Dominion Surrenders to Mt. Vernon – Relocating Compressor Station

In October 2016, Dominion announced a new pipeline project called Eastern Market Access Project (see Dominion Announces $145M Project to Expand Gas Supply to DC & MD). The project will beef up two compressor stations in Virginia, build a new compressor station in Maryland, and add a couple of pipeline taps near Washington, D.C. The purpose of the $145 million project is to deliver more gas to Washington Gas (and its customers), and to deliver gas to a new gas-fired electric power plant being built in Maryland. A Dominion spokesman confirmed for MDN that the gas will come from either the Marcellus or Utica plays. The compressor station slated to get built in Maryland sits just across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon–the home and estate of our illustrious first president, George Washington. Mount Vernon is designated as a National Historic Landmark and part of the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places. If you’ve ever visited, it has an incredible view. The folks operating Mount Vernon took exception to a compressor station junking up that incredible view. Dominion says you won’t be able to see the compressor station at all from Mount Vernon, but Dominion’s arguments fell on deaf ears. Last week Mount Vernon launched a very public campaign to stop the new Dominion compressor station from locating across the river. The campaign worked. Facing a PR nightmare, Dominion issued a statement saying they will work with Mount Vernon to find a new/different location for the compressor station, something acceptable to both sides…
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Cove Point LNG Shutting Down for Maintenance This Fall

Cove Point LNG, built by Dominion Energy, began exporting Marcellus Shale gas in April (see First-Ever Shipment of Marcellus LNG Leaves Cove Point, Maryland). Even though it’s only been up and running for about two months, there’s already talk of shutting Cove Point down. You may recall that two countries have contracted for all of the exported LNG coming from Cove Point: India and Japan (see Dominion’s Cove Point LNG Facility Achieves Important Milestones). Dominion Energy CEO Tom Farrell is currently visiting Japan to commemorate the first two shipments of Marcellus LNG arriving there. Yesterday Farrell shared that although Cove Point is doing just fine, the plant will undergo “brief maintenance” of “a few weeks” in the autumn. Scheduled downtime. Does that mean LNG will quit flowing out of the facility each day? According to Farrell, it “depends” on how full the storage tanks are ahead of the planned downtime…
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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…
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M-U Region Adding 43% of All New Gas-Fired Electric in 2018

Yesterday the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued a report saying it predicts 32 gigawatts (GW) of new electric generating capacity to come online this year, in 2018. Of that 32 GW, 21 GW (or 66%) will come from new natural gas-fired plants. And of that 21 GW of new gas-fired generation, Pennsylvania alone will generate 5.2 GW, and Maryland and Virginia will each generate 1.9 GW. Put another way, 9 GW out of 21 GW (or 43%) of all new demand for natural gas for power plants is happening right here in the Marcellus/Utica region. As we have observed on many occasions, power generation is a very important source of new demand for abundant and cheap Marcellus/Utica gas…
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Cove Point LNG Ships First Marcellus Cargo to Japan

LNG Sakura

Last week MDN reported that a ship called Adam had departed the Cove Point LNG facility in Maryland with the very first shipment of Marcellus molecules (see First-Ever Shipment of Marcellus LNG Leaves Cove Point, Maryland). Although the first shipment of Marcellus LNG was/is owned by Japan, the destination for the cargo was/is still unknown. The second shipment, ever, of Marcellus LNG from Cove Point left port yesterday–also owned by Japan. However, the ship’s manifest indicates this second shipment IS heading to Japan…
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First-Ever Shipment of Marcellus LNG Leaves Cove Point, Maryland

Finally. Finally! Finally!!! The very first cargo of Marcellus Shale gas has been liquefied, loaded and as of Sunday night, set sail from Dominion’s Cove Point LNG plant–heading for we’re not sure where yet. We’ve waited YEARS for this day! Let’s pop the cork on a bottle of the bubbly and celebrate. Last week MDN told you that a ship called the Patris was due to dock at Cove Point and load the first shipment of Marcellus molecules (see Dominion Announces Cove Point LNG Open for Business). It appears that information was incorrect. It was correct at the time! Either the Patris was redirected somewhere else, or we’re not sure what happened. But news has just broken that late Sunday night, close to midnight, a ship by the name of Adam departed Cove Point loaded with the very first Marcellus shipment. Several more ships are said to be headed for Cove Point now. International shipping isn’t our specialty, so we won’t quote chapter and verse for which ships and when. This first shipment that left Sunday belongs to Japan, but there’s no indication it will actually go to Japan. As we’ve noticed and have been reporting, both Japan and India (which will take all of the LNG Cove Point can produce) are in the game of swapping cargoes they own, sending Cove Point cargoes to customers closer to the point of origin in return for receiving cargoes that originate closer to their own shores. When we hear where the first Marcellus cargo lands, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, here’s the information we can find about the very first load of Marcellus Shale gas to get exported from Cove Point…
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Dominion Announces Cove Point LNG Open for Business

