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


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Passamaquoddy Bay & LNG

2010 February

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2010 Feb














27 Feb 2010

Shale gas under scrutiny (Feb 23) — The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

U.S. probe could boost exploration prospects in Maritimes

A Calgary energy analyst says a U.S. probe of a controversial exploration process is unlikely to hinder development of new shale gas plays in Atlantic Canada.

The dispute in the U.S. could make drilling other shale gas deposits more attractive, especially in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, said Goobie.

Companies developing shale gas deposits in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have a big advantage being located close to the Maritimes and Northeast pipeline, which currently carries gas from offshore Nova Scotia to markets in the U.S. northeast, he said.

New England LNG plans pick up labor union, legislative support (Mar 1) — Natural Gas Week, Energy Intelligence [Paid subscription required]

The battle to win the hearts and minds of New England residents went into overdrive last week as the proposed Weaver's Cove and Calais LNG terminals gained new and powerful union and legislative supporters.

Webmaster’s Comments: Maine legislators like Quoddy-area state representatives Dianne Tilton and David Burns have thrown in their support for Calais LNG and Downeast LNG, even though these projects…

  • Violate LNG industry terminal siting best safe practices;
  • Engulf thousands of Mainers against their wills within LNG ship federally-defined Hazard Zones;
  • Have no probability of success, due to the US Coast Guard requirement that the developers obtain Canada's cooperation for safe & secure transits (independent of the innocent passage issue).
Rep. Tilton and Rep. Burns would better serve their constituency by encouraging the LNG projects move outside of Passamaquoddy Bay to industry-compliant sites, where the projects would actually have a chance at success — if the politicians acutally believe there is a need for the projects.

Health Notes/Black swans and disasters — Wicked Local Cohasset, Cohasset, MA

It seems that human beings, because of the vast combination of precocious attributes, memory, cognition strength, ability to create avenues of science and technology and create beauty and ugliness, we are frequently unable to predict or protect ourselves from the most egregious of disasters. Thus: black swans.

Cohasset has some of the most outlandish and improbable citizens it’s possible to have in one place. Hopefully it’ll be proof against black swans. Who Knows?

By the way, the reason the [LNG] ships are so brightly lighted is in part because most skippers have a terror of having any small craft running in close alongside and causing a black swan event.

For the record, Steve Bobo made technical integrity inspections on every LNG tanker in service to the United States until about 1986. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Chu talks up U.S. shale gas during trip to Middle East (Feb 26) — (Bloomberg News) Tulsa World, Tulsa, OK

Energy Secretary Steven Chu cited the vast potential of U.S. shale gas Thursday during a visit to Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

The U.S. has been increasing its output of shale gas, potentially reducing demand for imports of LNG from countries such as Qatar.

‘More countries line up for membership, closer ties’ — Gulf Times, Doha, Qatar

The Gas Exporting Countries Forum will have more members as the gas market dynamics will bring main participants to closer co-operation, GECF secretary general Leonid Bokhanovsky has said.

Prior accession is already stipulated in the GECF agreement for Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkmenistan, and the UAE, he said.

Norway, Holland and Kazakhstan have already obtained observer status. Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan are also the forum’s potential members. “The GECF doors are open for Australia and Canada as well as for other gas exporting countries,” Bokhanovsky said.

Webmaster’s Comments: Is this the actual beginning of an OPEC-like organization for natural gas?


26 Feb 2010

Whales unaffected by LNG plant: report (Feb 25) — The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

CALAIS — A biological assessment filed by Calais LNG with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has concluded that increased vessel traffic from this proposed project is not likely to adversely affect North Atlantic right whales.

The lengthy report – a biological assessment on threatened and endangered marine mammals and sea turtles – was prepared for the company by Normandeau Associates Inc of Bedford, New Hampshire and submitted to FERC this week.

It concludes that [liquefied] natural gas transport vessels using the terminal [would] avoid travel through the areas most heavily utilized by right whales but also notes that low visibility, such as fog and night transit, in addition to the whales’ surface behaviour, limits the ability to see these whales.

The report also states that the overlap in frequency and source levels of vessel noise with right whale calls, vessel noise and presence of vessels may affect but are not likely to adversely affect the right whales. Similar reasons are listed in the report as to why it is felt the project [would] also not adversely affect humpback, fin, sei, blue, and sperm whales. Due to the relatively low prevalence of loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles within the transit route, the report notes that the vessels are also unlikely to adversely affect them either.

Webmaster’s Comments: Since right whale habitat studies have concentrated only in the open Bay of Fundy — not near Head Harbour Passage or in Grand Manan Channel — research is unlikely to reveal actual right whale activity in the unstudied areas, including the 40 right whales that frequented near the entrance to Head Harbour Passage last summer (2009). Such research and results are commonly referred to by the scientific community as "garbage in, garbage out"; the results are a reflection of the quality of the research.

As marine biologist Art MacKay, who has been mapping whale sighting data in the Quoddy area, stated last summer, Head Harbour Passage was "plugged with whales." (See Art's whale-sightings map at the top-left of his I Love Quoddy Wild website. Or go directly to a larger version of his Fundy Whales map on CommunityWalk.)

Danielle Dione's Quoddy Link Marine Sightings and Updates blog has video-recorded and still-photographed prolific whale (including right whale) activity in the proposed LNG transit area, the area that Calais LNG's "research" claims would be unaffected by LNG transits.

Maine trailing N.H. in tapping Canadian power — Portland Press Herald, Portland, ME

One of the world's largest producers of hydro power, Hydro-Quebec plans to concentrate first on expanding its exports to New England with a line through New Hampshire, according to Christian Brosseau, president of subsidiary HQ Energy Services US.

Any similar venture in Maine won't happen soon, Brosseau said. Hydro-Quebec must first complete its proposed purchase of New Brunswick Power, Maine must clarify its rules on siting energy corridors and private firms contemplating new corridors through Maine must make a business case that's compelling to Hydro-Quebec, Brosseau said.

He did have some advice, however, for how Maine and New England can lower electricity prices: Diversify a fuel mix that's too heavy on natural gas, and build enough transmission to handle more wind and hydro generation.

In Maine, lawmakers are preparing to consider recommendations from a special study panel that met last year to set up rules for how energy corridors from Canada could cross Maine. Those rules have been hotly debated, by generators who don't want their projects crowded out by Canadian power, and supporters of liquefied natural gas terminals, who are angered by Canadian opposition to tanker routes into Down East Maine. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Maine Jobs First (Or Else No Maine Jobs, At All), the self-destructive Calais LNG lobby, would rather Maine get no jobs and tax benefits from the proposed NB-ME Energy Corridor if the ill-sited, ill-timed, surplus Calais LNG and Downeast LNG proposals continue to be prevented by Canada from receiving LNG shipments. It appears that New Brunswick may be out of the picture, anyway. Quebec is already going around Maine to get to the Boston market. Holding up the NB-ME Energy Corridor will likely result in no jobs for either LNG or the energy corridor construction.

Hint to Maine Jobs First (or Else No Maine Jobs, At All): The solution to building LNG terminals in Washington County is simple:

  • Move the LNG projects outside of Passamaquoddy Bay, since Canada would then not be involved.

So, why won't Calais LNG and Downeast LNG do it?

Answer: They know that since the projects are not needed, Calais LNG and Downeast LNG would not succeed, no matter where they are located; they may as well fall where they stand.

'War is lost' in Hydro-Quebec's campaign to sell renewable energy to U.S. — (Montreal Gazette) Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa, ON

Already Canada's largest electricity provider, Hydro-Quebec is pushing into the Maritime provinces. It already has a controversial $3.2-billion deal that would see it supply electricity to New Brunswick as well as take over most of NB Power Corp.'s assets including transmission lines that carry power to Maine. (The deal was delayed for two months Friday by the New Brunswick government in order to allow a "full debate" on the controversial deal).

From Yemen to Everett [Editorial] (Feb 25) — Everett Independent, Everett, MA

The LNG tanker from Yemen has arrived, and as the Coast Guard predicted, its entrance into Boston harbor went smoothly.

But what happens when that one time, that one fatal instance occurs when it doesn’t go smoothly, when there is a disaster at the hands of terrorists or a natural disaster?

The fuel should be unloaded off-shore and piped in. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

First LNG delivery from Yemen arrives inside Boston Harbor (Feb 25) — Everett Independent, Everett, MA

“One incident – that’s all it will take to change our world,” Mayor Menino told the Independent.

“We won’t get a second chance if something happens inside the harbor,” said Mayor Menino.

Webmaster’s Comments: LNG terminal operators, developers, FERC, and the Coast Guard all like to parrot, "LNG shipping and offloading has had a long and relatively safe history." The more cogent fact is — history protects no one. History certainly did not protect the Twin Towers on 9/11.

History is merely a record of the past. It is not an assurance of the future, when circumstances and world politics can be considerably different and more dangerous.

Stokes outlines 'game changes' to turn around RI economy — Johnston Sun Rise, Warwick, RI

Asked about the Weaver’s Cove Energy proposal for a liquefied natural gas terminal in Mount Hope Bay, Stokes said he hasn’t heard or read anything as how it would benefit Rhode Island gas supplies.

“It’s a hassle factor,” Stokes said of the proposal that would have LNG tankers offloading about 70 times during a year. Security measures, he said, require no marine activity a mile in front or behind a tanker, virtually shutting down Bay traffic. Both the Newport and Mount Hope Bridges would be closing during passages.

Stokes said cruise ships that presently visit Newport for one and two-day layovers would cancel Rhode Island as a stop. And LNG tankers would kill efforts to bring back the America’s Cup. [Red emphasis added.]

Weiner sets Rockaway meet on LNG island — The Wave, Rockaway Beach, NY [Paid subscription required]

At the urging of Representative Anthony Weiner the U.S. Coast Guard has agreed to hold public hearings in Rockaway so that residents can ask questions and provide input on a proposed [liquefied] natural gas terminal that would be used to receive fuel tankers more than 15 miles off the Rockaway coast.

Corps starts Bayou Casotte widening study — The Mississippi Press, MS

The channel work comes as Gulf LNG Energy prepares to open a liquefied natural gas terminal at the end of Bayou Casotte, next to the Pascagoula Chevron Refinery.

John McCutchen, senior vice president and chief operations officer for Gulf LNG Energy, said the current channel is sufficient for the terminal's operations, which are expected to start in October 2011.

Widening the channel may open up two-way ship traffic, night transits and operations in higher wind conditions, McCutchen said.

Power firm targets LNG for Freeport — The Tribune, Freeport, The Bahamas

FREEPORT -- Grand Bahama Power Company is pursuing the development of an liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on Grand Bahama in a bid to lower the cost of fuel for electricity generation, it was confirmed yesterday.


25 Feb 2010

Keltic Petrochemical shelving plans for plant in eastern Nova Scotia — (Canadian Press) Canada East

Hines says this latest setback will not have any effect on the proposed Maple liquefied natural gas plant on a neighbouring property.

Webmaster’s Comments: Here's yet another mixed message. Just yesterday it was reported the LNG project could get no LNG.

Goldman role in Greek crisis probed — Financial Times, London, England, UK [Free registration required]

The US central bank is looking into Goldman Sachs’s role in arranging contentious derivatives trades for Greece, which helped the country to massage its public finances, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, revealed on Thursday.

Separately, Phil Angelides, chairman of the US Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, told the Financial Times he was concerned about the practice of creating securities and “fully betting against them” – and about Goldman’s role in particular. Goldman declined to comment.

Webmaster’s Comments: Goldman Sachs is the venture capital investor financing Calais LNG's permitting.

Business at LNG company pumps up — The Boston Herald, Boston, MA

As Mayor Thomas M. Menino fights to ban future liquefied natural gas shipments from Yemen into Boston Harbor, a rival company is touting its new offshore LNG buoy system as a safer alternative.

…LNG tankers are now steaming in at a regular rate, sometimes two at a time, offloading their dangerous cargo about 10 miles out to sea.

By the end of this month, Excelerate will have unloaded about seven tankers at its offshore site, or about 15 to 20 percent of the gas used by New Englanders during the current season, he said. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Canaport LNG is supplying 20% of the Northeast's natural gas. Distrigas in Everett, Massachusetts is supplying 20%. Northeast Gateway is supplying another 20%. Soon, Suez Energy's Neptune LNG will also be supplying approximately 20% of New England's natural gas. That's 80% of New England's natural gas needs — already met by existing and under-construction projects, not to mention the natural gas arriving by existing pipeline from the Gulf of Mexico.

Ill-sited latecomers Calais LNG and Downeast LNG simply are not needed.

Free-floating fears — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

…Robert Knake, international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said it doesn’t matter that LNG tankers are almost impossible to detonate. All terrorists would need to create a catastrophe is to attack a ship from the water, breach its hulls, and set alight the leaked fuel. The fireball would devastate everything within a half-mile radius, he said. He also thinks we should worry about every shipment of LNG that comes into Boston Harbor, not just those from Yemen. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The world LNG industry's own terminal siting best safe practices indicate the Everett terminal location is inappropriate (see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization).

LNG, again [Editorial] — Chelsea Record, Chelsea, MA

The tiny Coast Guard vessels with armed sailors aboard surrounding the ship and patrolling the harbor’s perimeters would be compromised in an instant by an organized terrorist effort – and whatever weapons the Coast Guardsmen are carrying would be made utterly useless in a situation where the control of the vessel itself was compromised or put into question Mayor Menino, City Manager Jay Ash and Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria are absolutely right when they complain that the Coast Guard has it all wrong and that these deliveries are dangerous. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Bradley: No plans right now for Brewster Island — Wicked Local Hull, Hull, MA

Quincy — There are no proposals on the table to have controversial liquefied natural gas shipments from Yemen unloaded at a Boston Harbor island near Hull, Rep. Garrett Bradley said.

The company that proposed the Outer Brewster facility years ago eventually withdrew its plans because of the local opposition

Bradley & Hedlund: Any talk of putting LNG facility on Outer Brewster is on their radar screens — Wicked Local, Eastern MA

Bradley said, “I’m not reviving that discussion, but I want to put you on notice that there was a little blurb in the State House News, which is basically our Intranet service, where the speaker and some of the members from that area were talking about how they’d like to eventually move the program offshore. Nobody mentioned Outer Brewster, except the reporter, who noted that there was a proposal that died in 2006.”

Washburn & Doughty delivers LNG escort tugs (Feb 24) — MarineLog, New York, NY

Shipbuilder Washburn & Doughty Associates, Inc. of East Boothbay, Maine recently delivered the Loretta B. Moran to Moran Towing of Lake Charles, LLC. The 98 ft, 6,600 hp, Z-drive tug is the sister to the Catherine C. Moran, which was delivered in November 2009. Both tugs will provide tug services for Sempra LNG's new Cameron LNG terminal, located near Hackberry, Louisiana.

