FERC Finally Approves 2 Key Rover Pipeline Laterals, Sept 1 Start

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) game of hardball with Energy Transfer over the Rover Pipeline has finally paid off. For months FERC has refused to allow four Rover laterals–feeder pipelines to shuttle gas from where it’s produced into the main Rover pipeline–to start up (see FERC Plays Hardball with Rover – Refuses to Certify 4 Laterals). The reason? ET has not, according to FERC, lived up to its word on restoration work. Things like smoothing over the dirt and replanting grass and other vegetation over top of the buried pipeline. Earlier this month ET assured FERC it would have the majority of restoration work done on two key laterals–the Burgettstown Lateral in southwestern PA, and the Majorsville Lateral in the northern panhandle of WV–by the end of this month (see FERC Continues to Block Rover Laterals Until Restoration Work Done). With recent evidence that ET is indeed living up to its word, last Thursday FERC gave ET permission to start up both the Burgettstown and Majorsville Laterals on Sept. 1. The majority of the restoration work will be done by this Friday, Aug. 31. However, there will still be some odds and ends after that (addressing “ground movement areas) that will go on through December. That leaves two final laterals–the CGT (Columbia Gas Transmission) and Sherwood Laterals, still not online. This is a prime example of FERC playing hardball, contrary to the “rubber stamp” antis claim FERC is for pipeline companies…
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Rover Pipeline’s SWPA Burgettstown Lateral Ready for Startup

Click map for larger version

On Tuesday, Rover Pipeline (Energy Transfer Partners) sent an official request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking for permission to begin service on one of the remaining legs of the pipeline not yet up and running as part of Phase 1 development. Rover wants to begin service on the Burgettstown Lateral by Feb. 26. The Burgettstown Lateral (see the map below) extends from Burgettstown (Washington County), PA through Hancock County, WV and into eastern Ohio, connecting to the main Rover Pipeline in Carroll County. The Burgettstown Lateral is 51.3 miles long and includes a compressor station in/near Burgettstown to push the gas along the entire length of the lateral. Rover still maintains they will have the entire Rover Pipeline network up and running by the end of March. There are still some areas in Ohio where they are working (drilling for a second pipeline under the Tuscarawas River), however, most of the work remaining to be done is in Michigan–Phase 2 of the project. When it’s all done, up and running, Rover will flow 3.25 billion cubic feet per day of Marcellus/Utica gas to the Midwest, Gulf Coast and Canada. Below is Rover’s request to “start me up” for the Burgettstown Lateral, along with a map of the lateral…
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Utica Gas-Fired Electric Plant in Carroll County, OH Starts Operation

Carroll County Energy plant, artists rendering (click for larger version)

In July 2013 MDN told you about Advanced Power Services’ plan to build an $800 million, 700-megawatt Utica Shale gas-fired electric generating plant in Carroll County, OH–a project called Carroll County Energy (see New NatGas Powered Electric Plant Coming to Carroll County, OH). The plant broke ground two years later, in July 2015 (see $800M Utica Gas-Fired Electric Plant Breaks Ground in Carroll Cnty). Now 4.5 years since the initial announcement, Advanced Power has just announced the plant is up and running and providing electricity for the PJM power grid. Actually, the $899 million plant has been up and running since December, but Advanced didn’t publicize it, for whatever reason, until yesterday. Here’s the big announcement…
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FERC Says Emails Prove Rover Lied About Demolishing This Old House

In May 2015, Rover purchased a house in Carroll County, OH, located near where the pipeline, and a compressor station for that pipeline, is due to run. Rover bought the house to use for offices for several Rover affiliate companies. After buying it, Rover determined the house was “ill-suited for its intended purpose” and decided to demolish it. Problem was/is, that house was under consideration to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. The house was not yet on the list of Historic Places, but was on a list of properties under consideration. Their action in demolishing the house landed Rover in hot water with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see Rover Pipeline in Hot Water Over Demolishing Historic House in OH). FERC said Rover should have reported their decision to demolish the house. Rover had to pay a “fine” of $2.3 million “to a fund administered by the Ohio History Connection Foundation and the State Historic Preservation Office” (see Rover Pipeline Paying $2.3M for Knocking Down Historic OH House). FERC issued a “Staff Notice of Alleged Violations” related to this old house in July of this year (see Rover Still in Hot Water w/FERC Over Demolishing This Old House). The notice says Rover “did not fully and forthrightly disclose all relevant information.” FERC also said, “Rover falsely promised it would avoid adverse effects to a historic resource that it was simultaneously working to purchase and destroy.” Because of the house demolition, FERC refused, and continues to refuse, to issue a blanket authorization for routine construction. In a FERC communication from last week, FERC says they have a smoking gun–copies of emails that prove Rover bought this old house with the intention of demolishing it right from the beginning…
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Belmont County, OH Passes Carroll County for Most Utica Permits

