"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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31 May 2009
But talk of energy corridors extending through Maine from Canada to southern New England has stirred up some political dust. [Some] Down East residents and politicians say that before Maine allows Canadian energy companies to lease the interstate corridors, the Canadian government should agree to allow liquefied natural gas tankers access to several LNG terminals proposed for the Calais area.
Responding to those concerns and others, members of the Legislature’s Energy Futures Committee voted to effectively block completion of any energy corridor lease agreements until a commission studies how Maine can reap the most benefits from the deal.
Webmaster’s Comments: The LNG developers merely need to move outside of Passamaquoddy Bay and to industry-compliant sites in order to solve their problem with Canadian opposition. Why do they refuse to do it?
BOSTON (AP) — As the nation increasingly looks to its oceans for energy, Massachusetts is putting the final touches on a vast regulatory map designed to plot out where wind farms, and other offshore projects, can be located in its coastal waters.
"It really wasn't until various ocean energy projects were proposed in Massachusetts that people sat up and said our regulatory framework is not built to dealt with this," she said. "Regulators never envisioned gas pipelines and offshore LNG terminals and tidal turbines and wind farms."
When finished, Massachusetts' plan will be incorporated into the state's existing coastal zone management plan and be enforced through its regulatory and permitting processes, including the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act.
Maine Gov. John Baldacci created a wind-power task force that called for streamlining the review process for wind power projects and an ocean energy task force to work on recommendations for wind, tidal and wave energy from the Gulf of Maine. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: "Streamlining" the review process is counter-productive, since there are no comprehensive offshore Maine regulations in place. As with his blind support for LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay, Gov. Baldacci has again put the cart before the horse.
The board is between a rock and a hard place in deciding whether or not to renew the state lease. On one hand, the Port makes no money from the arrangement and would like to avoid the liabilities, administrative costs and political strife of maintaining it.
It also said the LNG market was growing at its slowest pace in decades. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Australia provides 9% of the world LNG supply.
28 May 2009
Saint John firefighters train in the use of Purple K, a dye chemical fire-extinguishing product that is used to combat high-heat fires from flammable liquids such as liquid natural gas. Purple K is one of the numerous fire suppression systems at Canaport LNG. The facility, a liquefied natural gas receiving and regassification terminal now under construction, has its own fire brigade to respond immediately to emergencies. But the brigade will be aided by city crews, which is the purpose of the training.
Webmaster’s Comments: Purple K would have no significant impact on a pool fire on water. Pool fires are cosidered by the industry to non-extinguishable.
The business case has changed in the past several years since these LNG projects were proposed. (Real Player sound file; 8:07)
Webmaster’s Comments: The people attempting to stop the NB-ME Energy Corridor are advocating energy and job suicide for Maine. The logical solution is to move LNG projects outside of Passamaquoddy Bay to industry best practices-compliant sites.
Maine needs to insist on reciprocity when it comes to transmission corridors. In return for the proposed Maine corridor, northern and eastern Maine interests ought to get the same treatment. It's only fair.
Webmaster’s Comments: This article ignores the best solution to the perceived problem: moving the LNG projects out of Passamaquoddy Bay, where they could then be LNG industry best-practices compliant and would have shorter, less costly pipeline transmission to the end users. The answer is obvious. Why do the developers refuse to use it?
And after nearly $1 billion in capital expenses to build the terminal, it is likely to sit idle for much of the next 20 years. This is largely because speculation that imported LNG from Indonesia, Russia, or the Middle East would be necessary in California turned out to be dead wrong.
The U.S. Department of Energy concluded in its Annual Energy Outlook 2009 that total natural gas imports, including those from Canada, would shrink from 16 percent in 2007 to a mere 3 percent by 2030, a scenario that will render all of North America’s LNG terminals to mothball status. These and other analyst projections led one Wall Street Journal reporter to surmise that the conventional wisdom on the need for LNG “blew it,” and that “companies that bought into the earlier vision of soaring imports and strings of new terminals went from being Wall Street darlings to also-rans.”
For the most part, LNG lost this race, and the investors who inadvertently cut their losses by failing to get their project permitted can in large part thank their foes—community activists—for the fact that they’re not now holding the bag for an obsolete LNG terminal. [Red, bold, and yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG and Calais LNG can get out and thank us now — or regret it later.
Factors on both sides of the marketplace have contributed to the price declines over the past several months. Recent reductions in natural gas price levels may be related to continued strength in domestic production capacity, specifically related to supplies from unconventional gas fields such as the Barnett Shale in Northeast Texas and the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana. Reduced demand is evident in the industrial sector, which accounts for more than 30 percent of yearly natural gas deliveries, as a result of the decline in economic activity.
Working natural gas in storage totaled 2,213 Bcf as of Friday, May 22, 2009, according to EIA’s Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report. The implied net injection during the report week was 106 Bcf, bringing the current level of supplies in underground storage to 21.6 percent more than the 5-year average for this time of year. Current stocks exceed the 5-year average by 393 Bcf and last year’s level by 524 Bcf. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: We have too much natural gas!
In contrast to much of the rest of the country, where concerns about natural gas have taken a backseat to Big Oil and King Coal, the topic is much hotter in my own Pacific Northwest. It’s here that the third fossil fuel is attempting perhaps its most serious new inroads on the US energy economy. And it’s materialized in natural gas’ dirtiest, most environmentally destructive form: Liquefied Natural Gas, or LNG.
For one thing, despite industry promotion of gas as a “bridge fuel” that would (someday, in the theoretical future) be replaced by renewables, we know that fossil fuel industries don’t give up their seat at the table easily. If LNG is allowed to make inroads on the Northwest, it’s quite clear that it will be a competitor to renewables—not a temporary substitute. [Red emphasis added.]
Those shipments from the long-delayed US$22 billion (Dh80.79bn) project that marks Gazprom’s debut into the global LGN business were delivered to Asian countries including Japan, South Korea and India.
Webmaster’s Comments: The US would have to be crazy to depend on Russia for its energy.
27 May 2009
The New Brunswick government states that it will comprehensively review and assess the document and take appropriate action as a formal intervener in the FERC proceeding. In a release, Premier Shawn Graham says, "FERC has jurisdiction over the development of this project on United States soil and in United States waters. We note that FERC staff has recommended nearly 100 very serious conditions be imposed on the project in the event this project were ever to move forward. We also note in this report mention of resources or effects on the Canadian side of the border, which are clearly beyond the authority or jurisdiction of FERC. For example, references to the application of the New Brunswick Endangered Species Act, or any other Canadian or provincial law, are misplaced."
The premier adds, "We will ensure that New Brunswick's safety and security concerns, as well as the environmental and economic impacts of these facilities on New Brunswick residents who live along Passamaquoddy Bay, are not dismissed and are forcefully defended. We are involved in the FERC process for this exact reason. The decision on LNG vessels transiting Head Harbour Passage and matters pertaining to Canadian territorial waters is the exclusive jurisdiction of the Government of Canada and is outside the FERC process."
In January, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a favorable Waterway Suitability Report for the project, which is included in the draft EIS. In a letter to FERC, the Captain of the Port for the U.S. Coast Guard's Sector Northern New England said that he had "determined that the Passamaquoddy Bay waterway is suitable for the type and frequency of marine traffic associated with this proposed project, provided that all of the recommended risk mitigation measures are fully implemented by the applicant."
Webmaster’s Comments: The story fails to mention the Coast Guard stipulation that Downeast LNG obtain Canada’s cooperation — something Canada has steadfastly indicated it will not provide due to the inappropriate siting of Downeast LNG’s project. By merely moving outside of Passamaquoddy Bay, Downeast LNG could remove Canada’s objection. So far, however,Downeast LNG refuses to consider the practical solution to its problem.
Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG and Calais LNG were notified by Canada on the DeLNG FERC docket in April 2007 that Canada does not oppose LNG terminals in Washington County or Maine — but it does oppose inappropriate LNG terminal siting, as in Passamaquoddy Bay. Even the LNG industry's own best practices dictate against siting in Passamaquoddy Bay (see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization).
State Sen. Raye, Maine Jobs First, and the local LNG developers, by claiming Canada opposes jobs in Maine, are picking a disingenuous fight. If they really wanted to solve their problems, they would merely move outside of Passmaquoddy Bay — perhaps still in Washington County.
They are proving to be inflexible, with no minds for problem solving. Are those the kind of thinkers who should be responsible for projects that could place the public at risk?
By continuing down this fruitless path, Sen. Raye and Maine Jobs First are potentially losing not only any jobs associated with the local LNG projects, but also all the jobs promised by the several other energy corridors that have warned Maine they will leave if this vain and destructive effort continues. The blame will then be appropriately directed at those who sandbagged energy progress in Maine — Sen. Raye and those behind Maine Jobs First.
"The more I looked into this project, the more I thought the company building it does not care about the safety implications," said Charles S. Faddis, who retired a year ago as chief of the Central Intelligence Agency's anti-terrorism unit and is a security consultant, based in Davidsonville, and a writer who has published two books on security issues.
FERC, which placed 169 conditions, mostly related to safety and environment, on its approval of the project, accepted Faddis' testimony on securing the ships, the terminal and the pipeline from the threat of terrorism. AES, which unsuccessfully opposed adding Faddis' testimony to the record, said Tuesday that it would have no comment.
"They are telling us we are expendable," she said. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, FERC, the Coast Guard (as required by inappropriate regulations), and US Sen. Olympia Snowe (R), US Sen. Susan Collins (R), Gov. John Baldacci (D), Maine Senate Majority Leader Philip Bartlett II (D), State Sen. Kevin Raye (R), Verso Paper, Lincoln Paper, and Maine Jobs First are also telling civilians in Passamaquoddy Bay that we are all expendable by ignoring conditions in Passamaquoddy Bay that make it inherently unsuitable for LNG facilities, as clearly indicated by LNG industry best practices (SIGTTO; see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more about this issue.)
Downeast LNG and Calais LNG could easily remedy their problems by moving outside of Passamaquoddy Bay and to best practices-compliant sites — perhaps still in Washington County. Refusing to move is merely ensuring their projects’ failures.
