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


News Articles
Passamaquoddy Bay & LNG

2012 June

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2012 June 30


Spectra Energy (SE) gets nod for pipeline construction on NJ-NY expansion project (Jun 29) —

Spectra Energy Corp. said it has received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to proceed with pipeline construction on the New Jersey-New York Expansion Project.

Once completed, the New Jersey-New York Expansion Project will provide an additional 800 million cubic feet per day of natural gas capacity into the New Jersey/New York region. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: This is Northeast natural gas pipeline infrastructure expansion that, according to recent Downeast LNG comments to the FERC docket, 'does not exist.'

Gulf of Mexico

Cheniere will complete $4 billion LNG financing in days (Jun 29) — Bloomberg Businessweek

Cheniere said on June 4 it expected to complete debt financing arrangements by the end of this month for the estimated $4.5 billion to $5 billion it needs to build liquefaction units at its Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana. The company hired JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and others in April to help arrange the funding.

British Columbia

B.C. Energy: Going east, far east — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

So far, six liquefied natural gas plants have been proposed to carry gas from [northeast British Columbia via terminal on British Columbia's west coast] to Pacific Rim communities. British Columbia wants to see three LNG facilities in operation by 2020, pending environmental approvals. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Natural gas: Managing our bounty (Jun 29) — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

“Going forward we’ve got over 100 years’ worth of supply of gas that we know about today,” says Greg D’Avignon, president and CEO of the Business Council of British Columbia. That doesn’t factor in a recent announcement by Apache that it has identified a world-class gas resource in the Liard Basin northeast of Fort Nelson. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Glory days in the North as resources drive growth (Jun 29) — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

Shell Canada and TransCanada have a $4-billion plan to build a natural gas pipeline originating near Dawson Creek, to carry gas across the province to the central coast town of Kitimat. And BC Hydro appears likely to carry through with its $8-billion Site C dam project, which is located about a half-hour’s drive away, at Fort St. John. Hydro is also targeting Dawson Creek as the anchor for an expansion of its transmission grid.

Canada’s natural gas dreams closer to reality after Petronas moves (Jun 28) — Financial Post, Don Mills, ON

With Petronas’s advance, there are now three major LNG projects moving head in the B.C. coast, representing a solid platform for the emerging industry and providing a new market for depressed Western Canadian gas. Asia’s gas prices are much higher because they are linked to oil prices and there is demand to absorb huge supplies from shale fields such as the Horn River and the Montney. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

United States

Lawmakers press DOE to speed LNG export review (Jun 29) — Reuters

U.S. lawmakers representing states rich in shale gas called for the Obama administration to expedite approval of liquefied natural gas exports on Friday, mounting the first real push in support of gas exports on Capitol Hill.

Critics of exports argue cheap gas prices have helped spur a manufacturing resurgence that is threatened by moves to sell U.S. gas to overseas. Dow Chemical has argued that the government should not allow unlimited gas exports.

US may be India's future gas source (Jul 1) — Business Standard, New Delhi, India

India’s biggest gas importer, Petronet LNG, has started talks with two companies. GAIL is also keen to source US gas. It recently signed an agreement to import 3.5 million tonnes (mt) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Sabine Pass, a subsidiary of Cheniere Energy. US has, so far, allowed only Cheniere Energy to export LNG from Sabine Pass terminal.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the US has the world’s second-biggest shale gas reserve of 862 trillion cubic feet (tcf) after China’s 1,275 tcf. The boom has led to a crash in the US gas prices and proved a negative for companies such as Chesapeake and Exxon Mobil’s XTO. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


2012 June 28


Sunoco's Marcus Hook site could be used for LNG exports (Jun 27) — Bloomberg

Sunoco Inc.’s Marcus Hook refinery in Pennsylvania, which was shut last year after the company failed to find a buyer for it, could be used as a liquefied natural gas export facility or gas-fired power station, according to a report by IHS Inc.

Gulf of Mexico

Residents may intervene if Cheniere Energy's liquefied natural gas export terminal seeks permit (Jun 27) — Caller-Times, Corpus Christi, TX

Tom Ballou Jr., with Sherwin Alumina Company, which borders the site of the proposed plant, said he has public safety concerns. Specifically, flaring could affect employees at Sherwin Alumina, Ballou said.

"I've learned that if a thing can't possibly happen, it's going to happen," Ballou said, later adding, "We'll probably file a request to intervene at the appropriate time."Hal Suter, Corpus Christi resident and president of the Lone Star chapter of the Sierra Club, said his group also would consider intervening if the project moves forward.


Atlantic LNG sees gas shortfall due to upstream maintenance (Jun 27) — Platts

After the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, BPTT embarked on a costly maintenance program to improve safety levels and reduce the risks associated with its pipelines, plants and other infrastructure in Trinidad, Christie said.

"Given this scenario," Hainsley said Wednesday. "Atlantic continues to work with our upstream suppliers (BP, BG, Repsol YPF and National Gas Co. of Trinidad and Tobago) to align our operations to their maintenance schedules in order to maximize opportunities for production.


Exporting Alaska LNG: Who must approve natural gas shipments to Asia? (Jun 26) — Alaska Dispatch, Anchorage, AK

Last year, only nine loads of home-grown U.S. LNG arrived in foreign ports – eight sent to Japan and one to China. The total volume was 16.4 bcf, or an average of just 45 million cubic feet of gas a day. All of those shipments originated from the ConocoPhillips LNG plant in Nikiski, Alaska, that processes nearby Cook Inlet gas, not North Slope gas.

The Nikiski plant is the nation's only operating LNG maker sanctioned for commercial exports. It was first authorized to send LNG to Japan in 1967 and has been doing so since the plant opened in 1969.

Two federal laws govern [natural] gas exports in general.

The Natural Gas Act of 1938 says no gas exports may occur without federal permission, but that permission will be granted unless, after a hearing, the government "finds that the proposed exportation ... will not be consistent with the public interest."

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act says the president can restrict natural gas exports – as well as export of other fossil fuels – unless he determines the exports are "consistent with the national interest." Congress wrote this law in 1975 when a quadrupling of oil prices in three years triggered an energy crisis that staggered U.S. consumers and the economy.

British Columbia

Malaysia's Petronas to buy partner Progress Energy for $5.5 billion — Brandon Sun, Brandon, MB

The companies announced along with the deal that they've selected Prince Rupert, B.C., for the location of its proposed LNG terminal.

Second international energy company looking at LNG terminal in Prince Rupert — The Northern View, Prince Rupert, BC

"The site Petronas is looking at is on the Lelu Island industrial site, just a stone's throw from where the BG Group would set up their LNG facility," explained Prince Rupert Port Authority spokesperson Michael Gurney, adding that the port authority is excited about this development because of the Petrona's international standing in the energy industry.

Malaysia's Petronas to buy Canadian gas company — The Wall Street Journal [Paid subscription]

Petronas also said it plans to build a liquefied-natural-gas export terminal off Canada's western coast—the fourth major LNG export project being contemplated for the country.

Update 5-Petronas bids $4.7 bln to scoop up Canada shale gas — Reuters

CALGARY/TORONTO, June 28 (Reuters) - Malaysia's state oil company launched a C$4.8 billion ($4.7 billion) takeover of its Canadian joint-venture partner, Progress Energy Resources Corp , on Thursday to gain control of vast shale gas reserves and advance plans to ship gas to Asia.

It is the first instance of an Asian investor launching a buyout of its Canadian partner in a gas project.

In their year-old joint venture, Petronas had agreed to fund 75 percent of the drilling in the companies' North Montney holdings and to study building a liquefied natural gas plant on Canada's West Coast. Petronas said on Thursday it had chosen Prince Rupert, British Columbia, as the site for the plant.


Protesters question pipeline (Jun 27) — The World, Coos Bay, OR

COOS BAY -- Outside the Pacific Connector Pipeline project's open house Tuesday night, dozens of protesters waved signs against fracking, building an export terminal and liquefied natural gas in general.

The event was put on by Williams, the energy company contracted to build a pipeline that would supply a proposed natural gas export facility in North Bend, championed by Jordan Cove Energy Partners.

Although Williams had a federal permit to build a 230-mile natural gas pipeline to supply gas to an import facility, that permit was voided earlier this year after Jordan Cove Energy Partners changed their business model to export the gas. In the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s eyes, the project had changed enough to warrant a new permit applications from both the terminal and the pipeline.

United States

U.S. tiptoes toward exporting natural gas bounty (Jun 27) — MoneyNews, West Palm Beach, Florida

In a bitterly divided U.S. political environment, there's at least one thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on: Avoid a public showdown on natural gas exports, arguably the most important energy policy decision in recent memory.

The reason is clear: unlike the relatively simple, black-and-white issues that politicians often favor and voters connect to, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is deep, deep gray.

US producers play catch-up in LNG exports (Jun 27) — Rigzone

BP's London-based head of energy economics, Paul Appleby, expects the United States to develop a significant liquefied natural gas export industry as the shale gas "revolution" in the country progresses.

North America

Japan expects to import 20% of LNG from N.America (Jun 27) — Reuters

Japan wants to tap cheaper natural gas in the United States and Canada if and when their facilities are ready to cool natural gas to a liquid for transport, and a few Japanese companies have made preliminary agreements to invest in such projects.

