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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 September 29

New Brunswick

Canaport LNG bird kill pleas delayed again (Sep 28) — CBC News

The federal prosecutor in a Saint John case involving the deaths of thousands of songbirds at the Canaport gas terminal in 2013 agreed to an adjournment of pleas Monday to allow for "a reasonable chance of resolution" in the case.

Irving Oil Ltd., Canaport LNG and Repsol were to enter pleas in the case on Monday. They are charged with violating the Migratory Birds Convention Act, and a charge under the Species at Risk Act, in connection with a 2013 incident where 7,500 song birds flew into a gas flare at the Canaport gas terminal and were killed.

The parties are scheduled to return to court on Nov. 5.

Canaport set for LNG cargo (Sep 23) — LNG World News

Repsol’s Canaport import terminal in Canada is scheduled to receive one liquefied natural gas cargo on October 8, according to port data.

Webmaster's comment: This same Canaport LNG has received federal approval to construct LNG export facilities to ship LNG to Asia, since its import facility is currently losing its shirt. From world LNG market developments, it appears that the Canaport LNG export terminal is likely to end up losing its shirt, as well. Downeast LNG yearns to be part of the "we've lost our shirt" club.


Another View: Propping up fossil fuels is a doubly foolish policy [Editorial] (Sep 23) — Portland Press Herald, Portland, ME [Paid subscription]

Taxpayers shouldn't give the industry an advantage in the marketplace when people and businesses need incentives to use cleaner energy.

Subsidies, as a rule, distort financial incentives and leave the economy less efficient. Subsidies on fossil fuels are doubly foolish: They also divert investment and consumption from cleaner energy, and cost taxpayers a bundle.

Yet last year, for all the talk from world leaders about cutting greenhouse-gas emissions, the richest nations spent more on subsidies for coal, oil and natural gas than they did a decade ago. Those subsidies – a mix of direct spending and tax breaks – amounted to $65 billion among the 34 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and another $103 billion in China, India, Brazil and other large countries outside the OECD. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


Plans for Florida's only LNG [import] plant scrapped (Sep 28) —

Plans to develop the only liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Florida are being scrapped as a result of increased domestic LNG production, reports Bloomberg.

Port Dolphin Energy LLC is canceling development of its 1,200 million cubic feet a day port in Manatee County due to a small number of buyers and “catastrophic changes” in the market, according to Bloomberg via the Houston-based developer. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: This was an LNG import project.

Port Dolphin Energy abandons plans for deepwater port and pipeline into Florida (Sep 28) — LNG Law Blog

Port Dolphin Energy (Port Dolphin) has filed a motion requesting that FERC vacate the order in which Port Dolphin received certificates and waivers to construct an onshore pipeline in Florida to import regasified LNG from Port Dolphin’s proposed offshore Deepwater LNG Port. Port Dolphin stated that due to changed market conditions where the United States is positioned to become an exporter rather than an importer of natural gas, Port Dolphin has been unsuccessful in its efforts to negotiate commercial contracts for the proposed Deepwater Port. Port Dolphin stated that it has submitted a request to the U.S. Maritime Administration to approve the surrender of its deepwater port license. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: The real mystery is why it took so long — just like Downeast LNG's inability to realize it is a moot project.


LNG plant construction a huge undertaking — Peninsula Clarion, Kenai, AK

Site preparations for the proposed liquefied natural gas plant and massive LNG storage tanks in Nikiski would require stripping up to 4 million cubic yards of loose soil, soft peat moss and other vegetation. That’s more than enough to cover a rough trail 10 feet wide, a foot deep from New York City to Houston.

Crews would then need to excavate as much as 6 million cubic yards of frost-susceptible material — up to 6 feet deep in some areas — to prepare the site for construction. Some of the material could be reused as fill, while other material would need to be trucked in to complete the base.

The project would use 800,000 cubic yards of gravel, 300,000 cubic yards of concrete, 300,000 cubic yards of armor rock, 100,000 tons of structural steel, 6,500 pilings, 7 miles of electrical wiring, almost 200 miles of aboveground piping, and 20 miles of buried pipe.

The trestle to reach the loading berths could be as much as 3,200 feet long — more than half a mile — to reach water deep enough for the LNG carriers to safely maneuver.

In addition to the LNG plant at Nikiski, the project includes 806 miles of pipeline to reach the plant site from North Slope gas fields and a gas treatment plant to remove carbon dioxide and other impurities before the gas enters the pipeline.

