Proposed and Recently Approved Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities (by location)
*Note: Projects that were proposed as of May 2005 that are no longer in the process of being developed are not listed. Existing terminals are listed only if they are undergoing current expansion projects.
1. Fall River, Massachusetts
Weaver's Cove Energy is a joint LNG venture between the New York-based oil and gas company, Amerada Hess (Hess LNG) and New York-based Poten & Partners, an international brokerage, project development, and consulting firm. Weaver’s Cove plans to build a LNG receiving terminal on the Tauton River in the North End of the town, capitalizing on the town’s central location to the New England gas market and the Algonquin natural gas pipeline. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the project in June 20, 2005. The project faces major opposition from the local City Council and the Mayor of this largely industrial, immigrant and working class community.
On June 28, 2005 the City Council approved a funding allocation of $850,000 to fight the siting of the terminal. Concerns are many, including environmental impacts over a river dredging project that will be needed to accommodate incoming tankers, as well as the close proximity of the project to neighborhoods. A coalition of groups trying to block the terminal, Coalition for Responsible Siting of LNG Facilities, has continued to hold actions against the terminal. Residents that are for the terminal feel there's a benefit of the tax revenues and jobs potentially created by the project. Amerada Hess and Poten & Partners have contributed nearly $180,000 to political candidates for federal office since 2001, with 91% of those contributions going to Democrats. In addition, they have spent more than $2.5 million lobbying the federal government.
2. Passamaquoddy Bay, Maine area
Oklahoma City-based Quoddy Bay LLC formed to develop an LNG terminal in response to the Passamaquoddy Tribe's inquires about siting a facility on the Pleasant Point Reservation off of Maine’s Passamaquoddy Bay. Oklahoma-based Westgate Capital Corp, an investment firm controlled by Warren Kruger and William Pritchard, is a financial backer of Quoddy Bay. Don Smith, a partner in Quoddy Bay owns Oklahoma-based Smith Cogeneration. Other partners, including William Stewart Price and Bill Smith have past experience in oil and gas projects and acquisitions (Price is a former employee of Amerada Hess). Members of the Sipayik Tribal Government voted 4-3 in support for the Pleasant Point project and signed an $8 million per year land-lease agreement for terminal development at Split Rock in May 2005. The 15 acre land lease agreement has been approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The partners must also seek FERC and state approval.
In April 2005, residents of Perry, Maine voted 279-214 against another proposal of the project to use land the tribe annexed from the town, with 75% of the town voting. The tribal community, which struggles with high unemployment, poverty, and substance abuse, is split by the decision to build a terminal. Some tribal members have formed a group called Ntulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon (We Care for the Homeland) as a part of a three-nation coalition (Save Passamaquoddy Bay). Westgate Capital executives have made $6,500 in campaign contributions since 2001, all going to Republicans.
Downeast LNG recently decided to pursue an LNG terminal project in the approximately 525 person town of Robbinston, Maine in Washington County. Located where the Passamaquoddy Bay and the St. Croix River meet, the site is 22 miles from an existing natural gas pipeline that runs through Maine. The company plans to develop approximately 30 acres out of an 80 acre site called Mill Cove. Initially the site would contain one LNG storage tank with the potential for a second. The company, headed by former World Bank energy consultant Dean Girdis, is partnering with Kestrel Energy Partners, LLC, an oil and gas private equity investment firm based in New York that has already invested $7.5 million in the project. Downeast LNG feels it will have strong community support, pledging to provide $500,000 annually to east Washington County communities for economic development activities.
Ecological preservation and international management organizations charged with protecting the Croix River and adjacent water bodies will be following the development of both LNG projects. The area contains several conservation areas and historical sites that cross U.S. and Canadian borders, including The National Park Service and Parks Canada’s St. Croix Island International Historical Site.
1. Boston, Massachusetts
Suez Energy Resources North America’s (formerly Tractebel Energy Services, Inc.) Neptune Project’s application is undergoing an initial completeness review by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD).
The company, via Neptune LNG, submitted its application in February 2005. The company is partnering with Bermuda-based Leif Höegh & Company’s Höegh LNG on the project. Leif Höegh & Company specializes in LNG shipping and owns and charters LNG vessels. Its Höegh LNG subsidiary is based in Norway. The project would be located 10 miles south of the city of Gloucester and 22 miles north east of Boston. The project would supplement Suez’s existing Everett, Massachusetts terminal. Suez has made over $40,000 in campaign contributions since 2001, with 64% going to Republicans. In addition, the company has spent $820,000 lobbying the federal government.