The wash of domestic shale gas hitting U.S. markets has sent gas prices plummeting, and buyers across the world have lined up to buy cheap American fuel. But concerns that the fledgling movement to export LNG could drive up U.S. prices have drawn opposition from consumer groups. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


2012 June 26


New study says Maine’s natural areas worth far more than most people think (Jun 18) — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

In Maine, the value of Mother Nature, not counting tourism dollars, natural resource-based businesses or other revenue derived from the outdoors, accounts for more than $14 billion per year. Many of those values were derived with an eye toward the future, particularly as it relates to things like quality of life and the availability of clean drinking water. For example, recognizing the value of a forest that filters and slows runoff from rain will pay dividends later, according to the study.

The study, titled “Valuing Maine’s Natural Capital,” was conducted in collaboration with a Vermont-based consultant group called Spatial Informatics Group, LLC. It measured factors such as scenic beauty, natural flood control capacity, the ability of forests to capture greenhouse gases, wildlife habitat, ability of wetlands to filter water, pollination system, recreation opportunities and underground water tables.

Washington and Penobscot counties also ranked high with per-acre, per-year values of between $700 and $1,000. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Gulf of Mexico

Pascagoula's LNG importing facility could see exports as well —

PASCAGOULA, Mississippi -- GE Energy Financial Services' co-owned Gulf LNG Energy regasification and liquefied natural gas storage facility in Pascagoula has received approval from the U.S. Department of Energy to export liquefied natural gas.

The $1.1-billion facility, which began operations in October, received two shipments of LNG -- natural gas super-chilled for transport by ship -- prior to its ribbon cutting, but hasn't received any since.

Gulf LNG also has a terminal in Savannah, Georgia [Elba Island LNG], that is taking similar steps.

Webmaster's comment: All the hoopla in 2011 about Gulf LNG being "on the cutting edge" was either insincere or naïve — it was already far too obvious that the import terminal was years behind the natural gas market curve, and that yet another import terminal was no longer needed.

British Columbia

Liquefied natural gas race getting thinner (Jun 25) — Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB

At a recent conference on unconventional resources, a panel on LNG in B.C. suggested consolidation would be the order of the day to combine the different projects’ strengths. For example, the Apache Corp. led Kitimat LNG project has the licence to export but no market, where as Shell Canada has Japan, China and Korea as partners on its proposed $12-billion project.

“BC Hydro simply doesn’t have the capacity to provide even close to the amount of power required for these projects,” provincial Conservative candidate Rick Peterson argued May 28 in the Vancouver Sun. “The first three LNG proposals alone…would require about half of the electricity that’s currently consumed by the entire province.”

B.C. liquefied natural gas terminal planned (Jun 25) — Canadian Business

Until recently, many regarded natural gas exports to Asia as a sideshow to Canada’s prospects of selling oil across the Pacific. That notion was banished with the announcement on May 15 of a massive new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal planned for Kitimat, B.C. The LNG Canada project led by Royal Dutch Shell would be the third and largest B.C. terminal, capable of shipping 1.2 billion cubic feet of gas a day. It carries a price tag of at least $12 billion, according to B.C. Energy Minister Rich Coleman. That would make it the largest capital project ever undertaken in the province.

The wave of the future (Jun 23) — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

The province is sitting on so much gas, it could supply North America for the next 100 years, said B.C.'s Minister of Energy and Mines Rich Coleman.

But the new discoveries, along with similar finds in the United States, have led to an oversupply in North America, pushing down the price in April to a decade low of below $2 US, Scotiabank's commodity market specialist Patricia Mohr wrote in a report.

"And in some cases, we are now removing [water] from the very reservoirs that are used to generate power and the companies that want to use that water in the fracking process also want access to our power. So it's a double whammy."


Learn about the Pacific Connector Pipeline tonight — The World, Coos Bay, OR

COOS BAY — The backers of a proposed natural gas pipeline that could supply a future liquefied natural gas export facility in Coos Bay will hold an informational open house tonight.

FERC previously gave the company a permit to build the pipeline when Jordan Cove Energy Partners intended to build an LNG import facility, which the pipeline would connect to. Now that Jordan Cove plans to build an export facility, both companies need new permits.

United States

3 reasons U.S. LNG will fail — Energy & Capital, Baltimore, MD

[O]ne word from Congress could put an end to those kinds of gains — especially when people realize keeping our cheap natural gas here in the States is a smarter play than shipping it halfway across the globe.

Japan hopes to secure deal for US exports of LNG (Jun 25) — Hydrocarbon Processing

Japan is hopeful that some accord can be reached with the United States to secure liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from some of the country's recently unlocked bounty of shale gas, despite the world's third-biggest economy not having a free-trade agreement with the US.

US LNG set to change price framework (Jun 25) — Petroleum Economist [Paid subscription]

Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyers expect US exports to spur the change from traditional oil-index priced contracts to include a larger gas hub element, according to the Japan Oil, Gas, and Metals National Corporation (Jogmec).The traditional Asian buyers – comprising Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan – have bought long-term LNG on prices linked with oil for over 40 years. But with the US planning to build a number of LNG export facilities, Asian importers have rushed to sign contracts because they are either linked to US Henry Hub gas prices or are tolling agreements where the shipper buys the gas at market prices themselves and pay a liquefaction fee....

Webmaster's comment: This does not comport with another Petroleum Economist article, below.

GAO investigation finds lack of Federal oversight of gas pipelines [Press release] (Jun 23) — 24-7 Press Release

A recent report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the federal government is largely ignorant of the condition of thousands of miles of natural gas pipelines crisscrossing the nation.

While the United States Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [PHMSA] regulates about 24,000 miles of large pipelines that carry natural gas from processing plants across the nation, it is largely unaware of the condition of 200,000 miles of natural gas and 40,000 miles of hazardous liquid gathering pipes. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


Peru LNG ships cargo to Mexico — LNG World News

The cargo is being hauled by the STX Frontier, a 153,600 cubic-meter tanker, and it is sailing to Mexico’s Manzanillo terminal.

North America

Apache rules out breaking oil link — Petroleum Economist [Paid subscription]

Shaun Polczer, CALGARY: US independent Apache has ruled out linking the value of its pending liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to anything other than the price of oil, according to the firm’s vice-president of gas monetisation.
Janine McArdle said using structures other than long-term fixed-price contracts would discourage firms from investing billions of dollars in new capital projects. Without price guarantees, companies would, instead, shift budget dollars to higher-return oil drilling.

Webmaster's comment: This does not comport with another Petroleum Economist article, above.


2012 June 23

Nova Scotia

ExxonMobil puts plug in gas project (Jun 22) — The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

[ExxonMobil Canada spokesman Merle MacIsaac] said several of the [Sable Island] field’s 21 wells are now non-producing and these are the first wells contemplated for plug and abandonment work.

Because they are non-producing, he said plugging and abandoning them does not affect Sable’s current levels of production.

“The Deep Panuke project coming in looks like good timing in terms of production coming into our pipeline,” [Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline spokesman Steve Rankin] said referring Encana Corp.’s gas project off Nova Scotia.

British Columbia

BC Premier Clark redefines natural gas as "clean energy" to serve political interests — Energy Boom

Christy Clark, the premier of British Columbia, has joined the ranks of public officials the world over, which have clouded the definition of "clean energy" by using the term to seve their own interests.

The claim that natural gas is a cleaner burning fossil fuel than oil and coal is highly debated when it comes to unconventional gas procured through hydraulic fracturing. In 2011, Cornell University published a study which found that shale gas produced from fracking produces between 30% and 200% more methane (the most powerful greenhouse gas) emissions than conventional coal and oil. Indeed, over a 20-year period, the study estimated the greenhouse gas footprint of shale gas is at least 20% higher than coal, and could be as high as 200%.

B.C. redefines natural gas as 'clean energy' — CBC News

The B.C. government will redefine natural gas as a clean energy source – but only if it's used to generate power for liquefied natural gas in northern B.C, says Premier Christy Clark.

But critics are disappointed by the move because they say the government is moving away from its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

British Columbia policy change to help LNG projects: premier (Jun 22) — Platts

The British Columbia government will reclassify natural gas as a "clean energy source," provided it is used to support proposed provincial LNG export projects, Premier Christy Clark has announced.

LNG export projects would require five times the energy now consumed by the 2 million residents of Greater Vancouver, Richard Stout, executive director of the Association of Major Power Consumers of British Columbia, told the conference.

Energy critics roast Clark's LNG strategy (Jun 22) — The Province, Vancouver BC

Premier's liquefied natural-gas plan would be 'breaking government's own law'

Previously, only "clean" sources such as hydroelectricity were to be used to produce LNG as part of the province's plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. For example, instead of building a hydro transmission line in the northeast to service shale-gas development in the Horn River basin that would cost in excess of $1 billion, Clark's changes would allow a $100-million pipe-line to bring natural gas to do the job.

"From a climate-change perspective, this is a disaster," said Lee. "This means B.C. will not meet its legislated greenhouse-gas emissions targets. This is an act that is breaking the government's own law."

Is liquefied natural gas the wave of the future? (Jun 22) — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

The province is sitting on so much gas, it could supply North America for the next 100 years, said B.C.’s Minister of Energy and Mines Rich Coleman.

But the new discoveries, along with similar finds in the United States, have led to an oversupply in North America, pushing down the price in April to a decade low of below $2 US, Scotiabank’s commodity market specialist Patricia Mohr wrote in a report.

