North Dakota’s four coal mines sold 28.7 million tons of lignite coal in 2015, the same production level as 2014.
North American Coal's Freedom Mine, the nation’s largest lignite producer, sold 14.3 million tons, used by Dakota Gasification Co.’s Great Plains Synfuels Plant, and Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Antelope Valley and Leland Olds Stations.
North American's Falkirk Mine, the state’s second largest producer, sold 8 million tons last year, mostly to Great River Energy’s Coal Creek Station, the largest of the state’s eight power plants. The mine also provides fuel to GRE's Spiritwood Station.
The Center Mine, owned by BNI Coal, Ltd., sold 4.2 million tons, primarily to Milton R. Young Station, operated by Minnkota Power Cooperative Inc.
Dakota Westmoreland Corporation's Beulah Mine sold 2.1 million tons.
Otter Tail Power Company’s Coyote Station and Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.’s Heskett Station purchases coal from the Beulah Mine. North American Coal's Coyote Creek Mine is expected to begin production in May and will be the new coal provider to Coyote Station.
The lignite industry, directly and indirectly, employs 15,500 people, according to a North Dakota State University study. Employees at the mines and power plants earn wages that average about $80,000 annually, according to Job Service North Dakota
At first, Otter Tail officials raised alarm with the EPA that the plant — the only coal-fired generator in South Dakota — would be forced to shut down, stranding an investment that costs residential ratepayers in Minnesota about $5 per month. But the final rule softened South Dakota’s carbon targets, and the utility officials no longer are concerned about shuttering the plant.
Even so, the risk is that Big Stone, just across the border from Ortonville, Minn., won’t be allowed to operate at full capacity. It might have to shut down part of the time or run at partial output. Rudolf said it could take years before the answer is known. South Dakota has joined other states to challenge the carbon rule in federal court, but the state plans to develop a compliance plan in case that effort fails.
“We’re really in the early stages to determine whether they have to shut down or could only operate partially,” said Brian Gustafson, who administers the air quality program for the South Dakota Department of Environmental and Natural Resources.
Rudolf said large coal-fired power plants like Big Stone will be needed even though more wind power and natural gas power plants are added to the electric grid. Natural gas emits about half as much carbon dioxide as coal, and wind power emits none. But coal and nuclear plants have long supplied the steady electric “base load” favored by utilities.
“These coal plants that are left are the best of the best, and they are going to be a key piece of the grid,” he said
MDU is a partial owner of this facility. don
Despite $356M in upgrades, the coal-powered plant may not be allowed to run at full capacity.
An environmental retrofit of Otter Tail Power Co.’s largest coal-fired power plant has finished significantly under budget, but the achievement is clouded by worries that new greenhouse gas rules will curtail how much the plant operates in future years.
In a report to Minnesota regulators this week, the Fergus Falls-based utility said the Big Stone, S.D., power plant owned with two other utilities went back into full operation Dec. 29, and the project cost, while not yet finally tallied, will be at least 22 percent below the original budget of $491 million.
Otter Tail, which serves 131,000 customers in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota, has spent $356 million so far to retrofit the 1975-era plant with the best-available emissions equipment, including carbon-injection technology to cut mercury emissions.
Jan Rudolf, Otter Tail’s vice president of supply, said the three-year project’s final price will grow slightly because demolition and other work is still underway, but the figure will be less than the utility’s last estimate of $385 million. It is the biggest single investment the utility has ever made, the company has said.
“We are exceeding all of the targets,” Rudolf said of the scrubber and other technologies to cut sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions that cause regional haze.
But those emissions controls don’t reduce carbon dioxide, the gas linked to global warming. During the Big Stone retrofit, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed and later finalized its Clean Power Plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.
At first, Otter Tail officials raised alarm with the EPA that the plant — the only coal-fired generator in South Dakota — would be forced to shut down,
Using a 10 yr chart one can see MDU was lower in price in the March 2009 time
Yahoo Historical prices show a Intraday low price of $ 12.79, The lowest closing Price for MDU was On March 9th 2009 at $ 13.04.. But by March 23 ,2009 MDU stock price had rebounded and closed at $ 16.09..
