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PG&E, Williams, Fort Chicago to Partner in Oregon Pipeline Project

PG&E Corp., Williams and Alberta-based Fort Chicago Energy announced plans Wednesday to build a 223-mile interstate pipeline from the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Oregon to pipelines in California and the greater Pacific Northwest.

The partners said they filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to start a pre-filing review for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. The three companies hold equal interests in the project, which is expected to carry 1 Bcf/d of gas.

As announced in February (see NGI, Feb. 13), the Pacific Connector would deliver regasified LNG from Jordan Cove in Coos Bay along the Oregon coast to Williams' Northwest Pipeline system near Roseburg, OR. It also would connect with Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s gas transmission system at the California border. Jordan Cove Energy Project LP, an affiliate of Fort Chicago, is planning to build the LNG terminal.

PG&E noted that LNG would create more supply diversity in the region, which currently receives virtually all of its gas from the Rocky Mountains and Canada. Fort Chicago's CEO Stephen White called the Pacific Connector Pipeline a "vital link" for the proposed Jordan Cove LNG terminal, offering "new, diverse worldwide natural gas supply sources to West Coast markets."

The pre-filing process at FERC enables the Pacific Connector and related Jordan Cove LNG projects to begin pursuing needed regulatory approvals simultaneously, PG&E said. The pipeline, which would be operated by Williams, is scheduled for completion in 2010, subject to environmental reviews and FERC approval. A formal request for a FERC certificate will be made in January, the partners said, and construction would begin in the summer of 2009.

"The final route and estimated costs will be determined following further analysis and public review," PG&E said in its prepared statement.

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