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News Articles
Passamaquoddy Bay & LNG

2015 December

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2015 Dec


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2015 December 31

Nova Scotia & New Brunswick

Atlantic LNG project advances to carry U.S., Canada supply overseas — Natural Gas Intelligence [Paid subscription]

An Asian plan to open an Atlantic Coast liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker terminal for U.S. and Canadian production advanced Wednesday, when the National Energy Board (NEB) granted the project a 25-year import/export license.

The NEB authorized AC LNG Inc. a license to import up to 2.3 Bcf/d from the United States and to export up to 2 Bcf/d from a proposed terminal in Nova Scotia (NS). AC is a Halifax subsidiary of Hiranandani Group of Mumbai, India.

The permit would allow the terminal to deal in a variable blend of U.S. and Canadian gas that would become available when Spectra Energy reverses the flow on Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline (M&NE) to northbound from southbound, AC told the NEB.

“Ultimately New Brunswick and Nova Scotia will import gas from the United States with the gas flowing over [M&NE] irrespective of the [LNG] project,” AC stated.

No dates have been set for starting the forecast overhaul of the Atlantic Canadian gas trade, construction of AC’s proposed terminal, conversion of Canaport into an export outlet, or full reversal of M&NE. The LNG projects have also not yet identified gas sources or overseas customers.

Repsol already is disputing plans for Spectra Energy’s Atlantic Bridge project that would reverse part of Maritimes and add new customers, telling the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the plan makes no provision for its own already scheduled capacity (see related story).

Goldboro LNG, sponsored by Pieridae Energy Canada, is designed to export 5-10 mmty, while Bear Head LNG, sponsored by LNGL Ltd., has proposed export capacity of up to 8 mmty; they were approved by NEB in August (see Daily GPI, Aug. 17). A fourth project, LNG Nova Scotia Inc., with export capacity of up to 250,000 metric tons/year, is targeting diesel replacement in Caribbean markets. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: LNG Nova Scotia (or LNG Nova Scotia) is Downeast LNG Dean Girdis's project that thinks it can supply LNG to the Caribbean. At least two other LNG projects, sited in Florida and the Gulf of Mexico — 1,000 miles closer to the market than Girdis's project — are already years ahead of Girdis, with ties to Caribbean-nation customers.

Gulf of Mexico

America's first shale gas export terminal starts production (Dec 30) — Bloomberg Business

Cheniere Energy Inc. began production at what will become the first terminal to export natural gas from America’s shale formations, according to ING Capital LLC, which helped finance the project.

The company is receiving about 50 million cubic feet of the fuel a day, chilling it into liquefied natural gas at the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, and storing it in tanks before the first export, Richard Ennis, head of natural resources at ING, said by e-mail on Wednesday.…

Natural gas futures have plunged more than 80 percent from 2008 highs to a 16-year low earlier this month on the New York Mercantile Exchange. February contracts rose 5.6 percent to settle at $2.337 per million British thermal units on Thursday.

Sabine Pass still needs authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s director of energy projects “to initiate commercial service” of its first liquefaction plant, Tamara Young-Allen, a spokeswoman at the Washington-based agency, said in an e-mail Thursday.

British Columbia

Plans for LNG project near Vancouver dashed — Daily Commercial News, Markham, ON

DELTA, CANADA—Environmental concerns appear to have dashed plans for a liquefied-natural-gas (LNG) project on the land of a pro-development First Nation near Vancouver, says the chief.

Of the 139 members of the Tsawwassen First Nation who voted Dec. 16, 53 per cent opposed plans that would have seen three- to five-million tonnes of LNG processed annually on the First Nations' territory. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

United States

FERC staff requests comments on proposed updates to the Guidance Manual for Environmental Report Preparation for Natural Gas Projects — Washington Energy Report

On December 18, 2015, FERC staff of the Office of Energy Projects (“OEP”) issued a notice of availability of the Draft Guidance Manual for Environmental Report Preparation (“Guidance Manual”) for natural gas projects seeking comments on the Guidance Manual on or before January 19, 2016. OEP staff is asking for public input and suggestions for modifications to the Guidance Manual from interested parties in regards to preparation of resource reports associated with natural gas projects.

…Volume 1 of the Guidance Manual relates to the preparation of resource reports for both interstate natural gas projects and FERC-jurisdictional LNG facilities. Volume 2 relates to LNG facilities and includes supplemental information needed to comply with regulations governing how to demonstrate (1) information reflected in the National Bureau of Standards Information Report, (2) the potential hazard to the public from failure of facility components resulting from natural catastrophes, and (3) the proposed engineering design’s safety and reliability. OEP staff stated that Volume 2 is intended to replace a series of guidance documents issued to assist in the preparation and review of LNG applications. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


2015 December 30


Hearing scheduled on DEP commissioner — Maine Environmental News

POSITION: Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection
NOMINEE: Paul E. Mercer of Penobscot

PUBLIC HEARING: Monday, January 11, 2016, 1:00 PM, Cross Building, Room 216

DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS: Written comments relevant to qualifications of the nominee may be filed with the Legislative Information Office by 9 am on the day of the hearing.

CONTACT PERSON: Casey Milligan, Legislative Information Office, 100 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0100; 207-287-1692


Out with LNG, in with the wind (Nov 20) — The Wave, Rockaway Beach, NY

Last week, I joined the people of Rockaway in celebrating Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to veto a proposal that would have allowed the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas project to take place off the coast of Rockaway Beach.

In the months leading up to the governor’s veto, this controversial proposal drew much opposition from the public and elected officials such as myself, who cited several reasons why the project would have been detrimental to the environment and to the residents of Rockaway. The LNG project was an extremely dangerous proposal in our pursuit to harvest more natural energy in New York, with the volatile potential to cause serious pollution and harm to the beach, the ocean and the residents in Rockaway in the event of a fire – or worse.

Now, as we share our messages of thanks with Governor Cuomo for hearing our concerns and rejecting the Port Ambrose proposal, it is also time to turn our attention toward garnering support for a much more environmentally friendly and safer method of obtaining natural, renewable energy: the Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Project. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Gulf of Mexico

FERC begins scoping for Delfin LNG onshore facilities (Dec 29) — Natural Gas Intelligence [Paid subscription]

FERC has opened a scoping proceeding for the onshore, Commission-jurisdictional facilities of the Delfin LNG offshore terminal project in the Gulf of Mexico.

The project is mostly offshore but also includes about 1.1 miles of existing onshore pipeline and other facilities. Last month, Delfin amended its application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the facilities (see Daily GPI,Dec. 2) [CP15-490]. The offshore component of the Delfin project involves abandonment and conversion of a portion of the High Island Offshore System, the proposal of which has garnered multiple protests at the Commission (see Daily GPI, Dec. 23).

Sabine Pass LNG files construction status report (Dec 28) — LNG Law Blog

Sabine Pass LNG has filed a report with FERC on the status of construction of its LNG export terminal in Sabine Pass, La through November 2015. The report states that Stage 1 (Liquefaction Trains 1 and 2) overall project completion is 96.9% against the scheduled plan of 98.7%. Stage 2 (Liquefaction Trains 3 and 4) engineering and procurement are 100% complete and subcontract and direct hire construction work are 51.1% and 51.5% complete, respectively. Overall project completion for Stage 2 is 78.2% against the plan of 83.5%. The report states that construction progress supports the achievement of substantial completion for Trains 1 and 2 by March 2016 and June 2016, respectively, and for Trains 3 and 4 by April 2017 and August 2017, respectively.

Status report filed for Corpus Christi export terminal (Dec 28) — LNG Law Blog

Corpus Christi Liquefaction has filed a report with FERC covering construction at its LNG export terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas. The report states that engineering has progressed to 92.1% complete, procurement has progressed to 39.6%, and construction has progressed to 1.4%. The total project has progressed to 27.7% complete.

FERC grants Pre-Filing procedures for G2 LNG export terminal (Dec 28) — LNG Law Blog

FERC has issued a letter granting G2 LNG, LLC’s request for initiation of pre-filing environmental review procedures for its proposed liquefaction and LNG export terminal on the west bank of the Calcasieu River in Cameron Parish, La. The order states that G2 intends to file a formal application for the project in July 2016.


Crowley begins construction on terminal expansion project in Puerto Rico (Nov 20) — Ship Technoloby

Crowley Puerto Rico Services has started construction works on a terminal expansion project for a new pier at its Isla Grande Terminal in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Crowley has acquired the necessary permits for the project, including those from the US Army Corps of Engineers as well as the other local agencies. Construction is scheduled to be completed in mid-2017.

The new facility will house Crowley's two new Commitment Class liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered combination container roll-on / roll-off (ConRo) ships, which are being constructed by VT Halter Marine under a contract worth $350m.

Webmaster's comment: This is not what FERC considers to be an LNG "terminal" since the LNG will be conveyed in relatively small, portable containers rather than piped to shore into large storage tanks. There will be no regasification facility at the port.

This is yet another competition against Dean Girdis's Nova Scotia LNG export project in Halifax — 1,000 miles farther away from its intended market than Crowley Marine's source in Florida, and far, far ahead of Nova Scotia LNG. How does Girdis convince investors to throw money away on his pipe dreams?

Rowley: Hard times are here — Newsday, Trinidad & Tobago

Today the price of oil is hovering around $36.00/barrel. Similarly, the price of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in the Japanese market decline from US$16.40/ mmbtu in June 2014 to US$15.70/mmbtu in December 2014 and is now around US$9.00/mmbtu.

LNG prices have declined by similar percentages amounts in European and South American markets. Even in the United States where natural gas prices had been lower than in other markets, those prices have since fallen even further.

The Henry Hub benchmark price is now about US$1.90/mmbtu compared to US$2.75/mmbtu which was used in the 2016 Budget, just two months ago. All the forecasts and predictions from the best available data and expert opinions conclude that this kind of situation is likely to get worse before it begins to improve in the medium term.

