Is New England Heading for Huge NatGas Price Spike this Winter?

told you soMDN has covered, endlessly, the story of opposition to any kind of pipeline in New England. That opposition is largely responsible for Kinder Morgan throwing in the towel on their planned Tennessee Gas Pipeline extension called Northeast Energy Direct, or NED (see NED is Dead – Kinder Morgan Suspends $3.3B New England Pipeline). Another pipeline project for New England, Spectra Energy’s Access Northeast project also faces stiff opposition–even though it involves very little greenfield development (cutting across areas without existing pipeline rights of way). Access Northeast beefs up several existing pipelines and ties them together to shuttle more Marcellus and Utica gas to natgas-fired electric power plants in New England. One of the opponents of new pipelines to New England has been LNG importers in the region–specifically GDF Suez importing gas at the Everett, MA LNG import terminal, near Boston (see New England Importer Received 59% of All LNG Ship Imports 1H15). LNG imports are one of the primary sources of natgas for New England. The antis holler and scream, “Forget the pipelines. If you must use gas, use LNG. There’s more than enough LNG to supply New England.” In a macro sense that may be true–the world is awash in LNG. But arranging shipments and sources for it takes months, even years. Right now most of the LNG GDF Suez imports comes from Trinidad. Uh oh. Word has leaked that Trinidad’s natgas is drying up and the country is falling behind and not meeting their LNG commitments. It’s not a stretch to imagine that even an average New England winter, coupled with fewer imports from Trinidad, means trouble ahead for the squawking antis of New England. And when they begin to moan and complain about high natgas (and electricity) prices this winter, we’ll be laughing at them the whole time, saying “We told you so”…

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