DC Court to Rehear Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Eminent Domain Decision

Lawsuit aims to castrate FERC

Here we go again. In August a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had the right to approve Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project, including the right to use eminent domain to build it before details are finalized over compensation to landowners (see DC Court Upholds FERC Authority in Approving Atlantic Sunrise Pipe). The Sierra Club and other Big Green groups, with endless mountains of money from people like Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, kept pushing and finally convinced the entire DC Circuit (all of the judges, call “en banc”) to rehear and reconsider the case already decided by three of their number.
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PA DEP Targeting NatGas Storage Operators Using Act 13 Law

In October MDN reported that Equitrans (formerly EQT Midstream) had settled an outstanding issue with the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) over the company’s failure to produce a “verified statement” that proves they have turned over every rock and branch looking for old conventional wells that are not mapped in a natural gas storage field in Greene County, PA (see PA DEP Fines Equitrans $650K for SWPA Gas Storage Field Violation). According to law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, gas storage is “no longer under the radar” in PA.
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SEPA DA Charges Off-Duty Police w/Crime for Providing Pipe Security

Tom Hogan, Chester County’s “buy a DA”

In what has to be the outrage of the century, Chester County, PA District Attorney Tom Hogan, drunk on his own power, has falsely charged both Energy Transfer (Sunoco Logistics Partners) and several PA constables (essentially off duty police officers) with bribery and conspiracy because the off-duty officers had the gall to moonlight as security to protect Mariner East pipeline workers from anti-fossil fuel crazies and wackos.
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IFO: PA Natural Gas Production Hits New All-Time High in 3Q19

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released their latest quarterly Natural Gas Production Report for July through September 2019 (full copy below). It shows natgas production in PA rose 9.1% compared to the same period last year–to yet another new all-time high of 1,715 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas. Put another way, that’s 1.7 TRILLION cubic feet of gas produced over a three-month period. There has now been an unbroken chain of quarter-over-quarter increases in horizontal shale gas production in PA for 13 consecutive quarters (more than three years running).
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Elliot Group Breaks Ground on LNG Equipment Plant in Southwest PA

We’re always delighted to discover a new (for us) company involved in the supply chain–providing goods and/or services to the shale industry, including the downstream petrochemicals industry. Elliott Group is one of those companies not previously on our radar. Elliott’s U.S. headquarters is located in Westmoreland County, near Pittsburgh. The company designs, manufactures, and services turbomachinery, including centrifugal and axial compressors, steam turbines, and power recovery expanders. Elliott broke ground yesterday on a new facility in Jeannette where they will test their recently acquired product line of cryogenic pumps and expanders–equipment used in LNG plants.
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10 Colleges in PA-OH-WV Form Program to Train Cracker/Mfg Workers

A group of 10 community colleges scattered throughout southwestern Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia have formed the Tristate Energy and Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, or TEAM, with the aim of training skilled workers for cracker plants and other petrochemical-related manufacturing operations. The cooperative has crafted a “stackable-credentials model” that offers “a career pathway from certifications to post-secondary degrees, up to and including a master’s degree.” Forwarding thinking!
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FERC Authorizes Startup for Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline

click for larger version

The Risberg Line, a 60-mile pipeline from Crawford County, PA to Erie County, PA and from there across the border into Ashtabula County, OH, began construction in February. Risberg cost roughly $86 million to build and will flow 55 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of gas from the PA Marcellus to the northern tip of Ohio in Ashtabula County. In mid-November, RH energytrans, the builder, asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to start it up by Dec. 1 (see Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline Project Ready to Start Dec. 1). FERC granted permission and as near as we can tell the pipeline is now up and running.
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2nd Class Action Lawsuit Against ET/Sunoco re Mariner East Pipe

Last week MDN told you about a law firm fishing for Energy Transfer shareholders to join its class action lawsuit against the company over rumors of corruption in obtaining permits to build the Mariner East 2 pipeline project (see Shareholder Lawsuit Filed Against ET/Sunoco re Mariner East Pipe). A second law firm is now trying the same tactic–a second shareholder lawsuit based on unproven rumors.
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Marcellus Shale Coalition Turns 10 – Look Back at First Decade

