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Pipe opponents fear overbuilding; FERC delays review of Transco project


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Pipe opponents fear overbuilding; FERC delays review of Transco project

Pipe opponents call on FERC to halt project reviews to stop 'overbuilding'

Too muchpipeline capacity is being built out of the Marcellus and Utica shale region, andFERC is to blame, according to a report commissioned by opponents of the MountainValley and Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline projects.

"TheFederal Energy Regulatory Commission facilitates overbuilding," the Institutefor Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said in a study released April 27. "Thehigh rates of return on equity that FERC grants to pipeline companies (allowablerates of up to 14%), along with the lack of a comprehensive planning process fornatural gas infrastructure, attracts more capital into pipeline development thanis necessary."

FERC pushes back review of Transco's Virginia Southside II project

FERCstaff revised the date for completing an environmental review of 'sproposed Virginia Southside II natural gas pipeline expansion project to May 13.

In anApril 29 notice, the commission released the staff's revised schedule for the environmentalassessment, or EA. The staff plans to issue the assessment May 13, instead of as it originally planned.Cooperating federal agencies will have until Aug. 11 to complete their own workon the project review.

FERC proposes nearly $217M in fines for alleged gas price manipulationby Total

FERCdemanded that Total SA,affiliates and employees prove why they are not liable for nearly $217 million incivil penalties and should not be forced to disgorge unjust profits of more than$9 million for manipulation of natural gas prices between June 2009 and June 2012.

In anApril 28 order to show cause and a notice of proposed penalty, FERC directed ,Aaron Hall and Therese Tran to demonstrate that they had not violated Section 4Aof the Natural Gas Act and Section 1c.1 of the commission's regulations througha scheme to manipulate gas prices at four trading hubs in the U.S. Southwest.

Spectra's Atlantic Bridge pipe project clears FERC environmental review

FERCstaff has found that Spectra EnergyPartners LP's proposed Atlantic Bridge natural gas pipeline expansion,designed to improve gas flows into New England and Canada, would not have a bigimpact on the environment.

In aMay 2 environmental assessment, FERC Office of Energy Projects staff recommendedthat any commission order find "no significant impact" and carry typicalmitigation measures. The U.S. EPA is a cooperating agency in the project review.

FERC holds upper hand on gas pipelines, but showdown with states nears

A showdownover gas pipeline approvals looms between FERC authority granted by the NaturalGas Act and the state permitting requirements of the Clean Water Act, an energyindustry lawyer warned.

"Ithink FERC should and will have the upper hand," Steptoe & Johnson PLLC'sKurt Krieger said in an email, but the fight will not be easy.

FERC approves DTI's 112,000-Dth/d New Market project for National Grid

FERCapproved Dominion Transmission Inc.'sNew Market natural gas transportation project that will help the pipeline companydeliver 112,000 Dth/d of firm service to two National Grid plc subsidiaries in New York.

The April28 FERC order granted authorization for the New Market project, which will allowDominion to construct and operate compression and related facilities in six countiesin New York.

FERC OKs 200,000-Dth/d line serving central Pa. power plant

subsidiaryUGI Sunbury LLC receivedFERC approval to build and operate the approximately 35-mile long Sunbury naturalgas pipeline, which counts as a primary customer the 1,124-MW Hummel Station power plant in Pennsylvania.

Dependingon other regulatory approvals, UGI Energy Services expected to complete constructionof the 200,000 Dth/d Sunbury pipeline as early as November 2016. UGI Sunbury toldFERC the estimated cost of the project is $178.2 million.