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)…
Continue reading

Top NJ Officials Continue Attacks Against PennEast Pipeline

New Jersey’s Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal (Democrat), and New Jersey Senator Corey Booker (also a Democrat) continue a coordinated attack on the PennEast Pipeline in an effort to appease their radical/left base of supporters. PennEast is a $1 billion, 120-mile, 36-inch pipeline from Dallas (Luzerne County), PA to Pennington (Mercer County), NJ. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted final approval for the project in January (see FERC Grants Final Approval for PennEast Pipe – Real Battle Begins). Since that time the NJ Sierra Club along with other so-called environmental organizations have coordinated legal and regulatory attacks against the project, enlisting willing accomplices Grewal and Booker. In March Grewal asked the U.S. District Court in NJ to overturn PennEast’s federally-delegated right to use eminent domain to take state-owned AND private-owned property in the path of the pipeline. In early April, Sen. Booker asked FERC to reconsider its approval of the project. And earlier this week, the NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection and Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission, represented by Grewal, asked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to review FERC’s January approval of the project. NJ has all guns out and shooting in an attempt to assassinate PennEast…
Continue reading

Crestwood Testing Proposed LPG Storage Site @ Seneca Lake for Leaks

Lately we’ve wondered what’s been going on in the years-long struggle by Crestwood to create an LPG (liquefied petroleum gas, or propane) storage facility in a depleted salt cavern along the shoreline of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. Last December we brought you the news that Crestwood had won a victory when a chief administrative law judge, part of the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), ruled against antis who are demanding ongoing, never-ending hearings about the project–a transparent tactic to continue the years-long delay in perpetuity (see Crestwood Scores Big Victory in Seneca Lake LPG Storage Project). The judge said the DEC has all the evidence it needs to make a decision. Of course, the decision will get made by a radical anti who heads up the DEC–Basil Seggos (part of the National Resources Defense Council cabal that opposes all fossil fuel projects). So the project still has miles to go before it becomes reality. But now, a new setback, not that the project hasn’t been “setback” from the beginning by radicals. This time the setback comes from within. An attorney representing the project sent a letter to the DEC on May 17 asking them to delay (?!) a decision while Crestwood runs more tests on well pressure to “determine its suitability as a gas storage unit.” That is, the depleted salt cavern may leak. Radicalized antis have pounced, demanding the DEC cancel the project forthwith–even before the test results are in…
Continue reading

First Marcellus Molecules from Cove Point Arrive in Japan

On April 22, the LNG tanker Sakura left Dominion Energy’s Cove Point LNG export facility loaded with Marcellus molecules, heading for Japan (see Cove Point LNG Ships First Marcellus Cargo to Japan). It was the second-ever load of Marcellus molecules to depart the Cove Point facility. About a week later the ship transited the Panama Canal (see 1st Cove Point Marcellus Shipment to Japan Goes Thru Panama Canal). On Monday, the Sakura finally docked at the Negishi LNG terminal in Japan, closing the loop on the first of many such shipments of Marcellus gas that will go to the Land of the Rising Sun…
Continue reading

“Nutty” is as Nutty Does – 2nd MVP Protester Goes Up a Pole in VA

A second woman takes to sitting on top of a pole in Jefferson National Forest to block MVP – click for larger version

For the past couple of months MDN has kept you informed on the actions of lawbreaking (criminal) protesters who are attempting to block construction of Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). A small number of protesters have climbed trees in Jefferson National Forest, including a woman who climbed up an elaborately erected “monopod”–a pole with a small tree house at the top. The U.S. Forest Service shut down a gravel road leading to the monopod and has kept collaborators out, so they can’t pass her food and water–although the Forest Service is doing that job anyway. Last week the radicals were in court to try and get the Forest Service roadblock lifted so they can ferry supplies to their comrade in arms. What is the woman’s name who’s on the top of the pole and has been there since late March? She won’t give her name, however, she calls herself (no lie), “Nutty.” How apt. Now a second monopod has been erected a mile up the road from the first, and another woman has gone up that pole. Her name is Fern MacDougal. Ms. MacDougal says she was inspired to climb a pole by two people: Nutty, and by David Buckel, the lawyer who in April set himself on fire, killing himself, in order to protest fossil fuels. So, MacDougal’s heroes are someone who calls herself Nutty, and an insane man who committed suicide by fire. We think that’s all you really need to know about Ms. MacDougal…
Continue reading