So the prices of our major exports have declined by as much as 70 percent for crude oil and 45 percent for natural gas. If that were not serious enough, our levels of production of both crude oil and natural gas have been falling. [Colored & bold emphasis added]


ConocoPhillips applies to extend LNG exports (Nov 23) — Peninsula Clarion, Kenai, AK

With pressure from Alaska officials and local utility companies, a ConocoPhillips subsidiary has applied to keep exporting liquefied natural gas out of its Kenai facility for at least two more years.

ConocoPhillips Alaska Natural Gas Corp., the subsidiary that runs the LNG facility, applied to the U.S. Department of Energy to export 40 billion cubic feet of natural gas to international markets. If granted, the license will expire in February 2018.

The company had originally planned to close the facility because of decreasing prices in the LNG market overseas and increased competition at home — Hilcorp produces natural gas in the Cook Inlet region currently and BlueCrest Energy plans to begin producing gas from its Cosmopolitan project near Anchor Point in the future.

The facility’s long term-fate is still unknown. Lowman said the company is still in the early stages and cannot yet determine how the Alaska LNG Project — tentatively determined to go in just down the Kenai Spur Highway from ConocoPhillips’ current plant and which the company is a partner in — will impact the facility.

British Columbia

Terrace locals pushed out of housing market in LNG rush, says councillor — CBC News

'We are all one paycheque away from being out on the street,' says outreach worker

A Terrace city councillor is calling on the province to build more income-geared housing, as speculation over liquefied natural gas prospects fuels increased housing demand.

"People move here because of that, and move here to find out that there are no jobs here and there may not be jobs," said Coun. Stacey Tyres.

Mike Watson, an outreach worker with the Terrace and District Community Services, says the high cost of rent has left many people homeless. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

LNG boomtowns: fact or fiction? (Nov 20) — Alaska Highway News, Fort St. John, BC

Where some see a boom, oil and gas service sector and local leaders are tempering perceptions and expectations

"Investors (outside of the city) think that gold is going to be flowing down the ditches here. That's what they think," Jarvis told the Alaska Highway News. "But then when they research it later, they say 'What the heck?'

"(They're) under the impression that B.C. is doing great, LNG is going crazy. Well, it's not."

Canada to ban tankers from northern B.C. coast (Nov 14) — Maritime Executive

This same article appears under the Canada heading.

Canada will implement a moratorium on oil tanker traffic along the northern coast of British Columbia, effectively slamming the door on a controversial pipeline project that was already facing massive development hurdles.

The main casualty of the ban will be Enbridge Inc's Northern Gateway pipeline, which would carry oil sands crude from near Edmonton, Alberta, to a deepwater port at Kitimat, British Columbia for export to Asian markets.

Webmaster's comment: This would seem to strengthen Canada's prohibition against LNG ship traffic to and from Downeast LNG.


Two strikes for Oregon LNG in easement dispute with Army Corps (Dec 28) — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

A federal megistrate judge rules that the energy company did not prove the Army Corps abandoned the proposed site for the LNG facility.

The decision, handed down by Magistrate Judge John V. Acosta before Christmas, states that Oregon LNG did not present evidence showing that the Army Corps “clearly and unequivocally” abandoned its interest in the property where the Army Corps has held an easement to deposit dredging spoils since 1957.

Last summer, Acosta ruled in the Army Corps’ favor after Oregon LNG claimed the Army Corps has no right to the land beneath the water where the company’s proposed facility would be built. The federal court dismissed Oregon LNG’s lawsuit, finding that the 12-year statute of limitations to bring the claim under federal law had expired.

Oregon LNG then sought to amend its claims, adding allegations that the Army Corps had abandoned its interest in the property and attempting to start anew the statute of limitations.

However, because “LNG’s evidence is not ‘new,’” Acosta concluded, and because the company’s amendments to its claims would prove futile, “the court should not reconsider its previous ruling and should not grant LNG leave to amend their complaint,” the judge wrote.

Open house planned on Jordan Cove, pipeline projects (Dec 28) — Ashland Daily Tidings, Ashland, OR

The Department of State Lands will hold a meeting in Medford next week to hear public comment about removal-fill permit applications for the Jordan Cove Energy Project and the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline.

Jordan Cove Energy Project LP proposes to construct a liquefied natural gas export facility near North Bend capable of exporting up to 6 million metric tons of LNG per year.

Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP proposes to construct a 232-mile, 36-inch-diameter pipeline from the planned Jordan Cove facility to an existing line in Malin. The pipeline would transport up to 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. It would run 56 miles through Jackson County, from the Klamath County line in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest to the Douglas County border near Elk Creek.


Canada to ban tankers from northern B.C. coast (Nov 14) — Maritime Executive

This same article appears under the British Columbia heading.

Canada will implement a moratorium on oil tanker traffic along the northern coast of British Columbia, effectively slamming the door on a controversial pipeline project that was already facing massive development hurdles.

The main casualty of the ban will be Enbridge Inc's Northern Gateway pipeline, which would carry oil sands crude from near Edmonton, Alberta, to a deepwater port at Kitimat, British Columbia for export to Asian markets.

Webmaster's comment: This would seem to strengthen Canada's prohibition against LNG ship traffic to and from Downeast LNG.

United States

FERC updates guidance for environmental reporting on natgas projects (Dec 29) — Natural Gas Intelligence [Paid subscription]

This month, FERC issued a draft update to its Guidance Manual for Environmental Report Preparation for applicants seeking project approval under the Natural Gas Act, with some notable additions since the manual was last updated in 2002.

The updated 238-page manual, which guides applicants in supplying the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with useful information to conduct project reviews in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), includes new language and example tables advising applicants on how to look at a project’s cumulative impacts.

One updated section offers a detailed discussion on assessing cumulative impacts as they pertain to NEPA compliance and advises applicants that their “analysis must describe cumulative impacts that would potentially result from implementation of the proposed project along with other projects within the geographic and temporal scopes identified for each resource.”

FERC also updated the manual to include new language on assessing a project’s likely greenhouse gas emissions and its impacts on climate change.

FERC simultaneously released a separate draft section of its manual with additional guidance for liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility resource reports. The commission will be accepting comments on the draft updates through Jan. 19.

The updates come amid what FERC commissioners have described as a period of “heightened infrastructure opposition” coinciding with an uptick in interstate natural gas pipeline project applications (see Daily GPI, Dec. 1).

Though the language on cumulative impacts does appear to reflect some of the concerns raised by green groups, Ewing suggested FERC is likely to continue conducting environmental reviews under NEPA using a similar methodology to what it’s used in the past.

“With respect to the cumulative impacts, there’s no sea change here for gas pipelines, and none would be expected in light of the Commission’s (and staff’s) longstanding focus on its NEPA responsibilities,” Ewing said. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: In other words, anti-public-interest business as usual.

DOE study finds increased LNG exports would drive production, prices higher (Dec 29) — Natural Gas Intelligence [Paid subscription]

The report, commissioned by DOE and authored by researchers from Oxford Economics and Rice University in Houston, modeled the macroeconomic impacts of global demand for U.S. LNG exports rising from 12 Bcf/d to 20 Bcf/d over various scenarios projected out to 2040. The researchers found that the increase in LNG exports corresponded to higher domestic natural gas prices and an increase in domestic production, with some tradeoffs related to higher energy prices for U.S. manufacturing.

2015: The year methane leaked into the headlines (Dec 29) — InsideClimate News

Thanks to studies quantifying leaks from natural gas production and urban infrastructure, methane's climate impact got worthy scrutiny this year.

Scientists made significant progress in 2015 measuring methane emissions from the natural gas industry, continuing a years-long quest to quantify the industry's contribution to climate change. What they found adds to a growing body of evidence that methane leaks are sporadic, difficult to predict, and often far larger than existing government estimates.

Many of the studies came from the Environmental Defense Fund's $18 million project. Launched in 2011, it aims to measure emissions from every sector of the industry, including production, storage, transmission and natural gas vehicles. The project has drawn praise for its scope, vision and scrupulous methods. It's also been criticized for accepting industry funding and sometimes relying on collaboration with oil and gas operators to obtain measurements.

Over a 20-year period, methane is 86 times more powerful at warming the planet than carbon dioxide. Over 100 years, its potency dwindles to 34.

This means that even small methane leaks throughout the system can erase any climate benefit of burning natural gas instead of coal.

The most recent EDF paper, released in December, found methane emissions from Texas' Barnett Shale were 90 percent higher than estimates from the U.S. EPA estimates. The study marked the end of a massive two-year campaign to gather data through "top-down" and "bottom-up" techniques (collecting data from the air and on the ground, respectively)—two methods that often yield conflicting numbers. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Big gain seen for Asia, small loss for U.S. from LNG exports (Dec 28) — Bloomberg Business

An impending flood of U.S. shale gas into the global market stands to lower the price of the heating fuel in Asia by almost 5 percent while marginally raising costs to customers at home, a study commissioned by the U.S. Energy Department shows.

“As exports increase, the spread between U.S. domestic prices and international benchmarks narrows,” according to the report. “In every case, greater LNG exports raise domestic prices and lower prices internationally. The majority of the price movement (in absolute terms) occurs in Asia.”

The Energy Department has approved projects that may send as much as 10 billion cubic feet a day of U.S. gas abroad and is considering applications for another 35 billion. The heightened interest is what prompted the latest report, an update of a 2012 study that found economic benefits from exporting 12 billion cubic feet a day. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Sierra Club lawyer vows multifront war on climate change (Nov 19) — Law360 [Paid subscription]

Law360, New York (November 19, 2015, 1:48 PM ET) -- The Sierra Club is ramping up its efforts to fight climate change by seeking to curb the use of all fossil fuels and taking on opponents in policy and legal battles at local, state and federal levels, the environmental group's top lawyer told Law360 in an... [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Fledgling U.S. LNG exports face threat of China becoming seller (Nov 18) — Bloomberg Business

U.S. liquefied natural gas producers face an unlikely challenge as they prepare to enter global markets: China has more than it needs.

“If China’s gas demand growth remains this slow, the excess capacity will gradually be exported,” said Michal Meidan director of consultant China Matters, which focuses on the energy sector. “The impact for regional markets would be to add supplies and hasten the move toward more competitive regional gas prices.”

