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THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 11 Jan 2018, 13:11:05

Tanada wrote:-snip-

The reason so many thousands of gas burning electric plants have been built is mostly economic, directly from the cost of the fuel and indirectly from the ease of permitting a gas burner compared to a coal burner.

Take away the permitting obstacles and bring the price of natural gas above the 2000 price on a long term consistent basis and there is zero economic incentive to not build new coal burners. Thus IMO the decline in coal burning is fully dependent on Natural Gas remaining cheap on the BTU basis.


Actually the main reason is related to what you said. A coal plant when built could use only coal fuel. But it's relatively cheap to convert such an existing plant to burn either coal or natural gas or some mix of both fuels. However, these plants retain the coal pulverizers, conveyor feeds, and the blowers that create efficient vortex combustion of coal dust. The Edgewater Generating Station in Shenoygan WI is an example of such. It went through a years-long conversion process in anticipation of the EPA clean air regulations, which were enacted by Obama via Executive Order when he could not get Congress to pass the legislation. Of course, one of Trump's first actions was to repeal that EO with one of his own.

The major expense in converting an existing coal plant to run coal/NG is the cost of the gas main construction, the boiler retrofit is fairly quick and cheap and easy. Many plants such as Edgewater went back online burning gas because it's dirt cheap right now as you noted, and the most expensive and labor-intensive operations task on a coal plant is servicing the stack scrubbers of coal ash. This task is virtually zero'd out when you burn NG.
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The Edgewater facility is now an Alliant Energy Center and finished the conversion to dual fuel in 2013. It has primarily burned NG since the conversion, but retains both the coal capability and the ability to offload coal from either railroad cars or barges from Lake Michigan.

The biggest problem of course is the "deathprint" associated with coal burning. Edgewater originally went online in 1931 and has been spewing coal effluents into the air for 85+ years, releasing heavy metal toxics and even radioactivity into the environment, and this "deathprint" is at least 50 miles from the plant in all directions. These contaminants end up in our food supplies, after being absorbed by corn and soy and other crops, then concentrated by the cattle who eat such feeds and then produce dairy and beef for human consumption.

In Edgewater's case, it used to burn a 50/50 mix of Ohio and Illinois anthracite coal, delivered by barge. Nowadays it uses Wyoming lignite from the Powder River Basin and Thunder River Basin mines, delivered by rail, when it burns coal or a mixture of coal/NG. These moist brown coals tend to have a high sulfur content and would produce excessive acid rain in the absence of stack scrubbing.
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 11 Jan 2018, 14:19:09

Michigan had some issues with acid rain back in the early 1980's but because their is so much limestone rock in the state it was never a major issue the way it was in say Vermont and New Hampshire where the surface rock layer is more often Granite than Limestone or Dolomite. The biggest issue in Michigan is the tremendous damage the acid rain did and does to soft building stone. Many old buildings and a large percentage of tombstones in cemeteries are made of Marble or white Limestone. You can travel to grand Rapids or Detroit and look at older marble statuary that has an eroded surface, almost as if the artist never finished carving it. In cemeteries all over the midwest from at least Wisconsin to Ohio anyhow you can tell which way the prevailing wind carries rain because the tombstones facing into the wind are often eroded to the point of being illegible, some so bad they almost appear blank.

IOW I am fully in favor of (if you must use coal) requiring the lowest sulfur coal available be used and stack scrubbing being strongly enforced. Most stack scrubbing is done by essentially grinding limestone into flour and mixing it into water to make a milky looking liquid, then continuously spraying the exhaust fumes with the lime water cooling it and causing the chemical reaction that converts sulfur dioxide into calcium sulfate aka gypsum. It also tends to wash out the fly ash as part of the process so it has multiple benefits because the fly ash is where most of the Thorium and Uranium dust is.
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 11 Jan 2018, 14:50:37

Right you are. Just about anything's better than this:
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I have decided that I will avoid living near any coal plants, say a 20 mile radius, and maybe a bit more on the prevailing downwind side. However I have NO PROBLEM with nuclear power. I am seriously interested in the Lake Michigan coast between the decommissioned Kewaunee Power Plant and the still operational Point Beach Power Plant. Unlike many areas of LM coast, people have tended to avoid the two nuclear plants. There is some beautiful and completely unspoiled coastline there, either agricultural or second growth forest. I love a nice sand beach.
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby GoghGoner » Fri 12 Jan 2018, 07:01:15

