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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

2013 December

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2013 Dec

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2013 December 27

Nova Scotia

No public hearing needed for Goldboro LNG review — Guysborough Journal, Guysborough, NS

The panel came to this conclusion after considering previous environmental assessment reports and data carried out at Goldboro, and associated public comments, a public hearing record, and the EA board panel report to the minister in 2007.

The panel came to this conclusion after considering previous environmental assessment reports and data carried out at Goldboro, and associated public comments, a public hearing record, and the EA board panel report to the minister in 2007.


First Augusta home gets natural gas (Dec 22) — Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME

AUGUSTA — Dick Gagnon had recently converted his home to propane when he got word, several months ago, that natural gas was not only coming to Augusta, it was going to flow just a few feet from the front door of his Eastern Avenue home.

A week and a half ago, that home became Augusta’s first residence to be heated by natural gas, as the fuel started flowing from a Maine Natural Gas pipeline into Gagnon’s home and running his three direct vent space heaters, clothes dryer and gleaming new kitchen stove.

The cost of converting the home he shares with his wife from propane to gas was a little more than $2,500.

Webmaster's comment: Since it requires a separate company to invest in distribution pipelines to businesses and homes, and since the Passamaquoddy Bay area is sparcely populated, it is unlikely that natural gas distribution pipelines would be profitable; thus, the fuel is unlikely to become available to households in the area.


Northeast natural gas seen economic near $2.00 (Dec 13) — Natural Gas Intelligence

Not until basis differentials reach a 48% discount to the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), or about $2.10/MMBtu based on the curve, does Northeast natural gas become uneconomic, according to an analysis by Credit Suisse.

But in any scenario, could gas prices fall below a $2.00/MMBtu floor in the Northeast? It's possible, said the analysts, if liquids-rich production began to supply most of the growth, or if there were infrastructure project delays by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. However, they think even with the excess gas output, Nymex prices would need to move much lower before activity would slow in the dry gas areas.

Webmaster's comment: So, natural gas exploration and production remains profitable until the price of natural gas were to drop to $2.10/million Btu — around half of today's price.

FERC replies to Van Hollen regarding Cove Point —, Hollywood, MD

“The environmental assessment (EA) that is under preparation will address all substantive issues raised by stakeholders. This will include consideration of comments from your constituents and agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. At a minimum, the EA will include an evaluation of the project impact on water resources, residential areas, geology, soils, wildlife and vegetation, threatened and endangered species, cultural resources, air, noise and visual quality, and public safety. As always, the EA will also consider reasonable alternatives to the project as well as cumulative impacts.”

Webmaster's comment: And, as always, FERC will approve the application.

Dominion Cove Point LNG export plans challenged by environmental groups (Dec 20) — LNG World News

A research report released by environmental groups confirms there is no evidence that Virginia-based Dominion Resources has secured major financial backing for its plan to export fracked Appalachian gas to Asia through a terminal on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay.

The report, written by research firm Profundo, searched publicly available databases worldwide and found no evidence that Dominion had secured the key, 16-year project loan reportedly needed to finance 60-70 percent of the gas export project’s total construction costs. While a Dominion spokesperson asserted to Bloomberg in September 2013 that, “We have financing,” the company has yet to publicly reveal the source, if it exists.


El Paso Pipeline Partners' unit announces Phase II of liquefaction project at Elba Island LNG terminal [Press release] (Dec 19) — MarketWatch

Capacity to be added in Phase II will range from 70 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) (0.5 million tonnes per year) up to 140 MMcf/d (1.0 million tonnes per year). The estimated capital expenditure of Phase II at the maximum volume of 140 MMcf/d is approximately $500 million.

Phase I of the project, consisting of six liquefaction units, will provide approximately 210 MMcf/d of export capacity. It is anticipated to be in service in late 2016 or early 2017. Phase II, covering two additional liquefaction units, has an expected in-service in 2017-2018.


Alaska wants pipeline deal with TransCanada terminated (Dec 19) — Platts

Circumstances have changed since the agreement was signed with TransCanada in 2009, state Commissioner of Natural Resources Joe Balash said. This includes the emergence of joint venture that includes major North Slope producers and that the project has changed from a proposed land pipeline to the continental US to a pipeline across Alaska and a large LNG export project, he said.

United States

Video iconA once-staid FERC and how it became a major political battlefield (Dec 23) — Platts

In this video, Chris Newkumet and John Kingston discuss the unprecedented drama over President Barack Obama’s nomination of Ron Binz to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC's role in regulating LNG exports [and imports], and a jurisdictional dispute with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Two new natural gas export plans set up challenge to controversial policy — Platts

As of December 6, the last time DOE updated it, the [LNG export] queue was 23 projects long. Given that the DOE seems to be taking about three to four months between approvals, projects at the bottom of the list might not get the green light from the agency until near the end of the decade, when international gas demand may all be spoken for.

