FERC Approval Requested for Leidy South Project

Transco interstate pipeline, operated by Williams has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking authorization for its Leidy South project. The proposed project will connect robust supplies of natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica producing regions in Pennsylvania with markets along the Atlantic Seaboard.

“The Leidy South project will allow Williams to continue to grow our strategic footprint in the gas-rich Marcellus region, creating a unique opportunity to expand Transco by leveraging recent expansions on Williams’ Northeast Gathering & Processing assets in Pennsylvania,” said Micheal Dunn, chief operating officer of Williams.

The project will also expand Transco’s firm transportation capacity by 582400 dekatherms per day from the Leidy Hub and Zick interconnect to points downstream in Transco’s Zone 5 and Zone 6 market areas. The project is expected to cost $531 million and a target in-service of 1st December, 2021.

By maximizing the use of existing Transco pipeline infrastructure and rights of way in Pennsylvania, the project is designed to minimize environmental impacts which includes 6.3 miles of existing pipe replacement, 5.9 miles of new pipeline loop segments along the existing Transco pipeline corridor, and horsepower additions at two existing compressor facilities. Two new Greenfield compressor facilities in Pennsylvania is also planned for this project.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


$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.


Gas Pipeline Builder Fined $1.5M for Failing to Maintain or Install Erosion Controls

Rice Midstream Holdings is agreeing to a $1.5 million fine for failing to prevent sedimentation and erosion into streams during construction in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The company failed for months to maintain or even install some erosion controls in 2017 while constructing the 7.5-mile Beta Trunk Pipeline, which was designed to move natural gas from wells to bigger transmission pipelines.

According to Department of Environmental Protection, in one case, it created a "soil stockpile" in a wetland.

The six-page agreement was released this week between the state Department of Environmental Protection and Rice Midstream Holdings.

The current owner of the pipeline is Equitrans Midstream Corp., but the Department of Environmental Protection says the violations began before the sale.


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.


$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.


Pennsylvania Not Happy with Energy Transfer, Mariner East 2X Permits on Hold

Energy Transfer had its construction permits in Pennsylvania halted due to a list of problems not being solved after an explosion last year. The governor said on Friday that the company failed to respect the state’s laws and the communities affected.

The Department of Environmental Protection imposed $13 million in fines as well as several temporary shutdown orders on Energy Transfer projects. They also demanded documents from the company.

"There has been a failure by Energy Transfer and its subsidiaries to respect our laws and our communities," Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement Friday. "This is not how we strive to do business in Pennsylvania, and it will not be tolerated."

One home in Beaver County was destroyed due to the methane gas explosion last September along the Beaver-to-Butler County pipeline. Energy Transfer blamed the blast on "earth movements in the vicinity of the pipeline."

As per the DEP, the company was ordered in October to stabilize the soil and erosion around its Revolution pipeline in western Pennsylvania, which hasn’t been done yet.

The permits for the 16-inch Mariner East 2X which has yet to start operating are now on hold, as per DEP spokesman, Neil Shader. 

Penn Live

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.


William Cos. Proposes $500 Million Project to Expand NatGas Pipe

Williams Cos. is set to invest $500 million in a project that will increase the amount of Marcellus Shale natural gas that can be transported from wells in the northern and western parts of Pennsylvania.

Seneca Resources Co., Cabot Oil & Gas and UGI Utilities have given Williams their commitment for the Transco pipeline to expand its capacity by 582,400 dekatherms (1 dekatherm is equivalent to about 1,000 cubic feet).

Williams will need to submit an application to FERC by next summer to begin construction in early 2021.

The project includes:

  • Replacement of 6.09 miles of Transco's existing 24-inch pipe with a 36-inch line and install a 2.46-mile, 32-inch loop, both in northwestern Clinton County.

  • Installation of a 42-inch, 3.55-mile loop in Lycoming County near the Columbia County line.

  • Updates to a compressor station in Columbia County and one in western Schuylkill County, both on the Central Penn South line.

  • Updates to a compressor station in Wyoming and one in Luzerne County on the Central Penn North line.

  • A loop is new pipe connected to and placed adjacent to an existing pipeline in the same easement.

Penn Live

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

30 Houses Evacuated After Energy Transfer 24-Inch Pipeline Explosion

Police say a gas pipeline in Center Township exploded early Monday morning forcing close to 30 homes to be evacuated.

The explosion was on Energy Transfer Partner’s 24-inch natural gas gathering line in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Reports suggested that the pipeline explosion occurred shortly before 5 a.m.

“It took time… to burn the gas that was remaining in the lines out,” police said.

Center Township Police Chief added that there were also some evacuees that required medical assistance because of their medical condition and not injuries sustained by the actual explosion.

Power lines and other towers fell, blocking a road, and closing an interstate in both directions.
The Central Valley School District – which includes Center and Potter townships and Monaca – closed all of its schools Monday due to the explosion.

Although no injuries were reported, several homes in the area were evacuated after the fire broke out, the company said in an emailed statement. The cause of the explosion is still unknown.

The fire was extinguished around two hours after the initial fire. later that morning, the company reported.

Biz Journal

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Only a Few Finishing Touches Away From Being Active

The owner of the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline has asked federal regulators for permission to activate the pipeline on September 10.

If approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the pipeline would transport natural gas from fracking wells in northeastern Pennsylvania south through a 42-inch, nearly 183-mile pipe to the existing Transco pipeline in Lancaster county near Holtwood.

Around 37 miles of the pipeline is in Lancaster County.

Gas is scheduled to go from Holtwood to markets along the eastern seaboard as far south as Alabama. There will also be some that is exported overseas from the Cove Point liquid natural gas facility near Baltimore.

Oklahoma-based William Partners estimated that the pipeline would be ready for gas by the end of August, but there were some delays in final landscaping work due to recent heavy rains that resulted in final cleanup and restoration work above ground being prolonged, the company said in its filing.

The company told FERC that it has developed a plan to expedite the remaining restoration activities after rain damaged some of the completed section of the pipeline rights of way above ground.

The above ground restoration is not expected to be completed until October, although it will have no effect on the below-ground pipeline if it is transporting gas, a Williams spokesman said.

Lancaster Online

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.