"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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30 Sep 2008
In July, the court vacated the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of an expansion of the Cove Point LNG facility due to safety concerns about a local gas distributor's system and ordered FERC to reconsider the matter.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia announced yesterday that it has denied the requests for rehearing of Washington Gas Light, Dominion Cove Point LNG, and Dominion Transmission on the gas quality issues in the Cove Point LNG Expansion proceeding.
Moss, in his urgent desire to have an LNG site in Freeport, is hoping that central government and the GBPA would consider the plan for the Gas Terminal as an answer to the hardships that the country is facing economically.
Webmaster's Comments: The fly in the ointment is the turnabout in US natural gas market resulting from massive domestic shale gas reserves enough domestic natural gas to supply the US for over 100 years, according to industry participants.
New US LNG terminals are already sitting largely unused. For the Bahamas to hang its economic hopes on Bahama-imported low-priced LNG-source natural gas going to Florida would be a significant economic blunder.
That law was set up, Stickel said, to benefit miners and farmers; at least 85 percent of Oregon's water is still used for agriculture. The state doesn't sell the resource, it simply provides water rights. And that allows NorthernStar to petition the state for the right to use 15.7 billion gallons of Columbia River water to provide outgoing ballast for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers headed back to the Middle East.
"We're asking farmers upstream not to leave their faucets running and we're going to give billions of gallons of water for the LNG companies to use as dead weight?" asked Brent Foster at Columbia Riverkeeper. "There's no way this passes the public-interest test because the Department of Energy has already said we don't need the LNG." [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Unless we make some radical changes, all our energy costs will move to parity to the price of a barrel of oil. The path we are on, expected marginal source of supply in US is imports of LNG. If that is what happens is that (not immediately) in 3-4 years, global demand for LNG will significantly exceed global supply of LNG. Therefore, if we let the US get dependent on LNG imports… $? trillion shock to economy if LNG reaches parity with crude oil. [Red emphasis added.]
NATS [subscription required] reports that U.S. LNG import terminals sent out 29.7 Bcf of natural gas during the month of September, a decrease of almost 15 Bcf from the same month last year. NATS also notes that U.S. LNG imports through the first nine months of 2008 have totaled 266.6 Bcf, a substantial decline from the 652.1 Bcf imported into the United States during the first nine months of 2007. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: The marketplace is dictating the demise of Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG.
A few weeks ago a former senior executive at Halliburton pleaded guilty to paying bribes to Nigerian officials to win a mammoth energy project in that country. The executive, Jack Stanley, also copped to taking millions of dollars in kickbacks on deals in countries ranging from Malaysia to Yemen.
Halliburton became a partner to the deal in 1998, when it bought Dresser Industries, Kellogg’s parent company. “Cheney, then-CEO of Halliburton, arranged the merger during a quail hunting trip,” ProPublica recently noted. Cheney named Stanley to head KBR, the Halliburton subsidiary that grew of the merger and which handled the Nigerian project.
So what about Cheney, who headed Halliburton between 1995 and 2000, when he left to become George W. Bush’s running mate? No evidence has emerged that he [Cheney] was aware of any bribes being paid in the case, but there are a few curiosities. [Red emphasis added.]
The demand for LNG originating in the [Middle East] region has been immense. Qatar, UAE and others are being asked to export their gas reserves in full to be able to counter growing LNG appetite in the West. If no additional electricity generation capacity is being set up, which is not based on oil or gas, most new gas reserve developments in the [Middle East] region will be needed to supply local power and water plants. Qatar already has shocked the market the last years by stating that it has delayed several new LNG [export] projects, meant for Western markets, due to the fact that local demand for gas is too high. If nuclear is not allowed, gas exports to the West will be under increased pressure. Especially because the other main LNG exporter to the West, Nigeria, also has stated that it has delayed its new projects until 2015. [Red emphasis added.]
29 Sep 2008
Enterprise Saint John provided figures that suggested LNG terminals in the United States paid little or no taxes. Several media reports showed this to be stretching the truth, and Court, a city councillor at the time, was furious. He parlayed the public anger into McFarlane's defeat in this year's election. [Red emphasis added.]
WASHINGTON The U.S. Supreme Court could decide Monday whether it will hear Baltimore County’s appeal of a lower court ruling that the county violated the federal Natural Gas Act by banning the construction of liquefied natural gas terminals in coastal areas. AES Corp., which seeks to build an LNG terminal at Sparrows Point, has challenged the legality of the county’s prohibition. (Sep 28)
Despite receiving a negative response from Port Group Limited (PGL) Chairman Eric Christiansen to his proposal for a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) facility on the island, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) President Gregory Moss is maintaining that this move would be beneficial to the entire Bahamas.
Webmaster's Comments: The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce president isn't paying attention to what's been going on in the US natural gas industry. The AES project to import expensive LNG to the Bahamas, and then pipe the resulting expensive natural gas to Florida, seems unlikely now that there is such an abundance of low-cost US domestic natural gas.
Bruce Carlton, president of the National Industrial Transportation League, said Connaughton raised Marad’s profile within the Department of Transportation just by the number of projects that he initiated. Before joining the NIT League, Carlton directed Marad’s international affairs and policy office.
Webmaster's Comments: Connaughton obviously has a pro-LNG-industry agenda.
Energy companies unable to make back costs at $60/barrel oil or $6/Mcf natural gas will fail in an emerging environment of tight credit and slower global growth, Oppenheimer energy analyst Fadel Gheit said Monday after the US Congress said it had reached a deal on the $700 billion bailout plan.
"Lower oil and gas prices and tighter credit favor companies with strong financial flexibility, including major [oil companies] such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell and larger exploration and production companies such as Occidental, Devon, Apache and EOG Resources," Gheit said.
Webmaster's Comments: LNG import terminals like Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG that could be paying $15/Mcf for LNG-based natural gas that sells domestically for only $6/Mcf would be losing money at a fantastic rate never mind the credit crunch.
It is the Democrat Party and radical environmental organizations that stand between the discovery and provision of new oil and natural gas. It is the Democrat Party that is trying to push through a bogus "energy" bill that would put billions in the hands of those involved in "clean energy" projects that would barely provide either the electricity or gasoline America needs now and will need more of in the near future.
Webmaster's Comments: This tunnel-vision screed misses the point about natural gas there has been plenty of domestic discovery, as evidenced by the 100-plus years worth domestic shale gas reserves that moot importing additional LNG.
