"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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26 Feb 2009
U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said Wednesday in a statement that it was “vital that the United States and Canada maintain a mutual respect for each other’s actions and decisions in regard to energy policy and be cognizant that our energy polices must be built on mutual respect and collaboration. The Washington County commissioners have the right to provide input into an issue that may have an impact on the county and I appreciate their comments on this issue. Clearly, by maintaining an open line of communication and continuing to work with our neighbors, we can achieve compromises that yield results to the benefit of both countries.”
[Washington County Commissioners Chairman Chris Gardner] noted that the province was not shy when it raised safety issues concerning the siting of a liquefied natural gas terminal in Washington County. Three companies have proposed building LNG facilities in eastern Washington County — Downeast LNG in Robbinston, Calais LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG at Pleasant Point.
“We are hopeful that New Brunswick is as mindful of the hazards their projects may pose to the people of Maine so much as they demand we are mindful of the people in New Brunswick,” Gardner wrote. “A nuclear incident approximately 30 miles away from Washington County would be catastrophic and for any of us to not have a current and immediate response plan would be reprehensible.” [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments:Washington County Commissioner Chris Gardner has a valid point that Maine residents should be heard and considered regarding the Point LePreau nuclear power facility, just as New Brunswick residents should be heard regarding LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay.
Paradoxically, Maine’s Board of Environmental Protection, in their 2007 July week-long hearing on the Downeast LNG application, disallowed testimony from New Brunswick fishermen who would be affected by the Downeast LNG project. Maine and New Brunswick should listen to concerns from citizens residing in the other, regarding projects that impact lives and incomes in both.
In addition the US State Department, US Senator Olympia Snowe, Downeast LNG, and Calais LNG — citing the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) — have falsely claimed LNG ships have the right of innocent passage through Canadian waters to US terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay. UNCLOS is a treaty that the US hasn’t agreed to, and — as the treaty clearly states — the US has no rights and no obligations under that treaty.
Webmaster's Comments: Thanks to Art MacKay at Quoddy Google Groups and the FundyTides blog for alerting us to this video.
Would endanger residents, disrupt commerce and tourism industries, measure says
The state House of Representatives passed a resolution this week opposing the development of a storage facility for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Fall River and an offshore berth for LNG tankers in Mount Hope Bay.
“The Mount Hope and Narragansett bays are no place for LNG tankers or tanks. It doesn’t matter whether they’re offloading on shore or off, the channels they would have to use are too narrow and the shores are too densely populated to run the risk of a tanker explosion,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Raymond Gallison (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth.
Webmaster's Comments: Rhode Island’s position is in agreement with the world LNG industry — LNG terminals belong where LNG vapors from an LNG carrier or terminal release cannot affect civilians. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.)
If three proposals on the drawing board win approval, there will be port storage and regasification (conversion of liquid back to gas) facilities for imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) offshore from the New Jersey coastline.
The frontrunner is the Atlantic Sea Island Group (ASIG) proposal that envisions building the world's first man-made opensea island, located 19.5 miles from Sea Bright and 13 miles from Long Beach, N.Y. A group of investors proposes to build a 116-acre LNG terminal and industrial complex for a project known as Safe Harbor Energy. Critics point out that this group has no prior offshore construction or LNG operations experience.
Finally, Excalibur Energy, a new conglomerate of Canadian Superior Energy and Global LNG, a Delaware company, is promoting the Liberty Natural Gas project, which would consist of four submerged turret buoys and 50 miles of new pipeline to be built 15 miles off Asbury Park.
Yesterday Calypso LNG, LLC notified the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) that it will suspend work on its previously filed application to construct an LNG deepwater port planned for offshore Florida. Calypso LNG's announcement follows comments by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) that he would oppose the project. MARAD's press release (courtesy of LNGLawBlog) offers additional details.
Webmaster's Comments: This project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) had already been released, and the project was to use a state-of-the-art submerged-buoy system like the offshore LNG terminal 100+ miles off Louisiana, and the Northeast Gateway and Neptune LNG terminals off Gloucester, Massachusetts. Offshore LNG terminals solve numerous problems, including significantly less risk to civilians, easier expansion, better weathering in bad seas, and fewer security risks.
The demise of this project is further indication that LNG’s bubble has burst — something Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are afraid to admit.
A number of documents regarding the State of Oregon's Petition for Review of FERC's conditional authorization of the Bradwood Landing LNG terminal are now available in FERC's eLibrary under Docket No. CP06-365.
Overview (For the Week Ending Wednesday, February 25, 2009)
Natural gas spot prices continued to decrease this week. The return of frigid temperatures for much of the report week in the Northeast, Southeast, and part of the Midwest did little to support any upward price movements in these regions. In fact, spot prices at all trading locations covered by this report either decreased or remained unchanged.
Webmaster's Comments: The Northeast is in the midst of a cold winter, consuming lots of natural gas, and the natural gas price in the Northeast is decreasing.
Downeast LNG’s and Calais LNG’s arguments that their natural gas is needed fly in the face of market reality.
Despite the seasonably cold weather blanketing the region, spot prices in all trading locations in the Northeast decreased this week. This week’s regional average price decreased 23 cents per MMBtu to end the week at $4.68 per MMBtu. Last Wednesday (February 18) marked the first time the Northeast spot price average fell below $5 per MMBtu in more than 2 years. The largest price drop in the region of 37 cents per MMBtu occurred at the Transcontinental Pipeline’s Zone 6, which includes natural gas deliveries for as far north as New York City, trading yesterday at $4.81 per MMBtu. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: See comments to previous article.
25 Feb 2009
President Obama spoke on a wide range of topics last night, including energy. Solar power was mentioned three times, wind twice, and clean coal once. Natural gas scored a big goose egg. He also asked congress to "send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America." [Red bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: The President’s focus is on renewable sources of energy.
Noting construction delays at the Cameron LNG terminal project in Louisiana, Sempra Energy's Chairman and CEO Donald Felsinger announced that Sempra LNG reported a net loss of $13 million in Q4 2008, which is an improvement from a $19 million loss in Q4 2007. Felsinger said that the company anticipates commencing terminal operations in Q3 2009 and is well-positioned "to take advantage of spot cargo opportunities."
Webmaster's Comments: A $13-million loss is an “improvement.”
