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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 November

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2009 Nov


30 Nov 2009

Qatari LNG tanker expected to arrive at Canaport LNG terminal this week — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that the LNG carrier Masaimeer is expected to deliver an LNG cargo from Qatar to the Canaport LNG terminal this week. Several industry analysts told Platts that this development may contribute to continuing weakness in North American natural gas prices.

Webmaster’s Comments: North America is drowning in natural gas and US natural gas storage is filled to overflowing. A lot more would have to happen for Canaport's natural gas to impact current prices.

Boston Towing takes delivery of Neptune LNG tugs — Marine Log, New York, NY

Boston Towing and Transportation Company has recently taken delivery of two Robert Allan design tugs to serve the new Neptune LNG LLC, Deep Water Port, offshore Massachusetts Bay.

Update: Save the Bay launching anti-LNG media blitz (Nov 27) — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

Save the Bay is posed to begin a high-profile campaign to rally Rhode Islanders against a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal proposed for Mount Hope Bay.

The $12,000 effort will feature advertisements on radio, in Newport and Jamestown newspapers, and on billboards on Routes 195 and 24.

Save the Bay has been warning about the project for years. The new campaign is being inaugurated because an environmental impact statement on the project is expected to be released in December, said Jonathan Stone, the organization's executive director.

LNG protest — NBC 10-TV, Providence, RI

Save The Bay says it is opposed to a proposed LNG terminal in Mount Hope Bay. [Online video newscast.]

Update 2-Conoco sells LNG to Citi from US Freeport terminal (Nov 25) — Reuters

NEW YORK, Nov 25 (Reuters) - As the United States enjoys record-high stockpiles of natural gas, two deals have been struck to re-export previously imported liquefied natural gas to more needy markets abroad in December.

Customers at the Freeport LNG import terminal in Texas, one of the most under-used terminals in the United States, are now taking advantage of weak domestic demand by selling LNG in storage to buyers who can ship it across the globe.

ConocoPhillips (COP.N) has sold an LNG cargo, imported for cheap this summer, to Citigroup (C.N), which has chartered a tanker to export the gas to Europe or Asia where gas prices are more attractive for shippers.

The re-export of LNG is a symptom of lacklustre demand coupled with large domestic production increases in the United States. [Red, bold & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: North America is drowning in natural gas — enough so that there is little-to-no domestic demand for the Freeport LNG import terminal. As a result, Freeport LNG has obtained from FERC a permit to re-export LNG it has imported.

Citizens and attorney meet over pipeline — Upper Rogue Independent, Eagle Point, OR

LNG is not a clean fuel. After cooling, heating and transporting, it is almost as dirty as advanced coal technology, said Lohman, who is part of the Southern Oregon Pipeline Information Project.

Webmaster’s Comments: While natural gas is the cleanest-burning of all hydrocarbon fuels, it still pollutes. Calling it "clean" is an exaggeration, especially as compared to alternatives such as wind, tidal, solar, and geothermal.

EIA: Sept gross lower-48 daily gas output falls 2.2% from Aug — NASDAQ, New York, NY

Gross natural gas output, which includes gas that doesn't make it to market, for the lower 48 fell to 61.83 billion cubic feet in September. Louisiana posted higher output as production in the Haynesville Shale natural gas continued to ramp up, while other states in the lower 48 reported declines, according to the data. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

U.S. gas production (finally) falls; will prices now rebound? [Blog] — The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY

The news isn’t all bullish. September production fell by so much in part because the EIA revised upward its estimate of how much gas was produced in August. And production is up a whopping 11.6% from last September, although last year’s figure was unusually low because hurricanes Gustav and Ike knocked out production in the Gulf of Mexico. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Natural gas stockpiles up slightly — Zachs Equity Research, Chicago, IL

This takes the current storage level to a new all-time high of 3.84 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), which is up 11.8% from last year's level and 13.0% above the five-year range (as clear on the chart from the EIA). Current stocks are 404 Bcf above last year’s level and 442 Bcf above the five-year average.

The relentless increase in gas storage levels has meant that stockpiles are already 99% full. At this pace, inventories are well on their way to surpass the maximum capacity of 3.89 Tcf. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: North America is drowning in natural gas. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are moot projects.

Natural gas glut overwhelms speculators, defies rally (Update2) — Bloomberg News

U.S. gas production rose last year to its highest since 1974 as the industry exploited extracted gas from new areas.

An “acute glut” is looming during the next five years because of rising shale gas production in the U.S. and Canada, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said in its World Energy Outlook on Nov. 10.

China may become the biggest market for Qatari gas, Fu Chengyu, president of China National Offshore Oil Corp., said in a Nov. 13 interview. Domestic gas companies were told to increase production and imports this month to ease shortages, China’s National Development and Reform Commission said in a Nov. 25 statement. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Europe and Asia are increasing their demand; meaning, LNG will be going elsewhere — especially since North America is drowning in domestic natural gas.

Natural gas threatened by a flood of 2010 imports (UNG, CHK) — The Business Insider

Goldman: We expect US LNG imports will increase in 2010, though we do not expect an “inundation.” For 2010, we expect US LNG imports to rise to about 1.7 Bcf/d from 1.2 Bcf/d, reflecting the increase in liquefaction capacity and greater exports of Russian gas to Europe. While this represents an increase, it does not represent the “inundation” of LNG for which others have argued.

“We have more gas than we know what to do with in the U.S., we have more waterborne gas floating around the world’s oceans that doesn’t have a home,” Stephen Schork said in an interview from Villanova, Pennsylvania. Prices this winter will “gravitate toward, and remain closer to $4, rather than $7” for each million Btu, he said. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: In other words, the headline reference to a "flood" of LNG imports is false and misleading.

Russian Bear menaces U.S. gas prices [Not!] — The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY [Paid subscription required]

Along with states such as Texas, Louisiana sits atop vast unconventional gas reserves. They will help propel U.S. output past that of gas behemoth Russia this year for the first time since 2001, says Louis Capital Markets, a brokerage. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Gazprom: tumbling profits compound investment challenges — iStockAnalyst, Salem, OR

…Gazprom has had its eyes on the US market, where by 2018 it plans to ship the majority of production from its Shtokman project. However, the emergence of US shale gas - which has already led to a substantial diversion of LNG to Europe (with many US LNG terminals running at [a mere] 10% of capacity) - presents yet another potential roadblock to Russia's rise as a dominant player in LNG markets. Should shale indeed prove to be a game changer and the glut in supply continue, Gazprom may be forced to critically rethink some of its long-term investment projects. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Natural gas: It's not the drilling, it's the drills — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

Illustrative of just how acute the glut of natural gas - not just in North America, but around the world - has become, Bloomberg News reported Monday that liquefied natural gas from overseas producers is afloat in tankers around the world's oceans, with no ports' buyers prepared to accept them.

Traditionally, the United States has been the default home for gas looking for a home, thanks to Americans' seemingly insatiable energy demand. But right now, there's no room at the inn: North American storage facilities are crammed to the hilt awaiting the anticipated demand surge when the winter home-heating season kicks in. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]


25 Nov 2009

Three-Nation Alliance submits consultant's report challenging Downeast LNG's Revised Purpose and Need Statement — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Yesterday, the Three-Nation Alliance submitted a motion to FERC requesting that the Commission reject Downeast LNG's August 21, 2009, Revised Purpose and Need Statement. The Alliance specifically challenged the fact that Downeast filed a revised purpose and need statement for the project more than one month after the public comment period on the Draft EIS closed. In support of its motion, the Alliance submitted a consultant's report by Dr. Howard Axelrod, which challenges Downeast's August filing, relying on supply and demand analysis of the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the significant increase in production of Marcellus Shale gas supplies to demonstrate the lack of need for the proposed project. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Fisheries service outlines LNG flaw — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Agency cites more than 150 gaps in information needed to do final review of Bradwood project

In a 35-page letter to energy regulators at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which conditionally approved a license for the Bradwood project last year, NMFS said some of the data the agency requested more than two years ago still hasn't been delivered, and key questions remain unanswered.

Critics say federal energy regulators put the cart before the horse in conditionally approving the federal license for the Bradwood project. One of the main arguments the states and NMFS are using in challenging the federal license approval is that the feds jumped the gun in granting approval before all the other required analyses were complete. [Bold red emphasis added.]


24 Nov 2009

Bayou Casotte channel widening study put to vote — The Mississippi Press, MS

In July, commissioners approved a memorandum of agreement with the corps to evaluate the feasibility of widening the channel to better accommodate a variety of vessels, including those accessing Gulf LNG Energy's $1.1 billion liquefied natural gas terminal.

