"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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31 Oct 2009
[On October 28] the judge dismissed the case again and said the tribal members failed to exhaust their administrative appeals within the BIA. The 1st Circuit agreed but also noted the shift in the BIA’s position. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs, within the US Department of the Interior) reversed its own position regarding its lease approval, making the lease inoperative until Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon has exhausted administrative appeal with the BIA. The Appeals Court found that administrative appeal to the BIA was manadatory but had not been exhausted; therefore, "no serious injustice is threatened by leaving the mandate undisturbed."
The Appeals Court indicated NN's argument in this appeal had not been made in its previous appeal; thus, without demonstrating the court's earlier decision as being plainly wrong, and without serious injustice, that argument was excluded by the court.
The court also indicated its decision was not influenced by FERC's [unprecedented] dismissal of Quoddy Bay LNG's terminal project application or the Passamaquoddy Tribal Government's cancelling its lease agreement with Quoddy Bay LNG.
Since FERC has dismissed Quoddy Bay LNG's project application, and since the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Tribal Government has terminated its lease to Quoddy Bay LNG, the Quoddy Bay LNG project is dead.
Note: NN is spelled two ways in court documents and on this website. The original spelling — used in the court documents — has since been standardized as "Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon".
An Anchorage-based development company says there are other ways to market North Slope natural gas rather than put it in a pipe and ship it to the Lower 48 or to a liquefied natural gas plant in Valdez.
If U.S. markets are too saturated with natural gas and world markets have a surplus of LNG, Alaska gas could instead be converted to high-quality liquid products like ultra-clean diesel or petrochemicals.
The parties previously extended the contract by a year twice, but developers need more time, said Bob Braddock, Jordan Cove’s project manager. The LNG company now intends to make a final investment decision in fall 2010. If it chooses to proceed, it would close on the land deal in late spring 2011 and start construction immediately.
25–29 Oct 2009
The spokeswoman said the pipeline's construction was completed at the end of January. Gas from Canaport LNG began flowing on July 16. The pipeline eventually links with the Maritimes & Northeast pipeline north of St. Stephen and continues on to New England.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and the City of Fall River, Mass., have filed a reply to a recent Weaver's Cove Energy filing. The two parties from Massachusetts contend that FERC's recent determination that Weaver's Cove Energy has control over a parcel of land known as the "wedge lot" provides additional support for rehearing in this proceeding.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has affirmed a previous decision by a federal district court that interpreted the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) to resolve a dispute between the Weaver's Cove LNG import project and the Rhode Island Coastal Management Council (RICMC).
[The link below provides the complete court decision.]
The barriers, which CRMC has attempted to impose, are to necessary dredging by Weaver's Cove in Rhode Island navigable waters, in a federal navigation channel. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") generally approved the project in 2005, subject to certain conditions. Until those conditions are met, Weaver's Cove cannot start construction. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, joined by the City of Fall River, has filed a brief as amicus curiae in support of CRMC.
We address three main issues. The first is whether we have Article III jurisdiction to decide these matters. The second is whether the district court erred in holding that CRMC's failure to respond within six months to Weaver's Cove's application for federal consistency review requires there be a presumption of concurrence in the project, pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 1456(c)(3)(A) of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 ("CZMA"). The third is whether CRMC's use of its state law licensing program for alterations to the coast, 04-000-010 R.I. Code R. §§ 100.1, 300.1, to block the project is preempted by the Natural Gas Act ("NGA").
Central to this dispute are two federal statutes, the NGA [Natural Gas Act], 15 U.S.C. §§ 717-717z, and the CZMA [Coastal Zone Management Act], 16 U.S.C. §§ 1451-66. The NGA was originally passed in the 1930s to facilitate the growth of the energy-transportation industry and requires FERC authorization for the importing of natural gas. 15 U.S.C. § 717b(a). FERC's authority under the to NGA to regulate facilities engaged in the import of natural gas has long been interpreted as "plenary and elastic," Distrigas Corp. v. Federal Power Comm'n, 495 F.2d 1057, 1064 (D.C. Cir. 1974), and courts have interpreted the NGA to preempt state regulatory authority within the scope of FERC's jurisdiction, see, e.g., Schneidewind v. ANR Pipeline Co., 485 U.S. 293 (1988). Following a 2005 amendment, the NGA explicitly grants FERC "exclusive authority to approve or deny an application for the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of an LNG terminal." Id. § 717b(e)(1). Parties wishing to build an LNG terminal must file an extensive application with FERC, 18 C.F.R. § 157.6, which must then consult with states regarding safety and environmental questions, 15 U.S.C. § 717b-1(b).
The Record of Decision paves the way to the awarding of a deepwater port license to be issued by the U.S. Maritime Administration [MARAD]. The signing marks the successful completion of a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement [EIS] directed by the U.S. Coast Guard and formal approval last month by Florida Governor Charlie Crist.
The company said the completion paves the way for a license to develop the deepwater port. The port, located 28 miles off the coast of Tampa bay, would allow vessels to send LNG into the state pipeline system through an undersea network. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Unlike LNG industry best practices-defying Downeast LNG and Calais LNG, Port Dolphin Energy's LNG conforms to industry best practices (SIGTTO) — it is offshore, safely away from civilian populations.
The Port Dolphin facility will be located in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 28 miles southwest of Tampa Bay. Deepwater ports are offshore facilities used to transfer imported oil and natural gas from carrier vessels to shore via sub-sea pipelines. The apparatus is submerged most of the time, and is marked by a buoy. A tanker pulls the apparatus up, connects and offloads, and then, when the deepwater port is not being used, it submerges, which minimizes its environmental impact. When the Port Dolphin facility is operational, it is expected to deliver about 400 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to Florida facilities, with the ability to deliver up to 1,200 million cubic feet a day at peak capacity.
Webmaster’s Comments: One more LNG terminal dashes ahead of late-comer wannabes Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
Production from the platform is tied into BPTT's Mahogany B platform, via a 26-inch diameter 5.3 mile subsea pipeline, where the gas is processed and then exported into BPTT's existing infrastructure. Gas from Savonette will supply Atlantic LNG's liquefaction plant for export as LNG to international markets, as well as the domestic market.
The Savonette field is located roughly 50 miles off the southeast coast of the island of Trinidad in 290 feet of water. Production is tied to an existing platform and connects to onshore infrastructure through a 5.3-mile underwater pipeline.
Separately, LNG Intelligence [subscription required] reports that Abdullah bin Hamed Al Attiyah, Qatar's oil minister, said that he expects Qatar to divert LNG cargos from U.S. destinations to China in order to take advantage of higher natural gas prices in the Chinese market. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
The Golden Pass LNG receiving and regasification terminal will help Qatar become one of the largest suppliers of LNG to the growing American market. Qatar is set of meeting the burgeoning demand for gas in the North American market.
Webmaster’s Comments: Gazprom and Qatar will be vying for the same market already saturated with domestic natural gas supply.
Still going: New drilling technology has resulted in surprising production jump.
