Interview: William Prentice, CEO, Meridian Energy Group
Prentice talks about the Davis Refinery and gives an update on the permit process.
Meridian Energy Group, Inc., the leading developer of innovative solutions for environmentally-compliant oil refining technology, announced the company has received the Recommended Decision for the Davis Refinery water allocation from the North Dakota State Engineer’s Office. Meridian applied for a water allocation permit on May 19th, 2016 for groundwater to be drawn from the Dakota Aquifer. The Dakota Aquifer is a briny formation that will not compete in any way with potable water users such as farmers and ranchers. At the Davis Refinery location, this aquifer is approximately 5,700 feet deep and water drawn from this depth will need to be treated for use in the refinery, most likely using a reverse osmosis process.
Receipt of and publication of the Water Allocation Recommended Decision launches a comment period whereby questions can be sent to the Office of the State Engineer. With a short period following the completion of the comment period, the State Engineer will typically grant the Permit. Meridian’s Water Allocation Permit request was for 645 Acre-Feet of water per year, and 90% of that request was recommended by the State Engineer. In its decision, the Water Commission found that the request isn’t expected to impact potable water availability in the area.
Dan Hedrington of SEH Engineering, the project manager of the Davis Refinery, had this to say on the Draft Permit, “The Recommended Decision is the draft permit the Engineer’s Office has been working toward. The document appears very thorough and complete, we are reviewing to determine if any comment is needed.”
William Prentice, Meridian CEO, commented on the Allocation Draft Permit, “We thank the Water Commission for the thoroughness and fairness of their review. While the recommended allocation is slightly less than we requested, I’m confident that we will employ our resources and determine how to make the Davis Refinery even more efficient, like we’ve done in so many areas thus far.”
This decision marks the latest hurdle cleared by Meridian in the extensive permitting process for the Davis Refinery, which involves two possible phases, phase 1, “Davis Light”, which will process approximately 27,500 bpd, and a Phase 2, “Davis Full,” which could double that capacity to 55,000 bpd.
The next permit application is already in-motion, as the North Dakota Department of Health Air Quality Division continues its review of the Meridian Permit to Construct application, which was required for both Davis Light and Davis Full, as a Synthetic Minor Source.
Should Meridian make the decision to proceed with Davis Full, their next permit application would be filed with the North Dakota Public Service Commission. The Public Service Commission has jurisdiction over granting a siting certificate for any oil processing facilities that have a capacity of greater than or equal to 50,000 bpd.