Energy Independence?

Chesapeake may attract Asian investors to assets: “…Chesapeake, which last month sold $900 million of preferred shares to a investment group that included Asian sovereign wealth funds, aims to sell a 20 percent interest in its Marcellus shale gas operations in the Eastern United States and find a partner for its Eagle Ford shale play in Texas…” ” (Reuters)-

“Natural gas a ‘bridge’ fuel, says energy firm: “…Sovereign wealth funds from Singapore, China and South Korea and two private equity firms last month agreed to invest a total of US$900 million (S$1.25 billion) in New York-listed Chesapeake…‘Countries like China and India are aggressively investing in resources because as energy prices rise around the world, their investment becomes a natural hedge against that.’…” ” (, Asia Pacific’s envirnmental business community)-

Indian firm Continues to Aquire Leases in Marcellus, Aug. 2010

Chesapeake sold 32.5% of Marcellus leases to StatOil of Norway in 2008

LNG Exports–U.S.  Saudi Arabia of Natural Gas

  • Cheniere Energy, In Reversal, Wants to Export Natural Gas – Jan. 28, 2011The central assumption behind the export strategy is simple: American gas prices are destined to be cheaper than European and Asian prices for years to come. At today’s prices, companies would be able to buy American gas at $4.35 per million British thermal units, and then sell the same gas in Europe or Asia for roughly double that price, since long-term contracts globally are still largely tied to high benchmark oil prices.
  • Related stories from Bendon O’Connor
  • “Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC; Application for Long-Term Authorization To Export Liquefied Natural Gas” (Federal Register)-
  • “Sempra LNG Marketing, LLC; Application for Blanket Authorization To Export Liquefied Natural Gas” (Federal Register)-
  • “Encana says eyes supplying U.S. natgas for export: “…Encana Corp (ECA.TO), Canada’s biggest natural gas producer, said it is interested in marketing gas produced in the United States for shipment overseas as domestic production increases…Cheniere’s project, which could export up to 16 million tonnes per year of LNG, is one of three proposed LNG export plans in North America as increased production from shale gas and tepid demand push U.S. inventories to record highs. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is currently considering Cheniere’s project.” (Reuters)- (See also- )
  • “Chesapeake Energy wants to export LNG: “…Mike Stice, senior vice president for natural gas projects at Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy, would like to create new markets for the natural gas that is inundating the US, due in part to dramatically increased production in shale gas plays…Liquefying and exporting shale gas from shale plays like the Haynesville, Barnett, and Eagle Ford to global markets holds major promise as the US confronts an oversupply of cheap supplies, said analyst Rick Smead of Navigant Consulting…” ” ( Oil & Gas Financial Journal via PennEnergy)-
  • “Chinese stake out Chesapeake: “…”The deal reflects the ambition of Chinese companies to enter the global oil and gas industry, especially when China’s gas demand is expected to rise sharply,” said Grace Liu, an energy analyst with Guotai Junan Securities in Shenzhen, China…” ” (Bloomberg News via American Chronicle)-
  • “Chesapeake CEO outlines “holy grail” for natural gas: “…. He said the U.S. by then could have in place an infrastructure for conversion of natural gas to liquid form, potentially for use as a motor fuel, and for export to foreign countries as liquefied natural gas (LNG)…Widespread use of gas as a motor fuel would boost demand and encourage higher prices for producers of the power plant, heating and industrial fuel…” ” (Texas)- &
  • “Firm Would Export U.S. Natural Gas to China: “…But is it about to become a major exporter of one type of domestic fuel? A Houston-based company took a small, tentative step in that direction on Thursday, by saying it was working on a deal to supply liquefied natural gas from Louisiana to one of China’s largest independently owned natural gas companies…” ” (The Wall Street Journal)- &
  • “Macquarie Energy and Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P. to Jointly Develop U.S. LNG Export Project: “…The proposed liquefaction facility will be capable of liquefying up to 1.4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas and will create a world-class bi-directional import/export LNG terminal…Worldwide growth in both LNG demand and supply is forecasted to continue, with the rate of demand outpacing supply. The majority of the demand growth is expected to be driven by Asia…Freeport LNG expects to file for an export license with the Department of Energy in December and shortly thereafter start the approval process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)…” ” (Press Release) (Macquarie)-
