"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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2012 March 31
A letter of protest was sent against new construction of LNG import terminal on the US east coast. Concerning the LNG import project, which the US Downeast LNG Inc is planning in Passamaquoddy Bay, the state of Maine in USA, Anti LNG Organizations "Save Passamaquoddy Bay" strongly urged Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to cancel the project. The organizations said in its letter "FERC should not approve the project."
Webmaster's comment: This news article is poorly written and contains numerous factual errors.
The following link will open a webpage that will load and play a video. — SPB webmaster
The interstate gas pipeline industry is responding with mergers and acquisitions, and plans for thousands of miles of new construction. ... Most of this expansion would be headed to Northeast and Southeast markets from the shale plays in Ohio and Pennsylvania. [Click map for larger view in separate window. Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's comment: Downeast LNG and effectively-dead Calais LNG would have us believe this is impossible.
Broadwater Energy LLC has filed an answer to a letter submitted to FERC by the towns of Riverhead and Southold, N.Y. The letter requested that the Commission vacate its orders granting certificate authority for Broadwater's LNG project and denying rehearing of the matter. Submission of the letter followed Broadwater's request to FERC earlier this month to vacate the company's certificate authority without vacating the orders that grant the authority. In its answer to the towns' letter, Broadwater argues that the Commission vacates its orders "only in exceptional circumstances based upon compelling reasons," and asserts that no such circumstances or reasons exist in the proceeding.
Webmaster's comment: As in most cases, FERC does not respond to public — or intervenor — questions or requests, enforcing the perception that FERC works for the applicants, not the public.
Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson praised the news during a press conference at City Hall on Friday afternoon. Due to safety and emergency response concerns, the City Council and community groups had opposed the proposal, which called for up to 58 tanker truckloads of LNG to be hauled across DeRenne Avenue daily, passing two major hospitals and numerous schools, businesses and residential neighborhoods.
Webmaster's comment: Public safety has prevailed.
Webmaster's comment: "No risk" is a preposterous statement to make about any hydrocarbon fuel.
"What was driving the application to reactivate the truck loading facilities was a lease with Southeast LNG," [company spokesman Bill Baerg] says. "Since we're told from our customer that they're no longer interested in that at this point, we decided to withdraw our application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission."
Mayor Otis Johnson and other members of the previous City Council saw this danger, and worked with City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney and her staff, including Fire Chief Charles Middleton and consultant Ben Johnson, to work long hours on this issue.
While this process has been long and difficult for all sides involved, we are extremely pleased that in the end the right decision was made for all of Savannah. I think all sides have learned a lot through this process, and we move forward with a better understanding of each other as a result.
Golden Pass LNG Terminal LLC withdrew its request at FERC for a determination that the company's proposal to re-export previously imported LNG from its Sabine Pass, Texas, terminal is not subject to FERC's pre-filing procedures.
Webmaster's comment: Not to be confused with Sabine Pass LNG on the Louisiana side of the Sabine Pass waterway, Golden Pass LNG is just three miles north on the Texas side.
LNG Development Company and the Oregon Pipeline Company, often referred to simply as Oregon LNG, are now likely to modify their proposal with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, according to documents filed with FERC.
“There are no economics for imports,” he said, adding that the only viable financial model for LNG is exporting it. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's comment: The number of proposed US LNG import terminals now stands at just 2:
- Calais LNG, with no money and no terminal site, this proposal is awaiting dismissal by FERC.
- Downeast LNG, with no possibility of obtaining LNG and no need for the project; and
- Liberty LNG, offshore from New Jersey.
Everyone else in the industry realizes that there is no viable market for additional US LNG import infrastructure.
Noting that the developers of the Oregon LNG terminal and pipeline project expect to change their plans for the project, FERC informed the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that it is withdrawing its Endangered Species Act section 7 consultation request regarding the proposed project. In its letters to each agency, available under Docket No. CP09-6 in eLibrary, FERC said it would "re-initiate consultation" on the revised version of the project "at the appropriate time."
Webmaster's comment: Oregon LNG is expected to reapply with FERC as an LNG export project.
One LNG project in Oregon, Bradwood Landing, went bankrupt. A second, Jordan Cove, has applied to export natural gas instead of importing it. Now the future of a third project, Oregon LNG, is in question. It’s a proposed terminal in Warrenton.
Fish and wildlife agencies have stopped their review of Oregon LNG, citing its legal problems and possible change in direction. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission documents say Oregon LNG is planning to change its proposal. Project executive Peter Hanson said the project has not applied for an export license, and the public will know if it does.
COOS BAY, Ore. -- Federal regulators visited the site of a proposed liquefied natural gas facility near Coos Bay, Oregon Wednesday. Regulators say the Jordan Cove energy project will need to submit a new application now that it is proposing to export natural gas instead of importing it. Amelia Templeton reports.
Webmaster's comment: Import or export, Jordan Cove Energy's proposed LNG site is inappropriate, as indicated by SIGTTO terminal siting best safe practices (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more on this issue).
While the supply situation is very promising for Canadians, there are challenges. Canada has been the major exporter of natural gas to the United States. Massive new production of natural gas in the United States will increasingly make natural gas imports from Canada unnecessary, to the point that eastern Canada will soon import more natural gas from the United States because of lower cost supply. This will be good for Canada generally, but threatens to leave a very significant deposit of natural gas in northeastern British Columbia without easy access to market. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
The following link will open a webpage that will load and play a video. — SPB webmaster
For liquefied natural gas in the U.S., newfound and abundant shale reserves have all but killed the LNG market. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that due to dwindling reserves, Indonesia's state-owned power utility is considering long-term imports of U.S. LNG for power generation, even as it shifts to building more coal-fired power plants.
“Incremental U.S. LNG exports into Asia are likely to be restricted by competition and by buyer appetite rather than export approvals,” Noel Tomnay, head of global gas research at Wood Mackenzie, said in the note.
A battle could be brewing between natural gas firms seeking export deals with overseas buyers as a means to lift prices at home and domestic chemical companies counting on bargain basement commodity prices to drive growth plans.
"We expect to be able to release the comprehensive study results late this summer," a DOE spokesman said. "The department will then take time to review the results and develop a path forward for making public-interest determinations for the pending export applications. No time line has been set for making those determinations."
Webmaster's comment: Call for Papers for LNG 17 event, 2013 April 16–19, Houston, Texas.
2012 March 28
[This article is not available online without a paid subscription. — SPB webmaster]
"Contrary to Downeast LNG claims to the public, Northeast natural gas pipeline infrastructure is clearly continuing to grow at a significant pace and volume, making America's plentiful natural gas supply avaiable to Maine, New England and the Northeast, impeaching Downeast LNG's staving for natural gas argument."
Canaport LNG, said Godfrey, cancelled its fourth LNG storage tank due to lack of demand and he notes that Downeast is now proposing just one tank rather than the two it originally announced. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's comment: Downeast LNG's reducing its own proposed storage tanks from two to just one reveals that Downeast LNG doesn't actually believe its argument that the Northeast is "starved for gas."
Swank spoke of pipeline developments to carry gas north and east from the Marcellus and Utica, saying old sources of gas to the area — the Gulf Coast and, more recently, the Rockies — are scrambling to find new markets.
In a market flooded with natural gas and ethane, he said, "probably the largest arbitrage I've ever seen is what's happening in the natural gas and ethane markets in the U.S." With gas prices not much above $2 per thousand cubic feet here and four and five times that in Europe and even higher in Australia, he said, people worldwide are trying to figure out how to take advantage of the price spread by buying low here, transporting and selling high elsewhere."
With gas so cheap that it sometimes doesn't pay to take it out of the ground, the Marcellus has become "a giant gas storage field," Swank said. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
[This same article appears under "Gulf of Mexico," below.]
The company may invest in planned LNG-export plants in Maryland, Louisiana and Texas and natural gas fields near the facilities, Tetsushi Ikuta, general manager of the utility’s energy resources and international business development, said in an interview. He declined to give the cost of the investments.
[This same article appears under "Northeast," above.]
The company may invest in planned LNG-export plants in Maryland, Louisiana and Texas and natural gas fields near the facilities, Tetsushi Ikuta, general manager of the utility’s energy resources and international business development, said in an interview. He declined to give the cost of the investments.
Speaking at a conference this week, Cheniere Energy CEO Charif Souki said that South America, rather than Asia, is the better market for US LNG exports, where LNG could displace diesel as the fuel for power generation.
Cheniere Energy Inc plans to file a formal application in July or August to build a second liquefied natural gas export plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast, the company's chief executive officer told investors on Tuesday.
Once expected to be a major importer, the United States now has up to a century's worth of natural gas supply, prompting plans to ship the cheap fuel to thirsty markets in Europe and Asia where prices are up to five times higher. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
JUNEAU, Alaska — On the eve of what's expected to be an intense state House debate on a proposed in-state natural gas pipeline, a group of Canadians visited Juneau to remind state officials that they're standing by to help with an alternate route through Canada.