Oklahoma-based Excelerate Energy wants to develop a facility 13 miles south of the city of Gloucester. It is in the process of filing an application with the US Coast Guard and MARAD. Excelerate is working with Duke Energy for a connecting pipeline. Duke Energy filed an application with FERC to build a 16 mile pipeline that would connect the terminal to Algonquin’s existing pipeline system. Fishermen in the area are concerned that the project would disrupt one of the region’s most fertile fishing grounds. The project’s security zone may cut into Block 125, an area containing large amounts of cod and haddock. Block 125 sits 10 miles southeast of Gloucester. Excelerate was founded with $650 million of seed money by Oklahoma investment banker and oilman George B. Kaiser, who runs the oil company Kaiser-Francis and numerous banks. Kaiser and his associates have made nearly $50,000 in federal campaign contributions since 2001, with 99% going to Democrats.
1. Cove Point, MD
Richmond, Virginia based Dominion Resources is one of the nation’s largest energy companies. It currently owns and operates a LNG terminal in Cove Point which re-opened in 2003 after closing in 1980. The terminal’s capacity is shared among 3 companies- British Petroleum (BP), Shell, and Statoil. Statoil’s LNG supply comes from Algeria via an agreement with the state owned company Sonatrach. Dominion has submitted a request to FERC to expand the project. A Draft EIS is in progress for the expansion.
In 2004, Dominion lobbied around H.R. 4413, the Liquefied Natural Gas Import Terminal Development Act of 2004, as well as LNG issues in both House and Senate versions of the Energy Policy Act of 2003 and 2004. Recently, the terminal has received scrutiny over gas leaks potentially caused by the LNG fuel interacting with older pipe systems. Dominon’s PAC and its executives have made over $2 million in federal campaign contributions since 2001, with 68% of those going to Republicans. In addition, the company has spent $1.9 million lobbying the federal government over that same time period.
2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Gas Works put out a Request for Proposals in 2004 for companies interested in the development and management of an LNG terminal in Philadelphia. The proposed Freedom Energy Center would modify the city’s existing Richmond LNG plant into a receiving terminal and add a gas fired electric generating facility. The terminal would be located off of the North Delaware River. BP preferred to develop its terminal in a less densely populated area, selecting its Crown Landing site along the Delaware River.
3. Logan Township, NJ
London-based BP is one of the world’s largest oil and natural gas companies, operating in over 100 countries. They have identified two potential LNG projects, with the approximately 40 acre Crown Landing LNG facility in Southern New Jersey being the one proposal current undergoing FERC review. FERC staff released The Draft EIS in Statement in spring 2005. A potential source of LNG for this facility will be from Trinidad and Tobago, where BP has large interests in natural gas development. New Jersey officials have offered to build a delivery pier for the terminal then lease it back to BP’s wholly owned subsidiary, Crown Landing LLC. Delaware officials have disputed this, with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control barring Crown Landing from building a pier due to its violation of the state’s Coastal Zone Act. The company appealed this decision to Delaware’s Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board, who upheld the original decision.
In 2004, BP lobbied around issues of LNG for domestic interests (via the Energy Policy Act of 2003) and international interests (specifically Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico). They contract with several lobbying firms, including the Lundquist Group, the lobbying firm of Andrew Lundquist. Lundquist is the former Executive Director of Vice-President Dick Cheney’s National Energy Policy Group and a former aide to Senators Ted Stevens and Frank Murkowski. BP’s PAC and its executives have contributed over $830,000 to federal candidates since 2001, with 68% of that amount going to Republicans. In addition, the company has spent over $11 million lobbying the federal government. Green Delaware andLNG Community Focus are two of the grassroots groups fighting the project.
4. Long Island Sound, New York
Broadwater Energy is a joint LNG venture formed in 2004 between TransCanada Corporation and Shell. Both companies are major oil and gas players, with TransCanada focusing on natural gas transmission in North America and Shell being a global energy company. Shell alone spent over $1,200,000 on lobbying activities in 2004, with LNG related lobbying focused on H.R. 4413 (the Liquefied Natural Gas Import Terminal Development Act of 2004), as well as LNG authority issues. TransCanada also lobbied around LNG developments in 2004.
Broadwater is awaiting FERC staff’s release of the project’s Draft EIS, and hopes the project can begin operating in 2010. There has been local government opposition to the project, with the Suffolk County legislature voting unanimously to oppose the project in May 2005. They also voted to allocate $100,000 to lawyers’ fees to battle the project. This comes after the legislature’s displeasure over a Broadwater phone campaign where the company called residents to talk about the project, then connected them through to their local legislators in the hopes of convincing lawmakers to vote favorably. Since 2001, Shell’s PAC and executives have contributed over $420,000 to federal candidates, with 56% of that total going to Republicans. Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment and Friends of the Bay are just two of the citizen groups fighting the project. A March 2006 analysis shows that the Broadwater proposal isn't apprpriate for the region's energy needs.
