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"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
                                           — US Senator Susan Collins, 2012 Jun 21


News Articles
Passamaquoddy Bay & LNG

2007 September

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28 September 2007

Senate tries to get the jump on ocean projects — Cape Cod Times, Cape Cod, MA

In a speech to the Senate, O'Leary said the legislation would allow the state to determine appropriate sites for projects in state waters before developers apply. The plan would set out performance standards, mitigation requirements and limitations for different areas of the coast.

"Massachusetts has an opportunity to be a national leader in supporting our historic fishing communities, while balancing growing interests in our marine resources in a manner that protects our environment," he said in a statement.

Congressman urges consideration of Broadwater LNG report — Energy Current, Houston, TX

USA:  Congressman Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) has asked officials at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to consider the findings of an environmental report before finalizing the environmental impact statement (EIS) of the Broadwater liquefied natural gas (LNG).  The report, entitled OSV Bold Survey Report, was completed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the National Undersea Research Center at the University of Connecticut.

In a letter to FERC dated Aug. 22, Courtney said researchers discovered the presence of dense aggregations of finger sponges, northern star coral and erect bryozoans, as well as numerous lobster burrows, in the area where the project would be constructed, none of which were documented in the FERC draft EIS. [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Sep 25)

LNG expansion gets go-ahead — Savannah Morning News, Savannah, GA

After the expansion, Elba will be tied with Lake Charles, La., as the largest of those facilities, with storage capacity of 15.7 billion cubic feet and send-out capacity of 2.1 billion cubic feet per day, said Tamara Young-Allen, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission spokeswoman.

"A substantial marine LNG release with ignition resulting in a pool fire may cost more than [?] million and include severe damage to shore-side facilities; potential total loss of the LNG vessel and cargo; fatalities; and closure of the port for up to 14 days."

That's too rosy a picture, said Chuck Watson, a Savannah-based hazards analyst who ran computer models using less-optimistic assumptions than FERC's. The probability of an accident or an attack is low, he said, but the consequences could be grave.

His models show a larger area affected by intense heat in the event of a spill and subsequent fire at the terminal. "Their risk radii are at the low end," he said. "I just don't buy the whole thing." [Red emphasis added.]

Regional board rejects LNG motion — The Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

Texada Island director puts forward referendum motion that other representatives refuse to adopt. (Sep 27)

Website bug bites county — News-Register, McMinville, OR

Commissioner Mary Stern, heeding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's advice to submit testimony electronically, logged onto the FERC website about 1:45 p.m. Monday Pacific time — 15 minutes before deadline of 5 p.m. Eastern time. But the agency was experiencing technical difficulties with its website, so the county's comments missed the mark slightly.

"I submitted it," she said Wednesday. "I don't know if they're going to accept it." (Sep 27)

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.

LNG proposal unveiled — Press Telegram, Long Beach, CA

OceanWay of Santa Monica reviews bay terminal plans.

A Santa Monica company planning a liquefied natural gas terminal off the coast of Los Angeles International Airport rolled out its proposal Wednesday to a group of both supporters and skeptics, previewing the start of a long and likely controversial approval process.

Tankers carrying LNG would link up to specially equipped Woodside ships at least 35 miles from shore, where the liquid would be vaporized using an air regassification system. (Sep 27)

Webmaster's Comments: Another offshore project, 35-miles away from the public, using the latest technology, rather than 30-year-old shoreside terminal technology like that proposed by Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG.

Company floats offshore LNG terminal plan — The Daily Breeze, Torrence, CA

Plan is met with vocal criticism from elected officials from the South Bay to Malibu.

Woodside Natural Gas, an affiliate of an Australian energy company, wants to plant a pair of buoys in 3,000-foot-deep waters beyond the Santa Monica Bay. (Sep 27)

Malibu officials and activists challenge procedures at first hearing on OceanWay LNG proposal — Malibu Surfside News, Malibu, CA

Polite anger was simmering at a Wednesday night hearing on a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal 21 miles off Malibu, when a City of Los Angeles official refused to disclose information about how L.A. City Hall will make its decision on the controversial proposal.

Two Malibu City Council members started the session by publicly criticizing an L.A. City Department of Public Works official for not telling anyone in Malibu about the unexpectedly scheduled hearing, and for not holding one in Malibu, the closest city to the offshore project.

The Los Angeles City project manager, Linda Moore, startled the Coast Guard official moderating the meeting when she said,
“I would prefer not to [explain just how the city will handle its decision-making process].”

One surprise came near the end of the meeting, when Keith Lesnick, the director of deepwater ports for the federal Maritime Administration, revealed that the BHP Billiton project off Malibu would have faced a federal veto had the state of California not killed it last April. [Bold red emphasis added.] (Sep 27)

Get informed about LNG debate [Editorial] — Ventura County Reporter, Ventura, CA

Whether one supports or opposes the project, it is reasonable to demand that a proposal is significant as an LNG terminal receives as much public scrutiny as possible. If you oppose liquefied natural gas, it is not responsible to expect that others will express your concerns for you. You need to fight your own battles. [Red bold emphasis added.] (Sep 27)

ANALYSIS—More heating than cooling not a problem for LNG — Reuters UK

LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) — Having double the capacity for heating liquified gas for use than there is equipment to super-cool it into liquid for shipping from producing countries is not a problem — its what the global LNG market says it needs. (Sep 24)

Webmaster's Comments: It's also part of what's wrong with the LNG terminal permitting process: considering terminal locations that are entirely inappropriate and unneeded.


26 September 2007

Experts split on research into heat — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Safety: No data exists on a large-scale LNG tanker spill or fire because none has occurred

In Passamaquoddy Bay, where LNG tankers [would] thread through Head Harbour Passage and then Western Passage en route to proposed terminals in Maine, the larger two-kilometre distance takes in a more significant swath of Campobello and Deer islands.

It would include the villages of Wilsons Beach on Campobello Island and Fairhaven, Cummings Cove and Chocolate Cove on Deer Island.

On the Maine coast, the larger distance would encompass the town of Eastport.

Webmaster's Comments: The article omits that almost all of Pleasant Point (Sipayik) and the downtown of St. Andrews would also be encompassed by the hazard zones.

To view the extent of the ships' hazard zones on Campobello Island, Deer Island, Eastport, and Pleasant Point (Sipayik), see our Hazard Zone Communities page. Illustrations on that page show the Hazard Zones for the Quoddy Bay LNG project's ships; however, the Downeast LNG ships would take the same route — with the same Hazard Zones — except they wouldn't dock at Sipayik, but would continue northward to Robbinston.

BEP denies Downeast LNG application withdrawal request — WQDY-FM

Downeast LNG President Dean Girdis told the Bangor Daily News last week the application is missing critical information from the Maine Department of Marine Resources and other additional studies.

"We'll continue with our proposal, we believe it's a good proposal. [It's] unfortunate they didn't let us put that information in because it would have benefited the process.…" Girdis explained.

"…The fact that they have not done their due diligence, that they had not done what was necessary to protect the public is on their shoulders, not on the BEP, not on anybody else other than them," [Save Passamaquoddy Bay coordinator Linda Godfrey] said.

"Downeast LNG has made four [FOUR!!!] previous unsuccessful attempts to inappropriately use the back door in this process." [from a Save Passamaquoddy Bay news release.]

"Save Passamaquoddy Bay does not speak for the people of Washington County. They often act like they do speak for the people of Washington County. I think the 80-percent of the people that voted for the Downeast LNG project in Robbinston speak more for the people of Robbinston, Maine," Girdis said. [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Sep 21)

Webmaster's Comments: Girdis says he believes that 310 people* in Robbinston represent the wishes of the entirety of Washington County — some 35,000 people. Girdis's concept of "democracy" and "public opinion" should be a warning to everyone.

Girdis readily admits that his "application is missing critical information." He's had years to prepare that information, but wants to start working on it only now — now, after the Board of Environmental Protection hearing.

Girdis is crying that he didn't get a fair shake. The obvious truth is that Girdis didn't perform his due diligence in determining…

  • Terminal site location;
  • Need for the project;
  • Political sentiment of the greater Passamaquoddy Bay communitiy;
  • Strength and determination of the opposition;
  • Access to the waterway;
  • Requirements for the Maine permitting process.