26 Sep 2008
Celebratory concert in three locations
Francie Howard, a choir member in St.Andrews, echoed that sentiment and said, "It's wonderful to see so many people wanting to do something so uplifting to celebrate this beautiful spot that we all share. The whole point is to come together and appreciate our shared communities and life lived by the water."
Unlike Clifton, which exists for our use and for which we can bear some environmental burden, the AES LNG facility [would] function for the most part for the need of Florida while we bear the environmental and safety burden in The Bahamas. (Sep 24)
Kitimat LNG: Shipping gas to Asia a better bet than building re-gasifying plant
“There’s just more natural gas being developed now than we thought there would be three or four years ago when we originally proposed to import natural gas,” she explained. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Sep 24)
Tech advances, greater investment in unconventional resource fuel U.S. glut
In fact, the market is so awash in natural gas that Chesapeake Energy, among the largest gas producers in the United States and a major shale player, announced Sept. 22 that it planned to reduce its drilling budget during the second half of 2008 through year-end 2010 by $3.2 billion, or 17 percent, in response to the price decline and concerns of “an emerging U.S. natural gas surplus …” [Red & bold emphasis added.] (week of Sep 28)
Webmaster's Comments: Look at what's happening:
- “Awash in natural gas”
- “US natural gas surplus”
- “Natural gas glut”
- Low natural gas prices
- High LNG prices
- Idle US LNG import terminals
- LNG import projects converting to LNG export projects
What more is needed for investors in Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG to get the picture? They've ended up with futureless, bottomless money pits.
Inventories now are 69 Bcf above the five-year average of 1.735 Tcf in the East, 12 Bcf above the five-year average of 399 Bcf in the West and 46 Bcf below the five-year average of 854 Bcf in the producing region. [Red emphasis added.] (Sep 25)
[T]he Prime Minister may seek meetings with BP, BG, and Repsol regarding Trinidad's Atlantic LNG liquefaction facility to discuss the possible renegotiation of the terms of the LNG contracts… (Sep 24)
25 Sep 2008
QUEBEC Quebec City's status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site may be put in jeopardy by the construction of the province's first liquefied natural gas terminal, a massive industrial complex on the St. Lawrence River, just 10 kilometres downstream from the historic city.
When the National Film Board began shooting The Battle of Rabaska four years ago, it had no idea the documentary could eventually become a lightning rod in what has become a last-ditch effort to stop construction of the terminal.
Throughout the four-year battle to stop the project, citizens underscored the risks in allowing super tankers carrying liquefied natural gas to enter a narrow channel of the St. Lawrence River just three kilometres across from Iles d'Orléans. With its breathtaking view of the river, the island has been officially recognized as a provincial heritage site.
"I'd like someone to prove us wrong and debate the issues involved in building this project. But there is no debate. There was a political order given at the outset and everyone including government officials, opposition parties, university scholars, just lay down in silence," [historian Michel Lessard] said. [Red emphasis added.]
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has recommended that the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) deny TORP Terminal LP's application to build and operate the proposed Bienville liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
According to NMFS, operating the BOET facility with an STV system would subject early life stages of marine species to entrainment, impingement, thermal shock, and water chemistry changes. The resultant annual mortality estimated by the USCG and reported in the FEIS is approximately 209.5 billion zooplankton, 761 million fish eggs, and 1.5 billion larvae.
Webmaster's Comments: Each LNG ship for the proposed LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay, while not using open-loop regasification, would load 1120 million gallons of seawater into its hold for ballast, and some vessels could use an additional 30+ million gallons of seawater to cool their engines. That's a potential total of 4050 million gallons of seawater per ship, removing, temperature-shocking, or crushing against the intake screens any biota (lobster larvae, fish eggs, phytoplankton, small fish, etc.) that gets caught in the intake stream.
Passamaquoddy Bay is too important a nursery and food-chain engine to be put at such risk.
MOBILE, Ala. - Federal fisheries officials have recommended that the U.S. Coast Guard deny permission for a liquid natural gas terminal off the Alabama coast that would use millions of gallons of sea water, citing potential threats to marine life.
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley has until Oct. 10 to announce his decision position on the project. That's the final day for public comment on the project. Riley has the power to stop the project or approve it with certain conditions. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: LNG terminals proposed for more than three miles offshore must receive approval from the adjacent state's governor but for LNG terminals proposed to be built within the state's actual boundaries, the governor has no authority to reject the project! The US Congress is to be thanked for that backward set of regulations in the Energy Policy Act.
SHADY COVE More than 50 Upper Rogue residents brought lots of questions and some controlled anger to a town hall meeting Wednesday held by representatives of two companies proposing a liquefied natural gas terminal in Coos Bay and a pipeline that would pass through the Upper Rogue region on its way to Malin.
"That's correct," said Dan Lattin, project manager for Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: So, if there's a leak in the pipeline before reaching California, people living, working, or going to school nearby won't be able to smell the leaking natural gas and alert emergency responders. That seems like begging for disaster.
Technology surprises in North America
Five years ago, there was an influential report from the US National Petroleum Council stressing how hard it would be just to maintain US gas production, and the likely need for very large scale LNG imports. As you know, companies scrambled to establish LNG import capacity [however,] 50 or more terminal schemes were mooted, and 14 have been or are being built.
The flat trend of Lower 48 production from 1998 to 2006 seemed to confirm the pessimistic outlook. But, today [natural gas] production is growing rapidly by some 9% in just the last 2 years. People are wondering just how little LNG the US will require. This growth in domestic gas supply is the result of greatly improved technology for producing gas from tight sands and shales.
For example, since buying our Pinedale tight gas field in Wyoming in 2002 we have utilised multiple new technologies including microseismic and underbalanced drilling to treble production while halving costs and well times.
Such advances are expected to open some 500 Tcf of untapped unconventional gas resources in North America in the next 15 years, possibly considerably more. New technology could also unlock major additional North American oil resources. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
23 Sep 2008
Webmaster's Comments: With the recent natural gas market reversal (copious domestic supplies of shale gas in the US enough for the next 100 years and Canada), the question remains: Will Canaport be able to sell their high-priced LNG-source natural gas?
If domestic natural gas supplies don't shut them out, Canaport LNG (84% completed), Northeast Gateway LNG (already completed), and Neptune LNG (under construction, to be completed in late 2009) along with natural gas supplies from the new Deep Panuke gas well in Nova Scotia (Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline permitting to accommodate Deep Panuke is under way) will more than meet the needs of northern New England.
The Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG projects make no economic sense.
