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Passamaquoddy Bay & LNG

2016 May

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2016 May

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2016 May 25

Gulf of Mexico

Cheniere plans to start second LNG export unit — The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA

Cheniere Energy Inc. plans to start exporting liquefied natural gas in August from a second plant at its Sabine Pass terminal in Cameron Parish, according to a report from Bloomberg News.

Cheniere began exporting LNG in February from its first unit at Sabine Pass. In its fourth quarter report, Cheniere said the second unit could begin producing LNG by mid-2016. When completed, the Sabine Pass facility will have six LNG units. The first two units have a combined production capacity of 9.9 million tons LNG per year.

British Columbia

Second expansion for Tilbury LNG plant — Delta Optimist, Ladner, BC

FortisBC needs more storage after deal to ship liquefied natural gas to Hawaii

An agreement was announced last Thursday that would see LNG exported from the Delta facility to Hawaii to be used for local power generation.

A news release from FortisBC noted that under the 20-year deal, 800,000 metric tonnes of LNG would be delivered annually to Hawaiian Electric starting in 2021. The agreement outlines the conditions to be met and the necessary approvals to be received.

FortisBC is already undertaking a $400-million expansion at its Tilbury plant. In operation since 1971, the plant cools natural gas into a liquid state for storage. It's then converted back into gas vapour and delivered by pipeline during periods of high demand. It's also delivered by tanker truck to customers.

A separate application by WesPac Midstream Vancouver LLC, a unit of Texas-based WesPac Midstream LLC, to build an LNG export facility adjacent to the FortisBC Tilbury plant received an export license from the National Energy Board. If it clears the other approvals, WesPac's jetty would enable new customers such as Hawaiian Electric to receive LNG from the FortisBC facility via barges and small LNG carriers.


National Energy Board establishes Joint Committee on pipeline safety with industry association — Canada News Centre, Government of Canada

The National Energy Board (NEB) and the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) have struck a Joint Committee on Issues of Mutual Interest for Federally Regulated Pipelines. A signed Terms of Reference sets out the mandate and limitations of the Joint Committee’s work and establishes its membership.

Senior leadership from the NEB and CEPA will co-chair and participate in Joint Committee meetings.

The National Energy Board is an independent federal regulator of several parts of Canada's energy industry with the safety of Canadians and protection of the environment as its top priority. Its purpose is to regulate pipelines, energy development and trade in the Canadian public interest. For more information on the NEB and its mandate, please visit [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: This stinks to high heaven of conflict of interest and government corruptionn.


2016 May 24

Gulf of Mexico

LNG company files for FERC approval; opposition responds (May 6) — The Brownsville Herald, Brownsville, TX

NextDecade LLC, one of three companies that want to build a liquefied natural gas export terminal at the Port of Brownsville, on May 5 filed an application with the U.S. Federal Regulatory Commission for authorization to build and operate Rio Grande LNG, the proposed export facility, and Rio Bravo pipeline, a planned 137-mile pipeline to provide natural gas to the plant.

In response to NextDecade’s FERC filing, Jim Chapman of the anti-LNG group “Save RGV From LNG” released a statement describing the company’s plans as “a threat to the local South Padre Island and Port Isabel economy, which is currently thriving and actually supports the entire Rio GrandeValley region.”

“Rio Grande/NextDecade LNG is touting the 200 jobs they bring, but they don’t talk about the several thousands of existing jobs which will be threatened by massive industrialization and pollution,” he said. “Fishermen, oystermen, shrimpers and beach and nature tourism depend on clean air, clean water and a high-quality fish and wildlife habitat.”


Cuba Natural Gas (May 20) — JDSupra

With the recent shift in U.S. government policy regarding Cuba, is now the time for the energy industry, particularly liquefied natural gas (LNG) project developers, to consider Cuba?

It is no secret that low oil prices are affecting the global LNG market. For example, spot LNG prices in Asia have fallen from more than $20 per mmbtu in 2014 to less than $5 per mmbtu today.2 At such low prices, after taking into consideration shipping and gas liquefaction costs, it may be difficult for LNG sourced from the United States to be competitive outside of the Americas. It is also no secret that some energy companies with firm commitments to purchase LNG in the United States are exploring options to sell down some of their excess LNG supply.3 While likely off the radar of many, Cuba might be one strategic option to consider to mitigate some of this exposure. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Caracas revives Trinidad LNG plan — Argus Media

Kingston, 24 May (Argus) — Caracas is reviving a plan to ship its offshore natural gas to Trinidad and Tobago´s underutilized Atlantic liquefaction plant, but a commercial scheme to develop the Venezuelan gas remains elusive.

Atlantic, owner of the 14.8mn t/yr liquefaction plant at Port Fortin, has not commented publicly on the agreement. Atlantic is owned by BP, Shell, China's sovereign wealth fund CIC unit Summer Soca and Trinidad´s state-owned NGC.


Former LNG executive is leading candidate to replace former AGDC head Fauske (May 17) — Alaska Dispatch News

Meyer is one of about a half-dozen candidates vying for the job of running AGDC, the corporation charged with representing Alaska's interests in the development of the proposed $55 billion natural gas pipeline project from the North Slope to Cook Inlet. Gov. Bill Walker also met with Meyer several times in March.

Exxon hopes Point Thomson is down payment on a gas line (May 15) — KTOO Public Media, Gavel, AK

Nearly 40 years after it was first discovered, Exxon Mobil Corp. has started production this spring on the Point Thomson field.

In the future, Exxon Mobil hopes an 800-mile pipeline, which would carry natural gas from the field (and from Prudhoe Bay to the west) to Cook Inlet, for export to Asia and the rest of the world. That’s the Alaska liquefied natural gas project.

Because while Point Thomson is producing liquids right now, it’s actually a gas field. And it’s not just any gas field. It is a huge gas field.

British Columbia

Massive land deal sought for B.C.'s north coast — Terrace Standard, Terrace, BC

The Nisga’a Lisims Government is working on a real estate deal with the provincial government which would see it purchase approximately 22,000 hectares of provincial crown land on the north coast.

“The Nisga’a Treaty provides the Nisga’a Nation with constitutionally-protected rights and legislative jurisdiction that would facilitate the construction and operation of an LNG facility on lands owned by the Nisga’a Nation,” reads the promotional material.

As an inducement to encourage LNG development, the Nisga’a have already reached an agreement with one of the Prince Rupert-bound pipeline builders, Prince Rupert Gas Transmission, owned by TransCanada.

Premier starts trip to Asia to promote LNG and B.C. (May 23) —

VICTORIA, B.C. – Premier Clark has started an asian trade mission to help promote B.C. and the LNG industry in this Province.

The Premier will travel to the Philippines, Japan and South Korea. The delegation includes representatives from approximately 78 businesses and organizations on her seventh trade mission to Asia, travelling to South Korea May 23-25, the Philippines May 26-27, and Japan May 28-31.

Fort St. John eager for natural gas project [Opinion] (May 20) — Calgary Sun, Calgary, AB

Fort St. John has long been the hub for BC’s natural gas sector, servicing the gas fields and assorted pipelines that feed natural gas to homes and businesses across the province. It is to BC’s natural gas industry what Fort McMurray is to Alberta’s oil sands.

But the collapse in oil and gas prices battered Fort St. John as jobs dried up and unemployment soared. Now the community is looking at BC’s proposed liquefied natural gas industry as a source of future prosperity. In particular, they want the feds to approve the Petronas-backed Pacific Northwest LNG project, a $36 billion export terminal planned for near Prince Rupert that would source its natural gas from the Peace region surrounding Fort St. John.

Webmaster's comment: No one can be blamed for wanting employment. The problem is government continuing down the same suicidal fossil fuel path rather than investing heavily in renewable technology and its associated jobs.

The consensus builder (May 20) — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

All 20 proposals to build LNG processing facilities in British Columbia have stalled amid the uncertainty hanging over the global industry, which is suffering from a worldwide glut of fuel, depressing prices. Five of the B.C. proposals are envisaged for the Kitimat region, where the Haisla’s traditional territory is located. Only two of those Kitimat-area projects are seen by analysts as having any chance – one led by Royal Dutch Shell PLC and the other proposed by Chevron Corp. and Woodside Petroleum Ltd. The numbers just don’t add up for the other three, experts say. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Woodfibre signs deal to sell LNG to China (May 12) — Coast Reporter, Sechelt, BC

The company announced Monday its Singapore-based affiliate Woodfibre LNG Export Pte has signed an agreement with Guangzhou Gas Group Co. to deliver liquefied natural gas to the Chinese gas company for 25 years starting in 2020.

The sale represents half of Woodfibre LNG’s potential liquefied natural gas capacity. The facility is slated to produce 2.1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year, and Guangzhou will purchase about one million tonnes, according to Byng Giraud, Woodfibre LNG vice-president of corporate affairs.

My Sea to Sky spokes-person Eoin Finn stressed the agreement is not binding.

“Typically, before any capital funding can be loaned for an LNG contract, binding agreements must be in place for 70 per cent-plus of the production volume over the life of the plant. That is clearly not the case here. Neither party is legally bound by this.” [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


Hawai’i at the energy crossroads — Part 3: Choosing the future, now (May 23) — Clean Technica

The proposed conversion to LNG has major drawbacks. Firstly, it’s unlikely to result in any significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. While cleaner at the smokestack, natural gas is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. A 2014 Cornell University analysis found that unless expensive infrastructure upgrades are made and upstream emissions are well-regulated and enforced, natural gas-fired electricity generation produces more lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than coal. At best for LNG in O’Hawai’i, according to the University of Hawai’i, there may be modest greenhouse gas reductions.

Additionally, the purported cost savings of LNG – 6 to 25 percent according to the University of Hawaii study cited previously – rely heavily on the cost of oil and a faulty presumption that renewable energy (including energy storage) will continue to cost more. If oil prices remain low, electricity from LNG will actually cost more than fuel oil.

These LNG estimates do not include the potential for infrastructure cost overruns, future transport cost increases, or the likely smaller-than-proposed shipments given the state’s mandate for a 100% shift to renewable energy (even though that same mandate has a loophole that could guarantee fossil fuel production past 2045). The price also excludes the cost of environmental damage near gas pipelines and wells sited in mainland communities that bear the extraction costs.

State legislators also clearly feel swapping one fossil fuel for another is bad policy. They passed a law to minimize the use of LNG for anything other than a “cost-effective transitional, limited-term replacement of petroleum for electricity generation” that would not “impede the development and use of other cost-effective renewable energy sources.” An enormous investment in LNG, no matter how it’s done, would likely do just that. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Critics call HECO's liquified natural gas plan a ploy to get support for utility's sale (May 20) — KGMB — Hawaii News Now

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Critics say a Hawaiian Electric proposal to bring liquified natural gas into Hawaii is a disingenuous ploy to drum up support for its proposed $4.3 billion sale to NextEra Energy.

Earlier this week, Hawaiian Electric announced it had negotiated a deal to import liquefied natural gas from Canada. But it says the contract is contingent on the PUC approving NextEra Energy's request to buy the utility.

Gov. David Ige has opposed any plans to import LNG, saying liquified natural gas would distract the state from seeking renewable energy sources


Trudeau pitches automakers — (The Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally invited Japanese auto executives Tuesday in Tokyo to invest more in Canada.

Japan, the world's biggest importer of LNG, is hoping Canada will issue necessary environmental permits to allow companies to export it from British Columbia.

[Kenjiro Monji, Japan's ambassador to Canada,] said LNG is still very important energy source for his country, which makes Canada one of the most promising potential exporters to Japan. He noted that Japanese companies are involved in several LNG projects in Canada.

United States

Exposed: Spectra-funded group lobbied for FERC Commissioner's reappointment, then FERC approved Spectra’s gas pipelines (May 20) — DeSmogBlog

A business advocacy group lobbied for the reappointment of a federal energy commissioner while one of its own members sought approval for several projects from the same federal regulator, a DeSmog investigation has found.

During [the past three years], regional pro-business lobbying group the New England Council, of which Houston-based Spectra Energy is a member, lobbied President Barack Obama and the US Senate for the reappointment of FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur to a second term.

A DeSmog investigation has found other instances suggesting an ongoing and exclusive relationship between LaFleur, NEC, and lobbyists working for Spectra Energy.