United States

Obama seen ruling on LNG export this year, Barclays says (Jun 22) — Bloomberg Businessweek

The U.S. suspended issuing permits for exports of gas in liquid form after some fuel users and Democrats in Congress said sales abroad might increase domestic prices. Cheniere Energy Inc. is the only company so far to win approval to ship gas from a Louisiana terminal.

White House supportive of US LNG exports: aide (Jun 21) — Platts

"Some amount of LNG export makes sense, from our perspective, and I think you'll see policies to support that," Heather Zichal, a deputy assistant to President Barack Obama for energy and climate change, told the Natural Gas Roundtable in Washington.


2012 Jun 21


State picks gas company, and cost wins — Morning Sentinel, Waterville, ME

AUGUSTA -- The state government has selected a company affiliated with Central Maine Power Co.'s parent company to build a natural gas pipeline system in the Augusta area to distribute the gas to state property throughout the region.

The state's selection of Maine Natural Gas comes as an apparent blow to a competing and much larger proposal from Summit Natural Gas of Maine, which plans a $150 million natural gas distribution system in the region. That proposal would come from the same pipeline in Windsor, coming into Augusta and distributing natural gas to users south to Richmond and north to Madison.

Webmaster's comment: This is more evidence contrary to claims by Downeast LNG — Maine has no shortage of natural gas.

New England

Natural gas outlook: Energy imported from Canada to meet demand — Dairy Herd Network

Although rising domestic production has made LNG and pipeline imports from Canada a smaller piece of the domestic supply picture, imports still play an important role, particularly in meeting incremental demand during times of extreme heat or cold. The jump in prices has also likely helped to attract Canadian pipeline gas to the Northeast. According to Bentek, LNG sendout from the Everett Terminal, located close to Boston, has fallen to zero in recent weeks, leaving Canadian gas as one of the few sources of incremental supply.

...There was a 55.6 increase in liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply during the week, with sendout averaging 368 million cubic feet (MMcf) per day. Sendout volumes remain 62.4 percent below year-ago levels. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: More evidence that Downeast LNG is less-than-previous.


Miller suggests rejecting LNG, PetroCaribe was mistake — The Freeport News, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas

While minister, Miller had pushed for LNG and Petrocaribe, a Venezuela-sponsored oil alliance that allows countries preferential treatment in purchasing oil.

Miller said yesterday "BEC [Bahamas Electricity Corporation] is in serious problems" financially.

LNG was a controversial issue for the PLP [Progressive Liberal Party] during its last term in office and was abandoned by the former Christie administration.

BEC Chairman Miller vows to lower bills — The Tribune, Nassau, The Bahamas

THE new BEC chairman Leslie Miller said yesterday he hopes to lower electricity costs for Bahamians through strategies he attempted to implement when he was Minister of Trade and Industry from 2002-2007 - namely Venezuelan oil and Liquefied Natural Gas.

...Mr Miller said former naysayers are now giving the nod of approval to the idea of bringing LNG in to power the country, out of a need for reduced electricity costs.

British Columbia

Mergers anticipated for liquefied gas megaprojects — Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, AB

The number of proposed liquefied natural gas projects in British Columbia will probably drop as haves and have-nots join forces to capture market share in Asia, say industry insiders.

No relief for natural gas producers as Apache’s Kitimat plant delayed (Jun 20) — Financial Post, Don Mills, ON

Beleaguered natural gas producers in Western Canada are going to have wait a little longer for relief from severely depressed prices. Janine McArdle, the senior executive in charge of the Kitimat LNG project at Houston-based Apache Corp., said the facility’s planned startup will take an extra year as the company continues to look for firm contracts with buyers in Asia.

The first cargo is now expected to leave Canada in 2017, a year behind the latest plans. The project has regulatory approval, but Apache needs to be sure it has a market for the gas and that the project is economic before taking a final investment decision, Ms. McArdle, senior vice-president for gas monetization at Apache, North America’s largest oil and gas independent producer, said Wednesday.

New ideas needed to serve LNG plants and ratepayers — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

It takes a lot of electricity to bring natural gas to the temperature at which it liquefies. BC Hydro does not generate enough electricity yet to serve all the LNG projects being considered - not to mention the eight new mines the Liberal government wants opened by 2015. Just two of the LNG projects at full capacity would consume the entire output of the pro-posed Site C dam.

LNG developers will not only need plenty of power, they'll need it at a cost that keeps them competitive with other jurisdictions. Building the generation and transmission infrastructure to deliver vast amounts of electricity at a competitive price is a daunting challenge. If BC Hydro is expected to bear the burden alone it will have to take on massive debt in order to finance an ambitious capital-spending program.


Pipeline to export, not import — Herald and News, Klamath Falls, OR

The permitting process for Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline has restarted since Jordan Cove Energy Project in Coos Bay decided to export, not import gas.

Williams began its application process this month for new federal permits.

Many of the same concerns still exist for skeptics, however, who feel the process was unresolved before FERC pulled the plug on the import project permits in April.

United States

Regional conferences on gas-electric coordination — Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

"I am pleased to announce that the Commission is planning as many as five regional technical conferences to explore coordination between the natural gas and electric industries. These conferences, which are tentatively scheduled to cover the Midwest, the West, New England, New York, the mid-Atlantic and the Southeast, will each include a staff presentation on infrastructure in that region and an opportunity for a staff-led industry discussion of national issues affecting coordination between the gas and electricity markets, electric reliability, and those issues of special significance to that particular region. My colleagues and I look forward to attending these conferences as our schedules permit." [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Improving natural gas pipeline infrastructure in New England will likely be the topic of discussion. Downeast LNG or increasing LNG imports are not likely to be topics of discussion.

DOE approves applications to export LNG to FTA countries — LNG Law Blog

The U.S. Department of Energy recently approved the following four applications to export domestically produced LNG to countries with Free Trade Agreements with the United States: Southern LNG from its Elba Island, Georgia terminal, Gulf LNG Liquefaction from its Pascagoula, Miss. terminal, SB Power Solutions from terminals located on the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts, and Oregon LNG from its proposed terminal in Warrenton, Ore. The orders can be found on DOE's website. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: There have been a total of 15 DOE applications to export domestic-source LNG. (NOTE: These applications are separate from FERC applications. The DOE applicants must also obtain approval from FERC.)

Editorial: Exporting natural gas would not hurt U.S. (Jun 20) — USA Today

Barely a decade ago, it looked as if the U.S. was running so low on domestic gas that it would have to begin importing larger and larger supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from abroad. Today — thanks largely to the new domestic supplies unlocked by hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" — forecasts suggest the U.S. not only has enough gas to meet its own needs for the next 100 years, but also enough to sell it to countries that don't have enough. Japan, for example, desperately needs gas to take up the slack for the nuclear power plants it shut down after last year's tsunami. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Opposing view: Call a timeout on gas exports (Jun 20) — USA Today

Thanks to recent discoveries, America is experiencing the largest natural gas production boom in its history, making it the No. 1 global producer of the fuel.

If we open up the United States' new natural gas supply to the world market, the same market forces that govern the cost of oil around the globe will take hold of natural gas. In other words, the cost of natural gas for American consumers will skyrocket and the United States will sacrifice a once-in-a-lifetime competitive advantage. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Gazprom biggest loser as shale gas upends world markets — Bloomberg

The natural-gas boom reshaping America is rocking Russia, where state producer OAO Gazprom (GAZP) is slow to react and at risk of becoming the world’s biggest loser from the new technology to drill shale rock.

Shale production allowed the U.S. to overtake Russia as the largest gas-producing nation in 2009 after explorers began employing hydraulic fracturing, a technique using pressurized water with chemicals and sand to open cracks in rock for freeing gas.

The subsequent collapse in prices, which touched a 10-year low in New York in April, killed the U.S. as an export market for Shtokman and other liquefied natural gas projects. The U.S. will even become a gas exporter as early as 2015. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Arabian Sea

Pirates shoot gas tanker off Oman — Reuters

Pirates fired guns and rocket-propelled grenades at a liquefied natural gas tanker off the coast of Oman on Wednesday, and three shots hit the vessel, the International Maritime Bureau's anti-crime arm said.

"Pirates in a dhow armed with guns and RPG fired upon a LNG tanker under way. The dhow closed to 50 meters from the ship and fired shots, of which three hit the vessel," the IMB said in a report.

LNG industry sources said on Thursday the LNG Aries, managed by Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, was the victim of the attack, but the company was not available for immediate comment on the condition of the ship. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]


2012 June 20

Gulf of Mexico

Liquefied natural gas exports could join Exxon’s new mix (Jun 15) — San Antonio Business Journal, San Antonio, TX

While Exxon Mobil Corp . believes long-term demand for natural gas will prevail over depressed prices, the company also is studying projects such as expanding a chemical plant and liquefied natural gas exports to make the most of current market conditions.

With its $31 billion acquisition of Fort Worth-based XTO Energy in 2010, and other subsequent deals, Exxon is the largest natural gas producer in the United States.


The National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago (NGC) to issue first tender for sale of LNG through Waterborne Energy [Press release] (Jun 14) — Business Wire

NGC is a long standing state-owned company of the government of Trinidad & Tobago which is involved in the domestic natural gas value chain. Through its partial ownership in Atlantic LNG, it owns approximately three LNG cargoes annually which are targeted to the international market. Waterborne Energy, the global leader in monitoring and analyzing LNG markets, is widely considered to be the benchmark publisher of LNG and LPG trade flow statistics and analysis since 1982.


