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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 July

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31 Jul 2008

Suez LNG NA president testifies before Congressional committee — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

In testimony given yesterday before the U.S. House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, SUEZ LNG NA President and CEO Clay Harris emphasized the importance of LNG's role in moderating natural gas prices in the U.S. market by diversifying gas supply. However, Harris noted that LNG should be viewed as a supplement to North American gas supplies, not a fuel that will replace substantial volumes of indigenous natural gas.

Webmaster's Comments: Suez has just begun construction of their Neptune LNG deepwater port off Gloucester, Massachusetts. Apart from his statement that LNG will "moderate" natural gas prices (it has, in fact, by becoming a world commodity, driven natural gas prices deramatically upward), it is refreshing to learn that Suez's president and CEO believes LNG is merely supplemental to the "substantial volumes of indigenous natural gas" — 100 years' worth — as revealed in yesterday's news. (See "US has more than a century's worth of gas reserves, report says," and "Study finds existing U.S. natural gas supply extends into the 22nd Century," in July 30th news articles.)

LNG tankers on the way — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

Suez SA's Suez Matthew is due in Boston today [Tuesday, July 29] and is carrying 126,540 liquefied cubic meters (4.47 million cubic feet) of gas, the data show. The ship has a 65,674-ton capacity and most recently docked in Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Teekay Corp.'s Catalunya Spirit is due in Boston on Aug. 3 and most recently sailed from Point Fortin, Trinidad and Tobago. The ship is carrying 138,188 cubic meters of liquefied gas and has a capacity of 77,204 tons. [Bold emphasis added.] (Jul 29)

Webmaster's Comments: This advance announcement published in the Boston Globe makes one question actual measures for LNG ship security.

Coast Guard issues FEIS for Calypso LNG — Energy Current, Houston, TX

HOUSTON: The U.S. Coast Guard has concluded that the proposed Calypso liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port would have no significant environmental impacts on its surrounding environment.

The port, which has been proposed for construction by SUEZ subsidiary Calypso LNG LLC, would be located in U.S. federal waters about eight miles to 10 miles (13 km to 16 km) offshore Broward County, Fla. northeast of Port Everglades.

Calypso is an anchor and buoy system that will deliver natural gas to an undersea pipeline. The facility will be designed to moor specially built tankers that store and transport LNG.

Webmaster's Comments: Offshore, safely away from civilian populations, unlike Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG.

Cummings to back LNG facilities bill — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

Cummings and Democratic Rep. Timothy H. Bishop said in a statement that the commission "would study how effectively the current regulatory structures meet the nation's energy needs and priorities. Current policy requires that new projects be reviewed and approved or denied as they are submitted rather than as the result of a comprehensive, national strategy."

ReEarth says no to LNG, yes to renewable energy — The Nassau Guardian, Nassau, Bahamas

The ReEarth director attended last week's Caribbean Regional Sustainable Energy Conference. She sent a message to Aaron Samson of AES Corp. who she said has been promoting that LNG could lower energy costs, through a transition to natural gas, instead of oil.

"That logic is tantamount to trying to wean a cocaine addict by addicting them to heroin," she said. "Thanks, but no thanks Mr. Samson. Natural gas addiction is no solution for our current or future energy problems."

She said the government "must now officially turn away the LNG proposal put forward by AES and any others that may be lurking in the shadows; they should extricate The Bahamas from all oil exploration licenses; then they must make compact fluorescent lights and solar water heaters duty free. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: As reEarth's director stated, the Bahamas has an enormous solar energy potential wasting away that could save Bahamians money while reducing pollution and greenhouse gases. Florida has similar potential.

Feds: Size of LNG hazard zones is safe — The World, Coos Bay, OR

Although the slip proposed for the North Spit could berth a 217,000 cubic meter LNG tanker, there are no immediate plans to do so, said Jordan Cove Project Manager Bob Braddock.

Braddock said the company has requested approval from the U.S. Coast Guard to run ships with tanks as large as 148,000 cubic meters. He said it was possible ships with 160,000 tanks could call on Coos Bay, but anything larger would require the deepening of the Coos Bay shipping channel. And any ship with tanks larger than 148,000 cubic meters would need to be approved by the U.S. Coast Guard with the new Sandia findings in mind, Braddock said.

Braddock said the Department of Energy has proposed a larger scale test later this year that would simulate attacks on an LNG container ship. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 28)

Webmaster's Comments: Safe? For whom? The Sandia Hazard Zones for smaller LNG ships extend 2.2 miles from the vessel. The Jordan Cove LNG terminal proposal's Hazard Zones engulf large numbers of residents and businesses, including an airport.

NATS Lowers Estimate of U.S. LNG Imports for 2008 — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Yesterday, NATS revised its 2008 estimate of LNG imports to the United States from 375 Bcf to 340-360 Bcf, noting that the Everett and Elba Island LNG regasification terminals will remain the most active LNG import terminals.

Webmaster's Comments: The situation becomes more and more obvious. Calais LNG Project Co., Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG are surplus, money-wasting efforts.

US gas prices could weaken in '09 in face of global LNG surge —, Lenexa, KS

This global output surge comes amid a U.S. production boom, inflated by unexpectedly large amounts of so-called unconventional gas from the Haynseville Shale in Louisiana and eastern Texas, and the Barnett Shale in Texas. The output increase comes after nine years of stagnation.

Emboldened by the production windfall, U.S. producers are pressing Congress for help in expanding the market for natural gas, pointing to forecasts that growth in domestic output is expected to outstrip demand this year and next.

U.S. gas production will grow 6.4% this year and 2% next year, in contrast to demand growth of 2% this year and 1% in 2009, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicted. [Bold red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Plentiful domestic natural gas is casting a pall over any hope for Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG.

Experts see massive rise in incomes — The Peninsula, Doha, Qatar

DOHA • Rising oil and gas revenues is expected to propel Qatar's per capita income to a massive $100,000 next year, second only to Luxembourg, according to the 'GCC Economic Outlook Q3 2008' report released by Islamic investment bank, the Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH).

The country's liquefied natural gas (LNG) production will be over 39 millions tonnes per annum, confirming the country's status as the world's largest LNG producer and exporter.


30 Jul 2008

US has more than a century's worth of gas reserves, report says — Platts

Webmaster's Comments: The moaning sound you just heard is from the sinking feeling that just occurred in the pits of the Passamaquoddy Bay-area LNG speculators’ and their investors’ stomachs.

Study finds existing U.S. natural gas supply extends into the 22nd Century — American Clean Skies Foundation,

EIA understatement of resource base and development appears chronic

PDF document

Groundbreaking study from ACSF shows natural gas can play key role in reducing dependence on foreign oil and lowering transportation energy costs for Americans — (BusinessWire)

What: A comprehensive new study done by the American Clean Skies Foundation (ACSF) and Navigant Consulting Inc., indicating that the United States has an abundant supply of natural gas — enough to last more than 100 years, will be released. This supply could be the key to reducing not only the rising cost of gasoline, but our reliance on foreign energy sources as well. This study contradicts all previous industry forecasts that the current domestic natural gas supply is running out. [Bold red emphasis added.] (Jul 29)

Legislature approves LNG buffer, 'Rolling Rock' bills — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Fall River — Both the House and Senate enacted the LNG buffer bill late Tuesday, putting the restrictive measure before Gov. Deval Patrick for his signature.

The law would prohibit construction of liquefied natural gas terminals, such as the one proposed in the city by Weaver’s Cove Energy LLC, within 5,000 feet of designated areas. It would also prevent tankers from passing within 1,500 feet of shore lines inhabited by the same populations, such as residences, schools and hospitals. (Jul 29)

Webmaster's Comments: States have a greater understanding and regard for their citizens' safety concerns than does FERC. It will be interesting to see how this "Buffer Bill" plays out, if challenged.

Overdue attention [Editorial] — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Recognizing the danger to the entire region, SouthCoast cities and towns are unanimous in opposition to the terminal at Weaver’s Cove or an “off-shore” facility in the middle of Mount Hope Bay. Gov. Patrick would do well to assure residents of his support for Rep. David Sullivan’s bill strictly regulating LNG import terminals. While the proposal would not likely be the final nail in Weaver’s Cove’s coffin, it would at least put the state on record as defending the SouthCoast’s best interests. (Jul 29)

FERC to attend public meeting hosted by Pennsylvania Congressman — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

FERC announced yesterday that staff members will attend a public meeting hosted by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) on August 12, 2008, to discuss his constituents' concerns regarding the proposed Sparrows Point LNG terminal and associated pipeline project.

Dominion requests expedited action from FERC to affirm and reissue Cove Point expansion authorizations — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Specifically, Dominion requests that FERC issue an order by August 29, 2008, that: (1) fully affirms and reissues the Natural Gas Act (NGA) Section 7 certificates for the construction and operation of the Dominion natural gas pipelines and natural gas storage facilities, which provide services independent of the Cove Point Terminal Expansion; (2) "fully affirms and reissues the NGA Section 3 authorization for the continued construction of the Cove Point Terminal Expansion"; and (3) authorizes the Terminal Expansion to be placed in service when completed because WGL has taken remedial measures to ensure that its system can accommodate safely additional volumes of regasified LNG coming from the Terminal Expansion. (Jul 29)

U.S. Coast Guard finds waterway suitable for Cove Point expansion — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The U.S. Coast Guard issued a Letter of Recommendation regarding the Cove Point LNG Terminal Expansion project, stating that "the waterway leading up to the Cove Point LNG terminal is suitable for the increased LNG marine traffic associated with [the terminal expansion] project."

Congressmen propose legislation to study regional gas infrastructure — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Congressmen Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) plan to introduce a bill today that would mandate a study of regional gas infrastructure. According to Platts LNG Daily, Rep. Bishop said, "Placement of natural gas infrastructure should not be run like a deli counter, where it’s 'first come, first served.' Instead, we must take a comprehensive approach and develop a national strategy."

Webmaster's Comments: The philosophy behind this legislation is worthwhile. Hopefully, it won't result merely in study data, but with an actual national energy strategy.

CLNG: LNG ships study reveals minimal public safety risk — Energy Current, Houston, TX

"Sandia's conclusion that the risks associated with larger capacity LNG carriers are not fundamentally different from conventional ships comes as no surprise," said CLNG President Bill Cooper.  "The LNG industry has gone to great lengths to ensure its ships are safe and secure."

Webmaster's Comments: It's no surprise, either, that the Center for LNG's president made the above statement, although the statement glosses over the reality: larger LNG carriers do present a greater risk to the public — a 7–8% greater Hazard Zone, according to the Sandia Report 2008. Since Sandia considers the Hazard Zone for smaller LNG vessels to extend 2.2 miles from the ship — plus the additional 7–8% for large carriers — that's no insignificant consequence, and no comfort, to civilians living and working in that Hazard Zone.


28 Jul 2008

Quoddy Bay LNG suspends payments to tribe — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

[Quoddy Bay LNG president Don Smith] said in a separate interview Friday that the payments the company has made to the tribe have been voluntary because, according to the company’s lease contract with the tribe, Quoddy Bay is not obliged to make payments to the tribe until the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs has given its final approval to the project.

Webmaster's Comments: The Bureau of Indian Affairs testified in US District Court in Bangor on July 1st that the lease approval was final — contradicting Don Smith's claim. (See related July 1 story, “Tribal members appear in court Tuesday,” near bottom of this page.)

LNG firm cuts off money to Maine tribe — (AP) WQDY FM, Calais, ME

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. [Red emphasis added.]

LNG firm seeks suspension of lease payment — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

The company is proposing not to make any more payments until it resumes the permitting process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the state Bureau of Environmental Protection.

Since the BIA has not completely approved the land lease, the permit period commencement date has not occurred. Therefore, quarterly lease payments have not been due and are not now due." [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 25)

Quoddy Bay LNG requests another BEP postponement — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

In a July 2 letter to the board, a group called Robbinston Residents in Support of Downeast LNG asked the BEP to deny the Quoddy Bay LNG application for the construction of a natural gas facility at Pleasant Point, stating that Quoddy Bay's repeated requests for postponement are an abuse of the BEP hearing process. The letter stated, "It is clear that Quoddy Bay has no idea what its proposal will ultimately look like and Quoddy Bay is simply stalling to bide time." The letter pointed out that Quoddy Bay has requested four postponements, totaling almost one year. Earlier this year the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) notified Quoddy Bay that it was suspending the review of the company's application because of insufficient information. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jul 25)

Calais LNG firm opens local office — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

"The whole project team would like to thank the leaders and citizens of Calais for embracing liquefied natural gas as the key to a more secure, affordable energy future," said Ian Emery, development manager. "The leadership that Calais is providing is critical to the success of this project, which represents a solution to the challenges we are all facing due to rising oil prices." [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 25)

Webmaster's Comments: Ian Emery and partners must be unaware that…

  • LNG prices are soaring;
  • Prices are predicted to possibly exceed the price of oil for an equivalent amount of heat;
  • FERC-permitted LNG import capacity already exceeds the need; and
  • Calais LNG can't receive any LNG since Canada won't allow LNG ships through the passage.

