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"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
                                           — US Senator Susan Collins, 2012 Jun 21


News Articles
Passamaquoddy Bay & LNG

2009 July

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2009 Jul


30 Jul 2009

Canada restates opposition to Downeast LNG — Mainebiz, Portland, ME

In a letter earlier this month to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham said LNG tankers heading through Head Harbour Passage, which are Canadian waters, enroute to a proposed terminal in Robbinston would have several adverse impacts, including threats to public safety and security, environmental degradation and "potentially significant economic harm in a region of New Brunswick that is fundamentally dependent on the pristine ecosystem of the Passamaquoddy Bay region for its economic well-being." [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Sempra Energy adds second LNG facility in North America — Proactive Investors North America, Toronto, ON

The Cameron LNG terminal near Lake Charles, Louisiana, fully owned by Sempra LNG, has undergone start-up and commissioning activities over the past month, winning the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval to start operations. Sempra Energy’s subsidiary Sempra LNG today announced its fully operational status.

The Cameron LNG facility is capable of processing 1.5 billion cubic feet of LNG per day (bcf/d) and will complement Sempra’s other LNG receipt terminal in Baja, California, which has the capacity of 1.0 bcf/d.

Webmaster’s Comments: Sempra LNG is not to be confused with the pre-existing Trunkline LNG terminal at Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parrish, Louisiana.

Sempra Energy's new U.S. Gulf Coast LNG terminal begins commercial operations [Press release] — Sempra Energy, San Diego, CA

SAN DIEGO, July 30, 2009 – Sempra LNG, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), today announced that its Cameron LNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) receipt terminal near Lake Charles, La., has successfully completed performance testing and has begun commercial operations.

FERC authorizes commencement of services at Cameron LNG — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Yesterday FERC granted Cameron LNG, LLC's request to commence services at its LNG import terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

DOE leads National Research Program in Gas Hydrates — U.S. Department of Energy

Methane (or gas) hydrates—molecules of natural gas trapped in ice crystals—represent a potentially vast resource that may have as much energy as all the world's other fossil fuels combined. The cost-effective development of hydrate reserves can play a major role both in moderating natural gas price increases and ensuring adequate future supplies for American consumers. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: This is more bad news for Downeast LNG and Calais LNG, if it can actually get any worse.

Surplus of LNG ships may reduce vessel orders, Clarksons says — Bloomberg

July 30 (Bloomberg) -- Shipyards including Samsung Heavy Industries Co. and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. may see orders drying up for liquefied natural gas tankers because of a surplus of ships and low demand, a shipbroker said. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


29 Jul 2009

New York’s objection to the Broadwater Energy LNG project upheld (Jul) — The National Sea Grant Law Center, University, MS

The CZMA provides that states have the authority to review federal projects to determine whether activities are consistent with their coastal management program. If a state objects, the federal agency may not issue the permit. A project opponent may appeal a state’s negative consistency finding to the Secretary of Commerce. The Secretary may only override a state’s objection if the project is (1) consistent with the objectives of the CZMA or (2) necessary in the interest of national security.

Broadwater failed to establish that its project is consistent with the objectives of the CZMA. Although national interest is furthered in a significant and substantial manner, that national interest does not outweigh the Project’s adverse coastal effects. In addition, the Secretary found the Project was not necessary in the interest of national security. Thus, New York’s objection to the Project proposed by Broadwater was sustained. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: States trump FERC.

Marcellus Shale estimates project even higher — iStockAnalyst

New calculations show the Appalachian Basin's Marcellus Shale formation could yield enough natural gas to supply all U.S. needs for nearly two decades -- dramatically more than previous estimates.

Late last year, Engelder made news with an estimate that 392 trillion cubic feet could be produced -- 13 times the amount the nation uses on an annual basis.

We're sitting on decades of reserves, and its just waiting to be used. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Sabine Pass expected to receive first LNG vessel from Train 6 of RasGas III — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

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. Last month Chevron indicated its intention to implement the short-term LNG supply contract with RasGas to receive LNG at Sabine Pass LNG Terminal.

LNG comes to Planning Commission — The News-Review, Roseburg, OR

The Douglas County Planning Commission on Thursday will weigh in on a short portion of the 230-mile liquefied natural gas pipeline proposed for southwest Oregon.

Although Camas Valley is nearly 60 miles from Bandon and the coast, it is still part of the coastal management area established by the federal government. And although there aren't any coastal ecosystems that need to be evaluated in that 7.3-mile stretch, the Planning Commission will be asked to consider the pipeline's effect of forest and agricultural lands in that area, Wright said.

Sempra’s LNG terminal adds to US supply — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Since its commissioning in June, the terminal at Cameron has sent around 550,000 Mcf/d into the U.S. market. The effect of this added supply on prices has been softened by global supply outages and increased demand overseas. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: In other words, LNG prices are increasing, compared to domestic natural gas.

Analysts expect US EIA to estimate 70-74 Bcf gas storage build — Platts [Registration required]

"This is by far the earliest storage has ever reached the 3-Tcf threshold," he said.

Energy independence: The progress, the problems… and a way to profit — Jutia Group

By 2030, [the Potential Gas Committee] projects a [natural gas] supply of nearly one hundred years – the most in the world. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The nation’s authority on natural gas supplies, says the US has the largest natural gas reserve in the world — enough to last the US for 100 years. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG say otherwise. Whom do you believe?

President Obama has nominated Suedeen G. Kelly to a new term as Commissioner expiring June 30, 2014 [Press release] (Jul 28) — The White House, Washington, DC


Suedeen G. Kelly, of New Mexico, to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the term expiring June 30, 2014. (Reappointment)


28 Jul 2009

Loose fitting in gas pipeline caused 'rotten egg' odour — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

On two occasions during the past two weeks, Red Head resident Brian Harris has smelled what he describes as a "stench." His neighbours also noticed the smell, he said, adding that it didn't last longer than about half an hour on each occasion.

Susan Harris says that if people smell or think they smell rotten eggs or think there is an issue with the pipeline, they should call 911 or 1-888-410-2220.

Selectmen refuse Weaver's Cove meeting (Jul 26) — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Somerset — Selectmen are still resisting attempts by Weaver’s Cove Energy to meet with the board, saying the energy company has nothing new to say about a proposed liquefied natural gas berthing structure in Somerset waters.

The offshore facility would be in Somerset waters about one mile from the nearest shoreline and 2 miles south of the Braga Bridge. It would connect to the proposed facility via a four-mile-long buried [underwater LNG] pipeline. The facility would include berthing structures to secure LNG tankers during unloading operations and support transfer piping and controls.

Webmaster’s Comments: Weaver's Cove LNG is competing with the failed Quoddy Bay LNG project for the most preposterous. The Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Weaver's Cove LNG sites all violate world LNG industry best practices (see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more information).

Guv’s veto of Long Island Sound Commission overturned — New Haven Independent, New Haven, CT

‘We should come away from Broadwater harvesting the relationships we created and making something good come of it,” Reed said in an interview. “Instead of these energy projects popping up one at a time out of blue, we need to lay out our options. This commission is the place to go to, a place where everybody is equally represented.” [Red emphasis added.]

Judge orders feds to release list of landowners — The Hillsboro Argus, Hillsboro, OR

A federal judge in Portland on Friday ordered the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to release a list of landowners that could be affected by the proposed Palomar compressed natural gas pipeline.

Columbia Riverkeeper, and partner organization Willamette Riverkeeper, filed suit last year after FERC allegedly violated the Freedom of Information Act in denying requests for the list of property owners. The two Riverkeeper groups said some property owners hadn't been notified that their land could become part of a regional gas corridor.

"There are thousands of people in Oregon affected by these projects, and many of them are still in the dark about what has been proposed."

"Oregon's governor and other federal agencies have said that FERC's process is flawed, and this is just one more example," said Gales Creek resident Paul Sansone. "President Obama and FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff should take immediate action to change FERC." [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: There is a disturbing pattern in the FERC permitting process of keeping information from the public that the public has a right to know. As Save Passamaquoddy Bay learned previously, Quoddy Bay LNG and Downeast LNG had submitted navigation charts showing the LNG ship transit route and Federal Hazard Zones that would engulf thousands of local residents as “Critical Energy Infrastructure Information (CEII),” keeping the information out of the public eye. SPB filed a Freedom of Information Act request, resulting in the documents being released, since the developers should never have categorized the information as CEII in the first place.

There is a practice of developers labeling everything CEII, whether it is justified or not. FERC and the US Coast Guard do not challenge these breaches of impropriety — an offense to the public interest.

