Save Passamaquoddy Bay

Save Passamaquoddy Bay
3-Nation Alliance

Alliance to Protect the Quoddy Region
from LNG Development

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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 March

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2009 Mar


28 Mar 2009

Climate change 'big priority' for energy commission chief (Mar 21) — The Washington, Post, Washington, DC

… Wellinghoff, who conducted a full energy audit of the shortcomings of FERC's headquarters soon after he arrived, had previously helped write Nevada's renewable electricity standard requiring utilities to increase their use of wind, solar and geothermal power. He was the lead attorney for a big solar installation near Las Vegas. And on his windowsill, he keeps a small Stirling engine, a device used in many geothermal and solar installations that runs when it comes in contact with the heat of a hand or computer monitor.

Webmaster’s Comments: Wellinghoff’s appointment as FERC Chairman is a welcome relief, finally giving the public interest priority over big energy.

N.B. and Maine support international energy corridor (Mar 27) — The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

Through these challenging economic times, New Brunswick remains focused on a vision of economic self-sufficiency,” said Graham. “The concept of a fully integrated northeast energy corridor will provide tangible economic, environmental and energy self-sufficiency benefits for the residents and businesses of New Brunswick, and our friends and neighbours in the State of Maine.

“The proposed energy corridor will help accelerate the development and deployment of clean, renewable and greenhouse-gas-free electricity generation resources in both New Brunswick and Maine, as well as help address and support the overall North American energy security agenda.”

“Great potential exists for Maine and New Brunswick to grow and share clean, renewable energy,” said Baldacci. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The death knell for Calais LNG and Downeast LNG rings even louder. This NB-ME corridor project further alleviates need for the already-redundant Passamaquoddy Bay LNG projects.

Funspiel helps Save Passamaquoddy Bay (Mar 27) — The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

ST. ANDREWS – Students from the community college’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Program hosted “Brooms for the Bay” at the Heather Curling Club Saturday.

As part of their Event Planning course, the Adventure Recreation and Culinary classes organized the “funspiel” to help raise funds and awareness for Save Passamaquoddy Bay – the group opposing any LNG developments in the bay.

Washington County: We want our LNG (Mar 27) — The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

A company press release said the session was organized to present the findings of last year’s field work and to receive comments and questions from the public.

Webmaster’s Comments:Elected officials represented at this open house haven’t done their homework. Instead of considering the comprehensive impacts of such a project, they’ve accepted Calais LNG’s propaganda as fact. Here are some topics they overlook:

  • LNG would result in a net economic loss to the area, as demonstrated in The Whole Bay Study economic research document;
  • Passamaquoddy Bay is unsafe for LNG terminals and transits according to the world LNG industry (SIGTTO; see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization). Developers’ and local pilots can’t change that reality;
  • Government considers our lives “expendable,” while lives in denser population areas are “valuable.” The US Coast Guard, in its Waterway Suitabilituy Report and Letter of Recommendation, was required by regulation to discount the risks to local civilian populations simply because we have a population density of under 1,000 people per square mile;
  • The US Coast Guard Waterway Suitability Report requires LNG developers to obtain Canada’s permission to transit into Passamaquoddy Bay. As Canada has made abundantly clear, that isn’t going to happen. (“Innocent passage” is a separate issue and is irrelevant to this Coast Guard requirement);
  • Calais LNG is a superfluous project. There is a natural gas glut in North America. Canaport LNG (including its planned addition of a third storage tank) and Deep Panuke natural gas well — plus the NB-ME Energy Corridor — will be providing all of Maine’s additional need for natural gas;
  • The Emergency Response Plan (from Cutler to Calais) wouldn’t be developed until after the permit is granted; therefore, no one knows the real costs to communities until after FERC issues its permit to construct. For example, what would be the cost of constructing, staffing, furnishing, and operating a 200-bed burn treatment unit on an ongoing basis? (Existing area hospitals are not capable of meeting this need without expansion of facilities and staff). State and local government officials have no idea what the costs to local communities and the state would be;
  • All of the residents of…
    • Wilson’s Beach and North Road on Campobello Island;
    • Eastport;
    • Sipayik;
    • Clam Cove, and Fairhaven on Deer Island, plus Indian Island;
      along with many residents of…
    • Welshpool on Campobello Island;
    • Perry;
    • Robbinston;
    • St. Andrews;
    • Red Beach; and
    • Bayside

…would be unnecessarily subjected to risks (no matter how unlikely) to their lives and property — against their will.

Calais LNG presents fieldwork — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

“The mill closing is an unfortunate thing to happen. But that doesn’t justify a business that is actually going to harm the area,” he said. Passamaquoddy Bay is not the place for an LNG facility, he said.

Webmaster’s Comments: No one can blame local residents for wanting good jobs; however, positive economic development shouldn’t come at other industry’s — and other wage-earners’ — expense. Positive economic development shouldn’t put thousands of people’s livelihood, lives, and property at risk against their will, especially to increase area jobs by a mere 120 (the number of permanent jobs Calais LNG claims would be created).

Passamaquoddy Bay is an inappropriate location for LNG development from a safety and economic standpoint, as indicated by both the world LNG industry and The Whole Bay Study.

Anti LNG and pro - Chouriço (Mar 27) — O Jornal, Fall River, MA

Okay, he prefers "the pretty chourico" but there is no doubt that his leadership has galvanized an effort which has left a multi-billion dollar company stumbling behind schedule and according to Joe the project is in its "last throes."

Carvalho, a grandson of Azorean immigrants from Sao Migue,l and his group has vowed to never stop until plans for the massive tank are scrapped.

He points out that the clock has been ticking on the project's viability and he predicts that the United States will be utilizing new and different forms of energy before this project can ever break ground especially if President Barack OBama has his way.

Unanimous no vote on LNG island (Mar 27) — The Wave, Rockaway Beach, NY

More than 200 people who attended an informational meeting at PS 225 on Tuesday night voted unanimously that they opposed a plan to place a man-made island housing a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal just miles from the Rockaway shoreline.

Coast Guard, federal wildlife service say LNG plan still needs work — The Dundalk Eagle, Dundalk, MD

In a March 13 letter, the Fish and Wildlife Service stated that the project’s effect on several endangered species remained to be evaluated.

The letter took issue with FERC’s December final environmental impact statement, which the FWS said “underplays the importance of shoreline habitat to the entire population of the northeastern beach tiger beetle.”

Dominion says Dominion Cove Point expansion project goes into full commercial service (Mar 27) — RTTNews

Dominion Resources, Inc. (D: News ) Friday said its Dominion Cove Point Expansion project went into full commercial service last day. Output capacity for the liquefied natural gas plant on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland has increased by 80% to 1.8 million dekatherms of natural gas per day. LNG storage capacity has nearly doubled to 14.6 billion cubic feet equivalent.

Port Freeport gets permit to widen channel (Mar 27) — The Journal of Commerce, Washington, DC

The widening project is a public-private collaboration between Port Freeport and users of the waterway, notably Freeport LNG and ConocoPhillips.

The widening of the six mile offshore entrance and jetty channels up to six hundred feet from the current four hundred foot width will allow larger LNG, crude oil and other cargo vessels to access Port Freeport. The current forty-five foot depth will be maintained.

Port Freeport granted permission to widen channel (Mar 26) — Breakbulk, Newark, NJ

Port Freeport’s traffic has increased substantially in recent years with the opening of the Freeport LNG facility and growth in the importation of windmill components, pipe and project cargoes. The widening of the six mile offshore entrance and jetty channels up to six hundred feet from the current four hundred foot width will allow larger LNG, crude oil and other cargo vessels to access Port Freeport. The current forty-five foot depth will be maintained.

The costs of widening the channel, which are expected to be around $30 million, will be borne principally by the users of the waterway. Although other such non-federal channel enhancements have been undertaken in the United States, this project is the first to seek federal assumption of maintenance. If approval is granted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the widened increment of the channel will be periodically dredged by the federal government just as it does for the existing channel. [Red emphasis added.]

Opinion: Why the Port Authority’s all-Alaska LNG project is state’s best option (Mar 27) — Alaska Journal of Commerce

Here are some of the most compelling reasons why this project will continue to move forward.

Global LNG glut set to reverse — Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB

The market may then [after 2014 or 2015] be short of supply through to 2020, pointing potentially to a "bright future" for the lineup of proposed LNG projects in Australia's Queensland state, Daryl Houghton, the manager for Asia-Pacific at New York-based Poten & Partners, said Friday.

Webmaster’s Comments: The North American gas glut is predicted to run for 100+ years, with natural gas demand remaining flat at least through 2030. World conditions may vary.


26 Mar 2009

The energy of goals shared — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Local business and civic leaders joined representatives from Emera, NB Power, Repsol and Irving Oil to welcome the premier and governor, who were joined at the announcement by Energy Minister Jack Keir and Jeff Matthews, the director of business development at Irving Oil.

Matthews confirmed that his company is exploring the feasibility of constructing a power plant to export up to 1,500 megawatts of electricity to the United States. The facility, which would generate power with wind and natural gas, relies on the international corridor to distribute products to America's energy-hungry northeast.

Irving eyes power corridor — (CP) The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Irving Oil, Canada’s largest exporter of gasoline, is now exploring the idea of constructing a 1,500 megawatt power line to New England and facilities to generate power from wind and natural gas.

"We see ourselves as an energy company," Jeff Matthews, Irving Oil’s director of business development, said Wednesday. "Power generation, natural gas and LNG (liquefied natural gas) have become an important part of our overall portfolio."

The natural gas component of the proposed facility would provide a base load of electricity that could be increased when the wind isn’t blowing.

"Betting on any one form of energy is just too much of a risk," Matthews said. "It’s why we built our refinery in a line formation so we could expand it, it’s why we have left room in our LNG plant for more tanks, it’s why we’re studying the possibility of building an energy corridor for the future — whatever forms of energy that might bring." [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: This plan pre-empts the need for best-safety-practices-violating Downeast LNG and Calais LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay. Their geese are cooked.

N.B., Maine pitch international renewable energy corridor (Mar 25) — CBC

"The proposed energy corridor will help accelerate the development and deployment of clean, renewable and greenhouse-gas-free electricity generation resources in both New Brunswick and Maine, as well as help address and support the overall North American energy security agenda." [Red emphasis added.]

Getting energized — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

"Irving Oil's willingness to invest in the project has moved the project closer to reality," Baldacci said. "There is still much work to be done and many important details to be considered, but I envision the northeast energy corridor as a connection between Maine and Saint John, New Brunswick, that would connect our power projects to markets in southern New England that are hungry for clean, renewable electricity."

The project, Baldacci said, would provide the transmission capacity to spur the development of wind power in Maine and New Brunswick. [Red emphasis added.]

Maine, N.B. leaders eye energy corridor — (AP) Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both R-Maine, praised Graham and Baldacci’s efforts toward cooperation.

“Maine is well-positioned to contribute renewable energy from wind, water and wood sources, contributing to more stable energy prices with environmentally friendly energy sources,” Collins said in a statement from Washington on Wednesday.

“I am encouraged that today’s announcement of a partnership with New Brunswick to pursue renewable energy can lead to economic development and potentially a reduction of energy bills for Mainers,” Snowe said in a statement. “This is a critical win-win opportunity for the state of Maine and all opportunities must be explored.” [Red emphasis added.]

Irving's next frontier: electricity — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham and Maine Governor John Baldacci yesterday launched a study to determine the feasibility of a new transmission corridor, which would carry electricity, natural gas and gasoline from the province to the energy-hungry U.S. Northeast.

Irving already has two smaller gas-fired power plants that feed the New Brunswick grid and provide some electricity for export.

The evolution of an oil company — New Brunswick Business Journal, Saint John, NB

"They sell energy and the source of the energy is changing but the expertise of working in the energy field is there," said Habib Dagher, a professor at the University of Maine. "There are precedents all over the world of oil companies looking at renewable energy.

Canaport agrees to resume meetings — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Sometimes writing an email is all it takes. Teresa Debly, a Red Head resident who belongs to the Canaport Community Environmental Liaison Committee, was outraged that Canaport LNG decided to stop meeting with her group on a monthly basis to provide updates on its big liquefied natural gas project. … The minister wrote back this week saying his department had talked to the company, which had agreed to resume monthly meetings, as laid out in the province's conditions for building the LNG plant.

Purchase shows confidence in Goldboro LNG project -- MapleLNG — Guysborough Journal, Guysborough, NS

As of now, MapleLNG still plans to be operational in 2012. However, Simpkins said “that is something that will be looked at carefully this year.”

