NY Judge Overrules DEC, Allows Gas-Fired Plant to Start Up

A new hope has emerged for Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy Center, a $900 million, 680-megawatt natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Orange County, NY. Last week MDN told you that at the last minute, four days before the plant was set to start up, the Andrew Cuomo-corrupted Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) pulled the ultimate dirty trick and refused to renew an air permit for the plant they previously issued five years earlier (see Cuomo Strikes Again: Blocks Completed Gas-Fired Plant from Starting). The DEC now says the plant will need a different (federal) air permit before it can start up, effectively blocking it. As we told you in a followup article, the DEC’s dirty trick left CPV with three options (see 3 Options for Blocked NY Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant). Option #2 in our list was to ask a judge to overturn the DEC’s decision (our preferred option). CPV exercised that option and yesterday the judge agreed and shut down DEC’s ability to stop the plant from starting up, which will now happen this week or early next week. Great news! However, the judge’s order is temporary, while a larger lawsuit works its way through the court system. In the meantime, CPV will start the plant, a victory for the good guys. The best part? PA Marcellus fracked gas will feed it…
Continue reading

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Asks FERC to Lift Stop-Work Order

Borrowing a chapter from EQT and their Mountain Valley Pipeline project, Dominion Energy has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to lift a stop-work order for its 600+ mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project. On Tuesday MVP sent a letter to FERC requesting the agency lift it’s stop-work order for them (see Mountain Valley Pipe Asks FERC to Lift Stop Work Order). A day later, yesterday, ACP did the same thing. Last week a federal court pulled permits for approximately 100 miles (of 600 miles) for ACP in response to a frivolous lawsuit filed by the anti-American Sierra Club (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Atlantic Coast Pipeline). The Clubbers convinced the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn permits granted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. National Park Service, granted to ACP to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway. The court, in rolling back ACP’s permits, told FERC they should shut down work on the entire project until this matter is resolved. Last Friday FERC did just that. Yesterday Dominion politely asked FERC to ignore the court and lift the ban for those portions not part of the actual court order. Dominion got some moral support from West Virginia’s congressional delegation in their effort. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, along with Rep. David McKinley wrote a letter to FERC asking the agency to lift the stop-work order for both ACP and MVP…
Continue reading

Duke Study Can’t Hide Fact Water Use for M-U Fracking is Small

We find the latest “bash fracking” so-called study just published by Duke University to be, well, rather amusing. This is not Duke “researcher” Avner Vengosh’s first bash fracking study (see Duke Hit Piece on Shale Water Usage from Same Park-Sponsored Prof and Latest Case of Duke U Bought & Paid “Research” by Park Foundation). This newest “research” study is amusing because the findings appear to be solid and positive news for the industry, but the researchers and mainstream media are going out of their way to spin the findings into something negative. In “The intensification of the water footprint of hydraulic fracturing” (full copy below), researchers imply and infer that fracking is using too much water, and producing too much wastewater (brine and flowback). Yet here in the Marcellus/Utica region, fracking’s use of our regional (very abundant) water supplies is minimal, only growing 20% from 2011 to 2016. Although they do their best to spin it negatively, you can’t ignore the facts. Fracking isn’t a drain on freshwater supplies, using a small fraction compared to other uses, including golf courses. The amount of wastewater that must be disposed is not a burden either. Most brine (i.e. produced water) and flowback is recycled and reused, with a small amount disposed via injection wells…
Continue reading

Tour of OH Gas-Fired Plant Illustrates Superiority Over Nuclear

Oregon Clean Energy Center

It’s been a year since CME Energy’s Oregon Clean Energy Center, a Utica-fired electric plant, went online in Oregon (Lucas County, near Toledo), OH (see New 870 MW Gas-Fired Electric Plant in NW Ohio Begins Operation). The plant was originally planned to generate 870 megawatts of electricity but actually generates 960 megawatts during peak times. Recently representatives of the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association took a tour of the plant–and they “liked what they saw.” What did they see? They saw a new, ultra-modern, clean-burning plant producing 960 megawatts with only 21 employees, vs. the nearby Davis-Besse nuclear plant that produces 908 megawatts using 700 employees. Oregon Clean Energy produces electricity far cheaper than Davis-Besse. Here’s what we like, a little fact that came out during the tour: During a recent 24-hour period Oregon Clean Energy purchased and used $350,000 worth of Utica Shale gas to produce those 960 megawatts. We suspect more days than not that’s how much gas the plant is using–over $300,000 worth a day. See why we’re so jazzed about gas-fired electric plants?…
Continue reading