"Lake and wetland is almost identical to OPR except for one important change," said VandenHeuvel. "Pipelines are allowed in the lakes and wetland zoning and not allowed in the OPR. That change is absolutely unnecessary unless you are to run a pipeline through there. There's no way this is not related to the LNG pipeline."
Webmaster’s Comments: This appears to forecast world LNG trends.
…Russian President Dmitry Medvedev refused to grant assurances to EU consumers that future gas supply cutoffs might not happen again. In fact, he said he doubted that transit state, Ukraine, through which the gas flows, had enough money to pay for the gas Russia supplies, suggesting that future disruptions are likely. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Is there any question, at all, that the US should avoid getting involved with Russian LNG?
26 May 2009
To ensure consideration prior to a Commission decision on the proposal, it is important that your comments be received before July 6, 2009. Please carefully follow the instructions below so that your comments are properly recorded.
For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the Project Docket Numbers CP07-52-000, CP07-53-000, and CP07-53-001 with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has dedicated eFiling expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You may file your comments electronically by using the Quick Comment feature, which is located on the Commission's internet Web site at http://www.ferc.gov under the link to Documents and Filings. A Quick Comment is an easy method for interested persons to submit text-only comments on a project;
- You may file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature, which is located on the Commission's Internet Web site at http://www.ferc.gov under the link to Documents and Filings. eFiling involves preparing your submission in the same manner as you would if filing on paper, and then saving the file on your computer's hard drive. You will attach that file as your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on ``Sign up'' or ``eRegister.'' You will be asked to select the type of filing you are making. A comment on a particular project is considered a ``Comment on a Filing;''or
- You may file your comments via mail to the Commission by sending an original and two copies of your letter to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St., NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.
In addition to or in lieu of sending written comments, we invite you to attend the public comment meeting we will conduct in the Project area. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. (EST), and is scheduled as follows:
This public meeting will be posted on the FERC's calendar located at http://www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx. Interested groups and individuals are encouraged to attend and present written or oral comments on the draft EIS. Transcripts of the meetings will be prepared. [Red, bold & yellow emphasis added.Webmaster’s Comments: Read the FERC eFiling information page before filing. If you need assistance filing your comments, the Save Passamaquoddy Bay webmaster will try to help: .
The [Draft Environmental Impact Statement] acknowledges Canada's stance that it will not allow LNG tankers to cross Head Harbour Passage - between Deer Island and Campobello Island - to get to Robbinston, across Passamaquoddy Bay from St. Andrews.
The draft environmental impact statement includes a condition that Downeast LNG implement measures outlined by the United States Coast Guard on Jan. 6 - including Canadian co-operation necessary for LNG tankers to safely navigate Head Harbour Passage.
The commission went beyond its authority when it included effects on the Canadian side of the border in the draft environmental impact statement, the provincial government news release states. "For example, references to the application of the New Brunswick Endangered Species Act, or any other Canadian or provincial law, are misplaced."
Webmaster’s Comments: The developers and U.S. Senators Snowe and Collins like to pretend LNG ships transiting to proposed ports in Passamaquoddy Bay would have “innocent passage” under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They conveniently ignore that the U.S. has not ratified that treaty; thus, the US has no rights or responsibilities under it — as UNCLOS clearly indicates.
Even if the US does ratify UNCLOS, there is no clear right under UNCLOS for LNG “innocent passage” transits into the bay according to US and Canadian maritime law experts who participated in the 2007 May 11 “(Not So) Innocent Passage: International Law and the Passamaquoddy Bay LNG Terminal Controversy” panel discussion in Fredericton, Newn Brunswick. Even Ted L. McDorman, the expert who provided Downeast LNG with the opinion that Head Harbour Passage is an “international strait” stated at the Panel Discussion that the US does not have UNCLOS innocent passage through Head Harbour Passage and in Passamaquoddy Bay.
Please, Mr. Prime Minister, clarify the statement made by Senator Susan Collins. Is it true that Canadian legislators bent a sympathetic ear to American pressure in this instance? May we, the Canadian public, know how and why, if this is indeed the case?
SPARROWS POINT, Md. (WJZ) — Opponents of the proposed LNG terminal in Sparrows Point have an ally fresh from the CIA, and he is warning the explosive power of a liquefied natural gas operation may be too good a target for terrorists to pass up.
According to the industry, the safety record for liquefied natural gas terminals like the one in southern Maryland is long and strong. But for Charles Faddis, the retired head of CIA's Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Unit, security is the safety issue. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: History protects no one. Only circumstances can determine safety.
In letters filed with FERC dated May 5 and May 18 of this year, Freeport-McMoRan stated that high liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices in the Far East have forced a diversion of LNG from the U.S. to that region; that reduced industrial demand for natural gas in the U.S. has further weakened the demand to import natural gas; and drilling activities for new gas sources in the U.S. has declined. [Red bold emphasis added.]
FERC has clarified that it does not expect Kenai's existing facilities to conform to contemporary standards; that ConocoPhillips and Marathon must submit the same reports for Kenai that are submitted for other LNG terminals; and that the Kenai will not be subject to an annual charge.
The companies noted that Kenai has operated since 1969 without reporting to FERC, and said that Kenai exports gas, in contrast to other LNG terminals which only import gas; and that many of the other terminals were recently constructed or have substantially modified their facilities in the past few years.
To suggest that Oregon and Washington can meet short-term energy challenges by relying solely on renewable forms of energy is a simplistic, inaccurate and wrongheaded claim. The idea that we can snap our fingers and create a world completely dependent upon renewable sources of energy flies in the face of reality.
Webmaster’s Comments: Despite this columnist’s poo-pooing concentrated development of renewables, what also flies in the face of reality is continuing to advocate constructing more LNG import terminals. The US is in a natural gas glut with low natural gas demand.
With thousands of small natural gas producers across the US, the country is almost completely independent in natural gas, with about 85 per cent of the natural gas used in the US produced in the country.
Webmaster’s Comments: There's no question about the gas glut. What is surprising is the prediction of an LNG "tsunami" coming to the US when others have indicated LNG imports are flagging.
Speaking on U.S. ties with some African nations, Carson said Nigeria remains a strategic partner of his country as it supplies almost 50 per cent of oil imports from Africa to the U.S., and also a big time supplier of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imports into America.
Currently there are no GTL plants offshore and operators are looking to ABS to provide technical guidance for the “marinization” of this technology which is currently used in shore-based projects only. “The marine environment, dynamic loads, impact of sea motions and equipment congestion on the floating structures can be significant for GTL plants. The high temperature and explosion risk of GTL plants need special attention” says Harish Patel, Manager, Emerging Technologies, ABS. “Depending upon the technology selected and the intended location of the facility, technical concerns need to be fully addressed.” [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) plants are different from LNG regasification plants; however, they both involve natural gas. It would be enlightening to have a detailed explanation as to why liquefaction facilities are a high heat and explosion risk, while LNG developers and FERC claim LNG regasification facilities are not a high heat and explosion risk — if, in fact, that is the case.
24 May 2009
"the reason that Snowe and Collins can support the stimulus bill while their Republican colleagues can’t is because most members of Congress face strong, right-wing opposition back in their districts and could face serious opponents for their jobs if they backed the president. Re-election, after all, is the one thing that really gets the attention of a member of Congress.
On the other hand, Maine’s right wing-nut GOP faction is no threat at all to Snowe and Collins. It’s a noisy but flaccid group who have no influence in statewide elections. There are plenty GOP senators and congressman who are jealous of Snowe’s and Collins’ invulnerability and would have otherwise supported the stimulus." [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Dennis Bailey is the same guy who is fronting for Maine Jobs First — the organization trying to kill energy corridors in Maine. Bailey’s group wants Canada to look the other way regarding LNG best practices violations by Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
One wonders how Dennis Bailey's "right wing-nut GOP faction" "flaccidity" comment sits with his Maine Jobs First supporters.
Power U.S. legislation to halt energy corridor may jeopradize other regional energy projects
Democrat Senate Majority Leader Phil Bartlett expects to table the bill next week. He said his three main goals are to settle a long standing dispute over tanker traffic through Canadian waters, which is key to the state's development of liquefied natural gas facilities; to ensure Irving Oil's proposed corridor has room for Maine renewable energy; and that state energy consumers don't have to pay more because of the project. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Phil Bartlett needs to be informed about LNG industry best practices and how Downeast LNG and Calais LNG violate them by placing thousands of civilians within 4.4-mile diameter Federal Hazard Zones.
The LNG proposals are vigorously opposed by two non-profit organizations, Save Passamaquoddy Bay Canada and Save Passamaquoddy Bay US. And the lie being disseminated in the public relations campaign is that the Canadian group is supported by the Irvings here in New Brunswick. The smear implicit in that suggestion is that the Irvings with their LNG facility in Saint John could be accused of being for a Canadian LNG operation but against another in Maine.
The Canadian Save Passamaquoddy group contains many heavy hitters from both sides of the border and the suggestion that they would prejudice their position by being allied with large corporations borders on the laughable. We are smarter than put ourselves in the position of playing both ends against the middle and expecting to get away with it.
[W]hat has become distressing is the efforts of the public relations people to drive a wedge between Mainers and New Brunswickers, by failing to even recognize that Canada has rights in the whole LNG-transporting process too. What is more, the interests of both sides are very similar. Basically we all want jobs for our children and grandchildren and a safe and un-spoiled environment. How much argument can there be in that? From time to time over the centuries we have had our spats but there is really not much to choose between us. People on both sides of the line should be out there, yelling at the PR people to get out of the way and stop sowing discord between us. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The local LNG developers, Maine Jobs First, and their supporters apparently believe the only way they can accomplish their LNG goal is to sow discord.
The actual solution to their problem is much less painful and far more productive:
- They merely need to move the projects outside of Passamaquoddy Bay, preferably offshore, where they could then conform to LNG industry terminal siting best practices; plus, they would be outside the area objectionable to Canadian authority — just as Canada informed them was the case in early 2007.
Why continue down their path of discord, when their problems could be solved so easily?
Will Senator Snowe's current position change to one that protects US energy security and maintains good relations with America's most important trading partner? Will the Senator publicly encourage Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Northeast Energy to select more sensible, viable locations elsewhere, that conform to LNG industry standards, thus avoiding the embarrassment that will likely result from challenging FERC's, MARAD's and Canada's authority? Senator Snowe is encouraged to do exactly that. [Red emphasis added.]
