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NE States Seek to Boost Reliance on Renewable Energy, Natural Gas

“The governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island are joining forces to look for ways to increase the region's reliance on renewable energy sources while also expanding natural gas capacity,” The Associated Press is reporting.

“Under the plan, electric distribution companies in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island will collaborate with state agencies to begin a competitive bidding process to seek proposals from suppliers of clean energy resources including wind, solar, small hydro, biomass, fuel cells and other non-carbon emitting sources.”

Pennsylvania Nuclear Reactor Shut Down Following Valve Leak

On Feb. 23, the Unit 1 reactor at Exelon Nuclear’s Generating Station in Limerick, PA automatically shut down due to a high-pressure signal. According to the NRC, the reactor high-pressure signal was caused by the closure of the 1C inboard main steam isolation valve (MSIV), causing reactor pressure to rise, exceeding the reactor protection system (RPS) setpoint.

The closure of the 1C inboard MSIV appears to have been caused by a loss of primary containment instrument gas (PCIG) pneumatic supply to the valve. Instrument air was aligned to the remaining MSIV's. Limerick Unit 1 will remain shut down until repairs can be made.

U.S. Chemistry Exports Linked to Shale Gas Could Double by 2030

America’s shale gas revolution could lead to dramatic growth in U.S. chemical exports over the next fifteen years, according to a new report from Nexant, Inc., and sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC). Gross exports of chemical products, including plastics, linked to plentiful and affordable natural gas are projected to double, from $60 billion in 2014 to $123 billion by 2030. The U.S. trade surplus for the selected chemicals is projected to increase from $19.5 billion to $48.3 billion over the same period, with China, Mexico and other Americas remaining the leading net export destinations.

ACC and Nexant focused on the trade outlook for products that are expected to see the greatest trade increases as a result of U.S. chemical production gains from 2010 to 2030. While energy markets are dynamic, the conclusions of the report point to a long-term competitive advantage for U.S. manufacturers on shale gas-advantaged chemicals.

New Oil Flow Research May Mean Improved Reservoir Yields

The amount of oil recoverable from reservoirs in deep rock formations could be improved, following a new discovery by scientists at the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt. The research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was carried out by scientists and engineers as part of the International Centre for Carbonate Reservoirs program which is sponsored by Petrobras and BG Group.

Researchers say the findings could be applied to boost the yield from oil reservoirs by a few percentage points, which could account for significant volumes in the case of large reservoirs. This may be important for the recently discovered giant pre-salt carbonate oil fields in Brazil, which have very complex and multi-scale reservoir pore systems.


Global Petrochemical Prices in January Lowest Since Mid-2009

Prices in the $3-trillion-plus global petrochemicals market slid 14% month over month in January, continuing a six-month slide triggered by falling crude oil and naphtha prices. Petrochemical prices, expressed as a monthly average, fell $133 per metric ton (/mt) from December to $850/mt in January, according to the just-released monthly Platts Global Petrochemical Index.

This is the lowest level since June 2009, when global markets were recovering from the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers. During the past 12 months, petrochemical prices have fallen 40%. 

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Valve Magazine Digital Edition

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• Your Control Systems Are at Risk!
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