The pipeline would be massive -- 48 inches in diameter, and capable of pushing anywhere from 4.5 to 6 billion cubic feet of natural gas through the system each day. The higher volume could only be achieved if state-of-the-art compressors are used.
The Canadians said just as Interior Alaskans want to get access to natural gas to lower costs and promote development, so do residents of Canada’s Yukon Territory. Its capital of Whitehorse and new mining operations would all like access to the cheaper, clean-burning fuel.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is requiring Jordan Cove Energy, a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon, to submit a new application now that the facility would be used to liquefy and export natural gas instead of importing it.
However, FERC officials say that the associated Pacific Connector Pipeline has not been asked to file any new applications, and that the pipeline’s certificate of convenience and necessity is still valid.
That certificate gives the Pacific Connector the ability to use eminent domain to acquire easements on private land. The pipeline would connect Jordan Cove’s coastal export terminal to natural gas suppliers at a major hub in Malin, Oregon. The 36 inch pipeline would run directly across several hundred private properties.
FERC staffer Paul Freidman told the crowd that the agency won’t allow Jordan Cove to build the facility using the approval they were granted three years ago for an import terminal. [Brown, red & bold emphasis added.]
More than 30 braved Tuesday's rain for the nearly two-hour tour on the North Spit, pausing at every new location to ask more questions. Opponents were easy to spot in their red anti-LNG buttons, shirts and signs.
Following the tour, Jordan Cove held an open house with representatives from eleven of the major government agencies and private companies working on the LNG project set up to answer the public's questions. About 130 people toured the open house, many from out of town.
1) Sabine Pass Liquefaction; 2) Freeport LNG Expansion and FLNG Liquefaction; 3) Lake Charles Exports; 4) Carib Energy (USA); 5) Dominion Cove Point LNG; 6) Jordan Cove Energy Project; 7) Cameron LNG; 8) Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P. and FLNG Liquefaction; 9) Gulf Coast LNG Export; and 10) Cambridge Energy
Webmaster's comment: There are applications from 9 entities to export domestically-produced LNG.
SINGAPORE: Indonesian state utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) is looking at the possibility of importing natural gas from North America to make up for a shortfall in domestic supply for power generation, a senior executive said on Wednesday.
Gas exports and U.S. government incentives to encourage its use in vehicles may undermine chemical makers' confidence that prices will remain low, Jim Fitterling, executive vice president for energy and feedstocks at Midland, Michigan-based Dow, said Wednesday in a speech at the IHS World Petrochemical Conference in Houston.
A consortium of companies comprising South Korea's Samsung C&T Corp and Korea Gas Corp. as well as Japan's Mitsui & Co. has completed the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal in Manzanillo, Mexico, and started test runs.
The Manzanillo terminal consists of two 150,000-kiloliter tanks and a facility that can gasify and deliver 3.8 million tons of gas annually. Gasified natural gas from the terminal will be supplied to nearby power plants and cities, the statement said.
2012 March 26
Webmaster's comment: Contrary to truth-denying Downeast LNG, who wants you to believe the Northeast is "gas starved," the Northeast is becoming a "giant gas storage field."
Yet that is what is happening now over plans to export liquefied natural gas from the US. When the FT reported last week that ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and BP were working towards a preliminary agreement on a $40bn-plus project to export LNG from Alaska to Asia, Ed Markey, a Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts, immediately denounced it as “a threat to American manufacturers, farmers and families”.
Webmaster's comment: The Financial Times is a UK company, and the UK imports a lot of LNG, meaning US LNG exports would be in the UK's interests.
This is the second time Jordan Cove has undertaken the FERC permitting process to build an LNG terminal here. In 2009, Jordan Cove received a permit to import LNG to Coos Bay. After receiving that permit, Jordan Cove announced a plan to build a facility that could also export LNG, which required a separate permit.
Jordan Cove Energy Project on Friday told the U.S. Department of Energy that it is seeking long-term authorization to export LNG to any nation with which the United States does not have a Free Trade Agreement.
Webmaster's comment: The Jordan Cove LNG terminal site in Coos Bay is eminently inappropriate, according to SIGTTO terminal siting best safe practices (see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more).
Eight years after initially proposing to build an import terminal for liquefied natural gas on the North Spit of Coos Bay, backers of the controversial Jordan Cove Energy Project are starting their regulatory odyssey anew.
Backers of the first, a group of Texan energy developers who sauntered into Oregon packing a $100 million private equity bankroll, were looking to build 30 miles up the Columbia River from Astoria. They got off to a quick start, spending freely to win federal and local approval. But they packed their bags after exhausting their cash stores -- the victims, they said, of bureaucratic inaction.
A second proposal near the mouth of the Columbia in Warrenton, this one backed by a New York-based holding company, seems terminally stuck in the regulatory mud, though its backers always insist they're not dead yet.
Then there's Jordan Cove, underwritten by a Canadian energy company, Veresen Inc. Intially seen as a longshot because of its lengthy and expensive pipeline, the project eventually emerged as the slow and steady front runner.
Webmaster's comment: The similarities between LNG proposals in Oregon and Passamaquoddy Bay are uncanny.
Japanese LNG buyers are weighing the option of importing shale-gas based LNG from Canada and are hoping to import it on a pricing basis linked to Henry Hub or other gas benchmarks, instead of the more traditional -- and generally so far more expensive -- oil benchmarks such as the Japan Customs Cleared crude oil price, according to industry sources.
Through the trade pact with resource-rich Canada, Japan also wants to ensure stable supplies of resources, especially natural gas. Resource-poor Japan imports almost all of its natural gas as well as crude oil. It imports natural gas in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and is by far the world’s largest LNG importer.
A new study by NATS [subscription required] titled, "Competitiveness of US LNG Exports in Asia," finds that increased U.S. LNG exports will not result in dramatic price increases for domestic natural gas. The study also addresses the competition between U.S. and Australian LNG exports to serve the Asian LNG market and concludes that increased U.S. LNG exports will not drive Australian LNG export projects out of business.
2012 March 25
[W]ith no possibility of a gas line from the North Slope to Southcentral Alaska being completed in time to plug the pending gas supply shortfall, PRA’s 2010 report concluded that, in the absence of sufficient drilling to maintain production, the only viable option for sustained supplies of Southcentral utility gas would be the import of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, into the region.
In March 2010 Tom Walsh, managing partner of PRA, characterized the Southcentral gas supply situation as an economic conundrum with no certain answer. The accelerated drilling program needed to maintain gas supplies would be expensive and thus translate to a need for higher gas prices. But drilling by gas producers tends to be driven primarily by the producers’ needs to meet commitments in gas supply contracts: The pricing in those contracts needs to be high enough for drilling viability. However, given the current cost of LNG on the Pacific Rim, the import of LNG would appear to be an expensive option. And a June 2011 study by Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas concluded that sufficient new Cook Inlet gas could be developed to meet supply needs through 2018 to 2020 at lower gas prices than alternative sources of supply.
Webmaster's comment: Alaska has been selling off its natural gas via LNG to Japan since 1969. Now, Alaskans find themselves with a natural gas shortage — even though Alaska has 12% of the entire US natural gas resource under the state's surface. All the while, Alaska is working on a way to deliver even more LNG exports. Whose interests are being addressed?
House Speaker Mike Chenault's bill to create a natural gas pipeline from Alaska's North Slope to Southcentral is moving through the Legislature even as oil producers talk about moving ahead on a $40 billion project that would make the small line all but irrelevant.
At a time when many Alaskans are struggling with huge winter heating bills, pressure is mounting on legislators to solve the decades-old problem of how to get North Slope gas to major markets [via LNG to Asia or pipeline to the lower 48 states] -- siphoning off some for use in state along the way.
Despite new natural gas discoveries in Alaska’s Cook Inlet utilities in the region will still experience shortages of gas supply by 2014 due to declining production in maturing fields, according to a new study of Cook Inlet gas reserves and regional demand released Monday.
The only practical alternative to deal with the shortfall is the import of liquefied natural gas, said Pete Stokes, commercial manager with Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska, an Anchorage-based consulting firm.
“The PRA report just emphasizes what we’re been concerned with for some time, that there is a lot of talk about new gas resources out there but no one is bringing it to market. We need to see results,” said John Sims, spokesman for Enstar Natural Gas Co., the Southcentral regional gas utility.
ConocoPhillips owns and operates a liquefied natural gas plant at Kenai that the company had planned to mothball. However, the plant is now being kept open on a year-by-year basis with incremental shipments being made to customers in Asia.
Webmaster's comment: There's a shortage of natural gas for Alaska's consumers, but Alaska continues to export its natural gas to Asia. Brilliant.
The super-early spring in the US is bringing with it two things: terrible allergies due to high pollen count and really low natural gas prices due to too much inventory. Natural gas hit another low today [Friday] with a 4% drop. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's comment: Downeast LNG's proposed project would not reduce the price of natural gas.
- Our pricing system is based on short-term supply and demand, and storage facilities are limited. It is very easy for supply to overwhelm the system, and prices to drop very low in response, if there is a mismatch.
