WV PSC Hearing on Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project

A near-capacity crowd (over 300 people) filled the Storer Ballroom at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV on Wednesday to hear and talk about the Mountaineer Gas Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project–a project to deliver natural gas to a new industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV, and provide gas to other local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. The meeting (a public hearing) was hosted by the West Virginia Public Service Commission. It was moved to Shepherdstown from Charleston at the request of fussing Sierra Clubbers.
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Dominion Officially Axes Compressor Station Plan Near Mt. Vernon

In July MDN told you that Dominion Energy had decided, at least unofficially, to abandon a plan to build a compressor station across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon–the home and estate of our illustrious first president, George Washington (see Dominion Surrenders to Mt. Vernon – Relocating Compressor Station). Mount Vernon caretakers said the station would junk up their pretty view, which Dominion disputed. Regardless, Dominion said it would work with Mount Vernon on a plan to locate the compressor somewhere else that wouldn’t interfere with the view. Dominion has just made it official. On Monday they said they won’t build the station where originally planned.
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Cove Point LNG Plant Restarts After 3 Wks Offline for Maintenance

On September 21, Dominion Energy stopped pulling gas from pipelines into the Cove Point LNG export facility (on the shoreline of Maryland) in order to conduct scheduled maintenance (see Cove Point LNG Plant Down for 3 Weeks of Maintenance). Cove Point liquefies and exports some 3/4 of a billion cubic feet (Bcf) each day. True to their word, over the weekend (three weeks later) Dominion began pulling gas again. By the way, all of the gas feeding Cove Point comes from the Marcellus/Utica region–most of it headed to Japan and India.
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Columbia Pushes Back on “Rehearing” for Pipeline Under Potomac

Anti-fossil fuelers are on a holy mission to stop a 3.5-mile, 8-inch pipeline from being built under the Potomac River by Columbia Pipeline (see Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”). The proposed pipeline, from Maryland on one side of the river to West Virginia on the other side, will be built to feed a larger pipeline project from Mountaineer Gas called the Eastern Panhandle Expansion. After receiving a request from colluding Big Green groups, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission agreed to “rehear” its decision to approve the project (see FERC to Rehear Decision re Columbia Gas Pipeline Under Potomac). This week Columbia sent FERC a detailed analysis of why the decision to approve should not be reheard, and why the pipeline project should move forward as planned.
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FERC to Rehear Decision re Columbia Gas Pipeline Under Potomac

Anti-fossil fuelers are 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, from Maryland on one side of the river to West Virginia on the other side, will be built to feed a larger pipeline project from Mountaineer Gas called the Eastern Panhandle Expansion. The Mountaineer project is a pipeline to deliver Marcellus/Utica 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 began building their project in March (see Mountaineer Gas Begins Work on Morgan County, WV Pipeline). Here’s the inconvenient truth that mainstream news organizations fail to report: This tiny 3.5-mile pipeline will be Columbia’s 13th pipeline under the Potomac! Yet antis insist THIS is the one pipeline that will explode and contaminate the Potomac and make the water flowing down the muddy Potomac undrinkable for millions. In July, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved Columbia’s under-the-river pipeline project (see FERC Approves Pipeline Under the Potomac River from Md. to WV). At the time, Democrat Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur voted to approve it–but she did so grudgingly and made sure to express it. Democrat Commissioner Dick Glick voted to “dissent, in part,” meaning he sort of approved it, but he sort of didn’t (and would really rather it not get built). Antis immediately filed a request for “rehearing”–to have FERC revisit their decision to approve the project (something FERC rarely does). Sadly, FERC has agreed to rehear their decision on the project–two months after approving it. Now that FERC is down by one Republican member, it’s all too likely the Dem members will take the opportunity to vote no on the project a second time, creating a 2-2 split that will further delay the project…
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Cove Point LNG Plant Down for 3 Weeks of Maintenance

In early June MDN told you that Dominion Energy’s Cove Point LNG export plant is due to shut down–after being online for just a few months–for scheduled maintenance (see Cove Point LNG Shutting Down for Maintenance This Fall). The shutdown will be for “a few weeks” and occur “in autumn,” according to Dominion’s statement back in June. Although we can’t track down an official announcement from Dominion, LNG World News is reporting the shutdown is here now, and that it will last for three weeks, beginning with this week. Does that mean all Marcellus LNG exports will stop for the next three weeks? In June, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell told Reuters: “Asked whether there would be any interruption in LNG exports from the site on the coast of the state of Maryland, Farrell said that would depend on whether gas storage tanks with capacity to hold nearly 15 billion cubic feet of the commodity were exhausted”…
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Eco-Nuts File FERC Rehearing Request for Pipe Under Potomac

