Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Shell Says It Is Starting to Sell Natural Gas from Broadwater

Shell announced today that while it is still trying to sell New York State officials on what a great idea it is to put a liquefied natural gas terminal in the middle of Long Island Sound, it would also try to sell customers on the idea of actually buying the natural gas from that terminal, Broadwater. The Courant had it, here.

Shell used the occasion to express confidence that it would get its state approval:

"Based on Broadwater's continued progress, now is the right time to have further discussions with our potential customers regarding natural gas supply contracts from Broadwater," said Mark Hanafin, CEO of Shell Energy North America, in a statement. "Broadwater may well change the dynamics of the gas supply in New York."

And the credulous Courant (there's no name on the story) accepts the spin and makes its own assertion:

The announcement is a sign of further confidence by Shell in the terminal project...

But maybe it's not that at all. Maybe Shell is bluffing. Or more likely, maybe that's just the way business is done -- you start trying to sell your product before you get final approval -- and Shell used it as an opportunity to make it seem like Broadwater is a done deal. It would have been nice if the Courant had been skeptical enough to at least question Shell's assertion.

Thursday, 7:20 a.m. -- This story, in the New Haven Register, at least raises the possibility that Shell's announcement is a publicity ploy aimed at making it seem like Broadwater is a done deal.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Bryan said...

My rhetorical questions for the day:

So, does LIPA start negotiating with Broadwater or does it sit on the sidelines? I expect they'll be talking with each other, which would mean that you'd have a public authority that reports to Gov. Spitzer negotiating with an entity that the same governor has life-or-death control over. Could it be the LIPA has no choice but to start talking with Broadwater in order to fulfill their obligation to deliver the lowest cost energy to ratepayers?

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

There is no clear, reliable documentation that the proposed Broadwater facility will save any money for Long Island consumers. In fact, NYS Attorney General Cuomo has recently been asked to investigate 'false advertising' by Broadwater relating to their claims of $300 per year of household savings.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Bryan said...

Jen,
You'll get no argument from me, but please don't confuse my reference to "lowest cost energy" to Broadwater's $300 claim. That claim is as ridiculous as the push-polling mentioned in Tom's most recent post.

I don't think any reasonable LIer expects energy prices to go down, ever. Some will go up more than others. Certainly LIPA will make an inquiry to find out what kind of deal they can get from Broadwater. LIPA is not forced to except it, but if Broadwater somehow manages to put a competitive price on the table, LIPA will sign that contract.

11:55 PM  

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