Sempra LNG, a unit of Sempra Energy, and Woodside Petroleum Ltd. have a nonbinding agreement to explore developing Sempra LNG's proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Port Arthur, TX. The project would be at a site previously permitted for an LNG regasification terminal and designed to include two liquefaction trains with a total export capability of about 10 million tonnes per annum, or 1.4 Bcf/d, as well as LNG storage tanks and marine facilities for ship berthing and loading. In March Sempra LNG affiliate Port Arthur LNG LLC began the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission pre-filing review for the facility and filed its permit application with the U.S. Department of Energy for authorization to export LNG to all current and future free trade agreement countries (see Daily GPIMarch 23).

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's approval for Royal Dutch Shell plc to drill in Alaska's Chukchi Sea is being challenged by a group of organizations that claim the Department of Interior agency inadequately assessed the "threats and effects" associated with the exploration. The petition was filed by Earthjustice with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The revised exploration plan conditionally approved in May for Shell Gulf Gulf Mexico Inc. proposes to pick up where the operator left off in 2012 by drilling six wells in the Burger prospect (see Daily GPIMay 15April 10). Groups protesting the drilling include the Alaska Wilderness League, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Pacific Environment, Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands, Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society.