Also during this period, the NEC arranged at least two closed-door meetings between LaFleur and its energy industry members, including Spectra. These exclusive meetings were held in the offices of a multinational law firm that was hired by Spectra to represent it in a different environmental case. The most recent meeting was held in December 2015.

According to a Senate lobbying disclosure document, the NEC had lobbied specifically for LaFleur’s reappointment beginning in April 2014, two months after Spectra officially filed a request for approval of the AIM. These lobbying expenses exceeded $40,000, the files reveal.

Protesters force FERC to close monthly meeting (May 19) — RTO Insider

WASHINGTON — Citing safety concerns, FERC closed its monthly meeting to the public Thursday, allowing only staff, guests and credentialed members of the press inside commission headquarters.

The meeting was broadcast via the Internet, which Chairman Norman Bay said allowed the commission to meet its “statutory requirement” under the Government in the Sunshine Act to allow the public to observe the meeting.

“The decision to conduct this open meeting by webcast only was not made lightly,” Bay said. “It was made after consultation with law enforcement and our security staff, and the primary concern was preserving the safety of the public and commission staff. The webcast allows us to maintain the ability of the public to observe and listen to the commission meeting.”

The decision to close the meeting — possibly the first time the commission has held a webcast-only open meeting, according to Bay — came amidst a week of intense protest activity by environmentalist group Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE). Members of the group demonstrated outside the homes of Commissioner Tony Clark on Monday and Bay and Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur on Wednesday. They were also already camped outside commission headquarters prior to the start of the meeting but had departed by the time the meeting ended.

Bay declined to say what activity the commission was expecting to take place. BXE’s modus operandi is to interrupt meetings with statements criticizing the commission’s approval of natural gas infrastructure before being escorted out by security. Known members have been barred from the meeting room, relegated to a side room to watch the meetings on TV. (See Meet the People Making Life a Little More Difficult for FERC this Week.) [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

“The commissioners know that we’re nonviolent activists,” Tuhus said. “That’s a fundamental precept of our organization. … The commissioners know that.”

Webmaster's comment: FERC is using the "safety" issue as a disingenuous propaganda tool. In reality, FERC limited public access to the meeting to thwart interruptions by demonstrators.

Fossil fuel investments growing riskier for insurers, report warns — InsideClimate News

With nearly $500 billion invested, a new analysis recommends insurance companies take a harder look at the consequences of climate change and a lower-carbon future.

The 40 largest insurance companies in the United States have $237 billion invested in electric and gas utilities, $221 billion tied to oil and gas companies and nearly $2 billion locked into coal, a new report reveals.

With nearly a half-trillion dollars in bonds, equity and other holdings tied to the fossil fuel industry, an analysis published Tuesday by the sustainability group Ceres says insurers should be evaluating their investment exposure to climate change risks.

According to McHale, insurers face a lot of uncertainty in damage payouts to customers, because they don't know when, how often or how large those payouts will be. To ensure they have enough money to respond, insurers have historically been very conservative in their investments—and that's usually meant a lot of investments in fossil fuel companies and utilities.

But these "carbon assets" are increasingly viewed as risky, she said. In the short term, major fluctuations in energy markets could put the value of these investments at risk.

US to streamline LNG export process (May 22) — Splash24/7

An improved, quicker process of getting US-produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments to foreign markets took a step closer to reality with the House of Representatives passing a defence-related bill that includes LNG provisions.

The new provisions would mean export applications being reviewed within 30 days and then decided on within a further 30 days.

The House’s version of the NDAA must still be reconciled with the Senate’s one, and there are some significant differences. Once reconciled it must then be signed by the president.

Webmaster's comment: President Obama is expected to veto this bill.

Big Oil has big plans for solving gas glut — Energy Journal (May 16) — The Wall Street Journal

‘Big Oil’ hopes to boost natural-gas demand to drag prices of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, higher, Robb M. Stewart reports, and one way is for it to become a fuel for cruise liners, container ships and road trucks.

But U.K. consultancy Wood Mackenzie expects the global gas glut to take years to clear, with 70 million metric tons of LNG uncontracted by 2021. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

A U.S. gas war with Russia? (May 15) — Foreign Affairs, Tampa, FL

On April 21, the first Europe-bound shipment of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) left the Gulf of Mexico and crossed the Atlantic, a move that has been widely regarded as the first step in an impending gas war between the United States and Russia. As the theory goes, Russia has a grip on the European gas market, which it uses to bully its close neighbors and shush any major European states that push back on its geopolitical ambitions. U.S. LNG, it follows, will break Russia’s stranglehold. It is a cheaper and more reliable alternative. In turn, Russia will either lose market share or compete by lowering its prices. But either way, Europe wins, economically and geopolitically.

The economic argument is simplistic but not incorrect, although the geopolitical argument is dead wrong. It overstates the importance of U.S. LNG to Eurasian politics, and it reinforces the false impression that Europe’s energy security lies abroad. New supplies, from the United States or elsewhere, are good for consumers since they will further depress prices. But Europe’s energy security is in European hands alone; obsessing too much about what U.S. LNG can do risks distracting from the challenges, including strengthening Europe’s internal energy market, which remains woefully fragmented, especially in Eastern Europe.

If half of U.S. LNG exports, 40 billion cubic meters a year, were to land in Europe, Russia would see no material decline in its own exports. And even if all 80 billion cubic meters of U.S. LNG made it to Europe, which is unlikely given the pull from other regions, Russia would still most likely maintain its position as the continent’s largest supplier (together with Norway). [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Wave of fossil fuel project cancellations follows Keystone XL rejection (May 6) — InsideClimate News

Grassroots climate activists have been effective in stirring public opposition; industry mostly sees market forces at play.

Six months after the Obama administration rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, at least 20 other proposed energy projects—mines, pipelines, plants, related rail projects and export terminals—have been canceled, rejected or delayed, according to research compiled and mapped by InsideClimate News.

Sustained grassroots resistance and public opposition have played a role in at least some of these decisions; other influential factors include unfavorable economic conditions such as low oil prices, as well as governments' environmental concerns and project siting issues.

Since then, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected two project applications—for the Oregon-based Jordan Cove LNG project and Pacific Connector Pipeline—and delayed the decisions on two other facilities. For five of the projects, the bids or key permits were rejected by either a federal panel or state or local officials. Companies chose to cancel four other projects, including Arch Coal's abandoning its planned Otter Creek coal mine in Montana. The remaining facilities are delayed.

Community, environmental justice and green groups from 12 countries are hosting more than 20 local protests and rallies from May 3-15 as part of the Break Free campaign, which was first announced at the Paris climate talks. Protesters are going to the sites of operating or planned fossil fuel projects, demanding that they be shut down or canceled, in some cases risking arrest.

The protests and acts of civil disobedience are aimed at drawing attention to the "gap between what our world's politicians are doing, and what we know is actually necessary to combat the climate crisis," said one of the campaign's planners, Lindsay Meiman, a spokeswoman for [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

US LNG is now a live test case for flexible volumes (May 12) — ICIS

Just short of 70mtpa in nameplate US LNG production has been commissioned or is on track for commissioning by 2019 from five projects: Cheniere’s Sabine Pass, Sempra’s Cameron LNG, Freeport LNG, Dominion’s Cove Point and Cheniere’s second project, Corpus Christi.

By the end of 2016, Sabine Pass Trains 1 and 2 will be in operation and, by 2017, another three trains from Sabine and Cove Point could start up (see chart). By 2018, this will ramp up to a schedule of up to five new trains online from Cameron, Freeport and Corpus Christi. By 2019, another four trains from Freeport, Corpus Christi and Sabine are due online. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

EPA begins crackdown on methane emissions (May 12) — InsideClimate News

New regulations cover new oil and gas facilities, but methane from existing sites remains unregulated, a crucial step to reaching greenhouse gas reduction goals.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules … to significantly reduce methane emissions from new oil and gas facilities as well as those undergoing modifications. The regulations are the first federal standards aimed at curbing methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, emitted by oil and gas production.

Reducing emissions of methane, the primary component of natural gas, is key to combatting climate change. Methane is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas over a 20-year period, and 34 times more powerful over 100 years. The new standards would also cut associated pollution including volatile organic compounds like benzene, which is a carcinogen.

"Even when they are finished with this current round, 75 percent of the oil and gas equipment would still not be regulated," said Conrad Schneider, advocacy director for the Clean Air Task Force, a Boston-based environmental organization. "They cannot achieve their international commitments and targets without regulating existing sources."

Most of the industry's methane pollution comes from leaks and intentional venting that can be identified and curbed with existing, low-cost technology and better maintenance, Natural Resources Defense Council spokeswoman Kate Kiely said in a statement.

"It's essential to remember that no matter how stringent our methane pollution controls, burning fossil fuels pollutes the climate," Pagel of Earthworks said. "That's why there's no substitute for replacing fossil fuels as quickly as possible with truly clean energy alternatives like renewables and conservation." [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

REPORT: Pro-Trump coal exec says GOP nominee asked, ‘What’s LNG?’ —

According to an article published on SNL Financial, Donald Trump met with Robert Murray, CEO and founder of coal company Murray Energy, and apparently didn’t know that “LNG” is the acronym for “liquefied natural gas.”

During the meeting, Murray said Trump had asked him about numerous facets of U.S. energy policy. At one point, Murray said he would suggest lifting obstacles to opening liquefied natural gas, or LNG, export facilities to reduce the supply gut of natural gas in the country.

He said that Trump was agreeable with the idea, but then had a question.

“What’s LNG?” Murray said Trump asked. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Trump agrees — and only then asks what he has agreed to?

Trump has demonstrated that he is not equipped to have decision making authority regarding the nation's energy policy.


Peru dispatches LNG cargo to Mexico (May 23) — LNG World News

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

Although the exact destination of the vessel has not been confirmed in the shipping data, the probable destination is the Manzanillo LNG terminal in Mexico’s Colima state.


World could warm by massive 10C if all fossil fuels are burned (May23) — The Guardian

Arctic would warm by as much as 20C by 2300 with disastrous impacts if action is not taken on climate change, warns new study

The planet would warm by searing 10C if all fossil fuels are burned, according to a new study, leaving some regions uninhabitable and wreaking profound damage on human health, food supplies and the global economy.

The carbon already emitted by burning fossil fuels has driven significant global warming, with 2016 near certain to succeed 2015 as the hottest year ever recorded, which itself beat a record year in 2014. Other recent studies have shown that extreme heatwaves could push the climate beyond human endurance in parts of the world such as the Gulf, making them uninhabitable.

Thomas Frölicher, at ETH Zürich in Switzerland and not involved in the new work, said: “Given that current trends in fossil fuel emissions would result in temperatures above [the 2C Paris] target, policymakers need to have a clear view of what is at stake both on decadal and centennial timescales if no meaningful climate policies are put in place. The unregulated exploitation of fossil fuel resources could result in significant, more profound climate change.” [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


2016 May 20

Passamaquoddy Bay

Downeast LNG up for sale (May 19) — LNG Law Blog

Downeast LNG, sponsor of a proposed 3 million ton/year liquefaction and LNG import/export terminal near Robbinston, Maine, announced that the company will be put up for sale as of July 1, 2016. According to the press release, Downeast LNG’s majority shareholder is energy private equity manager Yorktown Partners, which manages approximately $7 billion in energy investments. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Downeast LNG to put Robbinston project up for sale (May 19) — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

George Petrides, chairman of the board for Downeast LNG, said in a news release that the company decided that another industrial firm or infrastructure investor would be better suited to take on the project, which it has been developing amid a rapid and continuing drop in global oil and liquefied natural gas pricing.

The company’s majority shareholder is the New York City-based Yorktown Partners, which says it has about $7 billion in energy investments under management. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Brief -- Downeast LNG — Natural Gas Intelligence [Paid subscription]

Downeast LNG, a long-struggling liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal proposed for Maine to take advantage of abundant Marcellus and Utica shale natural gas, is up for sale, the project backer said. In announcing the decision, Downeast Chairman George Petrides cited the recent cancellation of Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project (see Daily GPIApril 21). Petrides said with the scrapping of NED, " is very likely that the Algonquin expansion will happen and will facilitate natural gas going from the our project in northern Maine." The Algonquin Gas Transmission project is called Access Northeast (see Daily GPIMay 4). Petrides said an industrial investor or infrastructure capital fund would be better suited to continue the pursuit of the terminal project. Last November, Downeast asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to pause proceedings in its docket before the Commission (see Daily GPINov. 4, 2015). [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Downeast LNG put up for sale — LNG Industry

As of 1 July 2016, Downeast LNG will be put up for sale, according to a statement from the company.