Girdis thought he could get by without satisfying the state requirements. Girdis, Wyatt, and Downeast LNG have had several years to make their bed, but are now unwilling to lie down in it.

* The vote in Robbinston was 227 to 83.

LNG importers challenge Algonquin Pipeline nitrogen limit — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Statoil Natural Gas, an importer at the Cove Point LNG terminal in Maryland, challenged the proposed nitrogen limit, asserting in a technical affidavit that such a limit would reduce the amount of global LNG supplies that could enter the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast to under 60%. Similarly, BP Energy argued that Algonquin's nitrogen limit would "limit U.S. access to available supplies" of LNG.

Webmaster's Comments: In other words, the LNG importers want to import "hot" LNG — LNG that has a greater hazard potential to unconfined explosion. "Hot" LNG results in "hot" natural gas. "Hot" means that the gas contains high content of hydrocarbons other than methane, such as propane, methane, butane, etc. These other hydrocarbons burn at a higher temperature and are more prone to unconfined explosion than methane. (Note: Terminology for "hot" hydrocarbons includes "heavy" and "wet".)

To solve this problem, LNG terminals must either remove these hot hydrocarbons, or must dilute the regasified LNG with non-burning nitrogen. Removing the hot hydrocarbons could be problematic: (1) Extracting the hot hydrocarbons presents an additional hazard to the surrounding community, (2) Extraction requires additional investment in facilities, (3) The extracted hydrocarbons then require a customer, or some other means of disposal, and (4) The extraction facility requires additional permitting.

MARAD working hard to develop US-flagged LNG fleet: Administrator — Platts [Free registration required]

US-flagged vessels would not have to be built in the US, but they would have to be entirely staffed by US citizens trained in the US, which would be more expensive than hiring a crew from developing countries.

While the number of LNG tankers worldwide is growing rapidly--from 222 at the beginning of 2007 to an estimated 373 by year's end--the number of qualified merchant seamen is set to plummet, with an estimated 30,000-officer shortfall in the next decade or so. (Sep 25)

Winter weather could affect LNG imports to United States — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

A private meteorology firm, WSI, told Platts LNG Daily that it expects most regions of the United States to experience warmer-than-usual temperatures over the next three months….


25 September 2007

Passamaquoddy suit to stop gas terminal finds new life — Indian Country Today, Canastota, NY

BOSTON — A federal appeals court has ruled that a group of Passamaquoddy Indians can move forward with a lawsuit they hope will stop a liquefied natural gas terminal development on tribal land.

In finding that the group has legal standing, the panel said the group's ''concrete and particularized interest is clear: They not only live very near Split Rock, but they also use the land and surrounding waters for a variety of ceremonial and community purposes.''

''The dispute before us is not over the hypothetical construction and operation of an LNG terminal, but the allegedly improper approval of the lease that is the prerequisite to the terminal. While the construction of the terminal is hypothetical and uncertain at this juncture, the approval of the lease is complete. The BIA has made its decision,'' Torruella wrote. (Sep 24)

UNESCO adds 23 reserves to Man and the Biosphere Network — Environment News Service

The 23 new biosphere reserves are: Cape Winelands, South Africa; Noosa, Australia; Western Nghe An, Vietnam; Marawah Biosphere Reserve, United Arab Emirates; Jabal Al Rihane, Lebanon; Manicouagan Uapishka, Canada; Fundy, Canada; Sierra de Alamos - RÌo Cuchujaqui, Mexico; Apaneca-Llamatepec, El Salvador; Xiriualtique Jiquitizco, El Salvador; Andino Norpatagonica, Argentina; Pereyra Iraola, Argentina; Bosques Templados Lluviosos de los Andes Australes, Chile; Agua y Paz, Costa Rica; Podocarpus-El Condor, Ecuador; And Atoll, Federated States of Micronesia; Al-Reem, Qatar; Mongol Daguur, Mongolia; Chebaling, China; Xingkai Lake, China; Corvo Island, Portugal; Graciosa Island, Portugal; Rio Eo, Oscos y Terras de Buron, Spain. [Bold red emphasis added.] (Sep 20)

Bay State may benefit from Canadian LNG — Gloucester Daily Times, Gloucester, MA

Part of the argument against two offshore liquefied natural gas ports southeast of Gloucester, one of which is under construction and to be operational by December, was the prospect of increased delivery from Canada with a company — Repsol, of Madrid, Spain — that is a producer of natural gas. (Sep 23)

Connecticut Congressman raises environmental concerns in letter to FERC on Broadwater proposal — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Citing environmental concerns raised by a recent study of the effects of pipeline infrastructure on marine life near the proposed Broadwater LNG terminal site, Congressman Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) urges FERC to revisit its findings in the project's draft environmental impact statement.

Liquid natural gas plant gets final approval — Victoria Advocate, Victoria, TX

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted late Thursday to grant permission for construction to proceed on a new liquid natural gas terminal and supporting facilities at the port, according to the commission's news release.

The operation would involve importing natural gas being burned off as waste in countries such as Trinidad and Nigeria. Ships delivering liquid gas would be brought from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway through the Matagorda Ship Channel to the port where it would be vaporized and stored. The liquids would become feedstock for the area's chemical plants and natural gas would be transported by pipelines throughout the U.S., officials said. (Sep 22)

BP's Hayward warns of "dreadful" revenue — Energy Current, Houston, TX

Hayward pointed to missing revenues from BP's Texas City refinery, where 15 workers were killed in an accident in 2005, and its Whiting refinery, as well as delays in getting production started at some big projects, as some of the reasons for BP's underperformance.

Webmaster's Comments: BP's dismal safety record — costing numerous workers' lives over the decades — is finally coming home to roost, in language that BP can understand.

Betsy Johnson pierces the sham [Editorial] — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Last Tuesday, Sen. Johnson did an effective job of challenging the federal bureaucrats to tell us a measure of truth. At the hearing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Johnson exposed the Alice-in-Wonderland process by which liquefied natural gas terminals are being approved.

In the end, the FERC hearing appeared to be nothing but an insubstantial item on a preapproval checklist, a potentially empty exercise designed to fulfill a requirement for public input. We all know that the chance of FERC saying no to either of the now-pending LNG proposals is nil. At the end of the day, after cosmetic tweaking, the companies will get the go-ahead unless Oregon's congressional leaders and governor actively engage in vetoing their plans.

Flying in to fight pipeline — News-Register, McMinnville, OR

"Our grandfather was very forward-thinking," she said. He felt, for example, that electricity should be available to the public at "postage-stamp" rates.

"He also said we should never become dependent on foreign oil," Saroni recalled. "People laughed, because gasoline was only a penny a gallon."

"There is no way to mitigate the financial loss to our small family-operated business," Saroni told the FERC staff. "The market value we will be forced to accept will not include the future value of timber we will be prohibited from growing on the easement, yet we will be forced to pay forever property taxes on the lost acres." (Sep 22)

Cross-border gas project fuels pollution fear — Union-Tribune, San Diego, CA

Air-quality officials decry liquefied natural gas plans

Sempra's gas will bring hundreds of tons of additional air pollution to a region already struggling to improve some of the worst air in the United States.

The Sempra fuel is “hot gas” in industry parlance, laden with compounds such as butane, propane and ethane that cause substantially more nitrous-oxide pollution when burned than most gas now used in Southern California. (Sep 23)

Offshore regas terminals pursuing advanced technologies — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Consulting with several LNG companies and independent experts, Platts LNG Daily surveys the dramatic pace of technological innovation that offshore regasification terminal proposals have been pursuing. (Sep 24)

Webmaster's Comments: Offshore LNG terminals are innovative, use newer technology, and are safer than shoreside terminals like Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG.

NATS: September LNG regas rates in United States similar to last year's — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

NATS notes that the U.S. market was affected by a record-level gas inventory build-up in preceding months, similar to conditions last year.

Linde forms global alliance with SBM to build floating LNG liquefaction plants for offshore natural gas fields [Press release] — Market Wire, Yahoo Finance

WIESBADEN, GERMANY--(MARKET WIRE)--Sep 20, 2007 -- Munich, 20 September 2007 - Linde has formed a Global Alliance with Single Buoying Mooring Inc. ("SBM") to develop and market Floating Production, Storage and Offloading units ("FPSO") for the growing Liquid Natural Gas ("LNG") industry, based on Linde's proprietary natural gas liquefaction technology. (Sep 20)


23 September 2007

Maine: Co. can't pull LNG application

The following are versions of the Sep 21 AP story that appeared in the Press Herald

"ST. STEPHEN, New Brunswick (AP) - The Maine Board of Environmental Protection has rejected a U.S. company's request to withdraw its application for a liquefied natural gas terminal that has drawn fire from New Brunswickers and the Canadian government." — AP

— AP, Forbes, New York, NY

Forbes story.

