FERC last Wednesday approved a request of Occidental Petroleum's Ingleside, TX, liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and associated San Patricio Pipeline to delay the completion of the project by approximately three years.

The project, which was approved by FERC in July 2005, was to have been completed and placed in service by July of this year (see NGI, July 25, 2005). But it has now been given an extension until April 30, 2011 [CP05-13, CP05-11].

In seeking the delay, the project sponsors told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that "the various segments of the LNG industry are developing at different rates." In addition, the sponsors said that "in recognition of the challenges the industry has faced, the Commission lately has been providing applicants with four to five years from the date of final orders to place their facilities in service."

The proposed 1 Bcf/d terminal would be located near Occidental's chemical plant on Corpus Christi Bay. The $400 million project would include a new marine terminal basin connected to the La Quinta Channel with one protected berth to unload about 140 ships per year (two to three per week). It would include two 160,000-cubic-meter storage tanks, vaporization equipment capable of vaporizing 1 Bcf/d of LNG, and 26 miles of 26-inch diameter pipeline with interconnections to nine existing interstate and intrastate pipelines north of Sinton, TX.

In addition, Ingleside intends to include a natural gas liquids recovery unit at the terminal in order to diversify the range of LNG sources available to the facility, mitigate gas compatibility problems and provide additional feedstock for the petrochemical industry.

San Patricio Pipeline's in-service date is expected to coincide with the completion of the Ingleside LNG terminal. The pipeline has executed a precedent agreement with Occidental Marketing for the entire capacity of the pipeline for a term of 15 years.

Occidental Petroleum said it plans to use only about 10% of the proposed sendout capacity from the terminal for its own operations, with the remainder of the LNG-sourced gas going directly into intrastate and interstate pipelines serving the southern, Midwestern and eastern markets.

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