Sad Day: Williams Declares Constitution Pipeline Project Dead

Last week we told you the good news that Williams recently re-filed an application with the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection to build one of two critical northeastern pipeline projects–called the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project (see Signs of Life! Williams Refiles with NJ to Build NESE Pipe to NY). Today we bring you the sad news that Williams has given up on building a second, long-delayed project to flow natural gas from northeastern Pennsylvania into central New York, called the Constitution Pipeline.
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$500M Marcellus-Fed Petchem Plant Coming to Clinton County, PA

Clinton County, PA

A new half-billion-dollar petrochemical plant that would convert Marcellus Shale gas into feedstock (chemicals) to be used in agriculture, manufacturing, medicine, and transportation is getting serious in central Pennsylvania. Frontier Natural Resources and KeyState Agri are working on a plan to bring such a plant to western Clinton County, PA.
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FERC Grants PennEast Pipeline Another 2 Years to Get Built

The companies behind PennEast Pipeline, a $1.2 billion greenfield pipeline project from Luzerne County, PA to Mercer County, NJ, have not given up on the long-delayed project–delayed mostly due to opposition from Big Green groups and their abuse of our court system to block the project. PennEast recently filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court over the issue of using eminent domain powers to cross land owned or controlled by the State of New Jersey. Since the original Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) certificate authorizing construction of the project expired on Jan. 19, 2020, PennEast asked FERC to extend it another two years (see PennEast Pipe Still Hopeful, Asks FERC for 2-Year Extension).
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Atlantic Coast Pipe Oral Arguments Today in U.S. Supreme Court

Oral arguments will be heard this morning beginning at 10 am at the U.S. Supreme Court on a case to decide whether or not the Appalachian Trail will, from now on, block all future pipelines from being installed under it. The case, U.S. Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, will determine whether or not Big Green wins the right to block Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project from crossing under the Appalachian Trail.
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Fracking Arithmetic: U.S. Citizens Saved $1 TRILLION in 10 Years

It’s election (i.e. silly) season all year long, until November. One of the key issues shaping up to influence the presidential election this year is, yes, FRACKING. The term fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has been bastardized to the point it now means (in the public’s mind) “fossil fuels.” All of the Democrat presidential hopefuls are in favor of severely limiting, or outright banning, fracking. By which they mean the production of new oil and natural gas from shale deposits. It is a losing platform on which to run–yet that’s what they’re doing. We spotted an article on the Forbes website that uses simple arithmetic to calculate the impact fracking has (so far) had on Americans.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Feb 24, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: DEP invites comments on Adelphia Gateway pipeline erosion & sedimentation permit; Pitt fossil fuel disinvestment activists begin occupation of cathedral; Encino Energy and Habitat for Humanity partner to build homes and community; Let’s drive West Virginia’s future; Gas pipeline upgrades underway in Covington; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Rehearing of Atlantic Bridge flash decision denied by FERC; Protest at natural gas site in Weymouth draws 13 arrests; What REX pipeline’s contract changes mean for gas flows, prices; NATIONAL: Working natgas stocks will end 2019–20 heating season at highest level since 2017; Natural-gas exporters struggle to lock up buyers despite ‘freedom gas’ pitch; Want to help the environment? Don’t ban fracking.; Shale production is on DUC life support and will need it going forward; Researchers awarded DOE/NETL grant to develop one-step process for converting natural gas into liquids; The obvious reality of more U.S. oil and natural gas; INTERNATIONAL: Aramco to spend $110 bil on Saudi Arabia’s largest unconventional gas field.
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Signs of Life! Williams Refiles with NJ to Build NESE Pipe to NY

In early December when Williams withdrew their fourth and final permit application to build the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project with the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), we feared that maybe Williams had given up on the project (see Is NESE Pipeline to NYC Dead? Williams Withdraws Final NJ Permit). But what’s this? Williams recently re-filed an application with NJDEP to build NESE–the fourth time it has done so. Is the fourth time the charm?
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Williams Update: Constitution Pipeline Value Written Down