1. Calcasieu Channel/Lake Charles, LA area
There are two proposed projects and one expanding existing terminal that would share use of Louisiana’s Calcasieu Channel. The state of Louisiana has been very supportive of LNG projects, anticipating hundreds of construction jobs and some permanent positions from the proposed projects.
Houston-based Cheniere Energy initiated the NEPA pre-filling process for their Creole Trail LNG project in January 2005 and filled applications for the LNG terminal and its Creole Trail Pipeline. If constructed, the 1,463 acre site would be the second largest LNG facility in the world and the largest facility in the Western Hemisphere. The terminal would give ships access to the Calcasieu Channel and the 118 mile pipeline would stretch through 6 Louisiana parishes, ending near Raye, Louisiana. In March 2005, Cheniere proposed adding a 47 mile branch to the pipeline that would run from Sulphur, Louisiana, across Sabine Lake, and connect to their Sabine Pass LNG facility (see below). Cheniere executives gave over $60,000 in contributions to federal candidates since 2001, with 57% of that amount going to Democrats. In addition, the company has spent $460,000 lobbying the federal government during that time period.
Trunkline LNG is a subsidiary of Southern Union Company, natural gas transportation and distribution company based in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. One of four original LNG terminals in the U.S., the Trunkline LNG terminal was completed in July 1981. It is located nine miles southwest of Lake Charles, Louisiana in the Lake Charles Harbor District. The current project is an expansion of the current facility that seeks to double the current send out capacity of 630 million cubic feet of gas per day and increase its storage capacity. The expansion would also build a 23 mile pipeline connecting the terminal to an existing Trunkline natural gas pipeline. FERC approved the expansion in 2004, and construction should be complete in 2006. BG LNG Services, LLC (subsidiary of the BG Group) has 100% of Trunkline’s capacity at the terminal until about 2024. BG Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nigeria LNG Limited in 2003 to provide a long-term supply of LNG to the Lake Charles Terminal. Southern Union executives gave over $40,000 to federal candidates since 2001, splitting those contributions evenly between Democrats and Republicans. The regional environmental group, Restore Explicit Symmetry To Our Ravaged Earth (RESTORE), spoke in opposition to the original terminal project and has continued their work in opposing the expansion.
In 2003, Sempra Energy, a California based electric power and natural gas company, purchased an LNG receipt terminal from Dynegy located 15 miles south of Lake Charles, in Hackberry, Louisiana, along the Calcasieu River. FERC approved the operation and construction of the Cameron LNG facility in 2003, and Sempra wants to have the facility fully operational in 2008. The project also includes the construction of a 36.4-mile pipeline that runs from the terminal to the compressor station for the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line in Beauregard Parish, Louisiana. The Hackberry site was the first LNG terminal approved for the US in over 25 years. Sempra signed an agreement with Spain’s Eni S.p.A for access to one-third of the terminal’s capacity; and signed another agreement in January 2005, offering Tractebel LNG North America (now Suez Energy Resources North America) another one-third of the terminal’s processing capacity.
In April 2005, Sempra signed a Moratorium of Understanding with Gazprom, a Russian company, to assist with delivering and marketing natural gas. This agreement also considers importing LNG from Russia into Sempra LNG terminals. In 2002, Conoco (before merging to form ConocoPhillips) intervened during regulatory proceedings for the Cameron LNG project, as it felt the increase in ship traffic would interfere with the company’s refinery operation; Citgo also has a refinery that uses the Channel and has also expressed its concerns with LNG projects in the area. The BG Group has also complained to FERC about the Cameron project in fear that the positioning of the large tankers would block the channel. Sempra’s PAC and its executives have contributed over $680,000 to federal candidates since 2001, with two-thirds of that amount going to Democrats. In addition, the company has spent more than $7.8 million lobbying the federal government over that time period.
2. Sabine Neches Waterway/Port Arthur, Texas Area-including Sabine, Louisiana and Sabine, Texas
Located close to the border of Louisiana and Texas, Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG terminal is located in Sabine, Louisiana. The 570 acre site received final regulatory approvals for construction from FERC on March 10, 2005. The groundbreaking for the site was in late March 2005.
Cheniere has agreements with ChevronTexaco and France-based TotalFinaElf to have access to LNG capacity at the terminal. TotalFinaElf plans to get their natural gas from various places in the Middle East and West Africa (In 2003, TotalFinaElf signed a 20 year supply contract with Nigeria LNG).The associated pipeline for the project is 16 miles long, making several connections with existing pipelines and terminating near Johnson Bayou. The natural gas is planned for markets in the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic. Jefferson County, the adjacent county to the facility on the Texas side, is currently non-attainment status for ozone with a 2007 compliance deadline. With Louisiana permitting Cheniere to emit over 10 times more nitrogen oxides than LNG facilities planned across the Texas border, Cheniere may have to be cautious with their level of emissions.
