August 2021, Vol. 248, No. 8


Projects August 2021

Tellurian Applies for New Reduced-Emission Pipeline Project in Louisiana  

Tellurian subsidiary Driftwood Pipeline formally applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to build and operate Lines 200 and 300.  

The 37-mile (59-km), 42-inch natural gas pipeline would start near Ragley, La., and end near Carlyss, La. The dual line is designed to connect supply located 21 miles (34 km) north of Lake Charles to the demand south of Lake Charles, bypassing what has become a constrained, complex and expensive transportation pathway.  

As part of the design, Driftwood Pipeline is proposing to deploy Baker Hughes-supplied electric-driven compression, thereby reducing the pipeline’s carbon dioxide emissions by more than 99%.   

The proposed pipeline project, coupled with other strategic steps, according to Tellurian, would eliminate 1 million tons per year in direct greenhouse gas emissions (a 14% overall reduction).  

“This new and completed pipeline design provides definitive and measurable results for emissions reduction and is another step in Tellurian’s overall strategy to support and balance the world’s energy needs and environmental concerns,” President and CEO Octávio Simões said.   

Iran Starts Pumping Oil into Goreh-Jask Pipeline  

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) began transferring oil through the Goreh-Jask pipeline, which runs from the Goreh oil terminal in the Bushehr Province to Jask oil terminal along the Gulf of Oman.  

The 620-mile (1,000-km) Goreh-Jask pipeline cost about $1.8 billion to build and will be able to transfer 300,000 bpd.  

“All parties involved in the project are working round-the-clock and are attempting to launch the first phase of this strategic plan. The Pumphouse No. 2, as the ‘beating heart’ of the first phase of the project, will be completed and launched in the next few days,” said Touraj Dehghani, managing director of Petroleum Engineering.  

Iran has been planning since at least 2012 to set up the Jask terminal, just outside of and bypassing the Strait of Hormuz. NIOC recently said it plans to start shipping crude from the terminal next month.  

While Iran is under U.S. sanctions that effectively bar it from selling oil, it has increased exports this year by often disguising the origin of the shipments, Bloomberg reported. Refiners in China are the main buyers, the report stated.  

Navigator Aims to Expand U.S. Carbon Capture Pipeline Project  

Navigator CO2 Ventures announced the successful conclusion of the non-binding open season of its carbon capture pipeline system (CCS), which seeks to provide biorefineries and other industrial participants a long-term, economic path to materially reduce their carbon footprint.  

Navigator plans to expand the capacity of the pipeline and proceed with multiple sequestration sites, creating an injection capacity of up to 12 mtpa. The project would enable the capture and transport of CO2 through 1,200 miles (1,931 km) of pipeline across five U.S. Midwest states to a permanent sequestration site.  

This CCS project is one of the first large-scale, commercially viable, carbon pipelines to be developed in the United States.  

Navigator previously announced its partnership with BlackRock Global Energy & Power Infrastructure Fund to develop the CCS in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota Minnesota and Illinois with Valero Energy as the anchor customer.   

Navigator planned to use the information received during the non-binding open season to continue working with interested shippers on binding commercial agreements. Navigator anticipates the CCS project to begin operations in phases beginning in late 2024.  

Joint Venture Cancels Byhalia Connection Pipeline Project  

Byhalia Connection is no longer pursing the Byhalia Connection construction project, which would have involved building an oil pipeline through southwest Tennessee and northern Mississippi.  

The project was canceled “primarily due to lower U.S. oil production, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Plains All American Director of Communications Brad Leone said.  

Byhalia Pipeline is a joint venture between a subsidiary of Plains All American Pipeline and a subsidiary of Valero.  

The Byhalia Connection Pipeline would have run about 49 miles (79 km) from Memphis to Marshall County, Miss., connecting the Diamond Pipeline, which provides crude oil to the Valero Memphis Refinery, to the Capline Pipeline, which runs between central Illinois and the U.S. Gulf Coast. The company had planned to start the 9-month construction project this year.  

“As part of any shift to lower carbon energy, hydrocarbons will continue to be a critical part of meeting increasing global need for affordable, reliable energy,” Leone said. “Access to all forms of energy improves quality of life, education and economic opportunity for individuals and communities throughout North America and across the globe.”   

US Supreme Court Backs PennEast Pipeline in New Jersey Land Dispute  

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the PennEast consortium of energy companies that are seeking to seize land owned by New Jersey to build a federally approved natural gas pipeline despite the state’s objections.  

The 54 ruling, authored by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts, handed a victory to PennEast Pipeline Company LLC, a joint venture seeking to build the 116-mile (187-km) pipeline from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. The justices overturned a lower court ruling in favor of New Jersey’s government.  

Other companies joining Enbridge in the consortium include South Jersey Industries Inc., New Jersey Resources Corp. (NJR), Southern Co. and UGI Corp.  

The decision enables interstate pipelines to move forward with efforts to seize state-owned lands without a state’s consent, as long as federal regulators have approved the project. But New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the ruling does not bring an end to the state’s fight against the PennEast project.  

“We still have other, ongoing legal challenges to this proposed pipeline, which is unnecessary and would be destructive to New Jersey lands. I am proud to continue this fight on behalf of our residents, and I urge the federal government to take another look at this harmful proposal,” Grewal added.  

PennEast wants the land to build a pipeline designed to deliver 1.1 Bcf/d (31 MMcm/d) of gas – enough to supply about 5 million homes – from the Marcellus shale formation in Pennsylvania to customers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  

PennEast said it plans to put the first phase of the project, about 68 miles (110 km) of pipe in Pennsylvania, into service in 2022. It wants to complete the second phase, from Pennsylvania into New Jersey, in 2023.  

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court kept intact more than seven decades of legal precedent for the families and businesses who benefit from more affordable, reliable energy. This decision is about more than just the PennEast project,” said Anthony Cox, chair of the PennEast board of managers.  

Amy Andryszak, president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), said the organization is pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision.  

As the Court acknowledges, “the Natural Gas Act has made possible the growth of our nation’s pipeline infrastructure to serve communities across our country,” Andryszak said in a statement. “Our nation’s interstate natural gas pipelines make up a vast and critical transportation network, moving approximately one-third of the energy consumed in the United States. In order to continue to harness the benefits of natural gas to achieve our energy and climate goals, we need a predictable regulatory framework that allows improvements and additions to our country’s interstate natural gas transmission infrastructure.”  

The court ruled that a 1938 U.S. law called the Natural Gas Act, which lets private energy companies seize “necessary” parcels of land for a project if they have obtained a certificate from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), can be applied to state-owned land. The law effectively gives private companies the power of eminent domain, in which government entities can take property in return for compensation.  

Ecuador Races to Protect Oil Pipelines from Raging River  

Two dozen workers used six excavators to clear a strip of forest in the foothills of Ecuador’s Reventador volcano in late June, hoping to ready a new route for an oil pipeline and avoid a major oil spill in decades, according to Reuters.  

The SOTE pipeline, which carries around two-thirds of the production from oil fields deep in the Ecuadorean Amazon, has been under constant threat from violent erosion of the Coca River since the San Rafael waterfall collapsed in early 2020.  

State oil company Petroecuador and OCP Ecuador have raced to build bypasses further from the encroaching torrent ever since. The one under construction now is Petroecuador’s seventh in the past year.  

Still, the erosion has continued. Witnesses at the work site told Reuters they heard the roar of rocks and trees falling into the river as workers prepared to lay new pipes to bring crude oil to Pacific coast ports.  

The companies say the bypasses under construction will be a permanent solution, but some experts are less certain.    

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