Energy | Ecotrope

Exporting LNG from Oregon? 'A stupid idea'

Ecotrope | March 17, 2011 11:04 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:40 p.m.

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So, the Coos Bay World and Rob Manning report Jordan Cove developers have started thinking about turning their proposed liquefied natural gas import terminal into an export terminal. Not that they have the permits to do either just yet.

But project manager Bob Braddock told Platts LNG Daily that his company is mulling over the idea of flipping the project around after receiving “inquiries from people who have [natural gas] production.” Then he told The World he’d been turning down requests on the issue because “it’s a stupid idea.”

The idea could make sense given the new assessments of U.S. natural gas supply (now that fracking technology can tap the gas stored in shale rock). Ever since British Columbia’s Kitimat LNG import project actually did flip their proposal around in 2008, Oregon’s anti-LNG crowd has suspected Oregon’s LNG import projects would one day turn to export.

But Braddock told The World that the Platts article made an “enormous” leap of faith in saying the company was already “redesigning” the project. And that his company has been telling people who inquire that turning the Jordan Cove project into an export facility is “a stupid idea.” It might make sense at Kitimat, he said, because there’s shale gas near the terminal site. Not so in Coos Bay. Besides, the World reports, there are other problems with trying to export, too. Like the pipeline:

“One obstacle to a switch would be the proposed pipeline connecting Jordan Cove with another pipeline in Malin. Pipeline backers hope to use eminent domain to get permission to cross properties along the 234-mile route, since an import pipeline would provide a service to customers in California.

An export pipeline wouldn’t qualify for eminent domain. And the land-use permits the county has granted for the pipeline specify that it can’t be used for export.

An export pipeline could win support by paying royalties to landowners along the way. But opponents along the route have scoffed at that, saying that the hazards of a pipeline wouldn’t be worth it.”

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