"I have been hearing a lot of outcry from lobster and gillnetters, that it has played a lot of havoc on their gear," said Vito Calamo, executive director of the Massachusetts Fisheries Recovery Commission. "(Suez) is telling them they only have a few minutes to get their gear out of the way."
Webmaster's Comments: The growing supply of domestic natural gas, the lack of LNG import activity, the three completed or nearly completed LNG import terminals to supply northern New England, and the resulting recent switch to numerous domestic LNG export projects is no longer just writing on the wall, it is a message being screamed into the ears of Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG. Are they paying attention?
By continuing on their present course until their proposed LNG projects die expensive, lingering deaths, how will…
- Dean Girds (Downeast LNG)
- Rob Wyatt (Downeast LNG)
- Kestrel Energy Partners [owned by Yorktown Partners] (Downeast LNG)
- Yorktown Partners [venture capitalists] (Downeast LNG)
- Ian Emery (Calais LNG Project Co.)
- Arthur Gelber (Calais LNG Project Co.)
- Carl Myers (Calais LNG Project Co.)
- James Lewis (Calais LNG Project Co.)
- Goldman Sachs [venture capitalists*] (Calais LNG Project Co.)
- Donald Mitchell Smith (Quoddy Bay LNG)
- Brian Smith (Quoddy Bay LNG)
- Hubert E. Bereman (Quoddy Bay LNG)
- Adam Wilson (Quoddy Bay LNG)
- William Steward Price (Quoddy Bay LNG)
- James Mitchell (Quoddy Bay LNG)
- William Prichard (Quoddy Bay LNG)
- Credit Suisse [venture capitalists, if Quoddy Bay LNG is to be believed]
…ever demonstrate credibility and competence to future prospective clients or to government regulators?
* As a result of the recent world-shaking investment markets failure, Goldman Sachs has switched from investment banking to true banking. Investment banking was unregulated but "true banking" risk is regulated. How does that affect the Goldman Sachs relationship with Calais LNG?
Webmaster's Comments: Fire Commissioner Fraser's statement that "an explosion with the power of more than 50 Hiroshima bombs" is grossly overstated, although consequences could still be devastating. While the contents of an LNG ship may contain the energy equivalent of 50 Hiroshima bombs, a pile of toothpicks could also contain that amount of energy detonating it (if, indeed, it could be detonated instead of just burned) simply wouldn't result in the same consequences.
The Distrigas claim that an explosive-laden airplane "couldn't compromise the contents" of the ship's LNG containment is equally misleading.
An explosive penetration from above into the LNG containment conceivably could rupture that containment. The question is "what would happen?" Since no one has actually scientifically attempted that scenario, no one really knows. To dismiss such a consequence without conducting research under those conditions is irresponsible and does service to no one.
The Shreveport Times reports that “[a]t least 40 rigs are running now and 70 or more are to be in place by the end of next year . . .” This has been coined as the largest domestic find of natural gas in recent history. [Red bold emphasis added.]
However, "in the world of the last 60 days of $7/Mcf and change to $8/Mcf and change, I just don't think the cash is there to support that kind of drilling activity, and the credit crunch won't be favorable to companies that have to borrow a bunch of money to support drilling activity," he said.
Webmaster's Comments: Why has the price of natural gas dropped by 3846%? It’s largely because of the sea of domestic natural gas over 100-years’ worth that’s now, and is becoming, available!
Natural gas prices need to remain high for LNG projects to be viable and that isn’t happening, spelling FINANCIAL DISASTER, in bold capital letters, to would-be LNG importers Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG and their financial backers.
Rising natural gas demand in Asia and recent increases in supply throughout North America including in the US, Canada’s traditional export market have led to significantly higher natural gas prices in Asia compared with North America. US natural gas prices have been stuck at between US$7 and $9 per million BTU for most of this year, while in Asia, LNG have been traded with increasing frequency at record spot prices of US$20 per million Btu. Furthermore, LNG prices in Asia are expected to continue to climb.
“The growing economies of the Pacific Rim and rapidly increasing demand for LNG make Asia a natural market for BC’s plentiful and expanding supplies of natural gas. Kitimat is close to Asian markets and an extensive pipeline network already connects BC gas suppliers to the Kitimat area.”
"Regasification terminals in North America are underutilised." [Red & bold emphasis added.]
THE dramatic change in the supply and demand dynamics of the liquefied natural gas industry has been graphically illustrated by a plan to switch a proposed Canadian import terminal into an export facility, writes Tony Gray. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
21 Sep 2008
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden stated, "I want to personally acknowledge Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff's dissenting vote on the Bradwood project. At my request, Commissioner Wellinghoff took the extraordinary step of coming out to Oregon to hear firsthand the concerns Oregonians have about FERC's LNG and pipeline permitting process. He has obviously paid attention to the issues raised in this case and I think his actions show the kind of independence and leadership that one hopes for in a public official."
He said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission "approved the Bradwood project despite the fact the state of Oregon, three federal agencies, and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission all concluded that the commission had not adequately addressed the environmental impact of the project on the Columbia River and endangered fish species.
Washington Governor Gov. Chris Gregoire said, "I share the concerns of those living in the area, and believe FERC's inadequate review fails to address legitimate environmental and public safety concerns raised by state and local leaders, and members of the community." [Red emphasis added.] (Sep 19)
Chief among the company's remaining tasks is convincing Oregon and Washington to grant the state permits it needs to break ground. NorthernStar will need eight key approvals from Oregon and four from Washington.
[Oregon] Gov. Ted Kulongoski announced plans to challenge FERC's approval. The State Land Board the authority on leasing submerged state land for piers and pipeline crossings have already come out against the Bradwood project.
The Columbia River treaty tribesy and the Columbia Riverkeeper group argue the federal board did not act in the public's interest, as required by the Natural Gas Act, and it ignored requirements in the National Environmental Policy Act for a thorough review of impacts.
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has protested FERC's ruling on the Bradwood project, calling it "premature and troubling." [Red emphasis added.] (Sep 19)
20 Sep 2008
[Webmaster's Note: This is the FIFTH North American new project to export LNG from North America to Asia as a result of rapidly-expanding domestic natural gas supplies and significantly higher LNG prices in Asia.]
British Columbia's expanding natural gas supplies coupled with growing demand for gas in Asia prompted Kitimat LNG to announce Friday it plans to build a [liquefied] natural gas export terminal at Kitimat, and is dropping previous plans for an import terminal.
