Daily Archives: September 18, 2012
The Energy Department’s delay in releasing a report on liquefied natural-gas exports puts in limbo for this year as many as 12 applications including projects backed by Dominion Resources Inc. and Sempra Energy. (SRE)
The department commissioned the study last year to assess the economic impact of exports on domestic energy use after granting Cheniere Energy Inc. (LNG) permission to ship gas from Louisiana. It said future permits won’t be issued until the study is completed.
The first part of the study is complete, and a second portion was scheduled to come out in the first quarter. That date was pushed back to late in the U.S. summer, which ends Sept. 22. A posting on the department website now says it will be “complete by the end of the year.”
“It is really unfortunate, but I don’t think anything happens until we see the results of that report,” said Bill Cooper, president of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, which advocates for gas shipments. The Washington-based group includes LNG producers, shippers and terminal operators.
“None of the applicants, I’m certain, want to see a delay in the regulatory process,” Cooper said in an interview.
The study was started after lawmakers led by Representative Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said overseas sales might increase domestic energy prices.
The delay probably will push release of the Energy Department’s report until after the election in November.
“This is a complicated economic analysis assessing a dynamic market,” Jen Stutsman, an Energy Department spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “We take our responsibility to issue these determinations seriously and want to make sure the necessary time is taken to get it right.”
Investors including Sempra Energy in partnership with Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Freeport LNG with Macquarie Group Ltd., and Dominion Resources, have applied for approvals from the Energy Department.
U.S. permits are required to sell gas to countries that aren’t free-trade partners with the U.S., a group that includes Japan and Spain.
As natural-gas prices soared in the last decade, energy companies sought permission to build import terminals. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas has opened access to reserves that previously couldn’t be produced economically, driving prices to a decade low and letting companies shift gears and seek overseas buyers for the fuel.
In fracking, oil and gas companies shoot a mixture of water, sand and chemicals underground to crack shale rock formations and free fossil fuels trapped inside.
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- Energy Department delays release of LNG export report (news.terra.com)
- Obama’s delay leaves LNG exports on hold though election (bizjournals.com)
- Politics are causing LNG export delays, attorney says (fuelfix.com)
- Freeport LNG inks deal to sell natural gas to Japanese utilities (fuelfix.com)
- U.S. Expected to Approve Expanded LNG Exports to Japan (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Main Pass Energy Hub Files for LNG Export Licence (mb50.wordpress.com)
For the very first time, remote-controlled machines and an underwater welding robot have installed a new tie-in point on a live gas pipeline, without the pipeline being prepared in advance.
Subsea Hot Tap Video Link
These types of operations can save Statoil lots of money in the long run.
The hot tap installation is the first to be carried out in connection with preparations for Åsgard subsea gas compression in the Norwegian Sea, and thus also represents a milestone for the project. The tie-in point was welded on to the Åsgard B production flowline at a water depth of 265 metres.
After ten days on the field, the hot-tap operation team on board the Technip-owned vessel Scandi Arctic could confirm success in the pioneering operation.
Kjell Edvard Apeland, project manager of the remote-controlled hot tap development in Statoil and head of the operation on the Åsgard field. (Photo: Rune Solheim)
“For a subsea engineer, this can be compared with landing on Mars,” says Kjell Edvard Apeland. He is project manager of the remote-controlled hot tap development in Statoil and head of the operation on the Åsgard field.
Simply explained, a remote-controlled hot tap operation consists of a robot welding a T-piece on to the pipe, while gas is flowing through it. When that has been done, a remote-controlled drilling machine will drill holes in the producing pipeline, with no effect on pressure and production.
“When the compressor module and the manifold for Åsgard subsea compression are installed next year, we will connect the pipeline from these to the hot-tap tie-in point,” says Apeland.
The Åsgard subsea compression project will be realised in 2015, as the first of its kind in the world. Compressors will be installed on the seabed, instead of on a platform. This will improve recovery from the Mikkel and Midgard reservoirs by around 280 million barrels of oil equivalents.
