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Mississippi   Mississippi Profile

State Profile and Energy Estimates

Profile AnalysisPrint State Energy Profile
(overview, data, & analysis)

Last Updated: May 17, 2018

Overview

Mississippi's Gulf Coast is home to facilities vital to the nation’s energy infrastructure.

Located on the nation's Gulf Coast and bordered to the west by the river that shares its name, Mississippi has a substantial energy infrastructure. The state has many natural gas, crude oil, and refined product pipelines. The state's larger ports, located on the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River, handle coal, crude oil, and petroleum coke and other refined petroleum products.1 Although it is not as rich in crude oil and natural gas resources as some of its neighboring Gulf Coast states, the role Mississippi plays in America's energy supply becomes particularly evident when an approaching hurricane forces the temporary shutdown of the state's natural gas processing plants and the large oil refinery located along Mississippi's Gulf of Mexico coastline.2,3

Mississippi's humid, sub-tropical climate is typified by long, hot summers, mild winters, and abundant rainfall. Its rich soils, especially between the Mississippi River and the Yazoo River, provide fertile farmland, where soybeans, corn, and cotton are the most valuable crops. Although agriculture played a central role in Mississippi's economy in the past, manufacturing is now the leading contributor in the state's economic sector.4,5,6 Petroleum production and refining, and the manufacture of chemicals; food, beverage, and tobacco products; machinery; and motor vehicles and other transportation products are all substantial contributors to the state's economy.7 Industry is the leading energy-consuming end-use sector in Mississippi, followed closely by the transportation sector.8 The strong demand for electricity for cooling during summer and heating in winter and the state's energy-intensive industries contribute to Mississippi ranking in the top one-third of all states in per capita energy consumption.9,10 Overall, Mississippi consumes more energy than it produces.11

Petroleum

Mississippi is the 14th-largest crude oil-producing state in the nation.12 Mississippi produced about 1% of the nation's crude oil for more than 30 years, but now contributes about 0.5% to the nation's total annual petroleum production and holds about 0.4% of the nation's proved oil reserves.13,14,15 Most of the state's crude oil wells and all three of Mississippi's oil refineries are located in the southern half of the state.16,17 The combined processing capacity of the three refineries is about 377,000 barrels of crude oil per day and accounts for about 2% of the nation's total capacity.18

The Pascagoula refinery, one of the nation's largest, is located on Mississippi's Gulf Coast and supplies motor gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel, and other petroleum products to markets in the southeastern United States, as well as to Central and South America. About two-thirds of the refinery's products are shipped by marine vessels, a little less than one-third are sent through two major interstate pipeline systems to markets throughout the southeast, and the rest are transported by truck and rail.19 Mississippi's two other refineries are much smaller. However, the Ergon refinery in Vicksburg on the Mississippi River is the world's largest manufacturer of naphthenic process oils, which are used worldwide in many industrial applications.20 The smallest Mississippi refinery produces asphalt in Sandersville.21

One in eight Mississippi households use propane as their main home heating fuel.

Petroleum accounts for about four-tenths of the total energy consumed in Mississippi.22 Most of the petroleum consumed in the state is used in the transportation sector, primarily as motor gasoline.23 About one in eight households in Mississippi use propane as their primary home heating fuel, compared with about one in 20 households nationwide.24

Natural gas

Mississippi has far fewer natural gas reserves and much less production than its neighboring Gulf Coast states, and accounts for only about 0.2% of the nation's natural gas production.25,26 The state's natural gas production has steadily declined over the last decade, falling to almost half its 2008 peak of 86 billion cubic feet. 27

Mississippi holds almost 4% of the nation’s natural gas storage capacity.

Mississippi is crossed by many interstate natural gas pipelines.28 Natural gas supplies move into the state primarily from Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, and offshore production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly nine-tenths of the natural gas that enters Mississippi by interstate pipelines continues on to other states, mostly through Alabama and Tennessee.29 Mississippi is one of the few states with large underground salt caverns capable of storing natural gas. Half the state's 12 storage fields are in salt caverns, and the rest are in depleted oil and gas fields. Mississippi has almost 4% of the nation's total natural gas storage capacity.30

Mississippi has several natural gas processing plants. The largest is the Pascagoula plant on the Gulf Coast. It was built to handle the growth in natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. That facility, one of the largest natural gas processing plants in the United States, has a capacity of 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.31,32 Mississippi also has a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal near Pascagoula that received federal approval to begin accepting LNG imports in 2011.33 However, with the increase in U.S. natural gas production, the terminal's owners now plan to export LNG.34,35,36

The largest share of the natural gas consumed in Mississippi is used to generate electricity, and that amount has increased substantially over the past two decades. The industrial sector, which typically consumes less than half as much natural gas as the electric power sector, is the second-largest natural gas-consuming sector in the state.37 About 3 in 10 households in Mississippi use natural gas for home heating38

Coal

All of the coal mined in Mississippi is lignite, which has a lower heat content than other types of coal.