But two new projects on opposite ends of the country pose rather unique challenges to the rationale for this queue.

The first is a proposal by ConocoPhillips to reopen its mothballed LNG plant on the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage to ship gas seasonally, when regional demand is low and wells might otherwise be shut in.

The second is a new proposal by Canada’s Emera to ship US compressed natural gas from a Florida port to fuel power generation to the Caribbean.

Developers of export projects with existing infrastructure, a relatively small amount of gas they plan to ship, or even new CNG export proposals, could create a series of new approval paths the DOE would need to launch.

Renewable energy provides 100% of all new US electrical generating capacity in November 2013 (Dec 20) —

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- According to the latest "Energy Infrastructure Update" report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects, solar, biomass, wind, geothermal, and hydropower "units" provided 394 MW — or 100 percent — of all new electrical generation placed in-service in November 2013. There was no new capacity during the month from natural gas, coal, oil, or nuclear power. Renewable energy sources also provided 99 percent of all new electrical generating capacity in October.


Mexican judge says Sempra plant is on rancher's land (Dec 23) — ABC 10 News, San Diego, CA

SAN DIEGO - A Mexican court has ruled a liquefied natural gas plant owned by a Sempra Energy subsidiary is sitting on someone else's land.

The Argarian Tribunal of Baja California said the government wrongly issued the title to the land. The court said it belongs to rancher Ramon Sanchez Ritchie, who spoke to Team 10 in 2011 as the conflict unfolded.

Webmaster's comment: This is a long-contested issue that previously resulted in Mr. Ritchie being evicted from the property.


2013 December 19

Nova Scotia

Public hearing not required in Goldboro gas project — The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

Pieridae Energy (Canada) Ltd.’s proposed $8.3-billion Goldboro, Guysborough County, liquefied natural gas project won’t be subject to a public hearing.

The provincial government’s environmental assessment branch announced Thursday a panel appointed to review the project decided a public hearing wasn’t required, given previous environmental assessment reports and data compiled regarding an earlier similar liquefied natural gas terminal proposal for Goldboro.

Pieridae is required, by Jan. 10, to address questions and comments raised by the public, by government agencies, by First Nations and by the panel members during a comment period that ended Monday.

New Brunswick

Canaport weighs LNG imports (Dec 13) — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

[Canaport LNG has just been permitted to re-export LNG. — SPB webmaster]

The only liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal that has been built in the Bay of Fundy is continuing to explore how the facility can remain viable, following the rapid growth in the amount of natural gas being extracted from shale rock in the northeastern U.S.

The Canaport LNG import terminal in Saint John recently received approval from the provincial Department of Environment and Local Government to reload LNG back onto ships, along with a short-term order from the National Energy Board to export LNG. Canaport has not yet set a date for when it might begin exporting LNG, says Canaport LNG media contact Kate Shannon. She explains, "Our terminal has the necessary equipment to load LNG onto LNG tankers. The process will remain the same, but in reverse. We will use existing equipment, and all existing safety processes will remain in place."

Barbara Shook, senior reporter-at-large for Energy Intelligence Group in Houston, says that Canaport is looking at exporting LNG "because they have no market at all in the Northeast. Their LNG is so much more expensive than the domestic LNG [sic; natural gas]." She expects that Canaport might export to European markets, noting that the natural gas price in New England is around $4.50 to $4.75 per million btu, while it is over $11 in Great Britain.

LNG imports at Canaport expected to drop dramatically

According to Bentek Energy, an energy market analytics company, Canaport is expected to receive only five deliveries from Qatargas this year. The imports help serve peak winter demand in the New England market through the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline. However, Canaport has only a three-year contract with Qatargas that expires at the end of this year. Bentek forecasts that LNG imports to Canaport will drop dramatically next year and that the terminal will receive an average of 4.8 billion cubic feet a year under the sole import contract with Royal Dutch Shell. In February, Shell had purchased all of Repsol's LNG assets, except Canaport, which Shell had decided not to purchase because of the decline in LNG imports at the Saint John facility. Repsol and Shell, though, did sign an agreement for Shell to supply one million tons of LNG to the terminal over a 10-year period, which is just over 1% of its capacity, if Canaport was operating at its maximum capacity of 1.2 billion cubic feet a day.