So do your own DD, but the past many times sheds light on the future. don
If you are not happy with MDU stock price call the Investor relations dept. and ask them what they are doing to support the stock.
On CNBC Squawk box this morning they were discussing with guests the belief that GDP would be SUB 1 % for the first qtr.. the Atlanta fed is showing GDP growth at .8 of 1 percent today..
Inaguration day is 1 year and 10 days.. don
Forbes has a article today, use the Subject as your search to view.. don
( Tax Credits For Wind And Solar Will Deliver But Will Definitely Be Phased Out )
SolarCity Corp. plans to eliminate more than 550 jobs in Nevada, most of its employees in the state, after regulators approved new utility fees on solar rooftops.
The biggest U.S. rooftop solar provider will relocate some employees to "business-friendly" states that don't impose similar charges, San Mateo, Calif.-based SolarCity said in a statement Wednesday.
This is the first significant cut in staffing for SolarCity, which has grown rapidly in recent years. Surging demand for rooftop power has led to friction between companies that install and operate the systems and traditional utilities, which see them as a threat to revenue.
NV Energy, a unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. that owns Nevada's two biggest utilities, had sought the changes to recoup money that it says solar customers aren't paying for grid operations. The company's monthly fee for solar customers has jumped 40 percent to $17.90.
The oil wells in Utah are still registered under Fidelity for the month of Oct . The Oil production from 25 wells was 67,306 BO. This is a reduction of 5.2 % from Sept 2015. There were 13 wells shut in or listed as Non producing.. The August 2015 oil production was 80,861 BO, and Sept 2015 at 70,964 BO..don
From the EIA web site. don
Natural gas spot prices in 2015 at the Henry Hub in Louisiana, a national benchmark, averaged $2.61 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu), the lowest annual average level since 1999. Daily prices fell below $2/MMBtu this year for the first time since 2012. Henry Hub spot prices began the year relatively low and fell throughout 2015, as production and storage inventories hit record levels and fourth-quarter temperatures were much warmer than normal.
I have not heard or seen any real announcement on the Potential f 5 buyers closing on the Fidelity E+P portion of MDU.. So I assume that the Deals with the exception of one were not finalized..I would assume that more specifics would be given on the Sales when completed, because of the size they should be considered Material ..
Any Real info please share.. don
Gettenby . If you go back and read the Conference call transcripts the last 4 qtrs., the MDU leadership sounded like a whipped pup..
The 4th Qtr Conference call will give a investor a sense of the Direction that MDU is NOW taking..Sure the sale /delay of sale of Fidelity was a error, But where/what are they doing NOW, for the Future of MDU.. licking their wounds or moving forward..
The prospect of Another Refinery in western ND is a positive Movement, the Expansion of Hwy 85 to a 4 lane structure , The West Half of ND. Still has a lot of Great projects going on, how will the current Management handle the change.. This is the Year that room full of smart well paid people go out and earn the respect of the investing community.. don
In this year long comparison of investments both Securities were purchased at the close of trading price Dec 31, 2014 and were Sold at the Closing price Dec.31, 2015.
100 shares were purchased and NO Brokerage fees we included or subtracted for either the purchase or the sale .The dividend was paid as a cash dividend. yahoo furnished all info.
Dec 2014 close XLU purchase price 100 shares = $ 4722.00 , Dec 2015 close Sales price $ 4328.00
XLU paid a dividend total of $159.00 . The Net loss in this investment is $235.00 , ( $ 392.00 loss on stock
+ $ 159 paid for dividend =
Dec 2014 close MDU purchase price 100 shares = $ 2350.00 , Dec 2015 close sale price $ 1832.00
MDU paid a dividend total of $73.50 , The Net Loss in this investment is $ 444.50 , ( $ 518.00 loss on stock
+ $ 73.50 paid for dividend =
The XLU loss was 4.98 % of the purchase price, The MDU loss was 18.91 % of the purchase price .