Sempra Energy’s Port Arthur LNG facility is currently awaiting the release of a Draft EIS. If constructed, the project would be located 42 miles southwest of another Sempra LNG terminal in Hackberry, Louisiana (see #1 above). The terminal would be located on a portion of 3,000 acres Sempra already owns. The associated pipeline would be 70 miles long, leading into Louisiana to connect with the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline. An additional 3 mile stretch would connect to the Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America in Jefferson County, Texas.
ExxonMobil’s Golden Pass LNG Terminal received FERC approval via a Final EIS released in June 2005. Located two miles from Sabine Pass in Jefferson County, Texas and 10 miles from Port Arthur, Texas, the terminal may be operational by 2008 or 2009. The terminals’ facilities would be next to the Port Arthur Ship Channel. The pipeline for the project will run 77 miles through parts of Texas and Louisiana to connect to a pipeline near Starks, Louisiana.There will be an offshoot of the pipeline that will connect to ExxonMobil’s Beaumont, Texas refinery.
The terminal would receive natural gas from Qatar, per an agreement signed with Qatar Petroleum in October 2003. ExxonMobil is a major oil and gas company, spending over $7.81 million on lobbying activities in 2004. Their lobbying activities around LNG centered around at least nine different bills, including the Energy Policy Act of 2003, The Liquefied Natural Gas Import Terminal Development Act of 2004, and the Outer Continental Shelf Shallow Water Deep Gas Royalty Relief Act.
In the Golden Pass Draft EIS, it was noted that construction of all three of the Port Arthur area projects would cause cumulative impacts on environmental resources and ship traffic in the area.
3. Corpus Christi Channel/Corpus Christi, Texas
In June 2005, FERC issued a Final EIS approving Occidental Energy Ventures’ Ingleside Energy Project and its San Patricio Pipeline Project for Corpus Christi, Texas, and in July commissioners gave final approval for the project. Occidental owns the land, and the LNG facility would become a part of the chemical manufacturing complex already on-site to help share heating and cooling needs. Located in both San Patricio and Nueces Counties, the project would sit within part of Texas’ coastal zone management area and would be approximately 1.2 miles west of residences in Ingleside and also close to residents in Ingleside on the Bay. The pipeline would span 26 miles and would connect to several existing pipelines, ending near Sinton, Texas. Occidental’s PAC and its executives has contributed over $1 million to federal politicians, with three-quarters of that total going to Republicans since 2001.In addition, the company has spent $8.2 million lobbying the federal government.
In June 2005, FERC issued a Final EIS, approving ExxonMobil’s Vista Del Sol for construction and operation. Exxon plans to have the facility operational in 2008 Similar to the Ingleside Energy Project, Vista del Sol features a 25 mile pipeline that would end near Sinton. The project would most likely get their gas from Qatar (see #9 above).
Cheniere Energy’s 600 acre Corpus Christi LNG project would be the largest of the three terminals and would be located next to a Sherwin Alumina plant. The terminal would sit in between Portland and Ingleside, Texas along the same coastline as the Occidental Chemical plant and a DuPont Chemical Plant. The connecting pipeline, the Cheniere Corpus Christi Pipeline, would similarly run 24 miles to a connecting pipeline north of Sinton. FERC staff approved the project, issuing a favorable Final EIS in March 2005.
4. Port Lavaca, Texas
Gulf Coast LNG Partners, L.P. is a Houston-based partnership formed between Gulf Coast LNG, LLC and Haddington Energy Partners II, LP, a private equity fund with much of its financial backing from JP Morgan Chase. Their Calhoun LNG project would be located between Corpus Christi and Freeport, Texas in the Port of Port Lavaca-Port Comfort. Gulf Coast filed a permit application with FERC in March 2005 and submitted the pipeline application in June 2005. The pipeline project would be 27 miles long with the ability to reach two-thirds of natural gas users in Northern Mexico and the U.S.
There are many high profile investors involved with the project. Investors/Partners in the Haddington Ventures Fund include JP Morgan Partners, Prudential Capital Group, UniSource Energy Corporation, Vectren Corporation, and Citigroup Investments, with JP Morgan having substantial control. Managing directors of Haddington Ventures, LLC used to work for places like Union Carbide and Sandia National Laboratory. Haddington Owns several natural gas storage facilities and natural gas producers.