British Columbia

B.C. First Nation to claim land title to block Pacific Northwest LNG terminal (Sep 19) — The StarPhoenix, Saskatoon, SK

LELU ISLAND, B.C. — A northern British Columbia First Nation says it is seeking aboriginal title to the land where a Malaysia-led consortium hopes to build a $36-billion liquefied natural gas terminal.

The Lax Kw’alaams First Nation says it will launch an action claiming title to Lelu Island and Flora Bank, where the Pacific NorthWest LNG project would be built.

The nation says the area is a critical fisheries habitat located in the estuary of the Skeena River and it is concerned that construction would irreparably harm salmon stocks.

Trudeau won't say yay or nay to Woodfibre LNG (Sep 11) — The Tyee, Vancouver, BC

Liberal leader talks up marine protection in West Van, but won't weigh in on riding's hot debate.

With English Bay as the backdrop, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau stood on the sun-drenched pier in West Vancouver's John Lawson Park yesterday to announce his party's plans to protect the marine environment -- but refused to take a clear stance on a big marine environment debate currently raging in the potential swing riding.

Trudeau made no mention at all about the debate in the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea-to-Sky Country riding over the proposed $1.7-billion Woodfibre LNG plant near Squamish. The plant would produce 2.1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year and showcase Trudeau ally and B.C. Premier Christy Clark's ambition to build an LNG industry on the west coast.

Neither the Squamish Nation nor District of Squamish support the project, unless their lengthy lists of conditions are met.


Concerns mount as Jordan Cove final EIS approaches — Herald and News, Klamath Falls, OR

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s final environmental impact statement for Jordan Cove Energy Project and the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline is scheduled for release on Wednesday, a huge milestone for the project that’s been mired in controversy for more than a decade.

“LNG is becoming a lot less competitive on the international market,” [Western Environmental Law Center staff attorney Susan Jane Brown] said. “The whole reason to do this project, at least now, is for export. And Jordan Cove has not been able to demonstrate that it’s got clients or buyers for this gas. Without being able to do that, there is a real question whether this project is in the public interest, which is what FERC needs to decide when it grants that certificate.”

“LNG is becoming a lot less competitive on the international market,” she said. “The whole reason to do this project, at least now, is for export. And Jordan Cove has not been able to demonstrate that it’s got clients or buyers for this gas. Without being able to do that, there is a real question whether this project is in the public interest, which is what FERC needs to decide when it grants that certificate.”

FERC has issued 10 final EISs since February 2014 — a wave of LNG facilities approaching final decisions in a national industry awash in natural gas.

…[I]n recent months, China’s LNG imports have slowed dramatically, Japan’s solar power generation is on the upswing, Australian LNG exporters are looking for customers elsewhere, and the Lake Charles LNG terminal in Louisiana has been postponed. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Hundreds protest Jordan Cove LNG Project through 'Hike the Pipe' (Sep 28) — KCBY-TV, North Bend, OR

NORTH BEND, Ore. -- Hundreds of protesters marched across the McCullough Bridge on Saturday

Several of the protesters traveled the pipeline route from Malin to Coos Bay, a total of 232 miles.

Many of the speakers said they want Governor Kate Brown to take a stance on LNG.

"She currently is not for or against the project publicly,” explained Hike the Pipe organizer Alex Harris, “however, her ambivalent stance is tacit consent for this going through, and that's unacceptable for a governor. She needs to know she's politically vulnerable and she needs to respond to the will of the people and not the will of corporations."

LNG critics ask Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to oppose project (Sep 28) — (The Daily Astorian) The Register-Guard, Eugene, OR

ASTORIA — Confident that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will eventually issue a license for Oregon LNG’s $6 billion liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline on Warrenton’s Skipanon Peninsula, opponents are calling on Gov. Kate Brown to take a stand against the project.

Dan Serres, conservation director for Columbia Riverkeeper — the Hood River-based environmental group opposing the LNG project — said the draft statement has “significant omissions,” such as studies the commission admits should have been included and the public hasn’t had a chance to read.

But opponents, recognizing that the commission has never denied an LNG project, also took up a new charge: Get the governor to exercise her authority and direct state agencies to deny the project.

Protesters swarm Bay Area, rallying against Jordan Cove, LNG (Sep 27) — The World, Coos Bay, OR

More than 200 protesters took over Ferry Road Park on Saturday, including local groups like Citizens Against LNG and Coos Commons Protection Council, and statewide organizations like Hair on Fire Oregon, 350 Eugene, Raging Grannies and more.

