Oil & Gas Updates
Updates for the week of July 1, 2024
Cranes tower over the Golden Pass LNG construction site in July 2022. On June 5, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality proposed a draft operating for an LNG export terminal at the facility.

Texas agency gives initial green light to Golden Pass LNG in Southeast Texas

A partially built liquified natural gas (LNG) export facility on the Texas-Louisiana state line received a draft operating permit last month from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

On June 5, 2024, the TCEQ proposed a draft initial operating permit for the Golden Pass LNG Terminal in Jefferson County, Texas, east of Port Arthur. If fully built, the facility would be able to produce and export over 18 million tons of liquified natural gas every year. 

Construction on the terminal’s export facilities began in 2019 under a partnership between QatarEnergy and ExxonMobil. However, construction has stalled due to a dispute over payments between the project’s developers and its lead construction contractor, San Antonio-based Zachry Holdings. Golden Pass LNG has been importing natural gas to the facility since 2010 and received federal approval to export gas in 2016.

The TCEQ is accepting public comments on the draft permit until July 29, 2024. Please see the public notice for more information.

Public hearings scheduled on two Louisiana carbon sequestration test wells

Louisiana state regulators have scheduled two public hearings and are accepting comments this month on proposals to drill test wells for potential carbon dioxide storage sites.

Last month, the Louisiana Department of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR) issued a draft permit authorizing ConocoPhillips to drill a test well in Cameron Parish, in Southwest Louisiana. ConocoPhillips plans to use the well to collect geological information for a proposed carbon sequestration site, Project Gumbo.

The agency will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. local time on July 11, 2024, in the Cameron Parish Police Jury meeting room, 148 Smith Circle, Cameron, Louisiana 70631. Written comments can also be submitted until July 12, 2024. See the public notice for more information.

In June, the DENR also issued a draft permit authorizing Denbury Carbon Solutions to drill a test well in St. Helena Parish, northeast of Baton Rouge. Denbury, which last year was acquired by ExxonMobil, plans to use the well to collect geotechnical information for a proposed carbon sequestration site, the Virgo Sequestration Hub.

The hearing on the Virgo test well will be at 6 p.m. local time on Aug. 8, 2024, in the St. Helena Policy Jury meeting room, 17911 LA-43, Greensburg, Louisiana 70441. See the public notice for more information.

Heirloom Carbon announces plans for direct air capture site in Shreveport, Louisiana

The startup behind the first commercial facility in the U.S. to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from the atmosphere is planning two similar facilities in northwestern Louisiana.

On June 24, 2024, Heirloom Carbon announced plans to construct two direct air capture facilities at the Port of Caddo-Bossier in Shreveport, Louisiana. In November 2023, Heirloom announced it had begun operations at a direct air capture facility in California’s Central Valley that can capture up to 1,000 tons of CO2 per year from the atmosphere.

The larger Shreveport facility, expected to capture approximately 300,000 metric tons of CO2 per year once fully operational, is part of Project Cypress, which is eligible for funding from the Department of Energy’s Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs program. The plant would be built in phases. Heirloom is also planning a second facility at the same site with the capacity to capture17,000 metric tons per year.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves CP2 LNG export terminal and pipeline in Southwest Louisiana

In a 2-1 vote last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a liquified natural gas (LNG) export facility in a region of Louisiana that’s becoming a hotspot for gas export sites.

On June 27, 2024, FERC commissioners Willie Phillips and Mark Christie voted to issue an order authorizing the construction and operation of the CP2 LNG Terminal and associated CP Express Pipeline Project. The CP2 LNG Terminal would be located on Monkey Island, directly east of Venture Global's Calcasieu Pass LNG Terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The CP Express Project would consist of two pipelines: the 85-mile-long CP Express Pipeline and the 6-mile-long Enable Gulf Run Lateral, which would connect to the proposed CP2 LNG Terminal.

