Appalachia-To-Texas Ethane Pipeline Expansion Announced

The expansion of Appalachia-to-Texas pipeline, known as ATEX was announced by Enterprise Products Partners in a statement released on Monday morning. The 1,200-mile pipeline moves ethane from the Marcellus Shale and Utica Basin of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to Enterprise's natural gas liquids storage complex just east of Houston in Mont Belvieu.

“The success of the open season reflects the demand for additional, reliable ethane takeaway capacity from the Appalachian region of the country,” Enterprise Senior Vice President Michael C. "Tug" Hanley said in a statement. “Our customers value flow assurance and reliability. The expansion of ATEX will facilitate growing production from the Marcellus/Utica Basin and will provide access to attractive markets on the Gulf Coast through Enterprise’s integrated midstream network.”

The decision came after the completion of a 30-day open season for producers to book capacity on the expansion project. The pipeline can currently move 145,000 barrels of ethane per day but the expansion project will boost that to 190,000 barrels per day. 

Estimated construction costs have not been disclosed. Through improvements and modifications to existing infrastructure, the extra capacity will be available by 2022.


Williams Partners NG Pipeline to Move Forward Despite New York’s Objections

New York’s denial of a water quality permit that had blocked Williams Partners natural gas pipeline project was cleared by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The regulators ruled last Wednesday that the state Department of Environmental Conservation missed a one-year deadline when it rejected the permit in 2016.

After New York rejected a water quality permit over concerns for 250 streams, Williams appealed to federal courts. But after losing court challenges, Williams appealed to FERC. The 124-mile, 30-inch-wide pipeline would run from Pennsylvania’s shale gas fields to eastern New York.

The project still needs a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Williams spokesman Christopher Stockton said. He added that the project sponsors are evaluating their next steps.


Open Season announced for ATEX Ethane Pipeline

Binding open season was announced by Enterprise Products Partners on the partnership’s 1,200-mile Appalachia-to-Texas (“ATEX”) ethane pipeline to determine demand for expanded capacity on the pipeline. The open season started at 9 a.m. CDT on August 26, 2019 and continues until 5 p.m. CDT on September 25, 2019.

The company would add up to 50,000 barrels per day of incremental capacity through a combination of pipeline looping, hydraulic improvements and modifications to existing infrastructure. This is subject to sufficient customer commitments during the open season. The company is expecting that the expanded capabilities would be in service by 2022.

The pipeline transports ethane from the Marcellus/Utica Basin of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to Enterprise’s natural gas liquids storage complex in Mont Belvieu, Texas, and features pipeline access to petrochemical plants along the Gulf Coast.


Texas Eastern Pipeline Remains Shut after Kentucky Blast

The section of Texas Eastern pipeline that got damaged in a fatal explosion near Danville, Kentucky on last Thursday remains shut. The company is working with federal and state officials to investigate the incident. 

U.S. National Transportation Safety Board assumed control of the incident site and the company is supporting the investigation, Enbridge said. According to the Refinitiv data, about 1.7 billion cubic feet of gas was flowing through the damaged section of pipe toward the Gulf Coast at the time of the blast, from the Marcellus and Utica shale in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

The company said that Texas Eastern has three lines, Line 10, 15 and 25, between its Danville and Tompkinsville compressors in Kentucky and the blast occurred on Line 15. The three lines make up its 30-inch pipeline system.

Enbridge has not estimated when the damaged section of pipe will return to service at this time and has restricted north-to-south gas flows through the Danville compressor to zero.


$1.7 Million Valley Energy Gas Pipeline Expansion Plan Approved

The plan to construct a natural gas pipeline expansion across and under the Susquehanna River in Bradford County by Valley Energy Inc., got approved by The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Approximately 18,000 feet of distribution mains will be construct by the company, which will enable service for residents and businesses in the East Athens area.

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE) awarded $850,000 for the project.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend Valley for its practical commitment to extending natural gas service,” PUC Chair Gladys Brown Dutrieuille said.


Texas Eastern Pipeline to Serve Kentucky and Tennessee After Enbridge Pipeline Explosion

The direction of natural gas flow of Enbridge’s Texas Eastern pipeline in Ohio has been reversed following the explosion of a line on Monday.

The blast injured two people and damaged three homes.

