"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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30 Jun 2009
The tanker will remain docked at the terminal for at least a week. During that time, a flame tower will burn nitrogen currently inside the Canaport facility's storage tanks, replacing it with the liquefied natural gas cargo from the ship.
Repsol aims to initially sell 200,000 to 400,000 decatherms of gas from the terminal to customers in the U.S. Northeast and Canada, for which some deals have already been signed, Repsol Energy North America's vice president Vincent Morrissette told Reuters this month.
[Barbara Shook, the Houston bureau chief for Energy Intelligence Group] believes that there is not any need for more LNG terminals in North America, since there is "plenty of capacity" for LNG imports, and more terminals are under construction. She notes that one terminal in Freeport, Texas, is shut down because it cannot get any suppliers, and another in the Gulf of Mexico hasn't had any cargo for two years. Two offshore buoys for LNG imports off Boston "are not utilized at all," she says.
With gas supplied by the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, shale gas and coal-bed methane gas discoveries, along with the new Canaport facility, Shook says, "I don't see the need for another terminal." She doesn't understand why the Passamaquoddy Bay proposals are still being pursued. [Red, bold & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The Passamaquoddy Bay proposals are still being pursued because they are financed by venture capitalists, not by conventional investors.
Venture capitalists gamble on long-shot projects, so when any one of their investments succeeds, they are rolling in such obscene profits, all their losses from the other long-shot bets are paid off and they are still left rolling in oodles of money. Downeast LNG President Dean Girdis told the public in 2005 the investors thought they had only a 30% chance of obtaining a permit — and even then, they might not be able to obtain LNG supplies or customers. Downeast LNG’s investors never believed they would succeed.
Girdis and company (as well as Emery, Gelber, and Calais LNG company) are contractually obligated to the venture capitalists to go through all the motions until the final decisions are made.
Not all speakers were in favor of the project. Madonna Soctomah, a Passamaquoddy tribal elder, spoke against the proposal, saying industrialization is to blame for much of the pollution in the world. "I would not exchange a paying job for good health." Soctomah said LNG does not provide what people need in this area for the land and for their children.
Carl Sapers of St. Andrews, a member of the Canadian chapter of Save Passamaquoddy Bay, stated that Downeast LNG will have to get permission from the Canadian government before any LNG deliveries can occur in Passamaquoddy Bay. He does not believe such permission is likely to be granted because both the federal government and the New Brunswick government have said they oppose passage of LNG tankers through Head Harbour Passage.
Webmaster’s Comments: The article failed to mention the US Coast Guard representative — even though he stated the US Department of State [of the previous Administration] believes Canada cannot prevent LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay — indicated the Coast Guard’s Waterway Suitability Report and Letter of Recommendation require Downeast LNG to obtain Canada’s cooperation in order for LNG ship transits to occur. Since Canada has already made its decision at the Federal level to prohibit LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay, Downeast LNG will be unable to obtain any LNG, meaning the terminal will never be built.
Note: Congress requires the US Coast Guard to vet waterway suitability for LNG transits. They require the Coast Guard to deny transits when it believes that denial is appropriate. That means the US Government recognizes the validity of denying passage through a waterway such as Head Harbour Passage. Claiming the US has the authority to deny passage in Canada’s waters, but that Canada has no such authority, is hypocritical and would never stand in world court.
Angus King, former Maine governor and principle in Independence Wind, spoke in dramatic terms of the situation facing Maine citizens when oil prices once again rise. "Eighty percent of our energy comes from fossil fuels. Of that amount, zero percent comes from Maine. We are dependent on energy from countries that often don't like us. That is imprudent and downright dangerous," King said. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Increasing dependence on LNG, also coming from countries that often don’t like us, is just as imprudent and dangerous.
The environmental group Mobile Baykeepers has withdrawn its opposition to the project after the redesign by TORP, and state Marine Resources officials have said the new approach appears to address most of the concerns about fisheries impact.
Webmaster’s Comments: Offshore LNG terminals have numerous advantages to the company, the public, the environment, and the market.
Why do Downeast LNG and Calais LNG refuse to take this more sensible approach that would also avoid the Canadian authority obstacle?
Like giant pedestals, the tanks on the Texas side belong to the Golden Pass liquefied natural gas terminal, owned jointly by ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and the Qatar petroleum company in the Persian Gulf, whose rich fields will provide the supply to be shipped in.
When high-priced lawyers want to disregard Oregon’s vaules
This might be medium-sized somewhere — the New Jersey industrial zone perhaps? But on a bucolic shoreline at the far end of a narrow county road, this is as huge as it gets. To say otherwise is simply ridiculous.
Commissioners will need to maneuver very carefully if they still wish to approve the LNG terminal without providing grounds for outside intervention by agencies and courts. It will be fascinating to see how they, with the aid of high-priced lawyers from NorthernStar LLC, try to explain their way through this legal minefield. [Red emphasis added.]
In its Natural Gas Market Report 2009, the IEA says that global demand for gas fell by 4 percent during the first quarter of 2009 and is expected to further decline through the year -- the first gas demand drop in 50 years. [Red emphasis added.]
28 Jun 2009
Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG and Calais LNG have been mooted. They had already lost the race by several years prior to entering it.
The bulk of the fuel will be shipped to the U. S. Northeast, but in a market already swimming in natural gas due to low demand and abundant supply, the returns will take time, analyst Andrew Boland, with Peters&Co. Limited, said.
"It's the right place to have an import terminal however it's the wrong time," Bolland said. "There's too much gas in North America and Repsol, whose gas is landing at Canaport, will be receiving what would have been deemed very low price by the standards of the last couple of years."
What North America needs more of is liquefaction and export capabilities more than import capabilities, Bolland said. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that shippers have requested natural gas supplies from the Canaport LNG import terminal during the 20-day planned outage of the Sable gas production project off the coast of Nova Scotia.
Webmaster’s Comments: Verso Paper and Lincoln Paper claim to need Maine LNG import facilities. Since Canaport will be solving any shortage in supply from Sable Island, it is clear Verso and Lincoln are crying wolf.
[I]t should not be just about job opportunities. Some people simply do not want this type of industry and that is their choice. But if the project is built is should be done with a fair and accurate appraisal of its impact. If there is a negative safety or environmental impact that cannot reasonably be corrected then it probably will be identified during the review.
With respect to Canada and the harbor passage issue, it seems reasonable that given our history of cross-border transportation this could be resolved to allow passage. This is not about whether the passage can be done safely but rather that people do not want the passage and they are holding their elected officials to task. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Author Mike Footer’s measured comments are refreshing, compared to most coming from the pro-LNG camp. However, he still got it wrong.
Appraisal of LNG project impacts are skewed in favor of the development, ignoring many impacts. For instance: Economic impacts to the local area are typically discounted in favor of the assumed favorable impact to the nation. Likewise regarding safety to local populations. The Coast Guard’s Waterway Suitability Report is required by the process to discount potential harm to civilian populations who live or work in the LNG ship 2.2-mile Hazard Zones.
He also has misinterpreted the safety and Canada issue, as even the LNG industry best practices attest — best practices that the US Coast Guard tossed aside in its Waterway Suitability Report. Passamaquoddy Bay is inherently unfit for LNG facilities according to the industry, despite the developers’ and their supporters’ misdirected project siting efforts.
Besides, the additional LNG is not needed in New England or the US. But, if the developers really think it is, all they need to do is move outside of Passamaquoddy Bay to solve the unsurmountable Canadian obstacle. They might even find a satisfactory location in Washington County — probably offshore.
The real mystery is why they refuse to do it.
The tanker did not come in through one of LNG’s long-term customers, which are Dow Chemical Co., ConocoPhillips and Mitsubishi, Galt said. LNG is holding the gas for Macquarie, a natural gas producer, in a single-cargo deal.
“In time, the customer will tell us what he wants to do with it, whether he wants us to put it back on a ship and send it somewhere else or he wants us to turn it into natural gas and send it up a pipeline to someplace else in the U.S,” Galt said. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Domestic natural gas is so abundant, they don’t know how this imported LNG will be used.
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.
State Rep. Bryce Edgmon, R-Dillingham, said having a producer involved cuts against what he understands as the state's goal in having an independent pipeline company develop the project rather than producers.
"Any state money (to ExxonMobil) is too much for many Alaskans who were victims of the Valdez oil spill disaster," [State Rep. Bill Thomas] said in a statement. "After ExxonMobil fought so hard not to pay Prince William Sound fishermen for their losses, including the punitive damages, it is frustrating to see them potentially be able to get a slice of the money we're putting toward the gas pipeline." [Red & bold emphasis added.]