  • “Booming U.S. Gas Industry Becoming an American Energy Exporter: “…At this time of Thanksgiving we can be grateful that a tectonic shift in America’s dependence on imported energy is beginning to take hold. In the last weeks a number of major events have taken place that are beginning to shift the balance of energy in significant ways. Last month the Chinese government owned energy company CNOC (you will recall CNOC’s failed bid to take over Unocal in 2005) committed over a billion dollars to take an important stake in the Eagle Ford, shale gas acreage in Texas. In doing so they joined the Norwegian state oil company, Statoil, that had made an earlier investment in the Eagle Ford field as well. Major oil companies such as Exxon, Shell, Chevron and myriad other foreign entities have joined American gas producers such as Chesapeake Energy to invest tens of billions of dollars these past years to develop a stake in what is becoming a treasure trove of natural gas ranging from Texas and Louisiana to the vast Marcellus field of Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and upstate New York…Of particular significance this Monday, Macquarie Energy and Freeport LNG announced plans to jointly develop a $2 billion project to liquefy, market and export 1.4 BCF gas/day. Mr. Nicholas O’Kane, Sr. Managing Director of Macquarie Group (an Australian company) was pointedly quoted, “Recent developments in shale gas technology have transformed the U.S. gas market. The U.S. has developed significant natural gas resources and is able to meet projected domestic demand and a surplus for a long time to come.” …” ” (The Huffington Post)- (Raymond J. Learsy- & )
  • “Shale gas popularity rising but experts remain divided: “…Recent energy discoveries are of huge importance because the U.S. used to be an importer and has now become a major exporter, Felix Lutz, a senior energy adviser at the European Parliament, recently told the Daily News…” ” (Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review)-
  • “China and India see what the US doesn’t – the potential of natural gas: “…And that brings me to the next development. Cheniere Energy has signed an agreement with ENN Energy Trading of China, under which ENN will contract 1.5m tonnes per annum of bi-directional Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) processing capacity at Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG terminal in the US. This makes the possiblity of the US exporting its gas to the rest of the world that much more likely to happen. As gas is liquified for ease of use during transport…Europeans and Asians have been eagerly snapping up acreage for several years now. Indeed, Cnooc, the Chinese energy company, in October agreed to pay up to $2.16bn to buy a 33.3 per cent interest in Chesapeake’s Eagle Ford shale play in the largest Chinese investment in the US energy sector…” ” (Financial Times)-
  • “China Buys U.S. Assets with its Surplus Dollars: “…CONOOC, China’s national oil company, recently announced an agreement with Chesapeake Energy Corporation that would give the Chinese a 33 percent share in a new drilling project set to start soon in southwest Texas. The deal reportedly will cost CONOOC more than $2 billion and is just one of a string of purchases by the Chinese who recently have gone on an international buying spree. Long known for accumulating a surplus of U.S. dollars as it grew its manufacturing base by exporting products to the American market, our manufacturing trade deficit with China more than tripled from 2000 to 2008, as it went from $83.8 billion to $268 billion. Now, China is using that excess of dollars to purchase hard assets such as oil and gas properties in Texas…” ” (Texas)-
  • “U.S. sends first gas to NW Europe in 50 years: “…The United States is set to supply gas to Britain for the first time in half a century, with a liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker expected to arrive from Louisiana in late November…The U.S. started re-exporting LNG to higher-paying markets in Asia and South America earlier this year, but the Maersk Meridian LNG tanker, expected to arrive on November 18 at Britain’s Isle of Grain terminal, is the first to head to Europe — Russia’s main export market…Nearly 20 billion cubic feet of gas has been re-exported from the United States this year, excluding the gas aboard the UK-bound vessel. In mid-October, two cargoes were shipped from the U.S. Gulf by Excelerate Energy, one of which is heading to Kuwait, the other to Argentina…” ” (Reuters) (UK)-
