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


News Articles
Passamaquoddy Bay & LNG

2008 August

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31 Aug 2008

Palin signs order directing state to help with LNG [export] project — Alaska Journal of Commerce, Anchorage AK

“This solidifies our commitment to facilitating an LNG project that is a product of market interest,” Palin said. “By committing both project capital and natural gas resource to a pipeline that would transport North Slope gas to tidewater, an LNG project can remain an integral element of the state's effort.”

Webmaster's Comments: This would be the second LNG export terminal in Alaska, and the fourth proposed new LNG export project in the United States — proving, once more, that there is an overabundance of natural gas in the US. The LNG import bubble has burst.

Gregoire staffers say they'll pressure NorthernStar for answers on LNG project — The Daily News, Longview, WA

Washington state officials this week criticized federal regulators for what they called a lax review of a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal on the Columbia River and asked that federal officials not approve the project until other state permits are issued.

The Washington Department of Ecology joined Oregon officials last month in criticizing FERC’s environmental review. (Aug 29)

Oregon LNG terminal clears FERC environmental hurdle — Platts

The proposed LNG terminal would be located on Coos Bay, Oregon, and the project's sendout pipeline would run about 230 miles from the terminal to a terminus near Malin, Oregon, where it would interconnect with existing pipeline systems of Gas Transmission Northwest, Tuscarora Gas and Pacific Gas & Electric. (Aug 29)

Webmaster's Comments: FERC's authorization of the Jordan Cove LNG terminal at Coos Bay is one more confirmation of FERC's "consequences to the public be damned" safety policy. Even the world LNG industry terminal siting standards advise against such a siting. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.)

LNG project gets favorable report — The World, Coos Bay, OR

FERC’s draft report also looked at alternatives to the North Spit location.

“We do not consider either the Bradwood Landing nor the Oregon LNG Project to be preferable alternatives to the proposed (Jordan Cove) project because neither could meet one of its main objectives, to serve markets in southern Oregon, northern Nevada, and northern California.” it said.

It provided a caveat, however, saying it does not choose between competing projects and it said the market would ultimately determine which project was viable. (Aug 29)

US oil production and hurricanes: Insecurity of demand trumps insecurity of supply? — RGE Monitor, New York, NY

Natural gas markets are different than a few years ago.  Not only is natural gas production up in the U.S. but the supplies are somewhat more diversified. U.S. Natural gas production has been increasing, especially that sourced from unconventional and onshore supplies such as Barnett Shale. The increase in supplies, especially this summer has contributed to the swift fall in natural gas prices and cushioned the U.S. from rising global gas prices (for LNG). [Red emphasis added.] (Aug 30)

Webmaster's Comments: The boom in US LNG import terminals is over.


29 Aug 2008

Passamaquoddy group to appeal dismissal of LNG lawsuit — Indian Country Today, Canastota, NY

BANGOR, MAINE — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of Passamaquoddy Indians against the BIA over the leasing of tribal land for a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal, but rendered a scathing criticism of the agency's ''mishandling'' of the case.

The BIA ''simply ignored its own regulation'' when it did not notify NN of their right to appeal the agency's approval of the ground lease in June 2005 and ''compounded its error'' by making its approval effective immediately and, thereby, ''circumventing the stay provision of its regulations,'' Woodcock said.

''The BIA did precisely what its regulations were promulgated to avoid — making critical agency decisions, failing to notify interested parties and allowing the consequences of the decision to become immediately effective without measuring the public interest.''

Teresa Clemmer of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at the Vermont Law School, who represents NN, said her clients will appeal the dismissal to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Gas rush is on, and Louisianians cash in — The New York Times, New York, NY

A no-holds-barred, all-American gold rush for natural gas is under way in this forgotten corner of the South, and De Soto Parish, with its fat check from a large energy company this month, is only the latest and largest beneficiary. The county leaders and everyone around them, for mile after mile, over to Texas and up to Arkansas, in the down-at-the-heels city of Shreveport and in its struggling neighbors, suddenly find themselves sitting on what could prove to be the largest natural gas deposit in the continental United States.

“The five wells they’ve made are real,” [research associate at the Louisiana Geological Survey, at Louisiana State University, Brian J. Harder] said. With Haynesville and another shale formation in Pennsylvania and southern and western New York, the Marcellus Shale, “we’re talking about doubling the nation’s gas reserves from two fields,” he said.[Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Additional LNG terminals are not needed. Calais LNG's, Downeast LNG's, and Quoddy Bay LNG's dreams have gone up in smoke.

Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Jordan Cove Energy liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and … Gas Pipeline…. — Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Washington, DC

The FERC staff determined that construction and operation of the Project would have limited adverse environmental impacts.

The proposed LNG terminal would meet the federal safety regulations regarding the thermal radiation and flammable vapor dispersion exclusion zones, and appropriate safety features would be incorporated into the design and operation of the LNG import terminal and LNG carriers.

Webmaster's Comments: Never mind that the LNG ships' Hazard Zones would endanger civilian populations, businesses, and the neaby airport — contrary to the world LNG industry's advice on LNG terminal siting. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.)

In what other industry are government standards weaker than advised by that industry?

Gushing over gas [Commentary] — International Business News, New York, NY

This year, US natural gas production is projected to rise at the fastest pace since the 1950s--an astounding 4.4 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day for 2008 alone. This is no one-off fluke. Although production in Canada and Russia actually shrank in 2007, US production rose 2.2 bcf per day. A similar 2.2-bcf-per-day jump in production is projected for 2009 and, quite possibly, for 2010.

The US is already the worlds second largest producer of natural gas with 2007 production of 52.8 bcf per day compared to Russias 58.8. Both nations were well ahead of No. 3 producer Canada, which had just 17.8 bcf per day in output. But heres whats even more astounding: With projected production of 61.8 bcf per day in 2009, its quite possible the US will be the worlds largest gas producer depending on how quickly Russia can ramp up supplies.

The US has built several LNG import terminals over the past few years in anticipation of a surge in demand for imports. But with overseas gas prices close to twice what they are in the US, what we really need is an LNG export terminal. This way we could transport cheap US gas to foreign markets where demand is sky-high. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Here's more advocay for exporting LNG, not importing it. Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG must be crying in their beer.

EU must complete Nabucco gas pipeline: US Senator — Platts

[Senator Lugar of Indiana] argued that allowing Russia to control fuel transmission would allow it to have a strong hand in European politics. The specter of a natural gas shutdown, something that Russia has threatened its neighbors with before, "could cause death and economic loss on the scale of a military attack," argued Lugar. "Such circumstances are made more dangerous by the prospects that nations might become desperate, increasing the chances of armed conflict and terrorism," he added.

Webmaster's Comments: How does Senator Lugar justify the US Department of State inviting Russia to own US energy infrastructure? The US is cautioning Europe about what to look out for, while at the same time, actually encouraging Russian ownership and control of energy in the US!


28 Aug 2008

NOAA files final environmental impact statement on ship strike reduction measures — MarEx Newsletter, Maritime Executive, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Agency seeks to slow ships to protect North Atlantic Right Whales.

The final EIS contains six alternatives, including NOAA's preferred alternative that would require a vessel speed restriction of 10 knots or less in designated areas along the U.S. East Coast.

The 10-knot speed limit would apply to right whale feeding grounds along the coast in the northeastern United States and to calving grounds near the southeastern United States, where the whales spend most of their time. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The speed limit would slow the entire LNG ship approach from south of Grand Manan into port, and out again, if the LNG projects had any chance of completion.

Like a factory in Yosemite — The Suffolk Times, Mattituck, NY

"Frankly, Broadwater would scar Long Island Sound," [Gov.]. Paterson said at a press conference on the boardwalk in Sunken Meadow Park. "It would establish a very dangerous precedent of industrializing a waterway that generations of people have spent millions of dollars trying to preserve."

Federal law allows the U.S. commerce secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, to override the state's objections if he determines that the Broadwater plan is consistent with the objectives of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, or if the project is necessary in the interest of national security.

Whatever it takes [Editorial] — The News-Review, Mattituck, NY

The battle is not yet won, but the state's brief was a powerful salvo. We urge those in Albany to continue doing whatever it takes to get the Commerce Department to decide in favor of protecting our already threatened Sound.

Smith on LNG: 'Wait for FERC' — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

"I'm going to let FERC do their job and we'll see how that comes out," said Smith in response to questions from The Daily Astorian. "But I want them to focus on safety, recognizing at the same time that we need energy."

In contrast, Smith's Democratic Party opponent, Merkley, who is Oregon Speaker of the House, has openly opposed the LNG terminals.

Groups ask California Energy Commission to address greenhouse gas emissions from new power plant, consider climate impacts from use of imported liquefied natural gas [News release] — Center for Biological Diversity, Tucson, AZ

[T]he power plant may use imported Liquefied Natural Gas, or LNG. The total greenhouse gas emissions from LNG can be as high as coal, depending on where and how it is produced, giving LNG a much larger carbon footprint than domestic natural gas typically used in California. [Red emphasis added.]

Gas finds hit LNG — The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA

Terminals languishing

The Haynesville Shale and other massive natural gas finds have raised “big questions” about the future of liquefied natural gas in North America, and the Louisiana facilities that handle the fuel, one industry expert said.

In July, Navigant Consulting Inc. released a study that places the country’s recoverable gas reserves at as much as 2,247 trillion cubic feet, or a 118-year supply at current production levels.

“I mean that is a boatload of reserves, and if that’s the case, that just shuts down LNG tomorrow,” said David Dismukes, associate executive director of LSU’s Center for Energy Studies.

In April, the Sabine Pass terminal welcomed its first LNG tanker. Since then the terminal has handled exactly zero tankers.

