RBAC Inc., Energy Market Simulation Systems

Energy Insanity: Russian LNG Expected in Boston

Houston, Texas, January 10, 2018 – RBAC’s Founder, Dr. Robert Brooks, commented recently on the effect of archaic protectionist policies still in effect that create both unnecessary and detrimental barriers to efficient internal energy markets and shine light on the need for the Trump administration to continue its efforts to strengthen the US economy by ridding it of such policies. “The frigid US Northeast is buying Russian LNG because local politicians in New York and New England, along with a 1920’s law, have combined to keep locally-produced natural gas from fulfilling their own citizens’ need for heating and power.”

According to Dr. Brooks, the US is expecting a liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment from the UK’s Grain import facility that previously received a cargo from the Yamal LNG project in Russia. LNG World News also reported that “The 154,472-cubic meter capacity tanker Gaselys loaded a cargo of previously imported LNG at the Grain terminal in Kent and is currently heading towards Engie’s Everett import terminal in Boston, according to the marine data provider, VesselsValue. The Gaselys is scheduled to arrive in Boston on January 22, the data shows.”[1] (LNG World News, Jan. 8, 2017)

The energy website Marcellus Today was highly critical of this news “This is so wrong on so many levels. Our blood pressure went through the roof when we spotted a story that a shipload of Russian-produced LNG (liquefied natural gas) is almost certainly coming to Boston and will be delivered on Jan. 22nd. We suspect it may be an illegal shipment.”[2] (Marcellus Drilling News, Jan. 8, 2018)

The Marcellus Drilling News article broke down the situation into greater detail; “The LNG tanker Gaselys loaded a shipment of LNG at Russia’s Yamal LNG plant–in the Russian Arctic–delivering it to the UK at the Grain terminal in Kent. The LNG was offloaded and stored, but not pumped into the UK grid. Instead, officials said the LNG would be resold to a higher paying customer. A few days later Gaselys reloaded LNG from the same Grain terminal in Kent. While those who own the shipment won’t say, it’s almost certain the LNG they loaded was the very same LNG they just unloaded. This time Gaselys is coming to America–to unload the LNG in Boston, because New England is natural gas starved at the moment due to the ongoing cold snap.”

In 2014 the Yamal LNG Plant was sanctioned by the U.S. following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.[3] (Financial Time, Oct. 19, 2017) Due to those sanctions, it is illegal to receive gas from the Yamal Plant. However, by unloading the LNG at the Grain terminal, they were able to bypass those sanctions. The Marcellus Drilling News also pointed out that the “reason New England needs gas so bad is because of their elected leaders, like Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren–both of whom adamantly oppose new natural gas pipeline projects in their state that would deliver cheap Marcellus/Utica gas to the region.”

This prompted Dr. Brooks to pose a simple question and answer, “If Massachusetts doesn’t want very inexpensive gas from its own backyard in the Marcellus, why doesn’t it just buy US produced LNG and have it shipped from Texas or Louisiana or even Maryland later this year? The answer is that it is against the law! Yes, believe it or not, it is against the law for American goods to be shipped from one US port to another on a ship not built in the US or with a non-American crew. This is due to the Jones Act, passed into law in the 1920’s to as a protectionist measure for American shipbuilders and sailors of that day. So we have two Catch-22’s here. New England and New York’s politicians won’t allow gas pipelines to be constructed to deliver much needed gas to where it is needed in the US Northeast and abundant and cheap US gas supplies can’t be liquefied and sent to Boston because of an outdated law. This is ENERGY INSANITY!”

[1] World Energy News

[2] Marcellus Drilling News: https://marcellusdrilling.com/2018/01/russian-lng-coming-to-boston-to-alleviate-natgas-shortage/

[3] Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/8412ba8c-6ace-11e7-b9c7-15af748b60d0

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