EIA put out an interesting graph in their weekly. The difference b/w 2000-2014 usage is probably about 1/3rd of the difference b/w 2014-2018. In other words, demand capacity has skyrocketed the last 4 years. We have had some mild winters so it masked this latent appetite for ng. It seems like there is almost infinite demand for natural gas at prices below $3.00. Above $3 and coal starts to look appealing.

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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 12 Jan 2018, 11:09:43

Good graph, I think it demonstrates the continuing boom in natural gas burning power stations across North America. It is as if the price projections that Natural Gas will remain both cheap and abundant in North America are accepted as word from on high and can not be wrong, which may turn out to be a tragic error in judgement. Those duel fueled plants KaiserJeep points to are becoming less and less of the overall mix so if prices go to say $5/therm from the current low for any reason long term a few plants can switch back to coal, but the growing majority are gas or nothing. Well that isn't quite true, they can also burn jet fuel, but that is hardly a lower cost option than gas even at $5/therm.
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Fri 12 Jan 2018, 11:21:34

It is as if the price projections that Natural Gas will remain both cheap and abundant in North America are accepted as word from on high and can not be wrong, which may turn out to be a tragic error in judgement.


I believe a while ago I posted a study by the EIA that indicates natural gas prices in the US will rise as it becomes a net exporter over the next few years mainly due to all of the LNG terminals that are in the various commissioning stages. I also mentioned that years ago one of the companies I was with did a global inventory analysis of discovered gas and gas that was known to exist along with global demand based on various regions. The outcome was that once LNG shipping became a standard means of egress the world would migrate to a global natural gas price of about $6.00 per MCF. That will take some time of course but in the short term increased gas exports from the US will have an upwards pressure on domestic prices.
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 12 Jan 2018, 12:15:06

Yes, LNG exports will be increasing. But since 2000 pipeline exports to Mexico have increased from almost nothing to 1.38 TRILLION cf in 2016. In fact it nearly double from 2014 to 2016:

https://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n9132mx2a.htm

In 2016 pipeline exports to Mexico and Canada were more then 11X greater then all LNG exports. As Doc said LNG exports from the US will be increasing. But for the time being pricing completion is set by our domestic and foreign pipeline buyers. And a big factor will be the ability of Mexico to sustain and increase its ability to buy our NG.
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Fri 12 Jan 2018, 12:23:38

Yup the EIA study specifically mentions egress of natural gas to MX. But to some extent that is offset by Canadian natural gas imports. The wildcard will be how much and how quickly MX can start to produce more gas from the Burgos basin which can go into their plans for gas to power.
I guess the bottom line is that all of that gas in the US in the short term will see more use via exports than domestic consumption, that should drive prices higher.
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 12 Jan 2018, 12:24:12

rockdoc123 wrote:
It is as if the price projections that Natural Gas will remain both cheap and abundant in North America are accepted as word from on high and can not be wrong, which may turn out to be a tragic error in judgement.


I believe a while ago I posted a study by the EIA that indicates natural gas prices in the US will rise as it becomes a net exporter over the next few years mainly due to all of the LNG terminals that are in the various commissioning stages. I also mentioned that years ago one of the companies I was with did a global inventory analysis of discovered gas and gas that was known to exist along with global demand based on various regions. The outcome was that once LNG shipping became a standard means of egress the world would migrate to a global natural gas price of about $6.00 per MCF. That will take some time of course but in the short term increased gas exports from the US will have an upwards pressure on domestic prices.



Interesting, I am aware that China and Japan pay a lot per therm for LNG shipped in and once the export terminals are in operation the Natural Gas producers will be happy to sell to the LNG companies and make a better profit than they make selling to Joe6P and Jane6P, or the big industrial users like process heat industries (glass comes to mind) that soak up a lot of energy doing what they do. Power stations get talked about a lot because they have had a building boom recently, but there was plenty of industrial natural gas consumption before the recent building boom.