FERC Commissioner Allison Clements was the lone no vote, arguing in her dissent that FERC’s order “fails to meaningfully assess the project’s enormous greenhouse gas emissions” and that its analysis of cumulative air pollution from CP2 and other facilities was “deficient.” The order also “improperly discounts impacts to commercial fishing businesses, which will likely be significant,” as well as failing to adequately consider how it would affect nearby environmental justice communities,” Clements wrote.

Dow Chemical plans to more than double wastewater discharge to Texas bay from chemical plant outfall

On June 20, 2024, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) republished a proposed modified draft wastewater dischargepermit for Dow/Union Carbide’s Seadrift Complex in Calhoun County, Texas, northof Corpus Christi. The complex produces plastics and specialty chemicals, such as glycols and oxide derivatives used to make antifreeze, detergents, and beauty products.

The draft permit was republished because the previous public notice contained errors. If approved, the modified permit would increase daily maximum flow for a single outfall from 17 million gallons per day to 43 million gallons per day and modify several pollutant limits and monitoring requirements. 

The TCEQ is accepting public comments on the draft permit until at least July 22, 2024. Please see the public notice for more information.

Company applies to expand ammonia facility near Beaumont, Texas

On June 25, 2024, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced that OCI Clean Ammonia has applied for a permit to construct a second 3,000-metric-ton-per-dayliquid anhydrous ammonia production unit at its Beaumont Clean Ammonia Complex.

If this permit application is approved, the facility’s anhydrous ammonia production capacity would increase to 6,000 metric tons per day once fully operational. The TCEQ is currently accepting public comments on the application. Please see the public notice for more information.

Updates for the week of June 24, 2024

The red dot shows the location of Avina Clean Hydrogen's Nueces Green Ammonia Plant near Corpus Christi, Texas. The facility recently received a draft construction permit from state regulators.

Draft construction permit proposed for new ammonia plant near Corpus Christi, Texas

State regulators have scheduled a public hearing July 29 on a proposed ammonia facility near Corpus Christi, Texas, that could produce up to 800,000 metric tons per year for export.

On June 14, 2024, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) proposed a draft permit for the initial construction of Avina Clean Hydrogen’s Nueces Green Ammonia Plant in Nueces County, Texas. The facility would subject water to electrolysis to produce anhydrous ammonia, used in fertilizer manufacturing and increasingly seen as an alternative fuel.

The facility has faced scrutiny for its purchase of the last available water from the Nueces River – up to 5.5 million gallons per day – in a drought-prone region with stressed water supplies. Officials in Corpus Christi warned in a March 1 memo that the withdrawal “could dramatically increase the potential for scarcity.”

The TCEQ will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. July 29, 2024, at 1213 Terry Shamsie Boulevard, Robstown, Texas 78380. The agency is accepting public comments on the draft permit until July 29, 2024. See the public notice for more information.

Construction deadline extended to 2026 for Commonwealth LNG in Southwest Louisiana

Louisiana regulators have approved a roughly two-year delay for a construction start date for a planned liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Southwest Louisiana.

On June 14, 2024, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality issued modified construction and operating permits for the proposed Commonwealth LNG Terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The new permits extended the deadline to begin construction to March 28, 2026, and modified the facility's turbine design.

Construction was originally anticipated to begin in the first half of 2024. If built, the facility would process approximately 8.4 to 9.5 million metric tons of LNG per year.

Dow applies to increase flare emissions at chemical plant near Beaumont, Texas

The largest chemical company in the U.S. is planning to increase air emissions from a chemical manufacturing plant in the Beaumont, Texas, area.

On June 13, 2024, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced that Dow Chemical has applied for a new air construction permit for its Sabine River Plant in Orange County, Texas. If approved, the permit would authorize adding a hydrogen stream to an existing flare and increasing air pollution emissions at that flare by an additional 238 tons per year.

The Sabine River Plant can produce up to 771,000 metric tons of ethylene and 270,00 metric tons of polyethylene per year, both used as raw ingredients for plastics and other chemicals. TCEQ is currently accepting comments on the application. Please see the public notice and amendment summary for more information.

