Enterprise Decides to Expand ATEX Ethane Pipeline to Gulf Coast

In August, Enterprise Products Partners, the builder and operator of the Appalachia-to-Texas Express (ATEX) ethane pipeline, launched an open season to gauge interest in expanding the capacity along the 1,192-mile pipeline (see Enterprise Looks to Expand ATEX Ethane Pipeline to Gulf Coast). Good news! The open season is now closed and yes, there is more than enough interest from customers to increase capacity along the line by an additional 45,000 barrels per day.
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NETL Makes Case in Congress for Big Appalachian NGL Storage Hub

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) recently pulled together a report (“findings”) that were circulated to Congress, making the case for a large-scale natural gas liquids (NGL) storage and trading hub in the Marcellus/Utica region. No doubt this report was a response to moves by the radical left to prevent such a hub from receiving any kind of federal loan guarantees.
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PBS Goes to Scotland, Discovers Shale/Plastics Aren’t Bad After All

PBS reporter Reid Frazier should enjoy what is likely to be his one and only trip to Europe on the StateImpact Pennsylvania company dime. He’s gone there to follow Marcellus molecules exported from Pennsylvania, to see how they’re used. Frazier’s first stop is Scotland where they use our ethane to create plastics. Frazier’s report is actually (shock warning, please sit down) pretty fair and balanced–even complimentary of the Marcellus Shale and the plastics industry! Frazier’s overlords inside the William Penn Foundation (big financial backers of StateImpact) are NOT going to be happy with his reports if they continue like this one.
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Another Mariner East 2 Pipe Sinkhole Opens in Delaware County

Credit: PA Environment Digest Blog (click for larger version)

Once again drilling work to install Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 Pipeline in Middlefield Township in Delaware County, PA (near Philadelphia) has resulted in a sinkhole. This one is about the size of a 15×15 swimming pool. Sunoco reports the hole exposed a 12-inch pipeline flowing NGLs (no holes, no leaks in the pipeline). The company immediately filled in the sinkhole and covered over the NGL pipeline.
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Work at Sunoco’s Marcus Hook Causes Range to Tweak NGL Forecast

Sunoco is performing “optimization work” at the Marcus Hook export terminal this month. Marcus Hook is where two (soon to be three) Mariner East Pipelines terminate, hauling NGLs (propane, ethane, butane) from western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio all the way to the Philadelphia area. At Marcus Hook the NGLs get separated and most (not all, but most) get loaded onto ships for export to other countries. Sunoco needs to upgrade a few things to export even more. They’re shutting down Marcus Hook this month, and that’s a (temporary) problem for the main shipper sending NGLs to the facility–Range Resources.
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PA DEP Changes Sides, Says Marcus Hook Should Get 1 Big Air Permit

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), which once supported (in court) Sunoco Logistics Partners method of requesting permits for the Marcus Hook facility (near Philadelphia), has just flip flopped and change sides, now siding against Sunoco and the permits the DEP itself issued for the Marcus Hook facility. DEP is now siding with the radical Clean Air Council demanding that all of the work at the Marcus Hook facility be done under a single emissions permit, not separate permits.
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MarkWest Continues to Expand NGL Infrastructure in the Wet M-U

Our friends at RBN Energy recently launched a new mini-series of blog posts delving into Marcellus/Utica gas processing and fractionation in the wet gas region–meaning southwest PA, eastern OH, and the northern panhandle of WV. We previously brought you part 1 of that series (see Overview of Gas Processing & Fractionation in M-U Wet Gas Region). Today we have part 2, which takes a close look at MPLX (i.e. MarkWest Energy) and the key role their processing plants play in allowing NGL production in the M-U to continue growing.
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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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