Oregon delays CZMA decision on Bradwood Landing LNG an additional six months — LNG Law Blog

Bradwood Landing LNG and the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development have entered into an agreement that stays the state's review period to decide whether the Bradwood Landing LNG project is consistent with Oregon's federally approved Coastal Zone Management Plan until September 15, 2010.

Greening gas delivery: LNG versus pipelines —, Petroleum Newspapers of Alaska LLC, Anchorage, AK

Energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions are perhaps the most significant areas where pipeline gas can have an advantage over LNG. However, this advantage is also highly dependent on various design factors. According to a recent study commissioned by the European Union, the typical energy “penalty” for gas delivery via pipelines is 10-15 percent (efficiency of 85-90 percent), whereas for LNG it is approximately 25 percent (efficiency of about 75 percent).

When comparing GHG emissions pipelines come out far ‘greener’ than LNG. For example, in Europe, pipeline transmission has a seven-fold lower carbon footprint than LNG. However, the GHG contributions of pipelines increase considerably over distance due to fugitive emissions of methane that are often inevitable along large pipeline tracks and these grow much faster than the transportation emissions from the tankers traveling over large distances.

[A] study conducted by Advantica Ltd. in England revealed that appliances that are designed for pipeline gas can produce higher nitrous oxide emissions when regasified LNG is fed to them.


24 Feb 2010

Deep Panuke delay won't impact Repsol, firm says — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

According to EnCana, the [Deep Panuke] project is expected to run between eight and 18 years, and is designed to handle 300 million cubic feet of gas per day - enough to heat 500,000 homes daily.

[Repsol's] Canaport facility can pump out one billion cubic feet of gas per day, enough to heat five million homes.

Repsol can supply up to 20 per cent of the natural gas market in the northeast U.S. from its Canaport terminal and other gas holdings. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Repsol YPF, S.A. (75% partner in Canaport LNG) owns LNG liquefaction facilities in Trinidad & Tobago. The Distrigas LNG terminal in Everett, Massachusetts, also supplies 20% of the natural gas requirements of US northeast.

Deep Panuke further moots ill-times and ill-sited Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.

Times tough for N.S. gas projects — The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

Corridor Resources Inc. of Halifax, which has had producing gas wells in southern New Brunswick for several years, recently released plans to spend $28.6 million to drill and complete additional natural gas production wells in the McCully field near Sussex.

An assessment of the Corridor shale gas resource suggests about 60-trillion cubic feet of unconventional gas could be in place.

Keltic Petrochemicals closing Halifax office — Guysborough Journal, Guysborough, NS

GUYSBOROUGH – High hopes for a mega project for Goldboro in the form of a $5 billion petrochemical project have all but disappeared. Ketlic Petrochemicals is now in the process of shutting down its Halifax offices.

President Kevin Dunn told The Journal Monday they have not been able to secure a supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the project, after years of trying.

“There’s no gas. We tried nine different countries and organizations. It just wasn’t there,” he said. “They wouldn’t come here.”

Webmaster’s Comments: Mixed messages are coming out of the LNG industry. Some crow about an over-abundance of LNG in the world. No one has apparently informed Keltic Petrochemicals. Or, is it simply that the price is far better elsewhere in the world? Either way, LNG is not the golden boy in North America that it was once thought to be.

Quebec shale gas find could redraw Canada's energy map — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

When it was first brought on stream in late January, it produced 12 million cubic feet of gas a day, a gusher by gas well standards, and a huge boost to Calgary-based Questerre Energy Corp., which has partnered in Quebec with the much bigger Talisman Energy Inc.

The oil patch has come to New Brunswick, too, to probe rocks that may parallel some of North America's biggest natural gas plays. The most daring companies have even begun to look at Nova Scotia and Newfoundland as new energy sources.

And what's clear is that the shale gas revolution, which has already shredded beliefs that North America is running short of natural gas, is now set to transform the way Canada thinks about energy. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: North America has 400-years' worth of domestic natural gas, mooting dependence on LNG from unfriendly sources overseas. Calais LNG and Downeast LNG would have us reduce our energy security, and pay more for the resulting natural gas.

Yemeni tanker moves safely through Boston Harbor — (AP) The Daily Item, Lynn, MA

DeLeo praised the Coast Guard's handling of the LNG shipment Tuesday but said he still expects a "long-term solution" that could include moving the energy facilities offshore to avoid the tankers entering the heavily populated inner harbor. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Security high as Yemeni LNG arrives — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

But officials wonder if scrutiny will continue

In 2004, a study commissioned by the Department of Energy concluded that a terrorist attack on an LNG tanker would cause “major injuries and significant damage to structures’’ a third of a mile away and could cause second-degree burns on people more than a mile away. Also that year, the Boston Fire Department estimated that up to 10,000 people could die in an LNG fire in Boston. Officials of the company importing the LNG, Distrigas of Massachusetts, dispute the risk outlined in the critical studies. Distrigas spokesmen contend the 2004 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission assessment was based on flawed assumptions….

Webmaster’s Comments: Most LNG terminal spokespeople like to justify their operations by citing FERC. But, when FERC doesn't agree with the LNG operator, FERC is "flawed."

Boston LNG docking uneventful — (AP) The Boston Herald, Boston, MA

“I am concerned, will they have all the bells and whistles and public safety units to make sure it arrives safely the next time, like it did today?” Menino said, referring to the Coast Guard and police vessels and helicopters that escorted the ship. He said he’ll continue to press Homeland Security officials to “drive home the issue” that the tankers should be offloaded offshore, noting it is done elsewhere.

‘Golden Pass on track to start later this year’ — Gulf Times, Doha, Qatar

The Golden Pass LNG receiving and regasification terminal on the US coast of the Gulf of Mexico, a joint venture among Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, will be in operation later this year, RasGas managing director and CEO Hamad Rashid al-Mohannadi has said.

Webmaster’s Comments: This is more bad news for Calais LNG and Downeast LNG — one more LNG import terminal being built way ahead of ill-timed and ill-sited projects in Passamaquoddy Bay.

Marine safety forum for Kitimat — KFTK-TV, Kitimat, BC

Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline as well as the planned Kitimat LNG terminal would see a large number of sizeable tankers within area waters.

Editorial: Transparent’s only part of it — Democrat-Herald, Albany, OR

The state has just told a company wanting to build an LNG landing on the Columbia that it likely will be denied because it hasn’t submitted a “three-dimensional model” of its effect on water quality. And that’s required for rebuilding an old harbor on a huge navigable waterway? See it in action: state government as obstacle.

Webmaster’s Comments: Yet, the State of Oregon and FERC are ignoring the LNG industry's own terminal siting best safe practices indicating the referenced LNG terminal is inappropriately located. For more on these industry best practices, see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.

On board the world's most powerful tugboat (March 2010) — Popular Mechanics

The Methane Princess is inbound, and she’s not to be trifled with. She’s 909 feet long and 142 feet wide, draws 33 feet and is loaded with liquefied natural gas (LNG). The 94,000-ton vessel is perceived as a giant floating bomb, and at slow speeds, within the confines of crowded shipping channels and ports, there’s simply not enough water passing over her rudder to maintain steerage. She might as well be adrift. Which is why, on this muggy, overcast September afternoon, the tractor tugboat Edward J. Moran is churning down the Savannah River, headed 8 miles into the Atlantic off the Georgia coast to meet the Princess and escort her to the Elba Island LNG terminal, 5 miles east of Savannah.

El Paso to sell Mexican pipeline assets to Sempra — Oil & Gas Journal, Houston, TX

The sale did not include El Paso’s interest in the proposed 1.3-bcfd Sonora LNG terminal, covered by a separate joint venture with Houston’s DKRW Energy LLC. Sonora Terminal and Pipeline would deliver natural gas to northern Mexico and the southwestern US from the terminal site in Puerto Libertad, Sonora, Mexico.

Sempra Pipelines & Storage agrees to acquire Mexican pipeline assets — MarketWatch

Sempra Pipelines & Storage currently owns several Mexico-based assets, including pipelines in Baja California connecting Sempra LNG's liquefied natural gas receipt terminal near Ensenada with various power plants in the region, as well as pipeline systems in the United States. The current assets also include Ecogas Mexico S.R.L., a natural gas utility that serves more than 90,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Northern Mexico with operations in Mexicali, Chihuahua, La Laguna ("Torreon-Gomez Palacio") and Durango.

Natural gas falls to 11-week low for second day as demand slips (Feb 23) — BusinessWeek

“I expect a year of smashing records in terms of LNG imports,” Chris Kostas, an analyst with Energy Security Analysis Inc. in Wakefield, Massachusetts, said in a telephone interview. “A lot of liquefaction has come on already and more will come on in 2010.”

Webmaster’s Comments: Chris Kostas' prediction is hardly significant for unpermitted US LNG import terminals — such as proposed Downeast LNG and Calais LNG — since there is already a vast over-build of import infrastructure. There would need to be an approximate 1,000% increase in LNG import demand to justify even more LNG terminals. Since North America now has 400-years' worth of domestic natural gas, additional proposed LNG import facilities are irrational.

America's massive shale gas revolution hits Canada threatening LNG glut — Business Insider, New York, NY

It's not just America that could face massive over-supply of natural gas due to new shale-gas extraction technology.

Companies are investigating the potential for shale gas in Canada as well, and it's already drastically changing the supply/demand dynamic industry expects.

In just six months Canada went from an expected under-supply situation to vast over-supply expectations:

Over the course of six months last year, Canada's National Energy Board shifted from a prediction that the decline in conventional gas output would far outstrip new shale supplies, to saying that shale gas could satisfy domestic demand "far into the 21st century" and spur exports of liquefied natural gas.

Too much gas or not, Canada will likely have to find more customers for its gas, since its traditional buyer, the U.S., is oversupplied. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

So long, salad days — Newsweek

One problem is that the recession has eviscerated European demand for Russian natural gas (consumption dipped by 7 percent in 2009). Another is that demand in the United States for imported natural gas has fallen off too. Thanks to shale gas and other unconventional sources like tar sands, the U.S. is now close to self-sufficient in natural gas. It's a nightmare for Shtockmann, where the business plan hinged on freezing the product into liquified natural gas, or LNG, for export to the United States. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Consequences of the great LNG speculation, if any — Gerson Lehrman Group

Technological changes have already occurred as seen in the extremely rapid development of the Barnett, the Woodword, the Marcellus, the Haynesville and now the Eagle Ford shales. All that with more to come in Canada's Horn River and Montney shale gas discoveries.

Natural gas resources are increasing apparently without limit. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: North America is drowning in a domestic 400 year-ocean of natural gas.


23 Feb 2010

Kirk seeks more fed security $$$ (Feb 22) — Gloucester Daily Times, Gloucester, MA

Hours before she addresses the national fishermen's rally on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, Mayor Carolyn Kirk will be lobbying the federal government to add Gloucester to its list of high-risk urban terrorist targets.

In her case for raising the city's threat level, Kirk is pointing to the presence of two liquefied natural gas terminals just off the coast, including one that is expected to receive some shipments from the Middle Eastern nation of Yemen, a current security hot-spot. [Red emphasis added.]

Security tight in Boston for Yemeni tanker — UPI

BOSTON, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A controversial tanker carrying liquefied natural gas from Yemen docked in Boston Harbor early Tuesday escorted by police vessels and helicopters.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and other local officials opposed allowing the ship and others scheduled to make deliveries into the harbor. But the U.S. Coast Guard authorized its arrival earlier this month.

LNG tanker arrives — WCVB-TV, Boston, MA

Video icon News video only.

An LNG tanker arrived in Boston from Yemen Tuesday. Elected officials remain concerned.

Webmaster’s Comments: Arrival under darkness increases risk.

Protests continue as Yemeni tanker arrives — WCVB-TV, Boston, MA

Video icon News video footage is available on this webpage.

Boston — Despite protests from local mayors, an LNG tanker arrived in Boston from Yemen Tuesday morning.

Distrigas -- the energy company behind the shipments -- declined comment, but the mayors of Boston and Everett, who have long been vocal on this issue, renewed their concerns about the increased risk that may come with LNG shipped from Yemen.

Webmaster’s Comments: This marks a notable change: Everett's previous mayor was welcoming of the LNG carriers.

Menino pledges to press opposition to LNG tankers — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

Video icon News video footage is available on this webpage.

"I know public opinion is dead against the LNG tankers going into our port," Menino said this afternoon in an interview. "Offshore is the safest option. Why doesn't a company like Distrigas make safety number one? Why aren't they willing to invest in an offshore site?"

Webmaster’s Comments: Extra security cost $25,000 above normal Everett LNG transit security costs. The Yemini tanker arrived during the pre-dawn hours.

Yemeni LNG tanker arrives safely in Boston Harbor — WBUR, National Public Radio, Boston, MA

The U.S. Coast Guard, Massachusetts State Police and Boston Police escorted the tanker into the harbor so it could be unloaded at the station in Everett. The Coast Guard has said it would put in extra security measures for the tanker because of Yemen’s strong ties to al-Qaida, including boarding the tanker out at sea to inspect it for proper documentation and possible stowaways.

The Boston mayor has been meeting with federal officials to try to create an offshore facility to unload the liquefied natural gas farther away from heavily-populated areas. He said the process has been slow. Industry officials have said creating an offshore facility would be costly.

Webmaster’s Comments: Industry officials are concerned about their profits, not about risks to civilian lives.

Unions support bay gas terminal — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

PROVIDENCE — Representatives of the building trades told a special Senate committee on Tuesday that the construction of a floating liquefied natural gas terminal in Mount Hope Bay would benefit the region’s moribund economy by creating hundreds of well-paying jobs.

The opponents argued that the delivery of LNG in tankers through Narragansett and Mount Hope bays would disrupt other boating traffic and could pose a major safety and security threat to communities that flank the route.

Tim Byrne, business agent for the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, which has 1,300 members in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts, acknowledged those concerns in his testimony, but said he still stands behind the project.

Webmaster’s Comments: One cannot blame the hungry for accepting tainted food; however, placing thousands of people's lives unnecessarily in harms way is unjustifiable. In addition, doing so violates the LNG industry's own best safe practices. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more.)

Oregon warns permit for natural gas port unlikely — Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Oregon environmental regulators have told the Texas developers of the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas terminal on the Columbia River that a crucial water quality permit will likely be denied.

Bradwood dealt triple permit blow — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has rebuffed three "demands" from the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project developer and warned that a key water quality permit will likely be denied.