IMHO the handling of the sale of the Fidelity unit caused many investors to Question The Ability of the Management . How Much will rising Interest rates effect The Utility Sector in 2016??? Do your on DD and GLTA in 2016 . don
Permits will not be considered until 2018.
The Stark County Commission voted unanimously to stop accepting applications for wind farm conditional-use permits for a period of two years at a regular meeting Tuesday at Stark County Courthouse.
The move comes after the commission approved the 87-turbine Brady Wind Energy Center by Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources for southern Stark County during a special meeting Dec. 22.
Commissioner Jay Elkin brought up the idea, saying that there were a multitude of wind energy companies besides NextEra that had expressed interest in placing wind farms in Stark County. He explained that the county needed to simply observe what happens with Brady Wind during its construction and startup.
“Since this has been approved, I think we need to step back,” he said.
This full article in Dickinson paper today... How much will this effect MDU if they want to set a New wind farm in the future..looks like a lot of resistance is starting to develop..
Stark County may soon see another diesel fuel refinery rise.
California-based Meridian Energy Group Inc. is looking to build a refinery on 620 acres of land west of Belfield. It would refine crude oil produced in the Bakken.
According to an article released Wednesday by the Oil & Gas Journal, the Davis Refinery would begin with a 20,000 barrel a day processing plant and eventually convert around 55,000 barrels per stream day into refined products. By comparison, Dakota Prairie Refining refines an estimated 20,000 barrels a day into diesel fuel, naphtha and other products.
The article also states that Meridian expects to get expedited permitting for the plant in early 2016, clearing the way for construction to begin in the first half of the year.
On its website, Meridian cites the property’s close proximity to transportation infrastructure, including oil and gas pipelines, Interstate 94 and Highway 85, and the BSNF Railway railroad. The Fryburg Rail Loading Facility is also nearby.
Bringing more wind on will impact the grid significantly," said Hamman, explaining there will need to be a balancing act between base load power and the intermittent power wind provides
North Dakota wind turbines produce electricity about 30 percent of the time, according to Hamman. When the wind is blowing, coal plants have to back off production. Adding even more wind power makes that easier said than done as backing down production at a coal plant to meet the appropriate generation levels can make plants less efficient, Hamman said.
"Coal plants are not designed like that," he said, and natural gas peaking plants will likely become part of the answer, though other options may become available.
There is also a matter of time. Building transmission continues to grow more lengthy, more difficult and more expensive, he said. And companies are dealing with landowners' fatigue, especially out west where energy companies have asked for easements for everything from oil pumps to pipelines.
"But, again, it has to be done," Hamman said, and he will be one of those points of contact between industry and government as the state makes a plan to meet regulations over the next several years.
Bismarck trib today.. don
Within a month after Tyler Hamman took over as director of the North Dakota Transmission Authority in July, he was facing new federal regulations on carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants.
While the Transmission Authority has been around since 2005, Hamman said he expects the job to get "far more challenging in every regard."
The Authority, established by a grant from the North Dakota Industrial Commission and administered by the Lignite Energy Council where Hamman serves as director of government affairs, was established to facilitate the expansion of power transmission, allowing North Dakota companies to export energy to other states.
But with an onslaught of federal regulations on the state's largest source of energy, that role is about to change — or at least grow.
MISO, a regional transmission organization of which many North Dakota utilities are members, estimates a multibillion dollar buildout of transmission lines within its service area as a result of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, which is requiring North Dakota to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 45 percent by 2030.
Hamman, who has been with the Lignite Energy Council since January 2014, will need to facilitate that implementation in the state, helping to address anything inhibiting construction. Previously, he served as a policy adviser in Washington, D.C., first for the House Natural Resources Committee dealing with right-of-way on federal lands then for a congressman from California.
Now, in addition to his Lignite Energy Council duties, he is the sole staff member for the Transmission Authority, which is not a regulatory agency. It helps plan and oversees transmission buildout to ensure there are not gaps in service, Hamman said. Several hundred miles of transmission lines have been built in the state since the Transmission Authority's creation.
