Save Passamaquoddy Bay

Save Passamaquoddy Bay
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Alliance to Protect the Quoddy Region
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"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
                                           — US Senator Susan Collins, 2012 Jun 21


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Passamaquoddy Bay & LNG

2007 October

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The Green Coast  

Wind energy on demand? A closer look at compressed air energy storage (Sep 30)


26 October 2007

BEP: LNG firm can't withdraw application — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

Ronald Kreisman, an attorney representing the group Save Passamaquoddy Bay, accused Downeast LNG officials of attempting a legal "high-wire, tightrope walk" to invalidate a public record that does not lean in their favor. Kreisman said that rather than allowing a withdrawal, the board should continue with the review of the larger project but leave the public record open on the pipeline route. Additional public hearings then could be held on the pipeline issue alone, he said.

"The big, unstated thing going on here is they want to withdraw the application as a springboard for creating a new record," Kreisman said. "For my clients, who played by the rules, this feels very disingenuous."

Downeast LNG decision possibly on hold — Energy Current, Houston, TX

USA:  Maine's Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) rejected for a second time on Oct. 25 Downeast LNG's request to withdraw from the state permitting process its application for the Downeast liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, proposed for construction in Robbinston, Maine. The 5-3 vote could allow the board to delay consideration of the project until next summer, allowing it to take in information on alternative pipeline routes, the Associated Press reports.

Film about proposed LNG site to be screened Saturday — Courier Weekend, St. Stephen, NB

EASTPORT — The film "Incident at Pulpit Rock," which honours the beauty and magic of Mill Cove, the proposed site for an LNG terminal, will be shown at the Eastport Arts Centre Saturday starting at [7PM ET / 8PM AT].

State charts green plans for harbor islands — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

The vision of the harbor as a haven for clean energy is benefiting from the availability of $5.3 million in funding being put up by Excelerate Energy LLC to offset the environmental impact of the offshore facility the Texas company is building, where tankers will unload liquefied natural gas into a pipeline on the harbor floor. A second offshore LNG facility developer, Suez Energy North America, is also promising $5.3 million once it begins construction in 2009 or later.

City plans to keep the pressure on Hess — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

“The intention is to go at this with the same perspective and aggressiveness that we always have until this project goes away,” Lambert said.

McGuire said the city has spent approximately $1.5 million over the past 4+ years, not including contributions from other towns to battle project.

Coast Guard rejects LNG plan — Providence Journal, Providence, RI

FALMOUTH, Mass. — The U.S. Coast Guard concluded yesterday that it would be too risky to allow liquefied natural gas tankers to travel through Mount Hope Bay and the Taunton River to a proposed LNG terminal in Fall River, a decision that might present an insurmountable roadblock for the project developers.

In an interview, Nash said there are several levels of appeal within the Coast Guard that Weaver’s Cove could pursue. First, the company must appeal to Nash directly, within 30 days. If Nash chooses not to reverse his decision, he would forward the appeal up the chain of command, to the First Coast Guard District in Boston. The final appeal within the agency lies with the Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C., he said.

Lawmakers, who have almost unanimously opposed both projects, hailed the decision. (Oct 25)

Coast Guard to Hess LNG: NO WAY — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

“As a practical matter, this project is now dead,” city Corporation Counsel Thomas F. McGuire Jr. said at a hastily called press conference Mayor Edward M. Lambert Jr. held within hours of the Coast Guard’s noon announcement.

“This is actually an ending to something that never should have begun. I’m glad to see the Coast Guard reached a decision that reflects common sense,” said state Rep. David Sullivan.

[Mayor Ed Lambert] said it showed “the arrogance” of a big corporation believing it was a done deal the city could not win. (Oct 24)

Natural gas terminal near Quebec City approved — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

Opponents, including environmental and community groups, are organizing a protest march for Sunday at the National Assembly and will take legal action in an attempt to force the government to reverse its decision.

[T]he province's farmland protection agency recently said [the project] would cause irreparable damage to some of Canada's best soil for agriculture. The agency estimated that the project would engulf about 500 hectares of rich farmland and forest

Last June, the government approved a bid by Petro-Canada and Trans-Canada Corp. to build the province's first LNG terminal on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River in Gros-Cacouna, 250 kilometres east of Quebec City. However, that project will be delayed to 2012. (Oct 25)

Westpac LNG welcomes input [Opinion] — The Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is not explosive, as it is not held under pressure, nor is it flammable in its liquid form. (Oct 25)

Webmaster's Comments: Here we go, again! A new LNG proposal, with the developer assuring the public that LNG isn't explosive or flammable.

Technically, LNG — liquefied natural gas — isn't explosive or flammable. Technically, neither is liquid gasoline; but, the public recognizes the hazards of having gasoline around because they're familiar with its properties. How comfortable are you with having an open can of gasoline around? Unfamiliarity with LNG, along with LNG industry false assurances can bring the public a false sense of security.

The public knows that gasoline needs only to be exposed to the air to become less benign. The same is true with LNG. But, FERC and the LNG industry like to tell the public that LNG vapors only ignite when the gas-to-air mixture is between 5–15% (a 10% flammability range), as though that's a narrow margin and an unlikely event. What they don't say is that gasoline has an even narrower gas-to-air flammability — 1.4 to 7.6% (a 6.2% flammability range). Also, like gasoline, as LNG becomes vaporized, the perimeter of the vapor cloud contains the correct air-gas mixture for flammability, until the gas disperses sufficiently.

LNG vapors can explode in the following circumstances:

  • When confined and in the presence of air, such as in a culvert, in a building, or in a boat's hull, etc., and when in the presence of a flame or high heat;
  • When a confined vapor explosion occurs (as above), and transits rapidly into an unconfined LNG vapor cloud. (Source: 1978 US Coast Guard tests conducted at China Lake, referred to in the 2004 Sandia National Laboratories Report to FERC.)

BP PLC to pay $373 million in settlement — Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL

Oil giant BP PLC agreed to pay $373 million in fines and admit to criminal wrongdoing in a sweeping settlement of charges at clearing the aftermath from a fatal Texas explosion, an oil spill in Alaska and illegal propane trading engineered from Chicago.

Despite the settlement, the U.S. Justice Department continues to investigate alleged wrongdoing, and secured BP's commitment to cooperate in the investigations. (Oct 25)

Commission approves two settlements for $7.3 Million; civil penalties resolve capacity release, shipper-must-have-title violations [News release] — Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Washington, DC

BP will pay a civil penalty of $7 million and implement a compliance monitoring plan to resolve multiple self-reported violations of regulations for posting and bidding of released capacity, the shipper-must-have-title requirement, and the prohibition on buy-sell transactions. The violations involved thousands of individual transactions in 2005 and 2006 stemming from BP’s management of customers’ capacity rights on interstate natural gas pipeline and storage facilities.

The most serious of BP’s violations involves a practice known as “flipping,” which evidences a deliberate strategy for evading FERC regulations that require posting and competitive bidding for discounted long-term releases of capacity. [Bold red emphasis added.] (Oct 25)

Webmaster's Comments: BP (British Petroleum, aka Beyond Petroleum) has once again demonstrated contempt for the law. This is the same company that is responsible for 15 deaths and over 100 injuries in the 2004 March 24 Texas City, Texas, oil refinery explosion, resulting in a fine for lacking a corporate safety culture.

BP, alarmingly, is also in the LNG business — a supplier to the Cove Point, Maryland, LNG terminal, the "darling" of Downeast LNG principals Dean Girdis and Rob Wyatt. BP is also the developer of the Crown Landing LNG terminal in New Jersey.

Disturbed by BP's participation in the LNG industry, when asked by Save Passamaquoddy Bay, FERC replied that they would allow Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson, and Idi Amin to build and operate an LNG terminal.

Just as disturbing: FERC is the US Government's LNG "safety" regulatory agency.

Portable Document Format file Read the FERC order (PDF, 108 KB) containing the details of this latest list of BP infractions.

US working gas in storage rises 68 Bcf to 3.443 Tcf: EIA — Platts

Inventories are now 87 Bcf above the five-year average of 1.883 Tcf in the East, 28 Bcf above the average of 425 Bcf in the West, and 116 Bcf above the average of 904 Bcf in the producing region. (Oct 25)

Rising heating costs indicate LNG need — Energy Current, Houston, TX

USA:  The Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (CLNG) said more liquefied natural gas (LNG) is needed due to the anticipated rise in home heating bills this winter. (Oct 24)

Webmaster's Comments: And yet, other reports seem to indicate that the volatile international LNG market will simply result in higher domestic natural gas prices. See the July 23 story in Platts, "Japan's LNG import price to keep rising towards 2030: IEEJ," below.


24 October 2007

Coast Guard says LNG waterway unsafe for tanker transit — AP, Boston Globe, Boston, MA

The Coast Guard has ruled the river approaching the Weavers Cove Energy project is unsafe for navigation by massive LNG tankers.

