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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 June

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And now, for a bit of the (hopefully) unusual:



30 Jun 2008

Pre-filing approval granted by FERC to Calais LNG project — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

Atlantic Canada and New England, especially Maine, remain particularly vulnerable to the limited supply of natural gas available in North America, according to project manager Art Gelber. (Jun 27)

Webmaster's Comments: Arthur Gelber is demonstrating a surprising lack of industry acumen. Simply put, there is no need for Gelber's proposal, as indicated by realities in the LNG industry. LNG import infrastructure is already being overbuilt, imports are low, and foreign competition for LNG is winning.

Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline L.L.C.; Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Assessment for the proposed Maritimes Phase V project and request for comments on environmental issues — US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC

The purpose of the project is to provide transportation service for gas from a new gas field (``Deep Panuke'') located offshore of Nova Scotia to the New England market area. The Maritimes Phase V Project would increase the capacity of Maritimes existing system by about 250,000 dekatherms per day. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 26)

Webmaster's Comments: This expansion of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, to carry Deep Panuke natural gas to the New England market area — along with Canaport, Northeast Gateway, Neptune LNG, and MapleLNG — is why the Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG projects are futile excersizes in wasting investors' and taxpayers' money.

Public presses for Sears Island to remain as is — Village Soup, Belfast, ME

BELFAST (June 30): The committee charged with creating a joint use plan for Sears Island got an earful Wednesday night, from locals who called for an end to the planning process and for the island to remain undeveloped.

Mikulski statement on Commerce Department's decision to overturn Maryland LNG ruling [Press release] — US Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Commerce, today criticized Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez’s announcement that the agency will not uphold the Maryland Department of the Environment’s July 2007 decision to deny an application from AES Sparrows Point LNG, LLC to construct an liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Sparrows Point, Md. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 26)

Sparrows Point LNG objection overruled — Energy Current, Houston, TX

"We can't let federal agencies rubber stamp plans for an LNG facility when our state is adamantly opposed.  This is not the last step - or the only step.  We will fight on."

US [natural] gas: Futures hit 29-month high as crude sets new record — Cattle Network, Platte City, MO

Natural gas for August delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was trading 16.7 cents, or 1.27%, higher at $13.365 a million British thermal units after opening floor trade 19.2 cents higher at $13.39/MMBtu. Futures reached $13.448 in combined floor and electronic trading, the highest price since December 2005.

Traders continue to see natural gas as a value compared to crude oil, and efforts to decrease the spread between the two commodities are putting additional upward pressure on prices, said Peter Beutel, president of Cameron Hanover, an energy risk-management firm in New Canaan, Conn.

Gas futures need to rise further to attract liquefied natural gas imports to help boost U.S supplies, said Beutel, who estimates prices need to reach $14.00/MMBtu to start attracting additional LNG. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Globalization of LNG is pairing natural gas prices to equivalent oil prices, based on BTU (heat) output. LNG is causing natural gas prices to increase, not decrease, despite LNG developer hype to the public.

Liquefied natural gas: A growing economic target? — The Cutting Edge News

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is more than just a potential weapon of mass destruction in the right locale. It also offers terrorists an awesome economic target wherever in the world it can be found--even on the high seas.

Should the use of LNG in the U.S. follow the trend that would lead to the “high LNG” scenario, or 33 percent, then it would be reasonable to say that the probability of a terrorist attack against LNG, for economic purposes, would increase due to its greater potential economic impact.

LNG holds appeal of increasing a nation’s energy security because of its fungible nature, however it could also be damaging to energy security because of the vulnerability of the extensive infrastructure required to process it. Should terrorists somehow manage to damage or destroy this infrastructure, or the ports that lead to the processing plants, it would be detrimental to those regions which have become highly dependent on LNG. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Author US Navy Reserve Lieutenant Commander Cindy Hurst is a political-military research analyst with the Foreign Military Studies Office.

Greater dependency on LNG decreases our energy security and economic security.


28 Jun 2008

More bad news for LNG plan — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

The decision is another blow for the company, which has been battling widespread public opposition to the LNG plan, as well as a series of unfavorable decisions by state regulators and federal agencies.

Federal officials back state objection to LNG plan — Standard-Times, New Bedford, MA

FALL RIVER — The U.S. Department of Commerce has upheld objections by state coastal management officials against Weaver's Cove's plan to build a liquefied natural gas facility in Fall River's North End.

The decision, issued late Thursday, bars federal agencies from issuing permits, unless the developer wins on appeal in federal court, said Jeff Donald, a spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is under the commerce department.

"This project should never have been proposed," said U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in a statement. "The city knows it, the state knows it, the Coast Guard knows it, and now the Department of Commerce knows it, too. It is far too dangerous for so populated an area."

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission considers its July 15, 2005, approval of the terminal still valid, as long as Weaver's Cove can appeal the decision, said Tamara Young-Allen, a spokeswoman for the commission.

Webmaster's Comments: States' authority trumps FERC's "put LNG terminals anywhere and everywhere, safety-be-damned" philosophy.

Fed official rules against Fall River LNG terminal — The Boston Herald, Boston, MA

BOSTON — The U.S. Secretary of Commerce has decided a Massachusetts agency acted correctly when it objected to plans to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Fall River.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who’s against the project, called the developers’ appeal an attempt to circumvent the state. (Jun 27)

Weaver’s Cove plan sees setbacks and gains — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Based on the facts presented in your request, Weaver’s Cove and Mill River are granted an extension of time until Nov. 1, 2015, to complete their facilities and make them available for service,” the decision states

The one-page decision is signed by J. Mark Robinson, director of the office on energy products.

Both the city of Fall River and the office of Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch filed objections over the extension request.

Mayor Robert Correia cited the city’s previous objections and said he was “disappointed” with FERC’s decision. (Jun 27)

USCG – Broadwater LNG project – LOR — MarineLink, New York, NY

The LOR [Letter of Recommendation] finds that the waterway is not currently suitable for LNG marine traffic, but could be made suitable if certain specified measures are taken. (Jun 26)

Commerce Department overturns Maryland on LNG terminal decision — MarineLog, New York, NY

Under the Coastal Zone Management Act, federal agencies may not issue any permits required for a project if a state has objected, unless the Department of Commerce, on appeal, overrides the objection.

When the Department overrides a state objection, federal agencies may proceed with normal permit and license processes for the project. The project will also be required to comply with all state and local permitting regulations, and complete all required environmental reviews. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jun 27)

Maryland LNG project wins CZMA appeal — Oil & Gas Journal, Houston, TX

The secretary ruled against Maryland's objection to AES Sparrows Point LLC and Mid-Atlantic Express LLC's proposal to build an LNG facility east of the Port of Baltimore on Chesapeake Bay. However he upheld an objection by Massachusetts to Weaver's Cove Energy LLC and Mill River Pipeline LLC's proposal to build an LNG terminal and pipeline near Fall River. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 27)

Reversal in LNG plant decision outrages community — WMAR - ABC, Baltimore, MD

Outraged and confused, that's what one Baltimore County community is feeling. Residents in Sparrows Point have long been opposed to a liquified natural gas terminal being built there.

The governor, the Baltimore County Executive, and Senator Mikulski are vowing to fight the decision to build the LNG plant. (Jun 27)

First U.S. call for a Q-Flex LNG carrier — Energy Current, Houston, TX

Q-Flex are membrane type vessels, propelled by two slow speed diesel engines, making them more efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional steam turbine vessels.  Equipped with an on-board re-liquefaction system to handle the boil-off gas, the new generation LNG carriers are able to deliver almost 100 percent of the cargo to the customers. (Jun 27)

Pacific Trail Pipelines granted Kitimat-Summit line approval — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

The 91-centimetre-diameter pipeline is intended to link the proposed Kitimat Liquefied Natural Gas terminal, which would receive ship-borne imports of super-cooled natural gas, with the Spectra Energy gas transmission system.

The proposed project, however, has a few more hurdles to overcome. It is still subject to federal environmental approval and must obtain provincial and federal permits.

County has no jurisdiction in pipeline siting, manager says — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

He said the siting process for the LNG terminal requires a local land-use compatibility process.

The pipeline doesn't. (Jun 27)

U.S. rigs chasing more natural gas — Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, AB

The number of active U.S. natural-gas rigs rose to 1,530 this week, the highest since gas-specific recordkeeping began in 1987, according to data published by Baker Hughes Inc.

The flow of liquefied natural gas (LNG) into the U.S. this year will probably be about 30 per cent less than the 770 billion cubic feet recorded in 2007, the Energy Department said June 10. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Considering the economic and infrastructure realities in the natural gas and LNG industry, the financial outlook for proposed but unpermitted US LNG import terminals is downright dreadful.


27 Jun 2008

Col. Philip T. Feir assumes command of Corps of Engineers New England District — PRNewswire

CONCORD, Mass., June 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a Change of Command ceremony today at historic Faneuil Hall in Boston, Mass., District Commander Col. Curtis L. Thalken passed the command flag, signifying change of command authority of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in New England, to new District Commander Col. Philip T. Feir. [Bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: COL Feir is now the officer in charge of the Army Corps of Engineers projects in the Passamaquoddy Bay region.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce sustains Mass. CZMA objections to Weaver's Cove LNG project — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Gutierrez concluded in the decision that "[a]lthough the [Weaver's Cove LNG] Project furthers the national interest in a significant and substantial manner, the national interest furthered by the Project does not outweigh the Project’s adverse coastal effects." [Red emphasis added.]

Weaver's Cove Energy granted extension of time to construct LNG facilities — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

According to the letter granting this request, Weaver's Cove Energy now has until November 1, 2015, to construct the facilities.

Webmaster's Comments: No matter how bad the project, FERC is determined to allow it to fester and to cost taxpayers.

Correia: Hearing absence 'an oversight' — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Despite not having a presence at Wednesday’s hearing, Correia asserted the defeat of any plans to locate an LNG terminal in Fall River remains one of his priorities.

“But not LNG or anything dangerous, and I don’t care how they try to get it (LNG) here, whether it’s by boat or if they try to fly it in.” (Jun 26)

LNG wins federal favor — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

"The proposed LNG project at Sparrow's Point represents a threat to our homeland security, a threat to our environment and Chesapeake Bay and a threat to the families of eastern Baltimore County," [Gov. Martin O'Malley] said in the statement. "The overturning of MDE's original decision to deny Coastal Zone Consistency enhances this threat."

Thursday's finding does not resolve a separate legal dispute over whether Baltimore County can ban LNG facilities in environmentally sensitive waterfront areas, as part of its federally sanctioned Coastal Zone Management plan. (Jun 26)

Cheniere forms marketing deal for LNG — The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA

[T]he facilities rely on overseas LNG production, which so far hasn’t provided large reserves to the U.S., due to rising global energy demand.

Cheniere, which traded at more than $42 a share in November, has seen its stock price fall below $5 a share today on the American Stock Exchange. It recorded a net loss of $49.9 million in the first quarter of 2008. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: This kind of bad news is what Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG have to look forward to if they continue their ill-planned projects.

LUBA sets new deadline for LNG ruling — The World, Coos Bay, OR

A ruling concerning Jordan Cove Energy Project’s proposed liquefied natural gas terminal has been postponed again.

LUBA was originally suppose to issue a decision June 12, but requested a two-week extension. The new deadline is July 10.

Analysis—High US natgas prices may draw more LNG supplies — Reuters, Forbes, New York, NY

Despite a 75 percent spike in U.S. natural gas prices this year to about $13 per million British thermal units at the Gulf Coast and $14 per mmBtu on the East Coast, experts said some LNG buyers in Europe and Asia were still willing to pay more.

"It looks like we could get a little more LNG in July, but not much," said Steve Johnson of Waterborne Energy, a Houston firm that monitors the global flow of liquefied gases.

"Latin America is starting to affect us. They've been pulling LNG from Trinidad that most likely would have come here," Johnson said. [Red emphasis added.]

Trade group calls for U.S. to keep path clear for LNG — Energy Current, Houston, TX

CLNG takes the position that the U.S. has existing natural gas reserves in many areas, but federal restrictions preventing natural gas from being produced in those areas mean that the energy industry must look elsewhere to meet the needs of consumers. 

Webmaster's Comments: CLNG apparently hasn't been reading industry analysis reporting all the new domestic natural gas finds, and that the LNG import infrastructure is already considerably overbuilt.

Testimony of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman to US House of Representatives — eGov Monitor, London, England, UK

We are in a global environment and our actions should reflect that reality.

I believe it is important to understand what I view to be the three principle causes of this new reality: 1) a significant surge in demand 2) geopolitical instability and resource limitations 3) concerns about climate change.

[I]t is my view that we must recalibrate our focus on the following major areas:


26 Jun 2008

House committee backs Taunton River scenic status; seen as blow to Fall River LNG terminal — Standard-Times, New Bedford, MA

The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources approved a bill sponsored by U.S. Reps. Barney Frank and James McGovern to include the river in a wild and scenic river designation. The two Massachusetts Democrats emphasized the environmental benefits in their recommendation and did not mention liquified natural gas in their announcement. However, Fall River Mayor Robert Correia welcomed the news as another loss for Weaver’s Cove. (Jun 25)

Taunton River moves closer to scenic status — GateHouse News Service, The Daily News Tribune, Waltham, MA

The Taunton River is the longest coastal river in New England without dams and supports 45 species of fish and many species of shellfish. The watershed is the habitat for 154 types of birds, including 12 rare types. It is also home to otter, mink, grey fox and deer. 