George Petrides, Chairman of the Board of Downeast LNG, announced that the company's board and shareholders, including Yorktown Partners, had reached the decision after reviewing the company’s strategy. Downeast LNG intended to construct a 3 million tpy export facility on Passamaquoddy Bay near the Canadian border.

Mr Petrides said: "We have reviewed our strategy and decided that an industrial player or a specialised investor such as an infrastructure fund is better suited to continue the permitting process and eventual build-out of the project. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Save Passamaquoddy Bay's researcher and webmaster has provided an instructive comment in the online article's comment section regarding Downeast LNG's inability to succeed.

New England

Our View: Public needs full access to LNG process — SouthCoastToday, New Bedford, MA

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been holding listening sessions across the Northeast this week as part of the review process for the massive natural gas energy project known as Access Northeast.

Access Northeast encompasses numerous smaller projects, from Mahwah, New Jersey, near the New York border, through Connecticut, Rhode Island, and into Southeastern Massachusetts in Acushnet, Freetown and Rehoboth and as far north as West Boylston and Weymouth.

Algonquin says it proposed the Access Northeast project as a direct response to requests from “regional stakeholders and governmental agencies in New England for environmentally responsible, scalable, efficient and effective” delivery of natural gas. The commonwealth’s attorney general, however, has provided a study that questions the claims of dire need for more gas. And while the Legislature hammers out a long-term energy policy with a significant focus on renewable sources in order to meet emissions goals, the rapidity with which new technologies advance makes this gigantic project based on a fossil fuel seem like a step backward. The environmental impacts of extracting the gas from shale deposits remain uncertain, too, but every day that goes by shows that we have been underestimating them. And we have yet to receive clarity on whether the ability to move an extra 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day is better suited to support an export plan than a limited peak-demand situation of a few days in winter, even if the molecules in tanks in Acushnet aren’t the ones being exported. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

FERC returns to the SouthCoast to vet another LNG proposal (May 19) — Taunton Daily Gazette, Taunton, MA

The crowd that greeted them included at least a dozen people wearing "SouthCoast Neighbors United" T-shirts; the group is an organized and vocal opponent of the LNG project. They and other non-politicians were joined by elected officials lining up to express their objections and concerns.

The evening meeting was preceded by a smaller and lightly attended one in mid-afternoon during which selectmen sat down with the regulators and discussed their concerns face-to-face.

The meetings were preceded by a site visit to the existing LNG ”peak shaving” storage facility on Peckham Road, where Access Northeast plans to build a 6.8 billion cubic foot capacity LNG facility next door to its existing one, which dates to September, 1971.

The FERC is in the middle of “scoping sessions” to gather information about the project and take public comment. But the public comment period established in the law states that it will end May 31 in this case.

That has worried many, such as Mass. Attorney General Maura Healey, who objects to the notion that the official comment period will end weeks before the proponents produce a series of reports on various aspects of the plan.


Eagle LNG to construct liquefaction plant to supply Crowley ships (May 19) — LNG Law Blog

Eagle LNG announced that it has begun the construction process for a 200,000 gallons/day (87,000 gallons/day initially) natural gas liquefaction plant in West Jacksonville, Fla., which is anticipated to be operational by early 2017. The LNG will be used to supply Crowley’s new LNG-powered Commitment Class ships for trade between the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico and also available for sale to both domestic clients in the southeast United States and Caribbean island customers looking for containerized LNG supply.

Webmaster's comment: Downeast LNG's president Dean Girdis is also director of LNG Nova Scotia in Halifax. LNG Nova Scotia wants to export natural gas imported from the US or from western Canada as LNG from Halifax to the Caribbean — 1,000 miles farther than Eagle LNG and another LNG export terminal in the Gulf of Mexico. Dean Girdis continues to lag the LNG market by years, and continues to invent some of the most unworkable LNG terminal proposals in the industry.

Gulf of Mexico

Argentina banking on Uncle Sam’s LNG for winter (May 17) — National Gas Daily

Argentina could take advantage of cheap LNG from the United States during the southern hemisphere winter as the Latin American country turns back to imports to meet demand, experts have told Interfax Natural Gas Daily.

Argentina’s energy minister, Juan José Aranguren, told local press last week the country would import up to 90 LNG cargoes in 2016. He added that up to 41 cargoes would be imported during the country’s winter, which runs from June to August.

"The Cheniere volumes that they have reserved for their own trading operations will be a good fit for Argentina," said Rojas. "Cheniere has more of a competitive advantage since they don’t have [a very high] tolling fee," he added.

Argentina has a second supply option in BG Group, which is set to start loading commercial cargoes from Sabine Pass in mid-May.

Argentina has bought two cargoes from Sabine Pass since the plant began exports in February. This included one of the six commissioning cargoes sent out during March and April. The other buyers were Brazil, India, the United Arab Emirates and Portugal.

DoE: Cheniere exported 11.5 Bcf of domestically produced LNG in Q1 (May 16) — LNG World News

The first cargo was shipped to Brazil on February 24, marking the start of exports of the U.S. shale gas to the overseas markets. Included in the first two deliveries was an additional 1.83 bcf of previously imported LNG.

Three more cargoes that were dispatched from the facility during the first quarter were delivered to, India, Brazil for the second time, and the United Arab Emirates, the report shows, revealing the cargoes were priced from $3.35 per mmBtu to $3.77 mmBtu.

LNG imports into the United States reached 27.2 Bcf in the quarter under review, according to the DoE’s report, all sourced from Trinidad and Tobago and delivered to the Northeast Gateway Deepwater Port operated by Excelerate Energy and Engie’s Everett LNG terminal.

Imports of liquefied natural gas into Puerto Rico reached 15.2 Bcf during the first quarter with seven out of eight cargoes coming from Trinidad and Tobago and one cargo from the UK.

British Columbia

B.C. minister applauds LNG agreement between Fortis, Hawaiian Electric (May 19) — Campbell River Mirror, Campbell River, BC

[See also "Strong opposition to Hawaiian Electric's LNG contract with Canada firm" under the Hawaii heading, below.]

VICTORIA — Energy company Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS) has signed an agreement to provide liquefied natural gas from British Columbia to the Hawaiian Islands.

B.C.'s minister of natural gas development Rich Coleman says the agreement between Fortis and Hawaiian Electric Company is one of the first to export LNG from this province.

A news release from Fortis says the 20-year agreement is still subject to regulatory approvals in B.C. and Hawaii, but could see 800,000 metric tons of LNG shipped from FortisBC's LNG facility in Delta to Hawaii, starting in 2021.

FortisBC's website says a $400-million expansion of its Tilbury plant in Delta should be complete this year as the company works to meet the storage and transportation requirements of ultra-cooled, liquid natural gas.

Canada: B.C. signs LNG agreement with Coastal First Nations (May 19) — LNG World News

B.C. said in its statement the recent agreement has been signed with the Wuikinuxv, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xaixais, Gitga’at, and Metlakatla First Nations.

The agreement delivers base funding of C$1.5 million annually over three years and further funding is available based on the number of LNG projects proceeding to a final investment decision and LNG export.

Fort St. John for LNG goes to Ottawa —

Alan Yu and Fort St. John for LNG will be leaving for Ottawa Monday, May 23rd at 1:00 p.m.

“The goal is to inform Canada (through our numerous stops) and the federal law makers in Ottawa of the current high unemployment rate in North BC. From statistically too low about a year ago, it became the current highest rate in BC. We are hoping to let the lawmakers know of the urgency in getting our jobs back. The approval of an LNG industry in Canada as soon as possible is the quickest way of getting our jobs back in FSJ. The industry is not asking for a dole out from the Feds, just a firm yes so private investors can start investing and creating jobs.”

Yu started the group when he saw that jobs were being lost because of the oil and gas prices dropping. He knew that he should do what he could to help raise awareness about LNG.

B.C. premier says it's time feds approve LNG but denies linkage to oil pipelines (May 19) — CFJC Today, Fort John, BC

OTTAWA — It's long past time for the federal government to issue environmental permits for a multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C. Premier Christy Clark said Wednesday while confirming she's in three-way talks with Ottawa and Alberta over hydro sales.

There have been sourced reports of three-way, Alberta-B.C.-Ottawa negotiations linking LNG project approvals in B.C. with Alberta's purchase of B.C. hydroelectricity and federal clearance for a West Coast oil pipeline.

"Discussions are happening," Clark confirmed, noting her famously fractious negotiations with Alberta go back to the Progressive Conservative government of Alison Redford three premiers ago.

"But they're not connected" to pipeline approvals, she added.

LNG Canada begins to plan worker housing (May 16) — Journal of Commerce, Burnaby, BC

Kitimat, B.C. - LNG Canada is beginning engineering and planning work on Cedar Valley Lodge, its Workforce Accommodation Centre, to house a 4,500 person workforce that's required during construction of its proposed liquefaction and export facility in Kitimat, B.C.

Construction on Cedar Valley Lodge will not commence unless LNG Canada's joint venture participants have made a positive final investment decision. In the interim, Bird-Civeo will advance engineering and planning work for the centre, explains a release.

Cedar Valley Lodge will be located adjacent to the LNG Canada site.

The size and scale of the Lodge has a total floor space of over 1.2 million square feet.

May urges people not to abandon LNG fight (May 14) — The Squamish Chief, Squamish, BC

The fight against liquefied natural gas facilities like the proposed Woodfibre plant near Squamish will need more people in the streets to make their voices heard, says Elizabeth May.

The federal Green Party leader was one of the featured speakers at the Break Free from Fossil Fuels rally Saturday morning in front of the Woodfibre/FortisBC office.

May said she thinks that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to do the right thing, but that people need to keep up pressure on his government to abandon LNG as an option.

The rally, organized locally by My Sea to Sky, followed a short march along Cleveland Avenue from O’Siyam Pavilion, with people carrying signs with messages including “There is no Planet B,” “Save Howe Sound” and “Keep it in the ground.”

“We don’t have another earth, and I think it is time we save this one,” [First Nations woman Ashleigh Giffen] said.


City official: Company withdraws from pipeline project (May 16) —

Warrenton Mayor Mark Kujala told the Daily Astorian that Oregon LNG officials told him the project was being scrapped because backers were no longer willing to put up the money.

WARRENTON, Ore. (AP) An energy company that wanted to export liquefied natural gas from the northwest Oregon coast will withdraw from the $6 billion terminal and pipeline project, city officials in Warrenton said.

Kristin Grainger, a spokeswoman of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, said the company had withdrawn state permits for the project.

“Public input is critical to the process, and from the outset, the project struggled to build sufficient community support,” she said.

Skip Urling, Warrenton's community development director, said he was told Oregon LNG would not proceed with an appeal of a city hearings officer's decision to deny the terminal. A hearing on the company's appeal had been scheduled for early May.

After denying it, Federal Energy regulators will rehear LNG pipeline case in Oregon (May 12) — Energy Manager Today

Federal regulators are delaying a decision on whether to allow a 232-mile liquefied natural gas pipeline on the Pacific coast and in specifically in Oregon. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission wants more time and has not given itself a deadline on whether to approve the application submitted Pacific Connector and Jordan Cove.

On March 11, it denied the project, although said this week that it would now reconsider. Upon construction and operation of their proposed facilities, Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector would be subject to the regulators’ jurisdiction under the Natural Gas Act. The line would handle 6.8 million metric tons a year of LNG, using a feed of about 1 billion standard cubic feet per day of natural gas for both domestic and international markets, says that March 11 order

“We find the generalized allegations of need proffered by Pacific Connector do not outweigh the potential for adverse impact on landowners and communities,” FERC said, on March 11. It adds, “the record does not support a finding that the public benefits of the Pacific Connector Pipeline outweigh the adverse effects on landowners.” [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


Strong opposition to Hawaiian Electric's LNG contract with Canada firm — Pacific Business News, Honolulu, HI

Some opponents of Hawaiian Electric Co.’s agreement with a subsidiary of Canada’s Fortis Inc. for the bulk shipments of liquefied natural gas to the Islands as a replacement for oil want the Honolulu utility to first get approval for its new energy plan.

Others oppose the contract because it involves “fracking,” which some say is destructive to the environment.

