Clearwater Port Project
March 2008 - - The $600-million Clearwater Port terminal, proposed by Houston-based NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc., would convert an oil platform about 11 miles offshore from Oxnard to receive and process up to 1.4 billion cubic feet each day of liquefied natural gas imported from Pacific Rim countries such as Australia and Indonesia. More than a dozen federal, state and local agencies will eventually review the Clearwater Port Project. The California State Lands Commission, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Maritime Administration will oversee preparation of a joint state-federal environmental document.
AAEA supports this project but it will probably fail because NorthernStar Natural Gas has not adopted our recommendations. They are making the same mistake that BHP Billiton made in not adopting our recommendations (see description below).
[Update October: Malibu Surfside News]
Long Beach LNG Project
January 2007 - The five-member Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners unanimously voted to end an environmental review of the Sound Energy Solutions (SES) proposal for an onshore LNG facility. SES is a partnership of Mitsubishi Corp. and ConocoPhillips to build a $700-million liquefied natural gas plant.
Safety was the major concern cited for voting against the project. Commissioners felt that there would be the potential for a catastrophic natural gas explosion that could kill hundreds of people and devastate much of the Long Beach waterfront.
AAEA took no position on this project, although we believe a mutually beneficial agreement could have been reached between project sponsors and opponents if our recommendations had been adopted.
BHP Billiton LNG Project
The California State Lands Commission voted 2-1 on April 9, 2007 to reject Australia energy giant BHP Billiton's Cabrillo Port Project proposal to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal 14 miles off the coast of Oxnard, California, which is 20 miles north of Malibu. (More: The Malibu Times)
AAEA supported this project and believes it would have been approved if the proponents of the project had adopted our recommendations. Oxnard, California is a rural community with a large Hispanic population.
AES Sparrows Point LNG Project
March 2008 - The AES proposal to build an LNG project adjacent to the old Bethlehem Steel site at Sparrows Point is in limbo. A Russian steel company, Severstal, purchased the Sparrows Point site from Mittal Steel. It will be interesting to see how this will affect the AES proposal. The project is near a minority community.
AAEA has taken no position on this project but made recommendations to AES that we believe could lead to a mutual agreement on the project among stakeholders. AES has yet to adopt the AAEA recommendations. Without doing so this project will fail.
A three-judge federal appeals court has struck down a Baltimore County law designed to stop the project. The 10-page opinion by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with AES, which charged that the county overstepped its authority to create zoning regulations and interfered with the National Gas Act.The ruling came weeks after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recommended conditional approval for the LNG terminal and an 88-mile pipeline to be built to southern Pennsylvania.
The Baltimore County Council passed an amendment to its Coastal Zone Management plan in 2007 that prohibited LNG plants and other facilities, such as oil refineries, in environmentally sensitive coastal areas.The state Critical Area Commission adopted the change in June, and that same month U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett upheld the county law. Lawyers for AES appealed, saying that the county is attempting to circumvent the federal approval process for energy projects.
[Aug 2008] Baltimore County will take its opposition to the proposed liquefied natural gas terminal at Sparrows Point to the U.S. Supreme Court. The appeal will challenge the May decision of a federal appellate court that said the county overstepped its authority to create zoning regulations and interfered with the National Gas Act.
Washington Gas Chillum LNG Project
Washington Gas is proposing an LNG storage tank in Prince George's County, Maryland just across the Washington, DC border in a minority community. (More) The project has been rejected by the county council and there is legislation pending in the state legislature that would kill this project.
AAEA has taken no position on this project but made recommendations to Washington Gas and local community stakeholders that could lead to a mutually acceptable agreement concerning this project. Washington Gas has not adopted the AAEA recommendations and this project will probably fail.
Broadwater Long Island Sound LNG Project
The partnership of TransCanada and Shell (Broadwater Energy) wants to build an LNG facility in the middle of the Long Island Sound. The project has received approval of its environmental impact statement (EIS) by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
AAEA supports this project, but the proponents have not adopted our recommendations and this project, like the others described above, will probably fail in getting the required state permits.
