EPA was Already Working on Revised 401 Cert. Before Trump’s EO

Andrew Wheeler

Federal Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler recently granted a “wide-ranging” interview to Reuters. The first series of questions from the reporter dealt with last week’s Executive Order signed by President Trump, instructing the EPA to tweak the existing Clean Water Act Section 401 certification process. Wheeler said the agency was already working on the tweaks before Trump signed the order, knowing that the order was on the way.
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Permian Love Story: Chevron Buying Anadarko in $50B Megamerger

Another truly huge merger/buyout was announced Friday when Chevron said it is buying Anadarko Petroleum for $33 billion. When you factor in Chevron assuming Anadarko’s debt, the total deal is valued at $50 billion, a number hard to wrap your brain around. The key question for us is: What does this mean for Chevron’s drilling program in the Marcellus/Utica?

UPDATE: See our note below about Anadarko in PA.
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WV’s First Gas-Powered Elec Plant Begins Construction This Summer

Energy Solutions Consortium (ESC), based in Buffalo, NY, will begin construction on West Virginia’s very first Marcellus gas-fired electric generating plant sometime “this summer.” The exact date has not yet been set, but should be announced soon. However, in a bit of a surprise (for us), the state’s first natgas-fired plant to get built will not be (as we thought) in Brooke County. Instead, it will be in Harrison County.
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Nation’s Biggest NatGas Processing Plant (in WV) Getting Bigger

MarkWest Sherwood Complex

MarkWest Energy, now part of MPLX (Marathon Petroleum) operates the nation’s largest cryogenic gas processing plant operation in the country–in West Virginia. The Sherwood Complex in Doddridge County, WV has the capacity to process up to 2.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natgas, along with fractionation (separating out ethane) of up to 60,000 barrels per day (bpd). This year the facility will expand.
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FERC Grants Final Enviro OK to Jacksonville, FL LNG Export Plant

click for larger version

A small LNG export facility at a site on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida received a favorable final environmental impact state (FEIS) last Friday from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Eagle LNG, the project sponsor, says FERC will almost certainly approve the project for construction sometime later this year. They plan to have it built and running by 2021.
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Did Constitution Pipeline Prospects Improve with Trump Exec Order?

During the signing ceremony on Wednesday when President Trump signed two executive orders to make it harder for states to block new pipelines for political reasons, Trump revealed part of the motivation for the EOs when he said, “And also, in New York, they’re paying tremendous amounts of money more for energy to heat their homes because New York State blocked a permit to build the Constitution Pipeline.” So we ask the question, will Trump’s EO actually help get the Constitution built?
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PA DEP Committee Votes to Approve Onerous New Air Regs

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee voted to recommend the DEP move forward with a proposed new regulation to control volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, with a side benefit of reducing methane emissions, from existing oil and gas operations. It was a split vote, but it propels the regs to the next level.
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Big Green Kills 1000s of WV Jobs via Atlantic Coast Pipe Lawsuit

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Groups like the Sierra Club are jobs killers. When was the last time you heard about a Big Green group actually creating new jobs–except for paying a few protesters? They NEVER create jobs, they ALWAYS kill jobs via lawsuits. And so it is with lawsuits that have stopped work on the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) from West Virginia to North Carolina. Lawsuits launched by Big Green groups against ACP have resulted in thousands of people now out of work. Many of them worked for small companies.
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Foreign LNG Imports Kept New England Winter NatGas Prices Low

Trinidad’s Atlantic LNG facility

Although natural gas prices in New England at the Algonquin City Gate trading hub (Boston) spiked a few times this past winter, they didn’t spike anywhere near as much as the previous winter. In January 2018, prices at Algonquin spiked to $78.98/thousand cubic feet (see New England’s Lack of Pipelines = Most Expensive Gas in the WORLD). In January 2019, prices at Algonquin never got over $13.56/Mcf. The difference? Foreign LNG imports.
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Pittsburgh Panel Discusses Importance of NGL Storage

Seems like every few months there’s a meeting or conference somewhere in the Marcellus/Utica region that addresses the topic of ethane storage. Another such a meeting was held in Pittsburgh yesterday. The meeting was preparatory for the upcoming Northeast Petrochemical Exhibition and Conference to be held June 20-21 in Pittsburgh (must attend event!). As with other meetings like it, several NGL storage options were discussed.
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WV Wants to Extend I-68 Another 73 Miles for Shale Industry

Some 15 elected West Virginia officials met on Monday with the Route 2 | I-68 Authority. The aim of the meeting is to move the ball down the field (or the asphalt along the ground) in an effort to expand Route 2 to four lanes from Parkersburg, WV to Chester, WV, and to extend Interstate 68 from I-79 near Morgantown, WV westward to WV Route 2 along the Ohio River Valley, some 73 miles. The reason for the $1 billion project? To handle more shale-related traffic.
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Vermont Considers Banning All New Gas Pipelines, Infrastructure

Must be something in the water in Vermont. They elect people to high office like crazy Bernie Sanders and Pat “leaky” Leahy. And now there is a serious effort to pass a bill that will result in a ban on any kind of new infrastructure that supports natural gas. No more new local gas utility pipelines to new housing developments, no more new hookups for businesses locating in the state, no new hookups for factories, farms–no nothing. The reason? An abject, irrational hatred of fossil fuels. This cancer of irrational thinking has got to stop.
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Trump Signs Executive Order Making it Harder to Block Pipes

President Trump visited Houston, Texas yesterday to sign a pair of Executive Orders to help spur more energy infrastructure development across the country. In particular, the orders were aimed at clearing away roadblocks some states (like New York) put up to try and block new pipelines. Was it a silver bullet that will mean projects like the Constitution Pipeline will now get built? Sadly, no. But it was, according to many in the oil and gas industry, “a step in the right direction.”
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Here Come the “Bomb Trains” – Trump to Allow LNG by Rail

An overlooked aspect of yesterday’s Executive Order signed by President Trump will have an impact on natural gas by altering the way it’s transported. In addition to directing the federal EPA to rework rules that impact pipelines, Trump’s EO issued yesterday also directs the Secretary of Transportation to write a new rule allowing specially constructed tanker cars for railroads to ship LNG (liquefied natural gas). Which has antis fit to be tied, screaming “bomb train!”.
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Chester County, PA Sues ME2 Pipe, Seeks to Block Construction

The sleazy elected commissioners of Chester County have just sued Sunoco Logistics Partners to try and stop construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline on two county-owned properties where the pipeline has a legitimate, legal right to build. One of the commissioners actually uses these lawsuits as fundraisers (see Chester County Commissioner Uses Pipeline Lawsuit as Fundraiser). Yeah, that’s sleazy.
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Locals Push Back Against Frack Chemical Facility Near Williamsport

Coastal Chemical, the North American subsidiary of German company Brenntag, sells chemicals (used in fracking) to the oil and gas industry. Coastal Chemical wants to build a chemical storage facility in Montgomery (Lycoming County), PA, near Williamsport. The facility would house ten tanks, each holding 12,000 gallons of chemicals. The local volunteer fire chief and the local emergency management coordinator are both “strongly opposed” to the project.
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