— AP, Netscape Money & Business

Netscape Money & Business story. (Sep 21)

— AP, ForexTV, Plainview & New York, NY

ForexTV story. (Sep 21)

AP, Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX

Houston Chronicle story. (Sep 21)


ABCmoney story. (Sep 21)

— AP, Hemscott, London, UK

Hemscott story.

Maine Board rejects company's request to withdraw LNG terminal application — AP, Canadian Business, Toronto, ON

Canadian Business story: The same AP story as in the Sep 21 Press Herald. (Sep 21)

Maine Board rejects request to withdraw LNG terminal application — AP, WCSH-TV, Portland, ME

WCHS-TV story: Abbreviation of story in the Sep 21 Press Herald. (Sep 21)

Bulletins: Downeast LNG rejected in Maine — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

Downeast LNG, a closely held company backed by private equity investors Kestrel Energy Partners LLC, was blocked yesterday by Maine regulators from refiling an application to build a liquefied-natural-gas plant in the state. (Sep 21)

Maine denies developer's LNG application withdrawal —

Downstream Today: Same story as the Bangor Daily News story. (Sep 21)

U.S. firm ignores Canadian gov't — The Daily News, Halifax, NS

"Canada will not allow LNG tankers to travel through Head Harbour Passage," said [spokeswoman for Federal Minister Greg Thompson], Beverly Desjarlais. (Aug 22)

Canada's lack of co-operation lauded as strong LNG strategy — New Brunswick Environmental Network, Waterford, NB

OTTAWA — A Charlotte County environmentalist argues Canada's continued refusal to co-operate with U.S. authorities is all that's needed to decisively block two proposed LNG terminals in Maine.

"[US Coast Guard Captain of the Port Capt. Stephen Garrity] has indicated many times that if Canada is not co-operating, this is going to be very difficult."

In [ University of Hawaii Professor Jon Van Dyke's] view, Canada is on solid ground to bring in a regulation banning LNG tankers through Head Harbour Passage.

Harvey said federal officials have said such a regulation will be in place by the end of the year. (Jul 19)

BP explosion trial ends early with 4 settlements — Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX

Still pending for the company is a resolution to an ongoing criminal investigation headed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Houston, which began in early 2006.

[T]he U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board concluded after a two-year investigation that a combination of cost-cutting, a lack of vigilance and a lack of investment in training and mechanical integrity put the Texas City plant on a course to disaster.

Parus testified that he looked into the refinery's deadly history after three deaths occurred there in 2004, and found 22 deaths in the previous 30 years. A 23rd death came later. [Red emphasis added.] (Sep 18)

Webmaster's Comments: LNG developers and FERC like to tell the public that companies don't want accidents, so they'll operate safely. BP, one of the world's largest oil & gas companies, is in the LNG business. BP's miserable safety record demonstrates why FERC should stop spreading that falsehood, and why FERC should be more selective regarding what companies are allowed to apply for LNG permits.


21 September 2007

Maine board: Developer can't withdraw LNG application — AP, Portland Press Herald, Portland, ME

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection has rejected a U.S. company's request to withdraw its application for a liquefied natural gas terminal that has drawn fire from New Brunswickers and the Canadian government.

The Board of Environmental Protection, which staged public hearings this year, will be releasing its decision next year as planned.

A member of Save Passamaquoddy Bay, a citizens group in Maine that opposes the proposed terminal, welcomed the board's decision.

"They would be diminishing the significance of permit hearings, while simultaneously creating unreasonable expense and burden to the state, interveners and the public," Robert Godfrey said.

"Even though (Downeast LNG) knew the exact issues and requirements they needed to address long before they filed their permit application, they chose not to answer a number of critical concerns during the application and hearing process."

Maine: Co. can't pull LNG application — Yahoo Finance

[This is the same AP story as in the Portland Press Herald, above, but this link goes to the Yahoo story.]

Canada may ban LNG supertankers — Maritime Executive, Fort Lauderdale, FL

If Canada does choose to ban supertankers, and is successful in doing so, it would render two proposed LNG terminals on the Maine side of the bay useless, as Head Harbour Passage is the only route LNG tankers can physically use to enter the bay.

Webmaster's Comments: The headline should read "Canada has banned LNG supertankers," and the first sentence should be changed to reflect that same reality.

Canadian appeals court upholds Brunswick Pipeline decision — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Canada's Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed a request by a local environmental group to overturn regulatory approval granted to Emera to build a gas pipeline from Canaport LNG to the Canada-U.S. border.

Ocean advocates fight offshore LNG 'island' — Independent, Freehold, NJ

Local officials and environmentalists held a press conference Sept. 7 to voice their opposition to a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facility within miles of the coast. (Sep 19)

Broadwater battles critics during debate — Suffolk Life, Riverhead, NY

Broadwater representative Froydis Cameron, who is involved in the project, and Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, presented their arguments to the audience. (Sep 19)

Commission approval of new, expanded natural gas facilities includes LNG, storage, pipeline projects [News release] — Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [FERC]

  1. Calhoun LNG & Point Comfort Pipeline
    The Commission granted authority to Calhoun LNG
    to construct and operate an onshore LNG import terminal that will have a send-out capacity of 1 Bcf per day.
  2. Southern LNG, Elba Express & Southern Natural Gas
    The Commission authorized Southern LNG
    to increase in two construction phases the storage capacity of the Elba Island LNG import terminal.
  3. Southeast Supply Header & Southern Natural Gas
    The project will transport gas from unconventional U.S. gas supplies … that will allow
    service to customers throughout the Southeast, Atlantic Coast and Northeastern U.S. through pipeline interconnections with nine natural gas companies.

Webmaster's Comments: #3 above moots even further the proposed Passamaquoddy Bay LNG projects.

Hearing attendees angry about proposed natural gas pipeline — AP, Statesman Journal, Salem, OR

About 200 people attended a federal hearing on a proposed 117-mile buried natural gas pipeline Oregon LNG wants to build from Astoria to Molalla, and most of them were mad.

Oregon LNG CEO Peter Hansen gave assurances of safety Wednesday night but said, "If you hate our guts, that's not a good start."

It was not a good start.

BP's first explosion trial ends in settlement — Energy Business Review, London, UK

The Texas City oil refinery explosion killed 15 people and injured 170, due to BP management practices and cost-cutting strategies.

BP has incurred around $2 billion in compensation payouts, repairs and lost profit. (Sep 20)

Webmaster's Comments: This is the same safety-challenged BP that is involved in the LNG industry in the United States. FERC doesn't care who builds LNG facilities — even if it were Adolf Hitler or Osama bin Laden.

Proposed Ocean Way LNG lightering site falls within U.S. Navy training and testing range — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The U.S. Navy is urging Ocean Way LNG to reconsider one of its proposed LNG lightering sites as the site falls within the Navy's Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of Southern California.

Coast residents have eight days to address early LNG concerns — Malibu Surfside News, Malibu, CA

Malibu Mayor Pro Tem Pamela Conley Ulich said she is “shocked, and very disappointed” that the City of Los Angeles forgot to tell Malibu that it unexpectedly scheduled a public hearing on a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal that would sit in the ocean six miles closer to Malibu than to the City of Angels.

The meeting announcement for Woodside’s proposal—marketed as “OceanWay”—was quietly released by the U.S. Coast Guard and City of Los Angeles late last week. The hearing is called a “scoping session,” and gives the public a chance to learn about the project and tell independent scientific analysts what aspects of the proposed LNG terminal should be examined.

