"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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30 April 2008
Federal regulators in the U.S. have suspended a review of an Oklahoma-based company’s plan to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Pleasant Point Reservation in Maine due to insufficient information.
Those requests were made in May and October 2007. [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 29)
The array of instruments conceived by biologist and engineer Christopher W. Clark of the Cornell Lab and engineer John Kemp of WHOI was largely funded by Excelerate Energy, L.L.C., as part of its environmental compliance associated with its Northeast Gateway deepwater port for liquefied natural gas (LNG). The import facility is set to begin operations in spring 2008.
The new listening system allows researchers to detect the location of whales in real time and alert ship operators and coastal resource managers to their presence. With advance warning, ships can be slowed or re-routed to prevent collisions, which is the most common cause of death for the iconic New England whale.
"Broadwater is about to embark on a long, costly and doomed legal battle against a coalition of determined states. Connecticut and New York have joined forces in a dogged, resolute fight to kill this threatened assault on Long Island Sound," Blumenthal said in a statement this week.
“Federal agencies are all too quick to rubberstamp these facilities, despite the significant and very real concerns of Baltimore residents, the State of Maryland, and this Senator,” said Senator Mikulski. “I am absolutely opposed to an LNG facility in Sparrows Point. I am deeply concerned for the safety of communities surrounding LNG sites and the potential environmental impact of these facilities. I will continue to stand up for Maryland, even as federal agencies rush this process.”
“FERC’s draft environmental impact statement fails to adequately address the safety issues of locating a LNG facility in a populated, urban area or what the substantial upgrades to security would entail,” said Senator Cardin. [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 29)
Webmaster's Comments: Unlike Maine's federal delegates Sen. Olympia Snowe, Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Mike Michaud, and Rep. Tom Allen Maryland's delegates are standing up for safety of, and the rights of, their state's citizens.
"You have once again decided to ignore our safety, security and environmental concerns about this proposed facility. You also have chosen to ignore the concerns of the state of Maryland and Baltimore County."
Long Beach City College plans to use $1.2 million in new funding to implement an LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) program starting this year that would train hundreds of port workers, create a new curriculum for LBCC students and launch a class at Cabrillo High School, all teaching the alternative fuel technology.
USA: Shell Ship Management Ltd. and the American Maritime Officers (AMO) union today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalizing the addition of U.S. seafarers to Shell's officer cadre for its global liquefied natural gas (LNG) fleet.
29 April 2008
Cassidy remarks that he finds it interesting that the mayor of St. Andrews has said that tourism and industry don't mix, yet a state-of-the-art LNG and regasification terminal is under construction in nearby Saint John. (Apr 25)
Webmaster's Comments: Industrialization of Passamaquoddy Bay would damage nature-based tourism that already exists here and is growing. Saint John is already an industrialized city, without the natural attributes of Passamaquoddy Bay.
Donald Smith, president of Quoddy Bay LNG, told Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] that he does not anticipate any long-term problems for the company's LNG proposal for Maine, despite FERC's decision to suspend review of Quoddy Bay's LNG terminal application. In its letter announcing the decision, FERC stated that it did not have enough information to continue to review the application at this time.
Webmaster's Comments: Quoddy Bay LNG has already failed to answer FERC's questions for a year, resulting in FERC suspending review of their application.
“Shell Oil is once again turning to friends appealing to the Big Energy Bush Administration's U.S. Department of Commerce. This federal administration and its Secretary of Commerce are short lived and certainly will not have the final say on Broadwater. If they fail to respect the law which Broadwater would clearly violate the courts can overrule them.” Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal
In order to have the coastal management decision overturned, Broadwater must prove that“the activity is consistent with the objectives of the (coastal zone management act) or is otherwise necessary in the interests of national security,” according to information on the Commerce Department Web site.
The appeal follows decisions by M. Jodi Rell, the governor of Connecticut, a Republican, and David A. Paterson, the governor of New York, a Democrat, who both oppose the $700 million terminal by the energy company, Broadwater, a consortium of Shell Oil and TransCanada Pipelines.
New York Governor David Paterson on April 12 rejected the project because of potential environmental damage. Under federal laws, the Commerce Department can override state objections if an appeal is filed within 30 days. The department then has a year to respond to the appeal.
OTTAWA -- Broadwater Energy has launched a long-shot appeal to revive its plan to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound, but New York State's rejection of the proposal underscores the tremendous hurdles facing proponents of LNG sites in the northeastern United States.
The populous region is a major destination for Canadian natural gas both from Western Canada and for growing supplies from the Maritimes and producers had worried that supplies of foreign liquefied gas could provide stiff competition and keep a lid on prices in the coming years.
Broadwater Energy on Monday said it will ask the US Department of Commerce to overturn New York's April 10 decision to reject the company's planned 1 Bcf/d liquefied natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound. (Apr 28)
According to Platts LNG Daily, Angela O'Connor, president of the New England Power Generators Association, expressed concern that new sources of LNG being imported into New England may result in changes in gas quality that potentially could affect electric reliability.
Webmaster's Comments: LNG terminals typically "dilute" natural gas with (non-flammable) nitrogen in order to bring down the resulting burning temperature of the gas (because of the hotter-burning non-methane fuels in the gas). "New sources of LNG" would need more nitrogen dilution; thus, the additional dilution operations would mean more pollution at the LNG terminal.
Also, since the resulting natural gas would still contain higher amounts of non-methane, such as butane, propane, and ethane all more polluting than methane customers of the resulting natural gas would be polluting the air more.
New England Power Generators Association's concerns, as expressed in the above article, happen to perfectly contradict statements by Quoddy Bay LNG's Brian Smith to Maine Board of Environmental Protection Chairman Ernest Hilton (2008 Mar 14 letter, PDF, 177.1 KB).
NorthernStar Natural Gas argues that parklands are not ‘protected’
In summarizing the issue, the title says county zoning law "previously prohibited pipelines, sewer lines and cables in areas zoned as open space, parks and recreational lands. The County Commission recently amended that land-use ordinance to allow pipelines, such as one for a liquid natural gas line."
As with any globally traded commodity, the marginal price sets the price for everyone. If Japan is willing to pay $20 per million BTUs (mmBTU) for LNG, prices globally will float up towards this price, and that’s about what we should expect to pay here in the Northwest if an LNG terminal is built. We’ll essentially be linking our mostly regional market to an intensely competitive global market for LNG, where the price is set by the highest bidder.
The Coast Guard has strongly opposed the provision because, in their view, it shifts security responsibility from owners and operators to the Coast Guard and will force the Coast Guard to draw security resources from other important tasks to concentrate on LNG security. Many terminal owners oppose the provision, especially those with terminals under development, because the newly proposed burdens would fall heaviest on such terminals.
CHICAGO -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Utilities, power generators and industrial end-users are going to have to pick their spots and move quickly to secure lower-priced natural gas in the increasingly higher-priced and challenging market, according to Val Trinkley of EnergyUSA, a NiSource company, who will be conducting a strategy workshop at GasMart 2008 in Chicago May 20-22.
Markey’s amendment calls for DHS to assess whether the waterway leading to a proposed waterside LNG facility meets security and safety concerns and would be suitable for the increased marine traffic that would result from any LNG facility. DHS would then communicate their assessment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and FERC, in turn, would be required to tell DHS what action FERC will take on the LNG application within 90 days or the expiration of any available appeal, whichever is later.
“The need for this kind of commonsense coordination between DHS and FERC has been highlighted recently by the situation in Fall River, Massachusetts, where the FERC has approved a license for an LNG facility that the Coast Guard says shouldn’t be built because the waterway to the facility is not suitable. Despite this action by the Coast Guard, which effectively blocks the facility, the FERC license remains in place. This lack of coordination makes no sense and my amendment will ensure that this doesn’t happen in future siting decisions,” Markey said. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Apr 24)
28 April 2008
As a member of the IEN delegation, Bridges is putting forth the Passamaquoddy community's issues around the proposed LNG industrial site as part of the local organization's global approach to keeping Passamaquoddy Bay free of LNG. (Apr 25)
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday suspended its review of Quoddy Bay LNG's proposed liquefied natural gas terminal on Passamaquoddy land in Washington County because of insufficient data.
The FERC letter notes that Quoddy Bay has not submitted information that has been requested in the past.“We haven’t decided whether to build the electric generation and the nitrogen plant because we haven’t finalized LNG supply. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia and WALTHAM, Mass. Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline is proposing to increase the capacity of the U.S. portion of its pipeline system to transport new natural gas supplies from EnCana Corporation’s planned Deep Panuke project, located off the coast of Nova Scotia, to growing markets in Atlantic Canada and the Northeast United States.
Following a successful open season for its Phase V Project, Maritimes has executed a commercial agreement with a subsidiary of EnCana to transport up to 170,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) year-round, and an additional 30,000 Dth/d during the winter months.
The Phase V Project continues Maritimes’ efforts to add incremental supplies from diverse sources to ensure that Atlantic Canada and the Northeast markets of the Mid-Atlantic and New England states have access to ample natural gas. (Feb 5)
Webmaster's Comments: Expansion Phase V will not be completed until 2010. This expansion will not be able to accommodate natural gas from the proposed LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay.
Newfoundland LNG Ltd. proposes to construct, operate and eventually decommission a LNG transshipment and storage terminal. The proposed development would include a marine terminal comprised of thee jetties, a tug berth, eight LNG storage tanks, and supporting infrastructure including an access road, office facilities, security fencing, and utilities such as water and power. The proposed facility will provide LNG to markets in the north-eastern United States and Canada.
The appeal follows decisions by Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell, a Republican, and New York's David Paterson, a Democrat, who both oppose the $700-million (U.S.) terminal by Broadwater, a consortium of Shell Oil and TransCanada Pipelines Ltd.
“They apparently are in favour of squandering their money,” [said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment]. “They can appeal all they want. We are very confident they are going to lose. They are acting like a spoiled child that is not used to losing.”