Residents, LNG make case to feds — The Facts, Clute, TX

QUINTANA — Town leaders hope a federal regulator will think twice before issuing Freeport LNG a permit for a liquefied natural gas trucking operation after dozens of residents spoke against it at an informational session.

The energy giant hopes to gain approval to send 18-wheelers carrying LNG to its island terminal as a fallback option to keep its tanks full in case no LNG ships dock at its berth. Town residents and leaders are against the move, saying it would be dangerous, could damage infrastructure and possibly affect wildlife on Quintana. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Freeport LNG clearly believes it will not receive much LNG by ship. It recognizes there is a domestic natural gas glut. The town generally favors the terminal, but for safety reasons opposes trucking LNG through the community.

See no evil [Editorial] — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

This push polling is a measure of two things. It tells us how much Texans (meaning Northern Star LLC) will do to save its reliable LNG puppet on the Clatsop County Commission. And that tells us the extent to which Roberts is bought and paid for with LNG money.

For the Texans behind NorthernStar LLC, this is all about money. Big money. It's not about Clatsop County's prosperity.


23 Nov 2009

FERC voluntarily dismisses appeal in FOIA proceeding involving Bradwood Landing LNG — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

FERC requested a voluntary dismissal of its appeal of a decision in a case involving FOIA requests filed by two environmental groups regarding the planned Bradwood Landing LNG project. Last Thursday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted FERC's motion to dismiss.

LNG input sought by Corps, DEQ — The News-Review, Roseburg, OR

Comments regarding the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline project's potential impact to U.S. and Oregon waterways and wetlands are due to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality by Dec. 27.

Global LNG supply to exceed demand in 2010, Bernstein says — Bloomberg News

The growth in demand for LNG will be led by U.K., China, India and Turkey, with Dubai and Chile set to receive initial cargoes in 2010, according to the report.

Webmaster’s Comments: The US is not mentioned as a customer for the excessive LNG supply.


21 Nov 2009

Letter: Need escape routes before LNG consideration, 11-21-09 — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

The time has come for FERC to put an end to the Weaver’s Cove debacle. There is a new FERC, one that actually appears to be listening to the public.

A long-standing argument of those opposed to the Weaver’s Cove facilities has been the apparent impossibility of having a viable evacuation plan in the event of an emergency. That should be among the first considerations for a federal agency charged with regulating an industry in which the potential for a catastrophic accident exists. Given the characteristics of the product, a viable evacuation plan should be part of the pre-filing process before considering a full application for an LNG facility. Government-sponsored studies agree. Most recently, the Sandia Studies describe scenarios in which thermal radiation could generate second-degree burns a mile away in 30 seconds or a gas vapor cloud that could travel two miles before igniting. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Massachusetts questions Weaver's Cove analysis of regional gas market (Nov 20) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources provided comments to FERC this week regarding a regional natural gas market study submitted by Weaver's Cove Energy. The Department asserted "that it is unclear to what extent, if any, Weaver's Cove's LNG supply is needed either to meet the region's gas supply needs or to reduce fossil [fuel] use in the region."

FERC denies WGL's request for rehearing in Cove Point LNG pier enhancement proceeding (Nov 20) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Yesterday FERC issued an order denying a request for rehearing submitted by Washington Gas Light (WGL) in the Cove Point LNG Pier Enhancement proceeding. In its order, FERC addressed and dismissed all three allegations of error made by WGL.

Draft Supplemental EIS available for TORP Bienville LNG deepwater port (Nov 20) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced this morning in the Federal Register that the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement prepared for the TORP Bienville LNG deepwater port project is now available in the system under Docket No. USCG-2006-24644.

Cabinet approves use of FSR units for LNG importation (Nov 21) — Office of the Prime Minister, Jamaica Information Service, Government of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Cabinet has approved the use of Floating Storage and Regasification (FSR) units to facilitate the importation of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) for local use, as an alternative source of fuel.

"As a result of this, the requests for proposals have gone out and we have a timeline, starting in November and ending in April 2010, which will be for the execution of the LNG supply term sheet," Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon Daryl Vaz, told Wednesday's (November 18) Post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.

Federal fish biologists question Columbia River LNG project (Nov 21) — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

The National Marine Fisheries Service submitted a lengthy list of questions and concerns about the proposed Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas terminal this week, posing additional hurdles for the Columbia River project.

NMFS sent the letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has conditionally approved the terminal. The letter includes comments on the biological assessment for the project. NMFS has to issue a favorable biological opinion of that assessment for the terminal to proceed.

Port extends property agreement with Jordan Cove (Nov 21) — KCBY-TV, Coos Bay, OR

Port Commissioners met Thursday evening, to discuss the final contract negotiations on the land purchase agreements. For a cost of $25 million, Weyerhaeuser will sell the port 1,300 acres, 147 of which, will be released to Jordan Cove, on the North Spit, with the intent to build a Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal.

Weak demand, LNG imports to hurt US gas prices -Wood Mackenzie (Nov 20) — The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY [Paid subscription required]

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Slumping demand and rising liquefied natural-gas imports are likely to maintain downward pressure on U.S. natural-gas prices in 2010 and 2011, Wood Mackenzie predicted Friday.

Webmaster’s Comments: Where does Wood Mackenzie get its information? LNG imports have not reached predicted expectations.

No. Amer. gas price seen hindered by new coal:Wood (Nov 21) — Reuters India

[A] series of disruptions at liquefied natural gas plants around the world in 2009 meant less was sent to North America, but a jump in supply from new projects in the next two years will push imports here, the firm said.

The development of the vast shale gas fields in North America supports long-term supply growth, but prices may jump as high as $10 per mmBtu in 2013 and 2014, lifted by U.S. carbon legislation that tilts demand toward cleaner-burning natural gas and possible weather.

Webmaster’s Comments: Europe & Asia have seen increasing demand for LNG, reducing shipments to the US.


19 Nov 2009

Proposed energy corridor step closer — CBC News

A state task force has agreed on most of the conditions for approving the corridor, which could see New Brunswick export electricity and possibly other forms of energy to the New England market.

During the meeting in Augusta on Wednesday, Buxton urged the task force to delay approval for the energy corridor because he believes it will only benefit Canadians.

[Pro-LNG lobbyist Tony Buxton] was unsuccessful but the task force did accept wording suggested by Republican state Senator Peter Mills to help protect Maine's interests.

The task force is scheduled to meet once more on Dec. 2 to finalize its report, which will go to the legislative committee that handles utility issues.

Energy panel eyes corridor lease rules — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

The debate over energy corridors in Maine is taking place against a backdrop of tumultuous change in the energy industry.

As they did earlier this year, supporters of bringing an LNG terminal to eastern Maine are attempting to use the corridors as leverage in their fight with Canadian officials over tankers in Passamaquoddy Bay.

[LNG] supporters, who contend that an LNG terminal could dramatically lower energy costs in Maine, allege that provincial officials are merely trying to protect a newly opened LNG facility in St. John that is partly owned by New Brunswick-based Irving Oil.

Washington County Commissioner Chris Gardner, a member of the task force, acknowledged that the current moratorium on corridor projects has not softened New Brunswick’s position. But Gardner said something must be done to change what he described as Canada’s “obstruction” to a project that would benefit not just Washington County but all of Maine.

Webmaster’s Comments: The LNG projects merely need to move outside of Passamaquoddy Bay to eliminate Canada's objections. How is picking an unwinnable fight with Canada of any benefit to Washington County and Maine?

NATS: Excelerate LNG vessel unloading at Northeast Gateway LNG deepwater port (Nov 18) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

NATS reports that Excelerate's LNG vessel Excellence has begun offloading at the Northeast Gateway LNG deepwater port offshore Massachusetts. NATS speculates that the cargo was loaded during July at the Atlantic LNG liquefaction facility in Trinidad and held until now.

A call to action from Save the Bay (Editorial) — The Jamestown Press, Jamestown, RI

The new Town Council should reaffirm its opposition to the proposed LNG project so that the upstate politicians are reminded that islanders do not support the idea.

Gaz Metro CEO: LNG supply agreement for Rabaska LNG “unlikely in the short term” — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Sophie Brochu, CEO of Gaz Metro, told the Montreal Gazette that negotiations with Gazprom for LNG supply for the proposed Rabaska LNG import terminal have "slowed" and that "signing of an agreement is unlikely in the short term."