Public comment period open on environmental assessment for Corpus Christi LNG expansion in Texas

On June 21, 2024, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released an environmental assessment for an expansion project known as Midscale Trains 8 & 9Project at Cheniere’s Corpus Christi LNG facility in Texas.  

This project would increase the liquefaction capacity of the LNG export terminal by 3.28 million metric tons per year. FERC staff who prepared the assessment recommended that the commission issue a finding that the project would cause “no significant impact” if the company follows conditions laid out in the assessment.

FERC is accepting comments on the assessment until 5 p.m. Eastern on July 22, 2024. Please see the public notice for more information.

Modified permit would increase wastewater discharge natural gas liquids plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas

On June 14, 2024, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) proposed a modified draft wastewater permit for ONEOK’s Mont Belvieu NGL Fractionation Plant in Chambers County, Texas. The draft permit would authorize increases in daily average and daily maximum wastewater flows at several discharge points that empty into ditches and streams that eventually flow into Cedar Bayou.  

The facility converts natural gas liquids into ethane, propane, natural gasoline, and other hydrocarbons and has a 225,000-barrel-per-day processing capacity. TCEQ is currently accepting public comments on the draft permit until at least July 14, 2024. Please see the public notice for more information.

Updates for the week of June 17, 2024

The location of the Plaquemines LNG export terminal south of New Orleans. The facility announced last month that it had begun generating electricity to start operations.

Plaquemines LNG export terminal begins partial operations southeast of New Orleans

A liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminal along the Mississippi River south of New Orleans began generating power for its operations last month.

On May 17, 2024, two Venture Global subsidiaries notified the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality that they had started operating a combustion turbine at the Plaquemines LNG terminal in Plaquemines Parish to provide electrical power for initial start-up and to begin liquifying natural gas.

Construction of the terminal is being completed in two phases, and once fully operational, it could process up to 24 million tons of LNG per year.

Company applies to restart former Phillips 66 oil refinery in southeastern Louisiana

The buyer of a southeast Louisiana oil refinery shuttered three years ago after storm damage filed a permit that, if granted, could allow it to restart the facility.

On June 3, 2024, Harvest Louisiana Terminals applied to renew operating permits for units that produce gasoline and jet fuel at the former Phillips 66 refinery in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, along the Mississippi River south of New Orleans.

After the refinery sustained severe damage from Hurricane Ida in 2021, Phillips 66 announced it would convert the facility to an oil export terminal. It then sold the terminal to Harvest Louisiana Terminals in 2023. Renewing its operating permits would allow the facility to begin refining crude oil again.

Mountain Valley Pipeline begins operating in Virginia and West Virginia

On June 14, 2024, the Mountain Valley Pipeline began operating, according to a company filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The pipeline faced numerous legal battles and protests by environmental and community groups but was ultimately approved as part of a Congressional deal to pass the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022.

The pipeline spans over 300 miles across West Virginia and Virginia. It can carry 2 billion cubic feet of fracked natural gas per day from Pennsylvania and West Virginia to the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline, which stretches from Texas to New York.

Public meetings set June 24, 25 on gas pipeline expansion in Virginia, North Carolina

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will hold two meetings next week to gather input on a natural gas pipeline expansion in Virginia and North Carolina.

The Southeast Supply Enhancement Project, planned by a subsidiary of gas pipeline company Williams, includes 55-miles of new pipeline segments parallel to the existing Transcontinental Pipeline corridor in Virginia and North Carolina. It also includes modifications to compressor stations and other facilities in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.

FERC has scheduled two public scoping sessions on Monday, on Monday, June 24, 2024 in Lexington, North Carolina and on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in Chatham, Virginia. FERC also on June 12 extended the public comment period to 5 p.m. Eastern on July 5, 2024. Please see the public notice for more information.