5. Freeport, Texas
Cheniere Energy and Freeport LNG Development are working with several partners to develop an LNG terminal in Freeport, Texas. FERC approved the project and authorized construction in January 2005. The 233 acre terminal site will be connected to a 9.3 mile pipeline leading to Stratton, Texas. In January 2005, MC Global Gas Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, entered into a 17 year terminal use agreement to deliver and store LNG at the terminal, which becomes effective in 2009. In 2004, Mitsubishi completed an LNG Sale and Agreement with an Omani producer, Qalhat LNG, to use their LNG at the Freeport terminal.
Freeport LNG Development LP has a general partner, Freeport LNG-GP, Inc. that is jointly owned by Michael S. Smith and ConocoPhillips (each holding a 50% interest). The limited partners include Cheniere Energy (30% interest), Freeport LNG Investments, LLLP (45%), Dow Chemical (15%), Contango Oil & Gas (10%), and Dow Chemical Company’s Texas LNG Holdings LLC (15% ).
In April 2005, Cheniere Energy appointed Stan Horton as its CEO and President. Horton has had many experiences in LNG development as the former CEO of Southern Union’s Cross Country Energy and Panhandle Energy where he managed their Lake Charles LNG receiving terminal. Horton has also been President of Northern Natural Gas.
6. Galveston, Texas
BP’s Bay Crossing LNG project on Pelican Island is still in its early stages. The company plans to start the formal permitting process by summer’s end. The natural gas produced from the terminal would be delivered to industrial customers on the Houston Ship Channel. BP wants to build the terminal on 185 acres of publicly owned land, and BP has a lease set up with the city’s port that’s good for 35 years.
BP recently commissioned an economic impact study of the terminal that a University of Houston-Clear Lake professor conducted. The study showed that the project would create 450 construction jobs at peak construction and 75 middle-income jobs once the facility is operating. The economic gains have led groups such as the Galveston chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens to endorse the project (28% of Galveston’s population identifies as Hispanic). The project has met with some controversy, with an island resident filling suit against the Galveston Wharves board and the city of Galveston for violating the Texas Open Meetings Law when they made plans to lease the property to BP. There are other area residents concerned about safety issues, especially after a fatal March 2005 BP refinery explosion in Texas City.
7. Pascagoula, Mississippi
ChevronTexaco’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Bayou Casotte Energy LLC is developing the Casotte Landing project. Located on-shore in Jackson County, Mississippi in the Port of Pascagoula, the project has progressed to the Draft EIS phase, which is currently in progress. Gas supply for the project would come from ChevronTexaco projects in West African and Latin American countries. The project would be located on an industrial site located next to a Chevron refinery that would utilize the waste heat from the regassification process. ChevronTexaco is a major global oil and gas company with lobbying activities in 2004 totaling at least $5.69 million, with LNG specific activities including LNG facility siting on the U.S. coastline and offshore.
A second project being proposed for the Port of Pascagoula is Gulf LNG’s LNG Clean Energy Project. This project, which would be in Pascagoula’s industrial hub and in close proximity to ChevronTexaco’s proposed site, also has a Draft EIS in progress. The Gulf LNG site at one point was being considered in the 1970’s by Tenneco but was abandoned at that time due to declining gas prices; a former Tenneco executive consults for the current project. The project plans to bring in $1 million in rent that would be divided between the state, the port, and the Tidelands Trust.
The source of LNG for the project may come from the Angolan company, Solano, which has purchased equity interest in Gulf LNG. Solano is in the process of building a natural gas liquefaction facility in Angola in partnership with Chevron Texaco, BP, Total, and Exxon Mobil (under the name ALNG). The President of Gulf LNG, Dee Osborne, is not new to oil and gas development. Osborne is also the President of Crest Investment, a company that sold the Freeport LNG facility (see #11 above) to Cheniere Energy in 2001 in exchange for 500,000 shares of Cheniere common stock (with an additional 750,000 shares guaranteed when the Freeport project is built). Osborne also once sat on the Board of Directors of EOTT Energy Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Enron.
The Mississippii Chapter of the Sierra Club is working to fight the proposals.
8. Elba Island, Georgia
The Elba Island LNG project originally opened in 1972 then stopped operations in 1980. In 2001 FERC reopened the facility, which is located on a private island owned by Southern LNG 5 miles downstream from Savannah, Georgia. The expansion would increase the terminal’s storage capacity by 80% and would add new docking facilities.
In 2002, Marathon Oil signed a 22 year maximum agreement to deliver and sell LNG from the terminal. In 2004, Marathon Oil and BP Energy Company signed an agreement for Marathon Oil to purchase LNG from BP, whose LNG largely comes from Trinidad. Shell Gas and Power also has capacity rights on the terminal.