Richard Wallsgrove, policy director of Honolulu-based Blue Planet Foundation, told Pacific Business News on Thursday the contract is clearly putting the cart before the horse by trying to lock in “billions of dollars in new fossil fuel infrastructure and future fuel purchases, before Hawaiian Electric has received approval for their plan to achieve 100 percent renewable energy.”

Hawai’i at the Energy Crossroads — Part 2: How much renewable energy? — Clean Technica

There is much at stake for Hawai’i, including enormous rooftop solar potential that could push each island much closer 100% renewable electricity (below). Most islands could get 20–30 percent more of their electricity from rooftop solar alone.

Although there are hundreds of megawatts of potential on every island in Hawai`i, HECO does not consider pumped storage in its plans because it’s “highly dependent on site availability, may face substantial permitting and public acceptance challenges, have high capital costs and require long lead times (more than seven years) to develop.” Yet siting a bulk shipping terminal for LNG has many of the same challenges, higher costs, and half the usable lifespan. Additionally, pumped storage hydro enjoys more community support than use of liquefied natural gas.

Utility seeks OK to burn natural gas — Hawaii Tribune-Herald, Hilo, HI

The company, which owns Hawaii Electric Light Co., says burning natural gas would be cheaper and cleaner than using oil to generate electricity.

But it also notes in a press release that the deal is contingent on the Public Utilities Commission approving the sale.

Gov. David Ige has said he is against switching to natural gas because it distracts from investments in renewable energy.

“Any time and money spent on LNG is time and money not spent on renewable energy,” Ige said last August. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


B.C. to lead Canada in natural gas production growth, but pricing and LNG are key uncertainties (May 11) — Canada News Centre, Government of Canada

The National Energy Board (NEB) … released its newest report: ‘Canada’s Energy Future 2016: Province and Territory Outlooks’ that highlights the diversity of energy/electricity sources across Canada for both the production and consumption of energy, including crude oil, hydro, natural gas and solar power resources.

The study shows that British Columbia leads the country in projected natural gas production growth. However, the market price for natural gas and the issue of LNG (liquefied natural gas) exports are both key uncertainties in the B.C. energy marketplace going forward.

The report does not include the recent key climate change policy announcement made by various provinces as well as the federal government. An update to the national Energy Futures report will include an examination of these future policies and will be released later this year.

Trudeau’s reliance on West to meet hefty greenhouse gas emission reductions could backfire (May 16) — Financial Post, Don Mills, ON

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made ambitious commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Paris last December — and now he will lean heavily on Canada’s western provinces to ensure he meets them.

“No matter how we slice it, there is no escaping the conclusion that the bulk of emission reductions will have to come from the West,” says the report, written by Trevor McLeod and Shafak Sajid and inspired by Dylan Jones, the CWF CEO who will take over next month as federal deputy minister of Western Economic Diversification.

“The federal government can now refuse to permit a pipeline or LNG facility if it determines that B.C., Alberta or Saskatchewan has not done enough to reduce upstream GHG emissions,” the report says. “The western skeptic may well worry that the federal government has created a backdoor into provincial jurisdiction over the environmental management of projects — jurisdiction that has been guarded jealously by provincial governments for years.”

No matter how hard they try, western provinces are still not doing enough to make Trudeau whole: Alberta will still fall short despite the already onerous climate leadership plan announced by its NDP government last November; B.C. could see emissions rise considerably if its liquefied natural gas industry takes off, which is a priority of its Liberal government; Saskatchewan remains a heavy emitter per capita despite its big spending on technology like carbon capture and storage and its right-leaning government’s refusal so far to price carbon. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

United States

LNG terminal permitting measure passes House (May 19) — The Maritime Executive

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act, and among its numerous provisions is a new measure intended to streamline Department of Energy permitting processes for new LNG export terminals.

The amendment sets a decision deadline for Department of Energy reviews and approvals for LNG project proposals which also require review “from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the United States Maritime Administration." DOE would have 30 days for review of a completed environmental impact statement and 30 additional days to issue a decision, limiting the amount of time a project would wait for the agency’s approval.

The House version of the NDAA as a whole must still be reconciled with the Senate's, and there are significant differences between the two. Once reconciled, it will go to the president's desk. President Obama's staff have indicated that he would veto the House version in its current form; the bill contains language to move $20 billion in funds for overseas deployments into the military’s base-level funding for more personnel and equipment, and the White House has expressed strong opposition to the change. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

International markets prove hard to conquer for U.S. LNG — NASDAQ

The domestic gas market is still saturated, according to the EIA, which has projected that gas output in the Marcellus and elsewhere will continue to decline. International markets are the natural alternative for shale gas producers, but there are a few issues with this alternative, and these issues mean that the huge output in the Marcellus is not such good news.

First, there is the competition. The European market is an attractive destination for U.S. gas as it is looking to diversify away from Russia’s Gazprom. Asia, with its high levels of demand, is also an attractive prospect. However, there are suppliers with an established presence in both these markets, which are likely to cut prices in a bid to preserve their market share. U.S. exporters, on the other hand, have less space for maneuvering.

The only way U.S. companies can transport their gas is after liquefying it and shipping it to Europe or Asia. Cheniere Energy is already doing this. There are several liquefaction terminals in construction across the country, driven by hopes for gas demand growth across the world. However, these hopes have not yet proved realistic. To complicate things further, pipeline projects at home are being delayed, adding to the pressure on gas producers.

If European gas prices drop any further, U.S. gas will be unable to compete with current suppliers, which use an extensive pipeline system to feed gas into Europe at lower than LNG shipping rates. Maybe the best solution to the glut is the most obvious one: cut production, let the market rebalance, and try to survive in the meantime. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

DOE releases US LNG export data (May 16) — LNG Industry

According to the data, Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC shipped four vessels of domestically produced LNG to Brazil, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 1Q16. In total, Sabine Pass Liquefaction exported approximately 11.5 million ft3 of LNG from its LNG export terminal, located on the Sabine Pass River in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, US. The price at export point for each of the cargoes varied from US$3.35 million Btu to US$3.77 million Btu.

According to the report, American LNG Marketing LLC exported close to 4.5 million ft3 of LNG via ISO containers to Barbados.


Pipelines that bind: U.S. and Mexico to increase energy integration — The Worldfolio, London, UK

While the United States is Mexico’s largest supplier of natural gas and continues to be agrowing market for additional U.S. natural gas exports, at the same time, Mexico is the fourth supplier of crude to the United States by volume, generating revenue of over $11.6 billion during 2014 from the sale of 230 million barrels of crude.

It is a dynamic largely defined by Mexico’s vital relationship with Houston, Texas. In 2014, the trade accounts between these two areas reached $192 million, a figure that is expected to dramatically increase following the implementation of a 230km pipeline that will carry natural gas from the U.S. to Mexico. The pipeline is expected to carry 1.4 billion cubic feet of gas into the country each day, and is expected to be completed in 2017. In parallel, Mexico’s Centro Nacional de Control de Energía, (National Centre of Energy Control, CENACE) is already in conversation with many US companies to promote a project that interconnects Nogales, Sonora in Mexico and Tucson, Arizona, but its aspirations for the Mexican energy sector extends far beyond US borders.

As domestic production stagnates and demand increases – particularly in the electricity sector – Mexico will likely have to rely on increased pipeline imports of natural gas from the United States and liquefied natural gas (LNG) from other countries.


New natural gas pipelines to stall LNG’s European price rebound (May 19) — Bloomberg

A rebound in the price of liquefied natural gas in Europe will lag any recovery in oil as new pipelines are poised to boost gas supplies to the continent, according to a report from analysts at the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions.

While the power plant and heating fuel typically tracks oil, which slumped to the lowest in 12 years in February, more gas could disrupt the link between the commodities, according to Andrew Slaughter, Houston-based executive director for the Deloitte center. Pipelines, while expensive and at times controversial, have the advantage of being able to deliver large volumes at low costs, according to the report on LNG exports Thursday.

"Even in higher demand scenarios, pipelines could restrict growth avenues for LNG, particularly in Europe," Deloitte said in the report. "The global LNG supply overhang will be driven not only by competition from major LNG-supplying nations, but also from increased competition from piped gas in several regions." [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: This bodes ill for North American LNG export projects counting on European market demand.


2016 May 18

Passamaquoddy Bay

Downeast LNG announces planned sale of business commencing July 1, 2016 — BOE Report

NEW YORK, May 18, 2016 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — George Petrides, Chairman of the Board of Downeast LNG, announced that the company’s board and shareholders have decided to put the company up for sale as of July 1, 2016. The main project of Downeast LNG is to construct a 3 million ton per annum (450 MMCF/Day) liquefied natural gas export facility on Passamaquoddy Bay near the Canadian border. The project is presented at Downeast LNG’s majority shareholder is premier energy private equity manager Yorktown Partners, which manages approximately $7 billion in energy investments.

Mr. Petrides said, “We have reviewed our strategy and decided that an industrial player or a specialized investor such as an infrastructure fund is better suited to continue the permitting process and eventual build-out of the project.” Mr. Petrides also mentioned that although global LNG pricing has been low recently, there are two developments in the last few weeks that could help attract potential buyers. “With the cancellation of the controversial Kinder project that would have gone east from Schoharie County, New York to Boston, we believe it is very likely that the Algonquin expansion will happen and will facilitate natural gas going from the Marcellus in Bradford County, Pennsylvania to our project in northern Maine,” Mr. Petrides stated. “Secondly, we noted the successful capital raise by Venture Global last month and see that as continued interest by investors in US-based projects.” Venture Global LNG has raised over $265 million to date for the development of its proposed export facilities in Louisiana.

The Downeast LNG terminal [would] consist of one storage tank, a liquefaction “train”, a small regasification plant, marine facilities, and a natural gas pipeline that [would] connect the facility to the existing Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline. Strategically located and using existing and proposed pipelines, Downeast [would] access both unconventional US gas reserves and conventional western Canada gas reserves.

Webmaster's comment: If Yorktown Energy Partners actually thought there would be a natural gas supply coming from the Marcellus Shale, and that there were any probability that Downeast LNG could actually succeed, the investors would not be trying to sell the project.

Downeast LNG has the impossible problems of prohibited LNG ship passage through Canada's Head Harbour Passage, has the US Coast Guard's requirement to obtain Canada's cooperation for safe and secure transits through Canada's waters, and the requirement that Downeast LNG obtain a letter of consent from the Passamaquoddy Tribe re shared use of the waterway.

Downeast LNG fails on the above requirements. The decision to try to sell the project is indication that they are through wasting money on a dead horse, and they hope some rich daddy with more money than sense will bail them out. Too bad, Dean Girdis and company — you've dug yourself into one hell of a money pit with no reasonable way out.

Gulf of Mexico

MARAD approves surrender of Port Dolphin Energy deepwater port license (May 11) — LNG Law Blog

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) has granted Port Dolphin Energy’s request to surrender and terminate its Deepwater Port License authorizing it to own, construct and operate an LNG deepwater port approximately 28 miles off the western coast of Florida, and approximately 42 miles from Port Manatee, Manatee County, Florida. In October 2015, FERC granted Port Dolphin Energy’s request to vacate its certificate authority to construct and operate the onshore portion of a pipeline, which would interconnect to Port Dolphin Energy’s proposed deepwater port LNG import terminal due to market conditions. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

FERC authorizes two additional trains for Cameron LNG (May 9) — LNG Law Blog

FERC has issued an order authorizing Cameron LNG to construct and operate a fifth 160,000-cubic meter (m3) LNG storage tank, which would store LNG pending export, and two additional liquefaction trains, Trains 4 and 5, each with a liquefaction capability of 4.985 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA). Cameron proposes to construct the facilities at its LNG terminal on the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes, La. The expansion would allow Cameron LNG to export an additional 515 Bcf/year of domestically-produced natural gas or the equivalent of 9.97 MMTPA of LNG from its existing LNG terminal. The expansion would increase the LNG terminal’s export capability to approximately 1.29 Tcf/year of domestically-produced natural gas or 24.92 MMTPA of LNG.