With $3B from Germany, Canadian Goldboro LNG Looks Like Done Deal

Location for proposed Goldboro LNG plant – click for larger version

Canadian company Pieridae Energy is on the cusp of making a positive final investment decision (FID) to build a $10 billion LNG export facility on the coast of Nova Scotia. In February, Pieridae enlisted the help of Morgan Stanley and Société Générale to help raise the $10 billion needed to build Goldboro LNG (see Pieridae Energy Hires Morgan Stanley, SG to Help Fund Goldboro LNG). In May, Pieridae began lining up customers in Europe (see Goldboro LNG in Nova Scotia Negotiating Deal to Sell LNG to Europe). In a press release issued yesterday, Pieridae says they have hired yet another adviser, KfW IPEX-Bank (in Germany), to help it get a $3 billion loan from the German government. Canada’s Financial Post is reporting if the German loan goes through, Pieridae is prepared to pull the trigger and commit (and begin to build) the project this year. Which is a good thing, because if Pieridae doesn’t begin construction on Goldboro LNG by the end of this year, they risk losing Nova Scotia environmental approval…
Continue reading

PA Senate Bill Encourages Use of Conventional Brine on Roadways

A bill under active consideration in the Pennsylvania Senate would remove the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) prohibition against using brine from conventional oil and gas wells on PA’s roadways (see DEP Continues to Block Use of Brine on PA Dirt Roads). This past spring the DEP notified townships they could no longer use brine, a cheap source of “road salt” for deicing roads and (in liquid form) for spreading on dirt roads to keep the dust down. Brine from shale wells has never been allowed on PA’s roads–so this only concerns conventional drillers/wells. The move by DEP to block brine use, among other DEP actions, angered the industry and led to bills being introduced by both the House and Senate that “roll back” (more like “lock in”) regulations that govern conventional PA drilling to the Oil and Gas Act of 1984 (see 2 PA Bills Would Roll Back Conventional Drilling Regs to 1984). The House already passed their version of the bill back in June (see PA House Passes Bill Exempting Conventional Drillers from Shale Regs). The corresponding Senate bill is now being discussed. Part of the bill, if passed, tells the DEP it must “encourage” (not ban) the use of conventional brine…
Continue reading

Cove Point LNG’s Exports End Up in Far-Flung Countries

The world of LNG (liquefied natural gas) is a strange world for us. We’re still learning about it. LNG is important for the Marcellus/Utica region as our molecules increasingly get shipped to other countries. Our molecules get shipped directly from the Dominion Cove Point LNG export facility in Lusby, Maryland, and by Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG export facility in Louisiana. Yes, some of our gas makes it to Louisiana and is liquefied and shipped out. However, the Cove Point facility is the focus of this post. Since early 2013, all of the LNG export capacity from Cove Point has been spoken for, by India and Japan, signing 20-year contracts (see Dominion’s Cove Point LNG Facility Achieves Important Milestones). You would think if they contracted for the LNG, they’d ship it to their respective countries and use it. But you would be wrong (see Half of India’s Contracted US LNG Won’t End Up in India). Once a company or a country owns a shipload of LNG and the ship sets sail and is on the open seas, the owner can sell it, trade it, swap it–do anything they want with it. Both Japan and India are and have been doing just that. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released data on U.S. LNG exports covering year to date through June 2018. In looking over the shipment data for Cove Point, the shipments not only went to India and Japan, they also went to Jordan, Kuwait, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Pakistan, Panama, and the United Kingdom! Marcellus/Utica molecules are literally being used around the world. The best part? Our drillers get higher prices for the gas than they can get here at home. Prices for the gas coming from Cove Point fetched anywhere from $5.27 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) to $8.16/Mcf…
Continue reading

Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Aug 16, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Public forum set for new natgas pipeline in Rochester, NY area; rig count in Utica climbs by 2 to 20; US-China dispute may delay Magnolia LNG construction; judge overturns Idaho’s forced pooling reg in court case; SEC drops #ExxonKnew investigation; scientists invent mineral to soak up CO2 out of atmosphere; plastics industry flourishes thx to shale; Canada’s Quebec looking for LNG suppliers; China can’t shake US oil addiction; and more!
Continue reading