Comment period reopened due to increased wetland impacts from Louisiana ammonia plant

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reopened a comment period on a wetland permit for Clean Hydrogen Works’ proposed ammonia and hydrogen plant on the west bank of the Mississippi River near Donaldsonville.

The Corps reissued a public comment notice on June 10 because of a 21 percent increase the amount of wetland expected to be affected. As amended, the project would impact 19.03 acres of forested wetlands along the Mississippi River, an increase over the original 15.61 acres.

The facility, if built, could produce up to 7.9 million metric tons of liquid ammonia every year in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. Comments are due by July 10,2024. Please see the public notice for more information.

Updates for the week of June 10, 2024

The red dot shows the proposed location of the Element Fuels oil refinery at the Port of Brownsville, on Texas's southern tip. An associated pipeline is shown in red.

Dallas-area developer makes fourth try at new oil refinery in Brownsville, Texas

A Dallas-area company planning the latest incarnation of a new crude oil processing facility near Brownsville, Texas, has moved a step closer to building the first all-new oil refinery in the U.S. in nearly 50 years.

On June 6, 2024, Element Fuels announced it has completed “site preparation and pre-construction activities” for the facility located on more than 240 acres at the Port of Brownsville, in Cameron County, Texas, on the state’s southern tip. According to Reuters, it marks the fourth attempt by entrepreneur John Calce to develop the facility, which was previously proposed under Calce’s startups ARX Energy and JupiterMLP.

The refinery has long drawn opposition from local shrimpers, fishermen, and environmental advocates, with a popular fishing dock located only a mile from the proposed site. In 2021, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued an air pollution permit that would allow the facility’s construction, though the opposition led to the permit including measures to reduce emissions of smog-forming nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds.

The refinery’s first phase, according to the Houston Business Journal, would include a naphta hydrotreater and reformer, expected to come online in 2027. Element is still seeking funding for this phase, which will allow the facility to process 50,000-55,000 barrels per day of naptha feedstock into gasoline, according to Reuters. It plans to add a crude distillation unit and diesel hydrotreater in its second phase, with plans for a third phase to use excess hydrogen and carbon dioxide to make biofuels.

Unlike most U.S. refineries that are designed to process foreign “heavy” crude with a high sulfur content, Element says its refinery will process shale oil from hydraulically fractured wells in the U.S. The company plans for the refinery to eventually process 160,000 barrels of crude oil per day into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. It claims the facility will produce enough hydrogen fuel to power its own operations, “essentially eliminating CO2 emissions” from the refining process. Excess hydrogen would be burned in a 100-megawatt combined-cycle gas turbine power plant at the site to sell power on the Texas electrical grid.

Shintech withdraws plan to expand PVC production at complex near Plaquemine, Louisiana

The operator of a major chemical plant in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley has withdrawn its application to expand its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production line, while sticking with plans to increase production of two other chemical products.

On May 28, 2024, Shintech Louisiana requested to withdraw its application to expand its Plaquemine Plant 3 in Plaquemine Parish, along the Mississippi River south of Baton Rouge. The project would have increased production of PVC, a plastic polymer used in pipes and other products, to 930 million pounds per year. It had the potential to emit 292,000 pounds per year of hazardous air pollutants, among other emissions, according to permit data.

Shintech, a subsidiary of Japanese chemical firm Shin-Etsu, was the subject of an early and intense environmental justice fight in the 1990s, when Cancer Alley residents fought to oppose the company’s plans to build a PVC plant in Convent, Louisiana. The opposition led Shintech to build a smaller version in Plaquemines Parish, only 26 miles away.

The Plaquemine complex still has two pending applications requesting authorization to construct a new ethylene plant and expand production of vinyl chloride monomers (VCM). Combined, the two expansion projects have the potential to emit more than 1,200 tons per year of pollutants such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, volatile organic compounds, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide.

