See today’s energy links critical to our readers, courtesy of 1) Consumer Energy Alliance, and 2) Larry Persily, former Alaska gas pipeline Federal Coordinator, and American Energy Alliance.



Chris Nelson’s Op-Ed

Please let our energy decisions be based on a “just and reasonable” standard of merit and logic, not ever-shifting political winds


Dave Harbour

How could common sense Americans disagree with Chris Nelson’s common sense outrage against Quebec hypocrites and enviro-activist stonewalling of TransCanada’s Energy East project?  (i.e. left column)

After all, we Americans saw the environmental lobbies on both sides of the North American border team up with a politically motivated U.S. Administration to destroy TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline project  — along with hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Even tossing in activist success against Shell’s Alaska OCS exploration and the lost Alaska potential for world class wealth production and employment reveals just the tip of the iceberg.

Who can deny that the wolves are becoming increasingly successful at breaching the ramparts to destroy fossil energy projects and capitalism itself?

Yes, the rampaging, fundraising, grant seeking wolves of environmental imperialism are circling North American wealth producing, private enterprises … for a reason.

As those well-coordinated community organizers succeed, they reduce free enterprise opposition to their control.  Capitalism is under assault, being dismantled little by little without notice by an unaware, too trusting populace.

Eliminating traditional free enterprise opposition further fortifies captains of the enviro-industrial-governmental cabal, sustaining: 1) their power, 2) the bureaucratic growth of entitled hordes that vote for them, and 3) the steady march toward total socialist control over the means, allocation, marketing and distribution of wealth.

Never forget that the very foundation of North American wealth is fossil fuel energy exploration, development, transportation and marketing.  It is superior to all other economic endeavors, being critical to commercial fishing, timber industries, coal and hard rock mining, manufacturing, education, construction, transportation, retailing, tourism and national defense … and, even government enterprises.

Always remember, too, that alternate energy schemes depend on fossil fuel to sustain their own operations when the wind doesn’t blow and the skies are dark.

Take wind generation; it depends on commodities mined from the ground, and is transported, erected and maintained with fossil energy; and hydro-energy requires dams and manufactured generation derived from mining the ground with fossil energy; and solar energy depends on mining, manufacturing, transportation and installation of its complex apparatus — courtesy of fossil fuels.

(Pa-lease: Let us not allow our less studied friends to believe that electric cars obtain energy from electric batteries or a garage wall plug; for, the electricity source is dependent — along with every component of the car — on fossil fuel energy and/or petrochemical support, even if part of it comes from fossil enabled nuclear or geothermal sources.)

And one should never forget the essential role fossil energy plays in supporting consumer interests: maintaining 24 hour security of power generation and space heating/cooling supplies, at the lowest costs

Virtually all of the high-cost energy alternatives at some point in their life spans require consumer and fossil fuel taxes to subsidize or otherwise protect their development and/or monopoly markets.  Come on.  Is that fair, just, reasonable — or intelligent?

And, lastly, the hypocritical public officials who oppose “Just and Reasonable” fossil energy project decision making with raw politics are committing huge public policy blunders–ignorantly or mindfully.

Those rejecting just and reasonable (i.e. “rule of law”) fossil fuel decision making in the name of “climate change, global warming, an ‘abundance of caution’ or other alibis”, are either ignorant of the realities laid out above or treacherously aware of their effort to undermine the public interest in pursuit of their own accumulation of power.

To not embrace the logic and reality of these facts is to support the destruction of North America’s way of life and freedom itself.


Calgary Herald Op-ed by Chris Nelson (below) is a true public service.  Also note: TransCanada continues to see its wealth producing capability reduced by the environmental assault.  -dh

Oh, I wanted to be a gunslinger so badly as a young lad.

Back then, you could buy all sorts of replica guns: the Colt 45, a German luger, police-issue magnums — the list was almost endless, and on the eve of every birthday or Christmas, I’d eye the tightly wrapped presents, trying to deduce which parcel might contain a new issue.

