FERC OKs ANR Pipe Expansion, M-U Gas Going to Illinois & Wisconsin?

TransCanada’s ANR Pipeline system has just received permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin service on the Wisconsin South Expansion Project, a project to expand capacity along the ANR in northern Illinois and Wisconsin. This is the first time we’ve highlighted this project. So why *are* we highlighting it? Because we think Marcellus/Utica molecules will be some of the molecules flowing along the expanded ANR–all the way to Wisconsin.
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Central Illinois Gas-Fired Power Plant One Step Closer to Reality

EmberClear Pawnee proposed plant site – click for larger version

Last June MDN reported that EmberClear, based in Houston, TX, wants to build a $1 billion, 1,100 megawatt combined-cycle natural gas-fired plant about 15 miles from Springfield, Illinois, in Pawnee (see NatGas and Coal Go to War in Central Illinois). The City of Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power (CWLP) owns and operates a 550-MW coal-fired generating system. According to the state’s coal industry, a new gas-fired plant would rob CWLP’s plant of business, costing jobs and money. However, it appears the city and CWLP doesn’t view the proposed gas-fired plant as a threat. City alderman have just approved a deal for the new Pawnee plant to purchase “at least” 80,000 gallons of water per day from CWLP for a cool $29,000 per month. The water is a critical component in operating the plant. No water, no plant. This is just the latest indicator that Springfield is on board with the plant. Last May the city approved stretching the boundaries of the Springfield-Sangamon Enterprise Zone, to give the Pawnee project millions in tax savings. Here’s the latest news–that the Pawnee project has just taken another big step closer to the start of construction by striking a deal with CWLP…
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Driller of 1st Illinois Shale Well Says No Thanks, Too Many Regs

In June, MDN brought you the news that the very first application to drill a shale well in Illinois had been made (see Application Filed to Drill/Frack 1st Shale Well in Illinois). Woolsey Operating Co., headquartered in Kansas, filed a high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHHF) application with the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR) to drill a well in the New Albany Shale layer in the state. On August 31st the IDNR issued the permit. Why is fracking in Illinois of interest for MDN readers? A significant portion of our natural gas shale production is already flowing to the Midwest via the Rockies Express (REX) pipeline, Rover Pipeline, and when it gets built, the NEXUS Pipeline. While a single shale well in Illinois is no competitive threat to our region, if the well proves a commercial success and more wells follow, we may get some competition. Hence our interest in this story. However, it looks like there’s no reason to be worried. When IDNR issued their permit for the well, they larded it up with so many regulations and conditions, Woolsey has said (our words), “No thanks, you can keep it.” Last week Woolsey sent a letter to IDNR asking to be “immediately released” and for the permit to be withdrawn…
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NatGas and Coal Go to War in Central Illinois

For years now, coal and natural gas have been uneasy allies (both being fossil fuels). As mainstream media has endlessly covered, natural gas increasingly displaces coal to generate electricity. That has led to some situations of open sniping between the two camps. Coal wants to protect what’s left of its shrinking market, natural gas pushes the fact that it’s far cleaner to burn than coal. Back and forth it goes. Both camps realize they are under assault by radical environmentalists who desire to end the use of all fossil fuels, no matter how “clean” they are. We spotted an article about a clash between coal and natural gas in Illinois. There are a lot of coal mines near Springfield, IL. EmberClear wants to build a $1 billion, 1,100 megawatt combined-cycle natural gas-fired plant about 15 miles from Springfield. Coal sees it as a direct assault and will lead to the closing of local mines and the loss of jobs. EmberClear isn’t backing down–they will build even without tax breaks. The whole matter appears to us to have progressed from impolite talk and sniping into a full-blown war…
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Application Filed to Drill/Frack 1st Shale Well in Illinois

Technically, this is not a Marcellus/Utica story, but it is (and should be) of interest to those of us who concentrate on the Appalachian region. The very first application has been filed in Illinois for a permit to drill and frack a shale well. Woolsey Operating Co., headquartered in Kansas, has filed a high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHHF) application with the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR). The DNR has assigned the application Review Number HVHHF-000001 — the very first. Which is momentous. We’ve only seen two mainstream news sources (from Illinois) pick up on what is really big news. No national news sources have covered it–yet. The press release from the DNR provides some details, like the location of the proposed well (southern Illinois, in White County). What the announcement and news stories don’t say is which rock layer will the shale well target? MDN found the answer by reviewing the application…
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