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Japan Eyes LNG from 3 U.S. Terminals

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Japan is in talks to buy a part of the combined 30 million mt a year of LNG from Cameron in Louisiana, Cove Point in Maryland and Freeport terminal in Texas, Bloomberg reported, citing Hisayoshi Ando, director general of natural resources and fuel at the country’s trade ministry.

Japan is facing an unprecedented crisis,” he said.

We are asking the U.S. to consider our circumstances and allow Japan to import from terminals from the U.S. mainland,” he added.

Japan’s LNG imports reached 8.15 million mt in January, a rise of 28.2 percent compared to a year earlier.

The country’s monthly LNG imports have been rising steadily year on year, due to the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

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USA: Attorney General Seeks to Prevent Future LNG Terminals Near RI

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The Weaver’s Cove LNG terminal project was abandoned over a year ago, in June 2011, but Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin continues his effort by seeking standards that would help prevent such a project in the future.

On Wednesday, Kilmartin, joined by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, renewed a request to the federal government for rules for the location and siting of LNG import and storage facilities. Wednesday’s request comes in the form of an appeal filed in connection with an earlier petition for rulemaking directed to the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration within the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT).

This is the latest step in a petition that was first filed in September 2004. In early February, a lower official in the USDOT had denied the original request.

In support of the request, Attorney General Kilmartin stated, “While the State obviously had concerns about Weaver’s Cove’s proposal to construct an LNG facility in a densely-populated urban environment in Massachusetts, with tanker traffic transiting through actively-used Rhode Island waters, within close distance of populated shorelines, Rhode Island’s motives were – and remain – much more broad. Indeed, these motives apply to any number of other locations in close proximity to populated areas and heavily-used waters of Rhode Island on which future LNG developers may set their sights. The petition expresses concern not just about whether a single project goes forward, but over the need for USDOT to set standards that apply to any number of sites that could put Rhode Island’s citizens and natural resources at risk.”

Kilmartin added that “USDOT has continually failed to establish minimum safety standards for determining the location of LNG facilities and has only established minimum federal safety standards for the design of those facilities. We seek to correct this to prevent another unsuitable proposal like Weaver’s Cove in the future.

The Weaver’s Cove LNG facility was proposed in December 2003 and became the target of an 8-year fight waged by the Attorney General’s office and other state officials to protect Narragansett Bay from hazards and closures.

Kilmartin said, “While that fight reached a successful conclusion when the developer withdrew the proposal in June of 2011, we do not want to have to have a repeat of that threat.

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Petronet in Talks to Buy Capacity at US, Australia LNG Terminals

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Petronet LNG Ltd, India’s largest liquefied natural gas importer, is in talks to acquire capacity at proposed LNG terminals in the US and Australia with a view to tie up long-term gas supplies.

Five projects (in the US) have applied to US authorities for approval to export gas,Petronet CEO and Managing Director A K Balyan told reporters in New Delhi. “We are talking to some of them with an aim to tie up long-term volumes.

He refused to give details. With domestic gas output falling, companies are looking at new LNG contracts to meet the growing energy demand.

Besides Petronet, state-owned gas utility GAIL India, too, is looking to acquire capacity at proposed LNG terminals on the US Gulf Coast.

So far, Cheniere’s Sabine Pass, Freeport LNG and Southern Union’s Lake Charles are the three projects that have applied to export LNG.

We have to see how export permissions work out,” Balyan said, adding Petronet was looking at picking up an equity in the terminals to get better pricing of gas.

Petronet imports 7.5 million tons a year of LNG from RasGas of Qatar on a long-term contract at its Dahej terminal.

It is also looking at supplies from the US and Australia among others to feed the 25 million-tons-a-year LNG import capacity it will have by 2015-16.

Balyan said Petronet is expanding the Dahej terminal capacity to 15 million tons a year from 10 million tons in next 40 months while building a new import facility at Kochi in Kerala.

Another 5 million tons facility is planned on the east coast for which three sits – two in Andhra Pradesh and one in Orissa have been shortlisted.

Petronet reported almost doubling of its net profit at Rs 260.33 crore in the quarter ended September 30, on the back of higher volumes it imported in the three-month period.

We regassified 135.08 trillion British thermal units of gas in July-September as against 99.78 trillion BTUs in the same period a year ago,” he said, adding that besides the long-term LNG contract from Qatar, the company imported 12 cargoes from the spot market in the quarter.

It had not imported any shipload of LNG in Q2 of previous year.

We hope to maintain the trend (during the current quarter). Import from spot market should be 12 to 14 cargoes,” he said.

Petronet in all imported 42 cargoes or shiploads of LNG. Of these, Petronet imported six cargoes from spot market by itself and an equal number were contracted by its promoters, GAIL and Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC).

(economictimes)

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