Since Aubrey McClendon and Chesapeake Energy first burst on the scene to announce the Utica Shale is “the best thing to hit the state of Ohio economically since maybe the plow” and Chesapeake leased and drilled in Carroll County, OH, Carroll has been the single most Utica drilled county in the state. Activity in Carroll remains strong, but as the play has matured and drillers have experimented in other counties, the “sweet spot” for Utica drilling moved south, to places like Belmont, Monroe and Guernsey counties. The most productive Utica wells drilled are in those southern counties. So it was not all that big a surprise, but certainly noteworthy, to read that Belmont County has now passed Carroll for total number of permits issued to drill Utica wells. A “changing of the guard.” We hasten to add Carroll still has more drilled and producing Utica wells than Belmont–at this point in time. At some point that dynamic will change. Below we have the latest numbers, and a special sneak preview of MDN’s forthcoming Marcellus & Utica Shale Almanac showing a breakdown of numbers for Carroll County, still (for now) the most drilled Utica Shale county in the Buckeye State…
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Rex Energy 3Q17: $47M Loss, 10 More Utica Wells on the Way

Rex Energy, a driller focused mainly on the Marcellus/Utica (headquartered in State College, PA), issued their third quarter 2017 update earlier this week. The company continues to bleed money, losing $47 million in 3Q17, versus losing $55 million in 3Q16. An improvement, but showing a profit would be a whole lot better than a loss at this point. Highlights for 3Q17: Rex placed the four-well Wilson pad into sales (Butler County, PA) with initial 24-hour average sales rate per well of ~10.9 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d). Total production averaged 182 MMcfe/d–with 38% of that liquids production. Rex drills in both western PA and eastern OH. Rex officials said they are currently working on 10 new wells in Carroll County, OH that will go online in 2018. So far Rex has drilled 30 wells in the Buckeye State. Below is the full 3Q17 update, along with excerpts from the analyst phone call and the latest Rex slide deck…
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Rover Pipe Nearly Doubles Flow with Addition of Carroll, OH Compressor

Fire it up! On Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted Energy Transfer permission to fire up the three units that make up the Carroll County Compressor Station (called Compressor Station 1) that helps compress and flow natural gas through the mighty Rover Pipeline. According to the letter from FERC authorizing the startup of the compressor station, FERC is authorizing “partial” service to commence. Since ET wanted to start the station on Friday, we expect the plant is by now up and running. The effect will be dramatic. According to stats released by NGI (Natural Gas Intelligence), which has an excellent Rover Tracker application on their website (see Friday’s version here), Rover has been flowing around 680 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of Utica/Marcellus gas. With the addition of the Carroll County compressor station, that number will nearly double–to 1.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). Cool! Here’s the details of how Rover’s capacity just nearly doubled with the addition of a single compressor station…
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Carroll County Says Forget dlhBowles, Utica Will Replace Them

We always find it sad when a company builds a manufacturing plant in another country, closing one here at home (and firing the people who worked there). Such is the case in Carroll County, OH. Automotive supplier dlhBowles recently opened a 280,000-square-foot assembly plant in Reynosa, Mexico–and closed a plant in Carroll County. The company manufactures things like hoses and nozzles for windshield washer systems. Reynosa says closing the Carroll plant and laying off the 94 people who worked there is not “directly related” to opening the Mexico plant. Right. But officials in Carroll aren’t bitter. They believe the Utica Shale and various pipelines running through the area will result in new plastics companies (and other types of companies in the downstream) locating in Carroll. Buh bye Reynosa. Hello new manufacturers with the foresight and intelligence to set up shop in red-hot eastern Ohio…
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Rex Energy 2Q17: Sells Waterline, Deal with BP to Market NGLs

