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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

2011 January

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2011 Jan

2011 January 30

LNG opponents say Hess stock divestiture needed (Jan 29) — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

In an effort to persuade municipalities to participate, the groups are providing elected officials in local cities and towns with information packets describing the process of executing divestiture and explaining how divestiture increases the pressure on Hess to withdraw its project application.

Environmental groups: Postpone hearings on Liberty Natural Gas project — Atlantic Highlands Herald, Atlantic Highlands, NJ

The groups responded after learning that public hearings and review were being held despite a December 30th, 2010 letter from the Maritime Administration and Coast Guard (the federal agencies responsible for licensing the facility) informing Liberty Natural Gas that their application was incomplete and that the agencies have “stopped the clock” on any further federal review.

“Our coalition of environmental groups is simply asking that the Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration follow the rules – if the agencies determine there is insufficient information for the federal government to move forward on environmental review, the review shouldn’t move forward. We ask that these agencies wait until all information is present and accounted, so that the interested and affected public can meaningfully participate in the decision-making process.” said Sean Dixon, Coastal Policy Attorney for Clean Ocean Action. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Offshore LNG terminal ("Deepwater Ports") projects such as Liberty Natural Gas come under the purview of MARAD (Maritime Administration) rather than FERC.

Coastal Empire in brief — Savannah Morining News, Savannah, GA

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will hold a public scoping meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Savannah Civic Center Ball Room. The public is invited to make comments related to the environmental analysis of Southern LNG Company, LLC's LNG Truck Loading Project, which could put as many as 58 LNG tanker trucks a day on DeRenne Avenue.

AGL stirs debate on ratepayer fund (Jan 29) — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, GA

In July, AGL announced a privately-funded joint venture with pipeline giant El Paso Corp. The partnership wants to truck liquefied natural gas off El Paso’s Elba Island LNG terminal to as-yet nonexistent LNG fueling stations across the Southeast: Its proposed truck route through downtown Savannah has created an uproar of its own, as local residents have raised safety concerns. [Red emphasis added.]

Climate benefits of natural gas may be overstated (Jan 27) — The Clog, Creative Loafing, Charlotte, NC

Advocates for natural gas routinely assert that it produces 50 percent less greenhouse gases than coal and is a significant step toward a greener energy future. But those assumptions are based on emissions from the tailpipe or smokestack and don’t account for the methane and other pollution emitted when gas is extracted and piped to power plants and other customers.

The EPA’s new analysis doubles its previous estimates for the amount of methane gas that leaks from loose pipe fittings and is vented from gas wells, drastically changing the picture of the nation’s emissions that the agency painted as recently as April. Calculations for some gas-field emissions jumped by several hundred percent. Methane levels from the hydraulic fracturing of shale gas were 9,000 times higher than previously reported.

When all these emissions are counted, gas may be as little as 25 percent cleaner than coal, or perhaps even less.


2011 January 29

Not so fast, Gov. LePage! [Editorial] (Jan 28) — The Times Record, Brunswick, ME

On Jan. 20, Gov. Paul LePage offered a number of assurances to the 500 or so environmentalists gathered at the Augusta Civic Center to share with him their perspectives on environmental issues. “Regulations are good, strong and needed,” LePage is quoted as saying in a first-hand report posted by George Smith, former Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine executive director, on his excellent blogsite

Smith offers additional quotes from the governor:

“I will never challenge an environmental law based in science. I believe in good sound environmental law.”

“I’m very strong on the environment. There is nothing better than a healthy forest.”

“We have to protect the deer because it’s part of our economy and lives.”

Reassuring words, indeed.

But on Monday, Gov. LePage cast serious doubt on [his] credibility when he released “Phase 1” of his “Regulatory Reform Proposals” — a six-page list containing 63 recommendations that, according to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, would repeal or substantially weaken 18 environmental laws and open up 10.4 million acres of Maine’s North Woods to development. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Following are two excerpts from the DEP section of Phase I of Governor’s Regulatory Reform Proposals, as provided in the editorial. We have created a separate page containing the entire proposal.

Department of Environmental Protection

  • Replace the Board of Environmental Protection with a full-time professional administrative law judge system that will hear appeals of major permits and DEP administrative enforcement actions.

  • Review the Site Location of Development Act (“SLODA”) and the Natural Resources Protection Act (“NRPA”) and implementing regulations to modify applicability thresholds and to set objective standards for review of applications. Specifically:
    • Require a decision within 30-days of receipt.

From the office of the Senate President: Raye urges Down East businesses to participate in Machias session — MPN Capitol Connection, Facebook

AUGUSTA - Maine Senate President Kevin L. Raye (R-Perry) is encouraging Down East businesses to participate in a Washington County field hearing of the Legislature's newly-formed Joint Select Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform. The public hearing is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Monday, January 31st, at the University of Maine at Machias Performing Arts Center.

The Joint Select Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform was created by a joint order sponsored by Raye and House Speaker Robert Nutting (R-Oakland). The Machias session is one of seven legislative field hearings being held across the state to take testimony on ideas to improve Maine's regulatory system. The Committee is beginning its work by considering LD 1 "An Act to Ensure Regulatory Fairness and Reform", a concept bill introduced by Raye and Nutting.

"LD 1 is intended as a vehicle to provide a significant down payment toward establishing Maine as a welcoming place for business, jobs and opportunity," said Raye."Governor LePage is holding 'Red Tape Audits' to help identify the areas that need work and establish his suggested priorities for this bill. Now it is the Legislature's turn to hear from Maine's business community. This statewide public hearing tour will enable job creators to share their challenges with Maine's regulatory environment, and suggest proposed solutions to legislators."

Webmaster’s Comments: The Maine business job-creator community should also demand restraint against removing regulations — environmental and otherwise — that enhance business and quality of life.

Reducing the Department of Environmental Protection permitting time down to 30 days, as Gov. LePage is proposing, would harm businesses that rely on a healthy environment to attract business. Reducing DEP permitting time down to 3 months, as suggested by LePage's nominee for DEP commissioner Darryl Brown, would inhibit adequate department vetting and would prevent appropriate public participation in the process.

Why Govt can't spend us rich [Commentary] — Trinidad Express Newspaper, Port of Spain, Trinidad, Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies

Let me first address the possibility of increasing our income from the sale of natural gas. Gas is our main foreign exchange earner and the major source of income for government. But there are signs in the global market that gas prices will remain very low given the glut in the market, due to the massive expansion of LNG capacity by Qatar and the US (and others) in shale gas. According to the International Energy Agency of the US this glut will take several years to come to an end and could last until 2035!

At one time we were the largest exporter of LNG into the US. Today the US is shaping up to export gas. We are redirecting some of our gas to the Far East and Europe where prices, for example, in Europe are twice as high as those of Henry Hub in the US. These higher prices are due to the fact that gas price there is indexed to that of oil. However with the price of oil escalating (now nearing US$100/bbl) and the existence of Peak Oil, this over supply of gas spells the death of gas/oil indexing. [Red bold emphasis added.]


2011 January 28

LNG Imports Being Pushed Aside

Dominion considering exporting gas at Cove Point LNG plant — Bloomberg

Dominion Resources Inc. is considering exporting gas from its Cove Point liquefied natural gas plant in Maryland, Chief Executive Officer Thomas Farrell said.

Webmaster’s Comments: The Cove Point LNG import terminal is in Maryland. After receiving FERC approval in 2006, in 2009 it completed an 80% expansion to its storage and regasification capability. It now has a 1.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) natural gas sendout capacity. (The Distrigas terminal in Everett, MA, and the Canaport LNG in Saint John, NB, each have a 1 Bcf/d output capacity.)

This turn of events is remarkable in that the facility is in the Northeast, where growing LNG import capacity was once thought to be critical to natural gas supply. Now, with the US 100-year natural gas glut, along with two just-new pipelines and around 30 pipeline expansion projects in play to deliver copious natural gas supply to the Northeast, it appears that even the Northeast's Dominion Cove Point LNG may have more gas than it knows what to do with.

Downeast LNG in Robbinston, Maine, missed the boat by six or more years, and is now a project without a purpose.

U.S. company, in reversal, wants to export natural gas (Jan 27) — New York Times, New York, NY

A decade ago, Mr. Souki warned of an impending natural gas shortage, and set out to build a network of gas import terminals after none had been built in a generation. He lured Chevron and the French oil giant Total into signing long-term use agreements, and Cheniere’s stock price rocketed from less than $1 a share in 2002 to more than $40 in three years.

But the sudden boom in gas drilling that took off around 2005 created a glut, ruining Mr. Souki’s dream. Cheniere’s stock price collapsed to $2. And he managed to complete only one terminal, at a cost of $1.4 billion, that stands idle much of the time.

If Cheniere can obtain the necessary regulatory approval and financing, Mr. Souki says he can start exporting gas as early as 2015. He predicts he will eventually be able to export two billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas a day from his facility, or about 3 percent of current domestic gas production. As other companies like Freeport LNG join Cheniere in exporting liquefied natural gas, Mr. Souki says the United States has the potential to become a premier global provider, capable of exporting 10 billion cubic feet a day, roughly the amount that Britain consumes.