Another potential setback to the company's progress came in the form of a legal brief submitted by attorney generals [sic] from 15 other states supporting Oregon's argument in its lawsuit against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The state's lawsuit, backed by the state of Washington, the Nez Perce Tribe and the anti-LNG group Columbia Riverkeeper, stems from FERC's 2008 approval of the Bradwood project, which challengers argue was wrongly made before required environmental and state permits were approved. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

FERC remains silent on LNG appeals — The World, Coos Bay, OR

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had until Feb. 19 to respond to requests to rehear Jordan Cove Energy Project's application. Instead of giving an up or down vote, the commission issued a tolling order.

"By issuing a tolling order, the Commission gives itself more time to review the arguments raised in the petitions for rehearing," wrote FERC spokeswoman Tamara Young-Allen in an e-mail. "The Commission may then, at its own discretion, render a decision when it is ready to do so."

There now is no deadline for FERC to make a decision, Young-Allen added. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: FERC has a responsibility to the public interest to provide a timeline for its response.

Gazprom Is the essence of the energy curse [Opinion column] (Feb 24) — The Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia

Gazprom has run into new competition from liquefied natural gas and shale gas. Traditionally, Gazprom delivers gas only to Europe and through pipelines. Now LNG is flooding the European market, not least because the United States has suddenly started mass-producing cheap shale gas, replacing the anticipated U.S. demand for LNG. Steadily increased European demand for gas has been replaced by a permanent glut. The International Energy Agency predicts that this will remain the case for the next three to five years. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Nikos Tsafos, Shtokman LNG may be scrapped as US gas output rise— PFC Energy

"You should not underestimate the extent to which Gazprom got burned in 2009 because of its reliance on Europe. LNG may not make sense in terms of tapping the North American market, but it does make sense in terms of flexibility. That is what they are chasing," said Nikos Tsafos, senior analyst at PFC Energy in Washington. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]


22 Feb 2010

Corridor announces US$28.6 million capital budget for 2010 (Feb 22) — Your Oil and Gas News, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

In an earlier press release dated June 26, 2008, Corridor released the results of an independent shale gas resource study conducted by GLJ Consultants of Calgary describing a shale gas resource-in-place potential in excess of 60 trillion cubic feet in the Sussex/Elgin area of New Brunswick. The Apache program is, of course, of particular interest to Corridor because of its potential to open up the initial development of these resources. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Develop huge gas reserves [Letter to the editor] (Feb 20) — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

In an interview on CBC radio (Feb. 17) Minister of Natural Resources Wally Stiles acknowledged the existence of the huge reserves of natural gas in New Brunswick. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Corridor makes date with Old Harry (Feb 20) — The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

One study of the area suggests it may be the largest undrilled prospect in Eastern Canada, with recoverable reserves of up to two billion barrels of oil and five trillion cubic feet of natural gas. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Shale drilling moves north, upending Canada gas forecast — The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY [Paid subscription required]

OTTAWA (Dow Jones)--An unconventional drilling technique that sparked a boom in U.S. gas production has made its way north.

Companies in Canada, the world's fourth-largest natural gas producer, are turning their attention to gas trapped in shale rock.

Webmaster’s Comments: Canada's decreasing conventional natural gas supplies are being surmounted by huge domestic shale gas supplies.

Help protect against ill-suited LNG project, 02-23-10 [Letter to the editor] (Feb 22) — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Hess, Weaver Cove Energy, all owners of tankers steaming up the bay and all parent companies must be forced to take full and total financial responsibility for any potential accident or terrorist act that could adversely impact our lives, property and livelihood. An accident caused by a terrorist act is particularly alarming since most, if not all, of our homeowners’ insurance policies explicitly exclude coverage for damages resulting from an act of terrorism. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Tertzakian: Lessons from a green ice resurfacer's failure — The Gazette, Montreal, QC

[I]t’s well known that western Canada also has large-scale, low-cost natural gas resource plays. In northeast British Columbia, the Montney and Horn River are looking like they are the Marcellus equivalents of the west. Other plays could follow, especially as drilling and completion technologies continue to improve. The big issue is that pipeline transportation costs from BC to eastern Canada, and into the US, are a burden that makes western Canadian gas uncompetitive against a resource like the Marcellus that is right underneath the feet of customers in eastern states.

While it may become increasingly uneconomic to flow western gas all the way to the east, the opportunity for Canadian gas producers with vast, low-cost shale and tight gas resources is to push out high-cost, conventional US production in the western half of the continent. Eventually, an LNG export terminal could help producers’ take market share in the Pacific Basin too. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Oregon LNG pipeline application to go to county hearings officer (Feb 18) — Clatsop County, OR

Transportation and Development Services Director Ed Wegner has chosen to process the application under the Type IIa process, which calls for a public hearing before a hearings officer or the county planning commission. In this case, a hearings officer will conduct the Oregon LNG hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. Any appeal of the ruling will be heard by the county board of commissioners.

Crude fundamentals appear attractive in recovery — ING Investment Weekly

Booming Natural Gas Supply but Minimal Demand Growth

Despite significant withdrawals, storage remains high, production remains robust (especially from shales, such as Haynesville and Barnett) and the rig count is trending back up; none of this bodes well for the supply/demand balance.

The Energy Information Administration expects natural gas demand in the U.S. to increase only 0.4% (to 62.5 bcf/d) in 2010 and another 0.4% in 2011; these increases are primarily due to marginally better economic conditions boosting demand in other segments (such as residential, commercial and industrial). [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

LNG shipping numbers suggest big run coming to an end (Feb 23) — International Oil Daily, Energy Intelligence [Paid subscription required]

LNG shipping has been on an huge run in recent years. But that run looks set to come to a screeching halt in 2010


21 Month 2010

Call for shale gas tenders (Feb 20) — New Brunswick Business Journal, Saint John, NB

The [New Brunswick] Department of Natural Resources has opened up more than one million hectares [2.471 million acres or 3,861 square miles] of land for oil and gas exploration after an industry firm interested in shale gas made the request.

Last June, Corridor Resources released a study by a third party that put the company's shale gas resource near Sussex at 59.1 trillion cubic feet; the firm's McCully Field resource is estimated at about one trillion cubic feet. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Canada's burgeoning shale gas development will further moot imports at both Canaport LNG and ill-proposed Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.

Leaders talk up NB Power deal with U.S. official (Feb 20) — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Graham and the premiers of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island met with Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Obama's chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, in the West Wing of the White House.

New Brunswick's premier also briefed Jackson and his Canadian counterparts on the opening of the first liquefied natural gas plant in Canada in Saint John.

Sexual predators flock to energy boom towns (Feb 19) — Scientific American

The researchers found that, per capita, the number of hospital beds was the same everywhere, but the number of sexual offenders had grown much more rapidly in the oil and gas towns than in those dependent on recreation or agriculture.

Energy boomtowns & natural gas: Implications for Marcellus Shale local governments & rural communities (2009 Jan) — The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

[Note: PDF iconThe link in this item will download a 6.93 MB PDF file.]

Local governments are often caught unprepared by the waves of new growth and are at a disadvantage to mitigate potential growth problems.Expectations for economic benefits are often unrealistically high, and while economic and job growth does occur, these expectations are not met. A significant body of literature shows that boomtowns can harbor disproportinate increases in social problems such as crime, mental health problems, community disatisfaction, education shortfalls, and other indicators. ….

John S. Gilmore, in another widely-publicized article in the journal Science in 1976, outlined what Malamud (1984) later described as “the most coherent, thorough example of boomtown theory:”

As population grows at boom rates, existing local services fall short of need. School classrooms, retailing inventories, housing, and the number of physicians in the community do not grow as rapidly as the number of people increases. Many people’s recreational requirements are not satisfied by the available opportunities. The quality of life in the community is degraded.

the situation is back where it started in the problem triangle, with the local services and facilities finding it even harder to keep up with the increasing population and demand.

[T]he industry or regulatory agency exercises tremendous power over the pace of development and the amount of information that is available to planners; sometimes, an incentive to misinform exists;

Oftentimes, energy development is dependent on volatile commodity prices or other economic factors, and development can stop or even quickly reverse on a moments notice, and the threat of overbuilding can further complicate planning efforts at the local level.

Government and Community Reaction to Boomtown Growth

[F]our stages of attitude that boomtown communities go through when dealing with population growth and industrialization.

  1. Enthusiasm, as officials and residents concentrate on the positive economic impacts of job growth and retail spending that are espoused by energy industry spokespeople, while the possible negative impacts are either unknown or are dismissed as unlikely in their specific area;
  2. Uncertainty, as the town starts to change as new workers arrive in noticeable numbers. It is realized that some negative impacts have arrived along with the positive benefits, and that these negative impacts will likely grow. Officials begin to perform preliminary research; however, there are few resources or experienced staff to draw upon, while industry and state government claims there is nothing that can be done. …;
  3. Near Panic, as the industrial activity and associated impacts grow much quicker than anticipated and the community character changes dramatically in the eyes of longer-term residents who become confused and angry at local officials and each other. Government services are overwhelmed and quality of services declines while officials realize that any increase in revenues will not offset the expenditures in the near future or at all. Government officials find that they are ill-equipped, unprepared or do not have jurisdiction to make the necessary policy decisions while longer term residents feel new government polices are an affront to the community’s historic way of life.

[A] number of overall trends have emerged that present the economic impacts as largely mixed (depending on the community, individuals, and sectors involved) and smaller than was originally assumed by community members.

[R]esidents typically see the development as providing economic benefits both before and during the development, but that the level of perceived economic benefit drops once the development occurs (Thompson and Blevins 1983).

Youth are found to face mixed impacts as they may receive greater job opportunities but will also have to deal with increased crime in their community and overcrowding of schools. Some studies even suggest that boomtown students are more likely to move away after high school than in comparison communities (for a detailed discussion, see Freudenburg 1984b).

Arctic gas by 2017 (Week of Feb 21) — Petroleum News

A second boost could come from plans by Apache and Kitimat LNG to build a gas liquefaction plant on the British Columbia coast which could create demand in overseas markets for 500 million cubic feet to 1 bcf per day of LNG, which would fetch much higher prices than gas in North America. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Columbia River LNG terminal plan hits Oregon DEQ permit obstacle (Feb 19) — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

Oregon environmental regulators have told the developer of a proposed liquefied natural gas import terminal on the Columbia River that they will likely deny the project's water quality permit in May in the absence of substantially more data on potential impacts to the river.

The demands highlight an ongoing regulatory showdown between the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, federal fisheries regulators and NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc. The Houston-based company has proposed building an LNG terminal at an abandoned mill site on the lower Columbia River, 25 miles east of Astoria.

Jobs bills coming (Feb 20) — The Register-Guard, Eugene, OR

Some of the majority Democrats’ traditional allies are less than satisfied with the Legislature’s job-creating efforts. About 400 construction trades workers and their union representatives spoke out earlier this month at a Capitol rally for several bills they wanted — but won’t likely see — passed this session.

Among the apparently doomed bills, one would make it easier for liquefied natural gas projects to secure permits needed to install miles of pipelines — a controversial proposal opposed by environmentalists and potentially affected property owners but aggressively sought by the industries and labor unions that would benefit from such projects.


19 Feb 2010

A growing concern — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

This kind of proximity lent itself to new perspective. I could picture a guy with a rocket launcher in any one of the hundreds of condos or offices on the ship’s path causing a fireball that, despite what Distrigas assures us, would roll from Faneuil Hall to Framingham. And please, spare the details of the ship’s double hull.

We hassle old ladies who have shampoo in their carry-on bags at Logan Airport. We bar parking all around the Hancock tower. We strip people of their belts going into government buildings.

And we allow a massive ship with liquefied natural gas from a nation like Yemen to sail down fairway-width waterways into some of the most densely populated parts of our region. Terrific.

The mayor wants an offshore site to unload the natural gas, far from the masses.

From the vantage of Flagship Wharf, you see more than a glorious view of the harbor. You see that he has a point.

Webmaster’s Comments: Flagship Wharf is merely 700-feet or so over the water from the LNG ships' transit fairway — well within Hazard Zone 1, where all life would be at risk.

FERC authorizes minor design changes at Gulf LNG terminal — LNG Law Blog

FERC has approved minor design modifications to the security systems and equipment requested by the Gulf LNG project.

In-state gas demand may overtake contract (Feb 18) — Peninsula Clarion, Kenai, AK

The pipeline company wants to limit the gas "off-take" in Alaska to keep as much gas volume as possible flowing the entire length of the pipeline. That is important to the economic viability of the pipeline and TransCanada's ability to finance its construction.

Possible projects include the continuation, or an expansion, of the LNG plant now operating near Kenai, a possible restart of the Agrium fertilizer plant also near Kenai (the plant is now closed) and a gas-to-liquids plant that would use the Fischer-Tropsch chemical process to convert natural gas to high-value liquid fuels for sale on the U.S. west coast or in export markets.

Oil rig, gas pipeline work rated the worst job in America — 24-7 Press Release

Perhaps what makes oil rig and gas pipeline work truly difficult is the danger the workers face as a matter of course, day in and day out. These workers can put in 12 or more hours each day, operating or fixing heavy machinery, negotiating slippery surfaces and working on multiple platforms. Many of the workers are young and inexperienced, and not every employer takes the necessary time to properly train them. Moreover, the constant demand for oil and gas makes for a high-pressure work environment in which worker safety is not always the predominant concern.

When all of these factors are taken together, it is no surprise that oil rig and gas pipeline workers have high injury and fatality rates. [Bold red emphasis added.]

Natural-gas prices settle in for the long haul — MarketWatch, New York, NY

"There is simply too much gas available to allow any increase in prices" for this year.

Analysts have told Platts that while there's a more than 50% drop in gas rig count over the past year from low gas prices and oversupply, production is only down "marginally" because producers are ramping up shale plays, where gas is "extracted more quickly and cheaply," according to Mark Davidson, editorial director of U.S. Gas News at Platts. "This has meant supply continues to exceed demand, and there's no sign of that production boom abating." [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Shtokman development might refuse LNG plant construction — ITAR-TASS News Agency

MOSCOW — Shtokman Development AG might cancel its plans to build a liquefied natural gas plant within the Shtokman project, the company’s top executive Yuri Komarov said on Thursday.

[Komarov] said that to make the Shtokman project profitable the liquefied natural gas prices should be back at the 2007-2008 level. [Bold red emphasis added.]


18 Feb 2010

Graham heading for meeting in U.S. — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

It's … likely that Canada's ambassador to the United States Gary Doer's recent call for would-be LNG developers to drop their plans for terminals on the Maine side of Passamaquoddy Bay will be discussed.

Doer said in a letter earlier this month to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that Ottawa is standing firm in its opposition to the movement of liquefied natural gas tankers into [Passamaquoddy Bay]. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: If Downeast LNG and Calais LNG really believe their projects are needed, they need to move to industry-compliant sites. That requires moving to appropriate sites outside of Passamaquoddy Bay. Otherwise, they have no hope.

