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Xantus's Murrelets and Chevron

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  • tertial
    Calbirders, Is anyone (outside the seabird community) aware of Chevron s plans to construct a huge offshore LNG terminal/platform 1/3 mile off the Coronados
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2004
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      Calbirders,

      Is anyone (outside the seabird community) aware of Chevron's plans to
      construct a huge offshore LNG terminal/platform 1/3 mile off the
      Coronados Islands? Such a structure will likely decimate the world's
      largest remaining Xantus's Murrelet colony (and erase years of
      restoration success on the islands) due to light-disoriented birds
      impacting the structure. This project seems to be off the radar
      screen of major conservation groups. I'd be interested to know if
      any group is attempting to challenge these plans.

      thanks,

      Steve Hampton
      Davis, CA

      Here's a news article:
      ________________________________________________________

      ChevronTexaco plans major LNG terminal off Baja California coast

      31-10-03 ChevronTexaco revealed plans to build a $ 650 mm LNG
      receiving
      and regasification terminal eight miles off the Baja California coast
      near the Coronado Islands.
      "There's none like it currently in the world," ChevronTexaco Mexico
      LNG
      director Carlos Atallah said, adding that similar structures such as
      oil
      rigs have been operating offshore for decades in rougher seas. "We're
      taking an existing technology, and we're using it differently,"
      Atallah
      said.

      ChevronTexaco decided to go off shore, he said, because area residents
      have strongly objected to competing energy firms' plans to build LNG
      terminals on the coast. Unlike those projects, Atallah said, the
      offshore terminal located about a third of a mile from the Coronados
      and
      halfway between Tijuana and Rosarito Beach requires less
      infrastructure,
      is less visible from the shore and doesn't pose a safety or security
      threat to coastal residents. He also said there will be minimal impact
      to the environment.
      "We believe it's the best project for Baja California," Atallah said.
      "It's very tourism-friendly." The San Ramon-based firm, the
      second-largest US oil company, revealed it is considering building two
      additional LNG receiving terminals in California, one in Northern
      California. "We are looking at both onshore and offshore," director of
      engineering David Macdonald said.

      ChevronTexaco also plans to build an LNG receiving terminal off of
      Louisiana. Referred to as the Port Pelican project, it is being
      reviewed
      by US government authorities. The company said it has awarded
      engineering and construction management contracts to Aker Kvaerner and
      Fluor for both the Louisiana and Baja projects.
      The Baja California terminal would be a fixed 980-foot-long concrete
      island with two regasification plants, storage tanks, a heliport and a
      dock that would receive about four LNG tankers each week. About 1,200
      employees would live and work aboard the structure in 14-day shifts.

      Initially, the facility would process 700 mm cfpd of natural gas and
      eventually boost production to 1,400 mm cfpd. The market price for the
      gas will probably range between $ 3.50 and $ 4 per cf, Macdonald said.
      The terminal is expected to start operating by the end of 2007.
      "Initially, we plan to sell 20 % of the gas in Baja California and the
      remainder to the United States," Atallah said. "Our interest, however,
      is to sell more here."

      ChevronTexaco has filed for permits with Mexico's energy regulatory
      commission, environmental agency and communications and transportation
      secretariat. Mexico's Energy Regulatory Commission has never issued a
      permit for an offshore LNG facility. Last January, commission
      president
      Dionisio Perez-Jacome said the agency is considering rules for such
      projects but that the process would lag months, if not years, behind
      the
      process for the onshore terminals. The commission has issued Marathon
      Oil, Sempra Energy and Shell permits to develop LNG receiving
      terminals
      in Baja California.
      "The commission is still looking into the (ChevronTexaco) project,"
      commission spokesman Victor Ochoa said. ChevronTexaco initially
      submitted a permit request for an onshore facility but recently
      changed
      it to offshore, he said. Because the only onshore aspect of the
      company's proposal will be a pipeline and valves, it does not need
      some
      of the permits that have proven challenging for the onshore
      developers.


      Local opposition prompted Mexico's environmental agency to deny El
      Paso
      and Phillips Petroleum a permit for a project the companies planned to
      build at Rosarito Beach. Tijuana has yet to issue a land-use permit
      that
      would allow Marathon to build south of the Playas suburb, but Ensenada
      has given Shell and Sempra the go-ahead to develop their projects on
      the
      pristine Costa Azul adjacent to Bajamar.
      Baja California Gov. Eugenio Elorduy Walther has long touted Sempra's
      proposal as the type that would benefit the region. ChevronTexaco has
      met with the state's economic development officials but has yet to
      gain
      a meeting with the governor, Atallah said.

      Reaction to the company's announcement was guarded among area LNG
      critics.
      "They've obviously decided offshore is the best solution because it
      would generate less controversy," said Eduardo Orozco, who coordinated
      LNG opposition in Rosarito Beach. "But there are considerations for
      the
      whales and other marine life."
      Juan Guillermo Lutz of Vecinos Playas in Tijuana said his group has
      asked ChevronTexaco for more information. "Location is only one of the
      problems," he said. "There's a lot of trouble with environmental
      contamination. And the economic results are not for Mexico. They're
      for
      the United States."

      The regasification facility is only one part of the global supply
      chain
      to deliver natural gas from faraway regions, where supplies are
      plentiful, to the California-northern Mexico region, where supplies
      reportedly are running scarce.
      ChevronTexaco plans to spend an additional $ 3.35 bn for a pipeline,
      liquefaction plant and tankers to bring the fuel across the Pacific
      Ocean. In August, the company announced it had signed a memorandum of
      understanding with the Gorgon Joint Venture in Australia for a supply
      of
      2 mm tons of LNG over a 20-year period. Shell also has a memorandum of
      understanding with Gorgon.

      Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune
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