Of course, we never saw a real gun. This was early 1960s Britain, and only the likes of the nasty Kray twins, down there in smoky London town, ever had need and use of such vile things.

Fast-forward half a century and the reverse is true — real ones abound, but getting to grips with a replica luger? Oh, forget it. Parents, police and airline busybodies would have a fit and drag any 10-year-old off for a series of meetings with your friendly neighbourhood psychologist, followed inevitably by a course of Ritalin and suggested deep-breathing yoga exercises.

Still, when Premier Rachel Notley mentioned gunslingers the other day, my adrenalin spiked. Sadly, Rachel let me down by adding she’s keeping her weaponry in its holster.

The oh-so-reasonable comments came after the latest salvo from Quebec, in which their politicos are invoking an injunction against the Energy East pipeline project in yet another camouflaged attempt to prevent it from ever touching the sacred soil of la belle provence.

Nothing to get too concerned about, says our premier, because it’s just a parallel process and won’t cause extra delays.

But just when you despair of ever seeing a good, old-fashioned showdown, a slight whiff of gun smoke emerges. Word out of Edmonton is Alberta won’t buy B.C.’s excess electricity until we get some pipeline love thrown our way. It’s not exactly the O.K. Corral, but it’s a start.

Still, the strategy on our Eastern Front continues to be talk nice and be reasonable to the powers that be in Quebec. Maybe indeed this latest injunction silliness is just legal semantics, though I don’t buy that for a moment. We’re dealing with political poker playing experts, and they’ve just tossed another bunch of chips into the pot while we play Go Fish at a separate table, despite our economy being in play.

So, harking back to my would-be gunslinger days, here’s a suggestion: Slap an injunction on Videotron.

For years, Ottawa has pushed for a fourth telecommunications outfit with clout enough to enter the ring in which Rogers, Bell and Telus currently flourish. Good for competition and therefore a deal for us digital consumers — so far, so good.

Videotron recently paid a big wad of cash to buy spectrum — gobbledygook for space to operate — right here in Alberta. Those boyos want to expand across Canada from their Quebec base as, thanks in part to our oil and gas revenues, we’re a lucrative market.

Fair enough. Except Videotron is owned by Quebecor, which is the plaything of the Peladeau family, the scion of which happens to be Pierre Karl — such a lovely gentleman to be in a room with — who’s also the leader of the Parti Quebecois.

The same fellow recently declared Quebec should be its own country. So hey, what’s with that Rachel? Do we want a major carrier of our data to be owned by potential foreigners? No damn way, I say. Not here in Alberta. Slap an injunction on that sucker quicker than you can say poutine with extra cheese.

Now perhaps such a legal manoeuvre hasn’t a hope of succeeding. Undoubtedly, it is simplistic and rather nasty and totally outside the bounds of nation building. Do this type of thing and suddenly, the Ontario NDP won’t be selling tickets for a meet and greet with Alberta’s princess any longer.

But gunslingers don’t give a darn about that. When someone draws on you, then pull out both guns and let ‘em see your calibre.

Chris Nelson is a Calgary writer.




CEA In the News & On the Ground

CEA Launches Offshore Call to Action: In advance of the pending release of the Proposed 2017-2022 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, CEA on Friday launched a Call to Action urging supporters to sign a letter to Interior Sec. Jewell urging her to maintain the Mid- and South Atlantic as well as the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska in the Proposed Program.  The Call to Action notes the benefits to consumers from access to domestic energy sources, including impacts on household budgets and jobs, economic activity, and public revenue.  The Call to Action also urges the Interior Department to promptly issue the approvals necessary for Atlantic seismic surveys to begin, and underscores support for expanding federal revenue-sharing to any state with oil and gas leasing in adjacent federal waters.  Please take a moment to signyour name to the letter, and forward this link on to any friends and colleagues who might be interested in registering their support.

CEA Urges Georgians to Convey Support for Offshore Development: CEA is continuing its Call to Action urging Georgia affiliates and grassroots members to convey their support for offshore conventional energy development in the Southeast by participating in an online poll issued earlier this month by U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter (GA).  Rep. Carter’s poll seeks to gauge support for offshore oil and gas development in the region.