O’Meara opens own Portland firm — Mainebiz, Portland, ME

Ted O'Meara, former director of Pierce Atwood's public affairs consultancy and the man behind such high-profile campaigns as the ballot initiative "Fed Up With Taxes" in 2008 and the 2006 re-election of Sen. Olympia Snowe, has opened his own firm, Ted O'Meara Communications.

O'Meara, one of the 21 people laid off in January by Maine's largest law firm, will continue to work from his office there and with many of its attorneys and clients, including Down East LNG and the Maine Real Estate and Development Association. [Red emphasis added.]

Energy leaders in Belfast — Village Soup, Waldo County, ME

BELFAST (March 26): Energy is in the air -- and the Camden Conference is bringing some of it to Mid-Coast Maine with its 5th Annual Energy Symposium, this year on "Maine’s Opportunities for Energy Leadership." The symposium will take place Saturday, April 4th, at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast.

Rounding out the first session will be a look at "Energy in the Northeast: Challenges and Opportunities," by Jeff Landry of Irving Oil. As a member of Irving's Business Development team in Saint John, New Brunswick, Landry specializes in renewable energy and other growth opportunities for the company. Irving already operates an oil refinery in Saint John that supplies gasoline and heating oil to Maine and will soon be opening a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal at the same site in partnership with Spanish oil and gas major Repsol-YPF.

The focus will then shift to Maine itself. First, Steve Hinchman, a staff attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation in Brunswick who specializes in energy and climate advocacy, will give attendees a selective tour through the 100-plus energy- and climate-related bills now before the legislature in Augusta. Hinchman’s talk on the overwhelming number of critically important decisions Maine is facing in the energy field is entitled: "Energy Policy: What Energy Policy?" [Red emphasis added.]

Council reaffirms stance on LNG (Mar 25) — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

If officials of Weaver’s Cove Energy want a governmental audience on its controversial liquefied natural gas project, it won’t be in Fall River, despite the efforts of Councilor Leo O. Pelletier.

The City Council voted 8-1 on two resolutions Tuesday night not to allow the developer to discuss the proposal, while affirming six years of beliefs that it “continues to pose serious health and safety risks to the residents of Greater Fall River.”

LNG spokesman: Project gaining support (Mar 25) — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Whether the people of the city and surrounding areas become supporters of the project or not, Grasso said Weaver’s Cove will move forward with their plans.

Webmaster’s Comments: In other words, Grasso and Hess Energy don’t really care if people and government do or don’t support the Weavers Cove LNG project.

River one step away from ‘wild and scenic’ designation — Taunton Daily Gazette, Taunton, MA

President Barack Obama’s signature is now the only thing needed for the Taunton River to be designated as a “wild and scenic” waterway.

The House passed a federal land management bill Wednesday that includes a stipulation to incorporate a 40-mile stretch of the Taunton River into the National Park Service’s Wild and Scenic River management program. Federal funds available under the designation will help protect the river. Obama is expected to sign the legislation into law.

Proposed island worries New Yorkers — Queens Chronicle, Queens, NY

“There’s no public interest to allowing these companies to destroy the ocean to bring us a product that we don’t need from foreign countries that don’t like us at an increased cost and increasing climate change,” Zipf said.

Broadwater reversal possible — Long Island Business News, Ronkonkoma, NY

The U.S. Department of Commerce has until April 13 to overturn Gov. David Paterson’s rejection of Broadwater, the liquid natural gas terminal pitched off the coast of Wading River in Long Island Sound - and multiple sources said there’s at least a 50 percent chance that the agency would do just that.

Sources said the Commerce Department is questioning why Paterson turned down the LNG, when it was deemed to be safe by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Webmaster’s Comments: The US Coast Guard approving a waterway for LNG navigation doesn’t mean the waterway is actually safe for the public along the shore — just as with their approval of the US portion of Passamaquoddy Bay.

Note: The Coast Guard did not approve the Canadian portion of the waterway since it doesn’t have that authority. The Coast Guard’s approval requires Downeast LNG to obtain Canada’s permission — something Canada has already empahtically stated will not occur; otherwise, by US regulation, no transits can occur.

The US Coast Guard is restricted in what it is allowed to consider regarding risk to the public within the government-defined 2.2-mile Hazard Zones around transiting and berthed LNG ships. “Low density” populations don’t qualify for protection, and the Coast Guard is required to ignore risks to lives in that population density in its LNG waterway approval process .

  • “High density” populations are areas where the population is 9,000 persons per square mile or greater.
  • “Medium density” populations are defined as 1,000 to 9,000 persons per square mile.
  • “Low density” populations are of under 1,000 persons per square mile.

Passamaquoddy Bay communities have below 1,000 persons per square mile; therefore, according to US LNG permitting regulations…

— Passamaquoddy Bay residents’ lives are disposable —

All the residents of…

  • Eastport (ME);
  • Wilson’s Beach & North Road (Campobello Island, NB);
  • Clam Cove & Fairhaven (Deer Island, NB);
  • Sipayik
…and many residents of …
  • Welshpool (Campobello Island);
  • Perry, Robbinston, and Red Beach (ME);
  • St. Andrews & Bayside (NB)

…would fall within the transiting 2.2-mile Hazard Zones.

You don’t like it? Write your Federal Delegation. Good luck!

State questioned LNG island in '07 — Herald Online, Garden City, NY

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation sent a proposal by the Atlantic Island Sea Group to build a $1 billion liquid natural gas transfer station in the waters off Long Island back to the drawing board in 2007.

The DEC said the application was incomplete and the project had the potential to harm the local environment.

Nevertheless, as recently reported in the Herald, ASIG continues to pursue approval for the 60.5-acre island 13 miles south of Long Beach.

Cargos unloading at Sabine Pass, Lake Charles — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

NATS [subscription required] reports that LNG tankers have docked and are unloading cargos today at the Sabine Pass and Lake Charles terminals.

Coast Guard to establish temporary Security Zone near Freeport LNG — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary final rule establishing a temporary security zone around the Freeport LNG Basin, banning non-exempt vessels from transiting the area.

Osaka Gas to vonsider acquiring regasification rights in Freeport LNG (Mar 25) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

[T]he company … indicated that it would consider acquiring regasification rights in the Freeport LNG import terminal, where it is already a 10% equity holder, as part of an investment plan to utilize its equity production volumes for spot trading.

Quintana man readies petition against LNG (Mar 25) — The Facts, Clute, TX

QUINTANA — All but three town residents have signed a petition asking federal regulators to deny Freeport LNG’s request to bring big rigs carrying liquefied natural gas onto the island.

The only people who didn’t sign the petition work at LNG, Doty said.

…Doty said when town council first agreed to have the industrial giant in their backyard, LNG indicated they’d never truck gas onto the island.

Shrinking targets — Newsday, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago

The US is TT’s main export market. Unfortunately, however, while 89 percent of this country’s Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) exports in 2006 were shipped to the US this has now fallen to 39 percent. [Red emphasis added.]

NorthernStar to pay $200,000 for county's LNG study — The Daily News, Longview, WA

Cowlitz County officials hired a consultant this week to learn more about the environmental effects of a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline, saying a federal review of the project is inadequate.

NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc., the company planning to build the terminal and pipeline, will pay for the study, which is expected to cost around $200,000.

Global LNG-Asian demand slumps more; U.S. awaits flood (Mar 27) — Yahoo News, Philippines

In the Atlantic, Europe was picking up the slack as importers refilled stocks after a harsh winter of cold weather and interrupted imports from Russia.

The trickle before the flood may already have been seen this week as two cargoes arrived in the U.S. Gulf Coast -- a BG Group tanker to the Lake Charles terminal and Cheniere's final commissioning cargo for Sabine Pass.

Webmaster’s Comments: If, in fact, the US does become the sink for surplus LNG, the domestic natural gas glut dictates that the LNG will arrive at what have been largely-idle existing LNG ports, rather than stimulating development of additional LNG import terminals.

U.S. will become focus for LNG deliveries, RWE says (Mar 23) — Bloomberg

“The U.S. will become the sink for LNG,” Ian Belmore, head of LNG projects at RWE Supply & Trading GmbH, said today at a conference in London.


24 Mar 2009

LNG company unveiling plans for Calais facility — WLBZ-TV, Bangor, ME

[Note: This is the same story that appeared yesterday on WCSH in Portland; however, this site also includes the video.]

Calais LNG does have opponents to its proposed facility including the group known as save Passamquoddy Bay. That group has its own economic impact study. That study estimates that host communities to LNG terminals will spend 3-5 million annually in increased costs for infrastructure, public safety, and additional staffing. It also estimates between 480 thousand and 1.26 million in lower property values.

"We're not just looking at the plus side of the balance sheet we're looking at the debit side, so what are the costs going to be … to the other industries in the area, the fishing industry, the tourism industry, the transportation industry, the real estate market," said Bob Barnes (sic; Bob Godfrey) of Save Passamaquoddy Bay.

Bob Godfrey of Save Passamaquoddy Bay says his group is not opposed to LNG terminals, they just don't think they are the right type of development for the Passamaquoddy Bay region. [Red bold highlighted emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The above story ignored information they received regarding how Calais LNG, by siting their project in Passamaquoddy Bay, is violating the world LNG industry's own terminal siting best practices. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.)

Since Calais LNG cannot comply with the US Coast Guard’s Letter of Recommendation requiring compliance with conditions set forth in the Waterway Suitability Report — that the LNG terminal applicant must obtain Canada’s cooperation (in essence, Canada’s permission) to transit into Passamaquoddy Bay, and since Prime Minister Harper stated face-to-face to President Bush that transits into the bay will not be allowed — Calais LNG has no hope of success. Ian Emery, Art Gelber, and party, are beating a dead horse.

Total eyes Sabine Pass LNG date —

Total expects to send its first cargo of liquefied natural gas to the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana from Nigeria in mid-April, according to senior sources.

BG LNG tanker to Elba Island April 4-data — (Reuters) Forbes

BG Group's Methane Alison Victoria liquefied natural gas tanker is expected to arrive at the Elba Island terminal in Georgia from Egypt on April 4, according AISLive ship tracking data on Reuter.

British Columbia LNG project gets green light — PortWorld, Vancouver, BC

The west coast of Canada could soon have a loading [export] terminal for LNG carriers at Kitimat in north-western British Columbia.

Federal authorities last week issued a go-ahead decision, saying that “with appropriate mitigation measures”, the project “is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects”.

PTP says its company mission is "moving natural gas from Western Canada to Asian markets." [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: This is one of eight North American LNG export projects. The domestic natural gas glut precludes additional LNG import infrastructure.

LNG plants coming on line in midst of natural gas glut — Energy Current, Houston, TX

Six giant plants capable of cooling and liquefying gas for export are due to come on line this year, just as the economies of the Asian and European countries that import the most natural gas to run their industries are slowing.

Energy experts and company executives say that means loads of natural gas from Qatar, Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria that otherwise would be going to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Spain are beginning to arrive in supertankers in the United States, even though there is a glut of natural gas there, too.

Some analysts say companies may slow completion of a few of the new export terminal projects.

Natural gas industry's pain is consumers' gain — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

"There is too much gas," said Ed Kallio, manager of gas consulting at Ziff Energy Group in Calgary.

Webmaster’s Comments: Whaddayaknow! Contrary to claims by Downeast LNG and Calais LNG, not LNG — but domestic natural gas — is keeping the natural gas price low for consumers.

Technology drives North American gas renaissance: New CERA analysis (Mar 23) — Fox Business

The market is struggling to absorb existing production - as reflected in the current price trend - rendering new drilling in higher cost areas uneconomic.

"The supply renaissance in North America will have global consequences. The development of unconventional gas is reshaping the outlook for natural gas supplies in North America, with far-reaching significance for the industry, consumers, and the global gas business," added Ineson. "Growing North American production will decrease North America's need for LNG (liquefied natural gas), triggering changes in projected LNG flows and potentially affecting prices and the viability of projects worldwide." LNG will remain competitive in North American markets, but will compete more with higher cost conventional supplies than unconventional gas. [Red emphasis added.]

MISC newbuild deliveries to result in LNG ship surplus — Seatrade Asia Online

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s MISC Berhad has revealed that it expects delivery of commissioned newbuilds to exceed market demand for this year and the next. This information, imparted by MISC LNG vp Gunaseharan Ganapathy to Taiwan News, follows an announcement that nearly 35 MISC tankers are idled at sea and in yards as the projects dedicated to these vessels - particularly in Asia - are delayed in the current economic climate. [Red emphasis added.]


