Dominion Canceling Sweden Valley NatGas Project

Dominion Energy has pulled the plug on its $48 million Sweden Valley natural gas project, citing a protracted approval process by the FERC as the reason.

The Marcellus shale natural gas project from Pennsylvania to markets in Eastern Ohio will fall short on its contractual demands for its gas.

In a letter to FERC, Dominion said that the environmental assessment issued last August concluded "if Dominion constructs and operates the proposed facilities in accordance with its application and supplements, and the staff's recommended mitigation measures below, approval of the Project would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment."

A former FERC commissioner said in an email that "in many cases, pipeline applicants request decision dates in order to be able to meet construction schedules and fulfill contractual obligations to the shippers who will transport natural gas using the newly constructed pipeline capacity."

Pipeline Tech Journal

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.


PHMSA Files Appeal in Enbridge Line 5 Pipeline Case

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration filed an appeal with the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio. The administration is appealing to rewrite a federal judge’s decision on an oil spill plan for the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan.

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith in Detroit had ruled that the documents were incomplete and had criticized the agency for approving the plans. He said PHMSA had failed to conduct environmental reviews and it must take another look at the plans prepared for Enbridge’s Line 5.

The judge called for an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement in defense of the decisions and also ordered the agency to provide more information about its reasons for approving the plans.

Although the plans were filed by Enbridge in 2015 and 2017, the ruling came in connection with a lawsuit filed by the National Wildlife Federation. Line 5 carries 23 million gallons of oil and liquids per day through Michigan on its way from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario.


Vectren Energy Upgrades Gas Pipelines in Muncie, Indiana

As part of the Vectren Energy’s pipeline replacement program, contract crews have begun replacing gas mains and service lines in Muncie, Indiana. The company intends to retire a total of nearly 130 miles in Muncie through the end of the pipeline replacement program.

A polyethylene (plastic) system is being installed in most cases, to replace the current bare steel and cast-iron gas pipeline system.

According to the release, the gas main will be replaced within the right-of-way, and then the service lines running directly to homes and businesses will be replaced. Nearly $2.9 million will go toward retiring more than five miles of gas main and nearly 300 service lines in Muncie in 2019.

“Construction for these pipeline projects may take several weeks to complete, and times may vary based on the size of the project, weather, ground surface/soil and other situations that may arise,” Richard Leger, vice president of Natural Gas Distribution, Indiana and Ohio said in the release.


$34 Million Major Pipeline Construction Contract Awarded to Wood

A construction contract for 28 miles of new Risberg pipeline designed to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to Ohio has been awarded to Wood. The $34 million contract from RH energytrans LLC was awarded through a competitive tender process.

The pipeline will connect to approximately 32 miles of existing pipeline, originating in the Meadville, Pennsylvania area, extending in a northwest direction and terminating at the North Kingsville Meter Station. Approximately 16 miles of new pipeline will be installed in Pennsylvania and 12 miles in Ohio.

The scope of the contract also includes the construction of the North Kingsville meter station in Ashtabula County, Ohio. The project is underway and is expected to be completed in summer 2019.

“We’re delighted to be playing a key role in this strategic project, helping to support the supply of domestic energy to Northeast Ohio communities and industries who have had limited access to natural gas sources.” said Andrew Stewart, CEO of Wood’s Asset Solutions Americas business.

“Wood provided the initial technical, environmental consulting and engineering services on this project. We now look forward to progressing that support to the construction phase,” Stewart added.


Joint Venture to be formed by Williams and CPPIB on $3.8 Billion Marcellus-Utica Shale Gas

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is joining with U.S. energy firm Williams Cos Inc. in a $3.8 billion joint venture to expand its presence in the North American natural gas market.

The joint venture includes Williams’ Ohio Valley Midstream system in the Marcellus shale basin and the Utica East Ohio Midstream system. Canada’s largest pension fund will have a 35 percent stake in the venture, with Williams holding the rest and operating the combined business, the companies said on Monday.

“This joint venture will provide CPPIB additional exposure to the attractive North American natural gas market, aligning with our growing focus on energy transition,” said Avik Dey, managing director, head of energy & resources, CPPIB.

Williams Cos Inc. holds pipeline assets in the Marcellus and Utica shale basins, the biggest gas-producing region in the United States.


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.


$4.6 Billion Mountain Valley Natural Gas Pipeline to Be Completed by Fourth-Quarter 2019.

The 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline  from West Virginia to Virginia is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019 despite remaining legal challenges against the project, EQM Midstream Partners revealed on Thursday.

Mountain Valley is about 70 percent complete while it works through the project’s remaining legal challenges, including securing a Nationwide 12 Permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for stream and waterbody crossings, the company said.

The pipeline is designed to deliver 2 billion cubic feet per day and is one of the biggest pipelines under construction to connect growing output in the Marcellus and Utica shale basins in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio with customers in other parts of the United States and Canada.


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

Enbridge Races to Return Part of Damaged Ohio TETCO Pipe Prior to Next Week's Polar Vortex

Ahead of a polar vortex plummeting temperatures to 10-year lows, Enbridge said it plans to restore southbound natural gas flows on part of its Texas Eastern pipeline in Ohio after an explosion on one of three lines earlier this week.

The company said in a late Thursday notice that it was working on returning at least one of the undamaged pipes in the area of the blast to increase north-to-south flows by January 28-30th.

The shutdown on Monday forced drillers to reduce output in the Marcellus and Utica shale, the nation’s biggest gas producing region, just one week prior to the vortex hitting the eastern half of the country.

The region’s total output slipped from 30 billion cubic feet per day, to 29 bcpd after the blast. The 1
bcpd difference is enough to impact 5 million U.S. homes.


