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"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
                                           — US Senator Susan Collins, 2012 Jun 21



 

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Passamaquoddy Bay & LNG

2012 August


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2012 Aug
31

Gulf of Mexico

Alaska

British Columbia

Oregon

Canada

United States

Mexico

Russia

28

Maine

Gulf of Mexico

Alaska

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27

Gulf of Mexico

Alaska

Oregon

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Guam

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Northeast

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Alaska

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22

Maritimes, Canada

Maine

Gulf of Mexico

British Columbia

Oregon

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20

Gulf of Mexico

Caribbean

Alaska

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Mexico

Norway

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New Brunswick

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Northeast

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Caribbean

Alaska

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Hawaii

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13

Gulf of Mexico

Alaska

Oregon

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Southeast

Gulf of Mexico

Alaska

Oregon

Hawaii

Canada

United States

Persian Gulf

8

Gulf of Mexico

British Columbia

Oregon

Hawaii

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7

Caribbean

Oregon

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Oregon

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New Brunswick

New England

Southeast

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Caribbean

Alaska

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2012 August 31

Gulf of Mexico

Cheniere seeks approval for LNG plant in Corpus Christi — Reuters

Cheniere Energy has applied for regulatory approval to build a liquefied natural gas export plant at Corpus Christi in Texas, just weeks after it began work on a similar venture at its Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, the company said on Friday.

Corpus Christi is one of 11 such projects awaiting approval in the United States as gas production continues to outpace demand thanks to output from prolific shale plays that have transformed the U.S. energy outlook. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: The proposed Corpus Christi LNG export terminal production would be equivalent to about two existing US LNG import terminals' import capacity.

Cheniere applies to build Texas LNG export/import facility — Platts

FERC in 2005 authorized Cheniere to build an import terminal at the site, but it was never constructed. The company is now seeking to build a bidirectional LNG facility and a related pipeline project. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Exxon Mobil signs Qatar deal — Stocks and Shares

Golden Pass Products (GPP), a joint venture between state-owned Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil, stated in filing that, “This application represents the first part of GPP’s planned two-part request for authorization to export domestic natural gas in the form of LNG. GPP will file a separate application with the Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, to export domestically produced LNG to any country with which the US does not have a free trade agreement requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas, and which has or in the future develops the capacity to import LNG via ocean-going carrier, and with which trade is not prohibited by US law or policy”.

Alaska

PDF fileFourteenth report to Congress on progress made in licensing and constructing the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline (Aug) — Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

The Commission will not move forward to the next step in its NEPA process until TC Alaska decides whether it will proceed with a pipeline to serve North American markets (Alberta option) or embarks on a project to liquefy and export natural gas to foreign markets (LNG option). The Commission will keep its Docket No. PF09-11 open to maintain the existing record and accept filings of quarterly status reports and related items. [Red emphasis added.]

British Columbia

East Africa emerges as a threat to LNG players (Aug 30) — Alberta Oil, Edmonton, AB

That big oil companies like Shell could be reconsidering their investment in Australian LNG should be of concern to the Canadian oil patch.

After all, Canada wants to export LNG to overseas markets (mainly Asia ones) as well. Three projects – including a 12 million tonnes per year export facility proposed by Shell Canada – are slated to be built on British Columbia’s coast. And other companies, like Malaysia’s Petronas, are interested in doing the same.

But Canada suffers from the same problems Australia does. With production from the oil sands alone expected to double by 2020, labor is in short supply and it’s not cheap when you get it. The Canadian dollar is also riding high compared to the U.S. greenback. So Canadian LNG projects figure to be expensive and cost overruns are a concern.

Oregon

LNG pipeline dispute goes to Court of Appeals — Daily Journal of Commerce, Portland, OR

County commissioners approved the company’s application in 2010. However, the three members who approved the application were replaced in the November election. The new members reserved the decision.

County officials argue the new commissioners had authority to reconsider the previous approval. They add appeals of that position should properly go through the state Land Use Board of Appeals and not the court system.

USDA unit says LNG project will bisect protected wetlands — Law360 [Paid subscription]

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service contends that part of a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal [Jordan Cove Energy Project LP] and pipeline [Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline] development will bisect lands protected under the Wetland Reserve Program, according to comments filed Thursday with a federal agency.

Locals denounce $1.6B pipeline — Herald and News, Klamath Falls, OR

Area landowners lambasted a proposal to build a $1.6-billion natural gas pipeline while union members, hungry for jobs, spoke of its economic benefits at public meeting Wednesday night.

United States : Energy regulators offer extra time to comment on planned LNG pipeline and export terminal (Aug 30) — Power Industry News, Tulsa, OK

Energy legislators [sic; regulators] are offering the public extra time to comment on a planned liquid natural gas (LNG) pipeline and export terminal in Southern Oregon.

The locals can now until October 29th go online and state to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) what matters to include in an environmental review.

The planned Jordan Cove terminal in Coos Bay would daily export around a billion cubic feet of LNG to markets in Asia.

Canada

Indian oil companies eye investment opportunities in Canada's LNG sector (Aug 30) — Hydrocarbon Processing

NEW DELHI -- India’s oil companies are exploring opportunities to invest in Canada’s liquefied natural gas projects and import gas from there, junior oil minister R.P.N. Singh told lawmakers in a written reply in lower house of Parliament Thursday.

United States

LNG exports from the US to Asia seen as profitable - for a limited time (Aug 30) — AOL Energy

Japan's Fukushima disaster, with the subsequent shutdown of most Japanese nuclear power plants, mean US exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia will be profitable to 2020 – but maybe not beyond.

[S]ignificant new LNG capacity is being built in Australia, said Smith, and with US additions, LNG could be in surplus in Asia after 2020.

The experts agreed the current huge price differential between Asia and the US cannot survive over the long term. Already, buyers are looking to use contracts indexed to the Gulf Coast's Henry Hub natural gas price benchmark to hedge their price exposure in Asia, Smith said, and as contracts come up for renewal, buyers are demanding new terms.

Webmaster's comment: The LNG export goldrush appears destined to the same misfortune for latecomers as the LNG import goldrush.

PDF fileEnergy infrastructure update for July 2012 — FERC Office of Energy Projects

Natural Gas Highlights

  • Equitrans placed into service its Sunrise Pipeline Project which will add 314 MMcf/d of additional capacity in WV and PA for the movement of Marcellus Shale gas to Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic markets.
  • The Commission vacated the authorization issued to Cameron LNG to expand its existing import terminal near
    Hackberry, LA. The expansion would have increased the deliverability by 850 MMcf/d.
  • Oregon LNG and Oregon Pipeline commenced the Commission’s pre-filing process to construct and operate a 1,250 MMcf/d liquefaction terminal near Warrenton, OR, and the associated pipeline facilities to interconnect with Northwest.
  • Northwest commenced the Commission’s pre-filing process to construct and operate facilities in WA necessary to
    provide 750 MMcf/d of firm transportation capacity to the proposed Oregon LNG liquefaction facility in OR.
  • Texas Eastern commenced the Commission’s pre-filing process to construct and operate its TEAM 2014 Project.
    This project will provide 600 MMcf/d of new capacity for the movement of Marcellus Shale gas to the Northeast, Midwest, and Gulf Coast markets.
Webmaster's comment: Stop! Downeast LNG says that cannot happen!

Mexico

Mexico natural gas demand buoys Kinder Morgan — MSN Money

Mexico has three main sources of gas supply: domestic production, imports from the U.S., and liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports. It has 15 pipeline points along the Mexico-U.S. border and two LNG import facilities at Altamira and Ensenada. It is currently building another LNG import facility at Manzanillo. The country's demand is met by 5 to 6.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of domestic production, around 1.5 to 2 bcfd of LNG import and the rest through imports from the U.S. Mexico's current plan shows 500 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of imports from the U.S. by 2024, but the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects U.S. exports to Mexico to rise to 2.33 bcfd by 2025. Even if Mexico is able to keep its imports from the U.S. steady, which seems unlikely, it will still offer a massive opportunity for the U.S. natural gas suppliers. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: The 2.33 bcfd of natural gas projected to be exported from the US to Mexico is equivalent to capacity of two US LNG import terminals.

Peru LNG cargo heads to Mexico (Aug 29) — LNG World News

The cargo is being hauled by the Ribera del Duero Knutsen, a 173,000 cubic-meter tanker owned by Knutsen OAS Shipping.

Russia

Russia: Shell-shocked from U.S. shale over Shtokman (Aug 29) — Forbes

It’s been coming for a long time, but Gazprom has finally canned its 3.9tcm Shtokman gas development in the Barents Sea.

[T]he numbers never added up. They looked tight before the international shale explosion and downright disastrous after – especially when you consider that North West Russian fields were designed to supply a ‘burgeoning’ U.S. LNG market in the early 2000s.

To put things into context, despite sitting on over 30% of global gas supplies, Russian LNG production accounts for less than 5% of global share. Moscow is basically a fringe LNG player in a global gas world.

Webmaster's comment: Readers may remember that as late as in 2009 Gazprom bragged it would be supplying 10% of the US natural gas requirement via Russian LNG (see "Gazprom to sell as much as 90% of Shtokman LNG in North America" — Bloomberg News). Then in Feb 2011, still wearing blinders, Gazprom indicated that US shale gas production would not hinder Russian LNG exports to the US (see "Gazprom ready for regular gas deliveries to USA" — ITAR TASS, Moscow, Russia, and "Gazprom heads for Atlantic" — The Voice of Russia, Moscow, Russia).

Russia and Downeast LNG have been wearing similar reality blinders — but unlike Downeast LNG, Russia has finally removed theirs. See the next article, below.

Ministry to adjust strategy due to shale gas boom — The Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia

The Energy Ministry plans to adjust its strategy for the period until 2030 because of the growth in shale gas production in the United States and liquefied natural gas output in the Asia-Pacific region, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, Interfax reported Thursday.

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2012 August 28

Maine

Falmouth joins natural gas study — Mainebiz, Portland, ME

Falmouth officials on Monday approved spending up to $15,000 to study options for linking the town to the Maritimes & Northeast natural gas pipeline, a move that proponents say will cut energy bills by 30% to 50% for residential and commercial customers.

Webmaster's comment: Downeast LNG wants the world to believe there is not enough natural gas in the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline to supply Falmouth without building the unneeded Downeast LNG terminal. The natural gas industry knows better.

Gulf of Mexico

World’s biggest LNG supplier, Qatar, partners with ExxonMobil in US export venture — Platts

Stop the presses: Qatar, which sits on two-thirds of the world’s biggest conventional gas field in its own territorial waters, has applied with ExxonMobil to the US Department of Energy for a license to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Port Arthur, Texas.