Ex-Cheniere Energy CEO Charif Souki’s new company, Driftwood LNG, requests initiation of Pre-Filing review process for Louisiana terminal (May 13) — LNG Law Blog

Driftwood LNG LLC and Driftwood LNG Pipeline LLC (together, Driftwood) have filed a request with FERC to initiate the pre-filing environmental review process for a 26 million tonnes/year LNG production and export facility on the west side of the Calcasieu River near Carlyss, Calcasieu Parish, La. and an interconnected pipeline. Driftwood anticipates the project to be operational in 2025. Driftwood is a subsidiary of Tellurian LNG LLC, founded by ex-Cheniere Energy CEO Charif Souki and Martin Houston, founding partner and former head of Houston-based LNG developer Parallax Energy.

Rio Grande LNG files FERC application (May 9) — LNG Law Blog

Rio Grande LNG, LLC and Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC (together, Applicants) have filed an application with FERC for authorization to site, construct and operate liquefaction and LNG export terminal facilities in the Brownsville Navigation District in Cameron County, Texas and an interconnected pipeline. The terminal facilities would consist of six liquefaction trains, each with a nominal capacity of approximately 4.5 million metric tonnes per annum (approximately 0.6 Bcf/day), four LNG tanks (each with a capacity of 180,000 cubic meters), two marine jetties for ocean-going LNG vessels (with capacities ranging from 125,000 m3 to 185,000 m3), one turning basin, and four LNG and two natural gas liquids truck loading bays. Applicants request that FERC issue a final order on their application by the end of the first quarter of 2017.


FERC denies request to rehear Aguirre approval (May 5) — LNG Law Blog

FERC has issued an order denying Comité Diálogo Ambiental, Inc.’s (Diálogo) request for rehearing of FERC’s July 24, 2015 order, which approved Aguirre Offshore GasPort, LLC’s (Aguirre) proposed LNG import terminal facilities along the southern shore of Puerto Rico near Salinas. FERC rejected Diálogo’s allegation that the July 24 Order erred in determining that Aguirre’s floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) is not FERC jurisdictional after finding that Aguirre’s proposed FSRU is a waterborne vessel capable of ocean travel and will be used to deliver natural gas to or from an LNG Terminal and, therefore, is exempt from FERC jurisdiction under Natural Gas Act section 2(11). FERC also rejected Diálogo’s allegation that FERC’s analyses of the environmental and socioeconomic aspects of the proposal were inadequate.

Alberta & British Columbia

Wet'suwet'en, Gitxsan leaders take LNG fight to UN (May 13) — The Interior News, Smithers, BC

First Nations leaders from northern British Columbia took a strong stance at the United Nations on Thursday in opposition to plans to build a liquefied natural gas project in their ancestral lands. They called upon member nations of the world body to support their demand that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government reject the proposed Pacific Northwest LNG project being advanced by Malaysia’s state oil company, Petronas.

Their appearance at the UN came just two days after the Canadian government was at the 15th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, where Canada pledged to abide fully with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

“Right now, in our ancestral lands, everything the Trudeau government has pledged to get right with Canada’s Indigenous peoples is in danger of going very, very wrong,” Ridsdale said. “It is 2016, and Petronas is the wrong project in the wrong place at the wrong time.” [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Japan’s Idemitsu, AltaGas suspend Canadian LNG project (May 10) — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

Japanese oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co said on Tuesday its joint venture with Canada’s AltaGas would suspend a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Canada for the foreseeable future due to low energy prices.

A consortium of companies including AltaGas and Idemitsu in February had also halted further development of the separate Douglas Channel LNG project on British Columbia’s Pacific coast in Canada citing unfavorable market conditions.

Obama methane regulations come into focus: EPA finalizes methane standards for new O&G sources; requests information for existing sources (May 13) — JDSupra

[This article also appears under United States, below.]

On Thursday, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took a significant step toward meeting the Obama administration's pledge to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector to 40‑45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025. Specifically, EPA released three final rules on methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. Arguably, more importantly, EPA issued a draft Information Collect Request (ICR) that will help the agency gather information to inform its future rulemaking on existing oil and gas sources.

Methane is a short-term but potent greenhouse gas (GHG) pollutant that has 28‑36 percent greater global warming potential than carbon dioxide (CO2) according to a 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Thus, while the shift from coal to natural gas generation in the electricity sector has helped to reduce CO2 emissions in the US electricity sector, EPA's actions are responding to increased concerns regarding the impact of methane emissions from shale gas production on broader efforts to reduce GHG emissions. EPA's actions also come in the context of increased US bilateral and multilateral engagement and cooperation on climate change, exemplified by December's Paris Agreement and the US-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy, and Arctic Leadership of March 10, 2016.

Noting that oil and gas facilities are the largest industrial emitters of methane in the United States, EPA's ICR will require companies to gather and submit information that EPA indicates will enable the agency to "develop comprehensive regulations to reduce emissions from existing sources" in the oil and gas sector. Covered industry sources will include methane emissions that occur during the production, gathering, processing, transmission and storage aspects of the oil and gas sector. EPA's ICR also seeks information on innovative, accurate and cost-efficient strategies that members of the industry are using to monitor and mitigate methane emissions.

In addition to work at the federal level, the Alberta government has announced that it will introduce legislation shortly that will require oil and gas operators to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations by 45 percent by 2025….

This initiative is consistent with the March announcement by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Obama that Canada and the US will work together to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

B.C. First Nations appeal to United Nations to help stop LNG plant (May 12) — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

First Nations leaders from northwestern British Columbia have taken their battle against a liquefied natural gas project to the United Nations.

Opponents say the $36-billion Pacific Northwest plant, slated for Lelu Island at the mouth of the Skeena River, threatens wild salmon habitat on the second largest salmon bearing river in B.C.

Hereditary Chief of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, John Ridsdale, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earned cheers at a recent UN forum by pledging to protect the rights of indigenous people.

TransCanada receives permit for LNG Canada feeder pipeline (May 5) — LNG Law Blog

TransCanada Corporation announced that it has received the last of the permits it needs from the British Columbia (B.C.) Oil and Gas Commission to build and operate the Coastal GasLink pipeline, a 670-kilometre pipeline that would bring gas from the Groundbirch area near Dawson Creek to the proposed LNG Canada liquefaction and export terminal near Kitimat, B.C. for export to Asian markets. According to the announcement, a Final Investment Decision by the pipeline’s customers, the joint venture partners of LNG Canada, is expected in late 2016. If approved, pipeline construction would begin in 2017.

Article casts doubt on viability of proposed western Canadian LNG export terminals (May 5) — LNG Law Blog

An article on CBCNews observes that no final investment decisions have been made for any of the several LNG export terminals proposed for the Canadian west coast. The author of the article asserts that the “collapse in global LNG prices is the main culprit for why so many Canadian LNG export projects are in limbo or no longer make economic sense.” Other factors cited for the lack of progress on the proposed terminals include regulatory relay and First Nations opposition.


FERC tolls rehearing of order rejecting Jordan Cove Energy Project LNG terminal application (May 10) — LNG Law Blog

FERC has issued a tolling order which extends indefinitely the time by which FERC must act on requests for rehearing of its order which rejected Jordan Cove Energy Project’s application to construct a liquefaction and LNG export terminal at Coos Bay, Ore., and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline’s proposed interconnected pipeline, for lack of market support. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

United States

Funding Dries up for New U.S. Gas Export Terminals (Feb 17) — The Wall Street Journal

Look for financing to slow down for U.S. natural gas exports this year.

This burgeoning industry is running out of customers and investors to fund new multibillion-dollar projects, according to panelists who spoke Tuesday at a New York University symposium on U.S. gas exports. Oil and gas producers are flooding the market, sinking prices and giving pause for what had been one of the most active sectors in finance.

[FERC] has fully approved five projects. Three are under construction with Cheniere Energy Partners LP’s Sabine Pass terminal on pace to send out the first shipments later this year. But 28 others still wait in line, said Robert Fee, a senior advisor and fossil-fuel expert at the department. Their path to construction depends as much on international competition as it does on domestic policy.

Big international buyers don’t feel pressure to sign more long-term contracts. The national utility companies that wanted them have already signed, Mr. Boudrias said. Without more committed buyers, financiers won’t step in. They don’t want to take the risk that prices can rise enough to support a profitable spot market. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Obama methane regulations come into focus: EPA finalizes methane standards for new O&G sources; requests information for existing sources (May 13) — JDSupra

[This article also appears under Alberta & British Columbia, above.]

On Thursday, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took a significant step toward meeting the Obama administration's pledge to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector to 40‑45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025. Specifically, EPA released three final rules on methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. Arguably, more importantly, EPA issued a draft Information Collect Request (ICR) that will help the agency gather information to inform its future rulemaking on existing oil and gas sources.

Methane is a short-term but potent greenhouse gas (GHG) pollutant that has 28‑36 percent greater global warming potential than carbon dioxide (CO2) according to a 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Thus, while the shift from coal to natural gas generation in the electricity sector has helped to reduce CO2 emissions in the US electricity sector, EPA's actions are responding to increased concerns regarding the impact of methane emissions from shale gas production on broader efforts to reduce GHG emissions. EPA's actions also come in the context of increased US bilateral and multilateral engagement and cooperation on climate change, exemplified by December's Paris Agreement and the US-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy, and Arctic Leadership of March 10, 2016.

Noting that oil and gas facilities are the largest industrial emitters of methane in the United States, EPA's ICR will require companies to gather and submit information that EPA indicates will enable the agency to "develop comprehensive regulations to reduce emissions from existing sources" in the oil and gas sector. Covered industry sources will include methane emissions that occur during the production, gathering, processing, transmission and storage aspects of the oil and gas sector. EPA's ICR also seeks information on innovative, accurate and cost-efficient strategies that members of the industry are using to monitor and mitigate methane emissions.

In addition to work at the federal level, the Alberta government has announced that it will introduce legislation shortly that will require oil and gas operators to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations by 45 percent by 2025….

This initiative is consistent with the March announcement by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Obama that Canada and the US will work together to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Pipeline opponents target FERC in a week of actions (May 17) — State Impact Pennsylvania (NPR)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the target of a week-long series of protests by pipeline opponents who say the agency is a “rubber stamp” for industry. Seven people were arrested blocking the driveway entrance to the agency on Monday, while others plan to picket the homes of FERC commissioners, and disrupt the agency’s monthly meeting on Thursday.

“The reason we’re going to the commissioner’s homes is, they don’t listen and they need to be held accountable,” said Tuhus.

“We’re not going away,” said Tuhus. “We’re persistent and we need to keep making noise.”

Activists like Tuhus say the protests are starting to pay off. She points to New York state, which recently halted the Constitution Pipeline project by withholding water crossing permits and the FERC’s recent rejection of the Jordan Cove LNG proposal in Oregon. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Day 2: Dinner in front of FERC Chairman Norman Bay’s house (May 17) — Beyond Extreme Energy

On the evening of Day 2, the #RubberStampRebellion dined al fresco — on the sidewalk in front of FERC Chairman Norman Bay’s house near Dupont Circle. Attire advice for the 25 or so in attendance: Rain gear. On the menu from Seeds of Peace: spicy tacos with beans, rice and cabbage and an apple dessert cake.

Visiting the commissioner at his home is a step not lightly taken. The chairman has expressed disdain and impatience regarding Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) activists’ repeated interruptions at monthly meetings of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. These speakers are promptly ushered out. He and other commissioners don’t attend hearings in communities in the way of fracked-gas pipelines, storage facilities, liquefaction and export facilities, and compressor stations, instead sending staff. His agency advises industry about a “successful” strategy that “greatly increases the chances that a project will proceed in a timely, efficient and credible manner.” And FERC disregards the countless carefully submitted objections to the fracked-gas industry’s plans for communities.

[A]s part of BXE’s #RubberStampRebellion actions this week, activists are spending one night on the sidewalk in front of the house of each of the four commissioners. On the first night, activists posted a notice of eminent domain on the front door of Commissioner Tony Clark’s house. They also taped wanted-style posters in the park across the street, letting neighbors know about his job as serial community- and climate-wrecker.

During the day, #RubberStampRebellion activists went to Capitol Hill on behalf of local communities who are fighting FERC projects. They visited offices of Florida Sen. Ben Nelson, asking him to oppose several projects moving through the FERC approval process, including Spectra’s Sabal Trail pipeline; New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, asking them to speak out against the Spectra AIM pipeline; and Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, calling on him to oppose a fracked-gas liquefaction facility proposed at Fields Point in South Providence. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Day 1: 7 arrested in #RubberStampRebellion at FERC; encampment at home of Tony Clark (May 16) — Beyond Extreme Energy

On the first day of the #RubberStampRebellion, seven climate activists were arrested while forming a human blockade at the exit of the underground parking garage at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, DC.

