Primus Building GTL Methanol Plant in Marcellus Region in 2017

Primus Green EnergyPrimus Green Energy, builder of gas-to-liquids (GTL) plants announced yesterday they will build a 160 metric tons per day (MT/day) methanol plant using the company’s proprietary technology at “a manufacturing site in the Marcellus shale region” in 2017. That is, the first train will be delivered and installed in 2017. Three more trains will follow, at some point, for a total production capacity of 640 MT/day. The company also plans to build and deploy “multiple projects” across the U.S. and in Asia and the Middle East. Primus’ plants convert natural gas into methanol (used as a chemical feedstock and a fuel), and into other hydrocarbons like gasoline. The announcement below doesn’t say as much as it does. Who is Primus building the Marcellus plant for? Themselves? A customer? Where is it being built? What will the methanol be used for? All unanswered questions…
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Millennium Pipeline Files with FERC to Upgrade Eastern Region

The Millennium Pipeline stretches ~244 miles from Independence in Steuben County, NY to Buena Vista in Rockland County, NY. The Millennium, which is supplied by local production and storage fields and interconnecting upstream pipelines, serves customers along its route in New York’s Southern Tier region and helps meet the energy needs of northeast markets. MDN is written about 3 miles away from the path of the Millennium in Broome County, NY. In February the Millennium pre-filed an application for what it calls its Eastern System Upgrade (ESU). The ESU would add 7.8 miles of extra looped pipeline in Orange County, upgrade a compressor station in Delaware County, build a new compressor in Sullivan County and make some minor tweaks to metering stations in Rockland County. The project will pump another $275 million into the New York economy with the end result of increasing the flow of natural gas for New York and beyond by fall 2018. Of course THE Delaware Riverkeeper can’t stand it and has launched an all-out assault on the project, hoping to slow it down or stop it…
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EIA Report: Trends in U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Upstream Costs

Our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, has just published a new report detailing trends and costs in upstream (i.e. drilling) for U.S. oil and natural gas. The report is titled “Trends in U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Upstream Costs” (full copy below). It is a GREAT report. Among some of the highlights: The average well drilling and completion costs in five onshore areas in 2015 were between 25% and 30% below their 2012 level–when costs per well were at their highest point over the past decade. Based on expectations of continuing oversupply of global oil in 2016, the report predicts a continued downward trajectory in costs as drilling activity declines. For example, the report expects rig rates to fall by 5%-10% in 2016 with increases of 5% in 2017 and 2018. The report also expects additional efficiencies in drilling rates, lateral lengths, proppant use, multi-well pads, and number of stages that will further drive down costs measured in terms of dollars per barrel of oil-equivalent ($/boe) by 7%-22% over this period. Below is a summary of the report, followed by a full copy of the report. Take time to read it!…
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2 New Injection Wells Proposed for Warren, PA – EPA Reviewing

In early 2013, Bear Lake Properties in Warren County, PA (near the New York border) opened a new injection well to accept Marcellus Shale wastewater (see NW PA Frack Wastewater Injection Well Begins Operation). The new injection well faced stiff opposition. Columbus Township, where the well is located, originally passed and later rescinded a ban on injection wells under threat of lawsuit (see Columbus Twp, PA Ban on Injection Wells Rescinded). A few local residents tried to pressure the federal EPA, the agency that permits and oversees all injection wells, into reconsidering their approval (see Local Residents Protest 2 Wastewater Injection Wells in NW PA). In the end the EPA granted the permit. Since then, local residents have been testing just about every water source in the county to be sure the injection well isn’t leaking (see Concerned Citizens Test Water Near NWPA Injection Well, No Leaks). Good news: two more injection wells for Warren County are now going through the process of EPA reviews…
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EPA Officials Illegally Use Private Email Servers for EPA Business

Recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for correspondence to and from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prove out what we’ve been yelling for years: The EPA is a lawless organization, out of control and drunk on its own power. This latest FOIA request, made by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, finds that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is guilty of the same federal crimes as Hillary Clinton is–using a private email server for government business in order to avoid having to disclose secret communication back and forth with (in the case of McCarthy) Big Green groups. McCarthy should be indicted–immediately–and removed from office…
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PA Gov. Wolf Caves on Budget Deal After 9 Mo. of Temper Tantrums