Even a half century after its discovery, Kenai continues to be a major focus for Marathon. The company drilled at least three wells at the field in 2008 as part of a deal to get state backing of an extension of the Kenai LNG export license, and continued drilling at Kenai this year despite a scaled back drilling program in response to the troubled economy.
The availability of vast natural-gas resources in the Marcellus shale and similar sediments around the United States has changed energy calculations in a fundamental way. The discovery of this large and seemingly economical new source of fossil fuel has surprised even geologists who have spent their careers studying the shale. Little wonder, then, that policy makers and politicians are just beginning to try to figure out what the discoveries mean. [Red emphasis added.]
Thanks to technological advances, the U.S. now has triple the amount of natural gas than estimated in 1966 and 40 percent more than previously believed just a couple of years ago. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The message could not be clearer to Congress and the public: The US does not need more LNG import infrastructure.
Dozens of U.S. representatives sent a letter Monday to the head of the President's Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force with concerns that the policy will block offshore energy development and cost jobs to Americans.
The task force is working on a national policy for governance of the country's oceans, coasts and Great Lakes. Two dozen senior policy members from numerous agencies are working on the national policy.
[O]n the Obama agenda is the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which took effect in 1996, but has not been joined by the United States because it has been repeatedly blocked by conservatives in Congress.
Conservatives maintain that an international bureaucracy would control the oceans, asserting that recent decisions by the treaty’s governing body would harm US economic interests. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Since the Senate has repeatedly refused to ratify the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Downeast LNG and Calais LNG have no right of innocent passage under that treaty.
Maine's Senator Susan Collins continues to falsely claim the US has rights under UNCLOS, even though, as a member of the Senate and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator Collins knows her claim is untrue.
Even if the US were to ratify UNCLOS, other matters would still prevent LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay…
Downeast LNG and Calais LNG have no hope of succeeding in Passamaquoddy Bay.
- Congress requires the US Coast Guard to deny or approve LNG transits in Head Harbour Passage. Since the US claims to have the authority to deny transits in that waterway, and since sovereigns are equal, then Canada also has the right to deny or approve transits in that waterway. The US claiming a right that Canada does not have would not withstand court scrutiny;
- Canada could ignore the treaty — or even a world court decision — just like the US has ignored world court decisions in Canada's favor in the two-country dispute over softwood lumber.
(Media-Newswire.com) - Washington, D.C.-Sen. James M. Inhofe ( R-Okla. ), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski ( R-Alaska ), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, released a preliminary government report today showing America's combined recoverable natural gas, oil, and coal endowment is the largest on Earth. America's recoverable resources, Congressional Research Service ( CRS ) shows, are far larger than those of Saudi Arabia ( 3rd ), China ( 4th ), and Canada ( 6th ) combined. And that's without including America's absolutely immense oil shale and methane hydrates deposits.
…CRS notes the 2009 assessment from the Potential Gas Committee, which estimates America's future supply of natural gas is 2,047 TCF-an increase of more than 25 percent just since the Committee's 2006 estimate. At today's rate of use, roughly 90 percent of which is produced domestically, this is enough natural gas to meet American demand for nearly 90 years. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: EVERYONE KNOWS IT. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG have no future.
The Energy Information Administration publishes how much working gas we have in storage. As of October 9, that was 3.7 trillion cubic feet. We only have 0.5 trillion cubic feet of storage left. In other words, we're at 94% capacity. Over the last six weeks, we added about 65 billion cubic feet per week. Unless demand changes quickly, we'll fill up the remaining space by early December.
Right now, we have too many liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals and almost no LNG export terminals. I'm waiting for some smart entrepreneur to buy out Cheniere Energy. The company owns five LNG import terminal projects in Texas and Louisiana. It is so deep in debt it should be in bankruptcy... but that is an opportunity for someone. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The LNG import terminal overbuild is obvious to everyone.
[The following link will download a PDF file; 139 KB]
Our abundant, sustainable supply is the answer
[The following link will download a PDF file; 168 KB]
Adding to supply
U.S. Potential Gas Committee reported a remarkable 39 percent increase in U.S. natural gas resources since its 2006 report, primarily because of improvements in the ability to economically recover natural gas from shale rock formations found across the United States. These shale pockets are numerous and often located near existing infrastructure, making natural gas more readily accessible and plentiful than ever in our history.
If a planned Alaskan pipeline is built, the Petroleum Age could be over before the Mackenzie line is reconsidered
[N]ew technologies have rendered vast amounts of natural gas from shale deposits accessible. This huge potential supply means that gas prices are likely to stay below the likely cost of transportation from the Arctic for an extended period. Maybe forever.
WSJ: The flood of LNG imports to the U.S. that some industry watchers had predicted over the summer never materialized, held back by low U.S. gas prices relative to Europe and delays in starting up overseas export facilities. But projects in Qatar, Yemen, Russia and Indonesia are starting to come online, just as colder weather in the U.S. is sparking greater heating demand for gas and the difference between U.S. and overseas prices narrows. While the onset of winter means record-high, U.S. inventories of the fuel will soon start to be drawn down, the prospect of ready additional supplies over the horizon could limit price gains, even as demand rises.
The U.S. has long served as a "market of last resort" for LNG because the country has a much higher storage capacity than European or Asian countries. As storage facilities in those regions near capacity, LNG shippers are forced to send cargoes to the U.S., despite lower gas prices here.
Webmaster’s Comments: …Except when overseas markets are still buying at higher prices — as is the case. See "Qatar diverts LNG from U.S. to China," below.
Zawya Dow Jones, citing people familiar with the matter, reported earlier this month that GDF Suez is seeking to shift LNG cargoes from its Yemen LNG plant to India and away from the U.S. where demand has slowed.
Webmaster’s Comments: LNG goes to the highest bidder. Anyone who still thinks LNG surplus will be sold to the US, instead of China and India, needs to rethink how markets work. Read more in the news articles below, "Qatar eyes China as big new LNG volumes come online" and "China Sept LNG imports at record -customs."
…Asia, led by China, was likely to be the target market as rising domestic gas supplies in the United States cap slow demand from the world's largest economy. The U.S. has seen energy consumption drop sharply due to the recession. In contrast, China posted the fastest rise in oil demand in over three years in September.
The import amount, up 144 percent from a year earlier, was in line with industry expectations as China recently started its second import terminal in Fujian and also began bringing in gas for its third terminal in Shanghai.
LNG TANKERS are unlikely to float around storing gas while waiting for a buyer as the costs of boil-off make this option economically unviable, Wilson Crook, ExxonMobil Gas & Power manager of global gas regulatory and legislative issues told Fairplay.
Webmaster’s Comments: LNG tankers are currently doing exactly what Wilson Crook says will not happen.
24 Oct 2009
WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 23 -- Projected growth in North American natural gas supplies and markets will require billions of dollars of additional investments in pipelines, storage, and other midstream infrastructure through 2030, a recent INGAA Foundation Inc. study concluded.
“The domestic supply picture for natural gas has been redrawn and experts agree we now have more than 100 years of technically recoverable gas in the US and Canada,” said INGAA Foundation Chairman Gary Sypolt. “This study spotlights what this sea change in domestic supplies will mean for investment in additional pipeline, storage, and midstream infrastructure.” [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are wearing blinders. Their projects are moot.