- US demand for natural gas has been fairly flat for the last 10 years, regardless of price. Of the four major uses for natural gas ((1)residential heating, hot water, and cooking; (2)commercial heating, hot water, and cooking; (3) industrial demand; and (4) electricity), only electrical use has been growing.
- Supply does not drop very quickly, even if prices fall, because producers need to continue to extract natural gas in order to repay loans and to comply with use-it-or-lose-it lease terms. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's comment: So much for Downeast LNG's claims that the Northeast is "gas starved," especially considering the 28 interstate natural gas pipelines being expanded or added in the Northeast.
2012 March 23
The bipartisan Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard, unanimously approved of the Broadwater construction and operation plan but, in 2008, the state Department of State shot down Broadwater's Coastal Zone Management Act application, finding the project was not consistent with the state's coastal zone policies. The U.S. Department of Commerce supported that decision in April 2009.
Bloomberg reports that the Arctic Spirit, an LNG vessel owned by Teekay LNG Partners and chartered by Morgan Stanley, is transporting an LNG cargo from the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana to the Sodegaura LNG import facility in Tokyo, Japan. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's comment: One more LNG re-export demonstrates the domestic natural gas glut — and hard luck for ill-sited and ill-timed Downeast LNG.
There is still on the table a plan to build a natural-gas pipeline from the North Slope to Alberta, Canada, and from there to the American Midwest. But the phenomenal increase in the amount of gas being derived from shale in the lower 48 has again put that plan on hold.
A likely agreement among oil majors BP, Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips may result in construction of a gas pipeline from the North Slope to the state's southern coast to produce liquefied natural gas for sale to China and other Asian nations. The estimated cost: $40 billion to $50 billion.
HB9, a priority of House Speaker Mike Chenault, is meant to further empower AGDC in its effort to advance a small-diameter pipeline that would run from the North Slope to south-central Alaska. The push to advance an in-state line stems largely from frustration with lack of progress on a major gas pipeline that would carry gas from the North Slope to market [as in LNG exporting —SPB webmaster] but also have off-takes for in-state delivery.
WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) - The Energy Department is delaying the release of a study on liquefied natural gas exports until late summer, which will push back its decisions on about seven applications to export the fuel, a spokeswoman said on Friday.
The Obama Administration has been awaiting for the report so it can have an in-depth analysis on how to proceed on demands by energy companies to export natural gas as prices fall to 10-year lows on a widening glut of the resource. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's comment: Either way, the US is drowning in domestic natural gas, mooting the ill-sited and unfortunate Downeast LNG proposal.
2012 March 22
U.S. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., told oil giants BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil his natural gas export bills now in Congress would block a proposed $40 billion pipeline to export Alaska natural gas to Asia.
Markey said his suite of bills prohibit liquefied natural gas exports in two ways. One bill requires natural gas extracted from federal lands to be sold to U.S. consumers (Keep American Natural Gas Here Act). The other bill prohibits the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from licensing LNG terminals used for export of domestic gas (North America Natural Gas Security and Consumer Protection Act).
Exxon, BP Plc (BP/) and other oil companies are embroiled in a six-year-old lawsuit over their leases to the Point Thomson oil and gas field on Alaska’s North Slope, estimated to hold 300 million barrels of oil and 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
“We’re still in a joint discussion phase regarding an effort that would evaluate a North Slope liquefied natural gas pipeline [sic],” Natalie Lowman, a ConocoPhillips (COP) spokeswoman, said in an phone interview.
As for the possible LNG project, Lowman said: “We’ve focused on evaluating the economic viability of an LNG project from the North Slope to south-central Alaska.” The evaluation includes considering a possible LNG facility that would liquefy gas for potential exports, she said.
...The first issue to clear up is the existing lease to gas fields on the North Slope, which dates back to 1977, and upon which the companies have never acted. The governor and the companies hope to reach an agreement on extending the leases as early as next week.
Alaska has proved reserves of 35 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and potential (undiscovered) reserves totalling another 236 trillion cubic feet. Right now, that gas is stranded and essentially worthless, both to the state and to the producers. A new pipeline and liquefaction plant would change that, provided that the companies can line up customers.
To make a guess at what might happen: Alaska and the oil companies will reach an agreement on extending the lease, but by the time all the studies and plans are completed (which could be never), the gas on the North Slope will still be in the ground, just as stranded as it ever was.
ExxonMobil's Canadian affiliate Imperial Oil is considering options for LNG exports of gas produced from the Horn River shale in British Columbia under a lease that Imperial shares with ExxonMobil. Imperial President and CEO Bruce March stated that Imperial hoped to complete a full-field development plan for Horn River this decade, according to a report in Platts LNG Daily [subscription required]. The report also states that Imperial is in discussions with competitors for possible development of the Central Mackenzie Valley in Canada's Northwest Territories.
However, when the gas production started to rise as the country entered into the famous gas glut, the discovery of gigantic shale gas reserves in United States rendered importing LNG unfeasible as natural gas prices went down massively. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Natural Gas Highlights
- The Commission vacated the authorizations issued to Crown Landing and Texas Eastern to construct and operate an LNG terminal in Gloucester County, NJ and pipeline facilities connecting the terminal to Texas Eastern facilities in PA.
- Dominion filed to construct and operate its Allegheny Storage Project which will provide 125 MMcf of firm transportation capacity and 2.5 Bcf of working gas capacity for shippers from proposed pipeline and storage facilities in MD, OH, WV, and PA to Northeast markets.
- Liberty Natural Gas filed to withdraw its Liberty DWP Project. This project would have provided 2,400 MMcf/d of new capacity from a proposed LNG facility located Offshore NJ to onshore interconnections with interstate pipelines.
- Jordan Cove commenced the Commission’s pre-filing process for its Jordan Cove Liquefaction facility in Coos Bay, OR. This facility will have a liquefaction capability of 900 MMcf/d.
Webmaster's comment: LNG import projects are dropping out, while domestic natural gas availability via new pipelines is growing.
Downeast LNG apparently does not learn from its own and others' mistakes.
Of three possible supplying countries – the US, Algeria and Qatar. Strange as it may seem, the US gives the best price even despite being the most distant country. Within the next few years the US will turn from a gas importer into a major gas exporter. US exporters have already signed contracts for LNG supplies with Japanese Sumitomo, British EDF Trading, Spanish Fenosa and Chinese ENN Energy.
Webmaster's comment: Remember when Gazprom scoffed at the US shale gas boom, and planned on supplying 10-percent of US natural gas requirements via Russian LNG exports?
2012 March 21
Dominion has a strong interest in the subject. The company plans to reconfigure its Cove Point terminal on the coast of Maryland, originally designed for importing liquefied natural gas, or LNG, in the last decade, for use as an export terminal.
"Natural gas on Friday in the cash market went below $2 (per million British thermal units, a measure of energy content)," he said — a price not seen since 1999, and earlier than that if it were adjusted for inflation. "The producers need the incentive to continue to drill. We think providing markets is one of those incentives." [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's comment: Dominion's Cove Point LNG import terminal nearly went out of service in 2011 due to lack of use. It is not surprising that the company wants to keep the facility in use by exporting — the company's interest is in profit, not loss, regardless of the impact on US energy security.
“To do Alaska LNG [export], you need a big, big, big committed customer,” says Neil Beveridge, an analyst at Bernstein Research. “There’s only one country in the world that can do that, and that’s China.”
[I]t is better to export from Alaska than from the lower 48, because it does not deprive any US consumers of cheap gas. As Mr Sullivan puts it: “You aren’t making consumers in Ohio compete against consumers in Asia.”
According to people close to the negotiations, the three companies and state authorities hope to reach agreement next week over a long-running lease dispute at Point Thomson, a large oil and gas field on Alaska’s North Slope.
A settlement would clear the way for the companies [BP, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips] to hasten their commercial assessment of a large gas pipeline to Alaska’s southern coast, from where LNG could be shipped to China and other Asian countries. Sean Parnell, Alaska’s governor and a champion of the project, told the Financial Times he was “cautiously optimistic” that the plan would be able to move forward.
Anthony T. Clark and FERC Commissioner John R. Norris, both nominated for FERC Commissioner appointments, testified yesterday before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. According to a report in Bloomberg BNA [subscription required], both are expected to be confirmed. During the hearing, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) chided FERC for being too lax in its environmental review of LNG terminal projects and proposed that FERC apply a "finding in the national interest" standard before such projects could be approved. Commissioner Norris responded that he could support such a standard for new LNG terminals but applying the standard to proposals to modify existing terminals for exports would be "a stretch."
On a related issue, LNG Daily [subscription required] reported today that Senators Wyden (D-Ore.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) expressed concerns yesterday about potential rising gas prices that could result from increasing gas exports. Senator Wyden called for a "time-out" on U.S. Department of Energy approval of gas export permits until the domestic energy security, national security and price and environmental impacts of increased gas exports can be assessed. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
On November 26, 2010, PHMSA published a final rule in the Federal Register (75 FR 72878) titled: ``Pipeline Safety: Updates to Pipeline and Liquefied Natural Gas Reporting Requirements.'' That final rule added two new sections, 49 CFR 191.22 and 195.64, to the pipeline safety regulations that concerned the establishment of a national registry of pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) operators. New operators use the national registry to obtain an Operator Identification (OPID) Number and existing operators use it to notify PHMSA of certain actions, including company name changes, certain construction activities, and project planning.