Supplemental NEPA analysis sought for Jordan Cove project — Energy Current, Houston, TX

Citing "legal error" in failing to engage in Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultation on the [Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPRs) Records of Decisions (RODs)], the U.S. Department of the Interior on July 16 withdrew the six RODs and associated [Resource Management Plans (RMPs)].

Webmaster’s Comments: FERC appears to be ignoring NEPA as a matter of course, as with the Downeast LNG Draft EIS.

Supplemental EIS sought for Jordan Cove LNG project — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The Western Environmental Law Center submitted a letter to FERC this week requesting a supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Jordan Cove LNG Terminal and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. The letter explains that the withdrawal of the Western Oregon Plan Revisions (cited numerous times in the final EIS) renders the associated analysis legally deficient.

FERC issues Order on Petition for Waiver by North Baja, Shell, and Gazprom (Jul 27) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

On July 23, 2009, FERC issued an order granting in part a petition for a waiver of certain capacity release requirements filed by North Baja Pipeline, Shell Energy North America, and Gazprom. The petition specifically sought a waiver to permit Shell to release some of its firm transportation capacity on North Baja to Gazprom at Shell's negotiated rate. The capacity would be used to transport volumes of regasified LNG from the Costa Azul LNG terminal in Mexico.


27 Jul 2009

Northeast spot natural gas prices tank on weak NYMEX contract (Jul24) — Platts

Spot natural gas prices in the Northeast shed up to 30 cents Friday, giving up much of the gains accumulated over a strong past three days, reflecting the weak August NYMEX gas futures contract that ceded almost 25 cents Thursday.

Dracut, Massachusetts, gave up about 30 cents to come in the mid-$3.60s/MMBtu.

Webmaster’s Comments: …Once again demonstrating there is no lack of natural gas in the Northeast. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are still trying to sell the proverbial Emperor’s new clothes.

FERC issues order on Petition for Waiver by North Baja, Shell, and Gazprom — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The Commission … denies the Petitioners’ request for a waiver concerning the 79,840 Dth/day of North Baja capacity to be released on a temporary basis. … If other shippers are interested in bidding, the capacity should and will be awarded to the shipper who values it most.

Port seeks zoning change (Jul 26) — The World, Coos Bay, OR

Port officials have asked Coos County to change the zoning for the Kentuck Golf Course so liquefied natural gas developers can use the land for wetland mitigation.

The Coos County Planning Commission will consider the application at 6 p.m. Aug. 6 in the Coos County Annex, 201 N. Adams St., Coquille.


25 Jul 2009

Biting the dust — The Telegram, St. John's, NL

Timing is everything. Friday, Irving Oil and BP took another project off the East Coast map, announcing they would halt their joint construction of a proposed $8-billion oil refinery in Saint John, N.B.

A few years ago, the outline foreseen by our government was to be an energy warehouse as well: two of the multi-billion-dollar projects that were to help drive that plan were a liquefied natural gas transshipment terminal and a new oil refinery.

The refinery proposal has since slipped into financial protection after running into trouble for financing and being sued for more than $100 million by creditors; the natural gas proposal is on ice, its employees mostly laid off, its proponents putting the blame at the feet of the global recession. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Newfoundland’s LNG transshipment plan was to hold LNG in Placentia Bay for shipment, as needed, to the bezillion LNG terminals being planned for the US. The project is on ice, not because of the global economy, but because there is a natural gas glut in North America, resulting in cancelled LNG terminal projects, since there is no need to import the planned mega-supply of LNG. The LNG industry’s chrystal ball proved to have a charlatan peering into it.

Canada restates position on LNG ship passage (Jul 24) — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

[Downeast LNG President Dean Girdis] notes that the U.S. Coast Guard's Waterway Suitability Report [WSR]on the Downeast LNG project points to the importance of Canadian cooperation for navigating LNG vessels through Canadian waters.

Webmaster’s Comments: Girdis again has it wrong. The Coast Guard’s WSR does not simply point to “the importance of Canadian cooperation” — the US Coast Guard REQUIRES Downeast LNG to obtain Canadian approval, something that Canada has made clear it will not do. Girdis is simply collecting his paycheck until the project reaches its inevitable failure.

City’s FERC comments irk harbor pilots (Jul 24) — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

At the start of the LNG discussion, council President Brian Schuth explained that the comments from the city made to FERC were for "raising issues that should be mitigated; that is the point of this process." Schuth then noted that he had been appointed as the city's LNG liaison two years ago. He outlined the four areas of concern that were raised in the comments: mismeasurement of the region's seasonal population changes when considering safety zones; the lack of consideration for the potential impact on the port; lack of consideration for a number of proposed tidal projects that have their own FERC dockets; the lack of an adequate emergency plan with a cost share plan; and a conflict-of-interest in regards to the waterway assessment.

Council votes to withdraw LNG comments (Jul 24) — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

The particular phrase that at the July 13 city council meeting Peacock called "appalling" states, "This conflict of interest casts aspersion on their ability to render a true independent and objective assessment." The council's comments expressed concerns about inherent conflict of interest by quoting from Downeast LNG's EIS, noting that participation in a tasked group, Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment, "was through invitation" and included "representatives of the marine industry, pilots, tug operators."

Avoiding a debilitating debate [Editorial] (Jul 24) — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

Unfortunately, some now appear to be trying to get the city council and port authority involved in a squabble on the LNG issue. The city council has a responsibility to look out for the interests of the citizens of Eastport. In that role, the councillor designated as the LNG liaison had submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concerning the draft environmental impact statement for the Downeast LNG proposal in Robbinston. Those comments were not opposing the project but outlined areas of concern and suggested possible ways to mitigate those concerns. As elected representatives of the people of Eastport, the council had not only the right but the responsibility to express those concerns.

Now, though, under pressure from Downeast LNG representatives and some residents, the council has decided to withdraw those comments.… It appears as though the majority of councillors are, in part, abrogating their responsibility to look out for the safety and security of the residents of this island. We resent the undue influence that company representatives and other interested parties in the LNG proposals are exerting on this process. The council should be able to make decisions without relying on the interested parties for their information.

We would be wise to avoid the LNG debate as much as we can and keep our focus on economic development that will sustain us into the future much longer than LNG possibly can. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

What will happen along the Waldo/Knox County power corridor? [Opinion column] (Jul 24) — Village Soup, Waldo County, ME

[W]ithin the last two weeks some landowners have received from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission a Notice (Docket No. PF08-24-000), “Supplemental Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Calais LNG Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues Related to the Potential Expansion of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline System.” The huge costs associated with the preparation of an environmental impact evaluation suggest that the proposal to expand the gas line still has some life.

Webmaster’s Comments: Two things: First, the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline is already going through expansion permitting, to accomodate the gas from the Deep Panuke well offshore from Nova Scotia. Second, Calais LNG may go through the motions, but it will be in vain, since their project cannot receive LNG. It is all an enormous waste of time and money on an ill-timed and ill-sited project.

If they actually think more LNG importing is needed to supply northern New England, in order to be able to receive LNG by ship, all they need to do is find an LNG industry best practices-compliant site outside of Passamaquoddy Bay. They will not do that because they knew when they started their long-shot project has no chance of success.

Making waves in the Rockaways: Surfers defend their turf — The Columbia Journalist, New York, NY

The banner read "NO LNG," a reference to the proposal to build an 86-acre island 13 miles off the coast of Rockaway Beach to receive, store and regasify liquified natural gas ("LNG"). The project, called Safe Harbor Energy, was initiated by a privately-held energy company called the Atlantic Sea Island Group. While it is still early in the development and approval process, opposition to the proposal — which opponents refer to as "Insanity Island" — has grown steadily, especially among Rockaway's surfers.

Regas units for floating LNG being installed (Jul 22) — PennEnergy, Tulsa, OK

HOUSTON, July 22 -- Testing of LNG regasification packages for floating installations is taking place this summer in advance of commissioning off Brazil, Boston, and Dubai. The units are supplied by Hamworthy PLC, Dorset, UK.

Golar Winter’s plant was the company’s second system to be delivered. Hamworthy delivered the first plant in summer 2008 for installation aboard the 145,000-cu m LNG shuttle regasification vessel (SRV) Suez Neptune. That vessel is the first of two SRVs ordered from Samsung in South Korea for Hoegh LNG to serve the Neptune terminal off Boston. Gas trials are scheduled for next month.