"The growing economies of the Pacific Rim and rapidly increasing demand for LNG make Asia a natural market for B.C.'s plentiful and expanding supplies of natural gas. [Red, bold, and italic emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: The abundance of domestic natural gas in North America is so prolific that even Canada is abandoning LNG imports in favor of exporting LNG.
THE NORTH AMERICAN NATURAL GAS MARKET IS SPEAKING: Additional LNG import terminals are a lost cause. Even the newly-constructed Freeport and Sabine Pass LNG import terminals are having difficulty surviving.
The people behind the three Passamaquoddy Bay-area LNG projects can save face and reputation by explaining to the world that the LNG market has unexpectedly reversed, and the smart business decision is to prevent continuing financial losses and ultimate failure by cancelling their projects.
Whether or not the developers and financial backers of Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG have enough business sense or too much emotional investment in their projects to cut their losses and save their reputations will soon be known.
"The market really did change in two different ways," said Kitimat LNG Inc. president Rosemary Boulton, explaining the company's 180-degree change of direction in a phone interview from Vancouver on Friday.
"The LNG market, there have been delays in some liquefaction projects on a global basis
. . . and also there's been quite a resurgence of natural gas within the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin." [Red emphasis added.]
“We've certainly done our homework on this,” said Rosemary Boulton, president of Kitimat LNG. “We wouldn't go into this without a solid base of information.” [Red, bold, and italic emphasis added.] (Sep 19)
But rising natural gas demand in Asia and recent increases in supply throughout North America including in the U.S., Canada’s traditional export market have led to significantly higher natural gas prices in Asia than North America. (Sep 19)
Many experts, including the Oregon Department of Energy, believe domestic supplies of natural gas will be more than enough for the foreseeable future. U.S. gas production is expanding, especially as energy producers use new drilling techniques to suck gas from shale formations. By some industry estimates, the U.S. has enough natural gas to last into the next century at current consumption rates.
In an eight-page dissent Thursday [in the FERC approval of the Bradwood Landing LNG project, former consumer advocate for Nevada utility customers and FERC Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff] concluded that reasonable alternatives were available to serve the region's energy needs "in a more efficient, more reliable and environmentally preferable manner. For these reasons, I conclude that Bradwood Landing is not in the public interest." [Red & boldemphasis added.] (Sep 19)
Webmaster's Comments: State governments hold the LNG terminal trump cards.
"Federal law requires a supplemental environmental impact statement be issued and open for public comment when a project changes substantially. But the Commission has decided to ignore the law and instead, approve a project with incomplete mitigation plans and without regard to Oregon's important concerns." (Sep 18)
Today, chemicals used in fracturing are considered by the companies to be trade secrets. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 exempts companies from being forced by the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and other federal laws to reveal what chemicals are in their fracturing fluids.
But some say that it’s critical to know what’s being injected deep underground. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Sep 17)
Webmaster's Comments: Chemicals used in fracturing may be toxic, and may contaminate groundwater. The energy industry can't be trusted to protect the nation's water supply. For domestic natural gas from shale to be an acceptable replacement to importing LNG, measures must be taken to ensure our aquifers remain untainted.
18 Sep 2008
[I]t was the green communities act, authored by House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, that Bowles called “a signature piece of legislation that the state should be proud of.” That legislation, which mandates utilities to use energy efficiency programs any time it is cheaper than power generation, will spur competition and economic development in the state.
WASHINGTON Despite a small victory earlier this month, opponents of a liquefied natural gas facility in Sparrows Point are gearing up to fight changes to the Endangered Species Act that could ease the way for the plant.
Those lesser review standards, which would skip environmental reviews for projects the federal government deems non harmful, some opponents said, would only hasten the LNG plant's arrival. [Red emphasis added.]
WASHINGTON (AP) The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Thursday approved a liquefied natural gas terminal along the Columbia River the first LNG terminal on the West Coast to receive such approval.
"Today's decision by the federal government lacks accountability to the environment and the people of Oregon," [Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski] said in a statement. "The commission has decided to ignore the law and instead approve a project with incomplete mitigation plans and without regard to Oregon's important concerns." [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: The state has controlling authority over the terminal's construction.
In response to comments filed after issuance of the final EIS, the FERC order denies requests by the Governor of Oregon and others to issue a Supplemental EIS. FERC ruled a Supplemental EIS is unnecessary.
Parties have 30 days after the order is issued to appeal FERC’s decision. [Red emphasis added.]
“Today the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorizes the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas (LNG) import project in Oregon. We do so because we find the project, as conditioned by the agency, meets our high safety standards and will have only a limited adverse environmental impact. We also certificate the related pipeline facilities.
In our review of proposed LNG import projects, FERC focuses principally on safety, environmental and engineering considerations. The order includes 109 conditions to assure safety and mitigate environmental impact, such as the requirements for finalization of the Emergency Response Plan, construction of the terminal in compliance with the Commission's seismic design guidelines and the installation of a screened water intake system to reduce impacts on sensitive fish species in the Columbia River. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: FERC's “high safety standards” happen to be lower than the LNG industry’s own standards, as indicated in the SIGTTO publication, “Site Selection and Design for LNG Ports and Jetties.” (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for an abbreviated list of those standards.)
Note also that FERC approved the Hess Weaver's Cove LNG proposal in Fall River even though the US Coast Guard has, multiple times, refused to permit it for safety reasons!
“Today’s announcement that FERC has given conditional approval for a liquefied natural gas terminal in Oregon and an underground pipeline in Oregon and Southwest Washington is premature and troubling.
“I share the concerns of those living in the area, and believe FERC’s inadequate review fails to address legitimate environmental and public safety concerns raised by state and local leaders, and members of the community.” [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: And yet, the Energy Information Agency is concerned about a natural gas glut in the US as a result of the domestic sea of shale gas swimming beneath our feet. There's so much domestic natural gas now available that four new US LNG export projects have sprung up. Even Goldman Sachs (Calais LNG's financial partner) has stated that there's no longer a need for incremental LNG imports into the US.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is giving a preliminary green light and prominence to the jointly proposed 230-mile Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline L.P. and Jordan Cove Energy Project L.P. liquefied natural gas terminal. (Sep 17)
With the projects at least a year from embarking if ultimately certified by the energy commission, the Pacific Connector would transmit 1 billion cubic feet of regasified natural gas each day in a buried 3-foot diameter pipeline requiring a 100-foot-wide easement across public land and many privately-owned properties. The transmission from Coos Bay over the crest of the Cascades to a main transmission line near Malin near the California border would begin at Jordan Cove, where tankers would arrive daily with cooled and compressed shipments of natural gas.
