• 4 minutes Why Trump will win the wall fight
  • 8 minutes Cuba Charges U.S. Moving Special Forces, Preparing Venezuelan Intervention
  • 12 minutes Maduro Asks OPEC For Help Against U.S. Sanctions
  • 16 minutes Washington Eyes Crackdown On OPEC
  • 10 mins is climate change a hoax? $2 Trillion/year worth of programs intended to be handed out by politicians and bureaucrats?
  • 2 mins Solar and Wind Will Not "Save" the Climate
  • 5 hours Some Good News on Climate Change Maybe
  • 5 hours Ayn Rand Was Right
  • 13 hours students walk out of school in protest of climate change
  • 5 hours Expected Breakdown: Israel-Central Europe Summit Canceled After Polish Pullout
  • 1 hour Indian Oil Signs First Annual Deal For U.S. OilIndian Oil Signs First Annual Deal For U.S. Oil
  • 1 day Prospective Cause of Little Ice Age
  • 24 hours L.A. Mayor Ditches Gas Plant Plans
  • 1 day *Happy Dance* ... U.S. Shale Oil Slowdown
  • 4 hours IT IS FINISHED. OPEC Victorious
  • 1 day And for the final post in this series of 3: we’ll have a look at the Decline Rates in the Permian
Alt Text

Shale Gas Majors Succumb To Wall Street Pressure

Shale gas majors are significantly…

Alt Text

Nord Stream 2 Was Always A Done Deal

Nord Stream 2 is a…

Dave Forest

Dave Forest

Dave is Managing Geologist of the Pierce Points Daily E-Letter.

More Info

Trending Discussions

Landmark Court Ruling Could Jeopardize This Major Pipeline

U.S. natural gas enjoyed an “eclipse rally” this week. With NYMEX prices jumping nearly 7 cents per MMBtu after the blackout impacted an estimated 12 GW of solar power across America.

But elsewhere the news for natgas developers was less rosy. With U.S. courts handing down a critical decision yesterday, that could jeopardize the future for pipeline projects across the country.

That came from a Washington D.C. Circuit court. Which ruled that the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) must redo its approval of a major natgas pipeline — to consider what happens after the gas arrives at its destination.

The case hinges on FERC’s approval of the $3.5 billion Sabal Trail natgas pipeline, running 515 miles from Alabama to Florida.

Environmental groups challenged the approval of the project. Arguing that FERC had not considered greenhouse gas impacts from the burning of gas that would take place at power plants in Florida, once the supply had been delivered.

FERC counter-argued that it has no control over what happens to the gas after delivery through the pipeline. Thus removing the agency from the duty to consider end-use environmental effects as part of its approval.

But the court sided with the environmental groups. With two of three judges ruling that FERC does have the power to mitigate harmful greenhouse effects — by blocking the pipeline, and cutting off power plants at the source. Related: Is This The First In A Slew Of Megadeals In Oil?

If this decision stands on appeal, it’s going to make it notably more difficult to build natgas pipelines in America. Giving challengers a powerful weapon to strike down regulatory approvals — and leaving bodies like FERC in the difficult position of having to quantify downstream emissions impacts.

Most problematic is the fact the Sabal Trail pipeline is already built and operating — having been commissioned in July after the initial FERC approval.

Representatives for the pipeline operating company said flows have not yet been disrupted. But the court ruling raises the unsettling possibility that the project may be forced to shut down — after billions were spent putting it in into service.

Those kind of loses could spook pipeline developers, and impede growth of new lines needed in places like the Permian Basin of Texas to move rapidly-rising natgas production. Watch for similar legal challenges to other pipeline projects, and for signs of a slowdown in project construction.

Here’s to looking down the line.

By Dave Forest

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment
  • Dan on August 23 2017 said:
    The pipeline owner should claim Sanctuary Pipeline.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News