23 Mar 2009

LNG company unveiling plans for Calais facility —, Portland, ME

Calais LNG does have opponents to its proposed facility including the group known as save Passamquoddy Bay. That group has its own economic impact study That study estimates that host communities to LNG terminals will spend 3-5 million annually in increased costs for infrastructure, public safety, and additional staffing. It also estimates between 480 thousand and 1.26 million in lower property values.

"We're not just looking at the plus side of the balance sheet we're looking at the debit side, so what are the costs going to be … to the other industries in the area, the fishing industry, the tourism industry, the transportation industry, the real estate market," said Bob Barnes (sic; Bob Godfrey) of Save Passamaquoddy Bay.

Bob Godfrey of Save Passamaquoddy Bay says his group is not opposed to LNG terminals, they just don't think they are the right type of development for the Passamaquoddy Bay region. [Red bold highlighted emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The above story ignored information they received regarding how Calais LNG, by siting their project in Passamaquoddy Bay, is violating the world LNG industry's own terminal siting best practices. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.)

Since Calais LNG cannot comply with the US Coast Guard’s Letter of Recommendation requiring compliance with conditions set forth in the Waterway Suitability Report — that the LNG terminal applicant must obtain Canada’s cooperation (in essence, Canada’s permission) to transit into Passamaquoddy Bay, and since Prime Minister Harper stated face-to-face to President Bush that transits into the bay will not be allowed — Calais LNG has no hope of success. Ian Emery, Art Gelber, and party, are beating a dead horse.

On Exxon Valdez anniversary, nationwide call for state authority in LNG decisions, natural gas export ban [News release] — Ratepayers for Affordable Clean Energy (RACE), San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA, March 23, 2009 – On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, a nationwide coalition of over 50 organizations and businesses, representing communities in 10 states, have demanded legislation which would return permitting authority for all Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import terminals to individual states. The groups also demanded a ban on exporting natural gas produced in the United States. The demands were written in a letter which was sent to members of the Senate Energy Committee. The groups chose to send the letter on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill as a reminder of how poor oversight of coastal energy projects can lead to environmental and economic catastrophes for local communities.

According to the letter, “FERC has demonstrated disregard for local concerns over these (LNG) projects, and has operated under a philosophy of permitting projects whether or not there is proof the project is necessary.” Further, the letter calls for the U.S. to enact a natural gas export ban, stating, “Recently, the boom of natural gas production in North America has led to increased interest in exporting U.S natural gas onto the world market as LNG. We believe this is a dangerous trend that works against U.S. national security, ratepayer interests, and grid reliability.” [Red emphasis added.] (See below for the letter sent to the Senate.)

Letter to Senate: Smart Planning and Policy for Natural Gas — Pacific Environment, San Francisco, CA

PDF file The link below will open or download a PDF file (744 KB).

FERC has demonstrated disregard for local concerns over these projects, and has operated under a philosophy of permitting projects whether or not there is proof the project is necessary. In addition, FERC currently does not have authority over offshore LNG proposals, creating an uneven playing field between the permitting processes for on-shore and off-shore proposals located in state waters. Also, FERC is not abiding by industry-recommended best practices as detailed by “Site Selection and Design for LNG Ports and Jetties” (SIGGTO) in their permitting decisions. [Red emphasis added.] (See above news release about this letter.)

A campaign for island? Rockaways energy project company chief has donated to elected officials — New York Daily News, New York, NY

The head of an energy company that plans to build a manmade island off the coast of the Rockaways has donated tens of thousands of dollars to state and federal elected officials, the Daily News has learned.

Howard Bovers, chief of the Atlantic Sea Island Group, is seeking approval to build a controversial liquid natural gas terminal some 15 miles off the Atlantic coast of New York.

[Bovers] would not, however, answer a question about whether the approving of the island's construction came up during his meeting with the governor.

"I don't think I even have to answer that question," Bovers said. "You're infringing on my personal life."

Raisng (sic) the LNG roof at Elba Island — Energy Current, Houston, TX

SAVANNAH, GA.: Looking like a rusty orange sun, the dome roof of the largest liquefied natural gas tank in the nation rose slowly over the top of its wall just after noon Thursday and settled into place 136 feet above Elba Island.

Not everyone is happy about progress on the expansion. Savannah-based Citizens for Clean Air and Water has lobbied local officials to OK an ordinance banning LNG plants like Elba from being constructed within five miles of residential areas.

U.S. DOJ appeals Bradwood Landing LNG decision — Energy Current, Houston, TX

SALEM, OREGON: The U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. DOJ) on behalf of the National Marine Fisheries Service last week joined Oregon, Washington, Columbia Riverkeeper and other environmental groups in appealing the approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas (LNG) project on the lower Columbia River.

"I am delighted that U.S. Attorney General Holder agrees that FERC's order is unlawful," said Attorney General Kroger. [Red emphasis added.]

Coal — our first and last choice? — Daily News-Miner, Fairbanks, AK

Alaskans face trouble with natural gas, oil

[T]he world faces an energy dilemma: Should the global economy try to substitute natural gas and nuclear power for oil, or simply use coal? Similarly, Fairbanks faces its own dilemma: Should Interior Alaskans wait for natural gas to arrive in Fairbanks or just switch from fuel oil to coal?

A quick natural gas solution for Fairbanks is to truck liquefied natural gas from the North Slope. But without state funding, the trucked LNG option might not happen. Doyon and partners are looking for natural gas in the Nenana basin and are against state help for the LNG option since it competes with their own natural gas, although the state might not even have the wherewithal for the LNG project. We might therefore have to wait to see if the Nenana basin pans out.

"Crossroads on the Columbia" film screening — Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR

The Pacific U. Cascade Climate Network and Columbia River Keeper will show the short, locally-produced "Crossroads on the Columbia," dealing with the threat of Liquefied Natural Gas expansion in Oregon.

Crossroads on the Columbia" explores the environmental and community-rights issues surrounding proposals by private companies to build Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals on Oregon's Columbia River.

Natural gas, suddenly abundant, is cheaper (Mar 20) — The New York Times, New York, NY

HOUSTON — The decline in crude oil prices gets all the headlines, but the first globalized natural gas glut in history is driving an even more drastic collapse in the cost of gas that cooks food, heats homes and runs factories in the United States and many other countries.

“We had many years of ever increasing demand so the world geared up for that, but what the world did not prepare for was an economic recession that is global in scope and in impact,” said Darcel L. Hulse, president and chief executive officer of Sempra LNG, a division of Sempra Energy that operates an import terminal in Mexico and is completing construction on a facility in Louisiana. “That is what has exacerbated the imbalance of supply and demand to such an excess.” [Red, bold, and highlighted emphasis added.]

LNG demand being ‘reshaped’ — Fairplay Shipping News, Surrey, UK [Paid subscription required]

VAST NEW supplies of natural gas from unconventional North American sources will alter global trade flows of LNG, a study by Cambridge Energy Research Associates said today.

‘Rising to the Challenge’, the report unveiled today by IHS-owned CERA, cited a technological revolution that allows North America to tap natural gas from shale and sands.

“The supply renaissance in North America will have global consequences,” asser ... [Red emphasis added.]

Rising to the Challenge — CERA (Cambridge Energy Research Associates®, Inc.), Cambridge, MA

Several companies are planning to deliver LNG to the North American market or are counting on the North American market to serve as a residual market for surplus cargoes. However, surging North American production may render this option unattractive or even untenable. [Bold red and highlighted emphasis added.]

Technology drives North American gas renaissance: New CERA analysis — iStockAnalyst, Salem, OR

“Growing North American production will decrease North America’s need for LNG (liquefied natural gas), triggering changes in projected LNG flows and potentially affecting prices and the viability of projects worldwide. [Bold red and highlighted emphasis added.]

Natural gas looks ugly while oil price is sitting pretty — Stockhouse, Vancouver, BC

Dazzling technological advances coupled with exponential production increases in shale wells have flooded the U.S. with an over-supply of natural gas at the same time that economic woes are driving consumer and industrial demand into the ground.

Keep in mind that in the prior decade, U.S. gas supply drifted consistently lower despite higher drilling activity, higher rig count. More recently, however, the application of technology—particularly in the shale plays—has created a surge in supply.

In addition to the supply problem, we now also have a demand problem for U.S. natural gas. Specifically U.S., economic problems are shutting down a lot of industrial consumption, slowing residential consumption, and slowing gas-fired electric consumption. The combination of surging gas supply and falling gas demand means we are facing a train wreck for U.S. natural gas prices this summer. [Red and bold emphasis added.]

Supply glut cuts natural gas prices more L.N.G. plants come online just as global economy falters — iStockAnalyst, Salem, OR

Energy experts and company executives say that means loads of natural gas from Qatar, Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria that otherwise would be going to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Spain are beginning to arrive in supertankers in the United States, even though there is a glut of natural gas there, too.

Rodney Waller, a senior vice president at the oil and gas company Range Resources, called the expected rise in liquefied natural gas imports into the United States as part of a "pile on" of problems, including plummeting demand, prices and credit, besetting companies that stretched their exploration and production budgets in recent years to meet expanding demand. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: This article is just one more of many demonstrating the absolute lack of need for additional LNG import capacity. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are disingenuously claiming there is a need for their surplus projects.

LNG imports give time to reanalyze MTBE and MDE — Gerson Lehrman Group, New York, NY

LNG is coming to US terminals in 2009 due to favorable economics and large terminal capacities (10 bcfd) presently mostly idle at ~ 1 bcfd total imports. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: As has been made clear, any increase in LNG imports would be due to idle LNG import facilities, along with a possible (but not definite) surplus of world LNG supply. There is no domestic demand for additional LNG import capacity, due to the domestic natural gas glut. See "Rising to the Challenge", in the preceding article, for an opinion that contradicts the one presented in the above article.

Usual suspects Shell, Jersey, BP, and Total hammering LNG prices down — Gerson Lehrman Group, New York, NY

Clifford Krauss (New York Times) reported in the March 22 edition of the International Herald Tribune that the first globalized natural gas glut is driving the cost of cooking food and heating homes into collapse around the world. Six huge liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants are coming on line this year. This at a time when international economies are slumping. LNG cargos that would normally go to Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Spain are arriving by supertankers in the United States. In the U.S., natural gas provides about 20% of electric generating power. It is also a vital petrochemical feedstock in preparation of fertilizers and plastics. Industry experts expect LNG imports will triple this year. The glut is forcing U.S. shale gas drillers to lay down rigs. Domestic production will drop by year end, but gas prices will remain low because of LNG coming in. Until recently, LNG was a high-priced necessity for countries without domestic resources. Now it is cheap everywhere. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The above article ignores that plastic production has been moving overseas, reducing domestic LNG demand. Electrical power generation is also in decline due to the economy, reducing natural gas demand. Low LNG prices mean low profits for LNG import facilities, requiring a longer time to recoup import terminal investment, making the Downeast LNG and Calais LNG proposals even less probable.

U.S. faces summer LNG surge once Europe has its fill — Reuters

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Europe may lap up a lot of excess liquefied natural gas this spring to refill stocks drained over winter, potentially delaying an expected surge in U.S. imports until the summer.

Britain can export up to 2 bcf of gas a day to continental Europe through a pipeline to Belgium, but its LNG import capacity will exceed export capacity by 50 percent once two Welsh terminals are fully operational.

Webmaster’s Comments: The entire world is screaming, “Gas glut!”

The financial crisis has not eliminated inflationary pressures on operating costs — Gerson Lehrman Group, New York, NY

The large orderbook overhang is not only contributing to overcapacity in already softer freight markets. It also expands needs for manning in an increasingly tight market for qualified seafarers. There has been no relief on crew wage inflation - especially for qualified officers - despite the market downturn. The most acute area is the tanker sector because so much new tonnage requires STWC chemical tanker certification. Pressures in the LPG/ LNG sector are also severe due the small pool of experience labor and fleet expansion. [Red emphasis added.]

Power provider Russia fuels Western worries (Mar 24) — Tribune Magazine, London, England, UK

The opening of the Sakhalin plant will deepen the anxieties of many policy-makers in Washington and Brussels, who believe that the Kremlin is wielding energy as a political weapon in the international arena – much as it did with Ukraine in 2006 and 2009. Whereas Western leaders in the 19th and 20th centuries thought that Moscow used pan-Slavism and communism to increase its foreign influence, today the West contends that Russia is using its vast reserves of gas and oil as a foreign policy weapon to achieve “old-time Russian imperialist aims”.