Turnout is 58 percent with voters splitting 2-1 against LNG
The referendum asked county residents whether they want to change an ordinance to conditionally allow cable and pipelines to cross open spaces, parks and recreation areas. Because the measure failed, cable and pipelines will only be allowed on land zoned for open space, parks and recreation if they serve an approved use, such as a golf course. (Sep 16)
Braddock conceded that LNG has about a 20 percent larger carbon footprint than natural gas because of the cooling, heating and transportation involved. But he said it is about 20 percent less expensive to import LNG from other countries than to tap natural gas fields domestically. [Red emphasis added.] (Sep 17)
Webmaster's Comments: If importing foreign LNG is cheaper than mining domestic natural gas, then how can it be that imported LNG costs 50100% more than domestic natural gas? Why is it that importing LNG has come to a virtual standstill? How is it that the natural gas industry as well as two new LNG import terminals are applying to export LNG from the US?
Answer: There is now a great abundance of domestic natural gas enough to supply the US for the next 100 years. The LNG bubble has popped big-time.
"In order to get state water pollution permits, air pollution permits and state water rights they have to have - clear as day in state law - they've got to have a Land Use Compatibility Statement saying their project meets state law," Foster said. "That's the only reason NorthernStar even went through any of this county permitting process."
16 Sep 2008
IMPORTANT NOTE: This article in which Governor John Baldacci expresses his support for an LNG import terminal in Maine and in Passamaquoddy Bay did not appear online or in the final edition on Sep 16. This webmaster spoke with Bangor Daily News Managing Editor Michael Dowd, who stated that the LNG issue would be added online on Wednesday, Sep 17.
Stories covering the governors and premiers forum that did appear online Sep 16 are:
- Anti-Atlantica group protests meeting of governors and premiers
- Governors, premiers talk transportation
A story (Playing the energy card) in the Saint John Telegraph-Journal in Monday Sep 16 news reported that LNG developers from Passamaquoddy Bay would be in attendance at the governors and premiers forum.
In the Sep 16 Bangor Daily News Downeast edition, Gov. Baldacci states outright support for LNG in Maine and in Passamaquoddy Bay.
[Today's Bangor Daily News final edition, excerpted below, excludes Baldacci's statement of support for LNG.]
Baldacci acknowledged that the proposed development of liquefied natural gas terminals on Passamaquoddy Bay likely would be discussed during today's conference.
"It would mean that NorthernStar's project would violate county law. NorthernStar has said repeatedly it will abide by all local and state laws," Foster said. "If they continue with this project they will have broken a fundamental commitment they've made for three years."
"It's been our expectation all along that FERC will approve this," Foster said. "They've made it pretty clear they're just a rubber stamp for the LNG industry. We're just pleased that the environmental documents they've had to prepare are so blatantly illegal, we feel very confident we'll be able to overturn their decision in court."
We welcome the recent signings of U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) grants to help develop Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import terminals in Lithuania and Romania. LNG will allow both countries to benefit from a global gas market. Much of the world’s gas continues to be transported through stationary pipelines, following fixed routes and serving fixed markets. By encouraging the development of LNG, USTDA helps foster a world market for natural gas.
Webmaster's Comments: Ironically, such grants from the US Government are building European competition against US LNG interests.
15 Sep 2008
Vera Francis, NN organizer, says, "For almost three years, our organization has been engaged in litigation against the BIA. It was not until 2007, two years into our litigation, that the BIA raised the issue of exhaustion, on which Judge Woodcock based his decision to dismiss."
Vera Francis says, "It is evident that the BIA has raised one procedural hurdle after another to avoid getting to the merits of the case. We aim to get to the merits of our case, even as the BIA continues to work closely with the company in obtaining amendments to the contract/ground lease. NN also aims to continue to pursue those critical elements that the BIA has overlooked including the fair market appraisal of Native land."
Quoddy Bay LNG Deputy Project Manager Adam Wilson says the tribal council over a month ago approved an amendment to the ground lease that will clarify what the BIA approved, but he says the council did unilaterally added some language in that Quoddy Bay wants to approve. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Sep 12)
Webmaster's Comments: Quoddy Bay LNG seems to think it represents the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Webmaster's Comments: Additional LNG development in North America has been turned on its head by a glut of domestic natural gas reserves. Even Calais LNG's financial partner Goldman Sachs has stated that incremental importing of LNG into the US is no longer necessary (see Sep 11 Purchasing.com story).
The probability of LNG succeeding in Passamaquoddy Bay will only be getting worse:
- According to the natural gas industry, there are enough natural gas reserves in the US to last 100 years;
- Asia and Europe are willing to outbid the US by 50100% for LNG;
- Natural gas from LNG is too costly for US markets;
- Two new US LNG import terminals are now applying to export the imported LNG to Asia and other foreign markets;
- There are already four new LNG export projects in the US;
- Canada will not allow LNG into Passamaquoddy Bay;
- According to former FERC Chairman Pat Wood, the Northeast and the rest of the US already has a sufficient supply of natural gas from existing and under-construction LNG import facilities.
The principals in…
- Downeast LNG
- Calais LNG, and
- Quoddy Bay LNG
…could save their careers from greater embarrassment by abandoning LNG now, and moving to viable ventures elsewhere.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (via LexisNexis [subscription required]) offers an analysis of Qatar's entrance into the U.S. LNG market on a long-term basis when the Golden Pass LNG terminal begins operations next year.
Webmaster's Comments: Fascinating. The newly-constructed and nearby Sabine Pass LNG and Freeport LNG terminals have just applied to export the LNG they just imported, since they can't sell the expensive LNG-source natural gas to US customers. Will Qatar (the majority owner of Golden Pass LNG) be willing to sell LNG in the US for considerably less than it can get for it in Asia? Or, like Sabine Pass LNG and Freeport LNG, will it simply use its US terminal as storage for LNG going to Europe and Asia?
AMERICA’s LNG terminal sector, once touted for its vast potential, appears to have disastrously overbuilt capacity. The situation is so bleak that two newcomers are pleading for the US government to allow imports of LNG that will then be re-exported to “maintain continual operation status” of now-empty terminals. (Sep 11)
VILNIUS, Sept 15 (Reuters) The United States will fund a feasibility study for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Lithuania under an agreement signed between the two countries on Monday.
Lithuania is concerned about its growing dependence on Russian gas supplies, particularly with the planned shutdown of its Soviet-era nuclear power plant at the end of 2009. [Bold red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: The US is helping Lithuania reduce that country's dependence on Russian energy, while, at the same time, the US Department of State has invited Russia to own US energy infrastructure.