It is leading the charge on the twin challenges of natural gas – the difficulty in transporting it and the glut in North America – by pursuing liquefied natural gas exports to premium markets, and by investing in technology that processes raw gas into far more valuable liquid or chemical products or pioneers it use as a transportation fuel.
Shell, which expects North American natural gas prices to recover slowly, will this year produce more gas than crude on an oil-equivalent basis for the first time. And it expects gas to continue to grow as a proportion of its production in the coming years. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
2012 March 20
The city received a glimmer of receptivity from the adversarial former owners of the 73-acre Weaver’s Cove site concerning its sale, since it no longer will be used for offshore transport of liquefied natural gas.
“The company is presently seeking a buyer for the property. If you have any prospective buyers who are interested in and financially capable of purchasing the site, please have them contact Mr. Ted Gehrig,” [Hess Energy senior vice-president Gordon Shearer] wrote Flanagan in a two-sentence letter.
According to an article in Platts LNG Daily [subscription required], a report released Monday by Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska finds that if gas production from Alaska's Cook Inlet region does not keep pace with rising demand, utilities in that area may need to consider alternative sources of gas for heat and power generation, including LNG imports. The report was commissioned by three Cook Inlet utilities.
Webmaster's comment: Alaska is running off in all directions.
Our government also needs to expedite the development of the LNG infrastructure so that we can tap into a growing LNG market which is going to be otherwise filled in the next few years through long term contracts among competing exporting countries such as Qatar and Australia. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and government should ensure the regulatory processes do not under-mine our ability to compete for this wealth. Revenues from this development are immense and will go a long way toward assisting the challenges we face in health care, education and social services. Too many of us seem okay with losing sight of the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars just waiting to enter government coffers can be lost by holding back industries for no good reason.
Webmaster's comment: As was learned with the LNG proposals for Passamaquoddy Bay, FERC-required open houses do not require the developers to provide any specific information about their proposed projects, and allow developers to include large doses of misinformation, without any consequences from FERC.
2012 March 19
The city’s shiny, new $4.2 million state-of-the art fire boat — dedicated with great fanfare just six months ago and funded in part by federal stimulus money — has already suffered pump problems and is being yanked out of the water for a hull inspection, the Herald has learned.
In addition to voicing general waterfront safety concerns, Menino has long complained that tankers delivering liquid natural gas in Boston Harbor are vulnerable to terrorists. Just last May, in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death, Menino and top public safety officials issued a warning about the devastating potential of an LNG attack. [Red emphasis added.]
An agreement between the energy arm of Australian investment bank Macquarie and Freeport LNG to jointly market liquefaction capacity from the Texas terminal has fallen apart, sources close to the issue told ICIS Heren on Friday.
The reasoning behind the break up could not be confirmed, but there had been widespread speculation that the recent string of downgrades to both Macquarie Group and its banking arm - Macquarie Bank credit ratings - by major ratings institutions had put a rift between the two companies.
U.S. Energy Information Administration projections show natural gas prices will remain stable and affordable for at least the next two and a half decades, said Dan Whitten, spokesman for America's Natural Gas Alliance.
"For the longer term, all indications support the U.S. Energy Information Administration's outlook that America will capitalize on its vast domestic supplies of natural gas, that this clean energy resource will play a larger role in meeting our nation's growing energy demand and that the market will be able to meet this rising demand for generations to come," Whitten said in an email. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
The governments of Canada and British Columbia, K-M L-N-G and the Haisla Nation have agreed to establish the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission as the regulator for the proposed liquefied natural gas facility, which will be located on the Haisla Nation reserve.
During a swing through Astoria Saturday, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., addressed concerns at his annual Clatsop County town hall about exporting liquefied natural gas from Oregon port facilities, saying he believed the proposals could undermine the country’s energy independence and drive up costs. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Can the United States' natural gas supply support a robust LNG export market while maintaining steady gas prices for consumers here at home? During today's OnPoint, Charif Souki, CEO of Cheniere Energy Partners, explains why he believes natural gas prices could drop to $2 per million British thermal units. He discusses his company's pending permit with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an LNG export terminal in Louisiana and talks about the existing international market for exports.
"We are, in fact, producing it with drilling a lot of wells and there's more gas than we know what to do with." [Red & bold emphasis added.]
The global shipping community has been faced with an onslaught of new environmental protection measures over the past decade and one of the most difficult sets of requirements to define, configure and implement has been the proposed ballast water management regime.
The new convention was developed to control the bio-ecological threat to the marine environment caused by invasive alien species in ships’ ballast. Recognising that ships differ in type, size and configuration, the BWM Convention initially allows for two standards of ballast water management - the Ballast Water Exchange Standard (BWE) - which is only acceptable until January 2014 or 2016, depending on the ship’s ballast capacity - and the Ballast Water Performance Standard (BWP) where ballast water must be treated prior to discharge.
For LNG and LPG carriers and oil tankers, the close alignment of berthside ballasting with cargo transfer operations is critical due to the limited working envelope of the jetty-mounted marine loading arms. Tied to a strict port turnaround schedule, the ship’s master has to be confident that the BWT system will function as specified. The shipowner needs to be assured that the BWT system will perform as specified and not put the vessel at risk of a port state detention.
Webmaster's comment: The BWM Convention apparently does not attend to bio-ecological consequences of ballast water uptake that would kill or deplete plankton, eggs, and fish from waters around LNG import terminals.
2012 March 16
TOWANDA - A Sayre resident is urging the Bradford County commissioners to pass a resolution opposing plans to ramp up the export of liquefied natural gas from the United States because he says it will raise domestic natural gas and electricity prices and cause a "mad rush" to drill more in the United States.
An administrative law judge overseeing the ongoing rate case at the Cove Point LNG terminal issued an order today continuing the suspension of the case's procedural schedule until April 16, 2012 to allow the parties to finalize a settlement and file it with FERC.
“There is scheduled routine maintenance across our facility planned for this year,” Billson Hainsley, a company spokesman in Port of Spain, Trinidad, said today in an e-mailed reply to questions. “Routine maintenance outages of varying durations and scopes of work have been planned for each of our four trains, beginning in March.”
In January, Gov. Sean Parnell set a March 31 deadline for alignment of the parties under “an Alaska Gasline Inducement Act framework,” a deadline that he has said was born of his frustration with the lack of progress on a line. He said alignment must include work on a large-diameter liquefied natural gas pipeline [sic] to tidewater that would allow for overseas exports.
Webmaster's comment: Regulations prohibit LNG piping outside of LNG facilities; thus, there would not be a "liquefied natural gas pipeline." It would be a natural gas pipeline supplying a natural gas liquefaction and export facility (LNG terminal).
The agreement establishes the BC Oil and Gas Commission as the regulator for the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on the Haisla Nation reserve near Kitimat, British Columbia. This will enable the BC Oil and Gas Commission to begin the regulatory and engineering review of the proposed Kitimat LNG facility. The agreement will also enable the project to move forward while federal regulations are established under the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA).
TEX reported that the United States Jordon Cove Energy Project LP has submitted pre filing request to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to obtain LNG export license. The company plans to produce and export six million tons per year of LNG at the terminal on the north spit of Coos Bay, Oregon state and officially to file an application in October 2012.
Jordan Cove had initially in mind to construct LNG import terminal. However, in the wake of changes in natural gas supply demand balance in the US, it switched its original plan to LNG production and export project.
2012 March 15
Save Passamaquoddy Bay, a local LNG opposition group, submitted a market analysis to FERC that concludes that natural gas markets in the U.S. Northeast do not require the additional gas that would be imported by the planned Downeast LNG regasification project. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- At the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico along the Texas-Louisiana border, Cheniere Energy could be just weeks away from breaking ground on the first natural gas exporting facility [known as Sabine Pass LNG] ever built in the lower 48 states.
Opponents of the project want the government to take fracking into account when considering issuing permits -- both for the Sabine Pass facility and seven others like it that have applications in with federal authorities. If all eight plants were authorized, the nation could wind up exporting one-fifth its current natural gas output.
In a March 13, 2012 letter to FERC Chairman Wellinghoff, General Electric Oil & Gas's CEO Dan Heintzelman expressed his support for Cheniere's Sabine Pass LNG Liquefaction Project, stating that GE is an anticipated supplier of U.S.-manufactured equipment for the project.
FERC has released a report detailing its February 28, 2012 Onsite Environmental Review of the Corpus Christi LNG liquefaction and export project, including photographs of the project site and a map of the proposed pipeline route.
FERC’s failure to act at a monthly meeting today might cause “significant price increases” for engineering services and construction delays, Souki said in a March 7 letter to FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, who hasn’t yet replied.
