Friday, September 16, 2005

LNG Critics: Safety Measure Stinks

There's no winning over opponents of liquefied natural gas along California's coastline. First, they instill fear over the possibility of a leak--now they object to the odiferous safety solution proposed to address their concerns.

BHP Billiton officials have told federal officials they plan to use an unpleasant smelling chemical aboard their proposed liquefied natural gas ship in an effort to make any gas leaks detectable by scent.

In documents released last week, Billiton said it now plans to add the sharp smelling chemical to the natural gas before it is pumped from the ship, proposed to be located off the coast of Malibu, into a floating turret-like connection, down 2,300 feet to the ocean floor and then ashore through 20-mile-long twin pipelines to Oxnard.

"Based on advice from regulatory agencies, Billiton has modified the application to provide for an odorant unit located on the FSRU immediately prior to the gas export swivels in the mooring system," the company said in its letter.

Sounds like some folks just can't be pleased.