Mountain Valley Pipeline Permits Placed on Hold by Appeals Court

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued hold on two permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that needed for construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. 

The court was reviewing a lawsuit filed by environmental groups in August. The Sierra Club said in a statement Friday that the suspension effectively means that construction must stop on the 300-mile natural gas project.

The spokeswoman for the pipeline, Natalie Cox told The Roanoke Times that pipeline officials are “disappointed and disagree” with the 4th Circuit’s ruling. The lawsuit alleges that the Fish and Wildlife Service’s approval of the project failed to adequately protect endangered species along the pipeline’s path.

The pipeline would run between northwestern West Virginia and southern Virginia. The pipeline developers has already suspended some construction activities in areas where the work could impact protected bat and fish species after the lawsuit was filed.

Source:
pgjonline

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.

Source:
pgjonline

Works on Mountain Valley Pipeline Suspended

Three days after a lawsuit that raised questions about the impact of Mountain Valley Pipeline on endangered species, developers of the pipeline have voluntarily suspended work on parts of the embattled project. It is not clear how much of the 303-mile natural gas pipeline will be affected.

“MVP’s voluntary suspension is not a matter of miles, it is a matter of doing the right thing,” spokeswoman Natalie Cox said in an email. “The voluntary suspension pertains to areas along the route that may potentially have an impact related to the Endangered Species Act; however, MVP expects to continue with construction, where permitted, in other areas along the route,” she said.

In a letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the company said that it has already laid about 238 miles of pipe, and work suspension will have no “material impact” on the number of workers employed, nor does it push back an expected completion date of mid-2020.

The letter also says that the suspension covers “new activities” that could pose a threat to the lives of endangered bats and fish, or potentially destroy their habitat. Most work will be halted on a 75-mile stretch, along watersheds in the counties of Giles, Craig, Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin, and Pittsylvania. Works on another 20 miles that includes some streams and rivers in West Virginia are halted too.

Source:
roanoke

UGI to Buy Assets from TC Energy for $1.28 Billion

UGI Corp, a Pennsylvania based energy distributor would buy some assets of Columbia Midstream Group from TC Energy Corp, formerly known as TransCanada. The deal is set for nearly $1.28 billion to expand UGI’s midstream business.

“This transaction expands our midstream capabilities in the prolific gas producing region of the Southwest Appalachian Basin and provides an initial investment into both wet gas gathering and processing,” John Walsh, the chief executive officer of UGI, said.

With this deal, TC Energy could help finance the oft-delayed and controversial Keystone XL pipeline project and the new high-profile Coastal GasLink system project. These projects are likely to generate higher returns than these legacy assets.

Columbia Midstream Group operates in the Appalachian Basin and owns four natural gas gathering systems. It also has an interest in a company with gathering, processing and liquids assets, and a pipeline that runs through western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia.

Source:
reuters

Mountain Valley Pipeline Timing Delayed, Raised Estimated Cost

Due to the ongoing legal and regulatory challenges, EQM Midstream Partners LP has raised the estimated cost of its Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline and also delayed the project completion time, Reuters reported.

The initial estimate when EQM started construction on Mountain Valley was about $3.5 billion and to be completed by the end of 2018. But those estimates were raised and now the estimated cost has been raised from $4.6 billion to $4.8 - $5 billion. Also the target to complete the project was delayed from the fourth quarter of 2019 to mid-2020.

The 303 mile Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline extends from West Virginia to Virginia and is designed to deliver 2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. EQM commented that it had submitted a land exchange proposal to the federal government in an effort to enable the pipe to cross the Appalachian Trail.

The company’s land exchange proposal would grant the federal government full ownership of private lands crossed by the Appalachian Trail, including certain private land located adjacent to the Jefferson National Forest and in exchange, the government would grant Mountain Valley a right-of-way to cross the trail using the pipeline’s previously planned underground method at an existing crossing location approved by the FERC in 2017.

Source:
worldpipelines

Maryland Sued Over Blocked Pipeline

Columbia Gas filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the state of Maryland to seek access to the property through eminent domain proceedings after a board of high-ranking state officials voted unanimously to reject a proposed pipeline that would across 3 miles of western Maryland.

The pipeline, which would carry natural gas, would run under the Potomac River near Hancock, Maryland. It would then extend from Columbia Gas' network in Pennsylvania to Mountaineer Gas' distribution system in West Virginia.