Dismukes said LNG has been a big disappointment in many ways, particularly for the companies that built terminals. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Natural gas weekly update — International Business Times, New York, NY

Overview (Wednesday, August 20, to Wednesday, August 27)

The pace of deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports remains considerably below last years volumes. LNG imports, which had been expected to grow this year, appear to be on course to set a new 5-year low for 2008. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Mexico President Felipe Calderón dedicates Sempra Energy's new Baja California LNG terminal [Press release] — Sempra Energy

SAN DIEGO, CA--(eMediaWorld - August 28, 2008) - Mexico President Felipe Calderón, Donald E. Felsinger, chairman and chief executive of Sempra Energy, and other dignitaries were on-hand today to officially dedicate Sempra Energy's Energía Costa Azul liquefied natural gas (LNG) receipt terminal in Baja California, Mexico, the first LNG receipt facility on the West Coast of North America.

In operation since May 2008, the $975 million LNG receipt terminal is capable of processing up to 1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas.

The LNG receipt terminal is fully contracted.

The natural gas processed at Energía Costa Azul will be used in Baja California and the U.S. Southwest.

Japan buys TT LNG at top price — Trinidad & Tobago's Newsday, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago

A JAPANESE trader has bought a cargo of liquified natural gas (LNG) from Trinidad and Tobago via Atlantic LNG at more than double the US benchmark price, as the Asian LNG market heats up due to worldwide delays in new projects as well as increased demand due to environmental factors.

On August 15, reported that an unnamed Japanese trader bought a cargo of the fuel for September delivery from Atlantic LNG, paying $18 per million British thermal units, excluding shipping and insurance costs. [Red emphasis added.]


27 Aug 2008

Baltimore County seeks review of Sparrows Point decision — Energy Current, Houston, TX

BALTIMORE: James T. Smith Jr., county executive for Baltimore County, Md., on Aug. 15 filed a petition for a [writ] of certoriari with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting that the court review the decision made by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in May regarding the proposed Sparrows Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

11th hour for proposed LNG terminal — WKRG TV, Mobile, AL

David Underhill with the Mobile Bay Sierra Club said, "The applicant seeks a permit to commit 'aquacide:' perhaps not mass, indiscriminate killing of marine life like some other proposals, but reckless behavior."

Its up to the administrator of the U.S. Maritime Association to give the project thumbs up or down.

But Governor Bob Riley could stop it too, and he has until October 10 to decide.

LNG meeting gets hot — The Press-Register, Mobile, AL

One woman said she was in favor of the terminal because she didn't want her children to be beholden to energy coming from the Middle East. She was apparently unaware that much of the LNG imported at the TORP facility — like most of the LNG sold worldwide — would emanate from the Middle East.

If the ongoing study were to reveal impacts [Gov. Bob Riley] deemed unacceptable, he would have the authority to require that the facility change its operating practices or shut down, according to officials familiar with the conditions under consideration.

All of the federal agencies that regulate fisheries remain firmly opposed to the terminal plan, because of the potential impact on the Gulf's food chain. The TORP terminal would suck in about 46 billion gallons of seawater each year to turn the imported LNG into a usable product.

Webmaster's Comments: If the Alabama Governor thinks he has the power to shut down the LNG terminal once it is in operation, good luck!

BHA boss supports LNG plant — The Nassau Guardian, Nassau, Bahamas

It's not clear how soon the government will give AES a response to its proposal, which has been on the table for more than seven years. Throughout the five-year administration of Perry Christie, government officials had said repeatedly that AES, which wants to construct an LNG plant on Ocean Cay, was the front-runner in the approval race.

But that approval never came.

Within days after being re-elected last year May, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham told reporters that LNG projects were not a priority of the new administration.

EIA Administrator: Increased domestic gas supplies could affect U.S. LNG imports — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Platts LNG Daily reports that the Administrator for the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Guy Caruso, said yesterday that increased domestic natural gas supplies, particularly from the production of shale gas, could limit U.S. demand for LNG imports. [Subscription required]

Webmaster's Comments: The message keeps being repeated by industry and government — the LNG bubble has burst. It's time for Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG to pack up and go home.


26 Aug 2008

Native American group to appeal ruling in suit against BIA — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Nulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqumikon, a Native American group in Maine, has pledged to appeal a U.S. District Court ruling dismissing their cases against the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). According to Platts LNG Daily [subscription required], the suit alleges that the BIA did not adequately perform its oversight role in the leasing of tribal lands to Quoddy Bay LNG. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Note: The spelling of the Passamaquoddy group's name was standardized to "Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon" sometime after the initial suit against the BIA was filed.

Canadian organization affirms opposition to 3 LNG proposals — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

Thompson stated that the Head Harbour Passage waters are sovereign waters of Canada. "We are not giving up. We will protect our bay." He added that the fight may take a while, and he reminded listeners that the successful battle by opponents of the Pittson Oil Company's plan to build an oil terminal in Eastport took 14 years.

The MP announced at the meeting that a $100,000 grant has been awarded for a study of environmental issues concerning LNG. "We will put our money where our mouth is."

Thompson and other speakers said that they will support CLF as a legal advocate in battling the Maine permitting process. (Aug 22)

Webmaster's Comments: Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance, the Province of New Brunswick, and the Canadian federal government are prepared to defeat LNG development in Passamaquoddy Bay, regardless of the the time it may take.

The Canadian government's $100,000 and the Conservation Law Foundation's involvement are welcome additions to our efforts, and increase the evidence that we will prevail in this battle.

Baltimore County appeals to U.S. Supreme Court over proposed Sparrows Point LNG project — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Baltimore County Executive James  T.  Smith, Jr., filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on  August 15, 2008. Details are available on the Supreme Court's website under Docket No. 08-211. BNA's Daily Report for Executives provides additional details [subscription required].

Public meeting tonight on LNG terminal — The Press-Register, Mobile, AL

The comment period for a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal to be erected 63 miles south of Dauphin Island is winding down, with the last public meeting on the project scheduled for tonight at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center.

As with previous proposed LNG terminals to be located off Alabama's shores, Gov. Bob Riley holds the power to stop the terminal project or approve it with certain conditions.

Dredging ahead of schedule, days away from completion — The Mississippi Press, Pascagoula, MS

The $1.1 billion Gulf LNG Clean Energy Project to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Pascagoula is making progress since breaking ground late last year, with dredging to be finished within days, company representatives said. (Aug 24)

LNG firm confesses link to poll — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Clatsop County residents report receiving phone calls on the referendum starting Aug. 1, but in Bradwood Landing's report the expense was dated Aug. 13.

The Secretary of State's reporting date is the day a contract is entered, not the day the bill is paid, the challengers argue.

"It's good we have forced Bradwood to admit they were behind these polls, but it doesn't change the fact that they have violated campaign finance laws and need to be held accountable," said Columbia Riverkeeper Executive Director Brent Foster.

LNG developer acknowledges election spending — (AP)

Opponents of the Bradwood Landing proposal earlier accused the developers of violating elections laws by sponsoring a "push poll" without disclosing the expenditure and say the company should be fined for missing disclosure deadlines.

Backers of LNG terminal admit polling — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

Last week, two groups opposing the terminal accused Bradwood's backer, Houston-based NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc., of violating campaign finance laws by conducting "push polls" of Clatsop County voters without making required disclosures to state officials. When pollsters advocate a particular position in what is called a push poll, backers need to report the polling as a campaign contribution.

The anti-LNG groups contend NorthernStar should be subject to campaign finance fines because its disclosure came well after the applicable deadline.

Webmaster's Comments: NorthernStar, like Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG, by their unsavory tactics, are damaging the reputation and credibility of the natural gas industry.

Jordan Cove energy project clears hurdle for new LNG terminal — LCG Consulting - Energy Online, Los Altos, CA

LCG, August 26, 2008--The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) last Friday denied an appeal that would block the proposed Jordan Cove Energy Project. The LNG terminal is proposed to be built at Coos Bay, Oregon to receive liquefied natural gas (LNG) for re-delivery to the Pacific Northwest and adjacent markets via an expanded interstate pipeline system.

Deadline Tuesday to sign up to vote — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Voters are deciding whether to allow Clatsop County zoning laws to be changed to allow cable or pipelines in open spaces, parks or recreational areas. (Aug 25)

2008–2009 edition of Interstate Natural Gas Infrastructure Map Book now available [Press release] — (BusinessWire), Birmingham, MI

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Interstate Natural Gas Infrastructure Map Book" report to their offering.

The new and improved 2008–2009 edition of the Interstate Natural Gas Infrastructure Map Book is a highly improved and expanded version of the original 2007 edition. More than 160 pages of statistical information and beautifully rendered maps. Besides adding close to 20 new interstate pipelines, the new book includes lots of new features.


25 Aug 2008

Progress stalled on shoreline LNG plan — Gloucester County Times, Woodbury, NJ

Almost five months after the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the state of Delaware can block the construction of a 2,200-foot pier jutting out from the Gloucester County shoreline of the Delaware River, little progress has been made on a controversial liquefied natural gas project.

Under BP's plans, a portion of the proposed pier would have terminated in a part of the river claimed by the State of Delaware, violating the state's Coastal Zoning Act. (Aug 24)

LNG terminal decision just weeks away — WKRG TV, Mobile, AL

A liquified natural gas terminal could be built 63 miles from Alabama's coast if a proposal has its way. And that decision could be made in the next few weeks.

TORP Technology is the company behind the proposal to build a terminal that uses an "open loop system"--a process that involves using sea water.

"There are closed loop alternatives that heat the super cool liquified natural gas back up to a gaseous state without using the warmth of the water to do it and they don't kill anything,"said [David Underhill of Mobile Bay Sierra Club].

AES still “hopeful” LNG projects would move forward — The Bahama Journal, Nassau, Bahamas

AES has been seeking approval to build an LNG facility in the Bahamas at Ocean Cay since 2001 when the Free National Movement initially held office. The company, however, was only given approval in principle.

[Local environmental activist Sam Duncombe] … noted that because the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Caribbean, it should be at the forefront when it comes to finding alternative sources of energy. "We need to get to the table and rethink this whole model," Duncombe said. (Aug 22)

Commissioners hear petition of LNG foes, OK contract for jail design — The Creative Coast Alliance, Savannah, GA

Opponents of El Paso Corp.’s liquefied natural gas import facility requested on Friday that Chatham County commissioners pass an ordinance prohibiting expansion of the facility on Elba Island near downtown Savannah.

