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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 April 25

Passamaquoddy Bay, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia & Canada

Two new small-scale LNG facilities planned for Nova Scotia: developer (Apr 24) — Platts

Halifax-based Nova Scotia LNG is planning to build two small LNG facilities in the Atlantic Canadian province with a total capacity of 180,000-260,000 mt/year, its director Dean Girdis said Friday.

A 30,000-60,000 mt/year plant and another 150,000-200,000 mt/year project will be constructed, with the former targeting bunkering demand along the US and Canadian East Coast and the latter facility being more focused on diesel displacement markets in the Caribbean, he said in an email.

Nova Scotia LNG is developing the facilities under a partnership with Nitrogas, a specialized LNG/LPG broker with maritime expertise, Girdis said, noting it will develop a tolling facility with gas liquefaction charges of $3.50/MMBtu to $5/MMBtu.

Nova Scotia LNG has optioned a site from the provincial government, he said, that was once identified by ExxonMobil (then Mobil Oil) for its own planned LNG export facility.

The company will utilize LNG carriers with a capacity of 10,000 cu m to 25,000 cu m to send cargoes to the Caribbean, while for bunkering "we would have the ability to dock ships directly at our berth for refueling."

Prime reasons for Nova Scotia LNG deciding to build its facility in the province, rather than the US East Coast, include ease of permitting, access to offshore gas in Atlantic Canada and support from stakeholders, he said.

The two projects will need a total of 24 MMcf/d of feedstock gas, to be sourced from offshore Nova Scotia, which has an output of 250 MMcf/d, he said.

"If required, we [also] have access to the Maritimes pipeline from where we could source Canadian gas from Quebec," Girdis said. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Is this an indication that Dean Girdis is preparing for Downeast LNG's failure, setting himself up with a new developer's job in Nova Scotia?
 
Note that Girdis claims he would obtain natural gas from Canada, not the United States.

David Alward named Canadian consul general in Boston (Apr 24) — CBC News

Former New Brunswick premier named to post by Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson

Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson named Alward to the post on Friday.

Alward says he's looking forward to the new challenge as Canada's top diplomat in the northeast United States.

‎"We are pleased to have a New Brunswicker and a former premier of our province representing our country in such an important position," [Premier Brian Gallant] said in a statement.

The Canadian government has 12 consulates general offices in the United States to provide services and resources to Canadians and Americans.

The Boston office covers Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The Boston consulate post has been held by other Maritime ex-premiers, including Nova Scotia's Donald Cameron and P.E.I.'s Patrick Binns, whom Alward is replacing. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

New England

NE Governors pledge regional energy cooperation, despite challenges (Apr 23) — MPBN

HARTFORD, Conn. - Five of the six New England governors met in Hartford, Connecticut, today to talk about regional energy concerns. While the governors are pledging to cooperate on a strategy that will benefit all, they acknowledge that crafting a regional energy plan will present a challenge.

During the public forum both [Connecticut Gov. Dannel Molloy] and [Maine Gov. Paul LePage] stressed that there is no single solution to the cost issue. At one point, as they talked about the need for additional natural gas pipeline capacity, they were briefly interrupted by anti-fracking protesters.

After a closed meeting, Molloy told reporters that the marketplace has failed the region and that it will take regional policies to address the high cost of energy.…

Gulf of Mexico

Demonstrators stage LNG protest (Apr 24) — Port Isabel-South Padre Press, Port Isabel, TX

A group of protesters comprised of concerned citizens, the Sierra Club, the Lower Laguna Madre Foundation and the local chapter of the Audubon Society gathered at the foot of the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway on South Padre Island on Sunday, April 19 for two hours to show their opposition to the development of five liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals slated for the Port of Brownsville.

The event drew a crowd of approximately 75 people holding banners, waving signs, wearing costumes and chanting slogans such as “Not fair! Fresh air!” and “Hand in hand, RGV, take a stand!” According to the advertisement for the demonstration, the group, calling itself Save RGV from LNG, stated on its Facebook page that they “will be protesting the five liquefied natural gas export terminals proposed for the Port of Brownsville. We have chosen this date to coincide with the 5th anniversary of the BP Deepwater Oil Spill, the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.” The post goes on to say, “Fossil fuel companies are bad for coastal communities, and we want to show them that they aren’t welcome here. We are not willing to sacrifice our clean air, clean water and biodiverse wildlife habitats for corporate profits.” [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Alaska

Community peppers Alaska LNG staff with questions (Apr 23) — Peninsula Clarion, Kenai, AK

How much noise is it going to make? How will Nikiski handle the influx of people and resulting crime if the Alaska LNG project goes forward? Will the project hire local companies to do some of the construction work on the mega-project? When will the community know if the project will go forward and Nikiski will get a pipeline?