QUINTANA — A town resident is asking federal regulators to take a second look at a permit allowing Freeport LNG to bring trucks carrying liquefied natural gas onto the island, a move company leaders have said was a fallback plan in case another permit was denied.
Town Councilman Harold Doty sent a letter Friday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission appealing the trucking permit, which was approved May 6, and requesting a public hearing so Quintana residents and municipal leaders could levy concerns.
Webmaster’s Comments: Big gas and oil no longer have a friend in the Oval Office.
22 May 2009
“We have one here on the Gulf Coast that has never been used and there is no sign of it being used in the near future. It looks like they are not going to be doing any business for possibly some years to come,” Shook said.
When these facilities were built, said Shook, it seemed like a good idea at the time but it takes several years before they become operational and the natural gas world looked a lot different four or five years ago than it does today. [Yellow and red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are throwing good money after bad.
[S]uggesting that LNG will become a reality in Washington County if Canadian opposition is dropped is as far from certain — as is saying that if Maine puts up roadblocks to an energy corridor, Irving or another company will build one elsewhere.
Webmaster’s Comments:Maine Jobs First, along with its pro-LNG supporters are, for all practical purposes, demanding Maine give up good job opportunities and other economic opportunities in order to feather the beds of projects that are a bad investment. Plus, those same developers are pushing to recklessly violate industry best practices by subjecting thousands of Passamaquoddy Bay-area civilians to Federal Hazard Zones.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today approved the funding arrangement for a major transmission project linking Hydro-Quebec with ISO New England that would deliver low-cost hydropower to consumers in the New England region.
Webmaster’s Comments: This FERC approval puts additional hurt on LNG and natural gas suppliers in New England. Hydropower means even more surplus natural gas. By now, Passamaquoddy Bay LNG developers must be saying, “OUCH!”
“Thank you for this presentation. As staff noted, this project will provide several important benefits to consumers in New England. For example, this project provides access to clean, low-cost energy for consumers in a region of the country that has tight constraints on electricity supplies. In addition, the project promotes competition in the region by facilitating the transmission of Canadian hydro power to markets in the United States, enhancing the region’s fuel diversity. I am pleased to support this order.” [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: FERC Chairman Wellinghoff wants electricity supply-competition and energy diversity. LNG developers must be saying, “DOUBLE OUCH!”
Power usage is down steeply across the country in the first three months of 2009 compared with 2008, due in part to the economic downturn and possibly a change in consumer behavior, said George Given, the head of power market research with the energy consulting firm. The demand lag is expected to continue into next year before starting a very slow recovery.
The problem is compounded by a recent surge in natural gas production in the U.S. -- government data released Thursday says stockpiles rose by 103 billion cubic feet, well above analyst expectations, and 22.4 percent above the five-year average. Also, a wave of new liquefied natural gas capacity coming online overseas is oversupplying Europe and Asia. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Not only is there too much gas in the U.S., there is too much electric power.
Jen Snyder, an analyst with Wood MacKenzie, said yesterday that as global LNG production capacity increases, a "tsunami of LNG is set to hit the U.S. market." Snyder also noted that most of the increase in LNG imports to the United States will likely take place in 2010 and 2011.
Webmaster’s Comments: Now that the "tsunami" of LNG that was supposed to hit the US this summer is flagging, we're to believe it will come next year and the year after.
LNG market and supply predictions seem no more reliable than the local weather forecast — about four days ahead is as accurate as it gets.
U.S. gas prices tumbled this week, dampening the potential for a continued surge of U.S. liquefied natural gas imports, as UK gas prices were once again more favourable to Atlantic Basin suppliers. [Red emphasis added.]
21 May 2009
Energy developers proposing projects in Maine worth more than $5 billion could pull the plug on their plans if the Legislature passes a bill with language that would delay the construction of energy corridors.
Energy companies are reacting strongly now because they're applying for federal loan guarantees contained in the government's economic stimulus package. The sudden, unanticipated possibility that Maine lawmakers could hold up their projects sends a negative signal that could choke off investment at a critical time, Douglas said.
Legislative leaders are taking the threat seriously. They were talking with Baldacci on Wednesday, looking for solutions. Their challenge: Send the message that Maine is welcoming to out-of-state developers with transmission proposals, while appeasing politically powerful in-state companies that support LNG development. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: State Senator Kevin Raye, Verso Paper, Lincoln Paper, Maine Jobs First, and their pro-LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay supporters, have shot themselves in the foot, bigtime, and are trying to bleed Maine, as well.
And what for? …for unneeded LNG projects that have no access to LNG!
If they are so bent on importing LNG in spite of the overwhelming evidence it is not needed, they merely have to move outside Passamaquoddy Bay, to a best practices-compliant site, away from Canadian authority. By continuing down their suicidal path, they will cost all of Maine in lost potential jobs and economic benefit!
We also note in this report mention of resources or effects on the Canadian side of the border, which are clearly beyond the authority or jurisdiction of FERC. For example, references to the application of the New Brunswick Endangered Species Act, or any other Canadian or provincial law, are misplaced.
The decision on LNG vessels transiting Head Harbour Passage and matters pertaining to Canadian territorial waters is the exclusive jurisdiction of the Government of Canada and is outside the FERC process.
Webmaster’s Comments: U.S. Claims of "innocent passage" protection under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea are clearly false, as plainly stated within the treaty, itself.
Collins Renegs on Professed LNG Neutrality
We met with our Canadian counterparts to discuss energy, environmental, economic, border, and national and homeland security issues. I was able to get a resolution passed that is important to Washington County proposals to develop an LNG terminal, which Canada has been blocking by refusing to cooperate in any of the regulatory reviews. The resolution calls on both countries to participate in good faith and expeditiously in regulatory reviews of proposed facilities in their ports. I faced strong opposition at first from some of the Canadians, but revised the language and prevailed after a lot of work. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Just as Massachusetts Sen. Barney Frank indicated about Sen. Collins and Sen. Snowe in May 2006, Sen. Collins has exposed she actually supports putting Mainers’ lives at risk in Federal Hazard Zones, and supports violating LNG industry best practices.
Citing project developer Freeport-McMoran's assertion that market conditions have negatively affected its efforts to secure LNG supplies for the Main Pass Energy Hub LNG import terminal, FERC has granted Freeport-McMoran's request for an extension of time to commence service on a natural gas pipeline associated with the terminal.
Webmaster’s Comments: This is more evidence that there is no demand for incremental LNG import infrastructure. If and when more demand develops, Main Pass LNG — along with other already-permitted import terminals in the existing over-built infrastructure — will be filling the pipeline. There is no need for Downeast LNG or Calais LNG.
But, if the Passamaquoddy Bay-area developers still think more LNG is really needed, they could solve their problems by selecting offshore deepwater LNG ports — like permitted, under construction, or operational Main Pass LNG (offshore from Louisiana), Gulf Gateway LNG (offshore from Louisiana), Northeast Gateway LNG (offshore from Massachusetts), and Neptune LNG (offshore from Massachusetts).
It is important to observe that offshore terminals:
- stand up better to high seas and winds than do shoreside terminals;
- are faster to permit;
- are faster to construct;
- have fewer security issues;
- provide more market flexibility;
- are easier to expand; and
- have fewer safety issues to deal with — they do not present a hazard to civilian populations like Downeast LNG and Calais LNG would.
This morning FERC issued an Order on Rehearing and Clarifying Prior Order in the Kenai LNG proceeding. In the order, FERC states that the existing Kenai LNG liquefaction terminal is not expected to conform to the current standards for construction and operation, but any future modifications or expansions will be held to the standards in effect at such time. In addition, FERC clarifies that joint owners ConocoPhillips Alaska Natural Gas Corporation and Marathon Oil Company are required to file the same reports for the Kenai terminal that are filed for other LNG facilities, and the Kenai terminal is not subject to an annual charge to offset the administrative expenses of enforcing the Natural Gas Act. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: FERC is not requiring conforming to existing standards! And yet, they claim safety is foremost.
A 40-year-old liquefied natural gas export terminal in Alaska must comply with federal reporting requirements, but it will not be held to the same design and operating standards as a brand new LNG facility, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled Thursday.
ConocoPhillips and Marathon argued the aging facility should not be held to the same standards as terminals built nowadays; and should be "grandfathered" in and held to 1967 standards. The terminal began operating in 1969.
Webmaster’s Comments: Safety is apparently not FERC’s primary objective.
In comments filed with FERC, NorthernStar Energy LLC, the company developing the Bradwood Landing LNG import project, states that it disagrees with the National Marine Fisheries Service's position that the Bradwood Landing project is not ripe to begin the Endangered Species Act Section 7 formal consultation process.
Zach Allen, president of North Carolina consulting firm PanEurasian Enterprises, told Energy Current that the anticipated surge looks less likely to occur as gas producers worldwide cut back on supply in response to lower global demand and major LNG consumers such as Japan continue to buy more LNG than anticipated.
Earlier this year, industry observers began saying they expected a surge in LNG imports after seeing a surge of LNG ships arrive in the U.S. last month. "I think everyone, myself included, thought that it was a harbinger of things to come."
Allen noted that the BG LNG terminal in Lake Charles ramped up regasification efforts to 250 MMcf/d, which was taken as a sign that more imports would come in, but then the facility shut down again. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: It is ever-more clear that the natural gas/LNG industry has no window into the future. Their failed predictions are stacking up.
20 May 2009
Webmaster’s Comments: There should be no question about it. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are beyond redundant.
These [LNG] projects would require natural gas tankers to navigate the treacherous (and Canadian) waters of Head Harbour Passage, threatening one of New Brunswick's finest tourist resorts and fisheries. Canadians feel such hazardous use of their waters is non-negotiable - but progress on energy projects that would benefit both states shouldn't grind to a halt because of a single disagreement.
Webmaster’s Comments: The effort to prevent the NB-ME Energy Corridor over the LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay issue is self-destructive to jobs and tax revenues in Maine.
Yesterday FERC issued three requests for consultation regarding the potential environmental impacts of the Downeast LNG import project. FERC is seeking guidance from two offices in the National Marine Fisheries Service, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
QUINTANA — Freeport LNG officials say construction on a reliquefication facility has started and should be finished within 75 days, and the company shouldn’t have to bring trucks carrying liquefied natural gas onto the island.