For the second year in a row, a proposed state law to require an assessment of whether LNG terminals are even needed in California was shelved. En vironmentalists said it was killed by Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, who was responding to heavy lobbying from union interests that would benefit from jobs created by LNG projects.
(Sep 20)

Will he sign bills as governor or fundraiser? — Ventura County Star, Ventura, CA

Twice he has vetoed a bill that would mandate a comprehensive study of whether California has any immediate need for liquefied natural gas. Sempra Energy, which will soon begin bringing LNG into the state from its under-construction, gas-receiving facility in Baja California, Mexico, has kicked more than $400,000 into his various political committees. (Sep 20)


19 September 2007

Downeast temporarily pulls LNG application — Energy Current, Houston, TX

Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG, which is also being built in Maine, have generated considerable controversy in Canada, where lawmakers are threatening to pass legislation that would ban LNG tankers from passing through Head Harbour Passage, a channel in Passamaquoddy Bay between Maine and Canada.

…FERC does not believe review proceedings should be suspended because issues related to LNG tanker passage through Canadian waters have not yet been resolved. (Sep 18)

Webmaster's Comments: Although Canada has yet to pass legislation blocking LNG transits in Passamaquoddy Bay, Canadian national policy has already been determined — LNG transits won't be allowed. FERC's position that issues "have not yet been resolved" make the false assumption that, somehow, they will be resolved. It is not in the US's best interests to press this matter economically or militarily, since:

  1. The Passamaquoddy Bay LNG projects aren't needed; they've already been mooted by the two offshore LNG terminals at Gloucester, MA, and the Canaport terminal at Saint John, NB;
  2. If the project developers really want to operate LNG import terminals, to solve the Canadian waters issue all they have to do is move to an area outside of Passamaquoddy Bay, and
  3. Any action that the US might take against Canada could easily result in retribution, damaging our healthy trading partnership.

Witness the "grey zone" around Machias Seal Island southwest of Grand Manan, NB / northeast of Cutler, ME, one of four areas claimed by both the US and Canada. The grey zone issue has existed since the end of the War of 1812 and is still unresolved. The disputed territory contains a valuable lobster fishery. Neither government wants to resolve the matter, even avoiding resolution when the US-Canadian boundary in the Gulf of Maine was determined in the 1980s.

FERC and the LNG developers are being unrealistic.

LNG construction starts in spring — The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

The principals behind a $4.5-billion-range petrochemical plant and LNG terminal at Goldboro have pencilled in a spring 2008 construction start after meeting another regulatory requirement.

Keltic Petrochemicals Inc. and MapleLNG reported completion of about $2 million worth of additional engineering and environmental work, as federal regulators had required.

Much of the LNG processed in Nova Scotia will be destined for growing markets for cleaner fuel in the U.S. northeast. [Bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Here's one more LNG import terminal that is mooting the LNG developers in Passamaquoddy Bay.

LNG: In search of answers — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Senator blasts feds' handling of siting process

WARRENTON — Federal officials got an earful from unhappy North Coast residents and state Sen. Betsy Johnson Tuesday at a public hearing on the Oregon LNG proposal to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Warrenton.

[U]sing an aggressive line of questioning, she pushed through attempts by officials to put off answering questions about the environmental impacts of the terminal until the release of the draft environmental impact statement.

Early in the meeting, after hearing presentations from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Coast Guard and Office of Pipeline Safety officials, Johnson asked FERC officials if the PowerPoint presentations could be made available to the public.

But FERC consultant Todd Mattson, a scientist with HDR Engineering of Minneapolis who is working on the Oregon LNG environmental impact statement, interrupted her, saying the purpose of the meeting was to collect public input and not "for people to hijack it for other agendas."

"So you force a plant on a community that doesn't want it and make the community pay for additional emergency services?" she asked. "I don't know where the money is going to come from. ... When does a community find out what their share is going to be?" [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Tour provides view to Oregon LNG site along the Skipanon Peninsula — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Locals meet companyís CEO, FERC officials, and ask questions on project.

Local residents need to 'trust their Coast Guard' — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ultimate siting authority, the Coast Guard must ensure waterways are safe and secure for LNG transit.

He stressed that the process "is entirely transparent."

Asked whether FERC could overrule Coast Guard warnings and security recommendations, FERC project manager Medha Kochhar declined to answer the question.

"It's the commissioners' decision," she said.

Webmaster's Comments: [Alarm Bell sounding] — While the US Coast Guard is charged with making an objective suitability assessment of the project, the process is not "entirely transparent," contrary to what the Oregon Captain of the Port stated. As the story reports, a lot of material is kept from public view.

The Captain of the Port would have done better to have categorized the process as it truly is, and to have provided the procedure required to access the Critical Energy Infrastructure (CEII) and Secure Safety Infrastructure (SSI) information. He should also have indicated how public stakeholders could participate in the Waterway Suitability Working Group led by the Captain of the Port to help make the suitability determination.

In addition, it would be a good idea for Astoria area residents to obtain copies of the SIGTTO publication, "Site Selection and Design for LNG Ports and Jetties," and to make sure that the Captain of the Port has one and has read it, too. The US Coast Guard, apparently, is not informed by FERC about, or required by FERC to read this publication, even though it is the LNG industry's own best-practices standards for LNG terminal site selection.

Note: This webmaster was a member of the Coast Guard Captain of the Port's Waterway Suitability Working Group for the proposed Passamaquoddy Bay LNG projects.

This region doesn't need LNG ports [Editorial] — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Unfortunately, Congress has established a process that is not about setting national priorities. It merely sets up a horse race. The LNG project that wins FERC's approval ahead of the others is the one that will get built.

It is not the mission of FERC staff to look at the larger economy or culture of a site they are examining.

The gist of what's wrong with LNG for the Columbia-Pacific is about safety, perception, and aesthetics. And none of these are criteria by which FERC makes its decision. [Red emphasis added.] (Sep 18)

FERC opens pipeline comment period — The News-Review, Roseburg, OR

The Pacific Connector would transmit 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, from Jordan Cove in Coos Bay to a main conduit in Malin, approximately 230 miles across Douglas County and southwest Oregon. (Sep 18)

Landslides pose pipeline risk in Gales Creek Valley — The Hillsboro Argus, Hillsboro, OR

FOREST GROVE — The warning signs about a proposed natural gas pipeline through the eastern Coast Range won't come from residents' pleas, [or] from an environmental study. Instead, one of the big warning signs is on State Highway 6 near Banks. It's a yellow sign that advises motorists of landslide dangers when lights on the sign are flashing. The ground moves in this part of Oregon, quite a bit. Rain soaks the earth, which can't support its own weight, and tumbles downslope. Roads wash away. Timber is felled. That's what pipeline expert Richard Little said should be of concern to residents of the proposed pipeline corridor.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which approves gas pipelines such as the proposed Oregon LNG line through Gales Creek Valley, will be having scoping meetings this week to discuss topics for study in the pipeline's environmental impact statement.

"The people that put in the pipeline don't live next to it." (Sep 18)

NATS: Both Atlantic Basin LNG markets "nervous" — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

[M]arkets in the Atlantic Basin, particularly the United States and Europe, are "very nervous," citing the high price of oil, and recent experiences demonstrating that gas supplies are subject to a "delicate balance" of other external factors.

Asia is destination of choice for LNG cargos as U.S. imports decline — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

…Elba Island LNG and Suez's Everett regasification terminal are processing baseload volumes and Cove Point LNG, Lake Charles LNG, and Excelerate's Gulf Gateway are sending out minimal volumes or none at all.

High premiums for diverting cargos may delay developing global LNG market — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

[T]he increasing globalization of the LNG market may be hitting an obstacle as suppliers, especially Qatar, continue to charge Asian LNG buyers a premium well in excess of the actual cost of diverting supplies from the Atlantic to the Pacific.


18 September 2007

Perry Selectmen and Chairmen duel at Monday meeting — WQDY-FM, Calais, ME

Asante was quick to tell Turner how things would be.

"Let it be understood that you have no vote on this. If you have a question you can ask the question, but this is basically a forum for planning board members to ask questions to determine in the opinion of the collective board which of these lawyers will best represent the town of Perry as embodied in the planning board," Asante stated.

