Friday, April 29, 2016

More on Natural Gas Pipeline Overbuild - Here in Michigan/Ohio and in Appalachia and North Carolina

Shared by Frank Zaski


  • Pipelines out of the Marcellus and Utica region are being overbuilt.
  • Overbuilding puts ratepayers at risk of paying for excess capacity, landowners at risk of sacrificing property to unnecessary projects, and investors at risk of loss if shipping contracts are not renewed and pipelines are underused.
  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission facilitates overbuilding. The high rates of return on equity that FERC grants to pipeline companies (allowable rates of up to 14%), along with the lack of a comprehensive planning process for natural gas infrastructure, attracts more capital into pipeline development than is necessary.
  • FERC’s approach to assessing the need for such projects is insufficient.
  • Industry leaders recognize and acknowledge that current expansion plans will likely result in overbuilding.

 A webinar with the study's author:
More detail on the webinar available here:

Saturday, April 23, 2016

World leaders sign Paris Agreement on climate change – video | Environment | The Guardian

Finally a good signal - but in itself it will not prevent massive displacement, uprising, war and chaos - not to speak loss of biodiversity and massive suffering of humans and fellow beasts that the world will face if we do not change fundamentally and do so even sooner than 2050.

World leaders sign Paris Agreement on climate change – video | Environment | The Guardian

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The NEXUS and ROVER Pipelines are bad for the Environment and the Economy and Should not be Permitted

Frank Zaski posted this today to the Nexus comments. These arguments work against Rover as well.

FERC must consider SUPPLY AND DEMAND CONDITIONS HAVE CHANGED DRAMATICALLY FOR NEXUS AND ROVER. (Many of them are outlined below.) These major changes have to be considered in the application of FERC policies and in the Certificate decision.

Lower demand and lower prices have impacts on proposed and existing pipelines especially; lack of adequate subscription, increased chance of overbuild, lack of financial support, full costs of overbuild passed on to customers, subsidization, lack of public convenience and necessity, environmental degradation, etc.
The major markets when this pipe first was put in is gone,..” This is a DTE executive’s comment in reference to a question about NEXUS from an analyst.  
According to Maria Cortez of Wood Mackenzie, “ … the need for the Nexus Pipeline that would transport natural gas across northern Ohio appears to have declined. The market for that pipeline may not exist anymore.
Gas prices at DAWN are now similar to Henry Hub and are expected to be LOWER in 5 years
Today, the prices at Dawn and Henry Hub are virtually the same and the profit incentive to build more capacity to Dawn has disappeared. Note the price convergence in this table.
According to a new Ontario Energy Board (OEB) reports:
Ample supplies of Marcellus/Utica gas are already flowing to Eastern Canada thru Niagara, Chippewa and (soon) Waddington, New York
Gas from these pipes is less expensive than gas from Vector, Dawn, Rover and especially Nexus. The landed cost of gas into the Enbridge EDA (Toronto) would be lower from Niagara ($4.90 $CAD/GJ) and Waddington ($5.30) than from Vector ($5.55), Rover ($5.73) or Nexus ($5.82).
Canadian business, utility and industrial users do not want unnecessary and costly OVERBUILD of the Dawn Parkway pipeline needed to transport additional Rover/Nexus gas from Dawn. Businesses realize they would have to PAY ALL COSTS OF PIPELINE OVERBUILD including legacy costs.
Gas turbines are a very small percentage of Eastern Canada’s electric generation portfolio.
Overall, Canadian demand for gas is forecasted to rise very slowly.
In 2014 the price of gas at Dawn spiked to $16. (Page 6) (This probably encouraged Rover and Nexus to plan pipelines to this hub.)
Dawn and Henry Hub prices are forecasted to be virtually the same from 2015 -2021 with Dawn’s price dropping lower in 2021. (P15)
Nexus will have a carrying capacity of 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Of note, DTE’s gas utility sends out about half that, 0.8 billion cubic feet, every day to customers. 
Rover will have a capacity of 3.25 billion cubic feet per day, more than twice that of Nexus. Analysts say Rover is the biggest proposed pipeline to emerge from the Appalachian gas boom
Commitments and financials of Nexus and Rover shippers/producers/customers are questionable
Most are mired in debt and 60 gas and oil producers have already gone bankrupt.
In FERC documents, Nexus reports they have agreements for only 56% of their capacity. Some question the accuracy of this percent.
Kinder Morgan cancelled the NED pipeline because of inadequate capacity commitments
"Unfortunately, despite working for more than two years and expending substantial shareholder resources, we did not receive the additional commitments expected," Wheatley said. "As a result, there are currently neither sufficient volumes, nor a reasonable expectation of securing them,"
“ …. this project is not economic, so we're removing it from the backlog," President and CEO Steve Kean said during the company's April 20 earnings call.
"The return on the NED project at the level of commitment that we have would be less than 6% unlevered after-tax. That's clearly not viable and we are far better off having cash available for other uses,"
[Plus, from their press release, “this low-price environment” .. “has made it difficult for producers to make new long term commitments.”]
Approving the multi-billion dollar Rover and Nexus pipelines (which essentially parallel each other from Ohio to Dawn) is imprudent considering:
·         the Dawn premium price incentive is gone
·         long-range forecasts call for tepid gas demand growth in Ontario and Michigan
·         limited East Coast LNG export potential
·         cheaper/plentiful Marcellus and Utica gas already flowing to Canada through New York
·         and, questionable shipper/producer/customers’ ability to carry out commitments 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Stop corporate tax abuse | Oxfam America

