Oregon LNG, which had proposed an LNG import project near Astoria, Ore., has sent signals to federal agencies that it plans to join several other U.S. terminal developers in building liquefaction facilities that would give its terminal export capability.
"They've informally notified FERC and other federal agencies of their plans to enter the prefiling process with FERC, but they have not officially done so yet," FERC spokeswoman Tamara Young-Allen said in an interview late March 28.
Oregon LNG CEO Peter Hansen could not be reached for comment by press time.
If Oregon LNG does introduce such a project, it would join a similar export proposal by Jordan Cove Energy Project LP that would be farther south on the Oregon coast. If both are built, the terminals would be the only two export facilities on the West Coast below Alaska.
The subject of "potential modifications" to the Oregon LNG project has come up in correspondence between FERC and the National Marine Fisheries Service, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the U.S. Department of Commerce. In a March 28 letter, FERC told the NMFS it was withdrawing its request for Endangered Species Act consultation because Oregon LNG and Oregon Pipeline Co., the affiliated company behind the takeaway pipeline for the LNG proposal, planned "to use the commission's pre-filing review process to modify their projects ... in the near future." FERC said it would file a new request for consultation "at the appropriate time."
The FERC letter followed a March 6 letter from NMFS to FERC, in which NMFS said if it did not hear from the commission in 30 days it would assume the import project had been withdrawn and would close its file. "FERC has not issued a scheduling notice for the project, and the proposed action remains in development," NMFS wrote in its letter. "We understand that several issues have delayed project progress, including vapor dispersal modeling, legal action, and potential modifications to the project purpose."
The original proposal for the Oregon LNG import terminal and the takeaway pipeline have run into long delays, which in a 2010 interview Hansen blamed on bureaucracy and the opposition of "radical, anti-development group" Columbia Riverkeeper. (CP09-6, CP09-7)
Copyright 2012 SNL Financial LC. All Rights Reserved.
(Originally published March 30, 2012, in SNL Daily Gas Report.)