"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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27 Aug 2009
Smith Cogeneration Management, Inc, of Oklahoma City, OK., was incorporated in 1986. It's SIC #Code:8741. According to data provided to Dunn and Bradstreet, the estimated annual sales:$730,000 with an estimated headcount of 12, presided over by Donald Smith.
This was the corporate entity which formed Quoddy Bay LNG, also an Oklahoma corporation, and just reading their FERC filings makes me giggle at the unreality of it. A dozen guys making three quarters of a million per year in sales were going to find the capital to do [an] LNG buildout at Pleasant Point and run 36" pipe out to Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, and pay M&N to add an additional 300 miles of pipeline. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Since FERC recently removed QBLNG from its maps of Potential and Proposed North American LNG facilities, it is clear that reality has finally caught up with Don Smith and his Quoddy Bay LNG misadventure.
Natural gas in Canada, already scraping along at prices below $2, a low not seen since 2002, may fall below $1 in the coming weeks, according to a report from FirstEnergy Capital. "The market is trying to rationalize all of the gas that is piling up and there are fewer and fewer places to put it. We expect that a $1 handle on prices will start becoming more common in the next few weeks,"said analyst Martin King.
Webmaster’s Comments: So, exactly how would Downeast LNG and Calais LNG cause natural gas prices to become lower?
However, FERC requested additional information regarding proposed changes to the spill containment system noting that it could not approve Weaver's Cove's proposed modifications. FERC also stated in its letter that the approval "involves routine engineering modifications and does not authorize commencement of site construction."
Separately, FERC also requested additional engineering and environmental information from Weaver's Cove on a wide range of issues, including the design and operation of the planned offshore berthing proposal. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Either way, this is testimony to the vast abundance of North American domestic natural gas, mooting any need to construct additional LNG import facilities.
He said, if the export license is not renewed, the plant could be used for importing LNG and regasifying it onsite. That would require a large amount of capital investment; and, a regasification facility would be needed.
Obama administration applies scrutiny to gas projects
“Over the next several years the ball is going to be in the court of the state of Oregon,” Serres said. “They have all of the authority that they need to kill all of these projects.” [Red emphasis added.]
Speaking at a meeting of the Warrenton, Ore., City Commission, Warrenton Planning Director Carol Parker said that following the recent extension of the lease for the Oregon LNG project site, she expects project developers to file an application for the site design and zoning variances.
Under pressure from the public, the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners loosened its rules regarding discussions of liquefied natural gas at county meetings. Though it has made nine related topics off-limits for those discussions.
Three commissioners are facing a possible recall as opponents collect signatures this month. The recalls of Chairman Jeff Hazen and Ann Samuelson are over their LNG voting records; the latest recall, against Patricia Roberts, focuses on LNG plus her role in the management of the Northwest Oregon Housing Authority (NOHA).
Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that an LNG cargo loaded aboard the Tangguh Towuti in Indonesia is expected to arrive at the Costa Azul LNG terminal in Baja California, Mexico, this weekend.
With US gas prices below $3 per million Btu and netbacks below $2, LNG imports into North America are receding towards 2008 levels, while the LNG surge into Northwest Europe continues. But underground storage is now above 93% full in the UK, Belgium and Spain, and nearly 80% full in France and Germany, storage operators report, and analysts are starting to raise the prospect of a potential collapse in winter European gas prices. [Bold, red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: A domestic natural gas resources boom killed the once-predicted LNG import boom.
A growing number of foreign energy companies eager to tap into America’s vast natural gas reserves is looking to invest in independent companies, while estimates of US supplies continue to increase. [Bold, red & yellow emphasis added.]
Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] provides an analysis of Gazprom Marketing and Trading's ambitions to enter the North American natural gas market. According to the piece, Gazprom expects to become a dominant player in the market whether or not it delivers LNG to North American LNG terminals such as Energia Costa Azul
xNatural gas tumbled more than 6 percent, or 18.5 cents to $2.725 per 1,000 cubic feet. The price dropped as low as $2.698 per 1,000 cubic feet earlier in the day, a price not seen since Aug. 7, 2002.
The amount in storage was starting to test the country's maximum capacity for natural gas. But EIA economist Jose Villar told The Associated Press that storage facilities have added about 100 billion cubic feet of extra space, giving suppliers more places to put it. The EIA will include details of the added capacity in a report to be published in the next few weeks, Villar said. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: There is no need to import more LNG in order to provide sufficient natural gas supply and to lower the price. Credibility fails where Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are concerned.
25 Aug 2009
The Aker Solutions and IHI partnership has received a signed Notice of Substantial Completion for Sempra LNG's Cameron LNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) receipt terminal near Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA.
Cameron LNG's first commissioning cargo arrived June 21. A subsequent delivery was made on June 30. The terminal is capable of processing 1.5 billion standard cubic feet per day (Bscf/d) of natural gas.
The Coos Bay terminal would receive LNG there and then warm that liquid back into ordinary natural gas and ship it over the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline to customers who want to buy it. The proposed route for this pipeline runs through Douglas County and would provide us with the firm gas supply that we lack to attract new industry. If we don't build the LNG terminal in Coos Bay and the pipeline, Douglas County will remain at the tail end of a very long, narrow pipe, last in line to get firm gas supplies.
Webmaster’s Comments: Never mind that the Jordon Cove LNG terminal location is inappropriate and unsafe, according to the world LNG industry. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more on LNG industry best practices.)
"Natural gas is now below $3," he said in a telephone interview. "That's the confluence of high production rates, a lot of demand destruction among industrial users and more liquid natural gas coming in as well as the expectation of more LNG."
Further, natural gas storage levels are at historically high levels, and there are more drilling rigs working on so-called tight-natural gas shale prospects like the Haynesville and Marcellus, Shiels said.
Webmaster’s Comments: LNG import expectations have, so far, largely fallen flat.
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US natural gas trading at seven-year lows below $3/MMBtu has underscored low market fundamentals - record supply overhang, poor demand and depressed production - but sources said on Tuesday that prices will break upward by the end of the year.
North American gas drilling activity is down by 56% from the same time last year when the rig count was at nearly 1,600 wells, according to the latest weekly data from oil and gas service firm Baker Hughes.
"Everything has come together for natural gas to really hammer it," said Phil Flynn, senior research analyst at PFG Best, a brokerage in Chicago. "All of this stuff is having a major impact on the marketplace. We are trading in a totally different market than a few years ago."
The Alberta spot natural gas price closed at a paltry C$2.30 per 1,000 cubic feet on Monday. Most producers say they need gas in the $6 to $8 range to eke out a profit, depending on the type and location of the reservoir.
A recent expedition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)—conducted in partnership with a Chevron-led international consortium, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Minerals Management Service, Columbia University, and others—confirmed that such accumulations do exist in the Gulf of Mexico. Furthermore, that expedition demonstrated the soundness of the team’s research approach, which relied on application of the same geological and geophysical methods that guide conventional hydrocarbon exploration.
