MPLX VP Says We Need NGL Storage, and We Need it NOW

Some interesting comments by Jim Crews, vice president of northeast business development for MPLX (formerly known as MarkWest Energy), during a presentation he gave at the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia’s (IOGAWV) Summer Meeting last week. Crews said lack of natural gas liquids storage is a crisis (our words, reflecting his sentiment). And we need storage not only here in the Marcellus/Utica region–but across the country. “We’re out of storage,” he said, and “Cargoes are just being given away.”
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PA Playbook for Closed Coal Plant Sites: Replace w/NatGas, Petchem

Pennsylvania state officials in the Gov. Tom Wolf administration (yes, lib Dem Tom Wolf) are drawing up plans, a “playbook,” for how to redevelop the increasing number of coal-fired electric generating plants that are closing in the state. Most of those plans boil down to this: redevelop those sites as natural gas-fired electric plants and/or petrochemical plants. Both are tied directly to PA’s prolific Marcellus Shale. Who knew there was such common sense inside the Wolf Administration?
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Trump Admin “Full Court Press” re Appalachian NGL Storage Hub

Steven Winberg, the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s assistant secretary for fossil energy, spoke to West Virginia lawmakers on Tuesday. His message? The Trump Administration is prioritizing building out a petrochemical industry in Appalachia. Among Winberg’s comments, on the matter of establishing an NGL storage hub in Appalachia, he said: “At DOE we have a full court press on this.” For those who don’t follow basketball, the term full court press means aggressive pressure against the opponent in the back court. Winberg’s meaning: DOE is doing everything it can to make the NGL storage hub project happen.
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NGL Storage Hub Federal Loan Guarantee May be in Trouble

Appalachia Development Group is leading an effort to build a ~$10 billion (or $2.5B, or $3.4B, depending on your source) NGL storage hub in Appalachia–most likely in West Virginia (see WV’s US Senators Lead the Charge to Build $10B NGL Storage Hub). The project, called the Appalachia Storage and Trading Hub, has already hired an engineering firm and has the backing of President Trump (see Pres. Trump Targets Marcellus/Utica to Bulk Up PetChem Industry). It’s estimated such a project would lead to the creation of 100,000 new jobs. Federal loan guarantees of $1.9 billion have been in the works for the massive project for several years (partially approved), but those loan guarantees may now be in jeopardy thanks to leftists.
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DRBC Approves New Fortress LNG/NGL Shipping Dock on Dela. River

Yesterday, over the shrill objections of THE Delaware Riverkeeper, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) approved a plan put forth by New Fortress Energy to build a $96 million 1,600-foot-long pier on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River at the former DuPoint dynamite factory site. The purpose of the pier? To dock and load two ships at a time–loading them with either LNG (liquefied natural gas) and/or NGLs (natural gas liquids, like propane, butane and ethane).
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Marcellus/Utica Ethane Supplies at Tipping Point – Action Needed NOW

Last week Shaledirectories.com and TopLine Analytics hosted the one-day Appalachian Storage Hub Conference in Canonsburg, PA. Charles Zelek, a senior economist with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy was one of the speakers. According to our friends at Kallanish Energy who attended, Zelek “implored” the audience to establish an ethane storage hub in the Tri-State area. Like now, before it’s too late.
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New Fortress Energy NJ LNG Export Site to Store/Export NGLs Too

A few weeks ago MDN brought you the news that THE Delaware Riverkeeper had finally (months after everyone else knew) woke up to the fact that New Fortress Energy is planning to build an LNG loading facility on the banks of the Delaware River, on the New Jersey side, near Philadelphia (see Riverkeeper Sounds Alarm re New LNG Export Facility on Dela. River). The Philadelphia Inquirer just got around to covering Riverkeeper’s mock outrage about the facility, but then dug deeper and discovered what is for us new information: New Fortress plans to ship not only LNG out of that facility, but NGLs too.
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WV Sen. Joe Manchin “Sours” on Promised $83B Chinese Investment

During a President Trump trade trip to China in November 2017, Chinese officials signed an informal (non-binding) agreement to invest a whopping $83.7 billion in shale and petrochemical projects located in West Virginia (see China Agrees to Invest Amazing $83.7 BILLION in WV Shale, Petchem). Then the “trade war” with China happened, and so far, from November 2017 until now, not one red yuan has been invested. “I signed a trade deal and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.” One of WV’s U.S. Senators, Joe Manchin, says he thinks the Chinese have no interest in investing in an ethane cracker, petrochemical or manufacturing plants in the Mountain State. Instead, IF they invest (big IF), the Chinese, says Manchin, plan to invest in exporting NGLs out of the state.
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MarkWest Hopedale Plant Problem Knocks 2 Bcf/d Offline in OH, WV

A pipeline feeding the MarkWest Hopedale Fractionation Facility in Jewett, Ohio was knocked offline last Sunday, and that outage caused a cascading effect throughout the region that forced three gas processing plants in West Virginia to temporarily scale back (or stop) operations, which further caused a ~2.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) decrease in gas flows on two interstate gas transmission pipelines. The good news is that the problem is now resolved.
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Sunoco Gets FERC Permission to Sign Up New ME2 Shippers for C3+

click for larger version

Last December MDN brought you news that at the time seemed a bit odd to us at the time–that Sunoco Logistics Partners (division of Energy Transfer) was floating a new open season for NGL shipments along the Mariner East pipeline system (see Open Season – for Mariner East Pipelines?!). In late December, following that announcement, Sunoco filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to allow them to change up the mix of NGLs flowing through Mariner East 2, and for permission to lock-in long-term customers for new C3+ capacity. FERC (finally) approved the request yesterday.
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Sunoco Spending $200M to Expand Marcus Hook NGL Refinery

Marcus Hook refinery complex

On Monday Energy Transfer, parent company of Sunoco Logistics Partners, announced a $200 million expansion of its Marcus Hook refinery located in Delaware County, PA, just outside Philadelphia. The upgrades include building a new warehouse and adding more propane and butane “chillers” (to keep the gases cold). The two-year project will employ some 1,200 union workers.
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Mariner East 1 NGL Pipe Restarts Today After Shutdown Since Jan.

Since January 20, all of Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner East 1 (ME1) pipeline has been shut down on the orders of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (see All of Mariner East 1 NGL Pipe Shut Down Indefinitely by PA PUC). As of today, just over three full months later, the PUC is finally allowing ME1 to restart service, after agreeing to a number of “safety” measures.
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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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Truth Told @ Marcellus and Manufacturing Conference in Morgantown

Natural gas was front and center at the ninth annual Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference, an event of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, held yesterday in Morgantown, WV. Among the speakers was Steve Winberg, U.S. Department of Energy assistant secretary for fossil energy. He mouthed strong support for the Appalachian Basin ethane “hub” saying the region can easily support up to five ethane crackers, and that could lead to $35 billion of investment and 100,000 jobs in the region.
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Energy Transfer Opens Office in China to Push LNG, Ethane

Chinese for “good news”

Energy Transfer issued an exciting announcement yesterday to say they are expanding their presence in China “to meet growing demand for ethane and liquid natural gas products” by opening an ET office in Beijing. It will be ET’s first non-U.S. office–can you believe that?! Although ET doesn’t mention the Marcellus/Utica in the announcement, we think there’s a connection.
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