In January, the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals bounced the county's approval of the Bradwood Landing land-use application back to the county. LUBA found fault with the county's finding that the facility is "small or moderate" in scale. It also found that attorneys used the legal definition of the word "protect," and wants decision makers to use the definition that's in state goals to protect salmon and traditional fishing areas.
The ammunition is liquefied natural gas. Exxon is scheduled to start up another three LNG projects in Qatar this year. They will produce more than three billion cubic feet a day of natural gas and freeze it for transportation. Europe and Asia are potential markets. But the U.S. could be a magnet for LNG cargoes, despite not really needing it, a paradox that spells low prices. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: If the US actually need to import LNG, the US and Canada would not have as many as nine LNG export projects in the works.
"The very idea of a 'gas OPEC' would be understandable only if they were talking about LNG," said Maria Radina, oil and gas analyst at UBS in Moscow. "But you can't do it with gas transported in pipelines. Anyone can put oil in a bucket and keep it there until prices rise. But with gas you simply cannot do that."
"Nobody wants to lose the market," said Mikhail Korchemkin, from think tank East European Gas Analysis. "Gazprom's exports to Europe dropped 39 percent in the first quarter, while Qatar exported 20 percent more than a year ago. I do not think Qatar wants to reverse that trend. Therefore, a gas OPEC has no chance."
25 Jun 2009
In previous interviews with the Herald, a spokesman for Atlantic Sea Island Group, Gary Lewi, said the liquid is safe. If an explosion were to occur, he said, the liquefied natural gas would escape from containment vessels that keep it at 259 degrees below zero, at which point an explosion would burn out and not burn on the ocean water. He admitted that natural gas would be shipped from foreign sources in the Caribbean, Russia and the Middle East, but argued that shipping it from foreign countries is better for the environment than burning domestic coal.
Webmaster’s Comments: But, burning imported LNG is worse than burning domestic natural gas.
This week Freeport LNG proposed the installation of two natural gas liquids (NGL) extraction trains and other associated infrastructure at its existing Phase I LNG terminal. Freeport has requested an exemption from FERC's pre-filing procedures for the project. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: This is substantial evidence they would be importing “hot” (a.k.a., “heavy” or “wet”) LNG — LNG containing significant amounts of more volatile hydrocarbon liquid fuels such as butane, propane, and ethane. Hot LNG has a greater ability to detonate unconfined.
Tony Palmer, vice president of TransCanada, told the Alaska House of Representatives Resources Committee that his company has received expressions of interest in exporting North Slope natural gas as LNG as an alternative to transporting the gas to the continental United States via pipeline.
Webmaster’s Comments: This is the 8th or 9th LNG export project in North America. With the growing number of projects to export LNG from the US and Canada, before long there may be more project to export than projects to import.
These companies already have the considerable eminent domain powers of the state, which allow them to take (with compensation) private property from unwilling sellers. HB3058 would give them the added advantage of knowing in advance that the necessary permits will be in place once a property is condemned.
House Bill 3058, which passed the House a couple of weeks ago, would allow private companies seeking to construct "linear utility or transportation" facilities to apply for removal and fill permits for wetlands on other people's property. [Red emphasis added.]
At least three LNG carriers were booked for 3-6 month charters for storage purposes this month, and there were more inquiries in the market. Gas traders were preparing for higher demand du... [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG, attempting to minimize the better technology of siting LNG import facilities offshore (a la Gulf Gateway, Northeast Gateway, and Neptune LNG), wants FERC to believe LNG storage can only occur in tanks on land. The oil and gas industries already are storing their surpluses on ships at sea.
24 Jun 2009
The governor signed the bill June 9, but held a ceremonial signing Wednesday afternoon in his office. Baldacci said the bill promotes Maine community-based generation of power that can be fed into the grid. He said it takes another step to end Maine’s dependence on foreign oil.
Webmaster’s Comments: It is also another step to end dependence on foreign natural gas.
QUINTANA — Freeport LNG plans to begin construction on a truck unloading area at its island site next month, despite also starting construction on a facility officials have said would keep its massive storage tanks filled without the need for big rigs.
Word of the energy giant’s construction plans angered one elected official who said it might be in the town’s best interest to seek out an attorney and challenge the commission’s trucking permit ruling in federal court.
["CARICOM" = the entire Carribean Community]
In the end, even though Mr Manning and then Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson signed a supply agreement, Trinidad and Tobago pulled out of the deal, saying it did not have the LNG to supply because of existing contracts and a lag in the development of offshore gas trains. Jamaica was left high and dry!
Trinidad and Tobago signed an agreement in 2004 to supply Jamaica with 1.1 million tonnes of LNG per year for 20 years, beginning in 2009, for use by the Jamalco refinery and the Jamaica Public Service Company's electric power plants.
Trinidad later said it could not supply LNG to Jamaica because supplies were inadequate. But Manning told Parliament supplies had become available because the global supply and demand situation for gas has changed. [Bold red emphasis added.]
But what's been obscured by the largely liberal environmentalist-led opposition to the bill is that HB 3058 is not primarily a bill about environmental issues. It's a bill about whether property-owners have the right to control who has access to their land.
Pritchard Capital Partners analysts reported, “Evidence is mounting that LNG will not arrive at US shores. As of June 18, 16 LNG cargoes were scheduled for delivery in the US vs. 18 for the month of May. Reports indicate that since May both China and India have stepped up LNG imports; however, LNG imports in Europe are slowing. Traders suggest watching the August and September the New York Mercantile Exchange futures for signs of weakness and indications of a possible surge in LNG imports to the US.” [Bold, red & yellow emphasis added.]
EVERETT, MASS: The History Channel recently approached the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (CLNG) about filming an LNG vessel for an upcoming "Super Ships" episode of its "Modern Marvels" program. GDF SUEZ offered to host the filming on board the LNG carrier BW Suez Boston in Everett, Mass., at the Distrigas facility on the Mystic River.
23 Jun 2009
Unlike cruise ships which are berthed in the sheltered inner harbour of Saint John and have fixed arrival dates, the Bilbao Knutsen will berth in the outer harbour, where it's more exposed to wave activity and wind effects. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Canaport’s exposed location shoots all kinds of holes in Downeast LNG’s claim that LNG terminals require “sheltered” sites.The Gulf Gateway Energy Bridge Deepwater LNG Port is 116 miles offshore from Texas, in the open Gulf of Mexico. An LNG vessel offloaded its entire cargo during Hurricane Katrina. Sheltered location? Hardly.
And while long-term forecasts see much area demand for liquefied natural gas being met by the continent's stores of unconventional shale gas, projections for next winter look good for the Saint John facility, said energy consultant Zach Allen of Raleigh, N.C.'s Pan Eurasian Enterprises.
"Canaport LNG has the best chance of importing a lot of LNG during the wintertime," Kostas said, explaining that with a global ratio of liquefied natural gas regasification facilities to liquefaction facilities at about two to one currently, there is a surplus of markets where tankers can unload. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: In other words, there is a surplus of LNG receiving terminals.
In April 2008, Houston-based Cheniere took its first shipment of LNG at Sabine Pass, as did the Freeport LNG Terminal on Quintana Island, about 60 miles south of Houston. The Woodlands-based Excelerate Energy opened a floating terminal [submerged buoy terminal] off Louisiana in 2005 and another off Massachusetts last year.
22 Jun 2009
Downeast LNG has proposed a 14 million cubic feet per day near Robbinston, Maine. The project is currently going through environmental assessments which includes a pipeline that would connect to the Maritimes & Northeast Pipline.
Webmaster’s Comments: Calais LNG is not included in the list. Is it prescience?
Webmaster’s Comments: Neptune LNG Deepwater Port off Gloucester, Massachusetts, is owned by GDF Suez Energy North America, now GDF Suez Energy Resources NA.
Webmaster’s Comments: Searer wanted the public — attending a public meeting — to sign non-disclosure agreements regarding what they would learn at that public meeting.
NEW YORK, June 22 (Reuters) - BG Group's (BG.L) liquefied natural gas tanker, Seri Bijaksana, is expected to arrive at the Elba Island LNG terminal in Georgia from Egypt on June 26, according to AISLive ship tracker on Reuters.
NEW YORK, June 22 (Reuters) - Sempra Energy's (SRE.N) Cameron LNG import terminal in Louisiana received its inaugural cargo of liquefied natural gas on Sunday, the first of two test cargoes expected this month.
The British Diamond LNG tanker transported 136,500 cubic meters of LNG to the terminal from Trinidad, Sempra said in a statement late Sunday, and AISLive ship tracker on Reuters showed that a second tanker was on the way.
The supply of LNG to Jamaica from Trinidad and Tobago has been the subject of long-standing discussions between both countries, but Manning said the ongoing international financial crisis has led to a reduction in the demand for alumina, which is a key exporter revenue earner for Jamaica.