Converting the US Gulf coast LNG import terminal to produce and export the fuel would cost about $10 billion, QP and ExxonMobil have estimated, making the application a serious vote of confidence in the robustness of the US shale gas revolution. The unexpected explosion in domestic US gas production is still gaining momentum, causing North American gas prices to collapse and drastically affecting Qatar’s earlier plans to export LNG, the most expensive form of natural gas, to the US and eastern Canada.

Webmaster's comment: This confidence in the vast sea of US domestic natural gas is more cause for Downeast LNG's Dean Girdis and Kestrel Energy Partners to cry in their beer. When will they finally get sensible and cry "uncle"?

Alaska

Senators visit Peninsula — Peninsula Clarion, Kenai, AK

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, accompanied Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, on a tour of the Liquefied Natural Gas plant in Nikiski, as well as a production platform in Cook Inlet. The senators discussed natural gas production, which has fostered growth for more than four decades in Alaska, Murkowski said, and how that production fits into the national debate surrounding energy.

“I wanted to come particularly to listen to Alaskans,” Wyden said, “who feel strongly about exporting natural gas.

United States

Oil-linked natural gas pricing under continued pressure in Europe — AOL Energy

Coal that's being priced out of the US market by cheap natural gas is being burned instead in Europe, where it's cheaper than natural gas with prices traditionally linked to oil.

The resulting pressure is beginning to break down those links, and the differential between natural gas prices in the US and Europe could diminish significantly before any US liquefied natural gas (LNG) can be exported.

Russia could choose to dump gas in Europe and undercut the LNG market, depressing prices when US supplies arrive, said Rogers, or it could cut back deliveries and try to prop up its price. [Red emphasis added.]

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2012 August 27

Gulf of Mexico

Golden Pass files DOE application to export LNG — Oil & Gas Journal [Paid subscription]

Houston-based Golden Pass Products LLC last week applied to the US Department of Energy to export LNG from the Golden Pass LNG receiving terminal at Sabine Pass, Tex. The application filed with DOE is to export natural gas to nations with free trade agreements with the US; a similar application is planned for non-FTA countries. The proposed 15.6 million tonne/year, $10 billion project envisions new—but unspecified—infrastructure on the existing site, south of Port Arthur, Tex. Currently two loading berths for LNG tankers serve five storage tanks and have access to the Golden Pass export pipeline. The company said the expansion would be able both to import and export natural gas. A final i...

Alaska

Murkowski: Consider Asia for Alaska LNG (Aug 26) — Petroleum News, Anchorage, AK [Paid subscription]

Alaska for years has envisioned a multi-billion dollar pipeline that could carry North Slope natural gas through Canada to Lower 48 customers, but the best hope for a market may be Japan or other Asia countries, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Aug. 15....

Cost of heating fuel has Fairbanks, Bush hurting (Aug 25) — Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage, AK

[H]ow would you like to devote an amount equal to your home mortgage to paying your winter fuel bill? That's what is happening in Fairbanks.

Experts hired by our regional utilities point out that gas needs will exceed production by 2015 and we'll need to bring in gas from somewhere else. Imported liquefied natural gas is realistically the only solution and it won't be cheap.

It's a head-scratcher that we're still exporting gas as LNG from Kenai, meanwhile. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Oregon

Feds seek input on LNG tonight — The World, Coos Bay, OR

COOS BAY — Federal officials want the community’s input tonight on the environmental impact of building a liquefied natural gas export facility on the North Spit and a pipeline to serve it.

United States

Indian biggies bid for US LNG hubs — The Economic Times, India

MUMBAI: Reliance Industries, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and GAIL want to buy shares in liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals on the east coast of the United States for shipping gas to India at about $9.5 per million metric British thermal unit (mmBtu), which will be over 50 per cent cheaper than current imports.

"Indian companies with shale gas assets are interested in acquiring an operating interest in terminals to ship gas to India at less than $10," said a banker directly involved with the discussions, adding one such deal could by finalized before year-end. India is already the world's eighth-largest importer of LNG. Those imports could rise five-fold in the next decade as domestic gas output falls and demand surges.

Webmaster's comment: The US would be exporting natural gas at fire-sale prices.

Should the United States export natural gas? [Letters to the editor] (Aug 26) — The New York Times

Webmaster's comment: The following statements are taken from multiple letters to the editor regarding exporting US LNG.

A natural gas-fueled gas liquefaction plant consumes nearly as much gas as it liquefies, essentially doubling the carbon footprint of L.N.G. compared with pipeline gas.

The L.N.G. infrastructure (liquefaction plants, special ships) can only be justified by gas supplies and market prices that will remain stable for the decade or more necessary to recoup investments.

We finally have an alternative to foreign oil in the form of natural gas, and Mr. Levi wants to ship it overseas. I’m confused. Why don’t we keep this resource here? Use it here? If we don’t need it now, let’s keep it in the ground for later use.

In a few years we are likely to see shale gas production from countries with onshore conventional gas fields. The liquefied natural gas market will then favor producers close to gas consumers. In that market, United States gas exports will often be at a disadvantage.

How to stop natural gas exports [Blog] — Council on Foreign Relations, New York, NY

...Want to use natural gas as a more climate-friendly substitute for coal? Implement a carbon price, clean energy standard, or regulation that promotes greater use of gas. Natural gas prices will rise. As a result, the gap between U.S. and overseas natural gas prices will shrink. Some export projects will no longer be viable. Exports will thus decline.

How about natural gas as a transport fuel? Same thing....

None of these domestic policies, of course, would be easy to implement. But blocking exports isn’t an effective substitute. Barring exports would do far less than even mediocre climate policy to move natural gas into power plants. Moreover, it would actually undermine renewable energy, nuclear power, and energy efficiency. Its impact on natural gas use in transport would be negligible. People who want to see the United States make better use of its natural gas have only one option: they will need to promote those better uses directly.

Experts say US LNG export volumes could be limited — AOL Energy

[A]ll three experts said LNG is highly competitive and other international players won't stand still while US exporters enter the market.

Medlock said US LNG exports could exert "significant downward pressure on prices," particularly in Asia. He noted that major Asian consumers such as South Korea's Korean Gas Corp. (KoGas) and GAIL Ltd. have already signed long-term contracts with Cheniere Energy Partners for LNG from Cheniere's Sabine Pass liquefaction plant, to be operational in 2015.

Sierra Club sues to block Keystone XL Pipeline (Aug 21) — The Swamp Stomp, Raleigh, NC

Sierra Club has recently announced "Beyond Natural Gas" project. This program is intended [to] ban the export of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to overseas markets, stop natural gas fracking, and impose more regulations on the energy industry. Its long term goal is to eliminate the use of fossil fuels. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Guam

VideoVideo: GPA exploring LNG as oil alternative. High cost of power #1 complaint in consumer survey — Pacific News Center, Hagatna, Guam

Sanchez says GPA is always looking at ways to save customers including exploring the feasibility of [liquefied] natural gas.

"[Liquefied] natural gas is trending 15 to 20 percent cheaper than oil right now. There’s a revolution going on right now in the techonolgoy of liquid natural gas that is making it easier to discover and is opening up a huge supply of LNG globally through this new technology. So coutnries like Japan who’ve gone through the nuclear challenge and say they’re no longer building nuclear plants they’re going to LNG. Gpa’s looking to go over to liquid natural gas," Sanchez says.

Top

2012 August 24

Northeast

08.19.12 MS - Marcellus Shale update — WUSA9-TV, Washington, DC

Video[M]ore than a dozen natural gas pipeline projects are scheduled to go into service in the Northeast by the end of this year.

Webmaster's comment: As the Platts Energy video above discloses, over 12 pipeline projects are destined to relieve pipeline constraints delivering domestic Marcellus Shale natural gas to consumers and industry in the Northeast — something Downest LNG president Dean Girdis claims is impossible.

As every day goes by, a bigger leak appears in Downeast LNG's sinking proposal.

Gulf of Mexico

Gulf Coast LNG export responds to APGA protest (Aug 23) — LNG Law Blog

Gulf Coast LNG Export, LLC (Gulf Coast) filed an answer to the American Public Gas Association's (APGA) protest regarding Gulf Coast's application with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to export LNG. Gulf Coast's answer states that APGA's protest is not relevant to LNG exports to nations having a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States and that, for LNG exports to non-FTA countries, APGA has failed to overcome the presumption that such exports are in the public interest.

Excelerate lets contract for first US floating liquefaction — Oil & Gas Journal

Excelerate Energy let a contract to Houston-based OGS for topsides front-end engineering and design of Excelerate’s Lavaca Bay LNG floating liquefaction storage and offloading vessel. OGS is an engineering and project management company partnered with Samsung Heavy Industries.

The vessel will be the first floating liquefaction in the US, designed to export LNG from the Texas Gulf Coast by 2017. The contracted work involves naval architecture, hull structure, and topsides processing for up to 4 million tonnes/year.

Alaska

Selling Alaska natural gas to Hawaii: What would it take? (Aug 23) — KTUU, Anchorage, AK

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, was hoping to get a clearer understanding of what it would take for the two states to do business at a forum he held in Anchorage on Thursday.

Two representatives from Hawaii as well as industry experts weighed in. But once again, it seems that market forces, regulatory hurdles, geography and the lack of infrastructure conspire to keep Alaska’s gas from getting to where it needs to go.

One of the main barriers: Hawaii is not set-up to receive liquefied natural gas. It would have to spend about a half a billion dollars for a dock, a re-gasification plant and other facilities needed to convert LNG into power.

And while Cook Inlet is enjoying a renaissance of exploration, it is uncertain when there will be enough production to meet Alaska’s needs and sell the surplus to Hawaii. Industry experts at the table were cautiously optimistic about this possibility, but they also said the costs of developing Cook Inlet gas are likely to go up.

United States

GOP platform opposes U.N. global tax plans (Aug 22) — The Washington Times, Washington, DC

The move also could have the practical effect of complicating the ability of the U.S. to participate in such international accords as the Law of the Sea Treaty [UN Convention on the Law of the Sea — UNCLOS], which the U.S. Senate has never ratified, and successor agreements to the Kyoto global-warming pact.

Approved by the standing resolutions committee, the document will be presented to the full 168-member RNC for approval Thursday.

The resolution’s sponsor, Demetra DeMonte, an RNC member from Illinois and a founding member of the RNC’s Conservative Caucus, said the U.N. appears bent on encroaching on U.S. sovereignty. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Even the proposed GOP platform hinders Downeast LNG's false "innocent passage" claim. The US has no rights under UNCLOS. Thus, the US has no legal standing or recourse to oppose Canada's LNG ship prohibition in Head Harbour Passage and Passamaquoddy Bay. The Republican Party continues working hard to keep it that way.