FERC provides recommendations to Kenai LNG — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Following a visit to the Kenai LNG liquefaction facility last month, FERC has issued a list of five recommendations that should be addressed by the facility operator in future Semi-Annual Operating Reports if operations continue after the current two-year Department of Energy authorization.

Two decisions favor Oregon LNG proposal — (AP) The Daily News, Longview, WA

A federal magistrate ruled Tuesday that the Port of Astoria should extend both its sublease with Oregon LNG and its lease with the Department of State Lands for three decades, despite the Port’s concerns that it might lose money if the LNG terminal doesn’t happen.

LNG exports seen as doubtful cure to U.S. natgas glut — Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States could be on the road to a long-term oversupply of natural gas, but major exports in the form of super-cooled liquefied gas -- commonplace in the Middle East -- do not appear to be a cure.

Now, the United States is estimated to have 2,000 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable gas, or enough at current production rates to supply the country for more than 90 years.

"With all the focus on energy independence, some politicians may not want to let the gas out of the country," Thumb said. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Winter 2009/2010 energy market assessment — Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

PDF fileThe link below will open or download a PDF file.

Gas production has plateaued in 2009, but has not declined as many analysts expected at the beginning of the year. The fall-off in drilling has resulted in production declines in expensive low yield conventional gas reservoirs, but this has been offset by accelerated drilling for high yield shale gas and increased well productivity.

While the short term production picture is one of finding equilibrium after prices peaked and collapsed the last two years, the long-term story is one of abundance. In June, the Potential Gas Committee, an independent group that develops biennial assessments of gas resources, raised its estimate to over 2 quadrillion cubic feet, one-third more than its previous level and almost 100 years of gas production at current consumption levels.

In addition to domestic production, we have averaged 1.2 Bcfd of LNG into the natural gas system in 2009. Although this is 19% higher than last year, it is considerably below the predictions of earlier this year. Plentiful domestic gas supplies, rebounding demand in Europe and Asia, and extended supply outages in Algeria, Nigeria and Norway have moderated demand for additional tanker loads on our shores. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]


18 Nov 2009

Controversy grows over creation of "energy corridors" — The Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN)

Industrial power consumers in Maine are asking the state to put the brakes on plans to create so-called "energy corridors." The request for a delay has complicated the deliberations of a legislative committee set up to make recommendations on how the state should regulate the transmission of energy through Maine. Those seeking the delay say they're worried that by moving too quickly on the issue, Maine lawmakers could shortchange the state's evolving energy industry and, more specifically, the future of liquefied natural gas terminals.

Christopher Gardner says the Commission to Study Energy Infrastructure needs to carefully assess the rapidly changing dynamics in the power generation industry before deciding how to regulate energy corridors through Maine.

[State Sen. Barry Hobbins said,] "What we can't do is we can't use as an excuse for a moratorium the Hydro Quebec issue and say, 'Well, we should really look at this for another year or two.' Time is against us. We are really on a timetable and in a race with the Midwestern states to be able to put renewable energy sources online here in Maine and all of the Northeast." [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: See below.

Study of energy corridors beset by complications (Nov 17) — Portland Press Herald, Portland, ME

Delays could cause Maine to lose ground in a race to supply energy to Northeast cities.

LNG representatives want to extend the current moratorium on energy corridors and create a government commission to do more reviews. Their proposal was filed late last week with the special study group already debating policy for energy corridors.

Continuing the moratorium could threaten economic development in the state and hold corridor plans hostage to LNG supporters, said Sen. Barry Hobbins, D-York, co-chairman of the Commission to Study Energy Infrastructure.

When a moratorium was proposed in the spring, developers of corridor projects worth $5 billion in Maine said they would look elsewhere. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The pro-LNG lobby is shooting itself — and Maine — in the foot. They are already giving advantage to energy corridors elsewhere besides Maine, forfeiting significant numbers of potential Maine jobs and tax revenues.

The LNG lobby claims Irving Oil/Fort Reliance is pulling the federal Government of Canada strings. The Canadian government is actually protecting its citizens and environment from inappropriately-sited LNG terminals proposed for Passamaquoddy Bay. LNG industry terminal siting best practices indicate Passamaquoddy Bay is emminently inappropriate for such projects. (For more, see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.)

Instead of trying to pick a fight with New Brunswick, Canada, all that Maine pro-LNG interests need to do is to move the projects to industry-compliant locations. That means moving them outside of Passamaquoddy Bay — placing them outside of Canada's jurisdiction.

Q: The solution is simple, so why do they refuse to do it?

A: They know North America is drowning in 100-years' worth of domestic natural gas reserves, and their LNG projects will fail no matter where they are located. [See "Haynesville shale gas production to rise," below.]

Request surprises energy corridor group (Nov 17) — Mainebiz, Portland, ME

A state group debating policy over energy corridors was thrown a curve ball when large electricity users requested an extension of a moratorium on corridor development last week.

WTO agreement has no bearing on LNG terminal fight — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

[US Trade Representative Ronald Kirk] continues to write that LNG terminals have been excluded from discussions with the WTO. Jurisdiction of bulk storage services of liquids and gases is being considered as a new category to be incorporated under the WTO’s General Agreement on Trade and Services. The consideration comes after Antigua brought a legal case against the United States for removing itself from GATS jurisdiction from the category of “other recreational services-gambling,” which is a service sector that the U.S. lost two previous WTO challenges and now faces trade sanctions.

Gulf LNG terminal raises the roof (Nov 17) — Tank Storage Magazine, Morden, England, UK

Construction on Gulf LNG Energy’s terminal in The Port of Pascagoula, Mississippi, US, has reached a milestone.

Workers at the $1.1 billion (€738 million) terminal have raised the roofs. It is now more than one-third complete and expected to be complete by Q3 2011.

Haynesville shale gas production to rise — UPI

HOUSTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Transportation commitments from gas shippers contribute to plans to increase Haynesville shale gas production by nearly twice the current level, producers say.

Houston geologist draws gas industry's attention -- and anger (Nov 17) — Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, TX

Arthur Berman runs a one-man energy consulting firm out of his home near Houston, producing research that says forecasts for natural-gas production in the U.S. are flawed. He's won the industry's attention and its anger.

Since last month, Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Devon Energy Corp., two of the five largest gas producers in the U.S., have rejected Mr. Berman's claims. Mr. Berman, 59, had his monthly column pulled from the November issue of World Oil after gas companies complained, prompting him to quit the trade journal.

Hearing to include walk around LNG site — The Facts, Clute, TX

Residents interested in attending a federal regulator’s review of Freeport LNG today should expect to walk around the terminal.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s on-site review will include a tour of the energy giant’s proposed site of a liquefied natural gas trucking facility and natural gas liquids transfer station, agency spokeswoman Barbara Connors said.

U.S. magistrate rules Port violated sublease — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The company has renewed its sublease for 30 years, but the Port has yet to renew the master lease of state land for an equivalent 30 years.

[I]n August the Port decided not to renew the underlying state land lease for a parallel 30 years. Instead, the agency extended its initial term with the state by two years, keeping two 30-year options in place.

Oregon LNG wins two battles over Port of Astoria lease — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

On Tuesday, a federal magistrate ruled that Astoria's Port should extend both its sublease with Oregon LNG and its lease with the Department of State Lands for three decades, despite the Port's concerns that it might lose money if the LNG terminal doesn't pan out.

…U.S. Magistrate Judge John Jelderks sided with Oregon LNG. The sublease agreement gives the company unilateral rights to extend the lease without Port approval, Jelderks said.

Pipeline meeting Monday — Mail Tribune, Medford, OR

Opponents of a plan to build a liquified natural gas pipeline across parts of Jackson County plan a meeting in Shady Cove Monday to talk about the project.

They will give an update on the project, which would build a liquified natural gas port in Coos Bay and string a pipeline to carry the gas from Coos Bay to Malin in southeast Oregon, crossing parts of northern Jackson County along the way.

BG can divert LNG from US in gas glut -Eq. Guinea — Reuters Africa

LONDON (Reuters) - Equatorial Guinea is now happy for BG Group, the sole buyer of its liquefied natural gas, to sell the fuel where it can after target market the United States lost its appetite, its deputy energy minister said on Wednesday.

BG Group irked the government earlier this year by selling some shipments of the super-cooled gas to Asia after saying it planned to send most of it to the United States.

