Evidently there is a shortage of natural gas in northern california because they are trying to build an LNG terminal in Oregon to pipe natural gas across the state and south to california. I don't know where the LNG is going to be coming from but not form the U.S. land area or near off shore.
Canada (near Calgary) has a project to sell LNG to Asia. The US does not need to import LNG at the present time. There may be a need to have pipelines going to the right places, but the gas is available.
I worked on the FERC filing application for the Coos Bay terminal. At the time the terminal was proposed, there was a considerable demand and commodity incentive for importing LNG into the Northwest. Although much of this demand and price incentive has vanished with the tight shale gas production over the last couple of years, there is room in the economy for an import terminal on the West Coast. Extreme enviromental activists eliminated import terminals in California and the Oregon environmentals may be worse. Sempra Costa Azul import terminal was built in Baja Mexico just south of the border to serve Mexico, southern California and Arizona. Having another source to import gas to the west coast is good energy policy and hope that one of the three LNg terminals in Oregon are built. Coos Bay is probably the best location for one with minimal traffic and a supportive community that needs jobs and tax revenue. It is never a wise thing to put all of your gas supply in to one source. A few market upsets or pipeline disruptions to the Northwest will have dire consequences for the region.
Although export of LNG from the U.S. is possible, it currently is not economical. Pipeline natural gas is currently selling for $5-$6/MMBtu. The premium for liquefaction, storage and ship transport will range from $3-$5/MMBtu depending on destination. Pacific Basin LNG is trading for much less. The only way to justify liquefaction for export int the U.S. is to have a very low cost source of natural gas (i.e. $1-$2/MMBtu) and that does not occur in the U.S. with it's significant pipeline structure.
situation is changing as far as the transcanada pipeline project...
"Anchorage Daily News
February 2, 2010
JUNEAU -- News of a higher price tag than expected and competition from other gas supplies are growing skepticism among state legislators that TransCanada Corp. can deliver on the long-awaited natural gas pipeline to the Lower 48.
"Can anyone afford to spend $41 billion and find a way to pay for that investment when natural gas is so cheap?" said Senate President Gary Stevens, a Kodiak Republican. "I think we all have to question that and wonder how it's going. ... There's reason to be concerned, reason to be fearful of what the future is for Alaska."
That was the environment faced by TransCanada Vice President Tony Palmer when he came to the state Capitol Monday and assured lawmakers that the project is right on track. The company on Friday filed its plan for an "open season" during which it hopes the oil companies will commit to be its customers and ship the North Slope natural gas they produce.
"It's our view as a pipeline sponsor that it is viable. But it will be up to the customers to decide their own views in that initial open season. Are they prepared to take that risk?" Palmer said in his testimony to the members of the House Resources Committee. "Because it will be their risk as to what the ultimate commodity price of gas would be."
Documents that TransCanada filed with regulators Friday include much higher cost estimates for the pipeline project than put forth previously. TransCanada is now estimating construction costs of $32 billion to $41 billion, an increase that Palmer attributed in part to inflation in the industry and decline in the U.S. dollar.
Palmer told the Resources Committee that the state will start in August after the open season to reimburse TransCanada for 90 percent of its project costs. The Legislature committed under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act to subsidize the project at up to $500 million.
TransCanada is currently eligible to have 50 percent of its costs reimbursed. Palmer said the company spent $67 million through the end of last year and expects the state to pay a little less than half.
Stevens, the Senate president, said the open season ought to give Alaska a better sense of whether the pipeline might happen. But he and other legislators said they were worried about the market being inundated with cheap gas. Energy companies have found large new supplies of natural gas supplies in shale rocks in the Lower 48.
"We may have missed the window," said House Resources Committee Co-Chair Craig Johnson, a Republican from Anchorage.
The other co-chair of the Resources Committee, Wasilla Republican Rep. Mark Nueman, said the Lower 48 could have a century's worth of gas and suggested influential politicians in those states might not be happy with competition from the north. Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is trying to convince Congress to increase the $18 billion in federal loan guarantees for the project up to $30 billion.
Gov. Sean Parnell expresses optimism about the gas pipeline project, saying the state is in a "historic place" in which it is moving closer to a gas pipeline than ever before. Officials in Parnell's administration say the Lower 48 demand for cleaner-burning natural gas will only grow along with pressure to reduce pollution. Anchorage Sen. Bill Wielechowski also said the shale gas fears are overblown, saying Alaska's gas is far cheaper to produce than the gas found in shale rocks, even considering the costs to ship it south.
Wielechowski, co-chair of the Senate Resources Committee, said he's concerned about the new, higher cost estimates for the Alaska pipeline project. But he said he's heartened by TransCanada's Friday announcement that it will lower the amount it will charge the oil companies to ship the gas by $500 million a year for 25 years. That would provide more money to the producers and the state, he said.
"I still remain cautiously optimistic about it," Wielechowski said.
QUESTIONS ABOUT TAXES
TransCanada is working with Exxon Mobil on its project. There's a competing gasline project by BP and ConocoPhillips that plans its own open season this summer to solicit bids for shipping Alaska gas south.
Any oil companies that bid in an open season to ship gas are expected to include conditions, including what state tax rates they want to see. TransCanada's Palmer told legislators Monday that it will work to resolve by the end of the year the conditions that it's capable of solving.
