Sunoco Logistics to Resume Drilling for Mariner East 2 Pipeline Under New Settlement Agreements

Sunoco Logistics has been given the green light to resume drilling for the Mariner East 2 pipeline after the company reached a settlement with state officials and environmental groups in Pennsylvania.

Sunoco has agreed to re-evaluate high-risk sites associated with its 350-mile pipeline project, according to the agreement.

The company plans to re-evaluate 47 high-risk sites and submit the drilling plans of those sites to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for approval. The re-evaluations will also be posted online.

Sunoco said it will also send the plans to homeowners who have private wells near the drilling sites and will offer opportunities to have their water tested.

Drilling for the pipeline had tainted the wells of close to 30 residences in West Whiteland Township, Pennsylvania back in July.

The settlement came one day before a scheduled hearing with Pennsylvania's Environmental Hearing Board on a petition to halt all drilling. The hearing was postponed to a future date pending a review by the environmental board.

The $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 pipeline would carry propane, butane, and ethane from the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation to an export terminal near Philadelphia.

Houston Chronicle

Members of Congress Ask FERC to Investigate Practices of Major Pipeline Operator after Reported Spills and Permit Violations

Two democratic members of Congress are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to investigate practices of Energy Transfer Partners, which recently merged with Sunoco Logistics, after several spills and permit violations were reported on two of the pipeline operator's major pipeline projects, including the Mariner East 2 pipeline.

In their letter to FERC, the lawmakers mention reported spills in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania as well as a permit violation in eastern Pennsylvania in West Goshen Township.

A judge ordered last week that the pipeline operator temporarily stop construction on part of the Mariner East 2 pipeline in Pennsylvania where West Goshen Township says it had not agreed to construction in a 2015 settlement agreement with the company.

Sunoco Logistics, which is now called Energy Transfer Partners after the merger, is building the $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 pipeline to carry an initial capacity of 275,000 barrels per day of propane, butane, and ethane from the Marcellus Shale fields to an export terminal in Marcus Hook near Philadelphia.

The Department of Environmental Protection in West Virginia also halted construction on part of Energy Transfer's Rover pipeline last week due to water contamination incidents.

Energy Transfer complied with the temporary halt in construction and is working with regulators and authorities, according to a spokesman for the company.

NPR - State Impact Pennsylvania

Sunoco Logistics Receives Permits to Begin Pipeline Construction

Sunoco Logistics Natural Gas Liquids Segment Map ( Sunoco Logistics )

Sunoco Logistics Natural Gas Liquids Segment Map (Sunoco Logistics)

Sunoco Logistics announced Monday that it has received the necessary permits from the Department of Environmental Protection to begin construction of its 306-mile Mariner East 2 pipeline.

The Mariner East 2 pipeline will carry 275,000 barrels per day of propane and other natural gas liquids from Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale natural gas fields to a processing and distribution facility in Philadelphia, expanding the capacity of its existing Mariner East 1 pipeline by four times.

Operations are expected to start in the first half of this year, according to Sunoco Logistics.

Sunoco Logistics


Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rejects Appeal by Property Owners Fighting Eminent Domain for Sunoco Pipeline

Map shows proposed route for Mariner East 2 Pipeline (Sunoco Logistics Partners)

Map shows proposed route for Mariner East 2 Pipeline (Sunoco Logistics Partners)

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court denied an appeal on Thursday by three Pennsylvania families who are fighting the use of eminent domain for Sunoco Logistics' Mariner East 2 Pipeline project.

The state's highest court decided on this refusal just five months after the lower Commonwealth Court panel rejected appeals from the three families who are fighting to keep their land from the natural gas transmission pipeline.

Sunoco's Mariner East 2 Pipeline has a proposed 300-mile route from southwestern Pennsylvania in Washington County to southeastern Pennsylvania in Delaware County. The company says the pipeline would provide four times the capacity to move natural gas from Marcellus Shale to its Marcus Hook processing and distribution facility in Delaware County.