[NOTE: The following link will download a PDF file (2.6 MB)]
The number of LNG projects to be developed in Canada in the near and long term remains unclear. LNG development in Canada and North America is largely dependent on the outlook for continental natural gas supply and demand. Current economic decline combined with recent increases in U.S. natural gas production from shale and other unconventional gas resources has reduced requirements for near-term LNG imports. The potential size and extent of shale gas resources could significantly displace long-term North American and global LNG requirements.
[E]ven without any additional regasification projects beyond those already existing or under construction (from a volumetric perspective), the capacity for North American terminals to receive LNG already exceeds the total capacity to produce LNG in the Atlantic Basin.
In a climate of tighter credit, the greater equity obligations required from sponsors to finance new projects will likely limit the participation of newer, less-established developers that have been instrumental in a number of recent LNG projects in North America. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: According to this report…
- Natural gas consumption in North America will remain flat through 2030;
- “Less-established developers” are likely fallout from the LNG industry.
Prospects look even worse than before for Downeast LNG and Calais LNG — foretelling fates like already-defunct Quoddy Bay LNG.
24 Feb 2009
Last week FERC endorsed a proposed settlement regarding gas interchangeability issues on the Algonquin Gas Transmission system that establishes more restrictive gas composition specifications. According to FERC's order, in approving the settlement it balanced safety concerns regarding local distribution companies' (LDCs) peak-shaving facilities against the assertions of Dominion and StatoilHydro that the proposed limits of 2.75% nitrogen and 12% ethanes plus would significantly limit global LNG supplies from flowing on Algonquin.
Citing concerns about environmental and quality of life issues, the Kickemuit River Council and Save Bristol Harbor are calling on organizations and individuals to oppose the proposed Weaver’s Cove Energy LNG unloading platform in Mt. Hope Bay, before the project goes before federal officials for approval in March.
Asked about gas tax increases if the funds were spent on concrete environmental solutions, 31 percent said they’d pay up to ten cents a gallon more, 28 percent up to 50 cents and 13 percent between $1 and $2 more – 19 percent said they wouldn’t pay any more. Gov. Deval Patrick last week proposed a 19-cent per gallon increase.
Other findings: 71 percent of New Englanders reported not having had an energy audit conducted in their home, 78 percent at least somewhat favored customer choice or competition for electricity, wind farms were favored by an “overwhelming majority” and there was “substantial support” for construction of LNG terminals. Also, a “narrow majority” favored transmission line construction and nuclear plant license renewal.
Webmaster's Comments: Out of 600 interviews, the study included just 67 people from Maine. Here's the not-so-unbiased question they asked about LNG for their energy-industry client:
“On the issue of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, supporters point to the fact that LNG currently supplies 30% of the region’s natural gas on a cold winter day, and that they have a proven track record of safety all over the world, and that we need to expand supplies of natural gas. Opponents point to safety concerns like vulnerability to a terrorist threat. Based on this information would you favor or oppose building new LNG terminals?”
Here are some realities that should have been included in the question:
- New England’s natural gas needs are already being met by existing and permitted facilities, and the US has an overabundance of domestic supply, so we don’t actually need to expand supplies of natural gas via LNG;
- Track records (history) — especially prior to 9/11 — don’t protect anyone;
- LNG terminal siting should comply with the world’s LNG terminal siting best practices, but many of the current proposals violate those best practices.
Download a PDF of the 2009 January study:
New England Energy Alliance 2009 New England Consumer Energy Survey (196 KB)
FERC announced yesterday that it has extended the schedule for a final decision from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regarding the permit applications for the AES Sparrows Point LNG proceeding to April 6, 2009.
LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that FERC and the State of Delaware presented oral arguments to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit regarding FERC's conditional approval of the proposed Crown Landing LNG terminal. Attorneys representing Delaware argued that the approval was granted improperly as Delaware had not issued required environmental permits, while FERC noted that the Energy Policy Act of 2005 gave the agency the authority to condition final approval of a project on receipt of all required state permits.
Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP, Statoil Natural Gas LLC, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, BP Energy Co., and Shell NA LNG LLC, all filed answers strongly opposing Washington Gas Light Co.'s (WGL) emergency motion to stay the effectiveness of FERC's authorization of the Cove Point LNG Expansion project. The Maryland Office of People's Counsel filed an answer in support of WGL's request.
Today FERC released its Environmental Assessment (EA) for the re-export project proposed by Sabine Pass LNG. FERC staff concludes that the proposed modification to existing LNG facilities, with appropriate mitigation efforts, "would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment."
“We believe there could be further downside to these estimates based on the current U.S. natural gas glut,” [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Once considered the most likely source to offset the ongoing decline in the production of conventional natural gas, the expected increase in LNG imports has not materialized as anticipated in areas such as North America where shale gas and other unconventional natural gas resources have filled part of the gap. [Red emphasis added.]
Ron Denhardt, vice president of natural gas services for Strategic Energy and Economic Research, predicts that despite relatively low prices for domestic natural gas, U.S. LNG imports are likely to rise above 2008 levels due to weak global demand and expanding worldwide liquefaction capacity.
Webmaster's Comments: Is that how the market works? Low domestic natural gas prices mean the US will buy more-expensive LNG?
As LTTE pioneered certain tactics, so did ETA in Spain (the use of explosives and LNG bombs), the IRA and IRA-P in Ireland (also explosives and cell structures) and others. The FARC, in turn, picked them up, improved on them, and taught new techniques. [Red bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: The term “LNG bombs” is apparently referring to bombing of LNG facilities or ships, not of bombs made from LNG.
20 Feb 2009
One of the hallmarks of the controversy surrounding the proposals for Passamaquoddy Bay has been the lack of input from the Canadian side of the shared waterway. It's not that people weren't interested in being heard, it's that the U.S. authorities (first FERC and later the U.S. Coast Guard) weren't interested in what Canadians were saying. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and now-defunct Quoddy Bay LNG also weren’t interested in what Canada thinks — until now, that is. But now all they want is for Canada to change its mind and to put Canadian lives, environment, and livelihoods at risk.
Several messages seeking comment that were left this week at the Oklahoma City offices of the Smiths, who also work for a company called Smith Cogeneration, have not been returned. Calls placed to Quoddy Bay’s local office appear to be forwarded to the Smith Cogeneration office in Oklahoma City. Attempts to contact Brian Smith through his cell phone number and a local phone number also have been unsuccessful.
