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3-Nation Alliance

Alliance to Protect the Quoddy Region
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"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
                                           — US Senator Susan Collins, 2012 Jun 21



 

Latest News


2015 July 31

Nova Scotia

Market Snapshot: Deep Panuke moves to seasonal production and lowers reserves due to water influx (Jul 29) — National Energy Board (NEB), Government of Canada

As of mid-May 2015, natural gas production at Deep Panuke has been shut-down and start-up is not expected until the fourth quarter of 2015. Production is shut down because Encana changed the deliverability profile to a seasonal only operation for Deep Panuke, moving production to winter months when prices in the region are higher. Deep Panuke’s reserve estimate was also decreased by Encana due to higher than expected water incursion into the reservoir. At this point, it is unclear what the impact of seasonal production will be on the ultimate recovery of Deep Panuke’s natural gas.

With production expected to continue to decline from Sable Island and uncertainty surrounding the remaining life of Deep Panuke’s output, it is possible that the Maritimes region could consider switching to imports of liquefied natural gas by tanker into New Brunswick, or pipeline imports from the U.S. Several pipeline expansions and de-bottlenecking initiatives in the U.S. Northeast are currently being proposed and are in the early stages of regulatory review. For one of the projects, Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge Project, Maritimes gas users, such as Heritage Gas, Irving Oil Terminal Operations Inc., and J.D. Irving Ltd., have entered into precedent agreements to help underpin the possible expansion of U.S. pipeline capacity in the region. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

New Brunswick

Canaport LNG bird kill case adjourned without pleas again (Jul 30) — CBC News

Canaport LNG, Irving Canaport and Repsol each face 3 charges dating back to 2013

Canaport LNG Limited Partnership, Irving Canaport GP Company Ltd., and Repsol Canada Ltd. each face three charges, including two alleged violations of the Migratory Birds Convention Act and one from the Species at Risk Act.

The companies were scheduled to enter pleas in Saint John court on Thursday morning, but a lawyer representing Repsol requested more time for one of the defendants to review scientific data in the case. He did not identify which defendant.

The case has been set over until Sept. 28 at 9:30 a.m.

An estimated 7,500 songbirds were killed when they flew into a gas flare at the liquefied natural gas receiving and regasification terminal ​on Saint John's east side some time between Sept. 14 and Sept. 15, 2013.

In May, the court case was adjourned without pleas to allow more time for full disclosure by the Crown.

Each indictable offence carries a maximum fine of $1 million. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Gulf of Mexico

MARAD to prepare EIS for Delfin LNG deepwater port license application (Jul 30) — LNG Law Blog

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) has issued a notice of intent to prepare in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard an environmental impact statement (EIS) as part of its environmental review of Delfin LNG LLC’s (Delfin LNG) application for a license to construct and operate an offshore LNG deepwater port export terminal for offshore Cameron Parish, La. The onshore pipeline to be interconnected to Delfin LNG’s proposed deepwater port would be located in Cameron Parish, La. and would be reviewed by FERC.

Liquefied natural gas hearing set (Jul 27) — Valley Morning Star, Harlingen, TX

BROWNSVILLE — Opponents of three liquefied natural gas export terminals proposed for the Port of Brownsville are questioning the format of a public “scoping hearing” the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has scheduled for Aug. 11.

The meeting, to be held in Port Isabel, is officially meant to gather public input on the Annova LNG project for an Environmental Impact Statement as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, though public comments will be recorded on the other two proposed projects, by Rio Grande LNG and Texas LNG.

Members of the public will not, however, be allowed to air their comments aloud during the Aug. 11 meeting. Rather, their comments will be recorded one-on-one with a stenographer, entered into the project docket and made available for online viewing via FERC’s eLibrary system.

Jim Chapman, chairman of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Sierra Club, said he was told by FERC project manager Rafael Montag that the format for the Port Isabel meeting was chosen to preclude “grandstanding” by commenters. Chapman said Montag also implied that the format was due to concerns about FERC officials’ safety during the hearing

Stefanie Herwick, a member of the Sierra Club chapter’s executive committee, said the meeting format goes against the National Environmental Policy Act’s goal of “encouraging citizen involvement to the largest extent possible.”