But new drilling techniques opened up vast shale rock fields to gas prospecting over the last few years, bolstering domestic production and adding a century or more of reserves. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Update 2-Cheniere, Sumitomo deal raises optimism for LNG export (Jan 27) — Reuters

In a deal with Japan's Sumitomo Corp (8053.T) -- the latest in a string of nonbinding agreements with potential customers -- Cheniere has now accounted for the 7 million tonnes per year of LNG capacity that could be exported from Sabine Pass by 2015.

Cheniere has signed nonbinding agreements in recent months with Spain's Gas Natural Fenosa (GAS.MC), Morgan Stanley (MS.N), China's ENN Energy, EDF Trading and now Sumitomo.

Cheniere unit signs another LNG export agreement — Oil & Gas Journal, Houston, TX

Cheniere Energy Partners LP’s subsidiary Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC has concluded a nonbinding memorandum of understanding with Sumitomo Corp. under which Sumitomo intends to contract for up to about 1.5 million tonnes/year of processing capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Cameron Parish, La.

The initial project phase will include two modular trains and capacity to process about 1.2 bcfd of pipeline-quality gas. Cheniere said it intends to conclude contracts for at least 5 MMcfd/train of liquefaction capacity. With regulatory and company approvals, LNG export could commence as early as 2015, said the announcement.

Cheniere Energy hopes to export nat gas by 2015 — Forbes

Update in the Times today about efforts by Cheniere Energy to do the old switcheroo on its liquefied natural gas import terminal on the Gulf Coast and start exporting LNG.

Back in 2005 in this Forbes Magazine story we were first to reveal Cheniere Chief Executive Charif Souki’s bold and clever move to get approvals to build America’s first LNG terminals. His timing turned out to be terrible, as instead of running into a shortage of natural gas, U.S. drillers found oodles of it trapped in shale formations.

If Cheniere and Freeport’s retrofits do pay off, don’t expect them to have the export market to themselves for long. Sempra Energy and ExxonMobil also have import terminals they could convert. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Ex-CIA chief: US should rethink Alaska gas line loan guarantee (Jan 30) — Petroleum News, Anchorage, AK

“For years, major natural gas holders — such as Australia, Bolivia, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States — anticipated a future of high, oil-linked gas prices,” Deutch writes. “They invested in expensive LNG liquefaction facilities and pipeline projects. But now, these countries are facing a reduction of the value of the resource in the ground. A dramatic increase in the global availability of unconventional gas and lower natural gas prices could put these and other planned investments under water, although the effect will not be immediate because of long-term contracts.” [Red bold emphasis added.]

Future for Alaska's petroleum industry is murky — Alaska Journal of Commerce, Anchorage, AK

This is combined with the equally unexpected transformation of the North American gas market, Kelly said, which is being caused by the rapid growth of shale gas production in the Lower 48.

A large natural gas pipeline from Alaska isn't the only large project that could be affected. It was conventional wisdom until just recently that the U.S. would need to import liquefied natural gas. Companies bet on that assumption and built new LNG import facilities.

Now the U.S. is awash in gas from shale and some of those import plants are being converted to LNG to export surplus shale gas. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Can shale gas change the game in China too? (Jan 25) — PennEnergy

The US Energy Information Administration projected in a report in April last year that shale gas output in the US would rise to 169.9 billion cubic metres in 2035 from 35.1 billion in 2008, with its contribution to gas supply forecast to rise to 25 per cent of the US total, from 6 per cent.

This growth is expected to more than offset declines in other sources of gas in the US and fundamentally change the country's gas-supply picture. For instance, just five years ago, a few dozen terminals for receiving liquefied natural gas were proposed in the US to import gas to make up for falling domestic conventional gas supply. Now, because of the expected production of shale gas, the industry is looking at changing them into LNG export facilities.

A similar story is unfolding in Canada, which is also developing its shale gas resources to offset a conventional gas output decline. The Kitimat LNG terminal on the west coast has reversed its plan to import gas from the Pacific Basin and now plans to export gas to East Asia. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Natural gas weekly update (Jan 27) — U.S. Energy Information Administration

Overview (For the Week Ending Wednesday, January 26, 2011)

According to BENTEK estimates, total supply of natural gas increased this week by 1.6 percent. Domestic production was up by 1.3 percent, accounting for the bulk of the increase. Canadian imports were up 4.5 percent for the week and stand 14.2 percent above year-ago levels. Things were little changed in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) arena where imports remained nearly 38.1 percent below the corresponding week last year.

The US' future is unconventional, says BP (Jan 27) — Petroleum Economist [Paid subscription required]

BP HAS added its voice to the chorus, saying an unconventional energy age is upon us. The firm believes that, within the next two decades alone, shale and other new gas sources could meet almost 60% of US supplies. Unconventional oil production will also increase, its latest long-term outlook predicts.

BP's report says unconventional resources, such as shale gas and coal-bed methane (CBM) have "transformed" North America's gas market and mean the US could become a liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter. Already, burgeoning supplies have decimated its need for imports. Only around 11% of US LNG import capacity was utilised in 2009, reckons oilfield services company Schlumberger. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Moving Maine backward [Editorial] (Jan 25) — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

“I believe in real, strong environmental laws,” Gov. Paul LePage said last week.

This week, eliminating the Board of Environmental Protection, weakening state air and water quality laws, designating a third of the state’s Unorganized Territory for development and reducing fines for violating state environmental rules topped his list of regulatory reforms.

The disconnect between the governor’s words and actions is astounding — and troubling.

Rolling back Maine’s rules to match federal regulations, which the governor has proposed, may sound good, but is dangerous for a state that touts its quality of life and natural resources as its trademark. Federal regulations are a minimum. In many areas, Maine — through a legislative process that includes public hearings and, often, bipartisan votes — has decided that more stringent rules are needed.

Industries that rely on the “Maine brand,” such as aquaculture, ski areas, bottled water companies, guides and outfitters, hoteliers and restaurateurs — along with conservation and health groups — must remind the governor and lawmakers why tough but fair environmental regulations are needed. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Gov. Lepage supports LNG. What he is advocating related to environmental regulations would facilitate LNG siting in Passamaquoddy Bay. There will be a state Regulatory Relief & Fairness Committee Field Hearing on Monday, January 31 in Machias.

Please attend the state hearing in Machias on Monday, January 31, at the Performing Arts Center, University of Maine at Machias. If you need a ride or can provide a ride, please call (207)853-2922 or .
See our January 31 Calendar entry for more information.

Maine DEP candidate gets grilled in Augusta (Jan 25) — Down East Magazine, Camden, ME

[Darryl Brown], Governor Paul LePage’s nominee for Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, was not well served by the governor’s release – just one day before Brown’s hearing - of a lengthy list of regulatory reforms focused on the DEP and other natural resource agencies. That list alarmed environmentalists and provided a rich area of exploration for Democrats on the Natural Resources Committee, the committee that held a public hearing on Brown’s nomination today, and environmental groups in their testimony at the hearing.

Despite concerns about Brown’s – and the governor’s – views on environmental issues and intentions for the DEP, the only issue that offered a real problem for the nominee is the conflict of interest issue.

No one asked what I thought would be a good question: How is it that the governor’s top environmental official had no input or knowledge about a major environmental process that the governor trotted out just the previous day?

Pete Didisheim of the Natural Resources Council said his group appreciated Brown’s sense of humor and commitment to good science but reported, “We are skeptical about Mr. Brown’s goal of cutting DEP permitting time in half. We’re not convinced that this goal is possible with the staff and resources available, or in a fashion that ensures protection of clean air, clean water, and our natural environment.

LePage's choice to head Maine DEP faces tough questions (Jan 25) — MPBN, ME

With so much criticism being directed against the DEP, lawmakers spent a lot of time trying to figure out where Darryl Brown stands on environmental issues. An agronomist, development consultant and former state senator, who grew up on a farm in Richmond, Brown made some things clear: he favors nuclear power, though he does not expect to ever see a nuclear power plant in Maine; he is likely to continue Maine's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reduce carbon dioxide; he believes global warming is mostly caused by cyclical meteorological changes in the atmosphere and he doesn't always support bond issues to conserve state land.

But several lawmakers want Brown to be more clear about how he will ensure that the Department of Environmental Protection stays true to its mission. Rep. Melissa Innes is a Democrat from Yarmouth who says she finds it curious that Brown never mentioned "improved protection of Maine's environment" as a goal in his application for the job, even though it's part of the DEP's stated mission under the law.

Despite the DEP staff's efforts, Brown says he's convinced the permitting process can be improved and cut in half, from six months down to three. He's also considering creating an ombudsman's position to help applicants figure out how to navigate the permitting process smoothly.

Webmaster’s Comments: Some news reports previously indicated the permitting process was to be cut down to 30 days. That apparently was incorrect.

Groups continue push to stop Fall River LNG plant [Blog] (Jan 26) — The Green Blog, The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

Opponents to the Hess-proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Fall River are attempting to have regional governments divest their municipal and state retirement funds of Hess stock.

“We are urging local governments to understand that by holding Hess stock they are reassuring the Hess’s Board of Directors that ‘everything is fine.’ We are trying to send a message that we, in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, are washing our hands of the company as long as they continue to push this project forward.” said Chris Gray, chairman of the LNG Working Group in a statement. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Sonde in deal to sell LNG project — Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB

CALGARY - The company that was once Canadian Superior announced further moves to distance itself from its predecessor Friday, reporting a letter of intent to sell its proposed New Jersey LNG import terminal project.