Nearly a dozen government, business and community groups in three states have asked federal energy regulators to rescind approval of a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal at Sparrows Point in eastern Baltimore County and an 88-mile pipeline to Pennsylvania.
Jon Wellinghoff, the only commissioner to dissent on the FERC's 4-1 decision, said AES failed to demonstrate the need for the project and did not adequately address adverse environmental impacts. He is now the FERC's chairman.
"The company is doing this to populations living below the poverty line who don't have the means to fight back," he said. "FERC is an accomplice in the environmental lynching of these neighborhoods." [Red emphasis added.]
Onshore, the energy giant is the majority owner of the Canaport liquefied natural gas terminal in Saint John, with Irving Oil. Having a ready supply of natural gas from Deep Panuke nearby seems to have been deemed necessary by the company to ensure that natural gas contracts would be honoured even if deliveries of LNG were delayed or reallocated to a more lucrative LNG market around the world.
Not one, but three liquid natural gas terminal facilities are planned for area waters, one as close as 16 miles from Rockaway's shoreline; the other two slightly farther away. The first, as reported in The Wave two weeks ago, is planned by Atlantic Sea Island Group.
In its latest confrontation with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Washington Gas Light Co. claims the gas flow cap the agency included in its decision allowing the expansion of a Maryland liquefied natural gas terminal is too high and has asked for an emergency stay of the October order.
Washington Gas Light Company (WGL) last week filed an emergency motion to stay the effectiveness of FERC's previous orders authorizing the Cove Point LNG Expansion project, once again expressing concerns regarding the ability of its distribution system to accept regasified LNG.
Florida Governor Charlie Crist's announcement that he would veto the proposed Calypso Deep Water LNG Port has left the liquefied natural gas project's sponsor, Suez Energy North America undecided on how it will proceed.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist on Feb. 18 announced he is opposed to the proposed Calypso pipeline, which would bring gas from Calypso liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal offshore Florida.
Though the project has been proposed for construction by GDF Suez North America in U.S. federal waters, Crist's formal opposition to the project can stop the terminal and pipeline from being built, according to media reports. Crist made the announcement at a town hall meeting along the Galt Ocean Mile in Fort Lauderdale.
Repsol, the world's No. 3 natural gas company is the one of the oil companies with the greatest presence in Trinidad and Tobago, holding more than 30 percent of the BP Trinidad and Tobago company and 23 percent of the Atlantic LNG company.
Developing and expanding the LNG business is a key part of the company's 2008-2012 Strategic Plan, which envisages total overall spending of 32.8 billion euros. Repsol will this year open the Canaport regasification plant on the east coast of Canada, which will help guarantee supply to the northeast of the US. Repsol is also building a gas liquefaction plant in Peru. [Red emphasis added.]
HOUSTON, Feb. 20 -- BP Products North America Inc. agreed to spend more than $161 million on pollution controls, and enhanced maintenance and monitoring to resolve Clean Air Act violations at its Texas City, Tex., refinery.
The US Department of Justice and the US Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposed settlement Feb. 20 in which BP also would pay a $12 million civil penalty and spend $6 million on a supplemental project to reduce air pollution in Texas City.
EPA identified the violations during a series of inspections of the Texas City refinery initiated after a Mar. 23, 2005, explosion and fire killed 15 people and injured more than 170 others at the 446,500 b/cd refinery. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: BP’s fatal 2005 Texas City oil refinery (not an LNG facility, but a BP facility, nonetheless) explosion uncovered more than a fatal lack of corporate safety culture regarding employee safety. It also disclosed a serious lack of corporate environmental safety culture. And yet, FERC accepted, and then even approved, BP’s Crown Landing LNG terminal project in Logan Township, New Jersey.
Save Passamaquoddy Bay was told by FERC officials, when we specifically asked at two public meetings, that FERC would even grant LNG terminal permits to — we’re not making this up — Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson, or Idi Amin, if they correctly followed FERC’s application process.
The argument that LNG developers don’t want accidents so they’ll operate safely is a hollow argument. Hopefully most LNG operators do operate responsibly; however, FERC cannot guarantee all of them will always do so, and as BP demonstrated, they certainly have not done so.
A liquefied natural gas plant in Kenai now manufactures LNG for sale to Japanese utilities, but the federal LNG export permit for the plant is due to expire in 2011. It was to have expired in 2009, but the U.S. Department of Energy granted a two-year extension. The plant is owned by ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil, with ConocoPhillips as operator.
Southcentral Alaska's gas fields, almost all discovered in the 1960s and 1970s, have 1.3 trillion cubic feet of proven reserves left from 8.7 tcf originally discovered. But the problem for the regional gas and electric utilities is deliverability, the capability of aging gas wells to produce enough gas to meet peak winter demand in Alaska's cities. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Alaska has enough natural gas available in the ground, but no way to get it to consumers. Alaskans don’t have enough natural gas to heat their homes, but the US Government permits Alaskan natural gas, via LNG, to be exported to Japan. This is FERC’s US “energy security” policy?
In support of his legal battle to block a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Columbia River, Oregon Attorney General John Kroger has a new rationale: A report in the press this month that the United States has plenty of natural gas of its own and does not need to import any.
Natural gas fell on a smaller than expected gas storage number (see next section) closing the day off $0.14 at $4.08. This morning gas is trading down over a dime (below $4) to a fresh six year low. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
“With heightened concerns about global warming and our country’s dependence on foreign oil, the need to accelerate the integration of clean, reliable, domestic energy sources into our country’s energy portfolio is clear.
“Thus we must do more to unlock the potential of our country’s location-constrained renewable energy resources. This order is one of the most significant steps this Commission has taken toward that goal.” [Red emphasis added.]
18 Feb 2009
A Massachusetts engineering firm has sued Quoddy Bay LNG LLC, claiming it has not been paid for studies it did on the Oklahoma-based company's proposed natural gas pipeline in Washington County, according to an article from The Quoddy Tides.
The Eastport-based newspaper reports that to recover its cost of services, Coler and Colantonio Inc. is asking the Washington County Superior Court to order a seizure of the Quoddy Bay LNG office in Perry, the former Lobster Crate restaurant on Route 190, which is owned jointly by Donald Smith and Brian Smith.
In only four months, the Canaport LNG terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick nears completion after SGS Industrial Services verified the 3 cryogenic Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tanks in accordance with Canadian code CSA Z276-01.