SRVs are designed to transport and store LNG and then vaporize it to be sent ashore by subsea pipeline. Hamworthy is supplying three regasification skids per ship. Each ship’s set will have a regasification capacity of 210 tonnes/hr of LNG with send-out pressure of 115 bar. Gas trials will be taking place on the second Neptune SRV, Suez Cape Ann, in June 2010. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: This confirms the flawed logic in Downeast LNG’s DEIS claim that the two Gloucester MA, offshore LNG terminals are inadequate alternatives to DeLNG, for not having storage — storage at those two deepwater ports takes place on the ship.

Cameron LNG seeks permission for simultaneous unloading (Jul 23) — Energy Current, Houston, TX

Cameron is requesting approval to proceed with simultaneous unloading from both berths at the base terminal facility at base terminal design rates. Cameron is not requesting any modifications, design changes, or changes to the base terminal design rates in this submittal.

Liquified natural gas project heads to design (Jul 23) —, BC

“We now have the minimum [volumes] we need to build the plant,” said KLNG president Rosemary Boulton. “We are still in negotiations with a few other companies and that will allow us to get the maximum volume for the terminal.”

Webmaster’s Comments: This is an LNG export terminal.

Oregon LNG sues Port of Astoria (Jul 24) — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Portland Wednesday, comes on the heels of the Port Commission's Tuesday decision to delay a vote on renewing the Port's controversial lease of state land for the Oregon LNG liquefied natural gas terminal.

The decision to renew the state lease has been a tough one for the Port because of 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. [Red emphasis added.]

Clatsop County commissioners vow to fight recall (Jul 23) — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The petitions said the commissioners "repeatedly voted in support of proposals that were overwhelmingly opposed by the public." They explained that commissioners voted in support of the LNG facility despite a 67 percent vote against LNG-related pipelines and overwhelming negative public comment.

Port stalls on LNG lease (Jul 23) — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Before their next meeting, commissioners are hoping to learn, one, if the Port has a valid ownership claim to the land it leases from the state and subleases to Oregon LNG, and, two, if the Oregon attorney general's office has concluded an investigation into the Port's business deals under former director Peter Gearin. Some commissioners suspect foul play in the rushed, unprofitable pass-through lease the Port signed in 2004.

Once more, into the pit [Editorial] (Jul 23) — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

County commission gives us more years of litigation, appeals, political turmoil

With depressing predictability, a majority of Clatsop County commissioners last week again flowed through the LNG pipeline, as unthinking as the methane that promoters want to unload here.

This siren song of new industrial development is one that seduces people all over the world when they find themselves in the fortunate or unfortunate position of having something a big corporation wants. "We'll create jobs to keep your kids at home," they say. "We'll fill your tax coffers so regular folks won't have to pay so much for schools and roads," they promise.

Far too often, though, the benefits are far overstated or flow to outsiders. The corporation that got its foot through the door goes away and its promises go with it. The environmental compromises that were made on its behalf invite additional compromises. Specialists come in to take the good jobs and locals end up pushing brooms.

The costs of supporting new imported workers and industrial infrastructure gobble up the additional taxes that are paid. The values and qualities that made a place special fade away. Other opportunities are foreclosed. [Red emphasis added.]

Check your rhetoric at the door (Jul 23) — The World, Coos Bay, OR

County commissioners, as locally elected officials, presumably are sensitive to local viewpoints. In a land-use hearing, however, state law laces them into a "quasi-judicial" straitjacket. If they deviate from the prescribed process, LUBA will make them do it over until they get it right.

County OKs LNG plan again (Jul 24) — The World, Coos Bay, OR

The county agreed to enforce 50-foot setbacks from wetlands depicted in its inventory maps. The original plan called for same kinds of setbacks, but it used maps supplied by Jordan Cove.

The commissioners also ensured the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians can request a county hearing if they can't agree with Jordan Cove about protecting graves and other archaeological artifacts.

CC Commissioners approve LNG application — KCBY-TV, Coos Bay, OR

Concerned citizen Jody McCaffree said plans drawn up by Jordan Cove clearly showed them building in the wetlands. "If you apply these maps to their facility they definitely will impact those wetlands and not only that, they definitely will impact archaeological sites, known archaeological sites."

But applicants on behalf of the company assured the commissioners that these were not site plans and they understood the original maps were incorrect.

Webmaster’s Comments: On the other hand, the Jordan Cove location violates LNG industry best practices: 1) It’s located on the outside curve in the waterway, and 2) similar to Downeast LNG and Calais LNG, vapors from an LNG release from a ship or the terminal would place civilian populations in Federal Hazard Zones.

U.S. natgas rig count climbs 10 to 675 for week (Jul 24) — Reuters

NEW YORK, July 24 (Reuters) - The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the United States rose 10 this week to 675 after sinking last week to its lowest level in more than seven years, according to a report on Friday by oil services firm Baker Hughes in Houston.

Webmaster’s Comments: The demand for natural gas is down due to the economy; however, there is a US reserve in shale gas of over 100 years’ supply.

Idle LNG ships costing owners $50,000 per day (Jul 24) — Lloyd's List, London, England, UK

Brokers said new LNG carriers were leaving yards each month. All are backed by long-term charters of 20 years. But LNG project owners are paying charters to keep vessels idle as the gap widens between ship deliveries and project start-up.


22 Jul 2009

FERC authorizes Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline to export natural gas to Canada — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

FERC's order clarifies that the pipeline can now be used for gas exports to Canada as well as imports. [Red, bold, italic & yellow emphasis added.]

July 22: Energy risk - Cheniere using futures to stay alive — RiskCenter, New York, NY [Free subscription required]

CHENIERE ENERGY (ticker: LNG) has built up enormous capacity to purchase liquefied natural gas, convert the liquid into gas, and pump the gas into the US pipeline system. The idea was to buy up cheap liquefied natural gas from say Kuwait and sell it in the US. In the past this capability to convert LNG into gaseous form did not exist in the US on a large scale.

Unfortunately for Cheniere, natural gas prices in the US have collapsed as we discussed (see Sober Look post). At $4/MMBTU, it just doesn't work. So the shares are taking a beating.

They buy liquefied natural gas, simultaneously selling it forward in the futures market. Having built up a massive storage capacity, they are able (for now) to store the gas cheaper than the slope of the natural gas curve. Then as the futures contracts mature, they will deliver the gas against their futures position.

Cheniere plans to take advantage of seasonal prices changes in the LNG market by importing the super-cooled gas during summer when prices are low, storing it and then re-exporting when prices are higher, most likely in winter. [Red, yellow, and bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: This is a good example why Downeast LNG and Calais LNG have no future — there is no domestic market for imported LNG.

Port of Astoria leaders stall on LNG lease decision — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The board voted 5-0 Tuesday after an executive session to delay action on the lease renewal until the Aug. 18 meeting, when commissioners are hoping to have two key pieces of information that would make their decision easier. They agreed to have their attorney send a letter to Oregon LNG outlining their reasons for delay. The letter has not been made public.


21 Jul 2009

Ambassador to U.S. weighs in on Maine LNG plant — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

The Canadian ambassador to the United States has a message for the state of Maine: Canada won't let ships have access a liquefied natural gas terminal on Passamaquoddy Bay.

One argument of Downeast LNG's legal analysis comes from the opinion of Prof. Ted McDorman of the University of Victoria, who concluded that a right of innocent passage exists along the waterway for U.S. vessels, regardless of their cargo.

He also suggests that the Canadian government and the government of New Brunswick are working to protect Canadian interests.

Webmaster’s Comments: Girdis's claim is false. At the 2007 May 11 maritime law experts panel discussion “(Not So) Innocent Passage: International Law and the Passamaquoddy Bay LNG Terminal Controversy,” Ted McDorman told the public that Canada has no obligation under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to provide innocent passage to ships transiting through Head Harbour Passage to US ports in Passamaquoddy Bay since the US is not a participant in that treaty. Plus, if the US does ratify membership in UNCLOS, the maritime law experts explained there are numerous other reasons why LNG ships could still be prevented from entering the bay. Girdis has already lost the battle.

Second Canaport LNG shipment due at terminal July 21: source (Jul 16) — Platts

Flows of up to 350,000 Mcf/d from Canaport began entering northeastern US and eastern Canadian markets in mid-July, thawing traditionally liquid markets that are already at record storage levels. [Red emphasis added.]

US FERC authorizes Maritimes & Northeast to export gas to Canada — Platts

Regasified LNG going through the Canaport terminal is to flow south into New England through the Maritimes & Northeast pipeline, ratcheting up the amount of LNG absorbed by the region's gas customers. The pipeline runs from Nova Scotia to Massachusetts. The pipeline wants the ability to move some of the regasified LNG back into Canada. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: This is a clear demonstration that Maine and New England will be well-satisfied with natural gas supply from existing and already-permitted LNG and natural gas infrastructure.