Between 2008 and 2013 the natural gas net inflow from eastern Canada to the northeastern U.S. fell by 82%, according to the EIA.…

Shook says that Canaport, which began operating in 2009, "was a good idea at the time," which was before the domestic shale gas boom. She notes that nine pipelines from the U.S. run through the Marcellus and Utica shale gas fields, which stretch from Ohio and West Virginia into New York state, and they are all empty. They are being revamped so that their flow patterns will be reversed to go from north to south, since there is a growing natural gas market in the southeastern U.S. for power generation, or they are being converted to handle liquid gas or oil for the southeast.

"We need more pipelines out of the Marcellus field to the Northeast," Shook says, adding, "Gas is a lot cheaper than fuel oil and a whole lot cleaner." [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Let's all chip in and buy Downeast LNG president Dean Girdis a bus ticket back to Washington, DC. After dropping tens of $millions, and with the reversal in the US natural gas market, he may not be able to afford a ticket.

Passamaquoddy Bay

Baileyville CNG facility grows (Dec 13) — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

The market for natural gas is continuing to grow in Maine and the Maritimes, with paper mills, large businesses and homes in municipalities that are hooked into gas lines all among those who have converted from oil to gas. A number of those customers are now being served by Xpress Natural Gas (XNG) of Woburn, Mass., which redeveloped the former OSB mill in Baileyville into a high-capacity compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling complex last winter. The company has been adding more customers during the past year, including some in Canada, and expects to continue to increase the volume it ships out. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: As crazy as it seems, Canadian natural gas imported to Baileyville via the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline is being compressed and loaded into trucks, and then exported back to Canada's Prince Edward Island, in addition to deliveries in Maine. Downeast Maine is now re-exporting natural gas to Canada. This must cause Downeast LNG to kick themselves for even attempted their own project.


Energy infrastructure update (for Nov) — FERC Office of Energy Projects

[Columbia Pipeline Group] requested authorization to construct and operate its East Side Expansion Project which will provide 312 MMcf/d of firm capacity and bi-directional flow in PA, NJ, NY and MD for shippers serving the Northeast markets. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Cabot to supply gas to Dominion Cove Point LNG terminal — LNG World News

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation signed a definitive gas sale and purchase agreement with Pacific Summit Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, under which Cabot has agreed to sell 350,000 MMBtu per day of natural gas from its Marcellus Shale position for a term of 20 years commencing on the in-service date of the Dominion Cove Point LNG liquefaction project currently scheduled for 2017. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


Elba Liquefaction Company to begin Phase Two of liquified natural gas facility in Savannah, Georgia — Area Development Online, Westbury, NY

“We are pleased that this liquefaction project, which will cost approximately $1.5 billion at full development, continues to advance,” said Kimberly S. Watson, President, Natural Gas Pipelines East Region for Kinder Morgan. “This project will further enhance what has become an abundant natural gas resource in the United States and will result in development of new international markets without straining the availability or cost of natural gas supply to U.S. markets. Moreover, the Elba Liquefaction Project will be a positive factor in the overall balance of trade between the U.S. and other countries, as well as generate local and state benefits.”

The project is currently in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission review process, which is conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. Site construction will begin after FERC issues an Authorization to Proceed and Construct. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


2013 December 18

New Brunswick

Canada: Canaport to receive LNG cargo — LNG World News

Repsol YPF SA’s Canaport terminal in Canada is scheduled to get one liquefied natural gas cargo from Trinidad and Tobago this week, port data reveals.

Webmaster's comment: Will Canaport LNG re-export this cargo, now that they have permission to do so?


Rockland carrageenan plant files paperwork to convert to compressed natural gas from oil — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

ROCKLAND, Maine — FMC, the community’s largest taxpayer and a major employer, has filed an application with the city to convert its fuel from oil to compressed natural gas.

Last month, FMC Plant Manager Jeff LaBrozzi said that since that meeting, the company has decided to pursue compressed natural gas, or CNG, rather than liquefied natural gas, or LNG. Switching to CNG will eliminate the need for the large tanks that had been considered with LNG, he said. It also will cut the conversion cost to about half the original estimated expense of switching to LNG.

Webmaster's comment: This eliminates the need for large LNG storage tanks near a populated area. Instead, CNG tanks are planned, presenting a flammability, thermal radiation, and explosion hazard, but eliminating the cryogenic burn hazard, and likely significantly reducing the flammability hazard to the public.


Pennsylvania on track to pass Louisiana in production of natural gas (Dec 17) — The Town Talk, Alexandria, LA

Pennsylvania likely will surpass Louisiana as the nation's second-largest natural gas-producing state for 2013, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Tuesday.