[Sonde's president and chief executive Jack Schanck] said the potential buyer, a large investment company, doesn't want to be identified until the deal goes through because the project to build an offshore liquefied natural gas import terminal is a target for environmental activists.

With rising production of shale gas flooding the domestic U.S. market, the main value in Liberty is its technology, Schanck said. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Sonde Resources preparing to sell its Liberty LNG project — Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg, MB

The buyer, which has requested anonymity until certain approvals are received, will pay Sonde at least US$7.32 million plus an additional $17.5 million after the first successful gas delivery or if there's a subsequent change of control.

Dominion’s Cove Point LNG terminal to receive cargo Jan. 31 — Bloomberg

The cargo is on the Bluesky, which can carry 145,700 cubic meters of LNG, or about 3.14 billion cubic feet of natural gas, equivalent to about 5.1 percent of estimated daily U.S. gas production.

Dominion completed a pier reinforcement project at Cove Point on Jan. 21, Donovan said. The terminal can now accept vessels with cargoes of up to 267,000 cubic meters, compared with a maximum of 148,000 cubic meters before the pier upgrade.

Coastal Empire in brief — Savannah Morning News, Savannah, GA

The public is invited to make comments related to the environmental analysis of Southern LNG Company, LLC's LNG Truck Loading Project, which is projected to put up to 58 trunk tankers a day of liquefied natural gas on Savannah's streets. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will hold a public scoping meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Savannah Civic Center Ball Room.

Jackson County Port Authority commissioners approve work plan for LNG terminal — The Mississippi Press, Pascagoula, MS

The Jackson County Port Authority's Board of Commissioners approved two resolutions Thursday to address unanticipated dredging work at the liquefied natural gas terminal under construction in Bayou Casotte.

Since the additional dredging work was unanticipated and since no ships are yet using the site, McAndrews said, the company agreed to reimburse the port for all of its out-of-pocket expenses related to the dredging.

LNG poised to grow in the Caribbean energy market: executive (Jan 27) — Platts

Jamaica is an example of a Caribbean nation that has made a policy change to switch to LNG with plans to construct a small LNG port terminal, gas pipeline network and regasification plant. The same policy changes have been made in the French Isles, while smaller Caribbean Islands are also looking into it, George said.

Alumina export volumes drop 18% to lowest in decades (Jan 26) — Jamaica Observer, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Robertson argued that with the growing demand for bauxite and alumina in the fast-growing economies of Brazil, China and India combined with the Government's plans for the adoption of LNG as the fuel of choice for the bauxite/alumina industry "we believe we will be seeing the retooling of Alpart and Alpart will be reopened very soon".

More gas coming for Southcentral, but not fast enough — Alaska Journal of Commerce, Anchorage AK

Gas storage would ease Enstar's short-term gas deliverability problem in winter, but it does not solve the longer-term problem of declining overall supply.

At some point between 2013 and 2015, Cook Inlet's aging gas wells will not produce enough to meet year-round local demand, and if the rate of exploration isn't stepped up sharply, the region will come up short, Starring said.

At that point, gas will have to be brought into the region from somewhere else. Building a pipeline from the North Slope, where there are large gas reserves, might be a long-term answer, but a pipeline would take several years to construct. It can't be done to meet the shortfall timeline, Starring said.

The only practical answer is to import liquefied natural gas, she said. Enstar is working on possible LNG-import alternatives along with the regional electric utilities, Starring said.

Rally protesting LNG pipeline (sic) held in Medford (Jan 27) — KDRV-TV, Medford, OR

The rally took place in front of Pacific Connector's Medford office to protest both the pipeline and multiple fast-track bills currently in the Oregon Legislature. Demonstrators say House Bill 2589 and Senate Bill 265 would allow a private company to obtain wetland removal/fill permits on private land without a landowner's permission. House Bill 2206 and Senate Bill 261 would make it easier for linear projects to apply and receive permits to build on private lands without landowner's consent.

Webmaster’s Comments: The pipeline would be a natural gas pipeline leaving an LNG regasification facility, rather than an LNG pipeline.

Landowners rally against pipeline 'fast-track' bills — The World, Coos Bay, OR

The so-called 'fast-track" legislation -- HB 2589, HB 2206, SB 265, and SB 261 -- would change the definition of 'applicant" for removal-fill permits to construct a highway, road, railway, communication line, power line or pipeline in Oregon.

It would allow a company such as Pacific Connector to apply for permits to work on landowners' property without their knowledge or consent. [Red bold emphasis added.]


2011 January 25

US Nat Gas Cheaper Than New Brunswick Energy

N.B. energy board to seek public input (Jan 24) — CBC News, Canada

New Brunswick can now buy natural gas from the United States for a price that's cheaper than the cost of producing power in the province. That raises questions whether NB Power needs to run 16 generating stations. [Red bold emphasis added.]

ACT NOW: Stop LePage's assault on Maine's environment — NRCM

It is urgent that your legislators hear from you today!

Last week at the Maine roundtable, surrounded by businesspeople who understand the importance of safeguards for our land, air, water, Governor LePage said, “I believe in real, strong environmental laws.”

Less than 72 hours after uttering these remarks, the Governor released a set of proposals to gut the laws that protect Maine’s environment and the health of our people, and in so doing, the economic engine of our state. [Bold red emphasis added.]

LePage proposes regulatory changes — Mainebiz

Gov. Paul LePage has issued a set of 36 proposals to change state regulatory procedures, many in the Department of Environmental Protection, sparking opposition from environmental groups.

The set of proposals is aimed at loosening regulatory burdens, according to LePage's office, but Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, called the list of changes "an ideological push rather than a reasoned, science-based approach," according to the paper. [Red bold emphasis added.]

LePage proposes huge enviro protection cuts (Jan 24) — Down East Magazine, Camden, ME

Maine Governor Paul LePage has sent a list of recommendations to the Legislature's Joint Select Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform that, if they were enacted as legislation, would eliminate a wide range of environmental protections.

"Maine’s water, land, and wildlife are the heartbeat of our economy and our way of life," said Maine League of Conservation Voters executive director Maureen Drouin by email. "This proposal is nothing short of reckless. Dismantling our environmental protections flies in the face of common sense and takes us in the completely wrong direction."

Fresh start (Jan 24) — Mainebiz

On energy supply and costs, there is a plethora of views and, so far, not much common ground.

[Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce president John Porter] thinks Maine needs to be alert to new sources of supply, such as natural gas derived from shale deposits, which may make gas exporters of such relatively nearby states as New York and Pennsylvania.

[Senate president Kevin Raye of Perry] doesn’t see a lot of short-term fixes on the horizon, but says it’s important to keep Maine ahead of the curve as alternative sources such as wind and tidal power come down in price and fossil fuel prices continue to rise. “At the point those lines cross, there will be profound changes,” he says. And unlike LePage, who has expressed skepticism about the financial viability of land-based wind power, he supports it both on and offshore. He’s also pitching the last remaining liquefied natural gas project with an application currently under consideration on Cobscook Bay [sic; Passamaquoddy Bay], which lies in his district, and says he hopes it “will come to fruition soon.” [Red, brown, and bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Senator Raye is conflicted about "keeping ahead of the curve" by riding an LNG horse that's headed in the wrong direction.

Gallison bill would require peace officers on LNG tankers — The State Column

Rep. Raymond E. Gallison Jr. is sponsoring legislation to require any company shipping liquefied natural gas (LNG) through Rhode Island waters to use public peace officers to provide protection.

The legislation (2011-H 5079) would expressly prohibit LNG shippers from using private security forces to enforce any required safety and security zones established by the Coast Guard.

“LNG tankers present a very dangerous threat to Rhode Islanders and we shouldn’t trust Hess LNG to protect us from it. This company has already shown reckless disregard for the people of our area and our safety, so it would be crazy to think Hess LNG would do whatever is necessary to protect us from the very dangers to which it is subjecting us,” said Representative Gallison, a Democrat who represents District 69 in Bristol and Portsmouth. [Red emphasis added.]

MARAD sets public meetings for Liberty LNG deepwater port project — LNG Law Blog

In today's Federal Register, the U.S. Maritime Administration announced its intention to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Liberty LNG deepwater port proposal. The agency also announced a schedule of public meetings to discuss the proposal.

Alaska's natural gas conundrum (Jan 24) — Alaska Dispatch, Anchorage, AK

Alaska may have trillions of cubic feet of natural gas buried in the earth on the North Slope, offshore in the Arctic, and beneath the waters of Cook Inlet, but the state may soon be importing it from Outside to keep the lights on in Southcentral.

The closest supply of LNG would likely be Sakhalin Island in Russia and after that Indonesia, Heinze said.

"I think most Alaskans will not be real happy with the idea of importing LNG," said state Sen. Bill Wielechowski, an Anchorage Democrat who is very involved in energy and resource issues. "I think if we had to do it as a short-term bridge people would understand but not as a long term thing."

Wielechowski noted that Cook Inlet has a good supply of gas; it's just that it's not being produced because the market for it hasn't been there. Southcentral Alaska has for decades had a good supply of natural gas so prices were low and natural gas producers didn't find it economically worth their while to expand development.

Webmaster’s Comments: There isn't an Alaskan market for Alaskan natural gas, but there's an Alaskan market for a $billion LNG import terminal and its Russia-supplied natural gas?


