it’s like taking 820 cars off the road. Here’s the story of how a fossil fuel–Marcellus Shale gas–is helping to clean up the environment, and make it cheaper to run the slot machines, at the same time…
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PA Manufacturers’ Assoc: NatGas Demand Going up 40% Next 10 Yrs

Yesterday the 11th “Think About Energy” Briefing was held at Misericordia University, near Wilkes-Barre, PA. The session aimed to provide an update on the economic and environmental benefits of PA natural gas, and was organized/sponsored by Borton-Lawson, Cabot Oil & Gas, UGI Energy Services, UGI Utilities, and Williams, in conjunction with ACT for America and the Back Mountain Chamber of Commerce. About 100 people attended. Carl Marrara, vice president of government affairs for the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, had this to say: “The demand for natural gas is expected to increase by 40 percent over the next decade, and even more in Pennsylvania.” He said that more natural gas is needed by PA manufacturers, but slow pipeline infrastructure approvals by “government officials” are “holding up growth.” MDN friend Bill desRosiers of Cabot Oil & Gas was the moderator and master of ceremonies. Other speakers included: Abe Amorós of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA), Mike Atchie of Williams, and Larry Godlasky of UGI Energy Services. Although it was a gas-friendly crowd, the session wasn’t, however, without a touch of controversy. One anti showed up–a math professor from Luzerne Community College–and left in a huff when the audience told him to shut up and sit down during the Q&A portion…
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2nd NEPA County Attracting Business with Locally Produced Gas

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MDN has spotted what we believe is a rather ingenious trend in Northeastern Pennsylvania. One of the ongoing “problems” with drilling in gas-rich, rural counties like Susquehanna and Wyoming counties is that the gas gets extracted–and promptly exported out of the region via pipelines. Locals don’t have the option of tapping in to the cheap, abundant, clean-burning source that comes out of the ground beneath them. Susquehanna County has 43,000 residents (11,700 families). The largest “city” in Susquehanna County is the county seat of Montrose, population 1,600 (750 households). It’s just not all that economical to run natural gas pipelines to homes around the county–even though residents live atop an embarrassing riches of natural gas. One company, Leatherstocking Natural Gas, changed all that in early 2014 when they started to run pipelines to residences and businesses around Montrose (see PA Rural Residents Burn Marcellus Gas, Save Big Bucks on Heating). Last year Montrose held a business expo–an attempt to lure businesses to start or relocate in Montrose’s bucolic community. One of the key advantages? Hook up to cheap natural gas. It’s working. And that example is now being copied by neighboring Wyoming County, just to the south of Susquehanna County. The Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce and UGI Energy Services are working on a deal to bring locally produced natural gas to residents and businesses in Wyoming’s largest “city”–Tunkhannock (population 1,836). The Chamber is trying to get a $1 million grant from the state to help defray the cost for locals to connect to a new pipeline system that will flow local gas…Continue reading

UGI Ready to Begin Flowing Gas via $150M Sunbury Pipeline in PA

Sunbury Pipeline map – click for larger version

In December 2014 Pennsylvania utility company UGI pre-filed an application to build a new 35-mile, 20-inch pipeline to feed a natgas-powered electric generating plant being built in Snyder County, PA (see UGI Pre-Files with FERC for New Marcellus Pipeline in Central PA and UGI Building 35-Mile Pipeline for Panda Power Electric Plant). The project, called the Sunbury Pipeline, was estimated to cost $150 million–money that goes into the local economy. It took long enough, but in May 2016 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finally approved the project (see UGI Sunbury Pipeline Gets FERC Approval, Built by November?). UGI broke ground on the project in August (see UGI Breaks Ground on Sunbury Pipeline for NEPA Electric Plant). Here it is December, and the Sunbury Pipeline is done and expected to go live in January…
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UGI Breaks Ground on Sunbury Pipeline for NEPA Electric Plant

Sunbury-pipeline
Sunbury Pipeline – click for larger version

In December 2014 Pennsylvania utility company UGI pre-filed an application to build a new 35-mile pipeline to feed a natgas-powered electric generating plant in Snyder County, PA (see UGI Pre-Files with FERC for New Marcellus Pipeline in Central PA and UGI Building 35-Mile Pipeline for Panda Power Electric Plant). The project is estimated to cost $150 million. It took long enough, but in May the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finally approved the project, with the seemingly impossible prospect it would be built by this November (see UGI Sunbury Pipeline Gets FERC Approval, Built by November?). The 20-inch Sunbury Pipeline will start in Lycoming County and travel through Montour, Union, and Northumberland counties, cross the Susquehanna River and ending up at Hummel Station Plant in Shamokin Dam in Synder County. On Wednesday, UGI broke ground on the new pipeline. The impossible just became possible!…
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PennEast Opponents Complain They’ve Been Outsmarted by UGI

hypocrite.jpgIt’s always fun to point out just how hypocritical Big Green groups, like the Sierra Clubbers, actually are. The Sierra Club in New Jersey is all up in arms that utility company UGI has hired a former member of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Pamela Witmer, as vice president of government affairs. MDN was the first source to tell you the importance of her hiring, i.e. to help get the PennEast Pipeline approved (see UGI Hires PA PUC Commissioner in Brilliant Move for PennEast Pipe). The Sierra Club is “blasting” Witmer’s hire as “exactly what’s wrong with government and the incestuous relationship between utilities and corporations.” This is delicious. We will take you chapter and verse through two top Democrats in PA that have moved in and out, back and forth, between government jobs and jobs at Big Green organizations and corporations–Katie McGinty and John Hanger. The idiots at the Sierra Club make it too easy to point out their raging hypocrisy…
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UGI Hires PA PUC Commissioner in Brilliant Move for PennEast Pipe

Pamela Witmer
Pamela Witmer

Pamela Witmer, formerly a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner for five years, has left the PA PUC and has joined UGI Energy Services as vice president of government affairs. We previously wrote that Pam was one of the stars at the PUC (see PA PUC Commissioner’s Full-Throated Support of Marcellus Shale). Normally we don’t run announcements of personnel changes–unless its important and somehow affects the Marcellus/Utica. Pam’s new job certainly qualifies. Why? As vice president of government affairs for UGI, Pam will “represent the company’s interests before public officials and regulatory agencies, educate stakeholders on a variety of energy issues, and provide strategic counsel to new and existing customer projects.” In other words, Pam will talk to regulators that she already knows, and be a strong voice throughout the region for projects UGI undertakes. UGI happens to be the main sponsor of the PennEast Pipeline project–a project being vigorously opposed by anti-fossil fuel nutters like THE Delaware Riverkeeper. Now you can see why Pam’s appointment is a brilliant move by UGI…
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UGI Sunbury Pipeline Gets FERC Approval, Built by November?

UGI Marcellus assets map
UGI Marcellus assets map – click for larger version

Contrary to the lies spread by anti-pipeline groups like THE Delaware Riverkeeper, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is no rubber stamp for the oil and gas industry. In December 2014 Pennsylvania utility company UGI pre-filed an application to build a new 35-mile pipeline to feed a natgas-powered electric generating plant in Snyder County, PA (see UGI Pre-Files with FERC for New Marcellus Pipeline in Central PA and UGI Building 35-Mile Pipeline for Panda Power Electric Plant). The project was estimated to cost $150 million–money that goes into the local economy. It took long enough, but last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finally approved the project. The 20-inch Sunbury Pipeline will start in Lycoming County and travel through Montour, Union, and Northumberland counties, cross the Susquehanna River and ending up at Hummel Station Plant in Shamokin Dam in Synder County…
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