"We don't have to raise capital for at least three years and if we have reasonable commercial success, we are fine. Barring some thing exceptional, this should be a pretty good year for us," Souki said.
Webmaster's Comments: Cheniere is the LNG company whose stock value dropped by almost 50% over the past year. Souki’s optimism is paradoxical, considering the beating LNG — and especially Cheniere — is taking due to the projected long-term overabundance of domestic natural gas.
GALVESTON — An island resident who fought BP Energy’s plans to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on Pelican Island has finally run out of appeals and might have to reimburse the city for legal fees it incurred during the four-year battle.
BP scrapped plans to build the plant in 2006, citing market conditions. [Red emphasis added.]
The island regasification facility last year applied for a permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to have trucks deliver LNG from domestic producers to its twin 15-story holding tanks. A small amount of gas boils off each day, and crews need the liquefied natural gas to keep the tanks cold, Plant Manager Robert Pate said. When ships are not set to arrive for months, Pate said, it would take about six fully loaded trucks a day to maintain the tanks with LNG.
But council members say the trucks, when full of LNG, would weigh upward of 66,000 pounds. They would have to travel CR 723, which is a two-lane gravel road designated for vehicles weighing no more than 48,000 pounds. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Calculating from data provided in this story, Freeport LNG’s natural gas boil off rate is 66,000 gallons of LNG per day. That amounts to roughly 40 million gallons (5.3 million cubic feet / 150,000 cubic meters) of natural gas (a greenhouse gas) released into the atmosphere every day from this location.
ConocoPhillips Alaska Natural Gas Corporation (ConocoPhillips) and Marathon Oil Company (Marathon) have requested clarification, or in the alternative, rehearing of FERC's January 2009 order requiring the Kenai LNG export facility to comply with "the same reporting and inspection requirements that apply to every other operational LNG Terminal." [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Kenai LNG apparently doesn’t agree that it should be subjected to stringent reporting and inspection requirements.
Webmaster's Comments: Too much gas, even in Alaska.
Consider two of the most-discussed possibilities for new customers: a shipping container terminal, which would require a complete overhaul of the line to accommodate a mammoth boost in railroad use, and a liquefied natural gas import terminal, which could spur industries in search of cheap energy to relocate to the bay and result in shipments of propane, a byproduct of LNG, on the rail line.
17 Feb 2009
A Massachusetts company hired by Quoddy Bay LNG LLC to perform engineering work on its proposed natural gas pipeline is suing the Oklahoma-based company and its two principals, Donald Smith and Brian Smith, for failure to pay outstanding bills. To recover its cost of services, Coler & Colantonio Inc. is asking the Washington County Superior Court to order a seizure of the Quoddy Bay LNG office in Perry, the former Lobster Crate restaurant on Route 190, which is owned jointly by Donald and Brian Smith.
The suit alleges that "Quoddy Bay is thinly capitalized and/or insolvent," and an April 2008 agreement between Quoddy Bay and Coler & Colantonio states other creditors are owed in excess of $2 million. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: This speaks volumes about what many of us already knew.
Later in the month the company withdrew its application from the Maine Board of Environmental Protection. [Red and bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline is currently in the Phase V expansion permitting process to accommodate Deep Panuke gas. Its Phase IV expansion doubled its capacity to accommodate Canaport LNG natural gas from Saint John.
Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that an ice formation on Algonquin Gas Transmission's Hubline natural gas pipeline has slowed injection of regasified LNG imported via Execelerate's Northeast Gateway Deepwater Port.
The Police Department's marine patrol boat will get a new motor, while the department's dive team will be outfitted with new dry suits. The police special operations unit will receive new surveillance equipment.
Another planned use of the funding is the relocation of a back-up radio repeater to eliminate black-out spots in the radio communication system used by the Police, Fire, and Emergency Management departments.
Webmaster's Comments: Does it seem that Everett’s emergency responders have been operating with less than sufficient capability, even though FERC claims that public safety is a primary concern?
"By all appearances, the order was issued as quickly as possible after the issuance of the final environmental impact statement in an effort to approve the project before the change in presidential administrations," Gansler wrote to the FERC yesterday.
Ellen Kobler, a spokeswoman for Baltimore County, which filed its appeal Thursday, said, "We have said all along that the FERC process was flawed. We are in this fight until the end. It is a marathon, not a sprint." [Red emphasis added.]
FERC Staff's Environmental Assessment (EA) analyzing potential effects from the planned expansion of the existing EcoElectrica LNG terminal located in Puerto Rico recommends that the Commission make a finding of "no significant impact" on the environment.
Webmaster's Comments: Using Google Earth to view the EcoEléctrica LNG terminal at Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, one sees that it and its LNG ship approach are over two miles from the nearest civilian residence — unlike Downeast LNG and Calais LNG that would violate world LNG best practices by endangering civilian populations.
Use Google Earth to view the EcoEléctrica LNG terminal in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico:
Latitude: 17° 58'38.47"N, Longitude: 66°45'30.04"W
Webmaster's Comments: There’s plenty of natural gas in Alaska. The problem is getting it to customers in a sparsely-populated large geographical area.
…I started to get curious. I'm curious because the gas we use to heat our homes and generate electricity in Anchorage comes from Cook Inlet fields practically in our backyard. Yet I recently found out that a significant volume of Cook Inlet gas is being exported to Japan.
LACEY, WASH.: The Washington Department of Ecology on Feb. 12 filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to overturn the decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last year to license the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.
"Time and again, FERC has overstepped its boundaries and given premature approval to projects like Bradwood Landing without considering states' rights in the process," said Manning. "Our action today continues our jurisdictional battle to preserve the state's role in deciding whether a project can be constructed and operated within our borders." [Red emphasis added.]
FERC must stay its September approval, he argues, because the board failed to comply with the Endangered Species Act and failed to wait for state approvals before granting developer NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc. a license to build an LNG terminal and pipeline Sept. 18. [Red emphasis added.]
The long-predicted tsunami of LNG headed for North America starting late this year and building in 2010 is not going to find the expected market. A massive shale wall saturated with trillions of feet of natural gas will be in the way. [Red & bold emphasis added.
The Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (CLNG) in the US has released an independent study which quantifies the greenhouse gas emissions released through the lifecycle of electricity production supplied by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and domestic coal. The study, performed by PACE Global Energy Services, reveals that existing US coal fired power generation produces two and a half times (161%) more greenhouse gas emissions than LNG fueled power generation.
Webmaster's Comments: How does LNG pollution compare with pollution from wind, solar, earth assist, geothermal, or tidal power?
13 Feb 2009
Citing significant domestic gas reserves, acting FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff told Platts LNG Daily that he does not know how much LNG will be needed to supply the U.S. natural gas market in the near term. He went on to say that FERC ought to conduct in-depth analyses of regional natural gas market conditions before granting permits to construct future LNG import terminals. [Red, bold, and yellow highlight emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: FERC is finally accepting a responsible policy on LNG terminal siting. The odds are now even greater against superfluous Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
FALL RIVER — As the process of reviewing Weaver’s Cove Energy’s latest proposal to supply liquefied natural gas to the region via an offshore berthing facility begins the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is seeking comments on the project.
Harold Kvisle, president and CEO of TransCanada Corp., told attendees at CERAWeek that his company remains interested in the Broadwater LNG regsification project, but notes that the project has been "bogged down" in the New York State environmental review process.
…Maryland claims the FERC decision violates seven separate federal statutes: Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Magnuson-Stevens Act, Endangered Species Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Natural Gas Act, and Administrative Procedures Act.
Webmaster's Comments: Governments and organizations in Maryland, Oregon, and Washington are taking FERC to task for premature permit issuances.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. Chairman and CEO Aubrey McClendon said yesterday that his company remains interested in exporting U.S. natural gas as LNG, but noted that "with the current gas price environment and the credit situation, it is going to be pretty tough.".
Webmaster's Comments: The proposed Kitimat facility is an LNG export terminal.
“Time and again FERC has overstepped its boundaries and given premature approval to projects like Bradwood Landing without considering states’ rights in the process,” Ecology director Jay Manning said in a statement. “Our action today continues our jurisdictional battle to preserve the state’s role in deciding whether a project can be constructed and operated within our borders.”
Columbia Riverkeeper filed a suit in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, asking the court to declare the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of Bradwood Landing illegal.
New market analysis says demand for natural gas was just plain wrong
The Journal reported that within a year of Greenspan's testimony, FERC revealed there were plans for 40 new or expanded LNG terminals under consideration in North America. By 2005, that list had grown to 55.
"Today only six have been built, and most of those sit idle. Weeks pass between visits from a tanker full of frosty LNG," The Journal wrote. "Even before the economic slowdown, it was clear the nation had ample natural-gas supplies. Large-scale imports simply weren't needed. And new reports suggest the U.S. won't need to turn into a massive importer of natural gas anytime soon."
If a liquefied natural gas terminal gets built on Coos Bay’s North Spit, some argue it would breathe life into the area’s static industrial sector. Others say it would make it harder for people to breathe.
“There will inevitably be a significant detrimental effect on air quality and on the health of residents of the area to be felt acutely by some and chronically by others,” [local allergist Dr. Joseph Morgan] wrote in a letter to FERC on Nov. 13, 2008.
The Democratic Representative from Venice said in a statement “I’ve long said the Woodside LNG project posed serious environmental problems and made LAX a bigger security risk. Perhaps there is a role for LNG as a transitional fuel, but our region already has access to adequate gas supplies to meet market demands. I’m glad that Woodside recognized the level of local concern over this project and am grateful to the elected officials and residents who made their opposition known.”
It seems that the U.S. and Russia share a common condition these days: an overabundance of natural gas. Indeed, as recently as five years ago, it appeared that natural gas demand in the U.S. was growing rapidly, and prices were climbing to such an extent that then-Fed Chair Alan Greenspan announced that he expected the U.S. to soon become a major importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Unfortunately for those who invested on Mr. Greenspan's belief, today's world looks much different.
Webmaster's Comments: So, according to the LNG industry, bad news means good news? Any possible “rebound” would be for non-North American project sites. LNG speculators have had it all wrong about US natural gas requirements for several years, mindlessly pouring cash into needless projects, as recently reported in the Wall Street Journal, so why should anyone believe their speculation on the future is any better?
Last week the U.S. Government and U.S. engineering firm Kellogg Brown & Root LLC ("KBR LLC"), a wholly owned subsidiary of KBR, Inc., agreed to settle pending charges that KBR LLC violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing Nigerian officials to award construction contracts for the Bonny Island LNG liquefaction terminal to KBR LLC. Court documents indicate that KBR LLC has agreed to settle the charges for $402 million to be paid in quarterly installments through October 1, 2010.
10 Feb 2009
Downeast hereby reports that its affiliate, Downeast LNG Trading, LLC (“Downeast Trading”), submitted the only bid through the Open Season process for 500 million cubic standard feet per day of firm transportation service. Downeast Trading is a Delaware limited liability company, wholly-owned by Downeast LNG, Inc. Downeast Trading’s bid was accepted by Downeast and all capacity on the pipeline was awarded to Downeast Trading.
Webmaster's Comments: Downeast LNG — like defunct Quoddy Bay LNG — produced only itself as the sole party interested in its gas, dramatically exposing the lack of need for Downeast LNG’s project.
- No interest in Downeast LNG’s natural gas;
- No need to import LNG — there’s a North American glut of natural gas;
- A sea-change is occurring in American energy policy toward renewable and domestic energy resources;
- Downeast LNG has violated the world LNG industry’s own terminal siting best practices;
- As stipulated by the US Coast Guard’s Waterway Suitability Report — no Canadian cooperation, so Downeast LNG has no ability to obtain LNG; and
- The Wall Street Journal indicates the project is a big mistake;
…Downeast LNG — a futureless moneypit just like defunct Quoddy Bay LNG.
The environmental committee at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Phalanx Road, Colts Neck, will sponsor a free informational evening on the topic "Liquefied Natural Gas: A Threat to the Jersey Shore?" at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18.
Last week the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requested further information from AES Sparrows Point regarding its proposed LNG regasification terminal and associated pipeline infrastructure. The request seeks information that demonstrates compliance with a number of federal statutes, documents attempts at securing an alternative site for the project, and addresses several environmental issues.
Too many jobs are at stake here for politically driven foot-dragging. And the same is true for a competing project, Oregon LNG's proposed terminal at Warrenton, although that plan has yet to receive federal energy regulators' approval.