Webmaster’s Comments: There is so little U.S. market for natural gas, the Freeport facility will be exporting to foreign markets the LNG they import.
This decision resolves a long-running dispute about allowing continued export of Cook Inlet gas while also ensuring gas supplies are made available for local utilities. The foundation for the court’s decision is a recently announced agreement by ConocoPhillips to supply all of Chugach Electric’s gas supply requirements through the export term, and a large part of its needs through 2016.
The state’s intervention resulted in a settlement among the state, ConocoPhillips and Marathon, under which each company agreed to good-faith negotiations with local utilities to ensure a gas supply, and to the drilling of a minimum number of new gas wells.
[This is a May 11 abridged version of an Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) letter delivered to FERC]
[T]he Commission, together with other executive branch agencies responsible for policies that affect natural gas supply, must support policies that promote reasonable access to U.S. natural gas resource basins and the seamless importation of LNG into the natural gas supply system. We also urge support for policies that will encourage consumers to transition to more direct-use high-efficiency gas appliances, such as natural gas water heaters, end-use equipment, and natural gas fueled distributed power systems that can contribute to managing electric loads as part of the Smart Grid.
Webmaster’s Comments: As is to be expected, IPAA urges FERC to encourage every possible method of using natural gas, whether or not it is in the best interest of the public.
In North America, Repsol's Canaport LNG at St. John, NB, and Sempra Energy's Cameron LNG terminal near Lake Charles, La., will each accept commissioning cargoes. In South America, Chile's Quintero Bay LNG terminal will become the region's first land-based terminal. [Bold emphasis added.]
19 May 2009
Save Passamaquoddy Bay/Canada Jessie Davis: “What does not change is that the Canadian and provincial governments have said no and that is the same as it was. We really cannot comment on it until we have done a lot of work but we will be commenting on it and sending in our review as soon as we get it ready.”
Saint Andrews Mayor John Craig: “They can make all the statements they want. The government of Canada says they cannot go through. The government of Canada has said this and it has not changed its position on this.”
Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG can try, but they can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
In January, the Coast Guard issued a report that said the proposed route through Canadian waters into Passamaquoddy Bay will be safe for LNG tanker traffic, provided Downeast LNG takes steps to reduce navigational safety and maritime security risks.
Webmaster’s Comments: The Coast Guard report referred to, the Water Suitability Report, requires Downeast LNG to obtain Canadian cooperation with safety and security measures for LNG ship transits in the Canadian and US waterway. Canada has already rejected the project. Downeast LNG is moot.
It noted that the US Coast Guard's letter of recommendation said that the Passamaquoddy Bay waterway was suitable for the type and frequency of marine traffic which would be associated with the proposed project if risk mitigation recommendations outlined in the Water Suitability Report are fully implemented. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The article failed to say the Waterway Suitability Report requires Downeast LNG to obtain Government of Canada cooperation in order to transit the Canadian portions of the waterway. For civilian safety, environmental, and fisheries reasons, Canada has already correctly decided to refuse LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay.
The project increases the Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal’s daily output capacity from 1 billion cubic feet per day to 1.8 Bcf per day. Storage capacity at the terminal has increased to about 14.5 Bcf. One Bcf of natural gas is enough energy for about 3.4 million homes each day. Dominion Cove Point formerly had 7.8 Bcf of LNG tank storage.
At its monthly Commission meeting on May 21, FERC will address issues relating to its January 15, 2009, determination that the Kenai LNG liquefaction facility in Alaska must comply with certain LNG terminal safety and reliability requirements. ConocoPhillips Alaska Natural Gas Corp and Marathon Oil Corporation, the joint owners and operators of the facility, had sought rehearing or clarification of the January 15 Order, which required the facility to file detailed safety, reliability and engineering information in order to be compliant with current regulations.
Hackett said there needs to be a “reasonable market as well as a reasonable price,” and he called for gas to be used more in vehicles. There may be more than 100 years’ worth of supply to be found, he said. Gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange have dropped about 30 percent this year, compared with oil’s 33 percent increase. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: There is too much natural gas.
18 May 2009
Webmaster’s Comments: Quoddy Bay LNG/Pipeline and Downeast LNG/Pipeline could find no one but themselves interested in their own pipelines when they ran their own open seasons.
Bartlett also feels that opposition to the LNG project from the Canadian government is due less to environmental and safety concerns than it is to an economic agenda. "Honestly I think they want the projects on their side of the border."
He points out that the Canadians want to develop their own LNG project 60 miles up the coast at St John. "There are positive economic benefits that come from having these facilities, and there's no question in my mind that they would like to build more of them in Canada and fewer of them outside their jurisdiction."
Webmaster’s Comments: Bartlett ignores the obvious: First, Canada doesn’t “want” to develop their own LNG project — Canaport will accept its commissioning cargo next month. The Passamaquoddy Bay developers are years behind, and are already too late to be meaningful to the US natural gas market.
Second, as it has previously indicated, Canada doesn’t object to LNG facilities in Maine, it objects to improperly sited LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay — projects that place Canadians, Canadian environment, and Canadian economy at risk. Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and Quoddy Bay LNG failed to comply with LNG industry terminal siting best practices when they selected their project sites. Whose fault is that? …certainly not Canada’s.
The US Government indicates LNG vessels transiting Passamaquoddy Bay would place thousands of people — New Brunswickers and Mainers — in Government-established 4.4-mile-diameter Hazard Zones. Canada is responsibly rejecting these projects. If LNG developers wat to succeed, they need to move their projects to industry-compliant locations outside of Canadian authority.
Bartlett is serving up his own red herrings.
Gulf Coast Expansions – Sempra has made three separate major investments in the Gulf Coast region of the United States. With these investments, Sempra has given itself the infrastructure and supply chain capabilities to push natural gas and LNG from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast and Southeast regions on the United States. The three investments are the Cameron LNG storage facility, which has 1.5 Bcf storage capacity, the $250 million Liberty Storage Facility and the purchase of EnergySouth, two large natural gas facilities with 57 Bcf capacity. The EnergySouth purchase alone could potentially add $.30/share to Sempra’s annual earnings. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Here is yet additional mooting of Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
Juvenile fish could be sucked up into ship; new ideas cause concern
The U.S. Coast Guard has stepped into the fray on Bradwood Landing's already complicated problem of how to prevent juvenile fish from being sucked up into liquefied natural gas delivery tankers along with the ballast water.
In a letter released Friday, J.G. Lantz, U.S. Coast Guard Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards, alerted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of its concerns that the untested ballast water intake systems could reduce the rate at which the ships offload their LNG, increase the potential for power loss on the ship, exclude some vessels from delivering at Bradwood, delay the vessel's departure or delivery of LNG in an emergency or diminish fire-fighting capabilities.
"With LNG, we certainly would not want anything to disrupt the cargo transfer for any reason," said Russ Berg, assistant chief of Inspection Division for Coast Guard Sector Portland. "If an LNG ship's generator is shutting down because of inadequate flow of water, that's not something you'd want in your port."
[I]n his letter, Lantz also said the Coast Guard agrees with FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, who said in his dissenting vote on the Bradwood project that the evidence does not support a finding that the proposed fish screening systems, which are untested, will effectively mitigate the project's impacts to aquatic resources. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
16 May 2009
- Downeast would have to implement the measures outlined by the Coast Guard in its WSR issued January 6, 2009 and comply with all requirements set forth by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The Coast Guard Waterway Suitability Report (WSR), by referral in the Letter of Recommendation (LOR), requires DeLNG to obtain Canada’s cooperation — in essence, Canada’s permission. Canada has already made its decision to deny permission to LNG transits.
The Coast Guard's decision reinforces Canada’s death-knell to DeLNG.
"Supporters of the [Energy Corridor] project, first and foremost probably the governor, but other state government officials, other politicians and public servants who support this, would be well served to do a better job - a better public education, public relations job - of trying to make the case to Mainers to show how exactly they're going to benefit from this project. Why is this something they should support?"
Webmaster’s Comments: By supporting LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay, Sen. Raye is supporting violation of LNG industry best practices (see SIGTTO and LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization). Plus, there is a better alternative.
If the senator believes more LNG import infrastructure is actually needed — even with the gas glut and LNG infrastructure overbuild — and if he believes more Washington County jobs would be created than destroyed, he would do better to advocate LNG in a location that both satisfies industry best practices and is outside Canada’s authority. That would be demonstrating better wisdom than the LNG developers, themselves, have demonstrated.
To continue to press for LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay — against a sovereign foreign government that is understandibly steadfast in its opposition — is an empty, wasted effort that is doing more harm than good. Why not demonstrate real statesmanship and finding a site that fulfills industry best siting practices, placing no civilian populations at risk?
In the coming months, negotiations will intensify as businesses in Maine, New Brunswick and Quebec, and the state and provincial governments, prepare to redraw the energy map in this part of the country. Much is at stake, and deliberate, careful considerations are necessary. But at the same time, there is a sort of race underway to establish new energy corridors from Maine and the two provinces to the high-demand areas in southern New England. Much like the early days of natural gas networks or the railroads, the first major corridor to be established will have cost a lot of money, and will not be undone any time soon. The location of that first major corridor could bless or curse Maine.
A newly formed advocacy group, Maine Jobs First, is hoping to influence these negotiations by adding its demands for a liquefied natural gas terminal in Washington County. The group is ratcheting up the leverage with newspaper ads, which suggest that Maine could get short-changed if the energy corridors are built as mere pass-through conduits between New Brunswick and Massachusetts. Fair enough. But such concern may be premature and unwarranted. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Maine Jobs First needs to be concentrating on a productive solution rather than on grandstanding and coercion. Any chance at meeting their goals means moving outside of Passamaquoddy Bay and Canadian authority. And why shouldn’t they do that? …ask them!
In its current direction, Maine Jobs First is simply generating more ill-will and nonproductive political bluster.
Yesterday [May 12] FERC formally notified Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, LLC has requested a change to its existing Presidential Permit that authorizes it to import natural gas from Canada. Maritimes & Northeast, which will transport gas imported via the Canaport LNG terminal in St. John, New Brunswick to the U.S. Northeast, now is seeking authorization from FERC to export gas to Canada as well.