The agency predicts that drilling in the Marcellus shale, an area that spans much of the Northeast, will push Pennsylvania past Louisiana in terms of total output this year. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

EIA: Pennsylvania is fastest-growing gas producing state — LNG World News

Tight gas development significantly increased production in several regions, including the Marcellus in the Northeast and the Eagle Ford in Texas. Marketed production in the Lower 48 states increased by 5% between 2011 and 2012, rising from 23.7 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) to 25.0 Tcf.

Pennsylvania also saw the largest volume and percentage increases in marketed gas. West Virginia, which is also located in the Marcellus Shale play, joined the ranks of the top 10 largest U.S. producers for the first time in 2012, producing 146 billion cubic feet of additional marketed gas compared with the 2011 level. Production in the Marcellus region has grown so substantially that spot prices in the Northeast may continue to drop further below the Henry Hub spot price in the future. Texas, home to the Eagle Ford Shale play, grew 5% year-on-year, and stands as the largest gas-producing state by far. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Pennsylvania expected to pass Louisiana as nation's second top natural gas producing state for 2013 (Dec 17) — The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA

Early figures predict the Marcellus shale will be producing natural gas at a rate of 13.7 billion cubic feet per day by January 2014, up from less than 10 billion in January 2013.

Webmaster's comment: The Marcellus is producing more natural gas than the daily capacity of 11 Canaport LNG-size import terminals.

Range Resources says it topped 1 Bcf/day for first time (Dec 17) — Barnett Shale, TX

Fort Worth--based Range Resources, one of the largest producers in the Marcellus Shale, said Tuesday its net production reached one billion cubic feet (Bcf) a day in natural gas equivalents. Net production is the share of a company's total production (called gross production) that it owns apart from partners or other co-investors. Range also said its gross production in the Marcellus topped 1 Bcf/day. The company said companywide production was just 200 million cubic feet a day in 2004 when it first entered the Marcellus in Pennsylvania. Range at the time was a big player in the Barnett Shale but has since sold those holdings in favor of continued investment in the Marcellus. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: This single company's natural gas production in the Marcellus is roughly equivalent to Canaport LNG's import terminal daily capacity.


2013 December 16


Senator Beck rallies against LNG port — Rumson-Fairhaven Patch, NJ

Beck's resolution was advanced last week by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) has taken a stance against a proposed liquified natural gas (LNG) port that would be located roughly 20 miles off the coast of Sea Bright, Sandy Hook and Long Branch shorelines.

The proposal requires approval from the U.S. Maritime Administration, the Coast Guard and the governors of New York and New Jersey. Governor Chris Christie rejected a similar proposal in 2011.

“The Governor was right to deny this potentially catastrophic project once and we can’t afford to let it move forward now either,” Beck said. “The environmental and ecological impacts this port could have on the shore and accompanying tourism, shipping and fishing industries are far too great to ignore. Besides the inherent risk, there’s no evidence of a shortage of natural gas that would necessitate having this import facility in the first place.” [Red & bold emphasis added.]


Signs of life appear for long-delayed Alaska pipeline — EnergyWire

After decades of delays and false starts, Alaska's North Slope energy giants are again signaling a willingness to build a multibillion-dollar natural gas pipeline from the state's Arctic oil and gas fields to an export terminal in southern Alaska.

Exxon Mobil is heading up a pipeline coalition that includes BP Alaska, ConocoPhillips Alaska and TransCanada.

State residents have been waiting for a pipeline to be built since the 1950s, when the Navy discovered a small field of gas in the Gubik fields near Fairbanks. In the 1970s, workers building the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline were told their next jobs would be building a separate gas line. Neither opportunity ever materialized.

In October 2012, the producers and TransCanada released a study predicting that the complete LNG project would cost a whopping $45 billion to $65 billion.

British Columbia

NEB approves four LNG export licence applications [Press release] — Digital Journal

CALGARY, Dec. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - The National Energy Board (NEB or Board) has approved applications for 25 year natural gas export licences to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to:

  • Prince Rupert LNG Exports Ltd. for a maximum term amount of 824.58 109 m3,
  • Pacific NorthWest LNG Ltd. for a maximum term amount of 798.96 109 m3,
  • WCC LNG Ltd. for a maximum term amount of 1,103 109 m3, and
  • Woodfibre LNG Export Pte. Ltd. for a maximum term amount of 85.52 109 m3.

Issuance of the licences to export LNG is subject to the approval of the Governor in Council.

