Calais LNG’s Claims v

s LNG Industry Reality

Calais LNG Project Compa

ny Delivers Misinformation

Download the PDF (240 KB) to read Calais LNG's “Fast Facts” brochure.
Also see Calais LNG's webpage “LNG & Maine”

UNCLOS Innocent Passage Realities

UNCLOS = UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

[The UNCLOS right of innocent passage issue isn't contained in Calais LNG’s “Fast Facts” brochure, but has been reported as a claim by Calais LNG, as well as by the other local LNG projects.]

Calais LNG’s Claims

LNG Industry Reality

LNG ships transiting through Head Harbour Passage and Passamaquoddy Bay would have the UNCLOS-guaranteed right of “innocent passage.”

UNCLOS makes it clear what countries are affected by the treaty:

PART I, Article 1, 2. (1) "States Parties" means States which have consented to be bound by this Convention and for which this Convention is in force.

Since the U.S. hasn't "consented to be bound by" (Congress hasn't ratified) UNCLOS, then the Convention is not in force for the U.S.; the U.S. has no rights or responsibilities under UNCLOS.

Local LNG speculators and the U.S. Department of State can wish all they want for LNG ships to have UNCLOS right of innocent passage into Passamaquoddy Bay, but their wish is hollow — the treaty clearly states that the U.S. doesn't have that right.

US Coast Guard lawyer agrees local LNG projects have no UNCLOS innocent passage:

"Without being a party to the Law of the Sea Convention, we cannot avail ourselves of the dispute-resolution provisions," [said US Coast Guard Capt. Charles Michel, Chief, Office of Maritime and International Law].
— "U.S. Coast Guard Officer Claims Canadian PM Disregarded President Bush's Request for LNG Tanker Passage" LNG Law Blog, 2007 Dec 12

Does Maine need LNG storage?

Calais LNG’s Claims

LNG Industry Reality

“…Maine would clearly benefit from having its own LNG storage facility instead of relying upon other sources of natural gas.” [Bold emphasis added.]

—Calais LNG's "LNG & Maine" webpage

There are already two LNG storage facilities in Maine:
  1. Granite State Gas Transmission in Wells, and
  2. Northern Utilities in Lewiston,

…both nearer the natural gas market than Calais LNG's proposed site. See Zeus Development's LNG peakshaving (storage) plants webpage, listing facilities by country and state.

Is it safe?

Calais LNG’s Claims

LNG Industry Reality

Yes. LNG has been used safely in the United States for more than 40 years.

—Calais LNG's "Fast Facts" brochure.

History protects no one — especially when the history referenced is about someone else. LNG terminal siting conditions, engineering, waterway conditions, human competence and behavior, plus other factors, are the actual determiners of safety.

Calais LNG's site selection violates the world LNG industry's terminal siting standards as published by the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO). (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for an abbreviated summary of those standards.)

Calais LNG's site is, in fact, more prone to safety problems, compared to the other two local proposals, due to the additional, narrow and winding waterway transit.

Why LNG?

Calais LNG’s Claims

LNG Industry Reality

Current supplies of natural gas cannot keep up with projected increases in demand in the northeast.

—Calais LNG's "Fast Facts" brochure.

The New England region, and especially Maine, remains particularly vulnerable to the limited supply of natural gas available in North America.

…and…

Now that so much of Maine’s electricity is dependent upon natural gas, we must make sure that adequate supplies are available for the long term.

New England imports all of the natural gas it needs, and Maine would clearly benefit from having its own LNG storage facility instead of relying upon other sources of natural gas.

Natural gas in New England is currently supplied by pipeline from:

  • Canadian and U.S. Gulf Coast production (80%)
  • LNG terminal in Everett, MA (20%). There is No potential for adding capacity to this terminal.

…and…

…even the existence of other northeast seaboard LNG import terminals is not enough to meet future demand for natural gas. In summary, current North American supplies of natural gas cannot keep up with the projected increases in our demand.

—Calais LNG's "LNG & Maine" webpage

Industry analysts and FERC indicate that the future demand in the Northeast for natural gas will be easily met by the newly-opened Northeast Gateway LNG terminal offshore from Gloucester, MA; the 76% complete (as of 2008 June 23) Canaport terminal at Saint John, NB, that will be operational in November 2008 (for which the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline is currently busy with its Phase IV expansion); and, the Neptune LNG permitted terminal, also off Gloucester, MA, that will be operational in late 2009.

