PHMSA Approval Needed to Restart Texas Eastern Pipeline

The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a corrective action order last week to Enbridge Inc., on its Texas Eastern pipeline in Kentucky that was damaged in a blast on Aug. 1. The company has to perform several tasks before the regulator will allow any flows through the blast site, near Danville, Kentucky.

Enbridge said in a release on Friday it was “working diligently to comply with the requirements identified by the PHMSA, and to return to service two adjacent natural gas pipelines near the incident site that were taken out of service as a precautionary safety measure.”

Texas Eastern pipeline system includes three lines, Lines 10, 15 and 25, between its Danville and Tompkinsville compressors in Kentucky that make up its 30-inch system. According to PHMSA, despite the fact that the blast occurred on Line 15, Enbridge could not restart Lines 10 and 25 without further investigation, as the blast might have also damaged Lines 10 and 25.

Enbridge must uncover and inspect parts of the lines and perform mechanical and metallurgical testing, among other things, before restarting gas flows through the blast site, PHMSA said. The blast killed one person, injured at least six other people, destroyed multiple structures and caused a fire that damaged about 30 acres.


Natural Gas Pipeline Expansion Receives Construction Approval from FERC

Transco’s Northeast Supply Enhancement project received approval for construction from FERC. The pipeline expansion project will carry natural gas from the shale fields of Pennsylvania to New York, and will expand on the company’s existing pipeline infrastructure in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

The project will add approximately 36 miles of new pipeline and add two new natural gas compressors at exiting compressor stations. The NSE project will replace the use of 900 thousand barrels of heating oil annually in the region with 400,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas by converting about 8,000 customers per year from heating oil to natural gas in the Northeast.

By displacing oil with cleaner burning natural gas, the project would result in the reduction of a variety of air pollutants in the region and could result in lower greenhouse gas emissions overall, since natural gas emits less carbon dioxide than oil on a volume basis when burned.

“After carefully balancing the need for the project and its environmental impacts, I find the project is in the public interest,” Cheryl LaFleur, a Democratic appointee said in her remarks while approving the project’s certificate of construction.


FERC Grants Approval for Energy Transfer's Rover Pipeline Compressor Stations

Energy Transfer Partners announced Monday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted approval to begin operating three of its Rover Pipeline compressor units in Carroll County, Ohio.

Phase 1A of the Rover Pipeline, which began operations in late August, can now move more than 1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, bringing the project closer to its goal capacity of 3.25 billion cubic feet per day.

Phase 1B of the pipeline is expected to be in service by the end of the year, and the entire pipeline is expected to be in full service by the end of the first quarter of 2018.

Energy Transfer's 713-mile Rover Pipeline is designed to transport natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica Shale production areas to markets across the U.S. and to a storage hub in Canada.

Business Wire

Dominion: Natural Gas Pipeline in New York Necessary to Meet Electricity Demand

Map that shows proposed compressor stations along Dominion's existing transmission pipeline in New York. (  Dominion  )

Map that shows proposed compressor stations along Dominion's existing transmission pipeline in New York. (Dominion)

The state of New York is struggling to keep electricity cheap as it continues to deny pipeline projects to stray away from fossil fuels.

A controversy that has grown exponentially only in recent years, pipeline projects continue to be canceled in New York, and Dominion is defending its East Coast project amid the pipeline derailments.

Dominion is requesting three air-quality permits to build two larger compressors and expand an existing compressor station for its New Market pipeline, and the decision has been delayed as the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation extended the public comment period.

According to Dominion, FERC and New York’s Public Service Commission support the pipeline project that the company claims New York needs in order to supply the state’s current electric needs.

“People have a high demand for energy, and when they flip the switch at home, they expect the electricity to come on,” said Frank Mack, a representative for Dominion.

For a state that desires solar and wind power sources for energy, Mack said natural gas would serve as a “bridge fuel” until those power sources become more developed and can provide adequate supply.

Opponents to Dominion’s project want New York to indefinitely embargo fossil fuel-related projects.

A decision on Dominion’s proposal is still underway.