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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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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Will New GTL Plant in Sarnia, Canada Use M-U Molecules?

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Here’s some exciting news. A Canadian-based company, Ainsworth Energy, is planning to build a C$1.9 billion (US$1.4 billion) gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in Sarnia, Ontario. The plant will convert natgas into methanol, then convert the methanol into gasoline. Since Marcellus/Utica molecules flow all the way to Sarnia via the NEXUS and Rover pipelines, we think there’s a good chance our gas will help feed this plant.
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Overview of Gas Processing & Fractionation in M-U Wet Gas Region

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Our friends at RBN Energy are beginning 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. Cryogenic gas processing plants separate methane (CH4) from the other carbon compounds in the stream, namely from NGLs (natural gas liquids). Fractionation further separates the NGLs into “purity products”–things like ethane, propane, normal butane, iso-butane and natural gasoline.
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Bomb Threat at Blue Racer’s WV Natrium Plant – Nothing Found

Last Thursday morning at 6:30 am Blue Racer Midstream’s Natrium (Marshall County, WV) natural gas processing plant received a phoned-in bomb threat. Plant personnel immediately contacted law enforcement (local, state and federal) who swept the plant with bomb-sniffing dogs. Nothing was found.
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President Trump Visits Shell Cracker Plant Near Pittsburgh

Trump speech at Monaca, PA (credit: Philadelphia Inquirer)

President Trump visited the Shell ethane cracker plant site yesterday in Monaca, PA, along with Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. Trump was greeted by a crowd of some 5,000 people, many (most?) of them workers at the site–union members. When was the last time you heard about 5,000 union members attending a rally for a Democrat?! But we digress. Trump toured the facility and delivered a rousing hour-plus speech to those gathered. There is no mistaking the fact that Donald Trump is a big supporter of the oil and gas and petrochemical industries.
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Trump Takes Credit for Shell Cracker Plant – Media Blows a Gasket

Democrats and the media (one and the same) are truly a conflicted, schizophrenic bunch. Both national and local Democrats who pretend to be unbiased journalists (what a joke) couldn’t wait to blast out headlines from yesterday’s visit by President Trump to Monaca, PA that Trump is falsely “taking credit” for the Shell ethane cracker, a plant that began life–at least planning stages–during the reign of their Lord and Savior Barack Hussein Obama. Yet in the next breath they write that this plant Trump is taking credit for will produce eeeeevil plastic that’s dooming all life on Mom Earth to extinction. They want credit for the plant, yet they don’t want the plant. What’s a lib Dem to do?
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MPLX M-U Processing, Fractionation Plants Coming Online Soon

MPLX, formerly known as MarkWest Energy, recently released their second quarter 2019 update. There seems to be a new emphasis for MPLX on the Texas Permian play, which is detectable in the update. However, much of the company’s revenue continues to come from our region. A slide embedded deep in the Appendix of the latest slide deck tells an interesting story for us: Of the ten processing and fractionation plants MPLX is currently building or planning to build, six of them are in the Marcellus/Utica region. We have the list below.
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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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PTT Buying Homes Near Proposed Cracker Plant in Belmont County

PTT Global Chemical continues to behave is if it’s going forward with building a $7.5 billion ethane cracker in Dilles Bottom (Belmont County), Ohio. The latest evidence? The company is actively buying up homes close to the proposed site. Over the past two months the company has snapped up six homes and is in discussions right now with others.
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Braskem Gives Up on WV Cracker – Parkersburg Site for Sale

A sad end to the hope that Braskem, the largest petrochemical company in Latin America (headquartered in Brazil), is going to build an ethane cracker in Wood County, WV, near Parkersburg. We hasten to add Braskem leaving doesn’t mean someone else won’t will build a cracker plant there–it just won’t be Braskem. News is leaking that Braskem has put the land they had purchased for a possible cracker up for sale.
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KM Says Elba Island in “Advanced Stage” of Commissioning/Startup

Kinder Morgan (KM), perhaps the largest pipeline company in the United States, was first out of the chute yesterday with a financial and operational update for the second quarter. While KM maintains a number of pipelines in the northeast, primarily the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, our main focus in reviewing yesterday’s update is for new information about the long-delayed Elba Island LNG export facility along the coast of Georgia. Elba Island will export Marcellus/Utica molecules.

We updated this post on 7/19/19 with new information.
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Work Begins to Clear Site for NEPA Landlocked LNG Export Plant

Work begins to clear site for NEPA LNG plant (credit: Rocket-Courier)

Although we’ve recently reported several stories about the CEO of New Fortress Energy (see New Fortress Energy Founder/CEO Big-time Democrat Donor) and the company’s plan to build a new dock along the Delaware River to export LNG (see DRBC Approves New Fortress LNG/NGL Shipping Dock on Dela. River), we’ve not heard much about construction of the LNG plant itself, located in northeastern Pennsylvania. We have an update.
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Supplier Fair to Sell Products for OH Cracker Held in…London?

Little by little, piece by piece, the evidence continues to mount that PTT Global Chemical and their partner Daelim Chemical will make a positive final investment decision (FID) to build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Belmont County, OH. On Monday we told you the State of Ohio is investing another $30 million in the project, even though the project is not officially a done deal, yet (see Ohio Pays Another $30M to Kickstart PTT Belmont Cracker Project). Our latest bit of evidence that the Belmont cracker will indeed get built: PTT is holding a “supplier fair” for companies to win contracts to provide various supplies and equipment for the facility. Oh, and the supplier fair is being held in London–as in the United Kingdom!
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Steubenville, OH in the Catbird Seat – Between Two Crackers

Location of Steubenville, halfway between Monaca, PA and Dilles Bottom, OH

Several weeks ago MDN editor Jim Willis attended the 2019 Northeast Petrochemical Conference and Expo in Pittsburgh. A major reason for attending such events is to connect with others in the industry. On this trip, Jim had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Bryce Custer, business director for global commercial real estate company NAI’s Ohio River Corridor division. Bryce’s job is to find real estate for companies in places where maybe real estate isn’t (yet) for sale. Companies like manufacturers who want to locate near the Shell and (soon, hopefully) PTT ethane cracker facilities–looking to locate in the Ohio River Valley. Bryce helps them find suitable locations. Bryce recently spoke to the Steubenville Revitalization Group and had an interesting observation about Steubenville’s geography.
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