  • “Commentary: U.S. Exports of Coal & Natural Gas: “…Of course, increasing exports also reduces the trade deficit. And thanks to twin dynamics in American attitudes toward energy use and in the rapidly growing global demand for electricity, the U.S. has surprisingly become a significant energy exporter…There’s another area for potential growth — natural gas. Just a few years ago, companies were building terminals along the coast to facilitate the importation of clean- burning liquefied natural gas or LNG. But thanks to huge new discoveries and new drilling techniques, the U.S. now has abundant supplies of its own. In September, the Department of Energy approved the application of one of those import terminals in Sabine Pass, Texas, to convert to an export facility…” ” (Video, PBS Nightly Business Report)-
  • “Shale Gas: Not An Overnight Success: “…”A lot of investment has been made in the US market but there has been a change in plan — like plans to receive LNG, which it now wants to export.”…”Acceptance by local communities is important, especially in Europe, a highly populated area,” said Ito, who mentioned that trucks coming in and out, and the noise they created were a very difficult issue…” ” (Natural Gas for Europe)-
  • “LNG re-exports signal US shale gas impact: “…The US is normally regarded as a hungry energy consumer, but has recently assumed a new role — that of exporter of liquefied natural gas…” ” (Lloyd’s List)-
  • “LNG Industry To 2016 – Increasing Gas Supply Challenges Future Growth Prospects: “…This oil and gas report provides forecasts for the liquefaction and regasification sectors of the LNG industry, of planned liquefaction and regasification terminals and of planned major global LNG projects to 2016. The report also provides segmental forecasts of the global LNG market in different regions worldwide and highlights the major countries in the region…” ” (GBI Research)-
  • “The (Shale) Gas Renaissance: “…By 2014, Canada will be a major producer and exporter of shale gas. Within just a few years, the U.S. could (and if it has its energy act together, it should) join Canada as a key natural gas exporter…” ” (Energy Tribune)-
  • “What if the U.S. Became a Net Exporter of Liquefied Natural Gas?: “…So what is the solution? Simple, increase exports of natural gas…Cheniere Partners (CQP) received permission from the US Department of Energy to export LNG produced in North America from its Sabine Pass terminal. The company had already received permission to re-export imported LNG. Cheniere Partners announced a memorandum of understanding was signed with a Chinese company, ENN Energy Trading Co., to provide the company with 1.5 million metric tons annually of LNG produced at Sabine Pass. Additionally, Cheniere Partners signed a memorandum of agreement with Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. The agreement would allow Morgan Stanley to import or export up to 1.7 million metric tons annually from Sabine Pass. Currently, there is one other North American LNG export facility. The US has 10 LNG import terminals where the owners are petitioning the US government for export licenses to join the race to export LNG. We could see the ramp up of export facilities in the near future. This bodes well for the natural gas industry and companies like Chesapeake Energy, Corp. This may be one of the reasons why Carl Icahn recently has taken a 5.8% stake in the company…” ” (Seeking Alpha)-
  • “Shell: We’ll produce more gas than oil by 2012: “…What about exporting liquefied natural gas? When it comes to the skills and the technology around liquefied natural gas, we’re well-placed if not the best placed company in terms of bringing the solution to that equation. As this market continues to develop, if the right thing is for this resource to leave the continent, we’re in a good place to do that…” ” (Fortune via CNN Money)-
  • “North America: The new energy kingdom: “…Mr. Forbes was explaining why CNOOC, China’s principal state-owned oil company, was paying Chesapeake Energy $1.08-billion (U.S.) in cash for a one-third interest in the company’s next shale gas play in Texas — and paying 75 per cent of the cost of developing it. Yes, China was investing in drilling technology: China itself has abundant shale gas reserves. But China had another objective. “Within a decade,” Mr. Forbes said, “the U.S. will be a major natural gas exporter.” And China will be a major importer…” ” (The Globe and Mail) (Canada)- &
  • “Cheniere Plans to Export U.S. Gas Into Caribbean Power Markets, CEO Says: “…Cheniere owns the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The company said in June that the plant might become the first in the continental U.S. to export LNG, citing increased domestic production from unconventional gas and lagging demand. JPMorgan Chase & Co., which is boosting its LNG trading in North America, said in August the country may see more “development plans” for liquefaction facilities if low prices boost export demand…” ” (Bloomberg)-
