The TxEnergyUpdate keeps you up to date on the energy sector's latest news and stories
NATIONAL ENERGY NEWS
The United States continues to produce more petroleum and natural gas than any other country. The demand for liquid natural gas (LNG) exports has increased dramatically, with record months recorded in November and December. The increase in demand for U.S. LNG is a result of a few variables: more people are wanting more power to help combat summer temperatures, the loosening of COVID restrictions, and other exporters are hamstrung by “unplanned outages”.
President Biden’s infrastructure plan is thin on detail but not dollars. It looks like it will carry a $550 billion dollar price tag. However, a few energy-related items have been specifically earmarked: $73 billion for improving access to renewables, $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations, and the creation of a new agency called the Grid Deployment Authority. The new agency would fall under the Energy Department, where its primary purpose would be to “make use of existing public property-highways, roads, railways-to secure rights-of-way for new powerlines.”
U.S. energy company Chevron is jumping into low-carbon with its new division, Chevron New Energies. Jeff Gustavson will take charge of the new venture aimed at carving Chevron’s place in the carbon capture and hydrogen market. Chevron says more details on the new project will be released on September 14th.
STATE & LOCAL ENERGY NEWS
On Friday, Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian penned an op-ed in the Midland Reporter Telegram in which he argues that while natural gas is more reliable than solar and wind for electric generation, renewables are unfairly guaranteed to turn a profit with the help of government subsidies. Commissioner Christian summarizes it well, “Why build natural gas power plants when politicians in Austin guarantee your wind farm will be profitable no matter what?” Pointing out that Texas’ planned future generation is slated to be overwhelmingly wind and solar, Christian implores the state to change course.
- UPCOMING 8/5/2021: PUC Open Meeting
This Thursday, the Public Utility Commission of Texas will have an open meeting to continue its conversations on grid reliability and ERCOT oversight, which will include “transmission planning, construction, and cost recovery in areas outside of ERCOT; and electric reliability standards and organizations arising under federal law.” The meeting will start at 9:30 a.m. CLICK TO WATCH
Entergy TX announced last week that it plans to build a new electric generation facility near Bridge City, TX. The power plant will help meet growing demand in southeast Texas and will use low carbon sources like natural gas and hydrogen fuel. It is also estimated that the new power station will bring “nearly $1.8 billion in economic activity for the regional economy.”
- "Delays cited in termination of LNG customer agreement; major Port Arthur project decision set for 2022"
PGNiG, Poland’s state owned oil & gas company, cancelled its LNG contract with Sempra’s Port Arthur facility. PGNiG made the original deal with Sempra in order to reduce LNG dependency from Russia but the contract with the Texas facility was cancelled due to “delays in project development.” Sempra gave a statement saying the facility is still in the “design phase” as they work on upgrades aimed at reducing greenhouse gases. However, Poland will still receive LNG from some Sempra facilities in the U.S. including a facility in neighboring Louisiana.