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LNG Causes Pipeline Leaks - Warning by

Tim Riley and Hayden Riley, and producers of the LNG documentary film: The Risks and Danger of LNG, warn that a new report reveals - LNG causes pipe couplings to shrink and leak.

(PRWEB) July 13, 2005 -- The Washington Post reported on July 7, 2005, “A company-sponsored study, launched after a District Heights house exploded in late March, found that subtle molecular differences in the imported liquefied natural gas the utility began using in August 2003 were drying the rubber seals of aging metal couplings that link sections of pipe.” Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson said, “he was ‘very alarmed’ that the gas industry knew since 1992 that changes in gas composition could cause couplings to leak.”

“We too, are very concerned that the energy industry knew of this problem, and yet the siting of new and expanded Liquefied Natural Gas importation facilities is moving at a fast-tracked pace,” said Hayden Riley.

“It is time to put the brakes on, and slow down the LNG application process - nationwide - until this troubling report and possible solution is fully examined and fully understood. We don’t want our communities being exposed to dangers of pipeline leaks and explosions from regasified LNG,” said Tim Riley.

The Washington Post further stated, “The frequency of leaks began to soar in late 2003, soon after the company started supplying Prince George's with imported gas, mainly from Trinidad, brought in by tanker through Dominion's Cove Point liquefied natural gas terminal in Calvert County.”

“We are very concerned that the leaks started within six months of the regasified LNG passing through the pipeline system. This shocking revelation proves that LNG’s allegedly innovated and modern technology has many flaws. What also upsets us is that apparently the industry knew about this danger, and nevertheless has failed to disclose this vital information during the nationwide LNG application siting process,” said Hayden Riley.

On July 9, 2005, The Washington Post reported, “The company attributes the leaks to the composition of imported gas, which it has said causes the rubber seals in underground pipe couplings to shrink. Officials hope that by mixing the gas with hexane and pentane -- heavy hydrocarbons lost during the liquefaction process -- or by blending it with domestic supplies, the additives will absorb into the seals, swelling and sealing the couplings.”

Hayden Riley added, “Naturally, the LNG company claims they complied with ‘current standards’ and therefore there is nothing wrong with the gas composition; and further claims there has to be something wrong with the gas company’s pipes. The gas company also claims they complied with ‘current standards.’ So we as bystanders, who face all the risk of their mistakes are relegated to watch their obnoxious finger-pointing game, and suffer injury on top of insult for their lack of responsibility. Clearly, proper standards, when it comes to regasified LNG are not known or high enough.”

“My cell-phone complies with FCC standards, and yet it drops calls all the time. I’m sure the LNG company and the gas company were both complying with ‘current standards.’ Unfortunately, the learning curve requires tragic accidents occur before we recognize when ‘current standards’ are outdated,” said Tim Riley. “California is now considering four LNG importation proposals. California’s pipeline ‘standards’ are as high and adequate as their wishful thinking permits, nevertheless their standard, at this point is purely speculative at best since California has no experience whatsoever in transmitting regasified LNG through a system which faces constant earthquake and seismic activity. LNG is too dangerous for Monday quarterbacking,” Riley added.

According to the Baltimore Sun on July 8, 2005, “‘The breakdown of seals in the couplings of gas pipelines led to about 1,400 gas leaks during the past two years, and has required the company to launch a $144 million project to replace lines and equipment,’ said Tim Sargeant, spokesman for the utility.”

"‘We are experiencing a significant increase in leaks in a 100-square-mile area of Prince George's County,’ Sargeant said. ‘We have not ruled out the possibility of a rate increase in the future,’ to pay for the extensive repairs, he said.”

Hayden Riley suggested that, “Those currently willing to risk residential neighborhoods exploding from regasified LNG leaks in hopes that they might save a few bucks a month on cheaper utility gas prices, now have to take a second look. The alleged price benefits of importing LNG apparently have costly hidden dangers as well.”

Tim Riley concluded, “Higher utility rates for replacement of couplings, pipe repairs and upgrading pipelines damaged by or to accommodate regasified LNG, will inevitably be passed on to consumers who will be forced to pay higher utility costs. Obviously this factor alone makes it clear that LNG will not bring down our utility costs, and to think otherwise is very naïve.”

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