Conoco reopens Alaska LNG plant - analyst blog (Jun 14) — NASDAQ

Oil and gas explorer ConocoPhillips has recommenced deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its mature facility in Alaska, which was on the threshold of being shut down.

Located in the Kenai Peninsula community of Nikiski, the plant has a monopoly in LNG export in the U.S. The facility commissioned in 1969 was owned by ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil Corporation, with a respective stake of 70% and 30%. For the major part of its operating cycle, the plant sourced its output to Tokyo Gas and Tokyo Electric. Currently, ConocoPhillips is the sole owner of the Alaska facility, after it acquired Marathon's holding in September 2011.

British Columbia

Shell awards $4 billion pipeline contract — Journal of Commerce, Burnaby, BC

Shell Canada Limited has awarded TransCanada Corporation a $4 billion contract to develop a proposed pipeline to transport natural gas from the Montney region near Dawson Creek, B.C. to a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Kitimat, BC.

Shell takes lead in race to export natural gas from Canada to Asia (Jun 18) — Alaska Dispatch, Anchorage, AK

As Canadian companies look for new markets abroad, four competing energy companies have proposed facilities that would liquefy gas for shipment overseas. But Shell’s proposal is “much stronger now with the pipeline,” Bob Schulz, business professor at the University of Calgary, told Bloomberg.

Apache discovers high-quality shale gas in BC (Jun 19) — Business Insider, New York, NY

The company estimates that the discovery, unveiled last week, hosts enough natural gas to justify doubling the size of the Kitimat terminal the company is currently proposing.

From a market perspective – and it might be too premature to provide overall estimates – Apache has said that it believes wells in the Liard could be profitable at a well-head price of US$2.57 per thousand cubic feet, not far from current price levels. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

New natural gas play beneficial in the long run (Jun 16) —

With the current natural gas glut in North America, energy experts say Apache Corporation should hold off on producing in the new natural gas play it's found, until there is a viable liquefied natural gas market. It was revealed Thursday that the company has spent the past three years buying up land around a massive gas deposit it found 150 kilometres northwest of Fort Nelson.

"This is the type of well that you want to park, put it in the garage, and produce it when you have a liquefier on the west coast, flow the gas, and sell it into a Japanese market where the price of gas just came down yesterday to $17 per Gigajoule MCF," he explains. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Liard Basin find best reservoir on continent, stakeholder says (Jun 15) — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

One of the energy companies planning a liquefied natural gas terminal at Kitimat announced Thursday "an outstanding" new shale gas discovery, the best in North America, in British Columbia's remote and largely unexplored Liard Basin.

United States

Commissioner John R. Norris (Jun 18) — Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

FERC Commissioner John Norris sworn in for second term as Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Commissioner Tony Clark (Jun 15) — Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

Tony Clark sworn in as Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Tony Clark begins term as FERC Commissioner (Jun 18) — Energy Legal Blog

In prepared remarks presented in his Senate confirmation hearing, Mr. Clark cited North Dakota’s energy growth under his leadership at the NDPSC as “perhaps the best way to introduce my experience.” Specifically, he pointed to North Dakota’s inclusion among the top 10 wind energy-producing states, the siting of hundreds of miles of new electric transmission lines, North Dakota’s leadership in clean coal and carbon capture and sequestration infrastructure, the recent announcement that North Dakota is now the nation’s third-largest oil-producing state, and the authorization of approximately $6 billion in energy infrastructure projects while he was at the NDPSC. Among the “big issues” he sees in FERC’s future are “developing infrastructure in the right way, facilitating Americans’ access to affordable, reliable, environmentally responsible forms of energy, [and] protecting our nation’s critical assets.” Mr. Clark’s nomination was confirmed by unanimous consent before the full Senate.

Domestic critics slow potential LNG export boom — CNBC

A sudden abundance of natural gas and unprofitably low prices — the result of fracking technology that's opened up previously unreachable shale-gas reserves — has the industry looking for new markets.

“We saw a policy shift to exports without even a debate,” says Jonathan Phillips, a senior policy adviser to [Massachusetts Rep. Edward Markey] on the Democratic staff of the Natural Resources Committee. “Yet all the studies show that exports will increase domestic prices. We’re not going to race ahead, allowing oil and gas companies to reap large profits at a cost to consumers."

Exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) is bad for the climate (Jun 18) — ThinkProgress

The surge in U.S. production of shale gas is creating a surge in permit requests to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. That’s because the glut of U.S. gas has dropped domestic prices sharply below global price levels.

BOTTOM LINE: Investing billions of dollars in new shale gas infrastructure for domestic use is, at best, of limited value for a short period of time if we put in place both a CO2 price and regulations to minimize methane leakage. Exporting gas vitiates even that limited value and so investing billions in LNG infrastructure is, at best, a waste of resources better utilized for deploying truly low-carbon energy. At worst, it helps accelerates the world past the 2°C warming threshold into Terra incognita — a planet of amplifying feedbacks and multiple simultaneous catastrophic impacts.

Korea Gas eyes US shale plays, targets LNG project (Jun 18) — Hydrocarbon Processing, Houston, TX

SEOUL -- Korea Gas Corp. is eyeing shale-gas assets in the US and expects to invest in a liquefied natural gas project there that will enable it to import at least another 3 million metric tons a year of LNG, a company executive said.

Kogas, already one of the world's biggest LNG importers, agreed in January to buy around 3.5 million tpy of LNG from a subsidiary of US-based Cheniere Energy Partners for 20 years starting in 2017.

GAIL wants US to relax norms for more LNG imports (Jun 21) — Business Standard, New Delhi, India

On the heels of sewing the nation’s first gas import deal from the US, state-owned GAIL India wants Washington to relax rules so that it can buy more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to meet growing energy needs here.

[G]iven the growing gap between demand and supply, GAIL Chairman B C Tripathi wants to tap all the seven LNG export terminals planned in the US and has written to the petroleum and external affairs ministries for diplomatic intervention to push Washington to allow other terminals to sell gas to India. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

India Inc seeks waiver from US to import fuel, acquire assets — The Times of India, India

NEW DELHI: Even as India reduces oil imports from Iran, New Delhi has asked Washington for a special exemption that would allow Indian companies to import liquid gas in ships from the US.


2012 June 14

Gulf of Mexico

FERC tolls rehearing of Sabine Pass export order — LNG Law Blog

Today, FERC issued a tolling order that suspends indefinitely the deadline for FERC action on Sierra Club's request for rehearing of FERC's order granting Sabine Pass LNG authority to construct facilities to export LNG. [Red emphasis added.]


The National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago (NGC) to issue first tender for sale of LNG through Waterborne Energy [Press release] — Business Wire

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago (NGC) announced today that it will issue its first tender for the sale of LNG to international markets through Houston-based Waterborne Energy. Details regarding NGC’s tender for sale will be published in Waterborne’s weekly LNG trade flow reports scheduled to be distributed on Thursday, June 14, 2012.


ConocoPhillips restarts LNG exports from Alaska — Houston Business Journal, Houston, TX

The LNG plant was closed over the winter and was previously targeted for closure due to failure to strike a shipping contract with the Tokyo utilities, and difficulties in securing natural gas supplies from the mature Cook Inlet basin, Reuters reports.

However, new demand for Alaska LNG emerged in the aftermath of Japan's massive earthquake and tsunami last year that wrecked the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

ConocoPhillips restarts LNG exports from Alaska — Reuters

ConocoPhillips expects to deliver four or five cargoes of Alaska LNG this year, all of them to Japan, Lowman said. However, she said she could not disclose the customer.

The LNG plant was closed over the winter. The May shipment was the first since last fall.


2012 June 13

Gulf of Mexico

Cheniere in funding push for Sabine Pass — Houston Business Journal, Houston, TX

Cheniere Energy Inc. has made an initial purchase of $167 million in Class B units from Cheniere Energy Partners LP in a bid to push forward plans to build an LNG export facility in Louisiana.

Some of the proceeds of the sale will go towards issuing a "limited notice to proceed" to Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals Inc., which was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract for the Sabine Pass LNG liquefaction project in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.


Alaska plant again exporting liquefied natural gas — (AP) The Examiner, Washington, DC

JUNEAU, Alaska - ConocoPhillips has resumed export of liquefied natural gas to Asia from its plant in south-central Alaska, though the plant's future remains unclear.

The plant, once the largest of its kind in the world, had been the sole supplier to Japan when it began exports in 1969, but it provided less than one-half of a percent of that market's supply by 2010, according to testimony given to a special legislative committee last year.


‘We would just like LNG to go away’ — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The first public display in more than a year for Oregon LNG ushered in plans that show the project in transformation. In March, Oregon LNG withdrew its application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – an application that outlined plans for an LNG import facility – in favor of a likely more profitable facility capable of handling both imports and exports. Soon, Oregon LNG will call on FERC to issue a certificate of public necessity and convenience, which will grant project backers authority to force property owners to sell their land through eminent domain.

Oregon Pipeline LLC, an affiliated subsidiary of Oregon LNG and Leucadia National Corp., remains embroiled in a legal battle with Clatsop County over the placement of the pipeline. In 2011, the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners voted to revoke the company’s land use approval.