Meanwhile, state and local officials and environmentalists in New York and Connecticut have in recent weeks formally asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reverse its March 20 decision approving Broadwater's application with conditions, on the grounds of potential environmental damage to the sound and a contention that the commission violated federal law by making its decision before New York State officials had made theirs.
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. Elected officials and environmentalists shrugged off an announcement Monday by Broadwater Energy that it would appeal to the U.S. commerce secretary in its bid to build the world's first floating liquefied natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound.
Rather than go down that path, Blumenthal called on Broadwater to "surrender now" and avoid the expense of years of litigation "for a needless project when safer and saner natural gas supply alternatives have already been proposed."
Plans to build two liquefied natural gas plants about 20 miles off the Monmouth County coast deserve to sink under the weight of major safety and environmental concerns. Local, state and federal lawmakers who represent the Jersey Shore should muster support from their colleagues in what is sure to be a fierce battle to protect the ocean from this latest environmental onslaught.
Maryland state and local government officials have expressed opposition to the project, saying it would bring LNG tankers up Chesapeake Bay and potentially disrupt Baltimore Harbor vessel traffic. New York state officials raised similar points Apr. 10 when they rejected the proposed Broadwater LNG project in Long Island Sound.
In a March filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission - which has the final say in the project's approval - NorthernStar representatives suggested changing their proposed method of reheating the imported gas from one that relies on burning natural gas to one that also requires a large helping of Columbia River water.
The $8.4 billion Coast Guard bill that overwhelmingly passed the U.S. House last week contains much of local relevance, most notably a requirement that the USCG must enforce security zones around liquefied natural gas terminals and arriving tankers.
It will come as a surprise to many here that there previously was no such rule. Although the Coast Guard provides some security for LNG sites and ships, USCG Commandant Adm. Thad Allen strenuously objected last week to having LNG duties written into law, something he said robs the Coast Guard of "necessary discretion and flexibility to meet our mission demands in an often-changing, dangerous operating environment."
Natural gas will be critical in our efforts to combat climate change and support renewable development. But as your local provider, we see tighter gas supplies and higher energy prices ahead. We believe it's going to take ingenuity and investment in a variety of energy resources, including LNG, for us to meet both our goals in greenhouse gas reduction and our economic aspirations. [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 27)
Webmaster's Comments: What Gregg Kantor says might be true -- or what he says might just be more of the same over-selling of natural gas that we've learned to expect from industry members. A more credible assessment should come from a source without an interest in either side of the issue.
Take a good look at the leading advocates of the three major proposals to build multi-billion-dollar liquefied natural gas receiving facilities in California and you can't help wondering about state agency decisions that make those plans seem feasible.
That's because some of the same people who made or recommended key LNG reports and rulings by the state Energy and Public Utilities commissions are now leading players in bids enabled by those decisions.
Even under the federal law forcing former government officials to wait three years before lobbying their ex-colleagues, former members of Congress are exempt and there are no rules at all against regulators going to work for companies after making decisions that give them millions or even billions of dollars in profits.
It's wrong, and it makes suspect every decision these ex-officials ever had a hand in. [Red emphasis added.]
The decision, available in FERC's eLibrary under Docket No. CP06-61, states that FERC could not know how much gas imported from the Costa Azul LNG terminal would be consumed and that the California Public Utilities Commission is the proper authority to set restrictions on emissions by end-users.
26 April 2008
"Without complete responses to these requests, we cannot proceed with our engineering review or with the preparation of the draft environmental impact statement," reads the letter from J. Mark Robinson, director of FERC’s Office of Energy Projects.
J. Mark Robinson, director of FERC's Office of Energy Projects, said FERC could not complete its review or prepare the project's draft Environmental Impact Statement without information requested from Quoddy Bay concerning the terminal's proposed vaporizer revision as well as the safety and reliability of the proposed cryogenic transfer line. (Apr 25)
FERC has suspended review of the Quoddy Bay LNG Import Project, a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Washington County, ME, because project backers have said they are unable to provide requested information, the Commission said Friday.
With the stepped-up role in enforcement, the bill also gives the Coast Guard greater authority to review the security plans made by LNG companies to make sure the agency has the resources needed to enforce them.
The project has been criticized by elected officials at every level. They say the facility is too close to homes in the Dundalk area, especially to the historically black neighborhood of Turners Station, if there were an accident or a terrorist attack on the LNG tankers or facility. [Red emphasis added.]
If the LNG terminal is approved, North Bay and other agencies will enter into contractual agreements with Jordan Cove Energy Project. For now, the only financial assistance the agencies received was getting transportation to Louisiana.
Webmaster's Comments: The problem is, emergency response plans aren't developed until after terminal approval. Then, communities no longer have bargaining power with developers for emergency response requirement cost sharing.
25 April 2008
The bill includes an amendment that will allow the Coast Guard to consider state and local security resources when determining whether resources are available to protect LNG terminals and vessels only if the state or local government "has entered into a contract, cooperative agreement, or other arrangement to provide the services." The previous version of the bill would have prohibited the Coast Guard from considering any state and local security resources.
PROVIDENCE In a near-unanimous vote Wednesday, the state House of Representatives approved legislation that would require a slew of additional approvals for any emergency response plan developed for the transportation of liquefied natural gas through Rhode Island waters.
Webmaster's Comments: Local communities and states are taking back their rights regarding their own safety and destiny.
Gallison’s House colleagues Wednesday voted in favor of the Bristol representative’s bill that would require General Assembly and municipal approval for any emergency response plan developed in regards to LNG. In the matter of the Weaver’s Cove Energy proposal that would mean the Rhode Island towns of Newport, Jamestown, Middletown, Portsmouth, Tiverton, Bristol and Warren would have to join the Assembly in ratifying any Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency response plan.
“Every city and town along the bay is potentially put at risk by LNG tankers traveling toward Fall River in the bay,” Gallison said. “If there were an emergency, cities and towns affected by it would have to be a part of the response plan." [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 24)
FERC Staff concluded that, if constructed and operated in accordance with the mitigation measures proposed by the developer and those recommended by Staff, and in accordance with U.S. Coast Guard safety and security measures, "construction and operation of the proposed facilities and the related LNG marine traffic would have limited adverse environmental impact and would be an environmentally acceptable action."
FERC staff prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the AES Sparrows Point LNG, LLC and Mid-Atlantic Express, L.L.C. (collectively, AES) Sparrows Point LNG and Mid-Atlantic Express Pipeline Project. The liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal is proposed for an industrial port setting on Sparrows Point, in Baltimore County, Maryland, and consist of facilities capable of unloading LNG ships, storing up to 480,000 cubic meters (m3) of LNG, vaporizing the LNG, and sending out natural gas at a baseload rate of 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd). The pipeline would include about 88 miles of 30-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline (about 48 miles in Maryland and 40 miles in Pennsylvania), ending in Eagle, Pennsylvania.
Webmaster's Comments: This is another case of LNG industry terminal siting standards being ignored. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.)
According to Alaska's Department of Natural Resources, Exxon's disability to develop the field under 22 previously submitted development plans has led to the rejection of the latest proposal. (Apr 24)
[NOTE: This same story was published by The Daily Astorian under the headline, "House passes Coast Guard LNG safety bill despite Bush veto threat".]
Last September, as officials fielded questions about another proposed LNG facility, in Warrenton, state Sen. Betsy Johnson asked, "Will the Coast Guard use Coast Guard assets for escorting for-profit ships to the site, and if that is, in fact, what occurs, how does that affect your Homeland Security or humanitarian missions?"
Capt. Patrick Gerrity, then Captain of the Port in Portland and the Coast Guard's local authority on LNG's maritime security, responded: Although a 2005 energy law requires companies to offset the costs to local authorities protecting LNG facilities, it does not require a shared payment plan with the Coast Guard. "It would be a federal burden," he said.
The House sort of defied a threatened Bush veto by by passing the $8.4 billion Coast Guard Authorization Act by a veto-proof 395 to 7. However, the bill as-passed now includes a Republican-backed amendment that allows the Coast Guard take into account agency, state and local government security resources when deciding on security needs for LNG terminals and vessels--the issue that prompted the veto threat.
The reasons for opposition - usually safety and environmental concerns - are belied by the excellent record LNG has amassed in this country. To be sure, these concerns, including the overhyped claim that LNG facilities would be easy terror targets, should be addressed through strong safeguards. But overblown fears are hardly a valid reason to stop these projects.
Webmaster's Comments: The author of the above column ignores the LNG industry's own safe practices standards (see SIGTTO) regarding LNG terminal siting.
SIGTTO states that LNG terminals should not be sited where the vapor from an LNG release could affect civilians. It is the industry, itself, expressing safety concerns about inappropriate terminal siting that could result in the demise of the LNG industry and of US energy security. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.)
24 April 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) Defying President George W. Bush's threatened veto, the House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill making the U.S. Coast Guard enforce security zones around eight liquefied natural gas terminals and any arriving tankers all potential terrorism targets.
Under the bill, security plans for LNG sites cannot be approved unless the Coast Guard determines there are adequate agency, state and local government resources to handle security risks, Cummings said.
Webmaster's Comments: This means lower probability of LNG terminal approval more bad news for Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG.
When Selectman Lorne Lawless questioned whether the pipes represented untried technology, especially for transporting LNG four miles, Shearer said similar pipes “have been in service for 40 to 50 years.”The pipe being contemplated for this project, the CEO said, “is certified for up to eight miles” at a pressure of 100 pounds per square inch. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: We challenge Shearer to identify where undersea cryogenic LNG pipes have been in service for 40 to 50 years.
“It’s a tested, safe, tried, true and proven way of delivering natural gas,” he said, adding that there have been “no accidents that have created any injury to the public.” [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 23)
[NOTE: This same story appears in the Herald News, Fall River, MA, published April 24.]
Webmaster's Comments: Perhaps Weaver's Cove CEO Shearer would like to inform government officials and the public exactly where his "tested, safe, tried, true and proven" underwater cryogenic LNG pipeline is in use and "proven" to be safe.