“Although U.S. producers will have an incentive to export whenever LNG prices cover the variable cost of the feed gas, liquefaction and freight, we believe there is not sufficient demand for U.S. projects to operate at full capacity,” Goldman analysts including Christian Lelong wrote in a Nov. 5 report. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

U.S. appellate court skeptical of limited scope for LNG export reviews (Nov 16) — Reuters

Two U.S. appellate judges on Friday questioned whether the federal government should limit its environmental reviews of liquefied natural gas export terminals to impacts directly associated with the projects.

The Sierra Club has filed at least three lawsuits challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of LNG export projects, arguing that the agency violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by failing to consider how these projects would increase U.S. natural gas production. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

A Flood Of LNG "commissioning" gas starting to create havoc in the short-term LNG market (Nov 16) — Forbes

The price of liquefied natural gas (LNG), as traded on a spot or short-term basis, could be about to plunge to a level which one investment bank describes as an “eye-watering low”.


Peru ships LNG cargo to Mexico (Dec 29) — LNG World News

Peru’s only liquefaction facility last week dispatched another cargo of liquefied natural gas to Mexico.

Perupetro has not confirmed the exact destination of the vessel but it is probably sailing towards the Manzanillo LNG terminal.


2015 December 28

New England

FERC must justify winter power program costs, DC Circ. says (Dec 22) — Law360 [Paid subscription]

Law360, New York (December 22, 2015, 7:00 PM ET) -- The D.C. Circuit said Tuesday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must show why rates for a winter power program serving New England are just and reasonable, or else revise them, but it rejected a TransCanada Corp. unit's contention that the commission wrongly saddled utilities with the... [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


Kinder Morgan targets Northeastern winter peaks with permit application (Nov 24) — E&E Publishing

A $5 billion plan to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania's Marcellus formation to markets in New York and New England advanced last week, as Kinder Morgan Inc. subsidiary Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. submitted paperwork on its proposed Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project.

The project has been in a "pre-filing" process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission since September of last year, but last week marked the submission of the project's full application before the agency.

The project consists of two segments: A $3.3 billion "market" segment approved by Tennessee Gas Pipeline this summer would run 188 miles from New York to Massachusetts with extensions in Connecticut and New Hampshire, while a "supply" segment priced at around $1.7 billion, if approved by the company and regulators, would run 174 miles from Pennsylvania to New York.

…[O]pponents have organized in each state along the project's proposed route, raising concerns about damage to fragile ecosystems, natural gas safety risks, expanded natural gas production from new demand and increased climate emissions, among other issues.

In addition, some opponents are citing a new concern for the region: emerging rules that would allow electric generators that rely on natural gas to underwrite a portion of the cost of new gas infrastructure.

Massachusetts recently issued an order allowing electric development companies to sign contracts for gas deliveries, and neighboring states are weighing similar measures, steps that are contributing to a wave of new pipeline activity. Last week, Spectra Energy Corp. announced a new Access Northeast pipeline project that would also serve Northeast gas markets (EnergyWire, Nov. 19).

Groups seek to block new natural gas export facility in Maryland (Nov 27) — Augusta Free Press, VA

On Friday, November 20, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Potomac Riverkeeper, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, and several local groups represented by the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center filed an amicus brief in support of petitioners EarthReports, Inc., et al.’s challenge to FERC’s decision to license Dominion’s LNG export facility. They argue that FERC’s EA is impermissibly narrow in geographic scope and ignores significant project-related environmental impacts.

“Dominion and FERC have violated NEPA by failing to include the environmental impacts of natural gas supply lines to Cove Point including the air, soil, water and habitat damage of Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline, said Ernie Reed, Wild Virginia President, “since the great majority of gas flowing through those lines will be exported from Cove Point.”


FERC gives environmental OK to $3B Fla. gas pipeline (Dec 18) — Law360 [Paid subscription]

Law360, New York (December 18, 2015, 5:05 PM ET) -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday gave final environmental approval to a proposed $3 billion natural gas pipeline running from Alabama to Florida despite opposition from green groups and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, saying any potential impacts could be mitigated.

Floridian granted non-FTA LNG export permit (Dec 1) — LNG World News

Floridian was granted a 20-year authorization to export liquefied natural gas in ISO containers in a volume up to the equivalent of 14.6 bcf/y of natural gas to non-free trade agreement countries, less the portion of that volume that may be under firm contract directly or indirectly to Carib Energy, DOE’s order reveals.

The ISO containers will be delivered by truck to Florida’s container terminals where they will be loaded to oceangoing vessels and shipped to final destination.

Webmaster's comment: Floridian Natural Gas Storage Company is in direct competition with Dean Girdis's Nova Scotia LNG proposal for the Caribbean market; however, Floridian is years ahead of Nova Scotia LNG, is 1,000 miles closer to the Caribbean market, and already has a contract to supply Jamaica. One wonders how Dean Girdis likes being perpetually behind the market curve and behind his competition with his LNG projects.


FERC pans $786M Trans-Alaska Pipeline project (Nov 23) — Law360

Law360, New York (November 23, 2015, 12:42 PM ET) -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday said a $786 million Trans-Alaska Pipeline upgrade project should never have been approved and rejected a request by the pipeline's owners to recover $421 million in project costs. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: A miracle has happened — FERC says a pipeline project should never have been approved.

British Columbia

Admitting a post-Paris truth: BC's LNG pipe dream Is over — The Tyee, Vancouver, BC

No more of the same old dirty fuels. Let's decide to change.

Post-Paris, many have noted that, given our new international commitment to keep global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees over pre-industrial levels, it makes no sense to invest in new tarsands infrastructure, be it extraction and refining capacity or new pipelines in any direction.

But this same logic is equally true with respect to British Columbia's dirty fossil fuel development, namely, fracked gas and new liquefied natural gas infrastructure (again, both gas pipelines and LNG plants on the coast).

It's time for the provincial government to admit that its LNG project is over, and for the new federal government to clearly state that there is no room in our future for new fossil fuel development of this sort. Notably, thus far, the Trudeau government has indicated it is prepared to extend the same tax credits to the LNG industry that the Harper government had on offer, a curious way to make real a commitment to ending fossil fuel subsidies.

Admit LNG is not the way forward, and move on. That is what a government would do if it were serious about 1.5 degrees. That is what real leadership for 2016 and beyond should look like. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Five New Year's resolutions for Premier Christy Clark [Commentary] — The Georgia Strait, Vancouver, BC

To offer the premier some guidance for the coming year, I came up with five New Year's resolutions.

  1. Stop claiming that liquefied-natural gas is a bridge fuel to a cleaner future.

I can't count the number of times that the premier and her minister of natural gas development, Rich Coleman, have claimed that LNG is good for the environment because it will displace dirty coal as an energy source.

This is a bunch of bunkum.

Every time the premier claims that LNG is a bridge fuel to a cleaner future, she comes across as either ignorant or dishonest. Clark would be wise to shelve this rhetoric because it undermines her government's credibility. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: This webmaster's choice of the two possibilities: Premier Christie is dishonest.

LNG could spell disaster for B.C's climate plans from the get-go (Nov 27) — Vancouver Observer, Vancouver, BC

B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s own climate change advisors will recommend a hike in the province’s carbon tax to avoid a complete blowout of a year 2020 climate target due to an aggressive push to build a highly polluting Liquefied Natural Gas [LNG] industry, the National Observer has learned.

B.C.'s greenhouse gases are already growing —so building any number of the 21 proposed LNG export facilities will make it near impossible for B.C. to achieve its legally mandated greenhouse gas reduction target in five years' time. The province is already signaling its climate goal is in trouble ahead of a Climate Leadership Team’s report that will be made public today before Premier Clark attends the Paris climate talks.

The report for the premier may also clash with Clark's intended messaging for Paris that so-called "clean LNG" is a climate solution for the world.


2015 December 27


Batteries gaining favor over gas peaker plants in California (Dec 22) — [Bloomberg] Renewable Energy World

Southern California Edison is embracing energy storage technology over the natural gas-fired peaker plants that utilities have traditionally relied upon to meet sudden shortfalls in electricity.

“If the requirement is just, ‘Hey we’re just short energy or capacity,’ then yes, energy storage is going to be the solution before probably a peaker,” Colin Cushnie, vice president of energy procurement and management, said in an interview at the utility’s office in Rosemead, Calif. “We don’t want to put peakers on the grid.”

The shift to storage is a sign that the systems are becoming more affordable. Battery facilities are also smaller, more flexible and easier to expand than peaking power plants. Gas-fired peakers also sometimes face significant community and regulatory resistance in California.

“Batteries can also meet peak demands with lower emissions than natural gas-fired peakers by charging during low-demand periods when excess wind and solar energy is being generated, and discharging during peak demand periods, which displaces the need to burn incremental natural gas in a peaker,” he said.

“We knew it was technically feasible,” Cushnie said. “When prices came in, we saw it was competitive.” He declined to provide terms of the contracts. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: This technology moots LNG importsand natural gas pipelines in New England.

Nova Scotia

LNG firm applies to N.S. regulator (Dec 25) — The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

The Australian-owned company planning to build a liquefied natural gas export plant near Port Hawkesbury applied to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board for permission to construct a natural gas pipeline.

The application by Bear Head LNG (Pipeline Corp. Inc.) shows the pipeline will intersect with the Maritimes and Northeast pipeline near Goldboro, Guysborough County. The lengthy application was made Tuesday and includes a preliminary hydraulics analysis report, construction specifications, drawings and pipe wall thickness calculations.

Earlier this year, the National Energy Board approved Bear Head LNG’s application to export natural gas. It meant Bear Head LNG can bring 503 billion cubic feet of natural gas from the United States each year and export to overseas markets. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

New England

Dems join Ayotte on pipeline resistance — The Telegraph, Hudson, NH [Subscription]

Two of New Hampshire's top-tier Democrats announced Wednesday that the Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline, as it is currently proposed, is the "wrong vehicle" to bring electricity savings to the state.