Webmaster’s Comments: This is sufficient evidence that Maine and the rest of New England have a sufficient supply of Natural Gas. This continues the ongoing bad news for Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
Yesterday [May 13] Weaver's Cove Energy, LLC filed a letter with FERC responding to the issues raised in an April 28, 2009, letter sent to the Commission by three members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation.
NEW YORK, May 14 (Reuters) - Freeport LNG, the operator of a liquefied natural gas import terminal in Texas, is seeking interest to begin re-exporting foreign-sourced gas from the terminal to other higher-paying markets.
"The theory behind this is that, while you have periods of low imports of LNG into the United States and the terminals are not being used for imports, we have customers who buy a cargo, store it in the summer and, as the market changes, re-export it to another market for additional profit," Henry said.
As part of its deal with Conoco, Chugach has agreed to withdraw its appeal of last year's federal approval for Conoco and its partner Marathon Oil to continue exporting liquefied natural gas from a plant at Nikiski, Chugach said. That plant is the largest consumer of Cook Inlet-area natural gas, and Chugach had argued that Southcentral Alaska natural gas needs should be ensured before exports are allowed. If the LNG plant isn't taking gas, Chugach might get a lower price for the gas it buys. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: There apparently is sufficient natural gas in Alaska to continue exporting LNG.
The Daily Astorian reports that a group called Columbia Pacific Common Sense has formed in recent months to oppose the Oregon LNG and Bradwood Landing LNG projects planned for sites along the Columbia River.
HOUSTON, May 14 -- Total US natural gas consumption this year will drop by nearly 2%, according to the most recent Short-Term Energy Outlook from the US Energy Information Administration, released earlier this week. Demand next year, said the agency, will increase slightly.
…EIA predicts the US will see an increase of about 500 bcf in supply via LNG imports in 2009 and another 650 bcf in 2010. But, as the debate among observers testifies, increased availability does not necessarily translate into imports. US natural gas prices have consistently been below those in Asia and Europe. [Red emphasis added.]
In its Short-Term Energy Outlook released yesterday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted that the United States would import approximately 500 Bcf of LNG in 2009 and approximately 650 Bcf in 2010. However, EIA also noted that "there is significant uncertainty associated with the global LNG balance." [Red emphasis added.]
15 May 2009
AUGUSTA, Maine — A legislative committee on Thursday endorsed a massive energy bill that would revamp Maine’s efficiency and conservation programs but could slow down Gov. John Baldacci’s plan for “energy corridors” through the state.
Committee members opted for a more cautious approach toward Baldacci’s energy corridor proposal in part because of anger over Canadian threats to block liquefied natural gas tankers from accessing import terminals proposed for Down East Maine. Canadian officials have cited safety concerns about tankers passing through Head Harbor Passage en route to the Calais area, but advocates for the LNG proposals accuse Canada of trying to protect its own burgeoning energy industry.
As written, the bill prohibits the state from signing any leases on energy corridor projects until a law is put in place governing the agreements. But it would not prohibit companies from exploring the issue or even applying for environmental permits. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: It apparently cannot be stated too frequently. Violating industry safety best practices is reckless and foolhardy. There is no excuse for elected officials to advocate violating best practices.
LNG development in Passamaquoddy Bay would violate industry best practices, due to the conditions in the bay. On the other hand, there are thousands of miles of coastline in Washington County and Maine that do not present the same violations.The LNG developers could avoid their current problems simply by moving outside of Canadian authority and where industry best practices would not be violated. To do otherwise demonstrates Downeast LNG’s and Calais LNG’s inability to problem solve, and their lack of respect for public safety.
Speaking in Maine visited U-Maine in Orono where professors Charles Colgan, Richard Hill and Jonathan Rubin discussed a range of issues related to the future of alternative energy development in Maine. It’s the fourth panel discussion in the ongoing lecture series, Environmental Forum: History & Policy in the Northeast.
Webmaster’s Comments: Chales Colgan stated that of all the promised solutions to Maine’s energy problems, very few of them actually happened (e.g., Pittston Oil Refinery) or are in existence today. “We've gotten it wrong a lot more than we’ve gotten it right,” he said. Importing LNG is another one in the long list of getting it wrong.
14 May 2009
Limited water access from Canada to Washington County may sink a plan to ship energy through Maine.
Mounting pressure this week from major manufacturers, energy companies and organized labor contributed Wednesday to a decision to temper the Baldacci administration's enthusiastic support for a so-called Northeast Energy Corridor that would traverse the state from Atlantic Canada.
Part of their frustration stems from Canada's long-standing opposition to efforts in Maine to build LNG terminals in economically-distressed Washington County. Tankers would need to travel a narrow passage in Canadian waters to get to the Maine terminals, but both the federal and provincial governments have expressed safety concerns.
Paper companies that are members of the Industrial Energy Consumers Group say LNG terminals in Maine would boost supply and lower gas-fired electricity prices in the region by an estimated $100 million a year. But as long as Canada is prepared to block LNG tankers from docking in Maine, they say, Maine shouldn't help Irving Oil move energy through the state to Boston.
Buxton also represents Calais LNG, a company trying to develop a terminal south of the city on the St. Croix River. [Red & yellow highlight emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The Passamaquoddy Bay-area LNG developers and their friends want Maine to commit economic suicide — and damage energy security to Boston — for the Calais LNG and Downeast LNG projects that are not needed and would violate industry terminal siting best practices, would damage the existing local ecomony, and would impose a US Government Hazard Zone on thousands of area people in both Maine and New Brunswick.
This was tried previously when a local pro-LNG politician filed with FERC, demanding FERC deny Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline expansion to transmit natural gas to New England from Canada. FERC appropriately and flatly denied that request.
This latest attempt lacks the same sensibility as the first, and should meet the same end.
12 May 2009
Dennis Bailey, a Portland-based marketing specialist representing the group, said the biggest goal of Maine Jobs First is to ensure that Maine’s economy is not lost in the discussion. More specifically, though, the group wants the Canadian government to stop fighting a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Washington County in exchange for a partnership on the energy corridor.
Addressing the LNG proposal in his district, of which Raye has been a staunch supporter, the senator said the Canadian government and Canadian press have been extremely critical of LNG in Maine. Bailey said Irving has been behind the opposition as well.
Raye wondered why Maine should allow a Canadian company like Irving the rights to a corridor that will greatly benefit its country if that company is not willing to allow Maine to do the same with LNG.
Webmaster’s Comments: Dennis Bailey and State Senator Kevin Raye are rolling out a carpet of red herrings instead of truth. As has previously already been reported, the Government of Canada and New Brunswick do not oppose LNG in Washington County or Maine — they oppose LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay. And for good reason. LNG terminal siting in Passamaquoddy Bay cannot be made to pass the LNG industry’s own terminal siting best practices (SIGTTO; see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more). It is reckless and irresponsible for any public official to advocate violating industry best practives.
What is more, Dennis Bailey is resorting to a tactic previously used by now-defunct and former Dennis Bailey client Don Smith / Quoddy Bay LNG — fabricating falsehoods about Irving Oil being behind New Brunswick’s and Canada’s opposition.
Sen. Ray and Dennis Bailey have produced no evidence backing their claim against Irving because it does not exist. Irving already has a customer commitment for its natural gas. An LNG terminal in Maine would have no impact on Irving.
If Downeast LNG and Calais LNG actually want some chance at success — even though the domestic glut of natural gas indicates these projects are unneeded — they need to remove their projects from sites within Canadian authority. That means somewhere outside Passamaquoddy Bay. To argue and attempt to bully over an issue that the developers could easily solve on their own is indicative of their true nature: insincere opportunists who are “selling a bill of goods” to anyone who will listen.
Platts Gas Daily [subscription required] reports that Denis Marcoux, vice president of Repsol Canada, told attendees at the Camput 2009 conference that North American natural gas prices will have only a limited impact on LNG cargo delivers to the Canaport regasification terminal.
SAINT JOHN - Flowing gas is several weeks away for the 145-kilometre pipeline linking the Canaport LNG terminal with the Maritimes & Northeast natural gas transmission system, but Brunswick Pipeline already has service technicians on staff doing routine maintenance checks, says Brunswick spokeswoman Susan Harris.
Webmaster’s Comments: In other words, demand for natural gas is too low to predict operating at full capacity. That means Maine’s and New England’s needs for natural gas will be satisfied by the then-existing infrastructure — exactly as energy analysts have been saying. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are surplus projects with no market and no hope for success.
"When we made our agreement a few years ago the Rockies Express was not available, the shale gas was not available," he said, referring to Rockies Express Pipeline - a 1,679-mile natural gas pipeline currently under construction from Rio Blanco County, Colo., to Monroe County, Ohio - and large deposits of gas previously inaccessible in shale rock that have become viable with advances in horizontal drilling and fracturing. [Red emphasis added.]
The US natural-gas market is oversupplied and will remain so until the economy recovers, Rex Tillerson, boss of US supermajor ExxonMobil, said at the opening of the UK’s South Hook gas import terminal.
HOUSTON -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Tuesday lowered its forecast for 2009 industrial natural gas demand and total U.S. gas consumption, citing the effects of economic downturn.
Industrial gas consumption is forecast to decline by 8% this year, outpacing the EIA's previous forecast of a 7.4% decrease. Major industrial gas consumers, including companies in the fertilizer, chemicals and aluminum industries, have curbed gas use as they cut spending.
NEW YORK, May 12 (Reuters) - U.S. imports of liquefied natural gas are set to hit 500 billion cubic feet in 2009, up from 350 bcf in 2008, according to the latest monthly forecast from the U.S. government.
Webmaster’s Comments: US LNG storage capacity will soon be full. Then where will the LNG go?
Shipments to the U.S. are increasing. Imports this month are double those of a year ago, at 1.6 billion cubic feet per day, David Pursell, managing director at Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. LLC in Houston, said in a note yesterday.
Optimism about the ending of the U.S. recession and its impact on future demand for natural gas coupled with positive comments from large domestic gas suppliers about the trend in gas supplies has ignited a rally in natural gas futures prices during the past week. Natural gas prices jumped from a low of $3.25 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) on April 27th to a recent high of $4.31 per Mcf last Friday. A near 33% rise in gas prices in such a short time-period reflects a severely oversold market. The dramatic price run-up may have more to do with commodity short-sellers than people buying into the view of a sustainable and healthy recovery for the market.
