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Oregon LNG Projects Move Along Undeterred by Canadian Competition

As news out of British Columbia ebbs and flows on the development of a series of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects, the proponents of two separate LNG export projects in Oregon continue to push forward on all fronts -- permitting and lining up buyers and sellers for their proposed export terminals.

Both the U.S. and Canadian West Coast LNG export projects are chasing buyers in the Pacific-Asian market while at the same time massive new Papua New Guinea and Australian LNG export facilities have a head start in serving that same market (see Daily GPI, May 19).

In the waning days of October, the project manager at Oregon LNG, Peter Hansen, was traveling throughout Asia shaking the bushes for LNG buyers in those gas-hungry nations such as China, Korea and Japan. Hansen told NGI last Wednesday that he is finding "lots of commercial interest" in his project at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Hansen was in Singapore one day making a pitch at an energy conference after participating in a trade mission to Japan and Korea, he said. The first week of November he will be back in Tokyo for the annual Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) conference.

Earlier in October the British Columbia (BC) government slashed its LNG export tax in half and added corporate tax cuts to help encourage companies to build LNG tanker terminals on Canada's Pacific Coast (see Daily GPI, Oct. 22).

Hansen called the BC tax change "irrelevant" to his Oregon-based LNG export terminal project that began as a import proposal a decade ago. "[The tax issue] is small, and compared to the other problems confronting the BC projects [see Daily GPI, April 12, 2013], the tax issue is barely noticeable."

The other Oregon LNG project proponent, Bob Braddock at Jordan Cove LNG, concurs on the BC development. He told NGI on Friday he has all he can do to keep up with his own project, let alone handicap the handful of projects in western Canada.

A coastal project at Coos Bay along Oregon's south-central coast, the 1.2 Bcf/d Jordan Cove project includes a 1 Bcf/d transmission pipeline, Pacific Connector, as well as an adjacent gas-fired generation plant. Braddock said he expects the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) "within the next few days."

Jordan Cove's multi-billion-dollar project has signed various confidential heads of agreements (HOA) and it awaits more federal action, Braddock told NGI earlier this year (see Daily GPI, March 10).

On Friday, the Jordan Cove project manager said that he tends not to focus on developments in BC because they tend to be up and down from day to day. "Depending on which day you read the news [BC LNG] is either going full speed or it is DOA," he said. "We have plenty to focus on just keeping our own project properly managed."

Jordan Cove is seeking binding, long-term agreements with the HOA participants -- both tolling and transportation deals -- but when asked by NGI Braddock said negotiations are continuing with prospective customers, "but we remain some months away from securing definitive agreements."

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