Webmaster’s Comments: Why did the US Department of State, during the Bush administration, invite Russia to own US energy infrastructure, including LNG import facilities?


20 Mar 2009

President Obama announces more key administration posts [News release] — The White House, Washington, DC

Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Today, President Barack Obama announced that Jon Wellinghoff, currently serving as Acting Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), will be designated as Chairman. President Obama also announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts: Suedeen Kelly to be re-appointed as a Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission….

Wellinghoff is an energy law specialist with more than 30 years experience in the field. Before joining FERC, he was in private practice and focused exclusively on client matters related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and distributed generation. While in the private sector, Wellinghoff represented an array of clients from federal agencies, renewable developers, and large consumers of power to energy efficient product manufacturers and clean energy advocacy organizations. While in private practice, Wellinghoff was the primary author of the Nevada Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Act. The Nevada RPS is one of the two states to receive an "A" rating by the Union of Concerned Scientists. … His experience also includes two terms as the State of Nevada’s first Consumer Advocate for Customers of Public Utilities. [Red and highlighted emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: This is a significant change in FERC direction, away from big energy’s interests and toward the public’s interests.

LNG plant changes owners — The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

4Gas of Rotterdam has bought out its partner in the $700-million MapleLNG liquefied natural gas project in Goldboro, Guysborough County.

Keltic plans to build a $5-billion plastics plant in Goldboro.

'We want the product but not the plant' — New Brunswick Business Journal, Saint John, NB

Joe Barnes, an energy specialist at the Baker Institute at Rice University in Texas, was using a popular real estate mantra to describe one of the region's advantages in becoming an energy hub.

"If your target market is New England, that's good because we're pretty confident they're not going to build a nuclear plant in New England and you can be pretty confident they're not going to build an LNG terminal, either. [Red bold and highlighted emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: US energy economist Joe Barnes makes the right conclusions, but for the wrong reasons. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG will never be built because they violate the industry’s own terminal siting safety practices, not because of NIMBYism. Canada’s prohibition of LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay are in perfect agreement with the LNG industry, itself.

Amended regulations to help protect Atlantic waters from environmental accidents — Canadian Transportation & Logistics (CTL)

The regulatory changes extend the compulsory pilotage area for oil tankers and liquefied natural gas vessels approaching the Canaport facility at the new area limit. In Placentia Bay, vessels that call at the proposed nickel receiving terminal at Long Harbour must now have pilots on board.

USCG says Sparrows Point waterway could be used — Maritime Global Net, Bristol, RI

The US Coast Guard has issued a letter of recommendation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission saying that the waterway proposed for use by LNG carriers supplying AES Sparrows Point LNG terminal in Baltimore “remains unsuitable, but can be made suitable” if certain risk mitigation measures outlined in a supporting waterway suitability report are fully implemented and resources, capabilities and partnerships with the port community are in place. [Red emphasis added.]

Governor fights expanded powers for federal energy regulators — The Redding Pilot, Redding, CT

Gov. M. Jodi Rell has announced she has written U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the leaders of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to strongly oppose language in pending energy legislation that would add to the powers of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

“Connecticut has had nightmarish experiences with FERC in the last five years — from its foolhardy proposal to create artificially high electric rates to its refusal to give our state a ‘seat at the table’ when it came to the proposed Broadwater liquefied natural gas platform in Long Island Sound,” Ms. Rell said in her press release. “I am telling Senator Reid and the leaders of the Energy Committee that they can take it from me and from the people of Connecticut: Giving more power to FERC is the last thing Congress should be doing.

In her letter, Ms. Rell outlines numerous instances in which FERC has “proven itself distant — even imperious — in its dealing with state governments and utterly indifferent to the needs or desires of local municipalities or their residents.” [Red emphasis added.]

LNG terminal concerns restated — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

The U.S. Coast Guard has restated its security and safety concerns about tanker ships transporting liquefied natural gas to a proposed terminal at Sparrows Point in a letter to federal energy regulators. "The risk mitigations are not in place and without them, the waterway is not suitable for the transit of LNG," Amy Beach, Coast Guard chief of waterways management for the Baltimore area, said yesterday.

FERC dismisses WGL motion — Energy Current, Houston, TX

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has dismissed a motion filed by Washington Gas Light Company (WGL) requesting that FERC stay, pending completion of the judicial review process, the effectiveness of FERC's order on remand issued in this proceeding on Oct. 7, 2008, and order on rehearing and clarification issued on Jan. 15, 2009.

FERC also approved the expansion of the Dominion Cove Point Pipeline, which includes nearly 47.8 miles (76 km) of 36-inch diameter loop pipeline in Maryland and about 124 miles (199 km) of 20-inch and 24-inch pipeline in West Virginia and Pennsylvania and related facilities in these three states and Virginia to be built and operated by Dominion Transmission.

New entry in B.C. LNG field (Week of Mar 22) — Petroleum News, Anchorage, AK

Take your pick — it’s either shaping up as a rival or an extra. Whatever the choice, the pieces seem to be coming together for a second LNG export terminal at Kitimat on the northern British Columbia coast. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: ANOTHER LNG export project in North America, bringing the total to eight.

National Marine Fisheries challenges FERC's approval of Bradwood Landing LNG site — The Daily News, Longview, WA

The fisheries service, one of the agencies tasked with reviewing NorthernStar’s environmental plans, is the only federal agency that has formally appealed FERC’s approval of the terminal. NMFS had previous asked FERC to reconsider its decision, but FERC turned down that and other requests in January, clearing the way for appeals to the 9th Circuit.

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger issued a statement Thursday heralding NMFS’s appeal and noting that the U.S. Department of Justice will represent the fisheries service against FERC.

“I am delighted that U.S. Attorney General (Eric) Holder agrees that FERC’s order is unlawful,” Kroger said.

Obama appoints new FERC chairman — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

The formal appointment of Wellinghoff, who has been serving as acting chair of the agency, is likely to cheer opponents and chill proponents of the three liquefied natural gas terminals and associated pipelines that have been proposed for Oregon, two on the Columbia River and one in Coos Bay.

Wellinghoff was the lone vote in opposition to FERC's conditional approval in September of the Bradwood Landing LNG terminal, proposed for a site 20 miles east of Astoria on the Columbia River. He concluded at the time that the project was not in the public interest because there are "reasonable alternatives to the Bradwood Project to serve the projected energy needs of the Pacific Northwest in a more efficient, more reliable, and environmentally preferable manner." [Red and highlighted emphasis added.]

Feds join state's case asking if FERC broke the law on Bradwood decision — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The NMFS petition joins three other pending appeals of the Bradwood approval filed in the 9th Circuit by the states of Oregon and Washington and a consortium of environmental groups led by Columbia Riverkeeper.

Challengers argue federal energy regulators broke the law when they granted the Bradwood project conditional approval before the states and the federal fisheries service had weighed in on the environmental impacts of the $600 million LNG terminal and pipeline.

[S]tate and federal agencies say FERC should have waited for those permits to be approved before it issued a license. [Red emphasis added.]

US LNG market may get 2 bcfd summer surge — Oil & Gas Journal, Tulsa, OK

"One wild card is that South Korea and Japan could take advantage of low prices before the winter buying season and start to fill up sooner, reducing the supply coming here," said Pritchard Capital Partners. "Three European facilities coming on line in 2009 will help absorb supply as the year progresses." They expect a return to baseload supply levels around September.

LNG producers are unlikely to reduce output for two main reasons, said Pritchard Capital after hosting a Mar. 18 conference call with Zach Allen, president of Pan EurAsian Enterprises Inc., a management advisory firm specializing in energy. "First, throttling back on production is said to be technically very challenging. Second, and more important, after stripping out and selling the natural gas liquids, producers such as Qatar have an effective cost on the gas that can be measured in pennies, so transportation, which typically runs $2/Mcf or less, is the main cost," analysts said. "Therefore, LNG can be shipped here at prices below where we are today and still be profitable for the producers."

Webmaster’s Comments: Since US natural gas storage is full, where will all that natural gas go?

Woodside suspends US natural gas project (Mar 21) — Egoli, Melbourne, Australia

Woodside Petroleum Limited (WPL) said it would suspend work at its planned natural gas import project for the Los Angeles region. The company cited changed energy market conditions as the reason for the halting the project.

President of Woodside's US subsidiary, Woodside Natural Gas, Steve Larson said the current conditions were not right for the proposed OceanWay development.

…Mr Larson said the impact of the current market must be acknowledged, and therefore the company had notified the regulatory agencies that it would be withdrawing its application for the time being.

Webmaster’s Comments: Another one bites the dust.

New report on "The Future of the Global LNG Industry to 2015" available through Aarkstore Enterprise —, Vienna, Austria

The global LNG industry is at a critical juncture. High demand for natural gas as a primary fuel worldwide has boosted the need for LNG as a transporting medium for gas from exporting regions to far flung markets. However, political differences, the global credit crunch and rising construction costs are affecting LNG industry growth. With demand expected to rise rapidly till 2015, the global LNG industry will be heading towards a LNG supply crunch if the planned LNG producing plants fail to commence operations as per schedule.

The Global LNG Shortage Will Become Acute by 2015

The global LNG industry is heading towards a supply crunch by 2015. The LNG supply shortage is here to stay and will probably become acute after 2012. Assuming that all the LNG producing plants worldwide commence operations as per schedule, the demand-supply gap will stand at more than 500 Million Tonnes of LNG. The supply gap will rise sharply between 2009 and 2011 by over 40% and will keep rising till 2015. [Red, bold, and highlighted emphasis added.]


19 Mar 2009

US Interior Secretary suggests an increase in royalty rates — Energy Intelligence, New York, NY [Paid subscription required]

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar met behind closed doors with oil industry leaders on Thursday and told them it was time for the US to end its dependence on oil and other fossil fuels. He also indicated that the Obama administration is likely to raise royalty rates and end tax breaks for the industry "that are no longer needed". [Red bold highlighted emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: This leaves little room for interpretation. LNG is now an official pariah.

LNG a great economic hope, says governor (Mar 13) — The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

“Times are tough everywhere but LNG does not bring a lot of jobs and the bottom line is it could hurt a lot more. There will be a lot of jobs in jeopardy if these LNG terminals are permitted. I understand their situation for sure. Jobs are important and I understand how they feel but it won’t change our position,” [said St. Andrews Mayor John Craig].

Art MacKay, a professional biologist, writer and artist with over 40 years of experience in the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine, said he has seen what is happening with Domtar occur with other companies over the years.

“I think this is an opportunity. We have the same resources that we survived with before. What has happened to the ingenuity to use these resources to support ourselves rather than give them to someone else?”

Webmaster’s Comments:

Gov. Baldacci's blind support for LNG in Maine — without first qualifying that it is needed and quantifying how much is needed — is irresponsible government.
After EIGHT YEARS of attempted and failed LNG development in Maine, Gov. Baldacci should already know the answers to those questions.

Baldacci obviously does not know that information since, only now is he starting a year-long “conversation” on LNG’s need in the state. He’s allowed the issue to fester, and is putting the cart before the horse, endorsing LNG before demonstrating the additional natural gas is needed. (And, as the industry and federal government have already indicated, Maine and northern New England don’t need these proposed surplus projects. Even the manager of the Domtar papermill in Baileyville told this writer that they “couldn’t make it work” — tapping into the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline’s naturtal gas supply. Domtar produces its own energy — even selling electricity to the grid.)
Maine citizens deserve better than the cavalier, harmful, and wasteful energy “leadership” Baldacci is providing.

Verso CEO: State must bolster paper industry (Mar 18) — Village Soup, ME

But the economic downturn has taken its toll, and Verso is in the midst of temporary shutdowns at its Maine facilities.

Jackson presented Gov. John Baldacci with a report his company produced called “Maine on Paper: An industry we can’t afford to lose.”

The report suggests several steps the state should take to improve Verso’s competitive position:

Baldacci said many of his goals — some of which he announced recently as part of a bond package that Mainers will vote on in November 2009 and June 2010 — align with Jackson’s requests.