The event marked the end of a 36-day journey across southern Oregon. Hike the Pipe, a group launched by Ashland native Alex Harris in May, hiked the length of the proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline from its origin in Malin to the finish line in Coos Bay.


LNG not a high priority on Maui, new report says — Pacific Business News, Honolulu, HI

Liquefied natural gas is the least preferred energy source on Maui, with some residents accepting LNG as a “bridge” to renewables, and others ruling it out altogether because of the concern of getting hooked on another non-renewable, foreign source, according to a new report.

Both Hawaiian Electric Co., which is the parent of Maui Electric Co., and Hawaii Gas have plans to import LNG in bulk shipments, starting in 2019.

But those plans took a big hit when Gov. David Ige came out in opposition of the state utilizing LNG as a replacement for oil as the state moves closer to its 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2045. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

United States

Energy consultant says U.S. LNG expectation Is ‘irrational exuberance’ (Sep 25) — Seapower Magazine Online

ARLINGTON, Va. — The United States’ foray into the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market is expected to result in billions of dollars — and jobs — for the country. But declining oil prices cast some doubt onto the potential for success.

Fereidun Fesharaki, chairman of FACTS Global Energy, an international energy consultancy group, said the long-term U.S. LNG plan is “irrational exuberance” during a Sept. 25 address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. The title of the event was “The Global LNG Market Outlook: Too Many Sellers, Not Enough Buyers.”

It is expected that the LNG market turmoil will likely hit new heights in 2016 with so much additional volume in the market. LNG prices have dropped nearly 60 percent since its high last year. In April 2014, the LNG import price was $17.34 per thousand cubic feet, and this past June it was $6.29, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Downeast LNG has been irrational from the get-go.

U.S. shale drillers are drowning in debt (Sep 17) — Bloomberg Business

  • Debt for 30 companies rises to above 40% of enterprise value

Total debt for half of the companies in a Bloomberg index of more than 60 producers has risen to a level that represents 40 percent of their enterprise value. It’s a sign of distress that shows equity values falling in the face of oil’s crash, said Rob Thummel, a managing director and portfolio manager at Tortoise Capital Advisors LLC who helps manage $15.6 billion.

As companies run low on cash, they may be forced to idle drilling rigs, confront bankruptcy or seek more expensive financing and sell assets. In the past year, U.S. oil producers used 83 percent of their operating cash flow to pay for debt service, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. A year ago, it was less than 60 percent.

Gas leaks can't be tamed (Sep 18) — The Atlantic

The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that natural gas and petroleum systems are the largest anthropogenic source of methane in the U.S., and the second-largest globally. Methane is the primary constituent of natural gas; it’s about 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide, making it a colossal greenhouse gas. And every day the vast networks of underground gas lines in the country leak it into the atmosphere.

But over time, I learned a surprising truth: The bulk of the gas leaks identified are left leaking. Those between five to 15 feet from a house or structure would receive a check-up after six months. Leaks more than 15 feet from a building were noted but required no special attention. Many of the leaks persisted for years and even decades. My boss, a man of great professional dedication, was so familiar with the leaks on his turf that he kept their dates and locations locked in his memory. He could point to a circular burn in a nondescript suburban lawn as we drove past and say, “There’s another. I found that one 10 years ago.”

…On my worst days, I stopped caring whether I was even covering the lines at all. It wasn’t just the monotony of the job that eventually got to me. It was the futility: the knowledge that the vast majority of the leaks would never be repaired and would continue leaking indefinitely. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


LNG prices in Asia to slide to four dollars soon: IWCCI (Sep 28) — Daily Times, Lahore, Pakistan

Samina Fazil said that according to a latest report by FGE, an international energy consultancy company, the prices of LNG has come down by 60 percent as compared to last year but it will nosedive soon.

The market is oversupplied while demand in Japan and Korea which are using half of the Asian LNG production is going down. Similarly demand in China has also been reduced. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


Global LNG-prices extend losses as new supplies emerge (Sep 28) — Hellenic Shipping News

The price of Asian spot cargoes for November delivery slumped to $6.80 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), 10 cents below last week’s assessment.

In the meantime, a run of low demand plaguing Asia’s top LNG importers Japan and South Korea continued to weigh on prices and contribute to a supply glut made worse by a wave of new LNG export plants in Australia and the United States.

[F]resh supplies overwhelmed scarce demand. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


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