World Gas Intelligence reports that Selwyn Lashley, deputy permanent secretary for energy, said that floating LNG liquefaction could be an option worth exploring if significant natural gas quantities are discovered in deepwater offshore Trinidad & Tobago. [Subscription required]
The board also released data on liquefied natural gas imports into Canada at its lone terminal, Canaport in New Brunswick. Some 318 million cu m (11.2 Bcf) berthed in December, down 3.2%, from the 328.5 million cu m (11.6 Bcf) that was reported last December.
Three cargoes arrived --- two long-term from Trinidad and Tobago, while the third was a short-term cargo from Qatar. The NEB defines short-term volumes as those bought under a contract for less than two years. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
His comments come as Canadian gas exports to the United States hit a 20-year low, as a result of rising U.S. production of shale gas. The declining sales to the U.S. market – and the plummeting price of Western Canadian gas, which is now trading at levels not seen since the 1990s – underscores the importance for Canadian producers to open new export routes to Asia.
U.S. gas imports, which come primarily from Canada, have hit their lowest levels since 1992 as a result of rising domestic production and a warm winter, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
In a statement released this morning, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that the free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and South Korea goes into effect today. Going forward, South Korea, a major buyer in the global LNG market, will be a country with which the United States has an FTA in force for the purposes of Department of Energy LNG export authorizations.
As recently as 2005, many experts thought that the United States would need more liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports. Now, the U.S. industry is gearing up to export gas, including LNG. The Energy Department recently approved Cheniere Energy’s plan to export 2.2 billion cubic feet a day of LNG from a facility in Louisiana that was originally intended to take in imports. The department is considering applications from seven other companies. If the Energy Department approves them all, the United States would be capable of exporting a quantity of gas equal to almost a fifth of current consumption.
Some increase in U.S. exports appears inevitable: Under current law, the federal government must approve gas sales to countries, such as Canada, Mexico and South Korea, with which the United States already has free-trade agreements. For other countries, the government must grant approval unless it finds that “such action is not consistent with the public interest.” We don’t think opponents can make that case persuasively.
Updated information relating to all active and planned LNG terminals- Provides historical data from 2005 to 2011, forecast to 2016- Capacity information of all liquefaction and regasification terminals- Provides operator information for all active and planned terminals- Identifies key trends and issues in the LNG industry- Information on the top companies in the sector including business description, strategic analysis. Key companies covered are Dominion Resources, Inc., Southern Union Company and Sempra Energy - Strategy changes, R&D projects, corporate expansions and contractions and regulatory changes.- Key mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, private equity investments and IPOs.
2012 March 13
“For several reasons, it is more expensive to distribute natural gas in New Brunswick than it is in larger markets such as Ontario, but gas is still the lowest cost source of energy available in New Brunswick,” Jarvis said.
Brent Staeben, a spokesman for New Brunswick Energy Minister Craig Leonard, said New Brunswickers are switching away from natural gas to other energy sources, including geothermal, solar and wood pellets, “so government is acting to make the system sustainable.” [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's comment: Small, spread-out markets make natural gas distribution difficult for distribution companies to justify — the return on investment is too small and risky. Rural Maine suffers from this same dilemma, making it unlikely that small communities in eastern Maine — even if near the natural gas pipeline — would ever have residential access to the natural gas.
A valuable takeaway from this article is that geothermal energy is viable in Maine and New Brunswick. Geothermal provides a constant source of energy, and can reduce heating expenses by 70%. Solar also is viable, although it is not as constant as geothermal.
Yesterday, FERC issued a letter order approving the settlement agreement for the second LNG cargo to be delivered to the Cove Point LNG import terminal to maintain "cryogenic portions of the [t]erminal cooled to the temperature necessary to receive LNG imports." [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's comment: Cove Point LNG is receiving so little LNG due to lack of need that it is having difficulty keeping the facility cool enough to remain operational. This is a prime example of how Downeast LNG president Dean Girdis' statements that the Northeast is "gas starved" and that his project is needed are patently untrue.
In a statement to DT on Monday, NEC [North Energy Central, SRL] said as part of the first stage the plant would be built in 30 months and start generating 300 megawatts on combined cycle operation. “This project includes the construction of a storage tank of 160,000 cubic meters, gasification equipment and the facilities for the offloading of the liquefied natural gas (LNG).”
Now it turns out [the public opposed to LNG imports to California] were absolutely right. All over America and Canada, LNG receiving and warming terminals are being converted into LNG exporting and liquefaction facilities. That's because gas produced from shale in the Rocky Mountain region and other locales has shut up all those who ever said LNG would be needed in California and many other places. Now the same people are saying shale can make America into a net energy exporter.
As early as last December, Mike Stice, senior vice president for natural gas at Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy, told a meeting of investment analysts that "Every (LNG) operator on the Gulf Coast has a liquefaction plan."
California's populist opposition to LNG is now protecting the state from the perils associated with exporting LNG. Meanwhile, the nearest place to California where plans are proceeding for a facility that could be adapted both to ship and receive LNG is just outside Coos Bay, Ore., where popular opposition grows stronger by the week. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Industry observers suggest U.S. LNG export capacity will exceed 6 billion cubic feet per day (6 bcf/d). Six bcf/d is about 9% of the current U.S. daily gas production of 64 bcf/d, the largest output in the world.
And if even only one-third of the US LNG export terminal projects go through, Norway's Arctic Securities says the industry will still require 28-37 additional vessels – the equivalent of 50-60% of the current order book (which is roughly 64 new ships).
Japanese officials will meet with a US delegation headed by Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman later Tuesday to ask that Washington allow exports of LNG to Japan, the world's biggest importer of liquefied natural gas, a Japanese delegate said.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has issued a press release responding to an article published by the Wall Street Journal last week which suggested that the ACC opposed the export of U.S. natural gas as LNG. The press release states that the group does "not support natural gas exports bans." The Wall Street Journal has amended its previous article to reflect this correction.
2012 March 12
[T]he security issues were real. Deliveries to the terminal were to require a buffer zone almost as large as the size of the inlet connecting the Sound to the Atlantic Ocean, with the effect of closing off the Sound every time a new LNG shipment came through. It didn't make much sense economically, either. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
"We are presently owned by a group of investors who don’t think gas prices will ever go above $4. I want to be owned by investors who live in a part of the world that believes gas prices will never go below $10."
Foster Wheeler AG (Nasdaq: FWLT) announced today that a subsidiary of its Global Engineering and Construction Group has been awarded the basic design and front-end engineering design contract by Complejo GNL del Este, a Consortium formed by Dominican and Colombian companies that participate in the energy sector of these countries, for a new LNG receiving terminal and jetty to be built in San Pedro de Marcorís in the Dominican Republic.
The US is the world's largest producer and consumer of natural gas. It produces more than 600 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas annually, but it still needed to import almost 100 bcm in 2011. Beginning in 2005, domestic natural gas production began steadily increasing, and according to projections by the US Energy Information Administration, production will increase by an average of about 1 per cent per year through 2035. However, these projections are likely too conservative, having been calculated using production numbers from 2010 and before and thus not having fully taken into account a significant increase in relatively new methods of natural gas extraction from shale formations.
The planning and construction of an LNG export facility can take anywhere from three to seven years, though delays are likely. Concerns over the environmental impact of the LNG plant and associated infrastructure threaten to delay the start of construction for a facility in Jordan Cove, Oregon, and with five of the seven planned facilities being located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, there is the potential for hurricane damage to delay the construction process. Even without delays, full export capacity will not be reached for years. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
The U.S. has seen a massive surge in gas production over the past few years, along with a corresponding jump in projections for the country's natural gas reserves, as companies continue to tap new unconventional gas resources.
The Journal reports that environmental groups such as the Sierra Club have already spoken out against the export of natural gas out of concern that it would accelerate harmful production practices. Meanwhile, industry groups like the American Chemistry Council have warned against implementing policies that could lead to higher gas prices, as the current low costs could spur substantial job creation.
I think Indonesia can benefit from this situation because with the growing supply of gas in the US, we can divert the LNG from Tangguh that is allocated for US-based Sempra Energy. Sempra already fulfills its gas need from the US domestic market. We hope we can divert around 90 percent of Sempra’s total gas allocation [3.7 million tons a year]. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
The market’s longer-term outlook is clouded to a great extent by the U.S. gas glut, which pushed U.S. gas prices below $3 per mmBtu, a bargain compared with the Asian spot price of $15 per mmBtu LNG-AS. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
LNG exports would also lower world LNG prices, hurting LNG exporters in other countries, something the Sierra Club should support, since making LNG has such a high carbon footprint. [Brown & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's comment: So, the US should make and export LNG — with an admittedly higher carbon footprint than plain natural gas — because doing so would reduce the use of LNG? What circular absurdity.
Now Japan, already the biggest importer of Canadian coal, is hoping to find new suppliers of the liquid natural gas, or LNG, that fuels about 30 per cent of the country’s power. Mr. Ishikawa said he must be careful not to interfere in Canada’s own debates about pipelines and exports, but Japan is obviously watching with interest the progress of pipelines that might, as early as 2015, carry Canadian natural gas to be converted to liquid on the B.C. coast, and shipped to Asia.