The House passed the bill, sponsored by James L. Oberstar , D-Minn., by a vote of 385-11 after adopting about a dozen amendments, including one that would clarify language regarding the enforcement of Coast Guard-imposed security zones around hazardous materials terminals and tankers, and require a study that surveys new technology for reducing emissions from cargo or passenger ships that operate in U.S. waterways.
"And the gas line is expected to be completed by mid-2011. This (gas line), together with this new power plant, means that Tobago will no longer need to import LNG from Trinidad. It is, therefore, an important step in strengthening the autonomy that the island must enjoy within the unitary state of Trinidad and Tobago," Manning said.
Some port leaders and many LNG opponents are looking to use the findings to get the port out of its unprofitable lease with Hansen and his new company, Oregon LNG. The company is pursuing the LNG development with a sublease of 92 acres of land in Warrenton, but the future of the lease depends on the outcome of two lawsuits.
The port had an offer on the table to extend its agreement with Jordan Cove for the acquisition of the site for the proposed liquefied natural gas terminal, but when no one would present a motion to vote on, the commission chose to take no action on the proposal.
According to Bloomberg, Gazprom is considering acquiring a U.S. gas firm familiar with drilling in shale gas deposits in order to gain the expertise necessary to exploit Russia's "huge shale reserves." Specific acquisition targets weren't mentioned.
Webmaster’s Comments: Russia's Gazprom isn't satisfied with simply selling Sakhalin II LNG to the US — probably because they realize the US doesn't need their LNG — now they want to own US shale gas reserves, as well.
22 Oct 2009
You must have heard how natural gas is changing the way we think about energy in America. How new technologies have unlocked a supply that will serve America for more than 100 years. And how that supply continues to grow. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
[Click the “Commercials” link at the top of the page linked above, and then click the image of the woman holding a child to see a Flash version of the new television commercial proclaiming 100 years’ worth of domestic natural gas in the US.]
The US natural gas industry is telling everyone about the 100-years' worth of domestic natural gas supply.
It is getting more and more difficult for Downeast LNG and Calais LNG to hide the fact that their projects are not needed.
Justice Department - transcripts reveal details of Gearin-Trabucco-Hansen collaboration
"I picked them up at the airport, and there was a funny little thing there ... there was a look between them," Hansen said in an interview with state investigators in August of this year. "It was just for a split second, and then I didn't think any more of it."
This unique database will feature all of the vessels built to date plus data on newbuilds, currently under construction or due for completion before 2010. Also featured in the database are details of all current and proposed import (regasification) and export (liquefaction) terminals.
21 Oct 2009
Archibald says that people found in apparent breach of the order could be charged with contempt of court or sued in civil court for any torts they committed. In some instances, they could be charged with a criminal offence if the behaviour was deemed to violate the Criminal Code.
Yesterday Weaver's Cove Energy, LLC and Mill River Pipeline, LLC filed a motion for leave to answer and an answer to a request for rehearing filed by the City of Fall River, Mass., and the Massachusetts attorney general. The answer addresses several of the requestors' arguments, including their contention that FERC acted improperly when it determined that Weaver's Cove has control over the activities within the thermal exclusion zone outside the property line (condition 40 of the order approving the project). [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Weaver's Cove Energy complains to FERC that the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA), on behalf of numerous state agencies, will not engage in discussions with Weaver's Cove regarding mitigating impacts from the LNG proposal until Weaver's Cove has satisfied the EOEEA as to the appropriateness of the terminal siting and the need for the project. In other words, Massachusetts is requiring Weaver's Cove to abide by FERC's Condition 40, even if FERC will not.
FERC's Condition 40 requires Weaver's Cove to provide evidence it has the ability to exercise control over the activities in the Thermal Exclusion Zone outside Weaver's Cove's site property line — including the 4.2 miles of underwater cryogenic LNG pipeline in Mount Hope Bay and up the Taunton River to the Weaver's Cove LNG tank farm.
>>> Downeast LNG does not have control of its own Thermal Exclusion Zone that is outside its property line and that crosses highway US-1. <<<
On Monday, Judge Richard D. Bennett of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland granted a motion filed by AES Sparrows Point LNG, LLC and Mid-Atlantic Express, L.L.C. to intervene in the ongoing litigation between the Maryland Department of the Environment and the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the Department's decision overturning the State's rejection of the project under the Coastal Zone Management Act. According to the order granting this motion, the intervenors will be added as defendants in this case. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
[F]or Canada to really capitalize on the potentially massive gas fields in northeastern B.C., which face competition from equally large pools in Texas and Louisiana and a proposed gas pipeline from Alaska, a way to move product to Asia appears essential to the country's exporting future. [Red emphasis added.]
SAN DIEGO, CA — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Donald E. Felsinger, chairman and chief executive of Sempra Energy, and other dignitaries today dedicated Sempra Energy's Cameron liquefied natural gas (LNG) receipt terminal near Lake Charles, La., the newest LNG receipt facility on the Gulf Coast of North America.
NACOGDOCHES – Water issues simmered near the boiling point last Wednesday as members of the East Texas Regional Water Planning Group (Region I) debated whether to accept the Lower Neches Valley Authority’s (LNRA) request to supply more water to manufacturing customers.
[T]he Region I meeting became a battleground in an upper basin vs. lower basin power struggle that involves billion dollar manufacturing plants storing [liquefied] natural gas (LNG) on the Texas coast.
[Scott Hall, LNVA general manager] distributed copies of a letter he received from the director of commercial Development at Sempra, regarding the company’s interest in constructing [an] LNG and crude oil terminal. Marvin L. Ivey wrote, “The availability of LNVAsupplied water is part of the attraction to develop theses projects in SE Texas. We would encourage LNVA to preserve industry’s access to quality water resources in the region.”
A Sept. 21 memorandum which served as a public notice of demand revisions, discussed Jefferson County’s 151,672 acre-feet of water usage for 2010. After the first LNG plant goes on-line, the 2020 water needs increase to 423,258 acre-feet. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The Sempra LNG freshwater usage would be 271,586 acre-feet annually. The volume of an acre-foot is exactly 43,560 cubic feet (approximately 325,851.4 U.S. gallons); therefore, Sempra LNG's usage would be 11,830,286,160 cubic feet — approximately 88.5 billion gallons of freshwater every year.
>> How much freshwater would Downeast LNG and Calais LNG use, in the off chance their projects were built? <<
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is primarily a lobbying organization. "We assume that lobbies always recognize what's best for their members, writes Surowiecki. "But they don't, and, in the case of climate change, they may very well be missing what the companies that have resigned in protest have seen: global warming isn't just bad for the planet; it's bad for business." [Bold red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The US Chamber of Commerce's "Project/No Project" website shills for all energy projects, inappropriate or not — including Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and defunct Quoddy Bay LNG, as well as all US LNG projects. They label opponents of all energy projects as NIMBYs who are opposed even to green projects.