Webmaster’s Comments: We’ve got a natural gas glut: 100-years’ worth of domestic natural gas in shale deposits, and now we’re discovering massive amounts of natural gas hydrate in the Gulf of Mexico — piling even more bad news on top of bad news for Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
24 Aug 2009
In the fall of 2003, because of the seasonal concentration of right whales east of Grand Manan, the main shipping lane that funnels large ship traffic in and out of the Bay of Fundy was shifted east toward Nova Scotia, away from where the whales tend to be found. In addition, whale researchers provide the bay’s shipping traffic controllers with information about the location of whales in the area, which then is passed on to the ships so they can know where the animals might be.
Webmaster’s Comments: It is important to note that North Atlantic right whale studies are not carried out in Grand Manan Channel, resulting in a lack of data for that ship-traffic area. Grand Manan Channel is the shipping route being planned by the proposed Passamaquoddy Bay LNG projects.
NEW YORK, Aug 24 (Reuters) - The Canaport liquefied natural gas terminal in New Brunswick received its fourth LNG cargo on Monday afternoon, a terminal spokeswoman said on Monday. Repsol YPF's 138,000-cubic-meter Bilbao Knutsen LNG tanker set sail from Trinidad last week. … Repsol is responsible for sourcing and shipping LNG to the terminal which has the capacity to send out 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day.
The idea that the Coast Guard has reduced the value of life in this area to an exercise in probability does not reflect the Coast Guard Ethos. It does not recognize that Fall River is only the second “approved” urban siting of such a facility. The first was Everett in 1971, and the error of that siting was the reason for writing the Pipleline Safety Act of 1979 recommending remote siting, to prevent a similar, unnecessary risk to large populations, urban centers and infrastructure.
The most important question is, why endanger the city of Newport, the communities along the shipping route or Fall River and Somerset at all? Capt. Perry’s LOR does not recognize the alternatives that make such a risk absolutely unnecessary. In this regard, the Coast Guard is not proactive in protecting the area but reactive, placing the residents and its own personnel at unnecessary risk. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: LNG terminal siting does not require putting small populations, non-urban areas and infrastructure at risk, either. Offshore siting solves those problems — and provides greater market flexibility.
The US Coast Guard decisions re Fall River and Passamaquoddy Bay ignored world LNG terminal siting best practices, even though the Coast Guard expends considerable energy advocating observance of best practices. Apparently, best practices do not count with the Coast Guard when LNG ship transits are involved.
The difference between the Passamaquoddy Bay and Fall River Coast Guard Letters of Recommendation (LORs), though, is significant in a unique way: The Department of Homeland Security (Coast Guard) requires that Downeast LNG (DeLNG) and Calais LNG (CLNG) must obtain cooperation from Canada in order to safely and securely transit LNG ships through both Canadian and US Waters. This issue is independent of “innocent passage.” Since Canada has already rendered its decision to deny cooperation, Downeast LNG and Calais LNG cannot meet Homeland Security requirements. Continuing the FERC process is an unnecessary waste of taxpayers’ money. DeLNG and CLNG are lost causes.
Now, there is a strong consensus among government energy agencies, investment analysts, and publications like the Wall Street Journal that LNG isn’t needed in the U.S., and is not worth the investment or risk when North America is home to plenty of its own natural gas supplies.
The folly of LNG is most apparent in Louisiana, where a brand new LNG terminal that recently went on-line imported enough of the fuel to fill its tank, and then found it was too expensive to compete with domestically produced natural gas. The company responsible, Cheniere, is now cutting their losses by re-exporting to foreign markets the same LNG they just imported. Meanwhile, the one LNG terminal that opened on the West Coast, Sempra’s brand new Costa Azul terminal on Mexico’s Baja coast, is largely sitting idle. Despite this, PG&E persists in its pipeline plans. [Bold, red & yellow emphasis added.]
The urgency to build terminals to receive foreign LNG has all but evaporated with the development of new techniques for locating and extracting domestic sources of natural gas. [Bold, red ,& yellow emphasis added.]
23 Aug 2009
Webmaster’s Comments: Canadian legislation to prohibit LNG into Passamaquoddy Bay would be a good idea, but it is unnecessary. The US Department of Homeland Security (US Coast Guard) has already solidly built the roadblock to these projects: the LNG applicants are required to obtain Canada's cooperation on safe and secure transits of the LNG ships through US and Canadian waters. Since the Government of Canada has already issued its decision not to provide cooperation, the applicants cannot satisfy Homeland Security’s requirements. This issue is apart from “innocent passage” — an issue that is not even involved in the Homeland Security roadblock and Canada’s decision.
Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are dead horses in a race that finished five years ago.
Infighting by a number of interests has replaced the cooperative tone taken by Maine and New Brunswick on the project [— NOT].
Webmaster’s Comments: Maine Sunday Telegram writer Tux Turkle’s article has several problems:
- Canaport was not the first LNG terminal on the East Coast in the past 30 years. Northeast Gateway Deepwater LNG Port received its operational approvals in 2008 February, a year prior to Canaport.
- Turkle's article claims "Controversy Sidelines Corridor." He has ignored the August 15 article in the New Brunswick Business Journal, "Commission Refraining From International Treaties." Chairman (Senator) Barry Hobbins of the Maine Energy Infrastructure Commission, says the LNG-Head Harbour Passage issue will not be considered by, or impact, decisions of the Commission. The "controversy" has turned out to be a non-controversy with respect to the NB-ME Energy Corridor, and has not sidelined the Corridor, at all.
- Tony Buxton of Calais LNG and Maine Jobs First claims LNG-source natural gas from [the Calais LNG or Downeast LNG] terminals would be less expensive and more reliable than Canaport's natural gas. Canaport's major source of LNG comes from Repsol-owned liquefaction facilities in Trinidad & Tobago -- a vertically-integrated business. What is the supply source of LNG for Calais LNG and Downeast LNG? They don't have a source, so they don't know what their LNG will cost, making Buxton's claim unfounded.
Narragansett Bay is the boating capital of New England. These supertankers would frequently disrupt sailing regattas in the summer months. Bridge closings would delay emergency ambulance trips across the Pell Bridge. There could be economic impacts, such as a decline in property values, as well.
There is still time to be heard. Other agencies must approve the plan and public hearings will be held. We’ll keep you informed. In the meantime, write to our U.S. senators and representatives. They need to know how you feel about these LNG supertankers sailing past your home more than once a week.
Webmaster’s Comments: The Weaver's Cove Energy LNG terminal siting — like Downeast LNG and Calais LNG — violates world LNG terminal siting best practices. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.)
MARAD released supplemental material and corrections to the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) it prepared for the Port Dolphin LNG deepwater port project. The supplemental material and corrections are available in today's Federal Register.