Anyone in the LNG industry should know that it is having serious problems, especially with…

  • Price (it is climbing rapidly);
  • Supply (demand exceeds supply); and
  • Domestic natural gas competition (enormous volumes of domestic natural gas are becoming available, and are cheaper than LNG).

All-Alaska line remains in gas line debate, despite questions — Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Fairbanks, AK

As lawmakers debate TransCanada’s proposal, the idea of a pipeline built entirely within the state continues to play a key role. The Senate took hours of testimony this week from the Alaska Gasline Port Authority, and opponents of TransCanada’s plan point to the all-Alaska option in part to explain their opposition. (Jul 26)

CRD urged to oppose Texada gas facility — Times Colonist, Victoria, BC

The Powell River Regional District has passed a resolution calling on the federal government to implement a ban on LNG tanker traffic in the Strait of Georgia. (Jul 27)

Wu wants decision on LNG made in public — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

U.S. representative worries FERC will decide on project before next meeting Sept. 18

FERC next meets in full session Sept. 18, but Wu is worried that the agency might not wait until then and instead make what is called a "notational decision" between meetings.

FERC commissioners meet monthly, but often issue other decisions "notationally." In this process, members of the board vote individually on projects in between their meetings and their votes are tallied and decisions announced. "The commission does it both ways," O'Driscoll said. "It issues quite a few decisions notationally."

"I remain concerned that FERC has not sufficiently addressed the concerns of Oregonians, the governor and various state agencies, and now the U.S. Department of the Interior. FERC's final Environmental Impact Statement has raised concern because of its failure to address important issues such as erosion mitigation, emergency planning, impact on fish and wildlife, and access to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail," Wu said. (Jul 26)

Analysts: Price spread between U.S. and U.K. markets will lower U.S. LNG imports — Platts

Platts Gas Daily reports that several natural gas market analysts expect that the expanded price spread between the U.S. and U.K. gas markets will trim U.S. LNG imports for the rest of the year.

Webmaster's Comments: The Bad News continues to pour in for Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG speculators.


25 Jul 2008

Expansion eyed — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Canaport LNG majority owner Repsol seriously weighing doubling terminal's capacity

Canaport LNG had already speeded up the construction of a third storage tank, which began construction early this year, sooner than anticipated.

While doubling capacity would mean expanding to two billion cubic feet per day, Ribbeck said the engineers are confident they could boost the send-out to 2.5 billion cubic feet per day.

In rural areas of New Brunswick, the existing $350-million Maritimes & Northeast pipeline would have to be "looped," meaning it would have an extra parallel pipe installed, to allow for the extra gas.

Webmaster's Comments: This expansion would further moot Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG.

LNG company seeks delay for application — WQDY FM, Calais, ME

In a letter submitted Wednesday to the BEP, Quoddy Bay project manager Brian Smith requested that the pre-hearing conferences on the application be delayed until January 2009. If the company is unable to meet that timeline, Smith wrote, it will withdraw and then re-file when the application is ready for a full review.

A federal court also is considering a lawsuit filed against the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs by members of the Passamaquoddy Tribe angry that tribal leaders negotiated an agreement with Quoddy Bay. The bureau signed off on the tribe's agreement to allow and LNG facility at Pleasant Point.

Quoddy Bay's primary competitor, Downeast LNG, has withdrawn its state application for a facility in nearby Robbinston and plans to re-file. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: This is Quoddy Bay LNG's 5th delay for the pre-hearing conference.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs lawsuit would invalidate Quoddy Bay LNG's lease, meaning they won't have an import terminal site.

Both Quoddy Bay LNG and Downeast LNG are in serious trouble.

Parties request rehearing on order granting Weaver's Cove LNG's extension of time — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Stating that the extension of time is "premature" and that "good cause has not been demonstrated," the City of Fall River, Mass., and the attorneys general of Rhode Island and Massachusetts filed a Request for Rehearing of the June 26, 2008, FERC order, which granted Weaver's Cove LNG's request for an extension of time until 2015 to complete its terminal project on the Taunton River in Massachusetts. [Red emphasis added.]

City joins R.I., Mass. AGs to appeal LNG extension — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Fall River — The city of Fall River along with the attorney generals of Massachusetts and Rhode Island have filed an appeal in objection to the recent grant of a five-year extension for completion of the liquefied natural gas facility proposed by Weaver’s Cove Energy.

“I deal with facts, evidence, and the law. To the extent its ‘facts’ were even accurate at the time it presented them to FERC, however, Weaver’s Cove keeps changing its facts to justify a time extension,” [Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch] said in announcing his appeal. “These are not minor changes, and the FERC is clearly wrong to overlook how different Weaver’s Cove’s original scheme and current scheme are. The facility as originally proposed cannot be built, and the new scheme to convert our precious Mount Hope Bay into a private corporation’s profit center borders on delusional. I would hope the investors behind this project will wake up and pull the plug on this arrogant and unworkable idea before they waste any more of their time and money, and ours." [Red emphasis added.]

Taunton River measure could prompt similar efforts to oppose LNG projects — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Energy Washington [subscription required] reports that legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives designating portions of the Taunton River as "wild and scenic" and potentially impacting the Weaver's Cove LNG terminal project could prompt similar legislative efforts to oppose LNG projects across the country.

State House passes bill restricting LNG projects — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Fall River — The House of Representatives unanimously passed state Rep. David Sullivan’s bill regulating liquefied natural gas tanker import terminals late Thursday night.

Nearly four years in the works, the bill moves to the Senate for engrossment in that chamber and a final vote in both chambers before going to Gov. Deval Patrick for his signature.

The law would not allow terminals to be built within 5,000 feet of designated areas or tankers to pass within 1,500 feet of shore lines inhabited by populations meeting the criteria. [Red emphasis added.]

Lynch rails against LNG project extension — LegalNewsline, Chicago, IL

The attorney general said Weaver's Cove Energy LLC has failed to gain a bevy of state and federal approvals for the project. He also claims that the project would endanger the Taunton River, which recently gained congressional protection under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Commission to protect Sound proposed — Connecticut Post, Bridgeport, CT

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal proposed Thursday that Connecticut and New York form a regional commission that would work to protect portions of the Sound and also find the best way to meet both state's energy needs

Blumenthal said future projects "must ensure that the burdens and benefits are shared fairly on both sides of the Sound."

Gas island faces fierce opposition — Long Island Business News, Ronkonkoma, NY

Another offshore liquefied natural gas terminal [Safe Harbor LNG] pitched for the tri-state area is facing the same rough seas that sunk Broadwater.

New Jersey officials are mounting a challenge to the Atlantic Sea Island Group’s proposed Safe Harbor Island liquefied natural gas terminal to be built 13.5 miles off the Long Beach coast.

…one positive for [competing LNG project] Blue Ocean is that it’s a pipeline that lies on the ocean floor, connected to a buoy. When a tanker moors to the buoy, the pipeline electronically rises up to connect with the tanker to distribute the gas, she said.

Experts probe LNG risks — The Bahama Journal, Nassau, Bahamas

The risk assessment, prepared by Risknology, Inc. for the United States Coast Guard, considered the worse credible scenarios for intentional and accidental cases. It also identified and analyzed risk to the public from large-scale releases of LNG in intentional and accidental cases. Risknology helps evaluate risks associated with new developments.

Calypso LNG is proposing a deepwater port to be located approximately 8 to 10 miles off the coast of Florida to the northeast of Port Everglades in a water depth of approximately 800 to 950 feet.

"…Even with this [40-year] safety record, this risk assessment has determined that consideration should be given to an LNG cargo tank breach based on an accidental collision with another ship."

The LNG project [Editorial] — The Freeport News, Nassau, Bahamas

Tractebel had been competing with two other energy companies — AES and El Paso — for the right to construct LNG pipelines to Florida….

Gas line hurdles [Editorial] — Anchorage Daily News, Achorage, AK [Free registration required]

There is no reason for senators to flog the issue any further. Lawmakers have done an admirable amount of homework on gas line questions since early June. Nearly two months later, those who have been paying attention should know enough to decide one way or the other on the TransCanada contract.

Southern California Leadership Council says millions of jobs and billions of dollars are at stake — (PRWeb), Sofia, Bulgaria

Unfortunately, after 35 years, California has yet to site an LNG receiving terminal, even though natural gas and particularly LNG has become a critically needed transition fuel, particularly for the transportation sector.

Webmaster's Comments: This LNG-import advocate apparently is unaware of multi-billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens's proposal to eliminate the need to import LNG by replacing natural gas-fired electrical generation with wind, and then replacing motor vehicle gasoline with domestic supplies of natural gas (including using domestic LNG). That reduces the energy problem and the greenhouse gas problem, as well as the dependence on foreign natural gas that the Southern California Leadership Council wants to import. Pickens is already throwing $10 billion of his own money into the project.

Inhoffe, Pickens plan uses Jenks man as source on energy answers — Jenks Journal, Tulsa, OK

"As Americans continue to suffer from high gas prices, we need to take advantage of our abundant domestic supply of natural gas for use as a transportation fuel," Inhofe said. "The Drive America on Natural Gas Act adds flexibility to the current Renewable Fuels Standard mandates by adding natural gas. It encourages the use of a proven alternative fuel and sends a market signal to manufacturers to consider compressed natural gas as a cost competitive alternative."

Natural gas is domestic, plentiful, affordable, and [cleaner]. The promise of natural gas as a mainstream transportation fuel is achievable today — not 15 or 20 years from now.

U.S. DOE releases analysis of Spills Over Water from Large LNG Carriers — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The U.S. Department of Energy this afternoon released a report by Sandia National Laboratories that assesses the hazards of potential spills over water from large LNG vessels. According to the report, the thermal hazard distances resulting from a spill from a large capacity LNG vessel at a near-shore facility are about 7-8% greater than the distances associated with a smaller vessel. Citing the continued development of LNG deepwater port projects, the report evaluates separately the hazards of potential LNG spills at offshore facilities. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


24 Jul 2008

Quoddy Bay LNG requests additional delay — Energy Current, Houston, TX

PERRY, MAINE: Oklahoma-based Quoddy Bay LNG has requested that the Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) postpone the pre-hearing conference associated with its applications for the Quoddy Bay liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal until the end of January 2009.

Save Passamaquoddy Bay, an alliance of citizens from the U.S., Canada, and the Passamaquoddy Indian tribe who oppose the siting of LNG facilities in Passamaquoddy Bay, described the announcement by Quoddy Bay LNG as its "long list of excuses about why they are asking the BEP to postpone or to allow withdrawing their application for a proposed LNG facility at Pleasant Point."

The announcement "speaks to the fact that Quoddy Bay LNG, like Downeast LNG, has failed to perform due diligence, has no viable business plan, lacks a workable and safe environmental design, has no LNG supply, has financial problems, is apparently ignorant of world LNG market conditions, and hopes that we all forget that no matter what they pretend, Canada will not allow LNG tankers into Passamaquoddy Bay," the group said in a statement.

"Add to this a federal lawsuit brought by Passamaquoddy tribal members known as Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon (We Take Care of the Land) against the Bureau of Indian Affairs [BIA] that is likely to negate Quoddy Bay LNG's lease to use tribal land. And, of course, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is so tired of Quoddy Bay LNG's inability to produce the required information about their project, FERC has suspended consideration of the project.

"No matter what public relations spin Quoddy Bay LNG attempts to foist on the public, the fact is Quoddy Bay LNG has got a failed project." [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Incredibly, in the above story, Quoddy Bay LNG claims that the BIA's approval was not final; however, in both US Appellate Court in Boston, and in US District Court in Bangor, the BIA confirmed that the approval was final.

Smith is attempting to hide the fact that he has no lease and has a failed project.

Doubters wrong — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

OTTAWA - The $750-million Canaport LNG terminal is a calculated gamble that will pay off from the start despite troubling industry economics that have left North America's newest liquefied natural gas plant idle, says a top executive.

[O]ther than an initial test shipment of LNG, the [Cheniere Energy plant in Louisiana] — the newest in North America — has sat idle, unable to land a supply of LNG it could process and sell more cheaply than other sources of natural gas.

[S]ignificant shifts in the relative prices of natural gas and LNG have left LNG at a severe disadvantage. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Canaport's majority owner, Repsol, is already a big player in the LNG industry, unlike Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG Project Co. — who are LNG neophytes. Naïveté, along with their lack of due diligence, terrible site selection, poor technology choices, and bad timing is biting them hard in their behinds.

Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG have painfully discovered they selected impossible project locations. Calais LNG Project Co., with its collection of industry-periferal personnel, apparently still doesn't have the collective wisdom to have learned from the other two failing projects, and selected an even worse terminal location than their predecessors. They're all three too late to enter the race, with no way to receive LNG even if they had access to a supply.

