Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Now Ready to Open Valves and Let it Flow

It’s been a years-long wait, but the week/day/minute Atlantic Sunrise will open the valves and begin to flow natural gas from northeastern Pennsylvania is finally here! Yesterday Williams, the company building the 200-mile greenfield pipeline in northeastern and southeastern PA, filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to open up the valves and let it flow. No response yet, but we expect within a day or two FERC will give the high-five to Williams. It’s been a loooong time in coming–overcoming multiple lawsuits by radical leftists who pretend to care about the environment. The startup date was delayed from August to the week of Sept. 10 (see Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Slightly Delayed, Ready by Sept 10), and then delayed again to the week of Sept. 17 (see Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Delayed Another Week, Now Sept 17). It’s now the week of Sept. 17. and Williams told FERC in a letter yesterday (copy below) that the project is “mechanically complete” and ready. And as soon as FERC gives the OK, Williams will turn the valves and let it flow…
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Williams Donates $100,000 to Cuomo/Democrats? Say It Ain’t So!

It’s just coming to light (for us anyway) that earlier this year Williams donated $100,000 to the Democratic Governors Association–a group that is devoted to electing more Democrats as governors, and a group that heavily supports Andrew Cuomo in his reelection bid here in the Empire State. Shame on Williams. Are they insane? Cuomo, who is CORRUPT, has blocked Williams project after Williams project in New York. But apparently he has not blocked all Williams projects. Less than three months after the Williams “donation,” the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which ONLY does the bidding of Cuomo, denied “without prejudice” a water quality permit for the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project, allowing Williams to submit a new application (i.e. keeping it alive). Oh, and Cuomo hired the lobbyist who was working on that same pipeline project…to run his reelection campaign. Sniff sniff. Do you smell something? We’re not accusing anybody of anything–least of all Williams, which has to do what they have to do in a state that’s run like a third world dictatorship. However, you have to admit the situation raises questions. And we still can’t get over the fact that Williams donated a hundred grand to the other side. That boggles the mind…
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FERC Delays Enviro Review of Northeast Supply Enhancement Project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just slowed the Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project. In March 2017, Williams filed a full, official application for NESE (see Williams Files with FERC to Expand Transco Pipeline to NYC, NE). The project will increase pipeline capacity and flows heading into northeastern markets. In particular, Transco wants to provide more Marcellus natural gas to utility giant National Grid beginning with the 2019-2020 heating season. National Grid operates in New York City, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There are a number of components to the project, but the key component, the heart of the project, is a new 23-mile pipeline from the shore of New Jersey into (on the bottom of) the Raritan Bay–running parallel to the existing Transco pipeline–before connecting to the Transco offshore. Much of the Raritan Bay pipeline is located in New York territorial waters, meaning the NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which is controlled by anti-everything Andrew Cuomo, must sign off. So far the DEC has issued two “application incomplete” notices to Williams, the most recent in July (see NY DEC Tells Williams NE Supply Water Permit App is “Incomplete”). Which is not a bad thing as it keeps the project alive, allowing Williams to resubmit the application again. In other words, although the project is delayed because of NY, it’s not dead like some of the other Williams projects in NY. FERC issued a favorable draft environment impact statement (DEIS) in March of this year (see Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement Pipe Gets Favorable DEIS). FERC was due to issue the final environmental impact statement this month, on Sept. 17, but last week FERC told Williams they’re delaying. Now the final EIS is due by Jan. 25, 2019. Is this bad news for the project?…
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Lancaster Nuns Appeal Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Case to US Supreme Court

The Sisters of the Corn (our name for the a group of nuns in Lancaster County, PA) are not giving up their wildly hypocritical lawsuit against Williams for building the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline across their property. The good sisters are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, claiming infringement of religious freedom. The nuns use natural gas to heat an old folks home they operate, yet are trying to block the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline from traversing that very same property. We don’t know how they justify using natural gas yet actively try to block a pipeline that delivers it. The nuns, with the help of local anti group Lancaster Against Pipelines, stuck a garden trellis and a few wooden park benches in the middle of a corn field owned by the nuns (leased to a local farmer) directly in the path of the pipeline, declaring the site a “chapel.” Hence our attempt at humor, calling them “Sisters of the Corn.” The sisters then sued to block the pipeline based on religious grounds (see Lancaster Nuns Demand “Religious Freedom” Trial re Pipeline). It was a flimflam lawsuit from the beginning and the courts saw through it. The case was thrown out by a lower court, and appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third District. In July, the Third District tossed the case too (see Fed Court Tosses Lancaster Nuns’ Lawsuit re Atlantic Sunrise Pipe). The only legal option left to the sisters is to pray for a miracle–that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case, and find in their favor…
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Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Delayed Another Week, Now Sept 17

