"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
|2016 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2015 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2014 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2013 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2012 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2011 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2010 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2009 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2008 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2007 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2006 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2005 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2003 2004 ||
LNG Imports on the Outs
31 Oct 2008
Passamaquoddy Bay’s uncomfortable gas problem has passed...for now. While at times over the past few years there have been as many as three liquefied natural gas projects in the works on the Maine shore of the bay, there are currently zero.
Webmaster's Comments: All humor aside, the truth is that there are still two remaining LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay Downeast LNG and Calais LNG Project Co. Downeast LNG continues its formal permitting before FERC and Calais LNG is in the FERC pre-filing process (a required step prior to filing a formal application).
Downeast LNG's related takeaway pipeline company, Downeast Pipeline, has been warned by FERC to hold an "open season," hinting that if not done, FERC may suspend or dismiss Downeast's permits. Downeast Pipeline has since indicated it will be holding its open season in November, to see if there are any potential customers for its expensive LNG-source natural gas.
ROBBINSTON, Me. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which last week dismissed Quoddy Bay LNG from the federal permitting process for failing to provide answers to their questions, [has] also issued a warning letter to Downeast Pipeline.
Webmaster's Comments: Dean Girdis's remaining under FERC's active consideration appears to be "by a hair's breadth." FERC's warning was a serious indication of their displeasure and impatience at Downeast's companies' lack of progress.
In truth, Downeast LNG (and related companies) have no hope of success, for the following reasons:
- The natural gas market has been turned upside down. There is so much available domestic natural gas (over 100 years' worth) that LNG can't compete financially. The US LNG bubble has burst, leaving Downeast LNG and Calais LNG in the dust.
- There are already far too many LNG import projects that have been built and permitted than could survive the marketplace, even if LNG were affordable to the US market. Plus, three of those new LNG import terminals either operational, or soon will be along with the Deep Panuke gas well in Nova Scotia, are supplying this market area, providing more natural gas than the market requires.
- Passamaquoddy Bay is unfit for LNG transit and infrastructure, according to the very LNG industry Dean Girdis would like to join (see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization and SIGTTO). Girdis made an inept, inappropriate terminal site selection.
- The Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline cannot be expanded (beyond its current permit application to accommodate the Deep Panuke natural gas well off Nova Scotia). An entirely new pipeline at a cost of around $2 billion would be required in order to accommodate Downeast LNG's gas (or Calais LNG's, or Quoddy Bay LNG's gas). It's financially impractical.
- Canada won't allow LNG ships to enter Passamaquoddy Bay, because Passamaquoddy Bay is unfit for LNG infrastructure and transit.
ST. ANDREWS Opponents of liquefied natural gas developments in Passamaquoddy Bay are relishing the news this week that, as of now, there are no LNG facilities with any applications pending before State of Maine agencies.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has dismissed Quoddy Bay LNG from the federal permitting process, stating that they cannot proceed with their engineering review or with the preparation of the draft environmental impact statement due to the company’s incomplete responses.
Smith said the company still has not been able to firm up the likely BTU content of their LNG and has not been able to determine whether it will have to build a nitrogen mitigation facility. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Smith tries to obscure his failure's real cause by ignoring one basic reality of the LNG industry:
No LNG liquefaction facility is going to commit its supply to Quoddy Bay LNG, since Quoddy Bay LNG has no permit to construct.
Rather than the excuses Smith has been making to the public, it is his cockamamie project, irresponsible site selection, and technical ineptness that have caused Smith's Quoddy Bay LNG project failure.
30 Oct 2008
Oklahoma-based Quoddy Bay LNG withdrew its request this week for state permits for an LNG terminal on the Passamaquoddy Indian reservation at Pleasant Point, according to the Associated Press. The company notified the state after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dismissed Quoddy Bay's application because the company hadn't provided the agency with required information. (Oct 29)
ST. ANDREWS Save Passamaquoddy Bay, the three nation alliance opposed to any LNG development in the bay, have filed a request with Maine’s Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) asking for an immediate affidavit from Quoddy Bay LNG addressing the question of whether their applications to the BEP should be dismissed.
Last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) dismissed Quoddy Bay from the federal permitting process, which means that if they plan to continue with their LNG project at Split Rock they will have to re-apply.
“Based on these developments at FERC and Quoddy Bay's conflicting statements as to whether it is or is not altering its project design and application, we respectfully request that Quoddy Bay be required to immediately submit an affidavit….” [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Oct 29)
Webmaster's Comments: As a result of SPB's and Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon's request, Quoddy Bay LNG withdrew its state applications on Oct 26, as was reported by numerous news media on Oct 28.
Webmaster's Comments: Canada doesn't need to come up with any separate scientific proof, since the world LNG industry, itself in its publication, "Site Selection and Design for LNG Ports and Jetties" indicates that Passamaquoddy Bay is an inappropriate location for LNG infrastructure. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization and Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators [SIGTTO].)
There is no ignoring that…
- Don Smith's Quoddy Bay LNG;
- Dean Girdis's & Rob Wyatt's Downeast LNG; and
- Arthur Gelber's, Ian Emergy's, Jim Lewis's, and Carl Myers's Calais LNG Project Co. …
…all violate world LNG industry standards, and therefore, cannot be justified.
LNG proposal withdrawn, for now, in Maine
The Oklahoma company notified the state last week following a decision by federal regulators to dismiss its application. Federal regulators said Quoddy Bay failed to provide information needed to move forward with an engineering review and environmental assessment. Company president Donald Smith said it still plans to pursue the project. (Oct 29)
[This is the same AP story that has been reported by numerous international media outlets.]
The Oklahoma company notified the state this week following a decision by federal regulators to dismiss its application. Federal regulators said Quoddy Bay LNG failed to provide information needed to move forward with an engineering review and environmental assessment. (Oct 29)
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has dismissed an Oklahoma developer's application to build a liquefied natural gas terminal at the Passamaquoddy Indian reservation at eastern Maine's Pleasant Point. (Oct 18)
Ten whale detection buoys are now in place in the busy shipping lanes leading into Boston Harbor, a hot spot for ship strikes. When the buoys pick up the calls of North Atlantic right whales, warnings are sent to ships in the area so that they slow down. It's the first time that a listening system has been coupled with real-time warnings.
FERC has sent letters to property owners who may be affected by the construction of the proposed pipeline associated with the Sparrows Point LNG project. The letters encourage property owners to provide the Commission with comments, particularly about environmental concerns, on the natural gas pipeline proposal.
"LNG (liquefied natural gas) is not an option now, " Mullings said. "... For LNG to become viable, international research has shown that you need 600 megawatts ... . We would have to switch the entire system to LNG."
WINCHESTER Opponents of the proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Coos Bay and its 230-mile long pipeline across southwest Oregon and Douglas County packed the Umpqua Community College’s campus center Tuesday night to express dismay at the projects’ latest review by a federal agency.
"Any introduction of greenhouse gas legislation is going to create demand for natural gas because there are very limited ways to meet the targets," said Dean Girdis, president of Downeast LNG. (Oct 29)
Webmaster's Comments: Unfortunately for Dean Girdis and Downeast LNG, there is plenty of domestic natural gas over 100 years' worth so his ill-sited, poorly-timed LNG project still has no future.
[Details in the link below require downloading PDF documents.]
Webmaster's Comments: The American Gas Foundation goes through some interesting gyrations to justify its generalization that the US won't have sufficient domestic natural gas, that growing liquefaction capacity will make LNG affordable in the US compared to domestic natural gas, and the growing industrial development in China, India, and elsewhere and thus their natural gas demand won't grow as fast as US natural gas consumption.
28 Oct 2008
EASTPORT, MAINE: Oklahoma City-based Quoddy Bay LLC has withdrawn its state permit application for a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal from the Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) process.
In a letter to Quoddy Bay, FERC said that its staff could not proceed with its engineering review or prepare the project's draft Environmental Impact Statement due to Quoddy Bay's incomplete responses.
After receiving a devastating blow from FERC earlier in the month with relation to its proposal to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Washington County, ME, Quoddy Bay LNG LLC told Maine regulators over the weekend it is withdrawing its request for state permits to build the project, but expects to refile them in the future. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Earlier this month, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said it had suspended its review of the project, saying the company didn't provided sufficient information for environmental and engineering reviews.
[Source: Bangor Daily News]
Webmaster's Comments: Domestic supply has already outstripped demand for natural gas in the US which is precisely why Smith's Quoddy Bay LNG project has no economic future, now or ever.