Earlier this week Rex Energy issued its second quarter 2017 update. During 2Q17 Rex drilled 2, completed 6 and put online into sales 4 wells in their Butler County, PA acreage. They also began drilling a new 4-well pad in Butler. In the company’s Carroll County, OH acreage, Rex drilled a 3 wells on a single pad. The big news from the update was a deal with BP to market Rex’s natural gas liquids (or C3+) production, and the sale of a water pipeline owned by Rex in Salineville, OH for $8 million. Rex’s finances didn’t do so well. In 2Q17 the company lost $10 million versus making a $16 million profit in 2Q16. Production picked up a bit, from 173.4 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d) in 1Q17 to 177.1 MMcfe/d in 2Q17. The official statement said 2Q17 production was “constrained” during the quarter “due to unplanned maintenance downtime in the company’s midstream services.” Which means they had hoped it would have been higher than 177.1 MMcfe/d. Looking forward to 3Q17 Rex says they plan to bring 12 new wells in Butler County online…
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Rover Still in Hot Water w/FERC Over Demolishing This Old House

In May 2015, Rover purchased a house in Carroll County, OH, located near where the pipeline, and a compressor station for that pipeline, is due to run. Rover bought the house to use for offices for several Rover affiliate companies. After buying it, Rover determined the house was “ill-suited for its intended purpose” and decided to demolish it. Problem was/is, that house was under consideration to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. The house was not yet on the list of Historic Places, but was on a list of properties under consideration. Their action in demolishing the house landed Rover in hot water with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see Rover Pipeline in Hot Water Over Demolishing Historic House in OH). FERC said Rover should have reported their decision to demolish the house. Rover had to pay a “fine” of $2.3 million “to a fund administered by the Ohio History Connection Foundation and the State Historic Preservation Office” (see Rover Pipeline Paying $2.3M for Knocking Down Historic OH House). The thing that rankles is that the Ohio History Connection Foundation and its Ohio State Historic Preservation Office is a PRIVATE nonprofit organization–it’s not even a true state agency! At any rate, Rover paid their hush money, so that’s the end of it, right? Wrong. Last week FERC issued a “Staff Notice of Alleged Violations” related to this old house. The notice says Rover “did not fully and forthrightly disclose all relevant information.” FERC also said, “Rover falsely promised it would avoid adverse effects to a historic resource that it was simultaneously working to purchase and destroy.” In other words, we’re not done with you yet…
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Rex Energy 1Q17 Full Update – Swings to Black, Drilling Picks Up

In April, Rex Energy, a driller focused mainly on the Marcellus/Utica (headquartered in State College, PA), issued an operational update (see Rex Energy 1Q17: Production Drops 8.5%). Earlier this week the company issued a full 1Q17 update. What does it show? Rex swung from losing $62 million in 1Q16 to making $2.1 million in 1Q17–quite a turnaround! This update also includes a fuller look at the drilling that did happen in 1Q17, and what the company plans for the balance of 2017. In Rex’s Legacy Butler Operated Area (Butler County, PA), the company has begun drilling 4 wells on a single pad and plans to have them completed and online in 3Q17. In Rex’s Moraine East Area (also Butler County) the company drilled 7 gross (3.3 net) wells and completed 4 gross (1.4 net) wells in 1Q17. In addition, Rex had 12 gross (5.5 net) wells awaiting completion at the end of 1Q17. In Rex’s Warrior North Area (Carroll County, OH), the company plans to drill 12 gross (10.2 net) wells by the end of 2017, with most of them not going online until 2018. Below is the full update, along with select portions of the earnings call where Rex’s CEO shares some interesting insights…Continue reading

Rover Pipeline Paying $2.3M for Knocking Down Historic OH House

On Feb. 3, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave its final approval to Energy Transfer’s Rover Pipeline project–a $3.7 billion, 711-mile Marcellus/Utica natural gas pipeline that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada (see ET Rover Pipeline Gets Final Approval by FERC). Normally when FERC approves such a project, they issue a “blanket certificate” that allows the pipeline company to move forward with construction without getting “Mother May I?” permission for every step along the way. But FERC denied ET a blanket certificate for Rover. Why? Because Rover demolished a house that was under consideration for a national registry of historic homes, without first telling FERC (see Rover Pipeline in Hot Water Over Demolishing Historic House in OH). In May 2015, Rover purchased a house in Carroll County, OH, located near where the pipeline, and a compressor station for that pipeline, is due to run. Rover bought the house to use for offices for several Rover affiliate companies. After buying it, Rover determined the house was “ill-suited for its intended purpose” and decided to demolish it. Problem was/is, that house was under consideration to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. The house was not yet on the list of Historic Places, but was on a list of properties under consideration. FERC says Rover should have reported their decision to demolish the house, which has Rover in hot water with FERC and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. That’s the last we had heard about the “historic” house–until we spotted an article that makes reference to a deal Rover agreed to, to pay out $2.3 million “to a fund administered by the Ohio History Connection Foundation and the State Historic Preservation Office. A total of $1 million is for preservation work in the 18 counties crossed by the pipeline. The rest of the money will be used for projects across the state.” So Rover didn’t pay a fine. Instead, they paid hush money. A shakedown, with money going to a PRIVATE nonprofit organization…
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Rover Pipeline Challenges FERC re Demolishing “Historic” House