Webmaster’s Comments: See Federal Register publication (PDF) — Port Dolphin Energy LLC, Port Dolphin Energy Liquefied Natural Gas Deepwater Port License Application; Final Environmental Impact Statement.
WASHINGTON: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved Cameron LNG's request to allow simultaneous unloading from two berths at a maximum rate of 12,000 cubic meters (423, 776 cu ft) per hour from each berth at its liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal.
QUINTANA — Freeport LNG hopes to become just the second liquefied natural gas import terminal capable of extracting other hydrocarbons from the gas it receives, allowing it to sell them to other companies that use the liquids to create other products.
Webmaster’s Comments: This demonstrates that LNG imported into the US may contain excessive amounts of “hot” hydrocarbons (they burn hotter than methane), also meaning such LNG is more prone to unconfined vapor explosions — something FERC and LNG developers insist cannot happen, even though Sandia National Laboratories indicates it can happen.
Faced with a slowly increasing natural gas demand accompanied by steadily declining Cook Inlet gas deliverability, Enstar Natural Gas Co, the main gas utility in Southcentral Alaska, is working with Houston-based ANR Pipeline Co, a subsidiary of TransCanada, to establish a new Cook Inlet underground gas storage facility with an eventual capacity of up to 15 billion cubic feet, to alleviate a pending gas deliverability shortfall, John Lau, Enstar’s director of transmission operations, told Petroleum News Aug. 17. The two companies plan to make a final decision by the end of this year on whether to proceed with construction of the facility, he said.
The sharp price decline of natural gas, to below $3 per thousand cubic feet from a peak of over $13 last summer, has been caused by a drop in demand from factories and homes because of the recession, coupled with a big expansion of domestic production over the last few years.
Gas demand is so weak and supply so abundant that some experts think the country could run out of storage capacity before the winter heating season begins, requiring gas companies to reduce flow from their wells or even shut down production.
[B]ecause many of the shale wells are new and just beginning to flow, production has remained high. In fact, natural gas output this year has been slightly higher than last year despite the sharply declining rig count.
The politics of natural gas are extremely interesting. In a nutshell, the interests of coal utilities and natural gas executives are at odds. To the extent carbon is penalized and coal is phased out, natural gas wins.
Webmaster’s Comments: Natural gas wins out over coal, but LNG doesn't compare to natural gas.
[T]he threat to divert Russian LNG to the U.S. market is unrealistic at the moment — and for many years to come. New gas field discoveries in the U.S. have largely dispensed with the need to import LNG from foreign markets — including Russia. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
20 Aug 2009
"Most gas producers have said they believe low prices are temporary, the result of weak demand due to the recession. The Kitimat project, however, is one of the first signs that some in the industry believe there is a long-term oversupply of gas in North America," the Journal said. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Increasing incremental LNG import infrastructure would be expensive overkill.
Sen. Jeff Merkley exposes the dirty little secret about Bradwood LNG
Hidden beneath the rationale of jobs and tax base that has been expressed by four Clatsop County Commissioners, the drive to develop a liquefied natural gas terminal at Bradwood is about enormous profit. All big private energy projects are, at bottom, about the big bonanza. Anyone in Clatsop County who doesn't get it - that jobs will be modest and tax base is problematic, but profits are huge - is either naive or standing in line for their share of the profit.
The dirty little secret is that the American shortage of natural gas supply is illusory. As Sen. Merkley told Cassandra Profita of our staff: "You can only make money if you move gas from low-cost to high-cost location. If you invest several billion dollars in infrastructure and find out the American natural gas price stayed lower than anticipated, the only way to make money would be to export it. I expect this to be in the back of the minds of those building the terminals." [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: This holds true in the Northeast, as well as the Northwest.
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) told the Daily Astorian [subscription required] that he proposed an amendment to the energy and water appropriations bill that would have prohibited the use of federal funds for the permitting of any U.S. LNG terminal that could export domestic natural gas.
Webmaster’s Comments: Exporting LNG from the US enables big energy to make big profits while damaging US energy security and the public interest.
The Haynesville Shale, in Louisiana, is so large and prolific that even as the use of gas rigs has fallen in other parts of the United States, current activity there makes up for a quarter of the decline elsewhere. Even at today’s lower natural gas prices, total production in Haynesville could increase tenfold by late 2010. What is more, the Marcellus Shale, which stretches from West Virginia through Pennsylvania and into New York, may contain as much natural gas as the North Field in Qatar, the largest field ever discovered. Shale resources in North America are so vast that plans are being made to develop them for export as lng from Canada’s west coast. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: North American natural gas domestic resources are so overwhelming, even LNG import terminals are re-exporting the LNG to overseas markets. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are chasing a pipe dream.
19 Aug 2009
Yesterday Dominion Cove Point, LP submitted to FERC its Implementation Plan for the mitigation measures required under the Commission's order authorizing the Cove Point LNG Pier Reinforcement Project.
NATS [subscription required] reports that the vessel LNG Borno delivered an LNG cargo to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal yesterday. According to NATS, LNG terminals in the United States have accepted approximately 24 Bcf of LNG in August (including the gas from the LNG Borno) and have sent out approximately 20 Bcf, including gas exported to the United States from the Canaport LNG terminal in New Brunswick, Canada. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
The state offered an alternative to the 30-year renewal, and the Port Commission Tuesday agreed to extend the initial five-year lease term for two years to allow enough time for the Port to look into complicating factors regarding the ownership of the Skipanon Peninsula land and give the state time to complete a criminal investigation connected with the original lease agreement. [Bold emphasis added.]
The lease was unpopular from the get-go in 2004, and questions remain about whether Port leaders broke the law in arranging the deal. However, Oregon LNG has filed a civil lawsuit claiming damages if the Port doesn't renew the state lease by Aug. 31.
Webmaster’s Comments: LNG is not “clean energy.” It is merely cleaner than other hydrocarbon fuels.
The above link leads to a PDF file of the white paper by Center for Liquefied Natural Gas. The white paper argues that the US should be importing LNG; however, Center for Liquefied Natural Gas fails to mention the 100-year domestic natural gas glut in North America that moots their argument.
18 Aug 2009
SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is establishing two temporary safety zones extending 500 meters in all directions from each of the two submerged turretloading buoys and accompanying systems that are part of GDF Suez Energy’s Neptune Deepwater Port located in the Atlantic Ocean off of Boston, Massachusetts. The purpose of these temporary safety zones is to protect vessels and mariners from the potential safety hazards associated with construction of the deepwater port facilities and the large sub-surface turret buoys, and to protect the deepwater port infrastructure. All vessels, with the exception of deepwater port support vessels, are prohibited from entering into, remaining or moving within either of the safety zones.
Competing priorities and shrinking budgets threaten to swamp the service.
The U.S. Coast Guard faces a stark and troubled future. If our nation's fifth and smallest military service was a cutter it would be listing severely, crippled by decades of undercapitalization, a lack of political support, an overwhelming workload, and the five words most feared by any Guardian: "the curse of can-do."
