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Shell Gulf Landing, Louisiana

STATUS:  Killed

TYPE: Natural Gas

OPPOSITION:  Coastal Conservation Association (CCA); Sierra Club; Louisiana Boat Association; Gumbo Alliance for Safe LNG


BACKGROUND:  In 2003, Shell US Gas & Power LLC proposed to develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Gulf of Mexico, 38 miles south of Cameron, LA.  The terminal, named Gulf Landing, would use a 1,100-foot-by-230-foot concrete structure as a berth for LNG tankers to unload their cargo, with a hollow center to be used for LNG storage.  Gulf Landing would be capable of handling 1 billion cubic feet per day of gas, and was expected to be operational in 2008-09 at a cost of $700 million.

Environmental groups widely panned the project, calling it a “fish-killing machine.”  At the heart of the controversy was Shell’s proposed use of an “open loop” system, which uses millions of gallons of seawater daily to warm the supercooled natural gas as it converts from liquefied to gaseous state.  In 2006, pressure by environmental groups and residents led Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco to veto an open loop LNG proposal at a different gulf site, and Shell certainly took notice for its Gulf Landing project.  On March 29, 2007, citing changed market conditions, Shell abandoned the project.

Environmental groups quickly congratulated themselves for killing Gulf Landing. “Whether the decision was made due to economic or conservation considerations,” stated Mike Lane of the sportsman website RodNReel.com, a founding member of the Gumbo Alliance for Safe LNG, “today is a great day for fish in the Gulf of Mexico.  My heartfelt thanks to the thousands of readers of RodNReel.com who made this possible.”

SOURCES:  Pipeline & Gas Journal: http://www.oildompublishing.com/pgj/pgjarchive/Jan04/lng%20terminal_01-04.pdf;
New Orleans Times-Picayune: http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/frontpage/index.ssf?/base/news-7/1175147465179240.xml&coll=1;
Louisiana Fishing & Hunting: http://www.rodnreel.com/articles/articles.asp?cmd=view&StoryID=781;
Zee News: http://www.zeenews.com/news362662.html;
Gulf Restoration Network: http://healthygulf.org/200703291183/media/press-releases/lng-victory-press-release;
FERC: http://www.ferc.gov/eventcalendar/Files/20051027140652-Cal%20Senate%20Energy%20Committee%20Presentation1.pdf

Last Updated:  November 19, 2010