DOE's Sandia National Laboratories plan new round of LNG safety investigations — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

A senior staff member of the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories told the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners that Sandia plans to conduct further investigations into the safety of LNG, including simulating attacks on LNG vessels and testing the impact of fire on the vessels. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: This should help provide more accurate estimates of LNG vessel vulnerability to, and consequences from, an attack on such vessels than the current misguided "good safety history" justification used by FERC and speculators for locating terminals in people's livingrooms.

Suez LNG subsidiary kicks off construction of Neptune offshore LNG facility — MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal

The first phase of construction, expected to be completed in September 2008, includes the installation of a 13-mile sub-sea pipeline that will connect the Neptune LNG facility with the existing Spectra Energy HubLine(SM). The second phase, scheduled to begin in May 2009 and continue into September 2009, includes connection of the pipeline to HubLine(SM) and installation of the two off-loading buoys for the project. Upon completion, the LNG facility will consist of an unloading buoy system where specially designed vessels will moor, offload their natural gas, and deliver it to customers in Massachusetts and throughout New England.

Webmaster's Comments: Offshore submerged-buoy systems with offshore regasification on board ship are the current state of the art in LNG import technology, even though the Passamaquoddy Bay LNG speculators claim their 30-year-old shoreside technology fits that category.

Money from LNG company eases port opposition — The Salem News, Salem, MA

"I am proud to be here on such an important day for Gloucester and Massachusetts, as we try to address our most difficult issues facing not only our region, but country" Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, said. "I am very proud that when the fishing industry stood up, we were able to strike a balance between the new economy and traditional economy.

"Would I prefer to have the fishing area? Yes," Tarr said. "The fishing grounds are unique, and there were other ways to meet the needs for the region's gas.…"

Webmaster's Comments: Offshore LNG import development still has fishing and environmental issues, but are better alternatives, since they …

  • Present no hazards to civilian populations;
  • Are easier to expand;
  • Have fewer security concerns;
  • Weather seas better;
  • Are financially competitive to construct; and
  • Are quicker to construct

… compared to shoreside LNG terminals.

LNG bill heads for House vote — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

The House bill would require a minimum 5,000-foot distance from an LNG tank to homes, schools, hospitals and elderly complexes, as well as a 1,500-foot clearance from LNG tankers to the shore lines.

Webmaster's Comments: Since FERC won't do it — even with the evidence contained in Sandia National Laboratories' 2.2-mile Hazard Zones (FERC's so-called "Zones of Concern") — states are taking appropriate measures to protect human life.

Bill protecting Brightman Street Bridge weathers attack — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Fall River — An attempt Thursday to repeal the effects of congressional legislation that will keep the Brightman Street Bridge standing was defeated in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The measure ultimately failed by a vote of 268-151. Though no Democrats voted in favor of the amendment, 37 Republican voted against it. There were also five no votes from GOP members.

LNG pipeline company wants to connect with county — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The Palomar Transmission pipeline is a project proposed by Northwest Natural and TransCanada that would connect with the proposed Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas terminal and take gas south to Molalla. The Bradwood project, proposed by NorthernStar Energy LLC, has its own pipeline proposed to run east from the terminal to an interstate pipeline near Kelso, Wash.

Why not an LNG terminal in Portland? [Opinion column] — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The Oregonian's editorial page has raised its voice on behalf of NorthernStar Energy LLC, developer of the prospective Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas terminal. The O's editorial on July 15 was titled "The overheated LNG debate." It concludes that, "The Bradwood project should be allowed to move ahead."

I believe the newspaper's editors should be more magnanimous about this contentious matter. Believing in LNG as much as the editors do, and believing in NorthernStar, there should be an invitation to bring the LNG upriver to the Portland waterfront.

Webmaster's Comments: This parallels Maine Governor John Baldacci's support for the failing Quoddy Bay LNG project. Perhaps he'll issue a similar invitation to locate in his hometown of Bangor.

Mayor supports Fire Chief's assessment of resources available for LNG safety — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The Daily Astorian reports that Warrenton (Ore.) Mayor Gil Gramson supports the assessment of his town's fire chief, Ted Ames, who said earlier this week that his department does not have the resources needed to adequately protect the safety and security of the proposed Bradwood Landing LNG temrinal and surrounding communities.

Webmaster's Comments: The FERC LNG terminal permitting process doesn't develop an Emergency Response Plan for communities affected by the LNG ship transit route or the terminal until after FERC issues its permit. Instead, FERC allows the LNG developer to make a financial offer to the communities prior to permitting, before the Emergency Response Plan requirements are known to the community or anyone else.

Thus, early on, a community may contractually accept a totally inadequate financial contribution from the developer for Emergency Response, only to learn later that they've bought a pig in a polk that will cost local taxpayers millions of dollars on an ongoing basis, with no legal remedy.

BG's 2Q U.S. LNG deliveries drop markedly from last year — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

BG Group Plc. announced yesterday that it delivered 17 LNG cargos to the United States in the second quarter of 2008, down from 64 in the second quarter last year. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: That's a 73% drop in imported LNG to the US by BG. By now, the LNG speculators in Passamaquoddy Bay have to be reading the writing on the wall. They have no future.

Count on Gazprom to work in best interests of Russia — The Gazette, Montreal, QC

Canada should be wary of dealing with state-owned gas giant

The deal, as it currently stands, would have Gazprom, Russia's state-owned oil producer, supply 100 per cent of the LNG to the plant located outside of Quebec City. However, Russia's murky political scene and the highly charged nature of energy prices makes us wonder how good this deal actually is.

Unlike private corporations, state owned enterprises' objectives are not necessarily to maximize profit: They are often to advance a government's agenda.

Webmaster's Comments: Likewise, it's inexcusable for the US to ignore the political implications of relying on Russia for energy — even encouraging Russian investment in US energy infrastructure. US energy security? Hardly!


23 Jul 2008

LNG work begins off Cape Ann, maritime groups receive $23.5 million — iStock Analyst

Webmaster's Comments: This story was taken off line sometime before 7:40 PM ET, and replaced with the Boston Herald story, included below.

Construction underway on Neptune LNG terminal — Energy Current, Houston, TX

The Neptune LNG Deepwater Port project lies about 10 miles (16 km) off the coast of Gloucester, Mass.  The project will provide an average of 400 MMcf/d of natural gas, enough to serve 1.5 million homes.

Webmaster's Comments: This marks the third huge nail in the coffins of Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG. The three Passamaquoddy Bay projects have been mooted by the Northeast Gateway deepwater LNG port off Gloucester, MA, that is already in operation; by Canaport in Saint John, NB, that will be operating later this year; and the Neptune LNG deepwater port mentioned above, to be in operation in 2009.

The Passamaquoddy Bay LNG projects simply aren't needed.

Company set to start building its LNG system off N. Shore — The Boston Herald, Boston, MA

Work is expected to start today on a second LNG buoy-system based off the North Shore, as energy companies rush to meet ever-growing demand for natural gas for Massachusetts homes and power plants.

Earlier this year, energy giant Excelerate began pumping natural gas through its own buoy system off the North Shore.

LNG work begins off Cape Ann, maritime groups receive $23.5 million — Gloucester Daily Times, Gloucester, MA

From the surface, Neptune includes a buoy which gas-laden, custom-designed LNG tankers moor to while a floating, underwater connection to the pipeline rises up to meet them.

When the tankers are connected to the system, the super-cooled liquid gas is vaporized and transmitted through a 13-mile underwater pipeline that leads to a larger pipe, called the HubLine, located off the shore of Marblehead.

Webmaster's Comments: This is another offshore LNG terminal, with terminal and LNG ship transits (and associated 2.2-mile-radius Sandia National Laboratories-specified Hazard Zones [so-called "Zones of Concern"]) safely away from civilian populations — unlike Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG.

House OKs TransCanada plan — Juneau Empire, Juneau, AK

After defeating a series of amendments that would have undermined Palin's Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, members of the Republican-controlled House voted 24-16 to support TransCanada's proposal for a pipeline across Canada to the U.S. Midwest.

The House action is expected to be finalized this morning, but a vote by the Senate isn't expected until next week.

With approval, TransCanada will get an exclusive license to develop a pipeline, $500 million from Alaska and requirements that the pipeline would be open to new explorers who find gas on the North Slope.

Webmaster's Comments: This will result in even more domestic natural gas, further reducing any need to import LNG.

LNG port might aid case for rail line — The World, Coos Bay, OR

[T]he current rail line operator, Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad, doesn’t see transporting LNG byproducts as the salvation to the rail line.

CORP [Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad] has requested a federal OK to abandon the route, citing a decrease in rail traffic and the need to make expensive repairs to the line. The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay filed a feeder line application July 11 with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to take over the line, though it, too, has concerns about the demand for service. (Jul 21)

Land court focuses on LNG archaeological impact — The World, Coos Bay, OR

It found the most vexing issue with the project’s land-use application is its handling of Indian artifacts. That’s why it sent the application back to Coos County.

One of the affected tribes is the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians. At the public hearing held in August 2007, Arrow Coyote, the tribes’ cultural resource protection coordinator, said the tribal council had concerns with the project. It noted the LNG terminal would be built on tribal ancestral territory and previous construction activity had disturbed grave sites at three archaeological areas on the North Spit. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jul 17)

The 2012 gap and the hydrocarbons market paradox [Opinion] — (Reuters)

Even now we are seeing that in spot deliveries, the price of gas is already approaching the price of oil and is expected to exceed it in the near future.

Trying to bring new suppliers on the market in future, this has not brought new gas to Europe today. But competition between buyers in the Caspian region has already resulted in a sharp rise in prices. We called it the "Caspian paradox". [Red emphasis added.]

U.S. Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy: I don't think we have said that Russia used its energy resources as a political tool — Interfax Information Service

The diplomat was skeptical about allegations that Russia might use its energy supplies as a means to exert political influence on its neighbors, particularly the Czech Republic, Poland, and Lithuania.

Webmaster's Comments: If the US were as big a supplier of natural gas to the world as is Russia, even the US would use natural gas as a political tool. To say that Russia wouldn't is either disingenuous or incredibly naïve.

Charter of gas exporters' forum could be adopted this Nov — source — redOrbit

It was reported earlier that gas producing countries, Iran, Russia, Algeria, and Qatar included, were in consultations on the creation of an OPEC-like gas cartel. The major topic of the talks is the cartel's structure. One of the goals of such an organization could center on exports of gas to world markets. [Red emphasis added.]


22 Jul 2008

Maine energy plan readied — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

Announcing the task force last November, Baldacci said Maine has an opportunity to develop renewable, clean energy.

Webmaster's Comments: It's better to be late than never.

Scorned LNG proponent is digging in — Providence Business News, Providence, RI

“Weaver’s Cove Energy is as committed as ever to building an LNG terminal in Fall River – whatever the risks to public safety, whatever the costs to the environment, and whatever the opposition from affected communities,” R.I. Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch told Providence Business News in an e-mail.

Lynch also attacked Weaver’s Cove for what he termed its “arrogant and singular fixation on profit,” declaring that he and other opponents “will continue to stand firm until this ill-advised, unsafe, and unworkable project is defeated, once and for all.” [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 21)

New Englanders abandoning fuel oil may put squeeze on gas supply — Platts

"… Your region is too dependent on natural generate power, Ken Costello, director of natural gas policy for the National Regulatory Research Institute, told New England regulators. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jul 21)

Federal Court rejects Dominion's LNG expansion — The Wall Street Journal [Paid subscription required]

WASHINGTON -- A federal appeals court Friday rejected a federal regulator's approval of Dominion Resources Inc.'s Cove Point, Md., liquefied natural-gas expansion project.

Natural-gas distributor Washington Gas Light Co. had objected to the expansion, arguing that the influx of LNG would cause its distribution system in the mid-Atlantic region to suffer severe leakage.

Webmaster's Comments: This court ruling is evidence that FERC does not take its safety responsibility seriously.

US court overturns FERC approval of Cove Point LNG expansion — Oil & Gas Journal, Tulsa, OK

WASHINGTON, DC, July 21 -- A federal district court on July 18 overturned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of a proposed expansion of Dominion Resources' Cove Point LNG installation in Maryland. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jul 21)

US court order could delay Maryland LNG terminal expansion start — Platts

While the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission acted properly when it rejected Washington Gas Light's claim that expansion of the Cove Point terminal would cause severe leakage problems on its distribution system, it nonetheless vacated the order after concluding FERC failed to adequately support its conclusion that WGL could address safety concerns before the expansion's in-service date.

"We conclude FERC failed to carry out its obligation of ensuring the expansion can go forward consistent with the public interest," it said in remanding the case to FERC to address the safety issue. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jul 18)

Suez offers commitment to use U.S.-flagged vessel in proposed Calypso LNG Deepwater Port — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton announced yesterday that he has accepted a commitment by Suez Energy to use a  U.S.-flagged vessel in the operation of its proposed Calypso LNG Deepwater Port.