Prior to the blast, gas was flowing south through the damaged section of pipe from the Marcellus and Utica shale in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia toward the Gulf Coast.

Now, the pipeline will serve customers in states like Tennessee and Kentucky who stopped receiving gas after the explosion.

Enbridge said it isolated two other gas pipes near the 30-inch damaged line as crews safely investigate the integrity of those lines prior to returning them to service.

An estimated return to service date has not been provided.


Enbridge Requests Putting More of TEAL NatGas Pipe Into Service

Enbridge on Wednesday, filed with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking to put the remaining part of its Texas Eastern Appalachian Lease (TEAL) Phase 1 natural gas pipeline in Ohio into service.

Enbridge expects to have the request for the last part of the $200 million project approved by Oct. 30.

The facilities Enbridge is seeking to put into service include close to 4.4 miles of new 36-inch pipe and other equipment.

The Teal project is one of several pipelines designed to connect the Marcellus and Utica shale basins in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio with customers in other parts of the U.S. and Canada.

Enbridge put part of TEAL into service on Oct. 9.


Part of Enbridge's Ohio TEAL NatGas Pipeline Now in Service

Enbridge said on Tuesday that part of its Texas Eastern Appalachian Lease (TEAL) natural gas pipeline project in Ohio has been put into service, according to a company filing with U.S. federal energy regulators.

TEAL is designed to be one of several different gas pipelines that connect growing output in the Marcellus and Utica shale basins in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio with customers in other parts of the U.S. and Canada.

FERC approved to put the 0.95-billion cubic feet per day TEAL project into service on Sept. 12. The project will serve as a supplement to the $2.6 billion NEXUS gas pipeline from Ohio to Michigan.

Enbridge projected it would be able to put both TEAL and NEXUS into service in the third quarter of 2018.


U.S. Approves Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline's Request to go in Service

A request by Williams Cos Inc’s Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co (Transco) unit to put the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to South Carolina into service, has been approved by U.S. federal energy regulators on Thursday.

The Atlantic Sunrise is designed to connect the Marcellus and Utica shale basins in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio with customers in other parts of the U.S. and Canada.

In a filing that approved the nearly $3 billion project’s start up, FERC said that Transco has “adequately stabilized the areas disturbed by construction and that restoration is proceeding satisfactorily.”

198 miles of new pipe, located mostly in Pennsylvania, will carry around 1.7 bcfd. Two new compressor stations and compressor station modification in five states will also be included in the project.

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp has secured about 1 bcfd of transport capacity on Atlantic Sunrise.

Williams said it started laying new pipe in Pennsylvania in September 2017. FERC authorized construction of the project in February 2017.


FERC Orders Complete Halt of Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction

U.S. energy regulators have halted all construction of the Mountain Valley pipeline (MVP) in a filing on Friday.

MVP is one of several pipelines currently being constructed to connect growing output in Marcellus and Utica shale basins in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio with customers in other parts of the U.S. and Canada.

FERC said in its decision on Friday that is not certain whether or not BLM or Forest Service will ultimately approve the same route for the MVP.

“Should the agencies authorize alternative routes, (Mountain Valley) may need to revise substantial portions of the project route across non-federal lands, possibly requiring further authorizations and environmental review,” FERC said in its filing.

An EQT spokeswoman responded on Saturday to the FERC order saying that the company “respectfully disagrees with the breadth of the August 3 stop work order.”

“We will continue to work closely with all agencies to resolve these issues and look forward to continuing the safe construction of this important infrastructure project,” the spokeswoman added.


ETP's Rover NatGas Pipeline Construction Delayed by Ohio's EPA

Energy Transfer Partners LP said on Monday that the completion of their Rover natural gas pipeline was being delayed due to state environmental regulators in Ohio using a notice of violation related to the unapproved disposal of industrial waste.

According to the EPA’s July 11 filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued the violation after the ETP deposited “spent drilling mud” containing low levels of a chemical solvent called tetrachlorethene, or PCE, without approval.

PCE is used in dry cleaning of fabrics and is used in the manufacture of other chemicals.

“Ohio EPA’s filing of the (notice of violations) with FERC was not for any legitimate purpose, but rather was an attempt to cynically use the commission to once again delay the completion of this necessary project,” ETP said in its filing with the federal regulator on Monday.