FERC Becomes Political as Seen in Rehearing Vote on NY Project

Has someone “gotten” to FERC Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur and Richard Glick–told them, “You vote against these pipeline projects or you don’t have a future in the Democrat Party”? That’s the thought we increasingly have as we watch the two sitting Democrats on FERC repeatedly vote against projects that in some cases they previously voted to approve. What makes someone like LaFleur flip and change her vote on something that two years ago she was 100% on board with? Something has to explain it! Two and a half years ago LaFleur, then a member of FERC, voted to approve Dominion Energy’s $165 million New Market Project, a project that expands Dominion’s transmission pipeline from western New York across the state to the Capital Region of the state, near Albany (see FERC Approves Expansion of Dominion Pipeline in Upstate NY). The radical leftist group Otsego 2000 challenged the project, asking FERC to reconsider its approval, using mythical man-made global warming as a new criteria to reject the project. Last Friday the three Republicans FERC commissioners voted “no” to reconsider the New Market Project, but LaFleur and Chuck Schumer-appointed Richard Glick (both Dems) voted to reconsider, citing global warming concerns. Again, we wonder if someone has gotten to them. A sad day that FERC is longer a non-partisan group…
Continue reading

DEP Continues to Block Use of Shale Brine on PA Dirt Roads

Correction: PIOGA contacted MDN to let us know it is only brine from conventional (non-shale) wells that has been allowed to be spread on PA roadways–NOT brine from shale wells. Thanks to PIOGA for letting us know! We have tweaked the story below to reflect the change.

One more way the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) is hassling both the PA conventional industry and local towns is via an ongoing embargo against the use of brine–water from the depths that comes out of drilled wells for months and years as the well is producing natural gas. Drillers need to dispose of the brine–it’s an expense. Brine is nothing more than very minerally water. It’s called brine because it’s “salty.” An ongoing beneficial deal was struck by drillers and local towns in years gone by. Towns need a source of water to spread on dirt roads during summer. Drillers have an overabundance of brine. So drillers have been giving their brine to towns, for free. The towns don’t have to pay to buy water, and drillers don’t have to pay to dispose of it. A real win/win. Except a rabid anti from Warren County (no doubt prompted and sponsored by Big Green groups) challenged the arrangement last summer. The challenge was against a DEP policy that allows shale brine to be used by towns. The matter went to the Environmental Hearing Board (EHB), a special court set up to hear appeals of DEP decisions. Out of the blue, the DEP slammed the door on allowing towns to use brine, supposedly waiting to see what the EHB decides. The EHB just decided–that the DEP was well within its rights to allow towns to use brine for road spreading. However, the DEP still refuses to lift the ban, using the excuse they’re reviewing the policy even though the EHB says it’s OK. Towns did not budget money to buy water for dirt roads, which they will now have to do. Thanks DEP! You’ve just hosed (pun intended) a number of towns in rural locations with your bureaucratic, rear-end covering excuses…
Continue reading

NJ & PA Could Have Saved $1.3 Billion if PennEast Were Live

Click image for larger version

Too bad it takes so long to approve a new natural gas pipeline like PennEast–a $1 billion, 120-mile, 36-inch pipeline from Dallas (Luzerne County), PA to Pennington (Mercer County), NJ. Why does it take so long–years, in fact? Well there’s the federal regulatory process. But then there are the multiple, ongoing challenges from Big Green groups, people who irrationally hate all fossil fuels. Big Green launches lawsuit after lawsuit in an attempt to bury projects like PennEast in legal horse manure. One of the chief purveyors of said horse manure is THE Delaware Riverkeeper (Maya van Rossum). What if PennEast had been built two years ago, right after filing their well-laid-out, safe plan? If it had been built, consumers in PA and NJ over the past two winters would have saved $1.3 billion, according to a new study by Concentric (full copy below). Can you imagine the good things that could be done with an extra $1.3 billion in the hands of private citizens? All of the economic benefits that would ripple through the economies of PA and NJ? Instead, all of that benefit is being blocked by a few radical greens…
Continue reading

Anatomy of an M-U Shale Startup: Tier 1 Rental and Distribution

One of the bits of news we love to cover is when a new business starts up for the express purpose of servicing the Marcellus/Utica industry. Having started our own company–Marcellus Drilling News–we know a little bit about the challenges one faces in launching a new business. But nothing on the scale of launching a business that ends up employing dozens, even hundreds, of people. When we see that happening, we have deep respect and admiration. In 2014, Frank Catroppa, a serial entrepreneur, rolled the dice and launched Tier 1 Rental and Distribution LLC, based in Robinson (Allegheny County), PA. Tier 1 provides trucking and related gas drilling services to the shale industry. Not long after the business began, the shale recession hit with many drillers pulling back from new activity. How did Mr. Catroppa weather the downturn, having just started a new company? And how is the company doing now? The story (below) certainly doesn’t chronicle everything that goes into starting and maintaining a company aimed at selling goods and services to the Marcellus/Utica industry, but it does provide some great insights into timing, confidence, and the sheer guts it takes to believe in your ideas. Tier 1 is an inspiration for others considering whether or not to launch a product/service aimed at our industry…
Continue reading