Pipeline gets rejections from LUBA and county — Upper Rogue Independent, Eagle Point, OR

Barbara Falcy, who has been a strong opponent of the project, said she was happy the two commissioners opposed the pipeline. … "This is the United States of America," said Falcy. "What we have gone through in the last year is the kind of thing that formed this country. It shows that individuals and especially groups can make a difference." [Red emphasis added.]

LUBA decision doesn’t faze LNG manager — The World, Coos Bay, OR

When the LUBA decision was announced last week, opponents of the project declared it a victory for those who had spoken at protests and public hearings. Braddock was unavailable for comment at that time, because he was traveling. (Jul 21)

Warrenton fire chief re-ignites LNG fire concerns — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Last year, project developer NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc. hired consultants to negotiate with local public safety officials over who would pay for the additional resources needed to protect the new facility.

But Ames said he hasn't talked with the company representatives since last fall, and he hasn't been offered the resources he requested.

"Astoria categorically rejects and disputes any claim or characterization that the proposed Emergency Response Plan and proposed cost-sharing agreements are acceptable to Astoria, or are otherwise fair and reasonable," stated Astoria's letter, signed by Mayor Willis Van Dusen.

Overall, the company's offerings to fill gaps in local resources were "insufficient and unacceptable," the letter said. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 21)

Webmaster's Comments: Communities are in a no-win bargaining position regarding Emergency Response Plans and LNG company compensation. The Emergency Response Plan required by communities along the LNG shipping route and surrounding the LNG terminal are not even developed until after FERC issues a permit.

Blows dealt to two separate LNG projects — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

On the Oregon Coast, the state Land Use Board of Appeals decided Coos County commissioners need to take a closer look at safety, environmental and archaeological impacts of the Jordan Cove LNG project in Coos Bay.

Meanwhile, on the East Coast, a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday to extend federal "wild and scenic" environmental protection to the lower Taunton River in Massachusetts was a blow to developers who want to build the Weaver's Cove LNG terminal on an urbanized stretch of riverbank. (Jul 17)

LNG's latest woes — iStock Analyst

All is not well in LNG-land. The many factors, such as the huge run-up in energy demand in the Developing World, that have pushed oil prices through the roof, are inevitably pushing up the price of natural gas too, and destabilizing the very capital-intensive liquefied-natural-gas industry. Huge new terminals on the Louisiana Gulf Coast stand idle and LNG tankers sit in port as markets in Europe and Asia siphon away natural gas. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The outlook is absolutely brutal for Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG.

Constraints, basis disruptions may emerge from gas surplus: study — Platts

Excess natural gas supply that could build as early as 2010 in the Southeast and Gulf Coast regions of the US may cause pipeline constraints and basis disruptions because capacity is not keeping up with burgeoning output from the region's shale plays, said a Bentek Energy study released Thursday.

"[D]emand growth is seriously outstripped by the 6.9% average annual supply growing projected in the Southeast/Gulf during the same period," Braziel added. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jul 17)

Webmaster's Comments: We will have too much domestic natural gas by 2010. This must be distressing news for investors in Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG.

Lyons: LNG port security [Commentary] — The Washington Times, Washington, DC

LNG facilities are unique and the ships transporting it are highly visible and easily identified targets. They are extremely vulnerable to a terrorist attack, which if successful, could have catastrophic results. Within the continental United States, the U.S. Coast Guard, under the Department of Homeland Security, currently has the lead responsibility for LNG tanker and marine terminal security.

The U.S. House of Representatives Coast Guard Authorization Act 2008, HR 2830 in Section 720 and 721 takes some positive steps to improve security for LNG terminals and tankers. While positive in intent, the House Bill incorrectly places full responsibility for security on government, state and local agencies.

The U.S. Coast Guard and the administration are right in objecting to the requirements as drafted. As written, it is too resource intensive at all levels. Further, it does not provide the U.S. Coast Guard any flexibility in adjusting resources to address various threat levels. However, it does allow the Coast Guard to take into consideration local law enforcement forces being applied. This does not solve the problem because this is an unfunded mandate for local governments and reduces their resources for traditional community law enforcement protection, which is not acceptable. Further, in most cases, they are not trained for this mission. You must have specially trained personnel such as counterterrorist SEALs to defeat a determined terrorist attack. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 21)

The article includes the following about the author: James A. Lyons Jr., a retired U.S. Navy admiral, was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (the largest single military command in the world), senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations, and deputy chief of naval operations, where he was principal adviser on all Joint Chiefs of Staff matters.

Webmaster's Comments: The current LNG terminal permitting process allows developers and FERC to fool local communities into accepting responsibility for enforcement and emergency response prior to knowing the full extent — and costs — of what would be required. Those procedures and costs are not vetted and known until after FERC issues its permit.

Report: U.S. LNG imports could get boost in 2009 — Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX

U.S. LNG imports may fall 38 percent this year as strong demand and higher prices for the fuel in Asia and Europe draw cargoes to those regions, according to an Energy Department report on July 8. U.S. LNG imports this year may total about 480 billion cubic feet, down from 770 billion in 2007, according to the monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook report. (Jul 18)

Trinidad's total gas reserves decrease slightly: annual audit — Platts

Trinidad and Tobago's 2007 total natural gas reserves declined 0.9% from those reported for 2006, according to an audit by Houston-based Ryder Scott and presented by Caribbean country's energy ministry.

The results are expected to trigger renewed concern about whether Trinidad can supply sufficient gas for its numerous existing and proposed gas-fired industrial projects and a possible fifth train of liquefied natural gas. [Red emphasis added.]


19 Jul 2008

Regulators vent over delays in LNG proposals — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

All of the delays have left several BEP members feeling frustrated, with one saying she feels like the board is riding "a train with no stops."

"I would like someone to file when the application is ready," said Sue Lessard. "Thus far we are batting zero."

A federal court also is considering a lawsuit filed against the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs by members of the Passamaquoddy Tribe angry that tribal leaders negotiated an agreement with the LNG developer. The BIA signed off on the deal to allow Quoddy Bay to build the facility on tribal land at Pleasant Point.

"We’ve been at this for four years now," said Vera Francis with the Passamaquoddy group Nulankeyutmonen Nkihtahkomikumon, which means "We Take Care of Our Land." "Four years and they don’t have a design yet?" [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jul 18)

Webmaster's Comments: In their pre-vote discussion, the entire Board individually stated they would have preferred Quoddy Bay LNG had withdrawn its applications, rather than requiring the Board to vote to reject or continue the permitting process.

LNG firm seeks delay on state review — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

In a press release issued Tuesday, Quoddy Bay President Donald Smith listed several factors that he says warrant postponing the state review process or temporarily withdrawing the company’s application.

The LNG developers eyeing potential sites in Washington County are wasting taxpayer money … and "are still unprepared," despite having had several years to develop their proposals.

"No matter what public relations spin Quoddy Bay LNG attempts to foist on the public, the fact is Quoddy Bay LNG has got a failed project" …. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 16)

Webmaster's Comments: Despite the "hip boots" — boots made out of hippopotamus skin — that Don Smith was recently seen showing off in the Passamaquoddy Bay area, Smith can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Quoddy Bay LNG going forward despite changes — WQDY FM, Calais, ME

Unified opposition to all three LNG proposals in Maine has also been voiced across the border in New Brunswick. Save Passamaquoddy Bay/Canada along with various municipalities, provincial and federal officials have vowed that no LNG tankers will be allowed to transit Canada's Head Harbour Passage to get to U.S. ports in Passamaquoddy Bay. (Jul 16)

Quoddy Bay to reconfigure LNG project — Energy Current, Houston, TX

Save Passamaquoddy Bay, an alliance of citizens from the U.S., Canada, and the Passamaquoddy Indian tribe who oppose the citing of LNG facilities in Passamaquoddy Bay, described the announcement by Quoddy Bay LNG as its "long list of excuses about why they are asking the BEP to postpone or to allow withdrawing their application for a proposed LNG facility at Pleasant Point. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jul 16)

Bay's defender encouraged by latest LNG setback — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

OTTAWA — It's too early to declare victory, but Art Mackay sounds like he can smell it in the salt air.

Quoddy Bay LNG has announced it plans to postpone or temporarily withdraw its applications for a review by the state of Maine for its proposed liquefied natural gas terminal at Pleasant Point, Me.

"I see it as a nail hammered in pretty good, even if the lid isn't down," said Mackay.

This spring, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had already suspended its review of the company's application, citing insufficient information submitted by the company on key issues.

One of the major obstacles all the proponents face is the government of Canada's formal opposition to letting LNG tankers transit Head Harbour Passage, the only waterway that would allow the ships to access the proposed terminal. [Red emphasis added.]

N.B. urged to share benefits of proposed LNG terminal — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

"If we are going to be successful we really need to engage our good neighbours in New Brunswick and talk about it in a way that is going to bring benefits to this region and not just one area," said Ian Emery, project manager of Calais LNG. "I believe our project has potential for benefits not only in Maine and New Hampshire but also New Brunswick. I am looking forward to having talks with the provincial government to find out what those benefits might be for the people of New Brunswick."

Jessie Davies, [co-chair] of Save Passamaquoddy Bay-Canada, laughed when she heard that Calais LNG said its project would benefit New Brunswickers.

"I can not imagine putting money into a project that is not going to be able to move forward because they can not get the LNG to the facility. Canada has been very clear."

"In short, it's our government's view, and we share it, that we have right for that passageway," said [project manager for Calais LNG Ian Emery]. "Our ships have the right to traverse that passageway."

Webmaster's Comments: We'd like to record any conversation that Ian Emery might have with the Province of New Brunswick government, in the unlikely event that he ever were able arrange one. It might be useful for a segment on the CBC's "Running Off In All Directions" — Emery wouldn't be able to leave the meeting fast enough.

If any of the three local LNG projects have their head in the sand, in the clouds, or in outer space, it's Calais LNG Project Co. After not one, not two, not even three — but at least seven name changes — and after repeated and firm warnings from Canada's Prime Minister, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, and others that Canada is prohibiting LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay, Calais LNG Project Co. is merrily pretending that it isn't so.

Even the US Coast Guard has stated that the US will not use force to ensure LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay.The US Government has already indicated these LNG projects are fruitless, So, we're wondering: Exactly what color is the sky on Calais LNG Project Company's planet?

N.S. still mum on reasons for Qatar trip — The ChronicleHerald, Halifax, NS

Last month, the premier and Economic Development Minister Angus MacIsaac flew to Qatar, one of the world’s leading producers of liquefied natural gas, for a few days of meetings.

Mr. MacDonald wouldn’t discuss details of the trip, saying only that it was related to a potentially significant business opportunity for the province.

Maple LNG issued an expression of interest this week for a topographic survey of its Goldboro site, which will include a terminal for the import and storage of LNG and regasification facilities that will connect with the Maritimes & Northeast pipeline to New England. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 18)

Work begins on 2nd local off-shore LNG site — The Daily News of Newburyport, Newburyport, MA

The Neptune site will consist of a buoy system at which the LNG vessels will moor and discharge natural gas by using onboard vaporization equipment, according to Suez Energy. The natural gas will be transported via a 13-mile pipeline connecting to the existing pipelines through Salem.

Churchill said the piping would be laid this summer. Work on the pipeline connection and the buoy installation is scheduled for next spring and summer. The first shipments could be arriving by late 2009. (Jul 17)

Webmaster's Comments: This is the third of several already-permitted, under construction, or in-operation projects that make Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG Project Co. moot wastes of time and money. The projects that have beat the local projects are:

  • Northeast Energy Bridge (already in operation; in MA)
  • Canaport (to be in operation near the end of this year; in NB)
  • Neptune LNG Deepwater Port (to be in operation late in 2009; in MA)
  • Deep Panuke natural gas well (in NS; Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline is in the permitting process now to accept this gas)
  • MapleLNG (newly permitted; in NS)

Northern New England is, or soon will be, around 200% over-capacity in LNG-import infrastructure, plus other new sources of domestic natural gas.

Natural gas firm to pursue offshore (sic) Mass. berth — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

Under the new plan, tankers would unload LNG offshore (sic) into a four-mile underwater [cryogenic LNG] pipeline to Fall River. Company officials said the proposed offshore (sic) berth would be located about one mile from the nearest shoreline and two miles south of the Braga Bridge.

Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., said he has concerns about safety risks posed by the latest proposal. He said it was misleading for Weaver's Cove to characterize it as an "offshore" proposal.

"Mount Hope Bay is not the Gulf of Mexico," McGovern said in a statement. "It's a crowded waterway, and LNG tankers would continue to pose a significant hazard to commercial and recreational boat traffic. But the most important point is this they still want the storage tankers on land in Fall River, a stone's throw away from residential neighborhoods. That has always been the most significant safety concern about this project, and today's new announcement doesn't change that one bit." [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 17)

Webmaster's Comments: The US Government considers "offshore" to be more than 3 miles from shore, outside the state's territorial limits. The proposed LNG receiving facility fits the "shoreside" LNG terminal definition.