Today was the day that the $3 billion expansion of the Transco Pipeline in 10 northeastern Pennsylvania counties known as Atlantic Sunrise was supposed to up and running, following a slight delay from an August start (see Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Slightly Delayed, Ready by Sept 10). But unfortunately, there’s been a second delay. Williams signaled last Friday that there will be yet another delay, due to weather. The start date, according to a notification on the Williams electronic bulletin board (below) is that Atlantic Sunrise will now be operational on or by September 17th–a week from today. However, we’d like to make an observation. Hurricane Florence is said to be aiming for the coast of North Carolina/Virginia, and on its current track, the remnants of that storm may well affect northeastern PA this coming weekend. So don’t be disappointed if there’s a third delay in the startup of Atlantic Sunrise…
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Riverkeeper Lawsuit Against Atlantic Sunrise Tossed by Fed Court

In May 2016, three Big Green groups–THE Delaware Riverkeeper, Lancaster Against Pipelines and the Sierra Club (fueled by money from the William Penn Foundation and Heinz Endowments)–conspired and sued the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) saying the DEP erred in granting federal Clean Water Act “401” stream crossing permits for Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project (see Dela. Riverkeeper Launches Lawsuit Against Atlantic Sunrise Project). It took nearly two and a half years, but yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit finally rejected the lawsuit. Although the lawsuit was frivolous and a long-shot to begin with, we’re glad to see it resolved. It’s never good to have these lawsuits hanging out there–especially since startup of Atlantic Sunrise is coming any day now, which will be the ultimate victory over these nutters (see Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Slightly Delayed, Ready by Sept 10). Riverkeeper’s Maya van Rossum, who fancies herself the sole protector of the Delaware River, threw a snit fit…
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NJ Towns Win Delay for Phase 2 of Garden State Expansion Pipe

You win some, you lose some. Today we brought you the news that THE Delaware Riverkeeper and other radical groups lost their case opposing the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project (see Riverkeeper Lawsuit Against Atlantic Sunrise Tossed by Fed Court). However, the same court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, went the other way on a different Williams project. Last August two New Jersey towns sued in federal court, seeking to overturn a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve Williams’ Transco Garden State Expansion pipeline project (see FERC Fights NJ Town Effort to Decertify Garden State Expansion). The project was created to address supply disruptions following Superstorm Sandy in 2012. By upgrading compressor stations and adding a new meter station, the Garden State Expansion project will supply an extra 180 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas to “a new delivery point on Transco’s existing Trenton Woodbury Lateral pipeline.” Two towns in Burlington County (Bordentown and Chesterfield) where some of the work would be done for Phase 2 of the project filed a lawsuit asking the Third Circuit to overturn FERC’s previous decision to allow the project. They also asked that permits issued by the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) be revoked. Yesterday the court ruled that NJDEP erred by issuing permits for the project. However, the court ruled that the towns’ challenges to FERC’s order allowing the project lack merit (and were dismissed). So, a partial victory–but still more delays because of the ruling re NJDEP…
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Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Slightly Delayed, Ready by Sept 10

In July MDN told you that Williams said their $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline that runs through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County will go online in August (see Williams: Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Going Online in August). At the time, we said this: “We have no reason to doubt Williams. After all, if they make an announcement like that and then don’t live up to it, there will be PR hell to pay.” Oops. Looks like it’s time for Williams to pay PR hell. Last Friday Williams filed an official request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin flowing gas along the rest of Atlantic Sunrise beginning Sept. 10. Yeah, it’s only 10 days late, and perhaps close enough that we can forgive them. It is exciting! We’ve waited years to announce the beginning of Atlantic Sunrise flows–amidst protests from nuns, kooks and quacks. Most of the time we think of Atlantic Sunrise as the new greenfield pipeline that cuts through 10 northeastern PA counties, traveling from Susquehanna County to Lancaster County. But that part of the project, called the  Central Penn Line, is only part of the project. Other parts of the larger Atlantic Sunrise project were actually up and running a year ago around this time (see Williams Atlantic Sunrise Project to Begin Partial Service on Sept 1). What will happen Sept. 10 is the completion of those parts of the project not yet online, including the Central Penn Line…
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Cabot, Seneca, Chief Ramp Up Production for Atlantic Sunrise