On Feb. 3, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave its final approval to Energy Transfer’s Rover Pipeline project–a $3.7 billion, 711-mile Marcellus/Utica natural gas pipeline that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada (see ET Rover Pipeline Gets Final Approval by FERC). Normally when FERC approves such a project, they issue a “blanket certificate” that allows the pipeline company to move forward with construction without getting “Mother May I?” permission for every step along the way. But FERC denied ET a blanket certificate for Rover. Why? Because Rover demolished a house that was under consideration for a national registry of historic homes, without first telling FERC (see Rover Pipeline in Hot Water Over Demolishing Historic House in OH). In May 2015, Rover purchased a house in Carroll County, OH, located near where the pipeline, and a compressor station for that pipeline, is due to run. Rover bought the house to use for offices for several Rover affiliate companies. After buying it, Rover determined the house was “ill-suited for its intended purpose” and decided to demolish it. Problem was/is, that house was under consideration to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. The house was not yet on the list of Historic Places, but was on a list of properties under consideration. FERC says Rover should have reported their decision to demolish the house, which has Rover in hot water with FERC and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. That’s why FERC didn’t issue a blanket certificate for construction of Rover. So ET and Rover have now filed for a rehearing, claiming FERC erred in not granting the blanket certificate…
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Rover Pipeline in Hot Water Over Demolishing Historic House in OH

taken to the woodshedFERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) is not happy with Energy Transfer and their Rover Pipeline. There are two major pipeline projects planned for Ohio: NEXUS and Rover. NEXUS got some FERC love today (see today’s lead story). Rover, on the other hand, is getting the cold shoulder from FERC, from a self-inflicted wound. Let us explain. As a reminder, Rover (an Energy Transfer project) is a $3.7 billion, 711-mile Marcellus/Utica natural gas pipeline that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada. The short version of what happened is that in May 2015 Rover purchased a house in Carroll County, OH, located near where the pipeline, and a compressor station for that pipeline, is due to run. Rover bought the house to use for offices for several Rover affiliate companies. After buying it, they determined it was “ill-suited for its intended purpose” and decided to demolish the house. Problem was/is, that house was under consideration to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. The house was not yet on the list of Historic Places, but was on a list of properties under consideration. Rover should have reported their decision to demolish the house to FERC but didn’t, which has Rover in hot water with FERC and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Will Rover’s action kill the project? No. Will it slow down Rover and end up costing the company boatloads of money? Most likely, although Rover disputes that interpretation of events…
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Crews Work Around the Clock on Carroll County Gas-Fired Elec Plant

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Carroll County Energy power plant – artist rendering

In July 2013 MDN brought you news that Carroll County Energy in Carroll County, OH–a subsidiary of Advanced Power Services–would spend $800 million to build a new 700-megawatt natural gas electric generating plant in the county to be fed by Utica Shale gas (see New NatGas Powered Electric Plant Coming to Carroll County, OH). It took a while, but in July 2015, two years later, officials held the official ground-breaking ceremony for the plant (see $800M Utica Gas-Fired Electric Plant Breaks Ground in Carroll Cnty). What about since then? Today crews are “working around the clock” on the plant. Here’s an update on yet another new natgas-fired electric plant getting built in the Utica/Marcellus…
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Cornerstone Pipeline Slightly Delayed, Construction Begins in May

In the middle of March MDN brought you the news that Marathon Petroleum was saying they would begin construction on the Cornerstone Pipeline “in the next several weeks”–meaning by the beginning of April (see Cornerstone Liquids Pipeline Set to Begin Construction in E Ohio). The timeline has been moved back a month. Marathon officials are now saying construction won’t begin until May. Cornerstone is a $250 million, 50-mile liquids pipeline being built by Marathon from the MarkWest cryogenic processing plant in Cadiz (Harrison County, now owned by Marathon), northwest connecting to M3’s fractionator plant in Scio (also in Harrison County) and M3’s cryogenic processing plant in Leesville (Carroll County) before terminating and connecting to Marathon’s refinery in Canton, OH (see Marathon Petroleum’s Newly Announced “Cornerstone” Utica Pipeline). The pipeline will carry, at various times, crude oil, condensate and natural gasoline. No reason was given for the delay…
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