Exports of Liquified Natural Gas will Damage the U.S. Longterm

by Duane Nichols on January 11, 2019

LNG exports will bleed the US of longterm resources and increase global warming

Reply to Article on Liquified Natural Gas in Forbes Online Magazine (1/8/19)

Essay by S. Tom Bond, Resident Farmer & Retired Chemist, Lewis County, WV

“U. S. Liquefied Natural Gas Hits Record Highs Again” (January 8), seems to hit all the bells and whistles for what is essentially a political movement devoid of practicality. See the recent article post and comments here in FrackCheckWV.net.

It trashes the countryside where it is conducted, due to the Halliburton amendment of Dick Chaney, and will surely destroy the life sustaining capacity of the earth, due to its effluvia (methane, other hydrocarbons, & carbon dioxide). All this to squeeze out the last dregs of natural gas under the earth in the United States, as though none would be needed here in the future.

The author ignores the fact that it is increasingly difficult to get capital for fracking because the companies aren’t making money, many are going broke and there is an active, effective divestment movement which values life more than quick wealth.

LNG export and import facilities are a fat target in an uncertain and increasingly warlike world. Each LNG tanker holds energy equivalent to an atomic bomb! These ships are easily attacked with cheap missiles, too.

Fracking has become the practice due to the exhaustion of “conventional” reserves, still abundant elsewhere, but in nations the U. S. chooses to compete with. The huge quantities of manufactured chemicals and truly vast quantities of water required for the method have two main effects: (1) they make it expensive compared to drilling a well where the petroleum will simply flow to the hole and can be pumped out, and (2) it has gross effects on the countryside where it is conducted.

One effect is contamination of well water and water that flows on the surface, making residence and farming difficult or impossible. Large areas are removed from forests and pastures and converted into roads and drill pads covered deeply with gravel and made incapable of vegetation. Local roads are crowded and destroyed, at public expense and great cost to local residents and local communities.

As long as the banks are willing to loan, and investors can be suckered in, fracking moves great sums of money. More than most can imagine, money is moved to lobbies at state legislatures and congress to obtain legislation permitting this irrational initiative.

I know these things because I live in the Marcellus Field, and I am a chemist. Fracking is a political movement first and foremost. It is not economic or rational.

S. Thomas Bond of Jane Lew, WV


See also: The U.S. is helping the natural gas industry make a profit | The Texas Tribune

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Bond January 11, 2019 at 12:06 pm

Comment on LNG Exports in Spite of Global Warming Predictions

There is a famous quote “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Burning hydrocarbons to obtain energy is certainly a grand example of that condition. Everyone knows what will happen as a result of accumulation of greenhouse gasses, but it goes on anyway, with little incentive to change in a world where most motivation is economic.

This article from the Texas Tribune shows the push provided by public money is strongly in favor of the insanity of continuing in the old way. The U. S. Trade Development Agency is only one of many ways the industry is facilitated by government. Einstein is often quoted as saying, “Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed.” Here we have all three: stupidity of avoiding expert thought; fear of change; and greed of big money and the government officials who get the backsheesh for facilitating the backward plan.

S. Tom Bond, Lewis County, WV


Marissa Luck February 15, 2019 at 11:11 pm

Early 2019 will see flurry of LNG activity

By Marissa Luck, Houston Chronicle, 2019

The growth of the Gulf Coast’s liquefied natural gas industry is set to accelerate in 2019 as at least three major projects are expected to get the go-ahead from developers.

Those projects include a sixth processing unit, called Train 6, at Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass complex in Louisiana; Golden Pass LNG, a joint venture of Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and Qatar Petroleum, on the Texas side of Sabine Pass; and Calescieu Pass LNG in southwestern Louisiana, developed by Venture Global of Arlington, Va.

Within the next six months, developers behind each project are expected to make final investment decisions that would inject a combined $20 billion into the region over the next four years, according to the energy research firm Wood Mackenzie.

At least two other Gulf Coast projects could receive final investment decisions later in 2019, according to Wood Mackenzie.

They are Driftwood LNG, a project south of Lake Charles being developed by the Houston company Tellurian, and a fourth natural gas liquefaction plant at the Quintana Island project of Freeport LNG of Houston.

“North America is set to lead an expected record year for LNG project sanctions,” said Alex Munton, principal analyst, Americas LNG, at Wood Mackenzie in a statement. “The first half of 2019 will be an especially busy one for the U.S.”

And more are coming. Other projects that recently won federal approval and are likely to get final investment decisions in the coming months include Houston-based Delfin LNG’s terminal in the Gulf of Mexico, and two separate projects in Lake Charles, La., from Energy Transfer of Dallas and Canadian company LNG Limited.

Developers are racing to build LNG export terminals to capture growing demand from Asian countries shifting from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas.

In North America, the Gulf Coast is at the center of the action as companies tap into vast natural gas supplies in Texas.