Any guesses in how long it will take for these LNG exporting facilities to all get completed and make Natural Gas a world commodity instead of just a regional one tied to pipeline networks? I know several middle Eastern nations are now exporting a lot of gas as LNG.

Hmm, just did a quick search of EIA and they have a graph on this page of USA LNG export prices, which plunged recently due to greater international competition.

GRAPH
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 12 Jan 2018, 12:50:46

Tanada wrote:Good graph, I think it demonstrates the continuing boom in natural gas burning power stations across North America. It is as if the price projections that Natural Gas will remain both cheap and abundant in North America are accepted as word from on high and can not be wrong, which may turn out to be a tragic error in judgement. Those duel fueled plants KaiserJeep points to are becoming less and less of the overall mix so if prices go to say $5/therm from the current low for any reason long term a few plants can switch back to coal, but the growing majority are gas or nothing. Well that isn't quite true, they can also burn jet fuel, but that is hardly a lower cost option than gas even at $5/therm.


Tanada, the stats can be confusing sometimes. The NG/jet fuel power plants are gas turbine "peaking" facilities, considerably less efficient than (base load) steam turbines, and ruinously expensive to refurbish - essentially large heavy gas turbines, also used on US Navy ships where they burn "Naval Fuel, Distillite", a fuel similar to jet fuel, but less refined and with different storage requirements and additives.

There ARE baseload power plants that burn NG, but these are Diesel engines, which get started on a thick grade of "bunker fuel" (actually HFO or "heavy fuel oil") that must be heated before being injected into the cylinders. But as the throttle is advanced to produce more power from the generator, they transition to NG fuel - which is cheap, but unsuitable for starting a diesel engine. These types of power plants are being built throughout the Middle East today in "tri-fuel" versions which burn HFO, LFO (light fuel oil) or NG.

There are relatively few gas-only steam plants. One is nearby on the California coast at Moss Landing. It was built back in the 1950's to use a new tech called "supercritical steam" which was also tried out in nuclear submarines. This didn't really compete in efficiency. Today Moss Landing uses "combined cycle" power generation, where gas-fuelled turbines send the hot exhaust through pipes in a steam boiler, which has a seperate supplimentary gas burner as well. These "combined cycle" setups tend to be complex and require a lot of maintenance, because the technology has only been around since about 2000, and is still being refined. However, "combined cycle" gas turbine/steam turbine units are 50% more efficient than either turbines or steam boilers alone. They also impact the environment less because much of the gas turbine exhaust heat is absorbed vaporizing water, and less cooling is required, and less waste heat is dumped into the salt water lagoon at Moss Landing.
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby coffeeguyzz » Fri 12 Jan 2018, 16:44:53

KJ
CCGT plants are becoming the norm as about 24 in the 800 to 1,500 Mw capacity are being built in Ohio and Pennsylvania alone.
In fact , Virginia, the Carolinas, and Florida are well along in planning for these as the pipeline build out continues.

The LNG field is set for enormous disruption as the modular approach in infrastructure construction is being adopted by Tellurian and Bechtel in their massive Driftwood project.

On the near term horizon is the innovative work from the Norwegian outfit, Golar, who is either converting or doing new builds on a new generation of floating liquification plants (FLNGs).
Working with Delfin off Louisiana, they claim to offer - by far - the cheapest LNG anywhere.

As this floating approach becomes more accepted - both upstream in liquification and downstream in regassification via FSRUs - opportunities will explode across the globe.
Melbourne may be the site of a FSRU importing US gas.

Ports on Mexico's west like Manzanillo or Ensenada - just south of San Diego - have potential to pipe US gas (possibly from the semi-stranded Mancos) to be liquefied and shipped across the Big Pond.

The possibilities are endless as the US keeps producing extremely large amounts of natgas.
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby GoghGoner » Tue 23 Jan 2018, 21:02:50

Big surge in futures today. Trading was temporarily paused while the exchange adjusted the limit. Looks like traders are banking on another Arctic blast. It is predicted to come in the first week of February. I am really sick of this winter but it looks like the pattern is sticking.
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby coffeeguyzz » Thu 25 Jan 2018, 05:46:54

If New England gets hit with another 3 to 5 day blast of frigid weather, fuel supplies might be stressed significantly.
People from Vermont and New Hampshire were saying that residential heating fuel oil and propane were running low and resupply was spotty.
Even the Boston Globe editorialized about the acceptance of more natgas fueled power generation.