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster and Gov. Maggie Hassan both publicly opposed the Kinder Morgan NED pipeline, which would cut across about 78 miles of the southern portion of the state, because of a lack of investigation into the long-term effects. Kuster, who represents 15 of the 17 New Hampshire towns located along the route, concluded that the project does not provide "sufficient benefits" to families and businesses here to justify the disruption and possible negative ramifications. ... [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


No longer willing to be bullied and fracked, how one Pennsylvania town fought back (Nov 4) — Common Dreams

"They are mobilizing against a system of law that empowers corporations over communities, and empowers government to preempt communities from protecting their air and water."

In defiance of a corporate lawsuit over a proposed fracking wastewater injection well, the citizens of Grant Township, Pennsylvania on Tuesday evening adopted the country’s first municipal charter establishing a local bill of rights—a document which codifies environmental and democratic rights, and bans such drilling activity as a violation of that pact.

Local efforts to prohibit extraction activities, such as fracking, over concerns of its impact on air and drinking water quality have faced fierce resistance from both drilling companies and state governments. In Denton, Texas, for example, a community fracking ban was overturned after the state government passed a law barring such ordinances.

This has forced grassroots groups to devise increasingly creative solutions in order to maintain sovereignty in the face of what campaigners say are deep pocketed—and politically connected—corporate interests.

Nicholson notes that close to 200 communities across the U.S. have advanced some form of community rights, though many are amendments to existing charters. The Grant Township Bill of Rights is the first written entirely on the basis of asserting and protecting "the right to clean air and water, the right to be taxed fairly, and the right to local community self-government."

"…They are mobilizing against a system of law that empowers corporations over communities, and empowers government to preempt communities from protecting their air and water. Communities are saying this is not acceptable, it’s not sustainable, it’s not democratic, and it’s going to change." [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Similar project-killing resistance — outlawing LNG ship hazard zones from encroaching on zoned residential areas — could be employed by Campobello Island and Saint Andrews Municipal Councils to stop Downeast LNG dead in its tracks, right now.Tthe same applies to British Columbia Municipal Councils that would be similarly impacted by LNG ships.

Gulf of Mexico

Texas LNG's new liquefied natural gas facility, Brownsville, Texas, United States of America —

Texas LNG plans to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing facility at the Port of Brownville in South Texas, US. The new facility will process treated pipeline gas obtained from the US natural gas network.

Texas LNG received approval from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin the pre-filing process for the project in April 2015.

The new LNG facility at the Port of Brownsville will be developed in two phases. The first phase will be designed and built to produce 1.8Mt/y of LNG from approximately 0.28 billion cubic feet a day (Bcf/d) of feed gas sourced from the US natural gas system.

The phase 2 will be developed at a later stage, bringing an additional production capacity of 1.8Mt/y. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Here is yet another fantastic waste of money on a project unlikely to see completion.


Dominican LNG firm gets syndicated facility (Dec 23) — Global Trade Review

AES Dominicana and Empresa Generadora de Electricidad (Itabo), subsidiaries of global power company AES Corporation, have received a US$250mn bridge loan from a syndicate of 13 financial institutions.

AES Dominicana, which has so far focused on providing energy within the Dominican Republic, announced in December its intention to turn its liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the country into and LNG transshipment and bunkering hub for the Caribbean, Central and South America by Q3 2016. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


A critical year lies ahead for Alaska LNG Project agreements [Commentary] (Dec 23) — Peninsula Clarion, Kenai, AK

…If targets are missed, the state’s future, already cloudy because of short-term state revenue issues, will be challenged.

Alaska LNG involves an 800-mile gas pipeline to be built from the North Slope south through the Interior to Southcentral Alaska. The project involves a large gas treatment plant at Prudhoe Bay mainly to remove carbon dioxide from the gas, the pipeline itself with a thick-wall pipe diameter at 42 inches or 48 inches (both cases are still being studied) and a large natural gas liquefaction plant at Nikiski, the planned terminus of the pipeline on the Kenai Peninsula.

The second most important agreement — and this one is a “must have” for all three of the producers — is a contract on state fiscal terms on gas production, which would assure the companies, and LNG customers, that state taxes on gas won’t change for a period of several years, mostly likely the 20-year or 25-year term of LNG sales contracts.

This is a needed because the economic margins in gas production are very thin and the state has a record of frequent changes in taxes on oil production. Without it, buyers are unlikely to sign long-term LNG purchase contracts.

A new twist is that an amendment to the state Constitution is needed to allow this, because the constitution now prohibits any Legislature from locking in taxes that a future Legislature can’t change. Alaska voters will have to approve the amendment in the November 2016 general election.

British Columbia

Canada resumes PNW LNG review (Dec 22) — Upstream

Canadian regulators have resumed an environmental review of the proposed Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas export facility in British Columbia after being held up for more than six months, according to reports.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) put its review on pause in June after green groups raised concerns about the risk the C$36-billion (US$29 billion) project posed to the local salmon habitat.

The regulator requested additional 3D modeling information related to the project's potential effect on the fish habitat near the terminal site.

The terminal would be built on Lelu Island in the District of Port Edward. Partners include Sinopec, Japan Petroleum Exploration, Indian Oil, Petroleum Brunei and Petronas.

FYI, the TFN nixed the LNG, PDQ (Dec 18) — All Point Bulletin, Point Roberts, WA

Members of the Tsawwassen First Nation have voted against a proposed liquid natural gas shipping facility on their lands with 53 percent voting against and 46 percent for. Of the 290 eligible voters, only 139 members cast their ballots.

The facility was expected to serve five to six LNG tankers per month and was described by chief Bryce Williams as “relatively low-impact.” The band has shelved any future LNG development for now.

Valleycliffe residents worried (Dec 2) — The Squamish Chief, Squamish, BC

Newly elected member of Parliament Pam Goldsmith-Jones came by for about half an hour to hear what residents had to say about the proposed Valleycliffe station, which would help feed natural gas to the planned Howe Sound Woodfibre LNG export facility.

Aside from a couple of Woodfibre LNG employees on hand, the majority in the room seemed opposed to not just the compressor station, but the entire liquefied natural gas export plant project.

United States

American LNG exporters turn to Europe as Asian demand sputters (Dec 21) — Bloomberg

For years, U.S. gas companies looking to export liquefied natural gas dreamed of a booming Asia. Now, with demand there falling and the first shipment weeks away, Europe has emerged as an unlikely savior.

It’s the latest twist in the U.S. gas boom. A decade ago, Cheniere Energy Inc. was building LNG import terminals on the Gulf Coast because people thought the U.S. didn’t have enough of the fuel. Then came the shale revolution, prompting Cheniere to convert its Sabine Pass facility to export LNG. The first tanker is set to dock there as soon as next month.

Five U.S. liquefaction projects are now being built and they could have a combined capacity to ship 7.76 billion cubic feet of LNG a day by 2019, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That’s enough to put the U.S. in the company of Russia and Qatar, the world’s largest gas exporters.

U.S. gas has fallen 35 percent this year. Futures for January delivery slipped 1.2 percent to settle at $1.888 in New York on Tuesday. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Undeterred by global glut, U.S. pushes ahead on LNG exports (Dec 1) —

As production from U.S. shale gas fields ramped up in recent years, including the monster, mile-deep Marcellus basin, which alone produces 113 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year, the same as Russia's exports to Europe through three pipelines, there seemed to be a grand opportunity to take advantage of the increased production by shipping gas overseas. Developers initiated large capital projects to build LNG export plants in the United States, including Sabine Pass, Cameron LNG, Freeport, Coos Bay, Lake Charles and North Slope, Alaska.

Then came the oil price collapse, and with it, the price of LNG. LNG rates have also been hurt by declining demand in the key import markets of Japan and China. reported recently that Japanese LNG imports were down by a third between April and September. The return to nuclear power in Japan is also troubling for the LNG sector. In China, the great hope for LNG exporters, imports are also down, by 3.5 percent this year, with the country showing signs of a gas glut.


2015 December 21

Passamaquoddy Bay & New England

Will more LNG bridge New England’s energy gap? (Nov 25) — LNG World Shipping

As it faces another winter, the Everett Distrigas LNG receiving terminal in Boston harbour will again play a key role in meeting the seasonal surge in energy demand from the six New England states in the northeastern corner of the US.

Yet, as Everett prepares for its peak season, the Northeast Gateway and Neptune LNG import terminals off the Massachusetts coast near Boston sit idle and, in recent weeks, two LNG terminal projects planned for the region  ̶ Downeast in Maine and Port Ambrose in Lower New York Bay  ̶ have been shelved.

The Downeast LNG project, recently put on hold for reassessment, held out hopes for a gas flow steady enough to justify the Access Northeast pipeline expansions.

Put forward almost a decade ago as an LNG-import scheme at Robbinston, Maine near the Canadian border, Downeast was reconfigured by its developers as a bi-directional LNG export-import terminal in 2014.

Providing liquefaction facilities for the site in the new proposal aimed to ensure gas flows sufficient to justify construction of the Access Northeast network. With this pipeline in place, said Downeast LNG, they could have liquefied excess Marcellus gas volumes for export for most of the year and imported LNG during winter when New England’s need for natural gas is greatest. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Dean Girdis was correct in 2005 when he predicted Downeast LNG would fail — Girdis announced at a public meeting in Robbinston that he and his investors thought they had only a 30% chance of obtaining the required permits.

North America

LNG glut worse than oil (Dec 14) — Inside Futures

The glut in oil is expected to continue for the next year or so before balancing in late 2016, but the pain for liquefied natural gas (LNG) could be just beginning.

Building LNG export terminals is a long-term proposition. It can take years to develop a greenfield project, bringing a lump of new capacity online long after the project was initially planned, exposing developers to the possibility that market conditions could change in the interim. It is not unlike a conventional oil project, such as an offshore well, which also can take years (as opposed to a much shorter lead time for shale drilling).

But there is a major difference between oil and LNG: the market for LNG is much smaller and less liquid (no pun intended). In other words, a handful of new LNG export terminals can significantly alter the supply/demand balance.