Comment period reopened on wetland permit for Louisiana CO2 pipeline connection

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reopening a public comment period on a proposal to build a 1.2-mile carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline to connect a planned ammonia-hydrogen plant in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, to an established CO2 pipeline. On June 3, 2024, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reissued a public notice for the Denbury Green to Ascension Clean Energy Project due to a slight increase increase in the acreage of wetlands expected to be affected. The amended project could permanently impact an additional 0.37 acres of herbaceous and forested wetlands, an increase from the original 0.82 acres.

The new CO2 pipeline, if built, would connect to Clean Hydrogen Works’ proposed ammonia and hydrogen plant on the west bank of the Mississippi River near Donaldsonville. It would allow CO2 from the ammonia plant to enter Denbury’s Green Pipeline, originally built to transport CO2 from underground deposits near Jackson, Mississippi, to eastern Texas for use in enhanced oil recovery. On April 3, 2024, the pipeline ruptured in Southwest Louisiana, releasing a cloud of CO2 gas. A 2020 Green Pipeline rupture in Satartia, Mississippi, hospitalized 45 people and led the the evacuation of approximately 200.

Comments on the wetlands permit are due on July 23, 2023. Please see the public notice for more information.

Meeting planned July 9 on pipeline to supply Sabine Pass LNG in Louisiana

Cheniere Energy announced that it will hold a community open house regarding the proposed Sabine Crossing Pipeline, which would supply additional natural gas to the largest liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminal in the U.S.

The proposed five-mile pipeline would deliver up to 2.7 billion cubic feet of methane gas per day to the proposed Sabine Pass LNG in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, for its Stage 5 Expansion Project. From Cameron Parish, it would cross the Louisiana state line and pass through Liberty, Jefferson, and Chambers counties in Texas.

The open house is scheduled for July 9, 2024 at 1301 Park St., Winnie, TX 77665 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

FERC accepting public comments on environmental assessment for Texas-Louisiana Expansion Project

On June 6, 2024, the Federal Regulatory and Energy Commission (FERC) issued an environmental assessment for the proposed Texas-Louisiana Expansion Project. The project involves upgrades to two existing compressor stations in Montgomery and Liberty counties in Southeast Texas.

The project would increase transport capacity along the Natural Gas Company of America’s existing Louisiana Line system by up to 300 million cubic feet per day. In the environmental assessment, FERC staff recommend that FERC issue a finding of “no significant impact” if the company follows all required measures.

Comments on the application are due on or before 5 p.m. Eastern on July 8, 2024. See pages 2 and 3 of the assessment for instructions on how to submit comments.

Valero applies to renew, modify wastewater discharge permit for Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery

On May 30, 2024 the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced that Valero has applied to renew and modify the wastewater discharge permit for its Corpus Christi West Refinery in Nueces County, Texas. The Corpus Christi West Refinery can process 225,000 barrels of crude oil per day and produces reformulated gas, low-sulfur diesel, and other fuels and products.

If approved, the permit amendment would remove an existing wastewater discharge point, add discharges from a propylene unit, and make multiple changes to sampling points, flow information, and flow characteristics across multiple outfalls. TCEQ is currently accepting public comments on the pending application. Please see the public notice for more information.

Updates for the week of June 3, 2024

An oil well stands in a corn field in Saline Township, Michigan. Michigan's largest oil and gas producer, Lambda Energy Resources, has applied for the state's first permanent underground CO2 storage wells. Photo by Dwight Burdette.

Company applies for Michigan’s first long-term underground CO2 storage wells

Michigan’s largest oil and gas producer has applied for permits to inject carbon dioxide (CO2) into two wells in Manistee County, Michigan, north of Grand Rapids, for long-term storage. On May 8, 2024, Lambda Energy Resources filed applications for two permanent geologic storage wells (Class VI wells) that tap a formation called the Niagaran Reefs, a complex underground network of adjacent compartmentalized “reefs” that can act like storage tanks.