2011 January 24

New England Natural Gas Supplies Are Ample

Senator Reed says New England has ample supplies of natural gas (Jan 23) — PolitiFact Rhode Island, RI

With temperatures plummeting –– and the Weaver’s Cove project far from resolved –– we thought this was a good time to delve into the issue, focusing on the senators’ [four senators from Rhode Island and Massachusetts] claim that New England has ample supplies of natural gas, and therefore doesn’t need the new terminal. We chose Sen. Jack Reed as the speaker for this item because he issued a news release about the letter.

"We don’t believe the U.S. has a need for more LNG deliveries," said [Damien Gaul, an analyst for the Energy Information Administration], who emphasized his agency does not issue opinions on specific LNG proposals.

"We currently have the capacity to handle five times the demand we have now. Does the U.S. need more LNG? Probably not. Does the Northeast need more? Probably not."

Elizabeth D. Arangio, U.S. director of gas supply planning for National Grid, said several new sources of gas have been created in the Northeast, with more to come soon. She concluded: "So at this point, the market doesn’t technically need more supply in this area in addition to those projects ..."

[T]he 2010 Statistical Guide by the Northeast Gas Association, reports that "an era of abundant supplies appears to have arrived" and that is having a positive impact on natural gas prices.

To summarize: The Massachusetts and federal energy offices say there is an ample supply of natural gas. So does National Grid, the largest local utility.

We find the claim by Reed and the other senators to be True. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Platts 10th Annual Liquefied Natural Gas Conference — Platts

Changing Global Dynamics of Supply, Demand, Price, and Competition
February 24-25, 2011
Houston, Texas.

The combination of the deep global recession and onshore shale gas development success has changed the outlook for the North American gas market fundamentally, from one of locking up long-term LNG imports to considering the possibility of LNG exports. The result is a significantly different global gas market, both due to the large volume of LNG originally intended for North America and now back on the market, and because this shale success could potentially transform other global gas markets. However, for a variety of reasons, success is not likely to come as easily as in North America. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Will for-profit businesses be labeled ‘special interest’? [Letter to the editor] (Jan 23) — Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME

Will Gov. Paul LePage or his spokesman Dan Demeritt please define “special interest”?

Are Blue Cross-Blue Shield, Downeast LNG, First Wind, Fairpoint, etc., companies that contribute to air, land, water or quality of life problems, considered special interest? [Red bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Considering Downeast LNG's financial contribution to Gov. LePage's transition to Governor, and LePage's outspoken support for unneeded Maine LNG projects, it will be interesting to learn how the new governor does treat the moot Downeast LNG project. (As of this writing, Calais LNG/North East Energy Development has not contributed.)

Business electricity rates drop — Mainebiz

Electricity prices are set to decrease for medium and large business customers in Bangor-Hydro Electric and Central Maine Power Co.'s service areas.

Webmaster’s Comments: Even during the coldest part of the year when energy use is high, electricity prices for bigger businesses are dropping, contributing to Maine business competitiveness. Prolific supply of domestic natural gas, and the resulting lower natural gas prices to generating facilities, may be contributing to this drop in cost.

Mass. State Rep. asks FERC to rescind approval of Weaver's Cove LNG project — LNG Law Blog

Massachusetts State Rep. David Sullivan submitted a letter to FERC asking the Commission to rescind its approval of the Weaver's Cove LNG import project. Rep. Sullivan asserts that Weaver's Cove LNG used an incorrect model to analyze LNG vapor dispersion and that the terminal's authorization should be revisited and reversed. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Officials favor recreational use for old Brightman (Jan 23) — Wicked Local Westport, Westport, MA

“My priority as mayor of Fall River is to ensure the integrity of the Brightman Street Bridge and ensure the bridge stands as a barrier to any LNG vessels navigating Mount Hope Bay,” said Mayor Will Flanagan, who attended the discussion with department heads from traffic and public works.

USA: FERC approves Sempra to re-export LNG from Cameron Terminal (Jan 21) — LNG World News

The terminal located in Cameron, La. — 18 miles from the Gulf of Mexico — began importing LNG in 2009. Recent growth in U.S. domestic natural gas production, mainly from unconventional shale gas, and high demand and prices elsewhere in the world have left the eight online U.S. mainland LNG terminals largely idle.

The new authority would allow the Cameron terminal to reroute LNG to other parts of the world with a greater demand and store LNG temporarily before exporting the product to a location when it is of greatest economic advantage.

Cheniere Energy Partners LP yesterday announced it was in discussions with France’s EDF Group to export domestic gas as LNG from its Sabine Pass LNG facility, which is located near the Cameron LNG facility. Cheniere would still need to seek regulatory approval from FERC to export the gas. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Port renews option on North Spit property (Jan 21) — The World, Coos Bay, OR

Before the meeting, some community members complained that they hadn't been able to examine the new agreement and comment on it to the board.

The agreement gives the Port an option to buy or not buy 1,300 acres of Weyerhaeuser property. It first was signed in 2006 between the Port, Weyerhaeuser, and Jordan Cove Energy Project LP [an LNG import terminal project].

It has applied for permits to build a slip dock on the site of the Ingram Yard with two berths: one to rent to Jordan Cove for LNG tankers, one to be used by other ships that might use the port.

Bishop said future renewals of the agreement likely will remove use restrictions on the property, allowing a developer to use it for something besides an LNG terminal.

Platts Post-Conference LNG Methodology Forum — Platts

[T]he Platts Post-Conference LNG Methodology Forum will be taking place on Friday, February 25, 2011 at the Hilton Post Oak Hotel in Houston, Texas.

[M]eet [the Platts] editorial team and …acquire information and updates on the key themes that really matter to you, from the global spot LNG markets, to the specifications and practical application of Platts spot LNG assessment methodology.


2011 January 20

Forum: Clean environment helps Maine economy — (AP), Boston, MA

AUGUSTA, Maine—More than 500 people packed a forum Thursday in which resource-oriented businesses and activities, from lobstering to hog farming, drew connections between strong environmental regulations and a vibrant Maine economy -- all as Gov. Paul LePage listened.

Speakers repeatedly stressed a theme that a clean environment is Maine's calling card, and without it businesses -- even some which, for decades, were critics of regulations -- will wither in the absence of laws protecting the state's natural resources.

Cameron LNG gets re-export nod —

Sempra Energy's Cameron liquefied natural gas terminal in Louisiana was granted US regulatory approval to re-export previously imported LNG from the US today, according to a posting on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's website.

Cameron is the third terminal in the US to get approval for re-export, following the Freeport terminal in Texas and Sabine Pass in Louisiana. [Red bold emphasis added.]

US' Cheniere Energy in LNG export talks with France's EDF Trading — Platts

Cheniere Energy Partners said Thursday it will enter into talks with EDF Trading that could lead the unit of France's EDF Group to contract for 1 billion to 2 billion cubic meters of annual bi-directional processing capacity at Cheniere's Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Louisiana.

The US Department of Energy has approved Cheniere's request to export LNG to Free Trade Agreement countries, but is still considering the company's request to export to other countries. Cheniere also has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to build the liquefaction facility. FERC in October said it plans to begin an environmental review of the project. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. : Cheniere signs MOU with EDF Trading for bi-directional processing capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal [News release] — 4-Traders

As currently contemplated, the Sabine Pass liquefaction project would be designed and permitted for up to four modular LNG trains, each with a peak processing capacity of up to approximately 0.7 Bcf/d of natural gas and an average liquefaction processing capacity of approximately 3.5 mtpa. The initial project phase is anticipated to include two modular trains and the capacity to process on average approximately 1.2 Bcf/d of pipeline quality natural gas. We intend to enter into contracts for at least 0.5 Bcf/d of natural gas liquefaction capacity per train. Commencement of construction is subject to regulatory approvals and a final investment decision contingent upon Cheniere Partners obtaining satisfactory construction contracts and entering into long-term customer contracts sufficient to underpin financing of the project. We believe that the time and cost required to develop the project would be materially lessened by Sabine Pass LNG's existing large acreage and infrastructure. We anticipate LNG export could commence as early as 2015. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Global surge of activity follows successful production of unconventional gas in US — LNG World News

“Production of ‘unconventional’ gas in the US has rocketed in the past few years, going beyond even the most optimistic forecasts,” says Anne-Sophie Corbeau, a Senior Gas Analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA). “It is no wonder that its success has sparked such international interest.”

[A]round 12% of global gas output is now produced from ‘unconventional’ resources, and most of this takes place in North America.

It was once thought – and not that long ago – that the US would become a big importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), but its soaring ‘unconventional’ gas production has led to a sharp drop in its need to import gas. This slump in demand from the US, especially for LNG, had a significant impact on the global gas markets. Recently, there was a general dip in global gas demand, caused by the economic crisis. The US suddenly had no need to buy LNG at a time when ample LNG supplies, mostly from Qatar, were arriving to the market. This led to a ‘gas glut’ – where there was more gas on the markets than was needed – and gas spot prices in the United States and in Europe consequently went down. [Red bold emphasis added.]


2011 January 19

Canaport among North American sites to receive LNG shipments (Jan 18) — Bloomberg

Repsol YPF SA’s Canaport liquefied- natural-gas terminal in Canada is to receive two cargoes of the fuel this week, according to vessel tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

The tanker Lijmiliya is scheduled to arrive at the terminal today, according to the data. It can carry as much as 258,019 cubic meters of LNG, or about 5.56 billion cubic feet of natural gas, equivalent to 9.1 percent of estimated daily U.S. gas production. The cargo is from Qatar, the data show.

