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Mariner East 2 to resume construction following agreement with Pa. regulators

Houston (Platts)--9 Feb 2018 623 pm EST/2323 GMT


The Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline is resuming construction following an agreement to pay a $12.6 million civil fine to settle an environmental dispute with Pennsylvania regulators.

The project, designed to add 275,000 b/d of capacity to move propane and butane from plants in western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to the Marcus Hook terminal in eastern Pennsylvania, remains on track to enter service in the second quarter of 2018, Jeff Shields, a spokesman for project owner Energy Transfer said in an email Friday.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday said it had entered into a consent order and agreement with Energy Transfer affiliate Sunoco Pipeline, the operator of ME2, to resolve issues that caused the DEP to order a halt to construction on the project last month.

"Since the permit suspension over a month ago, Sunoco has demonstrated that it has taken steps to ensure the company will conduct the remaining pipeline construction activities in accordance with the law and permit conditions, and will be allowed to resume," DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said in Thursday's statement.

The decision, which cited unpermitted pipeline installation activities and unauthorized releases of drilling fluid, follows a previous suspension by state regulators of construction of a valve station on a portion of the line due to the release of drilling muds and sediment into streams there.

That earlier suspension forced ETP to delay until the second quarter of this year the expected startup of Mariner East 2.

Sunoco Pipeline in a statement Thursday said it was "committed to fully complying with the DEP order." The pipeline company said mainline pipeline construction on the project was approximately 93% complete and horizontal directional drilling approximately 64% complete.

Mariner East II is the second phase of the Mariner East project designed to move NGLs from the gas-producing regions of the southwest Appalachian Basin to Marcus Hook, for processing and potentially for export. MARINER EAST 1 ENTERED SERVICE IN Q1 2016

The first phase of the project, referred to as Mariner East 1, consisted of interstate and intrastate propane and ethane service and commenced operations in the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2016, respectively.

The completion of Mariner East 2 will expand the total takeaway capacity of the Mariner East system to 345,000 b/d of interstate and intrastate propane, ethane and butane service. Construction of Mariner East 2 will connect to NGL gathering systems in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.

Mariner East 2 will include two pipelines, a 20-inch-diameter line and a 16-inch-diameter line. The 20-inch line is scheduled to be in service in the second quarter of 2018, while the 16-inch pipeline is scheduled to be finished in sometime in 2018, according to Sunoco. -- Jim Magill, jim.magill@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Rocco Canonica, newsdesk@spglobal.com




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