January 05, 2015

FERC Approves NY Methane Storage Project - DC BureauDC Bureau Crestwood’s storage hub would be located in a cluster of several dozen salt caverns on the west shore of Seneca Lake less than three miles north of the village of Watkins Glen, population 1,859. The company continues to mine salt at the site, and it already uses a former salt cavern to store methane gas. FERC has allowed it to expand its working gas capacity from 1.45 billion cubic feet to 2.0 bcf. Typically, methane gas is transported to the caverns by pipeline, while LPG storage would require truck and rail transport. If Crestwood wins DEC approval, it would store LPG in two other caverns less than a quarter mile away from the compressed methane. The company has asserted that the history of the storage caverns, including details of their flaws, is a trade secret. And state and federal regulators have complied with the company’s requests to keep most cavern information out of the public eye. But reports dating back decades by engineers employed by the caverns’ owners — tracked down in Internet searches — candidly spell out their defects. Opponents of Crestwood’s proposed storage hub have expressed alarm over FERC’s brisk dismissal of potential risks, but safety issues are not their only concern. They also fear increased air and noise pollution, a steep increase in LPG truck traffic through the village of Watkins Glen and new LPG rail traffic over a spindly 80-year-old trestle that spans the Watkins Glen gorge, one of the state’s Top 10 tourist destinations. via...
Inergy buys NY salt company for natural gas storage - Kansas City Business Journal The solution mining process US Salt uses creates salt caverns that can be developed into usable natural gas storage capacity, Inergy said. Inergy estimated that the acquisition will give it access to at least 10 billion cubic feet of additional salt cavern storage capacity, which it can connect to its existing energy storage systems. Inergy said that it expects to immediately start developing about 5 billion cubic feet of available salt cavern capacity in the US Salt property and that it expects the capacity to be operational in the fall of 2010. Inergy said it expects to spend about $191 million to buy US Salt and develop the initial 5 billion cubic feet of storage. Inergy expects to generate earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization from the combined salt production and gas storage operations of about $28.5 million on a run rate basis by the end of fiscal 2010. Inergy said it will finance the acquisition of US Salt with a combination of borrowings from its revolving credit facility and Inergy LP common shares issued directly to the seller. Inergy spokesman Mike Campbell said that all of US Salt’s roughly 130 employees will transfer to Inergy and that US Salt’s management team will relocate to Inergy’s Kansas City office. “The acquisition of US Salt accomplishes a lot for our investors on several fronts,” Inergy CEO John Sherman said in the release. “First, the salt business is characterized by stable cash flows and long-term growth potential; and it meets all...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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