There's so much domestic natural gas that seven US LNG export projects have already popped up.
The Oklahoma company notified the state this week following a decision by federal regulators to dismiss its application. Federal regulators said Quoddy Bay LNG failed to provide information needed to move forward with an engineering review and environmental assessment. [Red emphasis added.]
AUGUSTA, MaineQuoddy Bay LNG has withdrawn its request for state permits to build a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal on the Passamaquoddy Indian reservation at Pleasant Point in eastern Maine.
The following media all carried versions of the AP story referred to in the stories listed above.
CJAD-AM, Montreal, QC
Metro, Toronto, ON
Canoe.ca, Toronto, ON
Metro, Ottawa, ON
CJBK Radio, London, ON
Metro, Calgary, AB
Oilweek Magazine, Calgary, AB
660News Radio, Calgary, AB
Metro, Edmonton, AB
Lethbridge Herald, Lethbridge, AB
Medicine Hat News, Medicine Hat, AB
Metro, Vancouver, BC
CFTK-TV, Terrace, BC
KBS Radio, Trail, BC
The Guardian, London, Engliand, UK
Plans to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Eastern Maine are now off the table...
In a letter to FERC, Dominion Transmission, Inc. (DTI) states that construction of its portion of the Cove Point LNG facility expansion is complete and in accord with all applicable conditions set by the Commission.
WARRENTON, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has officially accepted Oregon LNG’s formal application. Oregon LNG is a proposed liquefied natural gas import facility located on the Skipanon Peninsula in Warrenton, Oregon.
A rally against the pipeline is planned for Tuesday night at Umpqua Community College in the student center. The rally is planned for 5:30 p.m., and a meeting on the LNG pipeline is at 6:30 p.m. Public comments will be taken at the meeting.
This DEIS is a 1,500-page, pre-cooked justification for approving the Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector project. Jordan Cove Energy Partners, a Canadian energy conglomerate, is proposing to send expensive natural gas from potentially unfriendly foreign countries through a 230-mile pipeline over the Cascade Mountains to the California border. After dismissing alternatives to this complicated scheme in two or three conclusory sentences each, the DEIS says the Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector project is just what we need.
Interestingly, that’s what FERC said about the competing proposed Bradwood Landing LNG project on the Columbia River. It’s what FERC likely will also say about the three current competing proposals to build pipelines from the Rockies into Oregon. That’s because FERC’s approach is to issue approvals regardless of the real needs and impacts and leave the actual decisions to the financial wizards of the marketplace. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: There are numerous insightful observations regarding FERC's DEIS shortcomings contained in the above article.
Black & Veatch, of Kansas City, Mo.; Kiewit Energy Co., of Omaha, Neb.; Vinci Construction Grands Projects, of Paris, France; and Entrepose Contracting S.A., of Paris, entered into a project development agreement with Jordan Cove last week, said the energy company’s project manager, Bob Braddock.
The project still requires federal approval before construction can begin. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is expected to issue a ruling on Jordan Cove’s LNG terminal application in May. [Red emphasis added.] (Oct 27)
NORTH BEND, Ore. In what was suppose to be the first formal public hearing in front of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, supporting LNG, turned out to be nothing more than a community debate.
Nearly 200 local residents who have a stake in the proposed Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal at Coos Bay's North Spit., came together Tuesday night at the North Bend Community Center to voice their comments and concerns to FERC, but [FERC] didn't show. [Red emphasis added.] (Oct 27)
Webmaster's Comments: But, that's not what other players in the natural gas industry are saying. They've indicated that there's so much domestic natural gas that there is no need for additional LNG import terminals for over 100 years.
Although massive new domestic discoveries in unconventional geological plays have boosted reserves, U.S. production won't be able to meet demand in the coming decade and will need to take advantage of the expansion in international LNG production in places such as South America, Algeria, Norway and West Africa.
But once environmental and lower-carbon energy policies expected from the Democratic-controlled Congress and possibly the White House begin to gather momentum in the early years of implementation, "U.S. domestic supplies aren't going to be able to keep up," Schlesinger said.
Recent discoveries in northern Louisiana and Texas, along with discoveries in an area that stretches from western New York to Virginia, are changing that, the industry argues. A recent report financed by The American Clean Skies Foundation a group started and now chaired by Chesapeake Energy (CHK) Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon said in July that the country has more natural gas than previously thought. U.S. reserves total some 2,247 trillion cubic feet, according to the study by Navigant Consulting Inc. The country consumed around 20 trillion cubic feet of gas last year.
The [American Gas Foundation-sponsored report] didn't take into account a new domestic natural gas reserves accounting published by the Energy Information Administration and the possibility of a major new natural gas pipeline that could come online late in the next decade, with supplies from Alaska, both of which combined could change the nature of LNG demand. [Red emphasis added.]
27 Oct 2008
One week after FERC dismissed Quoddy Bay LNG LLC's application to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Maine, agency staff indicated Friday that the proposed pipeline that would serve rival Downeast LNG's terminal project in Maine also faces an uncertain future due to its failure to conduct an open season, which could put the entire LNG project in jeopardy. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
On October 21, attorneys representing Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance and other intervenors, in a letter to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP), requested that the board require an immediate affidavit from Quoddy Bay LNG addressing if Quoddy Bay's BEP applications should be dismissed. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Oct 24)
Hopefully Canada can follow the US lead on this to ensure adequate protection as "Fundy Superport" and challenges arise from proposals that pop up continuously in coastal communities such as Passamaquoddy Bay. (Oct 25)
Wu fired back a strong statement in response today. "I have been consistent and up-front about my position on LNG," Wu said. "There was a legitimate community choice to be made here, and my role is to back the community in the future that they chose. Those who know my record on fighting for working families know that I am a strong supporter of bringing living-wage, good-benefits jobs to all Oregonians. In fact, in 2007 I voted pro-labor 96 percent of the time, according to the AFL-CIO.
"However, the Bradwood Landing facility is only estimated to provide 50 to 70 on-site jobs in the long-term, and those may very well be filled by the company's existing non-union employees who relocate here."
Wu is running for re-election against Joe Haugen, an independent who won the Republican primary then changed his party affiliation. During the campaign, Haugen also changed his view on LNG - opposing proposed terminals on the Columbia River and saying that he became convinced that the gas was not needed. [Red emphasis added.] (Oct 24)
“With the current suite of earthquake scenarios it is found that tsunami waves do not inundate portions of the site founded above the proposed tank containment berm elevation of 55 feet ... during such an event,” a draft report of the study said. (Oct 25)
Oops. The Sempra contract with Tangguh gives that outfit the right to "divert a portion of the cargoes to another market so long as they continue to pay our costs as described in the contract," says Sempra spokesman Art Larson.
And even before Costa Azul could begin pumping gas into any part of California, that happened. Tangguh will send half the gas that previously was earmarked for Sempra's facility at Costa Azul for the years 2010-2012 to South Korea, which will pay about $4 per million British thermal units more for it than the Indonesians and their partners could get from Sempra. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Committing the same contractual mistake as was made by Tangguh paying Sempra its costs, even when no LNG is shipped to them is unlikely by potential suppliers to Downeast LNG or Calais LNG (Quoddy Bay LNG is out of the picture), since it is now obvious to foreign LNG liquefaction facilities that there is no growing market for LNG in the US.
On previous calls, McClendon has brought up the possibility of LNG to export US nat gas. Such a move would be a boon to the nat gas market, perhaps to the detriment of a country supposedly focused on “energy independence.”
Webmaster's Comments: If allowed by regulators to do so and because Chesapeake owns such a large stake in domestic shale gas deposits Chesapeake Energy is eminently positioned to make more money by exporting LNG to Asia than in selling their natural gas domestically. The above story's author is also correct that not exporting LNG would increase US energy independence.
Radical Islamist have emerged in South America (on Brazil’s southern border with Paraguay) and in Trinidad-Tobago, the latter posing a threat to the more than 80% of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) which we import to fuel our power plants and petrochemical industry. [Red emphasis added.]
24 Oct 2008
This morning FERC issued a letter ordering Downeast LNG to provide the Commission with a schedule for conducting an open season for the pipeline associated with its proposed LNG terminal. FERC's letter gives Downeast LNG 20 days to comply with this request or to explain why it does not need to conduct an open season before the Commission completes its Draft Environmental Impact Statement for this project. FERC noted that the lack of an open season and the uncertainty of the environmental analysis has forced FERC to "reassess whether Commission staff's continued efforts and analysis are appropriate under these circumstances." [Red emphasis added.]