Japan Tepco mulls importing 1-1.5 mil mt/year US LNG from 2016: source — Platts

Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Company is considering to import 1 million-1.5 million mt/year of LNG from the US at Henry Hub-linked gas prices under a long-term contract from as early as 2016 in a bid to lower its fuel costs, a source close to the matter told Platts late Thursday.

Unlike a number of other Japanese companies, which are securing natural gas liquefaction tolling agreements at proposed US projects with a view to export the LNG to countries with who US has no free trade agreements like Japan once approvals from the US Department of Energy has been received, Tepco is looking to sign a long-term contract instead, the source said. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: How is cheap pricing to Japan — depleating US natural gas resources — benefitting US consumers?

Top

2012 August 22

Maritimes, Canada

Supertanker passes Nova Scotia by en route to Saint John — The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

An LNG ship is seen off the coast of Chebucto Head near Duncan's Cove [Nova Scotia] in August.

“The ship is certainly off course and should be at the Canaport LNG Terminal at Saint John,” Zach Allen, an energy consultant based in Raleigh, N.C., said in an interview.

Allen said later in the day he received an anonymous tip the ship had to receive clearance after a trip to Japan. There is an invasive species of insect that would concern Canadian authorities, he said.

Maine

Natural gas and making the right choice for Maine (Op-ed column) — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

The state of Maine and the towns of the Kennebec Valley have an opportunity to bring millions of dollars in investment, hundreds of jobs and cheap, abundant natural gas to our region. We just need to make the right choice. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: This op-ed is about natural gas distribution pipelines in Maine. Downeast LNG wants the public to believe this cannot be happening without their proposed project. As the State of Maine and numerous communities in the state are well aware, there there is no shortage of natural gas in Maine. The problem is the lack of distribution pipeline infrastructure. Downeast LNG is a previous project with no future.

Gulf of Mexico

ExxonMobil affiliate files for LNG export authority/announces $10 billion export project — LNG Law Blog

Golden Pass Products LLC (GPP), an affiliate of Qatar Petroleum International and ExxonMobil, has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for authority to export up to 740 Bcf per year (approximately 15.6 million metric tons) of LNG from the existing Golden Pass LNG import terminal operated by its affiliate in Sabine Pass, Texas. GPP requests authority to export LNG to nations that have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States and requests such authorization for a 25-year term commencing on the earlier of the date of first export or 10 years from the date the requested authorization is issued. GPP states that it will file a separate application for authority to export LNG to non-FTA countries.

Exxon Mobil throws its weight behind U.S. LNG exports — Seeking Alpha

Exxon Mobil officially joined the fast expanding list of contenders to export US abundant natural gas via LNG. Golden Pass Products, Exxon's joint venture with Qatar Petroleum International, announced on August 17 its intent to build a $10 billion, 2 Bcf a day natural gas export facility adjacent to the existing Golden Pass LNG receiving terminal. The announcement is not unexpected as Exxon has stated on several occasions that it was in the process of studying LNG export alternatives for its US natural gas production.

The severely under-utilized Golden Pass re-gasification terminal (owned 70% by Qatar Petroleum International, 17.6% by Exxon and 12.4% by ConocoPhillips) has been viewed by the industry experts as a logical candidate for a brownfield LNG export facility. The Sabine-Neches ship channel is one of only a few deepwater ports on the Gulf Coast capable of receiving LNG ships.The project will benefit from substantial existing infrastructure which includes two berths for LNG tankers (including the world's largest double-hulled Q-Flex and Q-Max ships), five storage tanks, and a 69-mile pipeline system. The Golden Pass Pipeline provides access to key natural gas markets, connecting to several major intrastate and interstate pipelines which service the Gulf Coast, Midwest and Northeast. The combined facility will have the capability to import and export LNG.

The site is located between Port Arthur and Sabine Pass, Texas. It neighbors Cheniere Energy's development which is on track to become the first US LNG export facility. Cheniere's project has been granted permits by the DOE, secured key purchase agreements from customers in the U.K., South Korea, India, and Spain, and is currently under construction (first shipments expected by the end of 2015 assuming an on-time completion).

The US [LNG export] Application Backlog Has Grown to Over 20 Bcf/d of LNG, But Not All Proposals Will Go Ahead. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: 20 Bcf per day of exports is the equivalent capacity of about 20 US LNG import terminals; 2 BCF per day capacity equates to about two US LNG import terminals.

ExxonMobil seeks to export LNG (Aug 21) — Zacks

A joint venture between the U.S. energy major [ExxonMobil Corporation] and Qatar Petroleum − Golden Pass Products LLC − plans to export up to 15.6 million tons of LNG annually, or about 2 billion cubic feet per day, by expanding existing units at Port Arthur. The project has already received approvals from the Department of Energy and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and could take as many as five years to build the liquefaction facilities at the terminal.

A major contender, Cheniere Energy Inc. has already started construction of a $5.6 billio n[LNG export] terminal at Sabine Pass, Louisiana – near Exxon‘s Golden Pass facility – and has authorization to transport LNG globally from the terminal. Cheniere will likely start deliveries by 2015 and to U.K., South Korea, India and Spain customers.

Update 2-China, Singapore wealth funds invest $1 bln in US LNG export plant-source (Aug 21) — Reuters

The sovereign wealth funds of China and Singapore have invested a combined $1 billion in a U.S. plant that will export cheap liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia, a source said, becoming the latest Asian institutions to tap into the gas boom in the United States.

Cheniere has already signed long-term commercial contracts to supply gas to BG Group, gasNatural Fenosa, GAIL (India) Limited and Korea Gas Corp, according to documents on its website.

China's $482 billion fund is likely to escape scrutiny with its latest purchase as it is co-investing along with other institutions, the report added.

China and Singapore latest to invest in US LNG facility — Minyanville's Wall Street

China and Singapore have invested a combined $1 billion into a planned Louisiana-based liquid natural gas export facility being built by Cheniere Energy, Inc. (LNG) in a bid to secure access to cheaper US natural gas, currently priced around $3/mmBtu compared with Asian prices of $13/mmBtu.

The Panama Canal expansion is a key factor in the viability of the Cheniere project, as it links the Louisiana-based production from the east of the Canal to Asian demand which lies on the west.

British Columbia

Shell to build Kitimat LNG terminal despite China investment — LNG World News

Shell Canada’s plans to build Kitimat LNG termina despite the company’s decision to invest $1 billion annually in China’s shale gas exploration, reports The Vancouver Sun.

Oregon

Congressmen and others request Extension of Time for comments on Jordan Cove LNG export proposal — LNG Law Blog

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and other interested persons have asked for an additional 30 days for the public to comment on the scope of FERC's environmental review of the Jordan Cove Energy LNG export project and related Pacific Connector Pipeline.

United States

GOP lawmaker calls on White House to push natural-gas exports — The Hill, Washington, DC

[Rep. James Lankford (R-OK)] said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" that LNG exports would offer economic “predictability” by providing a place to park “billions of dollars of investment.” He also criticized environmentalists for holding back natural-gas development.

Strange bedfellows debate exporting natural gas — Bloomberg Businessweek

The shale gas revolution is starting to pay small dividends for U.S. consumers. As electrical utilities rush to switch from coal to gas, peak electricity rates have fallen in nearly every market. According to the U.S. Consumer Price Index, utility gas service for things like heating and cooking is now 13 percent cheaper than it was 12 months ago....

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2012 August 20

Gulf of Mexico

Golden Pass terminal submits export plans — Energy Global, Farnham, Surry, England, UK

One of Golden Pass’s competitors, Cheniere Energy, has already acquired export permission and there is a growing trend to convert redundant importation terminals to export use. Many import terminals were only being finished when the energy scenery dramatically changed in the US with the discovery of vast shale reserves.

However, the glut of gas in North America has pushed prices so low that many reserves are not economical to exploit. It is hoped that if export terminals can be opened up to provide an outlet then it will bring US prices more in line with the global gas price. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Exxon, Qatar Petroleum apply for Texas LNG export permit — Alaska Dispatch, Anchorage, AK

As Alaska continues to subsidize TransCanada Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. to jump-start work on a long-sought natural gas pipeline project, Exxon is seeking permission to export Lower 48 gas from Texas to other nations.

[A]s Alaska pursued [a pipeline to the lower 48] under former Gov. Sarah Palin (it was her administration that came up with idea of offering up to $500 million in state subsidies to TransCanada as an incentive to get the project rolling), shale gas exploded in the Lower 48. Suddenly, the rest of the nation didn't need Alaska's gas. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: This same story appears under the Alaska heading, below.

China buys into US LNG project (Aug 21) — Financial Times

China’s sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp has invested in Cheniere Energy Partners’ planned plant exporting liquefied natural gas from the US, in the latest sign of Asian companies’ interest in North American energy assets.

A Chinese investment in this ground-breaking and politically sensitive project, which will be the first LNG export terminal in the US outside Alaska, risks stirring up objections from politicians who have queried whether gas exports from Cheniere’s plant at Sabine Pass on the Texas-Louisiana border would be in the interests of US businesses and consumers.

Fears of a political backlash are likely to mean that Chinese companies, whether financial firms or strategic operators, will not take part directly in the bidding for any US energy resources that are high profile, people familiar with the matter say.

Caribbean

Calls made for changes to Jamaica procurement rules — Stabroek News, Georgetown, Guayana

“I am personally convinced that the rules and the fear of just being off the line …. have driven inaction for the simplest thing,” adviser to the prime minister and head of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) steering committee Dr Carlton Davis told a Gleaner Editors’ Forum last week.

He pointed to the decision by the LNG team not to accept a bid for the supply of gas from the international well-established firm Marabuni because the bid arrived a few minutes after the 5 p.m. closing time. “For them to come in a few minutes late and because of the procurement rules (the bid is not accepted) … I think that is unacceptable,” said Zacca, as he also addressed the Editors’ Forum.

LNG uncertainty (Aug 19) — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

The Government's long-announced plan to introduce liquefied natural gas (LNG) as one measure to reduce electricity rates remains in limbo with no clear indication, when, or if, this will take place.

"We have just about completed the process of looking at the price quotations of the liquefied gas and within another couple of weeks we will determine whether the whole thing makes senses and if it makes sense how fast we move on it," said Davis.

LNG Delay Understandable (Aug 19) — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

"I have made the point consistently that if you had all the LNG in the world today, you would have to burn it in your stoves at home because there is nowhere to burn it, so you have to combine your schedule to their (the Jamaica Public Service Company's) schedule to build a new power plant," said Zacca.

According to Zacca, "LNG is not going to come in, no matter what way you do it, at a fraction of the cost of oil. I think, if we are lucky, we can get it 20 per cent below the current price (of oil)."

Alaska

Gas storage operator scrambling for gas to ensure winter supply — Alaska Journal of Commerce, Anchorage, AK

A contract dispute has impaired gas supplies for the new $180 million gas storage facility being developed on the Kenai Peninsula, the operator of the facility, Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska, or CINGSA, said Aug. 20.

