Mountaineer NGL Storage Hub Reapplies for Permits, Building Soon?

Last fall Mountaineer NGL Storage, a $500 million project in Monroe County, OH to build underground storage for ethane and other NGLs, asked Ohio regulators to cancel a key permit for the project (see Mountaineer Asks Ohio to Cancel NGL Storage Hub Permits). Our understanding was that until PTT Global Chemical makes a final investment decision (FID) to build an ethane cracker in nearby Belmont County, OH, Mountaineer would not be ready to proceed. The two projects will move along together. We thought Mountaineer would wait to reapply for the permit after PTT announces. PTT has not announced, yet according to statements from Mountaineer’s CEO, the company is now waiting on permits to proceed and hopes to begin construction “later this year.” Ergo they have already reapplied.
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Mountaineer NGL Storage Looks at Non-NGL Hydrogen Storage

Here’s an interesting twist. Just last week we told you about ongoing opposition from anti-fossil fuelers to a currently dormant project, the Mountaineer NGL Storage hub project in Monroe County, OH (see Opposition to Dormant Mountaineer NGL Storage Hub in Monroe, OH). Mountaineer wants to build an underground storage cavern to hold natural gas liquids, primarily ethane, for customers like PTT Global Chemical–if PTT ever decides to build a cracker plant in nearby Belmont County, OH. But what’s this? Now Mountaineer is considering an alternative–storing hydrogen.
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Opposition to Dormant Mountaineer NGL Storage Hub in Monroe, OH

Last fall Mountaineer NGL Storage, a $500 million project in Monroe County to build underground storage for ethane and other NGLs, asked Ohio to cancel a key permit for the project (see Mountaineer Asks Ohio to Cancel NGL Storage Hub Permits). Our understanding is that until PTT Global Chemical makes a final decision to build an ethane cracker in nearby Belmont County, OH, Mountaineer is not ready to proceed. The two projects will move along together. When PTT announces, Mountaineer will reapply for the permit. Yet anti-fossil fuelers actively continue to make a fuss, making untrue statements about the project and its impacts on the region’s environment.
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Mountaineer Asks Ohio to Cancel NGL Storage Hub Permits

Two months ago PTT Global Chemical signed a contract with the Mountaineer NGL Storage project to use Mountaineer’s planned underground storage facility in Monroe County, OH to supply ethane to PTT’s cracker plant in neighboring Belmont County when/if the cracker gets built (see PTT Signs Contract with Mountaineer NGL Storage Hub for OH Cracker). However, Mountaineer has just asked Ohio to cancel key permits for their project. What’s going on?
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Colluding Big Green Groups Sue to Stop Ohio NGL Storage Hub

A group of far-left, so-called environmental groups, including, Earthjustice, Buckeye Environmental Network, Concerned Ohio River Residents, Freshwater Accountability Project, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and the Sierra Club, are suing the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) in an attempt to overturn permits issued by ODNR to build an underground NGL storage hub in Monroe County, Ohio.
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PTT Signs Contract with Mountaineer NGL Storage Hub for OH Cracker

Just yesterday MDN told you about one expert’s view that there won’t be one massive NGL storage hub built in the Marcellus/Utica, but a number of smaller hubs (see Expert Says Massive Appalachian NGL Storage Hub Won’t Get Built). One of the smaller hubs we highlighted is the Mountaineer NGL Storage project. Lo and behold…yesterday PTT Global Chemical, the Thailand-based petrochemical giant seeking to build a giant ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH, signed a contract with Mountaineer to use their NGL storage services when/if the mighty cracker gets built.
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Ohio NGL Storage Permit Expires, Builder Says Project Still Alive

Mountaineer NGL Storage is planning to build an NGL (primarily ethane) storage operation in Monroe County, OH, located just across the river (and border) from West Virginia. Last summer David Hooker, president of Mountaineer and president of the parent company Energy Storage Ventures (located in Denver, Colo.) announced the project had received all necessary permits to begin construction, and that construction “could” begin by the end of March this year (see Mountaineer NGL Storage Says Construction Begins in OH 1Q20). One teeny tiny problem. One of the necessary permits needed for the project expired last week. What’s going on?
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Pittsburgh Panel Discusses Importance of NGL Storage

Seems like every few months there’s a meeting or conference somewhere in the Marcellus/Utica region that addresses the topic of ethane storage. Another such a meeting was held in Pittsburgh yesterday. The meeting was preparatory for the upcoming Northeast Petrochemical Exhibition and Conference to be held June 20-21 in Pittsburgh (must attend event!). As with other meetings like it, several NGL storage options were discussed.
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Is the Appalachian NGL Storage Hub Close to Reality?