The $4.2 billion Rover project was planned to be completed in November 2017, but numerous notices of violations led to delays and temporary stop-work orders. The project would carry up to 3.25 billion cubic feet per day of gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale region fields in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia to U.S. Midwest and Gulf Coast as well as Ontario, Canada.


Pipeline to Offer Natural Gas to Chambersburg's Underserved Neighborhoods Receives Grant

The Borough of Chambersburg received a grant that will help finance a natural gas pipeline project intended to offer natural gas to underserved neighborhoods in the borough as well as Greene Township, Pennsylvania.

The grant comes from the Commonwealth Financing Authority whose award was in the amount of $584,100.

“The project will extend our natural gas distribution service to more borough residents, as well as provide a direct connection from the Chambersburg Gas Department into sections of Greene Township not currently supplied with natural gas,” Borough Council President Heath Talhelm said in the release.

A Pennsylvania state senator, state representative, and Greene Township Supervisors were all in support of the grant application, stating in a release that the project would have a significant economic impact in the region.

Public Opinion

Photo: Shaun MacWilliams

Federal Regulators Approve NatGas Pipeline in Maryland

Federal regulators on Thursday approved plans for the Columbia Gas natural gas pipeline that would cross parts of western Maryland near Hancock.

The pipeline is designed to extend 3.37 miles from Columbia’s network in Pennsylvania, crossing Washington Country and going under the Potomac River to reach Mountaineer Gas distribution systems located in West Virginia.

Maryland regulators first approved the plan in March, despite opposition from environmentalists who have voiced their opinions on how the state should have more thorough vetting processes in place for all pipelines' potential environmental impacts.

Maryland’s Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles says that the project will need to meet strong environmental conditions beyond the requirements made by the Army Corps of Engineers and FERC.

Charlotte Observer

Williams' Penn.- NY Constitution NatGas Pipe Denial to be Appealed

Williams Cos said on Thursday that they are still supported by their partners in the construction of the Constitution natural gas pipeline and that there would be an appeal for the federal energy regulators decision to prevent the project from being built.

The U.S FERC on Thursday decided that it would not revisit its decision in January where the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) refused to waive the state’s authority to issue a water quality certification for Constitution under the Clean Water Act.

“Now that the FERC has issued an order on our request for rehearing, we are free to proceed with our petition to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for review of the FERC’s decision,” Williams spokesman said in an email.

Williams argued that the state waives its Clean Water Act certification rights when they fail to act within a reasonable amount of time. Williams filed with the DEC for the water permit in August, withdrew the application, and resubmitted it twice at the DEC’s request.

In April 2016, the DEC denied Williams’s application. After appealing that denial in federal court, the appeals court concluded it lacked jurisdiction and upheld the state’s decision. Supreme Court also declined to review the judgment of the appeals court.

If built, the pipeline would transport 0.65 billion cubic feet per day across 125-miles of pipeline.

With the delays, Williams initial estimated costs went from $684 million to as high as $875 million, according to local newspapers.

Williams said it would take close to a year to finish building the pipeline after it receives necessary approvals.



ETP Receives 65th Notice of Violation for Fluid Leak

Energy Transfer Partner LP’s Sunoco Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline was given another notice of violation from Pennsylvania environmental regulators this week because of the pipeline spilling drilling fluid in a wetland.

The project has now received 65 notice of violations from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) since the construction began in February 2017. The DEP said that ETP must report how it will clean the spill, among addressing other issues, prior to the company restarting drilling at the site.

Liquids from the Marcellus and Utica shale fields in western Pennsylvania are transported through the Mariner East project to customers in the state as well as international exports from ETP’s Marcus Hook complex near Philadelphia.

The latest spill was 3,500 gallons of drilling fluid that spilled into wetland associated with horizontal drilling on July 11 in an area 70 miles east of Pittsburgh.

The project will boost capacity of the Mariner East project from 70,000 barrels per day to 345,000 barrels per day, opening the pipeline suppliers in Ohio and West Virginia.


Leach Xpress NatGas Pipeline to Return to Service July 15

TransCanada Corp’s Columbia Gas Transmission has announced July 15 as the date it expects its Leach Xpress natural gas pipeline to resume service after it was damaged in a blast in West Virginia on June 7.

Federal pipeline safety regulators will first need to approve the returning service, Columbia Gas Transmission said in a Thursday notice given out to customers using the pipeline.