Another ship, Golar Maria, is arriving at the port tomorrow with a cargo from Trinidad and Tobago. The vessel can carry as much as 143,012 cubic meters of LNG, or about 3.08 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Webmaster’s Comments: The sum of these two shipments represent approximately two weeks' worth of demand for LNG-source natural gas in the entire US.

Special-interest money shouldn’t be used on transition expenses [Opinion column] (Jan 16) — Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME

Taking private contributions to pay for a gubernatorial transition expenses is a common, but unseemly, practice that should be changed.

[T]hese donors, particularly corporations, likely are not giving out of civic duty: They want to influence the new governor and shape Maine’s policy toward their own interests.

Contributor Downeast LNG, for instance, is trying to build a controversial liquified natural gas terminal on Passamaquoddy Bay. [Red bold emphasis added.]

USCG denies Rhode Island's appeal in Weaver's Cove LNG proceeding (Jan 18) — LNG Law Blog

Late last month, the U.S. Coast Guard denied an administrative appeal to the agency's Letter of Recommendation submitted by Rhode Island in the Weaver's Cove LNG project proceeding. The Coast Guard clarified its role in the LNG facility site permitting process, noting that its Letter of Recommendation "is not an enforceable order," and examined and dispensed with a number of specific issues raised by Rhode Island.

Webmaster’s Comments: The Coast Guard's Letter of Recommendation (LOR) is just that — a recommendation; however, Congress invests authority in the Coast Guard that is totally independent of any process related to FERC. Congress invests authority on the Coast Guard to, on an ad hoc basis, to prevent LNG transits the Coast Guard deems unsafe.

This has serious implications for Downeast LNG and any other LNG project proposed for Passamaquoddy Bay, since the Coast Guard LOR for Passamaquoddy Bay projects indicates that in order for LNG transits to occur, the applicants must...

  1. Obtain Government of Canada cooperation and coordination for safe and secure LNG transits through both Canadian and US waters — something that Canada has steadfastly repeated will not happen;
  2. Obtain letters of consent from Native American Tribes for use of the waterway — something that has not happened and is unlikely to happe

Freeport LNG terminal exporting cargo to Asia, vessel data show (Jan 18) — Bloomberg

Freeport LNG’s liquefied-natural-gas terminal in Texas is sending a previously imported cargo of the fuel to Asia, according to vessel tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

The tanker, Explorer, left the port over the weekend and is scheduled to arrive Feb. 23, according to the data. The ship is probably heading to South Korea, according to Zach Allen, president of Pan Eurasian Enterprises Inc., a Raleigh, North Carolina-based tracker of LNG shipments. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Libel reform and good governance (Jan 16) — Jamaica Observer, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Secrets are hard to keep these days, WikiLeaks or no. While minister James Robertson was asserting Thursday that the LNG report was confidential to insiders only, Cliff Hughes was doing a public service by posting the entire document on his station's website, <>.

A well-charted path to Alaska's future remains open [Op-ed column] (Jan 18) — Alaska Dispatch, Anchorage, AK

Over the decades others, including myself, picked up the torch ignited by these statesmen. Reversing a long-held belief that Alaska's gas should go through Canada, last spring at a Commonwealth North meeting Senator Ted Stevens joined the ranks of Alaska's legendary leaders who recognized a pipeline to tidewater for LNG was the economic future for Alaska. Stevens voiced alarm that Alaska continued to pursue a gas line into Canada to serve a market saturated in shale gas while hungry, lucrative Asian markets were being ignored. He urged that emergency powers be granted and immediate steps taken to pursue the All-Alaska project.

Revisiting Jamaica's energy crisis (Jan 16) — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Compared to coal, natural gas emits fewer dangerous chemicals and about half as much carbon dioxide as coal. It is, therefore, considered a cleaner fuel source. Natural gas from LNG is even cleaner than pipeline natural gas, as the contaminants are removed in the liquefaction process, e.g. natural gas from LNG emits no sulfur oxides (SOx) at all. [Bold brown emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Jamaica's energy minister in not necessarily correct regarding LNG being cleaner than pipeline gas. It all depends on the source of the gas — and the source content can change over time — and processing during liquefaction and regasification. In fact, imported LNG can be dirtier than domestic natural gas.

Nat gas bite to be less? — Northern Sentinel, Kitimat, BC

Donohue said PNG isn’t aware if LNG Partners will stick with the original plan to liquefy gas on a ship before being piped onto ocean-going tankers or choose another method.

Real change comes to Clatsop County [Editorial] (Jan 18) — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Decisions on LNG by former commissioners contributed to their defeat in November. A substantial number of Clatsop County citizens regarded a large-scale industrial development that intruded on critical salmon habitat as diametrically opposed to our shared environmental values and long-term economic interests.

With natural-gas exports set to rise, critics say there’s a need at home (Jan 18) — The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

But now, with huge amounts of natural gas potentially available in shale formations, the U.S. could have enough to meet its current demand for more than 100 years. The energy agency raised its reserve estimate for shale gas a year ago and then recently doubled it.

By one estimate, U.S. gas reserves now are equal in energy value to Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves.

“We are awash in natural gas, and the reserves, driven by the shale plays, continue to expand,” said T. Boone Pickens, the Texas energy developer who champions a plan that would use more natural gas for transportation. “We are going to go down as the dumbest generation ever if we don’t put those reserves to work domestically and use it as a clean, abundant, domestic alternative to OPEC oil.” [Red bold emphasis added.]

World LNG series: LNG Americas Summit 2011 — The Register, London, England, UK

For 10 years this unique gathering has brought together the World’s suppliers, buyers, gas majors and terminal developers to discuss the latest industry trends, network and do deals.

Manzanillo LNG terminal to be ready in September — LNG World News

Mexico expects to complete the construction of the Manzanillo liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal, in Colima state, in September, state-run power firm Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) said on Tuesday.

The gas will come from the Camisea liquefaction plant in southern Peru of which Repsol YPF is the exclusive trader, the Spanish company wrote.

Manzanillo will be Mexico’s third LNG terminal, after Altamira and Costa Azul, located in the Mexican Gulf and Baja California Peninsula, respectively.


2011 January 14

FERC permits Cove Point LNG to place north vessel berth in service — LNG Law Blog

Yesterday, FERC approved Cove Point LNG's request to place its north berth in service, as modified during the company's Pier Reinforcement Project.

FERC schedules public meeting for Elba Island LNG trucking proposal — LNG Law Blog

FERC announced yesterday that it will convene a public meeting on February 2, 2011, in Savannah, Ga., to hear stakeholders' views on the proposed plans to deliver LNG imported at the Elba Island LNG terminal to customers throughout the U.S. Southeast. Today's Federal Register provides additional details.

FERC to address Cameron LNG's re-export application at upcoming Commission meeting — LNG Law Blog

FERC has placed Cameron LNG's re-export application on its agenda for the January 20, 2011 meeting.

Clatsop withdraws OK for LNG — The World, Coos Bay, OR

ASTORIA (AP) -- The Clatsop County Board of Commissioners has withdrawn its approval of a liquefied natural gas land-use application.

Clatsop County commissioners plan to re-examine the issue in a public hearing.

Clatsop County withdraws permit for misguided LNG project [Opinion] — BlueOregon

Clatsop County’s Board of Commissioners rang in the new year Wednesday by withdrawing a permit for the controversial Oregon LNG pipeline on the Skipanon Peninsula. This is a big setback for Oregon LNG, an energy company that wants to turn Oregon’s rural counties into a throughway for a mega-pipeline designed to deliver foreign fossil fuels to the California gas market. The decision to reexamine the pipeline permit is a victory for grassroots activists who have been fighting for years to stop this misguided project.

New Clatsop County Commission takes action on pipeline issue — Northwest Public Radio, Pullman, WA

Three new members of the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners were sworn in Wednesday in Astoria, Ore. The new board wasted no time taking action on the LNG issue.

The new commission's vote reverses a vote by the previous board in August to OK the pipeline for the Oregon LNG project. That proposal calls for liquefied natural gas tanker ships to bring the super cooled fuel to a terminal in Warrenton. It would then be degasified and transported inland for distribution through a proposed pipeline.

Gas from afar pollutes here, critics say — SignOn San Diego, San Diego, CA

County officials concerned that use of LNG will lead to more smog in the region

San Diego’s air quality folks are worried that natural gas imported from overseas could erase decades of work cleaning San Diego’s air.

It’s regular natural gas, but what’s in it and the process by which it is transported makes it burn hotter than the natural gas we’ve been using until now, said Bob Kard, who heads the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District.

The county figures that if this gas is used throughout the region, replacing traditional supplies, that would result in four to five tons a day of extra pollution, specifically smog-causing chemicals known as volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides.

LNG and pollution, questions and answers — SignOn San Diego, San Diego, CA

Kard: The District agrees that more research is required. However, the District estimates of potential emissions are based on the best information available and are sufficiently accurate to identify a potential air quality impact from the use of LNG-derived natural gas in place of our historic domestic supplies. Even much smaller increases than the likely upper-end estimates of 4-5 tons per day are reason for concern.