The Top 100 projects were identified as possessing three specific criteria:
(1) strong probability of going forward in the next 12 months; (2) critical as building blocks for US competitiveness; and (3) strong relevance to the Obama government's 'connect the dots' infrastructure priorities. Highlights are the following:
Traditional Infrastructure: This is what we normally think of as infrastructure; essentially, the physical structures created 50 years ago that have allowed our economy to be competitive and have created opportunities for Americans over the last half-century. These projects were selected based on their ability to renew that competitiveness, including: 17 project in surface transportation ($58.3 billion); 7 projects in ports & logistics ($5 billion); 4 projects in traditional electricity generation ($21.4 billion); 9 projects in natural gas, including pipelines, LNG terminals and exploration ($55.1 billion); and 14 projects in the 'forgotten' infrastructure of water/wastewater ($19 billion).
11 May 2009
Marcoux told an energy regulators conference underway here the capacity of the three tanks at Canaport far outstrips commitments to U-S markets and total demand here in Canada. [Red & yellow highlighted emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Canaport is #2 of the three LNG import terminals in New England that moot Downeast LNG and Calais LNG. The other two are Northeast Gateway Deepwater Port (in operation) and Neptune LNG (under construction), both off Gloucester, Massachusetts. On top of those is the Deep Panuke natural gas well off Nova Scotia that will be adding natural gas to the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, and for which Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline is currently undergoing expansion permitting.
In addition, Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline has applied with FERC to export natural gas from the US to Canada. That natural gas will be coming from the gas glut in Texas and Louisiana.
This is a powerful message that Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are hopeless from a market perspective.
BALTIMORE: Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler reported on May 8 that the State of Maryland has filed suit in federal district court challenging the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision that the AES Sparrows Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and pipeline project is consistent with the policies of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA).
Maryland had earlier determined that the project was not consistent with Maryland's Coastal Zone Management Program. AES appealed that determination to former Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez, who overrode Maryland's decision.
On Friday FERC released its Environmental Assessment (EA) for Dominion Cove Point LNG LP's pier reinforcement project. FERC staff concluded that "approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment."
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has concluded that the proposed construction and operation of the pier reinforcement project for Dominion Cove Point LNG LP's liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Calvert County, Md. would not affect the testing, training, or operational activities of any active military installation.
In the clearest sign yet of tough times for the U.S. liquefied natural gas industry, operators of the Freeport LNG terminal in Brazoria County, Texas, have requested—and FERC has authorized—changes to the facility’s permit to allow it to... [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The US doesn't need all the LNG it is already importing. There is too much domestic natural gas.
NEW YORK, May 11 (Reuters) - Cheniere Energy (LNG.A) urged the U.S. federal energy regulator to approve a request to export liquefied natural gas from its Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, in a letter sent May 8.
The Sabine Pass terminal currently imports the super-cooled gas in specially designed ships, but Cheniere wants to re-export gas sourced from abroad to take advantage of higher-paying markets elsewhere. [Red emphasis added.]
US LNG terminal developer Cheniere Energy urged the US federal energy regulator to approve a request to export liquefied natural gas from its Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, in a letter sent 8 May.
"Sabine Pass LNG has had several significant commercial LNG opportunities that it has had to forego due to the delay in issuance of the order authorizing it to perform export services," Cheniere's vice president of government affairs Patricia Outtrim wrote in a letter to FERC, cited in a Reuters report. [Red emphasis added.]
"The ability to export foreign-sourced LNG will provide Freeport LNG with greater latitude to acquire LNG for maintenance and operation of its facilities during those periods when LNG deliveries for ultimate domestic use may not otherwise be adequate to maintain the terminal in a state of readiness to serve U.S. markets," FERC said in a statement.
The final EIS also recommended that the terminal and pipeline's sponsors implement an engineering peer review process to ensure compliance will all applicable regulations, codes, design specifications, and conditions of FERC's final order.
9 May 2009
The politician, who defended New Brunswick's cornerstone role in feeding northeastern states with power during a provincial-federal spat this week, said in an interview the corridor represents "significant private investment and economic development activity along with a reliable, affordable energy source for homes and businesses."
Baldacci's job will be to convince at least a few state residents - who have demonstrated some concern of late over energy announcements - that the corridor will indeed boost Maine's economy alongside New Brunswick's. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Gov. Baldacci recognizes New Brunswick’s strategic role in providing energy to Maine and the rest of New England. The Governor is unlikely to kibosh a sensible energy partnership between Maine and New Brunswick merely to satisfy reckless, irresponsible, and needless LNG development.
Besides, if LNG developers and Gov. Baldacci really think there is a need for more natural gas via LNG, they can solve the trans-boundary impasse by finding an LNG terminal site that complies with LNG industry best practices — something they failed to do from the start. Otherwise, Gov. Baldacci, Downeast LNG, and Calais LNG are merely picking a wasteful, unnecessary, and damaging fight that they cannot win.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative under the Bush administration struck a secret deal with the European Union that could open up a door for foreign ownership of liquefied natural gas terminals and other dangerous chemical and energy facilities. The agreement could also create conditions in which federal, state and local regulations affecting those facilities could be challenged as barriers to international trade.
Over the last few years, the U.S. government’s attempts to restrict access to online gambling have prompted a series of disputes under the World Trade Organization treaty. Because the government has attempted to stop many forms of online gambling by offshore companies while allowing other forms of domestic online gambling, like state lotteries and horse racing, several nations, led by Antigua, have filed complaints that such laws violate U.S. commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services treaty. Those disputes led to the White House announcement in May 2007 that the United States would withdraw gambling services from its GATS commitments. Such a withdrawal allows other nations that lose business as a result in one sector to make other trade demands on the offending nation as compensation.
[T]he new storage and warehousing commitment undertaken by the United States could significantly expand foreign firms’ operations of LNG facilities and hazardous “tank farms” for gas, oil, and chemicals in the United States and restrict the ability of U.S. governments (federal, state, or local) to regulate these facilities to promote the public health and safety and to protect the environment. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
“My view has been that we need to look at those [proposed LNG terminals] very carefully, and we need to consider all of the regional needs when determining whether or not there has been a finding of need for the facility,” said Wellinghoff. “That was largely why I voted against the Bradwood decision in Oregon, was because I didn’t believe that there had been an adequate determination of need for that facility to meet the needs of the region.”
“We’ve had, since a lot of this push for LNG several years ago ... a vast expansion of the known resource reserves of natural gas in this country, based primarily on exploration in shales in Pennsylvania and Oklahoma and other regions of the country, that have allowed us to understand that we have much more natural gas resource reserves than we ever believed we had,” said Wellinghoff. “As such, we probably will be much more able to draw from domestic gas resources than we will be so concerned about foreign LNG sources.”
Webmaster’s Comments: America’s highest FERC authority knows there is no need for additional LNG facilities. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are lost causes.
"America is currently awash with American-produced natural gas," said John Harpole, president of Mercator Energy and member of the IPAMS board of directors. "In fact, due to recent technological advances, our proved reserves have increased dramatically in the past few years, placing the U.S. in an elite group of the world's most natural-gas rich nations.…"
Many LNG projects proposed for the U.S. East Coast face opposition from local officials, but not all. In Maine, Gov. John Baldacci and local industry has urged the Canadian province of New Brunswick to approve the development of LNG facilities in Maine in exchange for the state's support of an energy corridor that would pass through New Brunswick and Maine.
Both Allen and Johnson think it's unlikely that LNG projects proposed for construction on the U.S. West Coast will be commercially viable. "It's counterproductive and expensive to try and push through projects there," Johnson said. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: NB Premier Shawn Graham on Monday once again stated New Brunswick’s steadfast opposition to the unsafe Downeast LNG and Calais LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay.
To advocate violating LNG industry terminal siting best practices — as the Downeast LNG and Calais LNG projects do — is reckless and irresponsible. Besides, to block energy from entering the Northeast from Canada, as some are advocating, is suicidal to US energy supply and security.
Although technical problems account for supply disruptions affecting some LNG producers, a new report from investment bank JPMorgan argues that some of the supply reduction is attributable to exporters, without having a formal Opec-style cartel, making individual decisions to trim supply.
8 May 2009
“In fact we have invested over $400,000 to date in the legal challenge,” [Premier Shawn Graham] said, referring to the New Brunswick government’s submissions to the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) supporting the Canadian federal government’s opposition to LNG tanker traffic in Passamaquoddy Bay. “As a province we are in favour of liquefied natural gas development as long as it is in the proper location,” said Graham.
"… In its Answering Brief recently submitted in this appeal, now well over three years into this litigation, BIA has set forth a wholly new and different set of arguments.” [See PDF files at the linked website.]
From the Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon response the the BIA brief:
This Court should disregard BIA’s recent assertions because (1) they contradict the reality that the Lease has been effective and implemented for the past four years; (2) BIA’s prior representations … constitute binding judicial admissions; (3) assertions made by BIA’s appellate counsel that are inconsistent with the positions taken by BIA itself are not entitled to judicial deference; and (4) in light of BIA’s pattern of ever-shifting litigation positions, it would be inequitable for this Court to accept its most recent about-face regarding the effectiveness of the Lease.
Neptune LNG, LLC has requested a one-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to potentially disturb or injure marine mammals as the company completes construction and begins commercial operation of its LNG deepwater port.
Attorney General Doug Gansler said Friday the new U.S. Commerce secretary should review this project. Gansler said a federal judge should reverse the decision because the project could harm the environment and the families who live near it.
The assessment reviewed the potential environmental effects of modifications to Dominion Cove Point's existing pier in the Chesapeake Bay at the Cove Point terminal in Calvert County, Md. The project calls for the addition of 10 new moorings and dredging of about 120,000 cubic yards of sediment directly adjacent to the pier.
QUINTANA — Federal regulators have granted approval for Freeport LNG to build a boil-off-gas facility, and also green-lighted what company officials had called a back-up plan to truck liquefied natural gas onto the island.