Webmaster's Comments: The Oregonian editorial page editor needs to read the news. LNG isn’t economically viable; the Oregon LNG projects are false hopes.
Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that the Center for LNG (CLNG) plans to release a report this week comparing the life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from LNG projects to GHG emissions from U.S. coal-fired power plants.
Total natural gas consumption is projected to decline by 1.3 percent in 2009 and then increase by 0.6 percent in 2010. The expectation of limited weather-driven consumption growth in the residential and commercial sectors in 2009 is outweighed by the implications of continued economic weakness in the industrial and electric power sectors. Consumption in the industrial and electric power sectors is expected to decline by 5.1 and 1.0 percent, respectively, in 2009. Consumption growth in 2010 remains largely dependent upon the timing and pace of economic recovery. Based on current assumptions, 2.2-percent growth in the electric power sector combined with slight growth in the residential and industrial sectors are all expected to contribute to 2010 consumption growth.
Webmaster ALERT: THIS WAS NOT AN LNG SHIP — it was an oil tanker.
Webmaster's Comments: USA Today erred in its report. The link in the story to GulfNews gave conflicting information, stating the ship was an oil tanker but then reported the fire was in one of 22 tanks filled with liquefied gas. Later, it referred to the burning tank as holding oil. Several other news reports about this incident properly refer to the burning Kismir as an oil tanker.
Natural gas produces little smoke. The copious black smoke in the photographs evidences that natural gas was not what was burning.
9 Feb 2009
The conventional wisdom said that the U.S. would soon become a big importer of natural gas. The conventional wisdom blew it.
To stabilize the market, Mr. Greenspan said, the U.S. needed to become a major importer of liquefied natural gas, or LNG. Moreover, he added, "Access to world natural-gas supplies will require a major expansion of LNG terminal import capacity." New facilities would have to be built in the U.S. to handle the expected surge in imports.
Even before the economic slowdown, it was clear the nation had ample natural-gas supplies. Large-scale imports simply weren't needed. And new reports suggest the U.S. won't need to turn into a massive importer of natural gas anytime soon. [Yellow-highlighted, red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Just look at all the articles in today’s postings indicating the demise of LNG imports. Even the Wall Street Journal agrees LNG importing is a big mistake!
Financial backers of Downeast LNG (Yorktown Partners) and Calais LNG (Goldman Sachs) — if they haven’t already deserted these financial pariahs — must belong to the same numb mind-set that resulted in the current financial collapse, but the lesson “didn’t take.”
Eastern Maine coast
The State of Maine recently released its energy plan (dated January 9, 2009), which includes a plan for LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay. While it’s being touted as an alternative/green energy plan overall -- its message falls short when it implies that LNG is good for Eastern Maine. [Red emphasis added.]
Indigenous Peoples demand good and green jobs, careers, and communities
Native American lands, as well as Indigenous territories worldwide, have been historically and systematically targeted for fossil fuel – coal, oil and gas – development, which has resulted in the contamination and depletion of water, land and community health. Solutions to energy independence and climate change in the U.S., such as nuclear power and clean coal, pose the threat of exacerbating these negative affects. [Red emphasis added.]
To date, pieces of legislation that I have introduced that are now Rhode Island laws include the requirement of safety and security exclusion zones for the proposed 950-foot-long LNG tankers to provide protection for residents as well as property and other assets along the proposed LNG tanker route; and a requirement of General Assembly and municipal government approval for any emergency response plan for the transportation of LNG in and on Rhode Island waters.
[E]very city and town along the route of the proposed 950-foot-long LNG supertankers has passed a council resolution in opposition to Weaver’s Cove Energy’s proposal to transport LNG in and on Rhode Island waters. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: This lawmaker’s thinking is in agreement with the world LNG industry’s LNG terminal best practices. If only FERC were as reasonable about public safety. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for an abbreviated list of SIGTTO’s LNG terminal siting best practices. SIGTTO membership consists of over 95% of the world’s LNG industry.)
Keith Stokes, executive director of the Newport (R.I.) County Chamber of Commerce, said a study commissioned in June 2006 found the project would have severe repercussions on economic development in that area.
Webmaster's Comments: Shearer will apparently say anything. Today’s Wall Street Journal article, Bad Call, explains why Weaver’s Cove, Downeast LNG, and Calais LNG are expensive dead ends.
"We believe the federal government has violated the law by granting a permit for a facility to proceed without going through the state permitting process, which is essential if this project is going to proceed, and by ignoring environmental protections that are critical and should be part of that process," he said. "The troubling thing about the way this process was done was that rather than waiting to see the state permits granted, FERC just acted."
More then 200 people crowded the Long Beach Public Library’s auditorium Jan. 29 for the first of at least three public “scoping sessions” on a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas terminal 13 miles off Long Beach.
So far nearly 40 groups in NJ/NY have banded together to condemn plans for LNG in this region. Over 500 citizens rallied together to say no to ASIG at a public hearing on January 27th in Eatontown and 300 ocean advocates attended the public hearing on the 29th in Long Beach, NY. California, Connecticut, and New York have already said no to LNG ports off their coasts – so must NJ. The community must get involved by signing petitions and contacting your local, state, and federal officials. Tell them that we do not need another foreign fossil fuel and our ocean is not for sale.
The report from a task force of the Interior Issues Council questions why owners of North Slope gas would commit to finance a multibillion-dollar pipeline and sell their gas into a "saturated market" in the Lower 48. [Red emphasis added.]
The newest Annual Energy Outlook report from the federal Department of Energy, developed under the now-departed, pro-LNG George W. Bush administration, concluded that natural gas imports will diminish by 2030 to just 3 percent of what's used in this country, from the current 16 percent.
In the United States, the gas market is experiencing strong supply growth on the one hand, owing to the success of onshore production from gas shale, and declining demand on the other, because of economic slowdown. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: This article concludes that because there’s a glut of domestic natural gas, and because of falling industrial demand for natural gas, there will be greater reason for LNG imports. That’s the same kind of double-talk that caused the current financial meltdown.
LNG is not yet a big factor in the US market, counting for some 3% of its use. And because of all the low cost, abundant shale gas discovered in the last few years, it is unlikely LNG will ever be needed much here. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
The United States Government, on Monday, formally charged engineering services company, Kellogg Brown & Root for a $180m, decade-long scheme to bribe Nigerian officials to secure $6bn in contracts at the Bonny LNG plant.
