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Third Oregon LNG Project Nears FERC Filing

A third proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Oregon expects to make its formal filing to FERC by the end of June, according to the CEO and founder of Oregon LNG, the Vancouver, WA-based company that acquired development rights for Calpine Corp.'s former Skipanon LNG project near the mouth of the Columbia River in Warrenton, OR.

By mid-year the project will have all of its year-long pre-filing work completed with the federal regulators' staff, CEO Peter Hansen told NGI last Thursday. Oregon LNG has all of its major local permitting for a 96-acre site and surrounding waterway rights, and it has been working for the past year through the pre-filing process at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on its proposed $1 billion, 1.5 Bcf/d peak capacity tolling terminal, which currently is targeted to begin commercial operation in fall 2013 if the market for its capacity and connected 117-mile natural gas pipeline develops in order to meet that time frame.

"We have been supplying FERC staff with resource reports [detailed data on all possible issues, including environmental, technical, safety, economic and projected need] that describe the project in every conceivable detail," said Hansen, adding that his firm has compiled feedback from FERC staff and all stakeholders along the way. Comments from a third-round of review will be included with the developer's final FERC application, which is expected by June 30, he said.

"The key here is that at this point you have to be way down the road in terms of having a complete application for submittal to FERC, and we are way down the road."

Hansen and another former Calpine manager who helped put the original Skipanon project together in 2004, Mohammed Alrai, created Oregon LNG, along with a third New York City-based investment partner, Jeremy Dockter, and they collectively own a 20% interest in the company. Oregon LNG's major investor is the publicly held, diversified holding company Leucadia National Corp. of New York City.

The project has no specific contracts for long-term shippers and marketers, but Hansen said a majority of the terminal's average 1 Bcf/d capacity would have to be covered by long-term tolling contracts before construction would begin. "We're not in the direct business of buying or selling LNG," Hansen said.

A waterways suitability assessment from the U.S. Coast Guard is pending, and Hansen expects something from that federal agency later this year -- either comments on how the project must be modified or a final waterways suitability permit.

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