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) told Downeast LNG that it will reconsider its ongoing efforts and analysis of the Downeast Pipeline project if the company does not submit to FERC a schedule for conducting open season on the project.
"Considering the uncertainty of the outcome of the environmental analysis, the fact that you have not attempted to garner the critical project information that you would obtain through holding an open season, and the passage of nearly two years since the filing of the application, we must reassess whether Commission staff's continued efforts and analysis are appropriate under these circumstances," FERC said in the Oct. 24 letter. [Red emphasis added.]
[The following link leads to an mp3 sound file.]
Today Sabine Pass LNG filed an application with FERC to re-export foreign sourced LNG. Earlier this month, FERC determined that Sabine Pass LNG would not be required to follow the NEPA pre-filing process for its application to re-export LNG.
Webmaster's Comments: Unable to unload their expensive (relative to prolific supplies of domestic natural gas) foreign LNG-source natural gas, Sabine Pass LNG must re-export in order to keep from losing money.
On Aug. 29, FERC issued a DEIS for the project. Wyden requested the 45-day extension beyond the 90-day comment period, saying the public had either limited time or no opportunity at all to review the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)-required information because it was either not yet available to the public and would not be available until shortly before or after Dec. 4 of this year, the deadline for the comment period.
This data includes the airspace review which will determine how flights out of North Bend, Ore. will be affected and what effect the project might have on currently tenuous air service to the area. This review has not been completed. Planes currently taking off from the North Bend airport's most frequently used runway typically fly directly over the site of the proposed LNG storage tanks; planes taking off from the other runway unavoidably cross the navigation channel LNG tankers would use. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Construction jobs don't justify unsafe terminal siting of unneeded LNG terminals.
The report added that while Canada's gas potential remains high, the development of the resources still depends on North American natural gas markets. It warned that the current global economic situation could result in declining demand. Meanwhile, natural gas production in the US has increased by 8%, the report said, adding that declining production in Canada has also been the result of the high cost of production there and falling gas prices. [Red emphasis added.]
Porter Bennett, president and CEO of Bentek Energy, told an industry conference in Toronto that he believes that increased U.S. domestic natural gas production, particularly from shale gas plays, will continue to soften demand for both LNG imports and imports of Canadian natural gas. [Red emphasis added.]
23 Oct 2008
Energy Irving/Repsol partnership plans to send first natural gas down pipeline in March
It will take several weeks after the end of construction before the plant can begin steady deliveries to the 145-kilometre Brunswick Pipeline that will carry natural gas from Saint John almost to the American border to connect to the Maritimes & North East Pipeline before it crosses the St. Croix River north of St. Stephen.
Webmaster's Comments: In addition to the recent natural gas supply reversal where industry players indicate the US has an over-100-year supply of natural gas reserves Canaport is the second of three new LNG import terminals that will satisfy natural gas needs in the Northeast US. The other are: Northeast Gateway (offshore from Gloucester, MA), already in operation; and Neptune LNG (also olffshore from Gloucester), to be completed late in 2009. Also, the Deep Panuke natural gas well in Nova Scotia will be contributing to the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline. The pipeline expansion permitting is currently underway to accept Deep Panuke gas.
Douglas County-based Oregon Citizens Against The Pipeline said that FERC allows project applicants to withhold too much information during formulation of environmental impact statements, thus keeping the public unaware of later conclusions.
“This means the project proponents can provide that information at the very end of the comment period, thereby effectively preventing members of the public from having detailed substantive input,” Diane Phillips, director of the Oregon Citizens Against The Pipeline, wrote in an e-mail.
The land-use agency did find several faults with the LNG terminal application regarding wetland mapping and archaeological preservation. Once Prince’s legal question is resolved, the other issues will be remanded to Coos County.
But Obama also supported a failed amendment to that bill that, had it passed, would have given states the sole authority over LNG siting. Obama also has backed other proposals that would return LNG siting authority to the states.
A Gazprom official said earlier this week that his company is considering a number of options for expansion into the North American LNG market in addition to the Rabaska LNG regasification terminal in Canada. Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] also notes that Gazprom has cast doubts on recent reports that the company will take an equity position in the Rabaska facility.
22 Oct 2008
Yesterday FERC issued an Environmental Information Request to Weaver's Cove Energy LLC seeking information on how Weaver's Cove will address vessel speed restrictions and other operational aspects to reduce ship strikes of the endangered North Atlantic right whale that are contained in the recently issued final rule by NOAA.
The state of Oregon, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission and a coalition of environmental groups all asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider its Sept. 18 decision to permit NorthernStar’s $650 million LNG terminal on the Lower Columbia River.
A coalition of LNG opponents, including Columbia Riverkeeper, the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club, Wahkiakum Friends of the River and the Cowlitz County-based Landowners and Citizens for a Safe Community, also announced Monday that they had filed to overturn FERC’s decision. (Oct 21)
ASTORIA, Ore. U.S. Rep. David Wu says he’s opposed to liquefied natural gas terminals and pipelines in Oregon because the fuel won’t be used locally, and Oregon shouldn’t be an “energy farm” for California.
Webmaster's Comments: The following link no longer leads to the indicated story.
Two terminals in the U.S. have approached the Department of Energy to operate as storage and export terminals, Gerard Schuppert Jr., manager of global LNG marketing and sales at ConocoPhillips (COP), said here at an LNG conference organized by Conference Connection.
For years, industry observers have said gas markets will become more global as more LNG terminals are built. However, new extraction techniques are opening up new North American shale gas basins, driving U.S. output to all-time highs this year and potentially making LNG imports less necessary. [Red emphasis added.]
It's not enough that oil prices are subject to the vague inner workings of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting countries, but if things go according to plan, a natural gas-focused organization is in the process of being established.
Key energy officials from Qatar, Russia and Iran met Tuesday to discuss this very subject. This is significant because these countries are the three largest in the world in terms of natural gas reserves.
21 Oct 2008
"We had been processing this application for two years, which is generally the time it takes the commission to make a decision," said Young-Allen. "Because of lack of information we couldn't even get an environmental impact statement prepared and this is the first step we take. We felt we gave them adequate time to respond for data and it didn't appear to be forthcoming." [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: In the above article FERC External Affairs Director of Press Services Tamara Young-Allen refutes the claim that Quoddy Bay LNG was the first LNG terminal applicant to be dismissed by FERC. Save Passamaquoddy Bay today spoke with FERC External Affairs Assistant to General Council Mark Hershfield who initially made the same claim, saying that SES in Longbeach California had been previously dismissed; however, when he referred to FERC's SES docket, he discovered that like Quoddy Bay LNG FERC had suspended the SES application. However, unlike Quoddy Bay LNG, rather than FERC dismissing the SES application, SES withdrew their application.
Quoddy Bay LNG is the first LNG terminal applicant to have their application dismissed by FERC.
[NN member David Moses Bridges] is scheduled to talk with Mapuche and Atacameono leaders today in San Pedro, Chili.
Webmaster's Comments: Earlier this year, David Moses Bridges was a participant in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. He is the artist-craftsman who constructed and donated the Passamaquoddy birchbark canoe we are offering for sale.
Following his visit to Alaska last week, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told a Russian television station that his company has "received invitations to conduct exploration on the Alaska shelf." Platts LNG Daily reports that Miller also said that an LNG liquefaction facility could be built in either northern or southern Alaska. [Red emphasis added.]
"If America is really so short of energy that we need to drill in national wildlife refuges and other sensitive areas, why should energy supplies, sitting in U.S. terminals, be sent back out of the country simply because these energy companies can get a higher price from a foreign buyer?" Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said.
Webmaster's Comments: The fact is that the US is a-glut with domestic natural gas reserves (over 20 enormous shale gas fields) enough to supply the country for over 100 years, according to some industry members. There's no need to drill for natural gas in previously-prohibited areas, and there's no need to import LNG.
20 Oct 2008
[This is a report on the Oct 18 boat trip in Head Harbour Passage donated by Quoddy Link Marine.]