  • “Another publication discovers U.S. on verge of energy independence without green fuels: “…Toronto’s Globe & Mail quotes a UN report that includes this observation: “Within a decade or so, North America will almost certainly emerge as the world’s biggest supplier — and exporter — of reasonably cheap energy.”…” “(San Francisco Examiner)-
  • “With natural gas glut, firms bank on exporting: “…The terminal requires approval from the Energy Department and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission…Demand and prices for liquefied natural gas overseas have remained much higher than in North America, however, leading some U.S. producers to mention exporting it. For example, Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon has suggested exports to boost demand for U.S. natural gas…Freeport plans to seek 20-year contracts for gas exported from the terminal, Smith said. Long-term contracts are needed for financing for the project, he said. Also Monday, Exxon Mobil Corp. said it put on hold plans for a floating liquefied natural gas import terminal off New Jersey, citing changes in its outlook for fuel supply and demand in the region…” ” (Texas)-
  • “Freeport/Macquarie to Build LNG Export Terminal in Texas: “…Macquarie Energy, the North American energy marketing and trading arm of Macquarie Group (Macquarie), and Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P. (Freeport LNG) today announced an agreement to jointly develop and market liquefaction capacity at Freeport LNG’s existing LNG import terminal near Freeport, Texas. The proposed liquefaction facility will be capable of liquefying up to 1.4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas and will create a world-class bi-directional import/export LNG terminal…” ” (LNG World News)-
  • “Macquarie, Freeport to build Texas LNG export terminal: “…Liquefied natural gas terminal developer Freeport LNG and Macquarie Bank have agreed to build an export plant in Texas to send US-produced gas overseas, a spokeswoman for Macquarie told Reuters…” ” (Reuters)-
  • “Macquarie in gas tie-up with Freeport LNG: “…The proposal follows a similar move by Cheniere Energy for a combined import and export terminal at Sabine Pass, Louisiana…Projects, such as Freeport and Sabine, could have repercussions for global LNGmarkets. The shale boom has made the country the world’s biggestnatural gas producer, with 57bn cu ft a day of output, according toNikos Tsafos of PFC Energy, the consultancy. If the US exported just a10th of its gas last year, he says, it would have been the world’s topLNG exporter…” “(Stockhouse)-
  • “Project aims to liquefy U.S. natural gas: “…”Asia seems a likely market for U.S. LNG, given current market dynamics and the fact that the Panama Canal is opening soon to LNG tankers, said Nicholas O’Kane, global head of Macquarie Group’s energy markets division in Houston. “But we’ll be marketing in Europe in the next few weeks as well,” O’Kane said. If Freeport and Macquarie are able to sign up customers committed to buying the LNG for up to 20 years, they will use those com- mitments to fund the project through U.S. debt markets…” ” (Texas)-
  • “Glut prompts project to chill natural gas for export: “…Freeport LNG is partnering with Australian bank Macquarie to build the capacity to turn U.S. natural gas into a liquid for shipment overseas.The Freeport terminal, which opened on the Texas coast in 2008 to import liquefied natural gas from other countries, has already added the capacity to ship some of that LNG back overseas because of overproduction of the fuel in the U.S…Earlier this month, Cheniere said it also plans to build gas liquefaction capacity to export LNG from its facility in Sabine Pass…” ” (Fuel Fix)-
  • “Bulls rushing into Cheniere Energy: “…Recent trading action suggests a similar trend could now be taking hold in LNG. The stock exploded higher on Nov. 11 after saying it was working on a deal to export natural gas to China…If anything close to that pans out, the United States could become a major exporter of natural gas to places like Western Europe…” ” (Nasdaq)-
  • “US to Gain Competitive Edge in Global LNG Market: “…However, current developments indicate that the US is likely to reach the stage of self-sufficiency in coming future. Moreover, the country may achieve a competitive place in the global LNG export market…” ” (SBWire)-
  • “The Outlook For LNG: “…The US was never much into exporting LNG because it has plenty of domestic demand for gas. But with the rapid development of the burgeoning US shale gas industry, the US is now looking to becoming an LNG export player. Will it stick to its own side of the fence? Well that remains to be seen…” ” (Australia)-