The US Chamber's shrill position is costing it significant members (Apple, Exelon, PNM Resources, PG&E, PSEG, Levi Strauss & Co, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Mohawk Paper), desertion from the Chamber's board of directors (Nike), along with companies that openly disagree with the US Chamber's position (Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, Alcoa, Duke, Entergy, Microsoft, Toyota, Royal Dutch Shell, Seventh Generation); and other chambers of commerce (San Jose Chamber of Commerce, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce) — all of whom recognize the US Chamber's position is bad for business.
See the website, Who Does the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Really Represent, for more regarding the US Chamber's loss of credibility.
The Port of Astoria's former director improperly used his position to secure work for his girlfriend in 2004 with a company seeking to build a liquefied natural gas terminal near Astoria, the Oregon attorney general's office said today.
Weeks later, Peter Gearin, the executive director, advocated leasing 92 acres to the company without telling Port commissioners about the connection between his girlfriend, who was also working for the Port, and Calpine, the company seeking to build the terminal, investigation documents show.
The findings could affect lawsuits the Port and Oregon LNG have filed against each other over a 30-year lease extension, which the company needs to continue its pursuit of an LNG terminal in Warrenton. If the lease were deemed fraudulent, the Port could have legal grounds to break it. [Red emphasis added.]
An Oregon Department of Justice investigation has found evidence of corruption in former Port of Astoria Director Peter Gearin's arrangement of the Port's 2004 lease agreement with the liquefied natural gas developer Calpine Corp.
While Gearin's alleged misdeeds cannot be prosecuted because of a two-year statute of limitations, some are hoping evidence uncovered by the state will give the Port enough leverage to break its lease with Calpine Corp.'s successor, Oregon LNG.
Rumors about why the Port signed the dubious LNG lease have been festering for years. As opposition against LNG development has grown, so have suspicions about the Port's dealings with former Calpine executive Peter Hansen, now CEO of Oregon LNG.
Because of the delay in renewing the company's lease, the Port is currently fending off a breach of contract lawsuit from Oregon LNG in federal court while simultaneously suing the company in Clatsop County Circuit Court.
The existing agreement involves the port, Jordan Cove, Weyerhaeuser Co., the state of Oregon and Umpqua Bank. The port has until Dec. 1 to execute a contract with Weyerhaeuser to purchase 1,300 acres of property on the North Spit. It has a similar amount of time to sell about 150 acres of that land to Jordan Cove so the company can build an LNG terminal.
The Moscow-based company plans to sign 20-year contracts in 2010’s first half to use gas-import terminals on the U.S. Gulf and East coasts, said John Hattenberger, head of Gazprom’s energy-trading unit in Houston.
U.S. gas futures traded as low as $2.41 per million British thermal units last month, down from 2008’s high of $13.69, as demand for the fuel slumped. Some U.S. LNG terminals stood idle much of this year as higher prices in other markets attracted cargoes.
Webmaster’s Comments: Gazprom needs to learn about North America's shale gas. The US natural gas industry indicates it is in a 100-year domestic shale-source natural gas glut.
Gazprom US representative John Hattenberger reveals to Reuters a bit of a different story than in the Bloomberg News story — Gazprom LNG will go to the highest-paying market, and the US price is lower than elsewhere. See the Reuters video report, "Video: Gazprom Enters US trading" — Business Report, Johannesburg, South Africa.
In any case, for the US to become dependent on importing LNG — not to mention 10% of the US natural gas requirement — from Russia would be potential energy-security suicide.
Under this agreement, EDF Trading will deliver to Gazprom in the U.S. a quantity of 0.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year (about 50 million cubic feet per day) for the next five years. Gazprom will deliver to EDF Trading the same quantity of natural gas per year in the UK within the same time period.
"[I]f there is competition in gas, the loser is LNG (liquedfied-natural-gas). [Red bold emphasis added.]
The biggest loser
The success of American shale plays ought to keep the flow of liquefied natural gas cargos heading toward higher-priced markets across the Atlantic. A steep change in European domestic gas supplies, such as the one we've experienced in the U.S., would really shift the market balance dramatically. [Red and bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The world LNG industry has tough times in the long term ahead.
Placing the regassification plants offshore "is a new trend," said [Muhammad-Ali Zainy, a senior energy analyst at the Center for Global Energy Studies]. "When you have it offshore, it is to avoid resistance or objections [from] inhabitants on shore."
Webmaster’s Comments: Zainy missed the salient issue: siting LNG terminals offshore means the facility is safer for civilians (thus, lower resistance), and is easier to keep secure.
This development from ABB is part of a dual-fuel electric propulsion concept that uses a 4-stroke engine (fueled by either natural gas or diesel) to generate electricity, which is then used to power a carrier's electric propulsion system and meet its overall need for electric power.
The system also increases the cargo capacity of a standard LNG carrier by 6% without altering the ships' external dimensions. This revenue-enhancing capability is made possible by the modularity, space-efficiency and flexibility of the propulsion system concept. The required capacity for the ABB system, in particular, is said to be 10% smaller than traditional propulsion systems.
Other key benefits of the electric propulsion system include improved maneuverability, faster stopping times (seven minutes versus the 20-30 minutes of mechanical propulsion systems) and blackout prevention.
[S]ince 2003, the majority of all new orders for large-size LNG ([liquified] natural gas) carriers with cargo capacities of between 145,000 and 170,000 cubic meters have been for dual-fuel electric propulsion systems.
19 Oct 2009
[The following link opens the FERC eLibrary page containing a link to M&NE Pipeline's withdrawal notice (20 KB).]
Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C. (“Maritimes”) hereby provides written notice to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission”) that Maritimes will not be proceeding with the pre-filing process or with filing the certificate application for the Phase V Project at this time. Following discussions initiated by its Phase V shipper, it was resolved that the Phase V shipper would not need the proposed Phase V Project facilities to transport its production to markets in the U.S. Northeast.
Webmaster’s Comments: We missed the M&NE Pipeline Phase V FERC permit withdrawal notice when it happened in March. The Deep Panuke natural gas well offshore from Nova Scotia was the Phase V shipper. In 2009 February, Repsol (the 75% majority partner in Canaport LNG) purchased 100% of Deep Panuke's natural gas output, removing M&NE Pipeline's need to expand.
Town Councilman Harold Doty wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that the energy giant does not need to bring gas onto the island by truck anymore because its twin storage tanks are full and has a functional boil-off gas reliquefication facility. The terminal has received two ships since June 25, and the boil-off gas facility catches escaping gas and returns it to the tanks.
Doty said a bolstered emergency plan filed by Freeport LNG this month was subpar because none of the evacuation procedures to protect residents if a truck carrying LNG was to get in an accident have been tested. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: FERC does not consider Emergency Response Plans until after it has granted a permit to the developer. That way, the public (and the developer) have no idea what the Emergency Response requirements will be until after permitting is granted — so the full cost to the public is not known when the developer is wooing the community.
According to Down Jones Newswire (via The Wall Street Journal), Tokyo Electrical Power Co.(TEPCO) and Tokyo Gas Co. have renewed contracts [through March 2011] to purchase liquid natural gas from the Kenai LNG facility owned by ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil.