Residents and LNG have been at odds since August, when the company requested the permits. The permit request included a move to send gas abroad to foreign markets. LNG leaders have said the permit requests were an effort to capitalize on higher LNG prices overseas and keep its twin, 15-story storage tanks in a cryogenic state.
Webmaster’s Comments: The United States has too much natural gas.
7 May 2009
"We have had an opportunity to review their emergency management program plan and we will be participating in some exercises that the LNG has put together that allows us to look at our protocols. One of them we're enhancing is how we better serve the residents of Red Head in the event that they had to be evacuated."
"I encourage individuals to be better ready to respond and I have to motivate people to think along the lines of taking time to make sure your family is well equipped, like having a 'grab and go bag', in case you have to leave your home," she said. [Red emphasis added.]
"They don't belong to our organization or any of our affiliated locals. They're just kind of protesting that they're Canadian workers and they feel should be out there working as opposed to foreign workers."
With nearly 3,500 miles of shoreline, Maine is no doubt indebted to the ocean. Fishing, tourism, aquaculture and shipbuilding are mainstays of our economy, and rely on accessible, healthy coasts. In tough economic times, we must find ways to sustain Maine's economy without casting aside our natural resources.
Such management must strike a balance between conservation of our coasts and oceans, and economic sustainability of the industries that depend on them. Human activities are changing marine ecosystems and threatening their ability to provide important services to society like healthy and abundant seafood, clean beaches and protection from storms and flooding. Maine, New England, and the country as a whole can no longer plan for energy needs, coastal development and a revitalized fishing industry without looking at the whole picture and realizing a common vision.
HOUSTON, May 6 -- After more than 3 months' delay, the newest US offshore LNG terminal delivered the commissioning cargo earlier this week for Excelerate Energy LLC's Northeast Gateway deepwater port, about 13 miles off Boston. Delivery was by the company's newest Energy Bridge regasification vessel Explorer.
Webmaster’s Comments: Northeast Gateway is the second of three new LNG terminals — along with Canaport LNG (nearing completion) and Neptune LNG deepwater port (to go into operation in 2010) — and the Deep Panuke natural gas well off Nova Scotia that moot any need for Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
NEW YORK, May 5 (Reuters) - Excelerate Energy has completed the offload of a liquefied natural gas cargo into the Northeast Gateway import terminal offshore Boston, the company said in a statement Tuesday
The New York State Department of State (NYSDOS) has renewed its demand that FERC "withdraw or vacate its March 20, 2008, Order authorizing the siting, construction and operation" of the Broadwater LNG import project. The U.S. Secretary of Commerce recently sustained New York State's Coastal Zone Management Act consistency objection to the project.
The Maryland Department of the Environment denied water quality certification for AES Sparrows Point LNG, citing, among other concerns, a lack of information on where the dredging spoils will be deposited as well as the impact of dredging on aquatic wildlife.
US working gas storage is more than 34% ahead of last year's pace and more than 22% ahead of the five-year average, which is saying a lot considering the extraordinarily strong refills the US market has seen since 2004. But most of this surge has been in southern and western storage fields, which are barreling toward refill at breakneck speeds. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG and Calais LNG have no market potential — there is too much natural gas.
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved a plan proposed by Freeport LNG Development L.P. to export foreign liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipped to the Freeport terminal on Quintana Island, Texas. The project's purpose is to add LNG export capabilities/functionality to the previously authorized Freeport LNG terminal facilities in Brazoria County, Texas. [Red bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: There is such a glut of natural gas in the US, FERC has approved exporting LNG from Texas! — continuing bad news for Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
When TransCanada submitted an initial application to US federal regulators last week for its proposed 1,700 mile Alaska gas pipeline, the Canadian pipeline developer also outlined plans to solicit interest next year in another pipeline branch that would lead to a possible LNG plant in Valdez, Alaska, operated by other companies. TransCanada Vice President for Alaska Development Tony Palmer tells WGI that around 3 billion cubic feet per day of gas could be delivered to Valdez for liquefacton.
Webmaster’s Comments: The US has too much gas. This is another export terminal.
Anger Hotspots in BC > Texada Island
In 2007, WestPac LNG Corp. proposed a $2 billion mega-project to build a liquefied natural gas terminal and electricity facility on this island in the Strait of Georgia. Texada Action Now formed to fight proposal, claiming the project would be a major eyesore and anathema to the province's carbon targets. Project still in early stages.
In setting aside the BCUC's decision, the Court of Appeal was critical of what it called the BCUC's "aversion to assessing the adequacy of consultation" and concluded the BCUC acted unreasonably by not considering the duty to consult in circumstances where BC Hydro "was taking commercial advantage of an assumed infringement on a massive scale, without consultation."
Underlying the two decisions was an understandable concern that in the absence of a forum to address consultation issues, First Nations will be forced to seek interlocutory injunctions in the courts and engage in complex litigation that takes years or decades to resolve. [Red emphasis added.]
Under the terms of the stay, the review period for the project will remain open an additional 180 days beginning May 5, 2009, and Oregon's determination will now be due on or before November 15, 2009.
The next step in the process will be for the FERC to issue a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, which is expected later this summer. Pacific Connector and Jordan Cove originally filed their project applications with the FERC on Sept. 4, 2007.
Webmaster’s Comments: Actually, the next step is for FERC to make a decision on whether or not to issue a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.
Jim Cleary, president of El Paso's Western Pipeline division, told Platts LNG Daily that he does not believe that the LNG import projects planned for Oregon will go forward "in the foreseeable future." [Red emphasis added.]
During a conference call yesterday to discuss his company's first quarter earnings, Sempra's Chairman and CEO Donald Felsinger said that commissioning cargos should be delivered to the Cameron LNG import terminal in June and that commercial service will begin at the terminal in the third quarter of this year.
It is in the best interest of the industry, the public, and the U.S. to site terminal facilities in accordance with the industry's own best practices. What possible valid reason could there be for government [to] do otherwise? Doing otherwise, especially when viable alternatives are available, such as leading-edge-technology offshore siting, is inviting eventual calamity.
The anti-LNG coalition does not want Oregon to be the petroleum import terminal for California, does not want an LNG terminal in Oregon that is potentially dangerous to Oregonians, and does not want an LNG terminal that doesn't benefit Oregon. All of these are worthy goals.
The pro-LNG coalition comprising businesses, unions, and the northwestern counties wants profits for their companies, jobs for their members, and economic development for their counties. All of these are worthy goals, too.
After an era of declining production, the U.S. is now swimming in natural gas. [Red emphasis added.]
NEW YORK, May 7 (Reuters) - Delays in new liquefaction capacity and robust Chinese and Indian demand could help stem a flood of liquefied natural gas to U.S. shores in 2009, analysts Bernstein said in a research note published on Thursday.
Webmaster’s Comments: Once again, after much ballyhoo about all that LNG that supposedly would be coming to the US, it appears energy analysts got it wrong again. It is becoming clear the energy industry does not really understand the natural gas market — and that is what resulted in the industry’s failure to predict the current North America natural gas glut.
“Significant delays and operational issues with new liquefaction trains are reducing the likelihood of an LNG supply tsunami hitting the global market in the summer of 2009,” Neil McMahon, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said in a report today. “Lower utilization rates could reduce some of the expected supply overhang in 2009.”
Slower supply growth may cut the potential for excess fuel to flow to storage facilities in the U.S., typically a market of last resort for LNG producers, crimping domestic gas prices. Gas has fallen 31 percent this year in New York as companies including Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp. idled plants because of sliding demand. [Red emphasis added.]
The proposed modifications would affect the process for the submittal of Letters of Intent by owners/operators, as well as issuance of Letters of Recommendation by the Coast Guard Captains of the Port.
These proposed revisions would update the regulations to require what are currently voluntary industry practices and Coast Guard activities. These revisions will also align the Coast Guard's regulations for liquefied natural gas with those established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
“Also in 2009, there will be an increase and surplus of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the region while at the same time the demand is woeful. Beyond 2009 and in 2010 this excess will be absorbed by China and India,” Tossetti said. [Red emphasis added.]
The Neverland, owned by Italian shipping company Finaval and carrying liquefied natural gas, was attacked by a pirate vessel, but the nearby Maestrale frigate sent ahead a helicopter before joining the pursuit, the agency added. [Red emphasis added.]
4 May 2009
"If the federal government, both federal governments, suggest that it is a safe and reliable terminal then everybody is in agreement on that. But the process has to take place," he said. [Bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: A question mark should properly have been included at the end of this article headline, since there is no real evidence the Province has changed its position.
What has changed is Energy Minister Jack Keir has uttered irresponsible falsehoods that fly in the face of reality and what is best for the public.
The facts remain:
- The Provincial Government (including Premier Graham) has repeatedly, recently, and properly stated its opposition to the LNG proposals for Passamaquoddy Bay. See:
- "Premier Shawn Graham says the province opposes the terminals because they would require huge tankers to pass through Canadian waters at Head Harbour Passage" — New Brunswick granted intervener status at Maine LNG terminal hearings, Saint Croix Courier, 2007 Feb 13;
- The Government of Canada has forcefully stated, Prime Minister to President, that Canada will not allow LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay.
Why does, and should, the Province and Government of Canada oppose these projects? Because transits by LNG ships into the bay are inherently unsafe as even the LNG industry indicates in its terminal siting best practices. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for an abbreviated list of SIGTTO best practices that the Downeast LNG and Calais LNG projects violate.)
SAINT JOHN, NB–Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, is less than impressed with Federal Minister Peter MacKay’s announcement of 4 million dollars toward what he calls the Atlantic Energy Gateway. "It is a gateway to nowhere," said May. "Not only is the amount of money laughably small, but the focus is irresponsibly on large and damaging mega-projects fuelled by fossil fuels and uranium and energy for export. The costs of this kind of economic growth outweigh its benefits."
"The governor expressed his wishes to see an LNG project in this area happen -- and that he's going to work to see that that happens along with us. We need to work together and he's expressed that he is going to look out for our best interests," said the city manager.
"… I think that the legislators have a real handle on it --- they said we understand how important this is for Maine and that we don't get put aside and also that it's time that New Brunswick starts supporting us. They want to run all their power through our dooryard," [Mayor] Cassidy said. [Bold emphasis added.]