United States

EIA: Growing oil, gas production continues to reshape U.S. energy economy — LNG World News

Domestic production of oil and natural gas continues to grow. Domestic crude oil production increases sharply in the AEO2014 Reference case, with annual growth averaging 0.8 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) through 2016, when domestic production comes close to the historical high of 9.6 MMbbl/d achieved in 1970. While domestic crude oil production is projected to level off and then slowly decline after 2020 in the Reference case, natural gas production grows steadily, with a 56% increase between 2012 and 2040, when production reaches 37.6 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). The full AEO2014 report, to be released this spring, will also consider alternative resource and technology scenarios, some with significantly higher long-term oil production than the Reference case.

Higher natural gas production also supports increased exports of both pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG). In addition to increases in domestic consumption in the industrial and electric power sectors, U.S. exports of natural gas also increase in the AEO2014 Reference case. U.S. exports of LNG increase to 3.5 Tcf before 2030 and remain at that level through 2040. Pipeline exports of U.S. natural gas to Mexico grow by 6% per year, from 0.6 Tcf in 2012 to 3.1 Tcf in 2040, and pipeline exports to Canada grow by 1.2% per year, from 1.0 Tcf in 2012 to 1.4 Tcf in 2040. Over the same period, U.S. pipeline imports from Canada fall by 30%, from 3.0 Tcf in 2012 to 2.1 Tcf in 2040, as more U.S. demand is met by domestic production. [Red bold emphasis added.]


2013 December 15

New England

U.S. imported two LNG cargoes in Oct (Dec 10) — LNG World News

One cargo was shipped from Trinidad and Tobago, while the other one was sourced from Yemen. The Everett LNG import terminal received both of the LNG cargoes.

Webmaster's comment: This is a 50% reduction in October imports as compared to 2012. Everett LNG is compelled to import due to long-term contracts.


US Energy Information Administration estimates Marcellus Region to top thirteen billion cubic feet/day in December — Penn State Extension, College of Agricultural Sciences, PA

This month's Drilling Productivity Report estimates some unprecedented production figures in the US natural gas regions.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released the Drilling Productivity Report on the six key oil and natural gas regions across America estimating production rates for the month of December. In it, they predict that the Marcellus region, located in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, is expected to exceed 13 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). This is substantial growth considering that as recently as 2010 the Marcellus region produced less than 2 Bcf/d; it is expected to provide an estimated 18% of the total U.S. natural gas production this month.

The increase in production volumes has been largely driven by the efficiency of new wells as the number of drilling rigs in the area has remained relatively flat in recent months; technological advances have led the way to the widespread use of new oil and natural gas extraction. Also, production growth has been boosted by the increased output from previously shut-in wells or wells that were operation at reduced volume because of constraints in takeaway capacity in the region. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: The 13 Bcf/d December Marcellus output is 26 times the capacity of the proposed Downeast LNG terminal. Downeast LNG is an import-flea in the booming domestic energy forest.

Marcellus shale activity increasing, EIA says (Dec 10) — UPI

The EIA, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, said the 13 billion cubic feet per day expected this month from the Marcellus region, spread out over parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, represent about 18 percent of total U.S. natural gas production.

The EIA said the region produced less than 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2010. New drilling technologies for shale reserve areas like Marcellus have helped put the United States in a leadership position in terms of oil and natural gas production.

Webmaster's comment: Marcellus December natural gas production has jumped 650% since 2010.

Natural gas bleeds into gubernatorial campaign (Dec 12) — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

The controversy over exporting liquefied natural gas via the Chesapeake Bay has become an issue in the race for Maryland's State House, at least among the Democratic candidates for governor.

But [Heather Mizeur] echoed environmentalists' criticism of Dominion's proposal, saying the converted facility would release more climate-altering greenhouse gases into the air than all of the state's coal-fired power plants put together.

Dominion has received approval from the Department of Energy to export LNG from Cove Point to anywhere in the world. It is seeking permission now from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.


ConocoPhillips seeks permit for LNG exports — Juneau Empire, Juneau, AK

KENAI — ConocoPhillips has filed for a permit to resume liquefied natural gas exports from its facility on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, a move urged by the state.

Earlier this year, the company announced it would not seek an extension of a license that expired March 31 but would consider a new license if the needs of the local market were met and there was sufficient gas for export.

In February 2011, ConocoPhillips and its then-partner Marathon Oil Corp. announced plans to close the plant at Nikiski, saying market changes didn’t support continued exports.

Webmaster's comment: After exporting all the then-existing natural gas, Kenai LNG shut down in 2012. Now that additional natural gas has been found, Kenai LNG is proposing to again ship it out. Even though local needs are being met, the long-term result will be the same as before — they are exporting their energy future, and eventually will again run out of gas sooner than if they had not exported it.