Again, legislators tell federal regulators that LNG plan is ill-conceived — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

The line of elected officials who testified at the start of the meeting … was not divided. Each and every one of the nine officials or their representatives raised serious questions about the plan to build a 1,200-foot-long berth in the middle of Mount Hope Bay, about a mile from the closest shoreline. Tankers would dock there and unload LNG, which would be piped to a re-gasification plant that would be built in Fall River’s north end.

New LNG plan gets cool reception at federal hearing — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

The majority of the people who testified last night on Weaver’s Cove Energy’s proposal for a floating liquefied natural gas terminal in Mount Hope Bay were emphatic in their opposition. (Jun 25)

R.I. to require emergency response plan for LNG — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

The Rhode Island General Assembly has passed a bill requiring legislative and municipal approval for any emergency response plan developed for the transportation of liquefied natural gas in state waters.

"[I]f Weaver’s Cove is going to persist in pushing this idea, it’s going to have to come up with a response plan that suits our needs, and it better not expect that work to be funded by the people whose lives and property it plans to put at risk.” [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 25)

Webmaster's Comments: This may be a good model for other states and communities, to level out the bargaining balance that is currently all on the LNG developer's side.

More opposition to Weaver's Cove LNG project — Energy Current, Houston, TX

The city and Lynch point out in their FERC filing that the project may never go forward because FERC's approval of the project is expressly conditioned on approval by the U.S. Coast  Guard and the U.S. Department of Interior. The Coast Guard has denied Weaver's Cove's request for approval of the waterway for LNG vessel traffic, "and that denial (upheld on reconsideration and appeal) is largely the reason for delays in issuing permits related to dredging and related activities, including the required dredging permit from the Army Corps of Engineers." (Jun 23)

USCG finds "no significant impact" for Cove Point LNG expansion — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The Supplemental EA emphasizes Cove Point's "proven framework of operating conditions" as an existing import terminal and states that the Coast Guard's preferred action is to issue a positive Letter of Recommendation (LOR) for the project with conditions to ensure that the "waterway is suitable, safe, and environmentally sound for the increased LNG vessel traffic." (Jun 25)

At proposed plant, disaster plan is sought — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

"Politics shouldn't be interfering with emergency preparations," he said. "You can't stick your head in the sand. When the federal government says there's a need for a project like this and says, 'This is where it will be,' that's where it is," [said Michael K. Day Sr., president of the Baltimore County Professional Fire Fighters Association].

But County Executive James T. Smith Jr. said he remained unwilling to sit down with AES Corp., the company that wants to build the LNG facility on the former Bethlehem Steel shipyard. He said it would be a poor use of taxpayers' money to plan for a project that he does not believe will be built and that the community agrees would not be good for the region.

Webmaster's Comments: Michael Day Sr. is assuming too much. The federal government can't simply dictate where these facilities will be; LNG terminal siting requires permits from several federal and state agencies.

Court: LNG owes back taxes — Savannah Morning News, Savannah, GA

The decision means the company will have to pay more than $2 million in back taxes due by Saturday, said attorney Abda Quillian, who represents the Chatham County Board of Assessors. (Jun 24)

The privatization of Humboldt Bay [Op-ed column] — Times-Standard, Eureka, CA

The privatization of public assets of the HBHRCD was not a focus of the feasibility study. Now it seems the NCRA (North Coast Railroad Authority) and NWP (Northwestern Pacific Railroad) will have to be rolled into the deal in some sort of Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The package will then be marketed to large hedge, retirement, multinational and foreign investment funds by auction. Goldman Sachs takes its money off the top. Those who went this way on LNG (liquid natural gas) plants now find they sit empty because the market changed making domestic supplies more competitive than foreign. [Red emphasis added.]

Natural gas weekly update - Jun 26 — International Business Times, New York, NY

The pace of deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports remains considerably below last year's volumes and now appears to have been less than 200 Bcf for the first half of the year, which is less than half of the approximately 460 Bcf received last year during the same time period. LNG imports in June have averaged about 0.9 Bcf per day (based on sendout data from LNG import terminals), which is significantly less than the average of 2.8 Bcf per day in June 2007. Most flexible LNG cargoes are heading to Europe and Asia, where buyers continue to purchase LNG at prices higher than those that have prevailed in U.S. markets. [Red emphasis added.]

LNG could hit US$40 — Trinidad & Tobago's Newsday, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago

Speaking at an energy luncheon hosted by First Citizens at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, Bertani, now president of Thompson and Knight, Global Energy Services, a legal firm that has an appetite for energy deals, predicted that at the present rate of demand LNG prices could hit US$40.

Webmaster's Comments: LNG global commodification may be driving natural gas prices through the roof — not keeping natural gas prices down for consumers, as LNG developers have been preaching.


24 Jun 2008

Grounded U.S. schooner re-floated off southern New Brunswick — The Canadian Press

EASTPORT, Maine — The U.S. Coast Guard says it helped evacuate and re-float a U.S.-based schooner after it ran aground off the southwestern coast of New Brunswick.

Webmaster's Comments: Accidents happen, even to experienced, competent people.

First we take Qatar – next, the world [Opinion column] — The ChronicleHerald, Halifax, NS

If all this goes ahead – still a big "if" – Maple would supply Keltic with "feedstock," and ship the rest of its gas supplies to markets in the U.S. and the Maritimes.

To begin with, Qatar is the only stable place in the world with new, undeveloped supplies of natural gas. (You could try dealing with the Russians’ mobbed-up oil industry to acquire gas, but you probably don’t want to.)

Webmaster's Comments: The US Department of State's courting of Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom into owning US energy infrastructure is working, but is an insane method of obtaining "energy independence and security."

New route planned for gas pipeline — The Bradenton Herald, Bradenton, FL

The Port Dolphin project would allow ships filled with liquefied natural gas to unload their product through discharging buoys in 100 feet of water off the coast. The ships can convert their liquefied cargoes into gas before unloading into the pipeline.

Webmaster's Comments: Another offshore LNG terminal — with shipping traffic and LNG ships' berths safely away from the public, unlike all three of the LNG proposals for Passamaquoddy Bay.

Hearing set on offshore (sic) LNG terminal — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

The 4-mile [cryogenic LNG] pipeline connecting to the re-gasification facility would be buried in a trench at the bottom of Mount Hope Bay and the Taunton River.

[T]he Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has come up with a preliminary list of issues that may be of concern. They include:

Current events turning coal into gold — Herald-Leader, Lexington, KY

With the virtual collapse of liquefied natural gas in the United States due to global demand, Appalachia's domestic natural gas joins coal as a hot commodity. Shipments of liquefied natural gas to the United States have dwindled, and companies such as Cheniere Energy in Louisiana have dropped plans to build more terminals. [Bold red emphasis added.]

LNG: Birth of a new industry — Canadian Sailings, Montreal, QC

However, for North America to receive significantly greater volumes, natural gas prices would have to remain high on a sustained basis, to permit North American buyers to match the prices paid by users in the Far East and Europe on a "transportation-paid" basis. What bodes well for gas (and LNG) prices being subject to a positive price bias is that, based on the energy equivalency of natural gas in relation to oil, and based on today's price of oil of about $130/barrel, the price of natural gas should be approximately $22/Mcf.

However, in its recently released energy outlook to 2030, the Energy Information Administration forecasts that natural gas will continue to lose market share to oil and coal. In particular, EIA expects that U.S. natural gas consumption used for power generation will actually decline over the period and will be responsible for only 22% of total natural gas consumption by 2030.

[I]t appears that the rush to construct new receiving terminals may not bring the immediate benefits that their owners expect. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 23)

Webmaster's Comments: The news continues to be bad for Quoddy Bay LNG, Downeast LNG, and Calais LNG.

FERC official: "Regional Approach" for permitting LNG infrastructure projects unlikely — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

According to Platts LNG Daily, [FERC Office of Energy Projects director Mark Robinson] said that the current approach of assessing potential projects according to a standard set of regulations and allowing the market to determine which ones are built, "has served the country well and will continue to serve the country well."

Webmaster's Comments: What FERC has actually done by this approach is waste a lot of companies’, communities’, and taxpayers’ money on poorly-sited proposals. Regional siting makes the most economic sense.

Weather drives natural gas prices up as LNG imports remain flat — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

According to several market analysts interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, predictions of unusually warm summer weather have triggered higher prices in the North American natural gas market, while LNG imports, down more than 70% from last year, offer no relief. [Red emphasis added.]

The myths of LNG shipping perpetuated [Letter to the editor] — The Cutting Edge News

Wake up, their is no terror threat from an LNG tanker bomber. LNG shipping has the best safety record of any sector in the shipping world; the ships are built to contain the cargo they hold. The cargo is almost impossible to explode and the notion that a ship can be blown up on demand is beyond belief and as for a Naval officer suggesting such a thing raises doubt on the creditablity of US naval intelligence services. LNG burns with a "lazy" flame, not an explosive one; in all probability any incident on a tanker would lead to fire nothing more, bad enough for those on board but this does not represent a major danger to surrounding areas. No large scale test has ever been conducted of the results of a leak of LNG, all results are an extrapolation of a test using very small quantities of LNG carried out in the early seventies. Everything being given as fact is far from it.

Webmaster's Comments: The letter's writer, proclaiming to be a British seaman, claims to know more about potential terrorist threat, the physics of a large LNG spill on water and potential ensuing fire, and such a fire's thermal effects on nearby civilians, than do the experts in the US government's employ. He claims that it's the US unions who are at fault for the anti-LNG sentiment. Luckily, this guy isn't making the safety and regulatory decisions for any government. Perhaps unluckily, he's apparently working on an LNG ship.


20 Jun 2008

Minister blows LNG lid off MacDonald’s trip to Qatar — The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

Mr. Lunn was a little more specific Thursday in St. John’s, N.L., when asked in a scrum what he’ll be discussing in Qatar in relation to Atlantic Canada.

"The premier of Nova Scotia will be attending with me in those discussions. Again, there are some opportunities for LNG."

"Qatar might have an occasional spot cargo to sell, but all the production scheduled to come out of projects now operating or under construction is committed under long-term supply agreements," Ms. Shook, the Houston bureau chief with the Energy Intelligence Group, said in an e-mail.

Big ocean, big picture — Living on Earth, Somerville, MA

GELLERMAN: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrich recently signed landmark legislation into law. It's a brand new approach to using the ocean's resources.

PATRICH: The Oceans Act of 2008 will make Massachusetts the first state in the nation to require a comprehensive science-based plan for the management of our ocean waters.

R.I., Mass. oppose LNG permit extension — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

…Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch and the City of Fall River said the request was “wholly deficient, unsupported, and premature.”

They also contended that Weaver’s Cove had failed to fulfill a requirement to develop emergency-response evacuation routes for the areas along the route of the LNG vessel transit.

Webmaster's Comments: This demonstrates that Emergency Response Plans aren't developed until after FERC issues a permit to construct. That means the affected communities are dealing blind regarding the developers' Emergency Response Cost-sharing Plan that is approved long before FERC issues a permit to construct.

FBI’s top ten news stories for the week ending June 20, 2008 — Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, DC

7. Boston: Arrest in Lasing LNG Tanker Helicopter Escort

Gerard Sasso was arrested and charged with shining a green laser beam at a State Police helicopter which was escorting a liquid natural gas tanker through Boston Harbor.

Read the full story:

Medford man charged with lasing LNG tanker helicopter escort and making false statements — Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston, MA

The Complaint alleges that on December 7, 2007, SASSO repeatedly pointed a powerful green laser beam with a range of up to three miles at a State Police helicopter that was escorting a liquid natural gas tanker through Boston Harbor.

it ran the risk of startling, distracting, disorienting, and even temporarily blinding the helicopter pilots at distances of up to three miles. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 18)

AES stop clutching at straws [Press release] — reEarth, Nassau, The Bahamas

In their desperate attempt to avoid US environmental law AES, the US company fighting to put its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) regassification plant at Ocean Cay just south of Bimini is now working hard on a deal to divert some of the gas to Nassau in order to sweeten the pot. Perhaps the government is actually considering this ill conceived plan in light of the soaring oil costs. However natural gas (methane) is not exactly coming cheap these days.

AES needs to stop exporting their dirty industry - this project is not about helping the Bahamas, this is about avoiding stringent law in their own country. (Jun 18)

Hickel says state should ditch AGIA — KTUU TV, Anchorage, AK

Hickel believes the state should pursue a drastic change in course.

He is now proposing that Palin and the Legislature abandon the idea of a TransCanada line from the North Slope to the Alberta Gas Hub. Instead, Hickel believes the state should assume ownership of the project and take the gas to tidewater in Alaska, where it could be chilled and shipped out in liquid form. (Jun 18)

Webmaster's Comments: The US is importing LNG, but Alaska wants to export more of it to Asia? LNG is all about making money — not what's best for Americans or the US economy.

Port authority partners with Mitsubishi for 'all-Alaska' gas line — Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Fairbanks, AK

The port authority competed against TransCanada in the bidding process established by the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, but has recently offered its tentative support for the TransCanada proposal.

TransCanada has promised to build a pipeline to Valdez if there is sufficient demand for an LNG project like the one proposed by the port authority.

One LNG company says feds should abandon the other Columbia River project because of land issue — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

According to the deed, the road was dedicated "to have and to hold ... unto the public forever."

Unless the road is vacated, Garrett said, "Oregon LNG cannot secure control over the project site without obstructing and trespassing on a dedicated public roadway."