The rush of new supply is hitting the market all at the same time. Not only would such a rush in supply have pushed down prices on their own, the timing is actually really unfortunate for LNG exporters. Economies in East Asia are slowing, leaving a shortfall in demand. Japan, the largest LNG importer, is seeing its economy stagnate. China’s growth has slowed significantly.

New export terminals will add 14 to 15 million tonnes of annual LNG capacity (mtpa) to the spot market over the next year. But that extra supply is running into a wall of stagnating demand. Japan’s LNG imports dropped by 12.8 percent in November, year-on-year. South Korea’s level of imports are at their lowest levels in six years. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Nova Scotia

LNG firm Pieridae buys land for Goldboro project (Dec 17) — The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

Pieridae acquires 107 hectares [264.4 acres] for $3.2m as part of project at Goldboro

The proposed facility, which includes a processing plant and export terminal, would produce 10 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas annually.

Orlen Upstream Canada Ltd. came on board earlier this month through its acquisition of Kicking Horse Energy Inc. Orlen of Calgary now has an 11 per cent stake in Pieridae.

German utility E.On Global Commodities SE signed on in 2013 for half the project’s output. The $35-billion deal is for 20 years.

Webmaster's comment: Pieridae Energy requires obtaining natural gas from either the US or western Canada to have enough for export.


New petition to Government Accountability Office (Dec 11) — Fix FERC

Request that the General Accountability Office conduct an official investigation into the operations of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”)

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network has started a petition to ask key members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to please request that the Government Accountability Office conduct an independent investigation into FERC in order to inform Congress and the public about the many abuses taking place at the agency, and to help identify needed reforms that will transform FERC into an agency seeking to protect and serve the public rather than the natural gas pipeline industry. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Dominion: Cove Point liquefaction project on track (Video) — LNG World News

In its recent construction update filed to the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Dominion said that the project’s overall construction completion is nearing the 20 percent mark.

Dominion revealed in its video update that the project, which will cost between $3.4 billion and $3.8 billion remains on budget and on track for completion in late 2017 when it will produce about 5.25 million metric tons of LNG per year.

Webmaster's comment: This is one more reason why Downeast LNG is moot.

Gulf of Mexico

FERC authorizes Lake Charles LNG export terminal (Dec 18) — LNG Law Blog

Yesterday, FERC issued an order granting Lake Charles LNG Export Company, LLC and Lake Charles LNG Company, LLC (together, Lake Charles LNG) authorization to construct liquefaction and LNG export terminal facilities adjacent to Lake Charles LNG’s existing LNG import terminal located in Calcasieu Parish, La. The order also granted Lake Charles LNG’s request to convert its facilities and operations from Natural Gas Act (NGA) section 7 jurisdiction to NGA section 3 jurisdiction. The liquefaction facilities will include three liquefaction trains with a design production capacity of 16.45 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG (5.48 mtpa each) and will be constructed and placed into service in phases. The first train is expected to be placed into service in the second quarter of 2019, with the second and third trains placed into service in the fourth quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2020, respectively.

Webmaster's comment: FERC consistently approves every LNG terminal application that comes before it (with only one exception, due to violation of US Department of Transportation safety regulations).

FERC ignored GHGs in approving LNG project, DC Circ. told (Dec 17) — Law 360 [Paid subscription]

Law360, New York (December 17, 2015, 12:57 PM ET) -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unlawfully greenlighted the construction of Cheniere Energy Inc. liquefied natural gas export project in Texas by failing to review the project's impact on greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution, the Sierra Club told the D.C. Circuit Tuesday. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Sabine Pass asks to expand LNG project (Dec 7) — Bloomberg BNA

The already approved Sabine Pass project is under construction in Cameron Parish, La., and initial operations are scheduled for early 2016, the company said in its application.

The proposed expansion at Sabine Pass will be located within the footprint that FERC has approved, the company said. The expansion will enable Sabine Pass to serve, “a relatively new market segment in which there has been rapid domestic growth on account of LNG’s distinct advantages as a fuel for transportation and other industrial and heavy engine applications,” the company said. It has not yet entered into any commercial agreements for the proposed project.

Caribbean & Bermuda

Future of electricity supply & use in Bermuda (Dec 18) —, Hamilton, Bermuda

Greenrock and BEST said they support a transition to an electricity system that is moving towards 100% renewable energy.

“Liquefied Natural Gas [LNG], for example, may have a lower environmental impact than other fossil fuels [both during electricity generation and as a fuel for vehicles] but the full environmental, social and economic cost of extracting [including fracking] and bringing LNG to the island should be assessed and made public before a final decision is made to invest in LNG for electricity generation.


Amid plunging LNG prices, would an Alaska line be globally competitive? — Alaska Public Media

This month, the state committed to another year of work on the Alaska LNG project. That’s the effort to bring natural gas from the North Slope to the Kenai Peninsula for export.

But natural gas prices have been plunging along with oil. In the Asian spot market, gas is selling for a third of what it did two years ago.

The important thing to remember about Alaska’s massive natural gas pipeline is that, as of right now, it’s an imaginary pipeline. It’s an imaginary pipeline with a right-of-way and an export permit and the tentative backing of three of the world’s biggest oil companies and the state of Alaska – but, still, right now it only exists on paper.

But this imaginary gas line is eating up some very real money. In the next year, Alaska and its partners – ExxonMobil, BP and ConocoPhillips – will spend $230 million just on early design and permitting. Alaska’s share of that is about $60 million.

That’s on top of the $65 million spent to buy out the pipeline builder TransCanada and reimburse its costs.

[Charles Ebinger, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution,] says the Asian market that Alaska is targeting is awash in natural gas, and will be for a long time to come. That will keep prices too low to make an Alaska project economical.

British Columbia

Three fibs Premier Clark uses to sell LNG dream [Opinion] — The Tyee, Vancouver, BC

Sorry, it's not clean. It won't pay off. It's not popular. Here's why.

The more Christy Clark defends her dream of an LNG industry, the more she turns cold gas into hot air. The B.C. premier's interview with Andrew MacLeod published last week in The Tyee is a case in point. As MacLeod pressed with many LNG-related questions, Clark resorted to three big, bloated fibs.

It is true that "natural" gas, an old euphemism for methane, burns cleaner than coal when you turn on your stove or fireplace at the end of the line. But when it escapes into the atmosphere before it's burned, it's some 80 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2 over a 20-year period.

The Asian LNG market is in freefall. Prices that peaked at $18 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) just a few years ago are the reason we started down this path. Now they have plummeted to the $7 range today, with leading analysts forecasting $4-5 per MMBtu in 2016-17. Just to break even on gas fracked in northeast B.C., piped to the coast, compressed and loaded onto tankers bound for Asia, you need to fetch about $12 per MMBtu. It doesn't take a PhD in economics to figure out why. As The Tyee's MacLeod put to our premier, expert consultants like IHS Inc. predict "19 out of 20 planned gas export projects in the world won't be needed by 2025."

Premier Clark maintains, "We've got pretty broad agreement from First Nations and communities along the way [for LNG]." The Tsawwassen First Nation's recent rejection of an LNG plant on their reserve is just the latest example of why that's simply untrue.

Pacific NorthWest LNG review starts up again —

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has resumed their review of the LNG export proposal for Pacific NorthWest LNG, after a more than six month delay.

Since their review started in April 2013, CEAA has paused five times in their review.

President of Pacific NorthWest LNG Michael Culbert says he is optimistic that fresh scientific studies commissioned by the consortium will be beneficial for new discussions with the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation Band Council.

There are 20 LNG proposals on B.C.’s table, but only three or four projects have a steady chance of becoming reality, according to analysts.

Woodfibre and district start planning for LNG plant (Dec 10) — The Squamish Chief, Squamish, BC

With two major conditional approvals behind the liquefied natural gas project, council passed motions Tuesday at its committee of the whole directing district staff to have preliminary planning discussions with Woodfibre LNG representatives on issues of concern to both parties, should the liquefied natural gas export facility be built.

On Oct. 14, the Squamish Nation chiefs and council granted conditional approval of the project, and on Oct. 26, the provincial government issued the project its conditional Environmental Certificate.

“I would be mistaken if I were to say to you right now that the economics aren’t tough, but we are not pulling away from this project,” said [Byng Giraud, Woodfibre vice-president of corporate affairs]. “What we are trying to do is manage our costs, so from the purchasing of that gas, the cost of the transportation and pipeline, the cost of liquefaction.”

LNG Canada breaks ground in Kitimat amid pessimism (Dec 7) — Alaska Highway News, Fort St. John BC

Crews began preparation work at the site of LNG Canada last week, the proposed Kitimat facility that would liquefy natural gas from Northeast B.C. and ship it to Asia.

The company behind the $50-billion project told the Northern Sentinel newspaper that the initial clearing work would speed up construction should they decide to invest.

But on a recent visit to Kitimat, Dawson Creek Chamber of Commerce executive director Kathleen Connolly saw little cause for optimism.

The buzz around LNG Canada was "much more subdued then it was even a year ago," she said.

"There are hotels that have been half-built and walked away from in Kitimat," she said.

From what Connolly heard, the LNG Canada proposal could be as far as 20 years out amid sagging LNG prices. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


New dredge spoil site could change Army Corps, Oregon LNG dispute — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

WARRENTON — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is unlikely to give up an easement on a portion of the Skipanon Peninsula voluntarily so that Oregon LNG can build a liquefied natural gas facility there — unless, perhaps, the city of Warrenton can find another site for the Corps to deposit dredge spoils, an Army Corps spokesman said Friday.

But Matt Rabe, Army Corps chief of public affairs, said he doesn’t believe that outcome is very probable.

USACE seeking public comment on Jordan Cove LNG review (Dec 3) — LNG World News

The Portland District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is calling for public comments on receiving funds to review potential effects of Jordan Cove Energy’s LNG project to the Coos Bay.

The project includes the construction of an access channel from the Coos Bay Federal Navigation Channel to the proposed terminal marine slip as well as the construction and operation of an underground natural gas pipeline from Klamath County to the proposed terminal.