2012 March 10
[O]n Saturday, residents in the coastal town of Searsport voted 297 to 165 against a proposed moratorium that would have slowed or possibly derailed a proposal to build a 14-story-high storage tank for propane brought to Maine by tankers. In a straw poll eight years ago, townspeople voted against the idea of an LNG terminal.
For decades, [Searsport residents] opposed efforts to develop the state-owned Sears Island. The poll eight years ago put Searsport among several Maine towns where residents opposed proposals for LNG terminals.
Webmaster's comment: Propane and LNG have some common hazards to public safety within a radius of the ship and terminal: asphyxiation, fire, thermal-radiation burn, and explosion. Also, ballast water uptake and entrainment at the offloading ship can deplete plankton, fish eggs, and small fish. Both fuels are hydrocarbons, so they produce air pollution when burned.
For many years starting in 1979, utility companies like Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Gas Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. told Californians they desperately needed LNG to replaced dwindling supplies of domestic natural gas that's shipped here via three major pipelines from Colorado, Alberta and the Permian Basin area of Texas and Oklahoma.
Fast forward 25 years to the middle of the last decade and resource exploitation companies from around the world, led by Australia's BHP Billiton Ltd., employed the same scare tactics in efforts to build LNG receiving plants near Eureka, Long Beach, Oxnard and other points. Each of these facilities was killed primarily because of local public opposition based on both environmental and economic factors. Because of the cost of facilities and ships, LNG would most likely have pushed gas bills upward significantly for generations.
All over America and Canada, LNG receiving and warming terminals are being converted into LNG exporting and liquefaction facilities. As early as last December, Mike Stice, senior vice president for natural gas at Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy, told a meeting of investment analysts that "Every (LNG) operator on the Gulf Coast has a liquefaction plan." [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's comment: Populism around Passamaquoddy Bay has also been working; Look all around the bay and you'll see no LNG terminals.
The U.S. saw a buildup of LNG import facilities following the natural gas price spike in 2000. The shale gas revolution then rose and turned gas prices around, giving U.S. gas a significant price advantage on global markets.
Three export facilities have been approved in the lower 48 — in Freeport, Texas; Sabine, La.; and Hackberry, La. Other applications are pending, hinting that spending on LNG export projects may have yet to really take hold in the U.S. [Red emphasis added.]
2012 March 9
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved Broadwater's permit application in March 2008, but the FERC approval was subject to a ruling by the N.Y. secretary of state that the plan is consistent with the state's coastal management policy. The state rejected Broadwater's proposal. The energy company then appealed to the U.S. commerce secretary to override the state's objection, as federal law allows, but the U.S. Secretary of Commerce denied the appeal in 2009, dealing what was to be a fatal blow to the plan. Though Broadwater said at the time it was examining its legal options and might appeal the commerce secretary's denial, it never did so. [Red emphasis added.]
The liquefaction project will pull nearly 500 million cubic feet (Mcf)/day of supply from the existing US pipeline infrastructure, Bryngelson said, but could also draw gas from offshore production in the US Gulf.
Excelerate's announcement follows the recent push by greenfield LNG import terminals in the US Gulf to reverse the plant's intentions and export US natural gas as LNG. But all of the current US liquefaction schemes are for onshore sites.
Another US-based company is seeking to develop an FLNG production facility off the Atlantic coast of the US state of Georgia, Cambridge Energy CEO Sherman Bryant said in an interview that the company intends to export smaller-scaled LNG cargoes from a 2mtpa FLNG unit that will be supplied with US pipeline gas.
Cambridge is aiming to begin exports by 2017 and is eyeing the opportunity to bring LNG to offtakers needing less than 300MW of power, such as the island nations in the Caribbean, which are heavily dependent on higher-priced fuel oil. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Cheniere said it needs authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the planned Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana no later than Thursday, March 15, or the project could face "significant price increases."
While it was once thought that the United States would need to import LNG to meet is energy demands, advances in drilling techniques have led to a glut of shale gas output in recent years. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
We have now heard this from Governor Sean Parnell, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, ConocoPhillips CEO Jim Mulva and BP CEO Bob Dudley. They join the chorus of the 138,000 Alaskans who said the same thing at the polls in 2002 and in nearly every opinion poll since. And last November, the Alaska Municipal League, after reviewing all proposed gas line projects and hearing from their proponents, overwhelmingly passed a resolution supporting construction of the All Alaska Gas line from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez for LNG shipment to the Asian market. The Alaska Gas line Port Authority has recently released results of several studies....
"We are creating new and exciting opportunities by diversifying our natural gas sector, strengthening job prospects for British Columbians and opening the door to new clean energy projects," she added. "My government is positioning liquefied natural gas as a cornerstone of British Columbia's long-term economic success."
Energy companies have found so much natural gas in U.S. shale rocks they want to begin exporting it. But the push is creating a political clash with an unusual set of opponents who think American gas should stay in America.
Natural Gas — US Natural Gas Consumption
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports are expected to fall by 0.3 Bcf/d (28 percent) in 2012. EIA expects that an average of about 0.7 Bcf/d will arrive at terminals in the United States in both 2012 and 2013, either to fulfill long-term contract obligations or to take advantage of temporarily high local prices due to cold snaps and disruptions.
2012 March 8
Webmaster's comment: FERC previously approved construction of the 1.0 Bcf/d Broadwater Energy-Transcanada/Shell LNG offshore terminal in state waters of Long Island Sound, New York. The project would have been located 9 miles from Long Island, NY, and 11 miles from Connecticut.
This is additional evidence that the Northeast has plentiful supply of domestic natural gas, mooting Downeast LNG.
In a letter dated yesterday, Broadwater Pipeline LLC informed FERC that the company has decided not to construct its planned LNG import and regasification project and asked that the Commission vacate its previous authorization for the project. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Falling natural gas prices in the U.S. due to a supply glut have made companies look to export gas in the form of liquid natural gas. And with LNG in Europe and Asia fetching four to six times what natural gas gets in the U.S., that explains why Cheniere chose to expand its import terminal to allow for exports. In fact, the terminal will be the first such facility in the U.S. in 40 years. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
The company is also supplying gas to ConocoPhillips, which has contracts to supply Chugach Electric Association, and owns and operates the Kenai natural gas liquefaction (LNG) plant. That facility is now in a suspended state but the making of LNG from gas will resume in April or May in anticipation of LNG cargo shipments to customers in Asia in the last half of 2012, ConocoPhillips spokeswoman Natalie Lowman said.
The North American natural gas boom has made the U.S. the biggest natural gas producer in the world with the cheapest gas, but whether it becomes a big exporter is yet to be seen. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
During the morning plenary, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Chief Executive Officer James Hackett suggested that it will be difficult for producers to convince landowners to develop resources on their properties and then export that gas to other countries. [Red emphasis added.]
He explained that exporting products made from natural gas, such as plastics, fertilizers and other chemicals would generate eight times more value for the U.S. economy than just exporting the LNG alone.
Cheap gas feedstocks will even help Dow commercialize innovations that could bring about the green energy revolution. Liveris said that Dow’s solar shingle product — a solar panel integrated into roofing shingles — has been installed on 3,000 homes in Colorado and that full scale roll out will start in the third quarter of 2012 with availability in California and Texas. The cost of the solar shingles to homeowners, he said, will be cheaper than traditional solar panels, but more expensive than asphalt-based roof shingles. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Perhaps one good thing to come out of last year's disasters in Japan was a new-found drive to take a serious look at cutting the costs in the nation's gold-plated power-generation system. But one plank of that—a plan to import liquefied natural gas from the U.S. over the long term—may not be the panacea to lower costs that its proponents argue.
2012 March 7
US-based Excelerate Energy is developing what could be the US's first offshore floating liquefaction (FLNG) production plant, a facility that would be positioned to sell US Gulf pipeline natural gas as LNG, the company's CEO said on Wednesday.
Webmaster's comment: Unlike Downeast LNG and FERC, Excelerate Energy seems to "get," and adhere to, the LNG industry's terminal siting best safe practices. Offshore terminal siting via liquefaction ship keeps the fuel safely away from the public — and makes permitting easier. (SIGTTO = Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators. For more on their LNG terminal siting best safe practices, see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization .)
“Driven predominantly by the recent advancements in unconventional oil and gas technology, we continue to see attractive opportunities to invest behind the domestic exploration and production of oil and gas. Royalties represent an important extension of this opportunity set and offer an attractive risk/reward for our investors in the current environment,” said Robert Antablin, a Director at KKR who leads the firm’s royalties investment strategy.
This notice announces the opening of the scoping process that the Commission [FERC] will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EIS. Please note that the scoping period will close on March 30, 2012.
[Apache Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Farris] said he expects a decision on Kitimat in 2012, though he’s not stuck on dates and doesn’t want to be tied into a decision by a certain time. Apache previously had planned to make a decision early this year.
Negotiations to find a major Asian customer for a liquefied-natural-gas exporting terminal in Canada continue and a long-term contract is expected this year, Apache Corp. Chief Executive G. Steven Farris said Tuesday.