Anti-fossil fuel nutters are on a holy mission to stop a 3.5-mile, 8-inch pipeline from being built under the Potomac River by Columbia Gas, from Maryland to West Virginia (see Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”). The pipeline will be built to feed a larger pipeline project from Mountaineer Gas called the Eastern Panhandle Expansion–a pipeline to deliver Marcellus/Utica 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 began building their project in March (see Mountaineer Gas Begins Work on Morgan County, WV Pipeline). Phase one of the Mountaineer project is done and they’re now working phase two. In July, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved Columbia’s pipeline-under-the-Potomac project to feed the Mountaineer project (see FERC Approves Pipeline Under the Potomac River from Md. to WV). Antis were enraged. Here’s the inconvenient truth that mainstream news organizations fail to report: This tiny 3.5-mile pipeline will be Columbia’s 13th pipeline under the Potomac! Yet antis insist THIS is the one pipeline that will explode and contaminate the Potomac and make the water flowing down the muddy Potomac undrinkable for millions. Total BS. Antis have just filed a request with FERC to “rehear” (i.e. reconsider) the decision to approve the pipeline under the river. Once FERC officially denies that request (as they surely will), antis are then free to file a lawsuit challenging the project with the U.S. Court of Appeals…
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Cove Point LNG’s Exports End Up in Far-Flung Countries

The world of LNG (liquefied natural gas) is a strange world for us. We’re still learning about it. LNG is important for the Marcellus/Utica region as our molecules increasingly get shipped to other countries. Our molecules get shipped directly from the Dominion Cove Point LNG export facility in Lusby, Maryland, and by Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG export facility in Louisiana. Yes, some of our gas makes it to Louisiana and is liquefied and shipped out. However, the Cove Point facility is the focus of this post. Since early 2013, all of the LNG export capacity from Cove Point has been spoken for, by India and Japan, signing 20-year contracts (see Dominion’s Cove Point LNG Facility Achieves Important Milestones). You would think if they contracted for the LNG, they’d ship it to their respective countries and use it. But you would be wrong (see Half of India’s Contracted US LNG Won’t End Up in India). Once a company or a country owns a shipload of LNG and the ship sets sail and is on the open seas, the owner can sell it, trade it, swap it–do anything they want with it. Both Japan and India are and have been doing just that. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released data on U.S. LNG exports covering year to date through June 2018. In looking over the shipment data for Cove Point, the shipments not only went to India and Japan, they also went to Jordan, Kuwait, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Pakistan, Panama, and the United Kingdom! Marcellus/Utica molecules are literally being used around the world. The best part? Our drillers get higher prices for the gas than they can get here at home. Prices for the gas coming from Cove Point fetched anywhere from $5.27 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) to $8.16/Mcf…
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DOE Sec. Perry Attends Cove Point LNG Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Yesterday a bunch of dignitaries gathered in Lusby, Maryland to celebrate the launch of Dominion’s Cove Point LNG facility with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Yes, the facility has been up and running since April (see Cove Point LNG Ships First Marcellus Cargo to Japan). This was a well-deserved, back-slapping soiree, made all the more sweet for the obstacles Dominion had to overcome from antis when building the facility. Joining the celebration were officials from Japan and India (the countries buying all of the gas shipped from Cove Point), along with the top brass from Dominion. Special guest of honor was Dept. of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, there to deliver a message from his boss, Donald Trump. Perry said Trump is, “eager to unleash our bounty to the world” and that’s why President Trump is “so supportive of this infrastructure project right here in Cove Point.” Very very supportive. 😉 Here’s how it went down yesterday on the shore of the beautiful Chesapeake Bay…
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FERC Approves Pipeline Under the Potomac River from Md. to WV

Anti-fossil fuel nutters are on a holy mission to stop a 3.5-mile, 8-inch pipeline from being built under the Potomac River by Columbia Gas, from Maryland to West Virginia (see Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”). The pipeline will be built to feed a larger pipeline project from Mountaineer Gas called the Eastern Panhandle Expansion–a pipeline to deliver Marcellus/Utica 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 began building their project in March (see Mountaineer Gas Begins Work on Morgan County, WV Pipeline). We also reported that in March the Maryland Dept. of the Environment had approved the “Potomac pipeline” project, as it’s called by antis. Here’s the inconvenient truth that mainstream news organizations fail to report: This tiny 3.5-mile pipeline will be Columbia’s 13th pipeline under the Potomac! Yet antis insist THIS is the one pipeline that will explode and contaminate the Potomac and make the water flowing down the muddy Potomac undrinkable for millions. Total BS. Here’s the new (and good) news about the Potomac pipeline: Last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved it, so it’s now a done deal and will definitely get built. But FERC was split in its approval, with the Democrats (predictably) citing mythical man-made global warming as a reason to deny it…
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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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