CINGSA had contracted with a Cook Inlet producer to supply gas in March 2011 but the producer may instead have opted to sell the gas to Japan as LNG for higher prices, CINGSA said in an August 13 letter the company wrote to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

Alaska utilities that have contracted for gas storage and who will need the gas this winter are concerned. Gas deliverability from producing gas fields in Southcentral Alaska has declined to levels below what utilities need, and the gas storage facility, set to go into operation this winter, would have provided assured supplies at peak demand periods. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: LNG terminal profits are taking precedence over domestic energy security.

U.S. natural gas heads to Japan — UPI

Conoco shipped a tanker of LNG to Japan from the Nikiski terminal on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska using a tanker that can carry as much as 4.4 million cubic feet of natural gas, reports Bloomberg News, citing shipping data.

ConocoPhillips ships third LNG shipment from Alaska to Japan — Bloomberg

ConocoPhillips has loaded its third cargo of the year from Nikiski, Natalie Lowman, a spokeswoman for the company’s Alaskan unit, said in an Aug. 18 e-mail. It planned to ship as many as five LNG cargoes to Japan this year, Lowman said in an e-mail in June. She didn’t name the buyers, citing confidentiality agreements.

ConocoPhillips’ license allows it to sell U.S.-produced gas to countries with which the nation has no free trade agreement. The Department of Energy awarded a similar authorization last year to Cheniere Energy Inc. (LNG), which plans a terminal in Sabine Pass, Louisiana.

Exxon, Qatar Petroleum apply for Texas LNG export permit — Alaska Dispatch, Anchorage, AK

As Alaska continues to subsidize TransCanada Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. to jump-start work on a long-sought natural gas pipeline project, Exxon is seeking permission to export Lower 48 gas from Texas to other nations.

[A]s Alaska pursued [a pipeline to the lower 48] under former Gov. Sarah Palin (it was her administration that came up with idea of offering up to $500 million in state subsidies to TransCanada as an incentive to get the project rolling), shale gas exploded in the Lower 48. Suddenly, the rest of the nation didn't need Alaska's gas. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: This same story appears under the Gulf of Mexico heading, above.

United States

Fracking exports: Selling liquefied natural gas to foreign markets doesn't serve U.S. interests. [Op-ed column] (Aug 19) — The Vindicator, Liberty, TX

In recent years, the natural gas industry has plunged deeper and deeper into the reckless practice of "fracking," putting communities nationwide at risk of dirty, dangerous pollution and practices that are exempt from many clean air and water laws. Now gas profiteers have realized that there's even more money to be made by liquefying the gas and shipping it overseas. So what if it comes at the cost of our air, water, and health? [Red & bold emphasis added.]

James Mann: Stag Energy weighs in on shale gas debate [Press release] — 24-7 Press Release

"Oil and gas wells that were drilled years ago were recently considered stripper wells. New technologies have opened the door for these old stripper wells to be re-entered or re-worked, and what were stripper wells are once again very productive wells."

James Mann also makes the important point that technological advancements are what led to the shale oil and gas boom in the first place. "Years ago shale formations were overlooked but today using modern technology shale formations are the hottest thing going," he says, in the Stag Energy press statement. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Downeast LNG has its head buried in the sand.

Mexico

Gazprom targets at the Mexican and Latin American markets — The Voice of Russia, Moscow, Russia

Valery Nesterov, an analyst at the Troika Dialog Investment Company thinks it is very important for Gazprom to get a foothols at the Mecian market now. “The company is striving to gain a customer base and a business reputation in Mexico, even starting off with trading operations. In future Mexico may become an important market for Russia’s LNG,” the expert believes.

Norway

Norway: Safety violations found at Hammerfest LNG terminal, PSA says — LNG World News

From 12 – 15 June 2012, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) carried out an audit activity related to application and use of risk analyses, and fire load and fire resistance in the process facility at Statoil’s Hammerfest LNG terminal, PSA said in a statement.

A serious breach of the regulations was proven in relation to the depressurisation system’s performance.

Furthermore, four other nonconformities were identified in relation to the regulations, within the following areas:

  • Leak testing of emergency shutdown valves
  • Internal spread risk in the event of fire in the process barge
  • Designing against jet fire
  • Active fire fighting

Webmaster's comment: Remember how LNG developers in Passamaquoddy Bay argued that all LNG terminals are designed and operated safely, because LNG terminal operators do not want accidents?

Hammerfest LNG has just disproven that argument.

This also brings into focus FERC's willingness to issue LNG terminal permits to developers of abhorrent character: Multiple FERC personnel, at multiple administrative levels, told SPB that they would issue permits to the likes of Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson, and Idi Amin, provided they followed FERC's permitting rules. FERC also indicated in the media that it would not be averse to issuing an permit to BP's proposed Crown Landing LNG terminal — even after the fatal BP Texas City oil refinery explosion caused by intentionally and repeatedly violating safety regulations, and a judge determined that BP lacked a safety culture.

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2012 August 18

New Brunswick

Power balance shift at Atlantic with Repsol's LNG asset sale (Aug 16) — The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, West Indies

As more than ten companies are in talks with Repsol to buy its LNG assets around the world, the balance of power at Atlantic, the LNG company of which Repsol is a co-owner, may shift if the assets are bought by China through one of its state-owned companies.

"In relation with the LNG, our idea is to sell it as a block, and not in parts." That block includes assets in Canada, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago.

Webmaster's comment: This same article appears under the Caribbean heading, below.

Gulf of Mexico

Golden Pass LNG to invest $10 billion to expand (Aug 17) — Beaumont Enterprise, Beaumont, TX

After two years as an import facility, Sabine Pass' Golden Pass LNG is proposing a $10 billion project to add export capabilities.

The company made the announcement today and expects the project to begin with two years and be completed within five years.

Webmaster's comment: Virtually all US LNG import terminals are planning LNG export facilities. Downeast LNG is ignoring reality.

Golden Pass LNG planning $10B project in PA [Port Arthur] (Aug 17) — The News, Port Arthur, TX

Golden Pass LNG, a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum International and ExxonMobil in Sabine Pass, is applying for federal permits to add an estimated $10 billion in export capabilities to its facility, company leaders announced Friday morning.

The Golden Pass LNG facility was originally built as a natural gas import terminal when demand for the product was at an all-time high. There is now an abundance of natural gas in the U.S., according project executive Bill Davis, and Golden Pass LNG is looking to take advantage of the world-wide need. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Caribbean

Bauxite companies in Jamaica warn against sole dependence on LNG for fuel — SteelGuru

Jamaica Gleaner reported that Jamaica's powerful bauxite and alumina partners have warned that it would be a mistake for Government to rely solely on natural gas [via imported LNG] as an alternative fuel source and is urging the Government to adopt a diversification strategy that includes coal, compressed gas and renewables.

Power balance shift at Atlantic with Repsol's LNG asset sale (Aug 16) — The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, West Indies

As more than ten companies are in talks with Repsol to buy its LNG assets around the world, the balance of power at Atlantic, the LNG company of which Repsol is a co-owner, may shift if the assets are bought by China through one of its state-owned companies.

"In relation with the LNG, our idea is to sell it as a block, and not in parts." That block includes assets in Canada, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago.

Webmaster's comment: This same article appears under the New Brunswick heading, above.

Alaska

Updated: Nat gas for Southcentral storage facility may be Japan-bound (Aug 17) — Alaska Journal of Commerce

Natural gas that could help keep Alaskans warm this winter could be exported to Japan as liquefied natural gas, although it’s not yet certain.

A contract dispute has impaired gas supplies for the new $180 million gas storage facility being developed on the Kenai Peninsula, the operator of the facility, Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska, or CINGSA, said Friday.

Marathon had committed gas to the facility in 2011 to be used as “pad gas” to provide pressure for gas withdrawals, but says now it will not provide the gas, leaving CINGSA short of the supply it needs to operate efficiently, said John Sims, spokesman for CINGSA. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Canada

Study assesses economic impacts of Canadian LNG exports to Asia (Aug 17) — LNG Law Blog

A study recently released by the Canadian Energy Research Institute assesses the economic impacts of developing gas wells in the Horn River Basin, transporting the gas to the Kitimat LNG Terminal, then liquefying it for export to Asian markets.

United States

The editor's monthly memo: The staggering implications of the U.S. natural gas market [Editorial] — International Affairs Review

The rapidity with which unconventional gas is changing the energy landscape in the United States has left regulators breathless and struggling to keep pace. Amidst little fanfare, the Department of Energy’s Office of Natural Gas Regulatory Activities is in the process of conducting a macroeconomic analysis on the impact of LNG exports. One aspect certain to appear in the report is the potential of the gas boom to transform the U.S. economy.

The glut of gas is driving prices to historic lows in the United States and, as a result, incenting chemical manufacturers, such as Dow Chemical, to bring production back home.

If natural gas exceeds a 50 percent share of power generation, any source disruptions or sudden price fluctuations would have a calamitous economic impact. Furthermore, such cheap gas could potentially crowd out other promising sources of energy, such as renewables. Though natural gas fired plants produce roughly half the carbon of a coal plant and have contributed to an overall reduction in emissions in the United States, a recent International Energy Administration report reveals that a shift to gas generated electricity will not prove sufficient to significantly alter current climate change scenarios. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

"Shale gas producers must adhere to best practices: IEA head (Aug 17) — Platts

The shale gas revolution that has swept across North America in recent years can dramatically reduce US energy imports and be expanded globally, but only if gas producers can convince governments and the public that extraction can be done safely and in an environmentally friendly way, the executive director of the International Energy Agency said Friday in Houston.

"Companies need to realize they need to be transparent about what they're doing and they need to take people's concerns seriously," said Maria van der Hoeven, speaking at the Baker Institute Energy Forum at Rice University.

[I]n order for the promise of an abundant shale gas future to be fulfilled, in the US and elsewhere, gas producers must recognize the need to incorporate best environmental and safety practices into all their shale gas operations, van der Hoeven said. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Unfortunately, Downeast LNG and FERC do not adhere to the LNG industry's own terminal siting best safe practices. Downeast LNG's proposed location cannot be made to comply with those best practices (SIGTTO). (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more on the SIGTTO issue.)

Mexico

Gazprom comes to Mexico (Aug 17) — Russia Beyond the Headlines, Moscow, Russia

Move could be part of a bigger plan to supply LNG to Latin America and develop resources in the Gulf of Mexico.

Just as it is losing ground in Europe, Gazprom has begun expanding into Latin America; the company registered two trademarks with the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property at the beginning of this year. Analysts believe Mexico could become a customer for Gazprom’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the future.

So far, Gazprom has no production-related projects in Mexico and the trademarks have been registered “for future use,” according to a source at the company.