Within his new role, Hamman, who made the move to Bismarck to be closer to family, has met with utility companies and been briefed on any projects they have underway.
"Everyone is looking at it (solutions to the Clean Power Plan), but no one really knows what to do about it yet," said Hamman, suggesting that any solution likely will involve constructing more wind power and the transmission infrastructure that comes with it.
"Bringing more wind on will impact the grid significantly," said Hamman, explaining there will need to be a balancing act between base load power and the intermittent power wind provides.
By Robert Brelsford
OGJ Downstream Technology Editor
Axiall Corp., Atlanta, and South Korea’s Lotte Chemical Corp., Seoul, have reached a final investment decision (FID) to proceed with plans to build a 1 million tonne/year ethane-based cracker and associated monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant in Lake Charles, La. (OGJ Online, June 18, 2015; Feb. 11, 2014; Dec. 20, 2013).
LACC LLC, a subsidiary of Axiall and Lotte Chemical USA Corp.’s 50–50 joint venture Eagle US 2 LLC, will invest $1.9 billion to build the steam cracker adjacent to Axiall’s Lake Charles chlor-alkali manufacturing plants to take advantage of existing infrastructure, competitive US shale feedstock resources, and ethylene distribution infrastructure, according to a series of releases from the JV and Louisiana Economic Development (LED).
Adjacent to the new steam cracker, Lotte separately will invest an additional $1.1 billion to build and operate the US’ largest MEG plant, from which 600,000 tpy of MEG will be exported to customers in Europe and Asia, according to Soo Young Huh, Lotte Chemical’s president and chief executive.
To secure the combined projects, the state of Louisiana offered the companies a competitive incentive package that includes a $4.55-million modernization tax credit for the ethane cracker, as well as economic development award program incentives of $700,000 for the cracker and $1.47 million for the MEG plant, which will pay for site infrastructure improvements, LED said.
With site preparation already under way and full construction due to begin during second-quarter 2016, the grassroots cracker and MEG plant are scheduled for startup in early 2019.
LACC also confirmed it has let an additional contract to CB&I, Houston, to provide engineering, procurement, fabrication, and construction (EPC) for the ethane cracker, which will use the service company’s proprietary highly selective SRT cracking heaters as well as its recovery secti
Article in Moab Sun news today on Fidelity and Also OIL Sands project... don
Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2015 8:45 am | Updated: 8:51 am, Thu Dec 17, 2015.
Rudy Herndon Moab Sun News
Oil prices fell to their lowest levels in more than a decade this week, and while the tumble reverberated throughout the industry, it hurt some energy companies more than others.
“They're certainly affecting producers across the country,” said Richard Matteson, a communications and public affairs director with MDU Resources of Bismarck, North Dakota.
Matteson's company recently announced the sale of subsidiary Fidelity Exploration & Production, which had been actively developing oil and gas projects in the Big Flat area west of Moab. In recent months, however, the pace of that work has slowed down, according to Matteson.
“They're certainly not doing any additional development,” he said. “I think the wells that have been developed continue to produce.”
Now that MDU has sold almost all of Fidelity's assets, Matteson quipped that the decline in oil prices is no longer having the same impacts on the parent company.
“Not as much as they were,” he said.
Looking at the bigger picture beyond Moab, the extent of low oil prices varies, and can depend on everything from a project's geological setting to the different types of drilling techniques that companies utilize.
“It's very difficult to give you one price point and say it affects everybody the same way,” Matteson said.
Indeed, while many of its neighbors in the Book Cliffs appear to be struggling, Canadian company U.S. Oil Sands of Calgary is moving forward with the development of its controversial PR Spring oil sands mine near the Grand and Uintah County lines.
The company initially hoped to begin commercial-scale oil production in the final quarter of 2015, although U.S. Oil Sands CEO Cameron Todd said his company is now on track to reach that milestone in the first three months of 2016.