"Offshore" LNG terminals by US government definition are more than three miles offshore, outside of the state's limits, but within the US limits. MARAD (Maritime Administration, principally the US Coast Guard), rather than FERC, has authority over offshore terminal siting. The Weaver's Cove goofy new plan is well within state limits, still falls under FERC authority, and "offshore" doesn't apply.
Webmaster's Comments: The Weaver's Cove LNG project was permitted by FERC, but denied by the US Coast Guard. The developer thinks that by moving the proposed LNG tanker berth just one mile from thousands of people in several communities and two states (MA and RI) along with a goofball 4-mile underwater cryogenic LNG pipeline will make the plan more acceptable.
CANYONVILLE Despite the potential for a clash between placard-waving opponents of a natural gas pipeline through Western Oregon and its hopeful developers, dueling meetings Tuesday night in two adjacent rooms at Seven Feathers Hotel & Casino Resort were muted and eventually became one. (Apr 23)
Speaking on the sidelines of the CWC Group LNG 2008 conference, Sempra LNG's V.P. of commercial development, Octavio Simoes, told Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] that his company has initiated commissioning activities at its Energia Costa Azul LNG terminal in northwestern Mexico.
A second start-up liquefied natural gas cargo is set to arrive around May at Sempra LNG's Costa Azul LNG import terminal in Baja California, Mexico, the first such facility on Mexico's western coast, officials said at a San Antonio energy conference this week.
The first cargo arrived three weeks ago at the 1-Bcf/d terminal, he said. The second cargo will also be used for the 45- to 60-day commissioning period and not for commercial delivery. Sempra has said that commercial operations will begin in the second quarter.
Webmaster's Comments: Unfortunately for Dean Girdis, Downeast LNG won't be in any position to accept any LNG cargo under any conditions.
The US continued to be the major market for Atlantic LNG, with sixty-five percent of its cargoes being shipped there, while 17% went to Europe. Fifty-eight percent of the LNG imported by the United States in 2007 was shipped from Trinidad, according to Atlantic CEO Oscar Prieto.
Webmaster's Comments: Atlantic LNG is a member of SIGTTO, the LNG industry's standards-development organization. Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG all violate SIGTTO LNG industry terminal siting standards. For more about the standards, see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.
23 April 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush on Wednesday threatened to veto an $8.4 billion Coast Guard bill because it would make the agency enforce security zones around liquefied natural gas, or LNG, terminals.
Under a substitute amendment offered by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James L. Oberstar , D-Minn., the Coast Guard could not make security arrangements for LNG terminals based on a state or local government’s assessment unless that government has entered into a contract or other arrangement with the LNG terminal operator.
The Coast Guard also would have to certify that waterborne patrols operated as part of that arrangement have the necessary training, resources, personnel, equipment and experience to deter a security incident.
Platts LNG Daily reports that, on Monday, the Canadian Natural Resources Minister, Gary Lunn, announced the establishment of a Major Projects Management Office (MPMO), which will help coordinate the regulatory processes related to energy projects, including LNG import terminals.
Webmaster's Comments: In “US ‘FERC’ English,” Canada's use of the terms “coordinate” and “streamline” would translate into meaning “rubber stamp.”
"It disintegrated the pipe and everything. It knocked him, his scaffolding and everything off. We understand he was three stories high," explained Owens. "He was knocked to the ground and he landed on his head and broke his neck, crushed his skull and broke his arms."
USA: Trunkline LNG Company LLC will shut in operations beginning May 22 at its Lake Charles liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Louisiana to conduct its Infrastructure Enhancement Project tie-in work.
Cheniere Energy Chairman and Chief Executive Charif Souki is retaining his optimism about the prospects of the US LNG business in general and his company in particular despite import volumes less than half those of a year ago and a stock price that has dropped into single digits.... [Red emphasis added.]
"For 20 years we have worked hard to turn our ocean from `Ocean Dumping Capital of the World' to the `Clean Ocean Zone,'" said Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action. "We are enjoying the benefits and our coastal economy is thriving. Now Big Oil has set its greedy eyes on our ocean and threatens our quality of life."
Among the groups attending the rally were the Fishermen's Dock Co-Op in Point Pleasant Beach; the Fishermen's Conservation Association; the Surfers' Environmental Alliance; the Jersey Coast Anglers Association; the Audubon Society, and the Recreational Fishing Alliance
22 April 2008
St. Andrews mayoral candidates pledge to keep fighting Maine LNG developers
[Incumbent John Craig] said the major issue for the town continues to be the threat of liquefied natural gas in Passamaquoddy Bay. He said the people of not only St. Andrews but the entire bay need a strong, unwavering and committed voice to stand up and fight this major threat.
Boustany, a longtime supporter of liquefied natural gas, toured the new receiving terminal, which will significantly increase LNG access for much of the nation. Southwest Louisiana is committed to providing the nation access to the world’s supply of natural gas.
Total has entered into agreements to obtain long-term access to LNG regasification capacity on the three continents that are the largest consumers of natural gas: North America (United States and Mexico), Europe (France and the UK) and Asia (India), and is studying a plan for a terminal in Croatia. (Apr 21)
But it will have to wait for the right market conditions before greeting another.Cheniere Chief Executive Officer Charif Souki, who celebrated the opening of the LNG terminal Monday, said his company will wait until prices are reasonable before making additional cargo purchases. [Red emphasis added.]
For whatever reason, the atmosphere was fairly benign as Jordan Cove Energy Project and Pacific Connector Pipeline hosted an open house at The Mill Casino-Hotel on Monday to discuss the proposed liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline.
Unlike previous meetings, there were no speakers or formal presentations. Instead, the Salmon Room was lined with poster boards detailing how the two companies will deal with the environment, safety concerns and seismic events.
NORTH BEND - The controversial issue over the proposed liquefied natural gas terminal on the North Spit, turns to talk of a key component of the project facing a lot of opposition from the public. (Apr 21)
Webmaster's Comments: Supply versus demand, alone, does not determine natural gas prices, as this story indicates. Speculators and artificial price structuring like linking natural gas prices to oil are prominent influences. Regardless of what some LNG terminal developers claim, importing more LNG won't necessarily lower natural gas prices.
21 April 2008
The terminal, built by Cheniere Energy Inc., has a capacity of 26 billion cubic meters per year, which will be increased in a second phase development to 40 billion, making it the largest LNG terminal in the U.S., Total said.
The first phase, which was recently completed, has 2.6 billion cubic feet per day of send-out capacity and 10 Bcf of storage capacity. Once the second phase comes on line in the second quarter of 2009, Sabine Pass will have 4 Bcf/d of send-out and 16.8 Bcf of storage.
As the LNG site selection process becomes more visible, the worse it looks
The county commission's rejection of the county planning staff's lengthy LNG analysis and recommendation was a jaw dropper. The biggest joke was commissioners' judgment that the proposed LNG terminal was a small to medium facility.
Webmaster's Comments: LNG developer and FERC logic: If communities support a proposed LNG terminal, then the community opinion counts in FERC's decision-making. But, if they don't support it, then the opinion is irrelevant, and the community needs to be "educated."
Part of the supply problem is sharp drops in expected LNG cargoes to the US, as the global market--primarily Spain and Japan--are taking surplus cargoes that had been expected for delivery at US terminals. LNG imports have averaged 0.86 Bcf/d this year, instead of the predicted 2 Bcf/d, Lehman said.
"The DOE [Department of Energy] projects that US natural gas in storage will rise to within 110 Bcf of last year's record level and will be a comfortable 125 Bcf above the five-year average. That assumption is questionable, even with a recession factored into the situation," Lehman's analysts said.
Webmaster's Comments: More import terminals, yet higher prices.
Moves to coordinate the policy of the GECF [ Gas Exporting Countries Forum], whose members control two-thirds of global gas reserves, have raised fears about the possible emergence of a cartel-type organization.
Webmaster's Comments: This is more indication that natural gas may become an economic weapon used by countries unfriendly with the US. More LNG importing means more dependence on these countries not lower natural gas prices.
20 April 2008
NOW that New York has rejected Broadwater Energy’s floating natural gas plant in Long Island Sound, New York and Connecticut will rely on gas pipelines, conservation and renewable energy sources to meet emerging power needs, officials and others in both states said.
Several officials said that turning away Broadwater opened the way for regional energy planning involving the two states as well as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and even Maryland to overcome what they said was an absence of coherent federal energy planning.
Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment in Farmingdale, said it was a myth that Long Island needed Broadwater’s gas supply and could not afford to wait. “Just because it was the first project didn’t make it the right project,” she said. “We need to assess our energy needs and plan them appropriately, not have corporations dictate our energy policy based on their corporate needs.” [Bold red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: FERC's anything-big-energy-gets-approved misbehavior has gone on far too long, and states are taking back control. Are Maine's Governor Baldacci and Maine's federal delegates Sen. Olympia Snowe, Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Mike Michaud, and Rep. Tom Allen paying attention?
- They need to support Oregon Senator Wyden's bill to revoke FERC LNG terminal siting authority.
- They need to stand up with the LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization in requiring what the industry, itself, says will protect the industry, civilians, and US energy security SIGTTO LNG terminal siting standards.
When will Sen. Snowe and Sen. Collins join as co-sponsors to Wyden's bill?
Ask them now.
19 April 2008
In case you missed it (and most people did, it seems), just over two weeks ago the "brethren" of the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling concerning the siting of a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Delaware River, which forms the boundary between New Jersey and Delaware.
If this issue sounds familiar, it should - the issues confronting New Jersey (the project proponent) and Delaware (the opposing state) are quite similar to those between New Brunswick and Maine over the proposed construction of LNG terminals along the Maine shore of Passamaquoddy Bay.
For LNG opponents in Charlotte County, this finding is more relevant, as it essentially affirms the role of precedent as a guiding principle in administrative decision-making. In finding that Delaware had acted consistent with past practice, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially affirmed the position put forth by the Government of Canada regarding Passamaquoddy Bay.
In 1976, the Canadian government ruled that oil tankers would not be allowed to transit Head Harbour Passage (Canadian waters) because of safety and environmental concerns regarding the dangerous nature of their cargos.