While the finished project is more than 10 years out, organizers said they were happy to see the volume of community interest.

British Columbia

LNG secrecy stirs legislators (Week of Apr 26) — Petroleum News, Anchorage, AK

British Columbia’s Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman is trumpeting the chances that Malaysia’s Petronas will formally sanction its Pacific NorthWest LNG project just as his government is coming under fire for shielding more of its negotiations with LNG proponents from public scrutiny.

NDP leader John Horgan said that instead of developing its natural resources in the “public interest,” the province shows signs of using LNG as a “partisan tool.”

[NDP’s LNG spokesman Bruce Ralston] warned the government is positioning itself to negotiate LNG-related royalties for up to 40 years “in the privacy of the cabinet room,” noting that Coleman had previously declared that “under no circumstances could project development agreements be disclosed.”

Hawaii

Hawaii Gas chief backs bill curbing use of LNG (Apr 24) — Eaglefordtexas.com, TX

Alicia Moy, president and CEO of Hawaii Gas, said she supports a bill sitting on Gov. David Ige’s desk that would limit the use of liquefied natural gas in Hawaii, despite the utility looking to supply the resource to the state in bulk.

House Bill 1286 mandates that the use of LNG in Hawaii does not slow the development and use of renewable energy sources, reaffirms Hawaii’s need to cut its dependence on imported fuels and encourages utilities to make the social and financial interests of ratepayers a priority.

Moy said the gas utility’s LNG plans would align with the state’s goals to increase the use of renewable energy.

United States

USGS models predict severity of man-made earthquakes (Apr 23) — UPI

WASHINGTON, April 23 (UPI) -- Man-made earthquakes are on the rise in Middle America, where industrial practices like fracking and deep-well wastewater storage are increasingly common.

The report highlights 17 areas within eight states -- Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas -- which have experienced increased seismicity over the last several years. Researchers constructed the new prediction models by looking at earthquakes in these areas and plotting their size and power relative to nearby industrial triggers.

"This new report describes for the first time how injection-induced earthquakes can be incorporated into U.S. seismic hazard maps," explained Mark Petersen, who is heading up the USGS National Seismic Hazard Modeling Project.

"These earthquakes are occurring at a higher rate than ever before and pose a much greater risk to people living nearby," Petersen said. "The USGS is developing methods that overcome the challenges in assessing seismic hazards in these regions in order to support decisions that help keep communities safe from ground shaking."

The study pins most of the blame for a rise in man-made ground-shaking on wastewater injection practices. Though fracking has been linked with slight tremors (noticed only by seismic needles), USGS say it is only occasionally responsible for felt earthquakes. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Scientists convinced of tie between earthquakes and drilling (Apr 23) — San Antonio Express-News, San Antonio, TX

LOS ANGELES (AP) — With the evidence coming in from one study after another, scientists are now more certain than ever that oil and gas drilling is causing hundreds upon hundreds of earthquakes across the U.S.

So far, the quakes have been mostly small and have done little damage beyond cracking plaster, toppling bricks and rattling nerves. But seismologists warn that the shaking can dramatically increase the chances of bigger, more dangerous quakes.

On Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey released the first comprehensive maps pinpointing more than a dozen areas in the central and eastern U.S. that have been jolted by quakes that the researchers said were triggered by drilling. The report said man-made quakes tied to industry operations have been on the rise.

Scientists have mainly attributed the spike to the injection of wastewater deep underground, a practice they say can activate dormant faults. Only a few cases of shaking have been blamed on fracking, in which large volumes of water, sand and chemicals are pumped into rock formations to crack them open and free oil or gas.

Earthquake activity in Oklahoma in 2013 was 70 times greater than it was before 2008, state geologists reported. Oklahoma historically recorded an average of 1.5 quakes of magnitude 3 or greater each year. It is now seeing an average of 2.5 such quakes each day, according to geologists. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

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