Dominion Cove Point LNG is open for business–so says Dominion in a press release issued yesterday. As MDN reported late last week, the Gemmata LNG carrier had returned to Cove Point to load a second commissioning cargo of LNG (see 2nd Commissioning Cargo Now Being Loaded at Cove Point LNG). The commissioning cargo was not Marcellus/Utica gas but gas brought to the facility to be used in working out all the kinks–to be sure the facility operates as advertised. That’s now done. The LNG carrier Patris was due to dock at Cove Point Monday morning. As far as we can tell, that did happen. According to Dominion’s statement, the facility entered commercial service as of yesterday, which we take to mean the Patris is getting loaded as you read this. One article about the opening of Cove Point seems to imply the natural gas feeding it may not all come from the Marcellus/Utica. That’s bunk. We have information showing 100% of the gas will come from Marcellus/Utica drillers…
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2nd Commissioning Cargo Now Being Loaded at Cove Point LNG

Gemmata returns to Cove Point

Yesterday our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, issued its weekly Natural Gas Update report. In one of the short bullet point notes we learned important new information about the Cove Point LNG export facility. We learned that the next ship to arrive and load up at the facility will NOT be the Patris, as we were led to believe (see Cove Point LNG Gets Ready to Ship First Marcellus Molecules in Apr). Instead, the first ship that loaded molecules at the facility, the Gemmata, has returned and is (as you read this) loading a “second commissioning cargo.” Which takes some explanation. The first commissioning cargo was gas brought to the facility by an LNG tanker and unloaded, regasified, and then put through liquefaction again–in order to test the facility. That first cargo was natural gas from Nigeria, brought in by Shell. And Shell shipped out the first commissioning cargo on the Gemmata on March 1 (see Cove Point Ships First LNG Cargo – But Not M-U Gas). This is the second commissioning cargo–so apparently the ship that brought in the original Nigerian gas was bigger than the Gemmata. The Gemmata unloaded its shipment of Nigerian gas in the UK, turned around and came back, docking at the facility on Tuesday of this week. Yes, the Patris is still on the way to Cove Point and will dock on April 9, next Monday, and will begin loading the first batch of Marcellus molecules…
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Cove Point LNG Gets Ready to Ship First Marcellus Molecules in Apr

Patris LNG tanker

In early March Dominion Energy’s Cove Point LNG plant shipped its first-ever load of LNG (liquefied natural gas), although the gas itself was imported from Nigeria, used in testing the plant (see Cove Point Ships First LNG Cargo – But Not M-U Gas). Last week MDN told you that a BP-contracted LNG tanker, Patris, is on the way to Cove Point but will not dock until April 9th (see Cove Point LNG: BP Ship Coming for 1st M-U Pickup; India Wants Swap). The Patris will be the first ship to carry Marcellus molecules from the facility to distant shores. It now looks like we have confirmation, of a sort, that indeed the Patris will dock and load Marcellus LNG on April 9. That confirmation comes from Platts, which reports that on Monday feed gas (from the Marcellus) spiked up to 640 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d), which is “the highest level in more than three weeks” of gas flowing into the facility. Here’s the latest on our continuing watch of Cove Point, a true game-changer for the Marcellus, and for companies like Cabot Oil & Gas that will send gas to the facility…
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Cove Point LNG: BP Ship Coming for 1st M-U Pickup; India Wants Swap

“Hey Jim, what’s happening with Cove Point LNG? Didn’t you say a ship was on the way to pick up the very first cargo of Marcellus molecules?” Great question. Cove Point did see its first cargo set sail in early March (see Cove Point Ships First LNG Cargo – But Not M-U Gas). However, that first cargo was imported gas (from Nigeria) used to test the facility as part of the commissioning process. The plant chilled the Nigerian gas and loaded it onto a waiting LNG tanker and the tanker left. So yes, the plant works, but the first batch wasn’t M-U molecules, so in our book it doesn’t really count. We also told you that a second LNG tanker, called Methane Spirit, was on the way to Cove Point and would be the first ship to load and distribute M-U molecules to distant shores. Orders have changed. Methane Spirit is no longer en route to Cove Point. However, a BP-chartered ship by the name of Patris is on the way to Cove Point. Meanwhile, those who keep an eye on these things say there is currently very little feed gas (i.e. Marcellus gas) flowing into the Cove Point facility. Meaning what? Meaning it looks like the original rumor from January that Cove Point won’t be up and running, shipping Marcellus gas until April, was correct (see Uh-Oh: Cove Point LNG Exports Possibly Delayed Until April). The Patris is not due to dock at Cove Point until April 9th. Meanwhile, as India gets ready for its first contracted shipment of LNG from Cove Point, the country no longer wants it! They want to swap their Cove Point shipments with someone else. We explain it below…
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Maryland Approves NatGas Pipeline Under Potomac River