In affirming Delaware's position, the Court effectively gave the back of its hand to the FERC for ignoring the sovereignty of the state. [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Apr 18)
Webmaster's Comments: Canada has rejected LNG ships from entering Passamaquoddy Bay. Canada's position is consistent with the world LNG terminal siting safety standards (see SIGTTO). The proposed LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay violate the LNG industry's own standards, and ignore Canada's sovereign rights and will ultimately result in even greater losses to the projects' investors.
One has to wonder whether Weaver’s Cove has a conscience. Why would a company continue to press a project on a community that does not want it unless it was for the sake of financial profit? Now they offer us an alternative to their insane project because they claim to be listening to the community’s concerns on how to best provide a safe and secure supply of natural gas to the area.
But I don’t believe Weaver’s Cove suddenly acquired a conscience. Instead, a "conscience" has been forced on them by the Coast Guard’s decision that the transportation route of the LNG vessels is unsuitable. All the perceived "good things" for Fall River that Shearer speaks about are not driven by the company’s desire to improve the quality of life for the local community; it is driven by the bottom line. [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 18)
Webmaster's Comments: And, FERC's conscience is lacking, since they issued a permit without taking into account the Coast Guard's opinion regarding safety and suitability of the waterway for LNG transport. FERC is supposedly a "cooperating agency" with the Coast Guard, according to the memorandum of understanding between the two agencies. Clearly, FERC's "cooperation" is a one-way street. It's time FERC's own arrogance gets straightened out, as proposed by Wyden's bill before the Senate.
In light of New York’s decision, Blumenthal said FERC reconsideration is imperative because FERC may not approve a project without a consistency determination under CZMA and New York’s decision demonstrates conclusively that the Federal Environmental Impact Study for Broadwater is fundamentally flawed.
“FERC is mindlessly adrift and completely alone in lawlessly supporting Broadwater,” Blumenthal said. “We’re asking FERC to heed New York and halt Broadwater. New York’s rejection requires FERC’s reversal. FERC’s illogical and illegal approval must be abandoned after New York’s responsible recognition that alternatives to Broadwater are better, safer and saner. [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 17)
The problem is two-fold. First, Cheniere has bet it's entire existence on demand for LNG. It will own all or part of three Gulf Coast LNG terminals, the first of which to come online is Sabine Pass, which received its first tanker load from Nigeria on April 11. Natural gas prices are high enough to support LNG imports, but domestic pipeline expansion projects have managed so far to limit the demand for imported gas. This could change by next year, but that's potentially another one of Cheniere's problem. [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 18)
Impressively, Wyden has recruited several other influential members of Congress in this effort. He says the FERC's almost unilateral approval process is flawed because "it's not going to address the issue of supply; it doesn't address the environmental issues. ... We have a huge array of proposals pending, bringing in far more gas than we could ever use, yet the federal agency won't even address the threshold questions." (Apr 18)
Webmaster's Comments: Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins both of whom have claimed to oppose the Energy Policy Act of 2005 provision that reduced state authority over LNG terminals, in favor of FERC super-authority need to step up now and join Wyden's non-partisan bill to revoke FERC's authority.
Tell US Sen. Snowe and US Sen. Collins that you want them to join Wyden's bill as co-sponsors.
Contact them now.
Before the commission approved the Bradwood Landing land-use application, paving the way for a $600 million LNG terminal and pipeline 20 miles east of Astoria, county law prohibited pipelines, sewer lines and cables in areas zoned OPR (open space, parks and recreation lands). (Apr 18)
…Qatar is similar to Trinidad and Tobago [and BG's strategy], in that Shell originally expected its cargoes from there to head to the US. Instead, they will be following BG's spot cargoes to Asia, the new engine of the world's economic growth. [Red emphasis added.]
New technologies and higher prices are leading to big new natural gas discoveries in the United States.
Over the last few months, big gas discoveries have been announced in the Northeast, Louisiana, and British Columbia. Together, they could boost natural gas reserves in the United States and Canada by up to 10%.
Output from the three new finds could boost production by six billion cubic feet a day over the next three to five years, according to Christopher Ruppel, an energy analyst at Execution LLC, a broker and research firm for institutional investors like hedge and mutual funds. That's about 9% more than the current U.S. output.
Fewer imports, less pollution
Webmaster's Comments: The message keeps getting louder and clearer: Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG are financial trainwrecks.
18 April 2008
All three selectmen have expressed strong opposition to the revised plan, which continues to call for a storage tank in Fall River but moves the offloading facility from the Taunton River about four miles southwest to Mount Hope Bay.
Webmaster's Comments: Some LNG developers in trouble seem to have an inability to think reasonably. Perhaps it's because they weren't thinking reasonably to begin with.
Richard Muth, director of the county's Office of Homeland Security, is scheduled to speak at a community meeting Tuesday about safety and security issues associated with the proposed liquefied natural gas terminal on Sparrows Point.X
"The skepticism is due to a shift in LNG imports away from U.S. shores, driven by strong demand in Europe and Asia," Carl Blake, a high yield bond analyst with Gimme Credit in Washington, said in a note to investors. [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 17)
The idea of siting a liquefied natural gas terminal on Coos Bay’s North Spit was first broached in the fall of 2004. For the project to break ground, it must obtain approval from various agencies under the umbrella of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. These include the U.S. Coast Guard, National Marine Fishery Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Webmaster's Comments: The proposed Coos Bay terminal location on the outside edge of a curve in the waterway, a serious violation of the LNG industry's terminal siting standards (see SIGTTO), since all other passing vessels would at one time or another be aimed directly at the berthed LNG ship directly across a narrow waterway from an airport, and with a shipping route too close to the cities of North Bend and Coos Bay, poses a significan Human Environment problem.
Given the intense opposition to the siting of LNG import terminals in California and Oregon, the LNG trade in western North America ultimately may center on facilities located in Baja California, Mexico and British Columbia.
In an April 10 letter to the editor of The (Gaithersburg, Md.) Gazette, Delegate Jolene Ivey explained that she introduced a bill that would require the Maryland Public Service Commission to use U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development safety standards when reviewing sites for LNG facilities. One such standard is keeping the facility at an "acceptable separation distance" from a residential area. (Apr 16)
[A]s with many resource-rich countries, it is often political decisions that drive scarcity, rather than the physical availability of resources. Russia needs to make sure that it remains an exception to this general rule, particularly if its LNG plans are to gain traction. Nevertheless, even if new fields come on-stream over the coming years, Russia could still find itself sticking to what it knows best, namely, using pipelines to cover potential supply gaps, rather than jumping too heavily into a liquefied world. (Apr 17)
17 April 2008
The following article casts serious doubt on the long-term availability of gas from [Trinidad & Tobago]. Not to mention the current intense competition from companies that are already in the gas game.
NEW YORK, April 16 (Reuters) Excelerate Energy said Wednesday it delayed for "scheduling reasons" the first liquefied natural gas delivery into the new Northeast Gateway LNG site off the coast of Massachusetts until sometime in May.
"The schedule for the delivery of the portion of the cargo destined for South America will require the ship-to-ship transfer of part of that cargo prior to the NEG commissioning activities. This is necessary to maintain fleet and terminal schedules and coincides with the start of South American heating season," the statement said. (Apr 16)
In today's Federal Register, the Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard announced the availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Port Dolphin LNG deepwater port.
WINNIPEG An outspoken Canadian native leader is urging Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to throw his weight behind an attempt to block two multibillion-dollar pipelines that will transport oil from Alberta to the United States.
"We're fighting big oil. We have two pipelines going through that [are] going to bring $47-billion a year in crude oil sales to the U.S., and we're saying the [federal] government is not sitting down with us. They're not following the law.
Webmaster's Comments: This looks very similar to Downeast LNG's pipeline abuse of Passamaquoddy-owned islands in the St. Croix River. The white man in the name of Big Energy continues to claim the right to Take from the First Nations/Native Americans.
Perhaps Venezuela will provide assistance to the Passamaquoddy in fighting the Downeast LNG injustice.
The facility will be owned and operated by Terasen Gas, a subsidiary of Canada-based Terasen Inc., and will be used to provide seasonal natural gas power to residents on the island and mainland areas of British Columbia. (Apr 16)
Project developer NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc. filed a motion in Clatsop County Circuit Court Tuesday for a preliminary injunction that would stop Interim Clatsop County Clerk Fred Neal from processing the ballot referendum proposed by project opponents last week.
One of the court cases cited by the company, Dan Gile and Associates, Inc. v. McIver, was addressed by Junkin in his legal opinion. Junkin took a different view of the case from the plaintiffs and concluded the county's decision on pipelines in OPR zones is a proper subject for a referendum. (Apr 16)
16 April 2008
The March 2005 agreement sees the Canaport liquefied natural gas terminal in Mispec pay only $500,000 a year in municipal taxes over 25 years. Critics have said the deal will cost the city more than $100 million in potential lost revenue by the time it expires.
WASHINGTON, D.C. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin (both D-Md.) today joined the Senate effort, led by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), to rescind the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) authority to permit liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. Senators Mikulski and Cardin have been outspoken critics of the proposed LNG facility at Sparrows Point in Baltimore.
“I have always opposed a new LNG facility in Sparrows Point, but today there is even more evidence that a new site is unsafe and unwise. Yet, federal agencies are all too quick to rubberstamp these facilities,” said Senator Mikulski. “I am deeply concerned for the safety of communities surrounding LNG sites and the potential environmental impact of these facilities. We need to put the decision-making back in the hands of the state and local governments who have a better understanding of the resources available to adequately protect potential LNG tankers and new facilities.” [Red emphasis added.]
The 900-foot-long liquefied natural gas tanker brought its inaugural cargo of the super-chilled fuel to the new Freeport LNG terminal on [Quintana Island] Tuesday, docking less than a mile from spots prized by birders and a county park popular for camping and fishing.