Sunoco Logistics Finishes Restoration on Ruptured Pipeline in Pennsylvania

Sunoco Logistics has repaired its gasoline pipeline that spilled an estimated 55,000 gallons into a tributary of Loyalsock Creek in October as a result of flashfloods and landslides in the area.

According to reporting by PA Homepage, the repairs have been made to the line, and service has been restored to the eight-inch refined pipeline.

Heavy rainfall on October 21 caused the flashfloods and landslides, which in turn caused a bridge to wash out into the creek and rupture the pipeline. The severe flooding kept emergency crews from immediately being able to inspect the rupture and had to wait until the flooding receded in order to investigate the cause.

Past reports indicate that the water quality was closely observed by Sunoco and Pennsylvania American Water.

PA Homepage

Sunoco Logistics, Exxon Mobil to Combine Pipeline Assets in Strategic Joint Venture

Sunoco Logistics Partners is forming a joint venture with Exxon Mobil, which will give more strategic assets to Sunoco near the Dakota Access Pipeline and also help increase its footprint in West Texas.

In the deal, called Permian Express Partners, both companies will contribute assets, and Sunoco will take a stake of 85 percent while Exxon takes the remaining 15 percent.

Sunoco is contributing to the deal its Permian Express 1 and 2 and its Permian Longview and Louisiana Access pipelines. Exxon’s contributions include its Longview and Louisiana Pegasus pipelines, Hawking gathering system, an idle pipeline in Oklahoma, and its terminal in Patoka, Illinois.

This joint venture expands Sunoco’s footprint in the Permian Basin, a hot spot for exploration and production companies as well as midstream operators.

Owning a majority stake in Exxon’s terminal in Pakota, Illinois is an advantage for Sunoco because the terminal connects to the Dakota Access Pipeline, which Sunoco will operate once the pipeline is complete.


PHSMA Issues Civil Penalties of Combined $382,800 to Kinder Morgan, Sunoco Logistics

PHSMA announced Wednesday it issued a Notice of Probable Violation, Proposed Compliance Order and Proposed Civil Penalty to both Kinder Morgan and Sunoco Logistics Partners after separate inspections led to findings of probable violations of Federal pipeline safety regulations.

PHSMA issued a notice, order, and penalty of $131,000 to Kinder Morgan Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America after the administration inspected the company’s 4,312-mile KM Gas NGPL East System that runs from Texas to Illinois and found five probable violations of Federal pipeline safety regulations. Some violations include “failing to adhere to a procedural manual for operations and maintenance activities by omitting valve and component conditions from 553 valves records, and a failure to document that valves were partially operated during NGPL’s inspections of emergency valves,” according to PHMSA’s statement.

PHMSA also issued a notice, order, and penalty of $251, 800 to Sunoco Logistics Partners after the administration inspected the November 2015 accident at Sunoco’s Wortham, Texas facility that injured several workers. Two probable violations identified during inspection include “failing to have a formal written procedure for the operation and maintenance of the 10-inch flow control valve involved in the accident, and failing to follow a written plan to ensure isolations of all energy sources prior to the start of work on the day the incident occurred,” according to the PHMSA statement.


Sunoco Gasoline Pipeline Leaks 55,000 Gallons in Pennsylvania

Loyalsock Creek in Pennsylvania, by Ruhrfisch - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Loyalsock Creek in Pennsylvania, by Ruhrfisch - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

A pipeline in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania ruptured early Friday morning and spilled an estimated 55,000 gallons of gasoline into a tributary of Loyalsock Creek.

The pipeline rupture was a result of flashfloods and landslides during heavy rainfall on Thursday night, according to a report by the Department of Environmental Protection.

Sunoco Logistics, owner of the ruptured pipeline, detected a decrease in pressure on the eight-inch line at around 3:00am on Friday morning and immediately responded by shutting down the pipeline and sending emergency response crews to the site.