The article reports that, "The language was proposed by U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who has expressed reservations about the security of LNG tankers and terminals along urban waterfronts. Cummings's district includes part of the Baltimore waterfront.
"The latest Cummings amendment would require the Coast Guard to guarantee the security of vessels and facilities handling LNG and agricultural resources before any such facility is even built. Like all shore-side U.S. facilities, these terminals are already required to operate in strict compliance with current safety standards, including local and state regulations, before tankers carrying hazardous materials can use a facility. The rule, if enacted, would prevent terminals from being used if the Coast Guard says it doesn't have enough resources to guarantee the security of a facility. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Since it is the Coast Guard's responsibility to provide security to LNG ships in transit, the proposed provision is entirely reasonable.
17 Oct 2009
The protest appeared peaceful to people passing by. Court documents tell a different story, raising questions about how police handled the affair. Eight affidavits describe aggressive acts of intimidation and physical assault.
Integral Energy brought its own workers from across Canada to the work site. Protesters said they were upset that out-of-province workers were brought into the area while local people were out of work.
[W]ith the construction of Freeport LNG, a liquefied natural gas terminal on Quintana Island, and increased vessel traffic in the Freeport Ship Channel, the station built to house about 27 people now has 63 inhabitants.
With the heightened manpower it takes to shutdown the waterways when a massive LNG tanker is chugging into the harbor, Garris expects to get probably a couple more people, but no more. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Your tax dollars are paying for those extra 36 people — the same that would happen at Coast Guard Eastport if ill-sited and unneeded Downeast LNG or Calais LNG were to operate in Passamaquoddy Bay.
Agency Chairman Jon Wellinghoff sets the FERC meeting agenda. A receptionist in Wellinghoff’s office referred questions to the FERC press office, which declined to comment why the local project hasn’t received a hearing.
In its latest submission, Jordan Cove argues FERC is contradicting one of its strategic goals of handling each case in “an expeditious manner.” FERC issued a final environmental impact statement for the project in May. If the commission decides to hear the case in November, six months would have passed since the EIS was prepared. In comparison, the Bradwood Landing LNG project got approval to build on the Columbia River after a little more than three months by a 4-1 vote, with Wellinghoff in dissent.
President Barack Obama nominated Commissioner Suedeen Kelly for a second-full term in July, but she declined. She has said she will step down at the end of Congress’ session in December or January, a FERC spokeswoman said. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
16 Oct 2009
Tradespeople in Saint John have reached a tentative deal with contractors at the Canaport liquefied natural gas terminal, and individual workers are being told it's time to put an end to their escalating protests.
The company’s $300 million Phase IV expansion project went on line in January and has made it possible to deliver approximately 800 million cubic feet of natural gas daily to markets in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Atlantic Canada.
Webmaster’s Comments: The pipeline expansion was specifically to transport natural gas from Canaport LNG. Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline (M&NE) then obtained a FERC permit to send natural gas through the pipeline from Maine to New Brunswick. M&NE is currently going through permitting for its Phase V expansion to transport natural gas from the Deep Panuke well offshore from Nova Scotia.
15 Oct 2009
Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that Chevron has informed FERC that it has stopped development of the Casotte Landing LNG terminal project planned for the Mississippi Gulf Coast. According to Platts, Chevron cited changing dynamics in the international LNG trade as well as sufficient LNG regasification capacity in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico region as the reasons for halting development of the project. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
U.S. natural gas inventory has been enlarged – terminals are for export
The biggest misconception about liquefied natural gas (LNG) is that America's natural gas inventory is approaching empty. [Red, bold & yellow emphasis added.]
Even if the port gets the grant, it might have to turn it down if Jordan Cove doesn’t build the terminal. The LNG developer still is waiting for approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It also has other permits to complete, pushing out the start of construction to at least late 2010.
14 Oct 2009
"Integral Energy continues to bully their way into our community and continue to threaten the livelihood of the taxpayers who call Saint John and New Brunswick their home," said Mike Duncan, an electrician who lives on Pugsley Avenue, as he addressed the politicians.
[NOTE: This is the same column by Maine Governor Baldacci that appeared in the Oct 10 Bangor Daily News, below.]
- Shouldn't Governor Baldacci — an attorney — know that the treaty he cites does not apply to countries that are not parties to the treaty?
- Hasn't attorney and Governor Baldacci even read the treaty — especially the part explaining that the treaty's rights apply only to participating sovereigns?
- Hasn't Governor Baldacci read the LNG industry terminal siting best practices that clearly indicate Passamaquoddy Bay is unfit for LNG facilities — even after Save Passamaquoddy Bay encouraged him in person to do so?
- Isn't Baldacci aware that there is no market for the Downeast LNG and Calais LNG projects?
- Isn't Baldacci aware that there are many other locations along — or offshore from — the Maine coast that are eminently more suitable for LNG projects?
- Why wasn't Baldacci lobbying for LNG projects when they were being developed closer to the natural gas market, where it would not have required permission from a neighboring country?
- Isn't Gov. Baldacci concerned that transiting LNG ships would engulf thousands of Maine citizens, unnecessarily and against their will, within Federally-defined Hazard Zones?
The real puzzle is why Gov. Baldacci is not encouraging the LNG developers to locate in industry-compliant sites, rather than stirring up ill-will with Canada, New Brunswick, and Mainers, in a flawed and unwinnable argument with another country.
[N]ewly developed technology to extract natural gas from shale and methane beds will unlock the energy equivalent of 1.2 trillion barrels of oil, a 60-year world supply. The US is using this technology to such an extent that US imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Trinidad and Qatar have almost stopped. Spot prices for some LNG deliveries have dropped to 50 percent of pipeline contracts. From the UK newspaper the Daily Telegraph: “The US energy department expects shale to meet half of US gas demand within 20 years, if not earlier. [Red emphasis added.]
Along come the contrarians. As shale gas is hailed as the resource that will enable natural gas to be our long bridge to a low-carbon future, two people in one day call the thought a bubble that needs to be burst.
13 Oct 2009
Webmaster’s Comments: The news release from Canaport conflicts with the Oct 10 CBC News report, “Flare problems force evacuation of [Canaport] LNG site”.
The US Department of Energy expects shale to provide the U.S. with 50% of its natural gas needs within twenty years. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: World shale gas discoveries bode ill for LNG.
Only in recent years, have techniques been developed in Texas, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania to successfully exploit these vast reserves. The resulting increase in natural gas supplies has contributed to the current glut in the US market and low prices.
The Telegraph newspaper today made an extraordinary statement that illustrates the excitement in the industry “..As for the US, we may soon be looking at an era when shale gas, wind and solar power, combined with a smarter grid and a switch to electric cars returns the country to near energy self-sufficiency. … LNG imports from Qatar and Trinidad have dropped to virtually zero this year. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are moot.