The biggest issues at the moment are Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s dismay at the federal government’s handling of environmental and safety reviews of the project and others in Oregon, and the delicate dance the project’s developers must perform in order to persuade investors to fund it and suppliers to sell gas here.
The state said FERC refers to the area as a “moderate-to-low-activity seismic region” and that “no faults are reported on the site,” which is inaccurate, according to Geology and Mineral Industries. [Red emphasis added.]
The Daily Astorian [subscription required] reports that the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners will decide on a hearing process to consider modifications to the original Bradwood Landing LNG land-use findings at its meeting on Wednesday.
Citing global market conditions, NATS released comments on Friday suggesting that a surge of LNG deliveries to the United States is becoming less likely than previously projected. NATS notes that there are indications that LNG supply may not be as great as previously anticipated and that the pace of LNG deliveries to U.S. terminals is not speeding up.
Webmaster’s Comments: Once again, LNG optimism has proven to be hot gas.
“The PGC’s year-end 2008 assessment reaffirms the Committee’s conviction that abundant, recoverable natural gas resources exist within our borders, both onshore and offshore, in all types of reservoirs,” said Dr. John B. Curtis, Professor of Geology and Geological Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines and Director of the Potential Gas Agency there, which provides guidance and technical assistance to the Potential Gas Committee.
Overall, the Gulf Coast, including the Gulf of Mexico continental shelf, slope and deepwater, remains the country’s richest resource area, followed by the Rocky Mountain, Atlantic and Mid-Continent regions, which together account for 87% of the 2008 assessed traditional resource. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: US Atlantic region natural gas resources increased 285% between 2006 and 2008.
Read more about the Potential Gas Committee.
Pritchard Capital Partners said.Pritchard Captial Partners said natural gas continued to slide in response to the larger than expected natural gas storage injection of 114 bcf (expectations were for a 105 bcf injection) in the week ended June 12. “Also of concern is the growing inventory level; some are expecting that natural gas storage will be above 3 tcfe in July” for the first time ever, they said. The spread between the front-month contract and the 12-month contract has narrowed to 50%, down from 65% just 2 weeks ago. [Red emphasis added.]
As a result, the world’s biggest energy consumer [the USA] could become a net gas exporter, as some liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters start imports. [Red, yellow, and bold emphasis added.]
19 Jun 2009
ST. STEPHEN – “An iceberg’s chance in hell,” is how one member of the St. Stephen Area Chamber of Commerce described the chances of Calais LNG Project Company getting permission from the federal government to bring its liquefied natural gas tankers through Head Harbour Passage to a proposed site across from the Port of Bayside.
But Ian Emery, the company’s development manager, told chamber members at their luncheon meeting Wednesday, June 17, that representatives from the American government met with their Canadian counterparts in Ottawa two weeks ago and one of the things they discussed was the development of projects in waterways shared by the two countries. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Ian Emery referred to the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group that met in May in Quebec. After considerable effort, Senator Susan Collins managed to get a resolution passed. The Group’s news release reads:
“The Canada-US Inter-Parliamentary Group recommends that Canada and the United States cooperate with one another to ensure that any and all investigations and reviews of proposals to build facilities in ports, to and from which vessels would need to navigate through the territorial waters of the other, receive the full, good faith and expeditious cooperation of both countries.”
Despite the resolution, readers must realize that the Group’s resolution has no legal authority, and does not reflect the official position of the Government of Canada. Also, it does not suggest cooperation when transits are not innocent passage, such as the case of LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay.
Delegates at the event were:
- Senator Jerry S. Grafstein, Q.C., Co-Chair of the Canadian Section of the IPG
- Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette, P.C.
- Senator Donald H. Oliver, Q.C.
- Senator Janis G. Johnson, Vice-Chair of the Canadian Section of the IPG
- Senator W. David Angus, Q.C., Vice-Chair of the Canadian Section of the IPG
- Senator Wilfred P. Moore, Q.C., Vice-Chair of the Canadian Section of the IPG
- Senator Frank W. Mahovlich, Vice-Chair of the Canadian Section of the IPG
- Senator Dennis Dawson
Canadian House of Commons:
- Mr. Gord Brown, M.P., Co-Chair of the Canadian Section of the IPG
- Honourable Wayne Easter, P.C., M.P., Vice-Chair of the Canadian Section of the IPG
- Honourable Judy Sgro, P.C., M.P., Vice-Chair of the Canadian Section of the IPG
- Honourable John McKay, P.C., M.P., Vice-Chair of the Canadian Section of the IPG
- Honourable Shawn Murphy, P.C., M.P.
- Mr. Paul Crête, M.P., Vice-Chair of the Canadian Section of the IPG
- Mr. James Rajotte, M.P., Vice-Chair of the Canadian Section of the IPG
- Mr. Brian Masse, M.P., Vice-Chair of the Canadian Section of the IPG
- Mr. Guy André, M.P., Vice-Chair of the Canadian Section of the IPG
- Mr. David Christopherson, M.P.
- Mr. Brad Trost, M.P., Vice-Chair of the Canadian Section of the IPG
- Mr. Jeff Watson, M.P., Vice-Chair of the Canadian Section of the IPG
- Mr. Dean Del Mastro, M.P.
- Mr. Christian Ouellet, M.P.
- Senator Amy Klobuchar, Co-Chair of the US Section of the IPG
- Senator Mike Crapo, Vice-Chair of the US Section of the IPG
- Senator Chuck Grassley
- Senator Jeff Sessions
- Senator Susan Collins
- Senator George Voinovich
US House of Representatives:
- Representative Jim Oberstar, Co-Chair of the US Section of the IPG
- Representative Cliff Stearns
- Representative Bart Stupak
- Representative Candace Miller
Sapers said he told FERC they had an obligation in their report to take into account Canada’s stance. He pointed out that, to their knowledge, there has been no other situation in which two nations have been involved when FERC have given a licence for an LNG terminal.
Webmaster’s Comments: The US Coast Guard official at the meeting stated Downeast LNG will not be able to transit LNG into Passamaquoddy Bay without coordinating with Canada — a prerequisite to construction.
A Federal Canadian decision has already been made to prohibit LNG transits into the bay.
Downeast LNG, FERC, and the US Coast Guard are wasting a lot of taxpayers’ money and time on inappropriate permit vetting that should have been cancelled by FERC years ago.
SAINT JOHN - After three years and over 500,000 cubic metres of rock being blasted for construction space, the Canaport LNG terminal in East Saint John is expected to welcome its first shipment of liquefied natural gas on Monday.
On Monday, it will play host to a 138,000-cubic-metre transport ship, the Bilbao Knutsen, which will dock to start a week-long process to unload liquefied natural gas into the terminal. [Red emphasis added.]
SAINT JOHN - As they await the arrival of the first shipment of liquefied natural gas to the their shiny new facility on Saint John's east side, Canaport officials admit market conditions are less than ideal but the company is looking beyond the current economic downturn.
Canaport LNG is starting operations just as the market is plagued by low prices and oversupply. The company says it will ease into the market, supplying the gas it has contracts for, then ramping up production as it gains market share.
Webmaster’s Comments: This doesn’t exactly scream “more LNG is needed.” Downeast LNG and Calais LNG were already at least five years too late when they jumped into the race.
Irving/Repsol project, the first onshore LNG terminal to be built in eastern North America in 31 years, is facing a glut of supply
New Brunswick's Canaport LNG terminal is set to begin operations next week, taking its first natural gas shipment, but analysts are already questioning the economics of the joint venture between Irving Oil Ltd. and Spain's Repsol YPF SA. [Bold, red & yellow emphasis added.]
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 the "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 46-acre dredging area and 36-mile pipeline in sizing up the facility, LUBA reported.
18 Jun 2009
Vera Francis, an organizer with Nulankeyutmonen Nkihtahkomikumon, wrote Tuesday in an e-mail to the Bangor Daily News that the group was “especially pleased” with the council vote. Quoddy Bay’s proposal to build an LNG terminal on tribal land at Split Rock was “short-sighted,” she indicated.
“The council’s reversal essentially validates the significance Passamaquoddy ancestral waters [have] to our culture,” Francis wrote. “The council’s action should signal the other LNG developers that LNG has no place in Passamaquoddy ancestral waters.”
The future for the tribe, [a Tribal Councilor] said, [is] in natural resource-based economic development projects, not in elaborate proposals like LNG. “We need to use the resources that we have,” he said. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
A tribe councilor told the newspaper that the ground lease between the tribe and Quoddy Bay had expired and that the contract allowed either side to opt out. Smith said he doesn't think the tribe has legal grounds to terminate the contract, citing an agreement reached with the Bureau of Indian affairs over the process for the project that stemmed from a 2005 lawsuit.