A Coast Guard spokesman says the ruling "kills the project, as proposed."

Webmaster's Comments: If the US Coast Guard has the authority to prevent LNG transits, then Canada has that same authority in their own waters.

Coast Guard rules Weaver's Cove LNG transit route unsafe — Energy Current, Houston, TX

USA:  The U.S. Coast Guard has ruled that the waterway approach to the proposed site of the Weaver's Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) project is unsafe for navigation by massive LNG tankers due to navigational safety challenges. The decision affirms concern the Coast Guard expressed last year.


23 October 2007

Dredging set to begin to clear way for LNG tankers — The Mississippi Press, Pascagoula, MS

"This site affords access to four major gas pipelines serving the Northeast and three gas pipelines serving Florida and the Southeast," reads the company's Web site. "Another major advantage of the site is the ability to provide underground gas storage capacity to the area."

The plant is the first of two LNG plants planned for the area. Chevron is also planning an LNG plant, which will be located next to the refinery. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: More mooting of the Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG projects.

FERC authorizes transfer of Sabine Pass pipeline — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Late last week FERC granted a request by Cheniere Sabine Pass Pipeline, L.P., to abandon the 16-mile, 42-inch diameter pipeline connects to Cheniere's Sabine Pass LNG import terminal, which is currently under construction. Simultaneously, FERC authorized Cheniere Creole Trail Pipeline, L.P., to acquire the abandoned pipeline facilities.

Astoria leader blasts LNG secrecy — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Astoria City Manager Paul Benoit, speaking on behalf of Astoria Mayor Willis Van Dusen and the Astoria City Council, voiced concerns about "secrecy" in the public safety planning process and the potential for federal rules to "trump" the county's decision. Astoria Fire Marshal Mike Jackson echoed Benoit's statements.

Benoit said review of the Bradwood project as a whole has been "extremely difficult" because the public safety analysis has been kept confidential, leaving many elected officials in the dark.

Bradwood and its foes debate LNG in Astoria — The Daily News, Longview, WA

Paul Benoit, Astoria's City Manager, said officials knew too little about the risks the terminal would pose in the case of a landslide, earthquake, tsunami or large fire. He said many officials haven't been allowed to see contingency plans for the facility. Those who have, he said, have been required to keep quiet about them.

"The secrecy that has surrounded this project makes the siting of an LNG terminal very different from industrial projects sited in the past," he said.

Advocacy group to fight LNG project — Energy Current, Houston, TX

USA:  Advocacy group Santa Barbara Channelkeeper hired the Environmental Defense Center, a public interest law firm, to work on its behalf in the ongoing state and federal review of NorthernStar Natural Gas' proposed Clearwater Port liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, slated for construction offshore Ventura County, Calif, the Ventura County Star reports.

NATS: U.S. gas prices lag as LNG cargos find European destinations — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

As oil prices continue to rise, so too will gas prices.

BP Trinidad nears launch of Mango Gas Field — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

BP Trinidad is close to commencing operations of the Mango gas field off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago. Once all the associated pipeline infrastructure is completed, the field will produce gas for both domestic purposes and exports from the Atlantic LNG liquefaction plant.

Japan's LNG import price to keep rising towards 2030: IEEJ — Platts [Registration required]

Japan's import price for LNG is forecast to keep rising through to 2030 on the back of high crude oil prices coupled with the trend for introducing price formulas for new contracts and contract renewals, an analyst at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan said Monday.

Japan is the world's largest LNG consumer, importing some 62 million mt in 2006, according to data from the Ministry of Finance. (Oct 22)

Webmaster's Comments: Japan is the world's largest LNG customer. Japan will pay increasingly more for its LNG, competing with the US for its supply. But, according to the US LNG industry, importing LNG into the USA will decrease the cost of natural gas. How can importing LNG into the US cause natural gas prices to become lower, when the US is competing with a country that's willing to pay more for LNG than the US?


22 October 2007

Coast Guard chief wants more safety regulations — Portland Press Herald, Portland, ME

The Coast Guard plays an important role in the location of liquefied natural gas facilities by determining safety requirements and steps contractors must take to minimize risk. A proposed Passamaquoddy Bay facility presents a problem because the narrow waterway is shared with Canada and the Coast Guard's counterparts there have not provided the information to evaluate safety concerns, said Capt. James Rendon, commander of the Northern New England sector.

Allen said so much attention has been focused on LNG that the transporting of many other types of hazardous materials, including ammonium nitrate and liquefied propane gas, has not received adequate attention. He suggested that the United States broaden its scrutiny to include all risky cargo.

"We need to be dealing with issues around the globe and defusing conflict before it happens," said Allen…. (Oct 18)

NOTE: This same story resides on at CG Chief Wants More Safety Regs.

Webmaster's Comments: This story's author failed to mention that the US Coast Guard also has the authority to prevent LNG transits in waterways that are deemed unsuitable for such transit — authority required by the FERC LNG permitting process. And, since the US has that authority over Canadian waters, then so does Canada.

Coast Guard Commander Admiral Thad Allen strengthens the argument that Canada can prevent LNG transits by his advocating that the US scrutinize all risky cargo. Canada, an equal sovereign, has equal authority — especially regarding Canadian waters.

LNG hearings show government at best, worst [Opinion] — Ventura County Star, Camarillo, CA

[W]hen the state Public Utilities Commission made the key decision without which no LNG firms would be pushing to enter the California market, no one heard from the public. No evidence was taken, either. Instead, the commission on its own ruled that California utilities can forego as much as one-quarter of the domestic natural gas that now comes here and substitute foreign-source LNG for it.

U.S. natural-gas companies pick international sites for terminals — The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ

But the prospect of gigantic gas tankers edging into their harbors makes many Americans - and Mexicans - nervous. In Mexico, many people still remember the 1984 explosion of a gas depot that killed 334 people in Mexico City.

Further, Mexico has recently seen a wave of bombings aimed at gas pipelines. In July and September, the leftist People's Revolutionary Army bombed 10 gas pipelines in central and eastern Mexico. The attacks forced some of Mexico's biggest factories to shut down.

The tar sands and Canada's food system — The Dominion, Montreal, QC

In theory, some of the business world seem to agree that "letting the market decide" may not be the most sound energy strategy. A January 2005 article in Canadian Business asserts that "with no long-term guidelines and no surplus capacity, the only thing the market can deliver is 'volatility.'"

The article concludes by quoting the president of a Calgary-based LNG company, saying "Economics 101 will solve the mess, but the trouble is it will do so with a machete...It will hurt." [Bold and red emphasis added.] (Oct 21)

Questions about the World's biggest natural gas field — The Oil Drum, New York, NY

In any event, the sheer audacity of the idea that you could have only two producing platforms in such a huge area, and know enough to book 30 years of supply is breathtaking. And we are not talking about some tiny wildcatter here. We are talking about the largest, and theoretically the most conservative, of all the oil companies in the world.

This is in answer to a question about oil & natural gas field reserves accounting practices. (2006 Jun 9)

The little sheikdom that could — Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas - USA (ASPO-USA), Denver, CO

Middle East proved oil reserves numbers are suspect. Each country's estimates made questionable leaps in the past, and then remained constant, all the while disregarding all the oil produced over the years. Qatar provides the most recent example. Examining this small sheikdom's reserve numbers underscores some of the problems in assessing the world's proved oil stocks. Qatar could take a step toward resolving this uncertainty by allowing an independent audit of their reserves numbers. They seem to have little to hide.

When Qatar did finally boost their proved reserves, where defined oil includes gas liquids, they had a good reason for doing so. Other Middle East OPEC countries have no such excuse. None of these oil producers ever revise their reserves numbers from year to year to reflect produced oil. When their proved reserves numbers do change, they only increase. (Jun 6)


21 October 2007

Terminal on the way — The Sun Herald, Gulfport, MS

Supply is the key.

That's why Gulf LNG, out of Houston, is breaking ground on its new Pascagoula docks in a few weeks and lining up contractors to build its $600 million regasification plant, and others are not. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Here's one more LNG terminal about to be constructed, further mooting Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG.

Speak your mind on LNG on Monday — The Daily News, Longview, WA

The Clatsop County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing Monday to discuss a Houston company's plan to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Columbia River.

The company has asked Clatsop County officials to approve nearly 30 policy changes and permit requests to build the facility. (Oct 20)

Webmaster's Comments: When reading the article, note NorthernStar's misinformation that only FERC determines whether or not LNG projects are constructed.

Natural gas prices increase despite moderate weather & high storage levels —, Castle Rock, CO

Natural gas in storage as of Friday, October 12, was 3,375 Bcf, which is 6.7 percent above the 5-year average. Despite the seemingly favorable supply conditions and little weather-related natural gas demand, natural gas prices continued their upward movement of the past 6 weeks.

