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.


New Permit Applications Submitted by Williams for Raritan Bay Pipeline

Williams has filed new permit applications with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to build its proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Project. The project includes a natural gas pipeline under Raritan Bay to New York and a new compressor station in Franklin Township.

"We strongly believe the discrete technical issues raised by the DEP on June 5 were addressed in our previous application and, in this application, we have provided additional information showing that these issues have been addressed," Christopher Stockton, a Williams spokesperson, said in a statement.

The company's initial application was denied by the DEP and a similar rejection by New York regulators in May. An environmental group has already criticized the company's action for filing new permit application.

"New Jersey’s denial outlined the serious violations of laws and regulations, in particular the lack of need, the impact from toxic contaminated sediments, and the failure to prove that this project is in the public interest. It is clear that as long as the door is left open they will continue to try and push this pipeline through" Peter Blair, policy attorney for Clean Ocean Action, said in a statement.


NJ Joins NY in Rejecting the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project

New Jersey rejected the plans for Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline project to move more natural gas to New York City by the winter of 2020-2021, Kallanish Energy reports.

A similar decision was taken last month by New York regulators. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has denied the water-quality certification needed by Williams for the project.

The agency said the project could “adversely impact surface water quality.” Williams is planning to resubmit the application. They have also refiled the permit application to New York regulators and is pending.

The Northeast Supply Enhancement project includes 10 miles of pipeline loops in Pennsylvania, three in New Jersey, 23 miles offshore in New Jersey and New York, a new compressor station in New Jersey and additional horsepower at an existing compressor station in Pennsylvania.

The project is being developed by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co., a Williams’ subsidiary and in New York, the pipeline would stretch under New York Bay to the Queens area of New York City.

National Grid, the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeast U.S said the project is crucial because pipeline capacity to New York is at capacity and natural gas demand in the New York City region is projected to grow by 10% in the next 10 years.


Williams Partners 24-Mile Underwater Pipeline Permit Denied

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation denied a water quality permit for a 24-mile Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline project from New Jersey to Queens. The pipeline project would expand the Transco pipeline and would allow National Grid to bring natural gas from Pennsylvania’s shale gas fields to the metropolitan region.

The pipeline was initially approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on May 3, but the environmental groups opposing the pipeline states that the pipeline will threaten marine life and extend the reliance on fossil fuels rather than renewable energy sources. Williams Partners, the pipeline developer said the project is crucial for meeting rising demand for natural gas in New York City and Long Island.

In denying the permit, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said the project “fails to meet New York State’s rigorous water quality standards” and “would cause impacts to habitats due to the disturbance of shellfish beds and other benthic resources.”

”Our team will be evaluating the issue and resubmitting the application quickly,” said Chris Stockton, a spokesman for Williams Partners. “We are confident that we can be responsive to this technical concern, meet our customer’s in-service date and avoid a moratorium that would have a devastating impact on the regional economy and environment.”


Deal Signed to Supply More Natural Gas to New York State by Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan has signed a deal with New York utility company Con Edison that will allow it to supply greater volumes of natural gas to upstate New York.

By upgrading its compression facilities outside of the New York, Tennessee Gas Pipeline would provide the increased natural gas capacity to Con Edison's distribution system in Westchester County, New York.

Tennessee Gas Pipeline already supplies natural gas to the rural county just north of New York City but the upgrades are expected to boost volumes in Con Edison's distribution system. The increased capacity could be placed in service by November 2023, which is subject to regulatory approvals.

Through this deal, it will boosts the natural gas supplies without having to build a new pipeline as New York State has blocked pipelines companies from building new natural gas pipelines or expanding existing ones within the state.


Stonepeak Buys Oryx Midstream in a $3.6 Billion Deal

In a $3.6 billion deal, New York private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners bought all of Permian Basin-focused pipeline operator Oryx Midstream’s assets, the two companies announced the deal on Tuesday.

Oryx is publicized as the largest privately-held crude oil pipeline and storage terminal operator in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, with more than 1,200 miles of pipeline and 2.1 million barrels of storage.

"As we begin our next chapter and new partnership with Stonepeak, we look forward to the operational and capital support they will provide our team as we continue to aggressively grow our footprint in the Permian Basin," Oryx Midstream CEO Brett Wiggs said in a statement.

"Our critical focus will be on continuing to provide Oryx's diversified customer base with best in class service offerings to accommodate their growing production while also pursuing new commercial opportunities across the value-chain," Stonepeak partner and energy business head Jack Howell said.

The Midland pipeline operator recently completed construction on the first phase of a crude oil gathering system in an area of the Permian Basin known as the southern Delaware Basin, which includes parts of southern New Mexico and West Texas. Oryx will be able to keep its name and headquarters in Midland, under the deal with Stonepeak.


Trump Administration Considering Executive Order to Limit States’ Ability to Prevent Pipeline Projects

The Trump administration is looking at limiting states’ abilities to block interstate gas pipelines and other energy projects, according to three sources familiar with the deliberations.

The effort, possibly done through an executive order, is aimed chiefly at states in the Northeast United States, where pipeline projects have been facing pressure from fierce opposition.