Our afternoon trip was a regularly scheduled whale watch which turned out to be a Hat Trick! We saw EKG, a humpback whale we have been watching since 2006, 3 finback whales, all close to the entrance of Head Harbour Passage and a very young minke whale between White and Nubble Island. It was a great trip! Below is EKG, note the distinct upturned flukes. (Oct 19)
Canada's recent election has continued Prime Minister Stephen Harper in office (see election results by party; results by party leader), as well as New Brunswick Southwest Member of Parliament Greg Thompson (see election results), who is also Minister of Foreign Affairs. PM Harper and MP Thompson have unwaiveringly and repeatedly stated that Canada will prohibit LNG ship transits into Passamaquoddy Bay, and they will use every legal and diplomatic means to enforce that prohibition. They are responsibly protecting Canadian lives, economy, and environment. (Oct 18)
FERC, the American body dealing with at least two proposed LNG facilities in the area, quashed the request because the company did not provided sufficient information for either an engineering or environmental impact review.
New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham's office, in a released statement, said, "We feel that today's decision by FERC to dismiss the Quoddy Bay application is indicative that the review process, in this instance, has respected our interests," read the statement.
"We will continue to intervene in the review of another LNG terminal currently being considered by FERC and any other LNG proponent seeking permission to build facilities that may negatively impact the quality of life of the residents of southwestern Charlotte County." (Oct 18)
"The project has been under suspension until today's announcement by FERC of complete dismissal from the federal permitting process -- FERC's first such dismissal in history. This is the logical -- if not late -- end to a poorly sited and ill-conceived project, clearly one that the developers themselves -- along with a host of consultants -- could not technically accomplish." [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Oct 18)
Webmaster's Comments: In this news report, Quoddy Bay LNG's Don Smith claims that LNG will be less expensive for New England than domestic natural gas. Smith ignores the three LNG terminals that will be satisfying northern New England's additional need for natural gas: Northeast Gateway (off Gloucester, MA; completed), Canaport (Saint John, NB; to be complete later in 2008), and Neptune LNG (off Gloucester, MA; to be completed late in 2009), plus the Deep Panuke natural gas well in Nova Scotia that will be supplying the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline (pipeline looping permitting currently in progress).
Pleasant Point Tribal Council member Ed Basset is reported to be "very optimistic the project will go forward." It should be noted that Quoddy Bay LNG has stopped making lease payments to the tribe, and according to our sources, hasn't paid the $1 million it agreed to pay the tribe for the 300 acres in Perry it bought.
FERC suspended review of Quoddy Bay’s application in April, requesting more information on the safety and reliability of the LNG transfer line at the proposed terminal and storage facility. The agency also requested additional information on the proposed vaporizer, which converts fuel from a liquid to a gas. [Red emphasis added.] (Oct 18)
Webmaster's Comments: This article is fraught with factual errors and omissions.
- The Bangor Daily News refers to the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline by writing about the "existing LNG pipeline in Baileyville that pipes LNG from Canada to Boston." The fact is, there is no existing LNG pipeline (liquefied natural gas pipeline) in Baileyville (or anywhere in the world, to our knowledge) it's a natural gas pipeline. LNG runs through piping within the confines of LNG ship offloading facilities and LNG terminals only.
- The article quoted Tribal councilor Fred Moore as if he were an impartial spokesperson regarding the Quoddy Bay LNG (QBLNG) project. The article failed to disclose personal business ties to QBLNG and to the Calais LNG project. Moore along with Gov. John Baldacci and Maine attorney and lobbiest Jim Mitchell brought QBLNG to Pleasant Point/Sipayik. Moore has been employed by QBLNG. Moore was also a business partner in "BP Consulting," one of the predecessors to what is now Calais LNG Project Co.
- QBLNG's president Don Smith says in the article, "When we reapply we’re not going to change the project ... It is going to be the same project, the same engineering, the same everything." The article also reports that Don Smith "was uncertain whether Quoddy Bay would have to start over." Smith and the Bangor Daily News failed to quote FERC Office of Energy Projects Director J. Mark Robinson's letter of dismissal that clearly states, "...in accordance with the Commission’s regulations, it will be examined as a new proceeding."
- Don Smith says, "…Now they’ve sent us a letter that they are dismissing the applications which operationally doesn’t change anything for me." And, "When we reapply we're not going to change the project ... It is going to be the same project, the same engineering, the same everything.…" The article failed to report that of the 47 terminal applications that have gone, or will be going, before FERC, QBLNG is the first and only one ever to be dismissed.
The fact is, the project has been dismissed for poor site selection, poor planning, technical ineptness, and failure to respond to FERC's required application process. Don Smith doesn't want to publicly admit to the project's fatally-flawed nature so flawed that FERC has made Smith's project an historic bad example in dismissing it.
- Smith says, "I think if we get everything permitted in two years and then build it in three years it will come on line 2013-2014, when we see the need for LNG gas into New England." Again, Smith fails to grasp reality. The natural gas market has been turned on its head. There are vast, untapped domestic natural gas reserves in the US -- over 100 years' worth, according to the US natural gas industry. Domestic natural gas is cheap and available, compared to expensive imported LNG. Plus, there is a surplus of permitted LNG import terminals, with projects cancelling (Crown Landing LNG being the most recent one) due to the lack of market need. Already, six new North American LNG export projects (Freeport LNG -- re-export; Sabine Pass LNG -- re-export; Chesapeake Energy; Kitimat LNG, BC; LNG Partners, BC; Mitsubishi, Valdez, AK) have popped up recently. The leadership of QBLNG (president Don Smith and project manager Brian Smith) are attempting to revive and ride a dead dinosaur the project failure is obvious.
Smith's project website (www.quoddylng.com) still contains the reckless prediction that QBLNG would begin construction by the fourth quarter of 2008 (now!), and be fully operational in 2012; The Smiths have even handed out terminal job applications all pointing to QBLNG's irresponsible promises and their willingness to build false expectations.
Webmaster's Comments: Smith also claims that he won't change his project one bit. The Smiths have made a lot of false claims in the past. Just add this one to the pile.
Webmaster's Comments: The above writer has indicated to me that when going to the URL http://www.quoddybaylng.com, that address forwards to http://www.quoddylng.com, but prior to downloading the quoddylng.com homepage, he receives a virus warning (he is using AVG Windows-only anti-virus software) that downloading will infect his computer. This webmaster has not confirmed the problem.
Whales in the Bay of Fundy became a little safer today when FERC dismissed the application of Quoddy Bay LNG. Depending on which part of their application you reviewed, they planned on having as high as one LNG tanker transit a day into their proposed terminal at Sipayak near Eastport, Maine.
While Quoddy Bay LNG at Sipayak/Pleasant Point made little sense, the two remaining proposals make even less sense. The most frequent question around the Bay is "Why would they continue to waste money on a dead issue?" [Red emphasis added.] (Oct 17)
The second phase, scheduled to begin in early May 2009 and continue into September 2009, includes connecting the new pipeline to the HubLine and installing two off-loading buoys. Upon completion, the LNG facility will consist of a buoy system where specially designed vessels will moor and offload their natural gas, after which it will be delivered it to customers in Massachusetts and throughout New England.
Webmaster's Comments: This is one of four new projects supplying New England with natural gas. The other three are: Northeast Gateway (like the Neptune project, is off Gloucester, MA; already in operation), Canaport (Saint John, NB; to be online late in 2008), and the Deep Panuke natural gas mine in Nova Scotia (Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline expansion permitting is currently in prograss to accommodate this gas). These four projects along with natural gas already coming by pipeline from the Gulf of Mexico will satisfy all of northern New England's natural gas needs.
“FERC’s decision to license the facility before the state has approved required water quality, air quality and coastal consistency permits, before the effects on fish have been studied and before environmental mitigation plans have been fully developed shows a complete disregard for the state’s role and our concerns with the project,” Kulongoski said in a statement. “By requesting a rehearing, FERC has one final opportunity to do this right. If Oregon is not afforded a rehearing, legal action is imminent.”
Meyers argues FERC should have waited for the state of Oregon to finish its permitting process before approving a license for Bradwood. In making the decision too soon, FERC failed to consider alternatives to the LNG facility, ignored public comments on the project, omitted environmental and safety impacts from its final review and wasn't clear about exactly what conditions NorthernStar would have to meet before the company can start construction, he said.
The Umatilla, Nez Perce, and Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission filed their own request for rehearing asserting that FERC violated its responsibility to the tribes by failing to analyze the project's effects on treaty-reserved rights. The tribes are worried the project will cause irreversible harm to the Columbia River's already fragile salmon populations. [Red emphasis added.]
