Friday, December 14, 2007

If ExxonMobil Can Put a Floating Gas Terminal in the Atlantic, Why Can't Broadwater?

If there are now two legitimate proposals for liquefied natural gas terminals in the Atlantic south of Long Island -- one on a man-made island, the other floating -- then how can Long Island Sound be the only viable alternative for Broadwater's LNG terminal, as Shell and TransCanada assert? So asks Adrienne Esposito, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, in Newsday, here.

And just as Long Islanders and Connecticut residents aren't thrilled with Broadwater, State Islanders don't love ExxonMobil's Blue Ocean Energy project. This story also reminded me of something I had forgotten about -- a big LNG explosion that killed 40 people on Staten Island when I was 19.

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Blogger Sam said...

Gosh, Tom, I'd love to hear more about the 1973 LNG explosion. That sounded scary.

I'd like to see on a nautical chart where the proposed EXXON facility would be - sounds like 20 miles off the Jersey shore. Maybe on the continental shelf inside the Hudson Canyon. Yes, I agree that that area is prime fishing grounds.

If I also recall, and my memory is fuzzy here, that there are quite a few New Jersey boats that dredge for surf clams out near that region, a major source of clams for the summertime canned "clam chowder season." -sam

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Bryan said...

At the risk of sounding like an apologist for the LNG industry, the article on the Staten Island accident is off the mark. It's generally accepted that the accident wasn't an LNG explosion. It was determined to be a construction accident resulting from the combustion of the tank liner while the tank was undergoing renovation. The tank was taken out of service in April 1972 and the accident happened about a year later. There's no question it was an explosion, but one caused by the sudden increase in pressure due to the sudden rise in temperature from the rapidly burning plastics that formed the tank liner. You will find some people who believe that LNG seeped into the ground around the tank and created the vapor (one year later) that caused the explosion. It's an extreme minority opinion. It was a tragedy nonetheless that took the lives of 40 people. It also resulted in the LNG siting moratorium in NYC that's been in effect for over 30 years. At the same time, two plants LNG plants in Queens that were operating at the time of the explosion remain in service to this day (they were grandfathered under the moratorium).

Sam, the best map I could come up with for BlueOcean is on there web site and the map is not very precise.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I checked some bathy charts and it was difficult to position the proposed site, other than the true Hudson Canyon is farther out, like 100 miles. There are some minor trenches carved on the sea floor, however, and the Hudson riverbed is clearly visible all the way up to Lower New York Bay.

Interesting feature, the Hudson Canyon. It has been compared to the Grand Canyon, carved out in the last Ice Age when the water was 400 feet lower. It has been suspected of possibly having subterranean landslides that could - and scientists say could - cause a tsunami. Scientists are also studying the Canyon for massive fields of frozen methane (hehe, a natural form of LNG) that could be displaced if these landslides ever occurred.

Conjectural, yes, but in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina much of the damage was to pipelines connecting the offshore rigs to the land. These failures were cause by large waves 50 to over 90 feet, resulting in underground movement and landslides that caused multiple pipeline failures and two years to repair. /sam

11:14 AM  

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