Environmentalists, residents and more than 60 state lawmakers have been vocal about opposing the pipeline. Against an easement for TransCanada's pipeline, Maryland's Board of Public Works, which includes Gov. Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot, voted 3-0 in January.

Source:
chron

EQM Midstream Partners to Buy $1.03 Billion Gas Pipeline Assests

$1.03 billion deal was signed on Thursday by EQM Midstream Partners LP to take control of two pipelines that connect the Marcellus and Utica shale basins, the nation’s biggest gas producing region.

The company will buy a 60 percent stake in Eureka Midstream Holdings LLC and whole of Hornet Midstream Holdings LLC, from a fund managed by Morgan Stanley. As part of the deal, EQM will pay $860 million in cash and assume $170 million of debt.

Eureka Midstream is a 190-mile gathering pipeline system in Ohio and West Virginia that services both Utica and Marcellus production, while Hornet Midstream is a 15-mile, high-pressure gathering system in West Virginia that connects to Eureka system.

“These assets will complement EQM’s basin-leading gathering and transmission system, allowing us to continue being the low-cost provider for gas transportation and, increasingly, for water handling as well” EQM Chief Executive Officer Thomas Karam said.

Source:
reuters

$3.2B Appalachian Natural Gas Pipeline Gets Approval from FERC

U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the full in-service of the Mountaineer XPress, a 170-mile natural gas pipeline project in West Virginia, TransCanada said on Friday.

The pipeline will increase natural gas capacity by 2.7 billion cubic feet per day. Together with related infrastructure such as new compressor stations and modifications to existing compressor stations, it will represent a total investment of US$3.2 billion. This will help link the Appalachian basin’s natural gas supplies and growing markets in the U.S. and beyond.

The approval of the full in-service of Mountaineer XPress will allow TransCanada to start partial in-service of its Gulf XPress Project, a network of seven new compressor stations in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi, which will significantly increase the reach of low-cost, U.S.-produced natural gas from the Appalachian Basin.

“Mountaineer XPress and Gulf XPress are extremely important to TransCanada as they provide much-needed takeaway capacity for our customers, while also growing our extensive footprint in the Appalachian Basin,” TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling said.

Souce:
oilprice

Part of $3.2 Billion Mountaineer Xpress Natural Gas Pipeline in West Virginia Gets Approval to Be Put into Service

The FERC authorized TransCanada’s request on Monday to commence service on part of its 170 miles Mountaineer XPress natural gas pipeline in West Virginia. The approved portion of pipeline stretches about 21 miles in Marshall and Wetzel Counties.

The 2.6-billion cbfd Mountaineer pipeline project was about 45 percent complete and expected to be completely finished in February/March, the company said earlier this month.

The company also said that it plans to put its $600 million Gulf XPress gas pipeline into service along with Mountaineer. The 0.88-bcfd Gulf project includes seven new compressor stations in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.

The Mountaineer and Gulf projects are two of several pipes designed to connect growing output in the Marcellus and Utica shale basins in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio with customers elsewhere in the United States and Canada.

Source:
Reuters

TransCanada Pushes Leach Xpress Resume Date To Mid-July

TransCanada has pushed back the date to resume service on its previously damaged Leach Xpress natural gas pipeline in West Virginia from early July to mid-July.

 Sections of TransCanada's Leach Express pipeline was damaged in a blast on June 7.

The restoration date was changed in a notice sent Friday to shippers that use the line, forcing producers to find other pipes to ship gas out of the Marcellus and Utica shale regions of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.

The June blast damaged sections of the pipe responsible for 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 used by different producers.

Source: 
Reuters

Court Appeal Stops Partial Work on Mountain Valley Natural Gas Pipeline in West Virgina

U.S. federal appeals court issued an order last week against a permit, resulting in a construction halt of parts of EQT Midstream Partners’ $3.5 billion Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline.

The pipeline company will steer clear of waters affected by the stay order in West Virginia.

A judge in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, VA issued the order to challenge the permit that involves a waterway crossing permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers involving rivers and streams.

The challenged permit cites concerns over environmental damage involving 160 miles of the total 303-mile route of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

The pipeline had been under development for multiple years and had a scheduled completion date by the end of this year.

MVP will now continue with construction but will not proceed with anything that could cause environmental damage to the waters affected by the stay order.

Source: 
Reuters