Southern LNG is a division of Southern Natural Gas, a subsidiary of the El Paso Corporation. El Paso owns the largest natural gas pipeline system in North America. In June 2005, the company filled an application with FERC to build the 178 mile Cypress Pipeline from Elba Island to Jacksonville, Florida. BG LNG Services and Progress Energy Florida have capacity rights on the pipeline.
In December, 2004, affiliates of El Paso, Tractebel North American, Inc (now which is now Suez Energy Resources North America), and Florida Power and Light (FPL) Group Resources had signed an agreement to be equity owners of both El Paso’s Seafarer pipeline project and Suez’s Calypso Pipeline project. The companies planned to develop one of the pipelines to connect Florida markets to a LNG supply via a terminal an affiliate of Suez is developing in the Bahamas.
In June 2005, FPL Group Resources pulled out of the partnership, saying that the LNG bids for long term contracts were not economical for their customers. A Draft EIS is in progress for the Seafarer project and the Calypso project had received federal approval from FERC.
1. Gulf of Mexico/Louisiana
The Port Pelican project, proposed for off shore Louisiana, would be located 37 miles off the coast.MARAD/USCG granted the project its license in January 2004. It was the first Deep Water Port Act (DWPA) LNG terminal proposed and approved since the DWPA was amended in 2002. Chevron may not develop the project due to rising construction cost estimates, lagging supply projects, in addition to expected opposition around environmental concerns.
2. Gulf of Mexico/Cameron, Louisiana
Gulf Landing, a subsidiary of Shell U.S. Gas and Oil LLC, received approval from MARAD in February 2005 with the license terms currently under review. Located 38 miles offshore of Louisiana in the West Cameron area, the Port project would include a 55 ft deep terminal and five pipelines to connect with the shoreline for delivery to markets east of the Rocky Mountains. The project proposes to use open-rack vaporizer technology for regasification.
Several constituent groups, including the Governor are opposed to the projects use of open loop technology, fearing that the system would destroy valuable fisheries and ecosystems. Groups such as the Sierra Club, the Gulf Restoration Network, and the Louisiana Charter Boat Association have formed the “Gumbo Alliance for Safe LNG” to battle the project and others seeking to use open loop technology in the Gulf Coast. The three organizations also petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in May 2005 to overturn a permitting decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation for failing to examine the cumulative impacts of the seven other proposed offshore Gulf Coast facilities.
3. Gulf of Mexico
ConocoPhillips’ Beacon Port Clean Energy Project would be located 45 miles south of High Island and 50 miles east-southeast of Galveston, Texas. ConocoPhillips’ wholly owned company, Beacon Port LLC, submitted an application for license in January 2005. The project includes three gas pipelines that will connect to the existing Michigan-Wisconsin, Tennessee Gas, and Underwater-Texas Offshore Pipelines. The Notice of Application was issued in May 2005. ConocoPhillips has several liquefaction plants in development in Australia, Venezuela, Qatar, Nigeria, and Russia. The project is looking to use open-loop technology.
4. Gulf of Mexico/Alabama
ConocoPhillips has a second open loop project for the Gulf of Mexico, their Compass Port project. The terminal would be 11 miles south of Dauphin Island, Alabama. The project is also planning to use open loop technology. The Governor of Alabama opposes the use of the technology, and the Environmental Protection Agency has urged the USCG to look into the potential impacts of the project on fish populations in Alabama and Mississippi, especially within the Mississippi River. The EPA also identified a 5-mile sediment plume that would extend from the terminal and add 25 times more sediment to the Mississippi River than normal. The USCG has suspended the permit application for the company until these issues are addressed. The USCG/MARAD had released a Draft EIS for the project, which had only analyzed the impacts on fish species Gulf-wide. Mobile Bay Watch has worked to highlight community concerns with the proposal.
5. Venice, Louisiana
Freeport-McMoRan Energy (Freeport Energy, formerly Freeport-McMoRan Sulphur LLC), a wholly owned subsidy of McMoRan Exploration, is interested in developing a Main Pass Energy Hub 38 miles east of Venice, Louisiana and 16 miles off of the Louisiana coast. They want to build the terminal using an existing former sulfur mining structure. They are also considering building onsite storage of natural gas in three salt dome caverns. In June 2005, USCG and MARAD released a Draft EIS for the project. The port would have six pipelines for natural gas and natural gas liquids connecting to distribution pipelines (four would land on shore near Coden, Alabama in South Mobile County, Alabama). The project seeks to use open loop technology.