Federal Appeals Court reverses ruling in Passamaquoddy Tribe case — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that Nulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon ("We Protect Our Homeland"), a group of the Passamaquoddy tribe that opposed their tribe's leasing land to Quoddy Bay LLC for development into a LNG import terminal, has legal standing to sue the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs for approving the lease. Additionally, the appeals panel ruled that the claims  were ripe for review even though the terminal has not received FERC approval. (Sep 17)

Appeals Court revives Tribal members challenge of LNG lease deal — WQDY-FM, Calais, ME

Passamaquoddy Indians at odds with the tribe's decision to lease land at Pleasant Point to an Oklahoma developer for a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal have won a victory in court. (Sep 17)

Downeast LNG withdraws Maine permit applications; will re-file later — WQDY-FM, Calais, ME

"The BEP has suggested to us that re-filing is the only way to ensure that complete comments from all the appropriate state agencies can be included in the record," Girdis said. (Sep 17)

Webmaster's Comments: This comes on the tail of the BEP denying Downeast LNG's three separate and inappropriate attempts to get new evidence entered into the official record.

LNG opponents celebrate as developer withdraws — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

"We're very happy that the waste of the public's time and resources on a project that was always doomed to failure may come to an end, and we can all get on to more realistic and appropriate economic and quality of life enhancing efforts," said Linda Godfrey, Coordinator of Save Passamaquoddy Bay.

"If the developers can't get in the door, they don't get in — period. Canada is a sovereign nation speaking directly to the United States on this matter. The developer mocks Canada's position, and defies Canada's right to decide on this issue, at Downeast LNG's peril," said Godfrey.

New minister restates ban on LNG ships — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

Canada's recently appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Bernier assured members of Save Passamaquoddy Bay/Canada (SPB/C) that the Canadian government remains strongly opposed to the establishment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay. (Sep 14)

Webmaster's Comments: No transit, no project.

LNG R.I.P.? Not so fast [Editorial] — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

Save Passamaquoddy Bay, fighting to keep LNG out from bases in St. Andrews, [Calais], and Pleasant Point, sees Downeast LNG's withdrawal as a small victory, a morale boost, and a reason not to celebrate and ease up, but to press harder.

Webmaster's Comments: "Press harder" we will!

LNG terminal could begin construction in 2008 — The Packet, NL

Newfoundland LNG president Mark Turner says the project is right on schedule.

U.S. based Excelerate Energy and Suez Energy are currently on board as clients.

“Excelerate finds the Newfoundland LNG project to be a useful asset for scheduling and logistical purposes for both of our deepwater port facilities,” says Lane in an e-mail last week. (Sep 10)

Seafloor geologists create map of Cape Cod Bay — Cape Cod Times, Cape Cod, MA

"A lot of engineering projects like wind farms, LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals and pipelines are proposed to go into state and federal waters, but we haven't had a good understanding of what the seafloor is like," Barnhardt said. "This information can be a tremendous economic asset." (Sep 15)

Natural gas island merits serious study [Editorial] — The Star-Ledger, NJ

Atlantic's advantage is that placing an LNG plant many miles off the coast drastically reduces the dangers in the event of a fire.

As author Jason Makansi, an expert on the highly natural-gas dependent electric power industry, has pointed out, a nation that wants to reduce its dependence on foreign oil shouldn't rush headlong into importing liquefied natural gas. (Sep 16)

BW Offshore to design LNG buoy for Neptune LNG — Rigzone, Houston, TX

The Neptune port will use specially designed LNG ships equipped to store, transport, and vaporize LNG into natural gas to send directly to customers via a sub-sea pipeline, which connects to the existing Algonquin gas pipeline system. The LNG regasification vessels will be moored at the proposed Neptune deepwater port by means of the STL system consisting of two buoys. … [An] STL system similar to the one ordered for the Neptune project operated successfully and performed reliably and safely during Hurricane Katrina.

Webmaster's Comments: The Neptune port will be offshore, safely away from the public — unlike the Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG proposed projects that both violate LNG industry terminal SIGTTO siting standards.

Proposed route's proximity to aquatic preserve causes stir — Bradenton Herald, Bradenton, FL

PORT MANATEE -- A company hoping to build an underwater natural gas pipeline is redrawing its plans after being warned that its proposed route along the edge of an aquatic preserve might mean trouble.

Port Dolphin Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Hoegh LNG AS, based in Oslo, Norway, wants to build the offshore terminal with two submersible buoys where specially-built tankers would dock and convert liquefied natural gas to its gaseous state by heating. The gas would then be sent to shore via the pipeline. (Sep 16)

Cheniere Energy announces charter agreement [Press release] — Business Wire

“Sabine Pass LNG, L.P., is scheduled to commence commissioning its LNG receiving terminal during February 2008 and the Galeomma will be available to support such activities. With the chartering of this vessel and the expected delivery to its affiliate, J&S Cheniere, S.A., of two additional vessels currently scheduled for December 2007 and March 2008, a total of three vessels will be available for the respective LNG transportation activities of Cheniere and J&S Cheniere.” (Sep 17)

FERC officials to visit Oregon LNG sites this week — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

FERC announced last week that several members of its staff would visit the proposed site for the Oregon LNG terminal and associated pipeline infrastructure. The visits will occur on September 18-20, 2007. (Sep 17)

Terror attacks raise pipeline worries: 866 American pipeline accidents, none terror related, have killed 23 since 2000 — Hillsboro Argus, Hillsboro, OR

FOREST GROVE — Skittish residents of Gales Creek, Gaston and other areas being scoped for two natural gas pipelines saw their fears materialize from afar Monday, when gas pipelines exploded across Mexico. Associated Press reports indicated Mexican rebels were behind the attacks. For Gales Creek residents, the attacks were a stark reminder of the risks associated with gas pipelines — risks they don't want to face.

"If somebody really wants to hit this country's infrastructure, they probably could," Hansen said. Little said the typical 50-foot easement offers little protection from a potential pipeline explosion, particularly an explosion that occurs after a leak in which gas is allowed to accumulate before igniting. (Sep 14)

Webmaster's Comments: Even without terrorism, there are plenty of US gas pipeline accidents — averaging about 124 per year — one every three days.

California LNG bill delayed until January — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

SB 412, a bill in the California state legislature mandating an in-depth study of market conditions facing LNG projects in the state, will be delayed in the State Assembly until at least January 2008. (Sep 17)

MARAD announces notice of intent to prepare EIS for Clearwater Port LNG terminal — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

MARAD announced in today's Federal Register that it intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Clearwater Port LNG terminal proposed for offshore California.

Analysts issue 2008 gas price forecasts — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The analyst based his downward revision for 2008 in part on expected above average gas storage volumes and a large increase in LNG imports through the summer of 2008.

NATO Secretary-General envisions role in LNG security — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Secretary de Hoop Scheffer, speaking in London earlier this month, said, "could NATO, with its maritime fleets, add value, in times of crisis, to protect [LNG vessels]? Personally, I think so." (Sep 17)


16 September 2007

Court revives tribal group's LNG lawsuit — AP, The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

A three-judge panel of the First US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a federal judge's ruling that project opponents lacked legal standing to sue the Bureau of Indian Affairs for its 2005 approval of a lease of tribal land at Split Rock to Oklahoma developer Quoddy Bay LLC.

The appeals court also found that the claims by the group Nulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon (We Protect Our Homeland) were ripe for review and need not be deferred, even though construction of the LNG terminal is not guaranteed. (Sep 15)

Court panel revives lawsuit to block LNG terminal — Portland Press-Herald, Portland, ME

Boston — A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit by members of the Passamaquoddy Tribe who seek to block a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal on the Pleasant Point reservation in eastern Maine. (Sep 15)

Developer to pull LNG application — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

Downeast LNG President Dean Girdis said Friday that the application is missing critical information from the Maine Department of Marine Resources and data from additional studies. (Sep 15)

Webmaster's Comments: In addition to faulty site selection (as evidenced by the LNG industry's SIGTTO standards), this withdrawal demonstrates DeLNG's lack of due diligence.

Anti-tanker law won’t slow U.S. LNG project — The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

"International law that Canada is signatory to gives us the right to use Head Harbour Passage for ships heading to United States ports inside the Passamaquoddy Bay, and we feel strongly that the United States is not going to be willing to give up that right that it has enjoyed for several hundred years," [said Brian Smith, project manager with Oklahoma-based Quoddy Bay LNG.] (Sep 14)

Webmaster's Comments: It would be absurd for the US to risk damaging its close relationship with Canada, especially since the troubled Passamaquoddy Bay LNG projects aren't needed, and since — if the developers insist on developing LNG terminals — all they have to do is move offshore and away from Canadian waters.