All week, BXE is carrying out creative, non-violent actions throughout the Washington, D.C., area, targeting FERC and the fossil fuel industry whose projects that rogue agency approves.

BXE is calling for an end to the Fracked-gas Expansion Rubber-stamp Commission, an end to the FERC that promotes fracking and fossil fuel infrastructure that makes wealthy corporations more powerful while sacrificing communities, our health and our Earth. BXE calls for a swift, just transition to a renewable-energy economy.

On the first night of the RubberStampRebellion, six climate activists visited the Ashburn, VA., home of FERC commissioner Tony Clark.

They … posted on his front door a notice of eminent domain, similar to the orders used to seize land for pipelines for transporting fracked gas. In March, BXE had a #PancakesNotPipelines action at FERC to protest maple trees razed under an eminent domain seizure for the proposed Constitution pipeline in Pennsylvania and New York, even though all state permits had not been granted. With Josh Fox and Tim DeChristopher acting as pancake chefs, landowner Megan Holleran served up the last drops of syrup from her trees at the event. A week after the Holleran family’s maple trees we cut down, New York said it would not issue permits needed for the pipeline. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

DOE releases first quarter LNG import/export data (May 13) — LNG Law Blog

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy has released data covering U.S. LNG imports and exports for the First Quarter of 2016. The report shows that four vessel-borne commissioning cargoes of domestically-produced LNG, totaling 11.5 million Mcf, were exported from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Cameron Parish, La. to Brazil, India and United Arab Emirates. The spot-purchased cargoes were sold at export point prices, also known as free on board (FOB) prices, ranging from $3.35 to $3.77/MMBtu. The report also indicates that American LNG Marketing, LLC exported 4,460 Mcf of domestically-produced LNG via ISO containers from Miami, Fla. to Barbados at FOB prices ranging from $10.00 to $15.78/MMBtu.


France considering ban on fracked gas imports as U.S. ramps up LNG exports to Europe (May 11) — EcoWatch

France is investigating a ban on the import of shale natural gas from the U.S. Shale gas is extracted using hydraulic fracturing, a technique banned in France since 2011.

The issue arose due to contracts signed by French utilities Engie and EDF with Houston-based Cheniere Energy, which led to the import of LNG containing about 40 percent shale gas. The potential ban comes as America is ramping up its LNG exports to Europe. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Germany just got almost all of its power from renewable energy (May 16) — Bloomberg

Clean power supplied almost all of Germany’s power demand for the first time on Sunday, marking a milestone for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “Energiewende” policy to boost renewables while phasing out nuclear and fossil fuels.

Solar and wind power peaked at 2 p.m. local time on Sunday, allowing renewables to supply 45.5 gigawatts as demand was 45.8 gigawatts, according to provisional data by Agora Energiewende, a research institute in Berlin. Power prices turned negative during several 15-minute periods yesterday, dropping as low as minus 50 euros ($57) a megawatt-hour, according to data from Epex Spot.

Countries around Europe are building increasing amounts of renewable capacity in order to reduce their carbon emissions and boost supply security. Last year Denmark’s wind farms supplied 140 percent of demand, while the U.K. had no coal-fired power stations meeting electricity demand for about four hours on May 10 as a result of plant breakdowns. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


2016 May 9

Passamaquoddy Bay

PDF fileFormer Saint Andrews mayor wants LNG in municipal election discussions [Op-ed column] (May 2) — The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

Community members around Passamaquoddy Bay need to be aware of an important safety and economic issue that faces us all — and that Saint Andrews and Campobello Island residents have the power and opportunity to resolve this problem for all of us. The issue is the remaining LNG project in Passamaquoddy Bay, Downeast LNG.

[B]oth Saint Andrews and Campobello Island have the ability to pass a local bylaw prohibiting large foreign or domestic federally-defined hazard zones from encroaching on zoned residential and recreational areas. The new bylaw would immediately mean that Downeast LNG ships would literally be prohibited from transiting into and out of Passamaquoddy Bay, and to do so would be in violation of that law — a place Downeast LNG and their investors do not want to be. It would also mean that the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) would be aiding and abetting thai illegal activity. Thus, enacting such a bylaw could stop the LNG permilting at FERC.

You can be assured that if I were mayor of Saint Andrews right now, the bylaw would already be in place. Ways exist to take this decisive action related to the l.NG threat that has dogged our area for way too long. This bylaw can be locked in place now. To enact this solution is to stand against big U.S. corporations, deep U.S. pockets, threats from US developers, real estate devaluation, and harm to our vital tourism- and fishing-based economy — not to mention disruption of our safety, security, quality of life, and children's future.

Saint Andrews council currently wants to enact a bylaw to protect historic properties. Why not enact a bylaw to protect the lives, property, and economy of the town's citizens from LNG ship hazard zones? Those hazard zones would extend from LNG ships over homes, the golf course, and the Blockhouse in St. Andrews, and over much of Campobello Island, endangering homes, families, and livelihoods. Campobello council, also, can change this immediately.

When voting on May 9, vote for candidates who will enact a bylaw prohibiting LNG hazard zones from endangering your lives and livelihoods. Ask the candidates, push them to recognize this as a logical and attainable solution, and vote accordingly. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

PDF fileAd: No LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay (May 2) — The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

LNG carrier near Head Harbour Lightstation

By enacting bylaws, the St. Andrews and Campobello Councils can stop the Downeast LNG project and prevent any more LNG terminal projects from being proposed for either side of Passamaquoddy Bay.


Summit faces $250,000 fine for potentially explosive gas leak (Apr 19) — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

PORTLAND, Maine — Summit Natural Gas faces a $250,000 fine from regulators after an Augusta gas leak that utilities investigators wrote was potentially “catastrophic.”

“In some locations, gas had concentrated into an explosive mixture of gas and air, creating an immediate and extremely serious threat to life and safety,” regulators wrote in a penalty recommendation issued in March. “Had gas continued its migration and entered a nearby building — for example the Applebee’s restaurant — and ignited, the resulting damage could have been catastrophic and caused multiple fatalities.” [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: LNG is natural gas in cryogenic liquefied form. Hazards are greater with LNG due to the cryogenic qualities and greater volumes of fuel (LNG contains 600 times the energy as the same volume of non-liquefied natural gas).


In a first, no bids offered at Cook Inlet lease sale (May 3) — Alaska Journal of Commerce

ConocoPhillips previously provided an alternative export market for gas through the company’s liquefied natural gas plant near Kenai, but with low LNG prices in Asia it is considered unlikely that the plant will make gas purchases for export shipments this year. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

British Columbia

Pembina seeks to avert huge LNG polluter (May 2) — National Observer

As it stands, the Pacific NorthWest LNG project is lined up to become one of the worst carbon polluters in Canada.

If constructed, it could account for up to 87 per cent of all emissions allowed under B.C.’s 2050 target according to the Pembina Institute, and make a mockery of climate commitments made by Canada in Paris and New York City.

Aside from becoming a large carbon polluter however, environmentalists and First Nations are also believe the Petronas-led initiative will wipe out salmon in northeastern B.C., damage the ecosystem on the precious Flora Bank, harm harbour porpoises and plough through unceded Indigenous territory. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

BC First Nations adamantly oppose LNG on Lelu Island despite province claims (Apr 21) — Indian Country Today Media Network

First Nation leaders from northwestern British Columbia said this week that they adamantly oppose a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility on Lelu Island, despite recent provincial government claims to the contrary.

A delegation of First Nation leaders from Northwest B.C. traveled to Ottawa this week to ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reject Petronas’s Pacific Northwest (PNW) Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility on Lelu Island and make clear the project does not have the full support of the Tsimshian community of Lax Kw’alaams. The supportive letters, they said, came from elected leadership in a system set up by the federal government and Indian Act, while the opposition’s source is community members themselves and their hereditary leadership.

The delegation consisting of hereditary chiefs from Lelu Island, Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan First Nations, as well as Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs President Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, said that in recent months there have been misleading claims of support for the $36 billion PNW LNG project.

United States

US positioned itself as a strong LNG supplier (Apr 4) —

[T]here is still a cloud of uncertainty hanging above the US’s LNG market ambitions. Due to the fall in commodity prices, out of the twenty announced LNG plants, not all construction projects will be executed. There are two plants operating in the country at the moment and six more are in their construction stages. On top of that, the US has met a serious competitor in the face of Australia, which is also carrying out plans of LNG market domination. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

The future of U.S. shale gas hinges on our southern border (Apr 4) — CountingPips Forex Trading

There’s no denying that the United States is currently experiencing a shale gas glut.

Between the shale surplus and limited storage, the scenario seems bleak. And the single glimmer of hope for the U.S. gas industry is quickly being snuffed out.

The demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Asia has taken a dramatic swan-dive off a cliff. With its descent has come an equally shocking decline in value, as well. Prices for LNG in Asia have fallen more than 35% since the start of 2016 – even as prices reached $4.40 per million British thermal units (BTUs), which is a record low for this time of year.

Russia’s natural gas giant Gazprom (OGZPY) is prepared to launch an all-out war on U.S. LNG in Europe to defend its territory. And, just like Saudi Arabia before them, the Russians are prepared to jack up supplies and lower prices to ensure continued sales in Europe.

There is, however, one remaining viable option to bail out the U.S. natural gas industry – the demand for our natural gas is soaring just south of our borders, in Mexico.

Of course, the gas doesn’t make its way to Mexico on its own – it must be transported via pipelines.

A five-year plan by the Mexican government calls for the addition of more than 3,000 miles of natural gas pipelines connecting the U.S. and Mexico. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


LNG carriers and producers face oversupply (Apr 12) — Maritime Executive

On [April 12], the International Gas Union (IGU) released the 2016 edition of its benchmark World LNG Report, and the year's overall theme - as in bulk, container, and offshore - can be summed up as "overcapacity."

While global LNG trade reached a historic high of 250 mtpa in 2015, global nominal liquefaction capacity outstripped demand by 50 mtpa - with another 140 mtpa under construction as of January, plus 20 mtpa with a positive final investment decision, and a total of nearly 900 mtpa of new capacity in various stages of proposal and evaluation. If all of the projects proposed were to be completed, they would total to more than four times the annual demand in 2015 - but IGU expects that only some will reach operation given that their total is so far in excess of demand projections.

Oversupply also plagues the LNG carrier fleet, which saw delivery of nearly 30 ships in 2015, far outstripping requirements. Charter rates fell by half over the span of the year. In addition to rising numbers, the average size of the newbuilds has increased, reflecting interest in cost efficiency and in the use of the larger New Panama Canal for inter-basin trade. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

The time has come to turn up the heat on those who are wrecking planet Earth (May 3) — The Guardian, New York, NY

Break free and join the biggest global action against fossil fuel companies the world has ever seen

Global warming is the biggest problem we’ve ever faced as a civilisation — certainly you want to act to slow it down, but perhaps you’ve been waiting for just the right moment.

That would be this moment – the moment when 135 children have drowned in Thailand trying to cool off from the worst heatwave on record there. The moment when, in a matter of months, we’ve recorded the highest windspeeds ever measured in the western and southern hemispheres.

For years people have patiently and gently tried to nudge us on to a new path for dealing with our climate and energy troubles – we’ve had international conferences and countless symposia and lots and lots and lots of websites. And it’s sort of worked—the world met in Paris last December and announced it would like to hold temperature increases to 1.5C or less. Celebration ensued. But what also ensued was February, when the planet’s temperature first broke through that 1.5C barrier. And as people looked past the rhetoric, they saw that the promises made in Paris would add up to a world 3.5C warmer—an impossible world. The world we’re starting to see take shape around us.

We need to keep oil and gas and coal in the ground, keep it from being burned and adding its freight of carbon to the global total.

Which is why, from one end of the planet to the other, people are taking greater risks this month. In one of the biggest coordinated civil disobedience actions the world has ever seen, frontline communities and climate scientists and indigenous people and faith leaders and just plain people who actually give a damn will be sitting down and sitting in and standing pat—blocking, at least for a few hours, those places where the coal and oil and gas currently reside, in the hopes of helping keep them there.

The time has come to turn up the heat on the small band of companies and people still willing to get rich off fossil fuel, even though it’s now utterly clear they’re breaking the planet.