[T]he surfeit of post-9/11 homeland security responsibilities continues to extract a significant effort from the Coast Guard, as it escorts liquefied natual gas (LNG) tankers and nuclear-powered submarines through crowded waterways, provides point defense of critical infrastructure, and boards inbound vessels to verify the identities of crew and the safety of dangerous cargoes.
The first imperative is to determine with clarity the dimensions of the Coast Guard's role across the wide swath of its missions. Despite the fact that D.C. is drowning in studies, the Coast Guard's dire situation leaves no choice but for the administration to initiate a formal roles-and-missions study, chartered by the President and with the participation of interagency partners as well as non-federal and non-governmental stakeholders.
For example, for the homeland security mission of providing security to LNG shipments and other dangerous cargoes, the study could offer guidance concerning the respective responsibilities of the Coast Guard and the host of other involved agencies. Such a determination would help clarify an increasingly muddied situation where no real standards exist and responsibility for these security missions is designated on a port-by-port basis. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The authors (Captain Jim Howe, U.S. Coast Guard [retired] and Lieutenant Jim Dolbow, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve) point to a major flaw — the Coast Guard’s lack of standards regarding LNG terminal siting, i.e., ignoring LNG industry best practices (see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization). That flaw results in Coast Guard Letters of Recommendation inappropriately favoring LNG terminal sitings, such as Downeast LNG and Calais LNG projects that violate the industry’s own best practices.
In response to two recent filings made by Weaver's Cove Energy regarding the company's plans to mitigate effects from its LNG import project, the U.S. National Parks Service clarified that the project developer has not addressed all of its concerns, including those related to shoreline conditions at the proposed storage site, potential effects on a flounder spawning habitat in the Taunton River, and an ongoing review of the project's compatibility with the Taunton River's status as a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
Fall River — Budget constraints cut the amount the city has funded this year to fight the citing of a liquefied natural gas terminal to less than half what was earmarked a year ago, but the Correia administration says that prolonged battle remains a priority.
"We are confident that there is now an increased availability of LNG coming on the market that we can tap into. Major technological changes, which have significantly reduced the costs of transporting LNG from the major producing countries to Jamaica, have been taking place in the last three years. And extensive negotiations are taking place with major users of fuel and interested foreign partners to develop a completely new natural gas industry for Jamaica," the Minister said, while addressing a meeting of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce in Mandeville on August 13.
Comparing LNG imports to the United States (including the Canaport LNG terminal's exports to the U.S. market) from July 2009 and the first half of August 2009, NATS [subscription required] argues that "the pace of imports into the U.S. has slacked off considerably," and that "the pace of regasification has also slacked off." NATS notes that activity at the Everett, Elba Island, and Canaport LNG terminals has remained largely consistent, but use of other U.S. terminals has slowed due to market conditions.
A recent report from the Potential Gas Committee (PGC) in the US suggests that it may hold far greater recoverable reserves than earlier believed. The PGC (a group of geologists, engineers and academics) re-evaluated the shale gas plays in the Appalachian Basin and Gulf Coast, and concluded that the US possesses a total resource base of around 1,836 trillion cubic feet. This is the highest estimate of reserves that the PGC has produced in its 44-year history and represents an increase in future supply of around 35%. Taken as a rough estimate, such reserves imply that the US has enough gas within its own borders to meet current demand for the next 90 years.
The high returns that unconventional gas extraction tends to bring (around 20% on current NYMEX prices) means that producers will continue extracting even as prices sink as low as $3.5 per million British thermal units. Thus, if the current fiscal regime remains in place, unconventional plays will meet an increasing proportion of US demand. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
15 Month 2009
Save Passamaquoddy Bay/Canada will hold its annual general meeting at the Anglican Church at 7:30 p.m. [AT] on Tuesday. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Report Issue of tanker traffic through Passamaquoddy Bay waters isn't for Maine's new energy transmission group, members say
The recently formed Maine Energy Infrastructure Commission will set out the blueprints for regulating energy transmission in the state, but doesn't plan [to] use the opportunity to gain leverage in the ongoing contentious debate over LNG tanker traffic through Canadian waters, says Senator Barry Hobbins (D-Saco), who is the commission co-chairman.
"It's pretty difficult for us to put a barrier on Canadian power coming through Maine as a trade-off for backing down from LNG," he says. "I think the economics should determine that decision and not the politics." [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Sensibility and Maine’s best interests are prevailing.
SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is establishing two temporary safety zones extending 500 meters in all directions from each of the two submerged turret-loading buoys and accompanying systems that are part of GDF Suez Energy's Neptune Deepwater Port located in the Atlantic Ocean off of Boston, Massachusetts. The purpose of these temporary safety zones is to protect vessels and mariners from the potential safety hazards associated with construction of the deepwater port facilities and the large sub-surface turret buoys, and to protect the deepwater port infrastructure. All vessels, with the exception of deepwater port support vessels, are prohibited from entering into, remaining or moving within either of the safety zones. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Neptune LNG is around 13 miles offshore. Offshore LNG receiving facilities have the following advantages over shoreside LNG terminals. They:
- Are safely away from civilian populations;
- Weather better in wind and high seas;
- Generally have less environmental impact;
- Are easier to permit;
- Have fewer security issues;
- Can be expanded more readily, since there are no site abutters;
- Are fast to construct;
- Are cost-competitive;
- Provide more market flexibility — on-ship storage can be moved to where natural gas is needed, rather than be captive in onshore storage tanks.
"So we're coming up on the liquefied natural gas terminal," points out Yozell. "And you can see off to our side there's a service vessel that's probably finishing off some of the construction. It looks pretty benign from the surface," she says. And, indeed, I don't see anything on the ocean surface at all.
Williamson says this area is marked off on his navigational chart as a prohibited area. So this is one of the rare instances where the sea is already zoned — in this case an area reserved exclusively for gargantuan liquefied natural gas tankers.
Webmaster’s Comments: The Boston area has two new offshore LNG terminals, safely away from civilian populations (Northeast Gateway is in operation; Neptune LNG will be completed by the end of 2009.) These, plus the new Canaport LNG terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick, along with the new Deep Panuke natural gas well offshore from Nova Scotia, will more than supply northern New England’s incremental natural gas requirements.
Shoreside LNG terminals like Downeast LNG and Calais LNG would unnecessarily place thousands of civilians within Federally-defined Hazard Zones. Besides, the proposed LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay are mooted by pre-existing or under-construction natural gas infrastructure.
The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) notified FERC late last month that it will apply its existing siting requirements to the offshore LNG unloading system planned for the Weaver's Cove LNG import project as a "marine cargo transfer system." However, PHMSA also has determined that existing models to calculate thermal-radiation and vapor-gas dispersion are not appropriate for the pipeline associated with the offshore berth. As such, Weaver's Cove "must develop, and submit to [PHMSA's] Administrator for approval, an alternative model for calculating those distances." [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: This is a problem similar to the one that killed Quoddy Bay LNG — the inability to provide technical answers regarding a long undersea cryogenic LNG pipeline.