The business of change — Fort Worth Business Press, Fort Worth, TX

Recently, Freeport LNG, which operates a South Texas liquefied natural gas terminal that imports LNG from overseas, filed a request to export natural gas. And the reason? With the increased availability of shale gas and lower prices in the U.S., it makes more sense to export than to import. In other words, we’re starting to produce enough natural gas for our own consumption. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The message is clear: Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG have missed the boat. It's time for them to turn around and go home.

Ore. board denies appeal of LNG berth permit — (AP) KGW, Portland, OR

Oregon regulators have dismissed the appeal of a permit to dig a berth on Coos Bay's North Spit for liquefied natural gas tankers.

The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals agreed with a Coos County decision on all points.

Webmaster's Comments: The article doesn't make clear the results of the decision. The appeal challenged approval of the permit to dredge. The regulators' decision confirms approval to dredge.

Test finds LNG hostlers emit more NOx than diesel hostlers — The Cunningham Report, Long Beach, CA

Three prototype liquefied natural gas-powered yard hostlers in use over an eight-month span gave off about 21 percent more NOx than 2005-model onroad diesel yard hostlers, according to the results of a newly released study. The prototypes were part of a project at the Port of Long Beach to determine the commercial viability of replacing off-road, diesel-fueled vehicles with cleaner, LNG-fueled units.

But the $1 million project, which was financed 50-50 by the port and Sound Energy Solutions, also found that the LNG yard hostlers had a lower fuel economy than eight diesel counterparts at the same terminal — about 30 percent lower. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: “Hostler,” in this instance, refers to tractors used to move containers within the port area. For more information, including a photograph of a hostler, go to this Green Car Congress article, “EPA and ports collaborate on hybrid yard tractors, electric and hydraulic.”

Drilling boom revives hopes for natural gas — The New York Times, New York, NY

HOUSTON — American natural gas production is rising at a clip not seen in half a century, pushing down prices of the fuel and reversing conventional wisdom that domestic gas fields were in irreversible decline.

A sustained increase in gas supplies over the next decade could slow the rise of utility bills, obviate the need to import gas, and make energy-intensive industries more competitive.

“Right at the time oil prices are skyrocketing, we’re struggling with the economy, we’re concerned about global warming, and national security threats remain intense, we wake up and we’ve got this abundance of natural gas around us.

[Domestic natural gas] production has gone up tenfold since 2001.

“Production is clearly growing, and the growth is sustainable,” said Michael Zenker, a natural gas analyst at Barclays Capital. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Aug 24)

Webmaster's Comments: Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG have lost the race.

Research and Markets: Introducing an incisive collection of ten key articles, "Gas - in focus" — PR-inside

Gas buyers are losing confidence in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry's ability to meet demand over the long term. As a result, they are increasingly likely to switch to other fuels, leaving the LNG industry facing a crisis of credibility... [Red & bols emphasis added.] (Aug 22)

Webmaster's Comments: How much clearer can it be? Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG — as indicated, above — face a credibility crisis. They've been defeated.

Gobert: Is natural gas undervalued? — Financial Post, Don Mills, ON

US natural gas production has risen by over 8% in 2008 compared to 2007, a third consecutive year of production growth from the lower-48 states. Previously, US production had fallen or stagnated for over 25 years.

Webmaster's Comments: More domestic natural gas means less need for LNG. The LNG goldrush is over.


23 Aug 2008

Keep LNG tankers out of the passage [Editorial] — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

The U.S. has to stop treating Canada as it does Mexico. We're allies and fair traders and friendly neighbours and proud to be so, but Canadians aren't prepared to rubber-stamp initiatives that involve the passage of dangerous goods through sensitive Canadian waterways. Canadians have a right to regulate the use of Canadian territory for the safety of Canadian citizens and the protection of Canada's environment.

We doubt Americans would accept a compromise if the positions were reversed; why should the interests of this country's citizens take second place to U.S. ambitions? [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: It isn't even U.S. ambitions — it's US-small-players-at-big-energy ambitions. And, considering the lack of need to increase LNG import capacity anywhere in the U.S., it makes no sense for the U.S. Department of State to be falsely* advocating for these ill-conceived, johnny-come-lately LNG boondoggles in Passamaquoddy Bay.

* The US State Department falsely claims that LNG ship transits into Passamaquoddy Bay would have "right of innocent passage" protection under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); however, since the US isn't a party to UNCLOS, it has no UNCLOS innocent passage rights.

UNCLOS makes it clear what countries are affected by the treaty:

PART I, Article 1, 2. (1) "States Parties" means States which have consented to be bound by this Convention and for which this Convention is in force.

Since the U.S. hasn't "consented to be bound by" (Congress hasn't ratified) UNCLOS, then the Convention is not in force for the U.S.; the U.S. has no rights or responsibilities under UNCLOS.

Local LNG speculators and the U.S. Department of State can wish all they want for LNG ships to have UNCLOS right of innocent passage into Passamaquoddy Bay, but their wish is hollow — the treaty clearly states that the U.S. doesn't have that right.

US Coast Guard lawyer agrees local LNG projects have no UNCLOS innocent passage:

"Without being a party to the Law of the Sea Convention, we cannot avail ourselves of the dispute-resolution provisions," [said US Coast Guard Capt. Charles Michel, Chief, Office of Maritime and International Law].
— "U.S. Coast Guard Officer Claims Canadian PM Disregarded President Bush's Request for LNG Tanker Passage" LNG Law Blog, 2007 Dec 12

Government to spend $100,000 in fight against LNG — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

Conservation Law Foundation jumps into the fray

"We will protect PassamaquoddyBay, we will protect our citizens and we will protect our environment," promised [Member of Parliament and Cabinet Greg Thompson]. "In addition to that, we have said we will fund another study where we collectively will write the terms of the study to defend our position. We are dedicating $100,000 to that project."

"What investment company in the world would want to fund a project of that magnitude when they are staring a sovereign nation in the eye saying we don't want you to come there?" he asked. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

The Conservation Law Foundation, the most respected legal advocate in Maine, will present arguments to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection against LNG going forward. (Aug 22)

NW Natural slips in note about LNG in your bill [Op-ed column] — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

Northwest Natural Gas Co. has stuffed its latest round of bills with inserts touting the need for liquefied natural gas in the state, including the controversial terminals proposed for the Columbia River and Oregon coast.

But the company is hardly an aloof observer. NW Natural, a regulated monopoly that is the state's largest gas provider, hopes to increase profits by building pipelines to serve at least one proposed terminal on the river. It is also looking to expand a lucrative gas-storage business that sits just miles from the proposed Bradwood Landing LNG terminal, east of Astoria. [Red emphasis added.] (Aug 22)

State denies appeal of LNG opponents — The World, Coos Bay, OR

“We’re looking at the market,” Jones said. “If we don’t kill this beast here in the bay, the market will kill it.” [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The LNG boom has gone bust.

LUBA explains LNG appeal dismissal — The World, Coos Bay, OR

Here is a breakdown of their arguments and the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals’ responses.


22 Aug 2008

Narrow interpretation by Woodcock [Blog] — We Take Care of Our Land, Sipayik

No matter its positive spin, [Quoddy Bay LNG] has long closed its doors, locked out those who once were employed there, and is having financial difficulty. The company has not secured anything close to viable for a project of this magnitude, it does, though, continue to have a problematic ground lease. The company has essentially withdrawn from the Maine BEP process, and its FERC application has long since been suspended. (Aug 21)

New study doesn't impress U.S. LNG firms — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

"We have a prime minister that has stood up for us and has brought this eyeball to eyeball with President George Bush," said Thompson. "We will use every diplomatic and legal means we have and more, if it is needed in the future." [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: "Impressing" the LNG developers isn't necessary. They could continue to delude themselves into believing they could transit Head Harbour Passage and Passamaquoddy Bay; however, they'd be accomplishing nothing but wasting time, effort, and money.

Canada is resolute in its position, and:

On the other hand, would you…

  • Invest in a project that requires you to send ships through waters of a country that says you can't do so, and will do everything in its power to prevent it?
  • Insure a ship or cargo under those same prohibitory conditions?
  • Send an LNG ship you own into such an international conflict?
  • Contract to buy natural gas from a proposed supplier who faces such international barriers?
  • Persist at this terminal project location when you could be building an LNG terminal elsewhere without such obstacles?
  • Continue to pursue your project when LNG market growth has disappeared due to 100-years-worth of untapped domestic U.S. gas reserves?

Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG business plans, reasoning, and credibility are seriously deficient.

LNG tankers: New study planned — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Environment MP says Ottawa will use document to help keep Head Harbour Passage free of massive ships

The study will get underway "very quickly," will include "off-the-shelf references" and will look at the views of local experts.

The Conservative MP said the study will be one more thing the government can use to back up its position against LNG tankers travelling through Head Harbour Passage.

Ottawa has supported local protesters in their fight to stop three companies' plans to build LNG terminals in Maine that would ship LNG on tankers the size of football fields through Head Harbour Passage. [Red emphasis added.] (Aug 21)

Tug and barge allide with Casco Bay Bridge — MarEx Newsletter, Maritime Executive

PORTLAND, ME (20 August 2008): A tug and barge, with more than 21,000 gallons of fuel aboard, struck the Casco Bay Bridge in Maine around 7 a.m., today.

Webmaster's Comments: Accidents happen. Human error occurs. The LNG industry is not immune.

Build the natural gas terminal, but not at Sparrows Point [Opinion column] — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

Importing small but potentially catastrophic industrial risks into highly populated areas may have been OK for the 20th-century economy. It doesn't work now.

Generally, [LNG hazards expert — and Coast Guard developer of LNG vapor modeling used by the US Government — Jerry Havens] says, LNG terminals and shipping routes ought to stay at least three miles away from highly populated areas. Within three miles of the Sparrows Point site, thousands of people live and work. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Aug 20)

Webmaster's Comments: Jerry Havens indicates that FERC ignores sensible LNG terminal siting distances from the public. Even the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) — with membership including 95% of the entire world LNG industry — indicates that FERC is ignoring sensible LNG terminal siting safety measures. (See LNG Terminal Sitiing Standards Organization.)