The Quoddy Bay LNG, Downeast LNG, and Northeast Energy LNG developers failed miserably at performing due diligence when selecting their project sites. They need to admit to their failures, cut their investors' losses, and move on.

Virginia energy plan identifies Hampton Roads region as attractive LNG expansion target — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The plan specifically identified the Hampton Roads region, near Newport News, Va., as a potential location for new LNG import and storage facilities. (Sep 13)

Webmaster's Comments: Virginia, unlike Maine, has actually developed an energy plan.

New Jersey wants say on LNG terminal proposed for New York waters — Platts

The governor also insisted that the project would "destroy a historic prime fishing area known as the Cholera Bank" and would increase "turbidity and other water quality impacts." (Sep 13)

N.J. takes stand at two LNG sites [Opinion] — Gloucester County Times, Gloucester, NJ

It's a double standard, say the environmentalists, even though they applaud Corzine's take on the New York offshore island project. (Sep 13)

Warrenton to send letter to FERC on LNG — The Daily Astorian

The letter indicates the city will file for intervenor status after Oregon LNG's formal application is made; concurs with the points listed by FERC that should be considered in the EIS; advises FERC that the city will require Oregon LNG to go through site review; and advises that city approval will be required before any LNG facility will be constructed. (Sep 13)

New LNG plan off Oxnard revives debate — Ventura County Star, Ventura, CA

This time, Houston-based NorthernStar Natural Gas wants to turn a shuttered oil rig platform 12.6 miles off the coast of Oxnard to receive chilled natural gas, convert it to vapor and pipe it ashore. The company has named the proposed site Clearwater Port. (Sep 14)

MARAD: OceanWay LNG application is complete — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

MARAD announced in the Federal Register that it has accepted Woodside's application for the OceanWay LNG deepwater port proposed for offshore California. (Sep 14)

Clean Energy begins construction on California's first LNG production plant — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The plant will convert pipeline natural gas to LNG for transport via tanker truck to fueling stations throughout the state and will have an initial capacity of 160,000 gallons of LNG per day. (Sep 14)

Speakers say natural gas market is becoming increasingly global — Platts

…while increasing LNG imports to North America can help dampen gas market volatility, "that does not mean that volatility will stop," Snodgrass said. (Sep 13)


13 September 2007

Is anyone out there? [Editorial] — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

What part of "no" do they not understand? (Sep 11)

Canada's ministers say no — again — to LNG traffic — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

ST. ANDREWS — The recently appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maxime Bernier, says he is committed to upholding the federal government's position in its opposition to LNG (liquefied natural gas) in Passamaquoddy Bay.

Meanwhile, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and now Defence Minister Peter MacKay, who arrived in St. Andrews Monday for the diplomatic forum, said the federal government is standing firm on its stand against LNG tankers in Head Harbour Passage. (Sep 11)

Local mayor enlightens country's FCM members about LNG threat — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

…amidst all the fun during the evening, Mayor John Craig also made sure these municipal representatives from across the country knew about the town's fight against the establishment of LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay. (Sep 11)

St. Andrews Council News Briefs: Save the Bay gets $800 — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

New Brunswick Day was a great day in St. Andrews with the Ross Memorial Museum and Sheriff Andrews House joining forces to raise money and awareness of the threat of LNG to Passamaquoddy Bay. (Sep 11)

Spectra Energy continues to expand to meet needs of Northeast market — PR Newswire, CNN Money

Spectra Energy has executed binding agreements with suppliers and Local Distribution Companies and has initiated the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval process.

The East-to-West Project will allow Algonquin to reverse flow on its system to transport critical LNG supplies from the Eastern seaboard to the New England and Northeast markets and will transform traditional gas flow in the Northeast. In addition to the high growth markets on Algonquin, these new supplies will be able to access additional markets through existing interconnects with Spectra Energy's Texas Eastern Pipeline and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, as well as four other market area interstate pipelines. (Sep 4)

Webmaster's Comments: More natural gas will be supplied to New England and the Northeast by the above, in addition to the two import terminals offshore from Gloucester, MA, and the Canaport terminal under construction in Saint John, NB, further mooting the proposed Passamaquoddy Bay terminals.

National Grid undecided on LNG plans — Jamestown Press, Jamestown, RI

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rejected the KeySpan plan in 2005 and rejected an appeal on the plan in 2006.

Lynch urges owner to abandon LNG plan — Providence Journal, Providence, RI

Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch has called upon utility giant National Grid to abandon efforts to establish a liquefied natural gas marine terminal in Providence, now that the company owns the business that originally proposed the project. (Sep 12)

New Jersey wants say on LNG terminal proposed for New York waters — Platts

…Corzine wants New Jersey to be granted "adjacent coastal state" status, which under federal law would require the Coast Guard and MARAD to solicit the state's input. The Coast Guard already has granted that status to New York. (Sep 12)

Pros and cons of Broadwater gas barge debated — Newsday, New York, NY

"I don't want Shell Oil in charge of our safety and security. Do you?" (Sep 12)

Ocean advocates fight offshore LNG 'island' — Atlanticville, Long Branch, NJ

At the press conference held on the Sea Bright beach, Mayor Jo-Ann Kalaka- Adams and representatives from various conservation, environmental, fishing and surfing organizations voiced their opposition to the proposed 62.5-acre, manmade island that would be located in the Atlantic Ocean 19 miles off Sandy Hook.

"Where does New Jersey want to get its natural gas? Right now, it's coming from the Gulf Coast where it's leaking methane into the air because the pipes are anywhere from 40-50 years old," said [Atlantic Sea Island Group Chairman Howard Bovers].

Webmaster's Comments: Industry proponent Atlantic Sea Island Chairman Bovers's comment about all that leaking methane gas doesn't exactly build public confidence in the natural gas industry and infrastructure in this country.

Gov challenges N.Y. LNG facility — Today's Sunbeam, Salem, NJ

TRENTON — In the midst of a U.S. Supreme Court battle to keep Delaware out of New Jersey's affairs regarding a liquefied natural gas facility in Logan Township, Gov. Jon S. Corzine wants a say in whether one is built offshore in New York's waters.

"It sounds like the state of New Jersey may be on the other side of the fence here," said Alan Muller, executive director of Green Delaware. "I'm glad to hear that the state of New Jersey is showing greater wisdom in the New York waters than in Delaware waters." (Sep 12)

AES appeals CZMA consistency objection to Secretary of Commerce — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Sparrows Point developer AES has appealed to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Maryland's objection to the project's federal consistency certification. Under the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Secretary may override the state's objection if he finds the Sparrow's Point terminal is consistent with the objectives of the CZMA or is necessary in the interest of national security. (Sep 12)

U.S. Coast Guard issues final rule on Elba Island LNG vessel traffic — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

On Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a final rule regarding LNG vessel mooring requirements at the Elba Island LNG regasification facility on the Savannah River in Georgia. The final rule is identical to the interim rule issued on January 19, 2007, and will go into effect on October 10, 2007.

Planning Commission moves date for NorthernStar land-use meeting — Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The County Commission will make the final decision to approve or deny NorthernStar's land-use application, which includes requests for zone changes that would pave the way for the company's $600 million LNG receiving terminal and gas send-out pipeline. However, before the project can go forward, the company will also need state and federal approvals. (Sep 12)

Is the fix in on LNG at Bradwood? [Editorial] — Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

You are not alone if you were surprised at the Clatsop County Planning Commission's favorable decision on NorthernStar's land-use application to build a liquefied natural gas terminal at Bradwood.

The commission's 4-3 findings had a distinct odor of small-town politics. The planning commissioner who was put in office at the last minute by the County Commission challenged the planning staff in a manner that seemed prosecutorial. When county commissioners made this substitution - instead of reappointing someone who was prepared for the Bradwood discussion - it was troubling. It is reasonable to suspect that the fix is in on LNG.

The governors of our three Pacific Coast states have created a unified standard on other environmental issues, such as automobile emissions. They should seek the same kind of coastal understanding for LNG. (Sep 11)

LNG watch: Clock starts on Clearwater Port environmental review — Malibu Surfside News, Malibu, CA

Company attempts to block access to documentation related to platform safety issues

Data about the 28-year-old oil rig in the Pacific Ocean selected for reuse as an LNG terminal is being withheld from public eyes, prompting questions from coastal advocates who contend that Platform Grace is nearing the end of its original design life.