The proposed 4-mile underwater cryogenic LNG pipeline is untested technology, and is similar to the cockamamie projects by Quoddy Bay LNG and Calais LNG Project Co. that propose to put cryogenic LNG pipelines beneath highways (including US-1) in the Passamaquoddy Bay area.

House OKs Taunton River Wild and Scenic designation — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

The lower section is being considered under the recreational classification of the act that is allowed for rivers that are readily accessible by road or railroad and may have some development. It was noted during Wednesday’s debate that rivers designated in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts are also located, in sections, in urban areas.

The approval is the first step in obtaining the federal Wild and Scenic designation for the lower section of the Taunton River, which runs from the base of the Braga Bridge to an area near the Somerset/Dighton town boundary. The designation now needs Senate approval to move forward.

If the designation is applied to the lower section of the river, the measure would effectively stop Weaver’s Cove Energy’s proposal to construct a LNG terminal in Fall River. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 17)

FERC approves changes to regulatory status for Everett LNG terminal — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

FERC today announced that Distrigas of Massachusetts LLC, owner and operator of the Everett LNG regasification terminal, will be permitted to abandon its current services as authorized under section 7(b) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and operate under section 3 of the NGA, which provides for less regulation by FERC. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 17)

MARAD and Coast Guard complete FEIS for proposed Calypso LNG Deepwater Port — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Today's Federal Register announces that the U.S. Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard have completed the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed Calypso LNG deepwater port. (Jul 16)

Kitimat LNG hopes to commence construction in second half of 2009 — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Kitimat LNG's president, Rosemary Boulton, said at the LNG World Conference in Tokyo that she hopes construction of the company's proposed LNG terminal in British Columbia will begin in the third quarter of 2009. (Jul 17)

End the LNG threat that faces Oregon [Op-ed column] — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

The Oregonian's unfortunate support for a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Columbia River aligns the editorial board with a small group of Texas energy speculators, Northwest Natural Gas Co. and other LNG boosters who would profit directly from the project ("The overheated LNG debate," July 15).

In contrast, a diverse cross section of interests opposing LNG on the Columbia ranges from the Democratic Party of Oregon to the Cowlitz County Republican Party, the Sierra Club to the Yamhill County Farm Bureau, Columbia Riverkeeper to the National Grange, and from the Northwest Property Rights Coalition to 1000 Friends of Oregon. These groups and many others agree with the Oregon Department of Energy's finding that there is no need for the proposed LNG projects in this state.

Even if more natural gas were needed, any of the three massive new gas pipelines already planned into Oregon from the Rockies would double the state's current imports, but with less-expensive domestic gas. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 18)

Bradwood Landing LNG vote delayed — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, facing heavy pressure form Oregon's governor and congressional leaders and an outcry from opponents of the project, said today that it was striking the project from the commission's agenda on Thursday.

The agency said that before issuing a licensing decision on the terminal, it needed time to review comments on the agency's final environmental impact statement submitted by members of the public and Oregon leaders.

The Bradwood Landing project still needs state permits issued under the Clean Air, Clean Water and Coastal Zone Management acts, and the governor believes no federal license should be issued until those processes are complete. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 15)

Webmaster's Comments: States have the legal power to prevent LNG terminal siting.

LUBA returns LNG case to the county — The World, Coos Bay, OR

The Land Use Board of Appeals has remanded Jordan Cove Energy Project’s land-use application for a liquefied natural gas terminal to Coos County. LUBA found Tuesday that the board of commissioners failed to address some of the opponents’ archaeological and environmental concerns.

It also suggested the county cannot fulfill its responsibility to resolve disputes between local Indian tribes and Jordan Cove over archeological sites under the agreement proposed by the company.

“This is the first major permit that Jordan Cove has sought, and LUBA’s decision is a huge signal to them that their project has major problems. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 16)

Construction begins on Manzanillo LNG terminal — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that construction began earlier this week on Mexico's Manzanillo LNG terminal. (Jul 18)

The Pickens plan [Editorial] — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

In essence, he proposes removing from the nation’s electricity pie the 22 percent produced by natural gas. The Pickens Plan would replace the natural gas piece with wind power. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 20 percent of the nation’s electricity can be supplied by wind turbines; especially promising is the corridor from the Texas panhandle to North Dakota. "North Dakota alone has the potential to provide power for more than a quarter of the country," Mr. Pickens asserts on his Web site,

The revolutionary part of the plan has the natural gas, previously used to make electricity, instead used for transportation. Mr. Pickens says that 7 million cars in the world are powered by natural gas. Just 150,000 of those vehicles are in the U.S. Natural gas, though a fossil fuel, is in greater supply than petroleum, with twice the reserves of oil, and burns far cleaner than gasoline. And it is available nearby: 98 percent of the natural gas used in the U.S. is from North American sources. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Pickens's plan makes far more sense than building new natural gas-fired power plants. It creates pollution-free electricity while, at the same time, reducing air pollutants and greenhouse gases from motor vehicles. It also reduces dependence on foreign hydrocarbon fuels and reduces fuel-related security threats. Further, it would reduce the need to import LNG, reducing related public safety concerns.

Pickens has the money and clout to get this done. The better to see the behinds of the three Passamaquoddy Bay-area LNG projects on their way out of town.


15 Jul 2008

The Great White ignored — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

“We appreciate that the Canadian government has said that they will not allow dangerous cargo to travel through Head Harbour Passage. However, it seems to be making no difference to the companies putting these proposals forward,” said Davies.

Webmaster's Comments: The LNG speculators in Passamaquoddy Bay can delude themselves all they want. Canada will deny their transit into Canadian Head Harbour Passage, and they have the authority and will to do it. On top of that, a US Coast Guard attorney has publicly stated that the US will not use force to ensure passage of these developer's LNG tankers. The game is over.

Just as the US Coast Guard has the the Congressionally-established statutory responsibility and authority to prevent speculator-designated "innocent passage" LNG ship transits in unsuitable waterways, so does Canada. If one sovereign has that authority, so does every other sovereign. Canada is no exception. The game is over.

Calais LNG Project Company, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG are all wasting a whopping amount of money on projects that simply can't succeed due to the realities of international law and politics, LNG market realities, and the over-build of US LNG import infrastructure. The game is over.

LNG opposition can blame themselves for energy prices [Op-ed column] — The Standard-Times, New Bedford, MA

…I believe that we must reconsider this project because, despite its downfalls, clean liquefied natural gas would surely alleviate the energy problems that people in Southeastern Massachusetts and the rest of New England face in the winter.

Certainly if safety is a concern, the Department of Homeland Security, the Coast Guard and the Navy could come up with a policy to protect the LNG facility from all possible threats.

Ultimately, if we continue to block the LNG facility, we have only ourselves and our "not-in-my-backyard" mentality to blame for the high energy prices that we will certainly continue to face. (Jul 12)

Webmaster's Comments: Mr. Lukoff, an intern on Capitol Hill for Massachusetts Congressman Tom Feeney (R), claims that the Fall River project “would surely alleviate the energy problems” in southeastern Massachusetts and the rest of New England. If Lukoff had done his research, he’d know that the problem is being solved by the plethora of other LNG projects in the Northeast that are way ahead of Weaver's Cove LNG. Even then-FERC Chairman Pat Wood made that clear in 2005, when he stated the entire US needed only 7–9 new LNG terminals. FERC has permitted over 17 — twice the number needed. Weaver's Cove LNG is a "fifth wheel."

Lukoff says he believes that LNG terminals can be protected from "all possible threats." He needs to discuss his opinion with US Coast Guard officials — including the Captain of the Port and up the chain of command — who have officially come down against the safety of the project.

Contrary to Lukoff's "certainty," high costs of energy aren't being solved by importing LNG. In fact, the globalization of natural gas via LNG as a commodity is causing the price of natural gas to soar. LNG has become a significant cost problem, not a cost solution.

Congressman Feeney's credibility is taking a significant dive as a result of intern Lukoff's uninformed opinions.

The week’s reports from area cities and towns — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

LNG bill becomes law

Sponsored by Rep. Raymond E. Gallison Jr., D-Bristol, Portsmouth, the law gives the General Assembly and all Rhode Island cities and towns on Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay authority over any emergency-response plan for LNG that would be developed by the state Emergency Management Agency. [Red emphasis.] (Jul 12)

Assessing Elba Island's risks [Op-ed column] — Savannah Morning News, Savannah, GA

I am ambivalent about the Elba Island facility. On the one hand, I am strongly opposed to the expansion of LNG use for broad energy policy reasons. Increasing our dependence on fossil fuels largely controlled by unstable or potentially hostile foreign powers like Russia, Iran and Venezuela seems like a really bad idea.

The economics of LNG may be good for companies like El Paso. But from a macroeconomic standpoint, they are not so good for either our economy or the consumer. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 14)

Webmaster's Comments: Column author Chuck Watson lives in Savannah and runs Kinetic Analysis Corp., which applies advanced science and computer technology to practical problems.

Kulongoski's office expecting 'more of the same' as FERC decision on LNG nears — The Daily News, Longview, OR

[A] spokeswoman for Oregon Gov. Kulongoski said Monday that the agency certainly isn’t expected to listen carefully to the state’s concerns about the project.

“They’re just not willing to incorporate that comprehensive look at Oregon’s energy needs and how best to meet them,” Schoene said.

FERC set to discuss first LNG project; Governor asks commission to start environmental study over at its Thursday meeting — The Hillsboro Argus, Hillsboro, OR

"FERC's summary treatment and conclusory dismissal of all those issues in its FEIS (environmental study) ignores FERC's obligation under NEPA (the National Environmental Policy Act) to fully examine the need for the proposed LNG terminal and all reasonable alternatives to that facility," Kulongoski wrote. "Because of the failure to address these issues, I request that FERC withdraw the FEIS and issue a revised DEIS (draft study)."

Kulongoski spokeswoman Jillian Schoene said the state could take FERC to court if the commission ignores the governor's request.

"All legal options would be considered," she said. The state also has several permit applications it must process.

FERC strikes consideration of Bradwood Landing LNG from agenda — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

FERC announced today that it has removed consideration of the Bradwood Landing LNG proposal from the agenda of the upcoming Commission meeting set for July 17. No future date has been set for consideration.

Webmaster's Comments: Is it possible that FERC is taking Oregon Gov. Kulongoski's request to halt consideration of the terminal into consideration. Doing so would be considerably out of character for FERC.

The overheated LNG debate [Editorial] — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

The importing of liquefied natural gas is being unfairly demonized in the United States, right at a time when the nation urgently needs a fresh look at all forms of energy production.

Webmaster's Comments: The Oregonian editors have failed to research the LNG industry's own safety practice recommendations, as published by the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators. The industry, itself, recommends against the conditions present in all three LNG projects in Oregon.

Jackson Co. may oppose LNG pipeline — (AP) The World, Coos Bay, OR

MEDFORD (AP) — Jackson County commissioners say they may oppose the natural gas pipeline proposed to link to a proposed liquefied natural gas plant in Coos Bay. They have doubts about the long-term economic benefits to Southern Oregon.

NorthernStar Natural Gas announces partnership with California Maritime Academy — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that NorthernStar Natural Gas, the company developing the Bradwood Landing LNG and Clearwater Port LNG projects, has partnered with the California Maritime Academy to develop an LNG training program.

US lawmaker to propose bill requiring natural gas-fuelled cars — Platts

"Natural gas is cheap, green and American-made, and it's time we encouraged the use of natural gas vehicles here in America," Emanuel said in a statement announcing his proposal. "American drivers should be able to buy a car that runs on a cleaner fuel that is currently half the cost of gas."

Emanuel's legislation would compel US automakers to make 10% of their fleets run on natural gas by 2018. The measure would also offer new incentives to make natural gas more readily available for drivers, and could enable the construction of natural gas pumps at some 20,000 gas stations across the US.

Webmaster's Comments: While Rep. Emanuel's idea is worth consideration, his premise has some critical flaws:

  • It wouldn't "end" dependence on foreign oil, although it would reduce such dependence;
  • The claim that "natural gas is cheap" is temporary, according to natural gas and market experts. They indicate natural gas prices will probably increase to par with oil on a Btu-to-Btu basis — and might actually exceed oil prices. Increasing the demand for natural gas by requiring cars to burn it would could drive up the price even more;
  • Natural gas isn't "green," although it certainly is "greener" than gasoline. And, if Emanuel's plan is enacted, the US still might be locked into importing natural gas from foreign countries -- transferring our foreign fuel dependence from one fuel to another.

Although Emanuel's idea has serious flaws, searching for solutions is worthy of the effort.