The U.K. is likely to become the first port of call for ships carrying LNG from places like Qatar or Nigeria, particularly because the U.S. will need less of the fuel as domestic gas production booms, he said. By 2020 LNG could provide 25% of the U.K.'s gas needs, he said. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
12 Oct 2009
"This resulted in liquid (sic) natural gas erupting out and over the flare stack tip and liquid product cascading down the flare stack while it was igniting, causing a large flame and vapour cloud," Oickle said. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
In a strongly worded commentary, Maine Governor John Baldacci says it is wrong of Canada and New Brunswick to insist that Ottawa has the right to control all shipping in Passamaquoddy Bay, including future LNG traffic.
Webmaster’s Comments: It is wrong of Gov. Baldacci to falsely claim Canada is controlling all shipping. The issue Canada is concerned about is hazardous cargo, not all shipping.
PORT OF SPAIN, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Trinidad and Tobago's LNG exports to the United States, its major market, declined during the first seven months of the last fiscal year, while increased shipments went to higher priced markets in Europe and Asia.
As for the U.S., we may soon be looking at an era when gas, wind and solar power, combined with a smarter grid and a switch to electric cars returns the country to near energy self-sufficiency. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
10 Oct 2009
According to international law, treaties between the U.S. and Canada and current practice, ships headed to port in Maine have as much right to use the passage as ships headed to Canada. The U.S. State Department has taken a strong and consistent position that all vessels enjoy a nonsuspendable right of innocent passage into and out of Passamaquoddy Bay through Head Harbor Passage. This is guaranteed by the International Law of the Sea Convention. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Shouldn't Governor Baldacci — an attorney — know that treaties do not apply to countries that are not parties to the treaty? Hasn't attorney and Governor Baldacci read the treaty — especially the part explaining that the treaty's rights apply only to participating sovereigns? Hasn't Governor Baldacci read the LNG industry terminal siting best practices that clearly indicate Passamaquoddy Bay is unfit for LNG facilities — even after Save Passamaquoddy Bay encouraged him in person to do so?
The real puzzle is why Gov. Baldacci is not encouraging the LNG developers to locate in industry-compliant sites, rather than stirring up ill-will in an unwinnable argument with another country.
Most of the protesters, who started to gather at 5 a.m., are union members who were laid off after building the first two enormous liquified natural gas containment tanks at the terminal owned by Irving-Repsol, he said.
On Sept. 14, union members began protesting at a city hotel in a bid to stop buses carrying out-of-province workers destined for the LNG plant. Just days later, the protest ended when the workers were relocated to an undisclosed location. Trouble began to brew again on Oct. 2, but this time along Red Head Road near Canaport LNG with as many as 300 protestors being watched by dozens of police.
[A]t current trends of Cook Inlet gas decline, North Slope-sourced gas would be unlikely to become available in Southcentral before Cook Inlet gas supplies fall short of demand. That raises the specter of possibly having to import foreign LNG through the Nikiski LNG plant, to boost utility gas supplies. The import of LNG, although straightforward to arrange, would require Alaskans to swallow copious quantities of their pride in a state that boasts major oil and gas resources.
Over the last five years, production of gas from shale has spread across wide swaths of Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. All the new production has produced a glut of gas in the United States, helping to drive down gas prices and utility costs. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Shale gas development in Europe and Asia will negatively impact the LNG industry — and industry already hurting from the natural gas glut in the United States, from the world economic downturn, and from ill-timed massive LNG liquefaction development.
The world's energy titans are only starting to get a grip on the surge in the unconventional production of shale gas that has postponed for years the United States' expected emergence as major natural gas importer.
"The United States is now a virtual liquefied natural gas exporter because all the LNG that was supposed to be going there is now going somewhere else," said Ian Cronshaw of the International Energy Agency.
The massive increase in production from places like the Barnett Shale has sent gas prices plunging and has forced LNG producers to scale back production or put cargoes into storage. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: It appears the entire natural gas industry is realizing what Downeast LNG and Calais LNG refuse to admit — the US is awash in natural gas, mooting unpermitted LNG projects.
An official with Sonangol SA, Angola's state-run oil and gas company, told Bloomberg that, due to the decline in U.S. natural gas prices, the company may change its plans to supply the U.S. market with output from the Angola LNG liquefaction project. [Red emphasis added.]
"Anytime we get a new entrant into the market, that's good. They will help globalize the natural gas markets," he says, adding Gazprom is "representative of a new breed of global LNG supplier who will find and eventually begin to really dominate our domestic markets for natural gas."
Webmaster’s Comments: US dependence on Russia for natural gas is risking US energy security.
The Russian giant plans to use liquefied natural gas from its Sakhalin-2 project to supply US customers and is also looking at swapping pipeline gas in Europe to obtain supplies for the United States.
8 Oct 2009
Canaport came online in July 2009 and its average production per day is about 150,000 MMBtu's, says Marcoux, who is responsible for gas marketing activities in the Maritimes and Eastern Canada for the re-gassified LNG produced from Canaport.
The facility is capable of processing over one million MMBtu's per day, meaning it's only processing roughly 15 per cent of what it can handle. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
SAINT JOHN - School buses were delayed and traffic slowed on Black River Road Wednesday morning as protesters waited for buses carrying out-of-province workers to pass on their way to Canaport LNG, police say.
Quintana, Texas, Councilman Jerry Masters, who also serves as the town's emergency management coordinator, told The Facts that he believes the emergency response plan recently filed by Freeport LNG is "a starting point" but "needs some more work."
Webmaster’s Comments: Unnecessary additional stress would be added to daily living around Passamaquoddy Bay if Downeast LNG or Calais LNG were to actually operate their terminals — unnecessary, since the projects are not needed, and since they should be sited in industry-compliant sites. Passamaquoddy Bay cannot provide that compliance.
Webmaster’s Comments: This story contradicts a story in yesterday's Calgary Herald story, LNG market could stay slack, once again demonstrating the LNG industry has no idea what it is doing.
The Russian giant plans to use liquefied natural gas from its Sakhalin-2 project to supply U.S. customers and is also looking at swapping pipeline gas in Europe to obtain supplies for the United States.
In the longer term, Gazprom could send LNG from its giant Shtokman field to the United States. The field, which is being developed with France's Total and Norway's StatoilHydro should begin production in 2015, Medvedev said.
Disputes between Russia and its neighbors, like Ukraine that host the giant pipelines that connect Gazprom with its western European customers, have led to significant disruptions of gas supplies in recent years, pushing the issue of gas supply security up the agenda for European energy importers. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments:In 2008 the US consumed 23.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Of that, total imports (via pipeline and LNG) equalled 3.981 trillion cubic feet. Russia's goal is to sell the US 2.32 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (via LNG) in 2014 — nearly 60% of all natural gas imported into the US! Such massive reliance on Russia would be energy-security suicide.
NG = Natural Gas
US Total NG Consumption
US Total NG Imports
(via pipeline & LNG)
Russia's LNG to US Goal
(10% of US NG Consumption)
23.2 trillion cubic feet 3.98 trillion cubic feet 2.32 trillion cubic feet Russia's LNG Goal in % of Total U.S. NG Imports = 58.29%
[E]xpected increase in demand for natural gas in Asia-Pacific in 2010-11 will propel demand growth in the global natural gas industry. Natural gas is expected to play an increased role as a primary fuel worldwide, especially in the Asia Pacific region.