When New England's grid got 41% of its fuel from oil - as it did one day in early January - something is very much out of whack. (Hint, not enough pipeline to ship in gas).
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 27 Jan 2018, 10:46:33

coffee - Sounds like a good time to get caught up on the LNG news. Such as Boston getting Russian LNG and the plans to export more LNG out of the Gulf Coast hopefully (for the producers) raising the price of NG for the domestic consumers:

"The tanker carrying Russian natural gas that's been sitting outside of Boston Harbor for days will probably land over the weekend, according to the U.S. Coast Guard."

https://www.rigzone.com/news/united_states/lng_lpg/

"Total said on Wednesday it has acquired the upstream liquefied natural gas (LNG) interests of French power and gas utility Engie for around $1.5 billion, in a deal which is set to make it the world's second largest player in the LNG market, with a 10 percent share."

https://www.rigzone.com/news/wire/franc ... 5-article/

"Italy-based Edison, a major electricity supplier in Europe, has reached a 20-year sales and purchase agreement (SPA) to source liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Venture Global Calcasieu Pass, LLC, Venture Global announced Wednesday. Under the SPA, Edison will purchase 1 million tons per annum of LNG from the Calcasieu Pass LNG export facility that Venture Global is developing in Cameron Parish, La., Venture Global stated. Venture Global, which noted that Edison will purchase the gas on a free on board basis, added that it expects Calcasieu Pass to start commercial operation in 2021."

https://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/ ... _customer/

FYI. Free on board contract: In an LNG FOB contract, the buyer lifts the LNG from the liquefaction plant and is responsible for transporting the LNG to the receiving terminal. The buyer is responsible for the shipping, either owning the LNG ships or chartering them from a shipowner. In a FOB contract, the seller requires assurance that the shipping protocols provide a safe and reliable off-take for the LNG to prevent disruption to the sales and purchase agreement.

Just as the contracts Chenier has signed in the past: the LNG is sold at the cost of the NG and the transport cost plus a fixed profit margin. As mentioned before these very expensive LNG plants are built without long term fixed contracts that will assure the infrastructure investment will be profitable.

"LNG deliveries to Trafigura, one of the biggest independent traders of the fuel, will begin in 2019, Cheniere said."

https://www.rigzone.com/news/united_states/lng_lpg/

"The Honghua Group Limited has awarded Wood a $12 million front-end engineering design (FEED) contract for its liquefied natural gas (LNG) platform development in the West Delta area of the Gulf of Mexico, Wood announced Tuesday. According to Wood, the FEED’s primary objective will be to finalize the design of the world’s first offshore platform-based natural gas liquefaction and storage facility. The company noted that it recently completed the project’s pre-FEED work."

https://www.rigzone.com/news/wood_to_de ... 5-article/

"The developer of an LNG export terminal in Oregon that has already twice been denied permits by U.S. regulators is giving it another shot. Veresen Inc. said late Thursday that it filed another application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the $10 billion Jordan Cove LNG terminal that would ship gas to Asia. The agency said the project wasn’t needed in March 2016, and rejected Veresen’s appeal in December. In its latest request, the Calgary-based company proposed route changes for a pipeline to feed the terminal and eliminated plans for a power plant."

https://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/ ... ther_shot/

"The United States is proposing to speed up approval of small-scale exports of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), the U.S. Department of Energy said in a statement released on Friday. The department said the proposed rule would "expedite the review and approval of applications to export small amounts of natural gas in the emerging small-scale LNG export market," which it said includes the Caribbean, Central America and South America."

https://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/ ... tural_gas/

And last but not least: " President Donald Trump’s effort to boost U.S. energy is facing push back from manufacturers who say exporting more natural gas may undercut his “America First” jobs focus."

https://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/ ... facturers/
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby coffeeguyzz » Sat 27 Jan 2018, 23:12:30

Rock

Hope things are going well for you.
Some "stuff" regarding LNG ...