Mississippi has about 4% of the nation's recoverable coal reserves at producing mines.39 The state's coal reserves consist of lignite deposits, which is a soft coal that has a lower energy density and higher moisture content than other types of coal.40,41 The Red Hills surface coal mine, located in Choctaw County, Mississippi, was, for more than a decade, the only producing coal mine in the state. All of the lignite produced at that mine supplies the nearby Red Hills Power Plant.42,43 Liberty Fuels Company won final approval from the state in the summer of 2012 to operate Mississippi's second coal mine near the city of Meridian. Lignite from that mine was to supply a new integrated coal gasification, combined cycle generating station in Kemper County.44 However, in mid-2017, the power plant's owners ended operations at the plant involving coal gasification and are using lower-priced natural gas for power generation.45 As a result, the Liberty Fuels mine that supplied the plant's coal ceased operations in early 2018.46,47 About three-fifths of the coal consumed in Mississippi is mined in the state, and the rest comes from a handful of other states, primarily Wyoming, Colorado, Kentucky, Illinois, and West Virginia.48

Electricity

Mississippi has the largest single nuclear power reactor in the nation.

Although Mississippi's two largest power plants by capacity are coal-fired and nuclear, natural gas is Mississippi's main fuel for electricity generation, supplying nearly four-fifths of the state's net generation in 2017.49,50 Nuclear power, coal, and biomass supply almost all the rest of the state's net electricity generation. The Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Station is the largest single-unit nuclear power plant in the nation and the fifth largest in the world, and it typically provides almost one-fifth of Mississippi's power.51,52 However, because of an extended shutdown that began in September 2016, Grand Gulf provided about one-tenth of the state's net generation in 2017.53,54 Currently, less than one-tenth of the state's generation is fueled by coal. The new 582-megawatt power plant in Kemper County had planned to generate electricity using a state-of-the-art coal gasification process designed to reduce carbon emissions, but the plant's owners switched to using exclusively natural gas for generation.55

The largest share of retail electricity sales in Mississippi goes to the state's residential sector.56 Air-conditioning use during the hot summer months and the widespread use of electricity for home heating during the mild winter months drives strong demand for electricity in Mississippi households. More than half of the state's homes use electricity for home heating.57,58,59

Renewable energy

Mississippi does not have a renewable portfolio standard.60 Renewable resources—mostly in the form of biomass—provide only slightly more than 2% of the state's utility-scale power generation and are not a significant part of Mississippi's energy supply mix.61 However, with almost two-thirds of the state forested and more than one-fourth of the state's land used for agriculture, Mississippi has abundant renewable biomass resources.62 Biomass from wood and wood waste provides almost all of the state's utility-scale renewable-fueled power generation.63 In addition to timber, Mississippi's biomass resources include logging residue, municipal landfills, crop residues, poultry litter, and livestock animal manure.64

In 2017, all new generating capacity installed in Mississippi was solar powered.

Although Mississippi's hot and humid weather conditions create clouds and haze that decrease the effectiveness of electricity generation from solar photovoltaic panels, solar energy potential does exist. Large utility-scale and small-scale, customer-sited arrays of solar panels have been installed at residential and commercial locations. Installed solar capacity in the state, although small, has increased rapidly, from about 3 megawatts in 2015 to about 230 megawatts by the end of 2017.65,66,67 All utility-scale generating capacity added in the state during 2017 was solar powered.68 Mississippi's potential for wind-powered generation is relatively small because of the state's scarce wind resources. There has been no utility-scale wind development in the state.69,70