"One of the essential prerequisites for submission of an LNG terminal project to FERC is demonstrable site control," he wrote in his letter. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 19)

Webmaster's Comments: The problem described sounds a lot like some of the problems being encountered by Downeast LNG (the terminal exclusion zone engulfing US-1 in Robbinston) and Quoddy Bay LNG (cryogenic LNG pipeline crossing ME Rt-190 at Sipayik and Old Eastport Rd. in Perry).

NorthernStar tries to stop Oregon LNG; Letter from CEO says project would require street that's deeded to public forever — The Hillsboro Argus, Hillsboro, OR

William Garrett, CEO of Bradwood Landing developer NorthernStar Natural Gas, wrote a letter this month asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to stop processing Oregon LNG's application until a road ownership issue can be resolved.

Since Oregon LNG has not filed an application, and there's no time frame for the application to be reviewed, it's unknown when a suspension could be implemented.

"NorthernStar has really had no shame about taking public things, including parks, to put them to the use of private profit," said Laurie Caplan, an LNG opponent from Astoria. "They've gotten the county to pretty much remake it (an access road to Bradwood Landing) the way NorthernStar wants it, with minimal safety requirements for trucks and emergency vehicles." [Red emphasis added.]

PUC seeks to bypass energy deregulation law [Op-ed column] — Ventura County Star, Camarillo, CA

The classic in its record of illogical decisions was the 2004 ruling that allowed California utilities to give up as much as one-fourth of their reserved space on the pipelines that bring natural gas here from Texas and Oklahoma. The commission's rationale was that a gas shortage looms and therefore the state must bring in liquefied natural gas from foreign sources.

This conclusion runs counter to federal supply estimates and agrees only with the predictions of Sempra Energy, parent of the Southern California Gas Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co., which has just opened — guess what? — an LNG plant in Baja California that will send at least half its output to California.

LNG may turn more expensive than crude oil, Bernstein says — Gulf Times, Doha, Qatar

Prices may decline in 2009 and early 2010. After this, limited new supplies of LNG between 2010 and 2015 will make market conditions “very tight,” raising the potential of “an LNG premium above the oil price,” the report added.

The growth of import terminals will outpace the rise in LNG supplies to a point where global regasificaton plant capacity is more than double LNG production by the end of 2010, Bernstein said. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: This points out the price fiction being told by US LNG developers, who claim that importing LNG will reduce the price of natural gas.


19 Jun 2008

Calais LNG to use FERC Pre-Filing review process — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

FERC approved yesterday Calais LNG's request to use the Commission's Pre-Filing process.

Feds: Man shines laser at LNG escort — The Boston Herald, Boston, MA

A Medford man allegedly shined a powerful green laser beam at a state police helicopter escorting a dangerous LNG tanker through Boston Harbor, forcing pilots to take evasive action to avoid the intense glare.

Webmaster's Comments: This demonstrates how easily LNG security escorts can be disabled or distracted from their duties, jeopardizing the LNG vessel security. This is one more reason why LNG ship transits and LNG terminals should not be located where they can endanger civilian populations. (See SIGTTO and LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.)

LNG plan appeals float on — Main Street News, Guilford, CT

"Connecticut built a convincing case based on evidence — and the State of New York agreed — that the pursuit of new energy sources cannot, must not and will not come at the expense of one of the most precious and important environmental resources in the Northeast," said Rell. "Long Island Sound is a jewel that must be protected and preserved for future generations — not exploited by a huge energy consortium."

Rell went on to ask the Commerce Department to reject the Broadwater appeal, citing safety and environmental issues. "No appeal can eliminate the reality that this project is simply wrong for the sound."

Gazprom examining ExxonMobil's offer to participate in proposed BlueOcean LNG project — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said yesterday that his company has received ExxonMobil's offer to participate in the BlueOcean LNG terminal but has not yet analyzed the offer. Medvedev noted further that Gazprom has examined at least 25 terminals in the eastern United States to identify the most efficient routes for LNG supplies from the planned Shtockman and Yamal LNG liquefaction projects. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The US depending on a Russian natural gas monopoly is US energy security insanity. (See The future is in the pipeline, below.)

The future is in the pipeline [Book review] — The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY

Natural gas is a monopolistic business: Building even one pipeline is expensive; building another makes no commercial sense. Russia, with its huge natural-gas reserves, uses its monopoly on east-west pipelines to promote Russia's political interests -- and reacts toughly when challenged. Marshall Goldman sets out these disturbing truths in "Petrostate," a bleak and yet spirited account of Russia's energy politics. The West, Mr. Goldman makes clear, should be wincing at its own vulnerability.

The unanswerable question is whether the Kremlin -- or more precisely, Vladimir Putin -- will use gas as a weapon to gain international political influence. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: See Gazprom examining ExxonMobil's offer to participate in proposed BlueOcean LNG project, above.

Sabine Pass LNG to commence cool down of storage tank — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

FERC has approved Sabine Pass LNG's request to commence cool down activities of one of the terminal's LNG storage tanks.

Waterborne Energy projects 'staggering' fall in 2008 LNG imports — Triangle Business Journal, Raleigh, NC

Referring to the U.S. liquified natural gas import situation as a "perfect storm," Houston-based Waterborne Energy Inc. says incoming LNG for 2008 will be "staggeringly" lower than projected.
"The U.S. serves as the 'sump' for excess supplies of LNG and is the only country whose imports are largely driven by profit and not necessity," Johnson said. "So product we expected here is now being sold to the highest bidders in Asia and Europe.
[ [Bold & red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Waterborne Energy has made it clear: US LNG imports are driven by profit, not necessity. FERC's justification of LNG terminals anywhere and everywhere is as expected — catering to big business, not to the public interest.

U.S. gas price may rise on Asian demand, Goldman says (update2) — Bloomberg

June 19 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. natural gas prices, which have surged 78 percent this year, may extend gains because of competing demand for liquefied natural gas from Asia and Europe, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said.

Global LNG demand to bolster US natural gas prices: Goldman Sachs — Platts

Voracious demand in South Korea and Spain will keep liquefied natural gas deliveries in the US low, which will be bullish to US gas prices, analysts at US investment bank Goldman Sachs said.

US entering period of 'significantly higher' power prices: FERC — Platts

The US may be entering a period of "significantly higher power prices that will last for years," Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff said Thursday.

In a report presented to commission members Thursday, staff said forward power prices are pointing upward in anticipation of high fuel prices and construction costs, with natural gas-fired power at the leading edge of those trends.


18 Jun 2008

Premier still mum on Qatar trip — Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

Officials with two companies trying to secure a supply of natural gas for projects in Goldboro say they don’t know why the premier is going to Qatar.

The country has one of the world’s largest supplies of natural gas.

Province stepping in? — Guysborough Journal, Guysborough, NS

Rodney MacDonald’s spokesman is keeping tightlipped about the details of the premier’s upcoming business trip to Qatar, the same country with which Keltic Petrochemicals’ president is negotiating to secure a natural gas supply.

“I can’t say what it will be about,” Wade Keller told The Journal Tuesday afternoon. “But he’ll be meeting with government officials, in this case members of the Royal Family, and it’s a business opportunity with Nova Scotia. Sometimes that’s the way it goes in business negotiations. There are competitive reasons.”

Within reach — Guysborough Journal, Guysborough, NS

Currently Maple is in serious negotiations with potential supply clients and progress is being made. Currently, Simpkins says, everything is on schedule and Maple LNG is still expected to start supplying gas to energy hungry Canadian and US markets in 2011.

Webmaster's Comments: Now that its permits are in place, Maple LNG is negotiating for LNG supply. Quoddy Bay LNG would have the public believe that they, too, are currently arranging for their own LNG supply, even without the required permits — an unlikely event, especially considering the tight LNG supply worldwide.

Weaver's Cove Energy requests extension for construction of LNG terminal — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Weaver's Cove Energy has requested that FERC grant an extension of time until November 1, 2015, to complete construction of its proposed LNG regasification terminal.

Webmaster's Comments: Weaver's Cove LNG proposal is just as cockamamie as Quoddy Bay LNG's proposal. Both propose:

Weaver's Cove requests construction extension — Energy Current, Houston, TX

"Because of the extraordinary time that has been required to secure the federal and state permits necessary to begin construction of the project and to address various legal proceedings regarding these permits, it now is apparent that the five year period for construction of the facilities approved in the Order will no longer be adequate."

Public comment invited on Weaver's Cove LNG project — The Jamestown Press, Jamestown, RI

The new proposal made at an April 30 meeting recommended constructing a Mount Hope Bay water facility on the Rhode Island/ Massachusetts line. From there, the LNG [yes, cryogenic LNG — not regasified LNG — SPB webmaster] would be piped up the Taunton River along the remaining four miles to waiting tanks in Fall River.

The Coast Guard did not offer a favorable ruling because of safety, security and navigational reasons. The new proposal does not change any of those issues, Representative Bruce Long (R-Jamestown, Middletown) said. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: This goofball idea defies logic, just as does the Quoddy Bay LNG project's proposed underwater cryogenic LNG pipeline.

FERC to prepare environmental assessment for EcoElectrica LNG terminal modifications — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

In today's Federal Register, FERC announced its intent to prepare an Environmental Assessment that will address the proposed modifications to the EcoElectrica LNG terminal in Puerto Rico.

Webmaster's Comments: Downeast LNG claims to have had some role in the original siting of the EcoElectrica LNG terminal; however — unlike the Downeast LNG proposal — EcoElectrica appears to adhere to the SIGTTO world-LNG terminal standards, when viewing the Puerto Rican terminal using Google Earth. The Downeast LNG terminal violates the SIGTTO standards for dozens of reasons. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for an abbreviated summary of SIGTTO standards. See Save Passamaquoddy Bay's enumeration of Downeast LNG's violations, filed to the FERC docket.)

Oil majors pitch gas line to federal regulators — Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage, AK

The oil companies, working jointly on a project they call Denali, and the Calgary-based energy firm TransCanada each have proposed a roughly $30 billion gas pipeline running from the North Slope gas fields down the Alaska Highway to Alberta.

The major difference between the two proposals is that TransCanada is seeking a $500 million state subsidy under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, or AGIA.

The Denali partners say they don't need the state's money.

Webmaster's Comments: Whatever company gets the go-ahead, the pipeline will put a huge dent in the already-declining need to import LNG into the US. More bad news keeps piling onto the Passamaquoddy Bay LNG proposals.

AGIA vote close?: Lawmakers leaning toward TransCanada pipeline plan — Penninsula Clarion, Kenai, AK

State lawmakers may be leaning toward support for approving a contract with TransCanada Alaska Company to build a gas pipeline from the North Slope into Canada to the Lower 48, Sen. Gary Stevens said this week.

In a written update of the special session focusing on TransCanada's application under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, the Kodiak Republican said he and many of his colleagues remained skeptical about a competing proposal from the major gas producers BP and ConocoPhillips despite that project not needing the $500 million in state seed money available through the AGIA process.

EnCana reports commercial gas volumes in North American shale plays — Energy Business Review, London, England, UK

Calgary-based EnCana has drilled a series of exploration wells that have reportedly shown strong potential to deliver commercial volumes of natural gas, in two of North America's newest natural gas resource plays, the Horn River Shale in northeast British Columbia, Canada, and the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana and Texas, in the US.

Randy Eresman, EnCana's president and CEO, said: "Recent exploration wells drilled by EnCana, its partners and industry, indicate these two resource plays hold the potential to eventually become amongst the largest in North America. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 17)

Webmaster's Comments: These discoveries mean less need to import LNG, and more depressing news to Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG.

Shale discoveries lead natural gas revival — Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB

The amount of natural gas in shale could breathe new life into North American supplies, offsetting declines and decreasing the need to import costly liquefied natural gas from offshore, EnCana Corp.'s CEO said Monday.

Eresman said shale discoveries have "reversed the situation of decline" in North American gas supplies after similar announcements by Forest Oil, Apache Corp. and EOG Resources in recent months.

Steve Calderwood, an analyst with Raymond James in Calgary, said the amount of gas being found in places such as Horn River and Quebec is enough to lower gas prices and preclude the need for a pipeline from the Arctic. [Red bold emphasis added.] (Jun 17)

Webmaster's Comments: Even the natural gas industry indicates that there is less need to import LNG. Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG investors and developers must be sweating hard with worry and embarrassment.

Note, too, that these recent discoveries significantly reduce the argument for drilling off the Outer Continental Shelf, as being advocated by President Bush and Presidential hopeful John McCain. (See the following two stories, Bush asks Congress to end ban of US offshore drilling, and McCain would give states role in deciding on OCS development.)

Bush asks Congress to end ban on US offshore drilling — Platts

US President George W Bush on Wednesday called on Congress to lift the ban on drilling for oil and natural gas off the Outer Continental Shelf where it is currently not permitted; to allow for the exploitation of oil shale reserves on federal lands; and to allow for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

Webmaster's Comments: In other words, Bush wants to undermine the investment of LNG terminal developers by reducing the need to import LNG. Realities in the natural gas industry, however, are proving both President Bush and the LNG industry wrong. (See above stories, EnCana reports commercial gas volumes in North American shale plays, and Shale discoveries lead natural gas revival.)

McCain would give states role in deciding on OCS development — Platts

US Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, on Monday said that if elected, he would lift a presidential moratorium on drilling for oil and natural gas on the Outer Continental Shelf. He said he favors allowing states to determine whether they should permit offshore energy development. (Jun 16)

Webmaster's Comments: McCain, like President Bush, would undermine the investment of LNG terminal developers. The LNG industry must be wondering whose side those two are on, especially since LNG import need is seriously waning with the recent massive domestic natural gas discoveries. (See above stories, EnCana reports commercial gas volumes in North American shale plays, and Shale discoveries lead natural gas revival.)