The National Marine Fisheries Service, a division of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, criticized FERC's approval of the Bradwood project as "not consistent with the requirements of the Endangered Species Act."
Simultaneously, Washington's Department of Ecology has asked federal authorities to slow down the process, saying that FERC violated the law by "failing to take a hard look at the environmental impacts of the project."
"Unlike FERC, NMFS is doing its job in trying to evaluate this project more thoroughly." [Red emphasis added.] (Oct 18)
The nation's top fisheries agency on Friday told U.S. energy regulators that their Sept. 18 decision to issue conditional approval of the controversial Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas terminal was illegal under the Endangered Species Act.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was out of line in issuing its license without necessary state and federal permits in hand. Before FERC can issue a license, NOAA Fisheries Service says it must be formally consulted on how to minimize the project's impact on endangered species.
The agency stopped short of asking FERC to withdraw or redo its decision, instead asking it to halt any proceedings on the project, proposed for 20 miles east of Astoria on the Columbia River. [Red emphasis added.] (Oct 17)
Webmaster's Comments: FERC already has multiple lawsuits against it for issuing LNG permits prior to state permits. States still hold the LNG terminal trump cards.
17 Oct 2008
The link below leads to FERC's eLibrary download page for the Quoddy Bay LNG project.
To date, Quoddy Bay has not provided the previously requested information; nor has Quoddy Bay provided any further information regarding the possible revisions to the project design disclosed in its February 29, 2008 filing. Therefore, I am dismissing your application for the construction and operation of an LNG import terminal in Docket No. CP07-38-000, in accordance with Section 157.8(c) of the Commission’s regulations. In addition, I am dismissing Quoddy Bay Pipeline LLC’s applications for the construction and operation of the Quoddy Bay pipeline, a blanket certificate to perform certain routine activities and operations, and a blanket certificate to provide open access firm transportation services in Docket Nos. CP07-35-000, CP07-36-000, and CP07-37-000, respectively, as they are dependent on the application in Docket No. CP07-38-000. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Quoddy Bay LNG is the first LNG project FERC has ever dismissed from the permitting process.
Today FERC formally dismissed the applications of Quoddy Bay LNG LLC to build and operate an LNG import terminal and associated pipelines. FERC cited Quoddy Bay LNG's failure to provide previously requested information and failure to offer further information regarding the possible changes to the project design. [Bold red emphasis added.]
In a letter to Quoddy Bay LNG officials, dated Oct. 17, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [FERC] has dismissed their application for construction and operation of an LNG import terminal. [Red emphasis added.]
In a letter to Quoddy Bay, FERC said that its staff could not proceed with its engineering review or prepare the project's draft Environmental Impact Statement due to Quoddy Bay's incomplete responses.
In April of this year, FERC suspended its review of the project due to lack of information requested from Quoddy Bay concerning the terminal's proposed vaporizer revision as well as the safety and reliability of the proposed cryogenic transfer line.
Save Passamaquoddy Bay, an alliance of citizens from the U.S., Canada, and the Passamaquoddy Indian tribe who oppose the citing of LNG facilities in Passamaquoddy Bay, described Quoddy Bay's July announcement about the reconfigurement as its "long list of excuses about why they are asking the BEP to postpone or to allow withdrawing their application for a proposed LNG facility at Pleasant Point." [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Concerns already expressed by the governor had brought an offer of $30 million from TORP to offset any damage to sea life, but that was not enough. Last week, after again reviewing the plan and concluding that there were simply too many unknowns in the process, the governor announced that he believed "the potential benefits of the LNG terminal off our coast do not outweigh the consequences and the potentially negative effect this could have on our coastal environment."
Webmaster's Comments: With all the competition from prolific and low-priced domestic natural gas, how will Gulf LNG Energy keep from losing its shirt?
When the LNG company came into Pascagoula three years ago to propose this terminal, their frontline position was that they'd seek no tax reductions. Thursday's paper says the Board of Supervisors has given them a 10-year, 35 percent reduction. My property taxes just went up 40 percent this year. The Pascagoula and Jackson County citizens have gotten hosed again by the Board of Supervisors, who think it's a mandate and a right to reduce taxes for large companies.
The agency, in a report out late Thursday, said the additions left total gas reserves as of December 31 of 237.7 Tcf, 13% above year-end 2006 and the highest level in the 31 years EIA has published annual reserves data. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
16 Oct 2008
Pipeline installation activities for 2008 included: (1) laying the pipeline, consisting of both a natural gas transmission line and a flowline that connects the buoys, on the sea bottom; (2) plowing a sub-sea trench and placing the pipeline in the trench; and (3) backfilling the trench and hydrotesting to ensure pipeline integrity. Next year, the company will focus on installing the buoy system, which will connect the LNG vessels to the sub-sea pipeline, and the connection between the new pipeline to the existing Spectra Energy HubLineSM.
[Alabama Governor] Riley said he believes the potential benefits of the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal do not outweigh the consequences such a facility could have on our coastal environment. The proposed terminal would have accepted natural gas chilled to minus 260 degrees, called LNG. With the open-loop technology, massive amounts of seawater would be used to convert the solid gas to liquid gas; a process fisheries experts say would devastate fragile sea life. The governor said he was not opposed to an LNG project in the Gulf, but not one with the "open-loop" technology." [Red emphasis added.]
The remote location for the Gulf LNG terminal was touted as ideal. It's 1.7 miles by water from the Singing River Yacht Club, at the end of a road lined with industry, near a web of existing gas pipelines.
It was John Howland, senior vice president of Crest Investment Company in Texas, who remembered the site from decades ago when he was in the rice business. The site was selected for a terminal in the 1980s but the market for natural gas went flat and the expensive LNG process wasn't cost-effective. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Satayana’s Aphorism on Repetitive Consequences*
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
George Santayana (18631952)
“The Life of Reason,” Volume 1: “Reason in Common Sense,” 1905
Earlier this week, Freeport LNG requested a determination from FERC whether the terminal must follow the pre-filing process applicable to LNG facilities as it seeks authorization for its LNG re-export proposal. FERC determined on October 8 that Sabine Pass LNG was not required to pursue the pre-filing process to obtain re-export authority.
Webmaster's Comments: Both Freeport LNG and Sabine Pass LNG are among the six new proposals to export LNG from the US and Canada, instead of importing LNG, now that importing LNG can no longer compete with abundant domestic natural gas resources.
The following link will download a PDF document; 244 KB
…[T]he U.S. is in the midst of its second year of robust production growth. Production grew almost 9% through the first seven months of 2008 and EIA estimates that lower 48 gas production for the entire year will rise by 7% compared to 4% for 2007. … These supply gains have been partially offset by declines in imports of LNG and pipeline supplies from Canada. [Red emphasis added.]
Noting that some industry experts remain optimistic that LNG will be necessary to meet future North American natural gas demand, World Gas Intelligence offers an analysis of recent events in the North American LNG market and concludes that the future of the continent's natural gas market is uncertain. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Below is the article summary for the above-referenced article from paid-subscription-only World Gas Intelligence:
While some still say North America will need LNG over the long term, challenges associated with importing large volumes of gas appear to be mounting. Tough competition for supply, rising project costs, growing US gas production, and low regional gas prices have brought a recent wave of cancellations and adjustments to East Coast import projects. Ironically, this is happening amid signs that cheap gas is deterring upstream spending and perhaps endangering the US production spurt. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: The message keeps getting hammered home: Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG are victims of a domestic natural gas market reversal that dictates against constructing additional LNG import facilities in the US.
Inventories now are 84 Bcf above the five-year average of 1.861 Tcf in the East, 17 Bcf above the five-year average of 423 Bcf in the West, and 15 Bcf below the five-year average of 907 Bcf in the producing region.
Webmaster's Comments: Once again, the US Government is indicating that there is a surplus of natural gas especially in the East. There is no justification for Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, or Quoddy Bay LNG.
15 Oct 2008
Governor Haley Barbour says the building of a new Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal is another big step toward more energy, especially during a time of increasing gas prices and a dwindling energy supply.
Webmaster's Comments: Energy industry news must not reach Mississippi Gov. Barbour. Domestic natural gas supply is prolific enough to provide the US for over 100 years, according to industry participants.
Now an outfit called LNG Partners LLC is looking to do the same thing. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: This is the sixth new LNG export project for North America.