ConocoPhillips applies for LNG export permit for Nikiski plant (Dec 13) — Alaska Native News, Homer, AK

According to the DNR, re-starting export of LNG will stimulate natural gas production in Cook Inlet and spur more natural gas exploration. The Nikiski export plant was closed down because of shortages of LNG for local consumption in the state and an expiring permit in 2012. Those local needs have now been met through 2018 by Hilcorp, who purchased gas fileds from Marathon and Chevron. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

ConocoPhillips applies to restart exports (Dec 12) — Peninsula Clarion, Kenai, AK

Exploration and other long-term aspects of the news had definite support, Navarre said.There has not been much exploration since word came that there was a 40-year supply of natural gas. With recent “work-overs” from Hilcorp Energy Co. and new gas from Cook Inlet Energy, everyone has helped increase the supply, he said.

At state's urging, ConocoPhillips applies for natural gas export license (Dec 12) — Alaska Dispatch, Anchorage, AK

The thought of even considering exports is a marked change from last year, when utilities warned Southcentral residents of an impending shortage. Last summer, consultants said not enough wells were coming on line fast enough to meet demand. After 2014, supplies looked dicey.

But that changed this spring, when utilities and producers announced they had secured gas supply contracts through 2018. While a shortage no longer seems imminent, utilities have noted that “black holes” in natural gas supplies beyond 2018 remain. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


2013 December 9

Nova Scotia

Goldboro LNG (Dec 3) — Guysborough Journal, Guysborough, NS

Local views key part of EA consultation

Residents in the communities that will be most impacted by development of the Goldboro LNG project have until Dec. 16 to give feedback on the initiative through the environmental assessment (EA) consultation. Anyone can provide feedback on the EA report – which is now available at the municipal office in Guysborough, Sherbrooke Library and other locations as well as online with the Dept. of Environment – but as MODG’s director of economic develop Gordon MacDonald told The Journal Monday, it’s very important that the views of local communities are expressed.

Webmaster's comment: This is one of two Nova Scotia LNG export proposals. They would require natural gas from the US via reversing the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline to have enough natural gas to export.


Iroquois, PNGTS projects target TransCanada Eastern Mainline expansion (Dec 3) — Natural Gas Intelligence [Subscription]

An open season announced last week by TransCanada Corp. on the eastern leg of its Mainline has prompted two other pipelines to jump on board with complementary eastbound Marcellus Shale-oriented projects of their own.

Iroquois Gas Transmission System LP and Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS) on Tuesday each launched open seasons offering capacity intended to complement that being offered by TransCanada Corp. on the eastern leg of its Mainline (see Daily GPI, Dec. 2).

Iroquois is proposing a system reversal, called the South-to-North (SoNo) project, to provide access to TransCanada at Waddington, NY. Separately, PNGTS reopened a binding open season for its Continent 2 Coast (C2C) Expansion, which would expand capacity of its system from 168,000 Dth/d to about 300,000 Dth/d from Pittsburg, NH, to Westbrook, ME. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Downeast LNG president Dean Girdis's nightmare has begun — Marcellus natural gas will be coming to Maine.

All six New England governors commit to joint energy infrastructure agenda (Dec 5) — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

[This article also appears under the New England heading, below.]

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage on Thursday announced that he and the five other New England governors have committed to a new plan for a cooperative, regional energy infrastructure.

…Among other things, the statements from each governor point to a fledgling plan to bring higher natural gas capacity to all of New England.

The agreement for the Regional Energy Infrastructure Initiative was signed Thursday by LePage and Govs. Dannel Malloy, D-Conn.; Deval Patrick, D-Mass.; Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.; Lincoln Chafee, I-R.I.; and Peter Shumlin, D-Vt.

Maine now has a law that asks state officials to look into the best options for bringing more inexpensive natural gas to New England; Connecticut and Massachusetts are closest to the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania and New York where much of that gas is being extracted. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Is Downeast LNG's packing up yet?

New England

All six New England governors commit to joint energy infrastructure agenda (Dec 5) — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

[This article also appears under the Maine heading, above.]

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage on Thursday announced that he and the five other New England governors have committed to a new plan for a cooperative, regional energy infrastructure.

…Among other things, the statements from each governor point to a fledgling plan to bring higher natural gas capacity to all of New England.

The agreement for the Regional Energy Infrastructure Initiative was signed Thursday by LePage and Govs. Dannel Malloy, D-Conn.; Deval Patrick, D-Mass.; Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.; Lincoln Chafee, I-R.I.; and Peter Shumlin, D-Vt.