Hot tap technology is a technological breakthrough, and a door opener for developing marginal fields, as well as extending the lifetime of other fields.
The ability to connect anywhere on a pipeline, without stopping production, yields considerable flexibility and significant savings.
Torstein Vinterstø, portfolio manager for subsea compression projects in Statoil. (Photo: Anette Westgård)
“Since we will be connecting a new compressor station on the seabed to an existing pipeline system on Åsgard, it is very beneficial to use the hot tap technology to avoid disrupting production,” says Torstein Vinterstø, portfolio manager for subsea compression projects in Statoil.
“The savings are measured compared with what it would have cost to perform a similar operation, including shutting down production in the pipeline we were working on. This would also have taken much longer than the ten days we spent now – possibly as long as three months,” he says.
The method was developed by Statoil, and there is no comparable technology.
The work to develop the technology started in 1999, and was developed in Statoil’s pipe technology environment at Killingøy outside Haugesund. Statoil’s expertise in tie-in and repair of pipelines is gathered there.
Open and constructive cooperation with our key suppliers has been instrumental in achieving this.
Statoil has already thoroughly tested the hot tap technology, with good results. Remote-controlled hot tap has previously been performed on Tampen Link on the Statfjord field in the North Sea and on the Ormen Lange field in the Norwegian Sea, but then the T-piece had already been installed on the gas pipeline in advance.
- Statoil delays start of Chukchi drilling until at least 2015 (fuelfix.com)
- Norway: Statoil to Order New FSU Unit from Samsung Heavy (worldmaritimenews.com)
More than 32 km of 84- and 76-mm chain is on order for delivery at the end of the year, which will be added to already the largest holdings of mooring equipment in the world. The chain, available to customers worldwide, will be used to renew and supplement InterMoor’s vast inventory of mooring equipment and will be used primarily to support the company’s preset mooring programs or add on to the mooring components of drilling rigs.
In addition to the chain purchase, orders for buoyancy and ancillary equipment have also been placed to support the growing needs of InterMoor’s regional locations.
Tom Fulton, InterMoor president, said “This purchase will strengthen InterMoor’s position as the leading global mooring, foundations and subsea services company and will offer our customers quicker access to vital equipment, thereby reducing downtime and costs,” said Tom Fulton, InterMoor president. “This is a very large investment that shows commitment to the developed regions and will help our customers start exploring in areas where constraints in the supply of chain might have previously been a challenge. Renting equipment speeds up the mobilization of drilling rigs, reduces capital investment requirements and enables our clients to concentrate on their core work.”
Main Pass Energy Hub filed an application with the U.S. DOE for a long-term, multi-contract authorization to export up to 24 million metric tons per annum (MTPA) of domestically produced LNG.
The company seeks this authorization for a 30-year period commencing on the earlier of the date of first export or eight years from the date the requested authorization is granted.
The company seeks authorization to export domestically-produced LNG from existing and new facilities that it intends to modify, build, and operate, located in Federal waters in Main Pass Block 299, 16 miles offshore of Louisiana (MPEH™ Deepwater Port) to any country with which the U.S. has, or in the future may have, a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
- Corpus Christi, TX: Cheniere files permits to build terminal, export LNG (appliedagrotech.net)
- Pro-LNG Export Group Urges Chu to “Think A Little Differently” (mb50.wordpress.com)
Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) of Japan is in advanced negotiations to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from North America, Reuters reported, citing Toshiaki Koizumi, the general manager of TEPCO’s fuel department.
“We have been in negotiations with several projects,” he said.
“We want to procure LNG from the United States and Canada where prices are linked to Henry Hub. The talks have made progress, but I cannot say when they will be finalized,” he added.
Japan’s imports of LNG surged in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake. Power companies account for two-thirds of total Japanese LNG imports.
- BG Group inks pipeline deal for LNG terminal (calgaryherald.com)