With the world LNG industry and the country's premier LNG vapor hazard expert decrying FERC's public-safety negligence why is Congress allowing FERC and LNG golddiggers to needlessly endanger the public?

Cheniere Marketing Inc. seeks authorization to export LNG — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC


This is the second LNG terminal that has applied to export LNG it has previously imported. — SPB Webmaster

On August 15, 2008, Cheniere Marketing Inc. filed an "Application for Blanket Authorization to Export Imported Natural Gas" with the Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy. According to the application, Cheniere is seeking authorization to export up to 64 Bcf of LNG for a two-year period from its Sabine Pass LNG terminal. (Aug 21)

Webmaster's Comments: The LNG industry is screaming, “THE LNG GOLDRUSH IS OVER!” Are Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG deaf, or are they simply hoping that their financial nightmares will somehow just “disappear”?

Freeport LNG wants to re-export its products — The Facts, Clute, TX

Prices for the fuel in Europe almost double that of the domestic market, and they are double in Asia, said Bill Henry, vice president at Freeport LNG. Currently, LNG earns about $9 per billion cubic foot in the United States. In Asia, it’s $18.

“LNG is a global commodity and you pay a global price,” he said. “We would see significant losses on a cargo purchase if we sold it at a domestic price.”

Freeport LNG already is paying the higher world price, but is unable to sell the natural gas to the domestic market for as much as it is paying. So by shipping it to Europe and Asia, the company can reduce its losses. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The message can't be any clearer. Importing LNG would not lower the price of natural gas in the United States.

Only stopping in for a while — Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX

Freeport LNG seeks to re-export LNG

Operators of a newly opened Texas liquefied natural gas import terminal want to re-export the fuel to other countries, saying it will help them weather the current slowdown in the U.S. LNG business.

The company isn't looking to export domestically produced natural gas. Rather, it wants to store foreign LNG shipments and then reload them back on tankers for delivery to other countries, including the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, Japan, South Korea, India, China, Taiwan, France and Italy. [Red emphasis added.] (Aug 21)

Alaska Governor orders state agencies to assist developers of LNG liquefaction project — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) has ordered  state agencies to assist the companies developing an LNG liquefaction terminal proposed for Valdez that would export LNG to Asian markets or deliver to the U.S. West Coast.

LNG ballots will go in the mail Aug. 29 — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The measure asks voters whether they support changing county zoning law to allow the installation of pipelines and cables as conditional uses in land zoned as open space, parks and recreation.

A "yes" vote approves that change; a "no" vote maintains the current zoning law, which prohibits pipelines and cables those lands.

LNG opponents ask Ore. state probe of campaign — (AP)

Oregon law requires groups that spend money on an election campaign to register and report expenses to the secretary of state's office.

The complaint says hundreds of residents have been receiving phone calls urging them to support the projects, but no group has registered or reported such an expense.

LNG delays could trim global supply — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

Delays in liquefied natural gas ventures led by Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. may pare global supplies by 100 million metric tons -- more than the annual demand of South Korea and Japan, the world's biggest importers.

Projects in Australia, Nigeria, Algeria and the Baltics have been shelved or postponed, prompting the capacity shortfall by 2013, said Ian Angell, vice president of gas and power at Wood Mackenzie Consultants Ltd. The deficit, enough to power 250 million homes, will cause spot LNG prices to trade at parity or at a premium to oil, he said.

In recent months … the U.S. price of natural gas has plummeted, and major producers have been crowing about huge new [domestic] gas reserves that they can tap from shale formations using unconventional drilling techniques. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Aug 21)

Webmaster's Comments: LNG spot market prices will be trading "at parity or at a premium to oil"!!! LNG will not provide lower fuel prices to the U.S.

LNG price may gain 80% on plant delays, export cuts (Update1) —

Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Liquefied natural gas prices in Asia may climb about 80 percent this year as new projects get delayed and countries from Indonesia to Egypt curb exports.

Cargoes of LNG, which is gas chilled into liquid for transportation by tankers, may rise to as much as $25 per million British thermal units in the Northern Hemisphere winter….


19 Aug 2008

Foes protest LNG, by land and by sea — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Fall River — “I’m ecstatic,” said Joseph Carvalho after the simultaneous land and sea anti-LNG rallies Saturday.

The president of the Coalition for the Safe Siting of LNG Facilities was reacting to the overwhelming turnout for a flotilla of civilian watercraft from Spar Island to the Borden Flats Lighthouse in Mount Hope Bay, and an LNG protest on Atlantic Avenue. (Aug 17)

LNG foes take to the water — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

…a demonstration organizers say is intended to claim Mount Hope Bay and the Taunton River as "LNG-free zones." (Aug 14)

Attorney General, in formal brief, fights request that Dept. of Commerce override NY denial of Broadwater [News release] — Media Newswire

In his brief, Blumenthal said the Commerce Secretary can only override such decisions when a project would substantially advance the national interest -- and only when that national interest outweighs the adverse environmental impacts associated with it.

Broadwater has failed to prove -- and is completely incapable of proving -- these points, Blumenthal said. He said the Commerce Secretary, under federal law, must reject Broadwater's request.

Russian-Canadian energy deals possibly at risk — The Windsor Star, Windsor, ON

Russia's Gazprom, the world's largest natural gas company, announced in May it was joining Enbridge Inc., Gaz Metro. and Gaz de France in developing an $840-million liquefied natural gas project in Quebec.

The project would see Gazprom take a unspecified stake in the Rabaska LNG terminal on the St. Lawrence River at Levis, across from Quebec City.

Trinidad sells LNG cargo to Japan — The Miami Herald, Miami, FL

Trinidad & Tobago's Atlantic LNG, the biggest supplier of liquefied natural gas to the United States, sold a spot cargo to Japan at more than double the U.S. benchmark price, a U.K.-based shipbroker said. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Aug 15)

Webmaster's Comments: World commodification of natural gas via LNG is driving the price of natural gas upward.

Freeport LNG applies to export gas imports — Oil & Gas Journal, Tulsa, OK

HOUSTON, Aug. 19 -- Freeport LNG Development LP is the first US firm to request permission to export LNG imported into its Freeport, Tex., terminal.

Freeport LNG Vice-Pres. Bill Henry told OGJ, "We need to do this to keep the equipment cold and sell the excess LNG either into the US market or export the LNG into the [higher priced] international market."

Due to lower prices for gas in the US and increased domestic production from the shale gas plays, Henry said, "There is very little LNG scheduled into the US for the next 12 months." [Red, bold, italic, and underlined emphasis added.]

Anti-LNG groups blast 'push-polls,' file complaint — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Two anti-LNG groups, Clatsop County Citizens for Common Sense and Columbia Riverkeeper, filed a complaint Tuesday with the Oregon Secretary of State calling for an immediate investigation of "push polls" that they believe are being bankrolled by supporters of Liquefied Natural Gas pipelines.

The push poll is illegal because no company, including Bradwood Landing, has registered or reported spending any money on the referendum, said Brent Foster, executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper. He said Oregon campaign finance laws require that companies report how much they are spending on elections. "Here, someone is breaking the law by conducting a bogus survey, but not reporting any of it. The push poll is underhanded, failing to report is illegal."

Johnson fears LNG would disrupt airport — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Senator raises concerns for project endangering Warrenton airport

Johnson, a licensed commercial pilot, said after reviewing regulations she believes the project's 195-foot-tall LNG storage tanks will protrude into protected air space around the airport and put pilots and the surrounding community at risk.

[Port Director of Operations Ron Larsen] said the Port didn't know at the outset of the Oregon LNG project that the LNG storage tanks would be so tall they would enter the protected airspace. Now, he said, it does appear the tops of the tanks will cut into that space.

US gas in storage could approach last year's record level: report — Platts

The US could end its traditional natural gas injection season with 3.52 Tcf in storage at the end of October, just under last year's record 3.545 Tcf as mild summer weather, increased domestic production and reduced industrial sector demand begin to ease a tight supply picture, Lehman Brothers said.

Options Trader: Tuesday outlook —

And another hurricane bites the dust!

This is turning into another disaster for natural gas traders, who ran up the price up to $14 just 4 weeks ago from $7 at the beginning of the year and now, 30 days later, it’s back to $7.

We won’t get into the scam that is LNG here, other than to remind you that this is a scheme to INCREASE imports of energy into the US of one of the only things we have plenty of.  The key to the drive to build LNG terminals is that energy companies can store months’ worth of natural gas in the ground, rather than be forced to sell it at market prices as it’s produced.  Recent failures to get a plant under construction on the Taunton river in MA were the last straw for traders, and gas prices fell almost 20% from the point the plant was essentially blocked (July 18th).  Chesapeake Energy, who routinely have had to cut back production the past two years to prevent US storage from overflowing, have been in free-fall, dropping from $74 on July 1st to $44.92 yesterday. [Red, italic, and bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: There is an over-abundance of natural gas in the US. This article indicates that at least some US natural gas producers are manipulating supply in order to manipulate price. Where is FERC in regulating this price manipulation?


18 Aug 2008

Natural gas surge fuels worries about glut — Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, TX

If the United States continues to produce as much natural gas as it has in the year’s first five months, the country will see a 35-year high in annual production in 2008.

U.S. natural gas production is up nearly 9 percent through May. At that rate, output this year will rise to nearly 22 trillion cubic feet, the highest since 1973’s 22.6 trillion cubic feet, the all-time record.

Consider Freeport LNG, which in June opened its $850 million terminal south of Houston. Freeport is the result of an eight-year plan to build a terminal to import liquefied natural gas — natural gas that has been chilled to about 260 degrees below zero — from overseas producers.

On Aug. 1, however, Freeport LNG asked the Energy Department for permission to export LNG that it previously imported. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Conclusion: "There is a natural gas glut."

LNG passes feds' environment assessment — The Packet, Clarenville, NL

Newfoundland LNG has cleared the final hurdle to making a transshipment terminal a reality in Placentia Bay. The project was granted environmental approval by the federal Minister of Environment last Monday.