Maine now has a law that asks state officials to look into the best options for bringing more inexpensive natural gas to New England; Connecticut and Massachusetts are closest to the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania and New York where much of that gas is being extracted. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


Shale gas 2013: The year in review (Dec 6) — Pennsylvania Business Central, PA

Thousands of miles of new pipeline in Pennsylvania will be needed to transport the abundant supply of Marcellus Shale gas to market, an estimated at 50 trillion cubic feet. While pipeline development has been an ongoing effort, it picked up steam this year.

“We saw a greater focus on pipeline build-out in 2013; remember, about 3,000 gas wells in Pennsylvania are still waiting to be connected to the distribution system,” said Patrick Henderson, Governor Corbett’s energy executive. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Pipelines are the long-term, economic, and reliable solution to providing natural gas to New England and Maine. Downeast LNG's proposal to import expensive LNG from overseas is not.

EIA: Marcellus region provides 18 pct of total U.S. gas production this month — LNG World News

Growth in the efficiency of new wells has largely driven the continued increase in production volumes in the region. Although the number of drilling rigs in the area has remained relatively flat in recent months, production from new wells has continued to grow. Another contributing factor to the growth in production is the increased output from previously shut-in wells or wells that were operating at reduced volume because of constraints in takeaway capacity in the region.

Recent infrastructure upgrades in West Virginia and Pennsylvania have helped boost production volumes. Production growth in the region has driven the forward price of natural gas at the Columbia Gas Transmission Appalachia hub below Louisiana’s Henry Hub price, the benchmark for natural gas throughout North America. Natural gas pipeline expansion projects are expected to add at least 3.5 Bcf/d of takeaway capacity to the New York/New Jersey and Mid-Atlantic markets by 2015. Natural gas production in the region has reduced the flow of natural gas from other regions into the Northeast. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Beck resolution opposes proposed offshore liquefied natural gas port (Dec 5) — Politicker NJ

TRENTON – Senators took a stand against a proposed offshore liquefied natural gas proposal Thursday.

SR120, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Beck, (R-11), Red Bank, urges federal and state officials to prevent the construction of the proposed Port Ambrose deepwater liquefied natural gas terminal off the coast of New Jersey.

Gov. Chris Christie has stopped this project once already. He invoked the authority granted to the governors of adjacent coastal states and vetoed the project in 2011.

To frack or not to frack: Staten Islanders point to '73 LNG explosion here — Staten Island Advance, Staten Island, NY

In 1973, 40 workers were killed when an explosion blew the concrete roof off a liquefied natural gas (LNG) tank on Staten Island's northwest shore, crushing them.

While investigators said it was triggered by pockets of gas trapped in the tank's liner, the legacy of the calamity was a ban on the construction of LNG tanks in the state, including a halt on construction of two additional tanks in Rossville.

"I've never seen an issue as polarizing as this one," said Ms. Savino. "We need clean energy ... but we need to know whether this can be done safely. If you screw this up, you can't undo it."

Dominion Transmission: Cove Point LNG project environmentally sound [Commentary] [Op-ed column] (Dec 4) — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

Energy company says it is committed to conservation

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility at the Dominion Cove Point Terminal has long been a model of industrial and environmental cooperation. More than 1,000 acres of pristine beach, forest and marsh lands in southern Maryland are conserved, while at the same time the Chesapeake Bay is unharmed. Dominion is proud of its award-winning role as an environmental steward at Cove Point and has designed its proposed LNG export project to continue that commitment.

Webmaster's comment: Cove Point LNG has been losing money for years, not receiving LNG except to keep the facility from decommissioning. Without building an LNG export terminal, Cove Point LNG would likely shut down.

United States

LNG boom leads to higher gas prices in US, Australia (Dec 4) — The Tyee, Vancouver, BC

In a Dec. 2 press release, the Industrial Energy Consumers of America reported that "prices of natural gas have increased by 35.6 per cent since August 2012, when the first LNG export terminal was approved."

Added the press release: "The Department of Energy (DOE) is failing in its legal responsibility to do the quality of 'public interest determination' that considers critically important factors that dictate what will happen to domestic prices. Among other things, OPEC indexed LNG prices should not dictate domestic natural gas prices."

IECA: Domestic gas prices up 35.6 pct since approval of first LNG export terminal [Opinion] (Dec 4) — LNG World News

Since DOE’s approval of LNG export terminals can be for periods up to 30 years, a lot can happen to domestic demand and supply that cannot be foreseen today. It is for this reason the DOE must take a cautious and balanced approach to approving new LNG export terminals and prevent price spikes.