Mississippi has one operational ethanol plant, located in Vicksburg. The plant, which uses corn as a feedstock, began operating in 2007 and has since been upgraded.71 Two more ethanol plants have been proposed, one of which is a cellulosic ethanol plant that would use wood waste as feedstock. The proposed plants together would increase the state's ethanol production capacity by 50%.72 Mississippi also has four biodiesel production plants that use a variety of feedstocks, including soy oil at the 6th largest biodiesel plant in the nation located in Natchez.73

Endnotes

1 World Port Source, Mississippi United States, Port Index, accessed April 20, 2018.
2 U.S. EIA, Crude Oil Proved Reserves, Reserves Changes, and Production, 2016.
3 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Reserves Summary as of Dec. 31, 2015, Dry Natural Gas, April 20, 2018.
4 Mississippi State University, Department of Geosciences, Office of the Mississippi State Climatologist, Mississippi Climate, accessed April 20, 2018.
5 U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2017 State Agriculture Overview, Mississippi.
6 Wallenfeldt, Jeff, David G. Sansing, and John N. Burrus, Mississippi, State, United States, Encyclopedia Britannica, updated March 15, 2018.
7 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Interactive Data, GDP and Personal Income, Regional Data, Annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State, GDP in current dollars, All industries, Mississippi, 2016.
8 U.S. EIA, State Energy Consumption Estimates 1960 through 2015, (June 2017), Table C10, Energy Consumption Estimates by End-Use Sector, Ranked by State, 2015.
9 U.S. EIA, Electricity Data Browser, Retail Electricity Sales, Mississippi Monthly, January 2001 through January 2018.
10 U.S. EIA, U.S. States Rankings: Total Energy Consumed per Capita, 2015.
11 U.S. EIA, State Energy Production Estimates 1960 through 2015, Table P3, Energy Production and Consumption Estimates in Trillion Btu, 2015.
12 U.S. EIA, Crude Oil Production, Annual, Thousand Barrels, 2012-17.
13 U.S. EIA, Mississippi Field Production of Crude Oil, 1981-2017,
14 U.S. EIA, U.S. Field Production of Crude Oil, 1981-2017,
15 U.S. EIA, Crude Oil Proved Reserves, Reserves Changes, and Production, Proved Reserves as 12/31, Annual, 2016.
16 Mississippi State Oil and Gas Board, Oil and Gas Map of Mississippi, accessed April 22, 2018.
17 U.S. EIA, Mississippi Profile Overview, Petroleum Refinery Map Layer, accessed April 22, 2018.
18 U.S. EIA, Refinery Capacity Report 2017 (June 2017), Table 3, Capacity of Operable Petroleum Refineries by State as of January 1, 2017.
19 Chevron Pascagoula Refinery, What We Do, Refinery Products, accessed April 22, 2018.
20 Ergon, Refining and Marketing, accessed April 22, 2018.
21 Hunt Refining Company, Refining Operations, accessed April 22, 2018.
22 U.S. EIA, State Energy Consumption Estimates 1960 through 2015, (June 2017), Table C3, Primary Energy Consumption Estimates, 2015.
23 U.S. EIA, State Energy Consumption Estimates 1960 through 2015, (June 2017), Table C2, Energy Consumption Estimates for Major Energy Sources in Physical Units, 2015.
24 U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, United States and Mississippi, Table B25040, House Heating Fuel, 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.
25 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Reserves Summary as of Dec. 31, 2016, Dry Natural Gas.
26 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Gross Withdrawals and Production, Dry Production, Annual, 2016.
27 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Gross Withdrawals and Production, Dry Production, Annual, 2016.
28 Pipeline 101, Natural Gas Pipelines Map, Region 4 (Mississippi Delta) Natural Gas Pipelines, accessed April 23, 2018.
29 U.S. EIA, International and Interstate Movements of Natural Gas by State, Mississippi, 2011-2016.
30 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Annual 2016 (September 29, 2017), Table 14, Underground natural gas storage capacity by state, December 31, 2016.
31 U.S. EIA, Mississippi Profile Overview, Map Layer Natural gas processing plant, accessed April 23, 2018.
32 Enterprise Products Partners L.P., Natural Gas Processing Plants and Related NGL Marketing, accessed April 23, 2018.
33 Kinder Morgan, Natural Gas Pipelines, Gulf LNG - Existing Import Terminal, accessed April 23, 2018.
34 "Gulf LNG Terminal Mulling Export Opportunities," Mississippi Business Journal (April 22, 2014).
35 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, North American LNG Export Terminals, Proposed (January 24, 2018).