NOAA chief says new ocean uses creating conflicts — (AP) Centre Daily Times, State College, PA

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco said the nation should take cues from Massachusetts, the first state to create a comprehensive planning map for its ocean waters.

One new use noted by Lubchenco is offshore liquefied natural gas facilities. A plan to build an offshore LNG berth in Mount Hope Bay near Massachusetts and Rhode Island has been criticized by residents and elected officials, including Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., who said LNG tankers would pose a hazard to commercial and recreational boat traffic. [Red emphasis added.]

Sound Off [Opinion] (Jul 18) — The Mississippi Press

The Jackson County Board of Supervisors granted Gulf LNG Energy a 10-year exemption for roughly 35 percent of its property taxes. Certain taxes, such as school district and road department millages, cannot be exempt.

Elba Island LNG storage tank to be North America's largest (Jul 20) — Energy Current, Houston, TX

Southern Natural Gas is in the process of doubling the storage and send-out capacity of the Elba terminal, one of only six such facilities in the continental U.S. where gas is imported and stored in its highly refrigerated liquid form.

LNG opponents launch recall campaigns against two Clatsop County commissioners — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Petitions for recalls of two county commissioners were filed this morning with the Clatsop County Elections Office.

Tribes: Delay LNG hearing — The World, Coos Bay, OR

The project is proposed for an area in tribal ancestral territory. At a 2007 hearing, the tribes' cultural resource protection coordinator said previous nearby construction had disturbed grave sites in three archaeological areas.

NARUC appoints new chairman to federal-state LNG task force — SNL, Charlottesville, VA

California Public Utilities Commissioner Timothy Simon will lead a federal-state task force charged with increasing development of LNG resources, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners announced July 16.

Is natural gas cheap? — David Galland's Instablog, Seeking Alpha

According to the report [by Natural Gas Intelligence], the increase in gas discoveries and production improvements means that North America shouldn’t have to be concerned about gas supplies for up to 100 years!

In the United States, the tremendous growth in natural gas resources and estimated recoverable natural gas, particularly from gas shales, just in the last two years (Figure 1) is sending tremors through the entire industry. These tremors include the risk of making obsolete the proposed $26 billion Alaskan and $16 billion northern Canadian pipelines to tap northern gas resources and a slue of proposed LNG terminals... unless they are for export! [Red, bold & yellow emphasis added.]

Natural gas imported to US for electricity generation may be environmentally worse than coal (2007 Aug 23) — Science Daily, Rockville, MD

In the … [2007] Sept. 1 edition of the journal Environmental Science and Technology, Carnegie Mellon researchers Paulina Jaramillo, W. Michael Griffin and H. Scott Matthews show that liquefied natural gas (LNG) imported from foreign countries and used for electricity generation could have 35 percent higher lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than coal used in advanced power plant technologies.

Analysts again scale back U.S. natgas price outlook — Reuters

The healthy pace of storage refills this year has driven total stockpiles to nearly 2.9 trillion cubic feet, a record high for this time, and some analysts still worry prices could collapse later this summer or in early autumn as caverns fill up and back more supply into an already-oversupplied market.

Chairman Wellinghoff's statement on NARUC summer meetings international presentation on “A Shared Energy Vision for North America: Regulations, Markets, and the Environment” [Statement] — Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Washington, DC

It is a vision for a future:

And cooperation among governments and regulators is essential to achieve this vision. The Commission will continue to work together with our energy partners and neighbors in Canada and Mexico, and we will build upon and strengthen our federal-state partnerships here in the United States.

One outcome of these meetings has been Memoranda of Understanding between the U.S. and Canada and between the U.S. and Mexico to increase coordination and cooperation between our countries’ energy agencies when significant cross-border energy infrastructure projects arise. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: FERC Chairman Wellinghoff understands working cooperatively with Canada is in the US public interest — rather than behaving in the destructive bully manner advocated by Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.

United Kingdom: Piracy attacks on LNG ships (Jul 20) — Mondaq

There has also been considerable discussion as to the use of armed guards on board vessels. It has been reported that the USA now requires all US flagged ships to be armed. Other flag states are more neutral about the use of armed guards on board vessels with some fearing that their presence might escalate the risks to the vessel and her crew if attacked. As some commentators have noted, having armed guards on board a merchant vessel raises interesting questions of law as to who is in control of the vessel during an attack when force is used and who on board the vessel can authorise the use of that force. [Red, bold & yellow emphasis added.]


17 Jul 2009

Withdraw your proposal, ambassador tells LNG developer — The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

In a letter to Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), he says the Canadian government supports the responsible development of LNG terminals in North America as LNG will be an important source of natural gas in coming years.

“However, I am writing to express Canada's serious concerns with the proposals to construct LNG terminals on the Maine side of Passamaquoddy Bay in response to the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Downeast LNG which was released on May 15.”

Webmaster’s Comments: Ambassador Wilson once again makes it clear that Canada does not oppose LNG in Maine or the US, but is opposed to inappropriate terminal siting, as would be the case in Passamaquoddy Bay. And, Canada’s position is in complete agreement with world LNG industry terminal-siting best practices. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG have known since 2007, or before, that Canada will not allow LNG vessels into Passamaquoddy Bay. The projects’ negatice impacts on navigation, safety, environment, and economy would be too severe.

Canada once again provides sensible advice to FERC and the LNG developers that if they believe the projects are really needed, move them to industry-compliant locations. The solution is simple, so why won’t the developers do it?

Canadian Ambassador reaffirms Canada's opposition to LNG vessel transitassociated with Downeast LNG (Jul 16) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Referring to the recently issued Downeast LNG Draft EIS, Ambassador Wilson goes on to note that Canada's opposition to LNG vessel traffic in Head Harbour Passage remains unchanged and that FERC may "wish to advise project proponents that they should consider withdrawing their applications as these projects cannot go forward as envisioned."

FERC approves pier reinforcement project for Cove Point LNG terminal — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Yesterday FERC authorized Dominion Cove Point LNG, L.P. to move forward on the company's Pier Reinforcement Project that will allow larger LNG vessels to service the terminal. In its order, FERC rejected the oft-repeated concerns of local utility Washington Gas Light that regasified LNG causes leakage in its distribution pipelines. [Red emphasis added.]

Gulf LNG plant in Pascagoula moving along — (AP) Charlotte Sun, Port Charlotte, FL

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — Officials with Gulf LNG Energy say work is more than 50 percent complete on two storage tanks at its liquefied natural gas terminal in Pascagoula.

Gulf LNG is one of two terminals planned for the Port of Pascagoula.

Chevron Corp. has obtained permits for another, but the project is currently on hold, according to Chevron spokesman Steve Renfroe. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Chevron knows something Gulf LNG ignores — there is a natural gas glut in North America.

Savannah Morning News, Ga., Ports Column — iStockAnalyst, Salem, OR

When [completed], it will be the largest liquefied natural gas tank in the nation, capable of supplying all the natural gas needs of Georgia for four days, according to Southern Natural Gas senior vice president Norman Holmes.

Gulf LNG facility at halfway point; set for completion in 2011 — Press-Register, Mobile, AL

The Jackson County Port Authority this week authorized a study to evaluate the feasibility of widening the channel in Bayou Casotte to better accommodate the LNG vessels and others. The study will take two years, but Port Director Mark McAndrews said it would let leaders know how wide the channel could become.

LNG the preferred option, but no strategy yet — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

The major difference with the April 2006 agreement was that under the new arrangement the gas would be priced on the basis of 'natural gas' as opposed to 'liquefied natural gas'. In other words, the later agreement called for the gas to be priced at the wellhead stage when still in its gaseous state.

County helps Bradwood make the bed (video) (Jul 16) — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

"We think this decision was illegal," he said. "We think they essentially made the same decision that was rejected before. They're reading Bradwood's lawyers' opinions as law instead of looking at what the law says and independently evaluating it."

Coos Bay port extends LNG contract — The World, Coos Bay, OR

“Without extending the contract, we wouldn’t be able to keep our contract with Weyerhaeuser alive and we’d have to give all that property back,” he said.

Jordan Cove still is waiting for federal siting approval and has a number of state permits yet to complete.

U.S. LNG surge may have been overstated. — Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX

Earlier this year there were predictions for a large surge in LNG imports. While the shipments have started to come in, it's hasn't yet been the torrent some had expected. [Red emphasis added.]

DOE-funded primer underscores technology advances, challenges of shale gas development (Apr 14) — Fossil Energy, US Department of Energy

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announces the release of "Modern Shale Gas Development in the United States: A Primer." The Primer provides regulators, policy makers, and the public with an objective source of information on the technology advances and challenges that accompany deep shale gas development.