An independent company located in Kalkaska, Michigan, Lambda Energy Resources operates more than 800 wells, gas processing plants, and two pipeline systems. Lambda has long produced oil from the Niagaran formation, including by using CO2 to loosen oil and help force it out of the ground through a process called enhanced oil recovery.

Gulf LNG allowed until July 2029 to finish gas export terminal in Mississippi

Citing construction and other issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with litigation with existing import customers, Gulf LNG requested a five-year construction deadline extension for its liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Jackson County, Mississippi.  

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted the request on May 23, 2024, giving the companies building the project until July 16, 2029, to finish the project. When completed, the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project will export up to 10.85 million metric tons of LNG per year. The company told FERC it plans to arrive at a final decision on whether to build the project “as early as next year.”

Texas LNG seeks 5-year delay on South Texas terminal, citing legal battles

Texas LNG, a company planning a liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminal along the Brownsville Ship Channel on the southern tip of Texas, is seeking a delay until November 2029 to finish building the facility.

In a May 24, 2024, filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Texas LNG cites litigation over the project’s FERC authorization and its state-issued air permit by the Sierra Club, the City of Port Isabel, and a community group called Vecinos Para El Bienestar De La Comunidad Costera.

If built, the facility will be capable of exporting up to 4 million tons of LNG per year. Earlier this year, Texas LNG announced initial agreements to receive gas from major U.S. producer EQT Corporation and to sell gas to a Singapore-based subsidiary of the Guvnor Group, a commodities trading firm.

Methanol plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana, would fill 21 acres of wetlands for tank farm

The developer of a proposed methanol plant near Lake Charles, Louisiana, plans to build a storage tank farm on 21 acres of marsh, rather than the 6 acres originally proposed.

On May 27, 2024, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a notice announcing that the Port of Lake Charles and Lake Charles Methanol II had applied for a wetland permit to clear, grade, and deposit fill on a 37-acre tract  in Calcasieu Parish.

Lake Charles Methanol II is a proposed project to convert natural gas to hydrogen that could then be converted to methanol, while carbon capture and sequestration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the hydrogen production process. Methanol is a simple alcohol used in many chemical products. The Port of Lake Charles, also known as the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District, is leasing the 75-acre project site along Bayou d’Inde to Lake Charles Methanol.

Public comments on the application can be submitted until June 16, 2024. Please see the public notice for more information.

Pipeline to supply Rio Grande LNG in Texas rerouted to avoid endangered cat habitat

Federal authorities are requiring the rerouting of a roughly 10-mile segment of a more than 135-mile pipeline that would supply natural gas to the Rio Grande LNG export terminal on Texas’s southern tip. On May 23, 2024, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order approving changes to the pipeline route to avoid nearly 63 acres of habitat for ocelot and jaguarundi, two endangered large cat species that live on Texas’s southern border with Mexico.

The route also includes tweaks in response to landowner requests and requirements of the International Boundary and Water Commission, along with some equipment changes. When completed, the Rio Bravo Pipeline project will transport up to 4.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day for export to Rio Grande LNG from the Agua Dulce Hub near Corpus Christi.

Updates for the week of May 27, 2024

A section of 42-inch natural gas pipeline under construction in Texas, similar to the proposed 690-mile DeLa Express pipeline. The project will be the subject of 15 open meetings in Texas and Louisiana in June. Photo by iStockphoto.

Public meetings scheduled across Texas, Louisiana in June for 690-mile gas pipeline

A company planning a 690-mile natural gas pipeline from West Texas to Southwest Louisiana will hold 15 in-person "open house" meetings across the state where residents can learn more about the project.

