2011-05-12 / Letters to the Editor

‘U.S. is in a natural gas glut’

Ted Gehrig (“Destinations of LNG tankers in bay ‘not a mystery,’” [May 5, 2011]) needs to heed his own advice regarding facts. As reported by Platts in their May 5 article titled “Shale gas ‘revolution’ impacts to vary across globe: OTC panelists”:

“In the U.S., where the ‘shale gas revolution’ first started and already is well under way, domestic gas supplies have severely cut into the demand for imported LNG, Emma Cochrane, manager of gas power and marketing for Exxon- Mobil, said.

“With ample gas supplies to meet U.S. gas demands most of the time, LNG imports will largely serve to meet seasonal balancing needs, she said.

“‘Imports will mostly come in the summer, where there is nowhere else for the gas to go,’ Cochrane said. As a result of the inflow of gas supplies from shale plays across the nation, ‘the U.S. becomes almost self-sufficient’ in meeting its gas demand in the future.”

The U.S. is in a natural gas glut. There are around 30 new pipeline and pipeline-expansion projects currently at play to deliver prolific domestic natural gas to the Northeast, evening out prices across the U.S. Some LNG terminals are re-exporting foreign LNG previously imported. There are projects in Canada and the U.S. to construct LNG liquefaction and export terminals. Even Cove Point LNG in Maryland is considering converting entirely from importing to exporting. The two new terminals offshore from Boston have been nearly idle over the past two years. Canaport LNG in New Brunswick, Canada — that sends imported LNG-source natural gas south to New England — is operating at a mere 21 percent of capacity. Nearly 30 new U.S. LNG import projects have been scrapped since 2005, leaving only five remaining in federal permitting; two are on life support in Maine, and one is Weaver’s Cove Energy. None are needed.

With the U.S. and Northeast drowning in supply, Weaver’s Cove’s assurance that it would reduce the region’s price of natural gas and electricity lacks credibility.

Robert Godfrey
Researcher
Save Passamaquoddy Bay

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