12 Jul 2008

A classic review of the AGIA decision — Alaska Report, Palmer, AK

There may not be a perfect answer on how to best get Alaska's gas to markets but TransCanada is an independent pipeline company with the experience to build and run the pipeline. They have a detailed and heavily vetted proposal and have committed through the AGIA [Alaska Gasline Inducement Act] process to conditions that add value to the state and help ensure Alaskans will get work. Denali has no detailed proposal and has not committed to conditions that add value to the state. Denali has said, though, they will continue to flesh out their proposal regardless of whether or not TransCanada gets a state license.

We're all on the same page [Op-ed column] — Stories in the News, Ketchikan, AK

Governor Wally Hickel, a dear friend of Governor Palin, believes that the only way to get our gas to market is with a pipeline from the North Slope to Valdez and then liquefied and sent to Asia.

We respect Governor Hickel, and consequently Governor Palin insisted upon exploring the LNG option during the AGIA [Alaska Gasline Inducement Act] review process even though we didn't have an AGIA-compliant LNG application. We crunched the numbers over and over again to try to understand the value of an LNG project to Alaskans. Truthfully, the value of an LNG project doesn't compare to TransCanada's overland route through Canada. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 11)

Can you say 'speculators'? [Letter to the editor] — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Can anyone say "speculators?" In our own Clatsop County, Texas oil speculators are proposing to bring liquefied natural gas to the area purportedly to bring "clean energy and good jobs." Why would any business want to bring LNG to the U.S. when the cost of domestic natural gas is half the price of the world market price for LNG?

Putting millions of dollars into developing the infrastructure to accommodate LNG is extremely wasteful, and at this time we need to be putting all our efforts in developing alternative energy sources to get rid of our dependency on foreign oil and foreign natural gas. LNG is a step backward. We can make intelligent energy choices now for the future economic health of the U.S. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jul 11)

RFK Jr. makes cameo in LNG controversy — Willamette Week, Portland, OR

Kennedy, who serves as chief prosecuting attorney for the environmental watchdog Riverkeeper, supports LNG as a fuel source "bridge" to cleaner renewable energy, but claimed that this particular facility, owned by Texas-based NorthernStar, represents a “bad energy policy that is so out of character with how other Americans are starting to see this region—as the leader in green technology.” (Jul 11)

Webmaster's Comments: Similarly, Passamaquoddy Bay exemplifies "Quality of Place" that Maine Gov. John Baldacci supports preserving.


11 Jul 2008

Passamaquoddy group's LNG suit against BIA moves forward — Indian Country Today

The BIA approved the lease June 1, 2005, ''solely for the site investigation required for the federal Energy Regulatory Commission permitting process in the development of an environmental impact statement,'' according to court documents. The BIA said that the site investigation did not require an EIS before the lease was approved, and that continuing the lease would be contingent on FERC approval.

But Nulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon members sued the BIA in November 2005, and during the course of the government's first appeal to dismiss the lawsuit, the BIA conceded that in approving the lease it had actually approved the entire LNG project.

''Before approving the lease, BIA failed to prepare an environmental impact statement, failed to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service about impacts on endangered whales, failed to consult with the tribal historic preservation officer about cultural impacts, and failed to analyze the fair market value of the lease. We are asking the court for an order setting aside BIA's lease approval and directing BIA to fully comply with all applicable federal laws,'' the group wrote in a media release in late June. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The Bureau of Indian Affairs has lived up to its long history of disgraceful and wilfully negligent Indian Trust abuse. It's time they are held accountable.

U.S. must avoid addiction to imported natural gas — The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, NC

From Keith Trent, Duke Energy's chief strategy, policy and regulatory officer:

The United States could become addicted to imported liquefied natural gas as electric utilities are forced to use more of this fuel to meet our growing demand for electricity.

Consumers are already hooked on gasoline. They shouldn't face addiction to another fuel because of policies that don't balance our energy, economic and environmental needs. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: If readers recognize the name "Duke Energy," it's because Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline L.P. and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline L.L.C. are owned by affiliates of Duke Energy (77.53 percent), Emera Inc. (12.92 percent) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (9.55 percent). [Reference: "Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline signs two agreements"]

Duke Energy — the major parent company of the company that would transport the regasified LNG from Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG, if they had any chance of succeeding — is warning the US not to get addicted to LNG!

The message could not be any clearer:

Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG are pariahs, even to the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline and the natural gas industry.

U.S. Coast Guard extends temporary Safety Zones around Northeast Gateway LNG deepwater port — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Today's Federal Register carries a notice from the United States Coast Guard that extends the temporary 500-meter safety zones around the Northeast Gateway LNG deepwater port through July 17, 2008. The notice also extends the 500-meter safety zone around any LNG carrier that is "approaching, engaging, regasifying, disengaging, mooring, or otherwise conducting operations" at the Northeast Gateway LNG deepwater port facility.

Safety Zones; Northeast Gateway deepwater port, Atlantic Ocean, MA and Security Zone; liquefied natural gas carriers, Massachusetts Bay, MA — TradingMarkets, Sherman Oaks, CA

The purpose of these temporary safety zones is to protect vessels and mariners from the potential safety hazards associated with deepwater port facilities. All vessels, with the exception of deepwater port support vessels, are prohibited from entering into or moving within either of the safety zones. The security zone is necessary to protect LNGC vessels calling on the deepwater port from security threats or other subversive acts.

Gas pipeline getting early start — The Salem News, Salem, MA

The pipeline is designed to reduce local opposition to LNG port facilities by creating offshore access, allowing liquefied natural gas tankers to unload their cargo into the pipeline without ever coming near land. It's a technique pioneered in states bordering the Gulf of Mexico.

Marblehead selectmen hope Race Week goes unaffected by LNG work — The Daily Item, Lynn, MA

Town Administrator Tony Sasso interrupted Jones to ask if the company considered holding off until Aug. 4, the day after Race Week concludes.

Jones explained that the work took 10 weeks and the company wanted to finish the first phase by the last week of September. Selectmen reacted when Jones used the word "hopefully" in describing the companies' intentions toward Race Week. (Jul 10)

Webmaster's Comments: When selling their plans to the public, don't LNG developers swear that there will be no significant interruption of the waterway to recreational users?

SouthCoast's wild side [Editorial] — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

[W]hile the river may not reach the same threshold as a tropical rainforest’s waterways in terms of “wild,” it is definitely scenic and is home to dozens of species of fish and birds that need to be protected from the unremitting encroachment of human development.

Bishop is ignoring the prevalent wildlife in and around the Taunton River and incorrectly assuming that an effect of the designation — which would hamper Hess’ LNG efforts — is the intent of the proponents.

United States: Massachusetts passes Oceans Act — Mondaq

The Oceans Act of 2008, signed into law by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on May 28, 2008, is the first of its kind in the United States.  The Act authorizes Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian A. Bowles to create a comprehensive Ocean Management Plan by December 31, 2009.

Essentially, the legislation ensures that there will be a zoning plan for the initial three miles of Massachusetts coastal waters.  Replacing the current ad hoc evaluation for industrial developments and other proposals, the legislation mandates an integrated approach to regulating ocean use.  (Jul 4)

Sempra joins effort to advance Alaska LNG export project — Platts [Free subscription required]

Sempra LNG has joined Mitsubishi and the Alaska Gasline Port Authority in effort to advance a liquefied natural gas export project, Bill Walker, the port authority's general manager, told Platts on Thursday.

The three will pursue a project to build a liquefaction plant at Valdez, in southern Alaska, to ship LNG to Asia and to Sempra's new regasification plant in Baja California, said Walker, who added that other companies may also sign on. (Jul 10)

Webmaster's Comments: FERC and the energy industry claim that the US needs to import lots more LNG, and yet Sempra and partners want to export LNG. That's indication enough that (1) the US doesn't need additional LNG import facilities than are already permitted, (2) there is no credible US energy policy, and (3) FERC is looking out for energy industry interests, not the interests of the US public.

Alaska needs access to North Slope natural gas [Op-ed column] — The Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage, AK

There is no question that building a gas pipeline to commercialize Alaska's North Slope reserves represents one of our largest and most important opportunities for the future.

Webmaster's Comments: Rep. Mark Neuman also mentions the need to export LNG — a contradiction in interests.

Robert Kennedy, Jr. says LNG bad for NW — KEX News Radio, Portland, OR

Kennedy says LNG proposal includes use of old technology and does not fit the Pacific Northwest.

Robert Kennedy, Jr. has a lot to say about a proposed liquefied natural gas facility on the Columbia River: "This is a bad energy policy and it is so out of character with how other Americans are starting to see this region - as the leader in green technology.

Kennedy: Free market is ‘green’ — The Columbian, Vancouver, WA

Earlier in the day, Kennedy visited Kelley Point Park at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette rivers, where he joined a coalition of fishermen, farmers, conservationists and Native Americans in calling the river a “national treasure” and calling on the leaders of Washington and Oregon to block a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal near Astoria, Ore.

Governor asks feds to withdraw LNG impact statement — Portland Business Journal, Portland, OR

Gov. Ted Kulongoski on Friday asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to withdraw its final environmental impact statement on the proposed Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas terminal along the Columbia River, calling it "fatally flawed."

The impact statement, issued by the federal regulatory authorities on June 6, "represents a failure to be accountable to the people of Oregon," Kulongoski said in a news release. "The disregard for Oregon's concerns is unacceptable, particularly on a project with such profound potential impacts on the lives of Oregonians.

Governor scolds FERC for "fatally flawed" analysis — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Gov. Ted Kulongoski says federal energy regulators are working with a "fatally flawed and legally deficient" environmental analysis as they consider approval of the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project.

In a letter sent today, Kulongoski scolded FERC for moving toward approval with a flawed description of the project's impacts that ignores legal obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Attached to his letter were five pages of errors, omissions and unanswered questions in FERC's final report on the Bradwood project.

The governor also included 40 pages of state agency comments on the final environmental impact statement. Each of the eight agencies that responded with details that had been raised after FERC issued its draft environmental report and were not addressed in the final analysis. [Red emphasis added.]

FERC could OK LNG — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

LNG opponents say they fully expect FERC to approve Bradwood's application next week, but they don't see the federal approval as the end of their fight to block the development.

"It's now more important than ever for the governor to stand up to take a stand for the salmon in the river," said Brownsmead resident Ted Messing, a project opponent. "It's not a done deal. The governor has the ability to stop this."

Webmaster's Comments: A live Webcast of the FERC meeting on Bradwood Landing will be available via the FERC website on July 17. Either Windows Media Player or Real Player is required for access. Macintosh users can download the free WMV plugin component by Flip4Mac that will allow using QuickTime Player to view FERC's Windows Media file.

FERC puts LNG terminal along Columbia on next week's agenda — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

Federal energy regulators will consider and possibly vote Thursday on whether to approve the proposed Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas terminal, located about 20 miles east of Astoria on the Columbia River.

The state of Oregon has consistently criticized the federal agency for what it contends is a rushed, laissez-faire approach to Bradwood's licensing driven more by ideology and politics than regulations. The state had asked FERC to redo its environmental analysis of Bradwood to account for newly available information. FERC rejected the request.

"This is more of the same," Anna Richter Taylor, a spokeswoman for Gov. Ted Kulongoski, said Thursday. "FERC continues to move forward without regard for Oregon's concerns."

LNG decision near? FERC to meet next week — The Daily News, Longview, WA

FERC, which is largely responsible for issuing permits for the proposed Bradwood, Ore., terminal, announced in an e-mail Thursday that it will discuss NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc.’s project on July 17.

The five-member panel may simply consider “procedural issues,” NorthernStar spokesman Joe Desmond said. “Or,” he said, “they could be looking to make a decision.”

[NorthernStar spokesman Joe Desmond] stressed that NorthernStar will not be able to break ground on the terminal until it meets all state and federal requirements for the project. Even if FERC approves a permit for the terminal next week, he said, the company will still face additional regulatory hurdles, including the issuance of a biological opinion from the National Marine Fisheries Service and several state permits. (Jul 10)

Asian buyers driving up spot LNG prices - LNG Intelligence — NASDAQ, New York, NY

Indian buyers generally are willing to bid $17/MMBtu free on board for spot cargoes, or up to $18/MMBtu delivered ex-ship, it cited a Tokyo-based trader as saying. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jul 10)

Webmaster's Comments: With the US paying only $11–13/MMBtu, it's no wonder LNG imports are down significantly. The US will need to pay significantly more — driving US energy costs upward — if it expects to acquire more LNG.

World's largest LNG ship named — Fairplay Shipping News, Surrey, England, UK [Paid subscription required]

THE World's largest LNG carrier was named today by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea. It will be delivered next month. The ship, Mozah, carries 266,000m? of LNG, “almost 80 per cent more cargo than conventional ships”, said its class society Lloyd’s Register in a statement. The 34 ...


10 Jul 2008

New England governors attend energy summit —

Gov. John Baldacci along with three other New England governors, assembled in Boston today to discuss energy issues at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, according to the governor's office.

They … agreed that coordinating energy issues with the Eastern Canadian Provinces was critical to the future of New England energy.