CEA Energy 101 in Atlanta, GA: As part of its Energy 101 Legislative Briefing Series, CEA held a state legislator briefing in Atlanta last week hosting members of the Georgia General Assembly. In the course of the event, speakers discussed the Clean Power Plan’s implication for Georgia’s consumers and electricity generation, as well as the importance of maintaining the state’s nuclear fleet. CEA’s Brent Greenfield also provided an update on the draft proposed plan for Atlantic offshore exploration.

The next Energy 101 briefing is scheduled for March 22nd in Harrisburg, PA. For more information on CEA’s Energy 101 Legislative Briefing Series, please contact Brydon Ross

CEA Discusses Colorado’s BLM Methane Rule: Following last week’s public meeting where the Bureau of Land Management received opinions on its proposed methane rule, CEA’s Chief Operating Officer Andrew Browning stresses the negative effects the rule will have on an already struggling industry, including increased costs and decreased production. The proposed methane rule is aimed to address venting, flaring and leaking related to oil and gas development activity.

CEA Weighs in on Bittersweet Reality of Cheap Fuel: In a recent op-ed, CEA President David Holt discusses how low fuel prices benefit energy-intensive industries like manufacturing, agriculture and transportation. However, Holt identifies two primary factors, an erratic regulatory regime and the current state of the economy, which are weakening the positive effects cheap fuel brings to such industries and all energy consumers in general.

Updates from The Energy Voice

The Ins and Outs – and Turns – of the Petroleum Supply Chains

Aug 13, 2015 06:50 pm | Shawn Martini

The petroleum industry is the lifeblood of our modern world, producing the electricity that charges your cell phone, the gas that heats your stove, and the fuel that powers your car’s engine. It’s also equally important to our country’s economic development, its job creation efforts, its global competitiveness, and its energy independence. But the industry is […]


Aug 10, 2015 07:09 pm | Shawn Martini

When it comes to energy production, Alaska continues to be a major leader, but not quite the clear-cut front-runner it once was. In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the state, once a national and global leader in the petroleum industry, has seen its level of production drop from 1.8 million barrels per […]

Report from Washington, DC

Both Houses of Congress were in session last week, and Senate leadership continued to seek ways to pass its energy bill. Most federal attention centered on the presidential election and ‘Super Tuesday’ where Ted Cruz gained some ground on GOP front runner Donald Trump. Trump and Hilary Clinton established themselves as early favorites to win their respective party’s nominations. A fear of Trump’s eventual nomination has prompted GOP leadership to consider a brokered convention and has them calling for a smaller field of candidates.

The Supreme Court also garnered attention when Chief Justice Roberts denied a stay requested by the 20 states suing EPA over its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Roberts did not give a reason for his decision but many assume that it was predicated on a lack of irreparable harm as the rule’s legal deficiencies will be remedied within the month.

Other Items of Interest: 

Murkowski at CERAWeek: Access to Energy Resources is Essential to Nation’s Prosperity: On February 26th, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) delivered a speech on the importance of access to energy resources at IHS’s CERAweek, the world’s premier energy summit.

Senator Barbara Boxer Sends Letter to Speak Paul Ryan on House FAA Reauthorization Bill: On February 26th, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) thanking him for not advancing the FAA Reauthorization bill.

EPA Funds Small Businesses to Develop Environmental Technologies: On February 29th, the Environmental Protection Agency announced eight contracts to small businesses to develop innovative technologies to protect the environment, funded through EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program.

House Unanimously Passes Bipartisan Nuclear Energy Bill: On February 29th the House of Representatives unanimously approved the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (H.R. 4084), a bipartisan bill to support federal research and development and stimulate private investment in advanced nuclear reactor technologies in the United States.

DOE Announces $80 Million in Funding to Increase SuperTruck Efficiency: On March 1st, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Reuben Sarkar announced SuperTruck II, an $80 million funding opportunity, subject to congressional appropriations, for research, development and demonstration of long-haul tractor-trailer truck technology.

