As a competing plant up the coast at the mouth of Columbia River begins the FERC pre-filing process, proponents of the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal project have had to delay by three months their filing to the federal regulatory agency for additional pre-filing environmental review work on a separate-but-affiliated 230-mile large-diameter pipeline that will connect with the LNG terminal.

Earlier this month, Oregon LNG, a unit of Leucadia National Corp., confirmed it was beginning the pre-licensing review phase with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build a 117-mile pipeline along the Oregon side of the Columbia River that would link the proposed LNG terminal near Warrenton, OR, with the major interstate pipelines traversing Oregon's Interstate 5 corridor (see Daily GPI, June 12).

For backers of the Coos Bay facility, the filing postponement also will delay a timetable they released in March for having construction starting in June 2008 (see Daily GPI, April 20). The construction would now be delayed until the fourth quarter of 2008, according to Bob Braddock, the Jordan Cove LNG project manager at Coos Bay.

Earlier this spring, Braddock said his companies expected to make a formal joint filing to FERC in June to cover both Jordan Cove LNG and the Pacific Connector Pipeline. At the time, he said both had nearly completed the pre-filing phase of the environmental assessment. The backers expected to have a draft environmental impact statement and report completed within four months after filing and get a final permit to begin construction by June 2008 with much of the critical work completed in the pre-filing phase to expedite processing, Braddock said.

FERC staff have now requested that the pipeline developers provide a third set of resource reports, which caught those people a bit by surprise, Braddock said, noting that filing won't be done until later this month. "Therefore, our filing date is now targeted for Sept. 4," Braddock said. "You have to wait 60 days after the last resource reports get filed to make the overall project filing."

Braddock reiterated that under new FERC procedures both the Jordan Cove terminal and the linked pipeline project must be filed concurrently at the FERC.

Fort Chicago LNG II LP and engineering firm EDP LLC are the backers of the terminal, which is seeking potential sources of LNG as it moves through the permitting/siting process. Fort Chicago also has a stake in Pacific Connector Pipeline as a partner along with units of The Williams Companies and PG&E Strategic Capital Inc. The latter trio so far has picked up nonbinding interest in pipeline capacity that the companies say equals 1.5 Bcf/d.

"Clearly, there is plenty be done, so we'll be working on state permits and some of the construction contract agreements," Braddock said. "So we're just shifting the emphasis for the time being from environmental to more commercial construction issues that involve engineering and local county/water permits."

As for the competition in Oregon in which Jordan Cove is one of five separate LNG terminal proposals and the only one on the Pacific Coast, Braddock said he understands that Oregon LNG at the very end of May made its FERC/NEPA [National Environmental Protection Act] pre-filing process. "So I think they are official now," he said.

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