United States

Presidential memorandum promotes pre-project mitigation and restoration banking: Implications for energy projects and related development (Dec 18) — JDSupra

On November 3, 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum (Memorandum) that potentially opens the door to agency attempts to expand mitigation obligations beyond what is required under law while also having the potential to have significant and positive net benefits for the development of energy projects. The Memorandum encourages advance (i.e., pre-project) restoration measures, including mitigation banking, by both public and private entities. [1] It directs federal agencies to adopt a clear and consistent approach, such as guidance and regulations, to further this goal. Agencies affected include the United States Forest Service (USFS), the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Department of Interior (DOI) -- projects involving review by these agencies, including energy and other types of proposed development, may be affected. These agencies will be expected to draft handbooks, guidelines, policies and regulations to implement advance mitigation measures.

Mitigation can be time-consuming and expensive for developers of energy infrastructure. As an example, a site for a proposed energy facility, such as a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, may contain areas of critical habitat or species protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). To offset adverse impacts to critical habitat or take of a listed species associated with development of such a facility, the project proponent often spends significant resources to mitigate those impacts through avoidance or investigation of areas with similar habitat to restore and/or preserve. In an effort to make the permitting and mitigation processes less time-consuming and more streamlined, predictable and efficient, it has become increasingly common for private entities to establish mitigation banks.

A mitigation bank is a wetland, stream, environmental resource or habitat conservation area that has been preserved, enhanced, restored or created to offset or compensate for environmental impacts associated with development activity, including facility operations and infrastructure. Developers can go directly to mitigation banks rather than expend resources at the early stages of a project to identify natural areas to restore and/or preserve.


CFE books six LNG cargoes (Dec 14) — LNG World News

Five LNG cargoes have been acquired from banking giant Citi while one delivery will be made by Gazprom Marketing & Trading, Reuters reported citing unnamed sources.

It was added that CFE will be delivered one cargo per month from January through June.


2015 December 17


Atlantic Bridge Project (Dec 16) — Spectra Energy

Atlantic Bridge ProjectThe Atlantic Bridge Project, a proposed expansion of the Algonquin Gas Transmission (Algonquin) and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline (Maritimes) systems, [would] connect the New England states and Maritime provinces with abundant, regional natural gas supplies.

The Atlantic Bridge Project [would] provide additional capacity on the Algonquin and Maritimes systems to move reliable, economical natural gas into New England and Atlantic Canada in time for the start of the 2017-2018 winter heating season. The additional supply from Atlantic Bridge [would] help enhance the reliability of energy throughout the region and generate savings for homeowners, businesses, and manufacturers. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


Fire Rescue warning: Train explosion with liquefied natural gas could lead to disaster (Dec 15) — TCPalm, Stuart, FL

Explosion of a railroad tanker car filled with liquefied-natural-gas could kill 400 people and injure 500 more, according to Martin County Fire Rescue.

Florida East Coast Railway could begin transporting the odorless, highly flammable gas along its corridor within weeks, Martin County Fire Rescue Chief Dan Wouters told the County Commission Tuesday.

Fire Rescue's study was based on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency model and used a potential explosion at Southeast Cove Road and Southeast Dixie Highway, in unincorporated Martin County, to determine possible fatalities and injuries.

An accident — Martin County Fire Rescue assumed one, 10,000-gallon rail car — could have devastating effects on the communities that line the railroad tracks, including large, long-lasting fires and flammable vapor clouds that could asphyxiate those nearby.

An explosion at Southeast Bridge Road and Southeast Dixie Highway could kill 230, injure 230 and seriously damage or destroy about 200 homes, according to the Fire Rescue report.

DOE grants Non-FTA exports from proposed Floridian Natural Gas storage facility (Nov 30) — LNG Law Blog

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a final opinion and order authorizing Floridian Natural Gas Storage Company, LLC (Floridian) to export LNG produced at its proposed liquefaction and storage facility in Martin County, Fla. The LNG would be loaded into ISO containers at the facility then transported via truck to port facilities for export on ocean-going vessels to countries without a Free Trade Agreement (non-FTA) with the United States. The order authorizes Floridian to export over a 20-year period up to equivalent of 14.6 Bcf/year of natural gas, less the portion of the total of 14.6 Bcf/year that may be under firm contract directly or indirectly to Carib Energy (USA) LLC.

Webmaster's comment: Floridian Natural Gas is in direct competition with Dean Girdis's LNG export project in Halifax — Nova Scotia LNG — and is 1,000 miles closer to the market than Girdis's proposed project. Gidis just can't seem to locate projects appropriately, and is always waaaaaay late.

Flint Hills Resources files DOE application to export LNG to FTA and Non-FTA Nations (Nov 18) — LNG Law Blog

Flint Hills Resources, LP (Flint Hills) has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to export up to 3.62 Bcf/year over 20 years to nations with and without a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States. Flint Hills proposes to export LNG produced at the existing Stabilis LNG Eagle Ford LLC facility located at George West, Texas via tanker trucks or ISO containers loaded onto trucks and transported to various Gulf of Mexico ports for export via barge or ship.

Webmaster's comment: Flint Hills Resources is yet another direct competitor to Dean Girdis's Nova Scotia LNG proposal, and like Floridian Natural Gas, is also 1,000 miles closer to the market than Girdis's Nova Scotia project, and is also way ahead of Dean's project. Poor, slow, Dean.

Gulf of Mexico

Lake Charles LNG receives final regulatory approval from US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — Business Wire

HOUSTON & DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BG Group (LSE: BG.L) and Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (NYSE: ETE) and Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE: ETP) (collectively, “Energy Transfer”) today announced that the Lake Charles LNG Project has received approval from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to site, construct and operate a natural gas liquefaction and export facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana. FERC approval was a key remaining regulatory consent for the Lake Charles LNG Project.

Final investment decisions from both BG Group and Energy Transfer are expected to be made in 2016, with construction to start immediately following a positive decision and first LNG exports anticipated about four years later.

Energy Transfer owns the existing LNG regasification facility in Lake Charles. By taking advantage of a brownfield site that includes LNG tanks and other existing infrastructure, as well as access to a highly developed and liquid gas market, the Lake Charles LNG Project has the capability to be one of the most competitive new supply sources for LNG and would significantly add to BG Group’s global LNG supply portfolio.

FERC releases update for Annova LNG project — LNG Law Blog

FERC has released an update on its review of Annova LNG’s proposed liquefaction and LNG export terminal on the southern bank of the Brownsville Ship Channel at mile marker 8.2 in Cameron County, Texas. The Project would include six liquefaction trains with the ability to produce about 6 million tons per year of LNG and marine facilities for export of the LNG. FERC is currently conducting its environmental analysis of the planned project but has not yet received a complete set of the draft Resource Reports (RRs) from Annova. Once those are submitted, FERC will review them and provide comments to Annova, which will incorporate the comments in revised RRs to be filed with its formal application.

LNG Ltd suffers market confidence crisis as customer deals delayed (Dec 16) — The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia

A crisis of investor confidence has engulfed aspiring US gas exporter Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd., wiping more than 20 per cent from the value of the former market darling this week alone.

The worsening global energy price outlook and delays in signing up customers appear to have combined to erode the market's belief in the Perth-based company's ability to pull off its $US2.2 billion ($3 billion) Magnolia LNG project in Louisiana.

At Wednesday's close of 77.5¢, investors that bought shares in LNG Ltd's $174 million equity raising in May at $4.35 per share have suffered an 82 per cent loss.

2 new natural gas facilities proposed for Louisiana (Dec 15) — Tulsa World, Tulsa, OK

NEW ORLEANS — Two companies are looking at building large facilities along the Mississippi River, south of New Orleans, where they can export natural gas to the world market, another sign of the expanding footprint of the natural gas industry in Louisiana.

Until now, the area around Lake Charles has been the center of a boom in the market to import and export natural gas with 10 projects in various stages of development there. Two large facilities — Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG and Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG — are under construction. Cheniere plans to make its first overseas shipment of LNG in January.

Venture Global LNG, a Washington, D.C.-based energy firm, wants to build a large facility near Pointe-a-la-Hache on the west bank of the Mississippi River while Louisiana LNG Energy LLC. is working to construct a smaller facility on the east bank of the river near Davant. Louisiana LNG is a Houston-based venture.

Webmaster's comment: Here are two more developers that have more money than sense.

G2 LNG requests initiation of FERC Pre-Filing process (Dec 10) — LNG Law Blog

G2 LNG, LLC has filed a letter requesting that FERC initiate the pre-filing environmental review process for its proposed liquefaction and export terminal facility on the west bank of the Calcasieu River, Calcasieu Parish, La. between mile markers 3 and 4. The project would have a peak production capacity of approximately 14 million metric tonnes of LNG/year. G2 LNG states that it intends to commence construction on the project in the 4th quarter of 2017 and to place the project in service in 2020.

Air Flow North America granted Non-FTA LNG export authority (Dec 7) — LNG Law Blog

The U.S. Department of Energy has issued an order authorizing Air Flow North America Corp. to export over 25 years up to 22,000 gallons/day (approximately 0.67 Bcf/year) of LNG to nations in Central America, South America, the Caribbean, or Africa which do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States. The LNG will be loaded into ISO IMO7/TVAC-ASME containers at Clean Energy Fuels Corp.’s existing LNG production facility in Willis, Texas and transported via truck to ports for export via vessel.


FERC comments debate LNG location, impact (Dec 15) — Peninsula Clarion, Kenai, AK

Comments from Alaska state agencies, citizens, national agencies and outside organizations zoomed in on the Alaska LNG Project’s details, including the Nikiski location and the project’s effect on the environment.

Several local organizations, including the Nikiski Community Council, the Kenai Peninsula Borough and a citizen group called Concerned Citizens of Nikiski, weighed in to ask for studies on traffic, water quality and impact on residents’ quality of life.

British Columbia

Tsawwassen First Nation votes down controversial LNG facility — CBC News

In a vote on Wednesday night, 53 per cent said 'no' to allowing the 32-hectare project on the nation's traditional land.