Commissioning cargo delivered to Neptune LNG deepwater port this week — LNG Law Blog

A commissioning cargo from Trinidad & Tobago arrived earlier this week at GDF Suez's Neptune LNG deepwater port. According to a company official who spoke with Platts Gas Daily, the commissioning process is expected to continue through March 2010.

Webmaster’s Comments: This is the third nail in the Downeast LNG and Calais LNG coffins. (The first two were Canaport LNG and Northeast Gateway Deepwater Port) There is so much LNG import infrastructure already available — with many more terminals already permitted — that terminals have been operating at only around 10% of capacity. With permitted terminals also coming online, the need is further diluted. Plus, the US has four times more natural gas in reserve than was though even last year! (See "A game changer" in today's news posts, below.)

There simply is no need for Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.

New vessel in Gloucester! [Blog] (Feb 17) — Jay Albert's Cape Ann Images

Neptune LNG/Suez Energy North America based in Gloucester is one of two offshore LNG terminals off our coast just got delivery of one of their support vessels. The 128' "Independence" is one of the most advanced vessels of her type in the world!

Webmaster’s Comments: Photographs and specifications are included.

Distrigas submits semi-annual operations report for Everett LNG terminal — LNG Law Blog

This week Distrigas LLC submitted its semi-annual report to FERC detailing the operations of the Everett LNG terminal in the second half of 2009. The report describes terminal maintenance activities and LNG cargos delivered to the facility, and certifies that there were no safety incidents at the facility during the period covered by the report.

Town administrator seeks to coordinate opposition to Weaver's Cove LNG project with U.S. Senator, other officials — LNG Law Blog

Separately, the town council of Burrillville, R.I., voted to adopt two resolutions previously passed by the towns of Bristol and Middletown, R.I., in opposition to the Weaver's Cove LNG project. The resolutions are available in FERC's eLibrary.

Webmaster’s Comments: The Weaver's Cove LNG project is just as industry best practices non-compliant as was defunct Quoddy Bay LNG.

Council backs one turbine — Jamestown Press, Jamestown, Jamestown, RI

The council is still hoping to sign a joint resolution against the LNG facility in concert with other coastal communities, with the venue for those discussions slated to be a March 26 “summit” meeting hosted by the Alliance for a Livable Newport at the Community College of Rhode Island campus in Newport.

FERC rejects WGL protest regarding impacts of regasified LNG in Transco/Elba Express proceeding — LNG Law Blog

FERC issued an order today rejecting Washington Gas Light's rehearing request regarding FERC's prior approval of a new interconnection between Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line and Elba Express, a new sendout pipeline from the Elba Island LNG terminal. Finding that WGL's concerns regarding regasified LNG from Elba Island reaching its system in significant concentrations are "unsupported (and unquantified)," FERC determined that allowing WGL's "restrictive" gas quality requirements to control Transco's specifications "would be detrimental to the public interest."

FERC approves waiver on tying, capacity release arrangements between Statoil and Gazprom at Cove Point LNG — LNG Law Blog

Today FERC granted a waiver of its prohibition on tying and certain capacity release requirements sought by Statoil Natural Gas LLC and Gazprom Marketing and Trading USA, Inc. The parties sought the waiver to allow a release to Gazprom of Statoil's open access transportation capacity on the Cove Point sendout pipeline, as well as capacity on the Dominion Transmission, Inc. pipeline that is downstream of the Cove Point pipeline, to be tied or linked to a purchase and sale agreement whereby Gazprom would sell LNG to Statoil at the inlet of the Cove Point terminal, Statoil would store and regasify it and sell it back to Gazprom at the outlet of the terminal. In this case, FERC found no negative effects, including no impacts on open access competition. The Commission also noted that the waiver is an "integral component" of the Shtokman LNG liquefaction project and that granting this waiver will "facilitate the investment decisions and continued development" of the Shtokman project.

Sen. Murkowski's remarks to the Alaska State Legislature — US Senator Lisa Murkowski, AK

Even though shale gas is coming on line, our gas still has a critical role to play. I believe the abundance of gas will cause industrial sectors from trucking to power generation to convert to gas, creating a more stable market where Alaska gas, shale gas, and foreign LNG will all find their market.

Analysts: Stored LNG moderating U.S. natural gas market — LNG Law Blog

Several natural gas industry analysts told Platts LNG Daily that LNG volumes in storage in the United States have moderated peak gas prices this winter season.

Webmaster’s Comments: The reference to stored LNG includes more than 120 LNG peakshaving facilities around the country. These are separate from LNG import terminals (see Zeus Development's list of LNG peakshaving plants in the world, including the US).

A game changer — The Huffington Post

Last week, J.P. Morgan released a report saying that North America doesn't have 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in place. It has 8 trillion cubic feet. That's four times last year's new and improved numbers. This incredible surge in total gas resources will completely reshape the international energy landscape. Domestic natural gas is going to be so plentiful and so cheap that liquefied natural gas carriers from Qatar and the Middle East will stop coming to the U.S. They'll go to India and China instead. We just won't need [LNG carriers] anymore. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: North America now has around  400 years' worth of natural gas  at today's consumption rate.

There simply is no need for Calais LNG and Downeast LNG.

Historical natural gas price comparisons no longer relevant — TransWorldNews, Atlanta, GA

Natural gas supplies are more plentiful than ever before. Even as natural gas prices plummeted to six-year lows, producers have continued to drill. Why? According to Valerie Wood, President of Energy Solutions, Inc. producers have continued to drill because of increased efficiencies and lower service costs, and there is no indication that is going to change in the near future. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Emerging shale plays forecasted to lower LNGs utilization rates, according to senior vice president of natural resources — The Wall Street Transcript, New York, NY

Before the shale plays, it looked like LNG was going to be necessary to provide gas for the U.S. After the shale plays have come online, we've seen how prolific they are; we've had extremely low rates of utilization for liquefied natural gas regasification facilities, and that's probably going to continue. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Shtokman project may move forward without LNG — Rigzone, Houston, TX

According to the report, the operator has set the deadline for an investment decision on LNG production at December 2011. If a decision is not reached by this date, the field's gas will be transported through pipeline and shipped to European markets.

Webmaster’s Comments: The target market for the resulting LNG was the United States. With all the domestic natural gas now available in the US (100 years' worth), Gazprom has had to rethink its marketing strategy. LNG to the US is out.


17 Feb 2010

LNG project opponents say FERC acting inconsistently on Maine LNG project applications — LNG Law Blog

In supplemental comments filed with FERC this week, Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon, Save Passamaquoddy Bay-Canada, and Save Passamaquoddy Bay-U.S. suggest that the Commission is not evaluating the circumstances surrounding the Downeast and Calais LNG proposals in the same manner. Specifically, the comments argue that FERC's Draft EIS prepared for the Downeast LNG project did not thoroughly assess the potential environmental impacts of an expansion of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline. In contrast, in the Calais LNG proceeding, FERC has stated that a Maritimes expansion is a key component to the project and that it will fully consider such an expansion as it evaluates the environmental impacts of the Calais LNG project. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Canada restates opposition to LNG ships (Feb 12) — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

"As was previously noted in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement issued by the FERC for Downeast LNG, the passage of LNG tankers in this region requires the collaboration of the Government of Canada. Given continuing Government of Canada opposition, you may therefore wish to advise project proponents that they should consider withdrawing their applications as those projects cannot go forward as envisioned." [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: It cannot be stated any clearer: LNG proposals for Passamaquoddy Bay are impossible.

Calais LNG project draws 12 intervenors (Feb 12) — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

In a July 2009 letter to FERC concerning the Downeast LNG proposal, Premier Shawn Graham commented, "While the vessel transit is subject to federal Canadian jurisdiction, the impacts and issues identified in this report fall squarely upon New Brunswick and are within the jurisdiction of my province to review, analyze and address. It is not within the scope of the commission's authority to address and/or propose mitigation for these impacts and issues."

The [Maine State Plannin Office] report … comments, "The state is concerned that the Canadian government has voiced its opposition to this project, as it has to the proposed Downeast LNG project, and has not indicated to date a willingness to participate in formulating an emergency response plan, or to enter into discussions on accomplishing the necessary security measures required for safe transit of the LNG vessel through Canadian and United States waters." [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Even the state's planning office recognizes that the LNG projects cannot fulfill the LNG transit safety and security requirements.

Second company sues Quoddy Bay LNG (Feb 12) — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

Quoddy Bay LNG is being sued by a second company for nonpayment of services. TRC Environmental Corporation, a Connecticut corporation, is suing the company that proposed building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Pleasant Point and its principals, Donald Smith and Brian Smith, for $1.2 million. The suit was filed in January in U.S. District Court in the western district of Oklahoma, since Quoddy Bay LNG LLC is an Oklahoma limited liability company. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Remember Halifax Harbor, 1917 [Letter to the editor] (Feb 16) — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

I think Mayor Menino should take a few of his top engineers and fly up to Saint John, New Brunswick, and view from the air the giant Irving fuel storage area and its offshore unloading facility that keeps the city safe. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Canaport LNG is 5 miles across the water from Saint John. Canaport LNG does not require transiting closely past civilian populations. Canaport does not require transiting up a long, inland waterway where navigational risks are greater. The Everett terminal — like the ill-sited Calais LNG and Downeast LNG proposals — violates LNG industry terminal siting best safe practices.

Natural gas industry analyst: Marcellus shale play unlikely candidate for LNG exports — LNG Law Blog

Speaking to Platts LNG Daily, RBC Capital Markets analyst Scott Hanold said that he does not expect natural gas from the U.S. Marcellus Shale play to be exported from the United States as LNG. Hanold's comments came following this week's announcement that Mitsui, a global LNG player, made a substantial investment in Marcellus Shale assets.

NOAA drops appeal of LNG port — (AP) Ashland Daily Tidings, Ashland, OR

GRANTS PASS — The Obama administration won't appeal federal approval of a liquefied natural gas port on the lower Columbia River.

The states of Oregon and Washington, Columbia Riverkeepers and the Nez Perce Tribe are still appealing the approval, arguing FERC made its decision before environmental reviews and state permits were in.

Sempra doesn’t regret gamble on natural gas (Feb 16) — SignOn San Diego, San Diego, CA

LNG plant in Texas may not even be built

Just as San Diego-based Sempra Energy brings two expensive liquefied natural gas importation plants on line, energy prices have fallen because of lowered demand and increased supply.

That has meant that a third LNG plant the company has proposed in Texas is on hold — and may be sold.

With natural gas plentiful and cheap in North America, Sempra’s plants are not operating anywhere near capacity. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Another LNG re-export from the U.S. (Feb 15) — Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX

Just a few months after Citigroup made history as the first company to re-export LNG from the United States (from the Freeport LNG terminal), the firm is now laying claim to its second cargo. The Q-flex tanker "Al Sadd" loaded in Qatar on the 4th of January and discharged only days ago at Sabine Pass for Total's account, but has extended her stay at the berth to re-load volumes sourced from Cheniere.

Polar marine operations remain the ultimate challenge, says BMT ice specialist — Your Industry News, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

Lab testing cannot provide all the answers as to what happens when a 100,000-ton ship crashes into a large piece of ice. But BMT is at the forefront of research and is discussing with shipping companies how to build a new, safe generation of Arctic tankers. What is well known is that even light ice can exert dangerous forces on a ship, especially those with poor quality steel. Furthermore, the speed of a ship is critical in an impact; while most sail quite slowly in the Arctic, liquefied natural gas carriers cannot because for reasons of efficiency they have to keep up with the trains (facilities) producing the LNG.

This means there will soon be big ships in the Arctic travelling quickly, and no operational experience exists in this area. BMT therefore is trying to develop a thorough understanding of what the loads of these ships will be, and whether LNG containment ships will take the dynamics of ice-breaking loads. These ships will, however, cost significantly more than the standard open water ships. [Red emphasis added.]

Shtokman gas project postponed - implications for Russia, Europe, the US (Feb 16) — News.AZ, Baku, Azerbaijan

In the United States, unconventional gas extraction (from shale and other “hard gas” formations) is rapidly transforming the international gas trade. The US overtook Russia in 2009 as the world’s leading producer with 624 bcm. Unconventional gas has turned the US from a net consumer into a self-sufficient market in 2009, and potentially into a net exporter through LNG. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Gazprom may ship Shtokman LNG to Europe, less to U.S. (Update1) — BusinessWeek

“If European shale gas producers reach just half of the growth rate of their American counterparts, Shtokman and Russian pipeline projects won’t be needed,” Korchemkin said. The International Energy Agency estimates Europe’s shale gas reserves at 15 trillion cubic meters.


14 Feb 2010

Save the Bay sets goals for 2010 — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

Stone made it clear the group’s emphasis would be on stopping the LNG project. The group announced last fall it plans to spend $12,000 on an advertising campaign to drum up opposition.

“Forty years ago Save The Bay was founded by citizens to stop an oil refinery in Tiverton,” Stone said. Since then he said the group has fought against four oil refineries, two LNG terminals, one nuclear power plant and one coal-fired power plant.

Lawsuit seeks to scrap LNG terminal (Feb 13) — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

"We are asking the court to look at the entire record and see the error of FERC's decision, which was arbitrary and capricious," Washington attorney Bart S. Fisher said. "We are basically suing FERC and asking it to reverse its decision."

Nearly a dozen government, business and community groups, including the state of Maryland and Baltimore County, filed appeals of the FERC decision. The five-member panel declined to hear any of the appeals. The lawsuit Friday, filed by the community group LNG Opposition Team, is also asking the appeals court to review that FERC action.

Among the conditions AES must meet is receiving a water-quality permit from the Maryland Department of the Environment. MDE has denied approval of the company's plan to dredge the Baltimore harbor to depths that could handle the large LNG tankers, saying that it would remove significant amounts of contaminated sediment and create a dead zone by depleting oxygen vital to aquatic life. AES has also not submitted a plan for disposal of the sediment. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The Sparrows Point LNG terminal does not comply with LNG industry terminal siting best safe practices.

Sparrows Point Shipyard site expansion is planned (Feb 12) — The Dundalk Eagle, Dundalk, MD

With a federal court leveling another blow against a proposal to construct an LNG facility at Sparrows Point and with more lawsuits expected this week, the shipyard’s owner has filed for a permit to expand an adjacent cargo pier and dredge two basins.

Last week, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals denied AES Corp.’s petition to rehear that court’s Dec. 22 panel decision on a case involving the Maryland Department of Environment’s April denial of a water quality certification for the project. [Red emphasis added.]

Sempra has no plans to sell Port Arthur property (Feb 13) — Beaumont Enterprise, Beaumont, TX

"If somebody wanted to buy it today, I would consider selling the project," Hulse told Dow Jones Newswires at a conference on liquefied natural gas. "But the fact is that it doesn't cost us much to hold it."