“Prices in Asia are quite a bit higher [for natural gas] than North America and we expect that to be a long term situation,” she said, noting Asia’s heavy reliance on imported fossil fuels because of their own lack of domestic supply.
…Schmaltz [stated] that her company has talked with oil sands producers which had been interested in KLNG’s import facility, and “with the changes in development of natural gas reserves not only in Canada but in the US, they are much more comfortable that there is going to be lots of natural gas for everybody.” [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Domestic gas is cheap and abundant, and Asian countries are willing to pay premiums for LNG cargoes. British Petroleum recently backed out of a proposed terminal on the Delaware River, while several [US and Canadian] terminals are applying for permission to export U.S. and Canadian gas to take advantage of the Asian bonanza. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Oregon LNG's application comes as the U.S. market for gas appears to have … collapsed. Domestically produced gas is cheap and abundant. Asian countries are willing to pay such eye-popping premiums for LNG cargoes that many industry experts doubt it makes sense to import LNG to the United States. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Oct 14)
The companies could face stumbling blocks when attempting to cross state lands. The Oregon State Land Board retains authority over the use of those lands, and to date, two members of the board - State Treasurer Randall Edwards and Secretary of State Bill Bradbury - have come out in opposition to the project. Gov. Ted Kulongoski, the third member of the board, also appears cool to the project and has called for a rehearing of the Bradwood Landing terminal approval. (Oct 14)
"It's outrageous that Oregonians have to waste their time fighting terrible ideas like this one, proposals that put our public safety, our river, and our future in renewable energy at risk," she said. "Make no mistake, though - we will fight them every step of the way." (Oct 14)
A slowing economy does little to add to demand for gas, while producers continue to outpace themselves producing gas for what has now become an oversupplied market, Driscoll said. [Bold red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: The message keeps repeating, ever-more frequently: there's a glut of domestic natural gas driving prices downward, killing chances for new LNG import projects.
[L]imiting Iran's options for exporting natural gas to pipelines will help consolidate Russia's increasingly dominant supplier role in European energy markets and allow Moscow effectively to regulate Iran's emergence as a gas exporter.
Iran has the world's second-largest proven reserves of natural gas (after Russia). The Islamic Republic's proven gas reserves are currently estimated at 940 trillion cubic feet, and there is considerable upside potential for discoveries of more gas deposits.
14 Oct 2008
October 14, 2008 Last week, while the financial markets were imploding, there was a significant development in the energy sector. For the third time in five years, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley (R) gave thumbs down to a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in the state’s coastal zone. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: With the natural gas market as it is, how will Gulf LNG Energy keep from losing money?
"Our interests are not limited to the European continent only...Gazprom has unique experience, knowledge and modern technology and is the leading company in transporting gas by pipeline. That is why we are interested in such a large-scale project as construction of the gas pipeline from Alaska," he said in a speech at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Webmaster's Comments: Does the US really want Russia involved in US energy infrastructure?
ASTORIA The Oregon LNG project, a proposed liquefied natural gas and pipeline development that would involve a terminal in Warrenton and a 118-mile pipeline through the Willamette Valley, drew a swift reaction from its opponents after Oregon LNG filed its official application with FERC. A coalition of farmers, foresters, businesses and conservationists will intervene in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission process to challenge the project.
"Oregon LNG's project is wrong for Oregon. They are proposing to tear up the Columbia River to import LNG at a time when North American LNG and gas companies are actively seeking to export LNG, and when global LNG prices are several times higher than domestic gas supplies. We will intervene to protect the Columbia River and to block this newly proposed foreign fossil fuel addiction." [Red emphasis added.]
Oregon LNG's application comes as the U.S. market for gas appears to have temporarily collapsed. Domestically produced gas is cheap and abundant. Asian countries are willing to pay such eye-popping premiums for LNG cargoes that many industry experts doubt it makes sense to import LNG to the United States.
Industry giants are sending the same message. British Petroleum [BP] recently backed out of a proposed terminal on the Delaware River, citing lousy industry conditions, while several terminals are applying for permission to export U.S. and Canadian gas to take advantage of the Asian bonanza. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Oct 13)
Webmaster's Comments: Even Oregon LNG's CEO Peter Hansen says, "Why would you bring an LNG tanker under the Astoria bridge?" … "A pool fire is like a nuclear meltdown. The likelihood of such an accident is remote, but the consequence is enormous. ... It would burn Astoria."
San Diego and most of Southern California already violate federal clean air standards. Agencies responsible for monitoring air quality fear Sempra’s plan to import liquefied natural gas from overseas will increase pollution and jeopardize public health. They want an environmental review but so far regulators have resisted.
[Energy consultant] Bill Powers: At this time in California, money is tight. We have ample domestic natural gas. It’s demonstrably cheaper and we have a private company that rolled the dice, built a huge terminal in Baja California under the presumption that in a few years when it was ready, lng would be less expensive than domestic gas. They bet wrong. In fact, they bet dramatically wrong.
Webmaster's Comments: Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG also bet dramatically wrong for some of the same reasons as indicated in the above story, but also because they selected exceedingly inappropriate locations for their terminal sites.
Industrial end-users, including chemicals, fertilizer, and primary metals producers, "are benefiting from reasonable product prices and cheap US natural gas prices," the analysts noted. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Oct 13)
Webmaster's Comments: In other words, domestic natural gas production is outpacing the ability to transport all that natural gas, and domestic natural gas abundance has caused low natural gas prices so low that importing LNG is unnecessary and too expensive.
Webmaster's Comments: The US wants Lithuania to be natural gas-independent from Russia, but has actually invited Russia to own US energy infrastructure. Does the US Federal Government's right hand know what the left hand is doing?
13 Oct 2008
MOSCOW, Oct 13 - Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom may get a 27 percent stake in Canada's Rabaska liquefied natural gas terminal, a top executive of France's GDF Suez was quoted as saying on Monday.
Webmaster's Comments: Russian ownership of North American energy supply should be setting off alarm bells all over Canada and the US.
Maxim Shein from BrokerCreditService suggested Gazprom would have to pay as much as 300 million for the 27% in Rabaska, which would also include a "fee" for entering the American market, in addition to covering the construction proper.
Webmaster's Comments: Even Canada has a surplus of domestic natural gas, as indicated by the Kitimat LNG project that has switched from importing to exporting LNG, as well as by the lower natural gas prices in Canada as compared to Europe.
Radically different world energy markets have forced energy giant BP to abandon plans for a $700 million natural gas import terminal along the Delaware River "for the foreseeable future," the company disclosed on Wednesday.
BP spokesman Tom Mueller said the company is in the process of folding up its remaining Crown Landing operation and notifying local government and emergency officials that planning work will cease. Demand and prices for LNG in other countries, Mueller said, left little short-term hope for the New Jersey operation. [Red emphasis added.] (Oct 9)
Webmaster's Comments: Energy giant BP can't make importing LNG into the US profitable or even possible. Does anyone believe that Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, or Quoddy Bay LNG know something that BP doesn't? Quite the opposite is true: Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG are projects to nowhere, and will be leaving town after they've exhausted their investors' venture capital.
The Government of the Bahamas needs to get serious about their rhetoric with regard to global warming and climate change. Why after 7 years of stalling the AES project are they continuing to “court” AES’ latest proposal to build a pipeline and re-outfit BEC at this very late stage of the game?
Earlier this year, reEarth suggested that the government create soft loans for Bahamians to purchase solar water heaters. 11 million dollars would purchase at least 6,000 water heaters, this would in turn create jobs for Bahamians that would need to be trained to install them. The government’s mantra is always about creating jobs perhaps the government and the private sector should think about The Bahamas manufacturing solar panels or solar water heaters to supply the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Moving the country into the alternative energy field would create thousands of jobs, that produce clean energy from sources that are naturally abundant, solar, tidal, and wind. Just to name a few. [Red emphasis added.]
With an open-loop system, an LNG terminal pumps millions of gallons of sea water, heats it and uses it to reheat the gas. The proposed TORP plant (TORP stands for Terminal Offshore Regas Plant) would have pulled in 150 million gallons of water from the Gulf each day.
The process can kill numerous small fish, plankton and other diminutive aquatic life essential for growth of marine life in the area. Opponents of the terminal say this could have decimated fish populations.
As president of Friends of New and Sustainable Industries, he has provided his support to Bishop and the Web site. He too has been trying to get more support behind the LNG terminal and sees the Web site as an opportunity to educate the public.