4 Feb 2009
Calais LNG says LNG vessels will be required to operate in compliance with Coast Guard regulations and restrictions. The company says compliance with these regulations will minimize the effects of the addition of a limited number of LNG vessels to the existing commercial traffic including the likelihood of a spill.
Webmaster's Comments: The US Coast Guard Waterway Suitability Report (WSR) for Downeast LNG’s project — with an LNG carrier approach similar to Calais LNG’s — illustrates that the LNG carrier Hazard Zones engulf a significant portion of Campobello Island, including Roosevelt Campobello International Park and island communities, as well as several other communities along the route. Sandia National Laboratories 2004 report to the US Department of Energy indicates radiant heat from an LNG pool fire on water 1600 metres (one mile) away would burn exposed skin within 60 seconds. Calais LNG’s claim that radiant heat would not be hazardous at a distance of over 500 metres illustrates Calais LNG's bald attempt to mislead the public.
It’s important to note that while the US Coast Guard’s Waterway Suitability Report mentions issues such as the three LNG carrier Hazard Zones, with their concomitant potential damage, in their decision making process, the Coast Guard is prohibited from weighing hazards to the public or assets on land from an LNG release.
Calais LNG acknowledges they must operate in compliance with US Coast Guard’s restrictions. And, as the Coast Guard requires, Calais LNG must obtain Canada’s cooperation — something that Canada has clearly, firmly, and repeatedly stated won’t happen.
Calais LNG, if they foolishly continue down the FERC and State of Maine permitting path, will be experiencing a long, unnecessary, and expensive demise.
A day after Weaver’s Cove announced it had formally submitted a revised plan to deliver liquefied natural gas along the Taunton River, Mayor Robert Correia said the city will continue its fight against an LNG facility.
“Now that Weaver’s Cove Energy has concocted yet another plan to shove LNG down the throats of a community largely opposed to the disruptive and dangerous presence of tankers in our Rhode Island and Massachusetts waters and a terminal on Fall River’s shore, we will continue to advocate against its approval, every step of the way,” Lynch said. “Even a now-extinct administration, no friend to the environment by any stretch of the imagination, found elements of previous proposals unpalatable. With the changeover to a new administration, I thought that Weaver’s Cove would make a more realistic assessment of its chances and hoist the white flag. I thought the madness would stop. Since it hasn’t, however, our work to protect and preserve our Rhode Island waters and shoreline continues, as does our solidarity with Massachusetts in blocking this latest scheme.”
So while SouthCoast can't take a blind, not-in-my-backyard approach to natural gas, we have reason to be concerned about expanding its use and building an importation terminal in thickly settled Fall River.
"Liquefied Natural Gas: A Threat to the Jersey Shore?"
[A] free informational program sponsored by the Environmental Committee of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Colts Neck, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 in St. Mary's Spiritual Center, Phalanx Road and Route 34, Colts Neck. The program will focus on three proposals for port storage facilities for imported liquefied natural gas.
“If something goes wrong, this stuff dissipates into the air. It’s not like you have crude oil messing up, killing birds and mammals and marine life, and destroying the environment,” [Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin] added.
Webmaster's Comments: MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) Austin isn’t very well versed on LNG safety issues.
[T]he resolution specifies the commission’s concerns that neither LNG facilities nor associated pipelines should be approved until the need for such facilities in Oregon has been established, consistent with federal laws, and it is shown that the public need outweighs the private harm to landowners and to natural resources throughout the County.
The weakness of LNG, which can be taken as a proxy for a global gas market, was evident during the Russia-Ukraine crisis, which happened at the same time as major disruptions in LNG production. [Red emphasis added.]
The Gulf Gateway Energy Bridge, which debuted in 2007, received zero arrivals last year. [Red emphasis added.]
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Woodside Petroleum's (WPL.AX) decision to scrap a liquefied natural gas import terminal in California last month bodes ill for developers on the U.S. West Coast already struggling to bring projects to fruition.
"At the moment with peak demand in the winter, storage levels are pretty high, prices are down and it appears by all accounts that demands for natural gas are being met," said Randy Roesser, California Energy Commission energy analyst.
NATS said today that US LNG imports for 2008 totaled 351.7 Bcf, which accounts for approximately 3.8% of global LNG production and makes the U.S. market the sixth largest importer of LNG in the world.
US imports of liquefied natural gas in 2009 are likely to run between 400 Bcf and 500 Bcf, above the 2008 levels, although still well below the record set in 2007, consulting firm Pan EurAsian Enterprises said Wednesday. [Red emphasis added.]
Consumer advocates and LNG opponents may take comfort in the recent appointment of Commission Jon Wellinghoff as the new acting FERC Chairman. As a Commissioner he has distinguished himself through a spate of dissents opposing rate incentives for transmission developers and opposing LNG projects, notably the Sparrow's Point and the Bradwood Landing projects.
Webmaster's Comments: Russia’s dispute and lower natural gas exports give rise to greater LNG demand in Europe, increasing world competition for LNG supply.
3 Feb 2009
When it first floated the offshore plan, Weaver’s Cove said it hoped to be able to avoid starting the application process anew. But regulators called the plan substantially different from the first proposal and said fresh applications, including environmental impact study, would be needed.
“If [Weaver’s Cove CEO Gordon Shearer] listened to what the people were saying, they would just go away,” said Joseph Carvalho of the Coalition for Responsible Siting of LNG Facilities. Because the company has said it will go with its original plan if it can, saying that Weaver’s Cove is listening to the public “is disingenuous at the very least, and scurrilous at the worst.”
“[There are] still going to be 100 diesel trucks … coming out of the facility on a daily basis,” Carvalho said. “Not to mention a tank, the size of which has never been built, and technology that has never been used before to build a pipeline this long.” [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Weaver's Cove LNG spokesman James Grasso believes history — not siting conditions — will protect area residents from any possible LNG disaster.
The company, which is owned by Hess LNG, says it has not abandoned the original plan for tankers to deliver liquefied natural gas to a site in Fall River. But for now it is giving priority to an alternative previously discussed by the company: having tankers unload the LNG at a berth 1 mile from the nearest shoreline.