Webmaster’s Comments: No one should have expected less of Don Smith, considering his ill-considered project and previous misbehavior. After all, he bragged in print about consuming two-three bottles of wine that resulted in his terminal location idea — an idea that had numerous cockamamie aspects along the way:
- A Mill Cove site location that failed even before the one that has just now collapsed;
- An 8-mile cryogenic LNG pipeline running beneath Western Passage of Passamaquoddy Bay, up to Robbinston;
- A temporary emergency floating bridge to evacuate the City of Eastport;
- A cryogenic LNG pipeline under Maine State Highway 190, beneath Half Moon Cove, and then under a county road;
- Locating the receiving facility absolutely adjacent to a cultural ceremony location (Split Rock) that includes huge monthly bonfires;
- Claiming they did have a Ground Lease;
- Claiming they did not have a Ground Lease; and
- Refusing to make lease payments.
Plus, prior to Tribal Government’s move to cancel his ticket, FERC had already tossed Don Smith’s project out on its ear from the Federal permitting process.
Quoddy Bay LNG was an exceedingly bad idea, with poor energy-market timing even before the economic meltdown, with inept execution, and took five years too long to die. Let it remain dead.
The Canaport LNG Terminal, along with Repsol's other natural gas assets, will be capable of meeting about 20 percent of the natural gas demand in New York and New England. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG’s and Calais LNG’s claims that their projects are needed ring hollow.
Slack U.S. demand
The tanker will arrive at Canaport as U.S. natural gas stocks hit record highs for this time of year. North American gas demand has tumbled while domestic production has increased, leaving the market oversupplied and inventories abrim.
When Peru LNG comes online it will dedicate all its capacity to Canaport until a contract begins to supply Mexico with LNG in 2013. After that it will supply one third of its capacity to Canaport and two thirds to Mexico.
And in the future, pending production projects in Angola and possibly Iran could help bolster supply to Canadian shores. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
"You take the natural gas, you liquefy it on a floating facility and then you go to shore, you store the liquid or you bring it to Canaport where we could vaporize it and sell it to the market," said Marcoux.
Rep. Gallison had been barred from LNG meeting for refusing to sign non-disclosure statement
FERC Chairman John Wellinghoff called Rep. Gallison to say he was sorry and added that he finds it totally inappropriate that anyone should be made to sign a non-disclosure form in order to attend a meeting of a public agency.
Furthermore, Mr. Wellinghoff assured Rep. Gallison that the next meeting on the subject would not be held in Washington, DC, as had been stated, but that all meetings on the proposal to ship LNG up the bay in tankers will be conducted in this area. [Red emphasis added.]
Fall River — Somerset Selectman Lorne Lawless and Rhode Island state Rep. Raymond Gallison, D-Bristol, were jubilant Thursday after the pair heard that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will no longer require attendees at its public meetings to sign nondisclosure agreements.
Tuesday, Gallison and Lawless forced the cancellation of a FERC meeting at the Venus de Milo by refusing to sign a nondisclosure agreement. Both men said at the time that if the meeting went forward, they would attend without signing the agreement. Both men said they were willing to be arrested. The meeting was canceled by FERC Chief of the LNG Energy Branch Terry L. Turpin.
The meeting, open to the public, was intended to allow Weaver’s Cove to present to FERC plans for a liquefied natural gas pipeline that would run from an offshore berthing platform up the Taunton River to the proposed Weaver’s Cove LNG facility.
Webmaster’s Comments: This is a small, but significant, victory indicates FERC Chairman Wellinghoff’s record as a public advocate is well deserved.
Weaver’s Cove Energy continues to prove it is unworthy of the public’s consideration on building a liquefied natural gas facility in SouthCoast waters and on Fall River’s shores. The company’s latest gaffe involves its admitted refusal to provide details of the proposed project to advocates and residents, who are understandably afraid for their safety should the potentially dangerous facility be built in a residential neighborhood in Fall River.
At a public meeting with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the Venus de Milo Tuesday, Weaver’s Cove and FERC insisted that every attendee sign a nondisclosure agreement. The nonsensical form would prohibit all who attended from speaking about the meeting, as if some state secret would be revealed.
Weaver’s Cove CEO Gordon Shearer claims the technical design of the pipeline is proprietary information that must be hidden from the public. Apparently, he forgot that the meeting was public. [Red emphasis added.]
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed responses to FERC Staff's Environmental Assessment (EA) prepared for the Cove Point LNG Pier Reinforcement Project. EPA commented on six issues including sediment and shore erosion, noise levels from larger LNG vessels, animal species, and air emissions.
The North American natural gas industry is "overbuilt," pointing to weak prices for a long time, said Mr. Letwin, Houston-based executive vice-president, gas transportation and international, at Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge Inc.
Years of worry about supply shortages because of the maturing of conventional supplies have been replaced by worries there aren't enough customers for the 1,200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in shale deposits -- enough to last a century -- found in the past three years, plus liquefied natural gas coming from offshore that is "needed like a hole in the head," Mr. Letwin said in an interview.
"The biggest issue that we now have is [insufficient] demand," said Mr. Letwin. [Bold, red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Imported LNG is needed like a hole in the head — according to a Houston-based natural gas pipeline executive.
In recent years, tight supplies have led to acute price spikes, discouraging more widespread use of the fuel. If shale supplies are as ample as predicted, such swings might be quelled. The fuel is cleaner than coal and oil, and doesn’t have to be shipped to North America from the Middle East, making the supply more secure – and keeping investment dollars closer to home. Gas is also usually relatively affordable, compared with oil. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
WASHINGTON, DC, June 18 /CNW/ - With news today that the United States has more recoverable natural gas than previously believed, the U.S.-based Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) issued a joint statement to highlight the importance of natural gas as both a low- carbon energy source and a long-term fuel for North America's secure energy future. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Must surplus global supply come to the US because of its greater liquidity and storage capacity? Not necessarily, Cooper said. For one thing, US storage is closing in on full with levels well ahead of their 5-year average for June.
Once all these are commissioned, it will likely be some time before ground is broken for another round of terminal construction. [Bold, red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG and Calais LNG entered the race around five years too late. Only those already having permits or in construction have any chance are likely to operate.
The storage overhang in the U.S. natural gas market shows no sign of easing. With domestic production continuing to outpace recession-hit demand, despite the sharp retrenchment in the rig count, the commodity appears to be on track to exit the summer injection season with an all-time high storage build. Today's bearish report is expected to stall, if not altogether reverse, the emerging strength in natural gas prices over the last few days that pushed it above the $4 mark.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported today a bigger-than-expected 114 billion cubic feet (Bcf) weekly addition to natural gas stockpiles for the week ended June 12th. This takes the current storage level to 2.44 Trillion cubic feet, which is up 32.1% from last year's level and 22.6% above the five-year range (as clear from the nearby chart from the EIA). Current stocks are 622 Bcf above this last year and 472 Bcf above the five-year average. [Bold, red & yellow emphasis added.]
Thanks to new drilling technologies that are unlocking substantial amounts of natural gas from shale rocks, the nation’s estimated gas reserves have surged by 35 percent, according to a study due for release on Thursday.
The report by the Potential Gas Committee, the authority on gas supplies, shows the United States holds far larger reserves than previously thought. The jump is the largest increase in the 44-year history of reports from the committee. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Cheap, plentiful natural gas is a mixed bag. With a glut of natural gas and depressed demand in the US, the industry outlook may have been glum. Plenty of big LNG projects are still going ahead. So news today that US natural gas reserves may be much bigger than thought may not be welcome news for many. [Bold, red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: We’re betting the gas glut is not welcome news to Downeast LNG and Calais LNG. The story below may add an even greater sick feeling in DeLNG’s and CLNG’s stomachs.
[W]ith so much natural gas at home, it’s possible that less liquefied natural gas will be imported into the U.S. Right now, the U.S. is the “kitchen sink” for LNG, meaning that anything extra gets poured into the world’s only market that can readily absorb it.
[O]ver time, this LNG could head to markets in Europe and Asia, as contracts are adjusted. That would give Europeans and Asians another source of natural gas without resorting to Russian gas exports, long a point of political friction in Europe.
Webmaster’s Comments: Even the “kitchen sink” analogy is proving to be false. It appears that LNG has an even bleaker future than recently imagined.
17 Jun 2009
He said new technologies in fracturing should allow his firm to get at deposits in the Frederick Brook member, a geological structure that runs underground near the McCully natural gas field where the company extracts gas largely destined for the Boston market.