Obama Administration Announces New Chair of Restore Council and Reaffirms Commitment to Gulf Region: On March 1st the Obama Administration announced that the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council chair position will rotate from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, effective March 2016.

Subcommittee Highlights Innovative, Voluntary Conservation Practices: On March 1st, Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) held a hearing to highlight the unique and innovative conservation practices that farmers and ranchers are voluntarily utilizing to conserve and protect natural resources.

#SubEnergyPower Examines Pipeline Safety Reauthorization: On March 1st, the House Energy and Power Subcommittee held a hearing examining a discussion draft of a bill to reauthorize the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) pipeline safety program.

Members Blast DOI Budget Failures, Lack of Transparency and Regulatory Excesses: On March 1st, members of the House Committee on Natural Resources raised numerous concerns about the President’s 2017 fiscal year budget proposal for the Department of the Interior during an oversight hearing with DOI Secretary Sally Jewell.

Inhofe, Capito, Barrasso Request GAO to Examine NRC’s Use of RAIs: On March 1st, Senators Inhofe (R-OK), Capito (R-WV), and Barrasso (R-WY) sent a letter to Gene L. Dodaro, comptroller general of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), requesting information regarding the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) use of requests for additional information (RAI).

BLM Takes Key Steps to Expedite Solar Energy Development on Public Lands: On March 2nd, the BLM announced key milestones in implementing the Western Solar Plan with the release of mitigation strategies to expedite the safe and responsible development of solar energy zones in Colorado, Arizona and Nevada. The strategies apply a landscape-level approach to managing development in designated areas, known as Solar Energy Zones or SEZs, on public lands.

#SubEnergyPower Questions Moniz on DOE Budget: On March 2nd, the Energy and Power Subcommittee held a hearing examining the Department of Energy’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget request. Members asked Secretary Ernest Moniz a variety of questions related to the department’s budget.

DOI Agencies Under Fire for Rampant Energy Regulation, Killing Jobs: On March 2nd, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources questioned witnesses from the three federal agencies on the President’s 2017 budget and the Administration’s overly-prescriptive federal regulations. The panel included representatives from BOEM, BSEE, and the BLM.

Sen. Murkowski: Innovative Technologies Transforming Rural Communities: On March 2nd, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) welcomed an up to $1.54 million grant that the DOE awarded to promote the development of a marine hydrokinetic project in Igiugig, Alaska. The development of the technology associated with the project could ultimately help lower energy costs in rural communities across the state.

Sen. Murkowski Releases Third CRS Analysis of Obama’s Oil Tax: On March 3rd, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) released a new analysis by the Congressional Research Services of the Obama Administration’s proposed tax on oil. The report outlines a list of significant unanswered questions and ambiguities in the proposal.

States Report

Constitutional Amendment for Renewable Energy on Ohio’s Ballot: A proposed constitutional amendment for a $13 billion annual allocation over a 10-year period for wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable energy project investments will be on Ohio’s ballot for the fifth time this fall. The Ohio Clean Energy Initiative intends to appropriate the annual investment towards infrastructure projects and alternative energy research.

Pennsylvania Regulators Suggest New Drilling Rules: Representatives from Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection suggested during an educational presentation that new regulations for drilling activities should be expected this year.

West Virginia Lawmakers Advance Lower Severance Tax Bill: The West Virginia State Senate haspassed legislation intending to lower severance taxes on the coal industry, while also approving an amendment to include the natural gas industry in the measure. Proponents of S.B. 705 are hopeful that the legislation will aid the industries’ competitiveness amid significant commodity price declines and regulatory pressures.

Energy & Economy Report

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Block EPA’s Mercury Rule: Despite pressure from a 20-state coalition requesting the Supreme Court to issue a stay on the EPA’s mercury power plant rule due to the agency’s failure to consider costs associated with implementing the new regulations, Chief Justice Roberts hasissued an order rejecting the effort to block the regulation.

2016 Expected to be a Record Year for Solar: The Energy Information Administration is predicting 2016 to be an extraordinary year for the solar sector, anticipating it to encompass more electricity-generating capacity than any other resources.