In his comment to Dow Jones, Hulse said a new LNG project is not feasible because rising supplies of domestically produced gas. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Will the Legislature make headway on protecting our climate? (Feb 13) — BlueOregon

For this year’s lobby day, about twenty young Oregonians converged in Salem on February 9th, to meet with legislators and discuss bills that can help stimulate Oregon’s green economy while reducing waste and pollution. Our priorities included supporting Rep Ben Cannon’s proposed ten-year ban on offshore oil and gas exploration (House Bill 3613), smart urban development that provides for the needs of a growing population while reducing emissions from vehicles (Senate Bill 1059), and protecting rural communities and public lands from high-carbon liquefied natural gas (LNG) development.

Peak oil review (Feb 8) — Energy Bulletin, Post Carbon Institute, Santa Rosa, CA

A surge in domestic US natural-gas supplies is stalling ambitious plans for a raft of liquefied natural-gas import terminals along the country's coastlines. At present, the US has nine LNG receiving terminals, including one in Puerto Rico. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: News for Calais LNG and Downeast LNG is all bad.

Mission critical: Can shale gas save the world? (2009 Sep 21) — Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas - USA, Denver, CO

In late August the Vancouver Sun ran an article on the bullish prospects for Canadian shale gas. The piece began this way: “What energy crisis? Despite what you may be hearing about a global peak in oil production, waning reserves, and $100-plus oil prices, North America is suddenly awash in fossil fuel.

…Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy, believes the Marcellus shale, which underlies Appalachia, holds as much gas-in-place as the U.S. has used in its entire history.

“[T]here is no reason North America shouldn’t be energy self-sufficient if we can displace a lot of the oil with natural gas.” [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Calais LNG and Downeast LNG are expensive, wasteful projects that would merely create greater dependence on foreign energy — exactly contrary to the goal of US energy independence.

Shale gas rush presents another problem for Russia and Gazprom (Feb 13) — Seeking Alpha

Exxon Mobil Corp. and explorers including Chevron Corp. are securing land in Europe to exploit shale gas, a hard-to-extract deposit that could reduce global demand for liquefied natural gas, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said.

“A land-grab has occurred in Europe over the last two years with majors such as Exxon, Conoco, Chevron and Statoil ASA (STO) all participating, not willing to miss out as they did in the U.S.,” said Mark Greenwood, a Sydney-based analyst with JPMorgan. “While it’s still early days for European and Chinese shale gas plays, its potential is yet another threat for the LNG supply-demand balance.”

My, how the worm is turning. Which all goes to show the danger of putting all your chips on one number. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The entire world LNG industry may be falling on hard times.

Shtokman may be delaying inevitable (Feb 15) — The Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia

In a sign that the rise of U.S. unconventional gas production has changed global gas markets, Gazprom and partners on Friday said first Shtokman liquefied natural gas output had been pushed back from 2014 to 2017, citing "changes in the market situation and particularly in the LNG market."

Shtokman LNG, whose main target market is the United States, has had to adjust to a new reality in which the United States — once considered to be a big growth LNG market — does not need incremental LNG supplies for the foreseeable future.

"The LNG side of the project was always predicated on the growth of the North American market. Now if long-term shale is a game changer and the U.S. doesn't need large amounts of LNG, it doesn't make a huge amount of sense to develop a large LNG project," said Frank Harris, an LNG analyst at consultants Wood Mackenzie.

[W]hile rebounding demand in Asia is set to tighten the Pacific market in the coming years, U.S. demand for imported gas is not set to grow long term. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Gazprom moves to methane output (Feb 15) — The Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia

Successful extraction of shale gas, another unconventional fuel, has led to what International Energy Agency chief economist Fatih Birol called “a silent revolution” in the United States. The world’s biggest energy consumer, the United States may become self-sufficient in gas through its shale-gas developments. Unconventional fuels had been too complex to develop until new technologies made extraction feasible.

“U.S. shale gas could grow by 2015 to a similar scale as the entire global LNG market currently,” Greenwood said. “A land-grab has occurred in Europe over the last two years” as international companies such as Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Chevron Corp. and Statoil seek resources.

Webmaster’s Comments: Even Russia recognizes the futility of additional incremental LNG imports to the US. Calais LNG and Downeast LNG are lost causes.


12 Feb 2010

City councilor chides NB, Canada for anti-LNG stance (Feb 11) — WQDY-FM, Calais, ME

[City Councilor Joseph Cassidy] said he was "very much dismayed" after reading a story in this week's Calais Advertiser reporting on the ambassador's comments about Calais LNG and Downeast LNG, "suggesting we ought to just have those pulled off the table."

"I am growing very tired of the hypocrisy and hostility coming out of New Brunswick and Canada, generally. I'm also equally sometimes as upset that our senators in Washington seem unwilling to jump in the fray on our behalf. We're trying to do something good here and maybe it's time for the state to consider a moratorium on the foreign natural gas going through our pipelines, that's my only comment for tonight," Cassidy said.

Webmaster’s Comments: The City of Calais ignores world LNG terminal siting best safe practices that, from decades of experience and research, were promulgated to protect the LNG industry and civilians. Calais government is being blinded by false hopes. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more on LNG terminal siting best practices.) Further, preventing natural gas from entering the US from Canada would hurt the US — Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline natural gas costs less than the gas from LNG imported at Everett, Massachusetts (see our Announcement, "Imported Natural Gas Price at Calais, ME, Cheaper Than Everett, MA").

Mayor calls Washington for help along Island End (Feb 11) — Everett Independent, Everett, MA

While maintaining his confidence in the US Coast Guard, State Police and Everett’s own Police and Fire personnel, Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. called upon Senator John Kerry and Representative Edward Markey in Washington D.C. to help his latest effort, ensuring homeland security along the Island End area of Everett. The commercial and industrial area along the harbor is a hub for many industries, including the much talked about Distrigas/ Suez LNG facility. Mayor DeMaria is also looking forward to calling on our newly elected Senator, Scott Brown, to help in securing federal funding for improvements to the area.

At R.I. Senate hearing, concerns raised over LNG proposal — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

PROVIDENCE — Representatives of the state’s coastal council, its largest environmental group, saltwater anglers and marine trades raised a long list of objections Thursday evening to Weaver’s Cove Energy’s proposal to deliver tankers of liquefied natural gas to a floating terminal in Mount Hope Bay.

Usually, [Coastal Resources Management Council Executive Director Grover Fugate] said, the CRMC tells applicants what information it wants submitted. Here, he said, Weaver’s Cove told the CRMC what it wanted to submit.

Narrow U.S. gas spreads may slow spring stock builds (Feb 11) — Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB

Some analysts expect LNG imports to more than double this year to 2.6 bcf per day or higher, adding supplies to an already well supplied market.

Webmaster’s Comments: Even if LNG imports double, US LNG import terminals would be operating at 20% of capacity — leaving no need for Calais LNG or Downeast LNG.

Natural gas transportation - Why not? — Seeking Alpha

[E]veryone is now quite aware of the shale plays which have been a complete game changer in the energy arena. It is now clear the US has enough domestic natural gas to supply home heating and industrial consumption as well as to replace all dirty coal electrical generation and power half the US car and truck fleet - all of this, for at least 100 years.

Despite a frigid winter and a nat gas rig count that was sharply curtailed in 2008/2009, the US nat gas inventory level is still 7% above the 5 year average. Natural gas supply is a light switch away in the US. The supply question has been answered – US domestic natural gas supplies are abundant. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Simply put, proposed LNG import terminals like Calais LNG and Downeast LNG are unneeded late-comers without futures.


11 Feb 2010

U.S. to receive first Yemeni LNG cargo — The Maritime Executive, Fort Lauderdale, FL

This announcement from USCG came the same day Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch testified at a state Senate hearing, protesting Hess LNG LLC's development plans for an LNG offloading terminal in Mount Hope Bay. Lynch has been campaigning for the past six years for prevention of any development of LNG terminals because of the environmental, economic and safety hazards.

Ocean 'planning' moves on right track [Letter to the editor] — Gloucester Daily Times, Gloucester, MA

Massachusetts coastal waters are a microcosm of what is going on nationally. So far, there are more than 50 proposals for similar LNG sites, and wind energy companies are watching what happens in Nantucket Sound with baited breath. The best picture I can paint is not that of an open wilderness, but that of a Wild West-like "grab" by industry for almost any piece of the ocean they can get. Is that really what the Times, fishing communities, conservationists, or anyone else really wants to see?

When the LNG sites were being considered, because of the law being used (the Deep Water Ports Act), the primary agencies involved were the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Energy Commission. There were minimal places for the agencies concerned with managing fisheries or other living resources (such as National Marine Fisheries Service) to have any say in the matter. The current plan would unify management into one cohesive agency that takes all aspects into consideration; please tell me how that is not preferable to what is happening now? [Red emphasis added.]

Deepwater LNG double on the horizon — SNLinteractive

Suez LNG’s Neptune project ten miles off the coast of Massachusetts is nearing completion. In all, the US Maritime Administration, also known as MARAD, has approved eight of 16 applications for deepwater LNG offshore port licenses. Prospects appear to have dimmed…as a number of operators have withdrawn plans for LNG terminals or put them on indefinite hold.

Not coincidentally, enthusiasm for expanded LNG importing capacity cooled about the same time that US shale gas plays, and the technology necessary to exploit them, began to heat up, raising the prospect of large domestic reserves.

Offshore advantages

An offshore terminal allows a number of advantages, he says, including easy access for large LNG carriers and [fewer] regulatory hurdles than bringing a carrier into port. There’s also the permitting issue: getting new permits for onshore terminals is increasingly difficult on the Gulf Coast, particularly in places like Alabama that have limited shoreline, much of which is off-limits to development. Environmentalists have also raised concerns about the safety of LNG operations.

Obviously the first question that comes to mind is, is it going to be needed?’

Offshore installations, because they usually have lower up-front capex costs than land-based terminals and are not as dependent on high throughput rates, can make sense in places where demand is ‘extremely seasonal,’ McDonald says.

‘When some of these were proposed, even three, four, five, six years ago, we were up in arms – the US is going to need LNG! The US is going to need LNG! And I think it’s safe to say that now the US does not necessarily need [LNG]. It might still get it, but it doesn’t need it. [Bold, red & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Unlike Downeast LNG and Calais LNG, offshore siting makes more sense, but US LNG import capacity is already considerably overbuilt. Even if Downeast LNG and Calais LNG were to now propose building offshore, their projects would be moot.

LNG facility high on GBPA's agenda — The Freeport News, Nassau, Bahamas

The implementation of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility is of top priority for the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), maintains company president Ian Rolle.

Obama no savior for LNG opponents — Clackamas Review, Portland, OR

Fed agency slow to change, but state could stymie projects

“We now have a chairman of FERC who’s at least listening,” Riley says.

It’s LNG deja vu in the Oregon Legislature — News-Times, Portland, OR

Three bills that mirror proposals that failed last year are back, but will they get traction?

Facing allegations of misconduct, Oregon LNG to meet landowners under protest — SNLinteractive

Oregon LNG will participate in an upcoming series of town hall meetings aimed at addressing landowner complaints, but will do so under protest, project developers told FERC Feb. 10.

In January, an administrative law judge issued an order directing a series of town hall meetings to be held "to permit interested parties and Oregon Pipeline an opportunity to express their views and concerns over Oregon Pipeline's conduct with landowners during the environmental review process."


10 Feb 2010

Anti-LNG group will gather tomorrow — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Fall River — The next meeting of the Coalition for Responsible Siting of LNG Facilities will be held on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. at the Old Somerset Town Hall, 1464 County St.

Sempra LNG: Open to selling planned Port Arthur, Texas terminal — The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY [Paid subscription required]

"If somebody wanted to buy it today, I would consider selling the project," [Chief Executive Darcel Hulse] told Dow Jones Newswires Tuesday on the sidelines of an LNG conference.

Webmaster’s Comments: LNG import terminal ownership in the US is not turning out to be the money machine they have been hyped to be.

Oregon LNG trying to stop FERC meetings into complaints about the company (Feb 9) — Natural Oregon

In a filing submitted last week, Oregon LNG asks Commissioners not only to cancel the public meetings, but also to stop a FERC Administrative Law Judge from writing up a fact finding report about the complaints.

It was a little more than two weeks ago when FERC took the unusual step of saying it would hold a series of town hall meetings to listen to landowners and representatives of Oregon LNG talk about what happened during the two-day field trip in early December. FERC staff and Oregon LNG representatives toured several properties along the proposed pipeline route.

Newest FERC member tips hand — The World, Coos Bay, OR

While saying he would let the market decide whether LNG terminals should be built, Norris also said the country needs a policy that reins in greenhouse gas emissions and encourages a diverse energy portfolio.

Tempest in a teapot — KCI Investing

Many are still surprised to learn that thanks to prolific production from plays such as the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana and the Barnett Shale in Texas, the US appears to have overtaken Russia to become the world's largest producer of natural gas. At one point in early 2008, US gas production was growing at a double-digit pace; it wouldn't be a stretch for US producers to match that growth rate again if there were enough domestic demand to support higher output.

As XTO Energy chief Bob Simpson recently put it in a hearing before a House Subcommittee, “the psychology of the natural gas markets has turned from one of scarcity to one of plenty.”

This is a true sea change in outlook: Just five years ago, most pundits were discussing the need for the US to import more gas in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to meet demand. Now, US LNG import facilities sit idle and the talk centers around potential new ways to use domestically produced gas or, ironically, the opportunity to export North American gas to energy-hungry markets in Europe and Asia. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The US is swimming in domestic natural gas. LNG import terminals sit largely idle. Even doubling LNG imports would increase average terminal usage to only around 20% of their capacity.

Calais LNG and Downeast LNG are merely wishful thinking.

RPT-Update 1-US LNG imports in January double year-ago levels — Reuters UK

The EIA said imports in 2010 as a whole are expected to rise versus 2009, as production comes online in Russia, Indonesia, Yemen and Qatar. However, imports are seen falling in 2011 as demand in Europe and Asia picks up and helps suck some cargoes away from U.S. shores. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Gazprom sells US LNG to China —

Russian energy company Gazprom has shipped 1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to China, as the US gas market has an unfavourable pricing environment, says Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of Gazprom’s management committee and director general of OOO Gazprom Export.

Shtokman LNG may be scrapped as US gas output rises — (Reuters) Sharenet, Cape Town, South Africa

In a sign that the rise of U.S. unconventional gas production has changed global gas markets, Gazprom and partners on Friday said first Shtokman liquefied natural gas output had been pushed back from 2014 to 2017, citing "changes in the market situation and particularly in the LNG market."

Shtokman LNG, whose main target market is the United States, has had to adjust to a new reality in which the U.S. -- once considered to be big growth LNG market -- does not need incremental LNG supplies for the foreseeable future.