FERC also has approved rates to fund the development of transmission facilities needed for renewable resources. In May of this year, for example, FERC approved the funding arrangement for a major transmission project to deliver hydroelectric power from Quebec to New England, an effort expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to six million tons of carbon dioxide annually by displacing natural gas-fired generation. (PDF file) [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: FERC is actively reducing the need to import LNG. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG have no future.
Yesterday FERC issued a Notice of Filing stating that Freeport LNG Development, LP and Freeport LNG Expansion, LP submitted to the Commission an application requesting authorization to construct and operate a natural gas liquids (NGL) extraction system at the Freeport LNG terminal. The system will include two NGL extraction trains and is scheduled to go into service in June 2011.
Webmaster’s Comments: Natural Gas Liquids are hydrocarbon fuels other than methane (e.g., butane, propane, ethane) that are contained in some LNG deliveries, depending on the source. These NGLs burn hotter than methane, and if in great enough percentages in the LNG, can make LNG vapors conducive to unconfined explosion.
… Mayor Wallace Neeley’s proposed 2009-10 fiscal year budget of $1.35 million also calls for a beefed-up attorney’s fees budget in case the town gets drawn into legal battles with a property developer and Freeport LNG, which is responsible for bolstering the town budget with a $1.22 million industrial district payment.
The attorney’s fees budget increased from $7,256 to $20,000. Freeport LNG wants to bring 18-wheelers carrying liquefied natural gas onto the island, while Coastal Bend Property Development is seeking to subdivide lots and build hundreds of homes on the island. Town leaders oppose both plans.
“The thoughts that we’ve had over the past year was, since LNG was here and we were getting that money, since the residents would have to look at this and deal with the trucks coming down the streets, possibly getting run over and what have you, we should pay back the residents by not taxing them as much,” Neeley said, referring to Freeport LNG. “That’s their benefit for having this in their backyard.” [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: “Getting run over” hardly seems like a “benefit.”
Since concluding the hearing for the LUBA remand, at the advice of county counsel, the commission has prevented public comment on all things LNG related. That hasn't stopped people from letting their feelings be known during the meetings. Without saying "LNG" or "Bradwood Landing," speakers giving public comments during Wednesday's meeting discussed the impacts on the community.
Another sign of change in the North American natural gas industry, the Wall Street Journal reports Apache Corp. has agreed to supply gas to the Kitimat LNG terminal in British Columbia for export into the Asian market. The Kitimat facility was initially conceived of as an import terminal to tap Middle Eastern and Australian LNG supplies, but with the dramatic natural gas supply shift in North America the developers reversed plans. [Red, bold, and italic emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Gas glut. Gas glut. Gas glut. Building more LNG import infrastructure is fruitless.
[A]s this Bloomberg report says — the natural gas producers continue to churn out product: Gas Glut May Grow as XTO Energy (XTO: 40.27, -0.7 ), Devon Energy (DVN: 62.77, -1.95 ) Wells Prove Prolific. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
The purpose of the hearing is to consider the nominations of John R. Norris, to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [FERC], Jose Antonio Garcia, to be Director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact, Department of Energy, and Joseph G. Pizarchik, to be Director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Department of the Interior. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: View archived webcast.
According to [Cynthia L. Quarterman’s] biography on the law firm’s Web site, Quarterman is a member of the Regulatory and Industry Affairs Department. Her practice is focused on litigation and administrative law. She has recently litigated and advised clients on matters associated with pipeline safety, royalty valuation, federal land minerals management, pipeline acquisitions, Outer Continental Shelf (“OCS”) oil, gas and LNG facilities, the jurisdictional status of pipeline assets, as well as surface transportation, alternative energy and telecommunications.
14 Aug 2009
And [the threat of more ship-whale strikes] could be heightened if plans proceed to allow huge tankers carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) to sail down Head Harbour Passage. Three separate proposals to build gargantuan marine terminals on the Maine shoreline have threatened to turn a traditional tourism, fishing and aquaculture economy into an industrial zone fraught with the emission of six tons of greenhouse gases and toxic chemicals on a daily basis. Gigantic tankers, each accompanied by a gunboat to protect the potentially hazardous cargo, could soon change the land and seascapes for tour operators, fishermen and fish farmers who depend on the pristine nature of the area.
One of the most hilarious lies that has been spread about Goldman of late is that, since it repaid its TARP money, it’s now free and clear of any obligation to the government – as if that was the only handout Goldman got in the last year. Goldman last year made your average AFDC mom on food stamps look like an entrepreneur. Here’s a brief list of all the state aid that is hiding behind that $3.44 billion number they announced the other day. In no particular order:
- The AIG bailout. Goldman might have gone out of business last year if AIG had been allowed to proceed to an ordinary bankruptcy, as AIG owed Goldman about $20 billion at the time it went into a death spiral. Instead, Goldman gets to call upon its former chief, Hank Paulson, who green-lights this massive, $80 billion bailout of AIG (with Lloyd Blankfein in the room), at least $12.9 billion of which went straight to Goldman. Moreover, let’s not forget this: both Goldman and Bank Societe Generale had been tattooing AIG with collateral calls in the period before AIG’s collapse, with Goldman extracting a full $5.9 billion from the company during that time. It was those collateral calls that really killed AIG.
- TARP. Much discussed, no need to really review here. Goldman got its $10 billion. It paid off its $10 billion. Good for them.
The government still holds warrants from Goldman and other companies that it acquired during the TARP process, and until the banks pay off those warrants (and they’re all already trying to pay them off at below market prices), the Treasury still technically has the authority to prevent lavish bonuses.
- The Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program. So Goldman last year converts from an investment bank to bank holding company status, which now makes it eligible for a new program that gives commercial banks FDIC backing for unsecured debt. … This basically hands over a free AAA rating to the big banks and allows them access to mountains of cheap money, with all of us on the hook if something went wrong.
- The Fed Programs. By converting to a bank holding company, Goldman also became eligible for a whole galaxy of new bailout programs administered through the federal reserve like the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF); it also became eligible to borrow cheap money from the Fed’s discount window.
- The TARP Repayment Bonanza. See the story at the top of this piece. As part and parcel of the TARP program, the banks that received money had strict guidelines imposed on them by the state in the area of how they could raise the money to repay. TARP recipients had to issue new equity according to certain parameters, and guess who one of the only major equity underwriters left on Wall Street is? That’s right, Goldman, Sachs.
…Goldman has actually been emboldened by all its state backing to borrow more and gamble more than ever.
Webmaster’s Comments: Goldman Sachs is the venture capitalist behind Calais LNG’s permit applications.