Among them are supporting the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal in Washington County and investing in railroads and container ports. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: If Verso really believes LNG in Maine would be less expensive than existing and soon-to-be-existing natural gas sources, and that there isn’t already going to be enough natural gas to supply Verso, and if Gov. Baldacci believes Verso…

then both Baldacci and Verso should be pressing for an LNG terminal adjacent to the natural gas industrial market in Penobscot Bay near Bucksport, where natural gas transportation costs would be lowest, instead of trying to push LNG into a distant and inappropriate location that violates the LNG industry's own best practices.

4Gas takes full ownership of MapleLNG project — Canadian Business Online, Toronto, ON

MapleLNG announced today that 4Gas, its parent company, will assume sole ownership of the MapleLNG liquefied natural gas project in Goldboro, Nova Scotia following the purchase of Suntera Canada Ltd. interests in the project. 4Gas and Suntera jointly purchased the MapleLNG project in March 2006.

Landfill cell to be financed in-house — Guysborough Journal, Guysborough, NS

In other council news, the municipality extended its option agreement with Maple LNG. The company has an option for development of a parcel of land owned by the municipality for its planned LNG terminal at Goldboro.

“The market for LNG continues to be strong from what we see,” Warden Lloyd Hines said in a later interview. “It’s very reassuring that they’re continuing with that (option agreement) relationship.”

Webmaster’s Comments: Guysborough Journal’s perspective appears out of touch with market reality.

Nothing to sniff at, gas company says (Mar 16) — The Salem News, Salem, MA

Algonquin Gas, currently building an offshore facility designed to unload supplies of liquefied natural gas via pipeline, is warning Marbleheaders that over the first half of this month they may see lots of activities on the water, they may hear some noise, and they may even smell the unpleasant odor injected into the gas.

An offshore pipeline terminal, just beyond the horizon, will eventually be set to receive gas shipments that will be pumped to the South Shore. This procedure is designed to allay concerns about offloading gas near populated areas.

Webmaster’s Comments: This is the third LNG project, after Northeast Gateway deepwater port and Canaport LNG, that are mooting Downeast LNG and Calais LNG. Northeast Gateway is already in service, Canaport will be completed soon, and Algonquin’s Neptune LNG will be completed and in service around the end of this year.

Mass. Energy Facility Panel files comments with FERC on Weaver's Cove offshore LNG unloading proposal — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board filed comments yesterday addressing the potential effects of Weaver's Cove Energy's proposal to import and offload LNG at a site in Mount Hope Bay and transport the LNG via pipeline to an onshore regasification terminal.

Don't mortgage city's future on LNG [Letter to the editor] — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

During the meeting, Pelletier said he has “pondered his support of the LNG project for two to three weeks,” that the berthing station is in “federal waters,” that this LNG proposal is a “common sense” issue, that 800 people will be employed at the “beginning” of the project, that the city of Fall River will receive “$4 million dollars” in taxes, that this is a “safe thing,” that they say “it is 99 percent certain they are coming whether we like it or not,” that we “wasted” 1.9 million dollars on lawyers, that it’s a “financial thing,” that “we need every cent to sure the people of Fall River are safe” and that if we don’t do this “there is a risk of going bankrupt.”

I feel it is irresponsible for the councilor to regurgitate what Weaver’s Cove officials told him, instead of him doing his own research. [Red emphasis added.]

Forum on LNG at Brookdale April 21 — Atlanticville, Long Branch, NJ

Panelists will be: Dr. Ken Able, marine biologist and director of the Marine Field Station, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, who has looked at deep water habitats out to the Continental Shelf; Dr. Clinton Andrews, director of the Urban Planning Program at The Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers, and an expert in energy, regional planning issues, and the energy grid; David Byer, water policy attorney for Clean Ocean Action (COA) and co-author of the report "LNG: An Un-American Energy Source"; and Gordon Shearer, CEO for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) at Hess. Hess is not an "interested party" in the three LNG facilities currently proposed for off Monmouth County.

US FERC denies request to cut LNG flow into Washington Gas system — Platts

WGL has blamed the failure of its distribution system on the quality of internationally sourced gas arriving on the Maryland shore. While FERC continues to explore the utility's concern, it has expressed skepticism about whether LNG alone is the culprit and has been unwilling to halt Cove Point's expansion plans.

FERC extends appeal deadline for Md. LNG plant (Mar 17) — WJZ-TV, Baltimore, MD

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the Sparrows Point project in January and is considering a dozen appeals. The Maryland Attorney General's office, the state Department of the Environment, Baltimore County, various homeowner's associations and others all have filings pending before the five-member panel.

Bentek Energy: Natural gas oversupply and new pipeline capacity promise bonanza for Northeast natural gas buyers — PRSafe Newswire, Annapolis, MD

A new report from BENTEK Energy examines the consequences of rapidly changing natural gas market conditions in the Northeast resulting from continuing increases in domestic production, new pipeline infrastructure and shifts in the sources of natural gas imports.

"It has been a long time since Northeast gas buyers have been faced with such a combination of attractive supply alternatives combined with highly complex market dynamics," noted E. Russell (Rusty) Braziel, BENTEK managing director. "In just a few short weeks, the Rockies Express Pipeline will thrust Rockies producers into direct competition with suppliers from the Gulf and Midcontinent regions for Northeast market share. Production from those same regions continues to increase, even in the face of lower prices and falling rig counts. In the Gulf, production is growing so fast that it is threatening to exceed maximum outbound throughput capacity on all of the region’s major pipeline systems. Demand destruction and LNG imports remain wildcards. It is a lot of things to be hitting the market at the same time, but mostly good for natural gas buyers."

U.S. gas production is expected to grow in 2009 despite the recession and drilling cut backs, as producers move drilling rigs to areas with much higher per well initial production rates, such as the Haynesville play located in northwest Louisiana and East Texas.

With prices below $4.00/MMbtu (million British thermal units) and expected to trend lower, the report also casts doubt that the U.S. could end up being a major dumping ground for global LNG surpluses, at least in the short term. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

New LNG storage tank biggest in the world — WTOC-TV, Savannah, GA

CHATHAM COUNTY, GA (WTOC) - If you've ever been out to Wilmington Island or Tybee Island, you've probably noticed the big blue storage tanks along the Savannah River.

They're actually located on Elba Island, the home to El Paso LNG, which stands for liquefied natural gas. LNG has been building the new storage tank for the past several months.

Cameron LNG seeks extension to complete construction of regasification facility (Mar 18) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Cameron LNG, LLC filed a request for an extension of time to complete construction of its LNG import and regasification terminal, seeking to extend the deadline for completion to December 31, 2009.

Port Dolphin submits environmental information to FERC — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Port Dolphin Energy LLC responded to FERC's questions regarding wetlands potentially affected by a pipeline connected to the planned Port Dolphin LNG deepwater port.

For market edge, LNG innovation — Newsday, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad &Tobago

The Ministries of Energy, Finance and BP Trinidad and Tobago have sought to get more traction in the trading of liquefied natural gas (LNG) through an LNG course facilitated by bpTT.

Alaska lawmakers question gas line's economics — (AP) MacLeans, Toronto, ON

The global recession, combined with the new sources of natural gas, are creating surpluses in the lower 48 states that could depress prices for years to come, and possibly stall the Alaska project. [Red emphasis added.]

Palin defends natural-gas pipeline strategy — (Reuters), Seneca, SC

The Palin strategy is the latest in a long-running campaign to commercialize the North Slope's known 35 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and estimated supply of much more yet to be discovered. Plans for a natural-gas pipeline date back to the early 1970s, before the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline was built, but poor economics have kept the resource stranded on the North Slope. [Red emphasis added.]

Canadian authorities issue positive environmental finding for gas pipeline associated with Kitimat LNG (Mar 17) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Canadian federal agencies have determined that the Pacific Trail Pipeline project, planned to connect to the Kitimat LNG export project, is unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects as long as certain mitigation measures are implemented.

LNG costs taxpayers, hasn't proven its worth or safety [Commentary] (Mar 15) — The Daily News, Longview, WA

Reps. Dean Takko and Brian Blake, and Sen. Brian Hatfield represent the 19th District in the Washington Legislature.

[W]e remain convinced that the Bradwood project is unnecessary when domestic gas alternatives exist. We support state agencies that are facing difficult budget cuts — agencies that are working hard to protect the interests of Washington citizens despite an inadequate, haphazard federal LNG siting process. [Red emphasis added.]

Feds to take more time to review LNG protest (Mar 17) — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

On Feb. 13, the state of Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation both asked FERC, the LNG licensing authority, to reconsider its September approval of the Bradwood LNG facility 20 miles east of Astoria on the Columbia River.

The state of Oregon also requested an emergency stay to halt action on the Bradwood project while FERC considered the rehearing request and while the state's legal challenge in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is pending.

Feds join Oregon lawsuit against LNG location — The Seattle Times, Seattle, WA

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger says the U.S. Department or Justice has joined Oregon in appealing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of the proposed Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas terminal on the Columbia River in Clatsop County.

Natural Gas: Weakness borne of strength — Seeking Alpha

Ironically, terrific strides in productivity are making life miserable and the outlook bleak for the U.S. natural gas industry. Dazzling technological advances coupled with exponential production increases in shale wells have flooded the U.S. with an over-supply of natural gas at the same time that economic woes are driving consumer and industrial demand into the ground.

In addition to the supply problem, we now also have a demand problem for U.S. natural gas. Specifically U.S., economic problems are shutting down a lot of industrial consumption, slowing residential consumption, and slowing gas-fired electric consumption. The combination of surging gas supply and falling gas demand means we are facing a train wreck for U.S. natural gas prices this summer.

Webmaster’s Comments: They keep repeating it: GAS GLUT, GAS GLUT, GAS GLUT.

The Downeast LNG and Calais LNG proposed projects are redundant surplus albatrosses.

Liquified Natural Gas storage poses challenge as production rises (Mar 18) —, Dubai, UAE

According to the report, LNG vessels that have been turned away from the US are heading towards Europe. However, there is not enough storage capacity in Europe to store it.

"At the moment, the unwanted LNG vessels are heading to the UK and France to replenish low gas inventories following Russian gas disruptions and very cold winter this year. But Europe has limited storage capacity," it said.

The agency in its "World Energy Review" said the developing countries will emerge as bigger consumers of the clean fuel leaving behind the developed economies. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: US natural gas storage is also full, according to industry and government. The under-used new and existing LNG terminals in the US will possibly accept some LNG to keep their tanks and equipment cold, but then what do they do with the unneeded gas? Some receiving facilities are pursuing re-exporting the LNG. It all boils down to this: the US has an over-abundance of natural gas, has an over-abundance of LNG receiving infrastructure, its storage is full, and doesn't need more LNG import terminals.

…And the current administration is calling a halt to US dependence on fossil fuels (see “US Interior Secretary Suggests an Increase in Royalty Rates,” above).

Interior Dept. ramps up oil, renewables (Mar 17) —

The U.S. Interior Department is expediting energy development across the country, from renewable resources to oil and gas drilling, Secretary Ken Salazar told senators Tuesday.

"It's far more beneficial for us to increase our own oil and gas production and keep that money at home instead of sending it to foreign countries" to buy oil, said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

Webmaster’s Comments: This article negates the implications made in the following news article, "Obama puts LNG in play" article, below.

Obama puts LNG in play (Mar 16) — Gerson Lehrman Group, New York, NY

The following legislative actions by Obama and his energy team are putting LNG into play as early as the fourth quarter of 2009:

taxation and denial of tax credits for natural gas exploration, in particular no support for shale gas exloration

exclusion of government lands for natural gas exploration

cap-trade CO2 legislation will force power plants to use more natural gas instead of coal

Webmaster’s Comments: Legislative actions won’t necessarily result in what Gerson Lehrman Group suggests. President Obama has stressed renewable and sustainable domestic-sourced energy, not the same old reliance on foreign fuels. The US has over 100-years’s worth of natural gas reserves.

The Department of the Interior’s move to use domestic gas rather than importing more of it negates the implications of the above Gerson Lehrman Group article (see, “Interior Dept. ramps up oil, renewables,” article above this one).

As oil and gas prices plunge, drilling frenzy ends (Mar 14) — The New York Times, New York, NY

[T]he economic downturn has cut into demand. Global oil prices and American natural gas prices have plummeted two-thirds since last summer. Not even an unseasonably cold winter drove down unusually high inventories of natural gas.

[The shale gas] boom has created such abundant supplies that companies are not only drilling less but also deciding not to pump from wells already drilled.

Through most of this year, gas supplies are not likely to decline sharply because so many shale wells came on line recently.