The world's biggest energy consumer [the USA] has lost its appetite for imported gas as its own output has increased this year, forcing LNG exporters from Qatar to West Africa -- who have built facilities to supply the United States -- to find alternative customers in a global market that looks awash with gas for the next few years. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Tough road ahead for Gazprom (Nov 17) — Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, AB

The company, which has been hit by the drop in prices and consumption, believes the natural gas supply glut will be over by 2011.

Not so fast.

Gazprom appears to be discounting the natural gas supply situation in North America, which some believe will see the United States become a net exporter of the commodity.

Unlike its natural gas that it sells into Europe and Asia under fixed, long-term contracts linked to the oil price, natural gas coming from North America will be sold on the spot market, and will be more competitively priced. This will add to the already surplus LNG – originally intended for U.S. markets - that is being sent to Europe because of the surplus and pricing situation in the U.S. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Gazprom disputes gas glut forecast — The Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia

Gazprom on Tuesday challenged a recent forecast that the world gas market would be flooded with cheap supplies….

The estimate runs counter to the International Energy Agency’s conclusions in its World Energy Outlook, issued last week.

The export volumes that [Gazprom's deputy chief executive Alexander Medvedev] named are the minimum required by Gazprom’s contracts with consumers, rather than the estimate of how much the market will really demand, a source familiar with the situation said, Interfax reported.


16 Nov 2009

FERC requests information from Downeast LNG regarding pipeline operations — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

In its letter, FERC Staff states that "Downeast has not addressed what steps would be taken in the event that Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline does not seek Commission approval" for an expansion. FERC Staff requests that Downeast Pipeline describe within 20 days the "operational capabilities" for the project if modifications to the M&NE Pipeline cited in Downeast LNG's previous submissions to FERC are not constructed. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Irving Oil 'absolutely committed' to power deal (Nov 14) — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Fort Reliance has been behind key energy projects in the Port City, including a recently completed liquefied natural gas facility with partner Repsol YPF, S.A. (NYSE:REP), a proposed energy corridor between New Brunswick and Maine and a potential second oil refinery - plans for which the company said were being put on hold this summer, though the environmental assessment process is continuing.

…"While the climate for that is not as attractive right now, it is a valuable option for the future, we believe."

He announced the firm has begun mapping the region's energy resources, infrastructure and demand for resources, and what developments should be made based on economic and environmental performance.

Webmaster’s Comments: Fort Reliance is performing the due diligence ommitted by the State of Maine, Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and now-defunct Quoddy Bay LNG in their mad rush to build surplus LNG terminals.

Hess: Natural gas plant a 'long-term investment' —, Philadelphia, PA

Amid a glut of natural gas and overcapacity of import facilities, Hess LNG's announcement that it is reviving a controversial plan to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Delaware River in New Jersey seems counterintuitive.

Even if Hess can figure out a way to construct a pier without offending Delaware, there is a question of whether the market needs liquefied natural gas.

LNG imports in 2008 averaged about one billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day, substantially less than the import capacity of 12 Bcf. According to a report released in October by the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, the nation's LNG capacity "does not appear to be a limiting factor for the foreseeable future." [Red emphasis added.]

R.I. council has no say on LNG terminal in Mt. Hope Bay — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

A three-judge panel said the [Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC)] lost its chance to rule on the controversial project by failing to make a timely decision on its merits.

The federal ruling means that the CRMC has now, in effect, approved the proposal, which would bring LNG supertankers up Narragansett Bay and require a large-scale shutdown of bridge and boat traffic during their passage.

Officials in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including Somerset and Fall River, which stand to rake in big tax benefits if the plan is approved, are strongly opposed to the project.

The CRMC argued that the six-month clock doesn’t begin to tick until it has received all the information it needs to make a decision.

Funding still holds up McMoRan gas terminal — New Orleans CityBusiness, New Orleans, LA

While McMoRan has been pursuing commercial arrangements for the [Main Pass Energy Hub, 37 miles east of Venice], market conditions have prevented the company from obtaining long-term agreements required to finance construction.

Human rights court seeks answers on gas site risks — The Guardian, UK

Victory for campaign group means government must reveal how it decided to let LNG ships to berth in Milford Haven

The group, Safe Haven, has long claimed that inadequate risk assessments were carried out before the terminals were built, meaning planners and residents were not fully aware of possible hazards involved. The port authority and the companies involved insist they carried out full, in-depth safety checks. Two terminals are now fully operational.

In particular, the court wants to know if the relevant authorities "properly assessed the risk and consequences of a collision of LNG vessels, or other escape of LNG from a vessel in Milford Haven harbour or while berthed at the jetty", and if "relevant information on the nature and extent of the risk posed by the hazardous industrial activities has been disclosed to the public".

Webmaster’s Comments: The Milford Haven LNG terminals were known in advance to violate SIGTTO LNG industry world-class best practices. A retired Milford Haven harbour pilot's safety objections to those projects brought SIGTTO to the attention of Save Passamaquoddy Bay. (Read more about LNG terminal siting best practices: LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.)


13 Nov 2009

Massachusetts Energy and Environment Office clarifies position on Weaver's Cove LNG proposed mitigation measures — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Agencies under the Secretary's control have expressed "significant reservations" regarding the proposed environmental mitigation measures. The Secretary also disputes the suggestion by Weaver's Cove that the developer has met its obligations to consult and receive input on mitigation measures, and concludes that mitigation measures "should not be fully analyzed, for reasons of both substance and agency resources, until a robust alternatives analysis of previously identified sites with significantly less potential adverse impacts had been conducted." [Red emphasis added.]

Letter: Yet another reason to abandon LNG plans, 11-14-09 — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Havens’ analysis debunks the Hess LNG “myth” that a leak of liquefied natural gas can be contained on the property. Nearly seven years into the project, it appears we have gone from “scientific uncertainty” to “virtual scientific certainty.” We now have science that calls into question Weaver’s Cove’s claims of containment on its property in the event of a spill.

There is no need to endanger a population center when there is no longer a demand for the energy supply (Wall Street Journal article “Bad Call” on Feb. 9) and when there are clearly safer alternatives to this project.

LNG terminal looms large (Nov 12) — SunHerald, Gulfport, MS

PASCAGOULA — The massive twin tanks that stand on the horizon southeast of Pascagoula are part of a natural gas terminal that is more than one-third complete.

Federal magistrate rejects port's motion to dismiss Oregon LNG suit over site lease — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Rather than extending the lease 30 years to match the term of the sublease between the Port and the project developer, the Port elected to extend the underlying lease two years while retaining two 30-year options on the property.

Farming on the frontlines of change: a report - back from Project Survival Media — It's Getting Hot in Here, OR

Walking the rows of heirloom peppers in the Gales Meadow front garden, or watching a red-tailed hawk circle above the forested ridge behind the farm, it becomes momentarily difficult to remember that like small, sustainable farms across North America, this place is the scene of a frontline battle against the forces of corporate globalisation and industrial climate insanity. Yet the truth is, Gales Meadow is even more directly impacted by government policies favoring the fossil fuel industries than are most small farming operations. If giant energy companies get their way, Gales Meadow could be sacrificed through eminent domain to the right-of-way for a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) pipeline, proposed by Oregon LNG to shunt imported gas through Oregon to the California market. This fossil fuel infrastructure development project threatens to destroy years of hard work at Gales Meadow, making it impossible for the Berblingers’ home business to survive. Right now Oregon LNG and other LNG developers are seeking eminent domain status for their projects, which would allow them to lay pipelines through landowners’ property without receiving permission from the landowner first. [Red emphasis added.]

FERC ignores Coos Bay LNG requests — The World, Coos Bay, OR

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released the agenda for its Nov. 19 meeting this afternoon and Jordan Cove Energy Project failed to make the list of topics.

FERC ignores Coos Bay LNG issue - again — The World, Coos Bay, OR

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay issued the first formal request to have the project put on the Nov. 19 meeting, followed shortly by Jordan Cove. A volley of letters followed, with 55 total coming from individuals, timber companies, small businesses and elected officials, joining the chorus of groups not necessarily endorsing the project, but calling for a vote.

“I’m surprised and somewhat disappointed they are not responding to the community,” [port executive director Mike Gaul] said. “The community deserves to have an answer, whatever it is.”

Analysis - Nigeria LNG output hike may cap US winter gas price (Nov 12) — Reuters

NEW YORK, Nov 12 - The United States may receive a flurry of liquefied natural gas cargoes toward the end of the year as key supplier Nigeria ramps up production, potentially capping U.S. natural gas prices this winter.

Webmaster’s Comments: Think again. US storage is nearly overflowing while European buyers are again willing to take LNG at higher prices. See the story, below, IEA official: European market likely to import more LNG than United States.


