Australian-based Woodside Natural Gas Inc. announced Friday that its has filed for federal and city permits to operate its proposed OceanWay liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. The project would regasify shipments aboard ship and send the supplies to shore via a 20-mile undersea pipeline to landfall near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Sempra Energy’s Southern California Gas Co. transmission pipeline system runs along the shore next to LAX.

Once the federal applications are deemed complete, there is a one-year time limit on their processing, Woodside said. Initial volumes will be about 400 MMcf/d of LNG, with two proposed expansion phases to triple that amount to 1.2 Bcf/d, given the sufficient market demand, Woodside said.

Woodside officials said their proposal is specifically aimed at responding to what they perceive as local concerns about potential impact on the environment and surrounding communities from an onshore or offshore LNG receiving terminal that offloads and stores the supplies as a liquid and regasifies them at a later time.

Woodside Los Angeles-based president Jane Cutler said her company’s so-far unique proposal “gains momentum” through the license applications Friday to the U.S. Coast Guard, Maritime Administration for deepwater ports and the City of Los Angeles for a natural gas pipeline franchise. “This brings us one step closer to our goal of providing a safe, reliable and affordable natural gas supply to Southern California,” Cutler said.

The OceanWay project is billed as using state-of-the-art technology that will result in safe and economic delivery of LNG supplies from Australia. The permit applications begin the regulatory process for Woodside with the Maritime Administration looking primarily at project financial reviews, while the Coast Guard examines project engineering, safety, and environmental reviews, the Woodside announcement said.

Los Angeles will process the pipeline franchise request for both offshore and onshore portions, and it will examine the project from the standpoint of its compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

Woodside boasts a 17-year history handling LNG for shipment to Asia, Europe and the United States, Cutler said. She called OceanWay a “compelling option” for California. “We’ll continue to work not only with the lead agencies but all of the key stakeholders — elected officials, regulators, residents, and environmentalists, to ensure our proposal is right for California.”

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