Webmaster's Comments: If Bishop were to be believed, Jordan Cove LNG developers haven't been providing any information to the Coos Bay community about their LNG project. The Friends of LNG website even assaults the LNG opposition because they have a paid organizer. Apparently, multi-millionaire Jordan Cove LNG's paid public relations effort pales in comparison to the money and effort coming from the LNG-opposition's single paid person, and otherwise all-volunteer effort.
Note: The Jordan Cove LNG site location violates best practices established by the world LNG industry, via the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO). (See also, LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization.)
Southern California has some of the dirtiest air in the country. And air quality monitors say if San Diego-based Sempra Energy moves ahead with plans to import liquefied natural gas, the air will be even more polluted. They say public health and the environment are at risk. In the second of KPBS’s four-part series on the effects of Sempra’s push to bring in foreign natural gas, Reporter Amita Sharma has more.
Natural gas has been used in the Southland for decades because it is cleaner…it creates fewer smog forming and toxic emissions when burned than other fossil fuels. But not all natural gas is created equal. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: As the article indicates, the imported LNG will contain hydrocarbons other than methane, causing more pollution than from purer domestic natural gas.
10 Oct 2008
…Brian Dutton, a Canadian gas and oil equity analyst with Credit Suisse who works out of Toronto, predicted not as much liquefied gas will be needed in North America because unconventional forms of gas, such as that from shale, are making inroads. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Even Canadian LNG import projects are dmonstrating there's no market for their LNG-source natural gas in the US. This is the second Canadian LNG project to change direction. The other is Kitimat LNG in British Columbia that is now proposing to export LNG to Asia.
Webmaster's Comments: This is Alabama's third failed LNG terminal attempt.
"I continue to be extremely concerned about the potential environmental impact of the proposed terminal on our marine resources," said Governor Riley. "I believe the potential benefits of the LNG terminal off our coast do not outweigh the consequences and the potentially negative effect this could have on our coastal environment."
Governor Riley opposed a proposal from ConocoPhillips Corp. in 2006 to use an open loop system for a different LNG facility off Dauphin Island. When Governor Riley informed officials with ConocoPhillips of his opposition, the company withdrew its open loop application.
MONTGOMERY, ALA.:Houston-based TORP Technology has withdrawn its application for the Bienville liquefied natural gas (LNG) project after Alabama Gov. Bob Riley told TORP officials he had concerns about the company's application.
Late last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recommended that the U.S. Coast Guard deny TORP's application to build and operate the proposed Bienville LNG terminal. NFMS said the proposed project posed a threat to marine life in the area.
Pipelines within 25 feet of homes? Pipelines across farms? Pipelines near schools? Clean energy, good jobs? The latter being exactly the argument Bradwood tried to make and which people didn't buy. Proponents had ample resources to make their case, spending more than double that of opponents, and they lost. With LNG, the more people know the more they want to say no.
The time has come for our local elected officials to stop stubbornly supporting what they perceive to be in the people's best interest and defend what the people themselves perceive to be in their best interest. And we have no interest in LNG. [Red emphasis added.]
"The supply of natural gas in the U.S. market has been increasing, and that trend is expected to continue," said Ilene Schmaltz, vice president of supply marketing for Kitimat LNG Inc. "We also expect natural gas supplies from Western Canada to increase. Therefore, Canada must find alternative markets for its natural gas as demand from the U.S. relaxes." [Red & bold emphasis added.]
The site is located near the mouth of the Columbia River, which means tankers will not have to pass by Astoria or go under the Astoria-Megler Bridge to serve the facility -- a significant advantage compared to upriver locations. "The Oregon LNG site is ideal from a safety and security standpoint because the project site and the tanker route are distant from population centers, bridges and other major infrastructure." The site also has far lower impacts on salmon than any other site on the Columbia River.
PORTLAND, Ore. Despite opposition from Oregon’s governor, tribes and environmental groups, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted 4 1 in favor of the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal at the Bradwood site on the Columbia River Sept. 18.
The Yakama, Nez Pearce, Warm Springs and Umatilla tribes collaborated more than 30 years ago to create CRITFC in order to establish authority over fisheries management and legislation affecting the salmon and other fish species in the Columbia River.
9 Oct 2008
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Wednesday] issued an 11-knot speed limit for ships 65 feet or longer that travel within 23 miles of major mid-Atlantic ports, as well as areas where the North Atlantic right whale breeds, feeds and migrates.
Radically different world energy markets have forced energy giant BP to abandon plans for a $700 million natural gas import terminal along the Delaware River "for the foreseeable future," the company disclosed on Wednesday.
Another brand new import terminal on Canada's Pacific Coast last month proposed a switch to full export operations, with new equipment to liquefy North American gas for shipment and sale to other countries. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
"The global economics of LNG have caught up with us," he said. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Letting a lower court panel ruling stand, the U.S. Supreme Court declined a petition brought by Baltimore County in part of an effort to stop the construction of a liquefied natural gas facility on Sparrows Point, the court announced Monday.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decided to reissue its authorization of the expansion of Dominion Resources' (D.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Cove Point LNG terminal, but limit the amount of supply shipped to a local distribution company.
[T]he court ultimately sided with Washington Gas, saying FERC failed to show that the company could address these safety concerns before the November completion of the project. The case was sent back to the FERC to better address the potential for unsafe leaks. (Oct 7)
Webmaster's Comments: It took the court to get FERC to take the appropriate safety action. FERC's claim that they are primarily a safety agency rings hollow.
Opponents have legitimate concerns about Sparrows Point from the impact of local dredging to the security implications of having large LNG tankers so far up the Chesapeake Bay. The former requires finding a site to dispose of millions of cubic yards of contaminated soil, and the latter may mean disrupting marine traffic to give the ships a wide berth. [Red emphasis added.]
The fisheries service warned the Coast Guard last month that the open-loop system could kill millions of fish eggs and billions of other microscopic marine organisms that would be swept up by the powerful inflow and shocked on exposure to extreme cold. The report said the loss of marine life would set back efforts to rebuild populations of red drum, snapper and other fish, a blow to commercial and recreational fishing.
FERC said that the re-export request did not involve significant safety considerations that have not already been addressed, and noted that Sabine Pass filed a letter from the U.S. Coast Guard stating that the modifications to the project will not change or exceed the impacts considered in the March 2006 Waterway Suitability Report for the existing facility.
Webmaster's Comments: This is one of FIVE NEW NORTH AMERICAN LNG EXPORT projects, due to the great abundance of North American natural gas that moots proposed LNG import projects, as well as some existing import terminals.
State officials said that FERC approved the Bradwood Landing terminal last month without considering all environmental and safety risks, and should have waited for the state to issue a clean-water permit.
“FERC just screwed up,” assistant attorney general Joan Marchioro said. The state, she said, is telling the federal agency, “We’re going to give you a chance to fix it, and then we’re going to the principal’s office.” (Oct 8)
"It is a relief to see Gov. Gregoire taking this action," said Gayle Kiser, president of pipeline opponent Landowners and citizens for a Safe Community. "It is absurd for the company to be given the right of eminent domain without first having to show that they comply with our laws, and it is completely reckless to think of committing Washington to more global warming emissions and more foreign fossil fuels." (Oct 7)
The U.S. gas market is "loaded'' with domestic production while nuclear power disruptions in Japan, which boosted LNG imports by 8 billion cubic meters to the world's biggest market for the fuel, may soon be solved. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Asian LNG demand may increase by 830 million cubic feet a day (6.4 million tons a year) next year while North West Europe, led by Spain, may boost LNG purchases by 970 million cubic feet a day, according to the report. New LNG buyers including Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Kuwait and Pakistan may import 430 million next year from zero in 2008. (Oct 7)
Webmaster's Comments: Even if LNG prices were to drop, LNG prices would remain above domestic US natural gas prices, due to the abundance of domestic natural gas compared to the costs of liquefaction, shipping, and regasification.
[The following link will expire soon.]
Four years ago the outlook for North American natural gas production was grim. LNG developers took note and rushed to fill the void, with three in development in Oregon. But times have changed, and at least one LNG import terminal planned for the West Coast now plans to export gas. [Red emphasis added.] (Oct 6)
Inventories now are 76 Bcf above the five-year average of 1.823 Tcf in the East, 16 Bcf above the five-year average of 416 Bcf in the West, and 23 Bcf below the five-year average of 890 Bcf in the producing region. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: There's plenty of natural gas in storage and there's plenty of available domestic supply.