Separately, Apache has no plans to curtail natural-gas production in the U.S. despite low commodity prices. The company isn't drilling for natural gas but its current production is profitable as it is still being sold above the company's operating costs of 50 cents per million cubic feet of gas, Farris said.
Webmaster's comment: Apache Corp.'s break-even cost of just 50-cents per million cubic feet (mmcf) is considerably less than the $4.00 sale price that some claim is required for US natural gas drillers to be profitable. At a $4.00/mmcf sale price, Apache would be making 8 times its cost. At the current price of around $2.50/mmbcf, Apache Corp. is making around 5 times its natural gas drilling cost.
Qatar is seeking contracts to sell liquefied natural gas to Asia for as many as 20 years as the prospect of booming supplies from Australia, the U.S. and Africa raises the likelihood of a slide in prices. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's comment: A slide in international LNG prices limits the profit opportunity for US LNG exporters — LNG export projects may see the same burst bubble that LNG import projects are suffering from.
EIA expects that an average of about 0.7 Bcf/d will arrive at terminals in the United States in both 2012 and 2013, either to fulfill long-term contract obligations or to take advantage of temporarily high local prices due to cold snaps and disruptions.
Webmaster's comment: The US lower-48 has 12 LNG import terminals with a capacity of 19.035 Bcf/d, so total projected average US LNG imports for 2012 and 2013 amount to less than 4% of this country's entire LNG import capacity. It just keeps getting worse for Downeast LNG.
Natural gas prices are bordering on decade low levels this week as above normal temperatures across the nation push usage down. The dramatic drop in natural gas prices, combined with the United States' abundant supplies has prompted fuel switching by utilities away from coal into cheaper gas. Moreover, the large supply of natural gas has pushed the government to consider boosting exports of liquefied natural gas. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
"If the US government doesn't allow exports in any meaningful quantities, the US will remain an outlier in that there will be lower prices here than in any other part of the world," Sam Laidlaw said at the CERAWeek conference in Houston.
Webmaster's comment: Laidlaw seems to think that lower natural gas prices for consumers is a bad thing.
With new techniques to access shale gas in the United States resulting in dramatic increases in supply and as a consequence, lower prices for consumers, terminals originally constructed to import LNG are now attempting to convert to LNG export terminals. Multiple applications to approve LNG export facilities are pending before the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). This has caused some in Congress to complain that exporting LNG to foreign markets may result in negative economic and environmental consequences in the U.S.
Currently two applications are before FERC to convert existing LNG import facilities in the US to export facilities. An additional three facilities in the U.S. have been identified by project sponsors as potential export sites. In addition, there are three sites on the west coast of Canada that are listed as proposed or potential locations for LNG export terminals. Total export capacity of proposed and potential sites in North America exceeds 10 Bcf per day. The process of building export terminals and securing long-term delivery contracts could take the better part of a decade. A new liquefaction and export terminal is estimated to carry a price tag in excess of $5 billion. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
2012 March 6
Planned upgrades will reduce flaring and improve efficiency
Two additional pieces of equipment will be installed during the project – a fourth boil-off gas (BOG) compressor and a new booster gas compressor. Currently, Canaport LNG collects boil-off gas from within the process and storage areas and this BOG is then re-condensed and sent to the gas pipeline via the main processing equipment or, if in excess, burned off directly through the flare. Rather than routing the BOG through the Terminal’s main processing equipment or flaring the excess, completion of this project will allow the BOG collected to be routed directly from the BOG compressors through the new booster compressor, increasing the pressure of the BOG up to pipeline operating pressure and exporting the BOG directly to the pipeline. [Red emphasis added.]
On March 2, 2012, Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP ("Cove Point") filed a proposed settlement which would govern the terms of the second purchase and sale of LNG supplies needed to maintain the cryogenic portions of the Cove Point LNG terminal cooled to the temperature necessary to receive LNG imports. The settlement, necessitated by the lack of LNG imports to the terminal and supported by Cove Point's firm import shippers, is temporary and covers only the second purchase and sale of gas and related cost recovery mechanism. A permanent mechanism to address the cooling issues will be proposed in a comprehensive settlement to be filed later this March 2012 in Cove Point's rate case in Docket No. RP11-2137.
On a related issue, today the Baltimore Sun published an op-ed opposing the use of the Cove Point LNG Terminal to export natural gas, citing environmental concerns related to shale gas production which would presumably be the source of the gas to be exported.
Webmaster's comment: Cove Point LNG nearly went out of service in 2011 due to lack of use. It received so few LNG cargos that it nearly warmed up, disabling it from accepting LNG. Now, Cove Point LNG is proposing to export domestic-source LNG, supplied by copious natural gas supply from the nearby Marcellus Shale field in Pennsylvania.
This simply adds to the already-strong evidence that the US Northeast has plentiful natural gas supply.
Proposed Cove Point facility would set back the state's efforts to make environmental progress
In recent years, the natural gas industry plunged into a reckless gold rush across communities nationwide with dirty, dangerous drilling and "fracking" practices that are exempt from many clean air and water laws. Now the gas profiteers have realized that there's even more money to be made by liquefying the gas and shipping it overseas — and so what if that sends gas prices here at home through the roof?
Ultimately, the only safe, smart and responsible way to address our nation's energy needs is to look beyond dirty energy and focus on clean sources like wind, solar and geothermal, as well as energy efficiency. Dollar for dollar, investing in clean energy will put more Americans to work than wasting money on perpetuating our national addiction to dirty, 19th century fossil fuels. We are supposed to learn from the past, right?
Exporting natural gas is not in our country's best interest. That's why the Sierra Club filed a protest before the U.S. Department of Energyopposing the Cove Point LNG export facility and asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencyand White House Council on Environmental Quality to oppose it as well. It's simply irresponsible to speed up fracking in order to ship LNG overseas. If we can't get natural gas out of the ground safely, we should just leave it there. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Cambridge Energy, LLC has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Energy seeking authority to export approximately 0.038 Bcf of LNG per year over a 25-year period from terminals in the Atlantic Southeast and along the Gulf Coast to any country in South America, Central America, Asia-Pacific or the Caribbean with which the United States has a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Cambridge notes that it expects to file an application for long-term LNG export authority to non-FTA countries in the same regions.
The Gulf Coast Environmental Labor Coalition (GCELC) has filed a response with FERC to Sabine Pass LNG's supplemental environmental information submitted to the Commission last month. GCELC's response is available in FERC's eLibrary under Docket No. CP11-72.
So far nine domestic export terminals have been proposed, including three in Louisiana, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The facilities could export close to 14 billion cubic feet per day, more than 20 percent of the country’s daily natural gas production — if they are built.
It doesn’t make sense to ship LNG to Asian countries so they can use low-cost labor to make products that will then compete with American goods, Bowser said. It’s also a bad idea to create high natural gas prices by draining the supply through exports and putting the country at a competitive disadvantage. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
US private-equity firm Blackstone Energy has infused $2bn into Cheniere Energy's proposed 18 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) Sabine Pass LNG export terminal, moving the only such US project with full regulatory approval closer to construction.
With estimated construction costs for the US Gulf facility's first two liquefaction trains around $4.5bn to $5bn, Blackstone Energy's investment provides needed financial backing for the project's first phase as Cheniere courts lenders for the rest of the project's funding.
FERC has requested public comments by March 30, 2012, addressing the scope of the planned Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that the Commission will produce for the Aguirre LNG GasPort project proposed for offshore Puerto Rico. The Commission will also host two public meetings in Puerto Rico regarding the project on March 20 and 21, 2012.
Alaska's North Slope and offshore are estimated to have 236 trillion cubic feet of conventional gas, not including shale and other unconventional sources of gas. To put that in perspective, Qatar, one of the leaders in natural gas production, produced 1.8 trillion cubic feet of gas in 2009. In 2010, the United States consumed about 24 trillion cubic feet total.
[L]ast November, the Alaska Municipal League, after reviewing all proposed gas line projects and hearing from their proponents, overwhelmingly passed a resolution supporting the building of the all-Alaska gas line from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez for LNG shipment to the Asian market. The Alaska Gasline Port Authority has recently released the results of several studies.
[T]he U.S. could quickly become self-sufficient in natural gas and begin to export its surplus. Canadian natural gas exports have been declining since 2008 as demand weakened during the recession at the same time as U.S. domestic production was growing. Canada’s dilemma then is a double whammy — the loss of an export customer and a new competitor in global markets. Even worse, the market U.S. firms are targeting is China, the same buyer Canada has in its sights. China plans to increase the share of natural gas in its energy mix from four per cent to 10 per cent through imports and domestic production....
The burgeoning natural gas ambitions in the U.S. offer Canada, and especially B.C., still another opportunity. It takes power to cool natural gas to -162 C, the temperature at which it liquefies — between 250 megawatts and 1,600 MW, depending on who’s providing the estimates. If the U.S. uses coal-fired plants to generate the electricity needed to make LNG, it will defeat the object of the exercise. B.C. could supply clean hydro power not only to the two, three or four LNG plants that might arise on the B.C. coast, but to U.S. LNG producers.