The time has come to take action commensurate with the scale of the problem. Yes, risking arrest is harder than signing a Facebook petition. But experience has shown it can often work—that’s what kicked the fight against the Keystone pipeline into high gear, turning it into the highest profile defeat of the oil industry in a generation. That’s what made it impossible for Shell to keep drilling in the Arctic, and for Adani to find the funds they need to build Earth’s biggest coal mine.

The planet is well outside its comfort zone—that’s what it means when whole ecosystems are obliterated in a matter of days. Which means its time for us to be there too. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

2016 May 3


Proposed inland storage sites add to Maine natural gas review (May 2) — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

PORTLAND, Maine — After regulators sort out whether Maine electricity customers should pay up to $75 million annually to help fund expanded natural gas pipeline capacity, they may have another question before them: whether ratepayers should help pay for natural gas storage facilities.

A bill that became law earlier this month allows the Maine Public Utilities Commission to have ratepayers fund contracts with liquified natural gas storage facilities, an expansion of the authority granted to the commission under a broad 2013 energy bill.

Just like a pipeline, a storage facility could contract with generators, liquified natural gas exporters or others to supply gas.

Regulators are holding hearings this week as they move toward deciding the pipeline capacity question, weighing the costs and benefits of specific proposals from two developers, Spectra Energy and Portland Natural Gas Transmission System.

Another developer, Kinder Morgan, earlier this month scrapped a plan for a new pipeline Maine regulators also were considering.

In pushing for the gas storage bill last year, Coleman testified that Northern LNG has a proposal for a 1.2 billion-cubic-foot liquified natural gas storage facility near Emera Energy’s Rumford generator, a project designed and developed by Northern LNG partner Energy Management Inc.

[Catalyst Paper, General Electric, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, the Mahoosuc Land Trust, the Oxford County Commissioners, and Rumford Hospital] praised the economic benefits for the region and the Mahoosuc Land Trust said it supported the proposal for the possibility of addressing peak natural gas demand while possibly preventing construction of natural gas pipelines that executive director James Mitchell wrote “may not be needed.” [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

PUC considering proposals to expand natural gas in Maine (Apr 28) — MPBN

The upfront cost to consumers under the proposed plan would be as much as $75 million a year. But the contracts could provide a secure revenue stream that gas companies could leverage to finance investments in new pipeline capacity.

But detractors say that natural gas prices have cratered since the high of three years ago, and demand has leveled off as well, showing that regulatory intervention could be risky for consumers.

“The idea that increasing the supply in New England will drive down electricity prices is speculative, and worse than that it’s speculation on the backs of our electricity customers,” says Greg Cunningham, an energy analyst at the Conservation Law Foundation.

Cunningham says that at a time when the U.S. is trying to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, it would be a mistake to lock the region and ratepayers into an energy regime dominated by natural gas, which contributes to global warming. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Natural gas pipeline riddle nears final answer in Maine (Apr 27) — Portland Press Herald, Portland, ME

With public hearings starting and markets volatile, it's still unclear whether expansion is worth the price for ratepayers.

[A]fter three years of study, it’s still unclear how much money – if any – utility customers would save by helping to increase the supply of natural gas, which is used to generate half of New England’s electric power.

The bill [approved by the Legislature in 2013] directed the Public Utilities Commission to study whether it made sense for ratepayers, through utility contracts, to buy up to 200 million cubic feet of natural gas, at an annual cost of no more than $75 million.

But much has changed since 2013.

Natural gas wholesale prices are lower now than they’ve been in more than a decade. Slack demand during a warmer-than-average winter dropped wholesale electric prices in 2015 to the second-lowest level in 12 years.

Also down are prices for imported liquefied natural gas, which supplements domestic supplies.

[T]he past three years have shown just how volatile energy markets are, and why utility customers shouldn’t backstop investments for multibillion-dollar energy companies.

In Maine, the PUC review has been exhaustive. It has compiled 417 separate filings and 74 requests for data from parties in the case that include pipeline companies, environmental groups, utilities and government agencies. Much time has been spent dissecting and refuting details of a cost-benefit analysis of the proposals by a consultant for the PUC. The report indicated ratepayer investment wouldn’t be worthwhile. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Maine competes on energy costs, so why ‘misrepresent the real facts?’ (May 1) — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

PORTLAND, Maine — Cianbro chairman Peter Vigue gets a little bit frustrated with talk of Maine’s high energy prices, because the state can claim New England’s lowest average electricity costs since about 2008.

“It’s really a distraction and convinces people that we’re not going to be competitive,” Vigue said.

From experience at the helm of a construction firm in Pittsfield that has won contracts around the country and last year brought on 300 more employees to boost its headcount to about 1,750, Vigue said politicians should trumpet Maine’s low power costs relative to other New England states.

“It affects the economy of the state and the perception that people have of our state,” Vigue said in a telephone interview. “And the New England states are our primary competitors in bringing business here.”

“What good does it do to talk about things — especially when they’re not true — in such a way that they just tear the state down and misrepresent the real facts?” Vigue said.

New Brunswick

Saint John requests repeal of Canaport LNG tax deal — CBC News

Saint John council voted unanimously on Monday night to move ahead with the repeal of the 11-year-old Canaport LNG tax deal but it could be years before any additional revenue arrives in municipal coffers.

The Canaport LNG property is assessed at $299 million, but under terms of the 2005 deal requested by Saint John's then council, and agreed to by the provincial government, Irving Oil's property taxes are fixed at $500,000 annually until 2031.

The taxes on a $299 million property would — under normal circumstances — generate $8.02 million annually for the municipality.

Webmaster's comment: Canaport LNG fooled Saint John and the Province of New Brunswick when the project was new, claiming that the project just couldn't afford to pay all those taxes. In reality, Canaport LNG has been receiving $12 million per year in rent receipts for the property. That is seven times the amount it has been paying in taxes. Is anyone surprised that an LNG project would lie to the public?

New England

Column: Pipeline battle isn't over in Massachusetts (Apr 27) — The Salem News, Salem, MA

A wave of victory parties and impromptu parades has swept the region, celebrating the suspension of Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline project. What comes next?

This is not an end, but a beginning of the recognition of the power and potential of the broad-based network of engaged citizens, organizations and state and local officials that has formed over the past 26 months of concerted opposition to the pipeline.

But for those who need a reason that hits closer to home to stay involved, here’s a sobering reality: Political pressure is necessary to ensure that we do not see what some are calling “zombie NED” – a return of the nightmare pipeline proposal. NED is still twitching and could be given life support by the Massachusetts Legislature. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


NYS lawmakers to FERC: Halt AIM Pipeline until study is completed (Apr 25) — WAMC

More than three dozen New York state lawmakers have signed a letter sent to a federal energy regulator. They want construction halted on a pipeline project until an independent safety risk analysis is completed.

The lawmakers’ letter comes in support of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s February 29 directive to have an independent safety analysis to determine if the pipeline poses a risk to Indian Point [Nuclear Power Plant]. As Galef pointed out, the lawmakers signing represent districts within or very close to the 50-mile radius of the Buchanan-based nuclear power plant. The letter asks FERC to reverse its March 25 rejection of Cuomo’s request to stop construction until the study is completed. Senator Tony Avella, a Queens Democrat, says he signed onto the letter for a number of reasons.

“It’s just inappropriate to have these pipelines going through our state. It’s too dangerous,” says Avella. “And, in this case, we need to stop it because of the fact of its proximity to Indian Point.” [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Gulf of Mexico

Cheniere’s Sabine Pass requests FERC to place Train 1 into service — LNG World News

Houston-based Cheniere started exporting LNG from the Sabine Pass facility, the first of its kind to ship U.S. shale gas overseas, in February. Since then, the company shipped seven commissioning cargoes from the plant to South America, Asia and Europe.

According to the document sent to FERC, Sabine Pass Liquefaction and Sabine Pass LNG, both units of Cheniere, are requesting authorization to place the following facilities in service on or before May 3: Train 1 Inside Battery Limits; Heat Recovery Unit (HRU) and Condensate; and Stage 1 Outside the Battery Limits (OSBL) (to include the marine flare which was granted authorization to operate on December 21, 2015).

The company plans to construct over time up to six liquefaction trains, which are in various stages of development. Each train is expected to have a nominal production capacity of about 4.5 mtpa of LNG.


Bogue plant to deliver cheaper energy soon (Apr 28) — Jamaica Information Service, Government of Jamaica

The promise by the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) company to deliver lower energy prices to consumers with the conversion of its Bogue, St. James plant to liquefied natural gas (LNG) is almost a reality.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the JPS, Kelly Tomblin, said this should be fully realised by the middle of August this year.

On a recent tour of the Bogue facility, Ms. Tomblin told JIS News that all permits and licences are in place and that the gas pipeline construction is almost 95 per cent complete.

Ms. Tomblin, who also met with representatives of the US-based New Fortress Energy, the supplier who will be providing the long-term natural gas solution for the company’s power plants, added that the project is within budget and has so far provided employment for 150 persons.


Corrected: Alaska LNG to delay filing of FERC application for project (Apr 29) — Platts News

The Alaska LNG Project will delay its formal application to the US Federal Energy Commission until mid-November 2016 from the September 2016 date that had been planned, a spokesman for a project partner said Friday.

Alaska LNG is a $45 billion-$65 billion project that would build an 800-mile pipeline from the North Slope to a large LNG export plant in southern Alaska. Up to 20 million mt of LNG yearly could be exported under a Energy Department license that has been issued.

The delay in filing the FERC application is the first formal acknowledgment that the schedule is slipping.

"There's no doubt we are facing strong economic headwinds with this project," Baker told the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, a contractor group. "It's no secret that LNG prices are not as high as when we started this project. With energy prices this low the partners, including the state, have to look seriously at all options and capital investments." [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

British Columbia

B.C. continues to neglect climate recommendations, favours LNG projects —

As Trudeau's Liberal government meets its six-month mark of being in office, climate group the Pembina Institute is calling for a clear, comprehensive climate change test for Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) projects.

"Canada's federal government was elected last October on a platform that contained many environmental commitments. One of the most…hotly debated was their commitment to establish a pan-Canadian climate change framework," said Erin Flanagan, Program Director of Federal Policy at the Pembina Institute. "Since the government's election they have confirmed that working with the provinces and territories will be cornerstone to the federal approach on climate change."

The group hosted a webinar yesterday outlining what a climate test -- under the federal government's promise for a renewed environmental assessment process -- could look like and how it would affect proposed projects, such as the Pacific NorthWest (PNW) Project near Prince Rupert, B.C.

"When you combine emissions from the LNG terminal plus associated upstream emissions, it would be among the largest carbon polluters in Canada," he said. "From our perspective, whenever you have a project like that that's a material in a national or a provincial context in terms of being able to meet targets, it's entirely appropriate there should be a higher level of stringency and a higher level of rigor around the questions testing whether or not it makes sense for a project to go forward."

What the Pembina Institute proposes is a climate test that includes asking two critical questions: is the region on track to meet its climate targets and is carbon pollution from the project being minimized? If either of these questions has a negative answer, the project should not proceed. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Climate recommendations cut B.C. LNG emissions in half: Pembina Institute (May 2) — Metro News, Vancouver, BC

Pembina Institute says if B.C. doesn’t adopt Climate Leadership Team recommendations, Pacific NorthWest LNG project alone would exceed 2050 emissions target.

British Columbia could slash liquefied natural gas-related emissions in half if it adopts the recommendations laid out by its Climate Leadership Team.

Pembina Institute associate director Matt Horne made the case for recommendations Monday during a webinar where he compared the current projected greenhouse gas emissions for the Petronas-led Pacific NorthWest LNG project with estimates should Environment Minister Mary Polak adopt the team’s proposals.

Pacific NorthWest hopes B.C. LNG project in final stages before approval (May 2) — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

The consortium is seeking to push the project across the finish line after a series of delays that arose mostly because of requests from the agency for greater detail. The upcoming filings are significant because they are seen as the final chapters to Pacific NorthWest LNG’s submissions aimed at winning regulatory approval.

If cabinet clears the way, that will allow Pacific NorthWest LNG to make its own final investment decision, potentially in September. Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas leads the consortium. The other partners are from Japan, China, India and Brunei.