Gazprom has been interested in the Mexican market since 2005. At that time, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller began negotiations with state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) over supplying Russian LNG to Mexico for subsequent transportation to the United States.

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2012 August 16

Caribbean

Draft Resource Reports filed for Aguirre offshore LNG terminal — LNG Law Blog

Excelerate Energy L.P. filed draft Resource Reports 1 through 10 at FERC for the pre-filing environmental review of its proposed Aguirre Offshore GasPort LNG import terminal to be located offshore near Guayama, along the southern coast of Puerto Rico.

Government says it's committed to competition in energy sector (Aug 15) — Go-Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Questions were raised after Dr Carlton Davis, the head of the liquefied natural gas steering committee, told a Gleaner Editors’ Forum on Tuesday that his personal view is that a properly regulated monopoly is the best option for Jamaica.

A release sent to the media today by the OPM said "the point of view of an Advisor does not necessarily reflect a settled position of the Government."

Paulwell to update Jamaica on JPS talks — Go-Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

[I]n the release sent to the media yesterday, the Government said the point of view of an advisor does not necessarily reflect a settled position of the administration.

British Columbia

LNG in BC: Liquefied natural gas projects meet fierce global competition — The Huffington Post

British Columbia’s drive to become a major contender in the liquefied natural gas industry may be dashed by global competition for the Asian market, which is eroding the financials behind big LNG projects planned for the province, industry watchers say.

“The people that are kicking the tires on LNG facilities here are acutely aware that LNG facilities are being built elsewhere in the world,” [said Ben Parfitt, a resource policy analyst for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives], adding that many of those developments are occurring in closer proximity to Asian markets.

United States

The case for natural gas exports [Op-ed] (Aug 15) — The New York Times

A decision to constrain natural-gas exports could have dangerous reverberations for American trade.

For example, the United States has filed with the World Trade Organization a challenge to Chinese restrictions on exports of so-called rare earth minerals, which are crucial for new technologies like wind turbines, missiles and smartphones. If Washington hypocritically limits gas exports, it might as well write the Chinese brief.

There are other problems with the opponents’ arguments. To truly keep America’s natural gas within our borders would require restrictions on exports to our big trade partners Canada and Mexico, and that would put the North American Free Trade Agreement at risk. Forswearing exports would also eliminate a valuable tool for American trade negotiators: countries like Japan want privileged access to United States gas, and American negotiators can seek concessions in return.

Exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) is still bad for the climate — and a very poor long-term investment [Opinion] — ThinkProgress

I explained back in June why “Exporting LNG Is Bad For The Climate.” But the New York Times has just run a misleading op-ed, “The Case for Natural Gas Exports,” so the issue clearly merits a revisit.

The extra emissions from LNG all but eliminate whatever small, short-term benefit there might be of building billion-dollar export terminals and other LNG infrastructure, which in any case will last many decades, long after a sustainable electric grid will not benefit one jot from replacing coal with gas.

If even a modest fraction of the [exported] LNG displaces renewables, it renders the entire expenditure for LNG counterproductive from day one.

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2012 August 15

Northeast

Firms say pipeline won't carry gas for export [The Daily Star, Oneonta, N.Y.] — Equities.com

The developers of the Constitution Pipeline project seek to assure federal regulators that the natural gas transmission system is not intended to feed any liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facilities that could convert the gas for international export.

if approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the pipeline would connect with existing pipelines that would carry the gas to the Boston and New York City markets.

[ Anne Marie Garti of East Meredith, on Tuesday sent FERC her own retort.] "What Williams fails to say is the gas from the Iroquois and Tennessee pipelines can be rerouted to mingle with gas in their Transco pipeline, and thereby be exported," Garti wrote. "Even more significantly, they do not mention the eight pending applications to build LNG export facilities, or to convert existing import facilities to export. Once such facilities are built, or converted, the gas that would flow through the proposed Constitution pipeline could be sent overseas."

Webmaster's comment: But, Downeast LNG's president Dean Girdis says that natural gas pipeline expansion from Pennsylvania to supply Boston and New York can't happen or can't last!

Caribbean

Monopoly is best — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

DR CARLTON Davis, a special adviser to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, yesterday said the breaking up of the Jamaica Public Service's (JPS) monopoly on the transmission and distribution of electricity was not a position of the Government.

Contrary to the desire of Paulwell to break the back of the JPS monopoly on the transmission and distribution of electricity, Davis said a "properly regulated monopoly" was perhaps the best option for the country.

Loss of monopoly could hit JPS credit — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Large power producer Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) could see its US$450 million of long-term loans placed in default if it loses the legal appeal to keep its all-inclusive licence and the Jamaican Government refuses to play ball by amending the language in the agreement.

JPS's loans were premised on its distribution monopoly arising from its licence that the Supreme Court has ruled does not secure exclusive rights for JPS.

The LNG plant will be financed with 70 per cent debt. JPS said the major backing for the plant will come from Inter-American Development Bank and IFC, as well as by several banks, but that the loan agreements and terms cannot be finalised until the uncertainty over its licence is cleared up.

Audio: Mair demands clear Gov’t message on JPS monopoly — Go-Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

The Opposition spokesman on energy, Gregory Mair wants the Prime Minister to immediately clarify her government’s position on the monopoly held by the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS).

Mair says the statements made by the head of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) steering committee, Dr Carlton Davis send mixed messages about who is in charge of this country’s energy policy.

Williams flays Davis over power distribution monopoly comment — Go-Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

The head of the department of Management Studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Dr Densil Williams has described as “flawed” the position of government adviser, Dr Carlton Davis on power distribution monopoly.

LNG not enough says bauxite companies — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Jamaica's powerful bauxite/ alumina partners have warned that it would be a mistake for Government to rely solely on natural gas as an alternative fuel source, and is urging the Government to adopt a diversification strategy that includes coal, compressed gas and renewables.

The bauxite companies continue to raise coal as another alternative, with lukewarm reception from Dr Carlton Davis, who said coal was not affordable and that the financing required was 5:1 compared to LNG.

Jamaica previously reviewed a compressed natural gas proposal but choose LNG due to concerns about transporting the highly pressured gas over large distances, according to Chris Zacca, the president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and head of its energy committee. Zacca is also former head of the LNG Steering Committee.

United States

Rice study questions volume of future US natural gas exports — Oil & Gas Journal

“The question before [US] policymakers is one of licensing a capability, not licensing a fixed volume,” he said. Previous studies on how LNG exports might alter US gas prices have assumed a particular volume of LNG exports, but the studies did not allow for how market interactions might influence price movements and trade volume.

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2012 August 14

Caribbean

New energy sub-committee to consider cost-cutting policies — Go-Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

A three-member sub-committee on energy has been set up to refine the policies aimed at lowering the country’s energy costs.

The committee will also focus on the implementation of the government’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project.

Alaska

Hawaii Gas applies for permit to import LNG — Alaska Public

A Hawaii-based utility is applying for a federal permit to import liquefied natural gas. It’s unlikely to encourage development in Alaska anytime soon.

[Larry Persily, Federal Coordinator for the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects,] says Hawaii Gas’s application does not specify where the gas will be sourced from, but it will set sail from the port of Long Beach.

“Getting these small shipments from Alaska is not feasible, not an issue, never under consideration,” Persily said.

Webmaster's comment: This same article appears under the Hawaii heading, below.

British Columbia

Canadian Natural abides prices instead of LNG — Bloomberg

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ), the country’s worst-performing major energy stock this year, is sitting on its shale-gas reserves until the price rebounds rather than joining the race to export the fuel to Asia.

“There’s every chance these LNG projects are going to be more expensive than you think,” said Parker, who oversees about $6.5 billion at T. Rowe Price and owns Canadian Natural shares. “LNG projects are extremely expensive. History would tell you that prices rebound over time.”

Oregon

Court of Appeals hears LNG dispute — Statesman Journal, Salem, OR

The case pits Oregon Pipeline Co. (Oregon LNG) against the county. Labor unions back the project. Columbia Riverkeeper and the Northwest Property Rights Coalition have weighed in on the side of the county, where commissioners reversed the previous approval and rejected it.

The application was submitted in 2009, deemed complete in February 2010, and approved by a hearings officer six months later. County commissioners approved the application on Nov. 8 of that year, but four months later – after three new members opposed to it took office – the commissioners rejected the project. The company went to circuit court to compel the county to reinstate its original approval, based on a state law that requires local governments to decide “completed” applications within 150 days, unless the applicant agrees to an extension.

Hawaii

Hawaii Gas applies for permit to import LNG — Alaska Public

A Hawaii-based utility is applying for a federal permit to import liquefied natural gas. It’s unlikely to encourage development in Alaska anytime soon.

[Larry Persily, Federal Coordinator for the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects,] says Hawaii Gas’s application does not specify where the gas will be sourced from, but it will set sail from the port of Long Beach.

“Getting these small shipments from Alaska is not feasible, not an issue, never under consideration,” Persily said.

Webmaster's comment: This same article appears under the Alaska heading, above.

United States

India: Minister seeks relaxation of norms for LNG imports from US — LNG World News

GAIL of India is pursuing gas sourcing opportunities across the world including US.

US LNG exports may not have large price impact, but could create significant commercial risks for companies — Fuel Fix

US domestic price impacts of LNG exports have been overblown and their commercial risks understated, a new report by the Baker Institute concludes. The report “US LNG Exports: Truth and Consequence” suggests that US domestic market interactions with the market abroad will determine export volumes and therefore US domestic price impacts. Our analysis suggests that the long term volume of exports from the US will not likely be very large given expected market developments abroad.

US LNG exports carry commercial risks, including touted projects from Alaska.

New study predicts low price impacts from increased U.S. LNG exports — LNG Law Blog

A new study entitled “US LNG Exports: Truth and Consequence,” by Kenneth B. Medlock III of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University argues that the domestic price impacts of increased U.S. LNG exports will not be large and that the long-term volume of such exports will not likely be very large given expected market developments abroad.

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2012 August 13

Gulf of Mexico

United States grants Excelerate Energy permission to export LNG — The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, CA

Located on the Texas Gulf Coast, Lavaca Bay LNG will be the first floating liquefaction export facility in the United States and will utilize Excelerate's Floating Liquefaction Storage Offloading vessel (FLSO™) technology. The facility will require authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Excelerate will begin the FERC pre-filing process fourth quarter 2012 and expects the facility to be in-service in 2017. [Red emphasis added.]

Alaska

Alaska looks to Hawaii as possible customer for natural gas (Aug 12) — equities.com

Hawaii's point person for exploring cheaper natural gas energy options is Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz. He already has talked with U.S. Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska. And the Hawaii State Energy Office has sought help from the Alaska Energy Authority.

