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Blue Light Report - January / February 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and a Merry Christmas. As seasons go, to me, winter is a time for reflection and a time to prepare for the upcoming spring and summer.

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Blue Light Report Northeast - January / February 2020

By the time you read this report, the holiday season will have come and gone. 2019 was an average year with permit issues and delays becoming the norm here in the Northeast.

I’ve been receiving many calls asking what 2020 will look like. As much as I hate to say, I think 2020 will look more like 2019 than the boom years of 2018 and 2017. There were approximately fifty fewer Northeast pre-jobs executed in 2019 than in 2018, and 30 less than in 2017, to put it into perspective.

I think there will still be small and medium-sized work that will take place in 2020, but it will be less due to the producers struggling with the price of natural gas. The Henry Hub Exchange reports natural gas prices at $2.25 per thousand cubic feet as opposed to the price of $4.50, which was the price this time last year. The drillers have asked the pipeline companies to lower their fees to transport the gas so that the producers can be competitive. Price downswings like this have happened before, and we have always made it through the dark times. Prices will eventually rise, and our workload will once again increase.

 As for the major projects, the Mountain Valley Pipeline still has 37 miles of mainline to be laid in Virginia. I remain skeptical as to how the scheduling will play out due to a large amount of negative scrutiny the project is receiving. There is also a large number of tie-ins to be completed in West Virginia with water permits dictating the schedule on the tie-ins.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is tied up in the U.S. Supreme Court, with arguments set for February and a final decision coming by June. The fact that SCOTUS took the case is a good sign because the court gets 8,000 requests per year, and only 80 cases are accepted. Some predict there is an 85% chance the court will rule that the United States Forest Service does have the authority to allow pipelines to cross the Appalachian Trail. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. As always, utilize the Action Network and attend public meetings to let our voices be heard.

In closing, I hope that everyone enjoyed the holidays and were able to spend important quality time with family and friends.


Alex E. Paris Contracting Co, Inc.:

- Sistersville, WV.  1,200’ of 20” new-lay. Superintendent: Dave Duncan. Welder Foreman: Logan Hopkins. Mainline rates. Working 5-10s. Job complete.

Apex Pipeline Services, Inc.:

- Triadelphia, WV. Install 20” meter skid, associated piping and 1,000’ of 20” new-lay. Superintendent: Eric Creel. Welder Foreman: Jason Smith. Mainline rates. Working 5-10s.

Frank Lill and Son Inc.:

-Victor, NY.  24” and 20” launcher/receiver removal and install. Superintendent: Troy Teeter. Welder Foreman: Mike Donohue. Mainline rates. Working 6-10s. Job complete.

Otis Eastern Service, Inc.:

- Farmington, NY.  2,000’ of 24” installation. Superintendent: Billy Niedermaier. Welder Foreman: Tim Snyder. Mainline rates. Working 6-10s. Job complete.