"What would you rather have, more money or a better environment?" asked Tsawwassen First Nation member Nick Gurniak. "No need to do more damage to the environment than has already been done." [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

TFN members reject LNG plan (Dec 16) — Delta Optimist, Ladner, BC

First Nation members vote against a proposal that would have seen a FortisBC LNG plant built in the southern Delta region

Members of the Tsawwassen First Nation voted against their government building a liquefied natural gas storage and export facility with FortisBC.

As a consequence, the TFN leadership says it will not be moving forward with any additional discussion regarding the proposed LNG concept.

Letter: Reasons for opposing LNG — The Squamish Chief, Squamish, BC

The science: Climate scientists, backed by NASA and eighteen scientific associations world-wide, have finally convinced our world leaders of our dire situation. Unless we rigorously reduce manmade greenhouse gases (GHGs), our global temperatures will continue to rise, bringing more destructive, climatic change. One important study linked 400,000 deaths worldwide to climate change each year, and estimated deaths to increase to over 600,000 per year by 2030. In addition, costs to infrastructure and loss of species will spiral you into depression.

As the Smithsonian states, “[Methane] is about 30 times better at holding in the atmosphere’s heat compared with carbon dioxide. So if enough methane leaks during production, natural gas’s slim advantage over other fuels could be wiped out.” The short of it? It’s dirtier than coal.

The ethics: Woodfibre LNG has lost all social license with this project. The rest of the world can’t make reductions except B.C. Our moral duty is to reject this project. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Opinion: Faulty science muddies waters of LNG plan for Lelu Island (Dec 15) — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

A growing body of science — from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Simon Fraser University, the Skeena Fisheries Commission, and others — suggests that industrial port development on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert is likely to damage Flora Bank, a shallow eelgrass bed next to Lelu that rears 300 million juvenile salmon every year as they graduate from fresh to salt water. The Skeena salmon fishery generates in excess of $110 million annually.

The only science that claims that the Pacific NorthWest LNG facility proposed for Lelu Island isn’t likely to significantly harm salmon is from the company proposing the project, and it is disturbingly problematic.

[S]cientists from Simon Fraser University and the Skeena Fisheries Commission recently concluded that the Pacific NorthWest LNG design “disregards science” and “poses significant and unacceptable risks to Skeena Salmon and their fisheries.” These comments were based on work the researchers published in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Science. If there ever was a gold-standard of scientific credibility, this is it.

In contrast, Pacific NorthWest is on their fourth try to provide credible science. Never mind publication, the company’s application to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has been rejected three times by government scientists at DFO and Natural Resources Canada. Each time, the company has been asked to provide trustworthy information on potential impacts on fish. Each time, they have come up short. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Premier taps B.C. government LNG official to run her office (Dec 15) — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

VICTORIA — Premier Christy Clark has tapped B.C.’s former top bureaucrat on the liquefied natural gas file to be her top staffer.

Steve Carr, who had previously served as deputy minister of natural gas development, was appointed “special adviser” to the premier on Tuesday.


Comments opposing Jordan Cove LNG project urge denial of application (Dec 16) — LNG Law Blog

Comments filed at FERC by Citizens Against LNG urge FERC to reject the proposed Jordan Cove Energy LNG export project in Coos Bay, Ore. because of negative environmental and economic impacts and market conditions, and after eleven years of planning, Jordan Cove Energy “has no signed gas contracts” for the LNG to be produced at the project.

Jordan Cove LNG: Sides await fed's decision, landowners question the market demand (Dec 15) — NRToday, OR

Popular thought from both sides of the Jordan Cove LNG Project has suggested that a final, yes-or-no decision would come before the end of 2015.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who approves, denies and regulates large-scale energy projects in the United States, is scheduled to meet on Dec. 17. The Jordan Cove LNG Project is nowhere on its agenda, as first reported by The World in Coos Bay.

In October, FERC asked the companies behind the Jordan Cove LNG Project to discuss ongoing negotiations with potential customers of the natural gas they plan to ship.

Three weeks later, they revealed they had not locked any customers into deals, but were “confident that these customers will enter into binding long-term liquefaction tolling service agreements with Jordan Cove.”

“FERC should not be putting hundreds of landowners at risk of eminent domain for a project without any proven market demand,” wrote the landowners’ attorney, Thane Tienson, of the Portland-based law firm Landye Blumstein Bennett LLP. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


FAA issues temporary flight restrictions over Porter Ranch amid leaking methane gas well (Dec 11) — KTLA, Los Angeles, CA

As Porter Ranch residents continued to express concerns over a leaking methane gas well, the Federal Aviation Administration banned planes from flying over the area until early next March.

The development comes more than six weeks after natural gas was discovered seeping from an underground well at the Southern California Gas Company’s Aliso Canyon storage facility in the Santa Susana Mountains.

[I]t could take months for the seepage to stop.

…FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer wrote in an email that he believed the order was requested “out of concerns that fumes from the gas leak could be ignited from the air.”

Englander told KTLA that thousands of concerned Porter Ranch residents have fled their homes amid fears over potential long-term health effects from the leak.

“This is a major national crisis,” he said. “The EPA, the PUC, they need to be here publicly sharing every single day, what’s going on.” [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Watch this alarming video that makes the methane cloud visible:

United States

Low natural gas prices squeeze industry and fell a C.E.O. (Dec 16) — The New York Times, New York, NY

HOUSTON — Plummeting oil and natural gas prices have whipsawed the energy industry, forcing cancellations of billions of dollars of projects, late payments on loans, and over a quarter of a million layoffs worldwide.

On Monday, with domestic gas prices hitting their lowest level since 2001, Cubic Energy, a company that produces natural gas and oil, became the latest of several dozen producers to file for bankruptcy protection this year. Even a company the size of Chesapeake Energy, one of the nation’s biggest producers, is struggling to reduce its $11.6 billion debt load.

Over the weekend, Charif Souki, the chief executive of Cheniere Energy, was unceremoniously dismissed only weeks before the Louisiana natural gas export terminal he conceived and built would send its first shipment — the first of its kind from the lower 48 states.

In Mr. Souki’s view, oil prices should rebound strongly over the next year or two, meaning that cheap American natural gas will have a big competitive advantage over producers from Australia, Qatar and elsewhere.

But the board, which includes two of Mr. Icahn’s allies, saw it differently and decided that Mr. Souki’s plan to continue expanding Cheniere terminals in Texas and Louisiana was a foolhardy crapshoot at a time when the dominant view is that oil prices will remain low for a long time. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


Peru ships more LNG to Mexico — LNG World News

The vessel’s final destination is likely to be the Manzanillo LNG terminal in Colima state, although Perupetro has not confirmed it in its data.


World [natural] gas prices to slump by 75% in next few months (Dec 15) —

Baku, Fineko/ World prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) are expected to decrease by 75% in the next few months.

At that, today, index NYMEX Natural Gas is estimated at $1.88 per MMBtu.… [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


2015 December 14


The “Golden Age of Gas” flames out (Dec 7) — Wall Street Daily

It seemed like only yesterday – it was 2011, in fact – that the International Energy Agency (IEA) published a report on the bright future of natural gas.

But today, demand for LNG in key Asian markets is falling, sending prices spiraling downward. And major LNG projects around the world are under threat.

It was a mere two years ago that spot LNG prices in North Asia were above $15 per million British thermal units (Btus). But today prices are around $6.60 per million Btus, with no bottom in sight.

Wood Mackenzie says that, over the next five years, about 130 million metric tons per year of new supply will come online.

With demand evaporating, all this supply coming online at the same time isn’t a good thing.

Ironic, isn’t it? The biggest casualty of the war on coal may be the once up and coming LNG industry in the United States. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

New Brunswick

Saint John will ask province to repeal Canaport LNG's tax deal (Dec 8) — CBC News

The deal, approved by the provincial legislature in 2005, chopped the municipal property taxes on the terminal by more than 90 per cent. It fixed the rate at $500,000 per year until 2030.

A report to council on Monday by John Nugent, the city solicitor, said the terms of a lease arrangement, in which Irving Oil would collect $12 million US per year from the Canaport LNG partnership, were likely not known at the time of the previous council vote.

"One must conclude that the Irving interests made no representation as to their anticipated financial benefit from the project, to either the mayor or common council," said the report.

New England

Caution: Future market need for natural gas pipelines is smaller than you think (Dec 10) — Environmental Defense Fund

Two recent developments in particular – a report from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and a rate case at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) – show that the economics for new natural gas pipeline capacity to supply power plants are not as compelling or sustainable as the conventional wisdom would have you believe.

Together, the AG report and the FERC case provide a strong counterpoint to those now rushing to create excessive new pipeline capacity. They suggest that many pipelines will lose customers and money as lower cost alternatives outcompete them, and long before investor expectations are met and their financing is paid off. The question is whether policymakers and pipeline developers will slow down and consider the dangers, or continue to plow ahead.

In November, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued a detailed report assessing the governors’ questionable plans and validating EDF’s concerns, concluding that new pipelines are not needed for electric reliability and that far more cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternatives to pipelines are available. These include investment in energy efficiency and demand response , which reward customers instead of sticking them with a bill, and increased use of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which, as a form of storage, can avoid the need for new pipelines and help renewables by enhancing the flexibility of gas deliveries. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Massachusetts AG releases study finding no need for new gas pipelines (Dec 3) — Energy & Cleantech Council

Last month the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office released a study concluding that no new gas pipelines are needed for electric reliability in New England, as the region is expected to meet its energy needs through 2030.

The study, completed by Analysis Group, Inc., found that New England will be able to meet electric demand in its coldest months over the next fifteen years, due to both declining long-term peak winter demand as well as an increase in the availability of dual-fuel capable units.

The study estimated that although gas pipelines could produce $61 million in ratepayer savings per year, they would increase the region’s GHG emissions by 80,000 tons per year and impose high up-front costs. According to the study, increasing the supply of LNG using existing infrastructure would impose the lowest up-front cost and would produce $27 million in annual savings and 30,000 tons of GHG reductions. Increased investment in EE/DR was also estimated to produce greater savings to ratepayers and reduce more GHG emissions than the gas pipeline solution. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


Pipeline scrutiny heats up (Dec 10) — New Hampshire Business Review, NH

Kinder Morgan faces high-profile opposition

…[N]ow that the Houston-based energy conglomerate has filed a federal application for the $5.2 billion, 188-mile project, it is facing opposition from officials ranging from boards of selectmen to the State House, from much of the state’s congressional delegation, and even presidential candidates.