“First and foremost are the safety concerns about the volatility of the cargo, and the risk of either an accident or terrorist activity that could ignite the ship, which would have devastating consequences for any nearby communities,” said Town Administrator Bruce Keiser.
“In addition to the safety issues,” Keiser said, “we are also concerned about [navigational prohibitions when loaded LNG tankers steam north] because the East Passage is very heavily trafficked by recreational boaters throughout the course of the summer, and any restrictions on the free and unfettered use of our waters is something that we strenuously object to. We don’t think those waters should be reserved for commercial interests, which would deprive recreational boaters of the opportunity to use the bay during our few short months of favorable boating weather.”
"As long as I'm on this commission, there isn't going to be any foot-dragging or funny business," [Port Commissioner Floyd Holcom] said. "The information we're receiving has got to be correct. Our decisions have to be prudent."
The Port is stuck between a rock and a hard place as an Aug. 31 deadline approaches for the agency to renew its state land lease of 96 acres on the Skipanon Peninsula in Warrenton. The Port subleases the property to liquefied natural gas developer Oregon LNG for $38,400 annually and passes the money on to the Oregon Department of State Lands. Both leases reach the conclusion of the first five-year term this year, and the next step is to decide whether to renew them for 30 years.
To make matters worse, Port commissioners are torn over how to factor in lingering questions about who really owns the land and whether there was fraud involved in the Port's arrangement of the pass-through lease in 2004. The state Attorney General's office is conducing a criminal investigation into business deals made at the Port under former director Peter Gearin, and Port leaders suspect the outcome could affect their position on the LNG lease.
The dramatic increase of unconventional NG in North America has driven NG prices from last year's high of $13/mbtu (million BTU) down to $3.50 mbtu. Therefore construction of new import LNG terminals is becoming unnecessary and uneconomical.
In summary, the abundance of North American NG is driving the NG developers to LNG export from new terminals on the West Coast (presently only Canada) and terminals with liquefaction addition on the Gulf Coast . The economics for liquefaction addition are now favorable and provide long term robust export-import options for North American terminal operators. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Ventures like Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are futile money pits.
Prices of the cleaner-burning fuel in the spot market have crashed from more than $20 per million British thermal units last year to less than $5 currently, based on data from Asian importing nations.
Webmaster’s Comments: LNG is selling at ¼ its previous price — making profits difficult or impossible for offshore sources — due to the natural gas glut in North America and the world economic decline.
12 Aug 2009
Webmaster’s Comments: 2009 August 18 — After Save Passamaquoddy Bay published this news, Downeast LNG apparently fainted, since the linked page has been removed from the US Chamber’s website.
PROSPECT: Dead [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The US Chamber of Commerce recognizes a dead horse when it sees one.
Webmaster’s Comments: Calais LNG suffers from the same insurmountable problems as Downeast LNG — inappropriate siting and lack of need — and both face the same end as the now-defunct Quoddy Bay LNG project.
We're convinced that a federal regulation carefully crafted in this way, with leadership from Save Passamaquoddy Bay and strong participation from the people whose communities are threatened, would put an end to the ill-conceived efforts to develop LNG terminals in this place where they clearly don't belong. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Since Lee Ann Ward's and Larry Lack's very apt commentary still might be misinterpreted, Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance does not take a position against LNG terminals anywhere in Maine or New Brunswick other than in Passamaquoddy Bay.
The costs of Weaver’s Cove’s proposal far outweigh any benefits a local LNG station could provide, particularly when one considers a new LNG facility in Canada is capable of servicing the entire Northeast. Ultimately, the Coast Guard’s letter changes nothing. In the long run, the LNG station just doesn’t make sense. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
"CZM [Coastal Zone Management] maintains its position and affirms once again that federal consistency review for the Weaver's Cove Offshore Berth LNG facility and the Mill River Laterals projects has not commenced," CZM said in a statement.
While this is second arrival of a ship carrying gas this summer at Freeport LNG, company leaders don’t anticipate seeing another one for the rest of the year, Mallett said. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The US is filled-to-the-gills with natural gas.
NEW YORK, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Cheniere Energy's (LNG.A) Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas terminal in Louisiana will receive a cargo of LNG on Aug. 17 from Trinidad, according to AISLive ship tracking data on Reuters.
NATS [subscription required] said yesterday that an outage of a natural gas pipeline caused by an accident in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico may prompt increased LNG imports to terminals on the U.S. Gulf coast, including Trunkline LNG, Cameron LNG, Sabine Pass LNG, and Freeport LNG.
The KLNG-Apache MOU follows the latter’s recently released drilling results from the Horn River shale area in northeast BC that strengthened earlier estimates that individual horizontal wells in the area potentially can recover 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
And the magnitude of the supply glut is all the more obvious if one looks at data published by the U. S. Energy Information Administration showing that the amount of proven and recoverable natural gas means there is enough gas for 90 years. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: This once again demonstrates the domestic gas glut, and that the market for LNG is overseas.
Webmaster’s Comments: The Kitimat LNG facility is an LNG export terminal.
As natural gas supply and reserves continue to increase in North America, Kitimat LNG's terminal will provide producers in Canada such as Apache with secure access to key worldwide markets. [Bold, red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: World to Downeast LNG and Calais LNG: North America is in a natural gas glut. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are projects without a purpose.
Kitimat LNG's export terminal proposal is supported by natural gas market fundamentals that show growth in the supply of natural gas in Western Canada and strong, growing demand for natural gas in Asia. As a politically and economically stable country that is close to Asian markets, Canada offers a reliable, plentiful natural gas supply to customers in the Pacific Rim.
What Astoria lacks is a coherent, consistent, ambitious plan for industrial development that will dovetail with, not detract from our other assets. The Port of Astoria had such a plan with the concept of a marine services center. But the Port stumbled into LNG, which is more about exploitation than development. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: This parallels the Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and now-failed Quoddy Bay LNG exploitative projects.
The federal agency in charge of reviewing impacts to endangered species has suggested its review of the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project may take longer than usual because the development is "large scale" and "high complexity"
Local land-use laws limit developments at the Bradwood site to those that are "small to moderate in scale." Clatsop County's conclusion that the Bradwood LNG project fit that definition not only sparked controversy during public hearings but was also flagged by the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals and remanded back to the county for reconsideration. Last month, the County Commission once again determined that the project is not large and, thus, is appropriate for the Bradwood site. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Demand for natural gas may lag behind the overall recovery in the U.S. economy next year, Biliana Pehlivanova and Michael Zenker, analysts at Barclays Capital said in a report on Aug. 4. [Red emphasis added.]
LNG and IG cover specialized segments in the energy and infrastructure markets. Penetration of these market by potential newcomers is very remote. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are two of the hapless "potential newcomers" Gerson Lehrman is referring to.