Webmaster's Comments: Being a good neighbor includes — according to the world LNG industry — locating LNG terminals where civilian lives are not put at risk from a potential LNG release. (See SIGTTO, and LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for an abbreviated list of SIGTTO’s LNG terminal siting best practices.)
Joseph T. Kelliher, the former chairman of FERC, provided responses to letters from Sen. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) regarding the proposed AES Sparrows Point LNG terminal.
Webmaster's Comments: Kelliher mouths the same tired justification FERC uses for ignoring LNG terminal siting best practices.
Webmaster's Comments: Dominion Cove Point doesn't have enough business to operate its expanded facility, so sound testing can’t be done on the expansion.
WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Dominion Resources (D) on Monday filed a minor procedural request that indicates the firm doesn't know when it will have enough liquefied natural gas to test its expanded capacity at its Cove Point, Md., terminal.
Webmaster's Comments: An yet, industry pundits want us to believe LNG imports are soaring.
Yesterday FERC requested that Freeport LNG Development, L.P., provide additional data regarding proposed design changes to the facility, including the planned LNG re-export apparatus, new equipment to capture boil-off gas, and the facilities to accept truck deliveries of LNG. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
The conference theme addresses unconstructive communication issues that industry leaders and their key emergency response personnel face on a daily basis. Pressured scheduling and time constraints prohibit both sides from achieving effectual communication. (Red & bold emphasis added.)
Webmaster's Comments: The US LNG industry claims Japan's demand for LNG is dropping. This article indicates otherwise.
2 Feb 2009
"It bankrolls dictators, pays for nuclear proliferation and funds both sides of our struggle against terrorism," he said in the East Room of the White House. "It puts the American people at the mercy of shifting gas prices, stifles innovation and sets back our ability to compete. These urgent dangers to our national and economic security are compounded by the long-term threat of climate change, which, if left unchecked, could result in violent conflict, terrible storms, shrinking coastlines and irreversible catastrophe."
Webmaster's Comments: The same applies to foreign LNG.
Regardless of the insulting disdain that Mr. Girdis has shown, Canada is still a sovereign country, the Hon. Greg Thompson is a senior member of cabinet, and Downeast LNG is but a tiny speck of a company. Mr. Girdis has not enhanced his cause by openly demonstrating his contempt for Canadians in general and Canada in particular. To paraphrase your words in a recent letter from Mr. Girdis, “Canada will not sit quietly by as you seek to protect your own economic interests by trying to dictate what kind of development is acceptable in sovereign Canadian waters.”
Weaver’s Cove Energy announced today they have filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to modify the design of the proposed liquefied natural gas terminal to include an offshore berth in Mount Hope Bay.
Webmaster's Comments: Weaver’s Cove CEO Gordon Shearer says this modification to the project “represents answers” to the public’s safety concerns. Shearer, Downeast LNG, and Calais LNG developers all ignore the world LNG industry's own safety advice: Don’t site LNG terminals and transit routes where an LNG release could affect civilian populations. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for an abbreviated list of the industry's LNG terminal siting best practices, promulgated by SIGTTO.) The industry is concerned about its own health and longevity: should an LNG release occur that affects civilians, dire economic consequences would likely occur to the industry.
The developers noted that although their pipeline will have to compete with domestic gas and LNG supplies, that by the time the project is completed in 10 years, demand will be growing and prices will rise.
Webmaster's Comments: One must remember that the energy industry totally missed predicting the US natural gas glut. How does anyone know if Alaska's pipeline developers aren't still be suffering from the same myopia?
FERC's use of conditional licensing has been touted as a regulatory innovation that has become increasingly commonplace in FERC's certificate authorizations. The Oregon AG's challenge to the practice implicates FERC's conditional permit policy as a whole, and, perhaps most significantly, FERC staff's recent policy statement on hydrokinetics. The petition also raises the possibility that FERC's conditional permit practice could be revised or scrapped entirely. If this happens, project developers before FERC could be faced with significantly lengthier permitting timelines and attendant uncertainties. [Red emphasis added.]
As of January 6, 11 European countries had been affected by this disruption: Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Italy, Turkey, and Croatia. Amidst temperatures as low as 0 Fahrenheit, the demand for heating is growing. Most countries have some gas storage to outlast a short disruption, but if the crisis continues for weeks, these supplies will run out.
The Kremlin derives leverage from its control of gas production and supply networks. It uses its energy supplies to divide Europe on key issues, thus weakening Europe's bargaining power in economic and geopolitical relations with Russia.
In light of these circumstances, the U.S should: Encourage Europe to construct more liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, importing gas from Qatar, Algeria, and Nigeria, thus diversifying the sources of gas. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: This is the second winter Russia has withheld natural gas in its pipeline to Europe. It is huge red flag flapping in face of North America. The US and Canada have foolishly invited Russia to participate in supplying LNG or to owning energy infrastructure. Alarm bells ought to be going off in both federal governments’ heads, and both countries ought to be reversing course while building domestic energy independence.
"We should realize that Russia is at war with the United States, not in the geopolitical and gas sector but also in the sphere of direct confrontation," notes Alexander Dugin, a Russian expansionist at Moscow State University. [Red emphasis added.]
In its analysis, “First” Natural Gas Buying Opportunity for 2010 and Beyond, Energy Solutions, Inc. provides details and general recommendations for long-term buying decisions, backing the information with fact and reason. These evaluations are formed by natural gas production growth, supply/production levels, drilling rig counts, natural gas storage inventories, liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, state of economy and so on.
LNG can be competitive priced as low as $3 per million British thermal units, said Zach Allen, head of Pan EurAsian Enterprises, a management advisory firm that follows LNG markets. That’s a price the U.S. hasn’t seen since 2002.
Webmaster's Comments:The natural gas glut has already hit the US. In the above scenario, surplus LNG imports would arrive at US facilities that have unfilled storage capacity. Northern New England would not be the likely destination.
Excelerate Energy, which is building a fleet of tankers that can re-gasify LNG onboard for offloading to terminals buoyed offshore, opened its second such terminal last year, the Northeast Gateway, 13 miles off the coast of Boston.
Rob Bryngelson, president and chief executive of Excelerate, which is based in The Woodlands, said the downturn has led his company to seek out more projects like the one it started last summer in Argentina. For several months an Excelerate tanker with re-gasification equipment ties up next to an intake for a natural gas pipeline system. Other standard LNG tankers can then sidle up next to Excelerate’s vessel and offload their cargo.