"We're in a gas glut right now," he said, adding that the firm's philosophy is to spend only what it makes in the sale of gas; the company has an untouched bank line of credit of about $40 million. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
When fully operational, the terminal, with the capacity to send out one billion cubic feet of gas, could serve 20% of the Northeast U. S. gas market, according to Canaport's 75% partner Repsol, with a smaller portion being sold in Canada. This first cargo will likely be the only shipment used to commission the terminal before commercial deliveries begin in July. [Red emphasis added.]
To move ahead with construction, Downeast LNG will have to get permits not just from FERC, but also from the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard, and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, to name a few, the federal officials said.
Carl Sapers of St. Andrews, New Brunswick, had another entity to add to that list. Sapers, a member of the Canadian chapter of anti-LNG group Save Passamaquoddy Bay, said Downeast LNG will have to get permission from the Canadian government before any LNG deliveries can occur in Passamaquoddy Bay.
Webmaster’s Comments: The US Coast Guard official present at the meeting stated Downeast LNG is required by the US Coast Guard Waterway Suitability Report to obtain Canada’s cooperation [in order to satisfy the requirements to construct their facility]. Since Canada has already stated they will not allow LNG ships into Passamaquoddy Bay, Downeast LNG — and Calais LNG — have doomed projects.
Elected officials and local economic development personnel who profess LNG is badly needed in Washington County and Maine apparently have not urged the developers to find workable sites. Instead, they encourage continuing down the same unworkable path.
Platts LNG Daily reports that Maine Governor John Baldacci (D) signed an energy bill that potentially delays development of an energy corridor between Maine and New Brunswick. [Subscription required] [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: While Maine should expect reasonable benefit from an energy corridor between New Brunswick and Boston, it also should not lose everything by attempting to hold New Brunswick hostage over the proposed Passamaquoddy Bay LNG projects. After all, it is the developers, themselves, who have flubbed by their lack of due diligence.
Somerset Selectman Lorne Lawless and Rhode Island state Rep. Raymond Gallison, D-Bristol, together forced the cancellation of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission meeting Tuesday at the Venus de Milo by refusing to sign a nondisclosure agreement FERC said must be signed by all those attending the meeting.
The meeting, open to the public, was intended to allow Weaver’s Cove to present to FERC plans for a liquefied natural gas pipeline that would run from an offshore berthing platform up the Taunton River to the proposed Weaver’s Cove LNG facility.
Webmaster’s Comments: How can a “public” meeting be a “secret” meeting?
The first cargo, transported in the 165,000-cubic-meter British Diamond LNG tanker, was originally scheduled to arrive at Cameron on June 11 from Trinidad, but the tanker has been anchored off Louisiana for nearly a week, according to AISLive ship tracker on Reuters.
Recently the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy issued authorizations to export previously imported LNG to Sabine Pass and Freeport LNG. Addressing potential concerns regarding effects of LNG re-exports on the U.S. domestic gas market, DOE's order on the Sabine Pass application notes that "[b]ased on a review of the complete record, DOE/OFE finds that the LNG to be exported is not needed in order to meet the market demand for natural gas/LNG on a competitively priced basis." [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The United States is swimming in so much natural gas, the imported LNG at the two terminals is not needed.
16 Jun 2009
At a meeting on June 9, the five tribal councillors present voted unanimouslyto send a letter notifying Quoddy Bay LNG that the council considers the ground lease between the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy reservation and Quoddy Bay to be expired. "It's the end of our relationship with Quoddy Bay. The agreement has expired," says tribal councillor Ed Bassett. The land-lease agreement, which had been signed in May 2005, expired within the past month. Passamaquoddy Chief Rick Phillips-Doyle could not be reached for comment. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
NEW YORK, June 15 (Reuters) - Canada will receive its first cargo of liquefied natural gas on June 20 as the Canaport terminal in New Brunswick receives its inaugural cargo, according to AISLive ship tracking data on Reuters.
Energy Canaport LNG facility expecting its first fill-up Saturday from tanker Bilbao Knudsen
14 Jun 2009
The HiLoad has been shown to withstand major hurricane conditions. The floating regasification unit can be moved to safer waters in the event of a major storm and be back on station quickly to provide an uninterrupted flow of natural gas following such a storm.
Webmaster’s Comments: This would be the fourth offshore LNG terminal in the US, and offshore technology makes far more sense than Downeast LNG and Calais LNG. Offshore LNG terminals…
- A areway from civilian populations, so it is safer for the public;
- Eliminate navigation risks present in long, inland waterways;
- Can be more easily expanded than shoreside terminals;
- Weather bad storms better than shoreside terminals;
- Are cost-competitive to shoreside terminals;
- Are easier to maintain security; and
- Have more market-flexiblity.
Calgary-based TransCanada and the world's largest publicly-traded energy company teamed up Thursday on the 2,760-kilometre pipeline, which will carry gas from Alaska's North Slope into markets in the lower 48 U.S. states.
Webmaster’s Comments: The project represents a supply of 4.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day — on top of the 100-plus years’s worth of natural gas in the US shale gas reserves.
NorthernStar Natural Gas, the developer of a proposed Columbia River liquefied natural gas terminal, said last week it recently raised “tens of millions” of dollars and that it has enough money to finish the arduous regulatory process for the project.
[Columbia Riverkeeper executive director Brett VandenHeuvel] said natural gas in the Rockies will all but eliminate the market for gas imported by tanker, as NorthernStar proposes. “Look at the projects that were built recently in the Gulf Coast,” he said. “They’re mothballed right now because the economics of LNG don’t make sense.”
Continued strength in domestic production despite the massive retrenchment in drilling activities from last summer's peak level and recessionary industrial demand has resulted in a major storage overhang.
12 Jun 2009
- Dean Girdis of DELNG continues to state the right of the United States to evoke "innocent passage" through Head Harbour Passage under the UN "Law of the Sea."
- The United States Coast Guard assessed Head Harbour Passage for FERC and reported everything is fine for LNG tankers in direct conflict with the position of the Canadian government. These are Canadian waters.
- The two pilots from Eastport have submitted a letter to FERC refuting the busy season. Basically they say that nothing is happening in spite of the active Canadian lobster fishery, the building of weirs, the arrival of thousands of smolts, the launching of whale watching, the preparations of restaurants, B&Bs, Inns and more.
- "There is no indication that the LNG project would affect any lobster catch results in Canada, as there is little if any lobstering along the LNG vessel route in the waters of Head Harbour Passage." That's a big surprise to everyone who is setting traps along Head Harbour Passage and other deep water locations that they will share with the proposed LNG tanker route.
- Apparently there are no whales of note in Head Harbour Passage. Huh?
ROBBINSTON – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will hold a public meeting to accept comments on Downeast LNG’s draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) Tuesday, June 16 at Robbinston Grade School at 8 p.m. (Atlantic time).
Webmaster’s Comments: The meeting will be held at 7:00 PM ET / 8:00 PM AT.
A Transport Canada regulation can end the threat of LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals and tankers in the Passamaquoddy Bay region. Local governments and the people who live and work in the communities threatened by LNG should work with our government in Ottawa to eliminate this threat by prohibiting the transit of LNG tankers through the Canadian waters of Head Harbour and Western Passages.
The recent decision to block the expansion of the Jamer gravel mine in Bayside has given New Brunswickers a powerful example of how a determined, coordinated community campaign can inspire governments to take decisive and necessary action to protect their citizens from harm.
FERC will convene a technical conference in Swansea, Mass., on June 16, 2009, to discuss the offshore berth design proposed by Weaver's Cove Energy. However, due to potentially sensitive information that will be discussed at the conference, the conference will not be open to the public.
The Canadian pipe giant today announced that it would team with US supermajor ExxonMobil on the project, but TransCanada executive Tony Palmer said in a conference call with reporters that his company was retaining a majority interest..
Along with the construction of the pipelien from the North Slope to Alberta will be a spur line to Palmer, Alaska from Big Delta to supply the dwindling south central natural gas supply in Cook Inlet.
It is speculated that Alaska's natural gas will be sent in several directions. One possibility is for the gas to be used for tar sands oil recovery. Another is looping the natural gas back to Kitimat for conversion to LNG and shipment to Asian markets. The other use is for distribution through the Canadian pipeline system for use in Canada and U.S. heating and power markets.
Webmaster’s Comments: This will mean even more natural gas availability in Canada and the lower 48 states — even less reason for importing LNG.
TransCanada's Alaska Pipeline Project is designed to deliver a reliable and secure source of clean energy to markets for decades to come. With an initial forecasted capital cost of US$26 billion, the project would provide a variety of benefits to Alaska and Canada, as well as the rest of the United States, including substantial revenues, jobs, business opportunities and new, long-term stable supplies of natural gas. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
“If the plan is to build an LNG plant in this bay, we need good data here,” a March 5 borough letter says. “We are already starting to hear local concern and resistance to development in Balboa Bay, and we need to be in a position to show that there is high quality baseline data and knowledge of this bay and demonstrate that a system is in place to protect fish and shellfish resources.”
