Source: Oil and Gas Journal
By: Robert Brelsford
The North Dakota Supreme Court has upheld a lower court decision affirming the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEW) June 2018 issuance of Meridian Energy Group Inc.’s air quality permit to construct (PTC) its long-planned grassroots 49,500-b/sd high-conversion Davis refinery in Belfield, Billings County, ND, in the heart of southwestern North Dakota’s Bakken shale region (OGJ Online, Dec. 5, 2018; June 13, 2018; Aug. 24, 2016).
The decision marks the end of the litigation process related to the Davis PTC, granting full approval for the project to proceed as planned, Meridian said on June 30.
Meridian’s Davis PTC marks the first permit approved for construction of a full-conversion refinery of its size and complexity under classification as a synthetic minor source (SMS) of air contaminants on DEQ’s findings that emissions from the proposed plant would be substantially below stringent federal standards, and would be monitored to such an extent that the refinery qualified as an SMS.
“This decision is a major milestone in continuing Meridian’s mission—to develop the cleanest and smartest refineries on the planet—and making it a reality, said William Prentice, Meridian’s chief executive officer and chairman.
“The Davis design that is the basis for the PTC will result in Davis having total emissions of one-eighth of industry average, and less than one-half of the industry’s GHG emissions. If one half of the refining industry in the [US] were converted or replaced with Meridian technology, the industry would show a reduction of 88 million tons of GHG per year,” Prentice added.
With front-end engineering design currently nearing completion by contractor McDermott International Inc. and site-preparation activities already well under way, the refinery—which will be equipped with technology from Axens Group—is scheduled to enter commercial operation during fourth-quarter 2023 at a currently estimated overall cost of about $1 billion, the company said in its latest presentation in June.