In fact, in the last few months, everything seemed to have conspired against the company. Even its stock price has been plummeting, as gas revenue and profits decline after growing steadily over the last five years. Its bond rating has been downgraded because its debt level – at close to $40 billion – is nearly 50 percent of the company’s assets.

The debate now isn’t so much over whether the NED pipeline is safe or environmentally sound, but if it is needed at all, and whether spending $5.2 billion to build it would be an economic boon or a bane.

…[T]he company so far has faced the same kind of protests in southern New Hampshire as it has in Massachusetts, and that opposition seems to have percolated up the state’s political hierarchy.

…[P]ipeline opponents question whether ratepayers will be saving anything at all, particularly when it comes to electricity. That’s because, so far, none of the new gas that would be coming in through the pipeline is slated to go to all those gas-fired power plants.

There was an attempt by New England’s governors to levy a regional tariff on electric ratepayers that fell apart, and now there is an effort to do this state by state. The NH Public Utilities Commission staff recommended moving in that direction, a recommendation that Kinder Morgan cited approvingly as a sign that the “conversation,” as Watson calls it, is continuing.

“We don’t have an energy crisis,” said David Maloney, chairman of the NH Pipeline Awareness Network. “We have a winter reliability problem.” The best way to solve it, he said, is to give power plants the incentive to stock up on backup fuel, which the ISO-New England has already done [(sic), rather] than buy the capacity for gas “whether they need it or not” [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

As Kinder Morgan says 'Trust us', a history of undisclosed SEC probes says Think Twice (Dec 9) — Seeking Alpha

  • Through most of 2014, we were tracking undisclosed SEC investigations at all four of the entities that became the present-day Kinder Morgan.
  • At the time, we openly questioned whether undisclosed SEC pressure was the real reason behind the company abandoning its MLP structure.
  • Kinder Morgan entities have a long record of not disclosing SEC investigations.

Overview: In 2014, we learned of undisclosed SEC investigations for each of the previous stand-alone companies that make up the current Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE:KMI). They are Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE:KMP), Kinder Morgan, Inc., El Paso Pipeline Partners, LP (NYSE:EPB), and Kinder Morgan Management (NYSE:KMR).

We found it staggering to imagine that all four of the Kinder Morgan entities were under investigation by the SEC at the same time and the company elected to not disclose this to investors last year. This is who you need to trust if you're going to make, or keep, an investment in Kinder Morgan today.

Webmaster's comment: Kinder Morgan is proposing the Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline from Wright, New York, to Dracut, Massachusetts.

British Columbia

Woodfibre LNG seeks to cut construction costs to offset gas-price drop in China (Dec 13) — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

Woodfibre LNG hopes to cut the cost of its proposed $1.8-billion liquefied natural gas project near Squamish to offset a drop in prices for natural gas in China.

Any project cost-reduction would help offset a nearly one-third price drop in natural gas set recently by China’s National Development and Reform Commission.

The Woodfibre LNG project already has approval from the B.C. government and support from the Squamish First Nation. Its remaining regulatory hurdle is a decision from the federal government.

Shawnigan Lake residents bracing for LNG fight (Dec 11) — Times Colonist, Victoria, BC

More than 100 residents attended a town hall meeting at Shawnigan Lake Community Centre to make clear the community wants no part of Steelhead LNG’s plans for a floating facility capable of producing six million tonnes of LNG a year. The facility is still in the design phase. Both Steelhead and its partner the Malahat First Nation have said it will be at least five years before anything is built at the site.

McCartney said she’s taking no chances as the provincial government is a big LNG booster. “They are not going to help us in this fight,” she said. “This is about standing together with First Nations. This is not going away, it’s going to be a very long fight.”


Jordan Cove LNG opponents press state board for decision (Dec 8) — Portland Tribune, Portland, OR

SALEM — Opponents of the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas project asked the State Land Board on Tuesday to decide whether the state should issue permits for parts of the project.

[Treasurer Ted Wheeler] said there would be a public meeting in Coos Bay to gather input on the permit applications. The state has also extended by another month the public comment deadline, which is now Jan. 8.

Jordan Cove LNG Project: Two more government agencies seek public comment (Dec 3) —

Two government agencies have opened themselves up to public comment on their respective work related to the Jordan Cove LNG Project and the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline.

First, the Department of State Lands will take public comment from Dec. 10 to Jan. 8 on two applications from the energy companies. One application is to build a berth from the navigational channel of Coos Bay, and another wants approval to trench through state-owned creeks and streams in order to lay the pipeline down before backfilling it.

And, until Jan. 4, the Portland District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will take comments on its plan to take funds from the energy company in order to conduct an impact study. The study would examine the impacts of a potential access channel that would need to be build in Coos Bay to accommodate the Jordan Cove LNG terminal.


LNG is a diversion from renewable energy focus, Gov. Ige says (Dec 11) — Pacific Business News, Honolulu, HI

Hawaii Gov. David Ige reiterated his stance on liquefied natural gas, saying that shipping in this type of fuel as a replacement for oil for power generation in Hawaii is an unnecessary diversion of resources, and that the focus should be entirely on renewable energy investments, he told PBN in an exclusive interview this week.

The state upped its renewable energy goal earlier this year to 100 percent renewables by 2045. Ige noted that any time and money spent on LNG is time and money not spent on renewables.

“I’ve had several conversations with federal regulators, and one of the drivers to the move to LNG is the [Environmental Protection Agency] and [emissions] regulations they have on generating facilities and refineries,” Ige said this week. “We are committed to 100 percent renewable energy. If we can make investments that help us arrive at that, we have fewer emissions because we’re burning less fuel and we believe that if we burn less fuel, because we have more renewables, we would get way more value facilitating that than we would make in investments in these old facilities to clean the air.”

United States

Natural gas falls to lowest since 2002 on mild weather outlook — Bloomberg Business

U.S. natural gas tumbled to the lowest intraday level since January 2002 amid forecasts that mild weather will persist through the end of the month.

January futures fell as much as 5.6 percent to $1.879 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange and traded at $1.881 at 12:14 p.m. London time. Gas is down 35 percent this year, headed for its second annual decline.

Futures extended declines from Friday, when they sank below $2 per million Btu for only the second time in three years amid forecasts that predict above-normal temperatures that would suppress heating demand through late December. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Some natural gas drillers indicate they lose money below $4.00 per million BTU.

US Supreme Court rules government officers liable (2014 May 12) —

A recent US Supreme Court decision clarified and confirmed that the government and their agents can be held liable and accountable for wrongdoing carried out by officials in its employment while on the job.

This is a fundamental principle of law that nobody is above the law including all government actors. The government immunity clause only applies to government actors when they are performing their actions of their office defined by their office in good faith.

Any actions that they take not defined by their office or illegal by their nature are considered have been done outside of their office therefore done in their private capacity and therefore they are fully liable in their private capacity without any protections of their office.

So in effect the government is also liable for having employed them, their supervisors are liable for improper training and oversight and the actions carried out while they were employee and the individual is liable personally also. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: FERC staff and FERC contract staff have violated the law during the Downeast LNG proceedings. Violations have been against the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). There has also been a recent attempt by FERC General Counsel to intimidate Free Speech in violation of the Second Amendment. The court decision in the above article apparently would hold FERC employees personally accountable for their illegal actions to tort action in court.

FERC revolving door right before our eyes! (Dec 9) — Fix FERC

Former Commissioner Philip Moeller left the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in October 2015 to join Liquefied Natural Gas Limited Non‐Executive Director. LNGL Chairman said “We are honoured to have someone of Philip’s recent energy regulatory and US Government background join the LNGL Board. His experience and knowledge of US Government policy and interaction with other key Government Departments will be very important in achieving the Company’s growth ambitions." [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Please sign the Fix FERC petition.

FERC Commissioner favors industry over consumers (Dec 9) — Fix FERC

Hardly anyone has heard of Cheryl LaFleur, but she is one of America’s most powerful government officials. A former senior executive and acting CEO of National Grid, a British-owned electricity and gas utility in the Northeast, she is now a Commissioner at FERC. Read how she allows and justifies exorbitant rates to the benefit of power companies and detriment of consumers. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Please sign the Fix FERC petition.

Shipping LNG on U.S.-built ships a double-edged sword: 100 new LNG carriers required (Dec 8) — Oil & Gas 360

Study looks at effects of shipping U.S. LNG using U.S.-built ships

Cheniere Energy is expected to begin shipping 3.5 Bcf/d of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana early next year, with an additional 6.27 Bcf/d of capacity expected to come online in the U.S. before 2019.

The increased capacity will turn the U.S. into a net exporter, requiring more than 100 more LNG carriers to ship the LNG to customers around the world, according to new research from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

To spur jobs growth, Congress may require U.S. LNG to be shipped on U.S.-built carriers under the U.S. flag; but would the ensuing 30-year backlog to build the required capacity kill the LNG export boom?

According to the GAO, an LNG fleet operated under U.S. flags would be 50% more expensive. This, combined with the more expensive build costs, would increase shipping costs by about 24%, or $0.73 per MMBtu. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

LNG falls faster than oil as U.S. fracking spurs glut growth (Dec 1) — Bloomberg Business

As the price plunge ripples through markets, the growing output is impacting the world’s biggest producers of the fuel. Qatar waived a $1 billion penalty for lower imports under an Indian contract, while Russia’s Gazprom PJSC offered its first-ever gas auctions in Europe in September.

The global oversupply will reach as much as 31 million tons, or 8 percent of capacity, by 2018, according to Bernstein.

The glut is widening as Japan, South Korea and China aren’t importing as much as they used to amid slower growth, over-contracting and expansion of nuclear capacity. China’s LNG imports may this year decline for the first time since they started a decade ago, according to Sberbank CIB in Moscow.

Webmaster's comment: Poor, poor Downeast LNG.


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