Recent LNG imports are substantially lower than earlier this year, when at times they averaged more than 3 Bcf per day.

The reduction in U.S. LNG imports reflects changes in LNG supply and demand across the world.  Global LNG supplies appear adversely affected by several producers experiencing difficulties maintaining full production levels. (Oct 18)

Webmaster's Comments: The US has a high supply of natural gas in storage, but high prices. And yet, LNG promoters want the public to believe that importing more LNG will reduce natural gas prices.

Gulf-Times (Qatar): ‘Gas OPEC’ least of consumers’ worries — /, New York, NY

This article discusses the rising costs to the natural gas and LNG industry. (Apr 8)

Webmaster's Comments: The URL to the above article contains characters that do not comply with the Web URL standard; therefore, here's a text version of the link as provided by the source. Try copying it and pasting it into a separate Web Browser window.‘gas-opec’-least-of-consumers’-worries/

Concerns rising over Qatar's future gas output - Report — Zawya, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Concerns are growing that the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas won't be able to increase daily gas export production beyond 2011, The Financial Times reports Tuesday, citing senior businessmen involved in Qatar's gas production.

The Qatari government has put a moratorium on further expansion of LNG and other gas products in 2005 after discovering that the giant offshore natural gas North Field may not be geologically sound enough to allow for further expansion. (Oct 16)

Crude oil: Super-spike ahead? — The Hindu Business Line, Chennai, India

The major oilfields have been extensively drilled and so the uncertainty regarding the oil reserve estimates is limited. It is in the estimation of natural gas that there is a large uncertainty as very little drilling and almost no independent verifications have been done. The data regarding gas fields are so sketchy that they make the figures on oilfields look pristine. So, at this point, one is just "assuming" that the gas is there. The issue associated with the world's largest gas field, that is, the North Field is a case in point. (2006 Sep 26)


19 October 2007

Islanders raise funds for LNG fight — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

DEER ISLAND — People on Deer Island raised almost $1,400 this week for the fight against liquefied natural gas developments in Passamaquoddy Bay. On Tuesday, Oct. 16, proprietors of The 45th Parallel Restaurant, Diane and Janice Bustin, hosted a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and held a 50/50 draw to raise money.

Quoddy Bay LNG requests delay in state application process — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

"Until Quoddy Bay is more confident in what the Coast Guard will recommend, Quoddy Bay will be unable to provide specific information on the potential environmental impacts associated with those recommendations," Grimes wrote. (Oct 12)

Webmaster's Comments: The Coast Guard hasn't made recommendations, since the Coast Guard is still waiting for Quoddy Bay LNG to provide the Waterway Suitability information that the Coast Guard has requested from them.

LNG pipeline route through refuge denied — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

The U.S. Department of the Interior officially denied Downeast LNG's proposed natural gas pipeline route through Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge on September 27.

Attorney Manahan notes in his letter to the Maine BEP that, as required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission permitting process, Downeast LNG had previously submitted multiple alternative routes and had designated what they called Option 4 as the best route -- the rejected route. The other route options still exist in their FERC application docket. (Oct 12)

Developers, opponents debate results of Canadian LNG study — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

"It's a political decision by Canada to say these risks are unacceptable," [Jessie] Davies says, noting that the government consulted with its own experts and looked at the biological status of the bay, in addition to considering the study. Referring to the Canadian government's decision to refuse to allow LNG vessels through Head Harbour Passage, she says, "That's the end of the story. No means no." She maintains that "Dean Girdis is grasping at straws" to keep the funding by Downeast LNG's investors. (Oct 12)

Webmaster's Comments: This is a non-story, since Canada has made its decision based on multiple sources of information, and is not willing to allow the risk.

Dean Girdis continues to ignore that…

  • The US can prohibit LNG tankers from transiting into Passamaquoddy Bay, via the US Coast Guard's Waterway Suitability Report and Letter of Recommendation that are part of FERC's LNG terminal permitting requirements — the US claims the right to deny innocent passage for LNG ships;
  • Since the US can restrict LNG transits in Canadian waters, then Canada — and equal sovereign — has that same right.

Girdis's argument to the contrary is hypocritical and hollow.

Alaska can export LNG to Pacific Rim - BG Group — Reuters

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Oct 18 (Reuters) — Prospects for liquefying North Slope natural gas and shipping it by tanker to Pacific Rim markets may be better than those for a big pipeline to the United States, a BG Group Plc executive said on Thursday.

David Keane, vice president for policy and corporate affairs with the North American arm of the Britain-based gas producer, broke with Alaska energy-industry convention by touting the potential for a liquefied natural gas project to commercialize the North Slope's vast stores of natural gas.

"We should not and must not focus solely (on) U.S. markets," he said in a speech to the Arctic Energy Summit, a four-day conference in Anchorage. (Oct 18)

Webmaster's Comments: Apparently BG believes that the US doesn't need additional natural gas as desperately as some industry advocates claim.

Candidates wrap up debate marathon — Ventura County Reporter, Ventura, CA

No support for liquefied natural gas proposal

The event marks the first time any politician from the city of Ventura has spoken publicly in the long simmering debate over the construction of LNG facilities in coastal waters. (Oct 18)

NERC: Over reliance on natural gas raises concern in the United States — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

According to NERC's press release, several regions in the U.S. are overly dependent on natural gas and LNG imports for electricity generation,  potentially exposing these markets to global risk factors. (Oct 17)

US LNG imports up in first half of October as European prices sag — Platts

Liquefied natural gas cargo volumes slated to arrive in the US during roughly the first half of October are up 23% compared with the same period in September, according to analysis of updated shipping data. (Oct 18)

Webmaster's Comments: This report appears to conflict with the Reuters report from Oct 17, "Strong Asia demand again slows U.S. LNG import." This is the second time in about a month where such conflicting reports surfaced.

‘Gas runs out in 12 yrs’ — Newsday, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Seepersad-Bachan, the former chairman of the National Petroleum Company, said that at the rate of using 1.2 trillion (TCF) per year, the country’s reserves had dropped from lasting 16 years to 12 years.

Webmaster's Comments: Quoddy Bay LNG's Donald Smith and Brian Smith claim that they'll be obtaining their 50-year project supply of LNG from Trinidad and Tobago.

Compressed natural gas: Monetizing stranded gas — Energy Tribune, Houston, TX

LNG, an effective means of long-distance gas transport, accounts for about 25 percent of the world’s gas movement. But LNG projects require large investments along with substantial natural gas reserves, and are only economically viable for long distances, e.g., 2,500 miles or longer. CNG technology provides an effective way for short-distance gas transport. The technology is aimed at monetizing offshore reserves that cannot be produced because of pipeline unavailability or prohibitive LNG costs. This article provides an overview of the three most common natural gas transmission technologies and evaluates their technical and economic aspects. Economic evaluations include total cost estimates, transportation costs for a range of gas export volumes, and the given market distance. (Oct 18)


18 October 2007

Perry Planning Board pitches for funds, strikes out — WQDY-FM, Calais, ME

"We need a lawyer because we are revising and updating the land-use and development ordinances from 1987. We need advice on how to do that. We can get some advice from Judy East [Washington County Council of Governments], we also need the advice of a land-use lawyer," she said.

"The second thing we need legal counsel for if and when an application comes from Quoddy Bay LNG to the planning board, we have never dealt with an issue of this magnitude. We are going to need help. We are asking the for that help today, Asante said.

Keltic releases final report on Goldboro LNG terminal — The Daily News, Halifax, NS

Chantal Gagnon, a spokeswoman with the Ecology Action Centre, said they're concerned about mercury and arsenic tailings left in the harbour from previous gold mining activity that would be disturbed during the plant's construction.

Public comments on the report may be made until Nov. 14, at which point regulators will make their recommendations to Ottawa.

Legislators oppose Safe Harbor LNG plan — Energy Current, Houston, TX

In a letter to New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, David Mejias of North Massapequa, Jeff Toback of Oceanside, Dave Denenberg of Merrick and Kevan Abrahams of Hempstead, said the project "will pave over 116 acres of the ocean floor, kill all marine life in the area, permanently scar the landscape off Long Island, and bring NO new supply of natural gas to Long Island or New York State, and NO economic benefit or relief to Long Island ratepayers. (Oct 17)

Court will hear Delaware-New Jersey dispute over LNG project — AP, Newsday, New York, NY

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear from lawyers for Delaware and New Jersey in the states' legal dispute over plans for a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Delaware River. (Oct 15)

Alaska tax structure threatens LNG project — Energy Current, Houston, TX

Under the existing tax structure, the state's prevailing value for North Slope gas is based on oil prices, or 10 percent of the current market price. The existing petroleum production tax (PPT) for North Slope gas is 22.5 percent of the fluctuating market value. (Oct 17)

Islanders deserve LNG input [Opinion] — The Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

Asked by one resident if WestPac would withdraw its application to build and operate the terminal if islanders were opposed, company president Mark Butler said he would not withdraw, but would leave the outcome to provincial and federal approving authorities. (Oct 17)

Webmaster's Comments: LNG developers seem to be the same nearly everywhere — if a community supports the project, then its opinion counts; if a community opposes the project, its opinion is meaningless unless it can somehow be bribed or wheedled into project support.