Among other things, DOE is basing its LNG export decisions on domestic demand assumptions that are now three years old, and do not take into consideration that the EPA GHG rule will restrict use of coal in the power generation sector. The DOE is failing in its legal responsibility to do the quality of “public interest determination” that considers critically important factors that dictate what will happen to domestic prices. Among other things, OPEC indexed LNG prices should not dictate domestic natural gas prices.

Webmaster's comment: The IECA is the Industrial Energy Consumers of America.

US Congressman questions extent of DOE-FERC coordination on LNG exports (Dec 5) — Platts

"It's unclear how [DOE and FERC] are coordinating, if at all," Barton said on the sidelines of a House subcommittee hearing Thursday on FERC. "But it is something that we need to shed some daylight on and clarify."

AEA: Over 11,000 Americans tell Washington to take a timeout on LNG exports (Dec 4) — LNG World News

America’s Energy Advantage (AEA), a coalition of many of the world’s leading manufacturers and commodity producers dedicated to preserving the American manufacturing renaissance made possible by an abundant supply of affordable natural gas, engaged a wide audience in the digital space to gather the signatures necessary to send an unwavering message to the Department of Energy and the Obama Administration: Do Not Export Away Our Natural Gas Advantage.

The petition, launched in early November, communicates the serious need to focus on the public good when considering the approval of additional LNG exports to countries with which the U.S. does not have a free trade agreement. To date, the Department of Energy has already approved five consecutive export applications, thereby raising the cumulative volume of LNG exports well in excess of what experts predict could cause domestic gas prices to climb, increasing prices for consumers and harming manufacturers.

USA: DOE approves two LNG export applications (Dec 3) — LNG World News

EOS LNG and Barca LNG have won an approval from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to export LNG from a proposed floating liquefaction unit and storage tanker at the Port of Brownsville, Texas to nations with a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States.

The two companies won each an authorization to export liquefied natural gas in a volume equivalent to approximately 584 billion cubic feet per year (Bcf/yr) of natural gas, or 1.6 Bcf per day (Bcf/d), from its proposed LNG terminal at the Port of Brownsville for a 25-year term.

North America

Zeus: Forty proposed projects in North America to export 400 Mt of LNG annually (Dec 5) — LNG World News

Dozens of energy companies are proposing export terminals to be located across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Of the projects, 28 are located in the U.S., three of which are on the East Coast, 20 on the Gulf Coast, two on the West Coast and three in Alaska. Developers propose another nine projects in Canada, six on the West Coast and three on the East. Mexico offers three more projects, two on the West Coast and one on the Gulf Coast. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Middle East

Yemen LNG evacuated after explosion — The Maritime Executive

A Total spokesman confirmed that a partial evacuation of Yemen LNG was likely to have been spread over Friday and Saturday. The official said the evacuation was related to Friday's incident.

"There were no casualties and the explosion caused only slight damage to non-essential equipment," the company said on its website. It did not say what caused the explosion, but added it was being investigated.


2013 December 2


Cove Point deserves closer examination [Editorial] — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

Our view: The controversial $3.8 billion liquefied natural gas export terminal planned for Calvert County merits a full investigation from federal authorities

[W]herever one stands on the project — excited about the jobs or fearful of what it may mean for global warming — everyone should agree that the proposal should be thoroughly examined and vetted to understand the potential impact and trade-offs involved. Unfortunately, that's not happening.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has so far opted only for an Environmental Assessment and not the more exhaustive Environmental Impact Statement. Virginia-based Dominion may tout the "exhaustive" review process on its website and in its advertising campaigns, but unless it includes the EIS, it is far from complete.

British Columbia

David Suzuki on Christy Clark's LNG plans: 'Be serious' — CBC News

The environmentalist questions how "clean" LNG is, arguing for renewable energy instead

David Suzuki is taking aim at B.C. Premier Christy Clark's claim that developing a liquid natural gas industry in B.C. will help slow climate change, arguing it's time Clark "be serious about where we're heading" with our reliance on fossil fuels.

“The economy can’t trump the environment," Suzuki adds. "I keep telling people: How long can you go without spending a dollar? And then how long can you go without taking a breath?”

United States

US LNG export approval process costing US market share: economist — Platts

Margo Thorning, senior vice president and chief economist with the American Council for Capital Formation, a pro-business economic think tank, said DOE needs to quickly approve the pending LNG export applications in its queue and start treating gas the same way exports of wheat, soybeans or airplanes are treated.

Webmaster's comment: Margo Thorning doesn't realize that natural gas isn't soybeans. Soybeans are renewable.


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