Webmaster's Comments: The story makes no mention of importing LNG into Maine, a topic that Gov. Baldacci has been avoiding for some time, perhaps because he now realizes that it will get him nowhere.

Taunton River dragged through the mud — Wicked Local Taunton, Fall River, MA

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank has postponed a vote on his bill to protect the waterway under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act amid accusations by Republicans it’s a thinly veiled attempt to kill the controversial LNG plant proposed for Fall River’s waterfront.

…the proposal to protect the Taunton River under the Wild and Scenic act predates the LNG proposal, Kovar said.

Secondly, he said, the LNG plant is already in trouble. The Coast Guard has ruled against it twice on safety grounds and an agency within the commerce department has ruled against it on environmental grounds, Kovar said.

Webmaster's Comments: Unlike FERC, Congressman Frank is looking out for the safety and security of US citizens, while simultaneously supporting the offshore LNG terminals (one is already in operation) in Massachusetts that are safely away from civilians.

The Wall Street Journal gets sarcastic with Barney Frank —

The real reason [for Frank's push to designate the Taunton River as scenic], according to [The Wall Street Journal's editorial board], is a policy agenda with "hostility to greater supplies of carbon energy that would help keep prices lower." (Jul 9)

Webmaster's Comments: The Wall Street Journal seems blind to the fact that the world rush to import LNG is driving the price of natural gas higher, not lower.

Incumbents talk of accomplishments, goals — The Jamestown Press, Jamestown, RI

[Republican incumbent Bruce Long] continues the fight for safe and sustainable development. He has become involved with talks between Jamestown and the state offi ce of energy resources to explore funding for wind energy development on the island. He supports natural gas as a fuel source, but opposes the location of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility along the densely populated coast. "Wherever they site along Narragansett Bay, it's a danger." [Red emphasis added.]

Legislators question in-state gas plan — Juneau Empire, Juneau, AK

TransCanada opponents, including those supporting an all-Alaska gas line to an LNG export terminal in Valdez and supporters of a competing pipeline across Canada proposed by BP and ConocoPhillips Co., have urged rejection of the TransCanada license.

Liquefied natural gas shipments drop — The Toronto Star, Toronto, ON

The flow of LNG into the U.S. is averaging about 1.1 billion cubic feet a day so far this month, down from 3.1 billion cubic feet a day a year ago.

Webmaster's Comments: Imports are a mere 35% of the volume imported last year.

Pickens to push for renewable fuels amid US 'crisis' — Platts

[H]e proposed backing out natural gas-fired generation with renewable resources and using [abundant supplies of natural] gas to displace oil as transportation fuel.

Pickens said the US has "plenty of natural gas" to fulfill his plan, adding that the country has in recent years doubled its reserves because of its ability to tap previously unobtainable gas from shale formations. He said gas reserves in the Marcellus and Haynesville shales will exceed those in the prolific Barnett Shale in Texas. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jul 8)

Webmaster's Comments: Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens knows the energy business and is putting his personal fortune (in $billions) where his mouth is. It's one more convincing sign in a long and ever-growing list of doom for Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG — their financial plan is losing credibility faster than an Oklahoma jackrabbit.

Analysts: Tight global liquefaction market could result in price spikes for U.S. natural gas — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Analysts with Barclays Capital said in a report released earlier this week that if the United States becomes dependent on LNG to meet natural gas demand increases, tightness in the global liquefaction market and strong demand in Japan, South Korea, and Spain could trigger "substantial price spikes" for natural gas in the U.S. market. [Red emphasis added.]


9 Jul 2008

‘Wild’ push against Mass. LNG plan nixed — The Boston Herald, Boston, MA

Congressional Republicans have forced U.S. Rep. Barney Frank to yank — at least temporarily — a controversial bill that some say is merely using lofty conservation rhetoric to block a proposed LNG facility on the southeastern Massachusetts city’s waterfront.

Gas price war takes a wild, scenic turn — National Journal, Washington, DC

Both the Coast Guard and the Commerce Department have turned down the proposed facility over safety and environmental concerns. While Frank is not losing sleep over potentially creating another hurdle for it, “that’s like shooting a dead man,” he said.

Frank said he supports an alternative LNG plant located about five miles offshore. “It’s already done,” he said.

New emergency-response law puts another hurdle in LNG port plan — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

Legislation requiring a host of new approvals for any emergency-response plan governing the transportation of liquefied natural gas through Rhode Island waters has become law.

The affected communities, including Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth and Bristol, would effectively have veto power over the plan; if each of them doesn’t sign off on it, it wouldn’t go forward, said Gallison.

Without an approved emergency-response plan, Weaver’s Cove, or any other company for that matter, would not be able to transport LNG through state waters, he said. [Red emphasis added.]

Natural gas prices follow oil's path higher — The Republican-American, Waterbury, CT

[A] dramatic shift in the use of natural gas, and an 80 percent price increase since January, is altering the price equation this year. [Red emphasis added.]

LNG opponents hold rally in Oregon — AP, The Daily News, Longview, WA

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Opponents of liquefied natural gas projects hope their protests will help fend off proposals that seem likely to get green lights from federal regulators, if history is any guide.

Foes of LNG call on state to say no — The World, Coos Bay, OR

“It’s clear that we’re at a crossroad,” [Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury] said. “Do we move forward with energy policies that protect the planet or remain tied to an outdated, dirty technology like LNG?”

Webmaster's Comments: States have the authority to stop badly-sited LNG terminal projects via environmental permitting laws and coastal zone management permitting laws.

LNG concerns — Energy Central, Aurora CO

In the end, developers must work with all stakeholders and show that the projects are financially viable. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 7)

Webmaster's Comments: Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG can't show that their projects are financially viable. They certainly haven't worked with all stakeholders. In fact, the realities of the LNG marketplace and the economy indicate that these three projects have no place in the industry, at all — they've already lost the race. Their function to their investors is as a tax write-off.

US lowers forecasted LNG imports for next two years — Lloyd's List [Paid subscription required]

The administration's latest short-term energy outlook predicts this year's US LNG imports will total about 480bn cu ft, down almost 38% from 770bn cu ft in 2007.

Webmaster's Comments: The economic news for LNG developers Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG is absolutely dismal.


8 Jul 2008

Liquefied natural gas gets environmental approval — The Western Star, Corner Brook, NL

Placentia's liquefied natural gas transshipment terminal has gotten provincial approval for their environmental protection plan.

AG voices concern over LNG plan — Wicked Local Somerset, Fall River, MA

Coakley’s objections center on the fact that Weaver’s Cove Energy proposes the berth as a separate project from the original project proposed at Weaver’s Cove, meaning the berth project can be reviewed without re-evaluating the original project.

“They’re trying to have their cake and eat it too.”

River status, planned gas project swept up in House energy battle — The Hill, Washington, DC

Frank’s bill, if it were to pass, could put the final nail in the coffin of the controversial plan to allow Massachusetts-based Weaver’s Cove Energy to build a 73-acre LNG storage and distribution facility on the lower Taunton River. The company said the facility, which would be built on the northern tip of the industrial area, would eventually provide up to 35 percent of the power currently needed to heat New England’s homes and businesses.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the facility, conditional on approval from other regulatory agencies. But the Coast Guard has twice deemed the plan unsafe. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The Weaver's Cove LNG project suffers from inordinately poor site selection — both in the original iteration and in the new absolutely goofball proposed 4-mile-long underwater cryogenic LNG pipeline in the bay.

The Weaver's Cove idea echos similar cockamamie thinking as Quoddy Bay LNG and Calais LNG — both of which propose cryogenic LNG pipelines outside their respective terminals and under public highways.

Officials: No oil, gas drilling in New Jersey — Daily Record, Parsippany, NJ

Regarding LNG, "I think ... the governor said it correctly," he said. "He's looking at it and that's what they've got to do ... and see what the risks are and see what the benefits are and I don't think that's appropriately been done," Lautenberg said.

AES pushing for deal — The Bahama Journal, Nassau, Bahamas

The government of the Dominican Republic last year sued AES for more than $80 million in damages, after two years of attempts to get AES to remove more than 57,000 tons of rock ash dumped on beaches in the D.R. between late 2003 and early 2004.

Shell companies, corrupt officials, attempted car fire-bombings and threats of murder and both successfully and unsuccessfully attempted bribery all figure into the lawsuit, filed on behalf of the Dominican government by the law offices of Dr. Bart Fisher. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The Bahama government is considering an LNG deal with AES.

Just as incredible, on two occasions Save Passamaquoddy Bay was told by FERC that they would issue an LNG permit to Idi Amin, Charles Manson, and Adolf Hitler.

Governments — elected officials who are supposed to be looking out for the safety and interests of their citizens — seem to have no compunction about dealing with unsavory, even criminal, people when energy profits are involved.

NATS: Sabine Pass LNG plans sendout of approximately 1.7 Bcf today — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

NATS reports that Sabine Pass's nominations for today reached 1,846,994 dekatherms, or approximately 1.7 Bcf. NATS suggests that this sendout volume possibly represents a "full power" test of the terminal's facilities, and notes that this volume more than doubles the average daily sendout from U.S. regasification terminals for the year.

Additional measures needed for Jordan Cove LNG project — Energy Current, Houston, TX

PORTLAND, OREGON: Additional measures will be necessary to responsibly manage the navigation, safety and security risks associated with the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, the U.S. Coast Guard has concluded in a review of the project's Waterway Suitability Assessment, which Coast Guard submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

Webmaster's Comments: The Coast Guard has ignored world LNG industry standards (SIGTTO) that recommend against locating LNG terminals on the outside of a curve in the waterway, where every passing vessel will be moving directly toward the berthed LNG tanker at some time during transit. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.) The Captain of the Port, in essence, admits to ignoring SIGTTO world LNG safety practices and instead determining "best practices" by "working with a broad cross section of port stakeholders."

Park service warns LNG may hurt river — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The National Park Service is criticizing fellow officials at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a faulty environmental review of the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project.

"(The environmental review) should clearly note that reducing or limiting recreational opportunities on the waterway could negatively impact the local economy in the future."

Tamara Young-Allen, a spokeswoman for FERC, said the park service doesn't have any special authority at this stage of the LNG licensing process. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: FERC isn't much interested in the overall economic impacts of LNG projects. What they are interested in is what such projects can put into the energy industry's pockets.

LNG opponents plan kickoff event for Sept. 16 vote — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

County voters concerned about proposed LNG pipelines going through county parks are invited to the No LNG Pipes in Parks campaign kick-off event from 5 to 8 p.m. July 15, at the Wet Dog Café, 144 11th St., in Astoria.

More information about the referendum campaign is available at ( and by calling 503-338-6508.

Energy Dept. says U.S. LNG imports falling — Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX

U.S. imports of liquefied natural gas may fall 38 percent this year as demand remains strong in Asia and Europe and projects are delayed, the Energy Department said today. [Bold red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Economic prospects for Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG look absolutely dreadful.

EIA sees 2008 US residential power prices up 5.2%, up 9.8% in '09 — Platts

Rapidly rising delivered fuel costs for power generation, particularly natural gas, are likely to increase average US residential electricity prices by 5.2% in 2008 and by 9.8% in 2009, the US Energy Information Administration said Tuesday in its July Short-Term Energy Outlook. [Bold red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Globalization of LNG is rapidly driving up natural gas prices. LNG developers' promises to save citizens money are as hollow as our wallets are becoming.

US says oil, natgas prices will continue to climb — ICIS

WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The US Energy Department on Tuesday revised its outlook for energy prices sharply upward, saying oil prices likely will average $127/bbl for this year with natural gas expected to average $11.86/m Btu for 2008.

Those revisions represent a 4% upward change in the department’s oil price forecast and a nearly 8% increase in its natgas price prediction since the agency’s earlier short term energy outlook (STEO) just a month ago. [Red emphasis added.]

Short term energy outlook via Energy Information Administration — Imperial Valley News, Yuma, AZ

Import volumes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the United States continue to sag. Through the first half of 2008, LNG imports were roughly 60 percent below the amount received during the corresponding period last year. [Red emphasis added.]

World’s largest LNG carrier ready for its debut — Lloyd's List [Paid subscription required]

With a capacity of 266,000 cu m, an overall length of 345 m [1,131.9 ft], breadth of 53.8 m [176.5 ft] and a height of 34.71 m [113.9 ft], it is the largest LNG carrier in the world.


7 Jul 2008

Chugach Electric officials upset over LNG license — KTUU TV, Anchorage, AK

Chugach is unhappy because it, too, relies on natural gas supplies and has not secured similar commitments.

Furthermore, Chugach argues it was wrong for regulators to allow Marathon and Conoco to link their willingness to deliver gas to Alaskans to approval of the extension on their export license. (Jul 6)

Merkley says give LNG say-so to states — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

U.S. Senate candidate brings his campaign to the North Coast.

Webmaster's Comments: Unfortunately, Maine's US Senators Collins and Snowe — who say they have the same position as Merkley apparently does — won't sign on as co-sponsors of Senate Bill S.2822 that would do exactly as they say they want done.