She’s also unhappy with that fact that all three LNG projects are being lumped together in one scoping hearing, since they’re not identical and have specific issues surrounding them. The Rio Grande LNG facility, for instance, would feature on-site generation plant while the other two facilities would not, meaning differences in emissions. Herwick thinks it will just end up confusing the public. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Alaska

Losses elsewhere, but profits in Alaska, reports ConocoPhillips — Bakken.com

Thursday it … commented on its natural gas operations in the state, including its just-announced plans to sell most of its Cook Inlet natural gas production and to later develop a large pipeline from the North Slope to export liquefied natural gas.

British Columbia

Drinking from the river at the Unist'ot'en Camp (Jul 28) — rabble.ca

Last week, Chevron representatives tried to enter Unist'ot'en territory at a protocol checkpoint. Watch this video of Chevron bringing industrial tobacco and a case of Nestle bottled water (to a community that can drinking directly from the river). Freda Huson, Unist'ot'en spokesperson, talks about the impacts of the PTP and affirming the need for meaningful consultation and consent.

There are up to 18 proposals to build LNG terminals along the Pacific Coast. Communities have raised concerns about tanker safety, impacts on salmon and other fisheries, the need for free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous communities and how the expansion of fracking to supply the terminals will impact water sources, climate change and public health.

Being at the Unist'ot'en camp was an incredibly moving experience and so inspiring to see people have the courage to put their bodies on the line to defend water, land and our climate. Visiting communities that have fought tar sands pipelines and are ready to fight LNG terminals gives hope that despite the B.C. government being bent on expanding fossil fuels -- including fracked gas -- in the province, there is a strong movement of people that are determined to create a future lit with green energy, sustained by green jobs and progressive policies that protect our water for generations to come. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

B.C. first nation postpones vote on natural gas facility (Jul 28) — CTV News

SQUAMISH, B.C. -- The Squamish First Nation has delayed a vote on a proposed $1.6 billion liquefied natural gas plant in its traditional territory while it negotiates with the project's backers during an unprecedented environmental review.

The nation says its independent assessment is the first of its kind in British Columbia because it is legally binding and Woodfibre LNG, FortisBC and the province have agreed to participate. Last month, the nation issued 25 conditions it wants met before it grants its own environmental certificate.

The nation issued its conditions in late June after it commissioned an environmental review by an independent consulting group. More than half of the conditions apply to Woodfibre LNG, while the remainder applies to FortisBC and the province.

The province passed legislation last week that allowed for the ratification of its first LNG agreement, signed with Malaysia-led consortium Pacific Northwest LNG. The local Lax Kw'alaams First Nation has refused to support the US$36-billion facility on an island near Prince Rupert.

Squamish Nation delays vote on Woodfibre LNG facility until fall (Jul 28) — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

“We do not find that the proponent’s conclusions of negligible impacts on herring and plankton (tiny fish, plants, marine insects, larval fish or shellfish) are sufficiently proven,” the report said. “We found that the development of this project adds to other industrial impacts on Howe Sound at a time when the waters are coming back to life.” [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

LNG process flawed: Nation Members (Jul 30) — The Squamish Chief, Squamish, BC

Squamish Nation leadership has postponed its decision on the proposed Woodfibre LNG and associated FortisBC pipeline project until fall.

Meanwhile, some Squamish Nation members are saying they have been left out of the decision-making process altogether.

Brown said the actual site of the proposed facility is a traditional Squamish Nation village.

Brown said while the leadership put forward conditions to be met in order for the LNG facility to go through, her feeling is that most of the membership does not want the facility at all.

Farmland under pressure with development of Site C, LNG: former Agricultural Land Commission chair (Jul 29) — CBC News

The proposed Site C Dam will take more than 4,000 hectares of agricultural Crown land. Bullock says the dam should be built elsewhere in the province because this will be the third dam on the Peace River.

The Agricultural Land Commission, formerly known as the Agricultural Land Reserve, was created by the NDP in the early 70s to protect B.C.'s farmland from industrial and urban development.

B.C.'s LNG job boom overstated, according to think tank’s report (Jul 29) — Business in Vancouver, Vancouver, BC

The 100,000 jobs the provincial government has promised due to LNG projects across B.C. is an overblown figure, according to a new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The report takes aim at the 4,500 jobs it says the government expects to be created by the Pacific Northwest LNG project headed by Petronas. The provincial legislature passed a bill last week that allowed it to enter into an agreement with the Malaysian owned company to build an LNG export terminal near Prince Rupert. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Orca LNG Ltd. receives Canadian LNG export license (Jul 30) — LNG Law Blog

The Canadian National Energy Board has approved Orca LNG Ltd.’s application to export 1,344 Bcf/year of LNG per year over a 25-year term from its proposed natural gas liquefaction and LNG export terminal to be located in the vicinity of Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

United States

No joy in Mudville*: Shale gas stalls, LNG export Dead On Arrival — OilVoice

Something unusual happened while we were focused on the global oil-price collapse — the increase in U.S. shale gas production stalled (Figure 1).