A singular exception seems to be the Cianbro LNG proposal for the village of Corea in South Gouldsboro, Maine. When the community opposed the project, as they promised they would do, Cianbro left.

Critics in for tough battle — The Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

The issue in Powell River is "can industry, with government holding its hand, trample on the rights of communities, just because those communities happen to be small?" (Oct 3)

Texada group demands referendum — The Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

Members of an old organization that has new life will prepare a referendum question about a proposed liquefied natural gas facility and power plant on Texada Island. (Sep 20)

LNG draws island ire — The Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

Proponents of a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility and power plant faced a roomful of angry, scornful and skeptical Texada Island residents for the first public meeting about the $2 billion project. (Sep 13)

Proposed LNG plant in traditional lands — The Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

Chief Walter Paul of the Tla'Amin (Sliammon) First Nation is keeping a very close watch on plans and developments for a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on the northern tip of Texada Island. WestPac LNG Corporation intends to liquefy natural gas for shipment and operate a natural gas-fired power plant by 2013.

"This property is in the heart of our traditional territory. We do have aboriginal rights and title and need to be accommodated in this." Paul said archeological studies show evidence of a Tla'Amin village in the area and said his community fishes for sockeye off Kiddie Point, at the north end of Texada. This is the property for which WestPac has acquired a long-term lease in anticipation of building the LNG operation. (Aug 9)

Texada target of liquid natural gas plan — The Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

This article contains a WestPac news release providing considerable detail about the proposed project. (Jul 31)

Officials divided on LNG question — The Daily News, Longview, WA

NorthernStar has asked Clatsop County to approve nearly 30 land-use regulation changes to make way for its terminal. The county commissioners are expected to decide the matter this fall.

Specifically, the report recommends that the commissioners deny seven of NorthernStar's requests, including changing the property's land-use designations and finding that the company's plans are in compliance with county and state environmental and land-use standards. Tuesday's report also recommends against issuing a conditional use permit to dredge the river so that large tankers can maneuver near the terminal. The community development staff had recommended against issuing the permit in June, saying that dredging was not permitted as a conditional use under the county's zoning ordinances. (Oct 17)

Planning commission still says no to LNG project — Energy Current, Houston, TX

The LNG project would require dredging 58 acres of salmon habitat - 46 acres of which is in an "aquatic conservation" zone - to create a turning basin for LNG delivery tankers; rezoning five acres of protected wetlands for industrial use at the terminal site; and installing two or three 14-story LNG storage tanks - each the diameter of a football field - for a facility that some say stretches the county's definition of "small- to medium-sized development," which is the limit set for all projects at Bradwood. (Oct 17)

LNG newspaper article misses bigger picture, CLNG says — Energy Current, Houston, TX

In the Sept. 23 article, the newspaper reported that the terminal would receive LNG from overseas via tanker, which would be injected into existing natural gas pipelines. This supply would contain higher levels of chemicals that produce nitrous oxide, which contributes to ozone pollution. Once the gas is imported to the U.S., it could considerably worsen air quality in southern California. (Oct 17)

Commission extends landowner notification requirements for certain interstate natural gas facilities [Press release] — Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

The rule requires natural gas companies to submit, after a compressor project is completed, a noise survey that demonstrates compliance with a noise level limit of 55 decibels at a noise- sensitive area when operating at full load. This is the same requirement applied to compressor facilities installed after case-specific certificate authority has been granted by the Commission.

Consumers would switch suppliers based on emissions: survey — Platts [Free registration required]

Almost 90% of consumers worldwide said they would switch energy providers to favor companies that offer products and services that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study released Wednesday by consulting firm Accenture. (Oct 17)

Strong Asia demand again slows U.S. LNG import — Reuters UK

"The flow of LNG into the U.S. has slowed to a trickle as the Asian market continues to absorb uncommitted volumes from Atlantic basin sources such as Trinidad, Egypt, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria," Waterborne Energy said in its latest report.

Waterborne also expects U.S. LNG imports to slip further in November as winter demand in Europe picks up. Preliminary estimates are down to about 35 bcf. (Oct 17)

U.S. LNG imports take bite out of Canada's natural gas sales — Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

Greg Stringham, vice-president with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said the surge in LNG imports was a temporary phenomenon, resulting from price disparity between North American markets and European ones that encouraged producers to ship to the U.S.

But he said the increase in natural gas imports from overseas contributed to a glut of natural gas in storage in the United States, which led to lower prices and fewer exports for traditional Canadian suppliers.

The U.S. has seen the expansion of three of five existing terminals that take liquefied natural gas off tankers and re-gasify it to be shipped to markets by pipeline. And construction is under way for four other terminals, with more planned, including several in Canada. (Oct 16)

USMMA receives LNG educational grant — Energy Current, Houston, TX

USA:  Lloyd's Register Educational Trust (LRET) last month donated US$375,000 to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), with US$225,000 of the funds earmarked to create a Simulation Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Tanker Operations at USMMA. The remaining US$150,000 will fund USMMA's new Master of Marine Engineering Program, a computer-based, distance learning program. (Oct 16)


12 October 2007

FCM support St. Andrews position on LNG — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

ST. ANDREWS — During their recent visit to the town, members of the board of directors of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities heard all about St. Andrews's fight against LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay.

Unstable mix: Politics and liquefied natural gas — The Tyee, Vancouver, BC

Federal Veterans Affairs Minister and New Brunswick Southwest MP Greg Thompson has joined local opposition in the fight to keep LNG shipments out of his province's Passamaquoddy Bay and Head Harbour Passage on the way to two proposed facilities in Maine. He has the support of the prime minister who brought the matter up with U.S. President George W. Bush during a recent summit. (Oct 11)

Grid drops upstate plans for LNG terminal — The Jamestown Press, Jamestown, RI

National Grid announced last week that it is dropping its plans for a court battle over using the KeySpan site in Providence for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) marine terminal. The company said it would continue looking for appropriate sources of LNG to serve its customers in Rhode Island and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Weavers Cove/ Hess in Falls River, Mass., is continuing to push for permits to build its LNG marine terminal there. Its latest efforts involve fighting sanctions by the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management and the National Park Service of the US Department of the Interior. (Oct 11)

Nassau, New Jersey pols protest gas plant plan — Newsday, New York, NY

Four Democratic Nassau County legislators are opposing construction of a liquid natural gas processing plant in the Atlantic Ocean south of Long Beach, although the proposal is viewed by some as a more palatable alternative to Broadwater Energy's in Long Island Sound.

County confident on LNG — The Daily Record, Baltimore, MD

Baltimore County believes case isn't yet ripe.

In a statement released through spokeswoman Ellen Kobler, County Executive James T. Smith Jr. questioned the environmental suitability of the project.

“We continue to pursue all legal avenues to fight for our citizens and prevent this facility from being sited in this environmentally fragile area that is very close to families,” he said. (Oct 9)

AES Ocean LNG remains hopeful on Bahamas project — Energy Current, Houston, TX

The AES Ocean LNG project includes an LNG import terminal and ancillary facilities, including an optional LNG removal plant, a seawater desalination plant, employee housing and associated facilities on South Bimini, and an undersea gas pipeline to the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary. The pipeline would interconnect at the EEZ boundary with another pipeline, extending to delivery points in Broward County, Fla. (Oct 11)

Interest holding in LNG — The Bahama Journal, Nassau, Bahamas

Mr. Samson explained that AES is interested in the Ocean Cay site because Florida is still growing rapidly and it needs supplies of natural gas and The Bahamas site is considered the best one to serve that market.

Shortly after coming to office in May, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham told reporters that LNG was not a focus of his administration. (Oct 10)

Gulf LNG Energy cleared to break ground — The Mississippi Press, Pascagoula, MS

The LNG plant will be built on 100 acres near the Bayou Casotte ship channel. (Oct 9)

Fisheries agency expresses concern over Bienville LNG project — Energy Current, Houston, TX

USA/GULF OF MEXICO:  The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has concluded that the proposed Bienville liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, if approved, could cause "significant direct and cumulative adverse impacts on marine fishery resources" in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. NMFS released its conclusion in a recent letter sent in response to a request for comments on the project's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) dated July 2007.

