Midweek Energy Updates: August 16, 2017

The full version of these articles will appear in The Foster Report No. 3162, published on August 18, 2017


PennEast Seeks Prompt Order From FERC to Meet Shippers’ Needs

August 14, 2017

PennEast Pipeline Co. LLC did not wait long after a quorum was restored at FERC to send a request for an order on its $1 billion project (CP15-558) to move Marcellus Shale natural gas to markets in the Northeast.

Shortly after Robert Powelson was sworn in at the Commission and Neil Chatterjee was named chairman on August 10, PennEast filed an August 10 letter to the commissioners, along with Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, seeking a ruling on its application for a Natural Gas Act Section 7 certificate and other authorizations.

“Prompt issuance of the certificates and other necessary Commission authorizations for the project is essential for PennEast to meet the timeframe required by the project shippers and to begin natural gas transportation service to supply-constrained markets in the Northeast at the earliest possible time,” the letter said.

The PennEast project is designed to move Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania to New Jersey and Northeast states through a 120-mile pipeline from northeast Pennsylvania to Pennington, New Jersey, with about one-third of the planned route in New Jersey. With a capacity of about 1.1 Bcf/d, it is about 90% subscribed under long-term contracts with gas utilities, power generators, and other customers, with an expected in-service date in the second half of 2018.[1]

[1] For past stories, see PennEast to Resubmit Application in New Jersey Following State Agency Action, FR No. 3156, pp. 10-11, Final Environmental Impact Statement Issued for PennEast Project; Company Says FERC Order is Next Federal Hurdle, FR No. 3144, p. 12 and PSEG Selling Ownership Interest in PennEast to Spectra, Will Remain Shipper, FR No. 3140, pp. 16-18.


Gathering System Files to Provide Transportation From Rover to REX

August 15, 2017

Ohio River System LLC (ORS), a natural gas gathering system in Ohio, has filed an application (CP17-482) at FERC to provide transportation service on its system so that Rover Pipeline LLC shippers could move their volumes on Rockies Express Pipeline LLC (REX).

The application seeks a limited jurisdiction certificate to provide transportation of up to 150,000 MMBtu/d to ORS’ connection with REX near Powhatan Point Township, Ohio. The transportation service would be provided by displacement, from ORS’ planned connection with Rover near Cadiz, Ohio, to the connection with REX.

No modification or construction of any facilities by either ORS or Rover is required for ORS to provide the transportation service, ORS told FERC.


Mountain Valley Asks FERC to Reject Protests of ICG Eastern and Coronado Coal

August 15, 2017

The Commission should deny ICG Eastern LLC’s motion for late intervention and Coronado Coal LLC’s comments about the Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC (CP16-10) project, because neither company provided any reason to support their requests, said MVP in an answer filed August 11.

MVP filed an application to construct and operate a new 301-mile-long, 42-inch diameter pipeline in West Virginia and Virginia. Aboveground facilities associated with the MVP would include three new compressor stations, totaling 171,600 hp; four new meter stations and an interconnection; two new taps; five new pig launchers and receivers; and 36 new mainline block valves. The MVP will transport 2 Bcf/d of natural gas from production areas in the Appalachian Basin to markets in the MidAtlantic and Southeastern United States.[1]

ICG’s Filing. MVP first addressed ICG’s late motion to intervene, and said that ICG had not shown good cause for why it should be allowed to intervene 20 months after the intervention period had closed. MVP noted that ICG was on the landowner list that was filed with it application, so ICG can’t claim it was not aware of the pipeline application. Also, said MVP, it contacted ICG about survey access to ICG tracts in September 2014.

ICG was aware of the project for several years, said MVP, and chose not to intervene or participate earlier in the proceedings and should not now be allowed to intervene so late and with no real reason.

[1]   For more information, see, West Virginia Issues 401 Permit for Mountain Valley Project, FR No. 3142, p. 37.


Chatterjee Comments on Baseload Generation Raise Concern Among Power Sector

Neil Chatterjee

August 15, 2017

In his first public comments as chairman at FERC, Neil Chatterjee raised some concern among power industry observers for suggesting that coal and nuclear generation may need to receive higher compensation for the reliability and resiliency the provide to the nation’s power grid.

His remarks were made in a podcast posted on the FERC website August 14, where Chatterjee addressed the backlog of cases facing the Commission following a lack of a quorum, evaluating infrastructure projects to boost economic development and ensuring grid reliability and cybersecurity remain a But his comments on baseload generation resources – which are not clearly    defined and can include coal, nuclear, natural gas-fired and other types of generation – are what prompted some reactions.

“It’s alarming to me” to see Chatterjee tout the Trump administration’s views on only certain fuel types providing grid reliability as baseload resources, said Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program an Public Citizen. “He seizes on this issue about needing to compensate uneconomic generation,” which is not part of FERC’s regulatory focus, Slocum said.

Slocum termed the podcast “very revealing” about Chatterjee’s focus stemming from him being a native of Kentucky, where coal-fired generation has been dominant but on the losing end of competitive power markets due to the growth of renewable resources and lower-cost natural gas.



These articles will appear as published in The Foster Report No. 3162, being issued on August 18, 2017

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