According to a report from BTU Analytics, the top three shippers who will soon flow natural gas along Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline (ASP)–Cabot Oil & Gas, Seneca Resources and Chief Oil & Gas–have “nearly doubled” their rig counts over the past few months leading up to the imminent startup of ASP. The pipeline is due to go online any day now–by the end of August (see Genscape Confirms Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Ready to Flow in August). Cabot has reserved 1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of the 1.7 Bcf/d capacity of the new ASP. One third of Cabot’s 1 Bcf/d (350 million cubic feet per day, MMcf/d) will flow to Dominion’s Cove Point LNG export plant in Maryland–heading for Japan. Another 500 MMcf/d of Cabot’s gas will go to Washington Gas via ASP–meaning northeast PA Marcellus molecules will help heat, cool and power D.C. swamp dwellers. Joy. Here’s the great news that a single pipeline is stirring up a lot more drilling in northeastern PA…
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FERC Approves Transco Pipeline Expansion in New Jersey

Click for larger version

Last Friday, before Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Commissioner Rob Powelson left the building for the last time, FERC approved a small but important expansion of the Williams Transco Pipeline in New Jersey, called the Rivervale to South Market project. We first told you about the Rivervale project last year when Williams filed an application for it with FERC (see New Project Seeks to “Uprate” Transco Pipeline in Northern NJ). The Rivervale project will expand the mighty Transco pipeline in northern New Jersey to deliver an extra 190 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of low-carbon, clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas to markets in northern NJ and New York City. The project calls for “uprating” a little over 10 miles of pipeline (same pipeline with more pressure and more gas), and adding a half mile of new looping pipeline–which is more than enough to set off the whackadoodles at the NJ Sierra Club. One of two Democrat FERC commissioners, Richard “Dick” Glick, voted in part against approving the project because he says it will lead to more global warming. Typical lib Dem. Here’s Williams’ good news announcement, and a copy of FERC’s 46-page approval…
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Williams Finally, After Years, Buys Out Williams Partners Subsidiary

Williams, after years of saying it would so, finally bought out and merged in its Williams Partners MLP subsidiary. The on-paper $10.5 billion merger happened last Friday. Williams originally planned to do this in May 2015 in a deal worth $13.8 billion (see Williams is Buying Out Williams Partners Subsidiary for $13.8B). Shortly after Williams’ announcement, Kelsy Warren and his Energy Transfer Equity company pursued Williams, wanting to merge Williams into its own operation. The ETE distraction caused Williams to put a merger with Williams Partners on hold. Williams initially fought ETE, but in the end cut a deal (see Williams Accepts ETE’s “Indecent Proposal” – Price Went Down $10B). Without recounting the all the sordid details, ETE got cold feet and left Williams at the alter, and Williams sued (see Merger Turns Sour: Williams Sues ETE/CEO Kelcy Warren). The merger never happened, and near as we can tell, the lawsuits over the aborted attempt to merge still are not fully resolved. In the end, Williams remained a standalone company. Williams CEO Alan Armstrong not only survived the botched ETE attempt to take it over, he also survived an attempted board of directors coup against him not long after the merger went bust (see Half of Williams Board, Including 2 Corporate Raiders, Quit). Armstrong is a survivor and Williams is now doing great. Last Friday’s merger of the MLP Williams Partners into the Williams C Corporation is proof of that. In the end, the deal cost Williams (C Corp) stockholders $10. 5 billion (see FERC Tax Decision Forces Williams to Restructure – No More MLP). Here’s the news that Williams is now, finally, all under one umbrella…
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Antis Oppose Williams Plan to Beef Up Compressor in Essex, NJ