U.S. natural gas reserves are up by a third since 2006, thanks to unconventional gas development including shale gas, with estimated reserves sufficient to supply the U.S. market for nearly 100 years at current rates.

U.S. demand for imported gas is not set to grow long term. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are deluding themselves. Their projects have no future.

Gazprom, the unlikely environmental evangelist — The Source, The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY

But this isn’t pure environmental altruism. A huge boom in the production of shale gas, which is released from rock by blasting a mixture of water and chemicals into tiny fractures, has created a supply glut in the U.S. that has edged Gazprom out of what it hoped would be an important new market for its shipments of liquefied natural gas.

Gazprom has already been forced to divert cargoes from its Sakhalin-2 LNG project from the U.S. to China and push back the startup of the huge Shtokman LNG project high in Russia’s Arctic because of the big and unexpected changes in the U.S. gas market shale gas has wrought. It is dreading the effect that a similar shale gas boom could have on its most important export market–Western Europe. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]


9 Feb 2010

Milford getting new park — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Brunswick Pipeline only used a small portion of the land to install the pipeline and to set up a big, white drill tent, said Susan Harris, spokeswoman for the company.

The pipeline carries natural gas from the Canaport LNG plant on the east side and runs through the city toward the U.S. border. The company started using it last July.

U.S. group files formal opposition to Calais LNG — LNG Law Blog

Save Passamaquoddy Bay, an organization opposed to LNG import projects in Maine (sic), has submitted its formal opposition to the Calais LNG import project to FERC.

Webmaster’s Comments: Save Passamaquoddy Bay does not oppose LNG projects in Maine; it opposes inappropriately-sited LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay.

Coalition for Responsible Siting of LNG Facilities meeting to be held — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Somerset — The next meeting of the Coalition for Responsible Siting of LNG Facilities will be held on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. at the Old Somerset Town Hall, 1464 County St.

House considers a bill for Cook Inlet gas storage — Alaska Dispatch, Anchorage, AK

For years, Southcentral rate-payers enjoyed the lowest natural gas prices in the nation. But those were different times, when the small local market was easy to supply as producers focused on making money from liquefied natural gas exports to Asia and feeding big industrial customers, like the now-shuttered Agrium fertilizer plant on the Kenai. As the Nikiski LNG plant's export license nears the end of its term -- March 2011 -- ConocoPhillips hasn't made a decision whether to seek federal renewal.

TransCanada sweetens terms for gas pipeline — Peninsula Clarion, Kenai, AK

It is more difficult to assess possible gas production revenues from the Valdez option, Palmer said, because sales of LNG might occur in either North America or Asia.

If sales were made to North America, and assuming the LNG is shipped from Valdez to an existing regasification plant in Baja California, there could be an additional 75 cents to $1 per mmbtus in transportation costs, Palmer said. LNG sold in Asia would be priced in parity with crude oil prices, which is the basis for most international LNG sales.

Webmaster’s Comments: LNG sells at a higher price in Asia than in the US.

Pacific Northern Gas raises quarterly dividend 12 percent on strength of 13 percent gain in Q4 2009 earnings per share [News release] (Feb 8) — Marketwire

"Given a growing natural gas surplus in northern British Columbia and declining natural gas prices across North America, the economics of exporting LNG continue to improve and we continue to work towards achieving significant project milestones as the year progresses." [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Harper heads for B.C. legislature (Feb 8) — Terrace Standard, Terrace, BC

Other promises include: a "northern energy corridor" to export liquefied natural gas from shale deposits in [northeast British Columbia] through a new port at Kitimat.

Gas market goes global — Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB

Shale's impact felt around the world

[T]he shale gas revolution -- which has helped the U.S. to leapfrog ahead of Russia as the world's largest natural gas producer -- means the LNG export strategy needs to be rethought.

[T]hese factors point to an oversupply of natural gas for the foreseeable future. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Market Watch: Energy prices rebound in mixed market — Oil & Gas Journal, Tulsa, OK

Natural gas prices fell 2% on Feb. 8 “despite a weather forecast calling for a second snow storm and blizzard-like conditions for the Northeast,” said analysts at Pritchard Capital Partners LLC in New Orleans. The weakness in gas futures prices is “due to continued concerns domestic shale production continues to increase and renewed concerns that the current natural gas price premium for Northeastern US markets over the UK price point may suggest LNG cargoes will be diverted from Europe to the US,” they said. Nevertheless, gas prices were up 1% in early trading Feb. 9.

Webmaster’s Comments: The LNG industry keeps hoping. Shale gas keeps dashing those hopes.

Analysts expect coal, imports of LNG to moderate U.S. natural gas prices — LNG Law Blog

Analysts with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Barclays Capital separately predicted this week that use of coal and increased LNG imports will moderate U.S. natural gas prices in 2010.

Webmaster’s Comments: Natural gas prices from low to even lower? In case Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Barclays Capital haven't seen it, the US Department of Energy indicates that LNG is more expensive than North American natural gas — at least it is in the Northeast. Adding more expensive natural gas from LNG would increase the cost of natural gas, not lower it.

If you are a company that invests in LNG, like Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Barclays Capital, it is in your best interests to dupe the public into believing LNG will reduce natural gas prices. Conflict of interest is still alive and well on Wall Street.

Gazprom knocks US shales — Upstream Online

Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom warned of environmental risks from shale gas drilling in the United States and Europe today, but said it expected its gas to be able to compete with shale gas prices even if production expands.


8 Feb 2010

Mainers voice opposition to LNG facilities — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

[A] chorus of Americans on the Maine side of the bay are slamming the two proposed LNG facilities, saying the projects will hurt the local economy, harm wildlife, drive down property values and destroy the "pristine" beauty of the area.

The letter, filed late last month by the group's lawyers, claims the LNG developments [would] adversely impact everything from tourism and the economy to the safety of wildlife. The group also raises concern about the lack of a nearby trauma hospital, should there be a "catastrophic" accident. The package filed by Save Passamaquoddy Bay-U.S. also includes individual protests from bay residents.

Gary Doer, Canada's recently appointed ambassador to Washington, stated in a letter to FERC that Ottawa is standing firm in its opposition to the movement of LNG tankers into the bay, which the Canadian government considers internal waters. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

New Brunswick unleases (sic) legal volley aimed at Calais LNG plans — Natural Gas Week, Energy Intelligence [Paid subscription required]

Attorneys representing the Province of New Brunswick have asked the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to deny a permit request by Calais LNG to build a 1 billion cubic foot per day receiving terminal and associated pipeline on the outskirts of Calais, Maine…. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Bringing a bomb into Boston Harbor — Sentinel & Enterprise, Fitchburg, MA

We find the idea of allowing a tanker from Yemen filled with explosive gas into Boston Harbor terribly troubling, and urge Coast Guard officials to work out another way to unload the gas without allowing the tankers into Boston Harbor.

Preservation Society of Newport County endorses opposition to LNG site (Feb 7) — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

“There’s a twofold threat to local tourism if an LNG facility is sited in Mount Hope Bay,” said Preservation Society Board Chairman Pierre duPont Irving. “Temporary bridge closings will disrupt both motor coach and passenger vehicle traffic bringing visitors to Newport, and restricted access to Narragansett Bay will interfere with cruise ship operations,” he said.

“Heritage tourism is one of the region’s biggest employers, and a major contributor to the business tax base of Newport County and beyond,” said Preservation Society CEO and Executive Director Trudy Coxe. “The Preservation Society itself generates over 100 million dollars a year in regional economic activity, and that economic engine would be put at substantial risk by this proposed LNG facility,” she said.

Webmaster’s Comments: And yet, some LNG advocates scoff at the tourism economy.

To Plan B, or not to Plan B? [Opinion column] — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

What would happen if an LNG tanker is blocked from Boston Harbor due to security concerns?

Here’s the bad news: There is no Plan B. There’s no Santa Claus, no Wizard of Oz, and no Plan B. Nobody - not City Hall, not Distrigas, not the US Coast Guard - has a Plan B for that event.

Adds Don McGough, Menino’s head of Emergency Preparedness, “That’s a valid question. Distrigas is in a state of denial. We don’t think there is a good enough Plan B.’’

As my daughter used to say, “I don’t like this.’’

Douglas W. Gablinske: Safety, convenience, flounder all argue against LNG [Op-ed column] (Feb 6) — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

[O]ur opposition to this terminal is rooted in logic and concern for the common good. Too often politicians are lambasted for ignoring their constituents and responding to the needs of wealthy corporations and special interests, but oddly The Journal is criticizing us for the exact opposite reason. We stand squarely with our constituents in opposition to this terminal, and no criticism from the media or other vested interests is going to weaken our resolve.

We oppose the siting of an LNG off loading facility in Mount Hope Bay because it [would] harm the environment, inhibit our access to the waterways and put our constituents in danger. We understand that natural gas heats our homes and powers our businesses but if a new facility is needed — and studies show that it is not — it should be sited in the ocean, not in the middle of a densely populated area at the end of an inland waterway.

Today our waterways are multi-use with commercial and recreational users coexisting easily. If this facility [were] built, the LNG tankers [would] have “first dibs” on the waterways — and that’s just wrong, particularly since Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay are the people’s bays and not the exclusive property of a major corporation. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

TransCanada files Alaska open season plan with FERC (Feb 9) — Pipeline and Gas Technology, Houston, TX

Two options will be submitted for shipper assessment in the Alaska Pipeline Project open season. The first option is a pipeline from Alaska’s North Slope to Alberta, Canada, a distance of approximately 1,700 miles (2,737 kilometers), where the gas can be delivered on existing pipeline systems serving major North American markets. The second option would transport natural gas from the North Slope to Valdez, Alaska, a distance of approximately 800 miles (1,287 kilometers), where it would be converted to liquefied natural gas in a facility to be built by others and then delivered by ship to North American and international markets. Both options would provide opportunities for Alaska communities to acquire natural gas from the pipeline from a number of strategically located off-take connections.


5 Feb 2010

Ambassador advises U.S. LNG backers to drop plans — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

FREDERICTON - Canada's ambassador to the United States has bluntly, if diplomatically, advised would-be LNG developers to drop their plans for terminals on the Maine side of Passamaquoddy Bay.

Gary Doer, Canada's recently appointed ambassador to Washington, stated in a letter this week to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that Ottawa is standing firm in its opposition to the movement of liquefied natural gas tankers into the bay.

Doer says that the prospect of large gas tankers navigating the narrow passage into Passamaquoddy Bay poses serious public safety and environmental concerns for Canadians.

"As was previously noted in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement issues by FERC for Downeast LNG, the passage of LNG tankers in this region requires the collaboration of the Government of Canada," he said, adding that such approval will not be given. [Red, yellow, bold & italic emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: For the nth time since 2005, Canada has officially informed FERC that LNG transits will not be allowed into Passamaquoddy Bay and have advised the LNG proponents to withdraw their applications. Meanwhile, the US Coast Guard officially requires the LNG applicants to obtain Canada's cooperation in order to transit LNG through Head Harbour Passage and Passamaquoddy Bay. This is not a Canadian requirement — it is a US Coast Guard requirement.

It has been abundantly clear for the past five years that Canada will not cooperate in providing safe and secure LNG transits through that waterway.

While Calais LNG and Downeast LNG — facilitated by a false claim by the US Department of State* — say they have UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) innocent passage rights to transit through Canadian waters, the US Coast Guard requirement is something separate and in addition to that issue.

Quoddy Bay LNG and Downeast LNG have tried for five years to change Canada's position, and have failed. Calais LNG apparently does not recognize reality, even when it is staring them in the face. The United States is already drowning in 100-years' worth of domestic natural gas. US LNG import facilities are operating at less than 10% of capacity. Even if LNG imports double, that infrastructure would be operating at only 20% of capacity. Everett's LNG terminal and Northeast Gateway offshore LNG terminal have been running at an average of under 26% of capacity — there is more than plenty of room to handle additional imports.

There simply is no need for Calais LNG or Downeast LNG. The US Government knows that, and for the US Government to press Canada on this issue would be committing fraud against US taxpayers.

* UNCLOS clearly indicates that only participants in the UNCLOS treaty have rights under the treaty. Since the US is not a participant, it has no UNCLOS right of innocent passage.

Cdn. ambassador to U.S. Gary Doer opposes American liquefied natural gas plan — (The Canadian Press) Metro Ottawa, Ottawa, ON

WASHINGTON - Canada's ambassador to the United States is urging American energy regulators to discourage natural gas projects that would require tankers to travel through Canadian waters.

Canadian Ambassador reiterates Canada's opposition to LNG vessel traffic through Head Harbour Passage — LNG Law Blog

In a letter to FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff responding to the recently filed application of Calais LNG, the new Canadian Ambassador to the United States, Gary Doer, reiterated the Canadian federal government's position that it will not permit LNG vessels to transit through Canadian waters in Passamaquoddy Bay or Head Harbour Passage. Ambassador Doer's letter notes that since U.S. federal agencies have concluded that LNG vessel traffic through these waterways requires collaboration with Canadian authorities and Canada will not permit these activities, FERC "may ... wish to advise project proponents that they should consider withdrawing their applications." [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The US Coast Guard requires the LNG developers to obtain Canada's approval. Canada says "no." Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are pipe dreams that are building false hopes and ill-will, and are needlessly wasting a lot of money.

Recently appointed Commissioner says FERC should focus on safety, environmental impacts when evaluating LNG terminal applications — LNG Law Blog

Speaking to Platts LNG Daily, recently appointed FERC Commissioner John Norris indicated that the agency should focus on safety and environmental impacts in evaluating LNG terminal applications and allow the market to decide whether a facility is eventually built. Commissioner Norris also noted that FERC should not support one energy source at the expense of others, but rather encourage a diverse U.S. energy portfolio.

Webmaster’s Comments: FERC is not a safety-first agency — it ignores LNG industry terminal siting best safe practices, placing the LNG industry and the public in peril.

The Atlantic Gateway: A doorway to our collective misery, but are we in a position to stop it? [Blog] (Feb 4) — Halifax Media Co-op, Halifax, NS

People in Atlantic Canada and even parts of the Northeastern States are just not worth as much money as people in larger consumption markets in the U.S. That's the cold logic of capitalism: avoid pissing off people who are more capable of amassing lawsuits and whose property values are too important an asset to reduce in value by surrounding it with dirty projects. One example of the pushing away of dirty energy from richer to poorer areas has been the successful opposition to proposed LNG terminals (explosive, habitat-wrecking) in New York State. This effective opposition by relatively richer communities pushed developers to the poorer Gateway region, in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Maine. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Yemen LNG to be transport to USA soon (Feb 4) — Poten & Partners

The shipment will be sent from Balhaf harbour of Shabwa province to Boston harbour, the USA late in current February.

