Woodside tries to win Californian support as other US plans progress
Woodside Natural Gas, an affiliate of Australia’s Woodside Petroleum, held a public meeting about the OceanWay import terminal proposal in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The meeting was the first of a number of hearings that Woodside has planned, in the hope that public perceptions of the offshore scheme will be positive.
OceanWay is planned as an offshore project using regasification vessels that will connect to one of two submerged buoys, and deliver natural gas into dual pipelines running along the ocean floor to the existing onshore gas network in California.
In local reports, Woodside Natural Gas President Steve Larson was quoted saying: “This is the first time we have had an open forum to hear from the local community about what will be important to them in the upcoming environmental assessment .... We will continue our community outreach over the next few months. And we are happy to meet any interested individuals or groups, to explain our environmentally-sensitive approach to bring much-needed natural gas to southern California, and help curb rising energy costs.”
Woodside has said it intends to supply the terminal from its planned liquefaction projects in Western Australia. But with the gas price in southern California generally running about $1 below the Henry Hub price, it will be interesting to see if would-be importers in the area can attract supplies away from gas-hungry buyers in East Asia.
Meanwhile, the US’ Energy Information Administration (EIA) this week issued a status update on a number of new projects to import LNG into the Lower 48, via the East Coast, that the project developers say will soon be online.
In a recent presentation, Cheniere Energy, a part-owner of the Freeport LNG project in Brazoria County, Texas, said it expected construction of the terminal to be complete by early 2008. Freeport LNG, which will have a send-out capacity of 1.5 billion cubic feet/day (Bcf/d) – or 42.4 million cubic metres/d – will be the first new onshore LNG terminal in the Lower 48 in over two decades.
Cheniere is also the sole owner of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, which is scheduled for opening in early 2008. A first cargo is expected to arrive at the terminal during February and Cheniere has chartered a vessel for the delivery (see ‘Market Report’, HLM 14th September). The terminal will have send-out capacity of 2.6 Bcf/d initially, with an expansion expected later.
A third onshore terminal, Sempra LNG’s Cameron LNG (also located in Cameron Parish), is expected to be on line by the end of 2008, adding 1.8 Bcf/d of LNG import capacity to the region.
Additionally, proposals for two ports to be located offshore Massachusetts are advancing, and planned for completion soon. Construction of Excelerate Energy’s Northeast Gateway port is well under way, and could be complete by this winter, according to the company. Suez Energy, the owner of the Neptune LNG project, an offshore port receiving regasified LNG, expects to complete construction of its offshore Massachusetts project before the 2008-2009 winter.
With these projects, US LNG import capacity is expected to double, to more than 10 Bcf per day, by the end of 2008, according to the EIA.
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