The severe flooding from rainfall is keeping emergency crews from being able to inspect and locate the rupture on the line. Environmental officials said they would have to wait until the flooding recedes before a break on the line can be found.

Environmental officials have asked several towns near the area to shut off or conserve their water sources as a precaution.

The affected pipeline was originally built in 1937, according to Sunoco spokesman Jeff Shields. He added that the sections of pipe in the area of rupture were replaced in 1992 and 2011.

Sunoco crews plan to use skimmers to remove gasoline from the water surface and use containment booms downstream.

According to Reuters data, Sunoco Logistics spills crude more often than any of its competitors, having a record of more than 200 leaks since 2010.

State Impact

Sunoco Logistics Buys Permian Basin Pipeline System for $760 Million

Sunoco Logistics Partners LP announced Monday that it is purchasing a crude terminal and gathering system in the Permian Basin from Vitol Group for $760 million plus working capital as the company strategizes to expand its presence in the prolific oil basin.

Also included in the deal is Sunoco’s purchase of the 50-percent interest in SunVit Pipeline LLC.

Because the Permian Basin is one of the few areas where drilling is still profitable at current oil prices, Sunoco is taking advantage of the real estate and hopes to continue growing its crude platform in the basin.

Energy Transfer Partners LP and Energy Transfer Equity LP, owners of Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, support the acquisition, according to Michael Hennigan, President and CEO for Sunoco Logistics Partners LP.

“[Energy Transfer] shares our vision of the substantial growth opportunities from production in the Permian Basin… Long-term, with Energy Transfer’s growing crude gathering presence in West Texas combined with our extensive mainline crude platform and gathering assets, we expect growth opportunities for our partnerships in this very competitive region,” Hennigan said in a statement.

Sunoco Logistics

Sunoco Logistics to Restart Permian Express II Pipeline within Several Days

Sunoco Logistics Crude Oil Segment Map (Sunoco Logistics)

Sunoco Logistics announced that the restart of its Permian Express II pipeline should be expected within the next several days and that it is currently working on a return-to-service plan that was issued by PHMSA last week, according to a notice seen by Reuters.

PHMSA ordered the shutdown of a section of the line after a leak that spilled 800 barrels was detected on September 10 near Sweetwater, Texas.

The spill occurred just months after PHMSA issued a civil penalty of $1.3 million to Sunoco for violating welding practices when constructing the Permian Express II, which has been in operation since the middle of 2015.

The Permian Express II transports crude oil for 279 miles from Colorado City, Texas to Corsicana, Texas.


Injured Welder in Sunoco Fire Files Lawsuit

A worker injured by a flash fire that occurred last Friday at a Texas refinery is suing Sunoco Logistics and Carber, accusing the companies of causing the explosion.

Welder for L-Con Inc. Edward Galvan is one of seven who were injured at the Sunoco crude oil refinery near Beaumont, Texas and subsequently hospitalized for burns from a liquid fire.

Sunoco told the L-Con workers to “conduct welding operations on two flanges on a closed line at the facility,” according to the court papers. The lawsuit writes that Sunoco represented the line to be "clean, clear, and ready for work.”

According to the lawsuit, pressure began inside the line as Galvan and other L-Con employees began to work. A plug designed and installed by Carber failed and was ejected from the line. Crude oil within the line then ignited and caused a flash fire.

The suit states that Galvan’s welding mask was knocked off from the explosion, exposing his face to the liquid fire. The fire also covered his neck and upper chest.

According to the lawsuit, Galvan was able to jump from the scaffold to prevent the possibility of having “been burned alive.”

He, along with two other workers, were helicoptered to Memorial Hermann’s burn unit, and the remaining four workers were taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

Galvan is seeking a lawsuit to “recover for injuries sustained as a result of this incident,” according to the lawsuit.

Houston Chronicle