FERC Approves Transco Southeastern Trail Expansion Pipe Project

In April 2018 Williams filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to expand capacity along the mighty Transco Pipeline to increase the amount of gas the pipeline can flow to the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S by 296,375 dekatherms (296 million cubic feet) per day (see Williams Seeks OK to Expand Transco to Move Marcellus Gas South). The Southeastern Trail expansion project (SET), as it’s called, was given final approval by FERC yesterday.
Continue reading

PA DEP Seeks Comment on Draft Radiation Monitoring Regs for Shale

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has drafted up new “technical guidance” on “radioactivity monitoring at solid waste processing and disposal facilities” specifically targeted at the shale industry. Translation: new regulations for how dumps (and drillers) monitor and report on radioactivity levels from incoming loads of drill cuttings. The DEP has posted their proposed new guidance document for public comment, after which they will adopt the new regs.
Continue reading

Leidy South Compressors Generate $100M Economic Impact, 680 Jobs

Did you know that building just two new compressor stations in Pennsylvania will bring the state an extra $100 million in economic activity and support 680 direct, indirect and induced jobs? We sure didn’t! Last week Williams filed a newly published study with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on the economic impact of their proposed Leidy South Expansion Project (full study embedded below). The study makes an irrefutable case for building the new compressor stations in Luzerne and Schuylkill counties.
Continue reading

Philly Pipe Protesters Go to Harrisburg, Picket Gov’s Empty Office

Credit: WITF Harrisburg (click for larger version)

A small group of southeast Pennsylvania pipeline protesters drove themselves to Harrisburg on Wednesday (using fossil fuels to get there) to demand Gov. Tom Wolf put a halt to construction of the legally-permitted Mariner East 2 pipeline, and essentially shut down the operation of the entire Mariner East network (ME1, ME2 and ME2X). Gov. Wolf wasn’t even in his office, so they were picketing and protesting for nothing. Oh well, the wackos get an “A” for effort, right?
Continue reading

NY Public Service Commission Admits Downstate is Short on NatGas

If this doesn’t beat all. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo refused to allow a new pipeline to get built, so National Grid, the gas utility for all of Long Island and part of New York City, had to ban new customer hook-ups. Cuomo blamed National Grid and got the state Public Service Commission (PSC) to issue an edict forcing National Grid to add more than 1,000 new customers (see NY Police State: Cuomo Orders Natl Grid to Hook Up Gas Customers). And now that same PSC that is Cuomo’s bludgeon is admitting, publicly, that yes, there really is a natural gas shortage in National Grid’s territory–and it’s Albany’s fault, NOT National Grid’s fault.
Continue reading

Ignored Pipe Caused Philadelphia Refinery Explosion

In June there was a series of explosions and a massive fire at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) Refining Complex, the East Coast’s oldest and largest oil refinery (see Massive Explosion, Fire at Philadelphia Refinery). It took fire fighters a full day to extinguish the blaze. The refinery had already been through bankruptcy once. The fire caused it to close down and layoff over 1,000 workers (see Philly Refinery to Close Following Massive Fire – 1,020 Jobs Lost). We now have a good idea of what caused the initial problem: An elbow pipe that had not been inspected in almost 45 years had become paper-thin.
Continue reading

FERC Shuts Down All Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction

As MDN previously reported, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit bought the lies of colluding Big Green groups and decided to put a hold on a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) that allows the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) to build through areas with so-called endangered and threatened species (see Fed Court Suspends Mountain Valley Pipe Permits; $2.15M Fine). Because of the suspended FWS permit, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Tuesday told Equitrans, the builder of MVP, to stop ALL work along ALL of the project until further notice.
Continue reading

Allegheny County, PA Proposes O&G Lease-Shaming Registry

Allegheny County, PA (Pittsburgh and surrounding suburbs) is seriously considering a new law that would require landowners to report, via a public registry, land they have leased oil and gas drilling. Specifically land leased for shale wells. The law would require all sorts of private information to be divulged, publicly, including what kind of drilling/fracking will theoretically take place. And what if a landowner doesn’t “register” with the authorities? Here come the fines. The only reason we can divine for such a law is to shame landowners (lease-shaming), to prompt neighbors to hassle them for leasing their land. Or perhaps to alert Big Green groups so they can use paid protesters (as they so often do) to show up and protest in front of someone’s leased property. What has our society become?
Continue reading