Texas Production Expected to Contract in 2016: Low oil prices are showing their impact in Texas, and industry analyses expect the downturn to continue until there is a “meaningful recovery.”





Oil and gas news briefs for March 7, 2016

U.S. natural gas futures fall to lowest level since 1999

(Arkansas public radio KUAR; March 3) – While declining crude oil prices have roiled international markets from Beijing to New York’s Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures have quietly plummeted to levels not seen in this century, and the low prices are pushing many companies in the energy sector closer to bankruptcy, industry experts say. On March 3, natural gas futures for April delivery closed at $1.678 per million Btu on the NYMEX — the lowest since Feb. 26, 1999, according to U.S. data.

“Shale gas producers have done an amazing job growing production despite the continued low gas prices,” said Wall Street oil and gas analyst Fadel Gheit, of Oppenheimer & Co. Even though most gas producers have sharply reduced capital spending and rig count, they have continued to add reserves and grow production. “This is all driven by efficiency gains and this is expected to continue, unfortunately exacerbating the current glut, which continues to depress prices,” Gheit said.

Even with prices touching a 17-year low, December dry natural gas production was the highest for the month since the U.S. Energy Information Administration began reporting dry gas production data in 1973. All that gas is keeping storage at high levels. In its last report, the EIA noted that U.S. gas inventories stood at 2.584 trillion cubic feet as of Feb. 19, almost 30 percent above the historical five-year average for this time of year.

Canadian natural gas falls to lowest price in 18 years

(Financial Post; Canada; March 1) – Canadian natural gas prices could plunge below $1 per thousand cubic feet as a lukewarm winter and record gas storage conspire to bring down prices. Prices at Western Canada’s gas hub fell this week to $1.24 — the lowest in 18 years — as gas inventories exceed the five-year average. “With too much gas in Western Canada, we believe prices will deteriorate further to under C$1 and could well persist near this level for a few months,” said Martin King, of FirstCapital Energy.

“Such prices may also be required to force some wellhead shut-ins,” King said. The Calgary-based energy investment broker said “insane” all-time-high gas storage levels have not been seen since 1998. “There is an outside chance that the net cumulative withdrawal of gas from Alberta storage could be close to zero this heating season, an unprecedented event in the history of North American natural gas storage,” King said.

Spot prices for LNG delivered to Asia fall to $4.30

(Reuters; March 4) – Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas slid for the third straight week, as pressure mounted from new Australian and U.S. supplies, traders said. LNG for April delivery in Asia eased to $4.30 per million Btu, down 20 cents from the previous week. Traders said they expect prices to fall below $4 during the summer as supply continues to pick up from new projects.

“There’s a bit of a squeeze going on from both sides of the world so prices are only going to go one way until things start to stabilize,” a trader said. Cheniere Energy expects to export eight to 10 more cargoes of LNG in the next two months out of its newly commissioned Sabine Pass terminal. At the same time, traders said, China’s Sinopec was offering cargoes from its share of the Australia Pacific LNG project output and Chevron is offering cargoes from the Gorgon plant off northwest Australia.

U.S. LNG comes into a market much different than envisioned

(Houston Chronicle; March 4) – With great fanfare last month, federal officials and oil and gas executives trumpeted the first shipment of liquefied natural gas from Cheniere Energy’s new export terminal on the Louisiana Gulf Coast. With four more terminals under construction in Texas, Louisiana and Maryland and several more proposed, the United States appears positioned to take over as a major LNG supplier worldwide.

But the horizon is not entirely welcoming, the U.S. Energy Information Administration warned in a report March 4, joining a chorus of analysts who wonder whether low prices in world gas markets might slow development. “Market conditions have changed since many LNG export projects in the U.S. were initially proposed,” the EIA wrote. “Proposed LNG terminals in the U.S. face not only increased competition from other domestic and foreign terminals that have been completed but also face uncertainty in global demand.”

