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The U.S. Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a request for comments in a Federal Register notice Thursday on Suez LNG's proposed Neptune LNG project offshore Gloucester, MA. The Coast Guard intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the project, which is being planned about 22 miles northeast of Boston in federal waters. The deepwater port would be capable of mooring up to two 140,000 cubic meter capacity LNG carriers by means of a submerged unloading buoy system. The LNG carriers would be equipped to store, transport and vaporize LNG, and to odorize and meter natural gas, which would be delivered to the Algonquin HubLine system via an 11-mile 24-inch diameter pipeline. The notice requests public participation in the scoping process and provides information on how to participate. Public meetings will be held in Boston and Gloucester on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3, respectively. Material submitted in response to the request for comments for the scoping process must reach the docket management facility by Nov. 18. The facility's phone number is (202) 366-9329, its fax is (202) 493-2251 and its website for electronic submissions is http://dms.dot.gov. For details contact Roddy Bachman at the U.S. Coast Guard at (202) 267-1752 or rbachman@comdt.uscg.mil.

A seat on the Nymex Division of the New York Mercantile Exchange Inc. sold Thursday for a record $3 million, surpassing the $2.85 million record sale set on September 27 (see Daily GPI, Sept. 28). Ownership of a seat on the Nymex Division also represents a share of common stock in Nymex Holdings Inc.

The Department of Energy said last week that it will provide $10.7 million in funding for 13 research and development projects designed to boost domestic unconventional oil and gas production and to improve the environmental aspects of drilling. The projects have a total value of $16.3 million, including $5.6 million in cofunding from industry and academic partners, DOE said. "The projects we are funding today are an investment in our nation's energy security and economic security, and will help us obtain the maximum benefit of our domestic energy resources in an environmentally sensitive way," said Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman. Most of the research projects focus on boosting recovery of unconventional natural gas, including from coal seams, tight sandstones and ultra-deep formations (greater than 15,000 feet underground). Combined, those sources of unconventional natural gas are estimated to be 700 Tcf, DOE said, compared 190 Tcf of conventional natural gas reserves. Unconventional natural gas accounts for nearly one quarter of total domestic supply, a share that will rise with future technological advancements such as those being investigated by the funded projects. Six of the projects will improve the efficiency of drilling, appraising and production of low-permeability formations by collecting, analyzing, and publicizing a variety of critical data. This will enable operators to generate less waste and extract more gas from fewer wells. For details on the projects go to http://fossil.energy.gov/news/techlines/2005/tl_oil_gas_awards.html.

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