Waterborne Energy predicts U.S. LNG imports to total 420 Bcf for 2008 — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Waterborne President Steve Johnson noted that high global demand for LNG has affected the U.S. market, saying that "product we expected [in the United States] is now being sold to the highest bidders in Asia and Europe." [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The outlook for proposed LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay and the US remains dismal.

Gas flaring fuels environmental fears — The National, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The roughly 30 billion cubic metres of gas flared annually in the Middle East alone could feed a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant processing 20 million tonnes, the [World Bank] has calculated. That is almost four times the annual LNG exports from the UAE. (Jul 5)


4 Jul 2008

U.S. Coast Guard cutter and ferry collide — Maritime Executive, Fort Lauderdale, FL

BOSTON (July 2 2008): The Coast Guard is responding after a Coast Guard cutter and ferry carrying 257 passengers and eight crew collided approximately three miles north of Block Island, R.I., around 12:15 p.m., today. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 2)

Webmaster's Comments: One wonders how, in the daylight, the US Coast Guard could collide with a ferry.

Accidents happen, even to the Coast Guard. The LNG industry has no special immunity from accidents any more than humans in any other capacity, despite LNG developer and FERC hype. People make errors.

Expected delays of large construction projects to restrain Nova Scotia's growth rate, says RBC — CNW Telbec

"Recent indications are that the large $4.5 billion Maple LNG project and related Keltic Petrochemical plant may be delayed due to difficulties securing feed stocks," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. "As a result, we are now assuming that construction of these projects will not get underway until sometime next year, prompting us to downgrade our forecast slightly." [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: It seems everyone is having difficulty obtaining LNG — and these projects already have permits. Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG public relations releases about them "negotiating with LNG suppliers" is unrealistic. Suppliers won't consider making LNG commitments without LNG receiving terminals having permits to construct.

Moran: Two cities bridged by LNG issue [Opinion] — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

The Weaver’s Cove plan has been despised since its inception, and deservedly so. However during its early phases, many locals I talked to, including some of the proposal’s harshest critics, expected that its eventual completion was inevitable. That prospect seems unlikely now and even the most cynical followers of this saga are now conceding that the battle is nearly over and the opponents will prevail. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 3)

A line in the sand — Asbury Park Press, Neptune, NJ

One of the proposed LNG facilities, an Excalibur Energy (USA) Inc. project, would be a deep-water pipeline system for natural gas about 15 miles off Asbury Park.

Atlantic Sea Island Group wants to construct an island 19 miles off Sea Bright, and ExxonMobil [BlueOcean Energy] has proposed putting a floating LNG terminal about 20 miles off Manasquan. [Bold emphasis added.]

Soil data dismissed as state LNG objection overruled — The Dundalk Eagle, Dundalk, MD

However, documents available on the Commerce Department’s Web site associated with AES’s appeal indicate significantly higher levels of contamination in the 2006 samples than in other areas of the harbor.

In a footnote in his ruling last week, Gutierrez cited an October 2006 letter from NOAA saying that it would not approve its coastal zone management plan because it prohibited LNG facilities, a power reserved for FERC under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Debate of what powers that act has in relation to the Coastal Zone Management Act is ongoing.

LNG or natural gas project? — Petroleum News, Anchorage, AK

Econ One: Pipeline along Alaska Highway probably trumps LNG plan

A liquefied natural gas project can earn more on less, more or less. But more and more, a big pipeline through Canada can earn more on more, according to a legislative consultant testifying during an on-going special session on natural gas issues in Alaska. (week of Jul 6)

Coast Guard finds bay unsuitable for LNG — The World, Coos Bay, OR

A U.S. Coast Guard study has found Coos Bay to be unsuitable for receiving deliveries of liquefied natural gas, though it suggests LNG backers could alleviate the agency’s concerns. (Jul 3)

Webmaster's Comments: The Jordan Cove site is located on the outside of a curve in the waterway, meaning that every passing vessel will at one time or another be moving directly toward the berthed LNG vessel — a condition specifically warned against by the 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 the Coast Guard and FERC to ignore unsafe siting conditions that the LNG industry, itself, specifically warns against is wilfull negligence on the part of the US Government.

Coast Guard reports on Coos Bay LNG — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Additional manpower and boats will be needed on the Columbia River to enforce security zones around the LNG tankers headed to Bradwood, data needs to be collected on underwater keel clearance to assist the bar pilots with navigation, a camera system will be needed to monitor the shipping route, and shoreside firefighting capability will need to be augmented. [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 3)

Guard says Coos Bay could manage LNG traffic — The News-Review, Roseburg, OR

In a letter to federal regulators dated Tuesday, Coast Guard Capt. F.G. Myer says the bay is not suitable for the energy project, but a series of steps could make it so.

Corvallis hosts forum on LNG terminals, pipeline — Corvallis Gazette Times, Corvallis, OR

The forum is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2945 N.W. Circle Blvd. Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury will lead a discussion that also features clean-energy activists Rory Cox of Pacific Environment, Jody McCaffree of Citizens Against LNG and Dan Serres of Columbia Riverkeeper. (Jul 3)

What determines the price of oil [and natural gas]? — Global Politician, New York, NY

So, why is the price of oil going through the roof?

Because oil has become a form of investment and a hedge against rising inflation. People plough their savings into oil and speculators drive the markets. As Saudi Arabia correctly observes, the price of oil is no longer determined merely by supply and demand.

Trinidad gas boom under threat — Petroleum Economist, London, England, UK [Paid subscription required]

Trinidad and Tobago must find more gas if it is to expand its export business and local gas-based industries, writes David Renwick. (Jan)


2 Jul 2008

Passamaquoddy back in court — WABI TV, Bangor, ME

Members of the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy tribe took their fight against a liquefied natural gas terminal back to federal court Tuesday...

"Our clients are very anxious to get to the merits, because we think we have very strong arguments that the Bureau of Indian Affairs did not do the environmental review that they should have done before approving this lease." Said Teresa Clemmer from the Environmental Law Clinic. [Red emphasis added.]

LNG settlement talks perhaps on horizon — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

U.S. District Judge John Woodcock heard arguments Tuesday in U.S. District Court on two motions filed by attorneys for the Passamaquoddy group. Woodcock also considered the direction he was given last year by the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston when they reversed his earlier decision to dismiss the Indians’ claims.

Once he decides those matters, the opposing sides could begin settlement talks that might include reopening the hearing process on whether the tribe’s lease should be approved by the BIA. [Red emphasis added.]

Selectmen share thoughts about recent LNG meeting — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

“I think what we came up with, what FERC put together in their first report, was good,” Lawless said. “The pipeline can’t be done.” [Red emphasis added.] (Jul 1)

Liquid assets — The Savannah Morning News, Savannah, GA

The multibillion-dollar company could have appealed a Superior Court decision denying the company more time to contest the bill. The liquefied natural gas importer instead decided to settle up with the Tax Assessor's office on $2 million in inventory taxes, going back to 2004.

Webmaster's Comments: One wonders how much it cost Chatham County for the above court action. How much would court action end up costing Robbinston, Calais, or Perry if the local developers wouldn't pay their taxes?

LNG out — The Jamaica Observer, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

"Fuel diversification is not only to deal with the challenge of high prices but also to guarantee security of supply. In this regard, there is growing concern around the world about the availability of LNG, the high demand and the continuing impact this will have on prices," he continued. [Red emphasis added.]

FERC grants Freeport LNG's request to commence service — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Yesterday FERC granted Freeport LNG's request to commence service at its LNG regasification terminal in Freeport, Texas.

FERC says Corpus Christi LNG no longer required to file monthly construction reports — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

FERC has granted the request of Corpus Christi LNG (CCLNG) to suspend its filing of monthly construction reports, noting that CCLNG is "no longer conducting any construction related activities" at its site in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Feds to stay out of LNG firms' squabble — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

WARRENTON — Federal regulators are not suspending their review of the Oregon LNG liquefied natural gas project in Warrenton — despite a request to do so by competing LNG company NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc. (Jul 1)

Natural gas exporters keep hold on fuel, Shell exec says — SmartBrief, Washington, DC

Countries that typically export natural gas are increasingly considering keeping the resource for domestic use, said Linda Cook, head of Royal Dutch Shell's gas division. Speaking today at the World Petroleum Congress, she cited Australia, Egypt, Nigeria and Trinidad as examples. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Trinidad supplies the US with most of its imported LNG, but the Trinidad & Tobago government have announced that the country has only about 12 years' worth of natural gas supply left in the ground.

Exporters say natural gas could become as expensive as oil — SmartBrief, Washington, DC

Natural gas now trades at a 40% discount compared with its energy equivalence in crude oil, but prices for the two may converge, energy ministers from Qatar, Iran and Algeria say.

Webmaster's Comments: The industry, itself, is again saying that importing LNG will not bring down the cost of natural gas. In fact, since LNG has globalized natural gas, the price is skyrocketing.

The predicted high cost of imported LNG-source natural gas is a disincentive to depending on natural gas as a fuel source, and an incentive to using non-hydrocarbon sources of energy.

This economic reality must be haunting the minds of investors in Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG — especially since they already have insurmountable obstacles to their projects:

Downeast LNG, Calais LNG Project Co., and Quoddy Bay LNG are lost causes, throwing their money down a bottomless pit, continuing to cost taxpayers money, and continuing to cause strife among family and neighbors.

Natural gas to converge with oil price, exporters say (Update1) — Bloomberg

"The price should be at least competitive to oil," [according to Qatar Oil Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah]. [Red emphasis added.]

'Market for LNG to double' — The National Newspaper, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Nonetheless, Ms Cook pointed out that many energy exporting countries were increasingly looking at keeping natural gas for their own needs, and even importing the commodity, as the UAE has recently started to do. She cited Egypt, Trinidad, Australia and Nigeria – all currently LNG exporters – as examples. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: LNG-exporting countries are considering importing LNG and retaining domestic natural gas, in order to retain energy security. That means a reduced world supply of LNG.


1 July 2008

Tribal members appear in court Tuesday — The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

For almost three years, the organization has been engaged in litigation against the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The lawsuit is based on BIA’s failure to comply with four federal laws in connection with its June 1, 2005 approval of a ground lease authorizing Quoddy Bay LNG, LLC to develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility at the Split Rock site within the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Reservation. Before approving the lease, BIA failed to prepare an environmental impact statement, failed to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service about impacts on endangered whales, failed to consult with the Tribal Historic Preservation officer about cultural impacts, and failed to analyze the fair market value of the lease. The tribe members are asking the court for an order setting aside BIA’s lease approval and directing BIA to fully comply with all applicable federal laws. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The spelling used in the article, "Nulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon," is the spelling originally used by the organization, and is what was used when filing the litigation with the court. Since that time, the spelling has been standardized as, "Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon".

Clough wins Neptune LNG deal — Energy Current, Houston, TX

The Neptune LNG Deepwater Port project lies about 10 miles (16 km) off the coast of Gloucester.  The project will provide an average of 400 MMcf/d of natural gas, enough to serve 1.5 million homes.

Webmaster's Comments: The Neptune LNG project is the third nail in the coffins of the three Passamaquoddy Bay LNG proposals. The other two nails are Canaport and Northwest Gateway. These three projects will supply the additional natural gas needs in New England. Plus, additional LNG and natural gas projects are in the works: Deep Panuke natural gas well off Nova Scotia, and MapleLNG terminal in Nova Scotia has been permitted — both of which will send natural gas supplies to New England.

Weaver’s Cove to recommence testing on Bay — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

SOMERSET — Testing for the LNG docking facility proposed by Weaver’s Cove Energy in the middle of Mount Hope Bay is scheduled to resume as early as tomorrow after the Conservation Commission ordered a halt to the work.

The commission said it needed to know what was going on, so it issued the cease-and-desist order.

BG LNG pays tax tab — Savannah Morning News, Savannah, GA

The payment comes after a losing battle BG LNG had fought in Chatham County Superior Court.

First Nations want pipeline review — Prince George Citizen, Prince George, BC

The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council says a provincial review that gave a $1.1 billion natural gas pipeline project between Summit Lake and Kitimat the green light is inadequate, although it was expected.

The tribal council, which represents eight bands west of Prince George, is pushing for a First Nations-led review that addresses aboriginal issues on rights and title, and where all First Nations with traditional territory along the pipeline route could participate.

The idea behind the pipeline project is to bring natural gas from overseas to Kitimat -- liquefying the natural gas by super cooling it and transporting it on specially-built ships. At Kitimat, the liquid would be turned back into gas and sent along the pipeline. [Red emphasis added.]

Oil climbs peak, economies plumb depressions and the future will not imitate the past — ZDnet

[PROFIT FROM THE PEAK co-author, Chris Nelder] says the cost and technology for LNG makes it highly unlikely there’ll be a growth in that industry. [Red emphasis added.]


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