17 Jun 2008

MacDonald off to Qatar — The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

Petroleum-rich Qatar has the one of the world’s highest gross domestic products per capita and one of the world’s largest reserves of natural gas.

Broadwater files appeal — The North Shore Sun, Rocky Point, NY

"There is nothing surprising in here," said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, after reading the notice of appeal. "This typifies the oil industry's bullying tactics that say local concerns should be stepped on so they can continue to make money," she said.

Manasquan opposes offshore gas terminal plan — Asbury Park Press, Neptune, NJ

MANASQUAN — The Borough Council unanimously passed a resolution Monday night opposing a plan by ExxonMobil to build a floating natural gas station 20 miles off the coast of the tiny shore town.

…Clean Ocean Action, headquartered in Highlands, argues the plan is counter to good energy policy, will increase the nation's use and dependence on fossil fuels, and harm the marine ecosystem.

EnCana touts new natural gas in shale finds — Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, AB

Speaking at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers' (CAPP) annual investment symposium, Randy Eresman announced two shale discoveries in B.C. and Louisiana that he said could provide the company with major new sources of production on the order of two billion cubic feet a day.

Eresman said new shale discoveries have "reversed the situation of decline" in North American gas supplies after similar announcements by Forest Oil, Apache Corp. and EOG Resources in recent months. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: This further reduces the need for additional LNG imports, meaning even more bad news for already-mooted Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG.

Ballot on LNG will go ahead Sept. 16 — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The referendum will ask voters if they want to change the county ordinance to allow natural gas pipelines as a conditional use. A yes vote will in effect confirm the Clatsop County Commission's decision approving the Bradwood Landing pipeline. A no vote will overturn the commission's decision on the pipeline and leave the previous land-use law intact [hamstringing the LNG project].

Critics debunk Beyer's LNG paper — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Beyer is only speaking for himself — not the entire public utility board, said Oregon Public Utility spokesman Bob Valdez, though generally all three members agree on the issue. The memo was written after the governor's office asked Beyer to respond to the energy department report.

"Beyer basically just regurgitated Northwest Natural's arguments that were factually undermined by the Oregon Department of Energy report," said Brent Foster, executive director for the LNG opponent group Columbia Riverkeeper. (Jun 16)

LNG gets boost from PUC but opponents say study's sources on PUC chairman's memo biased — The Hillsboro Argus, Hillsboro, OR

"For the moment at least, the import slowdown means the U.S. has a glut of LNG import terminals," the Wall Street Journal article said.

That means LNG is unlikely to consistently come into the U.S. until domestic prices reach the world market price, Beyer wrote. Part of that could be offset by a change in the way contracts for shipments are structured - a change that is likely necessary for the projects to be financed. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: "Domestic prices reaching the world market price" means higher natural gas prices. LNG is causing the cost of natural gas to rise significantly — exactly the opposite of what the LNG developers tell the public.

Oregon commission tells Kulongoski region needs more LNG — The Daily News, Longview, WA

Beyer’s memo, sent May 30, follows an Oregon Department of Energy report that questioned the need for LNG terminals in the Northwest. That report suggested pipelines from the Rockies could provide the region with cheaper, more environmentally friendly gas than an LNG terminal.

“I think it’s to be expected that ... these industry players would say we need more LNG,” he said. “Of course they’re going to say we need it,” [said Brett VandenHeuvel, an attorney with Columbia Riverkeeper, an environmental group opposing the terminal]. (Jun 14)

Hueneme senior helped defeat LNG port plan — Ventura County Star, Camarillo, CA

Among the distinguished graduates was Erica Fernandez, who helped rally local activists to defeat BHP Billiton's plan to build a liquefied natural gas facility offshore of Oxnard and who received a Brower Youth Award for her work. Her work attracted the attention of internationally known scientist Jane Goodall, who spoke at the school in April. (Jun 14)

Liquefied natural gas tankers remain giant terror targets — The Cutting Edge News

[I]t would be imprudent to believe that terrorists are either incapable or unwilling to attack such targets. It would be equally imprudent to assume that these targets are impenetrable. … The potential for problems lies within the people who are somehow involved in the industry.

Due to a lack of any meaningful international regulatory oversight, it would be possible for someone to work under a different identity on board one of these tankers and avoid detection. Under the current system, no completely trustworthy and uniform system is in place for vetting foreign mariners. Background checks are conducted on Americans by the Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). However, these same background checks are not performed on foreign crews.

"… SIGTTO members, as much as anyone, wish for the quite unique safety record of LNG shipping to be preserved. The influx of new personnel into the industry is of concern, especially if there is a temptation by a minority of operators to ‘cut corners’ and put officers into positions of responsibility on a LNG carrier before they have been properly trained. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 16)

Webmaster's Comments: The article's author, Cindy Hurst, a Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy Reserve, is a political-military research analyst with the Foreign Military Studies Office.

See, whose membership includes virtually the entire world LNG industry. SIGTTO's terminal siting standards publication, "Site Selection and Design for LNG Ports and Jetties," points out dozens of reasons why the Passamaquoddy Bay LNG proposals (Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG) are unfit for consideration — the Passamaquoddy Bay waterway's unique attributes make it ineligible to pass SIGTTO's LNG siting standards.

Ignoring SIGTTO terminal siting standards endangers the LNG industry, civilians, and US energy security. FERC ignores SIGTTO, making the FERC process contrary to US energy and safety interests.

See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for an abbreviated summary of SIGTTO terminal siting standards.

Meeting gas quality challenges — RedOrbit

The introduction of LNG and unconventionally sourced gas into North American gas pipelines presents gas quality issues and challenges that combustion turbine operators, as well as OEMs, must address.

The introduction of LNG and unconventionally sourced gas into the nation's pipeline has some end users-especially combustion turbine owners/operators-concerned about gas composition and interchangeability.

In June 2006, FERC declined to initiate a NOPR [Notice of Proposed Rulemaking]. Instead, it recommended that every natural gas company subject to its jurisdiction include tariffs, special terms and conditions of service to address gas quality and interchangeability issues. At the time, the Commission said "it is not apparent that natural gas quality and interchangeability is a national problem that lends itself to a national solution."

Opposition to coal will teduce electricity reliability, harm US economy — Right Side News

In an April 2008 white paper entitled, "Natural Gas and Electricity Costs and Impacts on Industry", the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) reported that opposition to new coal-based power plants is leading to a generation capacity shortage in many areas of the country and endangering U.S. energy security.

The opposition is also inducing a "dash to gas" and quickly causing a rise in natural gas prices at a time when federal climate change legislation could immediately lead to a doubling of natural gas consumption for power generation. This legislation would increase the country's dependence on foreign energy sources in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG) causing both natural gas and electricity prices to increase dramatically. (Jun 16)

US LNG import slide stirs concerns about supply — Reuters, Guardian News and Media, Manchester, England, UK

NEW YORK, June 13 (Reuters) — A sharp drop in U.S. liquefied gas imports in 2008 has stirred worries about tight supplies and helped spike natural gas prices 70 percent this year, but some industry experts question whether current fundamentals justify prices at 2-1/2-year highs.

others said strong gains in domestic gas production should lessen the need for LNG this year.

Steve Johnson at Waterborne Energy, a Houston firm which monitors the global flow of liquefied gases, said total LNG shipped to the U.S. this year could slide 45 percent to about 420 bcf, or just 1.1 bcf per day.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects U.S. natural gas production to jump 6 percent this year, or 3.2 bcf per day, primarily due to strong gains from deepwater Gulf of Mexico wells and unconventional supply sources like shale gas. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jun 13)

Webmaster's Comments: Domestic natural gas production is growing, offsetting the need for LNG imports.

Smoke alarm on LNG-ship — BarentsObserver, Kirkenes, Norway

Overheating in an electronic engine onboard the LNG-ship Arctic Discoverer, caused an alarm on the Melkøya LNG-plant in Northern Norway earlier this year.


16 Jun 2008

Quoddy Bay delay request is challenged — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

A group supporting a liquefied natural gas (LNG) proposal in Robbinston has now registered a complaint against another company proposing to build an LNG facility. The group, Robbinston Residents In Support of Downeast LNG LLC, in a letter dated June 2 to Ernest Hilton, chair of the Board of Environmental Protection (BEP), asked the board to deny the Quoddy Bay LNG application for the construction of an LNG terminal at Pleasant Point, stating that Quoddy Bay's repeated requests for postponement are an abuse of the BEP hearing process. (Jun13)

More public hearings for pipeline set for July 9 — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Late last month, the board heard arguments that will help it determine whether to grant two 25-year licences to Repsol Energy Canada Ltd. to allow it to import liquid natural gas and export natural gas. There has been no word on a decision.

Webmaster's Comments: Canada grants a permit to construct an LNG import terminal before it grants a license to import LNG and export natural gas? The Canaport (Repsol-Irving partnership) LNG import terminal is 76% complete (99% offshore, 70% onshore), and is scheduled to be ready to operate near the end of this year.

Pipeline plan needs another look from FERC [Editorial] — Daily Local News, Chester County, PA

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would be wise to take another look at a proposal from AES Corp. that has residents from Pennsylvania and Maryland up in arms.

There are enough reasons to find concern with this proposal that it doesn’t need to be rushed through. At the very least, officials from the FERC would be wise to extend the public-comment period until the routing for the pipeline has been finalized. That would give residents a chance to understand the full scope of the project.

Approving this proposal before that happens would be a disservice to residents and a potential health risk.


15 Jun 2008

Allision in Boston Harbor reignites docking master licensing question — MarEx Newsletter, The Marine Executive, Fort Lauderdale, FL

323-foot cargo ship passing under the Fore River Bridge in Quincy accidentally strikes the fendering system on the side of the bridge. With a so-called "docking master" directing vessel, the incident raises new questions about who should be in charge of ship docking and undocking in Boston and, more importantly, under what conditions.

The local fee (statutory/regulated) for that service (docking/undocking) is a reasonable $350 per evolution. Private docking masters, all but one of whom work for one tugboat company, forbid anyone else to direct their assist tugs, can and do charge as much as $1,000 for the same service. In a place where some would have local lawmakers believe that this is about safety and "not about the money," you can be assured that is most certainly, "all about the money."

In San Francisco, and other places along the United States' 95,000 miles of coastline, local, state and federal authorities are carefully reviewing the circumstances under which a pilot or docking master should be put in charge of a large, deep draft vessel. In Boston, those same discussions are also taking place. The proposed solution in Boston, however, specifies virtually unsupervised, unregulated and untested certification for professional mariners who would dock dangerous ships filled with hazardous cargoes. And, they would like to do it in an environment where no one can tell them what to charge. Failing this, one or two lawmakers continue to hold up a rate bill for those who do operate under the rule of law – and the yoke of proper, regulatory oversight. Go figure. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 12)

Webmaster's Comments: This incident exemplifies how LNG ship navigation isn't the only navigational concern in the LNG waterway. Other vessels can collide (or allide[1]) with berthed LNG vessels if the LNG vessels aren't in a protected berth, well away from the ship transit fairway.

All three of the Passamaquoddy Bay LNG developers — Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG — are proposing to place their LNG ships' berths exposed near the transit fairway, where they could be struck by passing freighters or other vessels. This condition violates common sense, as well as the LNG industry's own terminal siting standards. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.) If the world LNG industry considers it unsafe, FERC should consider it unsafe; however, FERC ignores the LNG industry's own safety standards, putting the industry, the public, and US energy security at risk.

[1] allide — [nautical]; a moving vessel striking a stationary vessel or object.

Broadwater Energy appeals New York State's CZMA ruling — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that Broadwater Energy has filed an appeal of the New York State Department of State ruling that the LNG import terminal proposed for Long Island Sound is not consistent with the state's Coastal Zone Management Plan. (Jun 14)

More than 120 foes of LNG plan turn out at hearing in Harford — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

The fury about a proposed liquefied natural gas project began in eastern Baltimore County, but it doesn't end there. (Jun 14)

Re-Earth wants govt's position on LNG plans — The Nassau Guardian, Nassau, New Preovidence, Bahamas

Re-Earth is calling on the government of The Bahamas to take the LNG facility off the back burner and out of the 'house' entirely, as it is not in the best interest of The Bahamas and should simply be put to rest. (Jun 14)

Webmaster's Comments: The number of LNG-related deaths stated in the article doesn't attribute a source for that figure, and the number is undoubtedly not attributable to LNG. It is more likely to be attributable to natural gas pipelines.

According to, there are an average of seven deaths per year in the US from natural gas pipelines and distribution systems; however, according to the US Department of Transportation Office of Pipeline Safety, there are 15.5 fatalities/year on average related to natural gas distribution systems, and 2.8 fatalities/year on average related to natural gas transmission systems, totalling 18 fatalities/year.

Oregon PUC memo gives LNG supporters a boost — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

The memo from the Oregon Public Utility Commission was drafted partly in consultation with industry players in the projects -- a fact that drew skepticism from LNG opponents.

The memo's conclusions were tempered, but they contrasted with those of the energy department, which told the governor in early May that the state doesn't need LNG and could meet its demand for natural gas more economically and with less pollution by importing more gas from the Rockies. (Jun 13)

Don't quit pressure on Bradwood LNG [Editorial] — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

FERC will treat us like peasants only if we allow ourselves to act like peasants

The default judgment at FERC staff is that enormous industrial projects are valid. Local objections to such massive facilities are completely expected. Those objections are fed into the process like spice into a sausage-making machine. Local anguish may influence the final flavor of the project, but the sausage gets made nevertheless.

