Brennan Weintraub - Research Assistant
Jackie Schweichler - Staff Attorney
The following information is an update of recent local, state, national, and international legal developments relevant to shale gas.
LNG Exports: FERC Gives Final Approval of Gulf Connector Expansion Facilities
On January 2, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sent a letter allowing Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company to place into service the last two facilities in its Gulf Connector Expansion project. The order allows the company to begin service on two compressor facilities, in San Patricio and Wharton counties in Texas. The facilities are part of a larger project to transport natural gas to LNG export terminals on the Texas coast. The project, now completed, will deliver 475,000 dekatherms a day of natural gas to two terminals, one at Corpus Christi Bay and one at Freeport Bay.
Pipelines: FERC Releases Environmental Assessment for Adelphia Gateway Project
On January 4, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) published the environmental assessment (EA) for the proposed Adelphia Gateway project. FERC found that approving the project “would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.” The EA reviews Adelphia Gateway, LLC’s plans to purchase and repurpose existing pipelines and meter facilities. Adelphia plans to convert the last fifty miles of a pipeline in southeastern Pennsylvania from oil to natural gas. The project will also involve building several new facilities, including two compressor stations and five meter and regulator stations along the length of the pipeline.
State Regulation: Governor Wolf Issues Executive Order Outlining New Emissions Goals for Pennsylvania
On January 8, 2019, Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania issued an executive order reestablishing the Governor’s Green Government Council and outlining emissions reduction goals for the state. Under the executive order, the Council will be comprised of the Secretaries of the Departments of General Services, Environmental Protection, and Conservation and Natural Resources, as well as others chosen by the Governor. The Council, as well as other state institutions, will seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent spanning from 2005 to 2025. From 2005 to 2050, the Governor plans to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent. The executive order outlines plans to decrease overall energy consumption, replace 25 percent of passenger cars with electric cars, and to procure renewable energy to offset 40 percent of the state’s electricity use.
Pipelines: Atlantic Coast Pipeline Receives Compressor Station Permit in Virginia
On January 9, 2019, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality issued a permit to Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) to construct a natural gas compressor station in Buckingham County, Virginia. The approved facility is one of three compressor stations that will eventually be built along the length of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline project is a 600-mile pipeline that will carry natural gas from West Virginia to markets in Virginia and North Carolina. According to ACP, emissions at the Buckingham compressor station will be “50 to 80 percent lower than any other compressor station in Virginia.”
From the National Oil & Gas Law Experts:
George Bibikos, At the Well Weekly, (January 4, 2019)
Jeremy Mercer and Devan Flahive, Reference to Oil & Gas Royalty Interest Deemed Sufficient Under the Marketable Title Act, Oil & Gas Law Report (January 7, 2019)
Charles Sartain, Ohio Land Professional Saved by the Legislature...Kind Of, Energy & The Law (January 14, 2019)
Conrad Hester and Skyler Sikes, Ignorance is Bliss: Archer v. Tregellas and the Discovery Rule, Oil and Gas Update (January 14, 2019)
SB 40: Referred to Environmental Resources and Energy (Jan. 11, 2019) - would impose a rebuttable presumption of liability to owners of pipelines when pollution or loss of water occurs at water supplies.
Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council Meeting: January 23, 2019 - Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Follow us on Twitter at PSU Ag & Shale Law (@AgShaleLaw) to receive ShaleLaw HotLinks:
“PA PUC prepares to collect millions in past impact fees after ‘stripper well’ ruling” - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Amid an export boom, the U.S. is still importing natural gas” - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“County taking applications for Marcellus Shale grants” - The Citizens’ Voice
“The greener green gas” - Hart Energy
“Italy to block oil and gas exploration permits” - Hart Energy
“Ohio reaches top five for recoverable shale natural gas reserves” - Shale Gas Reporter
“EIA: U.S. natural gas prices, production, exports rise in 2018” - LNG World News
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This week we published two new Shale Law in the Spotlight articles: Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Overview of Federal and State Regulatory Approval Processes, and Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Overview of Litigation Regarding the Pipeline Construction (Part 1 of 3).