Jamaica may halt consideration of LNG import project — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

An anonymous source told Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] that the Jamaican government is no longer considering an LNG import terminal proposed for a site on the country's southern coast, saying that the Jamaican government is leaning towards coal as a future fuel for the island nation.

Riley may veto proposed LNG terminal south of Dauphin Island — Press-Register, Birmingham, AL

Gov. Bob Riley has until Oct. 10 to decide whether to allow a new liquefied natural gas terminal to be built 63 miles south of Dauphin Island.

Federal agencies charged with protecting the nation's fisheries and the marine environment remain opposed to TORP's proposal. Those agencies, including the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, describe "significant adverse impacts on the marine environment" that they believe the terminal could cause.

Riley opposed a similar proposal from ConocoPhillips Corp. in 2006, arguing that it would take an unacceptable toll on sea life and the seafood industry in the Gulf. At that time, federal officials estimated that terminal would kill perhaps 2 billion eggs and larvae per year. ConocoPhillips withdrew its application when it became apparent Riley would veto it. (Aug 17)

Waterway improvement study could be imminent — The Beaumont Enterprise, Beaumont, TX

Selling the project to some lawmakers is simple by pointing out some gee-whiz facts and figures, such as the water-way being the country's top arrival site for crude tankers, Henderson said.

He also touts the three liquefied natural gas terminals expected to be completed by 2012, making the waterway home to about 70 percent of the nation's LNG import capacity.

Webmaster's Comments: LNG projects up the Sabine-Neches Waterway, from Sabine Pass to the Port of Beaumont, would provide "about 70 % in the nation's LNG import capacity." And yet, compared to the amount of LNG currently being imported into the US, the Quoddy Bay LNG project would import an additional 200% to the US LNG import volume. Add to that the Downeast LNG (an additional 50% over the nation's current import volume) and Calais LNG Project Co. (100% of the nation's current import volume).

There are already a whole lot of US projects with a total LNG import volume of many-times over 100%. It's obvious the Passamaquoddy Bay-area projects are overkill to the extreme. They simply aren't needed.

Opportunity slips from Alaska's grasp [Op-ed column] — The Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage, AK

It's time our leaders admitted that the South 48 doesn't need Alaska gas. As the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month, thousands of wells are being drilled in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, and analysts are talking about a "gas glut." [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Aug 16)

Webmaster's Comments: Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG, please take notice of the essential natural gas market information in the above story…

There is “a natural gas glut!”

The Passamaquoddy Bay LNG venture capitalists must be kicking themselves right now for throwing their money at their badly-timed projects.

Larger LNG tankers could come to Oregon — (AP), Portland, OR

NorthernStar, which would operate Bradwood, says it is building the facility for ships with capacities of from 100,000 and 200,000 cubic meters. (Aug 17)

Making America matter as an energy supplier — Barron's, New York, NY

Attempts to build an LNG terminal in Washington County, Maine, have been delayed by local lawsuits and opposition by Canada, which says that it will not let tankers sail through its waters to get to the proposed U.S. facility, claiming an environmental threat to the bay.

Webmaster's Comments: Canada's prohibition to LNG ships in Passamaquoddy Bay is also based on the 2.2-mile Hazard Zones radiating out from transiting LNG ships that would endanger Canadian citizens, and based on the economic damage that the LNG proposals would cause. Canada's position is in perfect step with the world LNG industry, that warns against siting LNG terminals under the conditions present in Passamaquoddy Bay. (See SIGTTO and LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.)


17 Aug 2008

Activist says don't trust Canadian govt. on LNG — WQDY-FM, Calais, ME

[This is the same story covered on Aug 15 by the Saint Croix Courier (see below).]

…Watson did claim to have shut down an LNG terminal that was going to be built in Longbeach, Calif. (Aug 16)

Webmaster's Comments: Watson's self-promotion is incorrect. See "VICTORY! FERC puts Long Beach LNG proposal on terminal hold" and the California Sierra Club article, "Long Beach LNG officially dead!," for more accurate accounts of what actually defeated the Long Beach LNG project.

When reading Watson's remarks, one should take the source into account.

Opponents stay mobilized one year after  BHP defeat — Malibu Surfside News, Malibu, CA

The entire market assumptions for the profitable importation of LNG to California may have been upended, however, by the recent spike in oil prices, which has also pulled world LNG prices up. A recent LNG sales contract signed by Indonesia set prices four times greater than those in LNG studies assumed by those in Sacramento who said the state needs the gas, putting imported LNG way more expensive than domestic gas

[T]he parent company of the Southern California Gas Company is about to inaugurate the LNG plant it rushed to completion in Baja California, where U.S. environmental review laws could not delay it. That $1 billion-plus plant, called Costa Azul, has capacity equal to one tenth of the natural gas used on the entire West Coast of Canada, Mexico and the U.S. [Red emphasis added.] (Aug 16)

Webmaster's Comments: LNG is far more expensive than plentiful domestic natural gas supplies; plus, Cosal Azul's import capacity dwarfs the needs along the entire North American west coast.

The LNG import goldrush is over.


14 Aug 2008

'Strategically we are well placed' — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Newfoundland Project to become continent's first LNG storage and transshipment facility

The project, which will include a marine terminal with three berths, a tug basin, eight storage tanks, an access road and office facilities will be starting just as the construction of three liquefied natural gas terminals in Saint John is wrapping up.

"We are one and half days to markets in Boston. It would take longer than that to get that volume there through a pipeline," he said.

But one energy consultant has doubts about the ability of the market to support so much liquefied natural gas activity. Both New Brunswick and Newfoundland's projects are targeting U.S. markets, which already have liquefied natural gas storage capacity, said North Carolina consultant Zach Allen.

"The market is very limited," he said.

Allen has also cast doubts about Canaport's chances of future success. [Red emphasis added.] (Aug 13)

Webmaster's Comments: Canaport may be LNG overkill, the Newfoundland LNG transshipment project may be super-overkill, since the market for LNG is limited. We aren't the ones saying that — that's coming from the industry, itself. Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG investors must be seriously reconsidering their own judgement.

Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace founder: Don’t trust government on LNG — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

Webmaster's Comments: Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace founder Paul Watson's remarks in this August 12 story about LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay, in this webmaster's opinion, are irresponsible and counter-productive. Save Passamaquoddy Bay does not share his views.

US EIA slashes quarterly nat gas price estimates by more than $3 — Platts

Looking ahead, the agency said that "strong domestic production is expected to limit the impact of lower LNG and Canadian imports on natural gas prices." [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Aug 12)

Webmaster's Comments: Read that again: “Lower LNG and Canadian imports” due to “strong domestic [natural gas] production." The local LNG speculators are fooling themselves and their investors if they seriously believe their projects have futures.

Neighbors decry pipeline path — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

Harford residents see loss of land, potential dan

The lush 12-acre field, bordered by huge oaks and a rippling creek, would have been the perfect setting for a country house, with plenty of room for a few horses to gallop around.

That, at least, was Ann Paszkiewicz's vision six years ago, when she paid $250,000 for the property near Fallston High School in Harford County.

Paszkiewicz and some of her neighbors say they have lost hope that they will be fairly compensated for the land they might be forced to give up.

Pipeline operators say their systems have a good safety record. (Aug 13)

Webmaster's Comments: According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the gas only (gas transmission + gas gathering + gas distribution) 5-year (2003–2007) annual average was: 58 fatalities, 163 hospitalized injuries, and $198,626,480 in public property damage. (Source: PHMSA's Consequences to the Public and the Pipeline Industry website section.)

Gulf Onshore forms company to operate Marcellus Shale business — Platts

The Marcellus Shale, which is estimated to contain more than 500 Tcf of natural gas, extends throughout the Appalachian Basin from southern New York to Tennessee, Gulf Onshore said. [Red emphasis added.] (Aug 11)

Webmaster's Comments: Domestic natural gas resources are overpowering any need to import additional LNG. Calais LNG Project Co., especially, has made an untimely, poorly-sited, and expensive project decision. Even Quoddy Bay LNG and Downeast LNG were late entering the race. The investors in all three of these projects must be considering cutting their losses and moving on.

Freeport LNG seek LNG export authorization from DOE — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The application seeks authorization to export up to 24 Bcf of LNG on a cumulative basis over a two-year period and states that the facility will export previously imported LNG, not domestically produced natural gas. [Red, large, and italic emphasis added.] (Aug 13)

Webmaster's Comments: Freeport LNG — the newly-completed import terminal, — now joins Chesapeake Energy in wanting to EXPORT LNG from the US. It should be perfectly clear by now to Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG that their dreams are ruined and it's beyond time to call it quits.

CRD backs ban on gas-tanker traffic —, Times Colonist, Victoria, BC

LNG traffic deemed too hazardous for Inside Passage route

Liquefied natural gas tankers have no place travelling up and down the Inside Passage, Capital Regional District directors say.

The CRD yesterday endorsed a resolution supporting the Powell River Regional District in calling on the federal government to ban LNG tankers from using the Inside Passage -- one of the most heavily travelled waterways in North America.

"It is extraordinarily significant. We don't want those kinds of vessels in restricted, busy waterways unless you have absolutely no other option and I don't think that's the case here."

A similar resolution has been passed by the Islands Trust. [Red emphasis added.]

CRD supports fight against tanker traffic off Texada Island — C-Fax 1070, Victoria, BC

The Capital Regional District is supporting a resolution by the Powell River Regional District that Westpac LNG Corporation not be allowed to build a liquid (sic) natural gas facility on Texada Island. (Aug 13)

Palomar says FERC lists come from many sources — The Hillsboro Argus, Hillsboro, OR

The suit, filed by Columbia and Willamette riverkeepers last week in U.S. District Court in Portland, alleges that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is either illegally withholding or illegally destroyed its mailing lists related to the Palomar pipeline. [Red emphasis added.] (Aug 12)

Short-term energy outlook — U.S. Energy Information Administration, Washington, DC

Production and Imports

Total U.S. marketed natural gas production is expected to increase by 8.0 percent in 2008 and by 3.7 percent in 2009.  Robust growth from unconventional production basins in the Lower-48 onshore region is expected to continue, while production is projected remain unchanged in the Federal Gulf of Mexico in 2008.  Marketed natural gas production from the Federal Gulf of Mexico is projected to increase by 3.5 percent in 2009 while sustained drilling activity is expected to lead to production growth next year of 3.9 percent in the Lower-48 onshore region.

Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) remain low as demand for natural gas in Asia-Pacific and Europe continues to attract cargoes with higher relative prices. … LNG imports are expected to total 390 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in 2008, and 480 Bcf in 2009, compared with 771 Bcf in 2007. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Aug 12)

Webmaster's Comments: The U.S. LNG import industry is getting hit hard, very hard. The LNG goldrush bubble has burst.


12 Aug 2008

NN opposes Baldacci’s nominee to PUC — We Take Care of Our Land, Sipayik

[The following link is not working properly. It should be fixed by afternoon on Wednesday Aug 13.]

On behalf of our members and families, Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon (NN) opposes the confirmation of Jack Cashman as a member of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). During the past four years our grassroots group has worked tirelessly against a proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal slated for our coastal community. This LNG proposal was officially introduced to our community during an impromptu meeting held at Pleasant Point by Maine’s executive officials on June 22, 2004. Mr. Cashman attended this meeting and was a prominent member of Maine’s delegation. On that day, their message was simply LNG is good for you. None of the difficult or complex questioning by our elders, and members was even remotely answered. Nor has there ever been any direct apology or rationale offered outlining why the state’s design for LNG was beyond question. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Aug 8)

Quoddy Bay, tribe at odds over payment — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

Quoddy Bay LNG, after first informing the Passamaquoddy Tribe that it would seek the tribal council's agreement on its proposal to suspend its quarterly lease payments to the tribe, has now informed the council that it is putting a temporary hold on the payments. The tribal government has responded that it believes the company is required to make the lease payments under the land lease agreement for the proposed liquefied natural gas facility at Split Rock, Pleasant Point. (Aug 8)

Webmaster's Comments: Surprisingly, QBLNG is arguing that the lease isn't final, despite the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ July 1st testimony in US District Court that lease is final. QBLNG's Don Smith wants it both ways.

LNG firm cuts payments to Passamaquoddy — Indian Country Today, Canastota, NY

During the course of the federal government's appeal to dismiss the lawsuit, the BIA conceded that in approving the lease it had actually approved the entire LNG project.

But Smith is now claiming in his press release that the BIA has not yet approved the contract and, therefore, the company is not obligated to make payments to the tribe.

[According to a Save Passamaquoddy Bay spokesperson], ''Either they do have a lease and they owe the money to the tribe, or they don't have a lease at all and they can't do anything.'' [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Quoddy Bay's Don Smith has painted himself into a corner and the only way out is to pack up and return to Oklahoma.

LNG company holds open house in Calais — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

A display that attracted much interest was a chart showing the proposed route tankers would take to reach the terminal berth. The tankers at times would be traversing in Canadian waters. The Canadian government has expressed objections to LNG proposals that would involve ships passing through Canada's Head Harbour Passage. (Aug 8)

Webmaster's Comments: Not only does Canada object, they have declared that LNG traffic into Passamaquoddy Bay is prohibited. Calais LNG Project Co. is wasting its time, effort, and money.

Canaport LNG reconsidering no-fly zone application — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

OTTAWA — Canaport LNG is reconsidering a commitment to apply to Transport Canada for a no-fly zone around the country's first liquefied natural gas plant.

No-fly zones ban aircraft from flying in a specified area and are typically declared for public safety reasons.

They are not common: Transport Canada does not require them even for nuclear power plants in Canada.

The Federal Aviation Administration in the United States also does not require no-fly zones for nuclear power plants, or for that country's eight liquefied natural gas plants.

Proposed liquefied natural gas transshipment facility passes federal environmental assessment — The Telegram, Saint John's, NL

The federal government has approved the environmental impact assessment for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) transshipment terminal planned for Grassy Point, Placentia Bay.

Newfoundland LNG Ltd. wants to build, and eventually decommission, an LNG transshipment and storage terminal, which would include a marine terminal, a tug basin, eight LNG storage tanks, an access road, office facilities, security fencing, and utilities such as water and power. (Aug 11)

Information sessions on LNG pipeline — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

If the proposed liquefied natural gas pipeline from eastern Baltimore County to Pennsylvania is approved, Mike and Pat Liberatore face two daunting possibilities.

Under one scenario, the Harford County couple could lose most of the trees on their property. Under the other, they say, the LNG pipeline could come through their bedroom.

The kicker? "We can't get our home connected for natural gas," says Mike Liberatore, a builder who has lived in the Street area for 13 years. "We won't see the benefits of this."

By increasing the natural gas supply in the region, prices for gas customers should drop, said Richard Hoffmann, executive director of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America Foundation.

Webmaster's Comments: Passamaquoddy Bay-area residents may recall the public Downeast LNG meeting at the Robbinston (Maine) Elementary School. When asked about the potential for injury from thermal-flux exposure from an LNG terminal catastrophe, then-FERC official Richard Hoffmann callously responded:

"Someone could argue that a child might be playing in a ball field nearby, and wouldn't know enough to run, but that wouldn't be a fair question. —Just kidding!"

Richard Hoffmann, Director
Division of Gas
Environment and Engineering
Office of Energy Products
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
2005 September 30

Hoffmann lacks sensibility and credibility, even in his new position, especially since the commodification of — and, therefore, worldwide competition for — natural gas via LNG has driven natural gas prices skyward.

Residents, officials rail against proposed natural gas port off Fort Lauderdale — Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Elected officials and coastal residents denounced the proposed Calypso natural gas port at a meeting Monday in Fort Lauderdale, increasing pressure on Gov. Charlie Crist to reject the project.


10 Aug 2008

Surviving rough seas — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

GLOUCESTER — Some fishermen are bitter about making a deal with gas companies. Others said they had no choice. All said they'd rather not have to take the $12.6 million from the two liquefied natural gas companies that are planning terminals off the North Shore coast. [Red emphasis added.]

Putting water ahead of natural gas — The New York Times, New York, NY

Natural gas vs New York City's untreated water supply

It has slowly dawned on people, among them Mr. Gennaro, chairman of the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee, that there’s one very big local angle to the distant and still exotic notion of major energy companies descending on upstate New York to drill for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation.

“This is an activity that is completely and utterly inconsistent with a drinking water supply,” he said. “This cannot happen. This would destroy the New York City watershed, and for what? For short-term gains on natural gas? We’re not saying no exploration for natural gas anywhere in New York State. We’re saying the part of New York State that is the New York City reservoir system should be off limits to this kind of activity.”

“Unlike natural gas, which we can get from other places in the Marcellus Shale, we have no other place to go for our drinking water. This is it. We have one and only one drinking water system.”


9 Aug 2008

AES 'tired' of waiting for govt approval — The Nassau Guardian, Nassau, Bahamas

The AES company is 'getting a little tired' of waiting on approval from the government for the controversial liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant they are seeking to build on Ocean Cay.

Local professionals, artisans hope to benefit with LNG — The Nassau Guardian, Nassau, Bahamas

Bahamian contractors, architects and construction workers are hoping to benefit during the construction and development phases of a Liquefied Natural Gas regasification facility — if the government approves a proposal by Virginia-based AES to build one at Ocean Cay in The Bahamas.

In fact, the Bahamian Contractors Association is petitioning the government to make it mandatory for the developers to utilize Bahamian contractors.

Samson said the construction side of the project would be complicated, but he assured the group that the operational side of the business would primarily employ Bahamians.

Webmaster's Comments: After waiting seven years (see AES 'tired of waiting for govt approval) — and with the current abundance of domestic natural gas in the US — insisting on using local contractors to build a facility as specialized as an LNG terminal may help AES reassess their position and motivate their departure.

Bigger LNG ships mean bigger risks — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The largest ship that can deliver to the Bradwood facility under the rules outlined in the Coast Guard's report is one that carries 148,000 cubic meters of LNG. A new assessment could result in more safety precautions being added onto the existing requirements.

LNG opponents sue energy commission over mailing list — Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected a Freedom of Information Act request sent in January.

It asked for the names and addresses of people FERC is communicating with about a proposed natural gas pipeline between a possible LNG terminal and existing pipelines in central Oregon.

Dan Serres: “Their direct response to the FOIA request was ‘we don’t have a list’ despite transcripts from public meetings indicating that they do have a list and that they’re developing this list all the time.” [Red emphasis added.] (Aug 8)


8 Aug 2008

Patrick signs law that would ban LNG terminal for Fall River — The Standard-Times, New Bedford, MA

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick has signed legislation that in effect bans an LNG terminal from being located in Fall River.

"Liquefied natural gas continues to be an important part of the commonwealth's statewide energy plan, but there are also serious potential health and safety risks posed by LNG terminals and tankers," said Rebecca Deusser, a spokeswoman for the governor. "Governor Patrick questions the wisdom of siting new LNG terminals in close proximity to densely populated areas, and he is particularly concerned about the project proposed in Fall River."

Debate focuses on proposed LNG facilities — Asbury Park Press, Neptune, NJ

"If we finish building what we have under construction, we'll have almost 20 billion cubic feet of capacity" on the East Coast, Beyer said. "So we're set for the next 20 years."

"There is already a glut, a huge glut, of LNG import facilities," Zipf said. "LNG is foreign — that's why you put it onto ships — and it's expensive." [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG are unneeded. The US already has permitted, under construction, or already built an over-abundance of LNG import infrastructure to meet the country's natural gas needs long into the future — and that is in addition to vast abundantce of domestic natural gas resources.

Environmental groups can't agree on offshore liquefied natural gas structures — The Press of Atlantic City, Pleasantville, NJ

Some environmental groups suggested that it would be a good, productive way to provide cleaner energy to the state, while others denounced the plans as completely unnecessary and a threat to the environment.

Liquefied natural gas terminals spark debate in N.J. — (AP) Daily Record, Parsippany, NJ

"Our dock does $6 million to $10 million a year in seafood landings," he said. "Each of these terminals would be located in prime fishing grounds. That's where the fish are, and that's where we fish. It would put us out of business."

