Friday, March 10, 2006
In light of the approval of the Trans-Siberian pipeline past Lake Baikal and European plans to make long-term contracts with Russia for LNG, LNG development is a timely topic. ABA SEER will have a quick teleconference on LNG Development on Tuesday, March 18, 2006
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Central Time
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Mountain Time
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time
Program Overview: In the U.S., natural-gas prices are up fivefold since the beginning of the decade, and approach record highs. About 57 percent of the nation's households use natural gas for heat, according to the Census Bureau. Natural gas also is used for such purposes as generating electricity and producing plastics and fertilizer. Demand has grown amid a strengthening economy and interest in cleaner-burning fuel. While the majority of natural gas consumed in the U.S. comes from North American wells, many fields are aging and the industry has found it difficult to boost production. With domestic production leveled off, the energy industry expected to compensate with imports of liquefied natural gas or LNG. In some areas of the United States, including New England, the supply-demand balance for natural gas could be tipped as early as 2007, but certainly by 2010, unless new delivery infrastructure is built. On the supply side, most of the worldwide gas reserves are "stranded" and not connected to pipeline infrastructure or markets. Liquefaction of these stranded gas reserves is the method for bringing this natural gas to market. The process has been occurring for decades in many parts of the world, but is a relatively recent phenomenon in the United States. In 2001, the industry began the process of reopening mothballed liquefied natural gas terminals and proposed building dozens of new ones with almost 60 projects currently announced for North America. The federal government streamlined the regulatory process with amendments to the Deepwater Port Act in 2002 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. As with any intensive energy infrastructure project, the environmental issues are myriad and complex.
The purpose of this conference it to highlight some of the more common environmental issues that arise in connection with LNG project development. Among those issues can be concerns related thermal impacts due to cryogenic temperatures, sea-water vaporization methods, air emissions, seismic concerns, exclusion zones for potential vapor clouds and radiant heat, as well as traditional project development issues related to wetlands, storm water discharge, and traffic. The conference will review both upstream and downstream environmental impacts from LNG development and community concerns in the U.S. and in Sakhalin Island, Russia.
Moderator: George Rusk, Vice President, Ecology & Environment, Inc., Lancaster, NY
William H. Daughdrill, Marine Safety Specialist, Ecology & Environment, Inc., Baton Rouge, LA
David Gordon, Pacific Environment, San Francisco, CA
Dianne Phillips, Holland & Knight LLP, Boston, MA