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March 23, 2005 Phone: 916-654-4989

Compendium examines LNG safety issues

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission today released a consultant report that outlines national and worldwide regulations controlling liquefied natural gas facilities being proposed to import this fuel.

Entitled "International and National Efforts to Address the Safety and Security Risks of Importing Liquefied Natural Gas: A Compendium," the 83-page report summarizes the principal safety and security laws and practices under which the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry now operates.

LNG is natural gas that has been refrigerated to minus 259 degrees Fahrenheit so that it turns into a clear, colorless and odorless liquid. As a liquid, it occupies only one six-hundredth the volume of regular natural gas. As a result, LNG can be economically transported overseas in bulk by special ships. Once off-loaded, the fuel is allowed to re-gasify and is supplied to customers through regular natural gas pipelines.

Recently more than 43 LNG import facilities have been planned, proposed or approved in the United States; including 3 terminals proposed for construction either offshore or onshore in California. State and local agencies involved in reviewing and approving the projects are seeking objective information about potential public safety risks posed by LNG carriers and the proposed receiving terminals. The Compendium provides up-to-date information on LNG safeguards and regulations in effect.

California, the tenth largest consumer of natural gas in the world, already imports 84 percent of the fuel for its commercial, industrial, residential and electricity generation use. High domestic natural gas prices are projected to increase as natural gas becomes the preferred fuel in North America and demand outstrips the nation's supply. In February 2005, the Energy Commission issued a Natural Gas Assessment Report, which outlined the current natural gas demand and supply balance for California as well as North America.

The Compendium was produced by Aspen Environmental Group with funding from the California Energy Commission. It was subjected to extensive peer review by LNG safety experts from government, industry and academia. It can be downloaded from the Energy Commission's website at:


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