“Inevitably, the market doesn’t react; it overreacts and shoots itself in the foot,” said Adam J. Robinson, director of commodities at Armored Wolf, a California hedge fund. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

U.S. LNG March imports to rise 35% on weak Asia, Europe demand (Mar 16) —

U.S. imports of LNG declined 53 percent in 2008 as higher domestic production and increased Asian demand reduced shipments, Pan EurAsian said in a report last month.

In 2008, U.S. LNG import capacity more than doubled as existing terminals were expanded and three new LNG import facilities were commissioned, Pan EurAsian said.

The U.S. was the fourth-biggest LNG importer in 2007 after Japan, South Korea and Spain, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2008, and its ranking may have fallen in 2008, based on Bloomberg calculations using government data from Asia and Spain.

Webmaster’s Comments: The article fails to explain where all that natural gas would be stored if it came to the US. News about the domestic natural gas glut already indicates that US natural gas storage and pipelines are so full, accepting additional supplies of LNG would be problematic.

How the Obama administration should engage Russia — Georgian Daily, New York, NY

Russia is in the process of creating an OPEC-style gas cartel with Iran, Qatar, and other leading gas producers, to be headquartered in Moscow. This cartel would allow Moscow and Tehran to dictate pricing policy, weigh in on new projects, and oppose any new pipelines they want. This may bring about even greater domination of Europe's gas supply than they currently enjoy, and eventually, domination of the global LNG markets as well. Any EU dependence on such a cartel will diminish its ability to support gas-exporting countries whose pipelines bypass Russia, will challenge EU energy liberalization and gas deregulation policies, and may have dire foreign policy consequences.

Safe Haven protest to sound World War Two air raid siren — Western Telegraph, Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK

A World War Two air raid siren will be sounded over Milford Haven this afternoon as part of a Safe Haven protest about the arrival of LNG in the Haven.

Safe Haven spokesman, Gordon Main, said they were sounding the siren following complaints from people in the South Hook public information zone that they could not hear the the South Hook COMAH alarm when it was recently tested.


14 Mar 2009

Maine Governor delivers State of the State Address (Mar 11) —

The text of the State of the State is attached.

Webmaster’s Comments: Gov. Baldacci hypocritically wants to be known as the governor who laid the groundwork for renewable energy while he simultaneously hypes surplus foreign-hydrocarbon LNG infrastructure in the state — while there’s a domestic natural gas glut.

Baldacci’s pursuit of Maine LNG projects is a waste of Maine taxpayers’ money and state agencies’ time.

Baldacci sees energy opportunity — (AP) Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

Baldacci’s view of the future involves turning off the tap of foreign oil and tapping Maine’s renewable energy potential. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: There is no mention of LNG in this article.

Norwell firm wants to get paid (Mar 12) — Wicked Local, Norwell, Marshfield, MA

Including interest and legal fees, Coler & Colantonio is trying to recover more than $210,000 from Quoddy Bay.

According to Quoddy Bay’s attorney, John Mitchell of Calais, Quoddy Bay knows it owes Coler & Colantonio the money and is trying to find the capital to settle the bill. [Red emphasis added.]

Pelletier's new course on LNG draws fire (Mar 13) — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Asked if his colleagues supported him, Pelletier said no. The best he’s been told is that Councilor Steven A. Camara would second his motion to bring Weaver’s Cove officials before the council.

City must take long view [Editorial] (Mar 13) — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

City Councilor Ray Hague, while emphasizing he does not agree with the move, too kindly described colleague Leo Pelletier’s pronouncement of LNG support as “courageous.” But bold action in the face of risk — which Pelletier certainly exhibited — defines more than just “courageous.” In this case, “reckless” is a more appropriate term.

While there’s no denying the project would generate substantial revenue for Fall River, the costs associated with such a facility are too great to ignore. Pelletier himself, while arguing for the facility, actually made the exact argument opponents use: “We need everybody and every cent we can to make sure the people of Fall River are safe.”

While referring to the need to retain police officers and firefighters laid off in last week’s cuts, Pelletier could just as easily have been speaking of the need for Fall River to invest in stopping Hess LNG and Weaver’s Cove from pushing through a facility that presents a danger not only to public safety but to economic development and quality of life in Fall River. [Red emphasis added.]

Massachusetts responds to Weaver's Cove LNG's offshore berthing proposal (Mar 12) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security has filed an advisory report with FERC regarding Weaver's Cove LNG's offshore berthing proposal.

Separately, FERC has requested additional environmental data regarding the same offshore berthing proposal.

Taunton River not wild and scenic — yet (Mar 11) — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

The House failed in an attempt to pass the Omnibus Public Land Management Act without sending it through the House Rules Committee. The 282-144 margin was two votes short of the required two-thirds majority.

“It will go back at it and I’m sure we can get it done,” Frank said. “We’ll find a way to get it passed.”

Island in sea of turmoil: Debate over gas storage station off Rockaways (Mar 7) — NY Daily News, New York, NY

The manmade island is one of three proposed liquid natural gas terminals in the planning stages off the coast of New York and New Jersey - with one planned near Asbury Park, N.J., and another 30 miles off the coast of New York.

Court rejects challenge to N.J. LNG plant ruling (Mar 13) — (AP) Daily Times, Delaware County, PA

But in ruling that the state lacked standing to challenge a 2006 decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia also recognized that the project cannot go forward without approval from Delaware environmental regulators.

The appeals court agreed that the FERC's allegedly illegal procedure had not caused any harm to Delaware because the state still had the power to block the project, which it has done in denying a permit for the pier under the coastal zone act. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: States hold the trump card.

Symbolic court victory won by LNG backers —, Jersey City, NJ

The court recognized in its ruling that the project could not go forward without Delaware's approval - something already decided by the U.S. Supreme Court last April.

Delaware officials praised Friday's ruling. [Red emphasis added.]

Economy sours LNG projects (Mar 13) —, Sherman Oaks, CA

Downward national and international market forces are taking their toll on local liquified natural gas projects. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Economy, Ike affecting LNG projects (Mar 11) — KFDM-TV, Beaumont, TX

Exxon Mobil is still surveying the damage to its Golden Pass LNG project near Sabine Pass. Spokeswoman Kathleen Jackson says the company plans to move ahead with the terminal.

Another company, Sempra, says its terminal near Sabine Pass is on hold while it tries to sign contracts for liquified natural gas.

[T]he LNG terminal Cheniere plans to build on the Texas side of Sabine Lake is on hold until the economy improves. [Red emphasis added.]

Alaska lawmakers challenge proposed TransCanada line — Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB

TransCanada estimates it can bring the project in with natural gas prices at $3 US per million British thermal units or under with a good margin for producers and governments.

Natural gas prices have plummeted from record highs of around $13 US per million British thermal units last summer, settling at $3.932 per mmBTU Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. At the same time, global credit markets have dried up on the heels of billions of dollars in losses connected to the U. S. asset based commercial paper fiasco. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The pipeline gas would be more affordable than imported LNG.

Teekay and Merrill Lynch agree to develop Kitimat FLNG [News release] (Mar 12) — Teekay Corporation, Vancouver, BC

The converted Vessel would have the production capacity to liquefy 75-100 million standard cubic feet per day of pipeline quality gas, or, approximately 0.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG. [Emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Two things:

  1. It’s a liquefication (export) LNG facility — there’s no need to import. In fact, because natural gas resources in North America are so abundant, Kitimat has changed plans from an import into an export project;
  2. It’s offshore — safer for the public and easier to secure than shoreside facilities.

Sen. Wyden calls FERC natural gas infrastructure siting process a "disaster" (Mar 13) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

During a U.S. Senate Energy Committee yesterday, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) called FERC's natural gas infrastructure siting process a "disaster." The hearing was called to discuss federal siting authority for electricity transmission lines and the suggestion was made that the process could be more similar to natural gas siting authority, but Sen. Wyden took exception to this suggestion, saying that his experience in Oregon with the Bradwood Landing LNG project did not create much confidence in the federal siting process.

Bradwood Landing LNG files environmental data with FERC (Mar 13) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Yesterday Bradwood Landing LNG project developers NorthernStar Energy LLC filed data with FERC on proposals that would mitigate juvenile fish entrainment at the planned LNG import terminal.

Clinton warns against energy as a political weapon (Mar 6) — Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the use of energy as a political lever on Friday, a day after Russia threatened to cut gas supplies to Ukraine in a move that would have hit supplies to Europe.

Webmaster’s Comments: The US needs to withdraw its previous administration’s invitation to Russia to own US energy infrastructure.

Three injured in explosion (Mar 11) — The National, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Three employees of Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Company (ADGAS) are in hospital following an explosion at the company’s main production facility on Das Island.

The men, described as an Egyptian supervisor and an Egyptian and an Emirati technician, were in stable condition in the burns unit of an Abu Dhabi hospital today. [Red emphasis added.]

US LNG imports unlikely to increase in the next 12/18 months as higher temperatures and recession cut demand for natural gas (Mar 11) — Gerson Lehrman Group, New York, NY

[M]ost new LNG capacity from Russia and Indonesia is already slated to go to Japan, Korea, India and China while new production from the Middle East and possibly Nigeria is likely to be taken by Western Europe to offset unreliable natural gas supply from Russia. Excess LNG global capacity would also have to be imported to the US at below cost given the current low US natural gas prices of $3.86/mcf.

Independent LNG importers such as Cheniere will be negatively impacted by low gas prices that will reduce or eliminate demand for LNG during the recession. [Red emphasis added.]

New industry-backed LNG emissions study gets it wrong [News release] (Feb 11) — LNGsafety, Yahoo Groups

San Francisco, CA – Environmental groups today criticized a new study published by the Center for LNG for falsely claiming that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) emits, according to their press release, “70 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis than even the cleanest coal technologies."

Critics point out that the report omits the most obvious choice to both coal and LNG, which is domestic natural gas. When there are plentiful supplies of less expensive, less polluting and more reliable natural gas in North America, there is simply no need for the extra lifecycle emissions that the report details for imported LNG. “These analyses should compare lifecycle emissions to real alternatives to LNG such as domestic natural gas and renewables,” said Bill Powers of Border Power Plant Working Group.

“…LNG will only increase emissions, especially if it just replaces domestic natural gas.” [Red emphasis added.]

Energy prices await economic recovery — Financial Post, Don Mills, ON

The U. S. Department of Energy says that while total U. S. gas consumption is expected to decline by only 1.3%, the real problem is industrial consumption, which is expected to decline by a whopping 6%. As goes the U. S. economy, so goes industrial gas consumption.

[R]apid U.S. gas supply growth was occurring at the same time that demand destruction was unparalleled. [Red emphasis added.]

No US LNG import ramp-up til summer, fall-GdF SUEZ (Mar 12) — Reuters UK

Cargoes of the super-cooled gas bought in the last few months will continue to head to Europe rather than the U.S., even as UK prices fall towards U.S. levels, Clay Harris, chief executive of GdF SUEZ LNG NA, told Reuters. [Red emphasis added.]

Analyst: U.S. shale gas development could be slowed by LNG imports (Mar 12) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Scott Thetford, vice president of Pace Global Energy Services, LLC, told attendees at the Pipeline Opportunities Conference that importing LNG to the United States will be economical at an average gas price as low as $3.50/Mcf, whereas shale gas requires an average gas price of at least $6.50/Mcf to be economical.

Webmaster’s Comments: Or not. The LNG industry hasn’t been very successful in predicting their future lately.

Natural gas prices driven by LNG imports? (Mar 12) — 24/7 Wall Street, New York, NY

Spot prices are bouncing around between $3.50 and $4.00 per thousand cubic feet. At those prices, unconventional shale gas plays are largely uneconomical. The big US shale plays are the Barnett Shale in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Arkansas’ Haynesville Shale, where companies like Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE:DVN) and Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK) own vast drilling rights.


11 Mar 2009

FERC Commissioner Kelliher announces resignation (Mar 9) — Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Washington, DC

[The following is listed on FERC’s News Headlines page and will eventually roll off the page. At some time in the future it may be listed on FERC’s News Headlines Archives page.]

Joseph T. Kelliher announced today he will resign from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), effective March 13, 2009. Kelliher was Chairman of the Commission from July 9, 2005 until Jan. 22, 2009, and has served at FERC since November 20, 2003.

Webmaster’s Comments: Big-energy-pal Kelliher’s resignation opens a seat and the permanent Charimanship for appointment by President Obama. Consumer advocate Joh Wellinghoff is serving as the current Acting Chairman.