[Download the primer (PDF)]


16 Jul 2009

Kitimat LNG optimistic about output; Army Corps questions Downeast report (Jul 14) — SNL Interactive

In September 2008, Kitimat announced that instead of building an LNG import terminal it would pursue the development of an export terminal at a site in Bish Cove, British Columbia, that would target Asian markets.

Army Corps questions Downeast LNG assessment

The draft analysis "appears to only note the applicant's stated purpose without conveying FERC's position," the Army Corps said in its July 7 comments. "The corps recommends that FERC clearly establish the project purpose in accordance with" the National Environmental Policy Act. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

LNG foes: Project is on 'life support' — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

A new liquefied natural gas terminal in New Brunswick, Canada, has been connected to a New England gas pipeline, a move that gives opponents to an LNG terminal in Fall River a chance to restate their point that a terminal here is unnecessary.

“It is clear that there is no regional demand for an LNG facility in Fall River. Residents are being asked to carry an unfair burden for something that does not really benefit them,” the Democrat said in a statement. He mentioned other LNG terminals providing gas to New England: in Everett, Excelerate Energy Terminal off Marblehead and one under construction off Gloucester. [Red emphasis added.]

MARAD/USCG announce availability of FEIS for Port Dolphin LNG proposed offshore Florida (Jul 14) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The project proposes a deepwater port in the St. Petersburg block of the Outer Continental Shelf. The port would consist of a permanently moored unloading buoy system designed to moor a specialized type of LNG vessel called Shuttle and Regasification Vessels, which have capacities of 145,000 and 217,000 cubic meters.

Public hearing will take place in Palmetto, Florida on July 28, 2009. Comments on the FEIS or the application are due by August 23, 2009.

Webmaster’s Comments: Another offshore LNG terminal, safely away from the public, conforming with world LNG-industry terminal siting best practices — unlike ill-sited Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.

FERC approves construction of redesigned storage tanks at Gulf LNG (Jul 13) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Late last week FERC approved for construction the modified designs of the storage tanks at the Gulf LNG import terminal [in Pascagoula Bayou Casotte Ship Channel in Mississippi].

Feds listen to Quintana worries — The Facts, Clute, TX

…Quintana — after welcoming Freeport LNG, its big checks and enticing taxable value — was chilled to the bone when the company sought regulatory permission late last summer to build an offloading facility for trucks. Quintana officials said the company previously had assured local officials trucks would not be used to transport gas onto the island.

Residents contended the trucks would pose potentially catastrophic accident dangers, damage roadways, including the only entry onto the island — the FM 1495 bridge — and disrupt birding patterns.

In recent months, Freeport LNG has twisted shut the valves of communication, both with Quintana and the public at large. The Facts has praised the company’s communication in the past — we hope they return to the open lines with stakeholders that previously built confidence. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Give them an inch….

Timing LNG markets — Newsday, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago will not merely have to develop new strategies for the retention of a significant portion of its global Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market share, but accelerate any such planning in the face of growing competition from low cost producers entering the market place.

Kitimat LNG signs on first supplier for proposed natural gas export terminal (Jul 13) — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

The plant expects to need about 700 million cubic feet of natural gas a day and Kitimat LNG is in talks with about 10 producers to help meet that target, Boulton said.

All permits are already in place for both the terminal and the pipeline servicing it, Boulton said. So with definitive supply and sale contracts in place, building could start in the spring of 2010.

NorthernStar's lawyer spills the beans [Editorial] (Jul 13) — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

After five hours of tortured, emotional discussion of the proposed liquefied natural gas terminal at Bradwood Wednesday afternoon, Ed Sullivan stumbled on the essence of the dilemma facing the Clatsop County Commission. To the five commissioners, Sullivan said: "You're not here to apply the will of the people."

Sullivan intended to emphasize the quasi-judicial nature of the county commission's task of responding to a remanded item from the state Land Use Board of Appeals. But his put-down of "the will of the people" summed up why a hefty majority of Clatsop County voters are fed up with three commissioners who have steadily ignored the popular sentiment that is opposed to an LNG terminal at Bradwood.

Once more we saw a demonstration of local public sentiment opposed to LNG versus the power of Texas money. [Red emphasis added.]

Art Smith believes in the long-term bull case for oil (Jul 17) —

Natural gas is one of the most complicated markets that I've experienced in many years. Unlike oil, natural gas is basically a market whose economics are dominated by regional activity. The big markets are North America and the OECD countries in Europe. In both of those areas we've seen a decline in demand; we've seen increasing supply and, therefore, downward pressure on wellhead prices. And, as far as the role of LNG goes, we're following the 25 to 30 major new LNG facilities that are slated to come on stream over the next five years and it looks like a bulge in new supply at a time when the markets are glutted.

The uniqueness of the shale wells is that they are much more prolific than the average producing well with conventional gas. Some of the wells in the Haynesville produce 20 million cubic feet a day. The average well has output of less than one million a day.

The North American market is the largest market in the world followed only by Europe. I think the problem that my partner, Gabe Chavez, and I see about natural gas is that everyone is aware of the glut. We're producing maybe 4 to 5 Bcf a day more than we were several years ago, demand is down and petrochemical demand is weak, so we're facing an extreme oversupply and storage inventory is approaching max. Natural gas inventories are very, very high right now and they're marching ahead to a point where we could see gas wells having to be shut in for lack of a place to store the gas. That would, in effect, suggest further downward pressure on spot prices. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: In a perverted reversal of “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” Downeast LNG and Calais LNG want the public to believe Maine and the rest of New England does not have natural gas. In fact, we’re swimming in it. Except for those who don’t want to believe it, “[E]veryone is aware of the glut.”


15 Jul 2009

Maritimes & Northeast gas line delivers new LNG — Reuters

NEW YORK, July 15 (Reuters) - Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline said Wednesday it began receipt and redelivery of natural gas from the Canaport liquefied natural gas terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick, to Atlantic Canada and New England.

Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline delivers major new natural gas supply for Atlantic Canada and New England — PR Newswire

While Maritimes' 25-year firm service contract with Repsol is under a negotiated rate, completion of the Phase IV Expansion has also allowed Maritimes to reduce its mainline recourse rates. Maritimes has filed a rate application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting an effective date of August 1, 2009 for the reduction to its recourse rate. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Canaport has a 25-year contract to sell its natural gas, so Downeast LNG and Calais LNG present no competition to Canaport; therefore — in spite of unfounded statements by some supporters of DeLNG and CLNG — there is no reason for Canaport to oppose the Maine proposals. Canada opposes DeLNG and CLNG because the projects are inappropriately sited — as even the world LNG industry indicates (see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization).

Repsol, Irving set to get second delivery at Canadian LNG site — Bloomberg

Knutsen OAS Shipping AS’s tanker Bilbao Knutsen is scheduled to arrive at Canaport July 20, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. The ship, which most recently docked in Point Fortin, Trinidad and Tobago, can carry as much as 135,049 cubic meters of the fuel. It made the first delivery to Canaport on June 26. [Red emphasis added.]

Jamaica willing to re-engage on LNG — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Trinidad and Tobago says it can rekindle serious talks for the supply of LNG to Jamaica once it concludes discussions with Caracas later this month on the specifics for their exploitation of a new and rich natural gas field in the seas between Trinidad and Venezuela.

Kitimat LNG signs MOU with EOG Resources —

Kitimat LNG Inc. announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with EOG Resources Canada (EOG) to supply natural gas to Kitimat LNG's proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Kitimat, B.C. [Red emphasis added.]

KLNG heading into next phase — Kitimat Northern Sentinel, Kitimat, BC

“We now have the minimum [volumes] we need to build the plant,” said KLNG president Rosemary Boulton. “We are still in negotiations with a few other companies and that will allow us to get the maximum volume for the terminal.”

US natural gas resources: Sequential bridges to the energy future — Vinod Dar's Instablog, Seeking Alpha

It is becoming clearer every quarter that not only are US natural gas resources much greater than imagined even 5 years ago but reserves have the potential to increase steadily for many years, if market incentives exist.

The history of gas resource delineation in the US (and globally) is the history of severe underestimation. [Red emphasis added.]


11 Jul 2009

Repsol moves into North American LNG market — International Petroleum Finance, Energy Intelligence [Paid subscription required]

With the US natural gas market in the doldrums, the first cargo of LNG docked Jun. 22 at Repsol YPF's US$1 billion Canaport LNG terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick, making it Canada's first operating LNG terminal and the third LNG import terminal on the east coast of North America, after GDF Suez's Everett terminal, and Excelerate's Northeast Gateway. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Northeast Gateway, Canaport LNG, the existing Suez Everett terminal, and Suez’s soon-to-be completed Neptune LNG offshore from Goucester, MA, along with the North American natural gas glut, all moot the need for Downeast LNG and Calais LNG. These two late-comers picked the wrong time and place for their ill-sited and ill-fated projects.