The unimaginable wealth of a greedy minority of people in the world (less than 0.001% of the world's population) stands at the root of all social and environmental issues!!! They do not invest their fortune to better their fellow men and beasts but rather concentrate even more wealth.

Stop corporate tax abuse | Oxfam America

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Changing climate: 10 years after 'An Inconvenient Truth' | Science News

It will not go away just because certain people try to ignore it...

Changing climate: 10 years after 'An Inconvenient Truth' | Science News

Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005. The storm’s destruction, compounded by failed levees, sparked concerns that climate change could have been at least partially responsible.

Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005. The storm’s destruction, compounded by failed levees, sparked concerns that climate change could have been at least partially responsible.JOCELYN AUGUSTINO/FEMA

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Checkout this great site: Respect My Planet

I created a second blog called "Respect your Mother" - meaning Mother Earth - but then continued to post all environmental issues on this blog: Adrian Oil and Gas Blog - as everything is interconnected anyway.
How amazing - today I came upon the website of a non-profit organization called: "Respect My Planet" - and it is mainly about oil and gas exploration in Michigan - weird that we did not know of each other. Check it out - it has a lot of great maps!

Three comments about the Brine Leak in Adrian Township

The event during which an estimated 100 gallons of brine leaked from a facility pipe owned and operated by Savoy Energy uncovers several concerning issues:
1.) "Brine" is a very corrosive fluid that dissolves metal pipes despite added anti-corrosive chemicals. In this case I suspect that this brine might even contain hydrochloric acid. It is therefore far from just "salt water" and definitely not harmless for the environment. It is a frightening thought that millions of gallons of this stuff polluted with drilling chemicals are pumped permanently into soon 4 brine disposal injection wells in Lenawee county, and over 1200 such wells in Michigan. Once not needed anymore, these injection wells are entirely unmonitored after only a short observation period of a few years. A time bomb for the artesian aquifers of our state.
2.) Savoy Energy showed once more that they are not a decent partner to communities and land owners on whose property they operate. They did not communicate the incident, did not appear on site and even avoided commenting to the press. They have done so in every incident exposing a great arrogance and lack of respect.
3.) The fact that Savoy was not required to inform the township and other officials but only the DEQ shows once more that the industry is not regulated well enough and that there are not sufficient laws in place to safeguard people and the environment. In addition, the scale of the accident was solely determined by the polluter Savoy Energy itself - a general pattern that allows energy companies to almost completely regulate themselves as if they could be trusted to operate in the best interest of the community and the environment. The history of Savoy's conduct of flaring perfectly useful natural gas for almost 2 years and violating the Clean Air Act on their Adrian production facility shows that they are NOT trustworthy at all. In addition, the leaks found by the EPA more than 1.5 years ago were still found at a recent revisit - showing that Savoy Energy does not even care about the few existing laws - not even a federal law like the Clean Air Act!

Friday, April 1, 2016

The disturbing extent of "Brine" Injection Wells

In the face of the newest "brine" injection well in Lenawee County, I was looking for the coordinates of existing injection wells from the EPA and was pointed to the Michigan map server with the below email of the regional permit technician:

EPA does not have a data base with all injection well locations. The information you seek is available from state programs.  EPA has given many states authority to implement the federal Underground Injection Control program for most classes, and I recommend you check with state agencies directly. For Region 5 states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin), check the Region 5 website for state websites and contacts: under "Who regulates UIC wells in my state?"  Several states have online well database systems. Though EPA regulates Class II wells in Michigan, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has an online well database system found at which can be searched for brine disposal wells.  While I have information for Region 5 UIC well programs only, other EPA Regions and states have similar information. 

Best regards,

Anna Miller
Environmental Scientist
Underground Injection Control Branch
U.S. EPA Region 5  (WU-16J)
77 W. Jackson
Chicago, IL 60604

(312) 886-7060

I generated the below map in Google Earth restricting the well type to: Brine Disposal Wells (1206 wells!!!!, red markers). See for yourself how frightening many of these wells are in the Lower PI of Michigan alone. Now think that abandoned wells only need to be monitored for a few years. What a time bomb below our feet...

You can download the Google Earth KMZ file: HERE