NMFS also expressed concern that issues it identified in scoping comments on the project have not received adequate consideration. NMFS previously pointed out that the project, if licensed as currently proposed, would allow the construction and operation of an LNG terminal that could have significant adverse impacts on NMFS trust resources.

The DEIS estimates that entrainment impacts could equal the harvest of more than 11,000 pounds of red snapper, a federally managed species under a rebuilding plan, and 600,000 pounds of Gulf menhaden, an important commercial and forage species. Entrainment and mortality estimates for ichthyoplankton should include ship cooling water and ballast operations and be scaled to evaluate impacts resulting from an ambient cycling rate of 151.7 million gallons/day. [Bold and red emphasis added.] (Oct 11)

Webmaster's Comments: The proposed Passamaquoddy Bay LNG projects' ballast uptake and engine cooling water would also entrain commercial and sport fish species, as well as important ichthyoplankton species, damaging the commercial fishery here, down the Maine coast, and in the Bay of Fundy.

This news story is evidence that scoping comments — even by other Federal agencies — don't always receive proper consideration by FERC.

Public has its say on LNG project — The Daily News, Longview, WA

Pam Allen would have two pipelines flanking her family's tree farm north of Lexington if NorthernStar gets its wish. Allen already lives with the KB natural gas pipeline, which runs along her north property line. She said the line shifted during landslides in 1992 and her family had to move its mobile home. The KB line has since been brought above ground near her 26 acres, she said. Four acres of her family's land, she said, were condemned during the reconstruction effort.

Allen said she simply wants to move and be done with the hassle, but nobody wants to buy the property because of the above-ground KB line nearby. "We've tried to sell it three times and we can't," she said. (Oct 11)

Natural gas supply good -- for now, but LNG terminal needed — AP, The Olympian, Olympia, WA

The executive director of the Northwest Gas Association, Dan Kirschner, predicts demand for natural gas in the Northwest will grow about 2 percent a year through 2012. To meet that demand, he says, the region likely will need a supply of liquefied natural gas from overseas. (Oct 11)

Wu seeks energy study to assess the need for LNG — The Daily News, Longview, WA

Greg Nothstein, an energy policy specialist for the Washington state Energy Policy Office, said he was not aware of any additional gas studies proposed for Washington as a result of NorthernStar's proposed terminal.

Still, he said, existing studies point to increasing northwest demand for natural gas.

"Everybody's forecast is just that --- it's a forecast, and it's quite prone to being wrong," Nothstein said. "The federal government's (reports) are wrong and sometimes they're right. You work off the best available information you have." [Red emphasis added.] (Oct 10)

County sets rules for next LNG gathering — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

It is one of five proposals for LNG terminals in Oregon and the one furthest ahead in its permitting process.

Proposed Oregon LNG online date delayed — Energy Current, Houston, TX

USA:  Oregon LNG CEO Peter Hansen told the Warrenton (Ore.) City Commission that the proposed Oregon liquefied natural gas (LNG) project could take 10 years to complete, pushing back the proposed date for operations start-up by two years to 2014, The Daily Astorian reports. (Oct 11)

LNG backers add details on tankers, deadlines — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

[Oregon LNG Chief Executive Officer Peter Hansen] told the Commission the project could take 10 years to complete, which would move the proposed online date back two years to 2014. (Oct 10)

PG&E looking to LNG to help meet California gas demand — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

PG&E has positioned itself to receive gas from the planned Connector Gas Pipeline designed to deliver gas from the proposed Jordan Cove LNG terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon.

LNG — déjà vu all over again [Editorial] — Ventura County Star, Camarillo, CA

Anti-LNG crowd rallies again — The Malibu Times, Malibu, CA

This was the second consecutive week a LNG facility scoping hearing took place in Southern California. One took place the previous week at Los Angeles International Airport for the OceanWay project, proposed for 21 miles off the coast from Point Dume. (Oct 10)

NATS predicts 2007 U.S. LNG imports less than expected — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

NATS reports that a steep drop in LNG activity and the negative price incentives embedded in the futures curves at present will likely prevent U.S. LNG imports from reaching the previously anticipated level of around 900 Bcf in 2007. (Oct 11)


9 October 2007

LNG report a victory for both sides — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

Developer says government report is clear: LNG tankers can transit Canadian passage

"We welcome the additional information that this report provides, and if those who oppose our project hope to use this report as justification for their position, it falls way, way short of the mark," he said.

Webmaster's Comments: Girdis conveniently ignores his violations of LNG industry standards (see SIGTTO) in selecting Passamaquoddy Bay for his proposal. Canada's decision is consistent with the safety standards of the LNG industry. The SENES report is merely additional information.

On the other hand, Girdis let the world know he was ignorant about LNG industry SIGTTO standards when he targeted Passamaquoddy Bay. He told the Bangor Daily News that the LNG industry SIGTTO standards don't apply to LNG terminals, and that they are laws. Both assertions are false.

LNG industry standards list several safety considerations in addition to LNG carrier navigation as reasons to avoid siting a terminal in inappropriate locations. Girdis wants the public to believe that merely navigating an LNG carrier into port without incident is all that's required.

Girdis, Quoddy Bay LNG's Don Smith and Brian Smith, and Northeast Energy's Ian Emery continue to hypocritically flout industry safety standards and community safety issues.

Canada maintains LNG tanker stance despite study — Energy Current, Houston, TX

CANADA:  The Canadian government will continue to insist that it would ban U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers from traversing Canadian waters ….

Use of the market software "National Manoeuvring Guidelines" supported Senes' concerns by clearly showing that the waterway at its narrowest point near the elbow is barely wide enough to support safe passage of this type of vessel in an autonomous way at normal manoeuvrability speed in light currents and mild winds."

"Given these findings, the transit of an LNG tanker similar to the sample vessel involves a considerable level of risk."

Senes also noted that the surrounding eco-system could be severely affected by the discharge of fuel of LNG from tankers. [Red and bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The SENES report apparently isn't as rosy towards LNG development as Girdis has indicated.

Ottawa unmoved by positive LNG study — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

"They may maintain their position on no transit but there is no law or regulation which restricts LNG traffic going through Head Harbour Passage," [Downeast LNG President Dean Girdis] said. "And according to our lawyers, it's clear that it is Canadian waters, but that you have right of passage through it."

"This particular location is not a smart location, it's not a safe location," [Canadian MP and Cabinet Member Greg Thompson] said. [Red emphasis added.] (Oct 6)

Webmaster's Comments: Girdis claims "…there is no law or regulation which restricts LNG traffic going through Head Harbour Passage." Really?

Girdis feigns ignorance of US Coast Guard (USCG) authority to prevent LNG transits through Head Harbour Passage, as provided by USCG LNG Waterway Suitability Assessment requirements.

Because US LNG regulation can prevent LNG transits through Canadian waters, it is obvious that Canada has the same right to prohibit LNG transits through those same Canadian waters. Girdis's claim is false, disingenuous, and hypocritical, and it appears that Girdis is even challenging the USCG's authority in this matter.

Irving protests proposed LNG pipeline route — Energy Current, Houston, TX

Irving claimed in the filing that the location of the pipeline unreasonably interferes with a substantial commercial and residential development.

Adding fuel to the fire — Newsday, New York, NY

"We have got to create energy," Shays said, adding that he was concerned about high energy costs. "I'm formally against Broadwater, but I'm becoming ashamed that I am."

[Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Farmingdale-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment stated], "I would say it was pathetic to see a congressman buckle under the weight of Shell Oil's lobbying," referring to one of Broadwater's parent companies. "He should be as brave as Congressman Israel is in standing up to them." (Oct 7)

Texada gas project raises safety fears [Opinion column] — The Tyee, Vancouver, BC

[S]afety is not a theoretical question. In 2004 an LNG facility in Algeria killed 27 and in July of 2004 an explosion in Belgium from a facility cast debris four miles; 15 people were killed, and 120 injured -- many severely burned. It caused a billion dollars damage.

This Texada Island proposal is not a NIMBY issue such as having a half-way house in a neighbourhood might be. This high risk issue goes to the very soul of their entire community. Don't be fooled by the statement that the risk is an "acceptable one." If a risk is not restrained by any time limit, it's no longer a risk but a certainty waiting to happen. [Bold emphasis added.] (Oct 8)

Bradwood Landing LNG meetings scheduled — Energy Current, Houston, TX

[This story references the information in the Oct 8 story in the Daily Astorian, just below.]

FERC opens door for public comments on Bradwood LNG — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff will hold a series of public meetings Nov. 6 to 8 in Oregon and Washington to take comments on the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project.

Houston-based NorthernStar Natural Gas Co. has proposed a $600 million LNG terminal and pipeline for a site 20 miles east of Astoria at Bradwood Landing.