John R. Norris, Nominee for Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [FERC]
It might be better under those circumstances to see the global recovery begin in Asia and India, allowing those economies to recover on the strength of liquefied natural gas, clearing an opening for domestic natural gas in U.S. markets, Mathies said.
Webmaster’s Comments: In other words, importing LNG is bad for the US economy.
At the current rate, there will be an overflow of capacity, and no where to store the commodity, within 11 to 12 weeks. Analysts interviewed by BNN stated that there is no industrial demand and no end consumer demand as the weather has been cold. In addition, for similar reasons outside of NA, there is an oversupply of LNG (liquified natural gas) that is making its way here.
ADKINS: Historically, you had pipeline bottlenecks that really affected Rockies gas prices, particularly in the summer. And then you’d build new pipelines, and one year out of three you’d have parity in gas prices in the Rockies and, say, the Henry Hub. Last year we shut in maybe a bcf a day out of the Rockies for a couple of weeks, and the prices went sub a dollar. Our model right now shows that you’re going to have to shut in close to 10 bcf a day in the US, which is 15% to 20% of the US supply in ‘09. Well, that’s not going to happen, so that means that price pressures are going to back up – not just to the Rockies or the Mid-continent or the Barnett shale, where there are some pipeline constraints today, but I think it’s going to back up all the way to the Henry Hub and even into the LNG entry points because the LNG guys are telling us that with the new projects coming on globally, you’re going to see LNG flood in here this summer. My response to that is – it can’t. So the combination of all these things leads me to believe that the Rockies may not look a whole lot worse than the rest of the country, which will have a bigger problem than we’ve seen in the past.
Webmaster’s Comments: US natural gas storage is currently at 90% capacity. We are literally swimming in natural gas — both in storage and in the ground.
The latest EIA data on natural gas supplies “continue to refute calls that LNG will flood the US in the June-July timeframe,” said Pritchard Capital Partners. If the US rig count continues to fall in conjunction with the latest lower-than-expect storage build, the analysts said they would expect natural gas to “retest the $4.30 level” on the New York market.
While EIA gas storage data appear bullish “on the surface,” Raymond James analysts said, “Inventory numbers will get even squirlier the next few months as gas storage in the producing region is already at 90% capacity, and injections into the larger Eastern storage region are constrained by federal regulations (i.e., you can't just fill it as fast as you want). Look for more volatility in gas prices over the next 4 days as the United States Natural Gas Fund begins its rollover—selling $3 billion worth of July gas and purchasing August gas.”
10 Jun 2009
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Paper and wood products company Domtar Corp. said Wednesday it will reopen its pulp mill in Baileyville, Maine, which has been idle since May, and call back roughly 300 employees.
The company said it will call back some 300 employees to restart production the week of June 22. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
“This mill reopening shows that - while the current global recession continues to place severe challenges on us all - Maine people and businesses can yet prosper and find opportunities,” said Governor Baldacci.
“Long term Asian LNG prices are based off of crude oil prices,” she said. “So with crude oil prices going up again and natural gas prices in North America being relatively low, that price spread actually works to support our project.”
Webmaster’s Comments: When world natural gas demand increases, LNG cost increases. As economic recovery takes place, LNG becomes even less price-competitive versus the massive North American domestic natural gas supplies.
Despite protests from liquefied natural gas opponents and neighboring landowners, the Clatsop County Planning Commission voted 5-0 Tuesday to recommend approval of a controversial zone change along the Bradwood Landing LNG pipeline route.
J & S Reserve LLC, which owns 121 acres near Westport, asked to change the zoning on part of that property from open space, parks and recreation (OPR) to lake and wetland (LW) while reducing the residential zone on the tract.
[T]he property is the same one that's been standing in the way of Bradwood's 36-mile natural gas transmission pipeline since Clatsop County voters passed a referendum in September banning natural gas lines from crossing OPR-zoned land.
The port has joined Jordan Cove Energy Project in an option to buy Kentuck Golf Course on the northeast shore of Coos Bay. The liquefied natural gas terminal developer wants the land to offset subtidal damage that would be caused by building a slip dock on the North Spit if the project wins approval.
"Our best guess right now is that if new production declines only 50% (or 5 Bcf/d year-over-year), the natural gas market is still at risk of being oversupplied next year, putting the inevitable rally at serious risk," Adkins said.
At the heart of the supply conundrum, Adkins said, is that even as producers shut down less efficient conventional vertical wells, they are still bringing new gas to market from horizontal shale wells, wells that produce up to five times more gas. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Even as rigs are shut down, domestic production continues to climb. We are swimming in a sea of natural gas.
Daniel Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, when asked about prospects for Gazprom taking a share of up to 10% of the US gas market, also said it was a question of competition between LNG, either from Russia or any other sources, and unconventional gas. [Red bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: There are, of course, two major problems with Gazprom’s desire: (1) unconventional (shale gas) sources are coming out our ears in the US, and (2) we’d be crazy to exchange our exisitng domestic gas-glut energy independence for energy dependence on Russia.
A lot more LNG is entering the global market this month, as shipment of a first fully commercial cargo from Qatar's initial mega-train, Qatargas Train 4 coincides with confirmation of the startup of the second 4.8 million ton/yr train at Russia's Sakhalin-2 project. And a lot of this LNG may come to the US, where Rasgas has now lined up receiving capacity on the US Gulf Coast for the year prior to expected summer-2010 completion of its Golden Pass terminal. Gazprom has West Coast regas capacity.
Webmaster’s Comments: North America is already swimming in domestic supplies of natural gas. There is already a surplus of LNG import capacity, with new terminals being built on top of that, while other existing and new terminals plan on exporting LNG from North America. There is simply no need for redundant projects like Downeast LNG and Calais LNG — especially considering their distance from the natural gas market.
Pritchard Capital Partners said, “The fear of a flood of LNG arriving at US terminals in coming months is subsiding slightly as North American Terminals [Management Inc.] reported that only 56 bcfe arrived in the US in April. However, the long term picture is less clear as OAO Gazprom officials said they plan to supply the US with 10% of its natural gas needs with LNG. Obviously, Gazprom’s plan is negative for the long term outlook for natural gas, but right now Russia is not the most reliable natural gas counterparty considering their record of supplying the European Union with natural gas.” [Red & bold emphasis added.]
8 Month 2009
The project, a 1200-MW, high-voltage direct-current transmission line, will cross the US-Canadian border and connect Hydro- Québec’s system with a point in southern New Hampshire. The line will bring large amounts of hydropower from Québec into ISO New England, displacing some of the existing gas-fired generation in New England. FERC Commissioners hailed the project as a way to get substantial amounts of low-cost, clean energy into ISO New England.
Webmaster’s Comments: Here is the first energy corridor bypassing Maine, providing clean energy to southern New Hampshire. If the Maine Legislature delays things long enough — thanks to the Maine Jobs First lobby that insists on inappropriate LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay — no energy corridors will be built in Maine, at all.
“The area of Mount Hope Bay where the station is proposed is located in commonwealth-owned submerged tidelands, over which the commonwealth holds absolute property rights,” Bowles said. “It has become apparent that the project will not meet certain critical permitting requirements.”
Thumbs down to Weaver’s Cove spokesman Jim Grasso and company executives, whose refusal to face reality is becoming comical. Seeming to completely misunderstand Bowles’ position, Grasso strangely said the company is pleased with the secretary’s pronouncement. Grasso trotted out the same tired argument about the temporary boon to the local economy LNG would provide, conveniently forgetting to mention the damage such a facility would do to waterfront development efforts, not to mention the quality of life for area residents who enjoy the bay’s recreational opportunities.
Webmaster’s Comments: There is an apparent logical disconnect in LNG-think. Most reasonable people would cut their losses. Venture capitalists, on the other hand, are betting on dark horses (and frequently lame ones, at that). They don’t actually expect their LNG projects to succeed — but if they do, they’ll own the world.
A four-mile cryogenic pipeline to bring liquefied natural gas upriver? It has never been done before anywhere in the world. Pressurized gas pipelines go on for miles, true. But not pipelines for super-cooled LNG. The longest anywhere is about a mile. But four miles?
In a written statement, Gov. Deval Patrick suggested that Weaver's Cove pack it in. "I continue to have serious concerns, on both public safety and environmental grounds, about this proposed site for an LNG terminal," he said in a statement.
The two offshore terminals do, however, represent a response to one of the principal arguments that Weaver's Cove used in the first place. That is, New England as a whole not only lacked peak capacity, but that its annual consumption of natural gas was steadily increasing, especially for electricity generation, where within a few years it is expected to supply half of the production.
