Northeast PA Landowner Settles with Williams for Big Bucks

In 2016 MDN told you about the Holleran family who didn’t want the much-needed Constitution Pipeline to cross their land in Susquehanna County, PA (see Maple Syrup Farm in Path of PA Pipeline, Antis Make Most of It). Hollywood actor James Cromwell and other anti-drillers heard about it and visited to add their shrill voices to the protest (see Actor James Cromwell Admits He’s Clueless, Fights Pipeline Anyway). The protesters tried to stop Williams from clearing trees on the property. A judge got tired of their shenanigans real quick (see Judge Tells NEPA Family to Let Williams Cut Maple Trees, Or Else).
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Cuomo Rejects NESE Pipe Again, Williams Walks Away

Is it time to turn the gas off for New York City and let the people there reap the “benefits” of having a dictator, Andrew Cuomo, as their governor? On Friday the NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation, thoroughly and completely corrupted by Cuomo, issued yet another rejection for the critically-needed Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project. It was the last straw for Williams, the builder of the project, which has walked away from the project. Gas customers on Long Island, including parts of NYC, now face the real prospect of running out of natural gas (this is not an exaggeration). Andrew Cuomo is the grossest, most corrupt governor in NY’s history.
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Is BlackRock the Reason Williams Swallowed Poison Pill?

In March Williams, the midstream giant with major operations in the Marcellus/Utica, swallowed a poison pill (see Williams Swallows Poison Pill to Prevent Company Takeover). The company’s board adopted a “limited duration stockholder rights agreement” to fend off potential hostile takeover attempts from those who would buy up a significant number of shares of stock while the company’s share price is down due to the worldwide stock market crash over COVID-19 coronavirus concerns. Was their concern focused on the world’s largest investment firm, BlackRock?
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Williams 1Q20 – Critical NESE Pipe Deadlines Next 30 Days

Williams, the midstream/pipeline giant with major operations and assets in the Marcellus Shale, released its first-quarter update and held a conference call with analysts yesterday. The company wrote down the value of several projects, including the Constitution Pipeline, which led to a paper loss of $518 million in 1Q20. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the Marcellus (which Williams calls its Northeast G&P segment) saw revenues rise 23% in 1Q20.
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Phase II of Hillabee Expansion Goes Live, M-U Gas to Florida

Last week MDN told you that the second phase of Sabal Trail, a $3.2 billion, 515-mile interstate natural gas pipeline in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama to deliver (in part) Marcellus gas to the southeast was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and is coming online now (see FERC OKs Extra Compression on Sabal Trail Pipe, M-U Gas to FL). Sabal Trail connects to Williams’ Hillabee Expansion Project, which is a pipeline spur built off the huge Transco pipeline system.
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Williams Pledges $1M in Grants for Coronavirus Community Recovery

Williams is one of the premier midstream (pipeline) companies in the United States. They own and operate more than 30,000 miles of pipelines, including the mighty Transco, the nation’s largest volume pipeline handling some 30% of all natural gas in the U.S., used every day for clean-power generation, heating and industrial use. Recognizing the economic carnage underway in many communities across the country due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, Williams has stepped up to offer $1 million in grants to nonprofit organizations–501(c)3s, K-12 public schools, and first responders. Details below on how to apply.
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Fed Court Case for Now-Defunct Constitution Pipe Put on Pause

In February Williams official gave up on building a long-delayed project to flow natural gas from northeastern Pennsylvania into central New York, called the Constitution Pipeline (see Sad Day: Williams Declares Constitution Pipeline Project Dead). We mourned the loss which hurt so deeply because it seemed the project was close to winning a federal court case against New York State, a case in which the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said NY had taken too long to reject Constitution, thereby forfeiting its right to have a say in where the pipeline gets built. NY took FERC to court (see NY DEC Will “Fight” FERC over Constitution Pipeline Decision). That case seemed to us to be close to resolution, but since Williams has decided to cancel the project, the court case is now “frozen” in time.
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ISS Asks Williams Stockholders to Block Chairman re Poison Pill

A couple of weeks ago midstream giant Williams said it had swallowed a big, fat poison pill (see Williams Swallows Poison Pill to Prevent Company Takeover). The Williams board adopted something called a “limited duration stockholder rights agreement” to fend off potential hostile takeover attempts from those who would buy up a significant number of shares of stock while the company’s share price is down due to the worldwide stock market crash over COVID-19 coronavirus concerns. A major (and influential) proxy adviser, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), has taken the “unusual step” of advising Williams shareholders to vote against reelecting board Chairman Stephen Bergstrom at the annual meeting later this month, in retaliation for his poison pill.
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Williams Swallows Poison Pill to Prevent Company Takeover

