Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) for Corpus Christi Liquefaction LLC‘s (CCL) and Cheniere Corpus Christi Pipeline LP‘s (CCPL) Stage 3 Project. It entails expansion of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction and storage capacity of the previously approved Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project [CP12-507, CP12-508]; and new associated bidirectional interstate natural gas pipeline facilities in San Patricio County, TX. The project would include the addition of two liquefaction trains, each capable of processing up to 700 MMcf/d, one 160,000 cubic meter full-containment LNG tank, one 22-mile, 42-inch diameter pipeline, additional compression at the Sinton Compressor Station, and appurtenant facilities located within San Patricio County (see Daily GPI, June 11).

A six-count criminal complaint has been filed against Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC related to a November 2012 offshore production rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that killed three and injured others (see Daily GPI, Nov. 19, 2012). The complaint, filed last week in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, charges Black Elk with five violations of the Outer Continental Lands Act (OCSLA) and one violation of the Clean Water Act for an oil discharge related to the accident. The OCSLA charges allege that the “person in charge” on the rig failed to ensure the safety of the rig and workers during welding operations. An investigation of the accident found that contractors failed to follow appropriate safety procedures during a welding project on the rig (see Daily GPI, Aug. 22, 2013). According to a report released in late 2013 by the Interior Department‘s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard, Black Elk and certain of its contractors failed to follow safety rules (see Daily GPI, Nov. 4, 2013). Black Elk did not respond to a request for comment Monday.