A pair of recent stories shows that progress is being made with respect to building an ethane (NGL) storage hub somewhere in the Marcellus/Utica region. In fact, progress is being made on two such facilities. Appalachia Development Group is leading an effort to get a $10 billion NGL (primarily ethane) storage hub established in Appalachia–most likely in West Virginia (see WV’s US Senators Lead the Charge to Build $10B NGL Storage Hub). Federal loan guarantees are in the works for that massive project and an engineering firm has been hired. Meanwhile, Mountaineer NGL Storage is planning a smaller facility in Monroe County, OH, located just across the river (and border) from West Virginia (see Final State Permits Expected Soon for OH Mountaineer NGL Storage). The Colorado company behind the Mountaineer NGL project plans to spend up to $500 million to build it. Some 20 drillers have expressed interest in contracting with the facility to store ethane, and the nearby PTT Global cracker plant project (if it gets built) and the under-construction Shell cracker plant are both interested in connections to the facility. But that may not be all! According to Katie Klaber, former president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition and principal of The Klaber Group, “We may not end up seeing just one storage hub, but instead it will be some interconnected groups of pipelines and storage.” In other words, we may see even more such facilities. It certainly appears that major progress is being made on the two named projects…
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Final State Permits Expected Soon for OH Mountaineer NGL Storage

Some new details have emerged with respect to the Mountaineer NGL Storage facility proposed for Monroe County, OH, located just across the river (and border) from West Virginia. What did we know about the proposed project? The Colorado company behind the project plans to spend up to $500 million to build it; some 20 drillers have expressed interest in contracting with the facility to store ethane; and the nearby PTT Global cracker plant project (if it gets built) and the under-construction Shell cracker plant are both interested in connections to the facility. Last November, we learned there is a construction delay until mid-this year (see Yet Another Update on Stalled Mountaineer NGL Storage Proj in OH). Why the delay? Because of regulators in Ohio. At the “Emerging Opportunities Ohio Valley Conference” held yesterday in WV, Mountaineer NGL president David Hooker provided an update and some new-to-us details about the project. He said his company will file paperwork for “final state permits” in March. While “not a lot has changed” with Ohio regulators dragging their feet, here’s something that has changed. In order to pump out the NGLs from the underground storage cavern, brine (salty water) will be pumped down the bore hole, to force the NGLs back up to the surface. Original plans called for a single brine pond to store the liquid when it’s at the surface, waiting to be used. New plans call for two brine ponds. So far Mountaineer has spent $20 million on the project. If everything gets approved and demand develops as expected, the plan is to spend up to $130 million, which will build enough infrastructure to store 3 million barrels of NGLs. However, there is also a stretch goal of investing up to $500 million to store 10 million barrels. Here’s an update from our friends at Kallanish Energy, who attended yesterday’s event…
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Ohio Continues to Drag Feet Approving Mountaineer NGL Storage

We’ve written plenty about Mountaineer NGL Storage hub project proposed for Monroe County, OH, located just across the river (and border) from West Virginia (see our Mountaineer NGL Storage stories here). What do we know about the proposed project? The Colorado company behind the project plans to spend up to $500 million to build it; some 20 drillers have expressed interest in contracting with the facility to store ethane; and the nearby PTT Global cracker plant project (if it gets built) and the under-construction Shell cracker plant are both interested in connections to the facility. In November, we learned there is a construction delay until mid-this year (see Yet Another Update on Stalled Mountaineer NGL Storage Proj in OH). Why the delay? The delay is because of regulators in Ohio. There is no one agency charged with reviewing and issuing permits for the entire project–it involves three OH agencies. There also seems to be an issue with one of the agencies, the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR), becoming comfortable with storing NGLs in a salt cavern (done all the time in other locations). ODNR is dragging its feet, and members of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) are beginning to publicly voice their dissatisfaction with the delays…
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Mountaineer NGL Wants to be THE Appalachian Storage Hub