Lovegren and other opponents of the proposals said existing natural gas terminals on the East Coast are operating far below capacity, and he questioned the economic sense of building new ones.

Jasper Port, LNG hazardous mix, activists say — (Morris News Service) Savannah Morning News, Savannah, GA

Even as two enormous storage tanks are being built to double the capacity of the El Paso Corp.'s liquefied natural gas terminal on Elba Island, a local environmental group continues to call for the facility to move offshore.

The latest concern of Citizens for Clean Air and Water is the proposed siting of the Jasper Port.

A spill or a release from Elba or from an incoming tanker — whether accidental or as a result of terrorism — could put anyone within a mile, or even farther, in grave danger.

Citing industry standards from the Society of International Gas Terminal and Tanker Operations, Jennings noted that LNG terminals are discouraged from being constructed where vapors from a spill could affect civilians, on long narrow inland waterways, on the outside curve of a waterway, and where they conflict with other current and future waterway uses.

Elba flunks on all measures, she said. [Red bold emphasis added.] (Aug 7)

Webmaster's Comments: See Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) and LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.

U.S. Coast Guard, MARAD announce availability of FEIS and public hearing — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The U.S. Coast Guard and MARAD announced today that the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed TORP Terminal LNG project is now available and that a public hearing will be held in Mobile, Ala., on August 26, 2008.

Agencies issue final EIS for offshore LNG terminal in US Gulf — Platts

The US Maritime Administration and Coast Guard on Friday released a final environmental impact statement on Norwegian developer Torp's proposal to build Bienville Offshore Energy Terminal, a 1.2 Bcf/d liquefied natural gas import terminal in federal waters of the US Gulf of Mexico.

The company's proposed terminal would be located 63 miles off the coast of Alabama in water about 425 feet deep. It would be capable of simultaneously mooring two LNG carriers with capacity of up to 250,000 cubic meters each.

Webmaster's Comments: Offshore, safely away from civilian populations.

Mitsubishi drops California LNG plan, eyes Alaska — Oil & Gas Journal, Houston, TX

…Mitsubishi signed an agreement with the Alaska Gasline Port Authority (AGPA) to develop an LNG project in southern Alaska aimed at shipping Alaska North Slope gas to the Lower 48.

According to reports, Mitsubishi's interest lies in the liquefaction, transport, and marketing of LNG to Asia and possibly the US West Coast in conjunction with Sempra LNG, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, San Diego.


7 Aug 2008

Patrick signs LNG buffer bill into law — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

The bill, authored by state Rep. David Sullivan, D-Fall River, and cosponsored by the entire Fall River delegation along with others, requires that an LNG terminal have a minimum distance of 5,000 feet from the center of the LNG tank to the nearest residential home, elderly housing complex, school, hospital, health care facility, business or developments.

An LNG tanker must also have a 1,500-foot clearance along the shore as it travels any Massachusetts waterway from the hull to the nearest residential home, elderly housing complexes, schools, hospitals, health care facilities, businesses or developments. [Bold red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: This bill conforms with the world LNG industry's own best practices philosophy, at least in part, as published by Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) in their publication, Site Selection and Design for LNG Ports and Jetties. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for an abbreviated list of those standards.)

Incredibly, FERC has less-stringent permitting standards than does the LNG industry.

Feds still open to comments on LNG — The Dundalk Eagle, Dundalk, MD

While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s stated deadline for public comment was June 16 for the terminal and pipeline proposed by AES Corp. of Virginia, FERC will still consider responses from the community.

FERC staff will also attend a meeting organized by U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts (Pennsylvania, 16th District) in Atglen, Pa., on Aug. 12.

Gabe Neville, Pitt’s chief of staff, said it took some limited effort to set up the meeting because it is outside of standard FERC procedures.

Maryland Historical Trust responds to Sparrows Point LNG project DEIS — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The Maryland Historical Trust has submitted its response to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement prepared by FERC for the Sparrows Point LNG terminal project. The response is available in the FERC eLibrary under Docket No. CP07-62.

Environmental groups sue FERC for LNG pipeline documents — News-Times, Portland, OR

Riverkeepers say federal agency is withholding mailing lists

A pair of environmental groups filed suit against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today seeking the release of a mailing list that the FERC claims does not exist.

A form called “mailing list retention form” was included in a mailing that FERC sent the News-Times on July 21. The form references an environmental mailing list for the Palomar pipeline project.

“We know they have it,” said Dan Serres, spokesman for Columbia Riverkeeper, “they talk about the mailing list in public meetings, they say, ‘please get on our list.’ [Red emphasis added.]

Rising energy prices stoke natural gas proposals — The Oregonian

Despite a political debate over terminal projects, there's no guarantee consumers will get a break

Wyden, saying the regulatory agency [FERC] needs to be reined in, has co-sponsored a bill that would push regulatory authority for siting LNG terminals back to state control, which was preempted by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Other influential U.S. senators, including Barack Obama, have signed on. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Global commodification of natural gas via LNG has actually caused the price of natural gas to skyrocket, since Asia has no alternative than to pay more in order to get its energy. LNG is a cause of higher natural gas prices, not a solution to it.

LNG push “poll” angers opponents — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The Portland-based polling company RDD Field Services is calling county residents and asking them how they plan to vote on ballot measure 4-131, a referendum that will determine whether the pipeline for the Bradwood Landing project can follow its proposed route.

But several residents who have completed the poll say the 10- to 20-minute quiz is loaded with rosy information about the value of LNG as a clean fossil fuel and the improvements Bradwood Landing developer NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc. will bring to the region.

Several county residents who told pollsters they planned to vote "no" on the measure were given a list of reasons to support LNG: increased tax revenue, job creation, cheaper natural gas and salmon population enhancement. (Aug 6)

Sempra posts lower profit; raises outlook — MarketWatch, New York, NY

Sempra LNG, its liquefied natural gas import business, posted a $28 million loss, wider than the $13 million year-ago loss. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


6 Aug 2008

Indian country reports on Quoddy Bay LNG's renege

Donald Smith, president of Quoddy Bay LNG, says the payments were never a requirement. He says they were voluntary because Quoddy Bay is not obliged to begin making payments until the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs has given its final approval to the project.

Webmaster's Comments: The BIA argued in US District Court on July 1 that its initial ground lease approval was their final approval.

[News alert links to News From Indian Country story, above.]

Attorneys on each side of the lawsuit, which is still pending, have indicated in court documents that they are willing to negotiate for a possible settlement in the case, which could lead to the bureau revisiting the lease agreement between Quoddy Bay and the tribe. (Jul 28)

The Passamaquoddy Tribe of Maine will no longer receive quarterly payments from a company that wants to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on the reservation. (Jul 28)

Open-space threats discussed at conservancy forum — Daily Local News, Exton, PA

Diniman said the pipeline companies didn't notify in advance the Brandywine Valley Authority, Chester County or the Chester County Water Resources Authority about critical aspects of the project that would affect streams and water quality.

A gas market profile of Maryland [Press release] —

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Gas Market Profile: Maryland" report to their offering.

This series of market profiles covers 5 key markets in North America. Each profile provides insight into market structures, regulatory environments, supply and demand balances, assets, market concentration and wholesale sources of energy.

NATS: Unplanned disruptions to natural gas supplies could alter global LNG market — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

In comments released yesterday, NATS said that significant disruptions to natural gas supplies, such as a hurricane in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, which would have the potential to affect more than 8 Bcf/d of gas production, could alter the global LNG market. However, barring a supply disruption, the global LNG market is unlikely to change dramatically for the rest of this year.

Mustang receives patent for LNG concept — Energy Current, Houston, TX

LNG [liquefied natural gas] Smart Small Scale, Short Haul concept is the fourth Mustang Engineering patent in the LNG Smart series.

It includes a floating liquefaction unit receiving gas associated with oil production or from a reservoir in a remote location, an LNG shuttle vessel for carrying liquefied gas, and a floating regasification unit for receiving the LNG, vaporizing it and sending it out to a local market distribution system.

Wyden asks feds to slow LNG decision — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

FERC has issued its final environmental review of the project, and state officials fear the agency has already written its decision and is about to issue a decision without additional public notice or input.

Wyden has sponsored legislation to return licensing authority for LNG terminals to state authorities, which was pre-empted by federal authorities with the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. He says he want to blow the whistle this fall on FERC's "outrageous behavior."

Webmaster's Comments: Maine's senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins publicly claim to want LNG terminal licensing authority returned to the states, but so far, they haven't joined as co-sponsors of Wyden's proposed legislation. Encourage them to do so.

Mitsubishi ends plans for California LNG site, Nikkei reports — Bloomberg

Mitsubishi Corp. scrapped plans to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in California because of community concerns that it could be a terrorist target and pose other risks, Nikkei English News reported, without citing anyone.

California authorities froze proceedings for the terminal after it was approved by a local harbor commission in 2003, and Mitsubishi decided not to appeal, the news service said. (Aug 7)


5 Aug 2008

The Haynesville Shale — The Energy Law Blog, New Orleans, LA

In March 2008, several oil and gas companies announced the finding of what could potentially be the fourth largest deposit of natural gas in the world underneath northwestern Louisiana, southwestern Arkansas, and eastern Texas: the Haynesville Shale.   

The Louisiana Natural Resources Department has now created a website to provide information to the public related to the Haynesville Shale formation. [Red emphasis added.]

Cheapeake's massive shale find in Louisiana — Platts

Chesapeake, which said it had hoped to keep Haynesville secret but largely devoted a conference call to its initial findings in the play after the two smaller operators leaked out news of its existence, has been by far the most vocal on the Haynesville's potential. Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon said the play, a relatively deep formation found at depths of 10,500 to 13,000 feet , "has a chance of being the most significant shale play in the company's history." For a company the size and breadth of Chesapeake, which has its hand in every significant US shale play and is the third-largest Barnett producer with 410,000 Mcfe/d there, that's saying something. [Red emphasis added.] (Mar)

Haynesville Shale: News, map, videos, lease and royalty information —

Quote: Chesapeake Energy: “Based on its geoscientific, petrophysical and engineering research during the past two years and the results of three horizontal and four vertical wells it has drilled, Chesapeake believes the Haynesville Shale play could potentially have a larger impact on the company than any other play in which it has participated to date." [Red emphasis added.]