The agency cites falling demand last year from China, Japan and South Korea, the world’s three largest LNG exporters. That was first time those numbers had fallen since 2009, when the global financial crisis rattled energy markets worldwide. At the same time, Australia has opened new export terminals. According to EIA, the Cheniere plant plus the four others under construction will have the capacity to export more than 10 billion cubic feet of gas a day as LNG.

Harvard economist says LNG exports ‘good for the world’

(Vancouver Sun; March 3) – In a call that is sure to be music to the ears of B.C. Premier Christy Clark and those in the energy industry, Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter on March 3 said it is time to get on with increased liquefied natural gas exports to help combat climate change. “It’s good for the world. It’s good for China. It’s good for lots of other people in the world who really care about climate. We should be exporting as much LNG as possible,” Porter told the Globe conference in Vancouver.

Porter, an economist at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard, made a case that natural gas is a crucial bridge to getting to a world fueled by renewable energy such as wind and solar. Porter argued that natural gas provides a way to replace higher-intensity-carbon energy such as coal-fired power plants while meeting the increasing global demand for energy. It’s going to take decades to transition to a world in which renewable energy replaces fossil fuels, he said.

The Canadian energy industry has also argued that gas is part of the solution to reduce emissions, an idea backed by oil and gas executives Enbridge CEO Al Monaco and Suncor CEO Steve Williams on a panel at the same conference.

First Nations promise fight against Vancouver Island LNG plant

(Times Colonist; Victoria, BC; March 2) – Saanich Peninsula First Nations are promising a battle on the land, the sea and in the courtroom if Steelhead LNG wants to go ahead with a liquefied natural gas plant on the former Bamberton development lands on the southeastern end of Vancouver Island, B.C. Standing on First Nation land looking across Saanich Inlet at the site of the former cement factory where Steelhead wants to build, the chiefs of Saanich Peninsula nations made it clear they’re united in opposition.

“We wanted to make a strong impact statement to make sure our statement is heard … we are making it well known that we oppose LNG in our territory,” said Chief Rebecca David of the Pauquachin First Nation. “The decisions and choices we make today affect the next seven generations. We are trying to protect the water and the lands of our future children.”  She said there is nothing Steelhead could offer them to win support. The project is one of 20 proposed for the B.C. coast; none have started construction.

Steelhead LNG, which has partnered with the Malahat First Nation for the project, is looking at building a floating facility capable of producing 6 million metric tons of LNG per year. The project is still in the design phase and would be served by an 80-mile gas pipeline from the mainland. The pipeline is a non-starter as far as Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation is concerned. He said any government that approves such a project would trigger further protest action and likely a legal challenge.

Residents continue to speak against LNG plant north of Vancouver

(Coast Reporter; BC; March 3) – Residents of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast spoke out against the proposed Woodfibre LNG project at a public meeting Feb. 29. It was the last of three community meetings held across the district by Member of Parliament Pam Goldsmith-Jones. Close to 200 people attended the meeting. Smith’s district includes West Vancouver, Sunshine Coast and Sea to Sky Country, north of Vancouver — where Woodfibre wants to build a gas liquefaction plant at the site of a former pulp mill.

More than 30 people spoke at the meeting, primarily raising environmental concerns including LNG tanker traffic in Howe Sound and the hydraulic fracturing that would be used to produce gas in northeastern British Columbia to feed the plant. One man asked the elected official if she had heard from anyone in support of the project. “There are definitely people in favor,” Goldsmith-Jones said. “That’s why this is so difficult. To be honest — and depending on where you go — it’s 50/50.”

The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office produced an environmental assessment report on the Woodfibre LNG project. The report will go to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change for her consideration. No date for a decision has been announced. The plant is one of 20 proposed for the B.C. coast. Its cost is estimated at just under $2 billion, with capacity to produce 2 million metric tons of LNG per year.

Hearing officer denies land-use permit for Oregon LNG project

(The Daily Astorian; OR; March 4) – A hearing officer for the city of Warrenton, Ore., on March 4 denied land-use applications for Oregon LNG’s proposed gas liquefaction and shipping terminal on the Skipanon Peninsula, determining that the project would hurt fish habitat in the lower Columbia River estuary. However, the hearing officer approved, with conditions, separate applications for 2 miles of gas pipeline to serve the terminal.