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 Gas Pipeline Explosion Strong Enough to Damage Two Homes and Injure Two People

A fireball caused by an Enbridge natural gas pipeline explosion in Ohio damaged homes and prompted the evacuation of nearby residents.

The explosion occurred on Enbridge’s Texas Eastern pipeline system and appeared to have destroyed two homes, said Chasity Schmelzenbach, emergency management director for Noble County, Ohio.

“We got reports flames were shooting (up) 80 feet to 200 feet (25-60 meters),” Schmelzenbach said.

“You could see it upwards of 10-15 miles (16-24 km) away. Lots of people thought it was in their backyard because it does appear large.”

Enbridge said that two people were injured in the 10:40 a.m. EST blast, and that the company “immediately started to shut in and isolate that section of the pipeline” while cooperating with authorities.

A PHMSA investigator has been dispatched.


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.


Energy Transfer to Team Up with Multiple Companies and Build 600 Mile Permian Pipeline

Energy Transfer Partners is teaming up with Magellan Midsteam Partners and others as they plan a new 600-mile Permian pipeline system to Houston.

Dallas-based Energy Transfer and Oklahoma’s Megellan said they have partnered with Israel’s Delek Group and Ohio-based MPLX, which is the pipeline arm of Marathon Petroleum, to fund the construction of the multibillion-dollar pipeline project. They have confirmed that they have enough customer support to move forward.

The new partnership adds another project to the race to build crude oil pipelines from West Texas’ booming Permian Basin to refining and export hubs in Houston, Corpus Christi, and Beaumont.

Due to the lack of pipelines carrying oil, Permian oil drilling and well completions are slowing down. Until new pipelines start coming in the middle of 2019, companies are relying on trucks and trains to move crude.

The pipeline would come online in mid-2020 and would stretch to Magellan’s East Houston terminal and to Energy Transfer’s Nederland terminal near Beaumont.


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.



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.


FERC Allows Energy Transfer to Start Service on More Segments of its Rover NatGas Pipeline

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday allowed Energy Transfer Partners to start service on a couple more segments of its Rover natural gas pipeline in Ohio.

Service can now start on the Supply Connector in Ohio and parts of Mainline B, a 42-inch pipe that runs next to the 42-inch Mainline A pipe in Ohio.

FERC said it is still considering the pipeline company's request to start service on other segments of the line that run from Pennsylvania to Ohio and West Virginia to Ohio.

Energy Transfer said Wednesday that placing all the requested segments into service would unlock about 0.85 billion cubic feet per day of capacity that is not yet available to the market, which could help offset the nation's current storage deficit.

The Rover natural gas pipeline is the biggest gas pipeline project under construction in the U.S. and is designed to move 3.25 billion cubic feet per day of gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale fields to the U.S. Midwest, Gulf Coast, and Canada.


Democrats Ask FERC for Briefing On Environmental Concerns Related to Rover Pipeline Construction

House and Senate Democrats are asking FERC to provide them with a briefing on the environmental practices of pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners who is constructing the Rover Pipeline in Ohio.

In a request to FERC, Democratic representatives wrote that they would like a briefing to more fully understand issues of operating in full compliance and minimizing environmental risk during pipeline construction as it relates to Energy Transfer Partner's activities.

Writers of the letter seem to be concerned with Energy Transfer Partners' water quality management when it comes to building the 713-mile Rover Pipeline, which is designed to carry up to 3.25 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale fields in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia to the Midwest and Ontario, Canada.

The letter to FERC cited an occurrence where FERC last month ordered Energy Transfer Partners to halt horizontal drilling near the Tuscarawas River in Ohio after the pipeline company lost drilling fluid down the hole. The letter also noted that this was not the first time FERC had raised issues over the pipeline's construction.

In the rare request, the Democratic representatives wrote that they are concerned over Energy Transfer's "lack of urgency in addressing environmental risks" during its construction of the Rover Pipeline.

Energy Transfer wrote on its Rover Pipeline website that it continues to work closely with FERC in regard to Rover and seeks to maintain environmental stewardship.

Washington Examiner

NEXUS Pipeline Builder Offers Ohio City $7.5 Million in Lawsuit Settlements

Green, Ohio voted Wednesday to accept $7.5 million in lawsuit settlements from NEXUS Transmission, who is building a natural gas pipeline through the city.

The Green City Council voted 4 to 3 to accept the settlement, saying it was best for the city.

NEXUS Transmission, a partnership between Enbridge and DTE Energy, is building a $2 billion, 255-mile natural gas pipeline that will carry gas from Appalachia across Ohio and into Michigan.

The eight-mile section of pipeline that would travel through Green, Ohio has faced heavy opposition from city residents and officials, but the City Council decided it would be better to receive something for the pipeline than nothing at all.

The city filed a lawsuit against the pipeline project in the summer of last year, saying it would exhaust all options to stop the line from traveling through the city.

The NEXUS Gas Transmission project gained FERC approval in August of last year.

Fox 8 Cleveland

Tallgrass Isolates Segment of Pipeline in Ohio after Gas Release, Fire

Tallgrass Energy Partners said it isolated a segment of its Seneca Lateral pipeline following an unexpected release of natural gas and fire in Noble County, Ohio on Wednesday.

The natural gas release and fire that occurred at 2:30am ET on Wednesday resulted in no injuries or evacuations, the company reported. All fires are out, and the cause is being investigated.

The Seneca Lateral pipeline that runs between the MPLX MarkWest processing plant and the Tallgrass Rockies Express (REX) pipeline will remain unavailable until repairs can be made, the company told its customers.

The Seneca Lateral pipeline feeds gas from Utica shale producers onto its REX pipeline after processing at the MarkWest Seneca facility.