Friday, June 10, 2005

Desmond: U.S. needs 8 LNG Terminals

Of 54 proposed liquefied natural gas terminals in the United States, eight will be needed, according to California officials:

"Most people recognise that the market could not and would not support them all. The United States will probably see six to eight terminals in total," said Joe Desmond, chairman of the California Energy Commission.

Speaking at an oil and gas conference in the north Australian city of Darwin via video link, Desmond said he expected California, which imports around 85 percent of the natural gas it consumes, would need one to two.

Australian companies BHP Billiton Plc/Ltd. (ASX: BLT.L, the world's biggest miner, and Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (ASX: each have proposals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals to be built offshore California where Desmond said 40 percent of the state's energy mix came from natural gas.

Australian Energy Minister Ian Macfarlane said knowing when California would be ready to accept gas from Australia was a "million dollar question". But the minister told the conference he expected BHP's proposed terminal at Cabrillo Port could be approved this year.

"The challenge is for them (Californians) to overcome concerns about the importation of LNG," Macfarlane said.

Califonia will need two of the four proposed projects along its coast.