Last updateTue, 27 Jun 2017 5pm


Mountain Valley Pipeline Gets Environmental Approval

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) determined that construction and operation of the Mountain Valley Pipeline would result in some adverse environmental impacts, but the majority of these impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels. This determination is based on a review of the information provided by the applicants and further developed from environmental information requests.

The 303-mile, $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline would move natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale fields in Virginia and West Virginia to U.S. markets.

“Once the U.S. Senate confirms President Donald Trump’s nominees and the commission reaches a quorum, the commissioners will make FERC’s final decision on whether the project can proceed,” the Associated Press reports

Delta Chemical Plant Planned for Houston Area

Braskem will commit up to $675 million in investment capital towards the design and construction of a new facility, named Delta, located next to Braskem's existing production facilities. Construction is expected to begin mid-summer, with the final phase of main construction targeted for the first quarter of 2020.

With the engineering design phase well underway, the new production line will have a manufacturing capacity of 450 kilotons, or the equivalent of approximately 1 billion pounds, per year. Construction will take place on part of the approximate 200 acres of land at Braskem's current La Porte facility footprint which is located 26 miles from Houston

Oil Companies Turn to Data for Better Drilling

“In today's U.S. shale fields, tiny sensors attached to production gear harvest data on everything from pumping pressure to the heat and rotational speed of drill bits boring into the rocky earth,” Reuters reports.

“The industry has long used sophisticated technologies to find oil and gas. But only recently have oil firms pooled data from across the company for wider operating efficiencies - one of many cost-cutting efforts spurred by the two-year downturn in crude oil CLc1 prices.” 

Dominion Energy Building New Hydroelectric Storage in Virginia

“Dominion Energy is searching for sites in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia where it can build a pumped hydroelectric storage facility,” the Bristol Herald Courier reports.

New bills that have been signed into law “authorize electric utilities, such as Dominion or Appalachian Power, to apply to the Virginia State Corporation Commission for permission to construct pumped hydroelectric storage facilities in Virginia’s coalfield region. At least part of the energy stored in such facilities must be generated by renewable resources, the bills state.” 

Smart Technology Transforming Oil & Gas Industry

“A new cadre of services companies, trying to sell the energy industry on the promise of a more efficient digital age, is fighting to get smart technology onto pipes, tanks, platforms and drills, in some cases deeply discounting prices to gain market share,” the Houston Chronicle reports.

Companies like Emerson, for example, “have long been making digital products, and working to hang onto clients by extending contracts, focusing on service and emphasizing long-term relationships. Others, like the German conglomerate Siemens, are taking a blunter approach to building market share by slashing some retail prices by more than 10 percent.” 

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