36 Kinder Morgan, Natural Gas Pipelines, Project Overview, accessed April 23, 2018.
37 U.S. EIA, Natural Gas Consumption by End Use, Mississippi, Annual, 1997-2017.
38 U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, United States and Mississippi, Table B25040, House Heating Fuel, 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.
39 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2016 (November 2017), Table 15, Recoverable Coal Reserves at Producing Mines, Estimated Recoverable Reserves, and Demonstrated Reserve Base by Mining Method, 2016.
40 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2016 (November 2017), Table 6, Coal Production and Number of Mines by State and Coal Rank, 2016.
41 Thieling, Stan, David E. Thompson, and Michael B. E. Bograd, Lignite Resources of Mississippi, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Geology, Fact Sheet 2 (August 2009).
42 Coal Diver, Mississippi Region, accessed April 23, 2018.
43 PurEnergy L.L.C., Choctaw Generation LP, Red Hills Power Plant, accessed April 23, 2018.
44 North American Coal Corporation, About Liberty Fuels Company L.L.C., Liberty Mine, accessed April 24, 2018.
45 Southern Company, "Southern Company and Mississippi Power Announce Suspension of Gasification Operations at Kemper," Press Release (June 28, 2017).
46 Brock, Jim, "Kemper Coal Operation to Cut 75 Jobs," The Meridian Star (August 9, 2017).
47 NACCO Industries, Inc., Form 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (February 8, 2018).
48 U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Distribution Report 2016 (November 2017), Domestic distribution of U.S. coal by destination State, consumer, destination and method of transportation, Table DS-23, Mississippi, 2016.
49 U.S. EIA, Mississippi Electricity Profile 2016, Table 2A, Ten largest plants by capacity.
50 U.S. EIA, Electricity Data Browser, Net Generation for All Sectors, Annual, Mississippi, 2001-2017.
51 Entergy, Grand Gulf Nuclear Station, accessed April 24, 2018.
52 U.S. EIA, Electricity Data Browser, Net Generation for All Sectors, Annual, Mississippi, 2001-2017.
53 "NRC to inspect Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in Mississippi following shut down," Daily Energy Insider (November 2, 2016).
54 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2018), Tables 1.3.B, 1.4.B, 1.7.B, 1.9.B, 1.15.B.
55 Southern Company, "Southern Company and Mississippi Power Announce Suspension of Gasification Operations at Kemper," Press Release (June 28, 2017).
56 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2018), Table 5.4.B.
57 Mississippi State University, Department of Geosciences, Office of the Mississippi State Climatologist, Mississippi Climate, accessed April 24, 2018.
58 U.S. EIA, Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), 2015 RECS Survey Data, Air conditioning, Table HC7.8, Air conditioning in homes in the South and West regions, 2015.
59 U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, United States and Mississippi, Table B25040, House Heating Fuel, 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.
60 NC Clean Energy Technology Center, DSIRE, Summary Maps, Filter Option, Renewable Portfolio Standards, accessed April 24, 2018.
61 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2018), Tables 1.3.B, 1.10.B, 1.11.B, 1.15.B, 1.17.B.
62 Mississippi Development Authority, Developing Our Biomass Resources, accessed April 24, 2018.
63 U.S. EIA, Electricity, Form EIA-860 detailed data, 2016 Form EIA-860 Data, Schedule 3, 'Generator Data' (Operable Units Only).
64 Mississippi Development Authority, Developing Our Biomass Resources, accessed April 24, 2018.
65 Mississippi Power, About Energy, Solar Power, accessed April 25, 2018.
66 Solar Energy Industries Association, State Solar Policy, Mississippi Solar, accessed April 25, 2018.
67 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2018), Table 1.17.B.
68 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (February 2018), Table 6.3.
69 U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, WINDExchange, Wind Energy in Mississippi, accessed April 25, 2018.
70 American Wind Energy Association, U.S. Wind Energy State Facts, Mississippi, accessed April 25, 2018.
71 Ethanol Producer Magazine, U.S. Ethanol Plants, All Platforms, Operational, updated January 24, 2018.
72 Ethanol Producer Magazine, U.S. Ethanol Plants, All Platforms, Proposed, updated January 24, 2018.
73 Biodiesel Magazine, USA Plants, operational, updated December 13, 2017.