The long-awaited decisions from Daniel Kearns, a city-appointed land-use attorney from Portland, came six months after scores of people testified for and against the $6 billion project. Rejection of the terminal contradicts a recommendation for approval by the Warrenton planning director. The decision starts a two-week appeal period that would send the matter to the Warrenton City Commission. From there, another appeal could take it to the state Land-Use Board of Appeals.

The project sponsor has been working for several years to develop an LNG plant and export terminal to liquefy U.S. and Canadian gas for a fee, loading the fuel on tankers for customers looking to sell into overseas markets. Environmentalists have strongly opposed the project, while supporters say it would bring jobs and tax revenue to the area. Oregon LNG also is waiting for a decision from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in addition to signing up customers and lining up financing.

Crowley applies for small-scale export of Canadian LNG

(Financial Post; Canada; March 3) – A U.S.-based company already engaged in delivering small-scale cargoes of liquefied natural gas to South American and Caribbean nations, Lower 48 coastal buyers and Alaska has applied to Canada’s National Energy Board for approval to export LNG from that country, too. An affiliate of Crowley Maritime, which is active in fuel hauling, is seeking authority to export as much as 10 billion cubic feet of Canadian gas a year as LNG for 25 years.

In its application filed March 1, the company said it plans to export Canadian LNG from FortisBC Energy’s Tilbury LNG plant in Delta, B.C., which is undergoing an expansion, and from the Mount Hayes LNG plant on Vancouver Island. Crowley would also source LNG from Elmworth LNG plant in Alberta, owned by Ferus Natural Fuels.

In addition to delivering the fuel aboard ships and barges, Crowley said it is considering rail and truck cargoes of Canadian gas to markets in Washington and Alaska. “Contingent on regulatory approval, LNG may also be loaded into shipping containers or LNG railcars,” the company said in its application.

Europe’s interest in LNG makes Norway wonder what to do next

(Wall Street Journal; March 5) – Norway’s Statoil recently transformed the rigs of an offshore gas field into a marketing platform for a special guest: the European Union’s energy czar, Maros Sefcovic. Gas fields like Sleipner have helped cook meals and heat homes in Europe for several decades, but their output will gradually fade away. To replace those aging North Sea fields, Norway is considering plowing billions of dollars into similar installations 1,000 miles to the north, in the Barents Sea.

Before going ahead with this Arctic bet, however, the country, which isn’t part of the EU, would like to receive assurances that the bloc will continue to take its gas. But Sefcovic, who leads the EU’s effort to reduce dependence on energy imports, stopped short of committing to buying more Norwegian gas in the future. “What we want is to have enough gas at a good price,” he said. Norway’s marketing push illustrate the challenges that Europe’s only petrostate faces at a time of moribund energy prices.

Bargaining between Norway and its European customers highlights a new dynamic at play. Since the 1970s, the Nordic nation has built a gas system largely aimed at serving Europe. But the EU is looking harder at liquefied natural gas, which can be shipped in from around the globe. Although LNG is traditionally more costly than piped gas, it brings flexibility and security, EU officials say. Seeing the EU’s diversification push, Norway wonders if it might be better off building up its own LNG export capabilities rather than a new, expensive pipeline to connect the frontier Barents Sea to Europe.

Iran looks to develop pipeline gas exports before LNG

(Bloomberg; March 2) – Iran, with the world’s largest reserves of natural gas, will prioritize exporting the fuel through pipelines to neighboring countries, starting with Iraq as early as this month, rather than investing in liquefaction plants for overseas deliveries. “We have a nearby market that hasn’t yet been covered,” said Alireza Kameli, managing director of National Iranian Gas Export Co. “While that market is there and there are customers, our first priority will be that.”