We residents of the Lower Columbia are a small and isolated community, but even so, we will only be treated like peasants if we allow ourselves to act like peasants. In fact, we are guardians and stewards of one of the world's premier estuaries - the meeting place of the Great River of the West and the Pacific Ocean.

FERC is incapable of objectively analyzing this project. We must do our own analysis and make sure it isn't ignored. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 12)

Webmaster's Comments: Rural populations are hit hardest by LNG projects, since they are less able to affort the terrific expense of the process. Local communities and state governments need to beat down FERC's abuses of pubic safety and the public interest and wrest the permitting power back into the hands of those who are most at risk from such projects.

The Daily Astorian's editorial analysis and moxy, in the defense of the local communities, are commendable.

Many rivers to cross: anti-LNG protest on the Clackamas River — Wilamette Week, Wilamette, OR

After a proposed pipeline for LNG produced public howls in Clatsop County and Colombia County, another, the so-called Palomar Pipeline, which will flow straight through the Mount Hood National Forest, is generating the same heat. (Jun 12)

Oregon LNG submits WSA to US Coast Guard, moves closer to permit approval — Energy Business Review, London, England, United Kingdom

The Oregon liquefied natural gas (LNG) project is a proposed LNG import facility located on the Skipanon Peninsula in Warrenton, in the US state of Oregon. (Jun 12)


12 Jun 2008

N.S. regulator gives green light to LNG terminal in Goldboro — Canadian Press, Truro Daily News, Truro, NS

Derek Owen, general manager of Maple LNG, cautions that before any concrete is poured, the Guysborough County project still needs shareholder approval.

Carlyle-backed LNG port wins permit in N.S. — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

MapleLNG would serve the Canadian and U.S. natural-gas markets beginning in 2011 under the plan. The terminal has an initial design capacity of 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day, and could eventually be doubled, according to the company.

The flow of LNG into the U.S. is averaging about 900 million cubic feet a day so far this month, down from 2.8 billion cubic feet a day a year ago, Stacy Nieuwoudt, an analyst at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. in Houston, said in a note today. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: This is the fourth new LNG terminal to be permitted, under construction, or already operating that will supply the Northeast, more than adequately satisfying the region's need for natural gas — with US LNG imports declining — makes the three projects in Passamaquoddy Bay frivolous pipe dreams.

Feds hear from LNG opponents — The Dundalk Eagle, Dundalk, MD

Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. was the first to speak. His primary concern with the fundamental structure of the process — that FERC both developed the EIS and then be responsible for reviewing it — was met with loud applause.

Cmdr. Brian Penoyer, Prevention Department chief in Baltimore, responded that the Coast Guard could not provide the needed security as stated in a February report.

“We do not have the assets required to do this job,” he said.

Webmaster's Comments: The Coast Guard states that they can't provide the required security. Even knowing that, FERC will approve the project, putting all the heat on the Coast Guard. Not only is the FERC process flawed, FERC doesn't treat its fellow federal cooperating agencies fairly.

Statewide poll shows Florida voters most concerned about energy and economy — BusinessWire

Calypso LNG Deepwater Port (DWP) is being developed by SUEZ Energy North America’s subsidiary, Calypso LNG. The safe and environmentally-friendly project is being designed to be located approximately 8 to 10 miles offshore of Broward County northeast of Port Everglades, and will provide South Florida with a much-needed new supply of clean natural gas. This new source of natural gas, to be used to power Florida’s power plants, is less vulnerable to hurricanes, improving electricity service reliability during and after storms. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Offshore LNG terminal siting is less vulnerable to the weather, has fewer security concerns, is more easily expandible, has easier and safer navigational approaches, and doesn't endanger civilian populations — unlike the inappropriately sited Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG projects proposed for Passamaquoddy Bay.

Gulf, Southeast to see many new transport facilities by mid-2009 —

US NATURAL GASConclusion Between January 2008 and the end of secondquarter 2009, 29 pipeline and LNG terminal projects are scheduled to be completed in and around the Southeast USGulf Coast. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The US will be overwhelmed with LNG import capacity — far more than the imported supplies of LNG.

State PUC has become a rogue agency [Op-ed column] — Daily Breeze, Torrance, CA

The classic in its record of illogical decisions was the 2004 ruling that allowed California utilities to give up as much as one-fourth of their reserved space on the pipelines that bring natural gas here from Texas and Oklahoma. The commission's rationale was that a gas shortage looms and therefore the state must bring in liquefied natural gas (LNG) from foreign sources. This conclusion runs counter to federal supply estimates and agrees only with the predictions of Sempra Energy, parent of the Southern California Gas Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co., which has just opened - guess what? - an LNG plant in Baja California that will send at least half its output to California.

The decision defied all logic: Solve a pending shortage (if one really impends) by giving up a large part of existing supplies. How does giving up current supplies solve any future shortage?

Crime no threat to local economy — Trinidad & Tobago's Newsday, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago

[MINISTER in the Finance Ministry Mariano Browne] said that TT’s LNG exports account for between 60-70 percent of North American LNG imports. “It has been said and repeated many times but I am not certain that the TT public has understood the implication of what that number means. It means that little TT has geo-political significance,” he said.

And as such, there is need for an upgrade in local security systems, he said, to defend our position with regard to gas resources and exports. [Red emphasis added.]

Analysis—Minnows can thrive in energy, but size helps — Reuters, Forbes


But nimble niche players find it far tougher as power generators and developers of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

"This is a business for large companies. You need to be big to be long-term successful," said Lars Josefsson, chief executive officer of Sweden's state-owned Vattenfall.

Analysts agreed

"You need to be big to achieve economies of scale and improve your competitive position," said Herve Gay, analyst at Societe Generale.

"For nuclear and LNG, utilities are facing huge investments that are not adjustable: you cannot build a small nuclear plant or LNG terminal. The situation is totally different from for oil companies that can focus on small oil fields with investments that fit their financial flexibility."

Webmaster's Comments: The players in Passamaquoddy Bay are small players attempting against all odds to be in a large-company business. As Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG sink, it's obvious the analysts are correct — these three developers are in way over their heads.

Speculative greed trumps US gas market fundamentals: consultant — Platts

The "buy-and-hold mentality" of index speculators creates artificial demand in traditional commodity markets in turn, Energy Solutions said.

The consultant said consumers need to realize that index speculators are driving both gas and crude oil prices "much higher than anyone imagined." And buyers can no longer wait for government intervention, despite legislative calls to tighten controls over index speculators, Energy Solutions said. (Jun 11)

Natural gas weekly update - Jun 12 — International Business Times, New York, NY

EIA Releases June 2008 Short-Term Energy Outlook. The Energy Information Administrations (EIAs) latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) projects that the Henry Hub spot price will average about $11 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) in both 2008 and 2009. The May 2008 price averaged $11.65 per Mcf, which was $1.16 per Mcf more than the average April spot price. The relative price increase was the result of lower imports of LNG, higher oil prices, and concerns about the adequacy of inventories.


11 Jun 2008

Developers now fighting each other — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

"It seems pretty obvious that Quoddy Bay's state and federal applications in their current form are no longer viable," said Downeast LNG president Dean Girdis.

Girdis said that last fall, after it became clear that several issues identified by state resource agencies needed to be addressed and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denied Downeast LNG's original proposed pipeline route through the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Downeast LNG asked to withdraw its applications. (Jun 10)

Webmaster's Comments: Funny. Girdis didn't mention all the wasted time and money he and his Downeast LNG project caused to all parties by withdrawing from the state process after the Board of Environmental Protection conducted a week-long hearing on the project last July. Perhaps, by his pointing out such waste to Maine Government, Girdis is offering to reimburse everyone. Send your bills to:

Downeast LNG
PO Box 147
Robbinston, ME 04671

And then there's Ian Emery, State Representative and part owner in the proposed Calais LNG project. Emery is in the political position of voting on LNG projects in Washington County and Maine — a perfect example of conflict of interest in state government.

Hypocrisy abounds at all three LNG proposals in Passamaquoddy Bay.

MapleLNG liquefied natural gas project receives Permit to Construct — Newswire, The Energy News, Edmonton, AB

HALIFAX, June 11 /CNW/ - The MapleLNG liquefied natural gas project in Goldboro, Nova Scotia today received approval for a Permit to Construct from the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB). The Permit is another step forward for the project that has also received environmental approvals from the federal and provincial governments.

The terminal will be located adjacent to the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline intake station at the Sable Offshore Energy Gas Plant in Goldboro. The terminal location will enable MapleLNG to serve the substantial Canadian and U.S. natural gas markets beginning 2011 through a pipeline transmission system that transports natural gas from Nova Scotia to markets in Canada and the North Eastern United States. MapleLNG is investigating several other options to add further opportunities for transportation of gas from the terminal to market. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Another big nail in the coffins of Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG — a FOURTH permitted LNG terminal that will be supplying the Northeast, further mooting the Passamaquoddy Bay proposals.

The other three are Northeast Gateway, already in operation; Canaport, to be operating near the end of 2008; and Suez Neptune LNG, to be operational near the end of 2009.

MapleLNG intends to start operation in 2010.

Enbridge plans liquefied natural gas plant in Quebec — Journal of Commerce, Markham, ON

Enbridge Inc. and their partners Gaz Metro and Gaz de France announced last month that the company has signed a Letter of Intent with Gazprom Marketing & Trading USA, Inc., which outlines the terms under which Gazprom will become an equity partner in the proposed Rabaska liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification project. (Jun 9)

Exxon offers Gazprom LNG terminal deal — Reuters, Business Spectator, Australia

MOSCOW -- Exxon Mobil Corp offered Russia's Gazprom a role in a liquefied natural gas regasification terminal on the US East Coast, Itar-Tass quoted Gazprom deputy chief executive Alexander Medvedev.

Mr Medvedev said Gazprom could have a role in the terminal's facilities or become an investor, according to the Russian news agency.

Exxon Mobil hopes to build a $US1 billion terminal [BlueOcean Energy] off the New Jersey coast to receive and regasify liquefied natural gas [to supply New Jersey and New York]. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Making New York dependent on energy from Russia? Exactly who is looking out for US energy security? …certainly not the US Government! FERC will rubber-stamp this project without batting an eye. [See related Gazprom articles, below, TransCanada bewildered by Gazprom's Alaska offer, and, Benchmark Cruel: $250?.]

Voices raised against LNG — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

"I begin by first raising serious concern with the entire FERC process, which provides that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission both develop the environmental safety impact statement and then review its own document," Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. said to applause from a crowd of about 400 people at Patapsco High School. Smith also said that he wouldn't spend county money to provide security for the facility.

Although Dundalk residents have grown accustomed to living alongside industrial smokestacks and factories, many community leaders feel that the LNG plant poses dangers that won't be offset by the jobs generated by, for example, the steel plant. AES officials have said the LNG plant would generate about 50 permanent jobs. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 10)

Chatham says 2 gas firms owe millions — The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, FL

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Two of the world's leading natural gas companies are being ordered to settle at least a $6 million tax tab accrued during the past five years.

The two companies - Southern LNG, and BG LNG Services - claim they are being overcharged, and company officials have taken their fight to Superior Court.

Both companies operate at the LNG terminal on Elba Island, about five miles outside of Savannah. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 7)

Palin reverses course on LNG pipeline plan — Juneau Empire, Juneau, AK

Gov. Sarah Palin began campaigning for office two years ago as a supporter of bringing Alaska's vast natural gas reserves to market as liquefied natural gas exported through Valdez, popularly known as the "All-Alaska" gas pipeline proposal.

Times have changed. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 10)

Rebuffed AGIA rival backs governor's plan — Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage, AK

Scott Smith of Black & Veatch, which is working for Palin's administration, presented findings that an LNG project would cost billions more to build than a pipeline running into Canada and would result in shipping costs that were twice as high, reducing overall revenue for gas producers and the state. (Jun 10)

TransCanada bewildered by Gazprom's Alaska offer — Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB

Reports that OAO Gazprom, Russia's natural gas exporter, wants to talk to Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. about helping with its proposed $26-billion US Alaska pipeline came as a surprise to the target of the supposed talks Monday.

"All I've seen are the press articles. TransCanada has not been approached by Gazprom," said Tony Palmer, TransCanada's vice-president of Alaska development.

Webmaster's Comments: Gazprom, a Russian monopoly, is used to throwing its weight around. Should TransCanada be surprised by Gazprom's cavalier behavior? Should the US be inviting Gazprom to own US energy infrastructure — as has already been done by the US State Department? Is that responsible energy security policy, or is it governmental negligence? [See related Gazprom articles, Benchmark Cruel: $250?, below, and, Exxon offers Gazprom LNG terminal deal, above.]

LUBA to make ruling on LNG — The World, Coos Bay, OR

LUBA is expected to make a ruling Thursday in an appeal of Jordan Cove Energy’s Coos County land use application. Opponents appealed the decision last December, arguing the company’s application ignores environmental and archeological concerns in locating an LNG facility on Coos Bay’s North Spit.

Oregon LNG continues on permit approval path with report to Coast Guard [Press release] — OregonLNG, Warrenton, OR

Because the site and the tanker transit route are distant from population centers, bridges and other major infrastructures and because the impacts on other river users will be minimal, “the site is ideal from a safety and security standpoint,” Hansen added. Also, the site has far lower impacts on salmon than any other site on the Columbia River.