Gateway Expansion Project – click for larger version

Last November Williams filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to upgrade certain facilities in New Jersey along the Williams mighty Transco Pipeline, in order to flow an extra 65,000 dekatherms per day (or 65 million cubic feet) of natural gas to a couple of utility companies that have already signed on the dotted line as customers (see Williams Files FERC Appl for Transco “Gateway Expansion Project”). The project is called the Transco “Gateway Expansion Project” and will cost roughly $85 million. The upgrades include a new compressor unit at Transco’s existing Compressor Station 303 in Essex County, NJ, a new valve and electric transformer also in Essex County, and equipment upgrades at a metering station in Passaic County, NJ. Both PSEG Power and UGI Energy Services have signed up to receive the extra gas–to be distributed to their customers in the region. There is a public hearing tonight in Essex County concerning the compressor station. Big Green group Food & Water Watch (one of the worst of the worst) is planning to import protesters to try and disrupt the meeting, stirring up opposition by lying about the project and its safety. Meanwhile, Williams points out they’ve operated five compressor stations, including Station 303 in Essex, for “decades” with no accidents and a stellar safety record…
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Williams 2Q18: Jazzed About Atlantic Sunrise, Hopeful for NESE

Yesterday Williams issued its second quarter 2018 update. Williams is one of the biggest midstream (pipeline) companies in the Marcellus/Utica region. They’re also a big player in many other shale plays. The update focused on a number of those other plays and some recently cut deals to expand in other plays. Williams knows how to walk and chew gum at the same time–they have a lot happening. Of course we’re interested in what was said about the Marcellus/Utica region, including the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline and other projects, like the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project, that impact our ability to move gas from here to other parts of the country. Below are excerpts lifted from various sources issued by Williams yesterday that focus on our region…
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Fed Court Tosses Lancaster Nuns’ Lawsuit re Atlantic Sunrise Pipe

It’s the end of the road for a highly hypocritical order of nuns in Lancaster, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, who use natural gas to heat an old folks home they operate, yet are trying to block the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline from traversing that very same property. The nuns appear to be radical environmentalists. We don’t know how they justify using natural gas yet actively try to block a pipeline that delivers it. Only in the mind of a leftist. The nuns, with the help of local anti group Lancaster Against Pipelines, stuck a garden trellis and a few wooden park benches in the middle of a corn field they own (leased to a local farmer), declaring it a “chapel”–hence our attempt at humor, calling them “Sisters of the Corn.” The sisters then sued to block the pipeline based on religious grounds (see Lancaster Nuns Demand “Religious Freedom” Trial re Pipeline). It was a sham lawsuit from the beginning and the courts saw through it. The case was thrown out by a lower court, and appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third District. Yesterday that court tossed the case too. The nuns now say they are “exploring their options” for what to do next. We’d say they’ve run out of options. Upon hearing of the court’s ruling, the radicals at Lancaster Against Pipelines encouraged fellow wackos to continue breaking the law (i.e. “civil” disobedience) in order to protest the pipeline…
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Genscape Confirms Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Ready to Flow in August

Last week MDN brought you the exciting news that Williams says their $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline that runs through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County will go online in August (see Williams: Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Going Online in August). We have no reason to doubt Williams. After all, if they make an announcement like that and then don’t live up to it, there will be PR hell to pay. It’s in their own best interests to tell the truth about these things. Then again, deadlines have been known to slip and companies always like to put the best possible spin on company news–in an effort to boost the stock price for investors. So perhaps it’s good to have an independent, third party come along from time to time to verify claims like those of Williams and Atlantic Sunrise. But how in the world can you verify a claim that a pipeline is almost done and will go online in the next month or so? By using drones and/or airplanes to fly over the entire length of the project, that’s how. And that’s what Genscape, an analytics and real-time data company has done. Their conclusion? Williams is telling the truth–Atlantic Sunrise WILL go online sometime in August…
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Williams to Appeal FERC’s Constitution Pipe Decision to Fed Court

Last Friday MDN brought you the sad news that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rejected Williams’ request to rehear an earlier decision to not overrule the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) decision to block the Constitution Pipeline (see FERC Declines to Overrule NY DEC re Constitution Pipe 2nd Time). We personally don’t see many (really any) pathways where the Constitution now gets built. But to their credit, Williams is not giving up. After FERC’s decision last week, the company announced it will appeal that decision to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking the judges to overrule the DEC (bypassing FERC). Williams has filed in various courts, including the Supreme Court, to hear the Constitution case. Why not try the D.C. Circuit Court? There’s really nothing to lose. The project is currently as dead as a doornail anyway. So, hats off to Williams for giving it one last try…
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