12 Nov 2009

Sullivan wants to close looming LNG loophole — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Fall River — An agreement between the U.S. and the World Trade Organization could create a loophole allowing a liquefied natural gas terminal [or LNG storage facility] to be built [anywhere in the USA], but state Rep. David Sullivan is hoping House action will stop the deal.

“This is a potential back door for LNG to come into not only the U.S., but the commonwealth and Fall River, and sidetrack any state laws,” Sullivan said.

Webmaster’s Comments: The WTO loophole would allow foreign companies to site LNG facilities wherever they choose in the US without US permitting approval — even when the US Government would disallow a US company to site a facility there.

Hess revives plans for liquified natural gas terminal in South Jersey (Nov 11) — Courier-Post, NJ

Hess LNG and Poten & Partners hope to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Delaware River here despite a failed attempt by BP, the site's former owner, which would create more jobs for the area.

FERC announces visit to Freeport LNG site (Nov 11) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Yesterday FERC announced that it will visit the Freeport LNG terminal site in Brazoria County, Texas, on November 18, 2009, to examine sites referenced in the terminal's Emergency Response Plan.

Separately, yesterday FERC sent a request for environmental information to Freeport LNG. The request is comprised of 61 questions covering a range of topics including construction and testing methods, explanations for certain design choices, and safety systems.

Oregon LNG revises project layout and design (Nov 11) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Oregon LNG has submitted additional information to FERC reflecting design and project layout changes. According to the supplement to the application, the revisions were made to "further reduce impacts associated with construction and operation of the Terminal and result in an overall design that more closely aligns with specific regulations and development standards."

FERC ignores Coos Bay LNG requests (Nov 13) — The World, Coos Bay, OR

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released the agenda for its Nov. 19 meeting this afternoon and Jordan Cove Energy Project failed to make the list of topics. The decision to postpone consideration of the local project came despite numerous requests from local businesses and elected officials to provide an up or down vote.

America is Saudi Arabia of gas -- Pickens (Nov 10) — UPI

DALLAS, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- There is enough natural gas in the United States to supply the country with its energy needs for the next century, said energy advocate T. Boone Pickens.

"America is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas," said Pickens. "It's time for us to use this abundant resource to end the cycle of foreign oil dependency and addiction that is making us less safe and more economically insecure." [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

IEA official: European market likely to import more LNG than United States (Nov 11) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

International Energy Agency Deputy Executive Director Richard Jones told Platts LNG Daily that he expects higher LNG volumes to be delivered to European markets than to North America in the coming years. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Energy Minister says Algeria has suspended LNG exports to United States — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

KUNA, the Kuwait News Agency, reports that Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil announced today that his country has stopped exporting LNG to the United States. Minister Khelil did not provide reasons for the suspension.

Webmaster’s Comments: Perhaps Algeria's reason is the US doesn't need the natural gas and will not pay the higher price Asia and Europe will pay.

Gazprom's American ambitions — BusinessWeek

…Gazprom hopes to become a big player in U.S. gas trading. While the company has yet to sell any LNG in the U.S. because it's getting higher prices elsewhere, its traders have found a niche in organizing swaps with European companies that have excess volume in the U.S. but need to shore up supplies at home. Hattenberger's five-year goal is to capture 5% of the U.S. gas market, selling 3 billion cubic feet a day.

Many in the business say that goal may remain elusive. New technologies have made it possible to get at vast volumes of gas encased in shale, effectively tripling U.S. reserves. That has helped send prices down by nearly 80% and will surely cut demand for Russian LNG. "This game-changing shale play may mean we're going to be sending gas over to Russia," says Adam Robinson, a vice-president at RBS Sempra Commodities. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Nord Stream pipeline project still short of resources — Eurasia Daily Monitor, The Jamestown Foundation, New York, NY

Meanwhile, Gazprom speaks of using Shtokman’s future production mainly for liquefaction and export to North America, as part of Gazprom’s strategy to break into the global LNG (liquefied natural gas) trade (Vedomosti, October 22). Such statements need not be taken at face value. They are often meant to play off Western partners against each other; and are also subject to change in response to market trends.


10 Nov 2009

NATS: Excelerate vessel likely chartered to test Suez's Neptune LNG deepwater port (Nov 9) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Last Friday NATS [subscription required] reported that one of Excelerate's regasification vessels visited Massachusetts Bay but did not offload a cargo at the Northeast Gateway LNG deepwater port. NATS hypothesizes that the vessel was chartered by Suez for testing at the Neptune LNG deepwater port currently under construction.

Fall River responds to Weaver's Cove Energy's comments to PHMSA (Nov 9) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Fall River disagrees with Weaver's Cove Energy's position that federal siting regulations do not apply to the Weaver's Cove LNG project as designed.

Obama Administration issues key approval for Florida LNG facility [News release] (Oct 26) — Marine Administration (MARAD), US Department of Transportation, Washington, DC

The Port Dolphin facility will be located in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 28 miles southwest of Tampa Bay. Deepwater ports are offshore facilities used to transfer imported oil and natural gas from carrier vessels to shore via sub-sea pipelines. The apparatus is submerged most of the time, and is marked by a buoy. A tanker pulls the apparatus up, connects and offloads, and then, when the deepwater port is not being used, it submerges, which minimizes its environmental impact. When the Port Dolphin facility is operational, it is expected to deliver about 400 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to Florida facilities, with the ability to deliver up to 1,200 million cubic feet a day at peak capacity. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Unlike Downeast LNG and Calais LNG — projects that violate LNG industry best practices, in part by subjecting thousands of civilians to Federally-defined Hazard Zones — Port Dolphin is 28 miles offshore, with shipping route and terminal facility safely away from civilian populations.

Why, indeed? [Editorial] — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

State officials are complicit in the charade that gave Oregon LNG a bargain lease

The Port of Astoria's lease with Oregon LNG is the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks to Peter Huhtala, we have the thought-provoking question of why the Port of Astoria granted the Calpine Corp. (predecessor of Oregon LNG) a much lower lease rate than it should have. Instead of setting the lease rate for an LNG terminal, it used the rate for a golf course on the same property.

This question and the large amount of money that was recently spent to oppose the recall of one Clatsop County Commissioner lead to the same place. The LNG game is all about a windfall of profit. That is what propels public officials to look the other way and it is what causes donors outside of Clatsop County to spend absurd amounts of money to save a county commissioner's office. [Red emphasis added.]

Warrenton LNG deal faces new scrutiny (Nov 9) — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

"Why would they accept an appraisal for a golf course when they know the land is going to be used for the purpose of an LNG terminal?" CRBA [Columbia River Business Alliance ] Executive Director Peter Huhtala asked. "By November 2004, it was all about LNG, not a golf course."

The Port and Oregon LNG are suing each other over the lease in two different courts. Oregon LNG is charging the Port with breach of contract for accepting a two-year extension of the initial five-year lease term with DSL and delaying a 30-year renewal, which the company's sublease depends on. While Oregon LNG tries to force the Port to renew the master lease for 30 years, the Port is trying to get out of the sublease by suing the company in Clatsop County court for not holding up its end of the bargain. [Red emphasis added.]

Jordan Cove EIS lacks analysis (Oct 19) — The World, Coos Bay, OR

It is quite clear gross legal and procedural defects in the Jordan Cove Environmental Impact Statement preclude moving forward with the decision process.

NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act]states a standardized format is to be used. The Jordan Cove EIS utilizes a bastardized format with no explanation as to why.

LNG draft EIS stuck in ‘box’ thinking [Blog] (Oct 27) — Musings, Essays & Ballads, Coos County, OR

Language in the [Jordan Cove] Draft EIS report prepared for FERC regarding the proposed LNG terminal illustrates the ‘stuck in the box’ thinking that has helped lead America into its current energy crisis. The report, ironically, cites all the inherent problems of centralized power production, be it renewable or LNG, namely transmission congestion as a barrier to renewable energy.

Widely and successfully practiced in Europe, the concept of producing power at the point of consumption instead of in remote rural outlands is hardly untried technology. [Red emphasis added.]

Help stop Texas LNG speculators from Columbia River water grab (Nov 9) — Oregon Conservation Network, Portland, OR

Texas energy speculators with NorthernStar are asking Oregon's Water Resources Deparment for the right to take 15 billion gallons a year of water from the Columbia River, free of charge, to operate their Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import terminal. Giving NorthernStar the rights to take this massive amount of water from one of the most important salmon nursery areas in the Columbia Estuary would put thousands of juvenile salmon a year at-risk of being killed during the water withdrawl process. NorthernStar wants to use the water as ballast to weigh down its empty outgoing LNG tankers and for "other industrial uses" that NorthernStar has not yet disclosed.