In the end, the recalcitrant and rabidly partisan Tom Wolf, governor of Pennsylvania, delayed his state’s budget for nine months…for nothing. He didn’t get his precious high Marcellus (or state income) tax hikes. He didn’t get pretty much anything he demanded. Like a petulant child stomping his feet and blaming every Republican he could find–in the end everyone saw Wolf for what he is: inept, inexperienced, and unprepared to govern the Keystone State. Like leadership-deficient people throughout history, he’s surrounded himself with suck-ups who won’t give him much-needed counsel that goes against his childish demands. They just tell him he’s right and to stick with it. Which has resulted in a disaster for PA. It was PA’s Democrats, in the end, that forced Wolf’s hand. Those in his own party. (Et tu, Brute?) PA’s Democrat legislators told Wolf if he didn’t allow the latest budget proposal to pass, they would vote with Republicans to override his threatened veto. And that would completely unmask him for the leaderless chump he is. So Wolf won’t veto the latest proposal–which contains no new taxes–allowing it to become law. Thank you to PA Republicans for standing firm and WINNING! The media can’t spin it, the Dems can’t spin it–Wolf lost and the Republicans won. Every citizen in PA is a winner because of it…
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Columbia Gas of PA Asks PUC for Permission to Raise Rates

Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, a division of NiSource, has filed a request with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to raise rates so it can recuperate costs spent in upgrading its natural gas delivery system for customers. Columbia Gas has spent $1.1 billion from 2007 to 2015. However, they’re only asking for a mere $55 million rate increase…
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Which Energy Source Added the Most Electric Generation in 2015?

Question: Which power source added the most megawatts of electric generating capacity in 2015? If you answered, “Natural Gas!”, you would be wrong. The #1 source of new electric generation last year was wind. The #2 source last year was natural gas. And the #3 source of new electric power last year was solar. Important distinction: This is new capacity added. If you look at how much electricity is today produced by each source, natural gas is #1 at around 33%, coal is #2 at around 32%. Down at the bottom are sources like wind, which produces around 5% of our total electricity needs, and solar producing about 1%. So while the headlines may read that wind was #1 in new electric capacity last year, put into context, it’s a thimbleful compared to natural gas and coal–evil fossil fuels. Which is why it’s folly to think that so-called renewables will replace fossil fuels within the next two generations. Ain’t gonna happen. Here’s the EIA’s report on new electric capacity coming online in 2015…
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Wind Turbines Killing Bats by the Millions – Shut Them All Down?

We’ve said this many times before: Every single energy source has its positives and its negatives. Even so-called renewable energy sources are not perfect. Take wind energy, for example. Today we ran a story from the EIA that points out the #1 source of new electric generating capacity in the U.S. in 2015 was from wind (see Which Energy Source Added the Most Electric Generation in 2015?). Cool. We like wind. We like solar. We like natural gas. We say, let the free market determine the best energy source–not some sniveling climate changer who thinks he or she knows best which energy source you should use. We find it kind of humorous that fossil fuel haters who promote renewables like wind as the perfect solution tend to gloss over some huge negatives. For example, Dominion recently changed the route of a natural gas pipeline in order to avoid killing a threatened species of salamanders (see Dominion Files Pipeline Route Change to Avoid Salamanders, Swamp). The change was demanded by Big Green proponents. Yet windmills each year are killing millions of bats–some of them endangered species–and we don’t hear a PEEP from Big Greeners. Why is that? Are they now in the business of picking favorite mammals? They like salamanders but hate bats? Are they bat bigots? Here’s the story of how giant windmills are killing literally millions of bats around the world–and some of the bat species being killed are threatened…
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MDN Off on Good Friday

MDN will take off Good Friday for the Easter holiday. We hope you enjoy this blessed time of year! We’ll be back on Monday to catch you up on any stories breaking on Friday.

– Jim Willis, Editor

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Mar 24, 2016

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: OH college gets grant for oil & gas training; third cargo ship heading to Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG facility; Kentucky’s natgas electric plants; next election “significant” for o&g industry; Bill McKibben’s fracking whoppers; EPA chief fact-challenged; and more!
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