Webmaster's Comments: First of all, the WSA report mentioned in the press release is from OregonLNG to the Coast Guard — not from the Coast Guard. Meaning, the project hasn't been assessed by the Coast Guard, and the report likely contains lots of pro-project spin that won't pass the Coast Guard's scrutiny.

On the other hand, the press release is correct in stating that, due to its location, this project presents a far lower hazard to the public than other projects in Oregon, although it does subject civilian populations to the 2.2-mile Sandia Hazard Zones ("Zones of Concern"). Therefore, OregonLNG violates one or more of the world LNG industry's terminal siting standards (see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization).

FERC says LNG is 'acceptable' — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

"It is really unbelievable to see FERC essentially dismiss the serious concerns raised not just by the public, but by virtually every state of Oregon agency that reviewed their initial analysis," said Brent Foster, executive director of the LNG opponent group Columbia Riverkeeper. "I don't think there's a court in the country that will uphold this (environmental impact statement)." (Jun 9)

FERC environmental review OKs Bradwood LNG terminal near Astoria could send gas inland through pipelines under Washington County — The Hillsboro Argus, Hillsboro, OR

"The Bush Administration's FERC wants to bury their head in the sand, approve the project and then leave Oregon and Washington to clean up the mess they have created." (Jun 10)

CO2 emissions policy to affect LNG imports, report says — Oil & Gas Journal, Houston, TX

"Carbon dioxide regulation is becoming more global, and therefore, creating a more global gas market with implications on volume flows and price levels," said Jake Leslie Melville, Booz vice-president.

But gas prices in the Atlantic Basin are likely to soar and become more volatile because of increased gas demand and larger connectivity between the Americas and the European gas markets. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Even more economic problems for Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG.

Energy prices continue to fall — Oil & Gas Journal, Houston, TX

LNG imports may decline 31% to 530 bcf in 2008…. [Red bold emphasis added.]

NATS Revises Downward Its Expected U.S. LNG Throughput for 2008 — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

This morning NATS released a downward revision of its LNG throughput estimate for the United States in 2008. NATS predicts that between 340 and 382 Bcf of regasified natural gas will be injected into the national gas grid in 2008, compared with an earlier estimate of 425 Bcf. NATS publisher Zach Allen notes that although access to LNG import capacity will nearly triple in 2008, U.S. LNG imports are expected to be half of those received in 2007. [Red and bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Import capacity tripled — actual imports halved.

There is no need for additional LNG import capacity — as predicted in 2005 by FERC's then-Chairman Pat Wood, and as evidenced by the Northeast Gateway, Canaport, and Neptune import terminals.

The bad economic news keeps piling onto the Passamaquoddy Bay LNG projects. Industry members must be questioning Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG developer credibility. Who would hire them after this financial fiasco?

EIA lowers projection for 2008 U.S. LNG imports — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) lowered its previously projected total of U.S. LNG imports for 2008 from 580 Bcf to 530 Bcf in its Short-Term Energy Outlook, which would represent a 240 Bcf decline from 2007's LNG import total. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

EIA expects lower 2008 LNG imports — Energy Current, Houston, TX

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports remain substantially below last year as LNG supplies continue to flow to the higher-priced markets in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports in its Short-Term Energy Outlook.

Asia LNG premium vs West to narrow with more trade — The Union-Tribune, San Diego, CA

Reflecting a shift in focus by global producers to higher-paying Asian importers, a Thailand PTT source said in May that the state refiner was in talks to buy LNG from Indonesia's Tangguh project, which would divert supplies earmarked for Sempra Energy's new terminal in Mexico.

“As liquefied natural gas becomes more fungible, I would expect you would probably see the differential diminish over time,” said Andrew Swiger, president of ExxonMobil's gas and power marketing arm, at the Asia Oil & Gas Conference. (Jun 10)

Webmaster's Comments: Yes, the price differential between what is paid for LNG in the US and in Asia will diminish — with significantly higher natural gas prices in the US.

Benchmark Cruel: $250? — The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY

Gazprom supplies a quarter of the European Union's gas, a share that is set to grow as the continent's domestic production wanes.

European governments have sought to reduce their dependence on Russia's oil and gas ever since Gazprom cut off gas supplies to Ukraine in a pricing dispute in January 2006, causing supply disruptions in Western Europe. Mr. Miller poured scorn on those efforts, as well as what he called protectionist moves by the EU to stop monopolies like Gazprom from acquiring gas-transportation assets in Europe. "It's like placing a barrier on the path of the Gulf Stream that warms all of Western Europe," he said.

Webmaster's Comments: Europe is seeking to reduce its reliance on Gazprom while the US State Department invites Gazprom to own US energy infrastructure. The State Department apparently doesn't believe that history repeats itself. [See related articles, above: TransCanada bewildered by Gazprom's Alaska offer, and Exxon offers Gazprom LNG terminal deal.]

And now, for a bit of the (hopefully) unusual:

2WW bomb threatened LNG plant — BarentsObserver, Kirkenes, Norway

Norwegian Defence detonated an undersea 330 kg mine from the Second World War located near the StatoilHydro Melkoya LNG plant on the Barents Sea coast.


9 Jun 2008

Competition increases between two LNG projects proposed for Maine — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that developers of the proposed Quoddy Bay LNG terminal have accused an attorney representing the proposed Downeast LNG project of assisting in coordinating community opposition to the Quoddy Bay project. According to Quoddy Bay LNG, an attorney representing Downeast LNG may have contributed to a letter drafted by a community organization criticizing the Quoddy Bay LNG project that was sent to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Downeast LNG is more guilty of waste of the Maine Board of Environmental Protection's, and intervenors', time and resources than Quoddy Bay LNG — since Downeast LNG went through the official BEP hearing process, and then withdrew.

Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG are both economic pariahs to the Passamaquoddy Bay area and the State of Maine.

Hearings to be held on LNG terminal plan — WMAR-TV, Baltimore, MD

The Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will hold hearings this week on plans to construct a liquefied natural gas terminal at Sparrows Point, near Baltimore.

Meetings being held to discuss LNG plant proposal — WBAL-TV, Baltimore, MD

The project is the brainchild of Virginia-based AES Corp., a power supply company that wants to build a liquefied natural gas terminal at the former Bethlehem Steel yard in Dundalk. It also wants to construct an 88-mile pipeline to southern Pennsylvania.

Key LNG plant issue: jobs — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

Community leaders and elected officials say they remain opposed to the proposed terminal, which would be less from two miles from the nearest houses in Dundalk. The pipeline would be a similar distance from schools and homes.

"For over two years, I have repeatedly raised my safety, security and environmental concerns about this LNG facility and pipeline," Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski said in a statement last week. "Today, I am still waiting for these concerns to be adequately addressed."

Webmaster's Comments: LNG terminal developers need to follow their industry's own safety guidelines for terminal siting (see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization), rather than the "site it anywhere and everywhere" policy currently endorsed by FERC. Jobs are aren't good when public safety is compromised.

Question: If the world LNG industry doesn't consider terminal siting conditions safe, why would FERC and the developer?

Answer: "Greed" and FERC catering to the rich and powerful.

Planned surge in natural-gas imports stalls — The Denver Post, Denver, CO

CAMERON PARISH, La. — The cost of a gallon of gas gets all the headlines, but the natural gas that will heat many American homes next winter is going up in price as fast or faster.

A long-standing assumption of American energy policy has been that natural gas would be plentiful abroad, and therefore readily available for importation, as production falls off in North America, where many fields are tapped out.

But some experts are starting to question that idea, saying natural gas could be subject to the same explosion in overseas demand that has made oil so expensive. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Realities are starting to settle in: Quoddy Bay LNG, Downeast LNG, and Calais LNG are economic dinosaurs with no future.

FERC gives environmental approval for Bradwood Landing — Energy Current, Houston, TX

Consultations with appropriate agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard, National Marine Fishery Service and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality also would be conducted before NorthernStar could begin construction, FERC noted.

Webmaster's Comments: The US Coast Guard's WSR (Waterway Suitability Report) that is an integral part of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for this proposal already indicated the numerous problems that the applicant must overcome before the Coast Guard would approve the project. FERC knows about these problems, but is willing to ignore them in its permitting decision; and then, the heat will be on the Coast Guard, rather than FERC.

FERC is an unholy partner in the FERC-USCG Memorandum of Understanding as Cooperating Agencies on LNG project permitting. FERC isn't cooperating as it agreed to do.

Legislature chewing on TransCanada decision — AlaskaReport, Palmer, AK

The thousands of elements surrounding this choice are complex and sprinkled liberally with weasel words. Here's a very small sample of some of the opaque data points with qualifiers underlined:

"various (and undefined) methods to meet commitments under the Kyoto Accord" (Canada is a signatory to the global warming accord);

"bitumen upgrades to capacity development . . . the capacity will likely be developed";

"exposure to natural gas  fuel type is mostly cogeneration which is mostly high efficiency and offsets market exposure"; and

"new gas-on-gas competition (that) may result in modifications to long-term historical gas distribution".

So, a "go" or "no go" decision for TransCanada is difficult.

Jordan Cove LNG asks FERC to Issue DEIS by end of July 2008 — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

According to the letter filed in FERC's eLibrary, available under Docket No. CP07-444, LNG suppliers will be more amenable to negotiating supply agreements with Jordan Cove LNG if they believe that there is a reasonable expectation that the terminal will eventually receive FERC certification.

Webmaster's Comments: That's another reason why Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG are stalled — there's no reasonable expectation of receiving their required FERC permits.

Teen earns awards for work opposing LNG terminal — Ventura County Star, Camarillo, CA

Shannon received the Earth Alert Equinox award for environmental activism and the Environmental Hero award for 2007 from the Los Padres chapter of the Sierra Club.

The awards were given to Shannon for her contribution in derailing the LNG project by helping to organize rallies, speaking at community meetings, walking neighborhoods handing out fliers, and making hundreds of phone calls to rally community opposition.


8 Jun 2008

Pipeline will be finished on time, Brunswick vows — The ChronicleHerald, Halifax, NS

The pipeline will deliver natural gas from the Canaport LNG facility near Saint John to markets in Canada and the U.S. Northeast.

…[Pipeline spokesperson Susan Harris] said work on the pipeline in Saint John is ahead of schedule, with work outside the city on schedule.

Ms. Harris said the company hopes to have gas flowing through the pipeline in early November.

Federal regulators to revisit plans for Mass. LNG facility — AP, Boston Globe, Boston, MA

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced the hearings after U.S. Reps. Barney Frank and James McGovern sent a letter asking the agency to reconsider its 2006 approval of the Weaver's Cove project.

The congressmen argued that a plan unveiled in March to construct a berthing facility for LNG tankers in Mount Hope Bay represented a major design modification.

FERC will hold the hearings June 24 in Bristol, R.I., and June 25 in Swansea, Mass. (Jun 7)

Energy Department OKs LNG plant permit extension — Alaska Journal of Commerce, Anchorage, AK

The U.S. Department of Energy has granted a two-year extension to a federal permit allowing exports of liquefied natural gas from the sole U.S. LNG export facility near Kenai.

DOE's order, announced June 3, gives the companies permission to export up to 99 trillion British Thermal Units of LNG - the equivalent of 98.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas - to Japan over a two-year period from April 1, 2009, through March 31, 2011, according to a DOE press release.

Webmaster's Comments: FERC thinks the US needs to import LNG all over the place, but exporting LNG to Japan is somehow okay, too. Truth be known, the US already has far more than sufficient permitted LNG import capacity, but FERC is unwilling to admit it, blindly empowering more import terminals.

LNG plant earns governor's top export award — Alaska Journal of Commerce, Anchorage, AK

The Governor's North Star Award for International Excellence in Trade was awarded to the Kenai LNG Plant.

Gazprom bidding on Alaska Pipeline — Russia Blog

[US] Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Robert Kimmitt, who travelled to Moscow last year to request that the Kremlin invest more of its $125 billion Stabilization Fund in the U.S., has called for more investment by Sovereign Wealth Funds in America, even as members of Congress express fears about these investments.

Ironically, in December 2006, when the European Union proposed restrictions on Russian ownership in EU utilities, Gazprom Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev (no relation to President Medvedev), told reporters that, "in Europe the ghost of communism is back with all the attempts to take ownership of infrastructure and divide it…I hope at least the US will not go this way." [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: "US energy security" and "Russian ownership" are mutually-exclusive concepts. Giving Russia or a Russian monopoly control of US energy infrastructure is extremely dangerous energy-security policy, bordering on negligence.

Gazprom wants to join gas pipeline in Alaska — Oil & Gas Eurasia, Moscow, Russia

"Given Gazprom's (future) role in LNG supplies to the North American market, we are discussing not only broad cooperation in the LNG business or gas marketing in Canada, but also participation in chains that bring added value," Medvedev said.

Federal regulators OK environmental review for Oregon LNG terminal — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

FERC's action drew a rebuke from Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who has criticized the agency's laissez-faire regulatory approach and had requested a more thorough analysis of the state's gas needs and the project's effects.

"We will be looking at this report closely and will use all legal options available to us," an e-mailed statement from Kulongoski said. "FERC's decision to move this project forward merely represents more of the same . . . irresponsibly considering this project only from the supply-side of the marketplace."

At least one of FERC's 110 recommendations could become a headache for NorthernStar. The review recommended that NorthernStar develop a plan within 30 days to assure that all LNG tankers using Bradwood screen the river water they suck up for ballast so that they don't kill juvenile salmon.