Petronas names new president of Pacific NorthWest LNG (Apr 29) — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

Petronas has named a new president at Pacific NorthWest LNG to oversee construction of the B.C. project, hoping to show Ottawa that the consortium is willing to forge ahead despite a federal environmental review that has taken more than three years.

Adnan Zainal Abidin, vice-president of global LNG projects at Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas, will take over on Sunday as Pacific NorthWest LNG president. The industry veteran joined Petronas in 1984 and rose through the ranks to become an expert in liquefied natural gas.

Industry analysts say a global glut of LNG and low prices for the fuel have cast doubt on major projects. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Canada set to make Petronas LNG decision as early as mid-summer (May 2) — BOE Report

The Canadian government expects to make a decision on environmental approvals for Petroliam Nasional Bhd.’s C$36 billion ($29 billion) liquefied natural gas project on the nation’s Pacific coast by mid- to late-summer.

While Canada seeks to catch up with global LNG competitors such as Australia and the U.S., its developers are struggling after the oil-market collapse brought down LNG prices and forced companies to cut spending on projects. The Petronas development has been held up by opposition from an aboriginal group near the site of its proposed shipping terminal. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

B.C. signed 62 LNG benefits agreements so far (May 2) — LNG World News

All the First Nations that have inked the benefits agreements are located along four proposed natural gas pipeline projects: Pacific Trail Pipeline, Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project, Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project, and the Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission Project.

The proposed Pacific Trail Pipeline is a 480-kilometre natural-gas pipeline to deliver gas from Summit Lake to the Kitimat LNG facility site at Bish Cove on the northwest coast.

1,000-man pipeline camp for Pacific NorthWest LNG approved (Apr 29) — The Mirror, Dawson Creek, BC

LNG plant hangs in limbo, awaiting federal approval and final investment decision

The camp, which would be built near Chetwynd in the Pine Pass, would serve as home base for workers building part of TransCanada’s 900-kilometre Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project

If approved, the pipeline would transport natural gas from Northeast B.C. to Petronas’s $11.4 billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project, where it will be liquefied and shipped to Asia.


Canadian LNG prospects keep getting worse as prices tank and red tape delays projects — CBC News

It's possible no export facilities are ever built in B.C., expert suggests

A collapse in global LNG prices is the main culprit for why so many Canadian LNG export projects are in limbo or no longer make economic sense.

There is a growing possibility that no companies make final investment decisions on LNG projects until at least 2020, said King.

LNG delays have put B.C. Premier Christy Clark under considerable pressure. She charismatically praised LNG as an industry that would bring incredible wealth to B.C. — money to pay off all of the province's debt and create a $100-billion prosperity fund.

"[That no LNG projects are built] is a distinct possibility. I think if something were to happen it would be 15 or 20 years down the road when there is actually enough demand. Absent that, I just don't see it," said Medlock.

In the meantime, the woes continue for natural gas producers. Prices are near 19-year lows. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

United States

Join the Rubber Stamp Rebellion — Environmental Action, Boston, MA

UPDATE: We've staged several interventions, interactions and interuptions at FERC - which even drew questions on Bloomberg news! Check out the latest coverage at the BXE blog.

In 2014, 46 fossil fuel pipelines were proposed or approved at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC),1 sparking a wave of backlash as communities from coast to coast fought eminent domain for private gain, worried about spills and leaks and opposed construction of all this climate-killing infrastructure. But by 2015, FERC had approved or considered 84 additional pipelines for fracked gas and extreme energy.

Maybe FERC thought they were just following orders, but what they got was a rebellion. Outraged that FERC is running roughshod over local property owners' rights and threatening our climate with all this extreme energy infrastructure, the Rubber Stamp Rebellion has begun.… [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Fossil fuels on Federal lands: Phase-out needed for climate goals, study says — InsideClimate News

Ending federal leasing program could reduce global emissions of carbon dioxide by 100 million tons, researchers find.

In a world cutting its use of carbon fuels to bring warming under control, "at some point in the next two decades, there is potentially no need for federal fossil fuels," said the analysis, published on Tuesday by the Stockholm Environmental Institute.

About a quarter of U.S. fossil fuel energy comes from federal lands, including 40 percent of coal. These subsidized leases are facing new challenges from environmental advocates who say they unwisely lock in high-carbon infrastructure for decades to come.

Taking into account switching between various fuels, the Stockholm study found that restricting coal leases would cut annual emissions by 107 million tons, partially offset by 36 million tons of additional emissions from natural gas. Restricting oil leases would cut emissions by 54 million tons, offset by additional emissions of 23 million tons from other fuels. Cutting natural gas leasing would have only negligible net effects, it found.

"Between them, these studies suggest that to be consistent with a 2 degree Celsius goal, the U.S. would need to cut aggregate fossil fuel production by 40–44 percent from current levels by 2040," the Stockholm paper found. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Natural gas net imports in 2015 at lowest level since 1986 — Hellenic Shipping News, Hellas [Greece]

U.S natural gas net imports fell to 2.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2015, continuing a decline that began in 2007, when net imports of natural gas exceeded 10 Bcf/d. While both U.S. natural gas consumption and production have increased in recent years, natural gas production has grown slightly faster, resulting in a decline in net imports. Increasing domestic production of natural gas has reduced U.S. reliance on imported natural gas and kept U.S. natural gas prices relatively low.

Most U.S. imports of natural gas come by pipeline from Canada. A small and declining amount of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) comes mainly from Trinidad. Most U.S. exports of natural gas are sent by pipeline to Mexico and Canada. The United States also exported LNG and compressed natural gas to several countries, but these volumes were relatively minimal in 2015. EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook expects that the United States will become a net exporter of natural gas by mid-2017.

VideoGlobal glut disrupts the flow of U.S. LNG exports (May 2) — Yahoo Finance

[Flash Video] Nicholas Potter, vice president of commodities at Barclays, examines the LNG market and outlets for U.S. production amid a global supply glut. He speaks on "Bloomberg Markets."

…It's only going to get worse….The market is so awash with LNG it's going to be very hard for projects to take a final investment decision now.

Webmaster's comment: But Downeast LNG has not been aware that the market for LNG has tanked, and has to take a time out from FERC permitting to sit down and study what is actually going.

The movement to stop fossil fuel development is winning (May 2) — EcoWatch

On Earth Day, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put a stop to the Constitution pipeline, a dangerous project to shipped fracked gas from Pennsylvania into New York, intersecting almost 300 bodies of water. His action sent a clear message that protecting the safety of the state’s drinking water was more important than expanding Big Oil’s profits. And the move didn’t come out of nowhere; the same grassroots pressure that successfully pushed Cuomo to ban fracking in 2014 pushed him to reject this dirty fracked gas pipeline.

It wasn’t just Earth Day that brought good news for the planet. Two days before, the Kinder Morgan energy behemoth canceled a gas pipeline that would have run through parts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The company faced stiff opposition from activists and residents of the towns where the pipeline would have been constructed.

Even government regulators that are accustomed to green-lighting dirty energy projects are changing their tune. Last month in Oregon the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said no to a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Coos Bay. The battle against the Jordan Cove terminal and more than 200 miles of pipeline goes back over a dozen years—proving once again that dedicated, sustained activism is what will win the fight against corporate greed. And then the Oregon LNG company announced that it’s ending its plan to build an export terminal and pipeline in the state.

The fact is, activism—when we apply enough pressure to our decision makers—works. We’ve seen it in New York, where Gov. Cuomo banned fracking in 2014 and stopped the Port Ambrose LNG facility. While Cuomo has emerged as a climate hero, other Democratic governors haven’t been as responsive to their constituents on climate matters, even though the Democratic establishment is feeling the activist pressure to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Despite his rhetoric, Gov. Jerry Brown in California continues to frack even in the face of the huge climate disaster in the Porter Ranch community. In addition to Governors Hickenlooper in Colorado, Tom Wolf and Gina Raimondo (Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, respectively) continue to support the fracking industry and related infrastructure despite mounting opposition in those states.

Energy Secretary Moniz: U.S. to be major LNG export player — LNG World News

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said he expects U.S. to be one of the major export players in the global liquefied natural gas market.

“The U.S. Department of Energy has approved the export of over 120 billion cubic meters of LNG per year. To give you a scale, that is one-third of Europe’s use, and its about the amount that Qatar, the world’s largest LNG exporter, currently exports,” Moniz told Bloomberg’s Rishaad Salamat in an interview on Wednesday.

Cheniere is building six liquefaction trains at its Sabine Pass plant, and is also constructing the Corpus Christi liquefaction project.

Besides these two projects, several more LNG export terminals are under construction along the Gulf Coast.

Webmaster's comment: The US has already approved exporting more LNG than the market can absorb. Then, there's Australia's gargantuan LNG export output to contend with. Plus, Russia's Sakalin Island and Yamal LNG output.

USA: LNG facility regulations due for update (Apr 27) — LNG World News

The United States Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [PHMSA] issued a notice for a public workshop on LNG regulations to be held on May 18-19, 2016.

The future regulatory change will affect the 49 CFR part 193, Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities which were first promulgated in 1970’s, when the majority of plants were built by natural gas pipeline operators for ‘‘peak shaving’’ or storage for injection back into natural gas pipelines to meet peak winter demand.

Due to the changes in the LNG industry from that period to the present, PHMSA is considering updates to Part 193 to reflect advances in technologies, design, construction, materials, material testing, and to address risks associated with new and aging facilities.

Senate passes bill to spur LNG and pipelines but those projects are faltering (Apr 21) — Bloomberg Government

The companion energy bills now headed for conference in Congress might be coming just a tad too late for backers of pipeline and LNG projects. After months of delay, the Senate passed its omnibus energy bill by a vote of 85-12. It includes measures to expedite approvals of LNG exports facilities, electricity transmission lines and natural-gas pipelines. Then just hours later, one of the most controversial pipeline projects in the country — Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Direct — was canceled. There just weren’t enough customers to justify building the $3.1 billion project, the nation’s largest pipeline company announced. It also canceled the Palmetto oil pipeline in Georgia, citing the state legislature limiting its ability to use eminent domain. It follows the collapse of the Oregon LNG project, and rejection by FERC of Jordan Cove LNG after failing to sign up enough customers. (Jordan Cove is returning to FERC for a rehearing.) … [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


Peru sends two LNG cargoes to Mexico (Apr 27) — LNG World News

Although Perupetro has not revealed the exact destination of the two cargoes, both are probably heading for the Manzanillo terminal in the Colima state.


Nigeria: Gas exports to U.S. drops to zero — Hellenic Shipping News, Hellas [Greece]

Nigeria’s earnings from the petroleum industry continue to be hard-hit as the United States (U.S.) Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import from Africa’s most populous country fell from 20.3 million cubic feet in June 2007 to zero as of February this year.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which made this disclosure yesterday in a statement, said it now gets majority of LNG from Mexico, Canada and Trinidad.

According to EIA, while both U.S. natural gas consumption and production have increased in recent years, natural gas production has grown slightly faster, resulting in a decline in net imports. Increasing domestic production of natural gas has reduced U.S. reliance on imported natural gas and kept U.S. natural gas prices relatively low.

Asia’s LNG market breaking down, reform comes next – analysis (Apr 30) — Eurasia Review

Unmoored Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) pricing, declined LNG delivery, mothballed LNG capacity, asset sales, write downs.

Asia’s LNG market is in multi-hundred billion dollar chaos.…

The intra-Asian LNG industry is a result of government capture by fossil fuel interests. It makes no sense on economic grounds.

The distorted results are now on display: bloated construction costs (Australia), environmental degradation (Australia: Great Barrier Reef), overcharged buyers (Japan) and uncounted/uncosted carbon emissions (everywhere).

LNG oversupply is creating an active Asian LNG ‘spot market’ to the horror of insiders. It’s stripping the veil from this overpriced, misinvested industry.

A painful economic process of adjustment now has several years (and bankruptcies) to run. It won’t be pretty. It could have been avoided.

[R]enewables are rapidly achieving cost parity with natural gas. This undermines the rationale for long-term investment in natural gas, let alone a grossly expensive, single-purpose bespoke infrastructure to deliver it.

[I]gnoring LNG’s carbon emissions distorts LNG’s poor investment economics. But nstead of making rational calculations based on all economic factors, the LNG industry flattered LNG’s economics by excluding carbon.

The result is an albatross industry. The evidence: an oversupplied regional Asian LNG market where spot market prices have fallen so low they now more than offset financial penalties of failing to honor long-term delivery contracts. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


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