Question: What's wrong with this picture? Answer: The US does a better job of protecting other countries' energy security than it does protecting its own.
11 Sep 2008
Goldman Sachs Group cut its U.S. natural gas price forecast for the Northern Hemisphere winter by 23% because of higher-than-expected output and lower demand from power plants. "The strong U.S. natural gas supply growth suggests that incremental LNG imports into the U.S. will no longer be necessary for U.S. inventories to reach comfortable levels," says the New York-based brokerage. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Goldman Sachs is the "financial partner" in Calais LNG Project Co.
Towns will challenge FERC in federal court
At issue will be FERC’s authority to issue permits prior to coastal consistency certification by the host state as required by federal law, according to the attorney representing Riverhead and Southold.
FERC issued Broadwater’s permits in advance of New York’s issuing its coastal zone consistency certification, and that’s illegal, Mr. Bergen maintains. “It violates the plain language of the statutes,” he said. Mr. Bergen said section 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act and section 401 of the Clean Water Act, both federal statutes, plainly require the host state to approve the Broadwater plan before FERC may issue its permits.
At least two other states, Washington and Delaware, are already challenging FERC’s practice of issuing conditional permits prior to state coastal consistency and Clean Water Act certifications. Their actions are now pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.
FERC’s policy of issuing “conditional” licenses turns the statute on its head, she said, and “once FERC says to an applicant ‘you’re good to go,’ it puts all the pressure on the state.” [Red emphasis added.]
AES developed the Bog Turtle Management Plan in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, one of the agencies providing input in the development of a final environmental impact statement for the proposed facility.
Under the proposed rule, so-called “action agencies” would be left to determine for themselves if a proposed project such as the LNG facility would have an effect on endangered species or protected habitats. Agencies could forgo extensive environmental investigation by the two services if the action agency determines that the effects of a proposed project were expected to be insignificant. [Red emphasis added.]
Clatsop County will send two commissioners to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission meeting Sept. 18 as the agency makes its licensing decision regarding the proposed Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas terminal.
The Federal Aviation Administration is holding a public meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at The Red Building, 20 Basin St., in Astoria to discuss the effect of the Oregon LNG liquefied natural gas project on the Astoria Regional Airport.
"As an experienced pilot, I believe the location and height of the proposed liquefied natural gas tanks are dangerous to the citizens living around the airport, and to the crews that land and take off at the airport," [Sen. Betsy Johnson] wrote in a letter dated June 11.
Speaking about the importance of "air-tight" due diligence, Daron Threet, Counsel at Sutherland and formerly Legal Counsel to the MARAD Deepwater Port Program, encouraged developers to understand that the complex regulatory approval process is a "negotiation that begins earlier than most applicants realize."
10 Sep 2008
Official Energy Statistics from the US Government
Energy in Brief What everyone should know about energy
Natural gas production in the Lower 48 States has seen a large upward shift. After 9 years of no net growth through 2006, an upward trend began that generated 3% growth between first-quarter 2006 and first-quarter 2007, followed by an exceptionally large 9% increase between first-quarter 2007 and first-quarter 2008.
Total U.S. proved natural gas reserves resources that have been identified and tested and either have been or will be developed have increased for the last eight years, and in 10 of the last 11 years. Recent drilling trends indicate continued growth, with a stronger concentration on unconventional resources like shales. Shale formations in the lower 48 States are widely distributed, large, and contain huge resources of natural gas. They are just starting their full development. Already, the production from just one Barnett Shale field in Texas contributes more than 6% of production from the lower 48 States, which is more than from the large producing State of Louisiana. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jun 11)
Webmaster's Comments: “What everyone should know about energy” with “everyone” including Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG is that unlicensed, wishful LNG projects are wasting their time, effort, and money. Domestic natural gas supplies are increasing to the point that even newly-completed LNG import terminals are reversing their strategy, and are now seeking licenses to export to Asia (and other foreign markets) the LNG they've already imported; they can't find US customers for the high-priced LNG-source natural gas.
Repsol Energy North America has a daily contract to sell one billion cubic feet a day, but only three-quarters of that is destined to pre-arranged buyers, leaving the rest to be put on the market. [Red emphasis added.] (Sep 9)
Webmaster's Comments: Apparently New Brunswick needs more natural gas than it is currently providing itself from other sources. The recent proliferation of US domestic natural gas and the predicted domestic "natural gas-price train wreck" that's coming may destroy Canaport's ability to sell price-competitive regasified LNG to the US.
"The administration is trying to have it both ways -- arguing that we need to drill everywhere because we don't have adequate energy supplies, while finding that we have so much energy that big oil companies can export it overseas and keep prices here at home higher than they would otherwise be," Wyden wrote in a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman.
"It is hard to see how the department concluded that the proposed export of Alaskan natural gas met the required public interest test with regard to either Alaskan or lower-48 energy needs," Wyden said. [Red emphasis added.] (Sep 9)
Webmaster's Comments: Either way, the US government deserves the heat:
- Either there isn't enough domestic natural gas in the US, so the US shouldn't be exporting it to foreign countries,
- There is plenty of domestic natural gas, as indicated by industry and government, so permitting more LNG import terminals isn't in the public interest.
ASTORIA (AP) State approval needed to build the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas terminal has been delayed until developer NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc. provides more information on the project.
The state must approve permits for the Bradwood project before federal regulators can give NorthernStar the go-ahead to begin constructing the proposed LNG terminal 20 miles east of Astoria on the Columbia River.
Missing project data forces LNG company to ask DEQ to restart approval time clock
[A]s the Oct. 17 deadline approached for DEQ to make a permitting decision, the state still didn't have that information from the company. NorthernStar withdrew its request for 401 Water Quality Certification last week to restart the one-year review period DEQ has to issue the water-quality permit as required by the federal Clean Water Act. (Sep 9)
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality asked NorthernStar to resubmit its application for the Bradwood Landing terminal because the initial application did not have enough information in it, DEQ spokeswoman Marcia Danab said. (Sep 9)
SUGAR LAND--September 9, 2008--Researched by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas)--Oregon Pipe Line Company (Renton, Washington) has lodged a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission filing for a natural gas pipeline to connect a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving and regasification terminal being proposed by LNG Development Company LLC (Vancouver, Washington) to be located in Warrington, Washington, with local natural gas markets. (Sep 9)
"The fact remains that US gas supplies are screaming higher at a ridiculously high 8% annual growth rate," Adkins said. "Since gas demand growth is not growing nearly as fast as supply growth, the US gas market is still headed for a train wreck. Yes, we have had a meaningful pullback in natural gas prices over the past two months, but there is no reason it cannot get worse." (Sep 8)
8 Sep 2008
"If there is a nightmare scenario that for some reason this project will be out of reach of realization based on a Canadian political decision, then for us it will be easy to find an alternative destination for our LNG," Medvedev said.
