Puerto Rico Imports Russian LNG Thanks to U.S. Jones Act

Here we go again. Not only does Boston and New England now depend on Russian LNG, so too does U.S. territory Puerto Rico (PR)–thanks to a century-old law that prevents the U.S. from shipping LNG to our own states and territories! It’s bizarre and must stop. The closest LNG export facility to PR is Kinder Morgan’s Elba Island, Georgia facility, which recently came online (see FERC OKs Kinder Morgan Elba Island LNG Train #1 to Begin Service). Yet none of the Marcellus/Utica LNG from Elba Island can legally go to PR–because there are no American built and flagged LNG carriers to transport it there. That’s the Jones Act.
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National Grid Uses Texas LNG Virtual Pipe to Supply Long Island

Sam Thigpen, founder and CEO of Thigpen Solutions, revealed something at Gulf Coast Energy Forum in New Orleans that is a revelation for us. Starting last winter, Thigpen and his Texas-based company has been shipping LNG to National Grid and their Long Island, NY operation during the wintertime, so that National Grid doesn’t run out of gas for its existing customers. In fact, Thigpen has a five-year contract to supply National Grid’s Long Island customers with (expensive) LNG.
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Enviro Leftists Keep Up Attack on LNG Export Dock on Dela. River

In June the DRBC (Delaware River Basin Commission) approved a request by New Fortress Energy to build a $96 million 1,600-foot-long pier on the Delaware River, to be used for docking and loading two ships at a time with LNG (see DRBC Approves New Fortress LNG/NGL Shipping Dock on Dela. River). After being hounded (and threatened) by THE Delaware Riverkeeper and the Sierra Club for months over that approval, DRBC voted in September to “reconsider” its earlier decision (see DRBC Reconsiders New Fortress LNG/NGL Shipping Dock on Dela. River). The radicals continue to pressure DRBC to overturn their earlier approval.
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Kinder Morgan: Startup of Elba Island LNG Units 2 & 3 “Underway”

Last Wednesday MDN told you that the first “train” or unit of Kinder Morgan’s Elba Island, Georgia LNG export facility is now up and running (see FERC OKs Kinder Morgan Elba Island LNG Train #1 to Begin Service). On Friday, KM confirmed what we already knew–that unit #1 is now operational. But they went further with an important update on the rest of the units (ten in all).
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American LNG has Lower Emissions than Russian, Australian LNG

LNG and the amount of so-called greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions given off to produce LNG is the same the world over, right? We mean, LNG is LNG, right? Turns out, that’s not right. At least according to a new study just released by researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). In a new report (full copy below), NETL researchers found that LNG produced here in the U.S. gives off lower GHG emissions during its manufacture than does LNG produced in both Russia and Australia. Meaning Europe and Asia should want to buy and use the better-for-the-environment LNG produced by Uncle Sam rather than buy it from one of those other countries.
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FERC OKs Kinder Morgan Elba Island LNG Train #1 to Begin Service

Elba Island LNG (click for larger version)

Hallelujah! On Monday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted permission to Kinder Morgan to *finally* begin full export operations for Train #1 at the Elba Island, Georgia LNG (liquefied natural gas) export facility. It has been a loooooong time coming. FERC first approved KM’s request to build the facility back in 2016 (see KM’s Elba Island LNG Export Plant Approved by FERC). Since that time there have been a number of “we’re almost ready to start” string of broken promises. FERC has just authorized the first of 10 trains at Elba Island. The other trains should now come online in fairly rapid succession.
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XNG Compressed Gas Truck Overturns Near Binghamton, Driver Killed

XNG CNG truck crash (Credit: Broome County Sheriff)

What is arguably the worst-case scenario for a virtual pipeline company has happened–and it happened not more than 10 miles as the crow flies from MDN HQ. Early Monday morning a compressed natural gas (CNG) truck from Xpress Natural Gas (XNG) was traveling up Interstate 88 near Binghamton (Chenango Bridge area) at 1 am when the driver noticed two deer on the road. He swerved to miss the deer, tipping over the truck which held full canisters of CNG. The truck and trailer crashed into the concrete barrier between the east- and west-bound lanes, ejecting the driver and, sadly, killing him. Both deer were killed as well. One of the canisters in the trailer was punctured and released its gas. Some 80 nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution.
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Con Ed Desperately Looking for Sites to Add CNG in Westchester County