7 Month 2009
"Up until 2013 there will be a situation of excess supply. Thereafter demand will exceed supply unless new LNG projects that are currently awaiting the final investment decision are approved," Brufau said.
Webmaster’s Comments: Repsol is saying there will be a shortage of LNG in the future. Things are looking even worse for Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
Earlier this week Weaver's Cove Energy LLC submitted a letter to the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in response to a letter filed with the agency by the City of Fall River, Mass.
Separately, Weaver's Cove Energy also filed its response to a letter from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to FERC regarding a number of concerns with the project's impacts on fisheries in Mt. Hope Bay.
KPLC TV reports that members of Gov. Bobby Jindal's (R-La.) executive council met with representatives of the Lake Charles Port Board last week to discuss the ongoing land dispute between the Lake Charles Port and the Port of West Cameron related to ownership of the Cameron LNG terminal site.
Expansion of Trinidad and Tabago's liquefied natural gas production may not go ahead because there is currently not enough gas for the expansion, said David Small, director of policy at the Ministry of Energy, said on Wednesday.
Webmaster’s Comments: Canaport recently received an LNG cargo from Egypt, even though Repsol (a 75% partner in Canaport) owns LNG liquefaction capacity in Trinidad & Tobago. Last year Trinidad & Tobago announced it is running out of natural gas. Downeast LNG has just filed with FERC that they are exploring LNG supplies in the eastern Atlantic (that means Africa; perhaps Nigeria).
All this points to credible problems in Trinidad & Tobago as a supplier to unpermitted LNG terminals. In fact, having to import LNG from Africa or the Middle East could mean "hotter"/"heavier" LNG (hotter-burning, due to "heavy" hydrocarbon content: greater amounts of butane, propane, and ethane). Hot LNG means incompatibility with pipeline standards, so the resulting natural gas would have to be processed by either diluting it with nitrogen, or by removing the "heavies." That means more expense in LNG terminal infrastructure, and more air pollution resulting from remove those heavy hydrocarbons. It also means more-volatile LNG vapors, more prone to unconfined explosion.
With the ongoing world economic crisis, a recent article published in a local newspaper correctly stated that this has negatively affected the shipbuilding sector. This is simply because of the existing demand and supply imbalance which is the case primarily for the large ships over 5,000 DWT. Looking back, the original recommendation made to the foreign consultants by the Shipbuilding and Repair Cluster in 2007 is correct. Luckily, for all concerned this recommendation was accepted. Nevertheless, as in the old saying “with crisis there is opportunity”, as a result of the current downturn, there is an enormous glut in the worldwide oversupply of these large ships including LNG Carriers, Bulk Ore Carriers and Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) chasing a small number of cargoes. This has created a new market for the Shipbuilding and Repair Cluster and our country, as thousands of these ships that were ordered in 2007 and recently launched by foreign shipyards located mainly in South Korea, Japan and the People’s Republic of China have to be “laid-up”, some without ever having transported a single shipment of cargo. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Enbridge Inc. said Tuesday it could expand the Alliance pipeline to take advantage of new unconventional gas fields in northeastern British Columbia and northwest Alberta that are expected to become major supply sources.
Pipeline companies are racing to provide outlets for Horn River gas to find its way to markets in Asia, the U.S. and oilsands production in Alberta. Kitimat LNG is proposing a liquefied natural gas terminal on the West Coast while TransCanada is considering a tie-in to its Nova gathering system in Alberta, which moves about a fifth of the gas produced in North America onto its main line pipes that run to Ontario and the U.S.
What is needed is some honest introspection and subsequent dialogue among environmentalists, developers, utilities, consumer groups, and local regulators on what is truly acceptable and what isn’t for large infrastructure siting. That doesn’t just mean choosing what habitat to protect, but also what the alternatives are in an era of laptops, flat-screens, server farms, and electric vehicles. More nuclear? More coal? More hydro? Dare I say as an Oregonian, more LNG? One clear result will be that everyone at the table will have to give something up to balance the need for habitat and clean electrons.
WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 6 -- US natural gas inventories are expected to reach a record peak of 3.85 tcf when storage injections end on Oct. 31, the US Energy Information Administration said in its latest short-term energy outlook.
“The startup of several large LNG supply projects in 2010 will lead to an increase in US LNG imports, although previous supply additions abroad have been slowed by construction delays and feed-gas shortages that contribute to EIA’s uncertainty about the future of current projects,” it said. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: US natural gas storage is already near overflowing. Without storage, how would the US import more LNG, especially when domestic natural gas wells are still producing above demand?
The global liquefied natural gas market should stay slack for some time due to increased production and weak demand, StatoilHydro's executive vice-president for natural gas, Rune Bjornson, told Reuters in an interview.
Faisal Al-Suwaidi, the chief executive of Qatargas, has said that postponing planned natural gas liquefaction facilities amid the current global slump in natural gas prices will lead to tight supplies by 2015, Reuters has reported. LNG consuming nations must prepare for the coming tight supply situation, he said. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Fortunately for the US, there is an overabundance of domestic natural gas in reserve.
GDF Suez SA added 0.3% to €29.49 after the natural gas and electricity supplier said is seeking to divert liquefied natural gas, or LNG, cargoes from its new Yemen LNG plant to India and away from the U.S. where demand has slowed, according to a report by Bloomberg News. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
5 Sep 2009
An editorial carried by the Bangor Daily News recognizes that New Brunswick "Premier Graham's concerns about the safety from LNG tankers ... are not without foundation" and expresses concern over Maine Governor Baldacci's approach to LNG siting. The paper notes that Maine's next governor should work to "identify sites where LNG or some other fuel might be safely imported," and advises that Maine should "continue to extend a hand of partnership to New Brunswick" despite disagreement over LNG vessel traffic issues. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
In an otherwise conciliatory relationship, Maine and Canada duke out the rights to LNG passage
Canadian officials, including Veterans Minister Thompson and other conservatives, have voiced opposition to LNG projects since 2005, but the Canadian government didn’t formally announce its opposition until 2007, after the election of Prime Minister Harper and the government’s shift from a liberal to conservative leading party. After FERC’s favorable draft environmental review of the Downeast LNG project this May, New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham sent a letter to FERC, saying passage of LNG tankers would threaten public safety, damage the environment and cause “potentially significant economic harm in a region of New Brunswick that is fundamentally dependent on the pristine ecosystem of the Passamaquoddy Bay region for its economic well-being.”
At issue is whether Canada has the legal right to bar LNG tankers from Head Harbour Passage. [Consul for political and economic relations at the consulate general of Canada in Boston, Neal Burnham] says the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS, as well as “historic maritime law” considers that passage “internal waters” to Canada, meaning Canada has a right to restrict access. Maine representatives argue, however, that Head Harbour Passage is considered territorial sea, through which, according to UNCLOS, a “right of innocent passage” exists. A 2007 study commissioned by Downeast LNG done by Ted McDorman, a law professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, supports the claim that innocent passage exists.
