Some of this year’s biggest gyrations in U.S. natural gas prices can be chalked up to a single pipeline.
Energy Transfer Partners LP’s $4.2 billion Rover line, scheduled to begin partial service in July, will be one of the biggest links from the Marcellus and Utica shale basins in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio -- America’s most prolific gas production region -- to the Midwest and Canada. Gas futures surged to a 14-week high on May 10 after a regulatory setback prompted speculation that the project would be delayed, keeping supplies from reaching those markets.
For a gas market that’s been weighed down by a stubborn supply glut for most of 2017, the timing of the Rover pipeline is critical. An on-time startup would derail progress in whittling down the surplus, unleashing more of the fuel even as hot weather boosts demand from power plants and exports to Mexico and overseas buyers climb. A delay, meanwhile, would keep a lid on gas output from eastern U.S. shale basins.
“It’s a huge pipeline coming out of the Marcellus and Utica region and a lot of that gas is trapped there; it’s a big deal,” said Kyle Cooper, director of commodities research with IAF Advisors in Houston. The market may be “hypersensitive” to Rover regulatory filings, creating the potential for “some pretty violent moves in the market.”Continue reading by clicking here.
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