Webmaster's Comments: Political disagreement, originating from North America or Russia, could result in a lack of Russian energy supply to North America. If there has been any doubt about potential disaster awaiting the US or Canada for relying on Russian sources of energy, or Russian-controlled energy infrastucture in North America, this is a great big clue.
The RDN recently passed a motion supporting a federal ban on the passage of LNG tankers in the Strait of Georgia and Malaspina Strait as Calgary-based WestPac LNG Corp. prepares to move forward with its ambitious $2-billion project that would include a large liquefied natural gas storage facility on Texada Island. (Sep 6)
In a series of letters mailed Friday, the state asked NorthernStar to disclose names, addresses and contacts at various communications, research and printing companies as they relate to tens of thousands of dollars the company spent to influence a Clatsop County vote later this month over its natural gas project.
The Secretary of State’s Office has been investigating whether the Houston company engaged in so-called “push polling,” or phone calls designed to persuade voters. It’s also looking into whether NorthernStar failed to report the expenditures under campaign finance laws. (Sep 6)
5 Sep 2008
At Pleasant Point, voters went to the polls Tuesday and elected three tribal councilors: Darren Paul with 165 votes, Christine Downing with 159 votes and former tribal state Rep. Fred ["Moose"] Moore III with 153 votes. Hilda Lewis, the incumbent tribal councilor, was not elected. She garnered 112 votes.
In July, Quoddy Bay LNG, the company that hopes to build the LNG terminal on Passamaquoddy tribal land off Route 190, announced it would suspend temporarily the quarterly payments it had been making to the tribe, an earlier BDN story said.
Webmaster's Comments: Fred Moore III brought Quoddy Bay LNG (QBLNG) to the area. He went to work with them, left them and went to work with an early iteration of the nine versions of Calais LNG, left there and became tribal liaison to Quoddy Bay LNG, and reportedly recently left that position, as well. Perhaps Moore sees what we see happening with QBLNG.
The Quoddy Bay LNG project is in federal regulatory "limbo," having been suspended from review by FERC for not having answered FERC's questions for over a year.
Quoddy Bay LNG has on five separate occasions delayed the required pre-hearing conference with the Maine Board of Environmental Protection and is now requesting it be held sometime in January of 2009. It's clear they don't have a credible project.
The Quoddy Bay LNG - Pleasant Point Tribal Government ground lease agreement for the LNG import facility is also in "limbo," due to the lawsuit brought by Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon against the US Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). That lawsuit may invalidate the lease agreement.
Ironically, Quoddy Bay LNG's president Don Smith recently indicated in a letter to the tribal government that the lease already isn't valid, using that as an excuse not to pay the tribe it's contracted lease payments. If the lease isn't valid, then Quoddy Bay LNG doesn't have continuous "title, right, or interest" in the terminal site as is required by Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and must be disqualified from the process.
Quoddy Bay LNG's project problems:
- federal regulatory limbo;
- numerous and repeated delays in the state process;
- invalid ground lease;
- no title, right, or interest in their proposed import site;
- no money;
- Canada's refusal to allow LNG ship transits into Passamaquoddy Bay; and
- the US LNG opportunity-bubble has been replaced by a domestic natural gas bubble.
Quoddy Bay LNG might just as well pack up and go home.
FERC says its March 20 approval stands
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday denied requests by New York, Connecticut, Suffolk County and the towns of Riverhead, Southold, Brookhaven, East Hampton and Huntington to reconsider its approval of Broadwater Energy's permits to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound, nine miles off the coast of Wading River in the Town of Riverhead.
Lee and Redman questioned whether the Cook Inlet region is truly facing a natural gas supply crisis that would justify premium pricing, saying that in applying for an extension to the export license for the Nikiski LNG terminal on the Kenai Peninsula the producers had submitted estimates of proved gas reserves of 1,211 billion cubic feet and probable reserves of an additional 514 billion cubic feet.
This year and 2007 have contained many dark moments for county government. One commissioner misunderstood his role, using it to enhance his private business. That commissioner also stacked the deck of the county planning commission so that it could give the prospective Bradwood liquefied natural gas terminal a green light. That commissioner was recalled by a landslide vote.
TULSA, Okla., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, LP and Jordan Cove Energy Project, LP announced today they have received notification that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) has been issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for their projects.
Pacific Connector and Jordan Cove will host a series of public meetings along the proposed pipeline route in Oregon during the week of Sept. 22. These meetings will update the public on the projects and inform them how to participate in the DEIS process.
Natural gas has long been known as the widow-maker given its extreme volatility, but it’s a vitally important resource for the US. In the latest issue of The Energy Letter, Elliott Gue looks at the North American liquefied natural gas market.
Webmaster's Comments: US domestic natural gas resources moot LNG import projects.
At the 5th Annual Law of LNG Conference, officials with Merrill Lynch Commodities and Citigroup Global Commodities said that they expect greater opportunities to trade LNG as global liquefaction capacity grows over the next few years.
Webmaster's Comments: Greater opportunities exist in exporting LNG to Asia and Europe. LNG opportunities in exporting to the US have been mooted by the prolific availability of domestic US shale gas reserves.
A federal corruption and foreign bribery probe into the liquefied natural-gas construction industry reaches beyond Nigeria to a slate of projects in Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, according to Justice Department documents filed in a Houston federal court.
4 Sep 2008
CALGARY, Sept. 4 /CNW/ - The National Energy Board (NEB) today approved an application by Repsol Energy Canada Ltd. (Repsol) for a long-term licence authorizing the importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) into Canada, and a separate licence to export regasified LNG from Canada to the United States.
In its application, Repsol stated that the LNG will supply the Canaport(TM) LNG Terminal at Mispec Point, near Saint John, New Brunswick. After it is transformed back into gas, the natural gas will serve the domestic Canadian market and also be available for export to markets in the United States through the Emera Brunswick Pipeline.
Webmaster's Comments: Fighting the LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay has cost Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance hundreds of thousands of dollars.