In the [Environmental Impact Statement], FERC staff recommended 98 additional mitigation measures be taken by NorthernStar to offset the negative impacts of the facility. (Oct 8)

Clearwater Port LNG proposal may present environmental advantages — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

NorthernStar Natural Gas vice president Joe Desmond said that several design aspects of the company's Clearwater Port LNG proposal, including the use of ambient air to warm imported LNG, represent environmental advantages over other LNG projects offered for Southern California. (Oct 8)

Moot named Commission Chief of Staff, Marlette new General Counsel [News release] — FERC, Washington, DC

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher today announced the appointment of John S. Moot as the Commission’s Chief of Staff.

Most of US to see above-average temperatures this winter: NOAA — Platts [Registration required]

"La Nina is here, with a weak-to-moderate event likely to persist through the winter," Michael Halpert, head of forecast operations and acting deputy director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, said.

NOAA predicted that the upcoming winter will be 2.8% warmer than the 30-year norm, but 1.3% cooler than last year.

Webmaster's Comments: This story conflicts with the following Platts story. Is it going to be colder or warmer?

Americans likely to spend 10% more to heat homes this winter: EIA — Platts [Registration required]

EIA's projections are based in part on the US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's most recent weather forecast, which forecasts this winter's weather in the US to 4% colder than last winter. The colder weather is expected to increase consumption compared with last year, EIA noted. [Bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: This story conflicts with the above Platts story. Is it going to be colder or warmer?


8 October 2007

INTERVIEW-Sempra CFO sees dip in LNG terminal build — Reuters UK

NEW YORK, Oct 5 (Reuters) — Enough LNG terminals are operating in the United States and soon coming online to handle expected imports of the super-cooled gas, likely causing a standstill to new construction, said Sempra Energy's Chief Financial Officer on Friday.

"I would say through 2015, I would be surprised if there is (sic) any new LNG receiving facilities built in the United States except those under construction right now," CFO Mark Snell told Reuters in an interview. [Red emphasis added.] (Oct 5)

Fisheries agency opposes LNG plant off Gulf Coast — The Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery, AL

MOBILE -- A federal fisheries agency opposes a proposed liquefied natural gas import terminal 62 miles south of Dauphin Island, saying it could cause significant adverse impacts in the Gulf of Mexico.

El Paso seeks suppliers before building Mexico LNG terminal — CNN Money

[Robert Perez, the head of El Paso's Mexico operations,] said U.S.-based El Paso has to find suppliers before going ahead with construction of the planned terminal in the state of Sonora. El Paso received environmental permits for the terminal in 2006. (Oct 4)

Smoke from LNG plant could give you cancer —, Kirkenes, Norway

StatoilHydro’s Melkøya LNG plant in Hammerfest on the Barents Sea coast is producing smoke, which is harmful to the health of locals, the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) concludes. The control authority now demands an explanation from the petroleum major.

Now, controls show that the soot also could be harmful to people’s health. (Oct 4)


5 October 2007

St. Andrews mayor remains ready to fight — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

"We won't be letting our guard down, we are going to keep fighting," he said. "It is clear that this issue is not going to go away unless his investors get tired of throwing their money away. Saying all this, he will not be allowed through Head Harbour Passage with any LNG tanker because Canada won't allow it. This is sovereign Canadian waters and our prime minister has made this very clear to his president."

On Tuesday, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service announced it had rejected Downeast LNG's plans to build a 50-kilometre pipeline through the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. Since the company is no longer allowed to build its pipeline through the proposed route, its application for a permit from the Maine Board of Environmental Protection is no longer valid. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The information regarding permit validity — based on statements to the reporter by Downeast LNG — is incorrect. The Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) has made no such decision. It should also be noted that Downeast LNG (DeLNG) never "was allowed" — never had the right — to run their pipeline through Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. DeLNG had merely proposed to do so. The US Government's denial of DeLNG's request to go through the refuge illustrates that the right never existed.

Only the BEP has the power to decide whether or not the permitting process is valid; developer Girdis and company certainly doesn't have that authority — that's why DeLNG is called the "applicant" and not the "permitting agency."

LNG plan stumbles — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

[Fed] rejects pipeline route

In a press release issued this week, Girdis said, "We advised the Maine BEP (Board of Environmental Protection) in our permit applications and again several weeks ago that we had not resolved issues with the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. We are confident that over the next few months we can work out an alternative pipeline route and refile our application. Last month the Maine BEP refused to allow Downeast to withdraw its applications even though the Moosehorn issue was unresolved and there was additional information from state agencies that the company felt should be included with its application."

Webmaster's Comments: [This story and the subheadline confused what actual agency rejected the pipeline route through Moosehorn. The subhead and linked story contain edits (marked in red), correcting the errors, along with footnotes giving the original content.]

Girdis admits that Downeast LNG didn't have its act together — that they didn't have access for their pipeline route [among many other deficiencies] — prior to applying for their state permits. Girdis was indiligent, but now boasts that he'll get a "do over" from the state. And yet, after failing four previous times, Girdis failed a fifth do-over request in September, and now expects to try for a sixth!

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." — Benjamin Franklin

LNG developers buoyed by release of Canadian LNG study — WQDY-FM, Calais, ME

Girdis said he thought the report was good from their perspective, "to see that there is nothing in the report that suggests that LNG ships cannot travel safely through the passage. We welcome the additional information that this report provides, and if those who oppose our project hope to use this report as justification for their position, it falls way, way short of the mark."

Webmaster's Comments: The report is a non-story. Canada's refusal to allow LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay are most certainly based on numerous factors, not simply on a single study. For instance…

  1. The LNG industry's own standards (see SIGTTO) provide tens of standards violations resulting from Girdis's and the other local LNG proposed terminals — a fact that Girdis failed to investigate prior to his site selection. In fact, when first confronted by this issue, Girdis falsely stated to the Bangor Daily News that the industry standards don't apply to LNG terminals, and that those standards are "laws." Girdis was surprisingly naive and indiligent in doing his groundwork.
  2. The LNG projects risk Canadian lives on Canadian soil and in Canadian waters.
  3. The LNG projects would harm the Canadian economy around Passamaquoddy Bay.

And, Canada is not answerable to Girdis, FERC, or the US Government; it is a sovereign nation equal to the United States. Canada has as much right to deny LNG vessels in Canadian waters as does the US Government — US regulations give the US Coast Guard the right to deny LNG vessel transits in those same Canadian waters. Equal sovereigns means equal rights.*

DeLNG's Dean Girdis and Rob Wyatt, QBLNG's Brian Smith and Don Smith, and Northeast Energy's Ian Emery are well aware that the US Coast Guard has the power to deny LNG transits, revoking "innocent passage." Instead of facing this fact like honest and reasonable businessmen, Girdis, Wyatt, the Smiths, and Emery are hypocritically "grandstanding" in the media.

Canada has made its final decision against LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay, and has conveyed that decision to President Bush. The result is clear: Girdis may say whatever he wants, but with the sovereign rejection by Canada, these LNG proposals for Passamaquoddy Bay are wasting their time and money.

* The US Coast Guard, via the "Waterway Suitability Assessment" and the "Waterway Suitability Letter of Recommendation" opposed to or in favor of LNG terminal permitting in the FERC process, has the power to prevent LNG ship transits in Head Harbour Passage, in the rest of Passamaquoddy Bay, and in Grand Manan Channel — revoking "innocent passage."

Irving opposes pipeline route — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Portions of the proposed route along land the company owns in the Red Head area could interfere with its plans for a possible second oil refinery, said spokeswoman Jennifer Parker.

Irving Oil does not oppose the pipeline, she stressed. "We do plan to use that pipeline as part owners of Canaport LNG to reach customers in the future.

"It's simply a matter of making sure we use this process to ensure that other energy projects, like a second refinery, aren't impacted."

OSG, Petrobras agree to U.S. flag shuttle tanker deal — Energy Current, Houston, TX

"We are the first U.S. owner and builder entering the new and exciting shuttle tanker market where growth prospects are seen as very strong. This is an important strategic milestone for Aker American Shipping and is another example of how we are reinventing and reinvigorating the US Jones Act market. Since we began building ships in Philadelphia in 2000 we have been the first to construct containerships, product tankers, and now shuttle tankers."

Webmaster's Comments: The Jones Act prohibits foreign-built ships from transiting between US ports without first stopping at a foreign port. Aker American Shipping, building ships in the US, allows their own ships to transit directly between US ports.

Federal agency rips LNG terminal plans — Press-Register, Mobile, AL

A key federal agency has come out against a proposed liquefied natural gas import terminal 62 miles south of Dauphin Island, arguing that the facility could cause "significant adverse impacts" in the Gulf and result in an "inappropriate" use of public resources to benefit a private corporation.

Occidental Ingleside LNG to get 15% of supply from Nigeria — CNN Money

The terminal is designed to supply 1 billion cubic feet a day to consumers in Texas, which accounts for 16% of U.S. natural gas demand. (Oct 4)

Webmaster's Comments: This Texas company is wooing LNG from Nigeria and Algeria. That's an indication that the Passamaquoddy Bay LNG proposals also might need to import from those parts of the world.