Plus, the Deep Panuke offshore natural gas mine (for which the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline is proposing its Phase V expansion) south of Nova Scotia will contribute in 2010 to the Northeast's natural gas surplus, as will the MapleLNG newly-permitted LNG terminal in Nova Scotia that will be in production in 2011.

There have been new discoveries of, or new technologies to mine, massive Marcellus Shale natural gas fields in Louisiana/Texas, Ohio/Pennsylvania/New York/Virginia, and enormous finds in British Columbia and Louisiana, as well as Utica Shale in Quebec.

All of these new LNG projects, domestic natural gas discoveries, and shale-gas-mining technologies make Calais LNG unneeded and redundant.


As the temporary shutdown of the Sable Island gas field in Nova Scotia in December 2007 showed, we are dangerously close to shortages of gas for heat and electrical generation.

—Calais LNG's "Fast Facts" brochure.


In 2005, FERC's Chairman Pat Wood stated only 7–9 new LNG terminals would be needed in the entire US (PDF; 31.1 KB). There are now at least 27 LNG projects that have been approved (PDF; 127 KB) in North America. Calais LNG simply isn't needed.

About LNG

Calais LNG’s Claims

LNG Industry Reality

“If gas demand grows at a rate equal to or higher than recent growth rates, the region’s gas delivery infrastructure would be insufficient to deliver all needed gas after 2010,” according to a March 2005 report issued by the New England Governors’ Conference.

—Calais LNG's "About LNG" webpage.

The New England Governors' Conference statement may have been correct in 2005, but the LNG industry and economic conditions have changed. Due to the overwhelming number of LNG terminal projects subsequently permitted by FERC — including improvements to natural gas and LNG import infrastructure, and all the new natural gas discoveries and field developments — the March 2005 statement is no longer true.

Our proposed site is considered the best LNG site in the Northeastern United States…

—Calais LNG's "Our Project" webpage.


Every LNG terminal developer claims that his site is the best possible location, including Quoddy Bay LNG's Don Smith and Downeast LNG's Dean Girdis. In fact, making such a claim is encouraged by the FERC application process, since FERC requires LNG terminal applicants to consider alternate sites and to justify their selection.

If Calais LNG's claim were true, then all the previous LNG terminal attempts in Maine to locate closer to the natural gas market — Harpswell, Casco Bay (ConocoPhillips & TransCanada 2004); Cousins Island, Yarmouth, Casco Bay (TransCanada, 2004); Hope Island, Cumberland, Casco Bay (TransCanada, 2004); Village of Corea, Town of Gouldsboro (Cianbro, 2004); Sears Island, Penobscot Bay (Exxon-Mobil, 2005); and Machias (President Richard Nixon, 1970s) — would have to have been wrong. Since some of those attempts were by companies already in the LNG business, it is probable that those locations were the actual superior LNG terminal sites.

In truth, Calais LNG selected its Red Beach location because every place else along the Maine coast has rejected LNG projects.

Will an LNG facility make natural gas prices lower?

Calais LNG’s Claims

LNG Industry Reality

An additional supply of natural gas in Maine will provide a competitively priced, very clean and efficient fuel source.

—Calais LNG's "FAQs" webpage.

LNG market globalization has resulted in dramatic increases — not decreases — in US natural gas prices. Asia and Europe have been willing to pay significantly more for natural gas and LNG, resulting in higher prices in the US. Even Calais LNG's financial partner Goldman Sachs is predicting the US natural gas price to increase further due to the level being paid by Asia. Analysts are predicting the possibility of natural gas prices becoming even higher than equivalent-heat prices for oil.

Importing LNG would not ensure an affordable fuel source for Mainers.

Links about LNG

Calais LNG lists these links
for more information about LNG

In fact…

About LNG

Department of Energy: Maine Profile
Maine Public Utilities Commission
Efficiency Maine

…and…

LNG & Maine

Maine Public Utilities Commission
Energy Information Administration
MaineEnergyInfo.com

—Calais LNG's "Related Links" webpage

Calais LNG's listed Maine agencies' links contain no LNG information (as of 2008 June 26), other than MaineEnergyInfo (it contains only links to the local LNG projects' FERC filings).

Calais LNG is apparently attempting to give the false impression that Maine Government agencies are somehow prepared for, or involved with, LNG.

Here are some links to actual LNG information:

Top