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Broadwater, the company that sought to build a liquefied natural gas offload platform and pipeline in the middle of Long Island Sound, is currently seeking a decision from the federal Department of Commerce DOC for an override of the denial earlier this summer by New York in which it denied permits needed to proceed with the platform. This effort for an override is seen by many opponents as a latch-ditch spasm of this otherwise dead proposal, but anxiety remains.
The 60-page report researched and prepared by Clean Ocean Action's water policy attorney and a staff scientist asserts the United States' domestic natural gas supply is more than enough to meet the nation's growing demand for at least the next 60 years. It also states LNG is a foreign fuel that shifts the U.S. away from the national call for energy independence. [Red emphasis added.]
Exxon Mobil has proposed a floating terminal 20 miles east of Manasquan where LNG carriers would link with an undersea pipeline that would carry the gas to shore, and Calgary-based conglomerate Excalibur wants to build an anchorage 15 miles off Asbury Park where tankers would link to a pipeline. The two projects are expected to be officially proposed to the U.S. Maritime Administration and Coast Guard next year.
3 Sep 2008
Webmaster's Comments: This article's author ignores the reason for the pricing differential between world sectors and US gas markets copious domestic natural gas supply. There simply is no need to pay for more costly LNG when the US has a "sea" of domestic natural gas at its disposal.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to market reports, is already close to parity with crude oil. When LNG cargoes sell for $20 a million cubic feet, as has been happening this year, this is the energy equivalent of about $124 per barrel of crude. In a year's time, LNG market reports are forecasting that LNG may fetch a premium over crude oil. [Red emphasis added.]
Four viewers had challenged Exxon's claim that "natural gas is one of the world's cleanest fuels" and complained that the advertisement, which had been running on British television over summer, falsely implied LNG was environmentally friendly.
"We concluded that the ad misleadingly implied that natural gas was one of the cleanest sources of energy and that liquefied natural gas was environmentally friendly," the advertising watchdog said in a statement.
Defendant Participated in a Scheme to Bribe Nigerian Government Officials to Obtain [LNG] Contracts
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Albert "Jack" Stanley, a former officer and director of a global engineering, construction and services company based in Houston, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by participating in a decade-long scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials to obtain engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts and to conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud as part of a separate kickback scheme, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division announced. The EPC contracts to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities on Bonny Island, Nigeria, were valued at more than $6 billion. [Red emphasis added.]
KBR and its former parent company, Houston-based Halliburton Co., became involved with the Bonny Island project in 1998, when Halliburton purchased Dallas-based Dresser. Dresser held a 55 percent stake in London-based M.W. Kellogg Ltd.
Webmaster's Comments: The Earth Times story, above and this story, indicate that the crimes occurred over 10-years beginning in 1998, meaning that Vice President Dick Cheney led the parent company (Halliburton) for two years during that period.
KBR was the former engineering and construction arm of Halliburton Co (HAL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the third-largest oilfield services company by market value, and run by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney from 1995 to 2000. KBR was split from Halliburton in April last year.
2 Sep 2008
Maryland state and local government officials have expressed opposition to the project, saying it would bring LNG tankers up Chesapeake Bay and potentially disrupt Baltimore Harbor vessel traffic. New York state officials raised similar points on Apr. 10 when they rejected the proposed Broadwater LNG project in Long Island Sound.
According to its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed Jordan Cove LNG regasification terminal released August 29th, FERC has concluded that the project would have "limited adverse environmental impacts."
The FERC said the competition between the Denali project, backed by two major oil companies, and the TransCanada project, backed by the state, is “a positive indication of serious interest by major industry players, which should be resolved ultimately in the energy and financial marketplaces.”
“We believe it to be in the public interest to avoid the consequences of a prolonged, duplicative regulatory review in a competitive situation, especially during the application phase,” the FERC said. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: FERC has had no qualms, at all, regarding time-consuming and costly review of three competing LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay. And that is for projects that aren't even needed in order to supply the US with its natural gas requirements a copious "sea" of domestic natural gas already exists in the US.
Measure 4-131 is two things. It is a very specific, prescriptive directive. It is also a populist attempt to rebuke the Clatsop County Commission and strike a blow against the deeply flawed LNG site selection process.
The LNG terminal site selection process is backwards. As designed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, there is no attempt to build a national strategy. Instead, FERC will grant permits to the applicants who get there first. And that process simply rewards the high-priced Beltway lawyer-lobbyists who live off the regulatory agencies. [Red emphasis added.]
Clatsop County Clerk Cathie Garber said this morning that ballots for the Sept. 16 special election for Measure 4-131 [regarding LNG] have already been returned at the drop box outside the Elections Office at 820 Exchange St.
Jordan Cove would off-load and store LNG at the facility, proposed for construction at Coos Bay, Oregon, in specially designed tanks at its terminal. The facility would be capable of providing up to 1 Bcf/d of gas to markets in the Pacific Northwest, northern Nevada and northern California through the Pacific Connector sendout pipeline, which would stretch 229.5 miles (369 km), and interconnections with an intrastate pipeline and four interstate pipeline systems.
1 Sep 2008
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports into the U.S. remain low as high-demand, premium-price markets in Asia and Spain continue to draw the majority of LNG supply, leaving terminals in the U.S. and northern Europe underutilized. An unexpected rise in U.S. natural gas production also is filling domestic needs, keeping U.S. natural gas prices low relative to prices in other countries.
The LNG market has been hit by an unexpected twist. The productivity of natural gas shale plays in the U.S. has taken many by surprise, according to Zach Allen, president of PanEurasian Enterprises. Natural gas production has actually increased, while forecasts by LNG players such as Cheniere Energy estimated a 2.5 percent reduction in domestic production per year and a "clear and urgent need" for LNG.
"My feeling is, if you've got strong local opposition, they may not be able to kill you with one blow, but a thousand cuts can do it. Whether it's justified or not, you just can't overcome strong intrinsic local opposition. They're going to be creative in finding ways to stop things," said Allen. [Bold red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Not only do the Passamaquoddy Bay-area LNG projects have justified and strong intrinsic opposition, the opposition includes the sovereign Government of Canada, whose permission is required for LNG transits to the proposed projects. No greater barrier could be presented to any LNG project.
Domestic natural gas reserves are sufficient to supply the United States for the next 100 years. New LNG facilities simply aren't needed.
In addition, these three local projects are violating the wisdom and advice of their own industry (see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization).
The Calais LNG, Downeast LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG inevitable retreat is long overdue. Their projects have no hope of success as they continue to embarrass their industry and themselves.