Lease deal for proposed LNG terminal site in Astoria draws fire (Nov 7) — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

A key objection: The appraisal backing the annual lease price of $38,400 was based on using 92 acres on the Skipanon Peninsula as a links golf course, not a $1 billion LNG terminal.

Huhtala's group estimates the lease should be bringing in "at least" $1 million a year based on other deals struck in Astoria and Coos Bay. But it's not clear those deals are comparable. The Astoria transaction includes land with extensive improvements.

In 2004, the underlying zoning of the property was recreational, not industrial. It's common procedure, however, for appraisers to value land based on the intended use, said John Brenan, research director for The Appraisal Foundation. After 2004, Oregon LNG successfully got the property rezoned to accommodate the LNG terminal.

The energy report - Sitting idle after Ida —, Germany

In the natural gas arena the International Energy Agency in their Energy Outlook says that the world faces an acute glut of natural gas supply of around 200 billion cubic meters by 2012 to 2015. The IEA credits a boom in North American unconventional gas production and a drop in demand during the recession. The agency expects global unconventional gas output to rise to 629 billion cubic meters by 2030, with the fastest growth seen in the U.S. and Canada.The agency expects rapid increase in shale gas will discourage liquefied natural gas imports in to Northern America and some LNG shippers have already redirect[ed] LNG cargoes bound for the U.S. to Europe. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

International Energy Agency predicts natural gas prices to fall — (Radio Free Europe) Payvand Iran News, Iran

Equally important is an unexpected boom in North American gas production, thanks to new drilling techniques, which is expected to contribute to a glut in supplies.

The report says that by 2015, for example, there will be a dramatic overcapacity of … liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.

The agency predicts that the oversupply of gas will be even greater if countries press ahead with plans to save energy and develop more renewable electricity and nuclear power. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

342% gains from natural gas implosion — Today's Financial News, Baltimore, MD

Remember, just a few years ago the markets were expecting a strong natural gas shortage here in the States. They quickly developed and implemented plans to create massive LNG offloading and storage terminals.

Now, they are hard pressed to find any LNG shipper that can deliver a boatload of gas at today’s prices. It is far cheaper to pump natural gas from Ohio, West Virginia or Pennsylvania than it is to top off a tanker in Kuwait, ship it across a couple of oceans and unload along the Texas coast.

That is not good news for the nation’s LNG import business, which was just getting started. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Gas prices fall as worries fade on cold snap — IBTimes, London, England, UK

[M]any LNG tankers were heading for Britain, where natural gas prices were higher than those in the United States. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Gas exporters' forum should mimic OPEC-Algeria — Forbes

"The Gas Exporting Countries Forum should function like OPEC in its capacity as an organisation which would defend the economic interests (of its members)," Algeria's official news agency APS quoted Khelil as saying.

Gas exporters have been fretting over sagging demand and the prospect that future prices will fall further because of lower gas imports to the United States and a glut of new production that is coming on stream elsewhere. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


6 Nov 2009

LNG buy shows faith in faith in county [Editorial] — The Gloucester County Times, Gloucester County, NJ

BP's reasons for selling Crown Landing are not clear. Despite protestations to the contrary, the company might have grown frustrated with stymied efforts to get an LNG facility up and running here.

With federal approvals for the project already in hand, Hess has little to lose by extending its LNG interests to the lower Delaware, long the site of energy production on both sides of the river. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted conditional approval to the BP project in 2006. As for the pier, South Jersey officials think a quarter-mile relocation outside Delaware territory could solve that problem.

A larger problem for Hess is the instability of the global energy market.

Webmaster’s Comments: One reason BP sold out to Hess is that there is a 100-year domestic natural gas supply that is muting need for the LNG terminal.

Eagle Ford developing into major shale play — Platts [Registration required]

PodcastPodcast — The link below goes to the preliminary page.

Adam Bennett, with Platts Gas Daily, discusses Eagle Ford Shale, which analysts and traders say has the potential to rival larger, better-known production centers such as the Marcellus, Haynesville and Barnett shales.

USCG denies appeals of LORs for Oregon LNG projects (Nov 5) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The U.S. Coast Guard has denied appeals of Letters of Recommendation (LORs) for the Bradwood Landing LNG, Oregon LNG, and Jordan Cove LNG projects filed by the State of Oregon and the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center. Rear Admiral G.T. Blore, Commander of the Thirteenth Coast Guard District, concluded that the LORs were "properly issued in accordance with the Coast Guard's interpretation of the applicable Federal statutes and regulations."

Webmaster’s Comments: The problem, as with the Coast Guard's LOR re Passamaquoddy Bay, is that — even though the Coast Guard advocates that others observe best practices — the Coast Guard dismisses LNG industry terminal siting safety best practices because they aren't law.

Hey, Northwest Natural – LNG’s a climate crime! — It's Getting Hot In Here

Thanks to the energy-intensive process of supercooling the gas into liquid form so it can be shipped across the ocean and then re-gassified once it reaches its destination, LNG also has a carbon footprint much larger than North American natural gas.

FERC staff schedules visit to proposed Oregon LNG sites — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Yesterday FERC announced that Commission staff will visit a number of sites associated with the planned Oregon LNG and pipeline projects on December 1 and 2, 2009. The announced agenda includes visits to a number of sites along the proposed and alternative pipeline routes.

Guest columns: Oregon LNG project deserves a fair look [Op-ed column] — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

By Oregon LNG CEO Peter Hansen

Even with the most aggressive development of renewables, Oregon will still rely on natural gas in the future. Yet all of the natural gas we use is imported from other states and Canada, and the supply picture is constantly changing. As the state grows, we'll need supplies of natural gas from new sources.

Webmaster’s Comments: Hansen somehow wants the readers to believe that importing LNG from overseas is better than consuming natural gas from other states or Canada.

Bradwood Landing LNG, State of Oregon agree to stay CZMA proceedings until March 2010 (Nov 5) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) and Bradwood Landing LNG have agreed to a six-month stay of DLCD's determination of the project's consistency with Oregon's federally approved Coastal Zone Management Plan. The new deadline is March 15, 2010.

Trade association urges FERC to consider Jordan Cove LNG project (Nov 5) — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Northwest Industrial Gas Users filed comments with FERC this week urging the Commission to place the Jordan Cove LNG project on the agenda for its November 19, 2009, meeting.

Jordan Cove submits "Concept Agreements" outlining aspects of interagency coordination for LNG terminal operations — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Jordan Cove Energy has submitted five non-binding "concept agreements" signed by all twelve members of the Interagency Coordination Team that outline the steps taken by the team and project developer to manage safety and security risks associated with the proposed Jordan Cove LNG terminal.

Webmaster’s Comments: This is a FERC-designed cart-before-the-horse window dressing that encourages community emergency responders and affected communities to buy into LNG projects before actual emergency-response needs and costs are known — and assumes that an adequate emergency response plan can be developed.

(In the case of Downeast LNG and Calais LNG, due to the international communities affected and Canada's prohibition of the projects, it is likely that an adequate emergency response plan cannot be developed.)

The FERC-required Emergency Response Plan for communities affected by an LNG terminal and ship route is not developed until after FERC issues a permit to construct — long after communities have set into stone their emergency response financial agreements with the LNG developer. This is a particularly egregious FERC offense against the public interest.

IEA: Low-carbon plans to cause gas glut —, London, England, UK

[T]he report said that in the US the identification of large reserves of gas trapped in shale rocks has opened up vast new areas of supply, eradicating the need for liquefied natural gas imports from abroad. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]


5 Nov 2009

Canadian power deal creates challenges for Maine energy policy — Morning Sentinel, Waterville, ME

For years, Maine has been discussing joint energy plans with New Brunswick, but they seem to have been passed by events.

Hydro Quebec says that New Brunswick will become an "energy hub." That puts Maine in a strategic position, and it should move to take advantage of it.

Webmaster’s Comments:This adds another complication to pro-LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay arguments, since it would mean the Province of Québec, rather than New Brunswick, would be calling the shots regarding energy from Canada coming into and through Maine. Irving Oil could no longer be used as a convenient scapegoat for Downeast LNG's and Calais LNG's own failings.