  • “Shale industry delivers message to chambers of commerce: “…The rocks below Western Pennsylvania have enough natural gas in them to fuel the entire Eastern Seaboard for 50 years or more, and with our country’s current dependence on foreign oil, the ability to supply and export our own fuel would benefit the nation. That was the message delivered by representatives of the burgeoning Marcellus Shale extraction industry to guests of an economic forecast breakfast sponsored by The CHAMBER Inc., what used to be the Cranberry and North Hills Area chambers of commerce. The session, touted as the first in a series, was held at Treesdale Country Club last month. In addition to industry representatives, a sizable group of business owners also heard from Bruce Betty, McCandless land use administrator…” ” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) (PA)-
  • “Profit From the Russian Gas Crisis No One’s Covering: “…I have already discussed the likelihood that the accelerating production volume in US shale gas will end up allowing the export of LNG, especially from the Cove Point, Maryland, terminal (the largest LNG facility on the East Coast), and especially to Europe (see “A Solution for North America’s Natural Gas Surplus” from November 2nd). Given the virtual certainty the shale gas (and, to a lesser extent, unconventional production from coal bed methane) will result in a continuing surplus on the American market, an LNG outlet to Europe and elsewhere allows for increasing production profits on one side of the Atlantic from LNG sales on the other. This is going to allow investors to “play” the rising differential between LNG and piped gas in the European market by investing in US and Canadian shale gas producers…” ” (Kent Moors)- &
  • “US to Gain Competitive Edge in Global LNG Market: “…However, current developments indicate that the US is likely to reach the stage of self-sufficiency in coming future. Moreover, the country may achieve a competitive place in the global LNG export market…” ” (RNCOS)-
  • “”U.S. Natural Gas Supply: “…The U.S. natural gas resource should continue to expand in the coming years…Advanced Resources International, in a report commissioned for Cheniere’s application with the Department of Energy for LNG export authorization, estimates that the U.S. has 2,585 Tcf of technically recoverable gas reserves, or 113 years of U.S. demand at 2009 levels…” ” (Cheniere Energy Inc.: “North America’s LNG Gateway”)-
  • “Beach pursues boutique LNG project: “…The abundance of shale gas reserves has driven US gas prices down sharply and fuelled interest in the US becoming an LNG exporter. Two LNG export projects for the US have been announced this year, the latest a $US2 billion proposal involving Freeport and Macquarie. The projects represent competition for Australian LNG suppliers in Asian markets…” ” (Australia)-
  • “Think the unthinkable: Gas glut could make the U.S. an LNG exporter: “…These factors are setting up what was an unthinkable scenario just a few years ago – that the U.S. might become a net exporter of natural gas. There are some signs of that change in the works…” ” (Fuel Fix)-
  • “Natural Gas Rebound Looking Likely in 2011: “…Analysts argue that the natural gas oversupply in the United States could make the nation a major natural gas exporter in upcoming years. Demand for gas is soaring in Asia and other emerging markets as their economies expand. More liquefied natural gas export facilities could be developed going forward. The Wall Street Journal reported that a subsidiary of Cheniere Energy is working on a deal to supply liquefied natural gas to one of China’s largest independently owned natural gas companies. Chesapeake Energy’s Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon told investors at a conference he has been in talks with Cheniere to supply gas to the proposed facility. While Cheniere would still need to build the liquefaction facility, the company’s CEO believes that interest in the project from natural gas suppliers such as Chesapeake, as well as Chinese interest “confirms the global appetite for US natural gas.”…” ” (CNN Money)-
  • “China’s Relentless Hunt for Energy: “…To meet that demand, China’s biggest energy companies have gone on a buying spree. Last year was a record year for China’s oil and gas acquisitions, with $24.3 billion in deals, up from $17.1 billion in 2009…Given that three-quarters of the world’s exploration and production companies are headquartered in North America, the Chinese are likely to bid for U.S. companies, bankers said. “All the Chinese majors will be in North America in the next two years,” O’Malley said…Yet in 2010, Cnooc acquired oil-and-gas assets in the Eagle Ford Shale project in South Texas for $1.1 billion…” ” (The Wall Street Journal)-
Mike Bernard on Spectra Pipeline:  When I sat in on the CB2 Spectra pipeline meeting last October, I did not realize the importance of what was being presented. But with recent moves to export LNG, now I do. If we’re going to fight fracking, then LNG export is key, and this Spectra pipeline is of particular interest, not just to NYC, but to the movement in general.