Modularization continues to appear in the construction of LNG plants.
Elba is completely modular and the massive 27 mtpa plant from Tellurian and Bechtel - at a cost of $15+ billion is going to rock their competitors. (Check out cost/capacity for Gladstone, Yamal, Prelude.) Big advantage for Tellurian.

The floaters may well surpass land based with Golnar continuing to innovate.
They are planning to put 4 FLNG plants off Looeezeeannaa with 13 mtpa capacity at $5/6 billion cost.
Huge fit to these units are the floating regassifiers (FSRU) which could set up all over the globe on somewhat short notice with impermanent status.

I cannot locate the report on some recent serendipitously discovered process to manufacture MOFs way cheaper and WAY higher capacity than before, but some fuzzy heads stumbled across it a year ago.

I'm tellin' ya, RM, with all the talk about EVs, I think the possibility of Addorbed Nat Gas fueling vehicles is a lot closer to happenning than most realize.

There is an incredible amount of research and engineering being applied to this area.
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sun 28 Jan 2018, 21:15:42

coffee - Yes, floaters seem to make a lot of sense especially when source NG isn't very large or political instability is an issue. Sometimes the politicos in Boston get a little pissy about the regasification facility across the harbor from the city. And they need the option more then ever these days.
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby kanon » Wed 31 Jan 2018, 12:15:25

I am curious whether there are statistics on the amount of natural gas venting. As I understand it, there was a time when natural gas was either vented or flared because the economic product was oil. In particular, what the rate of natural gas venting in the 1930's?
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 31 Jan 2018, 12:51:46

The EPA has outlawed venting of NG because it is a pollutant. It is also a powerful greenhouse gas...about 60X more effective then CO2.

Nonetheless, CH4 emissions from the oil and gas industry have risen rapidly since 2005 to the point that global methane emissions are causing a sharp rise in global atmospheric methane levels. This in turn is contributing to the significant rise in global temperatures we are seeing, with a global T increase of 0.4°C just over the last four years.

nasa-study-methane/

The huge increase in methane from the oil and gas industry partly reflects the increasing use of NG in US power plants, with concomitant leaks of CH4 from fracked wells, pipes, storage containers, etc. all through the US energy system.

One of the first things we need to do to mitigate global warming is to reduce and then end the use of NG.

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Methane leaks from a typical urban NG pipeline home delivery system

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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 31 Jan 2018, 13:08:17

Plantagenet wrote:-snip-

One of the first things we need to do to mitigate global warming is to reduce and then end the use of NG.

-snip-


Now there's a conundrum. The replacement of coal by NG was the brightest hope during Obama's terms. Now you say it's a problem. Surely less of a problem than dirty coal.
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Re: THE Natural Gas Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 31 Jan 2018, 13:25:55

KaiserJeep wrote: The replacement of coal by NG was the brightest hope during Obama's terms. Now you say it's a problem. Surely less of a problem than dirty coal.


I've made the point many times before that Obama was a moron who didn't understand the science of global warming. While Obama said nice things about being against global warming, many of his actions and decisions have made the problem worse. For instance---Obama's Paris Accords Climate Treaty doesn't even mention methane and there was no effort in Paris to get countries to reduce their CH4 emissions. This kind of thing has helped spread the erroneous idea that NG is somehow not harmful to the environment or the climate. One result of Obama's policies favoring NG use in US power plants is a massive increase in CH4 leaking from US TOS gas fields, pipelines, storage facilities, etc.

CH4 is a significant contributor to the rapid global warming we've seen over the last four years---we've gone up 0.4° C in just the last 4 years. The rate of Greenhouse Warming seems to have kicked into a higher gear---and thats rather worrisome. IMHO we should take steps to mitigate global warming, rather then making it worse as Obama did.

Replacing coal-fired power plants with NG power plants that result in increasing CH4 levels in he atmosphere is a Faustian bargain, since methane is a much much more powerful Greenhouse Gas then CO2.

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Obama made a Faustian bargain by pushing the adoption of NG fired power plants in the USA.
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