Michael Jewell, a birder from Houston visiting the Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary, located a few hundred yards from the terminal, said he'd prefer if it were somewhere else. [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 15)
Webmaster's Comments: In other words, the LNG terminal ships' Hazard Zones ("Zones of Concern" that extend 2.2 miles around each LNG ship) violate the LNG industry's own SIGTTO safety standards by endangering the public on Quintana Island and at Surfside Beach.
Also, the first LNG ship has arrived without an adequate Emergency Response Plan for Quintana Island being in place!
Commenting on the proposed arrangement, chairman and chief executive officer, Charif Souki said, “It has become evident to us that the capital markets are currently very difficult. This proposed strategic arrangement will allow us to receive large quantities of LNG without putting strain on our balance sheet. In addition, this proposed arrangement will allow us to reduce our overhead considerably, conserve our liquidity, and focus on maximizing the value of our terminal and pipeline.”
15 April 2008
The Sabine Pass LNG terminal is the largest LNG receiving terminal in North America by regasification capacity at 4 Bcf/d. Once fully operational, the terminal will have 16.8 Bcf of LNG storage capacity and two berths capable of handling the largest LNG vessels. It is located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, on 853 acres of land remote from dense population centers and only 3.7 miles (5.9 km) from the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Freeport LNG also expects to receive its first LNG cargo this week, according to media reports. Freeport LNG is a storage and regasification facility located on Quintana Island, about 70 miles (112 km) south of Houston, Texas. The terminal will have send-out capacity of 1.5 Bcf/d of gas.
Webmaster's Comments: Although not near dense population centers, the Sabine Pass LNG ship route and terminal still place the towns of Sabine and Sabine Pass well within the federally-defined Hazard Zones ("Zones of Concern") from an LNG release -- counter to the LNG industry's own terminal siting standards.
The Freeport LNG terminal makes the same standards-violations regarding the communities of Surfside Beach and Quintana Island.
Cheniere Energy Inc. said its new terminal in southwest Louisiana received its first cargo of liquefied natural gas Friday, and Freeport LNG Development LP is set to get its first shipment on the Texas Gulf Coast this week.
[G]iven the dozens of new LNG terminals either under construction or proposed, a potential glut of terminal capacity also has become an issue. The three new U.S. terminals will join five others that import LNG in Massachusetts, Maryland, Georgia, Louisiana and in the Gulf of Mexico. (Apr 14)
Against staff recommendations, the Planning Commission passed the variance with conditions Jan. 16. The Board held a public hearing on the variance March 12. Engineers for NorthernStar said they were unable to acquire the necessary land from Matoaka Forest LLC to improve the road so its turns met a minimum radius of 275 feet.
Columbia River Business Alliance, Columbia Riverkeeper, and Northwest Property Rights Coalition submitted a petition for a ballot referendum Friday on the county's recently passed ordinance allowing gas pipelines to run through county parks and open space. They've also sent out a notice of appeal detailing their intentions to challenge the county board's approval of the entire Bradwood land-use application before the Land Use Board of Appeals.
A legal opinion from county counsel John Junkin confirmed the referendum is a proper challenge to two sections of the entire county ordinance approving the Bradwood land-use application. The county board passed the ordinance March 20 by a 4-1 vote, clearing the way for a $600 million LNG terminal and sendout pipeline to be constructed 20 miles east of Astoria on the Columbia River. (Apr 14)
14 April 2008
Quoddy Bay LNG's deputy project manager Adam Wilson recently stated that besides the LNG import terminal at Everett, Mass., New England needs only two additional terminals. Wilson says the overbuild for LNG terminals is true in the Gulf area of the U.S., but there are not a sufficient number of import terminals on the East Coast or West Coast.
Save Passamaquoddy Bay spokesperson Robert Godfrey observed, "It's refreshing that Wilson recognizes only two additional LNG terminals are needed in New England." Godfrey is surprised that Wilson doesn't know about the three new terminals that are all about to go into service supplying New England Excelerate Energy's new Northeast Gateway LNG terminal offshore from Gloucester, Mass., is ready right now to accept its first cargo; the Suez Neptune terminal off Gloucester already permitted will be accepting its first cargo near the end of 2009; and the Canaport terminal at Saint John, N.B., that is over 60% complete and will be accepting its first cargo most of which will be piped to the Northeast U.S. near the end of 2008. These are three new terminals that will already be supplying New England. [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Apr 11)
Webmaster's Comments: Quoddy Bay LNG's Adam Wilson said it, himself: Only two new terminals are needed to supply New England. There are already three new terminals all permitted, one completed, another under construction, and the third to be constructed soon.
We salute Adam Wilson's candid admission that his QBLNG project is unneeded.
XFour U.S. senators introduced legislation on April 7 that would repeal portions of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 that took away states' regulatory role in siting liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. (Apr 11)
Webmaster's Comments: Another proposed cockamamie cryogenic LNG pipeline under US-1, just as unlikely as Quoddy Bay LNG's plan.
USA: The U.S. Coast Guard proposes to establish regulated navigation areas around the recently constructed Northeast Gateway liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, located in the Atlantic Ocean near the entrance to Boston Harbor, to establish safety and security zones around LNG carriers calling on the facility.
There is no municipal law enforcement in Quintana, only frequent patrols by Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office deputies or other state law enforcement, such as Department of Public Safety troopers. The main reason details on the street patrols have not been settled is because Quintana might hire a town marshal, Pynes said. But a single marshal cannot provide the 24/7 off-site security Freeport LNG is looking for during high-security periods, he said.
Pynes said the easiest solution would be for Quintana to contract with Freeport for police along with fire and emergency medical response. Freeport police already cross the nearby bridge for patrols on Bryan Beach, he said. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: FERC's requirement for an Emergency Response Plan has not been adequately met! How much money is LNG emergency response going to cost Quintana?
Each time a ship crawls into the harbor, water-borne authorities like the Coast Guard will shut down all boat traffic in a 1,000-meter radius. Petty Officer Second Class Richard Ahlers said it probably will take up to three hours for the boat and its security perimeter to pass through in the first arrivals. As ship captains and Coast Guard sailors become more accustomed to the process, it will be quicker, he said.
When the facility is at capacity, a ship will arrive every three to four days, Freeport LNG terminal manager Steven Arbelovsky said. But that kind of frequency is unlikely in the foreseeable future because LNG ships are going to greener pastures such as Asia, where the price of LNG is double what it is in the United States, Arbelovsky said.
“This used to be a pretty popular fishing spot,” Ahlers said as the patrol boat cruised past the towering blue pipes which will draw precious cargo into the site’s tanks. “Not anymore.” [Red emphasis added.]
The move signals that states can flex their muscles in deciding whether to allow the facilities into their waters, said Gayle Kiser, the president of a Cowlitz County anti-LNG group. On Friday, she said Paterson’s move is a model for how Oregon authorities could handle plans for NorthernStar Natural Gas’s terminal. [Red emphasis added.]
ASTORIA (AP) Opponents of a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal on the Columbia River above Astoria are gathering petition signatures for a ballot measure to reverse the Clatsop County Planning Commission’s approval for the project.
Representatives from Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove Energy Project will be available from 6 to 9 p.m. to answer questions about the LNG import terminal that would be located on Coos Bay’s North Spit, as well as the pipeline that would connect the terminal with a pipeline junction in Malin.
12 April 2008
The LNG ship isn't arriving on continental shores as first hoped, and initial enthusiasm over the prospect of LNG is, in some corners, beginning to fade. Critics say the fuel is difficult to secure, expensive to get, and in some circumstances not much cleaner than generating power from coal.
In fact, LNG imports are shrinking when they're supposed to be growing. Figures released Thursday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration revealed imports in the first quarter of 2008 were less than half the volume compared with a year ago. Over the year, the agency expects a 12-per-cent drop compared with 2007.
[Michael Griffin, a professor of environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, and two colleagues from Canegie Mellon] found that natural gas, while it has nearly half the carbon dioxide emissions of coal when burned, is far less climate-friendly in LNG form. Liquefying, transporting and regasifying natural gas uses tremendous amounts of energy and some of the gas is lost as "fugitive emissions" along the way. [Red and bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: This LNG terminal, plus Canaport (Saint John, NB) and Suez Neptune (also off Gloucester) are all permitted, and will be coming online years before the proposed projects in Passamaquoddy Bay (Canaport around the end of 2008, and Neptune around the end of 2009).
As Quoddy Bay LNG's deputy project manager Adam Wilson previously remarked to The Quoddy Tides newspaper, there is room for two LNG terminals in New England besides the one at Everett, Massachusetts. Well, not two, but three new terminals are already going to satisfy that need, making Quoddy Bay LNG, Downeast LNG, and Calais LNG particularly bad investments that even Quoddy Bay LNG has acknowledged.
The proposed zone will prohibit unauthorized vessels from entering within 500 meters of the offloading buoys or the LNG carriers, and from deploying any equipment that could become entangled with the submerged buoy equipment within 1000 meters of the submerged infrastructure. (Apr 11)
Governor opposes Broadwater, outlines steps to meet growing energy demand cites several environmental and safety concerns with Broadwater
- It would be the first time in the history of Long Island Sound that a section of open water this size was handed over to a private company to the exclusion of the public. Privatizing open water would be fundamentally wrong and serve as a dangerous precedent for industrializing a body of water that people have spent years and millions of dollars trying to clean up.
- The facility and associated pipeline and tankers would disrupt commercial and recreational fishing disrupting a way of life on the Sound and potentially putting families out of business.
- The project does not guarantee low-cost gas to Long Island.
The project is not needed in the Sound other alternatives exist. The Governor believes the State can both meet its energy demands and preserve one of New York State’s most important natural and economic resources. It does not have to be one or the other. (Apr 10)
In his first major policy decision on the environment, Gov. David A. Paterson on Thursday blocked the nation’s first floating liquefied natural gas plant, which had been proposed for Long Island Sound. Moving ahead on the $700 million plant, he said, would put a large section of the Sound off limits to boaters and would not guarantee low-cost gas for Long Island.