TransCanada is also giving oil companies the option to bid on shipping gas for an alternative project: a $20 billion to $26 billion proposal to build a pipeline shipping North Slope natural gas to Valdez, where it would be liquefied and then shipped on tankers to Asia or the Lower 48."
Larry, LNG will become vital as a motor fuel in the next few years. Canada has an unbelievable amount of NG.
The best and easiest way to transport NG is to turn it into LNG, and then it can be put in a pipeline or trucks
with tanks especially equiped to move LNG. LNG can be stored for a shorter time, but with proper sizing
of tanks, coupled with contracts for usage, this will become a major industry in California and soon the rest of the USA.
It was my idea in 1995 to concentrate on converting only Diesel trucks to LNG or CNG. T. Boone liked my idea so much that he has adoped the idea as his own. I don't care that much about ownership as I do, saying in one thing Mr. Boone, and helping people who know how to convert Diesel trucks, set up facilities to do this.
Mr. Boone now owns a controling interest in BAF who convert vehicles to NG. We need facilities in
Oregon, Houston, Texas, Chicago, St. Louis etc. My company owns both EPA and CARB certification
to convert International and Cummins diesel engines, but he won't help us. bob lynch Certified Energy Engineer
and 16 year member of Society of Automotive Engineers.
p.s. The USA is building a LNG plant in Alaska near Russia.
While I wholehearted support the LNG industry and the NG vehicle fuel initiative, I need to correct one of your statement. It is impractical to put LNG into a long distance cryogenic pipeline. High pressure pipelines are adequate for NG transportation and LNG can be made by cleaning up pipeline gas near the market for local distribution for vehicle fuel or LNG can be transported by truck from a distant import terminal, peakshaver or dedicated liquefaction facility.
Reply by SJC on April 26, 2009 at 1:00pm
More expensive because they make so few of them. This is the difference between making 100,000 standard Civics and 1000 natural gas GX Civics. It just does not pay to make them, but they do anyway. Now that FuelMaker is going bankrupt, the Phill natural gas compressor for home garage use may not be available. Toyota was set to offer a natural gas car, but now that may be in jeopardy. One step forward and two steps back.
The people with honda gx and Phil realize they could have bought "FuelMaker" the whole company for less then they paid for their extended warranty on Phil
Some of the explanations need explaining. More likely than a present shortage is a possible future shortage if we add a million CNG = compressed natural gas vehicles per year in USA. Most natural gas needs to have certain impurities removed. One way to purify is to cool the natural gas to minus 200 c Some of the impurities liquefy or freeze before the methane which is the main desired chemical. Other impurities are still gas or vapor when the methane liquefies. Some of the impurities are saleable. What do we do with the unsalable impurities? We can get further purifying and separation by fractional distillation of the impurities and the LNG = liquid natural gas for applications which require very high purity. LNG could be sent by cryogenic pipe line, but the pipeline would be very costly to build and operate, especially if EPA = environmental protection agency fines are huge when natural gas is vented to our atmosphere due to a malfunction of the refrigeration equipment along the cryogenic pipeline. The pipeline would explode at about minus 150 c if the excess pressure was not vented.
Applications for LPG are few, so it needs to be boiled back to CNG or medium pressure natural gas before use. This does provide some useful refrigeration, but mostly, possible natural gas leaks prevent most of the useful refrigeration. Adequit safegards are possible, but the details have not yet been invented that will satisfy boo-hiss buerucrats and lawyers. Neil
Normally the impurities in pipeline natural gas are water, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide and organic sulfur compounds such as mercaptans to odorize the gas (leak detection). These impurities must be removed before liquefaction to prevent freezeup plugging in the cryogenic refrigeration exchangers. Very small amounts can cause significant problems. Heavy hydrocarbons (propane(C3), butanes(C4), pentane(C5) and heavier hydrocarbons) are typically removed from the natural gas at special processing plants before it is put into the pipeline. This is required to meet the heating value limitations for gas appliances and to assure that the heavy hydrocarbons do not condense and form slugs of liquid in an otherwise gas pipeline. One must clean pipeline gas to meet the conditions for making LNG before liquefying. Methane(C1), the simplest hydrocarbon, is the primary component of pipeline natural gas with smaller amounts of ethane(C2), propane and butane. Methane liquefies at atmospheric pressure at -260°F (-160°C) and at slightly warmer temperature under pressure. Natural gas pipelines are constructed of carbon steel. Carbon steel pipelines would fail due to brittle fracture at these temperatures. The metallurgy required for pipelines at these temperatures would be austenitic stainless steel, Invar or other exotic materials. In addition, a long distance pipeline would need cryogenic insulation or vacuum jacketing to assure that LNG reaches its distant destination as LNG. The cost or such piping systems is cost prohibitive and could never be justified under any circumstance. No one in the industry wants long distance LNG pipelines.
LNG received at import terminals and made at LNG peakshavers are not typically "boiled" back to CNG. The LNG is pumped to pipeline pressure (super critical, dense phase, 4th state of matter, outside of the boiling range) and then heated to pipeline pressure by various means at different facilities. For educational purposes there are six states of matter, solid, liquid, vapor, super critical fluid, plasma and Bose-Einstein condensates. The natural gas industry works in 3 of those phases, liquid, vapor and super critical.