Boston Harbor to get Yemeni LNG cargo over objections (Correct) (Feb 4) — Business Week

The Coast Guard’s announcement came the same day Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch testified at a state Senate hearing, protesting Hess LNG LLC’s plans to develop an LNG offloading terminal in Mount Hope Bay.

“The reality is, there are other options,” Lynch said in a telephone interview today, referring to his preference for LNG off-loading terminals located more than 10 miles out to sea.

Yemen’s first U.S. shipment of LNG arrived at Louisiana’s Sabine Pass LNG terminal on Jan. 31, Carlos Diaz, deputy chief spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard, said in an e-mail message. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

The LNG danger [Editorial] (Feb 3) — Chelsea Record, Revere, MA

There is not a hint of doubt that LNG steaming into Boston Harbor on a Yemeni tanker might very well pose a terrorist danger.

The case has been made by City Manager Jay Ash and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino – that allowing these deliveries to continue unfettered is to invite trouble.

They are right.

Coast Guard OK’s Yemen deliveries; – Mayor, local residents outraged (Feb 3) — Chelsea Record, Revere, MA

With the tankers all having to come into the harbor and to sail under the Tobin Bridge to their dockage on the Everett shore of the river, much of Charlestown, parts of Winthrop and Chelsea and Everett are put at severe risk, according to officials.

“This is not a new issue. It is a major problem. I am disappointed. This is the wrong decision. It puts the business interests of large corporations ahead of the security of Boston area residents. LNG tankers should not be passing through Boston Harbor. A long term strategy to fix this problem is what’s necessary,” said [Boston Mayor Menino].

Webmaster’s Comments: FERC, the LNG industry, and the US Coast Guard like to repeat that LNG shipping has had an exemplary safety record. That is true; however, history protects no one. 9/11 is the proof.

Officials concerned about LNG tankers from Yemen (Feb 4) —, Rockford, IL

Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash said Wednesday the Coast Guard's best efforts may not be good enough. [Red emphasis added.]

Revere beefs up security around LNG tanker (Feb 6) — The Daily Item, Lynn, MA

REVERE - Fire Department officials and a local oil distribution firm are taking steps to safeguard a tanker docking near Lee Burbank Highway against terrorists.

Liquefied natural gas shipments from Yemen, scheduled to pass through Boston Harbor on the way to Everett, have unnerved elected officials, who acknowledged Tuesday they are largely powerless to stop federal ratification of the deliveries.

Fall River law department at full strength — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Fall River — The law department, reaching full strength this week, plans to handle more cases in house – including LNG litigation – and expedite damage claims more rapidly, Corporation Counsel Steven Torres said.

“I’m an experienced environmental construction attorney,” he said, stating that the Boston law firm of Holland & Knight is now on a “task-by-task” basis handling the LNG litigation. “Holland & Knight will have a different role, but they will have a role,” he said. [Red emphasis added.]

Council deadlocks on turbines (Feb 4) — The Jamestown Press, Jamestown, RI

Agreement reached on anti-LNG port resolution

Although the adoption of Ruggiero’s LNG resolution didn’t involve any initial discussion beyond the necessity for a few minor edits, a Somerset, Mass., selectman – Lorne Lawless – questioned the benefits of the resolution at this late stage of the federal permitting process. He also shared his views on the most effective way to fight the LNG facility proposed for Mt. Hope Bay.

R.I. town adopts resolution opposing Weaver's Cove LNG project (Feb 4) — LNG Law Blog

[T]he Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) has informed Weaver's Cove that it must obtain a RIDEM water quality certification and dredging permit prior to any construction activities associated with the Weaver's Cove LNG project. [Red emphasis added.]

USCG sets impact study for LNG terminal — The Wave, Rockaway Beach, NY [Paid subscription required]

Man-made island slated for off-shore Rockaway

The United States Coast Guard will deliver its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) concerning the proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal, that will be built about 15 miles off the shore of Far Rockaway, to interested agencies in the next few weeks, according to a spokesperson.

Sempra ruling nullified (Feb 4) — American Press, Lake Charles, LA

Cheatwood argued the Port of Lake Charles could lose about $65 million if Fontenot’s ruling is upheld, and that it will, in turn, “face serious obstacles in maintaining the ship channel.” He said the Sempra lease was needed to further the work of the port.

Alaska hears TransCanada's case (Feb 3) — UPI

Tony Palmer, the vice president of TransCanada, told Alaskan lawmakers the open season suggested his project was more attractive than the rival Denali pipeline, Alaska's Juneau Empire newspaper reports.

TransCanada: Project costs increase, builder offers deals — Alaska Journal of Commerce, Anchorage, AK

It is more difficult to assess possible gas production revenues from the Valdez option, Palmer said, because sales of LNG might occur in either North America or Asia.

If sales were made to North America, and assuming the LNG is shipped from Valdez to an existing regasification plant in Baja California, there could be an additional 75 cents to $1 per mmbtus in transportation costs, Palmer said. LNG sold in Asia would be priced in parity with crude oil prices, which is the basis for most international LNG sales.

Webmaster’s Comments: Selling LNG to Asia would be more profitable than selling LNG to the US via Mexico.

Pacific Northern Gas insiders line up for LNG exports — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

While the world will be coming to Vancouver for gold in 2010, Asia may be coming back to British Columbia in 2014 for liquefied natural gas. The destination will be Kitimat which is on track to open North America's second LNG export terminal. Pacific Trail Pipelines (PTP) is hoping to connect the terminal with the Spectra Energy pipeline in central B.C. The largest shareholder of PTP is Pacific Northern Gas Ltd. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Actually, Kitimat LNG will be North America's third LNG export terminal; Freeport LNG is re-exporting LNG it has imported but cannot sell domestically as natural gas due to the overabundance of domestic natural gas.

Indication of the Kitimat LNG export terminal to Chinese gas players (Feb 3) — Gerson Lehrman Group

Chinese gas players might be very excited at hearing the story that terminal is turned into LNG export from an originally proposed LNG import terminal. It could be another clear sign indicating fundamental changes of the landscape of the global gas market.

Shale gas success in the United States is among major factors behind the changes, bringing overwhelming and revolutionary influences on the global gas industry. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

One angry Oregon Democrat (Feb 4) — Willamette Week, Portland, OR

Video Video coverage of Rep. Schaufler's pro-LNG tirade is included.

Apparently, state Rep. Mike Schaufler (D-Happy Valley) is unhappy with the “process” and a bunch of other things as the Oregon Legislature starts its abbreviated legislative session this month.

Schaufler, who is chairman of the committee, also rails against those who are opposed to LNG, or pipelines, or getting back in the forest, or pulling water out of the Columbia for irrigation. And another thing: Schaufler warns that he’s not the guy to approach when it comes to proposing new taxes. “We have no one left to tax,” he says.

Webmaster’s Comments: This is one wrong-headed unhappy fellow.

Natural gas outlook: Spot prices on the rise, storage above average (Feb 4) — Cattle Network, Lenexa, KS

Natural gas spot prices in the Northeast region continue to exhibit considerable strength, despite declines heading into last weekend. Prices in the Northeast posted the largest net gains since last Wednesday, in a week of considerable price variability. As another cold blast moved into the region, prices at several market locations in the Northeast posted gains ranging between $1.15 and $4.13 per MMBtu on Friday, January 29, with the largest increase occurring at the New York Citygate. Moderating temperatures since the weekend contributed to largely offsetting declines in trading on the following Monday, February 1. Ample supplies, including increased LNG sendout, as reported by Bentek Energy, during the weekend, likely mitigated the extent of these price runups. Net gains in the region since last Wednesday ranged between 1 and 10 percent, following gains in trading on Wednesday, February 3 on reports of a new cold front moving in over the weekend.

Webmaster’s Comments: There is no shortage of natural gas. The US is drowning in it.

Let's dispel market fallacy: The U.S. dollar does not drive natural gas fundamentals [Blog] (Feb 4) — The Motley Fool

The U.S Natural Gas sector is "domestic", we import what Mr. would refer to as a "nat on the elephants ass" in LNG, as we simply don't need it. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The US is swimming in domestic natural gas. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are chasing their tails.

The quiet energy revolution [Essay] (Feb 4) — The American, American Enterprise Institute

The new mobility of LNG will bring a sorely needed measure of market stability after the past five years of unpredictability in price and supply.

LNG, along with the shale gale, should help keep natural gas prices low for a long time. The average wellhead price for natural gas in the United States had crept to $8 per thousand cubic feet in 2008. There is little doubt that high energy prices were among the contributing factors to the economic downturn that began in the latter half of 2008. An ocean of cheap gas augurs well for America’s and the global economy’s future.

[S]table, lower long-term gas prices brought on by the shale gale and the emerging LNG market will ensure that coal’s pricing advantage is not so pronounced. Gas is well positioned to help meet that increase.

Webmaster’s Comments: "Emerging LNG market"? The market for LNG in the US is hardly "emerging." It is nearly at a standstill. While LNG imports in the future might increase, there is no prospect that existing and permitted LNG import infrastructure will be used to capacity.

Shtokman development might abandon LNG plans —, Kirkenes, Norway

Shtokman partners Gazprom, Statoil and Total might decide to only feed the gas from the field into pipelines to the European marked and drop the plans to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The background is the latest dramatic changes in the gas prices and the shift in the US gas marked from import of LNG to more development of shale gas, as reported by BarentsObserver last week. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The ocean of domestic natural gas in the US, and the new LNG liquefaction facilities that have recently come online may have killed this LNG project that targeted the US as its market.

The US is drowning in its own domestic natural gas. There is no longer a large market for imported LNG.


3 Feb 2010

Decision shocks mayor — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

SAINT JOHN - Saying he felt "a little blindsided," Mayor Ivan Court reacted with disappointment on Tuesday to the announcement that Irving Oil Ltd. would not build its world headquarters at Long Wharf.

And while he has blamed Irving Oil in the past for shortchanging the city - most notably on the amount it pays for municipal water and the special tax exemption for its liquefied natural gas terminal - Court was diplomatic after the most recent announcement.

Yemeni tankers OK’d in harbor — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

Coast Guard vows to bolster security; Angry Menino sees risk of LNG terror

Video News video is also available.

The decision, which means LNG ships could begin arriving in Everett later this month, drew immediate condemnation from Mayor Thomas M. Menino, a longtime critic of allowing LNG shipments through the harbor. He accused the Coast Guard of putting profits ahead of people.

“This is all about helping a commercial enterprise,’’ Menino said in an interview. “I’m about helping protect people’s property and lives. They’re saying they will be as safe as any other LNG ship. I say they’ll be as unsafe as any other LNG ship.’’

Distrigas has signed a 20-year contract with a Yemeni supplier and expects to bring in up to 30 shipments a year to its Everett facility. The imminent delivery would be only the second from Yemen to the United States. A tanker carrying Yemeni LNG arrived earlier this week in less-populous Sabine, Texas, according to John Healey, Coast Guard captain of the port of Boston, who said the Coast Guard spent a year reviewing security plans for the Yemeni shipments. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Menino blasts decision to allow LNG tanker into harbor — (State House News Service) Dorchester Reporter, Dorchester, MA

Boston — Liquefied natural gas shipments from Yemen, scheduled to pass through Boston Harbor on the way to Everett, have unnerved elected officials, who acknowledged Tuesday they are largely powerless to stop federal ratification of the deliveries.

Public Safety Committee House chair Michael Costello said, "No one's ever going to be 100 percent comfortable" with the LNG shipments into the harbor.

“It is unreasonable and unsafe to continually put the interests of large corporations ahead of the security of Boston area residents and it is time to solve this problem once and for all,” Menino said. “Extra security alone is not a proper solution and it is the duty of the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to develop a long-term strategy that will significantly limit, if not eliminate, the need for LNG tankers to travel through Boston Harbor.” [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Gov. Patrick on Yemen LNG tankers in Boston Harbor — WHDH, Boston, MA

Video News video is also available.

BOSTON -- Gov. Deval Patrick stated he felt satisfied with the security measures in place for when tankers from Yemen carrying liquefied natural gas begin arriving in Boston Harbor later this month.

Yet Boston Mayor Thomas Menino blasted the Coast Guard’s decision.

Webmaster’s Comments: There are many residences less than ¼-mile from the LNG tanker route, within federally-defined Hazard Zone 1. That Hazard Zone indicates likely total destruction to life within it, should an LNG release occur there.

U.S. to receive first Yemeni LNG cargo over Boston objections — Bloomberg

“It is the duty of the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to develop a long-term strategy that will significantly limit, if not eliminate, the need for LNG tankers to travel through Boston Harbor,” Menino said in the statement.

Webmaster’s Comments: The LNG terminal in Everett violates LNG industry terminal siting best safe practices, due in part to the LNG ship transit proximity to civilian populations.

Uproar as LNG tankers head for Boston Harbor — The Boston Herald, Boston, MA

As the Coast Guard announced the completion of a security plan to allow shipments to safely approach the densely populated local area around the LNG offloading terminal in Everett, House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo vowed to enlist members of Congress to explore “other options” to stop the shipments and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino blasted the Coast Guard’s decision.

Safety concerns rise as LNG tanker heads to Boston — WCVB-TV, Boston, MA

Video News video is also available.

BOSTON — Grave safety concerns were raised Wednesday about a plan that would allow LNG tankers from Yemen to pass through the port of Boston.

"In these days in a post-9/11 era, we have made our best efforts, often times, and found that those efforts are not good enough. I am just concerned that even though we have our best and brightest people thinking about this it won't be enough and something could happen," Ash said.

Boston Harbour cleared for Yemen LNG — Upstream Online

In 2001 all LNG tankers were barred from the harbor after the 11 September terrorist attacks.

By mid-October of that year, the ban was lifted against Menino’s wishes.

CG has plan to secure Mass. LNG shipments (Feb 2) — (AP) Navy Times, Springfield, VA

Healey, captain of the port, declined to give details of the security measures but said he will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to allow each ship to continue to an offloading area in densely populated Everett, Mass.

While Yemen’s ports meet international security standards, American authorities say additional security is necessary.

About 30 shipments from Yemen to Boston are expected annually during a 20-year contract with the company. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Coast Guard OKs Yemen gas deliveries to Boston (Feb 2) — CNBC

It's the first time that shipments from the LNG plant located at Balhaf, on the eastern coast of Yemen, will be delivered to Boston. The first shipment to the United States from the plant operated by French energy giant GDF Suez arrived near Sabine, Texas, over the weekend, Healey said.

Coast Guard approves Yemen gas deliveries to Boston (Feb 2) — WBUR-FM (NPR), Boston, MA

House Speaker Robert DeLeo said he was pleased overall with the plans, but is considering whether lawmakers need to do more. “Can I say today definitively that everything’s OK and let’s move forward?” he asked. “No. I still want to go out and make sure that every possible safety method has been used.”