It’s been 10 short/long years since the founding of one of the premier trade groups in the Marcellus/Utica region: the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC). Can you believe it?! The MSC has been a key player in advancing the shale gas industry in Pennsylvania. Absolutely key. A group of industry executives involved with founding the group gathered last week in Cranberry Township to celebrate and reflect on the last 10 years.
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Philly’s Nicetown Marcellus-Fired Plant Wins Appeal, Online Soon

It’s the end of the road for some not-so-nice folks in Nicetown, a Philadelphia neighborhood. In 2016, Philadelphia’s SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) announced plans to build a Marcellus gas-powered electric plant to provide electricity to SEPTA’s northern Regional Rail lines and a bus garage (see Antis Plan to Shut Down Philly Transit Meeting re NatGas Powergen). Antis, making wild claims of “racism,” opposed the plant because it will burn an evil, nasty, vile “fossil fuel.”
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ExxonMobil Considers Philadelphia Area for Ethane Cracker Plant

MDN previously reported on the rumor that ExxonMobil is sniffing around southwestern Pennsylvania looking for a site to build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker plant (see Exxon Mobil Sniffing Around SWPA to Build Second Cracker Plant). We then told you Exxon is not only looking in Beaver County (where Shell is building it’s cracker) but also in nearby Washington and Greene counties too (see Exxon Widens Search to Build SWPA Cracker Plant to Other Counties). But what’s this? We now read about another rumor–that Exxon is also considering southeast PA, the Philadelphia area!
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Time to Defend the Mariner East Pipe Projects – Garland Thompson

Speaking of the Mariner East (ME) pipelines and the NGLs (primarily ethane, but also propane and butane) they flow, why isn’t the organized business community (i.e. Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce) doing more to stick up for the ME pipeline projects? MDN friend Garland Thompson, a gifted reporter/writer who covers energy and technology issues for US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, recently penned an open letter to the Philly Chamber challenging them to get off their collective butts and defend ME and the jobs it will create in the greater Philly region.
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Fed Judge: Northeast Natural Energy Owes $7.9M to PA Landowners

Northeast Natural Energy (NNE) is a small-to-midsized driller headquartered in Morgantown, WV. It’s a young company, drilling its first shale well in 2013. In April 2017 MDN reported that NNE had obtained $300 million of investment from two investment firms (see WV Driller Northeast Natural Energy Gets $300M Investment). NNE currently owns 49,000 acres of leases “in the heart of the Marcellus Fairway,” operating 27 Marcellus wells and over 100 conventional oil and gas wells, mainly in West Virginia with some located in southwestern Pennsylvania.
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PA Spending $3.9M on Flawed Studies to Link Fracking with Cancer

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a liberal Democrat who sometimes supports the shale gas industry (as long as he can tax it) has caved to demands from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to launch a “study” in a bid to “prove” cases of childhood cancer in southwestern PA can be tied to shale drilling in the region. A pair of studies, actually. The studies won’t be completed for three years, after Wolf is out of office, so he gets credit for caring, but he won’t be around for the fallout when it happens.
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Shareholder Lawsuit Filed Against ET/Sunoco re Mariner East Pipe

Two weeks ago MDN told you about rumors (unconfirmed, but they seem legit) that the FBI is investigating the PA Gov. Tom Wolf administration over how permits came to be issued for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project (see FBI Investigates Wolf Admin for Corruption re ME Pipe Permits). The allegation is that Wolf or members of his staff pressured the Dept. of Environmental Protection to approve permits for the pipeline project in return for something (money or something else). A law firm is using those rumors to launch a class action lawsuit against Energy Transfer (ET), the builder, on behalf of shareholders alleging ET “misled its investors about its business, operational and compliance policies.”
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