Meanwhile, the global price of LNG is in the gutter. Landed prices in Asia are now less than $8 per mmBtu and, in Europe, are less than $7 per mmBtu (Figure 6).

Woops! LNG export from the U.S never made competitive economic sense to me but now, it looks dead-on-arrival.

The other big appeal of LNG export, of course, was that we had 100 years of the stuff so it wouldn't affect our supply or the price by very much. Now supply is stalled and demand is rising. If this continues, price increases won't be far behind.

The stalling of gas production is a temporary anomaly but it is also a red flag. In July 2015, the future for cheap and abundant natural gas for decades looks increasingly uncertain. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

EPA proposes voluntary methane emissions reduction program — Energy Legal Blog®

As a first step toward curbing methane emissions from existing sources, EPA has released a proposed framework for the Natural Gas Star Methane Challenge Program. EPA is scheduled to propose regulations this summer to reduce methane emissions from new and modified sources. Therefore, any sources that exist before the date EPA proposes those regulations would not be required to reduce their methane emissions until EPA adopts methane regulations for existing sources. In order to try to reduce methane emissions from existing sources in the interim, EPA will be looking to industry to voluntarily reduce methane emissions by participating in the Natural Gas Star Methane Challenge Program.

Various environmental groups have expressed concerned about delaying the adoption of regulations that reduce methane emissions from existing sources. Depending on industry’s willingness to participate in the program, these environmental groups may file a lawsuit sooner rather than later to try to force EPA to issue methane regulations for existing sources. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: EPA to natural gas industry: Pleeeeze? Pretty Pleeeeze? No? Oh, okay, then.

FERC offers developers advice on how to befriend stakeholders (Jul 29) — Natural Gas Intelligence [Paid subscription]

As open dockets for pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects groan under the weight of numerous objections from landowners and others, FERC has published guidance on "best practices" for stakeholder outreach. Projects will have an easier time in the regulatory process if developers try to make friends with the locals, the Commission said.

The 32-page document presents common practices and highlights tools that FERC-regulated natural gas companies can use to "effectively inform and engage stakeholders during the FERC review process" for interstate pipelines and liquefied natural gas facilities.

Webmaster's comment: Caveat: No public stakeholders were engaged in creating this project-facilitation document.

Climate measure ditched as panel seeks bipartisan energy bill (Jul 29) — Agri-Pulse

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2015- The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee rejected a climate change proposal from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as the panel continued to debate amendments on a broad, bipartisan energy bill.

In Wednesday's markup, the panel passed an amendment introduced by Manchin that clarifies how the Department of Energy (DOE) allocates Coal Technology Program research dollars, as well as one from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., that would require DOE to conduct a study on how liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports impact various regions of the country, and another from Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., that would increase cybersecurity protections for public power utilities through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, introduced an amendment related to LNG exports that inspired a few minutes of debate, but ultimately failed to pass. The measure would have required DOE to assess the economic impact of any future LNG exports. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

World

RPT-COLUMN-Asia LNG output vs regas capacity mismatch looming: Russell (Jul 30) — Reuters

LAUNCESTON, Australia, July 30 (Reuters) - What could go wrong for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Asia to derail the current consensus of strongly rising demand being met by supply that is increasing even faster?

For LNG, there is little doubt about the wave of supply coming onstream in the next few years, with the seven projects in Australia under construction or in the process of starting up largely meeting the timetables set by their operators.

It's much the same with the five projects under construction in the United States, which together with the Australian export terminals will add more than 110 million tonnes of annual capacity to the market within the next four years.

Other projects being built in Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Africa will take the total LNG output capacity to 423.7 million tonnes by 2020, up from 301.2 million tonnes last year, according to data from the International Gas Union (IGU).

The supply additions are already starting to overwhelm demand, causing prices to decline sharply. Spot Asian LNG LNG-AS fetched $8.10 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) in the week to July 24, down 20 percent since the start of the year and 60 percent from the record $20.50 hit in February 2014.

Even allowing that more terminals may be completed between 2018 and 2020, it seems unlikely enough regasification capacity is being built to meet expected supply increases, particularly in China and India, the two big hopes for demand growth. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Another LNG investment bubble is heading for a loud pop.

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