United States

The U.S. has a natural gas glut; why exporting it as LNG is a good idea — Forbes

As recently as 2007, North America was looking at a significant gas shortage and more than sixty LNG import projects were proposed. Just five years later, the implementation of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has led North America to a sizable excess of gas supply. The latest figures from the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) indicate that natural gas supply could exceed demand by 2016, enabling North America to become a net exporter of LNG. [Red emphasis added.]

The coming natural gas export boom — Wall Street Daily, Baltimore, MD

Cheniere’s Louisiana terminal is scheduled to begin operations in 2015, and will ship supplies out to clients such as London’s BG Group PLC, Barcelona’s Gas Natural Fenosa, GAIL India Ltd, and Korea Gas Corp.

Cheniere also has applied for permission to export LNG from another export terminal to be located in Corpus Christi. The company would like to have that facility operating by 2017 or 2018. Additionally, competitors like Dominion Resources and others are lined up waiting for permits to start exporting LNG. Dominion aims to ship the fuel out of its Cove Point terminal in Maryland.

Big U.S. LNG exports may not happen-Eni's Scarrone — Reuters

A boom in unconventional gas production has turned the United States from the world's biggest gas importer to a potential LNG exporter from the middle of this decade, with consuming nations hoping for a new supplier.

But the U.S. may not export large quantities of the gas that has saved its industry and citizens billions of dollars, thanks to plentiful supply and a slump in prices.


2012 June 12


2012 June 11

Gulf of Mexico

Cameron LNG files Draft Resource Report with FERC — LNG Law Blog

On Friday, Cameron LNG filed a draft resource report in its pre-filing environmental review docket at FERC for its proposed LNG export project.

FERC vacates Corpus Christi LNG import terminal authorization — LNG Law Blog

On Friday, FERC issued an order vacating Corpus Christi LNG's authority to construct an LNG import terminal near Corpus Christi, Texas. FERC's order is in response to Corpus Christi's failure to place the facilities in operation by the April 18, 2012 deadline. The order also vacates authority to construct the Cheniere Corpus Christi pipeline, which was to interconnect the LNG terminal to several interstate pipelines. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


Alaskan pipeline to fuel US LNG exports (Jun 9) — The Motley Fool

Alaska's hope was rekindled though several months ago when three of the major international oil companies – ExxonMobil, BP PLC ADR and ConocoPhillips – reached agreement with the state of Alaska to move forward on a $40-$50 billion project to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia. The companies agreed on a target of 2016 for the large scale project which would include not only a pipeline but a gas liquefication plant to turn the gas into LNG for export to Asian markets.

British Columbia

BC Premier Christy Clark not working hard enough for LNG fracking, energy expert says (Jun 8) — Vancouver Observer, Vancouver, BC

Premier Christy Clark has been busy promoting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) recently: she just came back from touring Asia to promote BC's LNG projects, and even suggested that the province's stringent climate targets can be compromised to pave the way for the industry. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Canada takes the LNG lead (Jun 9) — Daily Finance

With natural gas prices at record lows and no significant increase in sight, Canada, unlike its southern neighbor, is taking the reins and encouraging natural gas producers to liquefy and export gas to areas that command significantly higher prices for the commodity. Shell recently offered TransCanada the opportunity to build a 435-mile pipeline to connect the robust natural gas fields to an LNG facility in British Columbia. This will be the third LNG operation in Canada, while the United States will offer just one. By taking advantage of extremely cheap natural gas, is Canada making the prudent move while the United States misses out on a fabulous decision? Check out the following video to find out more.

The 13 new things Barclays learned from its oil sands tour — Leader-Post, Regina, SK

Apache may delay LNG plan

Apache Corp., which is planning an LNG project at Kitimat with partners EOG Resources and Encana Corp. seems in no hurry to fast-track their plans in the face of an impending global LNG glut.


Oregon LNG to hold open house for community — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Oregon LNG plans to hold the meeting to update the community on its still-developing plans to build the infrastructure necessary to transport, store and treat liquefied natural gas in Clatsop County.

Webmaster's comment: FERC requires such open houses, but makes no demands on what is presented to the public — including veracity. One can bet that Oregon LNG will not be offering information to the attending public regarding the propoject's incompatibility with SIGTTO terminal siting best safe practices. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more on this issue.)

United States

Japan Gas: oil-linked LNG 'not reasonable' — Petroleum Economist [Paid subscription]

Kwok W Wan, KUALA LUMPUR: Japanese gas importers want to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) linked to US or European gas hub prices and move away from traditional oil-linked contracts, the Japan Gas Association told reporters at the WGC2012. The world’s largest LNG importer buys most of its gas on oil-linked contracts, but soaring demand after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster last year and high crude prices means Japanese customers are paying up to seven times more compared to US gas prices. “For the natural gas price to be linked to the oil price right now has lost any economic rationale,” Japan Gas Association chairman Mitsunori Torihara said .“Looking at the main uses of natural gas right now, it’s for power generation and such use of natural gas is becoming more prevalent, which means it’s not really in competition with oil but rather in competition with nuclear and coal. So… to still link with...

LNG sellers bet on oil-link amid US shale gas boom (Jun 10) — Gulf Times, Doha, Qatar

US exports to Asia would cost $9.35 per million Btu, based on a benchmark Henry Hub price of $3, according to a May 29 presentation by Cheniere, the Houston-based company developing the nation’s largest LNG export terminal in Louisiana.

Henry Hub sees a future in US gas (Jun 10) — The National, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

It's really an interesting case study, what has happened in the United States. I've been working on gas for more than 10 years, and I remember six years ago the whole gas industry, especially LNG, was just focusing on the United States as a market.

But with the power of innovation and agility, slowly you see that people are working on unconventional gas. Overnight, you see the United States turn from a net importer to an island of self sufficiency, and now they have 100 years worth of supply. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

USA: Thirty-one LNG cargoes imported in Jan–Apr — LNG World News

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report that LNG imports are expected to decline by 0.3 Bcf/d (28 percent) in 2012. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Natural gas price set for rebound: Expert — International Business Times

Moors said the price could jump between $6.20 and $6.50 per mcf by 2016 for several reasons.

Webmaster's comment: ...Or not.

North America

Shell hails North American gas potential — UPI Asia

"LNG exports to Asia can open a market for North America -- and especially Canada -- worth billions of dollars," said Odum. "It could sustain investments, jobs and provide long-term income through royalties and taxes in North America, while helping China and the rest of emerging Asia secure a lower-carbon energy future."


2012 June 8

Gulf of Mexico

Cheniere Energy plans to file for permits for liquefied natural gas terminal by August — Caller-Times, Corpus Christi, TX

Cheniere Energy — through subsidiary Corpus Christi Liquefaction — is readying to file for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission permits in August for the company's Corpus Christi liquefied natural gas export terminal, company vice president of business development William English said during an address Thursday to the Westside Business Association's annual luncheon.


Canada warned clock is running (Week of Jun 10) — Petroleum News, Anchorage, Ak [Paid subscription]

Royal Dutch Shell is intensifying the drumbeat, sounding a warning to Canada that unless it speeds regulatory approval and eliminates red tape it will miss the opportunity to sell LNG in Asia. In case the message hadn’t come through from Shell’s Canadian President Lorraine Mitchelmore it was deliver....

Canada pays heavy price — Petroleum News, Anchorage, Ak [Paid subscription]

Reynold Tetzlaff, national energy leader at PwC’s Calgary office, said producers are losing about C$18 billion a year because of their inability to tap into world crude and LNG prices.

Smaller producers urged to look for multi-well pad cost savings — Petroleum News, Anchorage, Ak [Paid subscription]

Canada’s smaller unconventional natural gas producers have been urged to trade some of their competitive instincts for “strategic alliances” to lower exploration and development costs while they wait in anticipation of demand for LNG export projects.

United States

Global LNG supplies to remain tight through 2015 — (Reuters) Yahoo Finance UK

Consumers are eyeing North America, awash with supply due to the rapid increase in shale gas output. There are at least 12 projects to export gas from North America at different stages of development, but only one has full export approval.

The difference between oil and gas fundamentals would make buyers reluctant to pay oil-related prices as more LNG exports flow, some executives said.

Cheniere has struck long-term deals to supply South Korea and India from Sabine Pass LNG at Henry Hub-linked prices.

U.S. likely to cap gas exports - analysts — Reuters

The U.S. has experienced a boom in shale gas exploration, which will potentially turn it from a net importer of natural gas into a gas exporter. Several companies have applied for licences to export excess domestic reserves to Europe and Asia.

"There is a lot of lobbying in the U.S. to limit LNG exports and to instead use the gas to allow the domestic industry to benefit from low energy prices," Parmar told Reuters.

Medvedev: ‘US using cheap gas to prop up economy’ — Petroleum Economist [Paid subscription]

Kwok W Wan, KUALA LUMPUR: The US government is keeping domestic gas prices lower than the rest of the world in a bid to stimulate its economy, Gazprom’s deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev claimed in a keynote address.
Earlier this year, US gas prices fell to 10-year lows of under $2.50 per million British thermal units (Btu) after a huge ramp-up in the country’s shale-gas production depressed prices. Asian prices, meanwhile, have climbed to around $18/million Btu, driven by Japanese demand after it shut its last nuclear reactor...