"They don't have a huge investment on land, and they've got to have the ship anyway," he said. "It really is an excellent system in some ways. Commercially it's a very good system because if they can't market the stuff they go to some other location." [Red emphasis added.]
For the first time, five Governors from NY, NJ, DE, MD, and VA are convening to create a regional forum for coastal and ocean Mid-Atlantic regional planning. On March 6, 2009, the Governors wrote Chairwoman Nancy Sutley of the national Council on Environmental Quality to inform her "of an effort to develop an interstate agreement on ocean and coastal management in the Mid-Atlantic region." The Governors noted they are "planning to engage in a robust public process" and ask "that the federal government designate a lead, or co-leads, to provide direct support." As noted in their letter, the "Mid-Atlantic will be the first region to commit to a regional approach to ocean management during President Obama’s Administration." [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: New England could be the second region to commit to ocean management.
TORP, a Houston-based company with a German partner, proposes new technology involving sunlight, contained methanol, vaporizers and a ship in which the process takes place. That ship could head for safer water in the event of a hurricane, just like any other large ship moves out of a storm's path.
Mobile Baykeeper, the environmental group that generally starts the engine on the opposition bandwagon in such matters, has withdrawn its objection to TORP's original plan. Vernon Minton, head of the state's Marine Resources Division, has reacted favorably. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Offshore LNG terminal siting eliminates all kinds of problems that remain with shoreside terminals, such as Downeast LNG and Calais LNG. Offshore LNG terminals…
- Present no Hazard Zones to civilian populations — Downeast LNG & Calais LNG would subject thousands of people to the Federal Hazard Zones that accompany LNG ships in transit;
- Are easier to permit;
- Are easier to expand;
- Are easier to secure;
- Present easier navigation to and from the terminal;
- Can be constructed faster;
- Are more flexible; and
- Weather better in bad seas and winds.
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.
Webmaster’s Comments: There is no market for Cheniere’s imported LNG, but there is a market for it overseas. North America has too much natural gas.
June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass liquefied-natural-gas terminal in Louisiana is set to receive a cargo tomorrow, its first since March, according to vessel tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.
Webmaster’s Comments: There are a host of LNG import facilities in the US — too many, and that was predicted by then-FERC Chairman Pat Wood in 2005. There is too much domestic natural gas and too much world LNG — so much that LNG imported to the US is then being exported.
Downeast LNG and Calais LNG started about five years too late, made inappropriate site selections, violated LNG industry best practices, failed to perform due diligence, and are in a losing battle with Canada.
It makes one wonder why working people have to produce so much repayment evidence just to get a car loan.
The terminal is expected to receive two test cargoes in June, with commercial operations starting at the beginning of July, Sempra LNG's President and Chief Executive Darcel Hulse told Reuters yesterday.
SAN DIEGO, June 8, 2009 – Sempra LNG, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, today announced it has signed an agreement with one of the world’s largest suppliers of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited 3 (RL 3), an affiliate of RasGas Company Limited (RasGas). Cargoes are expected to commence from Aug. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2010.
Speaking to reporters on the last day of the session, Palin framed the issue differently: “Alaskans may at some point be asked to make a choice here: Do we want to import natural gas for use to energize our economy, our homes, our businesses? Or do we want to commercialize our own Alaskan-owned natural gas?” In a recent op-ed in the Anchorage Daily News, Palin said she wasn’t “walking away” from anything, not the big pipeline, not the spur line and not efforts to ship liquefied natural gas from Valdez, the “all-Alaska line.” Palin wrote, “We are reviewing all options to ensure Alaskans know all the facts about progress to flow gas to our homes and businesses.” The basic dilemma is the wallet versus the watch. A spur line promises cheaper gas, but is dependent on a large, expensive, complicated project. A bullet line is independent, but its independence will likely make it more expensive. And while imports can be temporary, these pipeline projects are permanent. They’re almost certainly mutually exclusive, as well; Alaska will be stuck with whichever one ultimately gets built.
Webmaster’s Comments: There’s so much domestic natural gas available, the industry is shipping it overseas.
Oregon LNG has consistently set itself apart by embracing Oregon values, Hansen said. For example, the company chose a project site near the mouth of the Columbia River so that tankers would not have to pass urban waterfronts or cross under the Astoria-Megler Bridge. Also, the company focused on the local approval process first, before initiating the federal approval process. As a result, Oregon LNG is the only LNG project in Oregon that has received local land use approval and successfully completed all appeals.
Webmaster’s Comments: It is certainly true that Oregon LNG is sited better for civilian safety than the Bradwood Landing and Jordan Cove LNG projects in Oregon.
Since the beginning of last year's election cycle, LNG supporters have marinated lawmakers with cash contributions. They have employed veteran lobbyists to work the Capitol, spreading a professionally tailored message focused on job creation and energy security that has sold well to legislators looking for relief from the recession. That, in turn, has made LNG projects a top priority for a core constituency of the Democratic majority: organized labor.
"There's big money at play in these projects, and what we're seeing as a result is an enormous amount of money poured on our Legislature," said Paul Sansone, a Gales Creek landowner and former energy executive whose land is in the path of an LNG pipeline. "The constituents aren't being represented, the lobbyists are." [Red emphasis added.]
It's been a busy start to the week for the Port, on Monday, the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay approved a deal with the Jordan Cove Energy Project, to purchase the Kentuck Golf Course, with an overall cost to be determined.
"It gives Jordan Cove the mitigation property required for the development for the waterway, even though the Port is, I guess you could say, the primary developer," says Callery. "Those costs are being paid for by Jordan Cove, including the cost of mitigation." [Red emphasis added.]
As permit process progresses, locals have little say in the matter
Although news reports say the United States has a glut of natural gas, Northwest Natural President Gregg Kantor has said in the past that demand in the eastern part of the country could result in a need for imports of LNG on the West Coast. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Huh? Someone needs to challeng Kantor on that twisted logic.
“You don’t need fossil fuel or nuclear [plants] that run all the time,” Wellinghoff told reporters at a US Energy Association Forum last month. Then he added: “We may not need any, ever.” [Red & bold emphasis added.]
6 Jun 2009
… Canada has no legal grounds to stop "innocent passage" by commercial shipping and will, in the end, co-operate with the United States Coast Guard to get LNG tankers safely through Canadian territorial waters into the bay, Girdis said.
Webmaster’s Comments: Girdis is fantasizing. Maritime Law expert Ted L. McDorman told the public at the 2007 May 11 panel discussion, “(Not So) Innocent Passage: International Law and the Passamaquoddy Bay LNG Terminal Controversy,” that since the US is not a member of the UNCLOS treaty, Canada is under no obligation to provide innocent passage under that treaty to LNG ships desiring passage to LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay (UNCLOS = UN Convention on the Law of the Sea).
Girdis claims Canada will eventually “cooperate with the US Coast Guard to get LNG tankers safely through Canadian territorial waters into the bay.”The US Coast Guard requires Downeast LNG to obtain that cooperation. The onus falls on Girdis, not the Coast Guard.
Regarding Gordon Weil's May 28 column, "Energy initiatives hold promise for state," Downeast LNG and Calais LNG merely need to move outside of Passamaquoddy Bay to solve their dispute with Canada -- a solution Canada suggested to the Downeast LNG FERC docket in April 2007.
Canada's objection is in perfect agreement with the LNG industry's own terminal [siting] best practices that clearly indicate Passamaquoddy Bay is an inherently inappropriate location for LNG facilities.
3 June 2009
Grassy Point will stay green
Webmaster’s Comments: This trans-shipment depot terminal was banking on a vast need for LNG in North America — a need that has been proven false by the domestic natural gas glut.
May 27, 2009 — As previously noticed on November 20, 2008, and supplemented herein, the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that will discuss environmental impacts that could result from construction and operation of the Calais Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project planned by the Calais LNG Project Company, LLC (Calais LNG). The EIS will be used by the Commission in its decision making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.
Webmaster’s Comments: Thus begins another exercise in futility.
"When we get DoE approval we will be in a position to look at exports," Charif Souki, Cheniere's chief executive officer, told Reuters. "Hopefully we will get that in the next few days." [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Kitimat facility looks to line up gas suppliers
"This to me shows there is very strong international interest now in Canada's growing unconventional gas supply," he said. "The Horn River and Montney plays (in B. C.) are starting to be noticed by major LNG players like Kogas."
Low gas prices in North America are good news for Kitimat LNG, Boulton said. While prices in New York have been hovering below$4 US per million British thermal units for some time, LNG prices in Asia are around $10.
Until last September, the terminal was envisioned as an LNG import facility, but changing global natural gas price dynamics convinced the Calgary-based private company to reverse course. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The previously-predicted LNG “tsunami” to the US is not forming.