The report also covered another 135 liquefied natural gas carriers and bulk carriers associated with LNG export plans for Kitimat, which Transport Canada deemed was “not a significant increase and does not cause concerns with vessel traffic density.”
Webmaster's comment: Note that LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay are banned by Government of Canada, due to public safety policy. It is not a decision by Transport Canada.
Let’s review the impact of the LNG export scheme. The export of LNG will lead to additional shale gas extraction, induce additional coal consumption for electricity generation, and increase greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Rural areas are already getting taken over by gas companies and contractors, with their drilling sites dominating the landscape. Drilling accidents, including the release of hydraulic fracturing fluids into surface waters, are routine.
Instead of worrying where the members of these manufacturing sectors will site their plants, people who believe in a sustainable way of life should be doing whatever it takes to curtail these corporations’ harmful activities. The reasons to take action now are numerous: their operations require tremendous amounts of fossil fuels as feedstock, cause horrific damage to the environment, and produce illness and death among human and nonhuman animals, to name only a few.
...Allowing LNG exports will simply make a terrible situation, caused by the current rush to drill for shale gas, even worse by creating new markets and greater demand for U.S. natural gas. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Assistant Secretary Christopher Smith told House Representative Edward Markey in a February 24, 2012 letter that DOE will not issue final orders on pending applications to export LNG to non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries until the second half of a two-part study examining LNG exports issues has been completed and DOE has analyzed the results. Smith confirmed that the first part of the study is complete and the second part is expected to be completed this Spring. The letter was released as part of a House Democratic Natural Resources Committee Report on issues relating to increased U.S. gas exports that has not been officially adopted by the Committee. [Red emphasis added.]
Robert Brooks of Los Angeles-based RBAC Inc., which develops energy market models, says that North American LNG exports will affect natural gas prices but the impact will depend on how fast exports grow and how big the market becomes.
Brooks explained: “Given that the industry is de-gearing away from dry gas due to prices in the sub-$3 range, it is unreasonable to expect it to increase production enough between 2016 and 2018 to export 6 bcf/day without a substantial increase in price.” [Red & bold emphasis added.]
U.S. imports of liquefied natural gas in January slid 60.8% from a year earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Energy data. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that Energy International Corp. (EIC) hopes that its U.S. Department of Energy authorization to export up to 200 Bcf over a two-year term will induce a party interested in exporting LNG to buy EIC. Aside from the authorization granted last year to Sabine Pass LNG, a representative for EIC said that its license is the only one that permits the export of U.S. natural gas as LNG to countries with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement.
Webmaster's comment: Energy International Corp. is a United Arab Emirates, Dubai-owned company.
HOUSTON, TX, Mar 05, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- In the news release, "33 Sites Contenders for North American LNG Export, Zeus Survey Finds," issued earlier today by Zeus Development Corporation, we are advised by the company that the first sentence of the third paragraph should read "The Potential Gas Committee of the Colorado School of Mines" rather than "The American Gas Association's Potential Gas Committee" as originally issued. Complete corrected text follows.
"North America's natural gas landscape has changed so radically in the past five years that many sites once considered for import terminals now offer advantages as export plants," Bob Nimocks, president of Zeus, said. "Former liquefaction and export sites such as the once-proposed Yukon Pacific near Valdez, Alaska, might offer advantages as well." [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's comment: One wonders if any of the 33 potential LNG export terminal sites have been compared to SIGTTO terminal siting best safe practices in order to determine their appropriateness as to public safety (see LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more on this issue).
The American Gas Association's Potential Gas Committee estimated in its last assessment that the United States holds almost two quadrillion cubic feet of undiscovered gas. Canada and Mexico also contain vast undiscovered natural gas reserves. British Columbia alone is estimated to have 1.1 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas. The supply would feed 20 world-scale export plants for more than 100 years. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
2012 March 1
MADISON -- The town will not build a natural gas pipeline through central Maine and will instead turn over the responsibility to former competitor Kennebec Valley Gas Co., town officials announced at a public hearing Wednesday night.
In return, Madison will be able to distribute natural gas within town limits, Bob Hagopian, selectmen chairman, told about 100 people who gathered in the auditorium of Madison Area Junior High School.
Webmaster's comment: This demonstrates the availability in Maine of plentiful supply of natural gas.
FALL RIVER — Mayor Will Flanagan has offered an olive branch to the CEO of the Hess Corp. asking if the company would like to join with the city in finding a buyer for the 73-acre Weaver’s Cove property where an LNG terminal was once proposed.
Shearer told The Standard-Times that the property is “for sale, actively,” although he didn’t discuss price. The company paid almost $17 million for the property in 2006, and today its assessed value is just above $11 million.
Webmaster's comment: This article, and a previous one, indicate that there is a for sale sign on the property; however, there is no contact information (no phone, address, email, or web address) on the sign. In a previous attempt by a reporter to obtain sale information from Hess Energy, the reporter indicated he was told to contact whomever was indicated on the for sale sign.
But the greatest influence on the viability of a pipeline from Alaska to Alberta may come from Asia’s expanding energy market. TransCanada’s pipeline proposal includes the possibility of rerouting the pipeline from the North Slope straight to Alaska’s southern shore, where it would be shipped to Asia by tanker as liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Another factor is the potential for ice-breaking LNG tankers that could ship the gas directly from the North Slope to Asia, making the need for any kind of pipeline unnecessary. [Red bold emphasis added.]
[This article provides some history on the LNG projects in British Columbia, and on the Haisla First Nation, written from the oil industry's perspective. — SPB webmaster]
Across northern British Columbia, negotiations are taking place for a pipeline project – and it’s not Northern Gateway. The proposed Pacific Trail Pipeline is a critical link for the Kitimat LNG venture. If built, it would carry 700 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from Summit Lake to a new liquefaction plant near Kitimat, where Apache Canada Ltd., together with EOG Resources Canada Inc. and Encana Corp. plan to build a multibillion-dollar export facility.
WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. Energy Department will not attempt to control natural gas prices by revoking approvals granted for gas export terminals, a department official said, as lawmakers and green groups stepped up their attacks on attempts to send U.S. gas abroad.
The Energy Department has already approved one export application from Cheniere Energy for its Sabine Pass terminal, and other companies including Southern, BG , Dominion and Sempra have also requested permission.
Approving these terminals would raise prices for domestic consumers and undermine the nation's transition away from coal and foreign oil to cleaner natural gas, according to a report released by Markey on Thursday.
The department is conducting a study due out later in the spring that would analyze the economic effects of allowing more exports. The department has said it would not approve more applications until this report is completed. [Red bold emphasis added.]
Washington, D.C.— Today multiple environmental organizations called on the President's chief environmental advisor asking for a full environmental analysis of plans to export liquefied natural gas (LNG). The letter to the Council on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency sounds the alarm that the agencies considering these export plans are not analyzing or disclosing the environmental impacts of the increased hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking' that would be necessary to support major LNG exports.
"LNG facilities like the one proposed for Cove Point are intended to ship natural gas extracted in this country off to foreign lands, said Michael Helfrich of Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper. "The result is that gas drillers can ship American gas overseas in order to make more money, but this increases the price of natural gas for us, and our communities and environment get ravaged by the shale gas "gold rush", including thousands of miles of new pipelines and new compressor stations through the Susquehanna Watershed. It may be a win for the gas drillers but it throws the idea of American energy independence out the window." [Red bold emphasis added.]
The “battle over energy exports is intensifying” and at the same time we have no coherent national export policy were the primary takeaways from an event called “Power Play: Fossil Fuels and U.S. Export Strategy” held this morning at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Coal, refined petroleum products from tar sands, and natural gas are currently being exported to hungry overseas markets, and the event was designed to look at the implications of these decisions.
Panelists Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) bemoaned the fact that the United States does not have a national strategy on exports. Wyden accused the country of being “on autopilot” to an energy export policy, which could have tremendous economic, social, and environmental consequences. [Red bold emphasis added.]
Pressure to export liquefied natural gas is rising, propelled by large shale gas finds and low domestic gas prices. The Department of Energy recently approved a permit to retrofit a Louisiana LNG import terminal so it can handle exports. More such permit applications are pending. Legislation to block federal approvals of new terminals until 2025 and prohibit the export of gas from federal lands has been introduced in Congress amid fears that large exports will prove costly for U.S. consumers. [Red bold emphasis added.]
Japan is seeking to buy part of the combined 30 million metric tons a year of LNG to be shipped from Cameron in Louisiana, Cove Point in Maryland and Freeport in Texas, Hisayoshi Ando, director general of natural resources and fuel at the trade ministry, said in an interview.
Tokyo Electric Corp. and Tokyo Gas Co. had a joint deal to buy LNG from a plant in Alaska owned by ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil Corp. The contract, signed in 1969, expired in March 2011, Tokyo Electric’s spokesman Ryo Shimizu and Tokyo Gas spokesman Takeshi Ujiie said Sept. 14, declining to say whether the companies still buy spot cargoes from the project. [Red & bold emphasis added.]