El Paso seeks suppliers before building Mexico LNG terminal — CNN Money

The project is designed to supply the Mexican natural gas market. (Oct 4)


4 October 2007

St. Andrews Mayor weighs in on DELNG, developer responds — WQDY-FM, Calais, ME

"The greatest concern I have is that I believe the people of Washington County take offense of Canadian officials dictating what type of economic development can occur on the Maine border. I think that's within the purview of Maine, Mainers and the Maine government and people of Washington County make that determination, not the Canadian government," Girdis said.

Webmaster's Comments: Dean Girdis has appointed himself representative of Washington County, Mainers, and Maine government; however, everyone else was taught that such representation requires Maine citizenship and an election.

Girdis's pretension extends even further

Girdis and the other LNG developers in Passamaquoddy Bay are well aware that even the US LNG terminal permitting process has the power to revoke LNG "innocent passage." The Coast Guard's "Waterway Suitability Assessment" determines whether or not LNG ships can transit a project-related waterway.

In this case, DeLNG's Dean Girdis and Rob Wyatt, QBLNG's Don Smith and Brian Smith, and the US State Department claim that only the US can revoke innocent passage — in Canada, no less — but that Canada doesn't have that same right. If one sovereign (the US) has the authority to revoke LNG vessel "innocent passage," then so does any other sovereign (Canada). Canada has clearly and resolutely decided that it will prevent LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay, just as the US can prevent those same LNG transits in those same waters.

Hypocrisy flows from the mouths of Dean Girdis, Rob Wyatt, and Don and Brian Smith.

Canada releases report outlining concerns over LNG tanker traffic — Platts [Registration required]

LNG tanker transit therefore "involves a considerable level of risk," particularly near the Old Sow turn "where the risk factor is approximately double the average risk for the whole transit," the study said.

Webmaster's Comments: Canada has made its decision. LNG transits will not be allowed into Passamaquoddy Bay.

Downeast LNG chooses new pipeline route — WCSH-TV, Portland, ME

Downeast LNG announced last month it had withdrawn its pending application with the Maine Board of Environmental Protection. It said it expected to refile by year's end and that the withdrawal would not affect the timetable for the project.

Webmaster's Comments: Weren't Downeast LNG's Girdis and Wyatt, and their Pierce Atwood attorney Matt Manahan at the Maine Board of Environmental Protection hearing when the Board denied DeLNG's attempt to withdraw their applications? The BEP application process for the DeLNG proposal will continue to its conclusion.

Canada's NEB seeks input on environmental review for LNG pipeline — Platts [Registration required]

Canada's National Energy Board is seeking public input on the scope of the environmental assessment for the proposed EasternAccess Pipeline that would transport liquefied natural gas from a planned 500,000 Mcf/d liquefied natural gas terminal in Cacouna, Quebec, to markets in Quebec, Ontario and the US Northeast. (Oct 3)

Opponents jam public hearings on LNG facility — Ventura County Star, Camarillo, CA

Three blue whales have died in the Santa Barbara Channel in less than a month. Two died in collisions with ships, and officials strongly suspect that was the cause in the third death.

Nationwide economic growth to 2025 will require a 40 percent increase in natural gas supplies, Armendariz said, quoting U.S. Department of Energy estimates.

"And yet the United States has only four ports that can handle LNG shipments — the same number as South Korea," [Carpinteria Councilman Joe Armendariz] said.

Webmaster's Comments: Armendariz needs to count again: there are currently five operating LNG import terminals in the lower 48 states: (1) Everett, MA, (2) Cove Point, MD, (3) Elba Island, GA, (4) Lake Charles, LA, (5) and Gulf Gateway Energy Bridge, 116 miles offshore from Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico.

Malibu city officials spurned in LNG process — The Malibu Times, Malibu, CA

Mayor Pro Tem Pamela Conley Ulich and Council-member Andy Stern blasted a city of Los Angeles official last Wednesday at a hearing at the LAX Marriot for failing to notify anybody in Malibu about the session on the proposed OceanWay liquefied natural gas facility. (Oct 3)

FERC approves North Baja gas pipeline expansion — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

FERC announced Tuesday that it has approved the expansion of North Baja Gas Pipeline, which was designed to allow the transportation of natural gas from the Energia Costa Azul LNG terminal in Mexico to gas consumers in California.

FERC approves North Baja Pipeline expansion — Energy Current, Houston, TX

USA: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Oct. 3 awarded to North Baja Pipeline LLC certificates and permit authorizing the construction and operation of facilities that will import natural gas from Mexico at Yuma, Arizona, and Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.

Soft dollar may make it tougher for US to win spot LNG cargoes — Platts [Registration required]

[T]he recent rate hike by the Federal Reserve Bank sent the dollar to new lows against many major currencies, making it more expensive to import products, such as LNG.

The weaker dollar could also make it harder for liquefaction plants that are targeting the US customer to move ahead, Van Atta said.

Shell Oil may have spurred Gulf quake — Pure Energy Systems News, Eagle Mountain, UT

Extraction of oil, gas, and brines can trigger earth movements.  The epicenter of the 5.2 earthquake on Feb. 10 coincides with Shell Oil's Brutus field.  Could the Gulf Coast be priming for an Aceh-like tsunami? (2006 Feb 14)


3 October 2007

Parallel 44: For LNG, Maine is the end of the line — The Working Waterfront, Rockland, ME

"The process has become like water: it's trying to seek the path of least resistance on its way to the bottom," says George Finch, city manager of Eastport, which borders the Pleasant Point site.

Says Dean Girdis, president of Downeast LNG, the company behind the Robbinston proposal, "I wouldn't want to site anything in a community that doesn't want it." [Red emphasis added.] (Oct issue)

Webmaster's Comments: Dean Girdis is disingenuous. He pretends to be oblivious to the vast majority of Passamaquoddy Bay community residents opposed to his proposed terminal.

Downeast LNG pipeline route denied through refuge — WQDY-FM, Calais, ME

"They've got alternative routes but that doesn't mean those are any more acceptable than this one was. Moosehorn had the ability to say no in this case, but apparently that was what [DeLNG] felt was the best route so I'd say, well, if these other routes aren't as good as that one and that one isn't acceptable, that the others are probably less acceptable," Godfrey said.

"As they always do, they are now indicating that this isn't significant, but in fact it is significant. I don't see this helping them at all," he added.

Downeast LNG's U.S. pipeline route rejected — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

"They (Downeast LNG) assumed Washington County would roll over and play dead and regulatory agencies would just approve them. And that didn't happen and that's a good thing," said Janice Harvey, member of [Save Passamaquoddy Bay].

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service determines section of Downeast LNG's pipeline route through Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge is not appropriate [News Release] — Maine News Direct,, Portland, ME

"We advised the Maine BEP in our permit applications and again several weeks ago that we had not resolved issues with the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge," said company president Dean Girdis. [Red emphasis added.] (Oct 2)

Webmaster's Comments: DeLNG President Dean Girdis admits that he hadn't performed his due diligence, but filed an application with the state, anyway.

Firm cites federal denial of bid to run pipeline through wildlife refuge — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

"These issues can and will be resolved," company president Dean Girdis said in a statement. "We are continuing to work on all of the important steps involved in getting this project approved and built."

Webmaster's Comments: DeLNG President Dean Girdis didn't see fit to "work on all of the important steps involved" before entering the permitting process, even though he has known for years what would be required.

Rabaska gets a No from agriculture land body — The Gazette, Montréal, QC

QUEBEC — The provincial body that governs the rezoning of agricultural land has turned thumbs-down on a controversial proposed liquified natural gas port planned for the south shore of the St. Lawrence River across from Quebec City. (Oct 1)

2 unions back LNG plan by Weaver’s Cove — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

Weaver’s Cove proposed building the terminal in 2003, but it has been widely opposed by elected officials in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as well as citizens groups and organizations in both states. (Oct 2)

Webmaster's Comments: To paraphrase a Yahoo Groups: LNG Safety comment by Cliff Goudey in response to this news:

'Their decision to voice their support makes me wonder if they might happily assist in the construction of their own gallows.'

National Grid ends bid to build LNG terminal in Providence — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

“Clearly, all the evidence pointed to the fact that the Providence River is not the place for LNG tankers,” U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy said, in a statement. “The company’s ability to recognize the unfeasibility of this project and proceed on the side of what’s best for the area is a testament to its role as a community-minded business, concerned about the quality of life of all Rhode Islanders.”

In 2003, KeySpan proposed upgrading the facility so that it could accept deliveries by tankers. That would have allowed the facility to supply gas to a regional pipeline year-round. The company said it was the best location on the East Coast for such a facility because it already had a dock and a storage tank in place, and no dredging of Narragansett Bay would be required.

[Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch] had said he wasn’t ready to celebrate yet because he is still fighting another LNG proposal — this one by Weaver’s Cove Energy, which wants to build a new terminal in Fall River. That project received conditional approval from FERC, but the Coast Guard has raised questions about the safety of tanker transits to that terminal. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Q: How could Downeast LNG's Dean Girdis have claimed that Mill Cove in Robbinston, Maine, was the best LNG terminal location on the Northeast Coast, when Keyspan claimed that the Fall River, Massachusetts, site was the best location? A: They were both wrong.

Del. asks court to uphold LNG finding — Gloucester County Times, Woodbury, NJ

The State of Delaware has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a preliminary finding which would essentially allow the state to veto BP's planned liquefied natural gas facility in Logan Township.

Earlier this year, a Supreme Court-appointed fact-finder, or "special master," found that while each state has jurisdiction over construction on its side of the river, Delaware has police powers in its own waterways and could essentially veto the project. (Oct 2)

Training contract — The Daily News, Halifax, NS

TRAINING CONTRACT: Texas-based Golden Pass LNG Terminal LLC recently awarded a training contract to partners Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia Community College and LearnCorp International.

LNG hearings coming up — The Malibu Times, Malibu, CA

The U.S. Maritime Administration [MARAD] is holding a preliminary public hearing this week on Wednesday for the proposed Oceanway liquefied natural gas facility, which would be located more than 20 miles off Malibu. (Oct 2)

Process for new LNG terminal starts — Ventura County Star, Camarillo, CA

Houston-based NorthernStar Natural Gas wants to convert an oil platform 12.6 miles off the coast of Oxnard to accept [liquefied] natural gas from various companies, convert it to vapor and send it ashore via an undersea, 36-inch-diameter pipeline.

It is the second such project that has been proposed.

Earlier this year, two state commissions and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected a natural gas terminal proposed by Australian mining firm BHP Billiton, citing problems with air pollution and effects on global warming. (Oct 2)

U.S. LNG imports in Oct seen down from Sept — Reuters UK

NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters) — Liquefied natural gas imports to the United States were expected to slide further in October, as steady demand from the Far East and early buying from Europe soak up more spot supplies, according to estimates by a Houston-based consulting firm. (Oct 1)


2 October 2007

Downeast LNG pipeline route, land use denied — Energy Current, Houston, TX

USA:  The U.S. Department of the Interior on Sept. 27 officially denied Downeast LNG's proposed natural gas pipeline route through [Moosehorn] National Wildlife Refuge, which would transport gas for the proposed Downeast liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Maine, reports Save Passamaquoddy Bay, a group of citizens from the U.S., Canada and the Passamaquoddy tribe who oppose LNG facilities in Passamaquoddy Bay.

The decision is the second setback the project has faced recently. Maine's Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) on Sept. 20 denied Downeast LNG's request to withdraw its application from the state of Maine permitting process for the project.  BEP voted 5-3 to reject the request by Downeast LNG to withdraw the application and later resubmit it with additional information. BEP will release its decision next year as planned.

UPDATE: Blast area neighbors return — Portland Press Herald, Portland, ME

SOUTH PORTLAND — Residents of a Knightville neighborhood were trying to get back to their normal lives Tuesday, a day after a natural gas explosion leveled a vacant house and prompted the evacuation of the area.

Webmaster's Comments: There is a gas pipeline "incident" once every three days in the US.


1 October 2007

US Fish & Wildlife denies DeLNG pipeline route through Moosehorn NWR — FERC Docket No. CP07-53

The determination of your "Application Request for a Right-of-Way Affecting Lands of the Moosehom (sic) National Wildlife Refuge, Baring Division," dated January 25, 2007, as it relates to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Policy of Appropriate Use (603 FW 1), has been made. The finding is that Option 4 is "Not Appropriate."

Many of the refuge's concerns, which were expressed in the Service's October 18, 2006 letter to Ms. Salas, FERC, have not been incorporated in the final application documents such as the refuge construction windows, incomplete draft resources reports, development of shorter options, comparison of wildlife impacts along all proposed routes and a discussion of winter construction concerns. The refuge has reviewed all appllcation (sic) materlaIs (sic) with the State of Maine, reviewed the State's concerns, and has concluded that Option Four is not appropriate for the refuge.

Webmaster's Comments: Downeast LNG has (again) demonstrated that it did not perform its due diligence — this time, for Federal pipeline permitting.

Ruling allows tribal group to proceed with lawsuit against BIA — Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

BIA sought to have NN's case dismissed, and the district court granted the motion. The district court based its decision in large part on BIA's assertion that the lease was conditioned on completion of appropriate studies in the course of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing process.

In their arguments before the court of appeals, however, BIA changed its story and conceded that the lease was in fact final. [Bold and red emphasis added.] (Sep 28)

Webmaster's Comments: Finality of approval allows NN to sue BIA for abrogation of its statutory obligations.

Downeast LNG request to refile denied by BEP — Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

BEP approves Quoddy Bay LNG intervenors — Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

Weaver's Cove LNG project faces legislative hurdle — Energy Current, Houston, TX

The Weaver's Cove LNG project already faced two setbacks earlier this year. In May, the U.S. Coast Guard cited concerns about navigational safety, security and environmental concerns in a preliminary assessment letter. In August, Rhode Island officials rejected plans by Weaver's Cove to dredge Mount Hope Bay so tanker ships could reach the terminal.

Developer of Fall River LNG terminal faces setback — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

A recent National Park Service draft report warned that the LNG project, called the Weaver's Cove Energy project, "could be in conflict" with a wild and scenic designation for the lower river. Dredging for the project could harm fishing resources, the study said. (Sep 30)

Fall River LNG terminal developers face hurdle in Congress — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

The rest of the river has been covered by such protections since 2000. (Sep 29)

Only room for one terminal: Gaz Met — The Gazette, Montréal, QC

Issues of supply and demand make construction of two new, competing liquefied natural-gas terminals along the St. Lawrence River unlikely, says the president of Gaz Métro, a partner in one of the proposals. (Sep 28)

LNG decision falls on county's shoulder — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Staff has twice recommended denial of the rezoning requests.

Webmaster's Comments: Why would the Planning Commission vote against the recommendations of the staff?

LNG decision advances to Clatsop County commissioners; meeting planned Oct. 22 — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

County planners split 4-3 over LNG action Friday

During a Planning Commission discussion following Friday's vote, [Planning Commissioner Bill Harris] said information was left out of the deliberations. He said that information was necessary to make an informed decision about the terminal. He said the commission hadn't received copies of the U.S. Coast Guard report concerning what would be necessary for escorting tankers in and out of the Columbia River. He was concerned about how much time and effort the Coast Guard would use on the tankers.

"I want to know how much taxpayers are going to be strapped with additional Coast Guard services to provide for a specific item," he said. (Sep 28)

Wu asks state to assess gas needs before LNG sites are approved — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

U.S. Rep David Wu, who represents the greater Astoria area, has called on state authorities to find out if the gas is needed before any terminals are approved.

LNG is controversial on the East and Gulf coasts, where terminals exist, and in California, where others are proposed. Federal authorities in New England have reportedly declined to conduct needs assessments for single states. [Red emphasis added.] (Sep 27)

Report: U.S. LNG regas volume falls to lowest level since February — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Although LNG imports declined in September and are expected to remain weak for the balance of 2007, the year's LNG imports through the month of September have already surpassed the previous annual import record, set in 2004.

Analysis: Gas prices are only one factor affecting LNG cargo destinations — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Analysts with Barclays Capital released a report Friday that concludes that U.S. gas prices are not the sole factor determining the final delivery destinations for LNG cargos.

U.S. Senate considers Law of the Sea convention — Energy Current, Houston, TX

USA:  The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard testimony on Sept. 27 from government officials concerning the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and whether the U.S. should ratify the convention.  Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England and Admiral Patrick M. Walsh, U.S. Navy Vice Chief of Naval Operations, all testified in favor of ratification.

Webmaster's Comments: Whether or not the US ratifies the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, it cannot force Canada to allow LNG transits through Head Harbour Passage.

The Green Coast  

Wind energy on demand? A closer look at compressed air energy storage — Renewable Energy Law Blog, Shems Dunkiel Kassel & Saunders, Burlington, VT

The technology is designed to store wind energy by using electricity generated during periods of high wind speeds and low electricity demand to pressurize air in storage tanks. When electricity demand increases the compressed air can be used to generate power even if the wind isn't blowing. (Sep 30)

Webmaster's Comments: Shems Dunkeil Kassel & Saunders is the lawfirm representing Save Passamaquoddy Bay in the federal and state LNG permitting proceedings.


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