The Portersville Revival Group in Coden, Alabama expressed concerns to USCG and MARAD during a 2004 public comment period about their previous negative experiences with an existing pipeline and gas projects, their concerns about potential economic impacts on fisheries, their frustrations around notification issues (some community members do not speak English), and their limited first responder capabilities. The group had also hired an attorney from the law firm Wildlaw to represent them. Other coastal and environmental conservation groups have continued to oppose open loop technology. Freeport-McMoRan’s PAC and executives have contributed over $368,000 to candidates for federal office since 2001, with 79% of that amount going to Republicans. In addition, the company has spent $965,000 lobbying the federal government.
1. Long Beach, California
The Draft EIS is in progress for the on shore LNG terminal in Long Beach, California. In May 2005, Mitsubishi Corporation, who established its subsidiary Sound Energy Solutions in 2002, entered an agreement with ConocoPhillips to further develop the project. The partnership has created a new joint venture company, SES Terminal LLC. The terminal would not only supply natural gas to customers for residential use, but also create LNG fuel for vehicles. In May 2003, the Port of Long Beach granted the company exclusive rights for three years to develop the project. The City Council and the town of Long Beach are split over the idea of the terminal. Opponents question whether it is safe to place the 25 acre facility in the midst of the port complex, which receives 30% of the nation’s marine imports. There are also over 240,000 people that live within 5 miles of the facility.
The LNG for the project will come from a wide variety of sources, including Russia, Indonesia, and Peru. Halliburton’s Kellogg Brown & Root is one of the engineering and construction companies responsible for expansion plans at the Indonesian LNG plant. Both ConocoPhillips and Mitsubishi are large corporate players. ConcoPhillips spent over $2.7 million on lobbying activities in 2004, with LNG lobbying efforts on regulatory permitting and development, their off shore Compass Port project in Louisiana, and The Liquefied Natural Gas Import Terminal Development Act of 2004.
2. Columbia River (Oregon)
Northern Star Natural Gas Company is a subsidiary of Houston, Texas based Northern Star Natural Gas Holdings and Babcock & Brown, a global investment firm. The terminal plans to be located in Bradwood in Clatsop County, Oregon. The company wants to place the 55 acre terminal along the Colombia River on an abandoned lumber mill site that is controlled by Northern Star. The project also includes a 35 mile pipeline that would connect to the Williams Northwest Pipeline system via Clatsop and Columbia Counties in Oregon and Cowlitz County in Washington State. The federal Draft EIS is in progress, and North Star submitted a notice of intent to the state of Oregon on April 15th, 2005. LNG will come from Pacific Basin suppliers, including Alaska. FERC scheduled a May 18, 2005 site visit for the project.
North Star is also considering constructing an on-site gas fired electrical generation plant and a short transmission line. Other companies on the project team include the international project management company, AMEC; the law firm Van Ness Feldman (also the firm hired by Dominion for lobbying around their Cove Point facility); Whessoe Oil & Gas, an international company dealing with design and construction of energy facilities; and Stoel Rives, an energy and environmental law firm.
The CEO and President of Northern Star have other energy ties. The President of the company, Paul Soanes, is also the President of Crystal Energy. Crystal Energy is proposing an offshore California LNG facility (see # 3 below). William Garrett is the CEO of the company and is also President of Energy Services & Investments, which is listed at the same business address as Northern Star Natural Gas. Garrett has also been the Vice-President of CMS Energy and the President of Americas for El Paso Corporation.
Port Westward LLC hopes to construct a terminal in Columbia County, Oregon, but has yet to define a project well enough to qualify for FERC’s pre-filling stage. The company hopes to locate a terminal near the Port of St. Helens near an existing power plant. Possible LNG sources for the project include Australia, Russia, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
In 2004, The Port of Astoria agreed to lease 96 acres on the Skipanon Peninsula in Warrington, Oregon to California based Calpine Corporation to investigate a potential site for an LNG facility. The terminal would be located at the mouth of the Skipanon River. If Calpine completes the project, it projects that the community would receive 50-75 permanent and 500 construction jobs. Calpine unsuccessfully tried to build an LNG terminal in Humboldt, California in March 2004, where it faced a large grassroots effort to block the terminal and its own financial uncertainties.
Energy Projects Development, LLC, based in Evergreen, Colorado, is proposing a terminal two miles north of the entrance of the Coos Bay. Roseburg Forest Products currently owns the land targeted for the site. Planning to be the smallest LNG import terminal project in the Western United States, their 93 acre Jordan Cove Energy Project would also feature a natural gas powered electric co-generation facility. The project would supply natural gas to southern Oregon only with potential LNG supplies coming from the Alaskan Cook Inlet or the Sakhalin Islands in Russia. The company submitted a notice of intent to the Oregon Department of Energy in November 2004 and a project order in March 2005.