The added pressure has helped prevent abundant shale gas in Pennsylvania and Ohio from reaching consumers in New York and other cities.

While the administration’s efforts would mostly put focus on boosting limited pipeline capacity in the northeast, the initiative could help drive permitting and construction of other energy projects.

Despite President Donald Trump postponing the State of the Union address thus making an exact timing of any announcement unclear, there are expectations that he would use the speech to tout efforts to accelerate permitting and construction of oil and gas pipelines.

Andrew Burton

New York Court Rules Eminent Domain Only Permissible if Project is Legal, National Fuel Considering Appeal

An appeals court in upstate New York ruled in favor of landowners fighting against a planned project by National Fuel to build a pipeline from Pennsylvania to Lake Ontario.

The court ruled corporations can use eminent domain to gain access to private property only if the project is legal. National Fuel Gas’s project is not legal based on the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s previous ruling stating that the pipeline does not meet water quality standards.

The New York Company, National Fuel Gas, issued a statement backing its commitment to the project as they consider an appeal.

National Fuel has until Dec. 9 to file its appeal.

Star Tribune

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.



New York Agencies Request Ban on Pipelines Near Indian Point Nuclear Plant

New York State agencies have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reduce pipeline risks near the Indian Point nuclear facility in Westchester County, according to the Department of Public Service.

The New York State agencies called for a ban on the Algonquin pipelines’ additional natural gas capacity on Friday.

The New York agencies that are urging FERC to take additional action and minimize risks include the New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and the Departments of Public Service, Environmental Conservation, and Health.

The nuclear plant is said to shut down in 2020 and 2021 under a deal between Entergy Corp, which owns the Indian Point nuclear plant, and the state.


Water Permit Denial Keeping Constitution Pipeline From Being Built, Extension Needed

Williams Cos asked U.S. energy regulators on Monday to extend the time needed to build their Constitution pipeline which stretches from Pennsylvania to New York until December 2020.

The extension is needed because Williams said New York regulators denied the company’s request for a water quality certification permit.

Williams is waiting on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to rule on its latest appeal after challenging the denial.

FERC originally gave the company until the end of 2016 to complete the project but FERC granted the company an extension to finish the project by December 2018.

With the water permit fight ongoing, Williams said it can’t have the project finished by then.

With necessary approval, Williams said it would take about 10-12 months for the pipeline to be built.


U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Constitution Pipeline Over New York Water Quality Permit

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by developers of the Constitution Pipeline to challenge New York state's refusal to issue a necessary water permit for the proposed natural gas pipeline.

Developers of the Constitution Pipeline filed with FERC to build the pipeline in 2013 and also applied for a water permit from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation in the same year.

The state rejected the request in April 2016, saying the pipeline company failed to provide enough information to determine whether the pipeline would align with the state's water quality standards.

Constitution Pipeline developers appealed New York state's decision to the 2nd Circuit but did not win.

The Supreme Court's refusal to hear Constitution's appeal of the 2nd Circuit's decision is not necessarily the end of the pipeline's journey, however, as FERC also has to decide whether it wants to overturn New York's decision to reject the water permit. FERC, which approved the pipeline in 2014 and again in 2016, is still considering the issue.

Constitution Pipeline is a partnership between Williams Cos, Duke Energy, WGL Holdings, and Cabot Oil & Gas.


New York Denies Water Quality Permit for Transco Pipeline Expansion

New York regulators rejected a needed permit for a proposed pipeline expansion project that would increase natural gas deliveries to New York City.

The Department of Environmental Conservation denied a state water quality permit for a proposed expansion of the Transco pipeline that extends from Texas to the Northeast coast saying the project shows potentially significant environmental impacts.

The Northeast Supply Enhancement project would be a 17-mile extension of 26-inch-diameter underwater pipe from New Jersey to Queens.

Williams Partners, the developer of Transco, says it will resubmit its application and work with the Department of Environmental Conservation in ways required to receive the needed water permit.

Houston Chronicle

Developers of Constitution Pipeline Ask FERC for Rehearing of NY Denial of Water Permit

Developers of the proposed Constitution Pipeline asked FERC on Monday to review their order related to a water quality permit that was denied for the project by the state of New York.

The Constitution natural gas pipeline, which would move 125 miles from Pennsylvania to New York, was denied a water quality permit in 2016 by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation for failing to provide sufficient information as to whether the pipeline would comply with the state's water quality standards.

Constitution Pipeline appealed New York's decision, but the federal appeals court last year upheld New York's decision to deny the permit.

FERC last month also rejected the developers' request to overturn New York's denial of the water permit.

Constitution Pipeline argues that New York failed to act within a reasonable amount of time on the application for a water quality permit.

The project was first proposed in 2013 and filed by Williams to FERC. It was then approved by FERC in 2014 and then again in 2016, conditioned on other approvals.

The Constitution Pipeline is owned by subsidiaries of Williams, Cabot Oil & Gas, Duke Energy, and WGL Holdings.

Due to the delays, the estimated cost for the pipeline has boosted from about $683 million to as high as $875 million according to reports in upstate New York newspapers.