Consolidated Edison (Con Ed), the electric and natural gas utility that services parts of New York City and to the north of NY, Westchester County, is getting desperate in their bid to locate sites where they can unload CNG (compressed natural gas) trucks into their pipeline network in Westchester County. You may recall Con Ed was the first utility to slap a moratorium on any new natgas customers from hooking up to their supply system in Westchester, back in March (see Moratorium on New Gas Hookups in Westchester County Begins Today). That moratorium remains in place–for the next four years. However, Con Ed is running low on gas for new customers approved *before* they put the moratorium in place.
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DRBC Reconsiders New Fortress LNG/NGL Shipping Dock on Dela. River

There, now that’s the DRBC (Delaware River Basin Commission) we know and expect–obsequiously bowing before the likes of THE Delaware Riverkeeper and her environmental cousin, the Sierra Club. In June the DRBC approved a request by New Fortress Energy to build a $96 million 1,600-foot-long pier on the Delaware River (see DRBC Approves New Fortress LNG/NGL Shipping Dock on Dela. River). After being hounded (and threatened) by Riverkeeper and the Sierra Club for months over that approval, DRBC voted last week to “reconsider” its earlier decision. Their true colors shine through.
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LNG Export Facility Review Part 1: Elba, Freeport and Cameron

Any LNG (liquefied natural gas) export facility built or planned along the Eastern seaboard or Gulf Coast is critically important for the Marcellus/Utica. Why? Because they are BIG users of natural gas, big important (new) markets for our gas. Yes, M-U gas flows all the way to the Gulf Coast, to both Louisiana and Texas. Our friends at RBN Energy recently published the first in a short series providing an update on where U.S. LNG export demand and new projects stand. First up is a close look at LNG facilities at Elba Island (Georgia), Freeport (Texas) and Cameron (Louisiana).
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CME Group Launching First-Ever Physical LNG Futures Contract

The CME Group, formerly known as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, is a global derivatives marketplace based in Chicago–originally founded to sell physical commodities like grain and eggs. These days CME Group offers a range of financial trading products across all major asset classes, including those based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural products and metals. CME Group is in the process of launching the world’s first-ever physically-delivered LNG contract. What is that and how does that affect our region?
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KM Evacuates Elba Island LNG Ahead of Dorian, More Delays

click for larger version

Disappointingly, Kinder Morgan’s Elba Island LNG export facility is still not up and running. According to “frustrated” KM CEO Steve Kean, “We were making very good progress on Elba, and then Hurricane Dorian happened.” Sure, blame it on the hurricane. KM wisely evacuated personnel working on the Elba project to avoid Dorian–we have no issue with that. But let’s be honest, this project is WAY behind schedule, originally supposed to be online last year. And it’s one of the smaller LNG projects!
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Work Continues to Clear Site for NEPA Landlocked LNG Export Plant

New Fortress Energy is in the process of building the first (of two or more) LNG liquefying plants in Wyalusing, PA–nowhere near a shoreline. The company will truck (eventually rail) the LNG to a port located on the Delaware River along the New Jersey shoreline for export to Puerto Rico and other destinations. As we reported in July, work is now underway to clear the site before actual construction of buildings begins (see Work Begins to Clear Site for NEPA Landlocked LNG Export Plant). The site clearing work has progressed, rather nicely…
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Gulf Coast Cameron LNG Exporting Begins Service…with M-U Gas

Cameron LNG Train 1 (click for larger version)

Yesterday Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG project in Lake Charles, La. began to liquefy and export natural gas–some of it coming from the Marcellus/Utica region. Nearly a month ago the facility asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to begin full-blown operation (see Cameron LNG Export Plant Ready to Begin Operation This Week). FERC issued that permission shortly thereafter. We’re guessing there was some sort of technical issue that caused a delay until now. The good news is that the facility is now up and running…with our gas.
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