Moss Lake Partner's is planning the DeLa Express pipeline, a 690-mile, 42-inch gas pipeline from the Permian Basin to Lake Charles, Louisiana. The pipeline would carry both "dry" gas, or methane, a common heating and power plant fuel, along with natural gas liquids such as ethane, propane, and butane. According to a company filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the pipeline would provide gas for both domestic use and foreign markets, including export via Moss Lake Partner's proposed Hackberry NGL export facility in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

If eventually approved by FERC, the company will be able to force landowners to sell access to their land for the pipeline's route via eminent domain. The company is hoping to survey 3,473 potentially affected property tracts along the pipeline's planned route. Construction is proposed to begin in 2026, with the pipeline placed in service in 2028. Click here for a list of meeting dates and locations and here for a map of the proposed route.

Company plans new LNG facility to fuel ships in Galveston Bay, Texas

A public comment period is open on a proposal for dredging in Galveston Bay in Texas to create a fueling facility for ships that run on natural gas. Galveston LNG Bunker Port LLC is planning to build the liquified natural gas (LNG) fueling facility on Shoal Point, a currently vacant piece of land in Texas City just south of the Texas City Dike.

According to the Galveston Daily News, the company is a joint venture between Seapath, a U.S. maritime infrastructure company, and Houston-based Pilot LNG. On May 21, 2024, the Galveston District Army Corps of Engineers that it would be accepting public comments on the company's application to construct a marine offloading facility, a dock, and other infrastructure. If approved, about 40,000 cubic yards of open water area will be impacted by dredging and placement of dredged sediment. Comments may be submitted until June 21, 2024. Please see the public notice for more information.

New hydrogen and jet fuel project proposed at Pittsburgh airport

KeyState Energy and CNX announced plans on May 15, 2024, to build a hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel facility at Pittsburgh International Airport. The facility could produce either up to 68,000 metric tons of hydrogen fuel or up to 70 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel per year. It could also produce both fuels simultaneously, though at a lower rate. As raw ingredients, the facility would use both natural gas and fugitive methane escaping from coal mines, but the companies say the project "hinges on federal tax credits" for the use of fugitive coal methane. 

Cove Point LNG in Maryland applies to re-export foreign natural gas

On May 23, 2024, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that Cove Point LNG, LP (Cove Point) submitted an application for to export previously imported natural gas from foreign sources. The company wants to export up to 70 billion cubic feet over a two-year period from its terminal located in Calvert County, Maryland.

The request resembles a similar application by Sabine Pass LNG in Louisiana published last month. Both filed these applications in the wake of a Biden Administration pause in January on new approvals for gas exports to countries without a free trade agreement with the U.S. Biden's pause did not apply to Cove Point LNG's existing exports because they were approved before the pause took effect. Comments may be submitted until 4:30 p.m. Eastern on June 24, 2024. Please see the public notice for more information.

Public meeting scheduled June 20 for Corpus Christi LNG expansion in Texas

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has scheduled a public meeting to hear public comments on the draft air construction permits for the next expansion project planned at the Corpus Christi LNG export terminal. The hearing will be held on Thursday, June 20 at 7 p.m. in the East Cliff Elementary School cafeteria, located at 1140 Broadway Boulevard, Portland, TX 78374.The draft permits, if approved, would authorize modifications to the already-built "Stage III" expansion project and the initial construction of two more liquefaction units ("Trains" 8 and 9), each capable of making up to 1.64 million metric tons of LNG per year, plus additional storage facilities.

Permit issued to expand production at Westlake vinyls plant in Geismar, Louisiana

On May 13, 2024, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality issued a permit to allow increased production of ethylene dichloride at Westlake Chemical's vinyl plant in Geismar, a heavily industrialized area on the Mississippi River south of Gonzales, Louisiana. Ethylene dichloride is mainly used as a raw ingredient to vinyl chloride, a raw ingredient in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes used for pipes and other home repair, automotive, and industrial materials. The permit authorizes production to increase from from 2 billion pounds per year to 2.6 billion pounds per year. The permit does not authorize any new construction.

Updates for the week of May 20, 2024

The red dot shows the proposed location of the Adams Fork Ammonia facility in southwestern West Virginia. If built, it would be the world's largest ammonia production site, capable of producing 13 million metric tons per year.