Houston’s Cheniere Energy became the first company to export LNG from the lower 48 in 2016 from its Sabine Pass complex. It recently began shipping LNG from its terminal near Corpus Christi.

Dominion Energy of Richmond, Va., began exporting LNG from Maryland last year. The Houston pipeline company Kinder Morgan, which is completing a terminal in Georgia, and Freeport LNG are expected to start exporting LNG this year.

The flurry of activity has the United States on track to become the third largest exporter of LNG in the world, behind Australia and Qatar, according to the Energy Department.

LNG investment has “sprung back to life” after a lull in 2018, due to increased activity from buyers willing to sign long-term contracts, Wood Mackenzie’s report found.

Since September, Cheniere, Venture Global, Tellurian, Freeport and Sempra Energy of San Diego, which is developing an LNG project in Port Arthur, all announced long-term agreements with buyers. Between September and late December, 13 million metric tons per a year in sales were announced, Wood Mackenzie said.

Even with all those projects coming online, supplies of LNG might still tighten in the coming years as Asian countries reduce their reliance on coal, according to another report from the Norwegian research firm Rystad Energy. That could be why buyers are increasingly signing longer contracts, Rystad said.

Rystad analyzed long-term contracts signed in 2018 and found that the average duration of the contracts has increased, suggesting that LNG buyers are less confident they can secure all the LNG they need in the spot market.

“The large established Asian buyers — such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China — will continue to rely on long-term contracts to ensure security of supply,” said Sindre Knutsson, senior analyst on Rystad Energy’s Markets team.

Rystad forecasts that the market will tighten significantly in 2022 or 2023 and suggests a “heightened risk” of LNG shortages after then.

Wood Mackenzie estimates that spot market demand for LNG among the top buyers of LNG globally could quadruple by 2030.

And in the race to capture that new demand, the Gulf Coast is likely to emerge as a top contender.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to clarify that Cheniere Energy was the first to export LNG from the lower 48 states . The first liquefied natural gas exports from the U.S. were actually out of ConocoPhillips facility in Alaska in 1969, but Cheniere Energy was the first to export from the lower 48 and lead the modern LNG export boom.



Anca Gagiuc February 15, 2019 at 11:24 pm

ExxonMobil, Qatar Petroleum Begin Work on Golden Pass LNG

by Anca Gagiuc, Commercial Property Executive, February 12, 2019

The project is part of ExxonMobil’s plan to invest more than $50 billion over the next five years to build and expand manufacturing facilities in the U.S.

ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum have reached an agreement and will proceed with the development of the Golden Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Sabine Pass, Texas. Construction is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2019, with completion anticipated for 2024. The cost of the project is expected to exceed $10 billion.

Photo: Exxon’s Darren Woods and Qatar Petroleum President & CEO H.E. Saad Al-Kaabi sign the agreement to proceed with construction of the Golden Pass LNG export facility, as U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Golden Pass Products CEO Sean Ryan look on. (Image courtesy of ExxonMobil)

Preliminary estimates indicate the project could generate up to $31 billion in U.S. economic gains and more than $4.6 billion in direct federal, state and local tax revenues over the life of the project, in addition to 16 million tons of LNG per year. During the five-year construction period, the Golden Pass LNG is anticipated to create about 9,000 jobs and more than 200 permanent jobs during operations. Working interests in the development are 70 percent Qatar Petroleum and 30 percent ExxonMobil.

Golden Pass is only a part of ExxonMobil’s plan to invest more than $50 billion over the next five years to build and expand manufacturing facilities in the U.S. The strategy includes the Growing the Gulf initiative, which is said to create about 45,000 jobs.

“Golden Pass will provide an increased, reliable, long-term supply of liquefied natural gas to global gas markets, stimulate local growth and create thousands of jobs,” said Darren Woods, chairman & CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp., in a prepared statement. “The extensive experience of ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum provides the expertise, resources and financial strength needed to construct and operate an integrated liquefaction and export facility in the U.S.”

Also in the mix

Baker Hughes, a GE company, will supply turbomachinery equipment for the construction of the project. They will provide technology for three trains, consisting of six MS7001 EA heavy-duty gas turbines driving 12 centrifugal compressors. The MS7001 EA is the most utilized large industrial gas turbine available in the LNG market, with 77 units in operation in 13 countries. The MS7001 EA fleet offers best-in-class availability with proven power and extended maintenance intervals with more than 550,000 fired hours.

Golden Pass awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contracts to a joint venture of Chiyoda International Corp., McDermott International and Zachry Group. Furthermore, it executed a 20-year firm transportation agreement with Enable Midstream Partners and secured pipeline capacity on NGPL.

“This expansion represents not only an investment in creating jobs and growing our state’s economy, but also in expanding our nation’s international export reach and energy independence,” added Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

“Jefferson County is ready to see this project come to life,” Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said. “After the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, our region looks forward to the economic boost this project will bring and through its Opportunity Roadmap program, Golden Pass has laid the groundwork to make sure local residents and businesses have access to the opportunities.”



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