NC Strikes Out – US Supreme Court Won’t Overturn 3 Pipe Approvals

In April, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals slapped down both New York and North Carolina regulators who tried to block three important Williams pipeline projects, all related to the mighty Transco Pipeline (see DC Circuit Court Slaps Down NY, NC Request to Block 3 Pipelines). North Carolina regulators appealed the dismissed case to the U.S. Supreme Court and on Tuesday the high court refused to hear the case, meaning NC has fully and completely struck out.
Continue reading

National Grid: Long Island, NYC Heading for NatGas Shortage, Soon

New York City’s CBS affiliate WLNY Channel 2 recently got a sit-down interview with National Grid President John Bruckner to discuss the company’s moratorium on new gas hook-ups, to grill Bruckner on whether or not there really is a gas shortage in the region. Bruckner handled the adversarial interview well, telling the reporter that yes, there really is a shortage. Currently there is a shortage between supply and demand–to the tune of 10,000 homes. Bruckner said if there’s a serious cold snap this winter, Long Island and parts of NYC served by National Grid will experience a service outage–a natural gas blackout, if you will. It’s a scary prospect.
Continue reading

PA Sen. Yaw Intros Bill to Allow 3rd Party Review of Erosion Permits

PA State Sen. Gene Yaw

In the past, shale drillers have waited more than eight months to receive an erosion and sediment control (Chapter 102) permit, used in building roads and shale well pads. Turnaround from the time a permit is requested until it is supposed to be approved is, by DEP’s own statutory standards, 14 days. In 2017 it was taking over 250 days in some areas of the state (see More Pushback on PA Senate Plan to Fix Slow DEP Permit Reviews). Earlier this year DEP’s southwest office said they’ve been able to knock the turnaround time down to 30 days (see PA DEP Southwest Office Says Permit Backlog Down 75%). Better, but still not good enough, and the standard is not even across the state.
Continue reading

Puerto Rico Imports Russian LNG Thanks to U.S. Jones Act

Here we go again. Not only does Boston and New England now depend on Russian LNG, so too does U.S. territory Puerto Rico (PR)–thanks to a century-old law that prevents the U.S. from shipping LNG to our own states and territories! It’s bizarre and must stop. The closest LNG export facility to PR is Kinder Morgan’s Elba Island, Georgia facility, which recently came online (see FERC OKs Kinder Morgan Elba Island LNG Train #1 to Begin Service). Yet none of the Marcellus/Utica LNG from Elba Island can legally go to PR–because there are no American built and flagged LNG carriers to transport it there. That’s the Jones Act.
Continue reading

Exxon Mobil Sniffing Around SWPA to Build Second Cracker Plant

Leave it to ace reporter Paul Gough from the Pittsburgh Business Times to unearth some earth-shattering news–that ExxonMobil is actively looking at locations in Beaver County, Pennsylvania to potentially build a second multi-billion dollar cracker plant. Shell is already well along in building the region’s first ethane cracker–in Monaca (Beaver County). Will lightning strike twice for the good citizens of Beaver County? Maybe!
Continue reading

Pipeline, LNG Plant Outages Cause M-U Gas Prices to Plummet

The “bad old days” of low low prices for natural gas have returned to the Marcellus/Utica region–at least temporarily. During the past few weeks natural gas prices at Appalachian supply hubs Dominion South and Tennessee Zone 4 Marcellus fell from about $2 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in mid-September to lows of 76¢/MMBtu and 65¢/MMBtu, respectively, on October 4. Ouch. Why the drop-like-a-rock in price? For a variety of reasons, but there are two main factors…
Continue reading

EIA Oct ’19 Drilling Report: Permian Gas Grows More than M-U

According to the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration, our favorite government agency), in the coming month of November, the U.S.’s seven major shale plays will produce a combined 84 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas, and 8.9 million barrels of oil per day–a brand new record high for each. The real eye-opener is that while the M-U will produce 132 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of additional shale gas, the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico will produce an additional 210 MMcf/d of shale gas!
Continue reading

Mountaineer Makes Progress on WV Delivery Pipe; Who Will Feed It?

Mountaineer Gas it close to completing Phase One of its Eastern Panhandle Expansion project in West Virginia, a 22.5-mile, 10-inch-diameter steel pipeline from Morgan County to Berkeley County. The project is designed to deliver Marcellus/Utica natural gas via local distribution channels to a new $150 million industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV, and to provide “a redundant supply” of gas to some 6,000 local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. The system is supposed to be fed by a short 3.5-mile pipeline from Columbia Gas running under the Potomac River from Maryland into WV.
Continue reading