Executing such an initiative would be hugely complex and expensive, the federal report concluded. Costs on the Hawaii side are estimated at hundreds of millions for storage tanks, pipelines and facilities to process liquefied natural gas and retrofit power plants that now run on oil.

Then there's the tricky matter of a federal law that requires transport of goods from one U.S. port to another to be in a U.S.-built, U.S.-owned and U.S.-crewed vessel. There are currently no such LNG tankers in the country, the federal report said.

Oregon

LNG factions clash over pipeline — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

SALEM — The debate over a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline in Clatsop County went before the Oregon Court of Appeals Friday.

The state’s appellate court heard oral arguments in a review of a Clatsop County Board of Commissioners’ vote in early 2011 that denied granting an initial land-use permit to construct a natural gas pipeline through the county and called for a new decision to be made. At the time, the county’s vote essentially reversed a decision made in 2010 by a board that included three different members, all of whom were in favor of the project.

United States

Don't be surprised if U.S. gas export profits leak away — The Wall Street Journal

The latest free lunch being peddled involves exporting U.S. natural gas. Don't be surprised if it evaporates.

[I]f "$3 in, $17 out" sounds too good to be true, that is because it is. While the economics of exports can make sense, they are no slam-dunk. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: The goldrush to export looks a lot like the mad rush to import, and look how the import goldrush turned out — existing and new import terminals are rushing to reverse direction in order to salvage their investments.

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2012 August 10

Southeast

Porter: Savannah should embrace LNG exports — Savannah Morning News, Savannah, GA

The shale energy revolution has turned the U.S. into the world’s largest producer of natural gas. The increase in gas production has been so dramatic that our supply of gas is now far greater than our demand. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Gulf of Mexico

Cheniere to start construction on LNG export facilities — Houston Business Journal, Houston, TX

On Aug. 9, the Houston natural gas distributor said it gave Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals Inc., a contractor, an order to start construction on the first two liquefaction trains of the Sabine Pass terminal. Operations for the first liquefaction train could start up in 2015, followed by the second six to nine months later, Cheniere Energy said in a statement.

Cheniere starting LNG project — The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA

The first liquefaction unit is expected to start operations as early as 2015, with the second unit starting up six to nine months after the first one, the company said.

Construction for a third and fourth unit will be determined by contracts, financing and Cheniere Partners making a final investment decision, the company said.

Cheniere Partners is developing the project to add liquefaction and export capabilities adjacent to the existing infrastructure at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, originally built to import LNG when natural gas prices were high.

Update 1-Cheniere gives green light for US LNG export plant build (Aug 9) — Reuters

U.S. liquefied natural gas terminal developer Cheniere Energy has given the green light for construction of the first U.S. LNG export plant in a generation, which is expected to be ready by 2015, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The export plant, which will cool natural gas to a liquid for shipping overseas, will be built on the site of Cheniere's existing LNG import terminal which came online in 2008 but has since sat idle as record rises in U.S. domestic gas production dented import needs.

Cheniere's move to build the export plant comes as U.S. natural gas inventories sit at record highs due to prolific production from newly developed shale gas deposits. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Bechtel to build 2 liquefaction trains for Cheniere at Sabine Pass — Oil & Gas Financial Journal

Houston-based Cheniere Energy Partners has instructed Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals to begin building two new liquefaction trains for its Sabine Pass LNG facility in Louisiana, according to a statement released by the company on Aug. 9.

The Sabine Pass facility, located in Cameron Parish in southwest Louisiana near the state’s border with Texas, started out as an LNG import terminal. The tremendous success of shale gas exploration and production in the US has enabled Cheniere to begin conversion of the facility to handle LNG exports.

Numerous comments filed on Gulf Coast LNG export application — LNG Law Blog

Numerous comments have been filed on Gulf Coast LNG Export's application to export LNG pending at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), including opposition comments by Sierra Club and the American Public Gas Association and supportive comments by a number of local entities.

DOE issues final opinion and order on Sabine Pass LNG export authorization (Aug 9) — LNG Law Blog

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Final Opinion and Order granting Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC (Sabine Pass) authorization to export LNG from its LNG terminal in Cameron Parish, La., to nations not having a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. The order requires exports to commence within seven years of DOE's initial order in the case, which was issued May 20, 2011. The order rejects Sierra Club's contention that FERC's Environmental Assessment (EA) for Sabine Pass's LNG export project was inadequate. And, based on FERC's EA, DOE issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) concluding that granting Sabine Pass export authority will not have a significant effect on the environment.

Corpus Christi Liquefaction files Hazard Analysis at FERC (Aug 9) — LNG Law Blog

Corpus Christi Liquefaction filed a hazard analysis report in the pre-filing environmental review proceeding for its LNG export project at FERC.

Alaska

Kachemak Bay offers LNG tanker safe harbor (Aug 8) — Homer News, Homer, AK

The LNG Gemini, a 285-foot liquid natural gas tanker, left Kachemak Bay on Tuesday after arriving July 18; it was waiting to receive LNG cargo at the ConocoPhillips facility in Nikiski before continuing on for Japan, said Mike Spangler, ConocoPhillips operations manager for Cook Inlet.

Vessels remaining in the bay longer than 14 days must have a permit "so we don't have one vessel moored in public lands for all summer that possibly could use up good moorage locations," said Ginny Litchfield, the habitat biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Habitat Division, who worked with ConocoPhillips to complete the permit. Litchfield said there didn't appear to be any environmental issues connected with this ship.

Oregon

Clatsop LNG pipeline decision challenged in court of appeals (Aug 9) — Coastal River Business Journal, Astoria, OR

SALEM - The Oregon Court of Appeals on Aug. 10 is scheduled to review an appeal from Oregon Pipeline concerning the time line followed by the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners in the board's decision to withdraw its original approval and reconsider the Oregon Pipeline application to construct 41 miles of pipeline.

The proposed pipeline plan involves importing and exporting natural gas at plant that would super cool the gas for transport. The pipeline would connect to a proposed liquified natural gas plant to be built in Warrenton. The pipeline would run in a southeast direction across mainly forest land in Clatsop County.

Sierra Club files protest to Jordan Cove LNG export application — LNG Law Blog

Sierra Club filed a motion to intervene and protest to Jordan Cove Energy Project's (Jordan Cove) LNG export application pending at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Sierra Club alleges that Jordan Cove's proposal is inconsistent with the public interest and the developer has not provided adequate environmental and economic analysis to support its proposal.

Hawaii

Hawai'iGas pursues natural gas strategy for Hawai'i [Press release] — MarketWatch

On August 9, 2012, HAWAI'IGAS, Hawai'i's clean gas energy provider, filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting authority to import Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to Hawai'i.

Under the terms of the Natural Gas Act, HAWAI'IGAS seeks to initiate the first of three phases of a program for the use of this clean, cost effective fuel for customers. The gas [would be] shipped from the Continental United States in conventional insulated intermodal containers and will be used for emergency backup purposes to supplement feedstock supply in the event of damage or disruption in supply from existing sources. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Hawaiian Gas Company files for authorization to operate LNG regasification terminal — LNG Law Blog

The Gas Company, LLC, filed an application at FERC for authorization under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act to operate an LNG regasification terminal in Hawaii. The Gas Company proposes to unload and regasify LNG produced in the continental United States and transported to Hawaii by vessel.

Utility seeks regulatory approval to ship LNG to Hawaii — Star Advertiser, Honolulu, HI

The application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the first regulatory approval sought by HAWAI'IGAS under the plan announced by the company several months ago. HAWAI'IGAS also will have to obtain approval from other federal and state regulators, including the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

Canada

Japan takes stake in Canada's natural gas (Aug 9) — UPI

CALGARY, Alberta, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A Japanese energy consortium took control of a 40 percent stake in shale natural gas assets in Canada from Nexen Inc., the company said.

"We have also agreed to jointly investigate the feasibility of liquefied natural gas export opportunities," Nexen said in a statement.

United States

LNG exports: 'Not huge, not soon,' but with geopolitical impact, NGI reports — BusinessWire

Ken Medlock, a Baker Institute energy fellow at Rice University in Houston, said the United States will be "lucky to see more than 1 Bcf/d" of exports 10 years from now. "I don't think it's going to be a huge number," he told Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI).

EIA: Low U.S. injections reflect high gas storage inventories (Aug 9) — LNG World News

[W]orking gas inventories are forecast to be at a record high by November 1, 2012 of nearly 4,000 Bcf, close to total U.S. demonstrated peak working gas capacity. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

LNG exports still up in the air — Houston Business Journal, Houston, TX

Although it’s clear the market for natural gas has been turned upside down during the last decade with the abundant discoveries of shale gas in the continental U.S., the long-term commercial implications for the commodity remain up in the air.

[A] glut of North American gas has prompted plans to convert existing import terminals to export the fuel.

Natural gas production in the U.S. has grown at twice the rate of demand since the middle of 2000, said Andrew Ware, director of corporate affairs and communications at Cheniere Energy. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

USA: Lawmakers urge faster approval of LNG exports — LNG World News

Data from the Department of Energy’s 2011 report, Review of Emerging Resources, US Shale Gas and Shale Oil Plays, showed trillions of cubic feet of technically recoverable gas in shale bed areas across the United States. The data also suggests that production and reserves are likely to be much higher. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Persian Gulf

Fredriksen’s Golar receives record rate to store LNG — Bloomberg

Golar LNG Ltd. (GOL), a company controlled by shipping billionaire John Fredriksen, said it received a record rate to store liquefied natural gas on one of its carriers in the Persian Gulf.

The $185,000 a day the vessel will earn for the 14-day booking is the highest ever paid for a short-term charter, Tor Olav Troeim, a director of the Hamilton, Bermuda-based owner, said in an interview in London yesterday.

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2012 August 8

Gulf of Mexico

OGS awarded engineering work for Excelerate Energy's Lavaca Bay LNG facility — Oil & Gas Financial Journal

OGS, an engineering and project management company partnered with Samsung Heavy Industries, said Aug. 8 that it has won the topsides front-end engineering and design (FEED) work for Excelerate Energy’s Lavaca Bay LNG Floating Liquefaction Storage and Offloading Project on the Texas coast near Houston. The project will be the first floating liquefaction facility in the United States, and is designed to export LNG from the Texas Gulf Coast region to markets worldwide by 2017.

British Columbia

Nexen shale gas deal with Japanese finally done — Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB

[T]he $700-million partnership deal between Calgary-based Nexen Inc. and Japanese companies Inpex Corp. and JGC Corp., could not be announced as a done deal until Wednesday, nearly half-way through the third quarter, due to financing delays on the Japanese end.

[T]he Japanese are partnering with the Chinese. Both countries are expected to provide ready markets for Canadian LNG.