Twenty-one years after my anti-natural gas newsletter, I am writing the same thing trying to expose the petroleum-energy policy scams. What the country has learned over these years is too little to let us say Culture Change (Fossil Fuels Policy Action) has succeeded in its mission and can fold and now go home; there's no where to go -- the entire world, our common home, is threatened by the fossil fuels industries and the mindset of market economics for mega-profits. Will the global economy's implosion be the best humanity can manage for a fresh start in harmony with nature? Maybe so, but some of us are still trying to call attention to low-tech, decentralized models and tools for sustainability.
5 Aug 2009
Energy industry consultant Tom Woods told Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] that he expects LNG imports, particularly from the Canaport LNG import terminal, will help plug the natural gas supply gap in the U.S. Northeast during the planned outage of the Sable Island gas field beginning later this month. Woods believes that existing storage inventories will make up some of the supply shortfall and that additional LNG cargos could supply the rest of the region's natural gas requirements.
Webmaster’s Comments: Sable Island natural gas well will be shutting down for maintenance. Existing LNG and natural gas infrastructure will be supplying the Northeast’s need for the commodity during the shutdown, demonstrating the lack of need for Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, or any other unpermitted LNG import facility.
An energy analysis commissioned by Save Passamaquoddy Bay, the group fighting the two LNG terminals proposed in Passamaquoddy Bay, revealed shrinking predictions for natural gas demand until 2030. Much of this has to do with the anticipated impact of massive investments in efficiency and renewables in the U.S., combined with new policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Weaver's Cove Energy, LLC submitted a letter to FERC yesterday updating the Commission on discussions with various federal and state agencies regarding the project's environmental impact mitigation plan. Specifically, the filing notes that a number of agencies involved in these discussions "took umbrage" with the updated mitigation plan submitted to FERC last month by Weaver's Cove, claiming that the filing mischaracterized the agencies' positions on certain aspects of the plan. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Weaver's Cove Energy is apparently as unable to supply technical information as was the now-failed Quoddy Bay LNG — the “other” goofball untried underwater miles-long cryogenic LNG pipeline company. (Quoddy Bay LNG had initially proposed an 8-mile undersea cryogenic LNG pipeline, but changed the project and then proposed a 1-mile undersea cryogenic LNG pipeline. Quoddy Bay LNG was ultimately booted out of the FERC permitting process after failing to answer FERC’s technical questions for a year.) Read the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ response to Weaver’s Cove (PDF file) regarding Weaver’s Cove’s failure to provide technical information.
Last week Massachusetts' Office of Coastal Zone Management released a letter stating that Weaver's Cove Energy, LLC had not submitted the proper permits and other information that would allow for the review of the company's planned offshore LNG facility and associated pipeline infrastructure for consistency with Massachusetts' federally approved Coastal Zone Management Plan. For procedural reasons, the letter also included a formal objection to the project's federal consistency due to failure to submit the necessary information, but it notes that "review will commence upon receipt of the outstanding information."
Webmaster’s Comments: Read the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ response to Weaver’s Cove (PDF file) regarding Weaver’s Cove’s failure to provide technical information.
The public apparently isn’t supposed to know how the Coast Guard hopes to thwart a potential terrorist assault on a liquefied natural gas tanker traveling to Mount Hope Bay or how it will keep other boats away from the supertankers as they travel through Narragansett Bay.
That much secrecy is unwarranted, said [Rep. Raymond E. Gallison Jr., D-Bristol]. “Everybody knows where the pipeline is going, everyone knows where the tanker is going. You can figure out the fallout zones if, God-forbid, there should be a breach of one of the tankers.” [Red emphasis added.]
The Coast Guard says the plan is still in its preliminary stages. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: FERC and Coast Guard cart-before-the-horse procedure allows issuing permits and recommendations in favor of LNG projects without first establishing that safety can be assured; thus leaving the public out of the safety process and at risk. Both FERC and the Coast Guard abrogate their public safety responsibilities, in favor of developers who may be placing profits above all else.
Atlantic Sea Island Group, LLC, today announced that Ms. Jessie Roberson, a nationally respected management expert in the field of environmental technology and a former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Energy [until 2004 July 15], will join the Safe Harbor Energy team as the firm advances it plan for a strategic liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater terminal on a 60.5 acre man-made island some 23 miles from New York Harbor and 19 miles from New Jersey.
WASHINGTON, D.C: The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the U.S. Coast Guard have received an application amendment for the licensing of the TORP Terminal LP Bienville Offshore Energy Terminal (BOET) liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port.
"I continue to be extremely concerned about the potential environmental impact of the proposal terminal on our marine resources," said Riley. "I believe the potential benefits of the LNG terminal off our coast do not outweigh the consequences and the potentially negative effect this could have on our coastal environment." [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Besides, the US already has a large surplus of LNG import infrastructure, as well as a 100-year natural gas glut.
Read the Federal Register announcement (PDF).
Construction of the trucking facility, which town leaders and residents have rallied against, has not started because company leaders are awaiting the green light from federal authorities, Mallett said. [Red emphasis added.]
LCG, August 5, 2009--Sempra LNG, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, yesterday announced that its liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, Cameron LNG, has commenced commercial operations. Construction on the $850 million project, located along the Gulf Coast in Louisiana,began in August 2005.
The Cameron LNG terminal is located about 15 miles south of Lake Charles and is near the Henry Hub. The initial send out capacity is 1.5 Bcf/day, and there is potential for expansion up to 2.65 Bcf/day. The facility includes three full-containment storage tanks (3 x 160,000 cubic meters) and two ship berths.
Webmaster’s Comments: This is just one more reason why Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are moot.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has responded to FERC's request for formal consultation in the Bradwood Landing LNG project regulatory proceeding, stating "Due to the scope and scale of the project and the amount of information provided for review, 30 days is insufficient time to allow the [NMFS] to make a definitive determination" regarding the findings of the project's Biological Assessment. [Red emphasis added.]
MOSCOW -(Dow Jones)- Russian gas giant OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS) may send its first shipments of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, from the Sakhalin-2 project to North America this winter, the company said in an interview Monday.
Webmaster’s Comments: This seems like an exceedingly bad idea for US energy security.
"There's just no demand for ships no matter what's the price," he said on the sidelines of the Commercialising Floating LNG Asia conference, organised by IQPC Ltd. Yards may have to cut prices for a typical LNG tanker to about US$180 million (US$1 = RM3.52) compared with US$250 million prior to the global financial crisis for new orders, he estimated.
1 Aug 2009
From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression - and they're about to do it again
If you want to understand how we got into this financial crisis, you have to first understand where all the money went — and in order to understand that, you need to understand what Goldman has already gotten away with.
- The Great Depression
- Tech Stocks
- The Housing Craze
- $4 a Gallon
While the global supply of oil will eventually dry up, the shortterm flow has actually been increasing. In the six months before prices spiked, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the world oil supply rose from 85.24 million barrels a day to 85.72 million. Over the same period, world oil demand dropped from 86.82 million barrels a day to 86.07 million. Not only was the shortterm supply of oil rising, the demand for it was falling — which, in classic economic terms, should have brought prices at the pump down.