Freeport LNG must boost emergency plan — The Facts, Clute, TX

QUINTANA — A federal regulator has told Freeport LNG it must provide a bolstered emergency response plan that includes how the company would protect island residents if an 18-wheeler carrying liquefied natural gas were in an accident.

“You know that I don’t want any trucks on that island, period,” Neeley said. “But if they are going to go through with it, and FERC’s going to give them the permit, than they should make sure that the people on the island are taken care of. If they are going to put everybody in harm’s way, then we need to know about it.”

The commission in May awarded both permits, and another allowing LNG to send gas abroad to capitalize on foreign markets. Construction on the reliquefication facility started shortly afterward.

Residents … argued [Freeport] LNG’s emergency plan was weak and did not support the island’s population, especially during the summer beach season. They said the plan did not address what would happen if a truck carrying gas were to get into an accident on CR 723, the island’s major thoroughfare, or FM 1495, the road that runs atop the bridge.

Webmaster’s Comments: This demonstrates FERC’s cart-before-the-horse “public safety” policy. FERC first issues the permit, and only then is the Emergency Response Plan designed. The public has no way to know the Emergency Response Plan during the permitting process, helping the developer’s permit to go unchallenged.

Bill introduced to increase transportation security of Especially Hazardous Cargo (Jul 10) — Expeditors Newsflash, Seattle WA

The Maritime Hazardous Cargo Security Act (S. 1385) requires that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), among other things, work to "develop protocols, procedures, standards, and requirements for receiving, handling, loading, unloading, vessel crewing, and transportation of especially hazardous cargo [ECH] to promote the safe and secure operation of ports, facilities, and vessels that transport especially hazardous cargo to the United States."

ECH is defined by the act as:
- Anhydrous ammonia
- Ammonium nitrate
- Liquefied natural gas (LNG)
- Liquefied petroleum gas
- “Any other substance or materials identified as an especially hazardous cargo” by the Secretary of DHS.

Webmaster’s Comments: There can be no doubt about LNG’s special hazardous qualities, or that the Department of Homeland Security should be especially concerned about it and the areas it may impact — and that the Government has yet to develop appropriate measures regarding its handling to protect the public.


10 Jul 2009

Province maintains opposition to Maine LNG plan — The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

[T]he province opposes the negative safety, security, economic and environmental impacts of these terminals on New Brunswickers.

Graham also said that he will share the report with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in light of Canada’s stated opposition to LNG vessel transit through Head Harbour Passage.

FERC requests further information regarding Freeport LNG's truck delivery procedures — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

FERC is seeking information on the procedures associated with planned deliveries of LNG to the terminal via truck.

Is the future of Alaska's LNG plant about to flame out? — Alaska Journal of Commerce, Anchorage AK

The liquefied natural gas [export] plant in Nikiski has faithfully chilled Cook Inlet natural gas to liquid form and shipped it to Japan for 40 years, never missing a shipment.

But now the plant's future is uncertain, at least in its present form.

LNG (the sequel) ignites county hearing (Video) (Jul 8) — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The disagreements reached a crescendo toward the end of the afternoon, when NorthernStar attorney Ed Sullivan told county commissioners that their job in addressing the LUBA remand was not to do what "the clappers" told them to do, referring to the opponents in the audience. "Your job is to apply your own plan," he said. "You're not here to apply the will of the people."

LNG is not on FERC agenda — The World, Coos Bay, OR

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission won’t consider an application to site a liquefied natural gas terminal in Coos County at its meeting next week. Jordan Cove Energy Project had petitioned the agency to rule on the case, but those efforts proved fruitless.

The next public hearing is in September. The agenda for that meeting will be announced one week before.

Dave Forest: Stick with proven track records and potential for discovery — Seeking Alpha

[Regarding the gobal buildout of LNG capacity] the question becomes where is all this gas going to go? Is it going to be able to find a market, and at what price?

[LNG] will go wherever the prices are highest; but it's sort of a race to the bottom. The assumption for a lot of the builders of these LNG facilities is that the U.S. would be sort of their market of last resort. If they couldn't get a good price in Europe or in Asia, they would just send the gas to the U.S. because they would pay good money for it. That assumption is now kind of out the window due to all the new domestic shale gas production in the U.S. and falling demand in the U.S. So where is it going to go? I don't know. I suspect there are a lot of LNG terminal owners who are out there wondering the same thing. The other big markets are Europe and Asia and we'll see what prices are like in both of those markets in a couple of years. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

LNG prices expected to remain under pressure (Jul 9) — Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB

“I’m afraid it will be the case because most of the LNG plants now are being built with the intention of providing gas to the United States,” Fatih Birol told Reuters in an interview.

“But in the United States we have seen a shale gas boom and therefore their needs are much less and there may be a gas glut which may put pressure on prices.” [Red emphasis added.]


9 Jul 2009

County concludes LNG remand hearing without decision (Jul 8) — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

After five hours of testimony on the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project, Clatsop County commissioners called it quits Wednesday without taking a vote on the two land-use issues remanded to them by the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals.

The board scheduled another meeting for 6 p.m. Thursday, July 16, to deliberate and vote.

NMFS seeking additional information regarding Jordan Cove LNG proposal — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Specifically, NMFS requests that FERC revise its Biological Assessment of the project to respond to 29 specific questions regarding possible impacts on endangered species and critical habitat.

Thomas Elias: A Garamendi victory could be bad for the environment (Jul 8) — Press-Telegram, Long Beach, CA

Garamendi's continued presence on the Lands Commission is vital to environmentalists who want to keep the lid on new oil drilling and the several LNG proposals that are still active. And that can be assured only if he loses in the upcoming special election.

Short-term energy outlook (Jul 7) — Energy Information Administration (EIA), Washington, DC

Consumption. Total natural gas consumption is projected to decline by 2.3 percent in 2009 and remain unchanged in 2010….

Production and Imports.
While the drop in natural gas drilling rigs is expected to result in lower natural gas production in 2010, recent improvements in drilling technology have lowered costs, reduced drilling time, and increased well productivity. These factors should improve the responsiveness of producers to changes in demand, limiting the extent of sustained upward price movements through the forecast period. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

From LNG importers to re-exporters of LNG what’s driving North American - companies and markets new analysis — LivePR, Vienna, Austria

In 2008, the LNG industry in North America witnessed a new trend where regasification companies started applying for permission to re-export whole or part of their imported LNG to markets outside North America. [Red emphasis added.]

US hopes to lead climate debate — BBC News

"We are not going to have public relations minders changing the testimonies of federal agencies on a basis that is (not) scientific.

"Unfortunately, under the last administration that was not the case."

Webmaster’s Comments: US Energy policy has changed — bad news for Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.

AP Impact: Tugboat pilot plan may have backfired — (AP), Boston, MA

NEW ORLEANS—A federal program to recruit more tugboat pilots may have backfired by allowing thousands of novice captains to take the helm and contributing to a 25 percent increase in the number of accidents on the nation's rivers. [Red emphasis added.]


8 Jul 2009

LNG in bay could be bad idea — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

ROBBINSTON, Maine — A New Brunswick provincial review of a draft environmental impact statement indicates that a liquefied natural gas terminal on the shore of Passamaquoddy Bay would have “significant impacts” on the province, according to a statement released by New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham.

“I think the premier is focused on the interests of his own province and on their own project,” Girdis said.

“I think Premier Shawn Graham is wrong,” Girdis said. “The impact’s associated with the Downeast LNG project will be minor.”

Webmaster’s Comments: Girdis is critical of Premier Graham for protecting New Brunswick safety, economy, and environment? That is exactly what Graham was elected to do.

Girdis is correct about one thing: Downeast LNG’s impacts will be non-existent. The ill-sited, LNG industry best-practices-violating, mooted project will never be built. And that is just as Dean Girdis said in 2005 his investors believed would happen when they financed this venture. Girdis has been piloting a dead, sinking ship ever since.

Province states LNG case with U.S. agency — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

A proposed liquefied natural gas project on the Maine side of Passamaquoddy Bay would have negative impacts on the lives of New Brunswickers, the Graham government has told an American federal agency.

"This report indicates that our environment would be negatively affected, our tourism and environmental-based economy would suffer, and the safety and security of the region could be compromised by this proposal," Premier Shawn Graham stated.