NorthernStar originally proposed a ballast-water screening system to overcome harms to fish. The company's problem, however, is that it can't guarantee all carriers would use it. (Jun 7)

Webmaster's Comments: Likewise, the three LNG proposals for Passamaquoddy Bay threaten to kill lobster larvae and plankton that are essential to support other important species in the bay.

FERC OKs LNG at Bradwood Landing — The World, Coos Bay, OR

It’s one of three proposed LNG terminals in Oregon that has many critics concerned about the need and environmental impact on the state. (Jun 7)


7 Jun 2008

LNG delays spark jabs between companies — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

[T]his week, officials at Downeast LNG and a group of its supporters sent letters to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection urging it to deny the competing application on grounds that Quoddy Bay’s stalled review could affect the board’s review of other LNG projects — and presumably Downeast’s.

[A]ttorneys with Downeast LNG helped the Robbinston group draft the letter, a fact that makes Quoddy Bay President Donald Smith bristle.

In the letter filed with the BEP earlier this week, an attorney with the "Robbinston Residents" group, Clifford Goodall, called Quoddy Bay’s requested postponements "an abuse of the BEP hearing process" that forces intervenors and state agencies to spend resources monitoring the application. (Jun 6)

Webmaster's Comments: But, Downeast LNG — after a week-long hearing process — withdrew from the state process in an even more costly abuse of the process. This is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Blood in the water........ [Blog] — Perry Minutes, Perry, ME

Evidently smelling blood in the water, the sharks known locally as the Residents of Robbinston who support Down East LNG, have filed a letter with the state Board of Environmental Protection asking them to deny all of the applications by Quoddy Bay. The Robbinston Residents are making the request on the grounds that Quoddy Bay is abusing the states regulatory process by taking so long. Of course they don’t mention the abuse by Down East when after a long and expensive hearing process on their own application they suddenly pulled their request for a permit, thereby negating hundreds of hours of work by both sides, and costing thousands of dollars. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 5)

LNG port operator's donations go beyond minimums — Gloucester Daily Times, Gloucester, MA

Construction of Northeast Gateway, located 13 miles southeast of Gloucester, was completed this winter and it became operational last month.

Most of the time, the only visible sign of the port above the water is a large mooring buoy. When tankers loaded with liquified gas arrive, a 35-foot-tall docking unit rises out of the water to meet them.

Construction of a second LNG port, named Neptune by owner Suez Energy, is scheduled to begin later this summer about five miles west of Northeast Gateway. (Jun 6)

Webmaster's Comments: Offshore means no risk to civilian populations — unlike the old-technology projects near people and communities being promoted in Passamaquoddy Bay.

Even the world LNG industry advocates locating LNG terminals where vapors from released LNG would not affect civilians (see SIGTTO). The industry is more concerned about safety than FERC.

Feds to hold regional LNG hearings — The MetroWest Daily News, Framingham, MA

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will hold meetings on June 24 and 25 to address the environmental aspects of the proposed [Weaver's Cove] project. (Jun 6)

Weaver's Cove fears engaging in public debate [Letter to the editor] — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

The room in which Weaver’s Cove conducted its display was filled with about 12 storyboards and/or maps on easels, with an attendant at each to answer questions.

Gordon Shearer is quoted as saying this “is the same presentation that was given to the Somerset selectmen ... there is just no spoken word.” The storyboards may have contained some of the same information, but Shearer’s oral presentation to the selectmen included insight into why there was no oral presentation at the Venus de Milo. Shearer said Weaver’s Cove “had learned not to give all of the information out because in the past it had been used against them.” The purpose of storyboards with their attendants appears intended to divide those seeking information into 12 groups. No one would be given all the details elicited by questions asked at each storyboard or receive the benefits of being educated on the details of the entire process. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 6)

Webmaster's Comments: Weaver's Cove's pre-filing "information" meeting follows the industry's strategy to a tee — provide minimum information to divided groups of the public. The industry takes advantage of minimum FERC requirements, giving the air of informativeness while keeping the public ignorant of the facts.

Truths regarding FERC-required pre-filing open houses:

  • Advertising the meetings to the public is not required.
  • There are no minimum requirements regarding information to be provided to the public or to the format of the meeting.
  • FERC presence is not required (and FERC certainly didn't attend the open house meetings for the Passamaquoddy Bay proposals), perhaps so FERC won't witness untruths being told by the applicants.

Broadwater appeals denial on LNG terminal — The Day, New London, CT

Riverhead, N.Y. — Broadwater Energy announced today that it has filed an appeal to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce related to New York State’s Department of State decision to deny permission to locate a floating liquefied natural gas terminal in Long Island.

The New York agency decided on April 12 that the Broadwater project failed to meet six of 13 criteria for consistency with the coastal zone act, and cited two offshore sites where a floating terminal for liquefied natural gas would be preferable to locating the terminal in the sensitive estuary environment of the Sound. (Jun 6)

State needs increased supply of natural gas [Op-ed column] — Asbury Park Press, Neptune, NJ

We propose locating a total of four natural gas receiving buoys — each measuring just 20 feet by 30 feet and situated 100 below the sea's surface — 15 to 17 miles off the Asbury Park coast. When a ship arrives at the marker buoy, it winches one of the receiving turrets into its hull, securing it safely to the ship, and then connects to onboard regasification equipment. (Jun 6)

Webmaster's Comments: This is another proposal for an offshore terminal — away from civilians.

Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG are behind the technology curve, and are ignoring civilian safety concerns that even the world LNG industry (SIGTTO) advocates observing:

  • Some Eastport homes and part of Deer Island campground would be engulfed by LNG ships' Hazard Zone 1 (500 meters from the ship), the most dangerous of LNG ship Hazard Zones, where everyone would likely be killed in an LNG release.
  • Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG would subject surrounding communities on both sides of the border to all three ships' Hazard Zones while the ships transited and were in port — with Pleasant Point being in a permanent Hazard Zone, since Quoddy Bay LNG intends to have an LNG ship in port at all times.
  • Calais LNG would subject more people than the other two projects to hazards, due to their longer transit up the same waterway. Plus, they would have a more difficult, winding passage, including passing very close to Saint Croix Island International Historic Site. Their docket ships would also present an "allision[1]" hazard to ship traffic from the Port of Bayside.

[1] Definition of "allision" — a stationary ship or object being struck by a moving vessel; similar to "collision."

Dow deal aims to lure LNG — The Facts, Clute, TX

Since Dow depends on natural gas, small changes in the price of the feedstock can have a large affect on the company and the industry as a whole. Dow recently announced across-the-board increases, up to 20 percent, in the going rate for its products, citing the skyrocketing cost of feedstocks like natural gas. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jun 6)

Webmaster's Comments: Natural gas prices are skyrocketing — bad for consumers.

U.S. regulators give environmental nod to Bradwood Landing LNG terminal — AP, The Daily News, Longview, WA

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its environmental impact statement on the controversial Bradwood Landing Project on Friday, saying it had “limited adverse environmental impacts” but set out 110 recommendations it should meet to mitigate its effects. (Jun 6)

Webmaster's Comments: Once again, FERC shows its contempt for civilian safety.

Feds say Bradwood LNG plan is 'environmentally acceptable' - if done right — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

"It's a sad day for the Lower Columbia River, but this project is not a done deal," [project opponent Ted Messing] said. "The state still has some control. We're counting on the governor to deny the air and water permits and stop this destruction of one of the prime habitats for salmon in the world." (Jun 6)

Feds say Bradwood Landing LNG terminal would do little to damage environment — The Forest-Grove News-Times, Forest Grove, OR

Julia Krahe, spokesperson for U.S. Congressman David Wu, said that FERC’s decision to release the final environmental impact statement without taking more time for public comment was a mistake.

“It is just continued emphasis that FERC hasn’t really listened to Oregonians,” Krahe said.

“It is really unbelievable to see FERC essentially dismiss the serious concerns raised not just by the public, but by virtually every State of Oregon agency that reviewed their initial analysis,” Foster said in a press release. (Jun 6)

Jordan Cove seeks DEIS issuance next month — Energy Current, Houston, TX

COOS BAY, ORE.: The Jordan Cove Energy Project's commercial director has requested that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issue a schedule that calls for a draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas project to be issued no later than the end of July of this year. (Jun 6)

NATS offers review of U.S. LNG imports for April 2008 — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

According to NATS, the United States imported 11 LNG cargos in April 2008, nine from Trinidad & Tobago, one from Egypt, and one from Nigeria. NATS further reports that the United States imported 29.8 Bcf of LNG in April 2008 compared to 98.7 Bcf in April 2007. (Jun 6)

Webmaster's Comments: LNG imports in April were a mere 30% of the previous April.

Asia-Atlantic LNG arbitrage closes as Europe gas prices march up — Platts

With gas prices at the UK National Balancing Point edging towards $13/MMBtu for July and rising well beyond that level for August and September, sellers are expecting Asian buyers to pay premiums of $2.50-3.00/MMBtu, translating into $16/MMBtu or higher for spot LNG, said traders. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 6)

Webmaster's Comments: Foreign markets are driving the price of LNG significantly upward, driving up the price of natural gas to Americans — contrary to the hype from LNG import terminal developers.


5 Jun 2008

Charges vs. Lynn LNG photographer dismissed — The Daily Item, Lynn, MA

Prosecutors had asked for the court to find Arkhipov guilty and order him to pay a $250 fine, but the judge decided to dismiss the case, according to Steve O'Connell, spokesman for the Essex County District Attorney's Office.

O'Connell says the Department of Homeland Security had placed a "detainer" status on Arkhipov after his arrest, but lifted that status on Tuesday. (Jun 4)

Hearings set on plans for LNG facility — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

This year, staff at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recommended conditional approval for the LNG project. Copies of that report, called a draft environmental impact statement, are available for review at the Bel Air and North Point public library branches and on FERC Web site. (Jun 4)

Feds to hear from public on LNG — The Dundalk Eagle, Dundalk, MD

Citizens may deride it for seemingly ignoring their concerns, but next week the federal commission tasked with permitting LNG facilities will be listening.

“This is going to leave a major mark on the face of Maryland and Pennsylvania,” Donnelly said. The EIS “lacks specificity” for plans to restore the land, wetlands and water bodies crossed by the proposed pipeline, he said.

Donnelly is concerned that the proposed method of clamshell dredging will stir up contamination and spread it throughout the Chesapeake Bay.

Cheniere secures two additional commissioning cargos for Sabine Pass LNG terminal — Sutherland LNG Law Blog

Cheniere Energy announced yesterday that it has secured two more commissioning cargos for its Sabine Pass LNG regasification terminal. According to a Cheniere spokesperson, the first cargo is from Qatar, arriving about June 22, and the second cargo is from Nigeria, arriving about June 25.

RPT-US OKs Alaska LNG exports to Asia for 2 more years — Reuters

Under federal law, any company that wants to export LNG must first get Energy Department permission to ensure the export would not harm U.S. energy supplies. The department said allowing the LNG exports to continue "will not be inconsistent with the public interest." (Jun 4)

Webmaster's Comments: On the one hand FERC says we need to import more LNG; but, on the other hand the DOE says that exporting LNG is in the public interest. The right hand doesn't seem to know what the left is doing, exposing FERC hypocrisy and their catering to big energy, rather than attending to the public interest.

Inlet gas export extension approved — Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage, AK

Oil companies Conoco Phillips and Marathon had sought the extension to continue shipping gas to Asia, chiefly Japan.

The extension lasts through March 2011 and allows the companies to export up to 98 billion cubic feet.

The DOE's Office of Fossil Energy in Washington, D.C., said its review showed gas exports could continue without causing local shortages.

"The record shows there is sufficient regional supply of natural gas to satisfy local and export demand through the authorization time frame," the agency said in its 71-page order. (Jun 4)

The DOE received a number of objections, including one from Chugach Electric Association, the largest electric power utility in the Anchorage area. The company raised questions about future availability of gas for use in its gas-fired power plants.

LNG referendum backers submit signatures — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Backers of a referendum on Clatsop County's approval of the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project submitted 1,255 signatures to the county clerk Wednesday - more than twice the 598 signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot in September.

County residents Marc Auerbach, Debbie Twombly and Don West filed a ballot referendum petition in April to challenge the Clatsop County Commission's decision to change county law and allow gas pipelines from LNG terminals to run through lands zoned for open space, parks and recreation (OPR).

Judge rewrites ballot title for pipeline referendum — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

NorthernStar had suggested removing the term LNG from the ballot title, but Matyas said "to not identify this ballot measure as dealing with LNG is a mistake. ... You just have to let the voters know what this is about."

LNG report sparks salmon dispute — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Project opponents have already criticized the document for omitting and minimizing project impacts.

"We know that this project will kill salmon, yet Bradwood is asking us to believe that they will somehow restore salmon runs with $1 million per year over 40 years. At a time when we're spending hundreds of millions per year on salmon recovery, this is a drop in the bucket, and it ignores the huge negative impacts of this development to salmon."

LNG backers say controversial terminal will help salmon in Columbia River — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

A study released last month by the Oregon Department of Energy, on the other hand, concluded that the state could meet its needs more economically and with less pollution by importing more domestic gas from Wyoming.

NorthernStar has long made the case that its project would be "good for salmon" and "good for the Columbia," a notion scoffed at by environmental and tribal groups. Opponents believe there is no way to compensate for the impact of dredging, the ongoing use of vast quantities of river water for tanker ballast and terminal operations, and the increased traffic of large ships on the Columbia. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Besides, the US Department of Energy has issued an opinion that exporting LNG is in the public interest (see story, above). With that being so, why the push to import additional LNG?