PHMSA gave Columbia 30 days to respond to a list of concerns that would improve the safety of the Leach Xpress. Those actions included mechanical and metallurgical testing as well as enhanced surveillance and monitoring, among other actions required.

Since the blast, Columbia identified six other areas that PHMSA said were concerning based on soil conditions and steep slopes. The soil condition was the cause of a landslide that put stress on the pipelines resulting in a blast, according to preliminary investigations.

Shutting down the Leach Xpress forced producers to find other pipes to ship gas out of Marcellus and Utica shale regions of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.

The blast damaged sections of the pipe that could affect 1.3 billion cubic feet per day, which is enough energy to fuel more than 5 million U.S. homes a day.

Energy analysts said that the blast hardly affected Appalachian region’s overall output because of other pipes being found by different producers.



Mariner East 1 Pipeline Gets OK to Resume Service Despite Previous Sink Hole Discovery

Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) voted to allow Energy Transfer Partner’s Sunoco Mariner East 1 to return to service. The natural gas liquid pipeline was suspended for safety reasons last month.

Service on Mariner East 1 through West Whiteland Township was halted after sinkholes were discovered, resulting in an emergency order to suspend service.

After inspections, all five PUC commissioners reversed the suspension. However. three of the five commissioners voted to keep Mariner East 2 and 2X pipelines from being worked on in West Whiteland Township.

ETP stated that it would consider its legal options in regard to the commissioners decision to keep Mariner East 2 and 2X from being worked on. The PUC would like ETP to conduct more inspections, among other things, prior to restarting construction.

These delays have extended Mariner East 2’s proposed start-up date from the third quarter of 2017 to potentially the third quarter of 2018.


Buckeye Partners Seeking to Change Pipeline Direction After First Attempt Failed

Texas-based Buckeye Partners made plans to change the direction of its gasoline pipelines in late April, but it has been been met with resistance from companies Sheetz, Giant-Eagle, and Philadelphia-area refiners.

Buckeye Partners wanted permission from federal energy regulators to specifically move gas in two directions on the Laurel Pipeline across Pennsylvania. Buckeye wanted to reverse the western segment of the pipeline since 2016. In doing so, they intend to bring low-cost Midwestern fuel to more Pennsylvania areas.

Critics disagree and claim that gas prices would rise due to these changes.

A judge with the Pennsylvania PUC sided with the pipeline’s opposition and recommended that the reversal be rejected by the commission.

After a few weeks, Buckeye decided to take the case to FERC to approve moving fuel in both directions.

A final decision has yet to be made on the reversal and is not expected until late summer. 

Central Penn Business Journal

Mariner East 2 Pipeline Spills Fluid in Creek Again, Pennsylvania Regulators Issue Notice of Violation

Pennsylvania state regulators on Friday issued a notice of violation to Energy Transfer Partners' Sunoco Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline after the company notified the department that it had released drilling fluids into a stream.

Energy Transfer Partners told the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection that it released about 50 gallons of fluid into the Snitz Creek on Thursday while drilling underneath it in West Cornwall Township.

This incident marks the pipeline company's third inadvertent release of fluid into the Snitz Creek after one spill in August 2017 and another in September 2017.

The DEP said it would need to give Energy Transfer Partners its approval before drilling could begin again at the site.

The Mariner East 2 is designed to expand the total capacity of the Mariner East project to 345,000 barrels per day. Mariner East 2 is expected to be complete by the end of Q2 2018.


Pennsylvania Fines Sunoco More Than $12 Million, Allows Mariner East 2 Construction to Resume

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has allowed construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline to resume after fining the pipeline builder approximately $12.7 million.

The state DEP ordered Sunoco in early January to halt construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline across the southern part of the state, noting a series of spills of drilling fluid and other violations against the terms of its permit.

Of the 350-mile long project, 6.5 miles goes through northern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

In the DEP's order in January, it required that Sunoco fully explain the failures that led to the violations and then come up with a plan to fix those failures.

The consent agreement that came Thursday means Sunoco can now resume construction on the project that will run from the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation in western Pennsylvania to an export near Philadelphia.

The DEP said it would be monitoring Sunoco's activities closely to ensure that the company meets the terms of the agreement.

Lancaster Online