04 April 2005 23:48 [Source: ICIS news]
Speaking on the sidelines at the 30th annual International Petrochemical Conference (IPC) today, ExxonMobil Development Co vice president Mark Sikkel told CNI that the sharp increase in costs for North American natural gas in the last several years has itself stimulated a rash of LNG terminal proposals. He said 40-50 terminal proposals are now at various stages of permitting, but only 8-10 of those projects likely will be built.
“There’s a lot involved in building an LNG terminal, in addition to the cost,” Sikkel noted. “It involves a complex and comprehensive permitting process, market evaluation and of course community support.”
Sikkel suggested that of the as many as ten LNG terminals to be brought to fruition on US shores, many of those will probably be on the US Gulf Coast, in large part because of a more receptive public. “People on the
Even so, Sikkel said, the industry must work to improve public perceptions of LNG operations. “We’ve been shipping and offloading LNG for 45 years now, involving some 40,000 LNG tanker voyages and operations at some 40 terminals worldwide.”
“We want people to understand the high level of safety and security that these facilities have,” he said, adding: “But of course there are some people who remain opposed to LNG terminal development because they are opposed to all development.”
“We have every confidence that these terminals can be designed, built and operated safely,” Sikkel said. “They can and will be operated safely, and these natural gas supplies are very important for our domestic industry.”
The availability and pricing of natural gas is a major focus of this year’s IPC.
Sikkel said construction is likely to begin on the first of EMD’s onshore facilities in the third quarter this year.
Sponsored by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), the three-day IPC continues through Tuesday.
(The CNI newsroom at NPRA’s IPC is in Salon C, Marriott Riverwalk Hotel; Tel. +1 210 299 6585.)
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