Goldman did it by persuading pension funds and other large institutional investors to invest in oil futures — agreeing to buy oil at a certain price on a fixed date. The push transformed oil from a physical commodity, rigidly subject to supply and demand, into something to bet on, like a stock. Between 2003 and 2008, the amount of speculative money in commodities grew from $13 billion to $317 billion, an increase of 2,300 percent. By 2008, a barrel of oil was traded 27 times, on average, before it was actually delivered and consumed.
Armed with [a] semi-secret government exemption, Goldman had become the chief designer of a giant commodities betting parlor.
- Rigging the Bailout
In order to qualify for bailout monies, Goldman announced that it would convert from an investment bank to a bankholding company, a move that allows [Goldman] access not only to $10 billion in TARP funds, but to a whole galaxy of less conspicuous, publicly backed funding — most notably, lending from the discount window of the Federal Reserve. By the end of March, the Fed will have lent or guaranteed at least $8.7 trillion under a series of new bailout programs — and thanks to an obscure law allowing the Fed to block most congressional audits, both the amounts and the recipients of the monies remain almost entirely secret.
The collective message of all this — the AIG bailout, the swift approval for its bankholding conversion, the TARP funds — is that when it comes to Goldman Sachs, there isn't a free market at all. The government might let other players on the market die, but it simply will not allow Goldman to fail under any circumstances. Its edge in the market has suddenly become an open declaration of supreme privilege.
And here's the real punch line. After playing an intimate role in four historic bubble catastrophes, after helping $5 trillion in wealth disappear from the NASDAQ, after pawning off thousands of toxic mortgages on pensioners and cities, after helping to drive the price of gas up to $4 a gallon and to push 100 million people around the world into hunger, after securing tens of billions of taxpayer dollars through a series of bailouts overseen by its former CEO, what did Goldman Sachs give back to the people of the United States in 2008?
Fourteen million dollars. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Goldman Sachs is pals with Calais LNG.
“Alternative energy and telecommunications infrastructure are both proving vital to Washington County's economic future. Alternative energy providers — wind, tidal, LNG — have invested millions of dollars into the region, and are the future employers of our region,” Sunrise County Economic Council Executive Director Harold Clossey said. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC) is an outspoken supporter of LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay, even though siting in Passamaquoddy Bay would violate LNG industry best practices and would put thousands of Washington County residents’ lives at risk in Federally-defined Hazard Zones. Perhaps SCEC support is because Downeast LNG has promised “a non-profit Washington County economic development organization” (read that as “Sunrise County Economic Council”) $500,000 each and every year the proposed LNG terminal would be in operation. Is all that money affecting SCEC’s objectivity?
Downeast LNG cannot succeed in Passamaquoddy Bay, but could possibly do so by using an industry best practices-compliant location elsewhere, probably offshore — perhaps even in Washington County. Why isn’t SCEC advocating a location with at least some possibility of success?
Here’s the answer: Additional LNG import infrastructure is not needed since North America is in a 100-year natural gas glut. Downeast LNG knows that, and is merely consuming the investors’ money until the project finally withers up and dies. Sunrise County Economic Council seems unaware of, or unwilling to consider, the economic reality that accompanies these doomed LNG projects.
Historical Note: Machias rejected locating an LNG import terminal on its shores in the 1970s. (For more about President Nixon’s Machias LNG proposal, see the Energy Bulletin article, “Will LNG Save America's Oil-Addicted Economy?”.)
FALL RIVER — The developers of a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Fall River have managed to reverse the Coast Guard's opposition and clear an obstacle that helped hobble the project for the past two years.
Weaver's Cove responded by employing new technologies to design a cryogenic LNG pipeline reaching 4 miles south from the terminal to a planned offshore platform in Mount Hope Bay off Somerset, south of the Braga Bridge on Interstate 195. If built, it would be the longest liquefied natural gas pipeline in the world; long-distance pipelines typically transport the fuel in gas form.
There remain questions about the commercial wisdom of siting an LNG terminal given the state of the natural gas market. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Once again, the Coast Guard has ignored world LNG industry best practices. The industry, itself, frowns on terminal siting that puts civilians at risk — however small — from vapors from an LNG release from ship or terminal. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more about LNG terminal siting best practices.)
In addition, and like the now-failed Quoddy Bay LNG attempted to do, Weaver’s Cove Energy will grasp at any fairy-tale solution to their permitting problems. An untried 4-mile undersea cryogenic LNG pipeline is about as fairytale as it can get — next to Quoddy Bay LNG’s once-proposed 8-mile undersea cryogenic LNG pipeline.
[Senator Ted] Kennedy said. “We’ve just had the Taunton River designated as a Wild and Scenic River, and there are major concerns about sensitive stocks of fish in the area. It makes no sense to undermine the river and these essential fishing habitats this way.”
In a joint statement, [Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.] said that the letter of recommendation “fails to take the big picture into account. … The scope of the proposed project and its attendant security measures will crowd out other water users to accommodate a single purpose and place a tremendous burden on taxpayers and local law enforcement,” they said.
R.I. Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch said in a statement that the Coast Guard’s decision was “ill-advised” and “misguided.” … “My office will fight on, as we have done, to protect Rhode Island’s coastal communities and families, business interests, and the recreational boating that is so crucial to the identity and integrity of our beautiful Ocean State.”
Webmaster’s Comments: The Weaver’s Cove Energy LNG project is as cockamamie as was the Quoddy Bay LNG project, and will likely end in a similar fashion.
Yesterday the U.S. Coast Guard issued a Letter of Recommendation (LOR) on the suitability of Narragansett Bay and Mt. Hope Bay for LNG vessel traffic associated with the planned Weaver's Cove LNG import terminal. The LOR states that the relevant portions of the waterways may be considered "suitable for the type and frequency of LNG marine traffic associated with [the] project," provided that Weaver's Cove Energy, LLC implements a number of risk management strategies and mitigation measures.
Dow Jones Factiva [subscription required] reports that the first LNG vessel from the train No.6 of RasGas III is scheduled to sail on August 2. The vessel is expected to be bound for Sabine Pass LNG Terminal where US Chevron Corporation holds capacity rights.
The energy giant has agreed to hand town leaders a check for $89,661 to repair portions of five roads damaged during the site’s construction, Mayor Wallace Neeley said. The two parties agreed on the amount at a meeting this week.
The check does not cover the weakened culvert bridge, which town leaders have said was damaged during construction traffic, or change the town’s stance against the company’s push to build a trucking facility at the Quintana terminal, Councilman Harold Doty said. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Officials say they are concerned the project will damage the environment and pose safety risks to Coos Bay area residents, as well as increase energy costs for Californians. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The Coos Bay Jordan Cove LNG project appears not to be in the “public convenience” for California, the target market for the project’s natural gas.