LNG company submits environmental plan — Oregon Public Broadcasting

The company says its proposed Bradwood Landing project is built on science, and will spend millions on recovering salmon. But as Rob Manning reports, the project’s critics detect a smokescreen.

Dan Serres: “Bradwood’s claims are fantasy, about improving salmon habitat. They want to put an enormously destructive project in the midst of critical salmon habitat. The second part of it is their analysis, is incredible.”

For instance, various documents sent to FERC cloud how exactly the company intends to keep threatened salmon from being swallowed into ships with ballast water. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Similar issues exist with the three LNG proposals in Passamaquoddy Bay. Ballast water uptake and engine cooling water uptake — amounting to as much as 50 million gallons per ship — could do significant harm to Maine's lobster fishing industry, as well as to other fisheries.

Exxon seeks more unconventional gas — Reuters

LNG shipments to the United States have dropped since last year. Two regasification terminals have opened recently and analysts say they can expect few shipments of the fuel in the foreseeable future.

Exxon has its own terminal, located on the Texas Gulf Coast, scheduled to open next year and has proposed building another off the New Jersey coast. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 4)

Webmaster's Comments: Actual LNG players speak the truth about LNG market realities. On the other hand, Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG pretend they expect success with their ill-sited, ill-fated projects.

Terrorist threats to liquefied natural gas: Fact or fiction? — The Cutting Edge News

One quarter of the experts polled during the study believed that 1 to 1.25 miles was not a sufficiently conservative estimate to describe the heat hazard zone of an LNG-related fire. If the experts who disagreed with this distance happen to be correct, it would put members of the general population located at the questionable threshold of 1.2 or 1.3 miles away from the site in a risky location.

There reportedly have been indications of terrorists planning to hit LNG tankers. In November 2002, the capture of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, al-Qaeda’s operational commander in the Gulf region, brought to light the idea that terrorists were already planning to go after such targets. Nashiri, allegedly a specialist in maritime operations, had already played a key role in the attack on the USS Cole and the Limburg. According to a Western counterterrorism official during an interrogation, Nashiri indicated that al-Qaeda had information on the vulnerability of supertankers to suicide attacks and the economic impacts they would have. The official informed The Daily Star that al-Qaeda had a naval manual describing “the best places on the vessels to hit, how to employ limpet mines, fire rockets or rocket-propelled grenades from high-speed craft, and [how to] turn LNG tankers into floating bombs. They (terrorists) are also shown how to use fast craft packed with explosives, and the use of trawlers, or ships like that, that can be turned into bombs and detonated beside bigger ships, or in ports where petroleum or gas storage areas could go up as well. They (manuals) even talk of using underwater scooters for suicide attacks.” (Jun 2)

Webmaster's Comments: Article author Cindy Hurst is a political-military research analyst with the Foreign Military Studies Office. She is also a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Reserve.

Russia to set up gas producers think tank ahead of 'gas-OPEC' — Platts

"Gas-consuming counties are uniting and creating unilateral market rules, while talking to gas producers individually," he said on the sidelines of a meeting in Moscow which discussed the establishment of the organization.

For the balance, "gas producers should also clearly voice their demands and proposals," Zhilin said.


3 Jun 2008

Coast Guard Sector Northern New England to hold change of command — United States Coast Guard, Washington, DC

PORTLAND, Maine — Capt. James B. McPherson will assume command from Capt. James Rendon as commander of Coast Guard Sector Northern New England at 11 a.m., Friday at the Coast Guard base in South Portland, Maine.

The area of responsibility for Sector Northern New England extends across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and a portion of northeastern New York, spanning more than 5,000 miles of coastline and 11,000 square nautical miles of water. The commander of Sector Northern New England is responsible for all Coast Guard operations in the region including maritime safety and security, protection of natural resources, and maritime mobility. The commander oversees 20 Coast Guard field units and cutters across the four-state region and exercises federal authority granted by law and regulation as captain of the port, federal maritime security coordinator, officer in charge marine inspection, and federal on-scene coordinator. The Sector Northern New England staff enjoys an excellent working relationship with the port communities and other governmental agencies in the Northeast. (May 28)

Webmaster's Comments: CAPT McPherson will be the Captain of the Port for the LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay. McPherson follows CAPT Rendon, who succeeded CAPT Stephen Garrity after Garrity's retirement in 2007.

U.S. Coast Guard establishes temporary Security Zone around Northeast Gateway LNG deepwater port — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

According to the rule, published in today's Federal Register, the zone "temporarily closes all waters of Massachusetts Bay within a five hundred (500) meter radius of [liquefied natural gas carriers] in the vicinity" of the LNG deepwater port. The rule is effective through July 12, 2008.

Security zone; liquefied natural gas carriers, Massachusetts Bay, MA — TradingMarkets, Sherman Oaks, CA

The temporary security zones implemented by this rule will only be enforced while LNGCs call on the Northeast Gateway Deepwater port. Moreover, the zones implemented by this rule are co-extensive with safety zones in 33 CFR 165.T01-0372 (73 FR 28041, May 15, 2008) already in place around the deepwater port itself. Accordingly, the COTP anticipates little net impact on marine traffic and waterway users from the addition of the security zones created by this temporary rule.

State’s ocean law has waves of support — The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, MA

The Oceans Act, as it is called, calls for creation of a comprehensive ocean management plan by the end of 2009. The plan will govern all development and construction within 3 miles of the coast and be developed on advice of a 17-member commission and a panel of scientists.

Two proposed projects – an LNG terminal off Gloucester and a 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound – will be unaffected, as both sit in federal waters. (Jun 2)

Oceans bill awaits Patrick — Standard-Times, New Bedford, MA

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to give quick approval to a first-in-the-nation ocean management act that would decide how and where projects like wind farms and LNG terminals could be built in state waters.

The ocean management act — which cleared the House by a vote of 150 to 1 Thursday — is now on Gov. Patrick's desk, awaiting his signature in a matter of days. (May 27)

State Police Anti-Terror Unit probes LNG incident — The Daily Item, Lynn, MA

LYNN — A Russian national was arrested Friday after he was caught taking photographs of the secured liquefied natural gas terminal on Lynn Harbor, touching off an investigation by the state's Anti-Terrorism Task Force, police said.

Though it is not illegal to take pictures in public, police say Arkhipov was taking photographs while standing in a posted "no trespassing" area. He was arrested and charged with trespassing.

A security breach at the facility on Aug. 16, 2006 caused widespread media attention after two intruders cut a fence surrounding the property and climbed a stairway to the top of the tank.

Have terminals, need LNG — International Herald Tribune, New York, NY

The cost of a gallon of gasoline gets all the headlines, but the natural gas that will heat many homes in the United States next winter is going up in price as fast or faster as the nation falls behind in a global race to secure the gas.

"A few years ago people looked at LNG as a solution to North America's gas needs," said Nikos Tsafos, an analyst with PCF Energy, a consulting firm. "But today we see that there is less LNG around than people expected and there is more competition for that LNG from markets that are willing to pay more than the United States."

Just about the only place where demand for LNG seems not to be growing is the United States, an abrupt shift from expectations as little as one year ago. [Red emphasis added.] (May 29)

Webmaster's Comments: Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG terminal dreams are turning rapidly into nightmares.

Public safety fuels Astoria's LNG concerns — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

"Astoria categorically rejects and disputes any claim or characterization that the proposed Emergency Response Plan (ERP) and proposed cost-sharing agreements are acceptable to Astoria, or are otherwise fair and reasonable," the letter states, noting that city officials have met with NorthernStar "numerous times" in an effort to reach agreement on funding resource gaps and calling NorthernStar's proposals for fire and police cost-sharing "insufficient and unacceptable."

Plans for $800 million LNG import terminal in California shelved, an Industrial Info news alert — Industrial Info Resources, Yahoo Finance

SUGAR LAND, TX--(MARKET WIRE)--Jun 2, 2008 -- Researched by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) -- Sound Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, has placed a liquefied natural gas terminal project in Long Beach, California on indefinite hold. It is not clear when or if the project will be revived. (Jun 2)

US gas market to be choppier, see higher prices: Barclays Capital — Platts

Domestic gas supplies are indeed growing, but not sufficiently to fill storage, the analysts said. Meanwhile, liquefied natural gas imports "should grow moderately this year" but will nevertheless lag year-ago levels. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (May 30)

Gas prices keep climbing even as oil prices drop — The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX

In other Nymex trading, heating oil futures fell 2.08 cents to $3.8035 a gallon while gasoline prices were down 1.31 cents to $3.4345 a gallon. Natural gas futures rose 1.9 cents to $12.014 per 1,000 cubic feet. (May 29)

Introducing the 'Global Top 10 LNG Companies: Detailed Analysis and Forecasts of All Active and Planned LNG Terminals to 2012' available now for review — BusinessWire

Global Top 10 LNG Companies: Detailed Analysis and Forecasts of All Active and Planned LNG Terminals to 2012 is a comprehensive report on the top 10 LNG companies in the world. The report provides country wise, in-depth coverage of regasification and liquefaction capacities of all the LNG terminals wholly or partly owned by these companies. Planned terminals and major capacity expansions till 2012 as announced by the companies have also been included in this report. The report also provides the latest deals and developments associated with these companies.


2 June 2008

No limits on energy [Editorial] — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Repsol Energy Canada Ltd. has already negotiated 25-year contracts to supply natural gas to U.S. customers. Its parent company, Spanish oil giant Repsol, has abundant supplies of natural gas committed to the project. All they're waiting for is the import and export licences. [Red emphasis added.] (May 31)

Webmaster's Comments: Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG have no LNG supplies — and can't get them, since they have no permits. Even in the unlikely event that they could ever obtain all of the required permits, they would still be without LNG supply and without customers:

  • The reality is that there isn't sufficient world LNG supply;
  • Asia is willing to out-compete the US for LNG;
  • Significant new natural gas discoveries have occurred in the US, reducing the need to import LNG;
  • LNG imports into the US are down significantly (see NATS story, below); and
  • The natural gas customers in northern New England will already be satisfying their increased natural gas needs via:
    1. Northeast Gateway import facility that just commenced importing LNG off Gloucester, MA;
    2. Canaport, that will be importing LNG around the end of this year; and
    3. Neptune deepwater port, also off Gloucester, MA, that will be accepting LNG around the end of 2009.

Simply put, the three LNG proposals for Passamaquoddy Bay make no economic sense for the industry, for investors, and for consumers — creating real credibility issues for the project developers and their investors.

Broadwater opponents celebrate victory — New Haven Register, New Haven, CT

“Truly, if there is credit for this victory, it belongs to you ... and not just to those of you who are here today,” said [Attorney General Richard Blumenthal]. He praised “the countless citizens” who helped win a battle against “two big companies who sought to profit at your expense.” (May 30)

Webmaster's Comments: The same is true for the citizens battling LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay — we're winning the battle against big money and their lawyers, who would despoil the bay and put the economy, civilian lives, and ways of life at risk.

Donate Now, or Make a Purchase to help Save Passamaquoddy Bay afford to win this battle.

FERC Chairman responds to letter regarding the DEIS for Sparrows Point LNG project — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher responded to concerns expressed by members of Maryland's Congressional delegation regarding the adequacy of the Commission's Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Sparrows Point LNG regasification terminal.

Webmaster's Comments: FERC Chairman Kelliher claims, in his May 23 letter of response to Congressman Ruppensburger, states, “safety is our principle consideration in the review of proposed LNG terminals.” If that were actually true, FERC would be attending to the LNG industry’s own terminal siting standards (see SIGTTO and LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization). Instead, FERC ignores those standards, confirming FERC's safety hypocrisy and endangering the industry, US energy security, and the public.

Gas pipeline company says hello to congressmen with campaign checks — Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, FL

The Houston-based company whose plan to build a liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline off the Fort Lauderdale coast is sparking opposition has introduced itself to key Florida politicians — with campaign contributions. (Jun 1)

Port Everglades gas-pipeline plan ignites ruckus — The Miami Herald, Miami, FL

Coastal residents in Broward County are up in arms over a $1 billion proposal to allow special tankers to dock in the waters of the Atlantic, convert liquefied gas into natural gas, and then ship it through a buried underwater pipeline into Port Everglades. (May 30)

NATS: U.S. LNG market sees lowest import total for May in five years — Sutherland LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

NATS reports today that the United States imported 29.7 Bcf of LNG during May 2008. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: The US Energy Information Administration's yearly comparison of LNG imports by month from 1997–2008 discloses that the LNG import volumes were:

  • 2007 May — 94.319 Bcf [317% more than this year];
  • 2006 May — 67.271 Bcf [226% more than this year];
  • 2005 May — 52.628 Bcf [177% more than this year];
  • 2004 May — 53.162 Bcf [317% more than this year];
  • 2003 May — 45.814 Bcf [154% more than this year];

… indicating a precipitous drop in the US demand for, and availability of, LNG.

Quality of life hinges on oil developments, Conoco argues — Financial Post, Don Mills, ON

"The long-expected surge in LNG imports ... has not materialized. Many LNG cargoes are instead going to Europe and Asia where prices are higher," [ConocoPhillips Executive Vice-President John Lowe] said.

Webmaster's Comments: Actual LNG companies are recognizing what Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG must also be recognizing but are loathe to accept — LNG isn't the opportunity that they've banked on.


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