Graham has made clear one of the reasons Canada is adamant about its involvement in the project's assessment is that a number of issues related to the terminal are beyond the jurisdiction of the U.S. commission.

Webmaster’s Comments: There is no substantiated “overwhelming support” for Downeast LNG in Maine. In fact, the Perry vote and the Washington County Council of Governments poll of Perry and Pembroke residents both proved opposition to LNG.

Environmental, consumer, and fishing groups ask PG&E to drop fossil fuel import project —, Nevada City, CA

The project involves an LNG import terminal located in Coos Bay, Oregon, and a 230-mile pipeline that will connect the terminal to the California border.

The project faces wide opposition from Oregon residents as well as from leading political figures such as Senator Jeff Merkley and former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury. Other political leaders, including Governor Ted Kulongoski and Senator Ron Wyden, have protested the federal government's handling of the environmental review for the project.


7 Jul 2009

New Brunswick, other parties respond to Downeast LNG DEIS — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

[T]he Premier stressed that a significant portion of the proposed project is beyond FERC's jurisdiction and solely within the authority of the Province and the federal Canadian government to address.

In addition to the New Brunswick filing, several other entities also filed comments with FERC on the DEIS, including the U.S. Department of the Interior, NOAA, EPA, Save Passamaquoddy Bay, and the City of Eastport, Maine.

New Brunswick government files formal opposition to LNG facility in Maine (NB-LNG-Response) — Oilweek, Calgary, AB

"The proposed Downeast LNG project would have major impacts on the lives of New Brunswickers who live and work on Head Harbour Passage and Passamaquoddy Bay," Premier Shawn Graham said Tuesday.

Graham said concerns raised by every department were included in the statement sent to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday. [Red emphasis added.]

Province submits comments on Downeast LNG draft environmental impact statement [News release] — Intergovernmental Affairs, Province of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB

[New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham] emphasized that with respect to siting LNG facilities near Passamaquoddy Bay, the Province of New Brunswick is participating in the U.S. regulatory process to remind FERC that a number of issues related to the proposals are outside the scope of its jurisdiction, and to highlight the significant impacts that the proposed projects would have on New Brunswickers living in and around Head Harbour Passage and Passamaquoddy Bay. As a result, the province opposes the negative safety, security, economic and environmental impacts of these terminals on New Brunswickers.

Somerset selectmen await Weaver's Cove Agenda before agreeing to LNG meeting (Jul 6) — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Town Administrator Dennis Luttrell said Thursday that selectmen took no action at Wednesday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting on a Weaver’s Cove request for a meeting with the board. “We’re awaiting an agenda to see what they want to talk about,” Luttrell said. “We don’t want to have them come in if it’s the same old, same old.”

The company has yet to respond to the selectmen’s request for information.

NMFS issues Incidental Taking of Marine Mammals authorization for Neptune LNG (Jul 6) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has issued an incidental harassment of marine mammals authorization to Neptune LNG, LLC for one year until June 30, 2010.

Small takes of marine mammals incidental to specified activities; taking marine mammals incidental to construction and operation of a liquefied natural gas facility off Massachusetts (Jul 6) — Federal Register, US Environmental Protection Agency

SUMMARY: In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to Neptune LNG, L.L.C. (Neptune) to take, by harassment, small numbers of several species of marine mammals incidental to construction and operations of an offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Massachusetts Bay for a period of 1 year.

DATES: Effective July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010.

U.S. Coast Guard: No new Letter of Recommendation for Cove Point Pier Reinforcement Project needed (Jul 6) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The U.S. Coast Guard has determined that the proposed pier reinforcement project at the Cove Point LNG import terminal "does not appear to pose any new or significant issues that would affect the waterway," so it will not issue a new or updated Letter of Recommendation on waterway suitability.

FERC determines Pre-filing process not required for NGL extraction train at Freeport LNG — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

FERC announced yesterday that the Commission has determined that the pre-filing process will not be required for the proposed natural gas liquids (NGL) extraction trains planned for the Freeport LNG terminal.

After Market - LNG -US government approves Cheniere LNG export plans - Sourced — TransWorldNews, Atlanta, GA

The final approval from the Department of Energy follows approval given by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week.

Cheniere plans to take advantage of seasonal prices changes in the LNG market by importing the super-cooled gas during summer when prices are low, storing it and then re-exporting when prices are higher, most likely in winter. [Red, bold & italic emphasis added.]

Kitimat LNG and Gas Natural sign MOU —

Kitimat LNG Inc. and GAS NATURAL announced today that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) under which GAS NATURAL intends to acquire up to 30 per cent of production from Kitimat LNG's proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal. [Red, bold & italic emphasis added.]

Kitimat signs deal to export LNG — Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB

"There's a significant amount of gas in those shales," she said. "There are concerns with all that production coming on that it will back up some Canadian production. Canada stands to be awash in gas; hopefully this will help alleviate some of that gas price pressure we see."

Boulton said it quickly became apparent that the abundance of new gas would preclude the need for imports from places such as Asia. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Spain's Gas Natural may take stake in Canadian LNG (Jul 6) — Reuters

[Gas Natural] is also in a joint venture with Repsol (REP.MC), which operates a fleet of LNG carriers.

LNG pumped about $3B facility near Kitimat — Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, AB

Initially proposed five years ago as an importing facility, the recent major gas finds in Northern B. C. and general robust production throughout North America forced a rethink. "Initially it looked like the natural gas supply would be declining, especially with the use of it in the oilsands, but the whole market has switched." said Boulton.

"With this new shale gas, it seemed we were going the wrong way. The market fundamentals supported a reversal of the plant," she said. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Importing LNG is going in the wrong direction.

Swimming in natural gas (Jul 4) — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

Market experts continue to expect weak prices for natural gas as a surge in unconventional gas discoveries, such as shale plays, pour on to an already-flooded market.

While the stabilization of many global economies has sent oil prices higher, demand for natural gas has fallen off a cliff. [Red &yellow emphasis added.]

Another step forward for Kitimat LNG (Jul 6) — CFTK-TV, Terrace, BC

This comes just over a month after Kor-Gas of South Korea signed an M-O-U to purchase up to 40 percent of the terminal's production.

LNG issue is back on the county agenda — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The LUBA found fault in two of the Commission's earlier findings used to approve the Bradwood project's county land-use application. LUBA ruled that the county failed to properly determine whether the LNG terminal and pipeline "protects" salmon and traditional fishing areas because it used a legal dictionary definition of "protects" first, skipping over other definitions provided by state law.

The board also ruled that the county improperly decided that the project is "small or moderate" in scale, the only size allowed on the Bradwood land parcel. The county did not fully consider the size of the dredging area and 36-mile pipeline in sizing up the facility, LUBA reported.

County will re-examine LNG plan this month — The World, Coos Bay, OR

County officials have set a date to reconsider an application to site a liquefied natural gas terminal in Coos County. The developers also hope federal regulators will rule up or down on their project next week.

The Jordan Cove project will be the first LNG terminal application considered since President Obama appointed Jon Wellinghoff as chairman in January. The commission is down to four members, because the previous chairman stepped down and Congress hasn’t confirmed Obama’s nominee for the vacant seat, John Norris.

Jordan Cove Energy seeks action on its application at upcoming FERC meeting — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

…Jordan Cove requests that FERC include the project on the agenda for its July 16, 2009 meeting and "issue an order at that meeting finding that the [p]roject is in the public interest."

Fighting liquefied natural gas, from Oregon to Peru (Jul 6) — It's Getting Hot In Here

[L]ast month saw the massacre of an unknown number of indigenous activists protesting oil, gas, and timber development, and the seizure of indigenous lands in the Amazon. Most of the killing occurred in the Bagua area of Peru, and the Peruvian government has attempted to cover up the actual number of activists killed…. The protests were brought on in response to several decrees passed by the Peruvian government to facilitate a ¨free trade¨ agreement with the US. From the beginning, it´s been clear: the environmental and human rights abuses which triggered the protests and the massacre in Bagua came about as a direct result of this trade agreement, and pressure from the US for Peru to open up its oil and gas reserves for exploration.


4 Jul 2009

Mass. unveils ocean management plan (Jul 1) — WBUR-FM, Boston, MA

BOSTON — The Patrick administration released a draft Wednesday of a first-in-the-nation plan to regulate what’s built in the waters off of the state’s coast. The plan proposes new protections for environmentally sensitive areas, but also identifies potential wind energy development sites. Officials hope to have the plan finalized by the end of the year, after a public review.