According to EIA data, aggregate dry gas production declined slightly in January but picked up again in February by 0.68 bcf/d MoM. Pipeline data signals that production remained elevated through May, registering YTD declines of only 0.21 bcf/d or 0.4%. [Red emphasis added.]
2 June 2009
“After carefully reviewing the (plan), all of the numerous comments submitted in response, and after consultation with the permitting agencies, I do not believe this project, as presented, would be able to be permitted,” Bowles wrote in an order issued yesterday.
Gov. Deval Patrick said he’d like to see Weaver’s Cove give up the fight. “I continue to have serious concerns, on both public safety and environmental grounds, about this proposed site for an LNG terminal,” he said in a statement. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Just like Downeast LNG and Calais LNG, Weaver's Cove Energy does’t have a ghost of a chance at success, yet they continue on, gobbling up their venture capital. That is all the investors expect — they expect the projects to fail. Downeast LNG’s Dean Girdis even made that admission to the public at a meeting in Robbinston in 2005. At the meeting, Girdis said the investors thought they had only a 30% chance at obtaining a permit, and if they did get the permit there was no guarantee they could get an LNG supply or customers. In other words, at the outset they expected to fail.
How Venture Capital Works
Venture capitalists spread large investments over numerous “long-shot” projects, not expecting any one of them to succeed; however, when one does succeed, the profits are so high they pay off all the other losses and still pay out an enormous profit. So, even though the projects have little chance of success, the investors expect the developers to continue to the bitter end. Besides, the developers continue to receive handsome paychecks while they continue their doomed projects — they aren’t about to kill a good thing for their own bank accounts, no matter whom else it hurts.
A new plan to bring LNG to Southeastern Mass. is being faced with skepticism. [View the video on this page]
“As discussed further herein, the information contained in the Second (environmental impact report) detailing the Proponent’s market needs analysis for this additional natural gas capacity in the Northeast has so far failed to sufficiently make that case. MassDEP has therefore expressed doubt that the project can be permitted and constructed as currently conceived. After carefully reviewing the Second DEIR, all of the numerous comments submitted in response, and after consultation with the permitting agencies, I do not believe this project, as presented, would be able to be permitted. Thus, if the Proponent chooses to proceed with the preferred alternative and seek a variance, it does so at risk of denial of required permits upon completion of MEPA review.”
“I continue to have serious concerns, on both public safety and environmental grounds, about this proposed site for an LNG terminal. The project developer should consider putting his efforts into some other, more suitable, location.” [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Like Downeast LNG and Calais LNG, the Weaver’s Cove Energy project violates LNG industry terminal siting best practices (see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization).
Specifically, Chairman Wellinghoff reiterated that the Commission "will not authorize construction of the Broadwater Project in New York State waters unless, after the appeals process has run its course, the denial of consistency [with New York's Coastal Zone Management Plan] is overturned."
Late last week FERC approved Sabine Pass LNG's application to export LNG previously imported to the terminal, allowing the terminal to provide storage and trans-shipment services to customers that may seek a better LNG market overseas.
Webmaster’s Comments: North America is awash in a sea of natural gas reserves.
Webmaster’s Comments: Need for new LNG regasification facilities is at a standstill — with permitted facilities waiting to pick up the need if, and when, it is needed. There is no need for Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
CALGARY, June 1, 2009 – Kitimat LNG Inc. announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), under which KOGAS will acquire up to 40 per cent of Kitimat LNG’s production and an option to acquire an equity stake in Kitimat LNG’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Oregon’s governor is taking federal officials to task again. This time Ted Kulongoski is speaking out over the feds analysis of environmental impacts posed by building a liquefied natural gas terminal at Coos Bay.
Governor says agency’s reports on LNG are ‘woefully inadequate’
The governor has been critical of aspects of the two LNG terminals proposed on the Columbia River. This time Kulongoski, a Democrat, is assailing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's final review of the proposed Jordan Cove LNG terminal in Coos Bay, issued by the agency last month.
Kulongoski reminded FERC that the Oregon Department of Energy has questioned the need for LNG terminals in Oregon given a number of alternative sources of supply. Jordan Cove's backers produced their own study evaluating the need for the terminal. Neither was addressed in FERC's environmental review of the facility.
NEW YORK, June 2 (Reuters) - Rich Kinder, chairman and CEO of pipeline and storage company Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP said Tuesday huge untapped reserves of shale gas are actually bullish for the natural gas industry, a contrarian view for most in the energy business.
"Upstream folks will tell you we have '100 years of natural gas supply' that we know we can access in the lower 48 without importing any LNG. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
1 Jun 2009
Webmaster’s Comments: Canaports pending completion and operation has given them years-worth of competitive advantage over Downeast LNG and Calais LNG. There is even concern — despite Repsol’s assurances to the contrary — that Canaport may not succeed, due to lack of need. The numerous other LNG terminals already permitted, under construction, or operating means Downeast LNG and Calais LNG had already lost even before they entered the race.
“After carefully reviewing the (second plan), all of the numerous comments submitted in response, and after consultation with the permitting agencies, I do not believe this project, as presented, would be able to be permitted,” Bowles wrote today. “Thus, if (Weaver’s Cove) chooses to proceed with the preferred alternative and seek a variance, it does so at risk of denial of required permits upon completion of MEPA review.” [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The proposed Weavers Cove 4-mile undersea cryogenic LNG pipeline is an imprudent last-ditch attempt to save an otherwise useless project. There is no need for Weavers Cove Energy.
The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs issued its approval of Weaver’s Cove Energy’s environmental impact report Friday. While Secretary Ian Bowles said the project can move ahead to the permitting stage, he also voiced doubt that permits would be possible because of the project’s impact on state-owned tidelands.
“Moreover, the area of Mt. Hope Bay where the (berthing station) is proposed is located in Commonwealth-owned submerged tidelands, over which the Commonwealth holds absolute property rights. It is therefore incumbent upon me, and upon the state permitting and resource agencies, to closely scrutinize this proposal to ensure that a project of this magnitude is consistent with the needs and policies of the Commonwealth and that it complies with all applicable environmental standards before it can be approved for construction,” Bowles wrote. “In applying that scrutiny, it has become apparent that the project will not meet certain critical permitting requirements set forth in (Massachusetts General Laws) and its implementing regulations.”
“As discussed further herein, the information contained in the Second (environmental impact report) detailing the Proponent’s market needs analysis for this additional natural gas capacity in the Northeast has so far failed to sufficiently make that case. MassDEP has therefore expressed doubt that the project can be permitted and constructed as currently conceived. After carefully reviewing the Second DEIR, all of the numerous comments submitted in response, and after consultation with the permitting agencies, I do not believe this project, as presented, would be able to be permitted. Thus, if the Proponent chooses to proceed with the preferred alternative and seek a variance, it does so at risk of denial of required permits upon completion of MEPA review.” [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Weavers Cove Energy, Downeast LNG, and Calais LNG are all pursuing unneeded, superfluous projects. They continue to ignore the natural gas glut and lack of demand for their projects.
LOS ANGELES, June 1 -- Kitimat LNG Inc. has signed a memorandum of understanding to supply Korea Gas Corp. (Kogas) with as much as 40% of Kitimat LNG's production along with an option to acquire an equity stake in Kitimat LNG's export terminal.
Webmaster’s Comments: Kitimat LNG is a North American liquefaction & export terminal. North America is swimming in so much natural gas, it is exporting LNG to Asia.
The governor has studiously avoided taking a stand for or against the controversial terminals. But he has consistently denounced FERC's "woefully inadequate" analyses of the terminals' environmental, public safety and security impacts.
He also believes the feds have jumped the gun by issuing their final environmental analysis of Jordan Cove and giving a conditional approval to a competing LNG proposal on the Columbia River -- Bradwood Landing -- before the state or other federal agencies who do the substantive analysis of the terminals impacts have completed their own work. [Red emphasis added.]
Absent abundant supplies of natural gas, the region simply will not be able to move away from coal and rely on renewable sources of electric generation without facing reliability issues that could result in blackouts. During this winter's cold snap, natural gas again was the backstop. Approximately 25 percent of the electricity being generated by Avista Utilities during the December 2008 cold snap, for example, came from natural-gas combustion turbines.
Webmaster’s Comments: Column author Edward A. Finklea, himself, needs a dose of Emerson’s medicine. There already are abundant supplies of natural gas — a natural gas glut. Importing LNG makes no economic or environmental sense.
Prices have fallen for three main reasons: economic recession has lowered demand; several new LNG export projects are being commissioned; and US producers established very large commercial resources of unconventional (primarily shale) gas. [Red & bold emphasis added.]