LNG Project Planned In Australia
Feb 4, 2008 - - The Queensland Gas Company, an Australian producer of natural gas from coal seams, and the BG Group of Britain plan to invest about 8 billion Australian dollars ($7.2 billion) in an export project in northeastern Australia to tap rising demand for the fuel. The partners plan to build a liquefied natural gas project near Gladstone with a capacity of three million to four million metric tons a year, with deliveries starting in 2013, Queensland Gas, which is based in Brisbane. The investment will include the development of coal seam gas fields, a 236-mile pipeline and a production plant. Demand for liquefied natural gas is expected to increase as the United States increases imports for power generation. The investment will give BG, the biggest importer of LNG into the American market, its first supply of the fuel in the Pacific Basin, the largest import market. (The New York Times)
Updates as of March 2008
Sempra Energy Company is building a massive LNG terminal near Ensenada in Baja California, Mexico. Sempra LNG announced the award of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts worth in excess of $1.2 billion in January 2005. These are for two new LNG receiving terminals: the Energia Costa Azul receiving terminal, 14 miles north of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico; and the Cameron receiving terminal, 15 miles south of Lake Charles on the Gulf coast in Louisiana. (More)
Chevron Corp. announced that it will not build a $650 million liquefied-natural-gas terminal off of Mexico's Coronado Islands. Chevron Corp withdrew the three key Mexican permits required to develop the project in February 2007.
Long Beach, California killed an LNG project in January 2007. The Port of Long Beach Harbor Commission voted to end negotiations with Sound Energy. In February, Sound Energy filed a legal motion seeking to force the port to finish its environmental impact report. There was strgon opposition to the project because of its proximity to a black community and its location in the harbor.
A different company has already stepped in with a new proposal - Esperanza Energy - which wants to build two zero-emission terminals 10 miles offshore. The terminals would be located in 1,100 feet of water near existing oil platforms about 15 miles from the Port of Long Beach. The site, known as Port Esperanza, would allow giant LNG ships to dock and offload their gas into pipelines running along the ocean floor and connecting to an existing underground pipeline in Long Beach. Esperanza is planned the location for Port Esperanza at least 10 miles from the nearest coastline in Huntington Beach to allay fears of an LNG vapor cloud explosion reaching land.Esperanza officials are advertising the LNG facility as being a zero emission facility. Esperanza plans to use heated discharge water piped in from a local power plant to warm the LNG facility, eliminating the need to use seawater on-site or use internal combustion engine
Esperanza isa subsidiary of Texas-based Tidelands Oil and Gas. The floating terminals, built by Norway-based Torp Technologies Approval is required from the U.S. Maritime Administration, Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission, among others. The LNG platforms could handle up to 2.5 ship loads per week, providing 1.2-billion cubic feet of natural gas per day to Southern California, roughly the same as Sound Energy's proposed site.
FERC Approves 3 New LNG Import Facilities and Increases At Two Other Facilities
June 2006 - - FERC is allowing Dominion to increase its import capacity at its Cove Point facility in Maryland from 1 million dekatherms per day from 1.8 MMDT/day. Dominion will build two 160,000 cubic meter storage tanks, increasing storage capacity at the terminal to approximately 14.6 billion cubic feet from 7.8 bcf. The expansion includes additional vaporizers at the plant and two pipelines. A 36-inch diameter, 47.8-mile pipeline in Maryland will deliver the additional natural gas from Dominion Cove Point to interstate pipeline connections in Virginia. Dominion has signed an agreement with a subsidiary of Statoil ASA, a global gas and oil company, for 100 percent of the new station capacity for the next 20 years. Qatar is providing gas to the Cove Point facility. The station is located in Lusby, Md., in Calvert County on the Chesapeake Bay, south of Baltimore.
FERC authorized the construction and operation of three new LNG import terminals and related facilities:
The Commission also authorized expansions at two previously authorized LNG facilities:
Massachusetts Lawmakers Protest LNG Terminal
April 19, 2006 - - Four members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation:
all Democrats, wrote to the Coast Guard protesting a planned liquefied natural gas terminal in Fall River, to the west of Cape Cod. The letter urged the U.S. Coast Guard Commandant to stop the project in its tracks. The letter came after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) declined to revisit its approval last year of the Weavers Cove Energy plans to construct an LNG terminal on the banks of the Taunton River. The commissions decision leaves Coast Guard review as the last major federal regulatory hurdle for the project, which faces fierce state and local opposition, including plans to challenge the project in federal court. The letter urges the Coast Guard to consider the safety of nearby residents when reviewing the proposal, saying the terminal would pose an unacceptable risk as a terrorist target in the densely populated city of Fall River.