Webmaster's comment: This is lingering Soviet-style baseless propaganda. The US Government is not keeping natural gas prices low. Markets are the actual cause of low prices.

Total makes case for oil-linked LNG price — Petroleum Economist [Paid subscription]

Kwok W Wan, KUALA LUMPUR: The cost of exploration and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects are set to rise – further stoking the conflict between producers and consumers over how to price gas, Total chief executive Christophe de Margerie said this week.

In his keynote speech to the 2012 World Gas Conference, de Margerie said the complexity of projects and other inflationary factors meant upstream costs jumped 75% between 2005 to 2011, and that this would put pressure on LNG producers to insist on oil-linked gas contracts to safeguard long-term returns. “The issue is even more critical in areas of intense E&P (exploration and production) activities and scarce manpower, like Australia and Canada. In this context of high project costs, the visibility of the long-term LNG price is critical,” de Margerie said. LNG producers would like oil-linked contracts, but Asian consumers would like to move to...

Webmaster's comment: And yet, Cheniere is working on LNG export pricing based on the US Henry Hub — a fraction of the current world price.

Poland will discuss U.S. liquefied-gas exports, minister says (Jun 7) — Bloomberg Businessweek

Poland, which is building a liquefied natural-gas terminal to lower dependence on fuel from Russia, is interested in shipments from the U.S., according to Ilona Antoniszyn-Klik, the nation’s deputy economy minister.


2012 June 7


10th Annual Long Island Press Power List: #42 — Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment — Long Island Press, Syosset, NY

Whether battling against Broadwater Energy’s plan to put liquefied natural gas barges in the Long Island Sound, taking local and state legislators to task for controversial legislation or raising awareness about water protection, climate change, toxics and public health policy, Esposito has been a defender of not just LI’s environment but that of the entire region, going on three decades. Recent battles have included Suffolk’s septic problems, Nassau’s disastrous sewage plants, the state of the county’s Western Bays and hydrofracking, to name a few. Whatever the fight, if it means protecting the environment, Esposito will be right out in front.


Zacca to step down as LNG committee chair — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Christopher Zacca will tomorrow end his stint as chairman of the Government's steering committee on liquefied natural gas (LNG).

'Chris' Zacca heading back to private sector — Jamaica Observer, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Zacca's replacement will be Dr Carlton Davis, who currently serves as ambassador and special envoy in the Office of the Prime Minister.

"The introduction of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is a fundamental element of the Government's fuel source diversification strategy, which includes investigating options for coal, petcoke, and renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro power," Paulwell said.

Gasfin, NEC Trinidad and Tobago ink deal to develop new LNG facility — LNG World News

Gasfin Development SA, an independent developer of mid-scale LNG and natural gas projects, today announced they have signed an agreement with National Energy Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited, the subsidiary of the National Gas Company, charged with the conceptualisation, promotion, development and facilitation of new energy-based downstream industries in Trinidad & Tobago, to facilitate the development of a mid-scale liquefaction plant capable of producing approximately 500,000 million tonnes of LNG per annum to supply markets in in the Caribbean.

Webmaster's comment: This proposed LNG export terminal and tanker berth are far too close to concentrated civilian housing, in conflict with SIGTTO terminal siting best safe practices. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more on this topic.)

British Columbia

BC Hydro needs government policy changes — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

The government is also reportedly aware that it has a problem with its policy governing the pricing of electricity for large new electric loads. Discussions are taking place with the proponents of new LNG plants that would consume in aggregate more electricity than the entire output of the proposed Site C hydro generating station. BC Hydro would incur huge losses if forced to pro-vide power to these LNG plants at the standard industrial rate as opposed to, for example, the cost of Site C.


Pipeline developers seek new approval (Jun 6) — KVAL CBS 13, Eugene, OR

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Companies that want to build a natural gas pipeline across southwestern Oregon are again seeking approval in Washington, D.C., this time for a way to export American gas to Asia.

The line would convey Wyoming natural gas from a transmission hub in southern Klamath County to the proposed Jordan Cove natural gas terminal at Coos Bay. The underground pipe would be 230 miles long and 3 feet in diameter.

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio wants Congress to deny the power of eminent domain, arguing that such pipelines fail the test of being necessary for public use because they would increase domestic energy prices.

United States

USA: Three LNG cargoes imported in April — LNG World News

U.S. imports have been declining steadily as shippers send LNG to higher-paying markets in Europe and Asia. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: The news squib fails to mention that the the US is up to its eyeballs in domestic natural gas supply — a more accurate reason as to why imports are so few.

Update 2-Deal or no deal, Morgan Stanley commodity trade shrinks — Reuters

Even the bank's strong position in the market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) may now be challenged as the dynamics of global trade change.

[T]he United States is poised to become an LNG exporter, and Morgan Stanley has yet to get a foothold in the market while others such as JP Morgan and Macquarie may be involved in U.S. liquefaction projects.

Korea Gas says U.S. exports to affect Asian gas pricing — Bloomberg

Korea Gas Corp. (036460), the world’s biggest importer of liquefied natural gas, said U.S. policies will determine how much LNG the country exports and shipments will undermine a 40-year-old oil-linked price mechanism used in Asia.

“More volumes from the U.S. will affect oil-linked gas pricing,” Choo of Korea Gas said today. Western Canada is also preparing to export LNG, so “we have to see the overall picture,” he said.

Buying U.S. gas will allow Asian consumers to pay prices linked to U.S. Henry Hub futures, which dropped 32 percent in 2011 and are down 19 percent in 2012. Futures slumped to $1.90 per million Btu on the New York Mercantile Exchange April 19, the lowest since September 2001. The contract rose 0.4 percent today to $2.43 per million Btu.

Webmaster's comment: Does the US really want a price war with such LNG-export giants as Qatar? The current US goldrush to export LNG may turn into the same terminal-investment disaster as the recent goldrush to import.

Is there such a thing as too much pipeline safety? (Jun 6) — The Barrel

In his latest paper, "Balancing Natural Gas Pipeline Safety with Economic Goals," [Ken Costello, a principal in the National Regulatory Research Institute,] says that from an economic perspective, "utilities can have overly safe pipelines. The view that 'we can't compromise on safety' ignores the fact that safety carries a cost that policymakers should compare with the benefits." [Brown & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: This article cries "wolf" without providing examples of what "too much safety" consists of, it it even exists.


2012 June 6

New Brunswick

Trinidad LNG bound for Canada — LNG World News

Repsol YPF SA’s Canaport terminal in Canada is due to get one liquefied natural gas cargo from Trinidad and Tobago this month, according to shipping data.


Dominion takes next step for expansion — Southern Maryland Newspapers Online, MD

Dominion has proposed for several months now to construct, install, own, operate and maintain liquefaction facilities for exporting liquefied natural gas at its existing Cove Point site located on the Chesapeake Bay. As part of the project, the company also plans to build additional compression at its existing Loudoun compressor station in Loudon County, Va., or Pleasant Valley compressor station in Fairfax County, Va.

Last month, the Sierra Club announced its intentions to block the project, claiming it has the right to do so based on a revised legal settlement. However, Dominion claims there is no language in the settlement allowing the organization to keep it from expanding at that facility and has filed a lawsuit in the Calvert County Circuit Court requesting a declaratory judgment on the issue.

Gulf of Mexico

Cheniere Energy will have a temporary monopoly on U.S. natural gas exports (Jun 5) — Seeking Alpha

Sabine Pass LNG is operating at half its capacity. However, due to the oversupply of natural gas in the United States, it's unlikely the Company will receive any more import revenue. For the same reason, these contracts with Chevron and Total expire in 2029 and most likely won't get renewed. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Exxon Mobil plans to export LNG from United States (Jun 5) — Inautonews, Suceava, Romania

Exxon Mobil Corp, the largest company in the world by revenue plans to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States, CEO Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday.

Mr. Tillerson, who said in his speech that the growing consumption and supply of natural gas will open new prospects for economic growth as well as environmental improvement with fewer emissions, also confirmed that Exxon Mobil Corp. is currently looking into the idea of constructing a new petrochemical plant in Texas to take advantage of current cheap shale gas prices.

FERC to prepare an EA for Corpus Christi LNG export project (Jun 5) — LNG Law Blog

FERC issued a notice of intent last week to prepare an environmental assessment for the Corpus Christi LNG terminal and interconnected pipeline proposed to be constructed in Nueces and San Patricio Counties, Texas. The deadline for public comments on the scope of the environmental review is July 2, 2012.


Business: Zacca resigns as LNG committee chair — Go-Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Business executive Christopher Zacca, who has served as chairman of the government’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) steering committee since November 2010, has resigned the position, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell has announced.

He will be replaced by Dr. Carlton Davis, who currently serves as ambassador and special envoy in the Office of the Prime Minister.

British Columbia

Closing the demand gap addressed in B.C. Hydro plan — Opinion 250, Prince George, BC

Randy Reiman is the Director of Resource Planning for B.C. Hydro says LNG plants have an option to use natural gas to create the necessary electricity for their operations, “But the Government has released its natural gas and LNG strategy and what they’re trying to achieve is three LNG plants up and running by 2020 and they’d like them to be supplied with by clean energy in B.C. backed up by gas. The intent is to make sure the LNG plants are competitive , that the government can still meet its climate targets, its ghg targets, and they want to make sure ratepayers are not impacted by the LNG plants.”