Midstream (pipeline) giant Williams issued a press release last Friday to say they’ve just swallowed a poison pill. They don’t put it in those exact terms, but that’s what it’s called. The company’s board has adopted a “limited duration stockholder rights agreement.” Why? To fend off potential hostile takeover attempts from those who would buy up a significant number of shares of stock while the company’s share price is down due to the worldwide stock market crash over COVID-19 coronavirus concerns. Williams is not for sale and the company is certainly not to be found on the discount rack.
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5 Yrs Later Williams, ET Still Arguing over Botched Merger

In 2015 Kelsy Warren and his Energy Transfer Equity (now just Energy Transfer) company pursued Williams, wanting to merge Williams into its own operation. Williams initially fought ET tooth and nail, but in the end, cut a deal (see Williams Accepts ETE’s “Indecent Proposal” – Price Went Down $10B). Without recounting all the sordid details, ET 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. Believe it or not, lawsuits over that merger continue. ET says Williams CEO Alan Armstrong covertly worked to tank the deal. Williams says it was all ET’s fault and ET still owes it $410 million.
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Williams CEO Armstrong Explains Why Constitution Pipe was Canceled

Alan Armstrong

Williams CEO Alan Armstrong participated in a panel discussion yesterday in Washington, D.C. at the Bipartisan Policy Center. The event was titled “America’s Energy Infrastructure: Where Do We Go From Here?” Following the panel Armstrong spoke to a reporter from S&P Global Market Intelligence. He had some very interesting things to say. One of the things Armstrong discussed was an explanation for why his company abandoned the Constitution Pipeline project into New York State, just when it seemed they may be winning the legal fight to build it.
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National Grid Report – There IS a Coming Gas Shortage in NYC/LI

National Grid yesterday released a report outlining how the utility is going to run out of natural gas for its customers within the next decade (maybe sooner) if new supplies of natgas are not made available to it. The company has scheduled public town hall meetings in NYC and Long Island to discuss the report and elicit feedback from the public. In the report, National Grid outlines three solutions to the problem. Guess which solution is the cheapest, quickest and best? That’s right–the Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline.
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Sad Day: Williams Declares Constitution Pipeline Project Dead

Last week we told you the good news that Williams recently re-filed an application with the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection to build one of two critical northeastern pipeline projects–called the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project (see Signs of Life! Williams Refiles with NJ to Build NESE Pipe to NY). Today we bring you the sad news that Williams has given up on building a second, long-delayed project to flow natural gas from northeastern Pennsylvania into central New York, called the Constitution Pipeline.
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Signs of Life! Williams Refiles with NJ to Build NESE Pipe to NY

In early December when Williams withdrew their fourth and final permit application to build the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project with the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), we feared that maybe Williams had given up on the project (see Is NESE Pipeline to NYC Dead? Williams Withdraws Final NJ Permit). But what’s this? Williams recently re-filed an application with NJDEP to build NESE–the fourth time it has done so. Is the fourth time the charm?
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Williams Update: Constitution Pipeline Value Written Down

Williams issued its fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 update yesterday. Among the gems shared, the company reported gathering 13.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas and equivalents during 4Q19, up 10% from 4Q18. Just to put that in perspective, there was 85.5 Bcf/d of shale natural gas production in December 2019, according to the EIA. Williams gathered 15% of all the shale gas produced. That is an amazing statistic! Here’s an even more amazing stat: Although Williams gathered 13.3 Bcf/d during 4Q, their pipeline networks moved/flowed gas gathered by other companies too, to the tune of 21.8 Bcf/d (up 8% from 4Q18). That means the Williams pipe network moves fully 25% of all the shale natural gas that moves throughout the country.
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FERC Defends Pipeline Tolling Orders, Pledges to Use Less Often

Big Green continues its fight to strip away the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) right to use tolling orders when considering requests to “rehear” decisions to approve pipelines (see PA Big Green Supports Lawsuit to Gut FERC re Pipe Approvals). In an update on a court case Big Green is using to challenge FERC, a case involving Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline (in the PA Marcellus), FERC has told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that (a) it properly used a tolling order in the case of Atlantic Sunrise, but (b) it promises not to use them so much in the future. Big Green is not, of course, is not happy (they never are).
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