In its Short-Term Energy Outlook released yesterday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) lowered its projection for LNG imports to the United States to 350 Bcf for 2008. The revised import level is down from the EIA's previous estimate of 390 Bcf. [Red emphasis added.] (Oct 8)
Webmaster's Comments: The Energy Information Agency (EIA) has been consistently reporting a downward spiral of LNG imports.
Canadian energy consulting firm Tristone Capital released a report this week predicting that increased natural gas production from North American shale plays could limit the volume of U.S. LNG imports over the next several years.
Webmaster's Comments: Everyone seems to be in agreement LNG imports aren't needed. Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG are simply continuing to waste time and money.
“Vacancy levels in the shore-based LNG sector are at a record high and we forecast them to continue growing. Employers face competition for talent not only from direct competitors, but also banks and power companies who need people with specialist marine engineering know-how.” [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: This represents an additional challenge to LNG import developers in the US especially since the marketplace has defined additional US LNG imports as unnecessary.
6 Oct 2008
The company's senior vice president in charge of the project, John Hritcko Jr., said in an interview recently that its appeal of New York's decision, to the U.S. Department of Commerce, is pending, with the federal agency expected to cut off comments by mid-December and make a decision next year.
Supreme Court refuses to hear county's appeal
Last year, the Baltimore County Council passed an amendment to its Coastal Zone Management plan that prohibited LNG plants and other facilities, such as oil refineries, in environmentally sensitive coastal areas. The law had been seen as giving opponents of the Sparrows Point project their best chance of stopping it.
Two new [U.S.] liquefied natural gas import terminals now want to export LNG, instead. With a total of five new LNG export projects in North America, along with LNG costing 50 to 100 percent more than domestic natural gas, the rush to build LNG import terminals in Oregon and the rest of the U.S. makes no economic sense for consumers or for U.S. energy security. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
NEW YORK, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Delays in liquefied natural gas (LNG) production projects in the coming years will keep the market tight for the next 15 years, according to a report from Bernstein Research.
Webmaster's Comments: The marketplace keeps repeating its message: Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG have no hope of success.
3 Oct 2008
"We have a position against gas and oil and we are saying 'no' and I want to make it very clear that the Haida Nation is not represented by Herb Pond we speak for ourselves," said Arnie Bellis, vice president for the Council of Haida Nation.
The Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce is urging that community's municipal leaders to support mayors Rick Wozney from Kitimat, Colin Kinsley from Prince George and Herb Pond from Prince Rupert on their firm stance supporting pipeline and port expansion projects in the North.
Webmaster's Comments: Kitimat LNG has recently reversed direction from an LNG import project to an LNG export project, due to the vast abundance of domestic natural gas in Canada.
Kitimat LNG said last month that "fundamental changes" in the global natural gas market have made it more viable to export liquefied natural gas than to import it at the planned Bish Cove terminal near Kitimat, B.C.
"The growing economies of the Pacific Rim and rapidly increasing demand for LNG make Asia a natural market for B.C.'s plentiful and expanding supplies of natural gas," said Rosemary Boulton, president of Kitimat LNG.
"Regasification terminals in North America are underutilized," Schmaltz said. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: With the great abundance of domestic natural gas in Canada and the US, and with LNG import terminals sitting idle, it makes no economic sense to construct additional domestic LNG import facilities.
NorthernStar, through shell company Pinnacle Long LLC, says it has established an ownership interest in Oregon LNG's site on Warrenton's Skipanon Peninsula, just west of Astoria. The company says it bought the deed from property owner George Warren and has also leased another property adjacent to the Oregon LNG site.
Pinnacle said in a letter dated last week to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that as a tenant on the project site, it objects to a new access road, as well as the removal of a dike, wetlands and a pond. The issues, it said, were "irresolvable." Consequently, Pinnacle said, Oregon LNG would never be able to establish site control, and FERC should stop wasting its time with the application.If true, that could be a sticky problem for Oregon LNG. But Peter Hansen, one of the partners in the Oregon LNG team, says it's all nonsense. The property is owned by the Oregon Department of State Lands, leased to the Port of Astoria, and subleased to Oregon LNG, he said. (Oct 2)
2 Oct 2008
“Currently there is a major shipbuilding entity that must remain confidential that has seriously professed interest in developing the shipyard into an active state-of-the-art operating fully functional shipyard,” wrote David W. Edgerley, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development in a Sept. 4 letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Edgerley wrote that a liquefied natural gas facility proposed by AES Corp. for the area would not offer the same economic input to the state and would render the graving dock unusable for shipbuilding use. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: A shipyard also wouldn't present the hazards to public safety that the proposed Sparrow's Point LNG terminal would present.
In June 2007, U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett upheld a Baltimore County law that would ban the construction of liquefied natural gas plants along the critical areas of the Chesapeake Bay.
Here's the real rub: Pinnacle Long is an entity created by Houston-based NorthernStar Natural Gas, developers of the Bradwood Landing proposal, which also could send compressed gas through a different pipeline under Washington County.
Pinnacle was created when NorthernStar was looking at developing its LNG terminal in Warrenton. Spokesman Joe Desmond said the site had too many problems, including seismic stability and tsunami risk, and the company moved onto the Bradwood site, 20 miles east of Astoria.
Webmaster's Comments: Quoddy Bay LNG has a similar problem their president, Don Smith, sent a letter to the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sibayik stating that, (for the same reason that Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon is suing the Bureau of Indian Affairs [BIA]) since the BIA didn't follow the law in approving the ground lease between the tribe and the company, the lease isn't valid, so Quoddy Bay LNG doesn't have to make any more lease payments to the tribe. On the other hand, Quoddy Bay LNG is filing with that the lease is valid, so that Quoddy Bay LNG can stay in the FERC permitting process.
Natural gas prices are expected to remain stable this winter heating season, driven by a projected 8% increase in US production compared with last winter, a flagging economy, adequate storage and flat demand, according to a trade group representing gas producers.
"In response to what continues to be a tight energy market, natural gas producers have responded to market signals, resulting in a forecast for gas production to reach the highest levels since the early to mid-1970s," said Patrick Kuntz, chairman of the Natural Gas Supply Association. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: The industry keeps repeating the message: There is plenty of domestic natural gas, with no need for additional LNG import terminals. It should be clear by now to Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG that their projects are beyond salvation.
1 Oct 2008
This week FERC requested additional environmental information regarding the pipeline routes associated with the proposed Sparrows Point LNG project. The data request is available in the FERC eLibrary under Docket No. CP07-62.
Webmaster's Comments: Even prior to FERC's authorization to import LNG, Sabine Pass LNG requested from FERC a permit to export to Asia the LNG it has imported. The US mad rush to import LNG has been knocked on its head by the 100-year domestic supply of shale gas, mooting the new LNG import projects.
Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG developers are either blind to the new economic realities in the LNG marketplace or they are simply exhausting their venture-capitalist investors' money while paying themselves handsomely before they close their projects down.
Webmaster's Comments: If Sabine Pass LNG and the other newly-operational Freeport LNG import terminals (both of which have applied to FERC to export their imported LNG to Asia, since there is no US market for their LNG-source natural gas) were to actually end up regasifying their LNG and injecting it into the US natural gas pipeline network, then those facilities will be contributing to the over-abundance of natural gas in the US, further mooting the would-be Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG import projects.
“One of the vineyards they are going to go through, the grapes were planted 34 years ago. These are some of the oldest grapes in Oregon. One pipeline goes through their property, it will take out 120 feet of their grapes.” (Sep 30)
COOS BAY The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay's Board of Commissioner's decided to extend an agreement with Jordon Cove Energy over a piece of land on the North Spit that would house a potential LNG terminal.
While politicians and analysts in the European capitals and Washington are unsuccessfully wracking their brains about how to reduce Europe's growing dependence on energy resource deliveries from Russia, Moscow has begun an expansion into America including to countries on which US energy security depends. On Friday [26 September] in the course of a visit by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to the Russian Federation, a memorandum was signed on creating a Russian-Venezuelan oil and gas consortium. Experts believe that what is concealed behind the agreement with Venezuela and a number of other steps are not so much economic interests as political interests of Moscow, which will be able to use the increasing US energy dependence to exert pressure on Washington. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Sep 29)
Webmaster's Comments: The US Department of State actually invited Russia to invest in US energy infrastructure!!! Exactly how does that enhance US energy security?