[Marxism] Re: And now for something completely different....

dwalters at marxists.org dwalters at marxists.org
Sun Jan 8 11:22:13 MST 2006

Interesting. IT used to be that oil companies would build an oil tanker for 5 or
6 million dollars...I mean a SUPER-tanker, let it make two round trips and then
SCRAP it! The oil paid for the tanker on the first trip, and the second was
pure profit. It was cheaper to scrap it and build new ones than to repair the
old ones.

These new LNG tankers are way expensive...like 50 or 75 times that of an oil
tanker...little miniture refineries keeping the LNG cold and compressed. They
scare the shit out me. A company in Vallejo California wanted to build a LNG
termainl inside SF Bay and use it to power a new power plant. Needless to say
this idea was killed in it's crib quite quickly!

I think the reason the companies want to get into the LNG business is because
right now, there are only about 10..."TEN" LNG tankers in the whole world! So,
there is a 'market' for them, and a need, but we'll enter a typical 'over
production' cycle and the whole industry will collapse because they spend far
too much capital on these tankers.

The biggest are *right now* for LNG is the Asian sub-continent. Saudi Arabia and
other OPEC nations have look just 'flaired off' natural gas into the atmosphere.
Now that prices are up (way up!) for NG, they are starting to capture the NG and
turn it into LNG for shipment to India and Bangladesh where they are building NG
fired power plants to fuel development. In fact, construction has now started on
a Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline for NG. The US fiercely opposes this because it
helps finance Iran. Obviously this is one of the most important economic 'peace
building' projects in the world that helps stabilize relations between Pakistan
and India and is a win-win situation for everyone concerned...except the US, of
course. The BBC web site has covered this rather extensively. The US continues
to look like idiots because of their opposition to this.

This brings us back to the US. There are plans now to build a DOZEN or more LNG
terminals of the US and Mexican west coast. LNG is the fossil fuel of the
future the energy companies argue and they want to import 1 to 3 billion cubic
feet a day for export into the interior of the US. Currently Texas and Alberta
provide the majority of NG in the US. Energy companies are hoping to broaden
the supply market to soften prices and provide more sources of energy than what
the US gets form the continent. Developing countries want to sell us their NG in
the form of LNG. There will be a huge fight over this issue.

Most LNG terminals are out to sea about 3 miles. The danger poised by the
increase use of LNG are not obvious. Most people think of explosions. A LNG
tanker going up would make a huge explosion, obvoiusly. But that' only a small
part of it. The real danger comes from non-igniting cloud of methane (LNG) that
could stay "co-herent" as a close for hours before dispersing.

Such a cloud, say, in the Port of Newark, NJ, could be as big as 5 miles in
diameter. It would displace ALL oxegen within the radius of the cloud and kill
everyone inside it. It could drift, say, over Brooklyn and kill *millions*
before it ever dispered or ignited. Nasty stuff. Then, if it *did* ignite, it
would/could cause an explosion larger than that of the A-Bombs dropped on


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