Upstream PA Conference: Marcellus Shale Changed the Game

Dr. Terry Engelder – closing presenter

Last week MDN editor Jim Willis had the pleasure of presenting at Shale DirectoriesPA Upstream 2018 event with the theme: “The New Upstream: 10 Years Later.” There were a number of great presentations–from people like David Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Jude Clemente, analyst and author who frequently writes for the Forbes magazine website, and Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai. One quick story and some shameless name-dropping. Jim is always jazzed to meet people who read his stuff. Writing is a lonely affair, so getting to industry events every now and again is a great chance to connect with readers. In the hallway ahead of Speaker Turzai taking the stage, Jim was introduced to him (for the first time). When Speaker Turzai heard what Jim does–writing Marcellus Drilling News–he said: “Oh yeah, I read your stuff all the time!” Which put a big smile on Jim’s face. Jim also connected with long-time friend George Stark from Cabot Oil & Gas; another long-time friend, Rick Stouffer, from the always excellent Kallanish Energy, and with Dr. Terry Engelder, the “father of the Marcellus.” Dr. Engelder is now retired from PennState and keeps himself busy writing and speaking. What a treat to meet Dr. Engelder for the first time, after hearing of and writing about him for years! At any rate, as you can imagine, when you give a presentation, your mind is not totally engaged with the presentations you’re hearing. You’re thinking about the presentation you’re about to give! Fortunately, another MDN friend, Nicole Jacobs (from Energy in Depth), was at the event and recorded the highlights…
Continue reading

More MarkWest Construction Under Way in Doddridge County, WV

MarkWest Energy – Sherwood Complex

MarkWest Energy’s Sherwood Complex in Doddridge County, WV has been in operation since 2012. Since that time, MarkWest has built and currently operates nine processing plants at the complex, capable of separating methane from NGLs. The plant continues to grow. MarkWest is currently building another two processing plants at the Sherwood Complex, to be done and in operation this year. And if that isn’t enough, MarkWest says there is potential to build another six (!) processing plants at Sherwood. As we previously noted, Sherwood is right now the fourth largest gas processing plant in the U.S., and by the end of this year, it will be number one (see MarkWest Building 6 New Processing Plants, 3 Fractionators in 2018). One of the primary reasons for the rapid expansion at Sherwood is Antero Resources, which uses the Sherwood operation to service its vast WV drilling program. Needless to say, the ever-expanding Sherwood facility is a huge blessing, economically, to Doddridge County. Here’s a deep dive into future plans for Sherwood, and how the plant benefits the local community…
Continue reading

Philly Lefties Hold Partisan Anti-Pipe “Prayer Walk” in Media, PA

Is a march considered “peaceful” if it includes using a bullhorn to disturb the neighbors as you march? We don’t know the answer–just asking. “About 40” (meaning 20-30) protesters “peacefully marched” down State Street in Media, PA (Delaware County, near Philadelphia) last Saturday. The protest was billed as an “Interfaith Prayer Walk for Pipeline Safety,” organized by the so-called Faith Alliance for Public Safety. Of course the protesters weren’t walking to encourage pipeline safety at all. They were walking to block or shut down pipelines. They probably crossed a hundred or more buried pipelines on their way to the protest–but that little fact doesn’t appear to bother them. The protesters claim there are “moral issues” at stake with pipelines like Mariner East 2–which was the particular ire of the protesters. We wonder, are there “moral issues” with other inanimate objects–like sticks and stones? Just asking. The so-called prayers that were offered weren’t offered to God the Father, but to Mother Earth: “Love the Mother Earth. Put fire into the prayer.” Whatever that nonsense means. Supposed Christians, Jews and Muslims were among the protesters. A real ecumenical gathering. Although they all worship different gods, they were all united in one respect: An irrational hatred of fossil fuels and the companies that extract and transport them…
Continue reading