FERC Upholds New York Denial of Water Permit for Williams Constitution NatGas Pipeline

FERC on Thursday rejected Williams Cos' request to overturn New York's denial of a water quality permit for the proposed Constitution natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York, further delaying the project that has been proposed since 2013.

Williams said it would consider seeking a rehearing and possibly an appeal of FERC's decision if necessary as it remains committed to putting the Constitution pipeline into operation.

In 2013 the proposed project had an estimated cost of approximately $683 million, but delays have risen the approximate cost to as high as $875 million.

Williams had filed for a water quality certification from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in August 2013 and then withdrew and resubmitted the application twice following the DEC's request.

The DEC denied the application in April 2016 saying Williams did not provide enough information about the project's compliance with the state's water quality standards.

If built, the 125-mile Constitution pipeline would transport up to 0.65 billion cubic feet per day of shale gas from Pennsylvania to New York.


Constitution Pipeline Could Be in Service by First Half of 2019

The proposed Constitution natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York could be in service as early as the first half of 2019 if it receives the necessary regulatory approvals, according to the developers of the pipeline.

Constitution Pipeline asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Wednesday to overturn New York's rejection of a required water permit needed for construction of the project. The state denied the permit in 2016 for environmental reasons.

Constitution argues that because New York failed to act within a reasonable period of time on its application that such failure constitutes a waiver of the water quality certification requirement, as said in the Clean Water Act.

If FERC grants Constitution Pipeline's petition, the company said it would request a Clean Water Act permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The 125-mile Constitution Pipeline would transport up to 0.65 billion cubic feet per day of shale gas from Pennsylvania to New York.

The Constitution Pipeline is a subsidiary of Williams Partners, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp, Duke Energy Corp, and WGL Holdings.


Pipeline Industry Praises FERC Decision to Override Denial of Permit for Millennium Pipeline

The pipeline industry on Friday praised FERC’s decision to override New York’s denial of a water permit for constructing the Millennium Pipeline in the state.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which had been inactive for months, now has the quorum it needs to make decisions related to interstate natural gas pipelines after two new commissioners were appointed by the president.

The state of New York had denied in August a water quality certification for the 7.8-mile Millenium Pipeline that was to provide natural gas from an existing pipeline to the Valley Energy Center power plant in Wawayanda, New York.

After FERC’s overturn of the denial, which the commission said was the result of the state’s failure to act within a year of the original application in 2015, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation said it would review whether to appeal the decision.

Other pipeline companies are hoping FERC will relieve other project constraints as well, including Williams’ Constitution pipeline and Natural Fuel Gas’ Northern Access pipelines from Pennsylvania.


Williams' Constitution Natural Gas Pipeline Sees Another Setback

A federal appeals court Friday supported New York's rejection of the proposed Constitution natural gas pipeline, upholding state authority to do so because of concerns over potential damage to waterways.

The U.S. Court of Appeals Second Circuit rejected a lawsuit from the owners of Constitution that challenged the decision by New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation last year not to grant the project a water-quality permit.

The court's support was a victory for state jurisdiction over federal environmental laws, but developers of the pipeline said the state was ignoring the jobs and energy the project would promote.

The proposed 121-mile Constitution pipeline, which would be operated by Williams, is designed to increase the use of natural gas from the Marcellus shale deposits in northeastern Pennsylvania in southern New York and select areas of New England.

Developer of Constitution said it may take the case o the federal appeals court in D.C.

Houston Chronicle
Seeking Alpha

Colonial Pipeline Company Fills Largest U.S. Gasoline Pipeline As Demand in Northeast Recovers

Colonial Pipeline is back to rationing space on its gasoline pipeline, the largest gasoline pipeline in the U.S., as demand moves more fuel to the East Coast and prices grow stronger.

Colonial Pipeline's Line 1 ran below capacity for about 45 days starting in July but has now restarted its practice of rationing space and froze shippers' ability to nominate more fuels this month in order to maintain the line's five-day cycle shipping frequency.

Demand to ship fuel on the line had fallen below capacity for the first time in six years last June as traders and refiners increased exports instead of shipping to the northeast where stockpiles were bloated.

The summer season has driven up demand, resulting in inventories to fall more in line with the five-year average in recent weeks.

The gasoline pipeline carries approximately 1.3 billion barrels a day from a refining hub near Houston to northern, high-demand locations like New York City.


Kinder Morgan Pitching Possible Natural Gas Pipeline in Northeast

Kinder Morgan is pitching future natural gas pipeline capacity in the Northeast a year after its Northeast Energy Direct pipeline was terminated due to inadequate customer commitments.

Tennessee Gas Pipeline, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, suggested tentative plans for new infrastructure in New York and New England when it announced an open season in May for new capacity that could be in place by November 2018.

The additional capacity would address the needs of local distribution companies that are unable to fully serve their customers, according to a Kinder Morgan spokesperson.

No specific plan has been established as Kinder Morgan continues to determine the level of customer interested in additional gas service, but the company could provide increased capacity by either new compression or pipeline facilities, reserved capacity, or building other facilities or modifications.