Race for B.C.’s natural gas assets heats up (Aug 7) — Financial Post, Don Mills, ON

The battle for intermediate gas producer Progress Energy Resources Corp. has left an unsuccessful suitor rumoured to be Exxon, a regulatory filing by Shell for the LNG Canada terminal that suggests it will need more resource to keep full, and the Kitimat LNG plant struggling to find long-term Asian buyers.

Oregon

Numerous comments filed on Jordan Cove LNG export application — LNG Law Blog

Comments have been filed in support of and in opposition to Jordan Cove Energy Project's application to export LNG pending before the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Parties opposing the application include the American Public Gas Association, Citizens Against LNG, Rogue Riverkeeper, and the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center. Commenters in support include Oregon International Port of Coos Bay, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union - Local 12, and the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.

Hawaii

Could Alaska's natural gas help power Hawaii? — Honolulu Civil Beat, Honolulu, HI

Rather than accept rising energy costs as inevitable, Hawaii’s state government and utilities are working to bring online more renewables, including wind, solar and biofuel power. And they’re looking at whether importing liquefied natural gas could help reduce fuel costs and meet new environmental regulations.

The future for Hawaii, however, is renewable energy. More so than for Alaska.

Alaska is one possible source [for natural gas]. But federal law poses a big challenge to getting natural gas from Alaska. A provision known as the Jones Act — part of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 — requires use of U.S.-built, U.S.-owned, U.S.-registered and U.S.-crewed ships when moving commercial cargoes between U.S. ports. The act was named for Sen. Wesley Jones of Washington state, who wanted to protect the shipyards and ports of his state. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

United States

USA: EIA lowers gas consumption forecast — LNG World News

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports are expected to fall by 0.5 Bcf/d (51 percent) in 2012 from the year before. EIA expects that an average of about 0.5 Bcf/d and 0.6 Bcf/d will arrive in the United States (mainly at the Elba Island terminal in Georgia) in 2012 and 2013, respectively, either to fulfill long-term contract obligations or to take advantage of temporarily high local prices due to cold snaps and disruptions. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Everett LNG is not crying for more LNG. Neither is Canaport LNG. Downeast LNG president Dean Girdis' pants are on fire.

Out with the clean, in with the dirty: exporting natural gas and importing oil — Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX

It’s easy to say the free market should prevail, but the idea that oil and gas operate in a free market has always been something of a myth. As far back as the 1920s, federal and state governments intervened in the markets, affecting both production and prices. The Texas Railroad Commission even deployed the Texas Rangers to curtail production in the 1920s, allowing prices to rise. In the 1930s the federal government enacted production quotas, a move welcomed by oil companies that feared low prices would drive them out of business. Their plight is similar to the situation in which gas producers now find themselves.

Generally, I favor letting the free market prevail, but that answer ignores the long-term implications. Shale drilling has unleashed an apparent abundance of natural gas, but is it simply a commodity governed purely by the short-term concerns of the free market, or should it be managed as a valuable natural resource that could provide a cleaner, more secure fuel supply and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil?

Webmaster's comment: "Letting the energy free market prevail," if it ever were to exist, would be opposed to showering big energy with subsidies and regulatory favoritism, as is currently the case.

In bipartisan call, House members urge speedier OK for gas exports — NBC Politics

[T]oday, thanks to the shale gas boom in Pennsylvania and other states, the political struggle is over LNG exports, not imports.

In a dramatic reversal from 2006, when natural gas supplies in the U.S. were tight, prices were high, and LNG imports were economically sensible, today there’s so much domestically produced natural gas that prices are low. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

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2012 August 7

Caribbean

Trinidad ships LNG cargo to Puerto Rico — LNG World News

Trinidad and Tobago’s Point Fortin LNG terminal shipped a cargo of liquefied natural gas to Puerto Rico on Saturday, according to shipping data.

The cargo is being hauled by the Madrid Spirit, a 135,423 cubic-meter tanker, and it is due to arrive at the Peñuelas LNG terminal on August 12.

Oregon

NMFS declines to be Cooperating Agency for environmental review of Jordan Cove LNG export project — LNG Law Blog

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) sent a letter to FERC declining FERC's request that NMFS be a cooperating agency in the pre-filing environmental review of Jordan Cove Energy's proposed LNG export terminal. NMFS instead seeks intervenor status and requests that FERC review NMFS's comments previously filed in Jordan Cove Energy's LNG import application docket. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: National Marine Fisheries Service appears to be standing up to FERC and Jordan Cove LNG over an environmental issue.

United States

Lawmakers urge Obama to help make nation an exporter of natural gas — The Hill, Washington, DC

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday urged the Obama administration to green-light liquefied natural-gas facility construction across the country in order to turn the nation into a natural-gas exporter.

The coalition of 10 Democrats and 34 Republicans from Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas said the expansion of domestic shale gas production in other parts of the country has given the United States a need to find markets outside its own borders. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Bipartisan members of Congress ask Secretary Chu to expedite approval of US LNG facilities — Oil & Gas Financial Journal

US Representative Gene Green (D-Texas) and US Representative James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) issued the following joint statement on a bipartisan letter sent Aug. 7 to Energy Secretary Chu asking his department to facilitate the approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities around the United States. The letter was signed by 10 Democrats and 34 Republicans from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

Data from the Department of Energy’s 2011 report, “Review of Emerging Resources, US Shale Gas and Shale Oil Plays,” showed trillions of cubic feet of technically recoverable gas in shale bed areas across the United States. The data also suggests that production and reserves are likely to be much higher. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: The US is drowning in domestic natural gas, but Downeast LNG wants the US to import unneeded LNG.

Update 1-Lawmakers urge Obama admin to OK natural gas exports — Reuters

U.S. lawmakers ratcheted up pressure on the Obama administration on Tuesday to speed approval for companies to export natural gas, arguing it would help relieve a glut dampening output of the fuel.

U.S. lawmakers ratcheted up pressure on the Obama administration on Tuesday to speed approval for companies to export natural gas, arguing it would help relieve a glut dampening output of the fuel. — Fuel Fix

The bipartisan push comes as a glut of domestic natural gas keeps prices low and has sent energy companies scrambling to find new markets for the fossil fuel.

White House energy and climate change adviser Heather Zichal has stressed that a major concern is ensuring that if natural gas is exported, it won’t send prices too high inside U.S. borders — hurting American consumers and manufacturers who use the fossil fuel as a building block to make other products.

Most of the companies pursuing export licenses want to convert existing terminals for receiving natural gas imports that were built before today’s drilling boom. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: The same mad rush to build import terminals is now on to build export facilities at those same import terminals. Does the expression "madly off In all directions" come to mind?

Oil-state congressmen ask Chu to expedite LNG export permits — The State Journal, Charleston, WV

The Senate understands the producers interest, Manchin said, but it is talking about keeping exports at a lower level for perhaps a decade to allow for a "manufacturing renaissance" and to switch fleets to natural gas.

Lawmakers urge quick approvals on gas exports — The Wall Street Journal

The Energy Department has said it expects to complete that analysis later this summer. "When completed, the study will help inform the department in its review of the pending applications," said spokeswoman Jen Stutsman on Tuesday.

Recent increases in U.S. natural-gas production, made possible by advances in technology, have pushed down domestic prices. Energy companies have asked the U.S. for permission to export the natural gas to other countries where the prices are higher. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

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2012 August 6

Caribbean

LNG worries... Delay again (Aug 5) — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

The Government's long-touted plan to push down the cost of electricity for Jamaicans with the introduction of liquid natural gas (LNG) has hit yet another snag. It is anticipated that electricity bills will come down by as much as 30 per cent with the introduction of LNG and the planned construction of a new plant by the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) in St Catherine.

"Quite frankly, this project will not go forward unless we are certain that natural gas is coming to Jamaica, and I mean certain," Dan Theoc, chief financial officer of the JPS, told journalists.

LNG worries - Samsung's selection sparks concerns (Aug 5) — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

[Delroy Chuck] argued that with Samsung not identified as the lowest cost bidder and price carried a 40 per cent weight in the published evaluation criteria, it is important for the Government to disclose the evaluation criteria used in the awarding of the LNG installation bid.

Chuck further noted that at the public opening of bids, it was announced that Samsung will use a fixed jetty regas operation instead of a FSRU (floating storage regassification unit), which can be moved to safety in the event of bad weather.

[Dr Carlton Davis] also admitted that the companies submitted bids based on quantities well above the amount of LNG which Jamaica intends to purchase initially.

Oregon

Ore. landowners move to block LNG export project — Law360 [Paid subscription]

A group of Oregon landowners filed a motion Saturday with the U.S. Department of Energy to block construction of a proposed natural gas export terminal and pipeline development, claiming it would harm local residents and raise U.S. gas prices.

The group, known as Landowners United, filed a motion to intervene and protest a March application by Jordan Cove Energy Project LP for a permit to ship natural gas to countries not involved in U.S. free trade agreements from a proposed liquefied natural gas export facility in...

United States

Why America can make or break a new global gas world (Aug 5) — Forbes

...What happened in America has had a profound global impact. Not only was global demand down, exporters totally lost their LNG banker of choice, the United States of America that had been busy building regasification terminals in anticipation of a tightening domestic market. But with the shale boom, you couldn’t give LNG away in the US if you tried these days....

...North America promises to be one of the largest export markets of all. Unsurprisingly American players all have one market in mind at this stage: Asia. That categorically applies to Canada, where Shell, PetroChina, Kogas and Mitsubishi are lining up 12mt/y exports from British Colombia for Asian markets. That follows export licenses already agreed for BG Group, and Apache through Kitimat LNG as well as the Alaskan North Slope plumping for LNG to monetise its 35tcf of proven reserves. As the latest Nexen deal between Toronto and Beijing attests, Canada has zero doubt that selling 30mt/y of stranded gas to Asia is the only option it has on the table to 2020; it is not like it can place LNG into its neighbouring but saturated US market. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

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2012 August 4

Beginning this month, news article links are contained in article headlines, rather than in the cited text. — SPB Webmaster

New Brunswick

Canaport LNG: BOG project contributes over USD 3 mln to Saint John economy (Aug 1) — LNG World News

In February, Canaport LNG announced plans to upgrade the Terminal’s Boil-Off Gas (BOG) system. Completion of this project will reduce the amount of BOG sent to flare, resulting in the reduction of the Terminal’s emissions.

Webmaster's comment: Unlike the proposed Downeast LNG terminal, Canaport LNG is in an industry-compliant location. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for information on the LNG industry's terminal siting best safe practices, as published by SIGTTO.)

New England

USA: Three LNG cargoes imported in June (Aug 3) — LNG World News

All three cargoes were shipped from Trinidad. Two cargoes were delivered to Everett LNG terminal while the Elba Island terminal received one cargo.

U.S. imports have been declining steadily as shippers send LNG to higher-paying markets in Europe and Asia. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: This same article appears under the Southeast heading, below.