…coastal advocates point out that many of the law violations and other problems with the BHP Billiton Cabrillo Port project were not uncovered by agency staff, but were exposed by critics of the project who analyzed public data and found errors, omissions and other problems that proved fatal to the terminal.

“Right out of the gate, they are making the same mistakes that BHP did,” said Environment Pacific’s Rory Cox.

As LNG market globalizes, overseas developments could affect LNG supplies to United States — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Jim Duncan, market research director for ConocoPhillips, told attendees at the LDC Forum in Chicago that as more supplies move towards European markets and Japanese demand rises, fewer LNG shipments  are likely to reach North America. (Sep 12)

Webmaster's Comments: Contrary to what some industry proponents are telling the public, it looks like future prices for natural gas — produced from LNG — will be higher, not lower.

TABLE-Proposed N. American LNG terminals — Reuters UK

Here is a list of liquefied natural gas terminals or import pipelines that have been proposed for construction or expansion in North America.

The information provided is from governments and companies and is subject to change. Capacity figures, in billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd), are peak.

The list contains 32 terminals or import pipelines currently in operation, 4 Canadian approved terminals, 2 Mexican approved terminals, 11 US proposed-to-FERC terminals, 7 US proposed-to-MARAD terminals, 10 US potential sites, 2 Bahamas potential sites, 5 Canadian potential sites, and 6 Mexican potential sites.

Before FERC1
Downeast LNG
Robbinston, ME
Before FERC1
Quoddy Bay LLC
[aka, Quoddy Bay LNG,
aka, Quoddy Bay Pipeline,
Pleasant Point, ME
[Northeast Energy,
ex-Calais LNG,
ex-St. Croix Development,
ex-St. Croix Consulting,
ex-BP Consulting]
Calais, ME
1 [FERC consideration is in abeyance, due to the projects' inability to use the waterway.]

(Sep 12)

Webmaster's Comments: The list contains 79 projects, 11 of which are currently before FERC, 3 are pipeline projects, 1 a transshipment project, and — unlike the three projects proposed for Passamaquoddy Bay — 21 are offshore and safely away from the public.


11 September 2007

Canada eyes ban on LNG tankers — CP, Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

"Our position is still the same as before … that the United States has a right to use that passage. It’s not a privilege, it’s a right," said Brian Smith, project manager for Quoddy Bay LNG, which has chosen a site in Perry, near Eastport and across from Deer Island, New Brunswick, and near the Old Sow — one of the world’s largest ocean whirlpools.

Webmaster's Comments: Smith's claim is without foundation, and here's why: Even the United States has the right to prevent "innocent passage" through Head Harbour Passage when LNG is involved — as proven by the US requirement that the US Coast Guard determine the "suitability of the waterway" for LNG transits. Since the US has the right to prevent "innocent passage" through another sovereign's waters (Head Harbour Passage), then so does the other sovereign (Canada).

Canada has already made it clear to President Bush that LNG transits here will not be permitted. Canada is now crafting regulations to reinforce that national policy. LNG developers flogging a dead horse won't change reality and won't change the outcome.

Canada may ban gas tankers from key passage — CP, Portland Press-Herald, Portland, ME

People opposing the LNG terminals say the potential tanker traffic poses a serious environmental threat to the pristine waters of Passamaquoddy Bay.

Webmaster's Comments: "May ban"? Canada has already strongly stated, several times, that it will ban LNG tankers from Head Harbour Passage.

Natural-gas producers are on sale — Morningstar, Inc; Chicago, IL

For the second straight year, we have seen natural-gas producers' stocks sell off over the course of the summer as natural-gas storage levels reach record highs. Mild weather, which has limited heating and cooling demand over the past two years, is the root of the problem. As a result, natural-gas spot prices have recently been hovering around $5 per mcf (thousand cubic feet). We think that this is a pretty low level given strong domestic demand, the declining nature of natural-gas wells, and the cost to find new reserves. In our opinion, natural-gas prices will have to average more than $7 per mcf over the next five years to encourage investment in new supply. (Sep 10)

Natural gas island off Jersey coast fuels debate — The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ

It sounds like the setting for a futuristic novel. Out in the Atlantic Ocean, about 19 miles east of Sandy Hook, a Manhattan-based company wants to create a 62.5-acre artificial island.

Built from sand, gravel and rock, the island would have a terminal where every other day two ocean tankers would deliver shipments of liquefied natural gas stored at -269 degrees Fahrenheit.

Excelerate, Exmar, Armada & MEBA reach LNG crewing pact [Press release] —

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association (MEBA) has signed an agreement with Armada Companies, LLC to supply U.S. Coast Guard-licensed officers for liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers. Armada has a contract with Belgium-based Exmar, N.V., to provide U.S.-citizen merchant officers supplied by MEBA to serve onboard Exmar's LNG vessels. This week MEBA began integrating LNG officers into Exmar's fleet. (Sep 10)

As summer ends in the United States, LNG imports decline — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

NATS predicts that gas prices will favor European destinations for LNG until next spring.

Rockies spot gas prices plunge to lowest levels in 15 years — Platts [Free registration required]

Spot gas prices in the Rocky Mountain region shattered previous historic lows Tuesday....

Analysis: U.S. LNG imports could rise by 40% in 2008 — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

However, a U.K.-based consultant disagreed with Tudor Pickering's conclusion, stating that their report does not adequately account for start-up delays and lag time before projects meet their full output capacity. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Sep 10)

Atlantic LNG boss escapes kidnappers — Newsday, Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies

Atlantic LNG Chairman Gordon Deane had to jump out of a speeding van to escape from kidnappers who snatched him from his Toco estate on Saturday afternoon. (Sep 10)

Webmaster's Comments: What are the implications of this event in relation to the US receiving the majority of its imported LNG from Trinidad & Tobago?


10 September 2007

Ottawa considers anti-tanker legislation — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

ST. ANDREWS - The federal government is pondering legislation that would forbid massive liquefied natural gas tankers from entering Passamaquoddy Bay, the site of two potential American LNG facilities, Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson said Sunday.

"I'm a new minister (but) it's the same position," said [Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Bernier] in brief comments made to reporters. "This passage is internal waters and it's very important for us (to) protect our people, the environment and the industry here. It's a very important position. The prime minister has been very clear."

In a recent meeting, Stephen Harper reiterated to U.S. President George W. Bush that Canada will not allow tankers into the waterway, known for its narrow entry, strong currents and fog.

"Canada is a sovereign nation that has taken a position and we would expect the developers to respect that position. It has been articulated in a very strong, forceful way and it's a position we're not going to back away from. I hope they're listening," stated Member of Parliament Greg Thompson, member of Cabinet, and representative of southwestern New Brunswick.

Webmaster's Comments: Pretending to be immune to reality, the LNG developers' projects are mindlessly marching down the road to self-destruction, at an ever-growing expense to their investors. Canada is solidly digging in, ensuring that LNG will never enter Passamaquoddy Bay.

Possible supertanker ban in the Bay of Fundy strains border relations — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

Although Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently told U.S. President George W. Bush that Canada will not permit tankers through Head Harbour Passage, the Maine LNG proposals are continuing to be reviewed.

Webmaster's Comments: US, Maine, and local tax dollars continue to be wasted on vetting these impotent projects.

Ottawa to consider regulations banning U.S.-bound tankers from N.B. waterway — CP, / WCSH, Portland, ME

Although Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently told President George W. Bush that Canada will not permit tankers through Head Harbour Passage, the Maine LNG proposals are continuing to be reviewed.

"It's surreal," said Janice Harvey, spokeswoman for the Passamaquoddy group.

"The U.S. has been aware of Canada's strongly-held position since Feb. 14 ... yet the process on the U.S. side continues as if Canada has said nothing."

Webmaster's Comments: Canada has already stated its national policy preventing LNG ships from entering Passamaquoddy Bay. The proposed legislation is simply confirming the existing policy.

Diplomats discover our corner of Canada — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Photo caption: Janice Harvey of Save Passamaquoddy Bay/Canada speaks with Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier, right, and New Brunswick Southwest MP Greg Thompson outside the Algonquin Hotel in St. Andrews Sunday after a meeting to discuss liquefied natural gas tankers using the bay. Thompson said the federal government is considering legislation to prevent U.S. tankers from entering Passamaquoddy Bay.