Members of the Energy Projects’ management team include Robert Braddock, Project Manager; Geoffrey Mitchell, also President of Brant Energy, Inc; John Thomas “Tom” Wilson, former management and executive staff member with Shell Oil Company, Apache Corporation, and Anderman International; Robert McFarlane, former National Security Advisor for the Reagan Administration; and Elliot Trepper, President of the company.
Groups such as Columbia River Vision have been fighting the terminals and favor renewable alternatives.
1. Ventura County area, California
Crystal Energy is in the beginning stages of a proposed off shore terminal 14 miles off of the southern California coast (Oxnard, California). Their Clearwater Port project would involve converting Veneco, Incorporated’s Platform Grace oil rig platform into a LNG terminal. The LNG would be for California energy markets. Among the community benefits Crystal Energy promotes is a $10,000 donation for educational scholarships every time a carrier delivers natural gas to the terminal. The project used to be a joint venture, with Australian based Woodside Petroleum’s subsidiary, Woodside Energy, deciding not to continue the pair’s formal development and supply partnership in June 2005.
Woodside may consider developing its own LNG terminal off the California coast. (See above for the connection between Crystal Energy and Northern Star Natural Gas). Now, Clearwater has financial backing from the Illinois-based hedge fund Ritchie Special Credit Investments and Small Ventures USA (founder and Owner, William Perkins III).
BHP Billiton’s Cabrillo Deepwater Port project would be located 14 miles offshore, 21 miles from Anacapa Island of the Channel Islands and 18 miles from the Channel Island Marine Sanctuary (in line with the Ventura/Los Angeles County boundary). There would also be a connecting 21 mile underwater pipeline that would come onshore (underground) at Ormond Beach near Oxnard, connecting to a Southern California Gas Company pipeline. Australia is a potential source of LNG, and the LNG would be for California energy markets.
Recently the EPA allowed the company to change its official location to the Channel Islands, an area classified as smogless according to Ventura County air pollution rules. This allows the company to build the project with fewer regulatory obstacles. The Ventura County area is currently non-attainment for ground level ozone (both 1 hour and 8 hour standards), and the project would have had to mitigate existing pollution problems to build the terminal under its original designation. Clean air activists feel that the emissions from the terminal would travel upwind to on-shore locations and that the company should be held responsible for adding additional emissions. A Final EIS and EIR are in progress and any EPA decisions will be included in the EIR draft.
Some of those against California LNG developments, including the coalition Ratepayers for Affordable, Clean Energy, feel that LNG creates a safety risk for communities, encourages further dependence on foreign oil, undermines California’s clean energy initiatives, damages ecosystems here and abroad, and harms indigenous cultures in LNG source countries.
2. Location TBD, California
ChevronTexaco has identified an interest in developing its Port Penguin LNG project somewhere offshore of California.
*Note, this section does not include all Mexican proposed and approved LNG projects
1. Baja California
In April 2003, Mexico’s environmental protection agency, Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat (SEMARNAT) approved a permit for Sempra Energy and Shell Oil and Gas’s Energía Costa Azul project. The country’s national energy regulatory agency, Comision Reguladora de Energía (CRE) also approved the project in August of 2003. The 400 acre terminal would be located 14 miles north of Ensenada, Mexico. In 2004, Sempra signed a 20 year agreement with Shell, giving them half the rights to capacity at the terminal and any future expansions. Half of the terminal’s capacity will go to markets in Baja California and the other half would be available to U.S. gas markets in California and the Southwest. Sempra signed an agreement with BP’s Indonesian Tangguh LNG project in 2004 to supply the terminal with LNG.
1. Baja California
ChevronTexaco is planning to build their Terminal GNL Mar Adentro de B.C eight miles offshore of Baja California, Mexico. Mexico’s SEMARNAT and CRE have approved permits for the project, which will provide natural gas to Baja California, and North American West Coast markets. The project will process 700 million cubic feet of gas per day that will be distributed via an underwater pipeline to the Baja California coast. The source of the LNG will be from the Gordon gas field in Australia through an agreement with the Gordon Joint Venture.
The project, located 600 meters east of South Coronado Island, drew opposition from environmental groups. In May 2005, seven organizations, including Greenpeace Mexico, the Los Angeles Audubon Society, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Grupo de Ecologia y Conservacion de las Islas, the American Bird Conservancy, a seabird biologist at the University of California Santa Cruz, and the University of Denver Environmental Law Clinical Partnership filed a petition with the NAFTA-created Commission for Environmental Cooperation accusing the company of disregarding the project’s impact on natural resources. Under NAFTA rules, they Commission can hold hearings on the issue, but cannot stop the project.