When the topic of NGL (natural gas liquids) storage comes up with respect to the Marcellus/Utica region, there are two separate and distinct projects mentioned: A massive, $10 billion ethane/NGL storage hub with no specific location identified as yet (but West Virginia often named), and the much smaller Mountaineer NGL storage hub proposed for Monroe County, OH. Recently none other than the U.S. Dept. of Energy issued an NGL primer to call attention to the need for a large NGL storage hub (see DOE Publishes NGL Primer for Marcellus/Utica, Pushes NGL Storage). The Mountaineer project was mentioned in the DOE report. We’ve written plenty about Mountaineer NGL, located just across the river (and border) from West Virginia (see our Mountaineer NGL Storage stories here). What do we know about the proposed Mountaineer NGL Storage project? The Colorado company behind the project plans to spend up to $500 million to build it; some 20 drillers have expressed interest in contracting with the facility to store ethane; and both the nearby PTT Global cracker plant project (if it gets built) and the under-construction Shell cracker plant are both interested in connections to the facility. In November, we learned there is a construction delay until mid-this year (see Yet Another Update on Stalled Mountaineer NGL Storage Proj in OH). We are on record having previously said this: “Could the Mountaineer NGL Storage project end up being THE main NGL project for the entire region, being touted by so many? No. But it is an important project–one of the key pieces of the NGL storage puzzle that will serve our region.” It appears Mountaineer may not agree with our take. In an interview with the Pittsburgh Business Times, Mountaineer makes it clear they want to be THE NGL storage hub for the Marcellus/Utica region. Instead of building a huge $10B project from the start, Mountaineer’s strategy is to grow slow but steady–responding to market conditions along the way. Mountaineer says that’s how it was done in Texas, and that’s how they believe it can (and should) be done in our region…
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DOE Publishes NGL Primer for Marcellus/Utica, Pushes NGL Storage

The Trump Dept. of Energy is hopping on the natural gas liquids storage bandwagon. Yesterday the DOE published a 45-page report called, “Natural Gas Liquids Primer: With a Focus on the Appalachian Region” (full copy below). The DOE uses its own data along with data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (our favorite government agency) to create an up-to-date picture of Appalachian NGL supply, demand, and infrastructure. What does that picture show? It shows we are in desperate need of our own regional NGL storage facilities. No doubt one of the reasons for the report is to goose China into investing in a proposed $10 billion NGL storage plan being pushed by many (see Tyler County, WV Mentioned as Candidate for $10B NGL Storage Hub). The report gives an important shout-out to the Mountaineer NGL Storage project. The report is a primer–it runs through the basics of NGLs (what they are, why they’re important). The DOE says this report is an important first step in preparing a more comprehensive report requested by Congress about the benefits of Marcellus/Utica NGLs. That comprehensive report will be ready sometime next year. In the meantime, this report will give you an important foundation of knowledge…
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Yet Another Update on Stalled Mountaineer NGL Storage Proj in OH

Over the past six months we’ve run a steady string of stories about Mountaineer NGL Storage and its proposed underground NGL (mostly ethane) storage facility in Monroe County, Ohio, near Clarington, along the Ohio River (see our Mountaineer NGL Storage stories here). We’ve learned that the Colorado company behind the project plans to spend up to $500 million to build it, that 20 drillers have expressed interest in contracting with the facility to store ethane, and that both the nearby potential PTT Global cracker plant and the under-construction Shell cracker plant are both interested in connections to the facility. We’ve also learned there is a holdup with some of the necessary permits for the project before construction can begin–a situation that has delayed construction until mid-next year. This morning we ran across yet another update. This one goes into more detail about the permit situation, explaining where the holdup is happening (with the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources’ chief Rick Simmers). The update also introduces us to a new spokesman for the project, a local who will be the project’s feet on the street, meaning we’ll likely hear a lot more about the project in the coming weeks and months…
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Mountaineer NGL Storage Spending Up to $500M on Ethane Facility

Mountaineer NGL Storage wants to build a new underground NGL storage facility in Monroe County, Ohio, near Clarington, along the Ohio River (see New Company Announces Open Season for NGL Storage in Ohio Utica). The project, which will store primarily ethane but also propane and butane, still needs to build a 3.25 million barrel brine pond, used to pump out stored NGLs. Mountaineer is waiting for a clearance from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources to build the pond. At a recent industry event, Mountaineer CEO David Hooker said 20 drillers are interested in storing ethane at the facility, when it gets built (see Mountaineer NGL Says 20 Drillers Interested in Ethane Storage). Hooker keeps the NGL storage project front and center in the news. Yesterday he announced plans to spend an initial $150 million, and potentially as much as $500 million, to build the facility. To the best of our recollection that’s the first time numbers have been offered for how much money it will take to fund the project. Hooker also gave a new timeline for the project, saying he expects all permits to be in hand “within the first six months of 2018,” and after that, construction will begin…
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