Mr. Paterson said the region could find other, more responsible ways to ensure sufficient energy supplies and he outlined a series of initial steps to meet growing energy demand. They include a new state energy plan and a $1 billion, 10-year program by the Long Island Power Authority to increase efficiency and to reduce energy consumption on Long Island. [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 11)
[John Hritcko, senior vice president and regional project director of Houston-based Broadwater Energy] said, company officials don't consider viable an option preferred by environmentalists and suggested by state officials: to relocate the proposed faciilty to the Atlantic Ocean south of Long Island. "We'd have to start from scratch," he said, contending that pipelines connecting such a facility to the mainland would present thorny environmental issues of their own. (Apr 10)
Webmaster's Comments: They'd have to start from scratch because they selected an inappropriate location in the first place.
"We can and should encourage a considerate and thoughtful discussion about how best to meet regional energy needs without exacting an unacceptable toll on our environment," [Leah Schmalz, director of legislative and legal affairs for Save the Sound] said. "Broadwater was simply not the answer to the energy question." [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 11)
Broadwater couldn't promise what we really need: more, cheaper natural gas
In reality, Paterson, as his predecessor Eliot Spitzer did in the weeks before his resignation, came to the realization that he didn't have the political clout to overcome the strong opposition, led by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, unless he could prove two things. First, that there were no alternative sources for more gas, and second, that Broadwater would reduce the cost of electricity here.
The Long Island Power Authority wanted a long-term contract for a steady supply of gas at a 10 percent discount, to power the generators that produce our electricity. Shell never put it on the table. Without such a deal, especially when alternative sources of gas were identified, the project was doomed - despite the millions Broadwater spread around to local organizations to provide a human backdrop for its press conferences. (Apr 11)
The other two new terminals are at Freeport, Texas, and offshore of Boston, Massachusetts. [Red and bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: This is more proof that Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG are years behind the curve they've already lost the race.
[Cheniere] will soon start up America's largest LNG receiving terminal on the Gulf Coast. But perhaps counterintuitively, as long as Asian and Western European demand for LNG outstrips that of our own country, LNG carriers won't necessarily be storming our shores. The success of domestic drillers such as XTO Energy and Chesapeake Energy also diminishes the desirability of natural gas imports.
Cheniere's stock has been so battered that the company recently hired a banker to review strategic alternatives, which is Wall Street code for "sell all or part of the business." [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Apr 11)
It is a first for one of the liquified natural gas terminals going up near Sabine Lake. The first LNG ship arrived at the Cheniere terminal and then made its way to the Coast Guard Station Sabine. The first of thousands of shipments of liquefied natural gas made its way into Southeast Texas Friday.
This LNG shipment came from Nigeria. [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 11)
Webmaster's Comments: The LNG industry is concerned about Nigeria nationalizing its LNG facilities. Read the story, below: "LNG supply to U.S. could come under pressure."
Security was tight along the channel as boats and crews from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Port Arthur and Station Sabine set up a "safety and security zone," which means that no vessels are allowed in the zone without permission, Byron T. Inagaki, assistant chief of the prevention department for the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Port Arthur said. (Apr 11)
The term “Not In My Back Yard” often is used in the pejorative sense, to denote provincialism or selfishness. Sometimes, though, the philosophy is rock solid. For nine months now, The Columbian has been unabashedly and unapologetically NIMBY in our opposition to the liquefied natural gas terminal that NorthernStar Natural Gas has proposed for Bradwood Landing, 60 miles northwest of Vancouver and 20 miles east of Astoria.
The Register-Guard correctly concluded: “Whether Oregon and the Northwest need more natural gas, and how it should be obtained, shouldn’t be decided solely by the companies that are proposing the terminals and pipelines. Federal regulators, working closely with the states, should play a central role.” [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 11)
Clatsop County’s commissioners recently ratified a series of land-use decisions that cleared the way for the terminal, which would be built across the river from Puget Island. Among them was a decision that effectively opened all land zoned for parks, recreation and open space to major gas pipeline construction, the opposition groups said.
The proposed referendum would ask voters if they support that decision. If voters say they don’t want pipelines running through parks, the groups said, Clatsop County’s LNG approval would be overturned.
The groups also filed an appeal of the county's Bradwood approval with the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals. The appeal, they said, would be based on numerous violations of county and state zoning laws.
Like New York, Oregon is charged with protecting its waterways and coastlines under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, or CZMA. Oregon must decide whether NorthernStar Natural Gas’s proposed LNG terminal at Bradwood Landing complies with the act. (Apr 11)
Molalla adopts anti-LNG resolution, Gaston, Yamhill will vote this month
All the city measures are based on the language Forest Grove adopted on March 10 opposing the projects. That resolution cited environmental and economic concerns as well as expressing concern that the pipelines could undermine the city’s watershed, which it will traverse. (Apr 11)
The LUBA [Land Use Board of Appeals] case is based on allegations that the county's land-use approval violates numerous county and state zoning laws. County law limits developments at the Bradwood site to small- to medium-sized facilities. The opponents argue the Bradwood LNG project should be considered large in part because of its two 17-story storage tanks and extensive dredging in the Columbia River. (Apr 11)
"There are two other sites that are being considered as well for the project," Councilman Mike Morgan said. "We're just opposed to the preferred site because it would interfere with naval operations and ultimately could affect jobs, security and people out there." (Apr 11)
The attempt by the Nigerian House of Representatives (at the instigation of the Niger-Delta Development Commission) to repeal the 1990 NLNG (Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances) Act, Cap N89, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004, is seen even by some Nigerian analysts as an attempt to expropriate and nationalize the investments of the foreign investors.
Investors should realize that some of the multimillion tank farms in the Gulf of Mexico or North Sea Europe could be hit by drought for a long time. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Apr 11)
Webmaster's Comments: More bad news for LNG speculators.
10 April 2008
Cortés-Vázquez told Bysiewicz that any appeal of her decision would go first to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. However, an appeal could also go to the U.S. secretary of commerce. [Red emphasis added.]
“It is that sort of fractured logic that has prompted this legislation. No state and no environmental treasure is safe from energy industry whim unless FERC is somehow reined in and the powers that rightfully belong to the states are returned to them through passage of this bill.
“Put simply, FERC needs an overhaul,” the Governor said. [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 9)
[HUD] standards would not allow such [LNG] facilities to be located in residential areas, which does not meet HUD’s ‘‘Acceptable Separation Distance” from a hazardous substance. These standards are fair and objective, and consider the needs and limitations of average citizens.
We support natural gas and LNG storage where it is safe, nothing less. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Here are two conflicting federal safety rules: FERC thinks it's okay to put people in harm's way, but HUD doesn't. This exemplifies FERC's disingenuous "safety agency" claim.
Integrated energy majors BP and ConocoPhillips have combined resources to begin the construction of the Denali Alaska gas pipeline, which is expected to move approximately four billion cubic feet of natural gas per day to North American markets. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: This is a whopping amount of natural gas per day, further mooting the need for additional LNG import terminals.
With growing concern over a proposed liquefied natural gas pipeline, Jackson County commissioners Wednesday expressed frustration that they don't have any say over a project that would traverse this region.
[Senator Wyden] noted the three proposed LNG terminals in Oregon, including one in Coos County, would have a combined capacity of 3.3 billion cubic feet of gas per day. Oregon and Washington alone only use 1.33 BCF per day, he said.
Take a good look at the leading advocates of the three major proposals to build multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas receiving facilities in California and you can't help wondering about state agency decisions that make those plans seem feasible.
That's because some of the same people who made or recommended key LNG reports and rulings by the state Energy and Public Utilities commissions are now leading players in bids enabled by those decisions.
[Joseph Desmond, Schwarzenegger's deputy resources secretary for energy] is now senior vice president for external affairs of NorthernStar Natural Gas, which seeks to build something called the Clearwater Port to import LNG through Ventura County and also wants to build a receiving facility at the mouth of the Columbia River near Astoria, Ore., with most gas arriving there likely to end up in California.
[T]here may be an artificially created need for LNG. That could be thanks, in part, to Steve Larson, now president of the American wing of Australian-owned Woodside Natural Gas. While Larson was executive director of the [California] Public Utilities Commission, the agency approved new rules allowing California utilities to give up as much as one-fourth of the pipeline space they now use to bring gas from Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and other states.
Then there's David Maul, manager of the Energy Commission's natural gas office during Desmond's tenure as chairman and before. Under Maul, that office produced the only California state government report that has ever indicated the state needs LNG, which would add billions of dollars to consumer gas bills for decades to come, merely to repay energy companies for building ships, receiving plants and liquefying facilities.
Maul now runs his own consulting firm and serves as prime consultant to Esperanza Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Tidelands Oil and Gas Corp. that seeks to build yet another LNG receiving plant off the shores of Long Beach. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
9 April 2008
As to the question about the Canadian opposition to LNG tanker passage through Head Harbour Passage, Gelber told WQDY News following the workshop, "we're hopeful the Canadians will be good neighbors. They have desires to be an energy hub in New Brunswick creating opportunities in New Brunswick. We hope that as neighbors in the spirit of cooperation, that we can find common ground between what we're doing and what they're doing. We have interests, they have interests. There are things that they want to do that involve us as there are things we want to do that involve them."
Brossard, Quebec (AHN) Canadian companies involved in the development of the $979.5 million Gros-Cacouna Energy LNG (liquefied natural gas) Terminal have announced the termination of the project citing a lack of secure gas supply to feed the plant. (Mar 30)
Webmaster's Comments: The find of a 20-year supply of natural gas beneath Quebec soil, as reported on April 8, may also have had a dampening effect on this project.
Lynch said the new proposal isn't really an offshore project. He said it is as problematic as an existing proposal by Weaver's Cove Energy to build an LNG terminal that would require tankers to make their way up the Taunton River. (Apr 6)
[Former Fall River Mayor Edward M. Lambert Jr.], who spent years leading the fight against the project, said so many serious objections remain that the plan still isn’t viable. Affected communities are expected to fight the new plan as vehemently as they did the original.