Canadian Civil War Previews What’s Coming in NY re Pipelines

Two Canadian provinces that share a border, Alberta and British Columbia (BC), are in the midst of a heated argument/conflict/civil war(?)–over a pipeline. We’ve not covered the conflict, until now. The short version is this: Alberta has a rich deposit of oil in what are called oil sands. In order to get more of the bountiful supply of oil to new markets, in Asia, Alberta needs a new pipeline. Kinder Morgan operates the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and previously proposed expanding Trans Mountain–from Alberta through British Columbia to the shore where the oil can be loaded on tankers and sailed to other continents. BC has blocked the new pipeline, and so now Alberta has passed a law that allows them to stop existing oil and gas flows into BC. If that happens, it will bring BC to its metaphorical knees from lack of energy sources. Yes, it’s getting nasty. The Canadian federal government is also involved, attempting to pressure BC to allow the pipeline. What does that have to do with the Marcellus/Utica? If we were to say “Constitution” or “Northern Access”–perhaps the light bulb will go off. You see, we have a parallel situation here in the states. New York State is blocking gas pipelines critical to PA (as supplier) and to the New England states (as demand centers). At some point, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that PA will begin to turn off existing natgas flows into NY–and then what will we do? We New Yorkers would be royally screwed. Gov. Cuomo pay attention to our neighbors to the north. What’s happening up there is coming in your direction, if you don’t change course…
Continue reading

TransCanada Pipe Construction Crew Helps Locate Missing WV Boy

Little boy who went missing in WV

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. Last Monday afternoon a three year-old boy wandered into the woods near his home in Jackson County, WV and got lost. The parents could not find him. WV State Police and several local fire departments aided in a search effort, canvasing the woods. TransCanada is building the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline project several miles from where the toddler went missing. Upon hearing of the missing boy, the people in charge of the project flew into action, delivering supplies and port-a-potties to the searchers. They also provided maps of the area made by TransCanada–maps which ended up being instrumental in finding the boy. Some 15 hours after he went missing, on Tuesday morning, he was found–safe and sound. Authorities credit TransCanada as being instrumental in the process. TransCanada’s people didn’t do it for accolades. They did it because it was the right thing to do–even though it delayed the project and cost the company money. This episode paints a far different picture of pipeline companies than you typically hear about, does it not? Pipeline companies are not the heartless, “damn the environment and everyone who lives in the path of the pipeline” meme antis feed to sycophantic “reporters” in mainstream media. Quite the opposite. These are people who care about the work they do, and how it impacts the people where they do it. They care about the communities in which they work–and live…
Continue reading

Trout Unlimited Launches Spy/Snitch Program for PennEast Pipeline

Let’s be right up front about how we feel about the innocent-sounding Trout Unlimited (TU). Four years ago the organization was outed as a radical, far-left environmentalist group–hellbent on opposing fossil fuels (see Trout Unlimited, Other Groups Outted as Radical Green Groups). We have zero respect for the organization. Yes, there are some well-meaning (hoodwinked, misguided) people who belong to it. Good people. But tricked into supporting an anti-American, anti-fossil fuel agenda. (You need to get out!) TU has just announced a new spy/snitch training program to keep an eye on the PennEast Pipeline–when it actually starts to get built. TU will soon begin training for a so-called “water monitoring” program in PA counties where PennEast will run–Luzerne, Carbon, Northampton and Bucks counties. To which we say, knock yourselves out. PennEast has nothing to hide. The pipeline won’t negatively impact waterways–not in any meaningful, long-term way. So if you want to spy and snitch, go right ahead. There won’t be anything to snitch about…
Continue reading

EIA: Another 6.3 Bcf/d of New Pipes Coming Online in M-U in 2018

The Marcellus/Utica region needs pipelines and we need them bad. That was one of the themes MDN editor Jim Willis heard at last week’s Upstream PA event, held in State College, PA. Marcellus Shale Coalition President Dave Spigelmyer, one of the presenters, showed a slide stating there are 24 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) active pipeline infrastructure projects in PA-OH-WV. In PA alone, pipeline projects worth $12.9 billion are either planned or under construction! Jim was one of the presenters too (great to see many MDN subscribers at the event). He presented “7 Trends/Issues that will Impact PA Drilling” in the next year or two. Jim’s #2 most important trend/issue? The pipeline wars. The efforts under way to limit and stop new pipeline projects. So it was with great interest we spotted a post by our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, providing an update on northeast pipelines. According to the experts at EIA, if all planned and under construction pipelines in our region go online this year (as committed), we will have 23 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of “takeaway” pipeline capacity flowing out of our region. That’s up from 16.7 Bcf/d of takeaway capacity at the end of 2017–a 6.3 Bcf/d increase (up 38%), a much-needed increase to get our gas to new markets…
Continue reading