Southeast

USA: Three LNG cargoes imported in June (Aug 3) — LNG World News

All three cargoes were shipped from Trinidad. Two cargoes were delivered to Everett LNG terminal while the Elba Island terminal received one cargo.

U.S. imports have been declining steadily as shippers send LNG to higher-paying markets in Europe and Asia. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: This same article appears under the New England heading, above.

Gulf of Mexico

FERC issues schedule for Environmental Review of Sabine Pass feeder pipeline (Aug 2) — LNG Law Blog

FERC issued a notice of its schedule for preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Creole Trail Expansion Project, which would enable bi-directional gas flow on the Creole Trail Pipeline system and allow for the delivery of feed gas to the Sabine Pass Liquefaction Project. FERC plans to issue the EA on September 18, 2012, and participating federal agencies must complete their review of the project by December 17, 2012.

Osaka Gas and Chubu Electric acquire liquefaction capacity at Freeport LNG (Aug 1) — Energy Global

Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P. has executed 20-year liquefaction tolling agreements with Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. (Osaka Gas) and Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. covering 100% of the liquefaction capacity of the first train of Freeport LNG's proposed natural gas liquefaction and LNG loading facility near Freeport, Texas.

Trains 2 and 3 Freeport LNG are also under exclusive negotiations with respect to the second and third trains of the liquefaction project. Definitive agreements with respect to the second and third trains are expected to be completed before year-end. The new liquefaction facilities will be integrated into the existing regasification facilities and operated as an integrated plant.

Freeport signs LNG-export agreement with Osaka Gas, Chubu (Jul 31) — Bloomberg

Sumitomo Corp., Japan’s third-largest trading house, and Tokyo Gas Co agreed to buy 2.3 million metric tons of LNG annually for 20 years from Dominion Resources Inc.’s planned Cove Point terminal, which is expected to start operating from Maryland in 2017.

Freeport expects to make a final decision on its Texas project in the second half of 2012, according to its statement.

“Freeport may or may not get the export license, and the moratorium on LNG exports is not going to be reviewed before the U.S. presidential elections,” Regan said. “It may be difficult.”

Natural gas export deals — Energy & Capital, Baltimore, MD

Japan Interested in U.S. LNG

Nations like Korea and India have made purchases of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG).

And Japan wants a piece of the action. Freeport LNG Development LP announced that it has agreed to produce LNG for Japan's Osaka Gas Co. and Chubu Electric Power Co.

Freeport in talks with Shell to export LNG (Aug 3) — NASDAQ

Mr. Smith said he hopes to finalize an agreement with the Shell by the end of 2012 for the global energy giant to take 1.35 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day for export from Freeport LNG's Texas facility. If the deal is signed, Mr. Smith said, the liquefied natural gas facility could be operational by 2018 or 2019. A spokesman for Shell confirmed that it was in negotiations with Freeport.

Shell is also looking into gas export from Canada. Last week, it filed an application with Canadian authorities to build an export facility in British Columbia along with Korean and Chinese partners. This facility, at full capacity, would be capable of exporting 3.4 billion cubic feet of gas daily.

Port of Brownsville files in support of Gulf Coast LNG export application (Aug 1) — LNG Law Blog

Citing the economic benefits of the proposal, the Port of Brownsville filed a letter with the Department of Energy (DOE) in support of Gulf Coast LNG Export's pending application to export LNG from the United States.

Cheniere Partners closes $3.6B credit facility for Sabine Pass Liquefaction project [Press release] (Jul 31) — Cheniere Energy Partners, Houston, TX

Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. ("Cheniere Partners") (NYSE MKT: CQP) announced today that Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC ("Sabine Liquefaction") closed on a credit facility ("Credit Facility") that will be used to fund the costs of developing, constructing and placing into service the first two liquefaction trains of the Sabine Pass liquefaction project (the "Liquefaction Project"). The Credit Facility was upsized to an aggregate $3.6 billion and is held by a syndicate of eleven joint lead arrangers and ten additional banks and financial institutions. The closing of the Credit Facility completes the debt financing necessary to construct the first two trains of the Liquefaction Project.

FERC staff submits comments on Corpus Christi Liquefaction Draft Resource Reports (Aug 2) — LNG Law Blog

Yesterday, FERC Engineering Staff submitted comments on Draft Resource Reports 11 and 13 filed by Corpus Christi Liquefaction LLC for its proposed liquefaction project.

Caribbean

Tomblin: LNG plant unaffected by JPS monopoly ruling (Aug 1) — The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Kelly Tomblin, president of Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), said that its shareholders would push ahead with the investment in the 360 megawatt LNG plant regardless of an initial Supreme Court ruling invalidating its monopoly status.

The court ruling released Monday invalidated the 'exclusivity' of the JPS licence to distribute electricity, but did not strike down the licence itself, saying it was within the portfolio Cabinet minister's power to issue a licence to a single party.

Tomblin said the LNG plant is a separate operation from JPS, but has common ownership.

JPS expects its 360 MW project to deliver savings of 30-40 per cent on electricity bills, but has warned that the savings are dependent on the Jamaica government following through on its plans to deliver the infrastructure and supplies of LNG. Otherwise, it would use the more expensive diesel as fuel source.

Need to diversify economy (Aug 2) — Newsday, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies

WHILE the marked increase in the production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the United States which, understandably triggered a decline in US LNG imports, has impacted on Repsol’s LNG sales, nonetheless recent reports indicating that Repsol was reviewing its LNG assets in Trinidad and Tobago (TT) , Canada and Peru have come as a surprise.

Trinidad and Tobago, through TT based Atlantic LNG in which Repsol is the major shareholder, had for several years supplied the United States with more than 72 percent of its LNG imports. Within the past two years, however, the bulk of exports of TT produced LNG had been shifted to Latin America and today TT’s LNG exports to the US account for approximately 25 percent of that country’s LNG import market.

A factor which can not be overlooked is that TT’’s natural gas reserves may very well run out in the second half of this century, this country’s share of the Loran and Manatee gas fields notwithstanding. The earning of revenue which would assist in paying for Repsol’s share of Atlantic LNG is crucial. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Alaska

TransCanada seeks interest (Week of Aug 5) — Petroleum News, Anchorage, AK

The joint venture between TransCanada Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. plans to conduct a solicitation of interest to find parties that might be willing to make future capacity commitments on a North Slope natural gas pipeline, TransCanada announced on July 30.

It is an early attempt to gauge the desire for firm gas transportation and treatment capacity and to find parties interested in future open season discussions. The solicitation will gauge interest in a gas pipeline system from the North Slope of Alaska “to a gas liquefaction terminal at a tidewater location in south-central Alaska or to an interconnection point near the border of British Columbia and Alberta in Canada.”

While the original plan focused on Lower 48 markets, last October Gov. Sean Parnell called for participants to unite around an LNG project focused on the Pacific Rim.

Additionally, the state still needs to coordinate its efforts on the LNG project with concurrent efforts to build an in-state pipeline to serve the needs of Alaskans.

[McGuire] said Hawaii legislative leaders have expressed an interest in buying Alaska gas and Alaska lawmakers have made sales pitches to Hawaii policymakers in recent years.

British Columbia

Spectra eyes supporting LNG exports from Prince Rupert, British Columbia: CEO (Aug 2) — Platts

Spectra Energy is considering enhancing its pipeline grid in British Columbia to support liquefied natural exports out of Prince Rupert and is already in "advanced negotiations," CEO Greg Ebel said Thursday.

Two of the five LNG export proposals out of British Columbia, from the UK's BG Group and Malaysian state-owned Petronas, are for sites in Prince Rupert. The other three are in Kitimat, south of Prince Rupert.

Rival Canadian pipeline company TransCanada appeared to have the edge in the infrastructural race when in June it was selected to build, own and operate the 420-mile Coastal GasLink pipeline from Dawson Creek to Shell Canada's planned LNG export terminal in Kitimat.

Oregon

FERC issues Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Jordan Cove's LNG export project (Aug 2) — LNG Law Blog

Today FERC issued a notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Jordan Cove Energy Project’s proposed LNG export terminal in Coos County, Ore. and the proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, which would interconnect to the LNG terminal. The notice sets the dates for several public scoping meetings, with comments on the scope of the environmental review due September 4, 2012.

United States

LNG demand may fuel American prices (Aug 1) — Gasworld

[I]n America, natural gas prices received a boost after Cheniere Energy announced it expects to receive $3.4 billion in financing for a liquefied-natural-gas export facility.

The export facility would have the potential to help ease the country’s current glut of natural gas by allowing natural gas producers to ship the fuel overseas. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

US LNG exports have no price advantage in Europe -Deutsche Bank (Aug 3) — Reuters

Potential future U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) would have no price advantage over European hub prices and therefore cannot directly displace gas into Europe, Deutsche Bank said on Friday.

The first U.S. LNG exports are expected to come from the Sabine Pass terminal from 2016, and its export price will involve a 15 percent premium to the U.S. Henry Hub natural gas trading hub, along with a fixed capacity charge of $2.25-3.00 per million British thermal units (mmbtu).

With the addition of transport and liquefaction charges, U.S. LNG exports would not have a price advantage at Britain's National Balancing Point (NBP), Europe's benchmark gas trading hub, Deutsche Bank said.

Four LNG export terminals in the United States have so far secured customer interest, and their total capacity would be around 48 million tonnes per year, but analysts have said they expect the United States to cap its LNG exports to ensure low gas prices for its domestic industry.

Can the big shift in energy bring a return of industrial demand? (Aug 2) — OilPrice

Low domestic US natural gas prices combined with the manufacturers ability to avoid higher foreign LNG costs, avoid transportation costs of both feedstock and finished products imports to the US and the narrowing gap in wages and other costs compared to emerging markets is making ‘Made in America’ a winning strategy once again.

Four LNG cargoes re-exported in January–June (Aug 3) — LNG World News

The country also exported one LNG cargo on June 17 from the Kenai LNG plant in Alaska, according to DOE.

Webmaster's comment: After shutting down last fall, Kenai LNG is back in service, exporting to Asia.

Mexico

Peru LNG ships cargo to Mexico (Aug 3) — LNG World News

The cargo is being hauled by the Barcelona Knutsen, a 173,400 cubic-meter tanker, and it is sailing to Mexico’s Manzanillo terminal.

North America

Three questions with David Goldwyn (Aug 1) — Alberta Oil, Edmonton, AB

AO: Could that erosion make it difficult for LNG proponents to get financing?

DG: It still remains to be seen whether financial players believe and are willing to invest in the sustainability of shale resources for a 30-year project. They haven’t done it yet. That’s an open question. I think the way you might see that change is some of the Japanese utilities become equity investors in the LNG export projects, so that they’re sharing some of the risk. [Red emphasis added.]

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