Because of a locally backed alternative route to a portion of the proposed connecting transmission pipeline, FERC has delayed by three months the scheduled release of the final environmental impact statement (EIS) on the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project along the south-central Oregon coast at Coos Bay. A final EIS is now set for Sept. 30 instead of the previous June 15 deadline.
Jordan Cove backers at Calgary, Alberta-based Veresen Inc. said they are assessing what this will do to the project schedule. This is the second time this year the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has extended the final EIS deadline, having set the June date last February (see Daily GPI, Feb. 9).
The setback comes within days of a delegation of industry and local government representatives from western Colorado meeting in Calgary with Veresen executives to reiterate the strong interest Colorado gas producers have in marketing their gas through the proposed 1.2 Bcf/d export facility (see Daily GPI, June 11; Feb. 24).
Besides the permitting schedule, it is unclear if this further delay will impact Veresen's ongoing work to line up both shippers and buyers for the LNG going through its tolling facility. Early this year, a financial executive with the company told NGI she expected at least one potential offtake customer deal would be signed, probably with a large Asian utility, in the first quarter this year, but that never happened.
FERC's latest delay is primarily due to its need for evaluation of an alternative pipeline route, known as the Blue Ridge route, covering about 14 miles of the 232-mile Pacific Connector Pipeline designed to supply the proposed export terminal, according to Veresen CEO Don Althoff.
"Communities in southwest Oregon proposed this alternative route, and it has our support," Althoff said. "Veresen is committed to partnering with community members and other stakeholders in the areas where we operate and collaboratively understanding their needs and expectations.
"While we are disappointed in another revision to the schedule, this does not change our view that we will receive our final EIS for Jordan Cove LNG and Pacific Connector in due course."
Jordan Cove LNG is a subsidiary of Veresen, and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline is owned equally by a subsidiary of Veresen and a subsidiary of Williams.