Cautious optimism about right whales, during annual migration to Bay of Fundy — The Working Waterfront. Rockland, ME

Optimism about right whale recovery is tempered when conditions in the habitats of Northern and Southern rights are compared. Southern right whales, which feed in the Antarctic, live in waters that see very little ship traffic compared with the very busy (and highly polluted) shipping lanes along the U.S. east coast that Northern rights traverse twice annually. Because their slow speed makes it hard for them to avoid ships moving toward them, right whales are extremely vulnerable to ship strikes, which account for more right whale deaths than any other cause. Another major cause of Northern right whale deaths is fishing gear entanglements. An estimated 65 to 75 per cent of Northern right whales have entanglement scars. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: All LNG proposals for Passamaquoddy Bay would significantly increase the probability of ships striking right whales that summer in the area. It should also be noted that in Downeast LNG comment to the FERC docket, they indicated moving their shipping route from Grand Manan Channel to the conventional shipping lane, meaning, Downeast LNG's ships would pass close-by to the right whale sancturary east of Grand Manan, as well as the right whale activity area north of Grand Manan and east of Campobello Island. (See the 2006 Bay of Fundy Connection right whale areas map also showing the shipping lanes.)

A close encounter with right whales — The Working Waterfront. Rockland, ME

"These guys are doing a bit better," [Quoddy Link whalewatch excursion photographer Danielle Dione] said. "39 births last winter is great news. But as you can see from all those scars, these whales do have a hard time just surviving. It isn't hopeless. We think they have a fighting chance. But the odds are still against them. Whales deserve more than just curiosity and awe from humans. They deserve respect. We need to do everything we can to let people know about the threats they face." [Red emphasis added.]

U.S. Coast Guard reminds mariners to slow down to protect right whales (Nov 4) — The Maritime Executive, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Right Whale Ship Strike Reduction Rule Takes Effect Sunday, November 1st.

“The Coast Guard, in coordination with NMFS, has a long history of protecting living marine resources and will continue to take action to protect the right whale from ship strikes and other threats,” said Steven Tucker, the U.S. Coast Guard’s deputy chief of Marine Protected Species Enforcement. “Key among those measures is Coast Guard communication with mariners in areas where right whales congregate or transit.”

The speed restrictions, which are based on the migration pattern of the right whale, will be in effect in coastal waters from Rhode Island to Georgia beginning Sunday and continuing through April 30, 2010. Maps of these areas and a compliance guide are available online (separate link: To report a suspected violation in the seasonal management areas call the national hotline at 1-800-853-1964.

Floating Florida LNG terminal moving forward — Tank Storage Magazine, Surrey, England, UK

An offshore LNG terminal in the Gulf of Mexico has received approval for construction off western Florida, US, following a successful environmental impact report.

Port Dolphin will be located around about 28 miles southwest of Tampa Bay.

Webmaster’s Comments: Port Dolphin is planned to be 28 miles offshore — safely away from civilians, unlike Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.

CB Council plans for potential LNG danger (Nov 4) — KCBY-TV, Coos Bay, OR

"When the ship is in transiting from sea, coming up the Channel, it does pose a risk to the community of Coos Bay," said [Jordan Cove LNG consultant Frank Whipple]. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Jordan Cove LNG admits civilian lives would be at risk — a violation of LNG industry terminal siting best practices.

Gas pain: The International Energy Agency weighs in — Today's Financial News, Baltimore, MD

If we continue to add to our coffers at the current rate, we’ll be out of [natural gas storage] space in less than a month. When it happens, the spot market will be flooded with gas and prices will plummet.

Don’t expect it to be a short-term phenomenon, especially if you agree with the predictions out of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Not only does that mean prices are going lower, but LNG terminals will be shuttered and all those new wells sprouting up in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and New York will be plugged as well. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Supply glut and lower prices forecast — Financial Times, London, England, UK

For the US, the gas glut will force companies to scrap plans for new LNG import terminals and mean that much of its existing capacity will be underused.

The watchdog says that environmental policies to limit carbon dioxide emissions to prevent catastrophic global warming, far from supporting demand for gas, would cause gas demand to peak in the early 2020s. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Energy famine is turning into a glut [Blog] — The Daily Telegraph, London, England, UK

Rewind three or four years, and everyone was forecasting an acute shortage. Russian and Middle Eastern suppliers were apparently sitting pretty, and in the US and elsewhere, there was a rush to build Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities. Already it is [apparent] that far too much of this capacity was built, especially in the US, which thanks to breakthroughs in technology allowing the extraction of gas from shale should soon be self sufficient for its gas needs. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The domestic natural gas over-abundance news keeps piling on. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are lost causes.

A low CO2 future: Not so great for natural gas, after all? [Blog] — Financial Times, London, England, UK

The watchdog says that environmental policies to limit carbon dioxide emissions to prevent global warming, far from supporting demand for gas, would cause gas demand to peak in the early 2020s. Industry executives have promoted gas as an low-carbon alternative to coal for power generation.

[B]ig LNG developments are under way in many countries, and the timing could be everything for these massive investments. Plummeting demand combined with more supply coming online is not what they need. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Just like domestic natural gas, bad news for LNG projects keeps on flooding in.


4 Nov 2009

Canada expects Maine to be its energy doormat [Opinion] (Nov 3) — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

By [Downeast LNG president] Dean Girdis

Agreeing with Gov. John Baldacci that no major development project in Maine should go forward without the support of local residents, we sought and received the overwhelming support of the people of Robbinston.

Acting like petulant children, they [apparently, Canada, New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham, MP Greg Thompson and other Canadian politicians] aren’t about to let facts, reason, precedent or even international law get in their way.

New Brunswick Premier Graham tells FERC that our project would negatively affect New Brunswick’s environment, its tourism and its environmental-based economy, as well as its residents’ safety and security (but apparently their industrial ports, nuclear power plants and oil refineries are just fine.)

Webmaster’s Comments:

The "overwhelming support" Girdis mentions equals a mere 223 votes in favor of his project, compared to thousands of people in the Passamaquoddy Bay community opposed to Girdis's project.

Girdis ignores the LNG industry's own best practices (SIGTTO) that indicate his project siting in Passamaquoddy Bay is unsafe. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more about this.)

US Government-established Hazard Zones for LNG ships would engulf thousands of people in numerous Canadian and U.S. communities if the ships were to transit LNG to and from port. Since LNG industry best practices indicate terminals should be located where vapors from an LNG release cannot affect civilian populations it is only reasonable to conclude Downeast LNG's terminal site is improperly located.

Additionally, there are thousands of miles of Maine coastline, plus offshore siting, that might actually make a suitable LNG site in Washington County or the state. Girdis has made no effort to locate his project where it would conform to industry best practices, where it would not harm Canadians (or Americans), and where Canada would have no objections. A reasonable question is, "Why hasn't Girdis moved to an appropriate location without the current obstacles?"

International Law
Girdis and the US Department of State claim LNG vessels would have the right of innocent passage under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). UNCLOS clearly indicates the United States has no such right, since the US has not ratified the treaty. US Coast Guard attorney CAPT Charles Michel publicly admitted to that in a Bangor Daily News article. Maritime law expert Ted McDorman publicly stated Downeast LNG ships would have no right of innocent passage under UNCLOS. (McDorman provided Downeast LNG with his opinion regarding Head Harbour Passage as an international strait.) Dean Girdis claiming a cockroach is a cow doesn't make it one. Girdis's international law claim is baseless.

Tourism and Environment
Canaport LNG is safely away from civilian populations
, and in a pre-existing industrial area, 5 miles across the water from Saint John, NB. Nature is not the primary tourism component in Saint John, as it is in Passamaquoddy Bay. Saint John does not have the significant lobster nursery that exists in Passamaquoddy Bay. The Canaport LNG ship transit route does not pass close to any civilian populations — unlike industry best practices-violating Downeast LNG.

Hess acquires BP's Logan LNG project — The Gloucester County Times, Gloucester County, NJ

An affiliate of the Hess Corporation has acquired ownership of the stalled Crown Landing liquefied natural gas project along the Delaware River in Logan Township.

The project, first announced in 2003 with a $600 million price tag, has stalled on two fronts — a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Delaware had the right to block construction of a pier into the river and the overall sour global energy market.

New push for LNG plant near Claymont — The News Journal, Wilmington, DE

Gordon Shearer, president of Hess LNG [and the Weaver's Cove LNG proposal at Fall River, MA] , said early this afternoon that his company will soon begin contacting Delaware, New Jersey and federal officials about ways to move the former BP Crown Landing project forward.