The LNG export concept is new, one that is rapidly gaining traction, and a game changer. What’s happening now, within the last few months, is a move to make the US an energy exporter on a par with Saudi Arabia. Don’t doubt that this was Cheney’s goal when he wrote the Halliburton loophole into law.  If export becomes a reality, the pro-drilling forces will have an overwhelming advantage.
If there is an opportunity to carry Marcellus gas to a northeast port, ie, Bayonne, it is logical to assume an LNG station will be built there. The NYC Spectra pipeline provides that opportunity. So, we really need all hands on deck to fight this one. This pipeline impacts all of PA and NY, and the DRB down to Maryland.
These links provide some background. Financial sources are covering LNG export first; it has gone from a losing proposition to a investment opportunity of great interest only within the last year. Even financial bloggers point out: the only obstacle would be proof that fracking is not safe.
  • The wall street journal article from 1/25/11 now requires login: U.S. Firms Plan to Export Gas – Two LNG ports are in the works, one in Louisiana and one in Texas: “Two liquefaction plants have been proposed in the United States this year on the site of existing import terminals — one by Cheniere Energy at Sabine Pass in Louisiana, the other by Freeport and Macquarie Group in Texas — both of which could be online by 2015. The potential is to initially export around 2 billion cubic feet per day of LNG from the United States overseas. These would be the first export terminals built in the United States in 40 years.”  12/3/10
Financial Times blog foresees the move to export From 2/1/10
Chernier in Louisiana converting an import hub to export hub and inking a deal with China:
“he can profitably export cheap American natural gas to Europe and Asia, where prices are roughly twice as high.”
“China’s ENN Energy Trading, a subsidiary of one of China’s largest natural gas companies, signed a preliminary purchase agreement in early November with Cheniere Energy for 20 years of processing capacity at Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG terminal”  11/18/10
“The United States is the world’s largest energy importer, a statistic that has impacted its economy and foreign policy for decades. But is it about to become a major exporter of one type of domestic fuel?”  11/12/10
opposition to chernier is based on expected rising costs of domestic nat gas:
Forbes blog encouraging export with one caveat:
“The wild card: the politics of hydraulic fracturing, the process required to get the shale gas out of the ground. Some fear it will pollute groundwater; the energy companies insist it can be done safely. The EPA continues to look at the issue. Any new regulations that limit the use of the practice would dramatically slow shale gas development, boost nat gas prices, and make the U.S. reliant on foreign LNG imports all over again.”
one more blogger on same theme:
“Right now, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is looking into the issue. If it sides even a little with the anti-fracking crowd, shale gas development will suffer under new regulations. And, in turn, U.S. natural gas prices will rise again.”
How quickly it has changed:
2009 EIA report on US gas imports/exports (next report due sept 2011)
related import/export chart:
The connection to ships filled with LNG and the safety record of that storage and transport is also vitally important.
LNG Tankers use some of the excess pressure to run the ship and still they lose 6 to 10 % of the Gas thru venting on a trip across the Atlantic:
I haven’t had time to read thru all of this but a goldmine of industry info about LNG, which we need to understand if we are going to talk about the export issue:
Global Public Policy Institute 2009 “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”
A 2006 industry safety report on LNG and link to the company that produced it:
Basic explanation of LNG processing
DOE pending applications for LNG export terminals (all except sempra are chernier)

Think the unthinkable: Gas glut could make the U.S. an LNG exporter – EnergyWatch.

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