Interview with CLNG CEO Bill Cooper (Jan 9) — Platts Energy Week

A Reversal in LNG Fortunes

With the boom in U.S. shale natural gas, interest in liquefied natural gas imports is fading. Less than 10% of LNG terminals is in use today. But some developers see a silver lining in the abundant, domestic supply. Bill talks with Bill Cooper, president of the Center for LNG, about proposals to export the commodity. Watch Streaming Video. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Shale gas lowers long-term pricing predictions —

The recent onslaught of severe winter weather has caused the wholesale price of natural gas to edge upward since mid-December, but it still remains lower than it has been for most of the past decade.

Now, the U.S. Department of Energy says that the available supply of such gas is more than twice as large as it thought just a year ago. In a December update to its annual energy outlook, the agency said that the nation's supply of shale gas is 827 trillion cubic feet, 480 million cubic feet larger than last year's estimate.

"The shift in the gas industry is nothing less than a complete turning it upside down.

"The potential supply is so great that even with all of the demand for electric utilities ... I can't see where we've got any sign of a spike in gas for a long, long time." [Red bold emphasis added.]

Natural gas in the US: producers eye export in weak domestic market — Financial Times

“The move to construct LNG export capacity in the US is a real possibility given the sheer volume of gas that has to find a market and the US consumer’s likely slow adaptation to natural gas as a transportation fuel,’’ Mr Collier says. [Red bold emphasis added.]


2011 January 13

Financially-strapped Calais LNG withdraws applications — Working Waterfront, Island Institute, ME

Asked on January 6 what the prospects were for a new financial backer, Emery declined to be specific but said, "We're moving forward; we're spending money."

Robert Godfrey, spokesman for Save Passamaquoddy Bay, which opposes the Calais project, said on January 7 he believes that the Calais facility has no future, adding, "Goldman Sachs-a company known for making money even when the world is losing money-deserted Calais LNG because the project has no value."

Godfrey then raised the following questions: "From whom and when does Calais LNG intend to get the required financial backing? Where and when does it intend to locate their new project site?" [Red bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: Emery's feigned optimism ignores the lack of market for his collapsed, valueless project.

Weaver's Cove LNG responds to concerns regarding its risk analysis methodology — LNG Law Blog

Yesterday Weaver's Cove LNG filed a response to a November 2010 letter that raised concerns with the company's methodology for analyzing vapor dispersion distances, thermal exclusion distances, and evacuation planning. According to Weaver's Cove LNG, these concerns have been addressed previously by FERC and PHMSA.

Natural gas weekly update — U.S. Energy Information Administration

Overview (for the week ending Wednesday, January 12, 2011)

U.S. pipeline imports from Canada were significantly higher during the report week in comparison with the prior week, likely resulting from increased withdrawals from storage in Canada to meet heating demand in the United States. According to BENTEK, which monitors flows on the continental pipeline network, U.S imports from Canada during the report week increased 16 percent relative to the prior week to approximately 8.5 Bcf/d. An additional cause for the increased pipeline imports was flow from the Canaport LNG terminal in Nova Scotia [sic], Canada, supplies from which were transported into the Northeast by Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline (M&NE). M&NE reported transporting nearly at its maximum capacity this week as regasified liquefied natural gas (LNG) flows from Canaport increased. U.S. LNG imports (as measured by sendout from regasification terminals) averaged 1.1 Bcf/d during this report week, which was 62 percent higher than the prior week. Both Canadian and LNG imports are significantly lower than the prior year at this time, likely as a result of continuing supply strength from domestic drilling, particularly in the shale formations. Pipeline and LNG imports during the report week were, respectively, 10.8 percent and 67.5 percent lower than last year at this time.

Webmaster’s Comments: LNG imports of 1.1 Bcf/d are equivalent to the approximate capacity of just one large LNG import terminal. The US has 10 operating LNG terminals.

Massachusetts man second in nation to be convicted of pointing laser at aircraft (Jan 10) — MI News 26, Cadillac, MI

Gerard Sasso, 52, is the second person in the nation to be convicted for shining a powerful green laser beam into a State Police helicopter that was escorting a LNG tanker through the Boston Harbor.

The crime happened on December 8, 2007 when a State Police helicopter was escorting a liquid natural gas tanker through the Boston Harbor to the Distrigas Terminal in Everett. At about 9.15 p.m. local time, the aircraft pilots noticed a strange green light coming directly towards them.

LNG doubters demand answers (Jan 10) — Savannah Morning News, Savannah, GA

Led by a former CIA official, grassroots group gets lawmakers' attention

They first encountered each other at public meetings in the fall, galvanized by a shared worry that a plan to truck more than 5 million gallons a week of hazardous liquefied natural gas through Savannah would get rubber-stamped.

Now, these locals have formed a grassroots organization called Citizens for a Safe Secure Savannah. Led by downtown resident Kent Harrington, a former CIA Tokyo bureau chief, the group is taking its complaints to politicians and bureaucrats from the local to the national level.

In late December, Harrington and co-chair Pam Miller penned a seven-page letter to the Department of Homeland Security requesting its intervention in the matter and outlining the security vulnerabilities associated with trucking so much LNG through the historic district, past Memorial's Level One trauma center and pointedly, past Hunter Army Airfield "home to the 3rd Division and its Ranger special operations brigade, well known for action in Iraq and Afghanistan."

"What will they do to the roadways? What is the cost of security and how much of it will the city have to bear?" she asked.

FERC Chairman responds to Louisiana Governor on Sabine Pass LNG liquefaction project — LNG Law Blog

Last week, FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff responded to a letter of support for the Sabine Pass LNG Liquefaction Project submitted by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Choose well on energy [Editorial] — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Judging from Mr Christopher Zacca's remarks, when the energy minister, Mr James Robertson, was yanked from the leadership of the Government's energy-conversion project, there was no clear technical path for the transition from oil to liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the country's fuel of choice for generating electricity.

PNP wants Government to release LNG report (Jan 12) — Go-Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

The Opposition People's National Party (PNP) has renewed its call for the Government to release the findings of a report it commissioned to examine the feasibility of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

The Opposition says its call comes against the background of media reports highlighting some damning conclusions contained in the document, which also raises questions about the government’s handling of the LNG Project.

James Robertson responds to leaked LNG report (Jan 12) — Go-Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Energy Minister James Robertson is this evening dismissing suggestions by the Opposition that he was relieved of responsibility for the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project because of the damning findings of a recent report on the project.

LNG team pushing for speedy implementation — Go-Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

The team set up to implement Jamaica’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) ambitions says the project is in jeopardy of failing if some of the advice of a World Bank-recommended team of consultants are adopted.

Several of the recommendations contained in the teams report require a delay in the implementation of the project, but the LNG team is adamant the current timelines must be kept or the project will fail.

PNP wants parliamentary debate on LNG — Go-Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

A day after renewing its call for details of a report on the feasibility of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to be made public, the Peoples’ National Party (PNP) is now calling for a parliamentary debate on the matter.

'Hit the brakes' — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

The Government's plan to introduce liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been engulfed in even more controversy in the wake of a damning November 2010 report by a World Bank-recommended team of consultants.

The local team was most dismissive of the consultants' claim that the Government could be exposed to great financial risk for future gas purchase.

Mr Zacca and the LNG project [Editorial] — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Put starkly, Mr Zacca's task force can no longer be merely about plugging, patching and, ultimately, implementing that botched project to convert from oil to liquefied natural gas (LNG), the fuel that fires the bulk of the island's electricity- and power-generating facilities. The energy programme has to be completely rethought, and a decision arrived at based on the fuel that represents the genuine least-cost option to the national economy.

In that regard, the process has to be open and transparent and the debate robust, even as we appreciate the urgency of having an efficient and cost-effective energy system so as to improve the competitiveness of the Jamaican economy.

The approach by the Golding administration to energy conversion has been flawed from early. It has lacked transparency and seemingly oblivious to the fundamental reason for conversion: to improve the competitive position of the Jamaican economy.

Robertson says LNG report not for public consumption — Jamaica Observer, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

ENERGY Minister James Robertson says the findings of a report on the feasibility of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project would not be made public, ignoring Opposition calls to reveal its contents.

But yesterday, Robertson was insistent that the report was a working paper to guide investments and was not a public document.

Jamaica committed to developing LNG as energy source: adviser to PM — Platts

Zacca was responding to reports that a proposed LNG project could face delays in the wake of an investigation -- launched in 2010 -- into alleged bid rigging in the tender to install a floating regasification unit off the country's southern coast.

In June 2010, Jamaica's anti-corruption Office of the Contractor-General raided offices of the ministry and Petrojam as part of its investigation of the tender. The results of the probe have not been announced.

Provincial energy ministers support LNG exports to avoid Canadian gas oversupply — LNG Law Blog

Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that the energy ministers for the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan said last week that they view LNG exports as an important tool to avoid an oversupply of gas from western Canada. The provincial officials cited the Kitimat LNG export project as one example of businesses seeking new customers for Canadian natural gas.

County withdraws LNG approval — KTVL-TV, Medford, OR

The board voted last November to accept a hearings officer's ruling that granted conditional approval to an application by Oregon Pipeline LLC to build 41 miles of pipeline to serve a proposed liquefied gas terminal in Warrenton.

The decision was appealed to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals by project opponents led by Columbia Riverkeeper.

The Clatsop County board, with three new members, voted 4-1 Wednesday to file a notice of withdrawal with the Land Use Board of Appeals for reconsideration of the November ruling.