“Obviously, the configuration that BP hoped to have as far as the dock was concerned didn’t pass the legal challenge from the state of Delaware, so that’s something we will have to address,” Shearer said.

Webmaster’s Comments: Gordon Searer must not read natural gas industry news. There will be no need for either of his LNG import terminal projects for around 100 years.

Southern LNG seeks FERC authorization to install nitrogen injection system at Elba Island — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Southern LNG states in its filing that the nitrogen injection system will help the terminal maintain its gas quality and interchangeability specifications and will allow it to treat LNG it purchases on the spot market.

In response to SLNG's filing, Marathon LNG filed a letter with FERC requesting the agency order SLNG to provide clarification regarding (1) SLNG's statement that it is purchasing LNG on the spot market given all of the terminal's capacity is subscribed, and (2) how SLNG intends to use the new nitrogen injection system in light of the integrated nature of the facility and the non-discrimination provisions of the Natural Gas Act and EPAct 2005.

Iberdrola acquires part of Chevron's regas capacity at Sabine Pass LNG terminal — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that Iberdrola has acquired 1 Bcm/y of regasification capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal from Chevron, effective immediately.

Coos Bay signs LNG pact — The World, Coos Bay, OR

[Jordan Cove consultant Frank Whipple] said some Coos Bay residents potentially could be at risk when LNG tankers travel up the bay past Empire, if there’s an accident.

Webmaster’s Comments: The majority of Coos Bay-area residents would be at risk, since they would fall within the LNG ship 2.2-mile federally-defined Hazard Zones.

Forecast of gas glut challenges Russian grip — ninemsn

In the report, the IEA expects overcapacity of gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas terminals to reach at least 250bn cubic metres by 2015, more than four times the spare capacity in 2007. For the US, the gas glut will force companies to scrap plans for new LNG import terminals and mean that much of its existing capacity will be underused.

For Russia's state-owned Gazprom the projected over-supply would be a major setback. It would erode the power the company has held over consuming and transit countries and would leave the company's LNG ambitions unfulfilled before 2030. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Green policies expected to hit gas demand — ninemsn

New technology that allows companies to break the rock and drill horizontally has opened up vast new areas of supply, helping to nearly eradicate the need [in the US] for liquefied natural gas imports from abroad.

The 15 additional [U.S.] projects that have approval to go ahead will not see the light of day, the IEA concludes. By 2030 much of the capacity will stand idle…. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The writing has been on the wall for a few years. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG have simply been ignoring it, dooming their projects to losing their entire investments.

New report highlights need for infrastructure — Investopedia, New York, NY

The explosion in activity related to developing the shale plays in North America has sparked the need for infrastructure to gather, process and transport the resources to the end user. These midstream assets are having a hard time keeping up with the development of the Haynesville, Marcellus Shale and other plays in North America.

The report says that from 29,000-62,000 miles of extra natural gas pipelines and 370-600 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of new storage capacity would be required to meet the additional supply of natural gas that the industry is developing. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


2 Nov 2009

America's natural gas revolution (Opinion) — The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY

The potential of this "shale gale" only really became clear around 2007. In Washington, D.C., the discovery has come later—only in the last few months.

The supply impact has been dramatic. In the lower 48, states thought to be in decline as a natural gas source, production surged an astonishing 15% from the beginning of 2007 to mid-2008. This increase is more than most other countries produce in total.

The recent increase in estimated U.S. gas reserves by the Potential Gas Committee, representing both academic and industry experts, is in itself equivalent to more than half of the total proved reserves of Qatar, the new LNG powerhouse. With more drilling experience, U.S. estimates are likely to rise dramatically in the next few years. At current levels of demand, the U.S. has about 90 years of proven and potential supply—a number that is bound to go up as more and more shale gas is found.

Unconventional natural gas has already had a global impact. With the U.S. market now oversupplied, and storage filled to the brim, there's been much less room for LNG. As a result more LNG is going into Europe, leading to lower spot prices and talk of modifying long-term contracts. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Coup for Hydro-Quebec, dark day for Maritimes (Opinion column) — The Chronicle-Herald, Halifax, NS

Graham and the master capitalists in the Irving empire would remake New Brunswick as a regional energy hub. They would expand gas pipelines to the U.S. and fill them from a liquefied natural gas portal in Saint John. They’d build a second massive oil refinery and even a second nuclear power plant. In those heady days, Shawn Graham was a man on a mission.

That mission is now in tatters.

There is certainly a green-power payoff because older fossil-fuel plants will be replaced by clean hydro power from Quebec. [Red emphasis added.]

Lights out for energy hub — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Proposal: Critics say sale of NB Power to Hydro-Québec will kill any chance of producing power in N.B. for export to U.S.

FREDERICTON - If the Graham government's vision of building an energy hub wasn't dead already, the notion has just been read its last rites.

That's the prognosis from a host of critics, from New Brunswick energy experts to the Conservative Opposition. Their main point: that the proposed sale of NB Power to Hydro-Québec will kill any chance of producing electricity in New Brunswick for export to American markets.

Webmaster’s Comments: It appears the Maine Jobs First effort has effectively backfired in a really big way.

Maine Jobs First wanted to hold the NB-ME Energy Corridor hostage unless Canada were to allow ill-advised LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay. It now appears that Maine will get no jobs or revenues from the proposed Energy Corridor, and Maine will still not get the inappropriately-sited LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay. Maine Jobs First will have accomplished exactly the opposite of what it professes to want.

Spectra Energy places Northern Bridge project into service — PR Newswire

Texas Eastern Transmission, LP, a subsidiary of Houston-based Spectra Energy Corp (NYSE: SE), has successfully placed into service its Northern Bridge project, an expansion of its Texas Eastern system that will transport 150 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d) of new Rocky Mountain natural gas supplies to Northeast markets.

Officials outline emergency plans for LNG terminal — The World, Coos Bay, OR

The city would need additional training, equipment and emergency response personnel if Jordan Cove decides to build, Acting City Manager Rodger Craddock wrote in a staff report. The agreements would ensure the city is compensated by Jordan Cove, but wouldn’t be a show of support for the project, he wrote.

Webmaster’s Comments: FERC requires LNG developers to create a "cost-sharing plan" with the surrounding affected community early in the permitting process; however, FERC does not address the actual Emergency Response requirements until after FERC issues a permit to construct. Consequently, taxpayers likely end up with a larger financial burden than they bargained for, while LNG developers pay less than their fair share.

Coquille Indian Tribe files comments supporting Jordan Cove LNG project — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The Coquille Indian Tribe filed comments last week with FERC supporting the proposed Jordan Cove LNG import terminal and associated Pacific Gas Connector Pipeline projects.

Gasprom to go slow on high cost LNG in worsening market conditions (Nov 1) — Gerson Lehrman Group, New York, NY

In the U.S., too many shale gas avails have driven the market down to between $4 and $5/million btu. This is turn, has weakened the liquefied natural gas netbacks internationally. [Red emphasis added.]


1 Nov 2009

Shale gas blasts open world energy market — The Sunday Times, London, England, UK

“This big shiny new terminal [Sabine Pass LNG] was one of the ones built as the answer to declining US gas production and increasing demand,” said Steve Johnson president of Waterborne Energy, a Texas energy consultancy. “Now it’s in mothballs.”

It is much the same story at America’s eight other LNG import terminals. They are running at only 10% of capacity.

Suddenly, America is awash with gas. Tony Hayward, chief executive of BP, said it had created a “a revolution in the gas fields of North America”. … The Department of Energy now predicts that shale gas could meet half America’s demand within two decades and turn the country into a net exporter.

Charif Souki, the man behind the Sabine Pass terminal, has seen at first hand what shale gas means. He bet the future of the company he leads, Cheniere Energy, on America’s expected need to import gas by ship. Once a stock-market darling, the company has plunged deep into losses and seen 95% of its market value disappear. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG and Calais LNG seem bent on losing money as spectacularly as Cheniere Energy.

Iberdrola to supply LNG to US after Chevron accord — Reuters

[Spain's] Iberdrola said the agreement, which began in October, gives it part of Chevron's import capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Louisiana.

LNG developers push back plans to 2011 for North Spit of Coos Bay (AP) (Oct 31) —

The parties previously extended the contract by a year twice, but Bob Braddock, Jordan Cove's project manager, said developers need more time.

The company now intends to make a final investment decision in fall 2010. If it chooses to proceed, it would close on the land deal in late spring 2011 and start construction immediately.

Webmaster’s Comments: Perhaps the real reason for the delay is the lack of market and inability to make a profit.


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