Baldacci says plan would help lift state from recession — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

But Baldacci also sent a message to his Canadian counterparts who have threatened to block liquefied natural gas tankers from accessing terminals proposed for Washington County.

“LNG has an important role to play as Maine transitions from oil to renewables and the proposed terminals in Washington County give economic hope to a region that needs new industry,” he said.

Webmaster’s Comments: Gov. Baldacci can’t read the writing on the wall, but can speak out of both sides of his mouth: quality of place versus degrading quality of place; renewable energy versus enlarged and continuing foreign-source hydrocarbon-energy dependency with the accompanying lack of energy security and pollution.

  • Additional LNG infrastructure isn’t needed according to members of the natural gas industry, industry analysts, and US Government. Gerson Lehrman Group’s analysis states there is so much surplus natural gas in the US there isn’t even enough storage in pipelines and storage facilities to accept the additional gas;
  • If additional LNG facilities really were needed, it would only make sense to site them where the LNG industry’s best practices (SIGTTO) indicate are safe — unlike Passamaquoddy Bay. They should be located where they present no threat to the health and well-being of Maine residents or their neighbors. That most likely means using state-of-the-art technology to site new terminals offshore, as with the two new import facilities off Gloucester, Massachusetts (one already operating, the other to be completed around the end of this year).
  • The need for LNG in Maine — even according to Gov. Baldacci’s own actions — hasn’t been proven, which is why he created a committee to take a year to study it. The study should have been done eight years ago, Governor, when actual LNG industry members initiated their projects in the state. Those interests left long ago, and we’re now being beset by small-time hopefuls with flawed site selections and surplus projects that have no likelihood of success. As a result, Mainers, neighboring New Brunswickers, and state-provincial and international relations are paying an unnecessary price. And besides, Maine’s and Boston’s natural gas needs are already being met by existing and permitted projects. Gov. Baldacci is holding out false hope instead of a realistic plan.

Even electric generating facilities and industrial users are using less natural gas, according to the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies. Gov. Baldacci needs to think about what’s best for Maine, not what’s best for LNG developers.

Maine governor supports LNG projects — Energy Current, Houston, TX

The U.S. Coast Guard earlier this year concluded that the waterway proposed for vessel traffic associated with Downeast LNG's proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility is suitable provided that recommended risk mitigation measures outlined in the Coast Guard's supporting waterway suitability report are fully implemented.

These LNG projects have faced opposition from local environmental groups as well as the federal Canadian government and provincial government of New Brunswick. Because of safety concerns, the Canadian government has insisted it would ban U.S. LNG tankers from traversing Canadian waters despite the results of a consultants' report that concludes that LNG tanker travel in the Bay of Fundy to the proposed Quoddy Bay and Downeast LNG projects in the U.S. was feasible.

Webmaster’s Comments: Canada’s opposition has to do with safety of its citizens and the welfare of the fishery and environment. The US Coast Guard’s approval requires the project applicants to obtain cooperation (permission) from the Government of Canada. Since Canada’s Prime Minister told the US President, in a face-to-face meeting, that Canada will not allow LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay, the projects are essentially dead men walking.

Workers still scared (Mar 10) — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

Baldacci indicated there were other options for the area, including LNG plants that he said would benefit the area. Three companies have proposed LNG facilities for eastern Washington County.

“I support LNG,” the governor said. “I don’t want to put our eggs in these baskets long term, because I still don’t like importing energy. But I think we are going to need to recognize the fact of life that we are going to need to get a bridge from here to there, and that is going to be a part of it.”

Webmaster’s Comments: Gov. Baldacci apparently didn’t know what everyone has been fearing for over a decade — the demise of the paper mill. He also can’t see that the “bridge” he advocates building is already built — and it’s called “Canaport,” “Northeast Gateway,” and “Neptune LNG.” Those projects have already been permitted, are being built or are already completed, and fully satisfy Maine’s and Northern New England’s needs for additional natural gas. The entire country is now glutted with natural gas supply — so much so that there is no room in the pipeline for more LNG imports.

Governor Baldacci needs to be providing actual help for those unemployed, instead of holding out false hopes.

Leo wants LNG in Fall River (Mar 10) — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Leo O. Pelletier, the City Council’s top vote getter almost every election, gave his stunning alternative to last week’s 149 layoffs: Bring on a liquid natural gas terminal in Fall River.

“Is it safe?” Pelletier asked of the LNG project. Citing figures from Grasso, he said there are 96 LNG terminals in the U.S., including 43 in New England, and 22 approved in Europe.

Webmaster’s Comments: It appears that Fall River City Councilman Leo Pelletier has been sucked in by one big fish story by Weaver's Cove LNG spokesman James Grasso. There are not even close to 96 LNG terminals in the US, or 43 LNG terminals in New England. The actual number of LNG terminals in the US can be seen on FERC’s Existing LNG Terminals webpage — eight, if you count Puerto Rico and the export terminal in Alaska, plus the three offshore LNG terminals regulated by MARAD, as mentioned on MARAD’s FAQs page. That makes a grand outside total of 11 LNG terminals in the US and Puerto Rico.

What Grasso and Pelletier were actually referring to was peakshaving facilities. These are LNG liquefaction plants, and LNG storage facilities supplied by LNG truck transport, and they store LNG around the country for use during times of heavy natural gas usage, like in the cold of winter. They don’t come close in size to LNG import terminals, and they don’t come close to presenting the same risks.

Cooking with gas unless we cannot [Opinion] (Mar 9) —, Springfield, MA

Coakley may have a point regarding the Fall River facility. Or she may not. But either way, her bringing the point forward might hasten the establishment of a bit of much-needed order around liquefied natural gas.

Plan for gas terminal on island off Rockaway — The Queens Courier, Bayside, NY

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has already determined that the proposed port and sub-sea pipeline may result in significant adverse environmental impacts and that compliance with state law requires preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The company proposing the facility, Atlantic Sea Island Group, initially tried to eliminate New Jersey from the process, but was overruled by Commissioner Sean Connaughton of the Federal Maritime Commission. This means that both New Jersey Governor John Corzine and New York Governor David Paterson can wield a veto over the project.

FERC grants Cove Point LNG's request to extend deadline to submit noise survey (Mar 10) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Yesterday FERC approved Dominion Cove Point LNG, L.P.'s request to extend the deadline to submit a post-construction noise survey for the Cove Point LNG import facility to December 31, 2009.

Officials talking about controversial LNG pipeline say project still on track — KCBY-TV, North Bend, OR

[Jordan Cove Energy Project Manager Bob Braddock] says the U.S. [natural gas] supply is declining, and it makes good business for them to import the gas.

Webmaster’s Comments: Another LNG project developer proves his ilk will say anything. There is a 100+ year supply of natural gas in the US alone, according to the US natural gas industry. There are also large undeveloped supplies in western Canada.

Bradwood LNG gets victory in court (Mar 10) — The Hillsboro Argus, Hillsboro, OR

Opponents of the project appealed the Land Use Board of Appeals' decision to reject most of their claims about a liquefied natural gas terminal along the Columbia River.

LNG opponents meet Thursday (Mar 10) — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

WARRENTON - Opponents of the two proposed liquefied natural gas terminals on the Columbia River are invited to attend the next Clatsop "No LNG" meeting to work on upcoming projects from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Warrenton Head Start, 200 S.W. Third St., next to the Warrenton Community Center.

California: Third largest consumer of oil in the world [Opinion] (2009 March) — Oil & Gas Financial Journal, Tulsa, OK

Californians know a thing or two about the unintended consequences of environmentalist legislation. A seemingly good idea like protecting the beaches or the water table, leads to laws and permitting restrictions which undermine the environment and the economy further.

This has occurred time and time again in California, and three instances come to mind: 1) the decision shut down offshore drilling because of a single spill, leading to an anemic state oil industry; 2) the decision to push for low—sulfur diesel and reformulated gasoline refineries, which led to a 20% reduction in capacity, many refineries being shut down, and MTBE leaks; and 3) a lack of marine terminals in Northern California due to shallow depths in the Bay Area, leading to more storage tanks and pipelines which have an adverse effect on the environment, environmental opposition to LNG terminals, and high distribution costs which are of course passed along to consumers.

Webmaster’s Comments: Author Michael Parham wants to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Natural Gas Outlook: Consumption to decline, inventories up (Mar 10) — Cattle Network, Lenexa, KS

The outlook for continued economic weakness in 2009 is expected to take its greatest toll on industrial sector natural gas consumption, which is expected to decline by about 6 percent this year, more than offsetting the small projected increases in other end-use sectors.

On February 27, 2009, working natural gas in storage was 1,793 Bcf (U.S. Working Natural Gas in Storage). Current inventories are now 218 Bcf above the 5-year average (2003–2007) and 270 Bcf above the level during the corresponding week last year. Storage inventories at the end of March 2009 are expected at about 1.6 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), roughly 200 Bcf above the previous 5-year average for that time.

Webmaster’s Comments: With overwhelming evidence coming from the natural gas industry and the US Government of a US natural gas glut, Downeast LNG’s and Calais LNG’s credibility holds consistently false.


8 Mar 2009

Attempt to take Quoddy Bay owner’s assets barred (Mar 7) — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A judge on Friday denied a Massachusetts engineering company permission to pursue the personal assets of Quoddy Bay LNG owner Donald Smith.

Coler & Colantonio of Norwell, Mass., is owed nearly $160,000 for engineering work it has done for Quoddy Bay, which is trying to develop a liquefied natural gas terminal on Passamaquoddy Bay at Pleasant Point.

[Quoddy Bay LNG president Don Smith] said he has spent more than $15 million of his own money on the Quoddy Bay project, which is more than he ever expected to, and that he is looking for a new financial partner to help settle Quoddy Bay’s debts and move the project forward. He hopes to be able to accomplish this “as soon as possible,” he said.

Webmaster’s Comments: Since FERC dismissed Quoddy Bay LNG from the permitting process because Quoddy Bay LNG couldn’t answer FERC’s technical questions for an entire year; and considering the natural gas glut in the US and Canada; plus considering that Boston’s additional natural gas requirements are being met by existing and already-permitted facilities, Don Smith finding a partner to pay off Quoddy Bay LNG’s debts seem as hopeless as the project.

Murkowski urges state to resolve gas pipeline issues or risk losing market (Mar 3) — Juneau Empire, Juneau, AK

Alaska officals had better act to bring people together on a large natural gas pipeline or risk losing the U.S. gas markets to shale gas producers and liquefied natural gas importers, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski warned state lawmakers in her annual message to the Legislature in Juneau Feb. 19.

Economy doesn’t worry LNG developers — The World, Coos Bay, OR

No one has paid to use Jordan Cove Energy Project’s proposed liquefied natural gas terminal on Coos Bay’s North Spit. It hasn’t gotten the go-ahead from federal officials. And the federal government thinks Americans will need less foreign gas as domestic suppliers ramp up production.

Officials in the Oregon Department of Energy agree there will be a need for more natural gas in the coming years. They contend, however, that supplies can come from domestic sources in the Rocky Mountains.

That thinking is in keeping with federal energy forecasts. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

State says no; feds say yes [Editorial] (Mar 6) — Albany Democrat Herald, Albany, OR

The Obama administration is just as committed to the idea of developing new energy sources as the Oregon leaders are. Still, the feds seem to recognize that natural gas has an important role in our energy picture. Otherwise they wouldn’t enact tax credits to encourage its use.

New LNG combined with already ample supplies could keep domestic prices low for 2 yrs or more (Mar 6) — Gerson Lehrman Group, New York, NY

With gas prices already low and pipelines full, the question now is how much further prices could fall if new LNG enters the supply scene. This LNG will have to be unloaded and, unlike oil, there is no place for storage of these volumes. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: From the Gerson Lehrman Group’s analysis, there’s such a glut of domestic natural gas there wouldn’t even be room to store Downeast LNG’s and Calais LNG’s’ natural gas.

Expansion of LNG threatens gas glut — nineMSN

Professor Jonathan Stern of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies said that gas demand had "gone off a cliff" worldwide, with electricity generators and industrial users such as car manufacturers cutting their use sharply.

[LNG liquefaction] projects under construction cannot be deferred indefinitely. So if the new plants do not reach full production this year, they are likely to do so next year. "2010 may be the really horrendous year," [said Mr Frank Harris of Wood Mackenzie consultancy]. [Bold red emphasis added]

World economy hits Gazprom (Mar 4) —

MOSCOW, March 4 (UPI) -- Low demand for gas and drops in export prices on world markets from the global recession may force Russia's Gazprom to cut its investments, officials said.