Clatsop County set to reexamine LNG application (Jan 12) — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

With no pipeline, the Oregon LNG terminal would have no way to deliver gas to market.

The three new commissioners, who replaced three members who voted to approve the application before leaving office, all voted to withdraw the earlier approval. Clatsop County has 90 more days to look at the application. The board may review the decision at a public hearing on March 9.

County takes fresh look at LNG — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The situation has flip-flopped since Nov. 8, when Rohne was the only “no” vote against the pipeline and Roberts, along with former commissioners Jeff Hazen, John Raichl and Robert Mushen, voted “yes” to accept a hearings officer’s ruling on the pipeline project, granting conditional approval to Oregon Pipeline LLC’s consolidated application.

First action by new Clatsop commissioners is to take fresh look at LNG policy — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The board's review, depending on what is decided Feb. 9, may take place March 9. The board can limit its review to the existing record, accept testimony from specific parties or re-open the entire hearing process.


2011 Month 10

Power trip [Op-ed column] — Mainebiz

The arrival of significant new LNG supplies would have a decidedly positive effect in the region, both in increasing supply and in dampening price volatility for natural gas. This is because the sources of LNG supply for the Northeast are in North Africa and the Caribbean Basin, which exert competitive pressure on domestic natural gas delivered from the Gulf of Mexico. When these new supplies actually arrive in New England, energy costs are likely to go down in the region, increasing the market share for natural gas among competing fuels. Any expansion of natural gas consumption in Maine that displaces oil also will have environmental benefits.

Webmaster’s Comments: It is clear that Stephen Ward's natural gas information is sorely out of date.

  1. There is a North American natural gas glut;
  2. There is a more-than-ample supply of natural gas in Maine, due to existing infrastructure and to expanding pipelines delivering domestic natural gas to the region;
  3. The US has a gross overbuild of LNG import facilities — the amount of LNG imported into the US in 2009 was about equal to the capacity of just one large LNG import terminal. The US has 10 LNG import terminals, with another 12 LNG terminals licensed but not constructing due to lack of market;
  4. Existing LNG import facilities — with the exception of Distrigas operating at less than 60% of capacity — in the Northeast and the rest of the US are largely idle, operating at around 20% or less;
  5. The US LNG industry is now focusing on LNG exporting, due to the vast domestic natural gas glut.

World: Caribbean isles ponder importing LNG from US for power generation — Natural Gas Week, Energy Intelligence [Paid subscription required]

While past efforts have failed to promote LNG in the Caribbean, where power is generated mainly by fuel oil or diesel, island states such as Jamaica are showing new interest in gas imports just as efforts to export LNG from the US Gulf Coast are gaining official clearance and financial traction.

Webmaster’s Comments: The US is drowning in natural gas.

Transparency in our choice of energy [Editorial] — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Our Government has locked on to liquefied natural gas (LNG), largely because it is cheaper than oil and releases, up to now, fewer global-warming emissions than other hydrocarbons, including coal.

Sempra re-exports LNG cargo from Mexico terminal (Jan 7) — Reuters Africa

The re-export was a one off, a spokeswoman said, as Sempra does not have approval to complete this kind of trade regularly.

Re-exporting previously imported cargoes has become common practice in the well-supplied United States over the past year, giving importers and terminal customers more flexibility with their volumes. The Zeebrugge terminal in Belgium also regularly re-exports cargoes.

Webmaster’s Comments: The US — including California — has more than plenty of natural gas supply. So much so, that the Baja California, Mexico, Energía Costal Azul LNG import terminal is re-exporting LNG to non-North American customers.

Macquarie US gas play targets Asia (Jan 9) —

The US gas market could emerge as a significant exporter. Macquarie Group has entered into a gas export joint venture on the coast of Texas and is holding talks with prospective customers. PFC Energy's Nick Tsafos thinks LNG from North America will be competitive with some Australian LNG developments. The US may become a rival to Australian suppliers in Asia. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Column: All hail King Shale! (Jan 11) — The Financial Express, New Delhi, India

The US provides an example of a nation that, almost overnight, became a gas surplus country. Their existing LNG receiving terminals are being mothballed and the start up of new ones are being kept on hold. Gas prices locally have steeply fallen, impacting LNG prices worldwide. The largest LNG producer in the Gulf is forced to hawk it at a price that barely covers its processing costs.... [Red bold emphasis added.]


2011 January 6

"Explosive" debates expected on House Homeland Security Committee [Opinion column] (Jan 5) —, Denver, CO

DHS [Department of Homeland Security] standards of “high risk facilities” include chemical manufacturing, storage and distribution facilities; petroleum refineries; and liquefied natural gas storage facilities. DHS standards exempt : public water systems; treatment works, facilities owned and operated by the US Departments of Defense or Energy; nuclear facilities regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; railroad facilities that store chemicals or long-haul natural gas pipelines; and facilities regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002;(“Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards, Compliance and Risk Management, January 7, 2008.) [Red bold emphasis added.]

Natural gas weekly update — U.S. Energy Information Administration, Washington, DC

Overview (For the Week Ending Wednesday, January 5, 2011)

The natural gas rotary rig count, as reported December 31 by Baker Hughes Incorporated, fell by 12 to 919, marking the fourth consecutive week of decline. However, this level still represents an increase of 160 units (21 percent) from the same period last year.

According to BENTEK estimates, total supply of natural gas fell this week by 1.5 percent. Domestic production was off by 2.9 percent, accounting for the bulk of the decline. Canadian imports were up 5 percent for the week but remain about 6 percent below year-ago levels. Things were no different in the LNG arena where imports were about flat on the week but remained nearly 72 percent below the corresponding week last year. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Shale: the great American gas revolution (2010 Dec) — Insight, Platts

Built on advances in drilling and information technology, shale gas has transformed the United States from a growing importer of LNG to a potential exporter. The country's recoverable gas resource estimates have ballooned, and despite growing environmental concerns, shale gas technology is going global.

June 2010: The NYMEX contract rolls off the board at $4.804/MMBtu, a 62% drop in two years. The gas futures contract will fall below $4/MMBtu as the summer progresses without a major storm, while the rig count falls as US gas drillers further reduce activity in reaction to low prices. Gas production grows anyway, reaching an all-time high of 26.2 Tcf for the year. The list of cancelled LNG terminals grows almost monthly. New terminals along the Gulf Coast file for permits to export gas rather than import it. [Red bold emphasis added.]

US shale gas: new year, same old story — Petroleum Economist [Paid subscription required]

Just a few years ago, gas shortages and record fuel prices combined with technological advances that made shale-gas production economically attractive to trigger a drilling boom in the US, which has the largest shale reserves in the world. But then the economy went into a tailspin, reducing demand just as gas supplies from these prolific shale plays began pouring into the market. By the time 2010 drew to a close, wellhead prices were hovering around ... [Red bold emphasis added.]

GTL: a glut-inspired idea for North America's shale-gas abundance — Petroleum Economist [Paid subscription required]

UNCONVENTIONAL gas from Canada's Montney shale play could be converted into synthetic oil products to exploit the dramatic structural divergence of North American oil and gas prices. Sasol, the South African energy and chemicals company, has agreed to take a stake in shale-gas assets owned by Canada's Talisman Energy – and a gas-to-liquids (GTL) project is one potential monetisation option. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Remarks to the Houston Pipeliners Association, Jan. 3, 2011 (Dec 2010) — Pipeline & Gas Journal

Because of the shale deposits – and there are now 22 producing locations in more than 20 states – along with the doubling of LNG plants, and record rates of growth in new pipelines and storage sites, the supply of natural gas in the past couple of years has shown a 39% growth in the nation’s resource base. It has grown larger and more sustainable than at any time.

No longer is natural gas being talked about as a so-called bridge fuel to renewable. Now it is being seen as a sustainable long-term solution for the economy and the environment. So this is not the market of 10 years ago. In addition to the supply, pipelines and storage capacity are allowing the industry to respond to customer needs faster than ever with greater flexibility. And what we all know and are trying to teach lawmakers – is that natural gas requires only a fraction of the land necessary to produce the same amount of energy as other fuel sources, with correspondingly low emissions.

Thanks to the boom in unconventional natural gas production supplies are more than abundant but we’re not seeing demand keep pace. On the plus side we apparently are seeing the end of price volatility of natural gas and that could make planning much easier for heavy users such as electricity generators and feedstocks. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Canada will receive record LNG shipments in January, FirstEnergy says (Jan 5) — Bloomberg

Canada will receive a record 22 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas in January, 69 percent more than the previous high of 13 billion cubic feet, FirstEnergy Capital Corp. said.

The increase in shipments comes through a supply contract between Repsol YPF SA and Qatar Liquefied Gas Co. estimated at about 66 billion cubic feet a year, researchers at Calgary-based FirstEnergy said in a report. The fuel will be delivered to the Repsol-controlled Canaport terminal on Canada’s east coast, which is designed to receive as much as 1 billion cubic feet a day.

Webmaster’s Comments: That 66 Bcf a year coming from Qatar equals just 18% of Canaport LNG's capacity — slightly below the level at which Canaport LNG has already been operating.

Apache, Southwestern hope to unlock New Brunswick shales (Jan 5) — Junewarren-Nickel's Energy Group, Calgary, AB

Both Apache Corporation and Southwestern Energy Company are currently conducting early-stage programs in the Frederick Brook shales in New Brunswick and it could take some time before they have a good grip on the province's shale gas potential.

