Propane teams with natural gas industry on research

August 14, 2023 By    
Photo: porcorex/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: porcorex/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) approved the following funding requests during its July meeting in Big Sky, Montana.

• $339,000 for the Utilization Technology Development (UTD) Consortium 2023. UTD is a research-based nonprofit organization composed of natural gas distribution companies focused on the development of safe and efficient end-use gas technologies. PERC says the goal of this project is to drive work, data and output efficiency by combining the research of the natural gas and propane industries in the residential, commercial and power generation markets.

• $24,000 for a new concept state rebate that will allow the Western PERC to leverage an outside partnership to improve communication between the propane industry and media outlets within California. Improving consumer awareness and public information relating to the safe use of propane is critical for consumers and propane industry members in the state, PERC shares about the docket.

The council will next meet Nov. 29-30 in San Antonio.

New PERC officers

Chairman: Chris DeFilippo, Superior Plus
Vice chairman, marketers: Chris Hill, Meritum Energy Holdings
Vice chairman, producers: Joe McGinn, Energy Transfer
Treasurer: Trent Hampton, Lakes Gas
Secretary: Jeff Kerns, ThompsonGas
Immediate past chairman: Stuart Weidie, Blossman Gas

Industry opportunities

Before Stuart Weidie left his post as PERC chairman, he shared four categories on which the council continues to work:

  • Renewable propane and its ability to lower traditional propane’s carbon intensity through blends.
  • Power generation: “We need prime power generation systems of various types.”
  • Autogas: “We need to grow the year-round volume for the propane industry. … It’s been hard; it’s been long, but we’re starting to see progress.”
  • Innovative products.

Comment on 2024 budget

PERC published its 2024 budget plan for public comment through Aug. 31. The plan includes the probable costs of programs and a recommended rate of assessment. PERC submits the proposed budget to the secretary of energy and Congress.

GPA Midstream update

Propane fundamentals were among the talking points for Joel Moxley, president and CEO of GPA Midstream, during the PERC meeting. He wondered whether U.S. propane inventory would test record highs in 2023 as supplies continue to increase along with gas plant production. One of his slides forecasted total inventory near 120 million barrels going into the winter heating season. “We’re going to have plenty of propane in the U.S. I hope we have a place to put it all,” he says. Strong propane exports (about 2 million bpd) will help balance the supply gains, and he says more export capacity (800,000 bpd) is planned by 2025. The strong propane production had Mont Belvieu propane prices around 31 percent of West Texas Intermediate crude at the time of his report.

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at or 216-706-3748.

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