World’s largest ammonia plant planned for southwestern West Virginia gets air construction permit

West Virginia regulators recently greenlighted a proposal to build the world’s largest ammonia fertilizer plant on a former coal mine in rural West Virginia. On March 26, 2024, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection issued a minor source air construction permit to TransGas for its proposed Adams Fork Ammonia plant in Mingo County, West Virginia. The project, jointly developed by New York-based TransGas and the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, involves building six identical 6,000 metric-ton-per-day ammonia processing units, capable of producing 13 million metric tons per year. If built, Adams Fork Ammonia’s production would eclipse that of CF Industries’ Donaldsonville Nitrogen complex in Louisiana, which CF Industries says is currently the world’s largest ammonia plant and can produce nearly 7.2 million metric tons per year of fertilizer. TransGas has said it intends to capture carbon dioxide produced at the plant and sequester it underground. However, the recently issued permit does not address carbon dioxide emissions.

Company applies to build West Virginia’s first carbon dioxide storage project

Energy company Tenaska has applied for a permit to permanently store carbon dioxide (CO2) underground in Hancock County, West Virginia, west of Pittsburgh. On April 26, 2024, the privately held Omaha-based company applied to store CO2 using two permanent geologic storage wells, known as class VI wells. The storage wells are part of Tenaska’s proposed Tri-State CCS (carbon capture and sequestration) hub in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The project is part of a wave of carbon sequestration projects planned across the U.S. The EPA has approved only four carbon storage wells nationwide, in Illinois and Indiana, but is reviewing applications for 136 wells in several states. If approved, the Tri-State CCS project would be the first CO2 sequestration project in West Virginia. Since early 2024, the company has been negotiating with landowners across Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. permission to store CO2 in geological formations below their land, including a proposal to store CO2 below a public park in Washington County, Pennsylvania, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Tenaska is also considering Brooke and Marshall counties in West Virginia for CO2 storage.

Houston company to store carbon dioxide below city-owned land in Beaumont, Texas

A Houston-based company is moving forward with its plans to store carbon dioxide (CO2) from nearby industry under land owned by the City of Beaumont in Southeast Texas. On May 1, 2024, CDP II CO2 Sequestration, a subsidiary of Caliche Development Partners, applied for permits to inject carbon dioxide into three wells on 4,000 acres on city property south and west of the local landfill. The carbon dioxide would be captured from nearby industrial sources. In April 2023, the Beaumont City Council unanimously approved a lease agreement with Caliche in exchange for projected payments adding up to $24 million over 50 years, according to the Beaumont Business Journal. Caliche says it can store at least 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in the geologic formations it plans to use below the site. Caliche already stores natural gas and helium in underground salt caverns in Beaumont.  

24-mile natural gas pipeline in Kentucky, Indiana begins supplying power plant

On May 1, 2024, the Henderson County Expansion Project began operating. The project consisted of nearly 24 miles of new lateral pipeline, mostly in Kentucky near the town of Henderson, crossing under the Ohio River and delivering 220 million cubic feet of gas per day to CenterPoint’s proposed natural gas combustion turbines at the A.B. Brown power plant in Posey County, Indiana. The units are meant to replace power from two coal units that CenterPoint shut down October 2023, saying it was “required by EPA regulations.” The gas pipeline expansion also involved modifying the existing Slaughters compressor station in Kentucky.

Expansion planned at southwestern Pennsylvania gas processing plant

In January 2024, MPLX, a pipeline partnership formed by Marathon Petroleum, applied to expand its Harmon Creek Gas Plant in Washington County, Pennsylvania. The expansion would add a third cryogenic gas processing plant and a second de-ethanizer, both used to break natural gas down into its constituent components, such as methane, ethane, propane, and butane. The new cryogenic plant would have the capacity to produce 330 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day. In 2022, MPLX subsidiary MarkWest agreed to a $5,400 civil penalty to resolve allegations of excess emissions from the facility’s flare in 2021 by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.