Natural-gas pipeline to cross B.C. — The Province, Vancouver, BC

TransCanada Corp. said Tuesday it has been chosen by Shell Canada Ltd. to build, own and operate a $4-billion natural-gas pipe-line across northern B.C.

The Calgary-based company said the pipeline will trans-port natural gas from the Montney region in northeastern B.C. to a liquefied natural-gas export facility near Kitimat.

Haisla on the cusp of gas export windfall (Jun 5) — (Calgary Herald) Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, AB

Already, the community has earned $50 million selling its equity stake in the Kitimat LNG project to be located on Haisla land from which it will collect rent, taxes and guaranteed employment for 49 years. The project's backers, Apache Corp., EOG Resources Inc. and Encana Corp., are expected to decide later this year whether to sanction the proposal to initially process 700 million cubic feet of gas per day.

Liquefied natural gas export facility plan on track (Jun 5) — Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB

In updates from opposite sides of the globe, proponents of a Canadian West Coast liquefied natural gas export terminal said the project is on schedule for a sanctioning decision in 2014 and possible startup in 2018.

Little opposition expected to TransCanada $4-billion gas pipeline — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

TransCanada, Canada’s No. 1 pipeline company, said it would design and build a 700-kilometre line capable of shipping 1.7 billion cubic feet of gas per day from the Dawson Creek area to Kitimat, where three LNG plants, including Shell’s facility, are planned.

[T]he U.S. market is glutted with its own shale gas production, and B.C.’s producers have pinned their hopes on LNG exports to tap lucrative Asian markets. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

TransCanada wins $4-billion pipeline contract (Jun 5) — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

The West Coast GasLink, as TransCanada has called it, will extend 700 kilometres from Dawson Creek, the nexus of a number of rich B.C. shale gas fields, to Kitimat, B.C. Not far from that town, perched at the mouth of Douglas Channel, Royal Dutch Shell PLC has secured land and is developing a project to export 1.2 billion cubic feet a day of liquefied natural gas – and perhaps twice that – to Asian markets. TransCanada beat out Enbridge Inc. and Spectra Energy Corp. for the Shell contract.

“The negative reputations of TransCanada and Shell will definitely make it harder for these companies to get social licence,” said Nikki Skuce, a Smithers, B.C.-based campaigner for ForestEthicsAdvocacy. She pointed to the 200 tankers a year that Shell’s project alone could bring to the area.

Site C is a dam shame [Letter to the editor] (Jun 5) — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

The Site C dam is neither a "clean" nor "green" option. It will flood one of the most important river valleys in the northeast. Site C is not needed for domestic consumption, but, according to government, to power the planned LNG (liquefied natural gas) plants.

As a taxpayer/ratepayer, I cannot fathom why the public should subsidize the destruction of the magnificent Peace River valley so very profitable companies can ship LNG to Asia.


Comment date set for Jordan Cove LNG export application — LNG Law Blog

Notice was published in the Federal Register of Jordan Cove Energy Project's application, filed with the U.S. Department of Energy, to export LNG from a terminal to be constructed near Coos Bay, Ore. Jordan Cove requests authorization to export domestically produced and imported Canadian natural gas as LNG to countries that do not have Free Trade Agreements with the United States. Comments on the application are due August 6, 2012.

Pipeline project revived — Oregon Public Broadcasting, OR

Backers of the proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline between Coos Bay and Malin on Monday filed a pre-application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build the estimated 230-mile project.

In April, the commission withdrew its 2009 authorization to allow a liquefied natural gas import terminal to be built at Jordan Cove near Coos Bay and a pipeline across northern Jackson County en route to Malin after the backers announced they wanted to export the gas instead of importing it as originally planned.

Vacating the authorization meant the firms had to obtain a new FERC certificate as LNG exporters before moving forward, according to a commission spokeswoman.

[U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio] noted the U.S. Constitution limits the use of eminent domain to actions necessary for "public use," adding that pipelines such as the one proposed from Malin to the proposed LNG terminal in Coos Bay fail that test. Instead, it would boost corporate profits while increasing domestic energy costs, he said.

Bay Area pipeline battle resumes — The World, Coos Bay, OR

Both Jordan Cove and Williams must re-apply for permits from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before construction can begin. The companies previously received permits to build an import facility and connecting pipeline, but FERC vacated those permits in April when Jordan Cove changed its project to export the gas. An export facility is a significantly different project than an import facility and requires its own permits, according to FERC.

Laudani said residents who live along the proposed 230-mile pipeline's route -- which goes through Klamath, Jackson, Douglas and Coos counties -- are preparing to fight the project a second time.

If Williams receives a permit it will be issued a certificate of public necessity, which would give the company the power of eminent domain.

Exporter wants federal review of Jordan Cove export terminal, gas pipe to begin (Jun 5) — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

The Williams Companies, Inc. has asked federal regulators to begin the review process for the Pacific Connector pipeline, which would carry natural gas to a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal in Coos Bay. It intends to file a complete application by the end of the year.

Williams and the backers of the proposed Jordan Cove LNG terminal had hoped that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would expedite review of the pipeline, which was previously approved when Jordan Cove was envisioned as an import facility. Now that the project backers intend to export gas, however, regulators are undertaking another full- blown review of both the terminal and the pipe.


USA: TGC picks CH2M HILL to bring natural gas to Hawaii (Jun 5) — LNG World News

“Natural Gas is available from secure sources in North America. It can be liquefied and transported to Hawaii at a cost which TGC believes will be well below the current cost of oil. Moreover the price of Natural Gas is expected to remain below the cost of oil for many years to come,” Kissel said. “When used for power generation, it has the added advantage of providing high-efficiency, low-carbon support for the wind and solar power sources slated for introduction in Hawaii.”

TGC makes synthetic natural gas (SNG) at the only facility of its kind in the United States and supplies it through a 1,100-mile pipeline network to nearly 30,000 commercial and residential utility customers on Oahu.

United States

A little truth about energy [Opinion column] — Daily Finance

The coal and natural gas industries would like you to believe that the government is somehow holding them back from unleashing even more energy in the U.S. -- rubbish!

The reason coal production is down is a decrease in demand from electricity generators. The reason electricity generators are demanding less coal is because natural gas is so cheap. The reason natural gas is so cheap is because we have more supply than we need.

As for natural gas and coal, we have more than we need as the prices for the two tell you. That's the wonderful thing about free markets: If you want to know if we need more of something, you can just look at the price. If it's hitting record lows, you know there's probably too much in the first place, just like there is right now in natural gas and coal. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Japan, EU to jointly press producers to allow free natural gas trade: source — Platts

The joint effort comes at a time of geographic shifts in gas demand and is designed to address whether the three major gas markets -- Asia, Europe and North America -- can continue to be separate markets, both in terms of contractual terms and price benchmarks, given the expected start of LNG exports from North America.

[A]s gas prices in the US have collapsed as a result of the shale gas explosion, Japan has been looking to North America for alternative supplies in the hope of securing Henry Hub prices that are currently at a fraction of oil-linked LNG prices. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

RasGas says U.S. to limit gas exports to keep prices low — Bloomberg Businessweek

Qatar, the world’s largest liquefied natural gas producer, joined Australian suppliers in playing down the threat of large-scale exports of the fuel from the U.S., where a shale-gas boom has upended global energy markets.

“The U.S. has need for energy themselves,” Hamad Rashid Al-Mohannadi, the managing director of RasGas Co., told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today. “I don’t see the U.S. exporting large volumes of LNG” as it would cause domestic gas prices to rise significantly, he said.

A boom in extracting gas trapped in shale rock in the U.S. has helped it surpass Russia as the world’s biggest producer of natural gas and brought the country close to energy independence. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Shale gas booming at astonishing pace (Jun 5) — Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg, MB

America's "unconventional" gas boom continues to amaze.

America produces more gas than it knows what to do with. Its storage facilities are rapidly filling, and its gas price -- because prices for gas, unlike oil, are set regionally -- has collapsed. Last month, it dipped below $2 per million British thermal units, less than a sixth of the pre-boom price and too low for producers to break even.

This is astonishing. Barely five years ago America was expected to be a big gas importer. Between 2000 and 2010 it built infrastructure to "regasify" more than 100 billion cubic metres of imported liquefied natural gas. In 2011, however, American LNG imports were less than 20 bcm. Efforts are underway to convert idle regasification terminals into liquefaction facilities in order to export LNG. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: It is abundantly clear that the US is up to its eyeballs in domestc natural gas supply, and that Downeast LNG's import terminal proposal defies economic logic. If New England needs additional natural gas access during seasonal high-usage periods, pipeline infrastructure expansion is the logical answer — not increasing US dependence on expensive LNG imports from overseas.


2012 June 4

New England

Gas leak forces evacuations —, Providence, RI

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- A tanker truck leaking liquefied natural gas forced the evacuation of businesses and other buildings in Pawtucket on Sunday night, police said.

It took about an hour to stop the leak. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Hazmat situation causes street closures — WPRI-TV, Providence, RI

Malfunctioning valve lead to natural gas leak

Residents were told to stay in their homes and a perimeter was set up to stop traffic from entering the area at the intersection of Exchange and Montgomery Streets at about 9:15 p.m.

A tanker carrying liquefied natural gas was pulled over there after the driver noticed vapors coming from the truck. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


Cove Point applies for early environmental review of LNG exports — Platts

A growing number of companies are seeking to export US gas to higher-priced markets in Europe and Asia. As of May 31, a total of 14 companies had applied to export 18.7 Bcf/d of US gas as LNG.