One sticking point: While the United States is a signatory to UNCLOS, it has not ratified the convention as Canada has, which irks some Canadian officials. “They’re using a provision in UNCLOS while at the same time not ratifying it,” Burnham says. He adds, though, that ratification would not change Canada’s position. “Basically, we’re at a stalemate,” says Burnham. “In terms of how this will be resolved, it remains to be seen.”
Webmaster’s Comments: The article fails to mention that Ted McDorman told the public at the 2007 panel of maritime law experts discussing “[Not So] Innocent Passage in Head Harbour Passage” that UNCLOS innocent passage does not apply to vessels transiting to US ports in Passamaquoddy Bay.
The US developers are at the losing end of this argument. Their only solution is to move to industry-compliant sites.
The plan does not endorse any of the proposed LNG projects proposed off the Mid-Atlantic United States. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Note the word "offshore," safely away from the public — unlike Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
[D]omestic supply and demand don't dictate that the US import natural gas; domestic production could be more than sufficient to make the country energy independent, at least when it comes to natural gas.
But the emergence of nonconventional gas plays in the US scuttled the predicted boom in LNG imports. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
4 Oct 2009
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) informed FERC last week that it concurs with the Commission's determination that no threatened or endangered species will be adversely affected by the planned Cove Point LNG terminal pier reinforcement project.
[T]he natural gas market has changed radically since [five years ago]. Improved technology helped energy companies tap gas that had been locked in shale rock in places like Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Domestic production boomed. Prices fell. And interest in LNG - at least in America - fizzled.
Webmaster’s Comments: Jordan Cove LNG is another flagrant violation of LNG industry best practices.
DUBAI (Zawya Dow Jones)--GDF Suez SA (GSZ.FR) is seeking to divert liquefied natural gas, or LNG, cargoes from its new Yemen LNG plant to India and away from the U.S., where demand has slowed, a person familiar with the situation said. [Red bold emphasis added.]
The following links will download a file from FERC (PDF; 3.1 MB)
The Commission’s goal is to reach an appropriate resolution of each proceeding in an expeditious manner. Toward that end, the Commission has steadily decreased the time it takes to act on projects, such as LNG import terminals, gas storage facilities and interstate natural gas pipelines. It has done so without compromising its environmental protection and public participation responsibilities. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The public might have a different opinion about FERC meeting its responsibilities.
Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy plans to introduce a new, user-friendly online repository of oil and natural gas research results at the Society of Petroleum Engineers' Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, to be held in New Orleans, La., October 4–7, 2009. By providing easy access to the results of nearly four decades of research supported by the Office of Fossil Energy’s Oil and Natural Gas Program, the knowledge management database could ultimately help boost recovery of the nation’s oil and gas resources.
[Webmaster's Note: For yet another story on floating LNG liquefaction facilities: Analyst: Shell could be first to liquefy gas offshore]
FLNG's attractions include the potential make remote offshore fields economically viable and to reduce security risks by cutting down on the need for onshore infrastructure. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Such technology also reduces risks to civilian populations.
3 Oct 2009
Whether an LNG facility is permitted in eastern Washington County in the next few years or not, the state must continue to extend a hand of partnership to New Brunswick while keeping an eye on how agreements serve Maine. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: While the Bangor Daily News did get something right in this editorial — about other ports being more appropriate for LNG than Passamaquoddy Bay, and that it is essential for Maine to maintaining a good releationship with New Brunswick — the Bangor Daily News has continued to ignore that LNG industry best practices consider the conditions in Passamaquoddy Bay not merely “probably less suitable,” but are eminently inappropriate for LNG facilities.
The BDN continues to refer to these ill-sited LNG projects as being in "eastern Washington County," instead of Passamaquoddy Bay — even though that is the critical issue. If the projects were located elsewhere in Washington County outside of Passamaquoddy Bay, or farther down the coast, then New Brunswick and Canada would have no objections — as Canada and New Brunswick have repeatedly stated.
If LNG were actually needed for Maine, then Baldacci and the Bangor Daily News should allow the Baldacci Administration's Energy Policy requirements to make such a determination prior to their lobbying for the LNG industry anywhere in the state. The Baldacci Energy Policy is being ignored, even by Gov. Baldacci.
Until last summer, Newfoundland LNG Ltd. seemed sure about erecting a liquefied natural gas terminal. Turner, who is company president, said the recession crippled the $1.5 billion project. In preparation mode since 2001, Newfoundland LNG received federal environmental approval last fall for the three marine jetties and eight storage tanks it proposes to build at Grassy Point, Placentia Bay. The province had already come onboard, environmentally. Development was expected, but financing fell through.
Webmaster’s Comments: The Grassy Point project is a trans-shipment project, intended to store LNG destined for other North American LNG import terminals.
Sgt. Pat Bonner, with the Saint John Police Force, said at about 6 a.m. on Friday at the intersection of Union and St. Patrick streets about 40 people protested the hiring of out-of-province workers at Canaport LNG.
Dawson said he has requested meetings and met with the contractors throughout the week to suggest ways to work through the issues. The labour leader said that after every meeting the company says it will get back to him but it never does.
[P]rices are down because of the economic downturn and a surge in U.S. production, prompted mostly by new technology for producing natural gas locked in shale formations. Natural gas closed at $4.72 on Friday. [Red bold emphasis added.]
In terms of near-term markets, the combination of a severe recession and explosion in production of unconventional gas, the bulk of it from shale, has resulted in glutted gas markets and rock-bottom prices.
The world has LNG surplus, but the U.S. has seen little growth in LNG imports in recent years despite the spike in gas prices last year, which should have made increased LNG sales to the U.S. attractive.
The Oregonian tells Clatsop County voters: Shut up and eat it
If you read The Oregonian's admonition to Clatsop County voters last Sunday ("Recall misused in LNG fight," Sept. 27) you easily detected who commissioned the editorial. Northwest Natural's hand was apparent. The real message of The O's Sunday directive is not that we keep Jeff Hazen, Ann Samuelson and Patricia Roberts in office. The real message is that we should shut up and accept a liquefied natural gas terminal at Bradwood or on the Skipanon. Why? Because the big-money boys at Northwest Natural have told The O's editorial writers that an LNG terminal is essential to our regional well-being.
The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay commissioners authorized executive director Jeffrey Bishop to sign a contract limited to $40,000 with Bruce Facility Planning Consultants of Norcross, Ga. The company will consider the area’s general strengths as weaknesses, as well as what industries might find it convenient to build next to an LNG terminal, Bishop said.
Webmaster’s Comments: That's a $40,000 cart before the horse.
With industrial production around the world slowing to a virtual standstill, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects domestic gas consumption in 2009 to fall by 2.4% from 2008. Gas prices fell to seven-year lows in September – below $3/m Btu and down by almost 80% from last summer's high. [Red emphasis added.]
[T]hat a major competing nation has set up shop in the US to began [sic] expanding into its natural gas market is going to rankle the many small US natural gas companies now struggling with US natural gas prices recently falling to a 7.5-year low. These companies already have had to lay off staff, curtail drilling, and put off expansions with low gas prices, tight credit markets and the poor economy.