NGI The Weekly Gas Market Report

Briefs -- Oryx Open Season Extended | INGAA Commits to Minimize Methane Emissions | New Mexico Gas Utility Extensions | Enviros File to Stop MVP Work | DTE NatGas Power Plant

Permian Basin midstream operator Oryx Midstream Services II LLC’s subsidiaries have extended a joint open season through Aug. 31 to gauge support for a crude oil gathering and trunkline system to carry supply from the Delaware sub-basin. The open season was to have concluded on Thursday (Aug. 9). For information contact Oryx’s Carlos Mata, senior vice president of business development, at (432) 253-7756.

More than two dozen members of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America recently affirmed their commitment to minimize methane emissions from transmission and storage facilities through a series of voluntary pledges. Companies including Cheniere Energy Inc., Dominion Energy, Enbridge Inc., Kinder Morgan Inc., NextEra Energy Resources, Oneok Inc. and TransCanada Corp. said they would minimize emissions from interstate natural gas pipelines and pneumatic controllers; minimize emissions from natural gas storage and compressor stations; and develop effective practices and information sharing protocols related to detecting and reducing methane emissions. The companies signed off on a series of commitments, agreeing to install air-driven, low-bleed or intermittent pneumatic controllers; minimize emissions during maintenance, repair and replacement of pipelines; replace rod packing on all transmission and storage reciprocating compressors; and more.

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) has launched an effort to expand natural gas utility service to rural and low-income communities on the fringes of existing pipeline distribution systems. Responding to a request from New Mexico Gas Co. (NMGC), the PRC approved a provision that will provide customers with a 2-for-1 match on infrastructure expansion projects. Previously, the fund matched 1-for-1. The $10 million fund has not been expanded. In addition, the PRC approved an expansion of NMGC's conversion rebate from $500 to $1,500 to assist new customers with expenses associated with extending natural gas lines on the customer’s property or inside their homes.

Environmental groups have filed two emergency motions in federal court to prevent Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC (MVP) from continuing work on parts of the project after FERC ordered all construction stopped. MVP submitted a temporary plan that was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to install up to 80 miles of pipeline to prevent adverse environmental impacts. FERC’s move came in response to a federal court’s decision to vacate decisions by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management that allowed MVP to cross a national forest. The motions were filed in both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Led by the Sierra Club, the groups argue that the federal agencies should be allowed to “appropriately” revise their decisions, as the Fourth Circuit instructed.

DTE Energy Co. is scheduled to break ground on a $1 billion natural gas-fired power plant next Tuesday, Aug. 21. The Blue Water Energy Center, located in St. Clair County's East China Township, will have 1,150 MW of capacity and provide power for 850,000 homes in 2022, the year the facility is scheduled to begin operations. The utility, which serves 2.2 million electric utility customers in southeastern Michigan, plans to retire three coal-fired plants -- River Rouge, St. Clair and Trenton Channel -- by 2023.

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