Clean ocean advocates rally in Asbury Park (Jul 3) —

A proposed liquified natural gas port off the coast of New Jersey was on the minds of many clean ocean advocates Wednesday in Asbury Park during the Rally for Ocean Independence.

Clean ocean proponents rally against offshore liquified natural gas port (Jul 1) — Asbury Park Press, Neptune, NJ

ASBURY PARK — Up and down the shore, preparations are being made to mark the independence of the United States, and on Wednesday a group of more than 100 gathered on the boardwalk to call for the independence of the waters just behind them.

Jamaica discussing LNG supplies from Algeria — (JIS) Caribbean Net News, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States, Anthony Johnson, is currently in discussions with Algerian officials about supplying Jamaica with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

He also disclosed that there was a possibility of obtaining LNG from Venezuela, through the Petro Caribe arrangements.

Rivalry sends Trinidad in search of new LNG markets (Jul 3) — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Trinidad previously said it could not supply the LNG to Jamaica because of limited reserves.

But Manning said a supply of gas to Jamaica might now become available because of deteriorating markets outside the region. [Red emphasis added.]

New interest in LNG project (Jul 1) — (Morris News Service), Homer, AK

TransCanada Vice President Tony Palmer said potential shippers have expressed interest in up to 3 billion cubic feet per day of gas for an LNG [export] project at Valdez, which is up from 2 billion cubic feet TransCanada initially planned to offer as an LNG alternative to an all-land pipeline from northern Alaska.

Palmer said there is not enough gas available for both an LNG and land pipeline, at least initially, if 3 billion cubic feet a day is shipped to an LNG project in addition to the 4 billion cubic feet per day TransCanada hopes to ship through a land pipeline.

Film about liquefied natural gas project to be screened in Bellingham (Jul 1) — The Bellingham Herald, Bellingham, WA

BELLINGHAM - "Crossroads on the Columbia," a film about a community's response to a private venture to build controversial liquefied natural gas receiving terminals on the lower Columbia River near Astoria, Ore., will be screened Tuesday, July 7.

Gas company rebuts AG (Jul 2) — Democrat-Herald, Albany, OR

Kroger had said he supports natural gas as a fuel but believes that the Bradwood Landing terminal would be bad for Oregon because it might be used to export plentiful natural gas piped in from the Rockies, thus raising the price for Oregon consumers.

In the Oregon legislature, LNG is a dirty word (Jul 1) — News Times, Forest Grove, OR

Three bills dealing with natural gas projects fail to get votes

Both House Bill 3058, dubbed a “fast track” for Liquified Natural Gas projects by its detractors, and a bill that would require LNG developers to reimburse the state for planning costs failed to get a vote in the final hours of the 2009 session.

The bill would have allowed developers such as Oregon LNG and Palomar to obtain some permits before they had landowner’s permission to use a piece of property.

California will soon be using Indonesian LNG (Jul 3) — Yahoo News Asia

Sempra Energy <SRE.N> expects to import LNG from Tangguh to its Costa Azul import terminal in Baja California in northern Mexico by the end of September, a company spokesman said Thursday.

Sempra secured 500 billion cubic feet of LNG from Tangguh for 20 years under a deal signed in 2004, and the project start-up this week paves the way for deliveries to North America.

Lautenberg introduces hazardous cargo bill (Jul 1) — American Shipper, New York, NY

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said he had introduced a bill aimed at improving the security of shipments of hazardous cargo, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

“Ships bringing liquefied natural gas from foreign ports -- and the plants along our shores that receive them -- must be better secured against terrorism,” Lautenberg said. “This bill would help us protect these ships, facilities that receive them and nearby communities from the potential hazards of high-risk cargoes.”

"Currently, no international standards exist for the safe and secure handling of these chemicals/petrochemicals by ship and there are limited U.S. Coast Guard resources" for what it called "especially hazardous cargoes (EHC)," including chemicals and petrochemicals such as anhydrous ammonia, ammonium nitrate, chlorine, LNG and LPG. [Red emphasis added.]

Analysts Express Doubt in U.S. LNG Import Surge (Jul 2) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

A team of industry analysts with Barclays Capital released a report earlier this week suggesting that the substantial increase in LNG deliveries to the United States that many expected this summer may not materialize.

US natural gas industry may be close to hitting bottom: Barclays (Jul 2) — Platts [Subscription required]

While it said the downturn in drilling rigs has been much sharper than many had anticipated, gas supplies remain abundant.

With the LNG market behaving "in a truly global fashion" this year, a considerable amount of the liquefied fuel has gone to Europe, rather than to US terminals. [Red emphasis added.]

‘And’ rather than ‘or’ (Week of July 5) — Petroleum News, Anchorage, AK

In fact, Shell has partnered with several environmental groups, he said.

“These groups pull no punches in letting us know when and where they believe we can do better, and we’re ready to listen. We value their feedback,” Lawrence said.

And Shell values the views of people impacted by oil and gas development.

Webmaster’s Comments: Shell has one of the worst environmental records of all world energy companies. Even Russia sued Shell for environmental violations at the Sakhalin oil and gas project.

Yemen gas exporter seeks military protection from Gulf pirates (Jul 3) — MEED, Dubai, United Arab Emirates [Paid subscription required]

Yemen LNG holds talks with government to secure the services of the navy.

1 Jul 2009

Flare at Canaport LNG will gradually shrink in size — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

The liquefied natural gas, which is -162 C, is slowly introduced into the maze of pipes, equipment and storage tanks at the LNG terminal. Since the infrastructure is far warmer that the LNG carried inside the massive tanker, the LNG turns to vapour and that is what is driving the flare.

"It's a safety release system for boil-off gas," Van Der Veen said.

Webmaster’s Comments: Other reports that LNG terminal flares are burning off nitrogen are mistaken. Nitrogen is inert — it doesn't burn. It is used to purge LNG equipment of oxygen or LNG vapors, and is also used to dilute LNG vapors when the LNG contains to high a level of hotter-burning non-methane hydrocarbon fuels.

Gulf LNG submits annual review of WSA — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Yesterday Gulf LNG Energy, LLC submitted to FERC its annual review of its Waterway Suitability Assessment (WSA). Gulf LNG states that "the changes to the assessment are limited to items that are administrative in nature, items that reflect the final detailed engineering design of the marine facility structures and items that positively impact the suitability of the waterway for LNG vessel traffic."

BG LNG tanker due at Elba Island terminal Wed-data — Reuters

The 145,700-cubic-meter tanker was last seen on Wednesday a few miles from the U.S. terminal, the data showed.

Southern LNG seeks extension of time for Phase B of Elba Island terminal expansion — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Southern LNG and Elba Express are seeking an extension to December 31, 2015, due to the "delayed [ ] development of a number of LNG production projects." [Red, yellow & bold italic emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: They are requesting a 6-year delay because there is simply no need for the additional LNG.

Gulf Landing LLC liquefied natural gas Deepwater Port License surrender —

On April 30, 2009, the Maritime Administration received notification from the licensee, Gulf Landing LLC, of the surrender of its license to own, construct and operate a deepwater port for a liquefied natural gas deepwater port (with associated anchorages and pipeline facilities) located 38 miles south of Cameron, Louisiana in South Cameron Block 213.

Webmaster’s Comments: A permitted LNG terminal bites the dust — there is no need for more LNG import facilities in the US.

Sabine Pass LNG files implementation plan with FERC for re-export project — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Yesterday Sabine Pass LNG, L.P. filed an Initial Implementation Plan for its LNG re-export proposal. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Sabine Pass LNG will be re-exporting the LNG it has already imported — because there is no need in the US for the LNG it imports. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are wasting everyone’s time and money on useless permitting activity.

Pipeline permitting bill dies; sponsor mourns for taxpayers — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

The stricter permitting bill, House Bill 3058, became a proxy this session for the battle over whether to site LNG terminals in Oregon. The bill would have allowed companies backing so called linear utility projects to apply for wetland fill permits on property without the landowner's consent. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Analyst: Summer surge of LNG deliveries to U.S. market still possible — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Laurent Key of Societe Generale told Platts LNG Daily that although the surge in LNG deliveries to the United States has not occurred as many in the industry expected, increased LNG deliveries remain possible as European gas storage inventories fill up. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Or, Hell might freeze over. LNG industry predictions have been incredibly bad.

Recent reports reveal shifting LNG trends in 2009 — PennEnergy, Tulsa, OK

In the Atlantic Basin market, relative weakness in US gas prices compared with European benchmarks is “proving to be a limiting factor for US LNG imports.” Europe, however, continues to unload record LNG cargoes, its natural gas prices maintaining relative strength. [Red emphasis added.]


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