Iran, with 1,200 trillion cubic feet of proved gas reserves, is seeking to rebuild its energy industry and boost sales of gas and oil after the lifting in January of international sanctions that deprived it for years of foreign investment and technology. The Arabian Gulf nation borders countries such as Iraq and Pakistan that want the fuel to produce electricity. Iran will start selling 140 million cubic feet of gas per day to Iraq via pipeline later this month to supply power plants near Baghdad, Kameli said March 1.

He said he envisions sales to Iraq rising ten­fold and expanding to include the southern city of Basrah, without giving target dates for any planned increase. Iran also wants to boost exports to Turkey, though sales have been affected by a dispute over pricing, Kameli said. Iran currently lacks any facilities to export LNG. Once Iran has served its Gulf neighbors, it will look to sell LNG to more distant markets such as India and Europe. It will need investors and partners for any LNG project, Kameli said.

Pakistan receives first LNG cargo under long-term deal with Qatar

(Natural Gas Asia; March 2) – The first liquefied natural gas cargo under Pakistan’s long-term deal with supplier Qatar docked at the receiving terminal in Karachi on March 1. The LNG will be warmed up to regasify it for feeding into the region’s gas pipeline network. The floating import, storage and regas vessel went into service last year, accepting the first LNG cargoes for Pakistan under spot or short-term deals.

Under the long-term supply contract signed last month, Qatargas will supply fuel to Pakistan State Oil from 2016 to 2031. The delivered price per million Btu will be 13.37 percent of the average price of Brent crude for the preceding three months. Qatargas will supply 3.75 million metric tons per year. Pakistan is facing severe gas shortages as demand in the nation of about 200 million has outstripped domestic production in recent years. The country’s total gas production is around 4 billion cubic feet per day.

Pakistan textile mills start receiving gas 24 hours a day

(The Nation; Pakistan; March 3) – After the arrival in Pakistan of the first liquefied natural gas shipment under a long-term supply contract with Qatar, the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline has started supplying gas to the textile industry in Punjab 24 hours a day after six years of interrupted service. Punjab textile mills, which had been receiving gas just for four to six hours a day, started received deliveries full time March 2. The Qatari LNG carrier arrived the day before, offloading at a floating import terminal in Karachi.

The mills are paying $6.66 per million Btu for the gas. Total demand of the Punjab textile mills power plants is about 200 million cubic feet of gas per day. Running their own power plants allows the diversion to other customers of the electricity the mills had been purchasing on the market. According to official sources, the initial Qatari shipment was actually meant for independent power producers to generate electricity but they were unable to make immediate payment, so the gas went to the textile industry.

Pakistan has been suffering under gas shortages, as domestic production has fallen far short of meeting the nation’s energy needs. Pakistan started importing LNG last year, then signed a long-term supply deal with Qatar.

Gazprom secures $2 billion loan from Bank of China

(Wall Street Journal; March 3) – Russian state gas giant Gazprom has secured a $2.17 billion loan from the Bank of China, the largest bilateral credit in the Russian company’s history and a sign of how Western sanctions are increasing Russia’s economic reliance on China. The loan deal, announced March 3 by Gazprom, is the latest in expanding Chinese investment in Russia’s oil and gas sector, the country’s main export earner that has been hamstrung by U.S. restrictions on borrowing.

All that investing is giving China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, access to Russia’s huge hydrocarbon reserves, tightening ties between the neighbors that share a desire to counterbalance U.S. influence in the world. China agreed last year to increase its stake in the $27 billion Yamal liquefied natural gas project in the Arctic that is blocked from dollar-based financing. And, in another example, China’s prepayments for supplies from Russian state oil firm Rosneft have provided an alternative form of financing.

Russia has long touted Asia as an alternative for funding to the West, where some of its companies and banks face restrictions over Russian intervention in Ukraine. A Kremlin spokesman said it “regretted” a decision by the U.S., announced March 2, to extend those sanctions. The timing of Gazprom’s loan announcement also is a public-relations message, said Natalia Orlova, chief economist at Alfa Bank in Moscow. Gazprom didn’t disclose terms of the loan, which will likely be used for refinancing and isn’t huge for a company with an investment program around 10 times the size last year, analysts said.