The Department of Energy has already approved Cove Point's application to export 1 Bcf/d of LNG to free trade agreement countries. Its application to ship LNG to non-FTA countries is still pending at DOE.

Cove Point must also win approval from FERC to build the liquefaction and other facilities necessary for exports. The company plans to file this application no less than 180 days after beginning the pre-filing process with FERC. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Dominion Cove Point files pre-filing request at FERC — LNG Law Blog

On Friday, Dominion Cove Point LNG (Cove Point) filed a request at FERC to begin the pre-filing environmental review process for proposed liquefaction facilities to be constructed at Cove Point’s existing LNG import terminal in Lusby, Md. The liquefaction facilities will consist of up to two LNG trains, capable of processing an average total of 750 MMcf/d of natural gas for a nominal LNG train capacity of approximately 4.5 to 5 million tons per annum, and will enable Cove Point to provide bi-directional import and export service. Cove Point projects an in-service date of March 2017.

Gulf of Mexico

Comment date set for Gulf Coast LNG export application — LNG Law Blog

Notice was published in the Federal Register of Gulf Coast LNG Export's application, filed with the U.S. Department of Energy, to export LNG from a terminal to be constructed at Port Brownsville, Texas. In its application, Gulf Coast LNG Export requests authority to export to countries with and without Free Trade Agreements with the United States. Comments on the application are due August 3, 2012.

Cheniere Energy, the company of the future, is falling quickly in the present — Seeking Alpha

If the international pricing on natural gas falls significantly, LNG could find itself in dire trouble. With worldwide economies slowing currently, the possibility of LNG prices falling is increasingly large. Such an occurrence would make it harder for LNG to sell stock to prospective investors and debt to prospective creditors. This could add greatly to delays and to the overall costs. For instance the costs of trains 3 & 4 (due for completion in 2017 or 2018) could easily skyrocket. This would put LNG in a very bad position.


Jamaican opposition MP demands LNG from Trinidad and Tobago (Jun 3) — Breaking News Trinidad and Tobago, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies

Karl Samuda, a Jamaican opposition Member of Parliament and former industry and commerce minister, said "enough is enough" and called on Trinidad and Tobago to supply Jamaica with Liquid Natural Gas just as plans to do with Barbados. Speaking in Jamaica's Parliament on Wednesday as he made his contribution to that country's 2012-2013 Budget Debate, "The question of the fact that they (T&T) have been lucky to have endowment of oil does not remove their obligation as a member state (of Caricom) to share that wealth.”

Gas leak at T&T LNG facility (Jun 3) — Stabroek News, Georgetown, Guiana

Around 12.30 p.m. yesterday workers were alerted to leave the area after gas started emanating from Tank C.

[W]orkers from another location said evacuation systems in their area failed, as the alarm was not sounded for them to evacuate.

The workers said they were confused over their muster point and assembled at different locations.

The worker at the LNG company said the wind was blowing in a westerly direction, toward the sea, preventing the gas from blowing directly into one of the flares at the plant.

Attempts were being made to put the flare out, but the gas leak was contained before an explosion occurred, he said. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Gas leak causes Atlantic LNG evacuation in Point — The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies

Employees at Atlantic LNG, Point Fortin, had to be evacuated yesterday after a leak was discovered in one of the plant’s tanks. Atlantic LNG’s communications specialist, Billson Hainsley confirmed the incident. However, he assured the situation was under control and work had resumed at the plant.

Reports reaching the T&T Guardian indicated that shortly after lunch, a leak was discovered at Atlantic’s Tank “C” and employees had to be evacuated to the company’s administrative office, Clifton Hill, Point Fortin. Half an hour later, all other employees on the plant were evacuated and made to wait under a tent as checks were carried out on the site. They complained that at train one, the alarm system failed and workers were left wondering where was the muster point. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

British Columbia

Electricity demand to rise 50 per cent by 2032: BC Hydro — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

Not surprisingly, the development of a new liquefied natural gas industry in the province's northwest is being viewed as a major industrial consumer. It potentially represents the biggest additional load on Hydro's system, according to the plan. There will not be enough energy from existing sources to meet the demand if all the proposed LNG terminals go ahead.

[T]he much larger Shell Canada LNG proposal for a plant more than twice the size of Kitimat LNG, would require new green energy plus a gasfired turbine. Two other LNG proposals, which are not mentioned in the Hydro forecast, are also being considered by global oil and gas companies. They are a British Gas proposal for Prince Rupert and a joint Petronas-Progress Energy plan for Kitimat.

In B.C., energy policy becomes a political battleground (Jun 3) — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

The LNG industry, if it gets off the ground, will likely force the government to water down its ambitious climate-change targets.

United States

Why India wants U.S. gas — The Wall Street Journal

Energy-starved India recently asked the U.S. if it was willing to export more liquefied natural gas, a move aimed at bridging its yawning gap between supply and demand.

Shale boom, Asia demand to dominate global gas conference (Jun 3) — Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL

Already, Chinese and Japanese companies have been signing up for future U.S. supplies and investing in North American LNG export facilities, including one in west Canada.

Japan's demand fuels LNG rise (Jun 5) — The National, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

"The spread between North American natural gas prices and Asian LNG prices has been propelled to record levels," said Michael Zenker, a US natural gas analysts at Barclay's Capital (BarCap).

Already, 11 proposals for LNG export terminals have been submitted in the US and a further four in Canada, according to BarCap. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


2012 June 1

British Columbia

Overplaying exports potential? — (Financial Post) Leader-Post, Regina, SK

While Canadian LNG exports to Pacific markets will begin by 2020, further growth in exports to Asia is limited in the IEA's Golden Rules Case - or best-case scenario - because of the large increase in domestic production in China, as well as the rise in unconventional production in Indonesia and Australia, the agency said in a new report on natural gas published Tuesday.


Natural gas export permits, including some affecting projects in Oregon, delayed till late summer — (Bloomberg News), OR

The assessments were initiated after complaints from several U.S. lawmakers, including Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, and Rep. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, who said sales overseas might increase prices at home.

Two proposed liquefied natural gas terminals in Oregon -- Jordan Cove in Coos Bay and Oregon LNG in Warrenton -- are among those with applications pending.


Gas Co.'s natural gas plan is taking shape — Star Advertiser, Honolulu, HI [Paid subscription]

The Gas Co. is moving ahead with plans to bring U.S.-produced natural gas to Hawaii, announcing Thursday it has chosen an engineering firm to help with the proj­ect, which would give local residents and businesses access to a new and potentially cheaper energy alternative.

In addition to hiring CH2M HILL, a Denver-based engineering and consulting firm, The Gas Co. officials also said they have begun seeking regulatory approval to bring in the first shipment of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, by the end of this year.

Denver-based firm hired to help bring liquefied natural gas to Hawaii as energy alternative — The Republic, Columbus, IN

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday in addition to hiring CH2M HILL, The Gas Co. officials have begun seeking regulatory approval to bring in the first shipment of liquefied natural gas by the end of the year.

United States

US lawmakers tell Obama to rein in energy exports — Reuters UK

Obama needs to use his authority to limit exports of natural gas, as well as coal and petroleum products, and lay out a framework for assessing whether such exports are in the national interest, Congressman Edward Markey and Senator Ron Wyden said in a letter to the president.

Natural gas companies: Exporters stymied by permit delays — Money Morning, Baltimore, MD

The DOE has delayed permits and assessments of proposed sites mainly due to worries from Congressional members. Congress remains concerned about the long-term U.S. energy security and the potential that natural gas prices could increase dramatically as exports begin.

The delay will impact a number of companies. Companies awaiting approval includeSempra Energy, Freeport LNG, Macquarie Group, and Dominion Energy.

The rush to LNG — The Maritime Executive

Bottom line for the U.S.: For the first time in 50 years it could become an exporter of LNG as it finds itself awash in shale gas reserves. Houston-based Cheniere Energy Partners (NYSE: CQP), which operates the country’s largest natural gas import terminal – now a white elephant given the surfeit of gas in the U.S. – has plans to construct the first LNG export terminal at its Sabine Pass, Louisiana location. Initial plans call for the construction of two liquefaction “trains,” each capable of producing 4.5 million tons of LNG a year, with two more to follow. For perspective, total global output of LNG in 2011 was approximately 240 million tons. Lending credibility to the project is a $2 billion investment by private equity giant Blackstone, which should ensure that the rest of the estimated $5 billion cost will soon follow from like-minded investors.

Administration says Japan will have to wait for U.S. LNG supplies — LNG Law Blog

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama Administration has told Japan and other countries that they face a waiting period while the United States decides whether to move forward with LNG exports, mostly due to the political sensitivity of the issue. A Japanese official familiar with recent talks between Japan and the United States on energy issues stated that no decisions on U.S. LNG exports would be made before the November presidential election.

Tepco considers buying North American shale gas: Nikkei — Reuters UK

Tepco reckons it can buy [US] shale gas at half the price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) it now uses, allowing it to save fuel costs, the newspaper said.

Japan would need U.S. Department of Energy authorization for Tepco to import shale gas, in the absence of a free trade agreement, the Nikkei said.

Webmaster's comment: Here is mentioned, again, fire-sale prices on exported US-source LNG.


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