Coast Guard OKs Yemen LNG deliveries to Boston (Feb 2, updated Feb 3) — WCVB-TV, Boston, MA

Video News video is also available.

Menino has long been a vocal opponent of the plan. He calls the risk to local communities -- including Everett, where the tankers will offload their highly-flammable cargo -- unnecessary.

"It is unreasonable and unsafe to continually put the interests of large corporations ahead of the security of Boston area residents, and it is time to solve this problem once and for all," Menino said in a statement. "Extra security alone is not a proper solution."

Shipment of Yemeni gas to Boston permitted — (UPI) iStockAnalyst

The first tankers are expected to arrive this month at a terminal in Everett, Mass., a densely populated city across the harbor from Boston and surrounded by equally packed communities, the Boston Herald reports.

Lynch: Floating LNG terminal ill-conceived — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

Lynch said the project was developed only in a "knee-jerk reaction" to the demise of a proposed facility on the Fall River waterfront. The floating terminal would threaten public safety in Rhode Island and harm the state's economy, he said. He specifically referred to the projected high cost for state and local authorities to maintain security around 900-foot tankers traveling up Narragansett and Mount Hope bays to supply the terminal.

"We have 26 miles in a tightly confined waterway.That has to cut through 15 different communities," said Lynch, a longstanding critic of the LNG plans. "The burden put upon the state and cities and towns is enormous financially."

It is Weaver's Cove's latest version of a plan to build an LNG facility in the region. The first proposal, for the land-based terminal in Fall River, was dropped after Massachusetts legislators blocked demolition of the old Brightman Street Bridge, which is improperly aligned to accommodate tankers. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Dominican Republic inaugurates Latin America’s first LNG distribution terminal — Latin American Herald Tribune, Caracas, Venezuala

Power company AES Dominicana has inaugurated a liquefied natural gas distribution terminal east of Santo Domingo, the first facility of its type in the Dominican Republic and Latin America.

Webmaster’s Comments: AES Dominicana owns the AES Andres LNG import terminal located 35 kilometers / 21 miles east of Santo Domingo.

High stakes: LNG and the Legislature [Op-ed column] — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

Last year, House Bill 3058 failed in the Oregon Senate, but managed to make a name for several legislators as allies of the controversial liquefied natural gas industry. Dubbed the LNG fast-track bill by environmentalists and landowners, it would have speeded up the process by which LNG companies and other corporations apply for permits to begin environmentally destructive work on private land.

HB 3058 went down in flames, but not before The Oregonian published an investigation of the gas industry's power in politics, reporting that Northwest Natural donated $210,000 to political candidates since the beginning of 2008. With the Legislature poised to take up a new version of the LNG fast-track Bill this month, it's time to ask just how long the gas industry will be allowed to guide Oregon politics. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

U.S. District Court judge adopts magistrate's recommendations in favor of Oregon LNG — LNG Law Blog

Last week U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman adopted the recommendations of a federal magistrate in resolving a dispute between Oregon LNG and the Port of Astoria. The opinion, available in the PACER system under Docket No. CV 09-847-JE, concludes that Oregon LNG properly exercised its option to extend a sublease with the Port of Astoria, which must now extend the underlying lease from the State.

News analysis: U.S. shale gas plays discouraging construction of new LNG terminals — LNG Law Blog

An analysis published by NASDAQ concludes that the increased availability of natural gas from U.S. shale plays is discouraging LNG project developers from building new regasification terminals, even if the projects have been approved by U.S. regulators. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]


2 Feb 2010

Province makes its case (Feb 1) — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Energy: Government files motion with U.S. energy regulator outlining reasons why Calais LNG proposal should be rejected

In a motion filed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), lawyers for the province outlined a slew of reasons why the Calais LNG proposal should be rejected.

The province's letter also emphasizes the Canadian government's position on the issue: that it will forbid LNG tankers from entering the Bay.

"It must also be recognized that the Canadian federal government has issued an unequivocal ban on the transit of LNG vessels through Head Harbour Passage because such tanker traffic presents unacceptable environmental and navigational risks to New Brunswick and its inhabitants," states the letter.

[A]ccording to [Calais LNG's development manager Arthur Gelber], many people in St. Stephen - on the New Brunswick side of the border - are "very excited" about the jobs and economic spinoffs the Calais project [would] bring to the area.

Dean Girdis, president of Downeast LNG (the other Maine LNG project before FERC), has said the Graham government's take on LNG development reeks of hypocrisy. Girdis said the province unfairly supports the LNG terminal in Saint John - all while vehemently opposing proposed LNG projects in Maine. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments:

Earth to Calais LNG's Art Gelber:

Canadians nearly unanymously oppose your projects. Saying otherwise doesn't change the facts.

Earth to Downeast LNG's Dean Girdis:

Unlike Canaport…

  • Downeast LNG violates LNG industry terminal siting best safe practices:
    • Downeast LNG would put thousands of civilians within federally-defined 2.2-mile-radius LNG ship Hazard Zones (Canaport is 5 miles from Saint John);
    • Downeast LNG would be up a long, inland waterway with numerous navigational hazards, not on the open water and a straight shot to port from the open Bay of Fundy like Canaport;
    • Downeast LNG would conflict with other uses of the waterway;
  • Downeast LNG would engulf the "Bar Harbor" of New Brunswick (St. Andrews) in Hazard Zones negatively impacting the local, provincial, and state economy.

The hypocrisy all belongs to Dean Girdis.

Canada can block risky sea traffic [Editorial] — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Leaders in Fredericton and Ottawa have drawn a firm but reasonable line to protect the lives and economic interests of Charlotte County residents. They must persevere. If the situation were reversed, we have no doubt that U.S. state authorities would take a similar stand.

While the United States has the right to proceed as it wishes in internal regulatory affairs, the U.S. Coast Guard has observed that Canadian approval and co-operation would be necessary to ensure safe passage of gas tankers.

The Canadian government has all the authority it needs to refuse, and has signalled that it will refuse. That leaves both LNG terminal proposals dead in the water. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: The two cogent points are:

  1. The US Coast Guard Captain of the Port's Letter of Recommendation for the Downeast LNG project requires Downeast LNG obtain Canada's cooperation for safe and secure transits in both Canadian and US waters; and
  2. Congress gives the Coast Guard the authority to deny or approve LNG transits in Head Harbour Passage and Passamaquoddy Bay. Since the US claims the authority to prevent LNG transits, then Canada has an equal right to do the same — and it has made its decision. LNG transits are prohibited.

Fate is staring Downeast LNG and Calais LNG squarely in the face, telling them for years to move to different locations outside of Passamaquoddy Bay — where the projects could then abide by LNG industry terminal siting best practices, and where they would be out of Canadian waters and Canadian authority. So why won't they do it?

Downeast LNG and Calais LNG know their projects will fail no matter where they are located, because there simply is no need: there is a 100-year supply of domestic natural gas in North America, mooting need for additional LNG import infrastructure. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG developers are simply using up their investors' money, continuing to rake in good pay until it is used up.

Government still opposed to LNG tanker traffic: Harper (Jan 12) — The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

ST. STEPHEN – Prime Minister Stephen Harper has confirmed Canada’s opposition to allowing LNG tankers to use Head Harbour Passage and Passamaquoddy Bay to reach proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Maine.

New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham, who also attended the ceremonies Friday, Jan. 8, said he did not see any change in the ongoing opposition of the federal government toward allowing LNG tankers to sail through sovereign waters.

“Last year we invested close to $500,000 in engaging the best legal expertise to make sure the concerns of New Brunswickers were addressed through the FERC process,” the premier said. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Calais LNG project not far enough along to help city budget crunch (Jan 31) — WQDY-FM, Calais, ME

Some wonder whether potential cuts to city services might affect potential projects in the city such as Calais LNG.

Nothing will happen fast enough with Calais LNG to make a dent in the city's economy this year.

"We're looking at all departments -- we don't know where it's going to end up but it could very well be a cut in services and personnel. I feel that outside of dispatch, if you reduce your police and your fire departments, that could have an impact on the Calais LNG project in the future as far as what they're looking for -- for protection," she said.

Webmaster’s Comments: The City of Calais apparently believes Calais LNG will not foot the bill for the additional security and emergency services (and all that entails) that the project would require of the City.

Brewer board OKs fuel plant — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

The plant will tap into the nearby Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline that travels through the selected parcel of land in the business park. The facility will then liquefy the natural gas collected and purify it in order to transport it by truck.

Coast Guard OKs LNG shipments to Boston from Yemen — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

"The security measures are going to be put in place by the company and validated by us when each vessel arrives," Halvorson said. "The captain of the port will then decide whether to allow or deny (the ship) entry or take more extensive inspection measures than we normally would."

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, and officials from other communities near the Harbor, had urged the Coast Guard to reject the plan, particularly in light of the failed Christmas Day attempt by a Nigerian man trained in Yemen to blow up a US airliner in Detroit.

Dominion Cove Point LNG pays state $175,000 for alleged water pollution violations (Jan 28) — Southern Maryland Online, MD

The alleged violations occurred between March 2007 and December 2008 in connection with the installation of a 36-inch pipeline in Calvert, Charles, and Prince George’s Counties.

‘Texas LNG terminal to start soon’ — Qatar Tribune, Doha, Qatar

The need for gas imports in the US has declined substantially since construction of the terminal began due to increased domestic production of unconventional natural gas and the recession, said Attiyah. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Golden Pass LNG moving ahead (Feb 1) — Upstream Online

The terminal, part-owned by Exxon, was delayed from its initial start up this year by hurricane damage and had been expected to come online in mid-2010.

TransCanada, Exxon lower shipping rates for proposed gas line to attract energy companies — Daily News-Miner, Fairbanks, AK

The plans filed Friday include details for two options, one that would result in a pipeline through Canada and another that would reach Valdez for export by vessel. Palmer estimates a pipeline could be operating in a decade.

“I think it almost makes a case for [exporting] liquefied natural gas,” [Rep. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks,] said of the lower cost estimate. The line through Canada would cost between $32 billion and $41 billion, according to the filings.

AGIA is not dead . . . yet (Jan 30) —

It is my belief that AGIA is dead, given the shale gas production Outside and in Canada. Exxon spent $41B buying the company with the largest shale gas holdings in the U.S. One also has to remember that Exxon is committed to a 25 year commitment with Qattar to bring gas to the U.S. The expansion of LNG terminals in the U.S. to 4.5bcf is an interesting number, as that was the planned capacity of big diameter pipelines from Alaska to Canada to the U.S. Any introduction of Alaska gas at that rate would have a depressing effect on the price of natural gas in the region in which it is introduced. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Alaska gas could bypass Alberta (Jan 30) — Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB

…Apache Canada president Tim Wall said LNG is a much-needed escape valve from what many are seeing as an oversupplied North American market, which is in turn resulting in lower prices for producers. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Monday biz rundown: Income gap widens, LNG economics in doubt — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

LNG: The air has come flooding out of the liquefied natural gas market, raising questions about the viability of the three LNG terminals proposed in Oregon.

Oregon gas terminals' futures hang on global supplies (Jan 23) — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

Five years after energy developers started sniffing around Oregon as a likely spot to build an import terminal for liquefied natural gas, the air has come flooding out of the gas market like a whoopee cushion, making such proposals sound economically reckless.

[E]xisting U.S. LNG import terminals are operating at a fraction of their capacity. New terminals, including one in Mexico's Baja California, are sitting virtually idle. And the forecast for U.S. gas production and reserves is robust, thanks to new drilling techniques that allow producers to tap unconventional reserves.

"I don't see it at all," said Andrew Flower, a United Kingdom-based LNG consultant who follows industry facilities around the world. "I don't see how these projects work or where the need is for them. I'm amazed at the tenacity of some of these people who are still pushing forward." [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

President requests $760.4 million for fossil energy programs (Feb 1) — Fossil Energy Techline, US Department of Energy (DOE), Washington, DC

Natural Gas Technologies. The Natural Gas Technologies program develops technologies to explore the recovery potential of natural gas from methane hydrate resources and their potential environmental impacts. In FY 2011, the Office of Science will initiate a new research program in gas hydrates. Therefore, no funding is requested in the Fossil Energy budget. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Methane hydrate is yet another source of domestic natural gas, mooting need for additional LNG import infrastructure.

Update:Shale-gas boom stymies plans for new LNG import terminals — NASDAQ

In recent years … an influx of U.S. gas supplies from vast, deeply buried onshore shale-rock has sharply reduced the demand for imports of foreign gas. U.S. gas prices have tumbled more than 60% from highs near $14 a million British thermal units seen in the summer of 2008, making the prospect of exporting LNG to the U.S. less compelling for overseas companies that can fetch higher prices for their shipments elsewhere.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the construction of more than two dozen new LNG terminals or expansions of existing terminals, but most of the projects are on hold, awaiting more favorable market conditions.

Many LNG projects along the Gulf Coast are likely to be shelved because of supplies from shale formations in the region, but terminals proposed for the East and West coasts stand a better chance of completion if they can overcome local opposition, said Dean Girdis, president and founder of Downeast LNG, which aims to build a $400 million LNG terminal in Maine. The terminal is awaiting FERC approval. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG's Dean Girdis is his project's worst enemy. If he merely moved outside of Passamaquoddy Bay his project could then comply with LNG industry terminal siting best safe practices, while also resolving Canada's LNG transit prohibition. Girdis has known this since 2005, but he continues to thumb his nose at Canada rather than make his project workable. Girdis is reaping what he has sown — utter failure.

Natural gas and our energy future [Blog] (Jan 27) — Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Arlington, VA

The past few years have seen a “revolution” in the outlook for natural gas supply. Until recently, experts thought that the United States would become increasingly dependent on expensive imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from overseas, but the recent boom in domestic “unconventional” gas production (driven by shale gas) and the dramatically increased estimate of U.S. gas reserves have led to projections of increasing domestic natural gas production and declining imports. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

The global glut of LNG (Feb 2010) — Petroleum Economist, London, England, UK

[T]he long-term outlook for the US market is bearish because of the continuing success of unconventional gas exploration in North America.

While the Pacific basin may be well supplied with LNG, some of the Atlantic basin projects – in Venezuela, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Algeria, Egypt, Libya and Brazil – are unlikely to add much to supply flows, for various reasons, not least because the country that was recently considered the prime Atlantic basin off-taker, the US, is no longer so attractive. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]

Walker's World: Russia's 'fracked' future (Feb 1) — OfficialWire

Five years ago the United States was planning on building new terminals for importing liquefied natural gas. But now some industry experts expect the United States to become a natural gas exporter. The heady predictions that Qatar and Russia would become major exporters to the United States have to be revised. Russia's huge investment in the Shtokman field in the Barents Sea was predicated on exporting gas to the United States, and suddenly that market may no longer exist. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]


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