May 16, 2016 Read More →

Will Pipeline Market Correct Itself to Address Overbuilding?

By Duncan Adams for the Roanoke Times:

One partner in the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline project informed investors that “competition for pipeline infrastructure within the Appalachian Basin is intense” and warned that lack of access to such infrastructure could drag down company earnings.

EQT Corp.’s annual report, filed Feb. 11, said investments in affiliate EQT Midstream, one partner in the 301-mile Mountain Valley interstate pipeline, should help yield the infrastructure desired.

Yet a study by a Cleveland-based think tank that promotes renewable energy contends that natural gas pipelines out of the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in the Appalachian Basin are being overbuilt.

David Messersmith, an educator with Penn State Extension’s Marcellus Education Team, said he believes the truth resides somewhere in the middle.

“There is clearly a need for additional pipeline infrastructure, although perhaps not as much as is currently proposed,” he said. “This is a market-driven process, and we are perhaps beginning to see the market correct itself regarding pipeline capacity.”

He cited a recent decision by Kinder Morgan and subsidiary Tennessee Gas Pipeline to suspend the Northeast Energy Direct interstate natural gas pipeline project. A statement from Kinder Morgan said it decided to suspend the 420-mile, $3 billion project because not enough customers had signed on to ship gas through the pipeline.

“It wouldn’t surprise me to see additional projects in the Marcellus-Utica basin canceled or put on hold,” Messersmith said.

The study suggesting that pipelines are being overbuilt was published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis at the request of Appalachian Mountain Advocates and Appalachian Voices, two nonprofit organizations opposed to both the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the separate Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Full article: http://www.roanoke.com/business/news/debate-over-overbuilding-raises-questions-about-pipeline-projects/article_8f5c9cec-447f-521e-b580-c9869e746723.html

 

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