One thing is certain: The long, expensive battle against the project begun in July 2003 is going to start all over again because the company must file a new proposal with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has the authority to bypass local roadblocks. (Apr 6)
Speaking at an event hosted by the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), Canadian Superior Energy announced yesterday that it is exploring the possibility of an LNG import terminal in the New York City metropolitan area.
But Philip Meyer, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Institute for Research in Social Science, said after reviewing the poll material Broadwater released that it was improperly done because it did not present both sides of the issue. "It shows that two in three New Yorkers support Broadwater as an energy solution after they listened to a one-sided explanation of it," he said. [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 7)
Wyden said, "A measure we warned about has gone into effect, and the harmful consequences are even greater than imagined. Senators are seeing that this is a byproduct of a Bush energy bill that has many flaws."
"It's not going to address the issue of supply; it doesn't address the environmental issues. ... We have a huge array of proposals pending, bringing in far more gas than we could ever use, yet the federal agency won't even address the threshold questions," Wyden said. [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 8)
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 granted FERC vast authority in choosing where LNG terminals are built. The legislation introduced Monday would reverse that policy and restore most of the power to the states.
The office of Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski applauded Monday's developments. In fact, Kulongoski has all but declared war on FERC over the way it has handled applications for three proposed Oregon LNG terminals, including NorthernStar's.
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) Sen. Hillary Clinton is trying to use opposition to siting liquid natural gas terminals in Oregon to narrow Sen. Barack Obama's apparent lead in the Democratic presidential primary.
Clinton domestic policy director Catherine Brown said in a conference call with reporters that this shows the New York senator has a far greater commitment to the issue than Obama, despite his lending support as a co-sponsor to a bill introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to restore state control. (Apr 8)
There are some things Americans, and Oregonians in particular, should consider as they weigh the possibility of liquefied natural gas as a "bridge" energy source. The industry is quick to paint a rosy picture of LNG as a "green" and "available" source of energy. But there are many things they're not telling you.
Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are projected to reach about 680 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for 2008, representing a 12-percent decline from the record volume received in 2007. Strong demand in Asia and Western Europe, which compete with the United States for LNG supplies, has greatly reduced the number of U.S.-bound LNG cargoes so far this year. [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 8)
8 April 2008
Webmaster's Comments: This article by Peter Morton is so full of incorrect, outdated, and fabricated information, it's tiresome to address its flaws:
- The name of Downeast LNG's location is "Mill Cove, Robbinston, Maine," not "Mill Creek, Maine."
- The "first major test" mentioned in the article the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is unlikely to come this spring, summer, or fall or ever. It requires Canada's cooperation for the US Coast Guard to complete its Waterway Suitability Report (WSR), essential for the required Draft EIS. Without the Draft EIS, the FERC process cannot continue.
- The writer states that Downeast LNG plans to construct a single LNG storage tank. In fact, the plan includes two storage tanks.
- The story claims that the resulting natural gas would be fed into the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline. Doing so would require an expansion to the pipeline an expansion that may not be possible, due to the number of expansions that have already taken place; it's possible that there's no longer any room for more loops or added pressure in the pipeline. It might actually require constructing an entirely new pipeline, at US$2 million/mile a $400500 million project, equivalent to the cost of an LNG terminal. The economics of such a project make it improbable.
- Dean Girdis and Kestrel Energy "are going to extraordinary lengths to ensure the LNG tankers pass safely through Head Harbour [Passage]." Girdis, Kestrel Energy, and the article's author fail to mention that the proposed waterway and terminal sites simply cannot pass the LNG industry's own world safety standards, and that there's no "mitigation" that can reverse that truth.
- The author calls Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Reservation (Sipayik), "Quoddy Bay." Perhaps he is confusing the community with the LNG speculator at that community, Quoddy Bay LNG.
- The writer claims that LNG is "the best way for the United States to wean itself from Middle East oil." That's exchanging a noose for a poison pill; the bad result remains the same.
- The author failed to contact "savepassamaquoddybay.org" (Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance) in any manner at all, so his story is less than balanced.
- Author Peter Morton states that Captain Stephen Garrity is the "commander of the U.S. Coast Guard in Northern New England." Perhaps if Morton had attempted to contact Captain Garrity for comment, he would have learned that Garrity retired in 2007.
- The article makes claims that Canada is unrealistic regarding the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS, or law of the sea treaty). Morton fails to mention that the United States has never ratified its membership in that treaty and, therefore, has no rights or protections under it. The innocent passage provisions of the treaty don't apply to the United States.
The Chronicle Herald may want to consider using a more professional freelance journalist than Mr. Morton in the future. (Note: Peter Morton is the same author who has written several flawed, one-sided pro-Downeast LNG articles in the Financial Post of Ontario, Canada.)
Peter Morton is recycling very old news ... again. For 3 years now we have been fighting the efforts of the US LNG companies (3 of them.... not just one) to screw up a very rich and special place that has gross annual revenues of over $500 million from the three key resource industries, fisheries, tourism, and aquaculture. (Apr 7)
Under chilly, overcast April skies, two Connecticut U.S. reps., the state’s attorney general and other elected officials made a united plea to New York’s governor Monday to reject the Broadwater LNG facility in Long Island Sound.
Blumenthal, who is the state’s chief legal officer, said he sent a second letter to Paterson, urging him to reject the project in the interests of both states or face an intense legal and public battle. He held the letter high, saying, “Broadwater is an act of futility, irresponsibility and illegality that will never happen. So disapprove it now so we can work together for better alternatives.”
Courtney said FERC had approved an additional 22 LNG sites and there are more pending before the body. He said “the agency is out of control and it has a policy that at this point is incoherent and does not come close to advancing this country’s ability to have a workable energy policy.” [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 7)
[A] frenzy unlike any seen in decades is unfolding here in rural Pennsylvania, and it eventually could encompass a huge chunk of the East, stretching from upstate New York to eastern Ohio and as far south as West Virginia. Companies are risking big money on a bet that this area could produce billions of dollars worth of natural gas.
If all goes well, the Marcellus could help moderate the steep climb in natural gas prices and reduce possible future dependence on natural gas from the Middle East, which is beginning to arrive at coastal terminals in liquefied form. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Here's one more significant reason why Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG have no hope of economic success.
Junex sees Rabaska supplying U.S. market
The discovery of approximately 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Quebec, enough to supply the province's needs for 20 years, could make two proposed liquefied natural gas ports redundant for the Quebec market. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: New sources of domestic natural gas are popping up like spring flowers all bad news for proposed LNG import terminal projects.
The Alaska Legislature Monday asked Governor Sarah Palin to expand the scope of a special session planned for June to discuss a proposed pipeline intended to bring North Slope natural gas to the Lower 48 to include a smaller pipeline to bring gas to Alaska communities and to a liquefied natural gas export project.
A coalition of U.S. senators, including presidential contender Hillary Clinton, introduced legislation Monday that would snatch the power to site liquefied natural gas terminals away from federal officials and give it back to the states.
A coalition of Democratic U.S. senators, including presidential contender Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., today introduced legislation to snatch power to site liquefied natural gas terminals away from federal officials and give it back to the states. (Apr 7)
Webmaster's Comments: The LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization backs this proposed legislation.
No grandfather clause
According to Tom Towslee, a Wyden spokesman, the legislation doesn't include a "grandfather clause," meaning that any facilities that don't have a permit would have to shift to the new process if the legislation passes.
While the legislation's passage could create headaches for LNG developers, Towslee was careful to point out that the legislation should be read as a condemnation of FERC's public involvement process, not LNG.
"Every state has its own culture of public involvement," Towslee said, "but I could hazard a guess that no state has a culture of public involvement that matches what FERC does, which is none." [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 7)
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- Working to restore local control over liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal placement, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), and Chris Dodd (D-CT) introduced legislation today to repeal portions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which gave that authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Such decisions had historically been decided by state siting agencies.
At every turn, FERC’s LNG siting process in Oregon has defied common sense and public accountability. It is a process divorced from the real world questions that need to be answered. And, the situation in other parts of the country is no different.
It’s time to restore the local and state role in these critical decisions about in whose backyard a pipeline or LNG plant will be built. It’s time to reverse the ill-considered decision Congress made in 2005 when it overrode state and local decision-making to put a Federal bureaucracy in charge of LNG siting authority. This bill would do exactly that." [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 7)
Webmaster's Comments: Maine's federal delegation doesn't have the guts to even declare their positions regarding the proposed LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay (implying that they support them) although they fall all over themselves to declare that they opposed the Energy Policy Act's provision giving FERC superior authority over states.
Please contact Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, asking them to support the Wyden legislation (bill number: S. 2822) to return LNG siting authority to the states.
Gov. Sarah Palin had earlier rejected the proposal by ConocoPhillips to build a natural gas pipeline linking the state's energy rich North Slope to Midwestern states, opting to stick with a plan by pipeline company TransCanada. That company's plan for a pipeline remains under review.
Webmaster's Comments: Even more domestic natural gas will be coming to market, reducing the need for LNG imports.
FERC rejected the governor's suggestion to conduct a regional review of LNG projects, saying once it has determined they meet environmental and public safety standards it will let the market decide which projects are built. (Apr 7)
LNG imports will fall 30%, Jefferies said, as Europe and Asia outbid the US for cargoes this summer on soaring demand. [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Apr 4)
Webmaster's Comments: It's bad news, everywhere, for LNG speculators in the US like Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG; bad investments with tragic futures.
The EIA conference "traditionally looks at the demand side of things and assumes that supply will fill the gap, I'd like to suggest that in LNG, at least in the next five to 10 years, that's not necessarily the case," Eisbrenner added.
But consultant Andy Flower of Andy Flower LNG Associates said he believes estimates of an 8% to 10% annual growth in LNG demand "unsustainable" and said we are more likely to see a 3% to 4% growth in annual demand, with most of the increase centered on Asia and Pacific markets.
6 April 2008
Webmaster's Comments: Northeast Gateway, Suez Neptune, and Canaport will more than satisfy the additional natural gas needs of New England, according to LNG experts and former FERC Chairman Wood clearly indicating that Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG are unneeded wasted money and effort. Are their investors paying attention?