6 Mar 2009

Quebec, Eastern Canada liquefied gas sites at standstill (Jan 20) — Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB

The proposed liquefied natural gas terminals in Eastern Canada risk never seeing the light with the current economic crisis and plummeting energy prices, economists and analysts warn.

"All the other projects will be put on the back burner," anticipates energy economist Jean-Thomas Bernard from Laval University in Quebec City.

He said energy prices and market conditions don't make it viable.

Build a world energy market [Opinion column] — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

The mantra in the U.S. is energy independence. It is a powerful sound byte, yet impossible to achieve. North America will be dependent on imported oil as far into the future as we can see. Although the continent is virtually self-sufficient in natural gas, we also have access to world gas markets through liquefied natural gas (LNG) re-gasification capacity equivalent to over 15 per cent of our domestic use. Even ethanol might be better sourced in places like Brazil if the objective were to find the most economic and environmentally preferable supplies. [Red emphasis added.]

AG files objection to LNG unloading plan (Mar 5) — (AP) The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

Attorney General Martha Coakley is objecting to a plan to build an offshore berth to receive tanker deliveries of liquefied natural gas. The proposal by Weaver's Cove Energy would let tankers unload in Mount Hope Bay. The gas would then flow through a pipeline to Fall River. Coakley filed a protest with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, saying the company has failed to address the fact that the proposed facility would be on an inland seabed the state owns.

States, Fall River file protests in Weaver's Cove LNG proceeding (Mar 5) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island each filed motions to intervene as well as protests with FERC regarding Weaver's Cove LNG's application to modify its project design. Additionally, the City of Fall River, Mass., filed its own protest.

City files last-minute LNG motion (Mar 4) — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Mayor Robert Correia announced Wednesday that the city filed its “motion to intervene and protest” with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, regarding Weaver’s Cove’s recent proposal. FERC had set a March 4 deadline for parties wishing to intervene.

“The city remains opposed to this project and fully expects that all government agencies involved will conduct a thorough review and determine that this project at this location is not in the public interest,” Correia said in a press release.

Lynch, Coakley opposing site of LNG facility — LegalNewsline, Chicago, IL

"We believe that states, not the federal government, have the final word on whether permanent LNG facilities are built in inland waters," [Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley] said.

Mid-bay LNG plan draws fire from RI attorney general, DEM —, Bristol, RI

Saying that a massive LNG berthing facility has no business being located “smack dab in the middle of Mount Hope Bay, both the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office and state Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) have intervened in the federal review process.

“Although it had the audacity to describe it as an ‘amended’ version of its old plan, Weaver’s Cove Energy went back to the drawing board and came up with an entirely new and even more misguided project that makes its old project seem benign in comparison,” Mr. Lynch said.

Among other components, the facility would require the dredging of a 40-acre turning basin, the construction of a 1,200 foot-long jetty including a three level-high concrete central platform, and the installation of two 4.25 mile-long pipelines that would transport the LNG up the Taunton River to Weaver’s Cove Energy’s original terminal site in Fall River. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Hess Energy's Weaver's Cove LNG project suffers from some of the same unrealistic goofiness as did the defunct Quoddy Bay LNG project.

Taking and importing marine mammals; operations of a liquified (sic) natural gas port facility in Massachusetts Bay —, Sherman Oaks, CA

SUMMARY: NMFS has received a request from the Northeast Gateway Energy Bridge L.L.C. (Northeast Gateway or NEG) and its partner, Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC (Algonquin), for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to operating and maintaining a liquified natural gas (LNG) port facility and its associated Pipeline Lateral by NEG and Algonquin, in Massachusetts Bay for the period of May 2009 through May 2014. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an authorization to Northeast Gateway and Algonquin to incidentally take, by harassment, small numbers of marine mammals for a period of 1 year. NMFS is also requesting comments, information, and suggestions concerning Northeast Gateway's application and the structure and content of future regulations.

[T]he MMPA defines "harassment" as:

any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment]. [Red emphasis added.]

NMFS seeking comments on Northeast Gateway request for incidental harassment authorization for marine mammals — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced in today's Federal Register that Northeast Gateway Energy Bridge, LLC and Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC have filed a request for authorization to incidentally harass certain marine mammals during operation of its Northeast Gateway LNG deepwater port.

Residents fired up about LNG island — Herald Online, Garden City, NY

A proposal to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in the Cholera Bank, an important fishery, is making waves among Long Islanders.

Local environmental groups are speaking out against Safe Harbor Energy, a 60.5-acre artificial island proposed by the Atlantic Sea Island Group Inc. for a site 13 miles south of Long Beach. There, liquefied natural gas -- natural gas cooled to minus-265 degrees Fahrenheit -- would be converted back to its original gaseous state and then piped to the mainland. The LNG would be delivered by ship from overseas.

[I]n a report prepared for the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, the independent consulting firm Pace Global Energy Services said that liquefying and transporting natural gas would indeed result in a greater output of greenhouse gases when compared with mining domestic resources.Pace noted, however, that bringing LNG from overseas would create fewer greenhouse gases than burning domestic coal. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Broadwater decision near (Mar 2) — Newsday, New York, NY

The final federal decision, due April 13 from the U.S. Department of Commerce, is on whether to overturn New York State's veto of the Broadwater project. If the department upholds Gov. David A. Paterson's April veto, Broadwater's only recourse would be to go to a federal court, said the company's senior vice president, John Hritcko Jr. "We'll re-evaluate then," he said.

Canadian Superior Energy seeks protection from creditors — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Reuters reports that Canadian Superior Energy Inc., developer of the Liberty LNG deepwater port project proposed for offshore New Jersey, has sought protection from its creditors in a Calgary, Canada, court. [Red emphasis added.]

AES Sparrows Point LNG responds to NOAA’s environmental concerns — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

AES Sparrows Point LNG and Mid-Atlantic Express, LLC filed responses to NOAA's concerns regarding habitat conservation and threatened and endangered species analysis in the Final Environmental Impact Statement prepared for the Sparrows Point LNG import project.

Gulf LNG requests variances to natural gas pipeline route (Mar 2) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Gulf LNG Pipeline, LLC has submitted a request to FERC asking the agency to allow a number of variances to the route of the natural gas pipeline associated with the Gulf LNG import terminal planned for Pascagoula, Miss.

NATS: Sabine Pass LNG terminal to receive cargo this month (Mar 5) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

NATS [subscription required] reported yesterday that Cheniere has arranged for delivery of an LNG cargo to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal later this month. NATS reports that the cargo will be loaded at the Atlantic LNG liquefaction facility around March 18, 2009, and suggests that it may represent the beginning of a surge of LNG deliveries to U.S. import terminals.

Exxon:National oil cos still mulling reaction to low prices (Mar 5) — CNN Money

ExxonMobil also said its Golden Pass LNG terminal is likely to start up in early 2010 instead of at the end of this year.

The $1 billion Golden Pass liquefied natural gas terminal near the Texas- Louisiana border was struck by hurricane Ike last year. It will take LNG cargoes from ExxonMobil's natural gas development in Qatar. Qatar Petroleum will own 70% of the terminal.

Fairbanks Natural Gas seeks state backing — Alaska Journal of Commerce, Anchorage AK

Now, Fairbanks Natural Gas says its estimated $250 million project to tap North Slope gas and supply two large industrial energy consumers in North Pole is too expensive for private investment. The energy project could benefit from state-backed bonding through the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.

A call for peace in CI (week of Mar 8) — Petroleum News, Anchorage, AK

“It must not subsidize the export of LNG to Asia,” Giard said. “It must reflect the abundance of gas supply that exists in Cook Inlet which supports the export of excess supply to Asia.”

Bradwood opponents’ challenge rejected — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The Oregon Court of Appeals has rejected Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project opponents' challenge to a recent Land Use Board of Appeals decision because it was filed too late to be considered and didn't contain proof of mailing date.

Several appeals of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's conditional approval of the project are still pending in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and NorthernStar still needs several permits from the state before it can begin construction. Some of the key state permits are contingent on Clatsop County land-use approval, which is incomplete because of LUBA's January decision to remand two issues back to the county and because of the county-wide referendum in September that banned natural gas pipelines from crossing land zoned for open space, parks and recreation.

Palomar’s pipeline project (Mar 1) — The Dalles Chronicle, Dalles, OR

One potential problem is crossing the Deschutes [River].

Mores said it would be physically possible to put the pipeline underneath the Deschutes River, but it would be both difficult and expensive.

“You can’t do a directional drill, which would be the cleanest, because the canyon’s too steep and it’s all fractured rock,” Morse said.

He also said that if they could get permission to lower the river by impounding more water at the dam upstream, they could dynamite a path across the river bed, lay the pipe, and cover it with crushed rock in three or four days, but it was highly unlikely that it would be allowed.

NATS: U.S. LNG imports drop in January — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

In its U.S. LNG Import Review, NATS says that the United States imported 26.9 Bcf of LNG in January 2009, significantly less than the 30.7 Bcf imported in December 2008. NATS also noted that the total LNG imports for January 2009 is the lowest level for the month of January since 2004. [Red emphasis added.]

Can natural gas break our oil habit? (Mar 5) — US News & World Report

It is cleaner and more abundant, but it won't free America from foreign energy

Natural gas is also gaining in popularity worldwide. Global consumption could increase more than twofold in coming years, and that could make for a very competitive and unreliable international market. Exporting countries will ship gas to wherever they can get the best price. And countries like Japan and South Korea, which are much more reliant upon imports than the United States, have shown a willingness to pay top dollar. Japan imports more than four times as much LNG as the United States, while South Korea imports nearly 58 percent more. "We would be competing with everyone," says Steve Gabriel, an expert on natural gas markets at Resources for the Future. "If we have to get into the international market, we might have a problem." [Red emphasis added.]

Market Analyst: U.S. LNG imports may be profitable despite current low gas prices (Mar 3) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Chuck Yost, president of Merlin Associates, said last week at Platts' LNG conference that LNG exports to the United States may be acceptable to LNG producers in the absence of other more attractive destinations despite current relatively low natural gas prices.

Webmaster’s Comments: Perhaps Mr. Yost is suggesting more re-exporting by existing LNG terminals.

U.S. ties economy to carbon-free energy (Mar 2) —

WASHINGTON, March 2 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama stressed energy as one of his top three priorities during his first address to Congress.

"It begins with energy," he said. "We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century." [Bold red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Clean, renewable energy means “not LNG.” A sea-change has occurred at the highest level of government, meaning Downeast LNG’s and Calais LNG’s days are numbered.

Industry experts discuss federal-state tension over LNG terminal permitting process (Mar 2) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Platts LNG Daily offers coverage of the ongoing tension between a number of state governments and the U.S. federal government over the LNG project permitting process. According to one industry player, Center for LNG President Bill Cooper, the tension arises from FERC's willingness to issue project authorization before the pertinent state governments issue all of the required permits.

Special report: LNG (2009 Feb) — Platts [Paid subscription required]

A Change of Course for LNG

If the world divides into three major consuming centers, price signals in the three show demand is moving from Asia to Europe, while US prices show very little appetite for gas at all.

With the softening of global gas demand in the context of economic stagnation or even shrinkage, the LNG market could very well be oversupplied in the near term, even before new liquefaction plants come online.

Spot cargoes will not be a regular feature of the US supply sheet for some time to come, although the market’s depth, storage capacity and liquidity mean that it will always be able to absorb excess LNG.

At the moment though, apart from strong environmental lobbying which has stopped a number of projects in their tracks, the commercial case for building regasification capacity is weak. The latest casualty is Woodside’s Ocean Way, an import project it proposed for the Los Angeles region. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Naughty Nancy: Natural gas ain’t clean. (Feb 28) — It’s Getting Hot In Here

LNG is almost as dirty as coal. While natural gas burns 40% cleaner than other fossil fuels, that is not the whole story. Currently there are over 40 proposals in the U.S. for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) importation terminals. The process of liquefaction, transportation and re-gasification of natural gas into LNG, increases the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of the fuel by around 30%, making natural gas almost as dirty as coal.

LNG competes with renewables. Far from being the bridge fuel to sustainability that the industry claims, natural gas development and LNG would just lock us into 40+ more years of dependence on foreign fossil fuels. That money and infrastructural overhaul could be used for the development of renewable sources, investment in efficiency and the development of local green jobs.


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