Williams issued its fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 update yesterday. Among the gems shared, the company reported gathering 13.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas and equivalents during 4Q19, up 10% from 4Q18. Just to put that in perspective, there was 85.5 Bcf/d of shale natural gas production in December 2019, according to the EIA. Williams gathered 15% of all the shale gas produced. That is an amazing statistic! Here’s an even more amazing stat: Although Williams gathered 13.3 Bcf/d during 4Q, their pipeline networks moved/flowed gas gathered by other companies too, to the tune of 21.8 Bcf/d (up 8% from 4Q18). That means the Williams pipe network moves fully 25% of all the shale natural gas that moves throughout the country.
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PA DEP Issues Permits for ME2 Pipe Work in Blair, Perry Counties

In January the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) lifted a moratorium (in place for more than a year) on new construction permits for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project (see PA DEP Slaps Energy Transfer Again – $2M Fine re Mariner East 2). All new pipeline construction by Energy Transfer was on hold following a pipeline explosion in western PA in September 2018 (see Revolution Pipeline Near Pittsburgh Explodes – Home & Barn Destroyed). With the moratorium lifted, the DEP has just issued two of the first (maybe THE first) permits to allow construction on the final bits of ME2 to begin–in Blair and Perry counties.
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ET Update: Mariner East Loses Some NGLs to Mid-Con, Northern NY

Energy Transfer, a huge pipeline company that builds and maintains Marcellus/Utica pipelines including Rover and the Mariner projects, released its fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 update earlier this week. The company reports making the most profit it has ever made in its 25-year history–$3.6 billion in profit for 2019 (more than triple the $1.1 billion made in 2018). Although ET’s financial performance is impressive, it was comments made during the quarterly conference call with analysts about the Mariner East pipeline project that caught our attention.
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PA Democrat Party Civil War Over Frack Ban, Refinery, Petchem Bill

The Pennsylvania Democrat Party is about to get politically fracked–i.e., underground explosions that create large fractures, breaking it apart. Ironically, the Dems are getting fracked over fracking. As we have been reporting, all of the Democrat presidential candidates have signed on to either severely limit, or outright ban, hydraulic fracturing. Some of the more extreme elements, like crazy Bernie Sanders, want all fracking banned within five years–on public AND private land (see Crazy Bernie & AOC Intro Bill to Ban ALL Fracking in 5 Years). And yes, they really mean it!
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Chester DA Abused Power by Charging ME Pipe Guards with Crimes

The former Chester County District Attorney, Tom Hogan, is guilty of politicizing his office (we’d call it legal malpractice) by charging a couple of off-duty constables (peace officers) with a crime–just because they moonlighted by working as security guards to protect anti-pipeline nuts from hurting themselves at Mariner East 2 pipeline construction sites (see SEPA DA Charges Off-Duty Police w/Crime for Providing Pipe Security). Hogan says the off-duty officers used their official badges (and carried weapons) as they moonlighted and that constitutes a “criminal” offense. We spotted a letter-to-the-editor that exposes Hogan’s action for the political, sleazy outrage it is…
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TC Energy Says Marcellus/Utica Drillers “Tapping the Brakes”

TC Energy (once upon a time called TransCanada Corporation) is a major pipeline company in North America. The company has a big presence in the Marcellus/Utica region via its Columbia Pipeline subsidiary. Last week TC Energy issued its fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 update and hosted a quarterly conference call with analysts. While the official update contains a mention about the company’s Buckeye XPress project (see TC Energy/Columbia Finally Get FERC Approval for Buckeye XPress), of primary interest for us were comments by TC management about Columbia’s M-U customers and what the company might do if drillers come knocking on the door in “financial distress.”
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PA Court Turns Down Chester Co. Request to Block ME Construction

Score another victory for the Mariner East Pipeline project in southeast Pennsylvania. On Tuesday Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled against Chester County Commissioners and their attempt to obtain an injunction to stop construction of the Mariner East pipeline project. The petition fought to curtail open trench construction rather than horizontal directional drilling on two easements the county gave to the pipeline. Energy Transfer/Sunoco Logistics wants to change from using underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to instead use conventional bore or open trench technology on those easements, which would avoid more problems with HDD already experienced during construction.
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WV Advances Bills to Attract NGL Hub, Cracker Plant, Downstream

The West Virginia House of Delegates Finance Committee approved two bills yesterday that would create two new tax credits. The aim is to boost more development in the natural gas industry in the Mountain State. One bill, House Bill (HB) 4421, is meant to attract a natural gas storage hub and an ethane cracker plant to the state. The other, HB 4019, is meant to attract “downstream” natural gas manufacturing facilities. Both bills now go to the full House for a vote.
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