Webmaster's Comments: This article by Weaver's Cove Energy CEO Gordon Shearer attempts to disguise his project's multitude of problems. He states that it is the opponents who argue the project is a safety risk. Even FERC agrees that it's a safety risk; they simply believe the risks are worth taking. Shearer's allusion that the project presents no risks is simply false.
In truth, the Weaver's Cove project violates even the world LNG industry's own safety standards, as developed and published by SIGTTO. And, the reason that the LNG industry's safety record stands as it currently is, is because the industry for the most part abides by those safety standards.
Remarkably and ironically, FERC's own LNG terminal siting safety standards are weaker than SIGTTO's. FERC, by its industry-defying safety standards, creates a greater probability that there will be a catastrophic release of LNG, threatening the very existence of the LNG industry, the lives and health of civilians, and this nation's energy security. Shearer's argument is hollow and unworthy of consideration.
The Sabine Pass LNG terminal, four miles inland from the Gulf on 853 acres, will be the largest regasification facility in the U.S. It's expected to have a daily regasification capacity of 4 billion cubic feet and storage for nearly 17 billion cubic feet.
"Connecticut is sending a signal -- and sending it loud and clear -- that we will fight to prevent the flawed Broadwater concept from becoming a disastrous reality," Rell said in a statement. "We are fully prepared to take whatever steps necessary to ensure this environmental injustice never comes to be. We are exercising our state's right to request a rehearing. If that request is met with indifference, as has been FERC's response to all of our previous requests on Broadwater, we will move on to the next venue -- a federal courtroom."
"FERC can gracefully retreat or face furious legal conflict and likely defeat. FERC must sink this project or sink itself with Broadwater." [Bold red emphasis added.] (Apr 4)
Webmaster's Comments: Environmental Justice is also a significant problem with the Passamaquoddy Bay LNG proposals.
The law of unintended consequences invariably plays out in its own capricious ways, but here’s another that would have been impossible to predict. Could the fate of one of the most bitterly opposed development proposals in the history of Long Island Sound depend on former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s unexpected exit from the ranks of the employed? (Apr 3)
"It comes as no surprise that a commission hand-picked by the President [George W. Bush] to clear the path for more and more LNG platforms has chosen to ignore hard evidence," stated US Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Coram). "With no stake in the health of our environment or the future of our economy, the Broadwater consortium does not share our priorities for either. Long Island's safety and the strength of our economy rely on a healthy Sound." (Apr 2)
Webmaster's Comments: Even FERC doesn't seem to appreciate the advantages of true off-shore (open ocean) LNG facilities. Here are some of the advantages:
- No risk to civilian populations;
- Fewer security risks;
- Ease of expansion; no abutting property owners;
- Competitive construction costs, as compared to shoreside terminals;
- Rapid construction Northeast Gateway off Gloucester, Massachusetts, took only about one year to complete.
Here is our position on Broadwater, the quarter-mile-long floating energy barge in Long Island Sound that could supply New York and Connecticut with a billion cubic feet of natural gas a day provided it wins regulatory approval, is built as planned and doesn’t get blown up by terrorists or sunk by market forces:
It is not necessarily the most obvious call. But the benefit that Broadwater promises convenient satisfaction of the region’s ravening energy appetite is overcome by more pressing long-range concerns, like finally curbing the addiction to fossil fuels and preventing another industrial incursion into Long Island Sound. (Mar 31)
The U.S. Supreme Court tidied up part of a messy, centuries-old Delaware River border squabble Monday with a ruling that gave Delaware a clear veto over energy giant BP's proposed liquefied natural gas pier opposite Claymont. (Apr 1)
BP officials say the company is committed to moving forward with a $1 billion liquefied natural gas project proposed for Logan Township, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that would allow Delaware to block construction of a 2,200-foot pier necessary to the project. (Apr 1)
Webmaster's Comments: As seems consistent with LNG development mindset, BP is living by the principle, "Damn the expenses to everyone, and damn public safety!"
Despite ruling, company says 'other options' than N.J. site will be explored
Although BP's original plan calls for tankers to stop south of the Pennsylvania line, BP earlier this month notified the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it had given security briefings on the project to officials with Delaware County, Pa., and the Sunoco Marcus Hook Refinery, north of the Crown Landing site.
Hughes said that advances have changed LNG shipping technologies since BP proposed its Logan Township project in 2003, with new ships now able to regasify liquid fuel without transferring it to a land-based plant.
Officials in Pennsylvania and New Jersey said Monday they were unaware of any locations north of the Delaware border that might be under consideration as an alternative to Logan Township. [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 1)
"The real fight wasn't on where New Jersey and Delaware is, it's whether the Coastal Zone Act had validity in Delaware as defined," Hughes said. "The most encouraging part of the decision isn't reassurance that Delaware's line is all the way over there. It's that our Coastal Zone Act has validity everywhere inside Delaware. From our standpoint, we could not yield the point under any circumstances." [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 1)
Webmaster's Comments: The Coastal Zone Management Act provides states with the authority to prevent LNG terminal projects that violate states' coastal zone rules, regardless of FERC approval.
Last week FERC granted approval to Sabine Pass LNG for the terminal to receive LNG vessels with cargo capacities up to 266,000 m3. The same day, FERC also authorized Freeport LNG to receive LNG vessels with cargo capacities up to 217,000 m3. (Apr 2)
"I am not satisfied with FERC's assessment of Oregon's ability to participate in the LNG siting process," said Wu. "I will continue to fight for increased state and local authority, and meaningful input from the affected communities. FERC's narrow focus ignores the larger compounding impact of these facilities on the local community, industry, and public services."
"FERC basically blew off the concerns expressed in our letter. Now, the state of Oregon is going to waste a huge amount of time investigating several plans, at great cost to state taxpayers, most of which will not even come to fruition," DeFazio said. "I don't believe Oregonians should have their concerns railroaded by a deregulated market, unchallenged by an ideological laissez-faire FERC." [Red emphasis added.] (Apr 4)
Webmaster's Comments: No matter what FERC decides, the state can deny air and water quality permits, essentially preventing construction of the projects. See the LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization white paper, "LNG safety & need: NEPA & states trump FERC."
The referendum would ask voters if they approve of the county board's decision to allow natural gas pipelines to run through land zoned for open space, parks and recreation (OPR) with a conditional-use permit. Before the Bradwood Landing decision, pipelines were not a permitted use in OPR zones. (Apr 2)
Opponents of the Bradwood Landing LNG project, proposed for a site 20 miles east of Astoria, are hoping to use the decision to bring Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire into the debate over LNG in Oregon. (Apr 1)
Webmaster's Comments: Comparing the Lake Charles LNG terminal with the proposed terminal at Coos Bay, Oregon, is like comparing apples to oranges.
The Lake Charles facility is in a cul de sac well away from the shipping fairway, making it safe from collision and wake from other vessels. The proposed Coos Bay facility is nearly within the fairway. Even worse, the proposed Coos Bay site is on an outside turn in the river, meaning that every ship passing by is at one time or another pointed directly at the berthed LNG vessel, providing an allision opportunity a specific violation of world-class LNG terminal siting standards, as established and published by SIGTTO.
- [nautical term; compare with "collision"] A moving vessel striking a stationary object or stationary vessel.
- Two moving vessels striking each other.
Adam Wine, with the U.S. Coast Guard’s public affairs detachment, examines a graham cracker dipped in liquefied natural gas Tuesday at Freeport LNG. Wine took a bite of the cracker in a demonstration of the safety of LNG. (Apr 2)
Webmaster's Comments: This is an example of US Coast Guard lack of professionalism. The demonstration dipping a graham cracker into LNG and then eating the cracker proves nothing about what would happen in an actual LNG release. It demeans genuine concern for safety, and perhaps against USCG regulations uses US Coast Guard personnel to promote the project.
The Coast Guard is supposedly a neutral body that determines whether or not LNG projects can go forward, by issuing its Waterway Suitability Assessment Letter of Recommendation. Adam Wine's participation in the above "safety" demonstration taints the Coast Guard's reputation and the federal LNG regulatory process.
Webmaster's Comments: USCG public affairs officer Adam Wine mentioned in this article is the same USCG officer who ate the LNG-laced graham cracker in the story just preceding this one.
This article is further evidence that contrary to statements made by Passamaquoddy Bay-area LNG promoters non-LNG traffic must wait when LNG vessels are in the waterway.
"Although the specifics of the case dealt with an agreement between Delaware and New Jersey, the decision did re-confirm for us that Oregon can use its authority to regulate these structures which the Supreme Court considered 'extraordinary' and worth special attention from the states." (Apr 4)
Webmaster's Comments: The Supreme Court ruling confirms states' authority over LNG terminal projects. As pointed out in the LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization white paper, "LNG safety & need: NEPA & states trump FERC," states have regulatory authority to prevent LNG terminals, even when FERC approves them.
Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ruled Monday that port officials had no obligation to complete an Environmental Impact Report on the project proposed by Sound Energy Solutions. Further, the judge ruled that the Long Beach Harbor Commission was within its rights in January 2007 when it declared it had no intention of leasing property to SES. (Mar 20)
The master captain of the freighter that hit a bridge and spilled oil into San Francisco Bay told investigators the fog was so thick he could not see the ship's bow and that the pilot ordered a sharp turn before the crash, according to court documents. (Apr 4)
Webmaster's Comments: This story demonstrates that even harbor pilots are not immune from making errors that can result in serious consequences.
Gazprom, the world's largest gas producer, will add some 90 million tonnes of the super-cooled fuel to its production by 2030, Gazprom's deputy head Valery Golubev told reporters at an energy forum in Moscow.
It will get the first volumes next year when it launches its Sakhalin-2 project together with Royal Dutch Shell and Japanese firms. The project in the Pacific waters will ultimately produce 9.6 million tonnes, entitling Gazprom to 4.8 million tonnes of LNG per year. (Apr 2)
Webmaster's Comments: Is anyone concerned?