Anti-fossil fuel nutters have been on a holy mission to stop a 3.5-mile, 8-inch pipeline from being built under the Potomac River by Columbia Gas (see Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”). The pipeline will be built to feed a larger pipeline project being built by Mountaineer Gas called the Eastern Panhandle Expansion–a pipeline to deliver natural gas via local distribution channels to a new industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV, and to provide gas to other local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. Last week MDN reported that Mountaineer has just begun work on their project (see Mountaineer Gas Begins Work on Morgan County, WV Pipeline). We commented that Maryland, under RINO Gov. Larry Hogan, had not (yet) caved to radical antis and their pressure to block the Columbia project–which would be the 13th pipeline Columbia has built under the Potomac River (see Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”). Good news. On Friday Maryland (surprisingly) granted the necessary permits for the Columbia project…
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Mountaineer Gas Begins Work on Morgan County, WV Pipeline

Anti-fossil fuel nutters have been on a holy mission to stop a 3.5-mile, 8-inch pipeline from being installed under the Potomac River (see Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”). They are trying to pressure the pusillanimous RINO governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, to block the project–a project from Columbia Gas Transmission (now part of TransCanada). Don’t tell the antis, but the pipeline system Columbia’s proposed 3.5-mile pipeline will feed is now under construction in West Virginia, just on the other side of the Potomac. In 2017, Mountaineer Gas launched the Eastern Panhandle Expansion pipeline project–a project to deliver natural gas via local distribution channels to a new industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV, and to provide gas to other local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. Mountaineer’s pipeline expansion will be fed by the 3.5-mile Columbia Gas pipeline under the Potomac. There are three phases to the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project: Phase One runs a 22.5-mile, 10-inch-diameter steel pipeline from Morgan County to Martinsburg; Phase Two includes a loop to Charles Town; and Phase Three will build a four mile segment of pipeline into Martinsburg. The West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection approved the Eastern Panhandle Expansion in February (see WV DEP Issues Permit for Mountaineer Gas Pipeline in Eastern WV). As of last week, work on Phase One has begun, on both ends of the 22.5-mile pipeline…
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Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”

Anti fossil fuel nutters have been on a holy mission to stop a 3.5-mile, 8″ pipeline from being installed under the Potomac River since last summer (see Mountaineer Pipeline Under Potomac Latest Focus of Anti Movement). To hear them talk, you’d think this is the first time a pipeline has been drilled under the Potomac River–that drilling and installing a pipeline under the Potomac will result in an environmental holocaust. However, TransCanada, via its Columbia Pipeline subsidiary, has already built and operates 12 other pipelines that go under the Potomac River–just in the State of Maryland! Yet the president of the Washington County (MD) Board of County Commissioners, Terry Baker, says “the dangers are high” and “real” if this, the 13th pipeline, gets installed. Why, Mr. Baker, are the dangers “high” and “real” now–but they weren’t high and real the 12 other times a pipeline was installed under the river?…
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FERC Grants Cove Point LNG Permission to Begin Commercial Ops

As MDN reported last Friday, the very first cargo of LNG (liquefied natural gas) left the Cove Point LNG export facility in Lusby, Maryland (see Cove Point Ships First LNG Cargo – But Not M-U Gas). However, as we accurately surmised, that first shipment did not contain Marcellus/Utica gas molecules, but instead the gas aboard was previously shipped in from Nigeria by Shell, used in the commissioning process to test the facility. Now that the commissioning process is complete, Dominion Energy, operator of the plant, requested (on Friday) a full-blown kiss of approval from FERC to begin real, commercial operations–chilling and liquefying Marcellus gas for export. On Monday, FERC granted its big, sloppy, wet kiss of approval. Cove Point is now up and running “for real”…
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Cove Point Ships First LNG Cargo – But Not M-U Gas

Earlier this week MDN told you the ship that would carry the very first cargo of LNG from Cove Point LNG had docked (see Ships Line Up for Cove Point LNG – 1st Ship Docked). LNG tanker Gemmata, as we reported, docked earlier this week at the Cove Point terminal. We assumed (incorrectly) that it would carry Marcellus/Utica gas when it left…
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