Tropical storm not expected to affect U.S. gulf coast LNG terminals — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

According to Platts LNG Daily, officials with three of the four terminals operating on the U.S. coast of the Gulf of Mexico said that they do not expect to be affected by Tropical Storm Edouard.

Protesters voice opposition to new bridge, LNG pipeline — Oregon Public Broadcasting, Portland, OR

Jen Angel: "On one hand it's about dealing with the fossil fuels issue, but it's also about dealing with communities and individuals that are negatively impacted as a direct result of projects." (Aug 4)

Kuwait LNG deal ‘in final stage’ — Gulf Times, Doha, Qatar

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait has almost completed a contract to import liquefied natural gas from Qatar, Oil Minister Mohamed al-Olaim said. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Even oil-rich countries — and even those who export oil to the US — are importing LNG, competing with the US for LNG on the world market.


4 Aug 2008

Eastport pilot: Lots of planning, a few close calls — The Working Waterfront, Rockland, ME

The departure of the Hawes on July 6 was routine and on schedule. But the frigate's arrival on July 2 was not quite so routine when the vessel encountered fog — a common occurrence downeast but a factor that makes Navy commanding officers cautious, and Cdr. Kristin Jacobsen was no exception. It was clear to Peacock aboard the pilot boat that the ship wouldn't arrive at the pilot station on schedule, and he agreed to meet her off West Quoddy Head.

Peacock himself has had a close call. "This was when the Eastport pilot boat was the old Chester T. Marshall. Well, due to a passenger leaning against the kill switch, her engine quit. The ship's captain stopped his engines, put her hard over and swung the stern away from us, and the pilot boat's captain diving below to start the engine, That saved us." Then he added, "There have been many instances when it was just too rough to get aboard."

Webmaster's Comments: There's no question that the local pilots are excellent; however, as with the killing-the-engine incident, related above, accidents do happen — even in the presence of excellent pilots. There's no guarantee against human error.

Hydromet Conference upcoming — VOCM Radio, St. John’s, NL

Some of the matters up for discussion include: labor implications regarding industrial development in Placentia Bay; Vale Inco's nickel processing facility; LNG Plant; the second refinery being planned by Newfoundland and Labrador Refining Corporation; and a presentation by Newfoundland Labrador Building Trades Council on labor supply.

Bursting the energy bubble — Connecticut Business News Journal, New Haven, CT

For the past four years, energy companies have been trying desperately to open up new markets for what is a growing supply of North American and internationally produced natural gas.

Shell estimates Broadwater could supply as much as one-quarter of all the natural gas used in the New York metropolitan area. There are no significant shortages right now, and those shortages that do occur are seasonal and related to distribution problems — not supply. [Bold red emphasis added.]

A push to wrest more oil from land, but most new wells are for natural gas — The New York Times, New York, NY

[W]hile those hoping to lower prices at the pump are clamoring for new oil, most of the new onshore drilling of the past seven years has produced natural gas, not oil. (Aug 3)

Analysts offer differing predictions for 2009 U.S. LNG imports — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

…Zach Allen of Pan EurAsian Enterprises, said that he expects 2009 LNG import volume will be "more like this year than last year."

Is natural gas the answer to energy needs of US? — CNBC

Are we entering the golden age of natural gas?

That's the case being made by Chesapeake Energy.

CEO Aubrey McClendon, who recently sang the virtues of natural gas before Congress: It’s cheaper and cleaner than other fossil fuels, and available in vast quantities right in the US.

… McClendon acknowledges current gang-buster unconventional gas production, should keep supply growing five percent a year for the next decade — even without opening up more public land. [Bold red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Dow Chemical's criticism of McClendon's assessment is flawed if the push to replace natural gas-fired electrical generation with wind power a la T. Boone Pickens's proposal is successful.

Natural-gas prices may fall next year on supply surge — The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY

U.S. natural-gas prices could be in for a fall next year, when additional output from elsewhere in the world should enter the market.

GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] demand for gas growing faster than for oil — AME Info, Dubai Media City, United Arab Emirates

Dubai's demand for gas is rising by 15% a year, but in spite of possessing some 214 trillion in gas reserves the UAE does not supply enough gas domestically to power its electricity and desalination plant requirements.

Bahrain … needs to double its gas supply in the next ten years….

Qatar meanwhile, even with its huge gas resources and status as the world's biggest LNG exporter, has declared a pause on new export projects declaring that domestic requirements will take priority.

All of Saudi Arabia's already substantial gas production is for domestic use, but much more is urgently needed and so far little has come from gas exploration projects with international oil companies in the Empty Quarter. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Fortunately, the US has sufficient domestic natural gas reserves for the next 100 years, according to Chesapeake Energy.


3 Aug 2008

County to appeal LNG ruling to Supreme Court — The Capital, Annapolis, MD

TOWSON, Md. (AP) — Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith says the county will take its opposition of a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal to the Supreme Court.

Smith says the county plans to appeal the decision of a federal appellate court that ruled the county overstepped its authority when it imposed zoning regulations that would prevent the terminal from being built.

Markets and federal agencies, not AGIA, will steer pipeline — Alaska Journal of Commerce, Anchorage, AK

For many years I've advocated maximum economic benefits from public resource development, but in his misguided haste to paint AGIA (Alaska Gasline Inducement Act) as evil and LNG (liquefied natural gas) as the white knight, Dominic Lee (July 20, 2008) just muddies the water. (Aug 2)

Multiple players still in gas pipeline fray — KTUU TV, Anchorage, AK

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A license for TransCanada to build a gas pipeline may have passed the Alaska Legislature, but there is more than one company planning to build the long-awaited pipeline.

TransCanada has a few rivals out there: BP and ConocoPhillips created Denali, and they want to build their own pipeline.

Northeast of here in Tok, Denali is doing fieldwork. (Aug 1)

Nuclear energy must replace natural gas in power plants [Op-ed column] — The Fresno Bee, Fresno, CA

Although natural gas is now the fuel of choice in electricity generation, its price has quadrupled in recent years and supplies are extremely tight. Not too long ago, the expectation of rising imports of liquefied natural gas led many to conclude that more abundant gas supplies and greater use of alternative fuels would end the long run of soaring gas costs.

But the pause in increased gas costs proved temporary.

Natural gas prices are once again rising rapidly -- 93% since last August. Major industries that require large amounts of gas for space heating and as a feedstock in making consumer products are once again in crisis.


1 Aug 2008

Energy Issues in the Western Hemisphere — U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC

A statement by Daniel S. Sullivan, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs, before the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs


Canada remains our leading supplier of imported petroleum, natural gas, and electricity.

As in any complex energy relationship, there are areas where we disagree, and we have expressed our concern that Canada has not cooperated fully in the maritime assessment of proposed LNG projects in Maine which would require LNG tankers to transit the Head Harbor Passage between Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. [Red and bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Not only does Canada have the right to prevent LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay, Canada is taking responsibility to protect Canadian citizens' lives, property, and livelihoods — unlike FERC and the US Department of State.

Canaport LNG terminal on track for completion this year — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Global LNG Monitor [subscription required] offers a report on the construction status of the Canaport LNG terminal, currently under construction in New Brunswick, Canada.

Webmaster's Comments: Canaport, plus Northeast Gateway LNG, Neptune LNG, and the Deep Panuke gas well in Nova Scotia make Calais LNG Project Co., Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG obsolete.

LNG case may go to high court — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

Baltimore County will take its opposition to the proposed liquefied natural gas terminal at Sparrows Point to the U.S. Supreme Court, County Executive James T. Smith Jr. said Friday.

The appeal will challenge the May decision of a federal appellate court that said the county overstepped its authority to create zoning regulations and interfered with the National Gas Act.

"The question is: Should a private company's interest take priority over the protection of public health, welfare, safety and the environment?" said Russell Donnelly, an environmental activist from eastern Baltimore County.

Natural gas find in Louisiana makes Jed Clampetts of property owners — Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA

The windfall is changing lives for people like Moreno, 38, whose big worry has become whether to take the money now or hold out in hopes of getting even more. Energy companies have offered him $750,000 upfront to drill his land, as well as 25% of whatever the wells yield, which could bring him an additional $900,000 a year. But the bids keep getting larger, so he's waiting. Chesapeake Energy Corp., one of the major players in the Haynesville Shale, recently told investors that it thought the deposit was the world's fourth-largest. [Bold red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The energy gold rush has moved away from LNG and toward large domestic natural gas reserves. Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG are left behind in the wake.

Chesapeake studying LNG export facility investment — Reuters UK

"I'm trying to figure out a way to get it on a boat and get it to overseas markets as well," Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon told analysts on a conference call to discuss the company's second-quarter earnings.

Natural gas in global markets can fetch double the amount for which it sells in the United States, McClendon noted. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Domestic natural gas supplies are now so plentiful that Chesapeake Energy Corp. wants to export LNG from the US to Asia!

Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG are running their race in the wrong direction. Their investors must be seriously questioning their judgement.

TransCanada license for Alaska natural gas pipeline approved by Alaska Legislature —

CALGARY, ALBERTA, Aug 01, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- TransCanada Corporation today received the support of the Alaska Legislature to award the company a license for the Alaska Pipeline Project under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA).

Analysis—US natgas price slide dims LNG import hopes — (Reuters)

NEW YORK (Reuters) — U.S. imports of liquefied natural gas were expected to pick up this summer after starting the year at a sluggish pace, but a 30 percent slide in U.S. gas prices last month dashed any hope of bringing in additional overseas [LNG] supplies.

"The summer is our window (for LNG imports), but U.S. prices are not even close to competitive," said Steve Johnson, president of Waterborne Energy, a Houston-based firm that monitors the global flow of liquefied gases.

So far this year, LNG shipments to the United States have languished at about 1 billion cubic feet per day, less than half last year's record rate of about 2.1 bcf daily, and most experts don't expect the pace to grow much from here. [Red emphasis added.]


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