Environmentalists, civic groups and the many elected officials who lined up against the project said Broadwater was never really needed and would not be missed in energy planning. But most of all, they said, the project was not worth the industrialization of the Sound.
That last point proved crucial. In a decision released April 13, the Commerce Department found that protecting the aesthetic and scenic value of Long Island Sound outweighed the national interest in locating liquefied natural gas facilities in coastal areas.
Webmaster’s Comments: Similar circumstances exist with Downeast LNG and Calais LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay — no need, plus environmental insult. But with Passamaquoddy Bay, the developers would additionally be violating their own industry's best practices.
The Maryland Department of the Environment denied the project its water quality certification, a necessary component for construction to begin on Virginia-based AES Corp.’s LNG terminal. AES has the right to seek review of the state’s decision through civil action filed with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
MDE said that it would reconsider its decision if AES provided all of the necessary information and completed the consultation requirements it set forth in a letter dated April 24 to AES Project Manager Kent Morton.
FERC response: No one would be at risk from the Jordan Cove LNG project because of the safety and security measures that would be imposed. We believe the project could be built and operated in a safe manner with no danger to the public. There are no houses within one mile of the terminal and only 13 residences within 150 feet of the pipeline. In the past 35 years since onshore LNG import terminals have been operating in the United States, there has never been an incident that resulted in public harm.
There are 49 businesses, 1,438 residences, two schools, six churches and 70 government buildings within two miles. [Bold & red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: FERC avoided addressing the number of people living in the Hazard Zone, instead mentioning the number of people within two miles of the terminal.
FERC wants the public to believe that history determines risk, instead of human error, siting conditions, "acts of God" (hurricanes, etc.), international relations, etc.
The reason Sandia National Laboratories calls them HAZARD ZONES is because there is RISK. As much as FERC may want to, it cannot change that.
Under the terms of economic colonialism, the colony's duty is to be politically naive and impotent while being grateful for charitable assistance from the foreign power and watching its environment be trashed. [Red emphasis added.]
Few panelists suggested that additional LNG could reach US markets despite low prices because of falling demand in Europe and Asia. This in spite of increase in gas demand from new gas plants planned to support President Obama’s clean air initiatives. [Red and bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Too, Too Much Gas!.
Webmaster’s Comments: The natural gas glut continues to build, even further mooting Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
Russian gas conglomerate Gazprom and Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell signed the April 8 agreement to allow the former to transport liquefied natural gas, or LNG, by way of ship to Sempra Energy’s Energía Costa Azul LNG import terminal in Baja California, Mexico, which then will then transport the gas to southern California.
Webmaster’s Comments: California dependence on Russia for natural gas — an energy security problem waiting to happen.
3 May 2009
Vinton Cassidy tells us he is strongly in favour of the proposed LNG terminal in Maine which would bring tanker traffic through Passamaquoddy Bay. The provincial and federal governments have said they won't allow the development to take place--but-- Cassidy says if we scratch their backs, they'll scratch ours.
Webmaster’s Comments: It is irresponsible for any elected official to promote violating an industry’s best practices.
A protest is growing along Crown Street this morning as LNG Workers pick up a picket sign instead of their tools. George Sherrard is one of them and tell CHSJ News, they are protesting what is called a double time day with 40 workers from Poland taking their shift at the terminal.
The Herald-News of Fall River reports that Pelletier was the only dissenting vote when the council this week approved another $210,000 to the city legal department to fight the facility, bringing the total cost since 2006 to $2,175,000.
Webmaster’s Comments: The Weavers Cove Energy proposal — including the fairytale 4-mile cryogenic LNG pipeline under the bay — lacks sensibility and credibility.
About 100 local residents and environmental activists attended a public hearing in a Belle Harbor public school recently to protest plans to build a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal on artificial island in nearby coastal waters.
A massive natural-gas discovery here in northern Louisiana heralds a big shift in the nation's energy landscape. After an era of declining production, the U.S. is now swimming in natural gas. [Bold red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Gas, gas, everywhere.
The U.S. Coast Guard filed in today's Federal Register two notices of proposed rulemaking. The first rulemaking would establish a permanent security zone in the Freeport LNG Basin to restrict marine traffic near the Freeport LNG terminal. The second rulemaking would establish moving security zones for certain vessels, including LNG vessels, bound for the Port of Freeport.
President of the Center for LNG Bill Cooper told Platts Gas Daily [subscription required] that HB 4667, legislation proposed in the Texas House of Representatives that would impose a fee on the transfer of LNG, crude oil, and other petroleum products to or from Texas marine terminals, will have a negative effect on LNG terminals in Texas. Cooper said, "It seems counterproductive to support and encourage the siting, construction and operation of LNG facilities and then take action that disadvantages the terminal owners' and the capacity holders' ability to bring LNG into those facilities."
The other big energy issue in Washington is the Alaska natural gas pipeline. President Obama has embraced the Alaska gasline as one of the top five “green energy” priority projects for his administration. But as more natural gas floods the domestic market from both domestic and foreign sources, many worry the window on the Alaska gasline may be closing. [Red emphasis added.]
Greg Weeres, a vice-president with Pacific Northern Gas, which is developing the pipeline portion of the project, said the company “has yet to execute our definitive legal agreement with the First Nations.
Webmaster’s Comments: LNG projects only make sense when properly sited, according to the LNG industry, itself. The Coos Bay and Bradwood Landing projects, and perhaps the Oregon LNG project, violate those best practices. Offshore siting would avoid those problems.
Approval does not address whether LNG is appropriate for river, or needed
[A] sort of moving bubble from which all other activities will be excluded … has painful implications for independent people who have always regarded the river as our own. The peasants must clear out of the way when the king rides through the village. This is inherently distasteful.
In the end, Coast Guard approval doesn't address the really fundamental questions about whether this type of activity is appropriate for our river. Or whether it is an essential component of Oregon's energy needs. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Opponents suspect the bill is the brainchild of Bradwood Landing LNG project developer NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc. and an attempt to gain an advantage over property owners who have not given the company permission to build on their land.
- The proposed LNG terminal would meet the federal safety regulations regarding the thermal radiation and flammable vapor dispersion exclusion zones, and appropriate safety features would be incorporated into the design and operation of the LNG import terminal and LNG carriers;
Webmaster’s Comments: Never mind that human populations in Coos Bay and Charleston would fall within the Federally-defined 2.2-mile Hazard Zones from the LNG ships.
FERC's Exclusion Zones are intended to prevent civilians from being engulfed within the hazardous area around a terminal. The Federal Government is paradoxically cavalier with human safety when it comes to transiting LNG ships.
In September, FERC approved NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc.'s $700 million Bradwood Landing LNG terminal, which is also in Oregon, and which the state's governor opposes. A 2008 Oregon Department of Energy report concluded that LNG isn't needed in Oregon, would be more costly than domestically produced natural gas and would have substantial environmental ramifications.
Webmaster’s Comments: Still, the Jordan Cove LNG ship berth would be less than 3/4 mile from the Coos Bay airport, with Charleston and Coos Bay communities falling well within the Federal 2.2-mile Hazard Zones that would accompany LNG ships transiting to the port.
Earlier this year, Oregon Attorney General John Kroger took a strong stance against all three of the proposed liquefied natural gas terminals and pipelines in Oregon, maintaining they are bad for landowners, the environment and energy independence.
There still are state permits to collect, including air emissions and Coastal Zone Management approval. Jordan Cove's also waiting to get a thumb's up from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow construction of the slip.
Energy companies have proposed projects at Bradwood Landing and at Warrenton, both on the Columbia River. Federal officials dismissed those projects in the final environmental impact statement released Friday, saying they wouldn't be able to serve southern Oregon, northern Nevada and northern California. They also frown on five proposed pipelines from the Rockies, one because it wouldn't serve the southern markets, and the other four because they are longer than the Pacific Connector. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
The project has only one more hurdle at the federal level. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must decide whether to approve it. The five-member panel, with new head Jon Wellinghoff, hasn't set a date to rule on the application, but it is expected to happen within a few months.
Webmaster’s Comments: The Jordan Cove terminal sits on the outside of a curve in the waterway — specifically warned against by SIGTTO. (See LNG Termimal Siting Standards Organization for more about LNG industry standards.)
HOUSTON, May 1 -- The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a final environmental impact statement (FEIS) on Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP's proposed 36-in. OD sendout pipeline, moving the project one step closer to fruition.
The proposed line would extend from Jordan Cove's LNG terminal—which was issued its FEIS as part of the same proceeding—about 234 miles southeast across Coos, Douglas, Jackson, and Klamath counties in Oregon to a terminus near Malin, Ore. From there the proposed line would interconnect with the existing pipeline systems of Gas Transmission Northwest Corp., Tuscarora Gas Transmission Co., and Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
"There is a huge amount of production coming online. At some stage, all this is going to come online and they are going to run at full capacity and if the demand is not there, it is going to get ugly." [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Too much natural gas! It’s everywhere!
"The way that EIA is approaching the question of competition between LNG and domestic supplies," Gaul said, "is, our economics show that the shale supplies will be basically the driving force in meeting consumption in the future, rather than LNG."
But the agency's Annual Energy Outlook to 2030 released in March forecast large increases in domestic supply, including from the shale formations, Gaul pointed out. "We have imports, including LNG imports, decreasing through the forecast," he said, "and that's a big change from previous years." [Red & bold emphasis added.]
LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil companies are storing a record volume of oil at sea in giant tankers as world crude supply outstrips demand, and this floating oil lake is now so big that it is likely to keep a lid on prices for some time.
With tanker rental rates low and on-land oil stocks near record levels, it is cheap to store oil at sea, and using ships gives oil traders more flexibility than long-term storage tanks. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: For similar reasons why the oil industry is storing oil at sea, offshore LNG terminals make more sense than the Downeast LNG and Calais LNG projects. Offshore provides flexibility to the natural gas market — the gas can be stored at sea or moved to where it is needed instead of being stuck unused in an onshore storage tank.
Darcel Hulse, CEO of Sempra LNG, told CWC's Americas LNG conference this week that he believes a global price for LNG would benefit LNG customers around the world. Hulse noted the frequent disparity between Asian prices compared with American or European price levels and told Platts LNG Daily that major LNG buyers like Japan should not have to pay a premium for LNG.