Oil spill exercise planned for St. Croix and Passamaquoddy Bay — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

While the organizers of the exercise recognize the current LNG (liquefied natural gas) controversy is ongoing in St. Andrews and surrounding areas, they are anxious to dispel any rumours that may link the oil spill exercise to the LNG debate. (Sep 7)

Explosions strike Mexico gas pipelines — AP, Yahoo News

VERACRUZ, Mexico - Mexican gas and oil pipelines were attacked in six places before dawn Monday, causing explosions, fires and gas leaks that forced the evacuation of thousands of people.


8 September 2007

LNG issue on national group's radar — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

ST. ANDREWS - Municipal leaders from across Canada have seen the signs and are taking notice of this tourist town's anti-LNG stance. (Sep 7)

LNG project in N.B. accelerated with announcement for third tank at site — Amherst Daily News, Amherst, NS

The third tank isn’t subject to a federal or provincial environmental impact process since it was part of the original 2004 approval. (Sep 6)

Pipeline called viable despite drop in gas use — Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage, AK

BP REPORT: Consumption of natural gas declines in U.S., increases worldwide.

U.S. natural gas consumption has declined for two consecutive years, but that doesn't necessarily mean chances for an Alaska gas pipeline are diminished, a BP economist said Thursday.

World natural gas consumption grew by 2.5 percent, close to the 10-year average, but U.S. gas consumption declined for the second year in a row.

U.S. gas production rose by 2.3 percent, the strongest gain since 2001. The growth was due to recovery from hurricane-related outages in the Lower 48, as well as more rigs drilling for gas, Finley said. [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Sep 7)

Canada won't offer subsidies for Mackenzie gas project: Minister — Platts

The proposed C$7 billion ($6.65 billion) project would create a 758-mile pipeline and move an initial 1.2 Bcf of northern onshore gas along the Mackenzie Valley to major markets in North America. (Sep 5)

Jordan Cove Energy Project L.P. and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, L.P. seek FERC approval to construct an LNG terminal and natural gas transmission system in Oregon [Press release] — CNN Money

The Jordan Cove LNG project, to be located in the International Port of Coos Bay, Ore. is a state-of-the-art LNG import terminal that will provide a new competitive source of clean-burning natural gas to meet the region's growing energy demands. The facility will include a marine berth capable of receiving LNG supplies from specially-designed marine vessels, two full containment 160,000 cubic meter LNG tanks (3.2 billion cubic feet per tank) for storage of the natural gas in liquid form, regasification and send out capacity of 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, an integrated electric power plant, and a natural gas liquids extraction facility to recover propane and butane to ensure compliance with regional gas specifications. (Sep 4)

Webmaster's Comments: "State of the art?" Have readers seen this location? (Using Google Earth, go to Lat 43°25'48.71"N Long 124°14'51.62"W) The proposed port would be just 1/2 mile (the width of the channel) from Southwest Oregon Regional Airport. The narrow channel passes close to populated areas — so close that the LNG ships' 2.2-mile-wide "Zones of Concern" (hazard zones) would include residential areas, businesses, several schools, a bridge, several parks, research facilities, and a community airport. This is another proposed LNG project that violates world-class LNG-industry SIGTTO standards, in spite of the ability to construct an LNG import facility 10 miles offshore and safely away from the public.

Activists try to revive bill on LNG study — Ventura County Star, Ventura, CA

The measure, which has the support of two firms seeking to build LNG terminals, was quietly and unexpectedly shelved in the Assembly late last week. Unless that action is reversed in the next several days, lawmakers will adjourn for the year without taking action.

…NorthernStar Natural Gas, supports the bill, believing that the proposed needs assessment would help the State Lands Commission and Coastal Commission in their decision-making on future proposals that may come before them.

…Sound Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi, has lobbied heavily against the bill. In a letter to the committee, lobbyist Mark Timmerman wrote the measure "undermines existing environmental project siting requirements." (Sep 6)

Terminal stupidity [Opinion] — Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA [Free registration required]

Would a liquefied natural gas terminal on California's coast be a cost-effective source of comparatively clean energy for years to come? Or would it be a dangerous liability that pollutes coastal areas and threatens the lives of thousands of people? You'd think state lawmakers would want to know the answers to such questions before approving an LNG terminal, but a common-sense bill to provide them has languished for two years in the Legislature and is poised to fail yet again. (Sep 6)

OceanWay one step closer to securing operation licence — Energy Current, Houston, TX

The U.S. Coast Guard and the City of Los Angeles on Sept. 4 said Woodside Natural Gas Inc.'s application for a licence to operate OceanWay, an offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) project was "deemed complete" and had met federal and state requirements to begin a full environmental assessment.

If approved, LNG would be converted back to natural gas at sea on board a regasification tanker, which would unload its cargo through two underwater buoys located 28 miles (45 km) off the coast of Los Angeles. The buoys would be connected to undersea pipelines feeding into the existing Southern California pipeline infrastructure near Los Angeles International Airport. No offshore structure will be visible when the ships are not moored to the buoys to unload their cargos. (Sep 5)

Webmaster's Comments: Yet another offshore LNG terminal, keeping the "Zones of Concern" (2.2-mile-wide Hazard Zones that accompany LNG ships) safely away from the public — unlike the shoreside LNG terminals being proposed by Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Northeast Energy.

Gas guzzler — Forbes, New York, NY

From the jetty where early next year giant tanker ships will begin unloading cargoes of liquefied natural gas, workers sometimes spot gray whales heading down the Baja coast to calving spots near Cabo San Lucas. Early plans for the $1.1 billion Energía Costa Azul project called for a sonar system to warn the leviathans not to come too close to the LNG terminal. Its owner, Sempra Energy, has spent $1 million funding research on the whales. (Sep 17 issue)

Repsol sole bidder to supply Mexican LNG import facility — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Repsol will begin supplying 90 MMcf/d in 2011 to the Manzanillo LNG western Mexico project. Planned volumes are to reach 500 MMcf/d in 2015. Repsol will supply this LNG from its share of the Camisea field in Peru. (Sep 6)

Webmaster's Comments: Repsol has the natural gas supply to provide LNG to the Mexican project. Repsol has previously indicated that it already has its LNG supply for the Canaport project, as well.

Costa Azul LNG likely to cut California gas prices: Sempra CFO — Platts

Sempra Energy's nearly complete 1 Bcf/day liquefied natural gas import terminal in Mexico will be the first "and perhaps only" LNG import terminal on the North American West Coast, Executive Vice President and CFO Mark Snell said Thursday. (Sep 6)

Homeland insecurity: Floating targets — Mother Jones, San Francisco, CA

In a 2004 letter to Markey, Homeland Security assistant secretary for legislative affairs Pamela Turner wrote that "there is no economically feasible engineering or design solution that could mitigate the consequences of a large scale LNG release on the vessel's hull." In other words, safer tankers are too expensive.

Should the Coast Guard have to defend against a terrorist attack in the open ocean with its current fleet of cutters, there is concern that its aged ships are not up to the task. (Sep 6)


4 September 2007

LNG firm antes up for fuel aid, wind power — Gloucester Daily Times, Gloucester, MA

"We know our energy future, especially in the near term, must be a mix of fossil and renewable fuels," said Rob Bryngelson, president and CEO of Excelerate. "That is why Excelerate wanted to fund a renewable energy project somewhere along the Massachusetts shore." (Sep 3)

Webmaster's Comments: Excelerate Energy builds offshore LNG import facilities using submerged buoy technology — safely away from people. Their commitment to funding wind energy shows another significant difference between themselves and the proposed LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay.


1 September 2007

US LNG terminal building boom will lead to massive underuse of capacity — Energy Business Review, London, UK

Given the forecasted growth in LNG, even if 10% (3.4bcm) of the terminals that have been approved for construction are actually built, there would still be a glaring underuse of capacity.

The construction and underuse of so many terminals could potentially increase the risk of volatility in the industry if its growth rates are not maintained or increased. Yet the US government is trying to spur investment in LNG projects to increase the region's penetration in the energy landscape as an alternative energy supply. (Aug 31)

Webmaster's Comments: In other words, the US government's "LNG everywhere" attitude, underutilized LNG terminal investment, and volitile LNG market may result in higher prices for US consumers — exactly the opposite result that the LNG industry says is coming from the industry's mad rush to build more LNG terminals.


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