Railed Marcellus Propane Keeps New England Warm in Winter

New England “doesn’t produce a barrel of crude oil, a gallon of NGLs, or a cubic foot of natural gas.” All of the considerable quantity of fossil fuels the region uses for energy must be brought in–by pipeline (very few pipelines), truck, ship, or rail. Propane is one of the primary heating fuels used in New England. Guess where the region’s propane comes from, and how it gets there?
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Fortress Truck/Rail Terminal on Dela. River to Export LPG in 2021

We’ve written plenty about a plan by New Fortress Energy to build an LNG liquefaction plant in Bradford County, PA (northeastern part of the state), and then haul the LNG from the plant via specially-outfitted trucks and rail cars to a transloading dock/port facility New Fortress plans to build at an old DuPont dynamite factory site in New Jersey, on the banks of the Delaware River. What we didn’t know, until now, is that the old DuPont site will also function as a transloading facility for LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas (i.e. propane).
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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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U.S. Petroleum Exports Went UP in 1H20…Thanks to NGLs

In the first half of 2020, the U.S. exported 5.4 million barrels per day (bpd) of petroleum products, a slight increase of 48,000 bpd (1%) from the first half of 2019. Wait, what? Exports went UP and not down? Even though the entire world shut down and used far less fossil fuels during 1H? That’s right. The reason we exported slightly more petroleum products is because NGLs (natural gas liquids) are part of those numbers, and the world kept using NGLs, like propane and ethane, even during the COVID shutdown.
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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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Energy Transfer Says Mariner East 2X Online by End of 2020

It’s been a loooong road getting the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline system, which includes building two pipelines side-by-side from eastern Ohio across Pennsylvania to the Philadelphia area, done. From what we can tell, ME2 is now done–with the possible exception of a few miles where smaller pipeline is being used until a bigger replacement is done. For all intents, ME2 is done. However, ME2X, a second pipeline being built next to the first, is not yet done. But it’s getting close! According to comments from Energy Transfer (ET) made during a quarterly conference call yesterday, ME2X will be in service by the end of this year, and the entire project will be done-done sometime in 2Q21. Finally!
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How to Predict Price of NGLs – The Spread Between Oil & NatGas

Here’s a little known factoid that will be useful for anyone wondering what the price of NGLs (natural gas liquids) will bring in a given market at a given time. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), our favorite government agency, points out NGLs almost always fetch prices that are “range-bound” between the price of oil on the high end, and the price of natural gas on the low end. Natural gasoline (an NGL) tracks closest the high end and the price of crude oil, while ethane is at the bottom of list closest to the price of methane.
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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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Expert Says Massive Appalachian NGL Storage Hub Won’t Get Built

Last week MDN brought you details of the Appalachian Storage Hub Conference coming to the Pittsburgh area (and online) on August 27 (see Appalachian Storage Hub Conference Aug 27: In-Person and Online). ShaleDirectories.com, the conference organizer, has just released details about one of the featured speakers for the event. Mike Tritt, President and CEO of Lane Power and Energy Solutions Inc., is an expert on building natural gas liquids storage facilities. Tritt has some interesting and likely controversial things to say about the planned Appalachia Storage and Trading Hub.
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Shell Stops Adding Workers at Cracker Site After New Virus Cases

When the COVID-19 coronavirus hit, Shell stopped all work on its mighty cracker plant in Beaver County, PA, sending nearly 8,000 workers home in mid-March for what was thought to be “a few days to a few weeks” (see Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-1). In early May Shell began bringing back 300 workers each week. Roughly 3,500 work on-site now. Because of a spike in new coronavirus cases among workers, Shell has temporarily stopped adding back new workers.
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Appalachian Storage Hub Conference Aug 27: In-Person and Online

MDN is happy to help promote the 4th Annual Appalachian Storage Hub Conference coming August 27. This conference provides comprehensive information about the development of the petrochemical industry in the Appalachian Basin. Here’s the exciting part: You can attend the event in-person at the Southpointe Office Park (near Pittsburgh), or for the first time, attend online virtually. At this event, you’ll hear…
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Trump DOE Report Backs Cracker, Petchem Investment in Marc/Utica

In April 2019 President Trump issued an Executive Order instructing the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) to assess opportunities to promote growth in the Appalachian region. Yesterday a report was released by DOE doing just that. The 75-page report is titled “The Appalachian Energy and Petrochemical Renaissance: An Examination of Economic Progress and Opportunities” (full copy below). The report not only outlines petchem opportunities in the Marcellus/Utica, it makes recommendations to put those opportunities on steroids.
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M-U Pipelines Continue Construction Despite Pandemic, Lawsuits

Two of the largest not-yet-completed pipeline projects in the Marcellus/Utica, Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), are currently on hold with no construction activity due to various legal challenges by Big Green (see today’s story, Mountain Valley Pipe Update: Done and In-Service Early 2021). However, there are several other large and small M-U pipeline projects where construction continues, even with restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic. Which pipelines?
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Marcellus/Utica NGL Production & Exports – Shortage Coming?

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The Marcellus/Utica region is a tale of two shales. One is dry gas, or methane only, and the other is methane plus NGLs–other hydrocarbons that come out of the hole along with methane, including ethane, propane, butane, and few others. NGL production can turn a breakeven or possibly money-losing venture into a profitable venture. The wet gas area is located in portions of southwestern PA, eastern OH, and the northern panhandle of WV (see the map). Given the pandemic, fluctuating natgas prices, curtailments, and the general craziness in the markets, what do the next 12 months look like for NGL production in the M-U?
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Philly Petchem Workers Isolate 28 Days to Make Virus Equipment

Marcellus/Utica propane flows from eastern Ohio and southwestern Pennsylvania all the way to southeastern PA via the Mariner East pipelines (ME1 and ME2). A petrochemical facility operated by Braskem America in Marcus Hook (near Philadelphia) processes some of that propane, turning it into polypropylene–the raw plastic used to make N95 masks, hospital gowns, and sanitary wipes–items in critical demand right now to protect health care workers against the COVID-19 coronavirus. This will bring tears to your eyes as it did ours: Some 40 workers at the Braskem plant voluntarily decided to stay at the plant for 28 days straight–working 12-hour shifts–not leaving once during that time so they could be sure of no COVID contamination while they worked to make polypropylene that in turn would be used to make personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. We salute them one and all!
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