What's New at NGA?

NGA's Spring Operations Conference is April 19-20; Donna DeCarolis of National Fuel Gas Distribution will be Keynote Speaker
On April 19-20, NGA will convene its annual "Spring Operations Conference" to address current issues in the operations arena. The conference will be held in Saratoga, NY.

NGA is excited to announce Donna DeCarolis, President of National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, as our Keynote Speaker. During the Spring Operations Conference her address will focus on New York's quest for a decarbonized economy and the impacts on the natural gas industry.

Further information is posted on NGA's web site: https://www.northeastgas.org/2023_spring_ops_conf.php

NGA's "Contractor Workshop" to be held April 18 in Saratoga, NY
On April 18, NGA will convene its annual "Contractor Workshop" to address current issues in the operations arena. The workshop will be held in Saratoga, NY. Further information is posted on NGA's web site: https://www.northeastgas.org/contractors_workshop.php

EIA Releases March "Short-Term Energy Outlook"
On March 7, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its updated "Short-Term Energy Outlook." Among the observations are the following:
  • Natural gas prices. "The Henry Hub natural gas spot price in our forecast averages about $3 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2023, down by more than 50% from last year."
  • Natural gas storage. "As a result of less natural gas consumption than we had expected, we forecast that the United States will close the withdrawal season at the end of March with more than 1.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in storage, 23% more than the five-year average and 27% more than we forecast in the January STEO."

Look for the report online here: https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/

NGA Submits Comments to Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities on Proposed Pipeline Safety Rulemaking
On January 13th, in collaboration with our members, the NGA submitted comments to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities on its proposed pipeline safety rulemaking. The intent of the rulemaking is to amend Massachusetts Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Code, in the interests of promoting safety and ensuring regulatory compliance. In addition, the Department proposed changes to comply with Chapter 8 of the Acts of 2021, An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy ("Climate Policy"). NGA worked with membership to provide comments on proposed changes to operator qualifications, workforce oversight, enhancements to overpressure protection requirements, maps, and records, MAOP and other aspects of Massachusetts Gas Distribution Code.

NGA appreciated the opportunity to provide comments and recommended technical sessions to discuss alternate proposals and recommendations that meet the intent of DPU proposals while balancing implementation challenges and overall pipeline safety value. The full comments can be read here: https://fileservice.eea.comacloud.net/FileService.Api/file/FileRoom/16907463

Important Winter Safety Tips
It's important to be safe all year regarding natural gas.

If you smell gas in your home or building, please move to a safe location and call 911, or call your local gas company.
More information can be found here:
https://www.northeastgas.org/leak_recognition.php#suspect

Investing in a natural gas detector is an investment for life and essential for any building using natural gas.
More information can be found here:
https://www.northeastgas.org/fuel_detector.php

In case of a snowstorm, be sure to clear snow and ice from external natural gas equipment at your home or building.
More information can be found here:
https://www.northeastgas.org/snow_ice_removal.php

Finally, be aware of carbon monoxide risks. More information can be found here:
https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Safety-equipment/Carbon-monoxide

FERC to Convene New England Winter Gas-Electric Forum in June in Maine
On February 16, FERC Chairman Willie Phillips announced that the Commission will convene a second New England Winter Gas-Electric Forum on June 20, 2023, in Portland, Maine.

This meeting, a follow-up on last September's New England Winter Gas-Electric Forum, will focus on what Phillips says is the Commission's primary job: ensuring reliability of the grid to continue safe and secure delivery of energy services to consumers.

Chairman Phillips said: "Reliability is Job No. 1. Each winter, natural gas supply constraints during extreme weather places the New England electric grid and its nearly 15 million residents at risk for rolling blackouts," Phillips said. "I believe addressing this risk is urgent and I am hopeful that we can continue the productive discussions from the last forum as we shift our focus to having stakeholders propose potential solutions to address the winter reliability challenges in the region."

U.S. EPA Releases Draft Annual GHG Data; Natural Gas-Related Methane Emissions in U.S. in 2021 were 15.7% Lower than in 1990
On February 15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the draft inventory of its latest annual data estimates on U.S. anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission trends, from 1990 through 2021. Among the trends noted by EPA were the following:

  • "Natural gas systems were the second largest anthropogenic source category of CH4 emissions in the United States in 2021, accounting for 181.4 MMT CO2 Eq. of CH2 (24.9 percent of total CH4 emissions). Emissions decreased by 33.7 MMT CO2 Eq. (15.7 percent) since 1990 largely due to decreases in emissions from distribution, transmission, and storage..." (page ES-13)
  • "Distribution system emissions, which accounted for 8 percent of CH4 emissions from natural gas systems and less than 1 percent of CO2 emissions, result mainly from leak emissions from pipelines and stations. An increased use of plastic piping, which has lower emissions than other pipe materials, has reduced both CH4 and CO2 emissions from this stage, as have station upgrades at metering and regulating (M&R) stations. Distribution system CH4 emissions in 2020 were 70 percent lower than 1990 levels and 1 percent lower than 2020 emissions. Distribution system CO2 emissions in 2021 were 70 percent lower than 1990 levels and 1 percent lower than 2019 emissions." (page 3-95)
  • In the transmission and storage sector, methane emissions are down 30% in this same time period. The production segment was up 45%.

Look for further details on EPA's web site:
https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/draft-inventory-us-greenhouse-gas-emissions-and-sinks-1990-2021

Everett LNG, Northeast Gateway and Saint John LNG Provided 34 Bcf to the Market in 2022
According to data from the U.S. Department of Energy, Everett LNG imported 20.7 Bcf of LNG in 2022, compared to 21.4 Bcf in 2021.
The Northeast Gateway facility located offshore Cape Ann, MA imported 2.8 Bcf in 2022, its first imports since 2019.
New England and the Canadian Maritimes also receive supplies from the Saint John LNG facility in Saint John, New Brunswick. In 2022 Saint John (formerly known as Canaport) imported 10.8 Bcf to the market, according to data from the Canada Energy Regulator.
The U.S. exported 3.9 Tcf of LNG by vessel in 2022.

Canadian Natural Gas Pipeline Exports to U.S. Rose in 2022, as did Exports to Eastern U.S.
Canada's Energy Regulator (CER) has reported that Canada's natural gas pipeline exports to the U.S. increased in 2022, from 2.8 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in 2021 to 3 Tcf in 2022. Exports to the eastern U.S. also rose in 2022, from 324 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in 2021 to 348 Bcf in 2022.
Look for more information here: https://apps.cer-rec.gc.ca/CommodityStatistics/Statistics.aspx?language=english