The MNP [Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline] was initially built to deliver gas from the Sable Island fields offshore Nova Scotia. Sable Island has been less prolific than hoped, and as a result Malone said that the system has been underused. The pipeline has a Canadian and a U.S. section; the Canadian section has approximately 500 mmcf per day capacity with about 450 mmcf per day contracted, but throughput has only been around 300 to 400 mmcf per day. The U.S. side can currently handle about 833 mmcf per day.

Repsol is the main market player, with about 730 mmcf per day of contracted capacity on the U.S. leg of the MNP. A lot of this goes unused, however. Malone said that MNP staff estimate that about half to as much as two-thirds of the pipeline's capacity can sit idle.

Webmaster’s Comments: There is contracted but considerable unused capacity in the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, indicating no so-called "bottleneck" in getting natural gas to Maine customers.

Council embraces new contract for public works’ employees — The Jamestown Press, Jamestown, RI

The Council also plans to consider a recommendation from the LNG Working Group for all Rhode Island municipalities to divest their pension plans of any stock in Hess Corp., which is seeking to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Mount Hope Bay. Councilor Ellen Winsor asked the Council to formally support the requested divestiture, but some other councilors initially pushed back, arguing that the town’s LNG Threat Committee should first review the working group recommendation.

Christie signs landmark legislation to protect the shore (Jan 5) — Cape May County Herald, NJ

"…These initiatives, as well as Governor Christie’s Barnegat Bay package and his vow to oppose offshore drilling and liquefied natural gas facilities, are helping put New Jersey back as the national ocean leader. We in New Jersey know that protecting our greatest natural resource, the ocean, is the core of improving the economy."

Eni submits LNG re-export application to DOE — LNG Law Blog

Eni has submitted an LNG re-export application to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The application contemplates re-exporting up to 100 Bcf of previously imported LNG over a period of two years starting no later than March 1, 2011. Eni would re-export this LNG via the Cameron LNG facility to any country capable of accepting LNG delivered by vessel and with which trade is not prohibited by the United States.

NATS: LNG cargo re-exported from Freeport LNG to U.K. Teesside facility — LNG Law Blog

NATS [subscription required] reports today that an LNG cargo re-exported from the Freeport LNG terminal in the United States has been delivered to Excelerate's Teesside GasPort in England aboard the LNG vessel Expedient. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Freeport LNG plans to re-export an LNG cargo this month — LNG Law Blog

A spokesperson for Freeport LNG told Upstream Online that it plans to load and re-export a cargo of LNG this month that was previously imported to the facility.

Separately, FERC authorized Freeport LNG to commence the pre-filing review process for the company's proposed LNG liquefaction project. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Freeport terminal set to re-export — Upstream Online

Higher gas prices in Europe, Asia and South America over the past year have prompted traders to import LNG to the amply-supplied United States on the cheap, store it at terminals and then re-export overseas later in the hope of making a profit.

Waterborne LNG analysts in Houston, which monitor LNG tanker flows, reckon that four cargoes will be re-exported from the US in January, one from Freeport and three from Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana. Cheniere was not immediately available for comment, Reuters said. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Think carefully about energy (Jan 5) — The Gleaner, Kingstom, Jamaica, West Indies

When P.J. Patterson sought to commit Jamaica to an energy future based on natural gas, it was on the assumption that the country would have a secure supply of LNG from Trinidad and Tobago at a preferential price.

If we interpret correctly the attitude of the new Trinidad and Tobago prime minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, there is little hope of the LNG initiative being revived during her tenure.

Report clears Brent Foster's work on the LNG Bradwood Landing in Oregon (Jan 4) — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

Dale Koch, former presiding judge of Multnomah Circuit Court, also found no evidence of criminal activity by Foster, who resigned as Attorney General John Kroger's special counsel for environmental matters in April after admitting that he was untruthful about taking a water quality sample to support a criminal case against the owner of a Hood River juice company.

Koch said he explored whether Foster, who strongly opposed LNG terminals when he was executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper, gave legal advice regarding LNG that was unauthorized or deviated from advice given by Kroger or Associate Attorney General David Leith, the lead attorney on LNG matters.

With Ruby, do we need Jordan Cove? [Letter to the editor] (Jan 4) — The World, Coos Bay, OR

On page 3-17, second paragraph, of FERC's Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Jordan Cove LNG project, it is clearly stated that, 'The Ruby (pipeline) project could satisfy most of the main objectives of the Jordan Cove Project."

The Ruby Pipeline has been approved, all required permits have been issued and construction is under way as we speak. It will be fully functional in a couple of years.

Why is the Port of Coos Bay so ready and eager to inflict such massive impacts on our already compromised estuarine ecosystem in order to facilitate construction of a facility that is, by FERC's own documentation, no longer needed? [Red emphasis added.]

Guest viewpoint: State’s environmental management system needs updating [Op-ed column] — The Register-Guard, Eugene, OR

[T]he Port of Coos Bay has applied to the Oregon Department of State Lands for a permit to dredge and dispose of 5.6 million cubic feet of material from the floor of Coos Bay to construct a slip dock at the proposed Jordan Cove LNG terminal. In addition to Department of State Lands personnel, this application will be considered by numerous other state agencies such as the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Energy, the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, the Coastal Zone Management Agency, and others.

Natural gas rebound looking likely in 2011 (Jan 4) —

2010 marked a year that most natural gas investors would like to forget. The reason for the drop in prices and stocks was simply supply and demand. Natural gas supplies have grown in recent years as new technologies have made it easier for producers to unlock previously unreachable reservoirs in onshore shale formations. Some natural gas producers have vowed to reduce natural gas drilling until the gas becomes more valuable, however the chances of supply being greatly reduced are minimal. In the last few months, reports have surfaced implying that the industry appears to be taking steps to avoid catastrophe, though the outlook is highly dependent on political action and (as always) the weather. The Bedford Report examines investing opportunities in natural gas and provides research reports on Chesapeake Energy Corporation and Petrohawk Energy Corporation.…

Going forward there is slightly more optimism surrounding natural gas. Analysts argue that the natural gas oversupply in the United States could make the nation a major natural gas exporter in upcoming years. Demand for gas is soaring in Asia and other emerging markets as their economies expand. [Red bold emphasis added.]

Energy: Former Sempra employee updates lawsuit (Jan 5) — North County Times, Escondido, CA

A laid-off Sempra Energy employee updated his lawsuit against his former employer Wednesday to include new details on bribery allegations and charges of tax evasion, but dropped an accusation that the company built a lavish visitor center with utility ratepayer funds, the complaint said.

Sempra Mexico is a part of Sempra LNG, a division of Sempra that stores and processes natural gas.

On orders from his boss, Michael Allman, who currently leads SoCal Gas, Michelon withdrew $16,000 in pesos to post a bond needed to evict the landowner, Sanchez Ritchie, the complaint said.

Land owner Ritchie has been fighting the terminal in both Mexican and American courts. Last month, a San Diego judge dismissed his complaint on technical grounds, and Ritchie refiled on Tuesday.

Russia's Gazprom shackled by corruption: U.S. cables — (Reuters) Yahoo News

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin's ambition of turning Gazprom, the world's biggest gas company, into a global energy titan is undermined by Soviet-style thinking, poor management and corruption, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables.

Gazprom has repeatedly said it was keen to expand on U.S. gas markets but had to scale back its ambitions to supply liquefied gas (LNG) across the Atlantic as the United States boosted its own shale gas output and cut imports of LNG. [Red bold emphasis added.]


2011 January 3

USA: Freeport LNG export project to boost jobs — LNG World News

When it was built, the idea of the plant was to take imported liquified natural gas, turn it back into a gas, then send it out to domestic markets through a pipeline, he said. But as more domestic oil fields were discovered, especially the rich shale finds in Texas, demand for foreign natural gas dropped to next to nothing.

The money now is to do the original process in reverse, Mallett said.

Terminal Manager Robert Pate said that means they’ll be handling about 100 ships per year, the number they are currently permitted for as an import facility, as opposed to the eight ships they have handled during 2010.

LNG: State seeks comment on port plan — The World, Coos Bay, OR

The Port of Coos Bay's permit application for a slip dock and access channel for large cargo vessels -- including tankers visiting the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas terminal -- is open for comment until Jan. 12.

According to the application, besides LNG tankers, the dock and channel would provide mooring for other large cargo vessels, many of which are too big to use facilities farther up the bay.

Natural gas rebound looking likely in 2011 — Chronicle, Beverly Hills, CA

Going forward there is slightly more optimism surrounding natural gas. Analysts argue that the natural gas oversupply in the United States could make the nation a major natural gas exporter in upcoming years. Demand for gas is soaring in Asia and other emerging markets as their economies expand.

More liquefied natural gas export facilities could be developed going forward. The Wall Street Journal reported that a subsidiary of Cheniere Energy is working on a deal to supply liquefied natural gas to one of China's largest independently owned natural gas companies. Chesapeake Energy's Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon told investors at a conference he has been in talks with Cheniere to supply gas to the proposed facility. While Cheniere would still need to build the liquefaction facility, the company's CEO believes that interest in the project from natural gas suppliers such as Chesapeake, as well as Chinese interest "confirms the global appetite for US natural gas."


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