ExxonMobil Corp’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal planned for Mobile Bay, AL, which was on shaky ground from the start due to intense local opposition, bit the dust Thursday.

The Dallas, TX-headquartered energy company released a statement on Thursday, saying that it was “no longer in our business interests” to maintain the Alabama State Docks site, the planned site for the LNG facility, by extending the company’s option to purchase it.

ExxonMobil, which had already made approximately $1.5 million in option payments on the property, said it did not intend to make another $1.5 million payment that was due Monday.

The Alabama State Port Authority in late 2003 approved a $38 million, three-year land option for ExxonMobil to purchase 200 acres on the outskirts of Mobile (Alabama State Docks site) as a possible site for the proposed LNG receiving terminal.

The $600 million LNG plant would have had the ability to deliver 1 Bcf/d of LNG-sourced natural gas. In October 2003, ExxonMobil signed a major supply deal to bring in LNG from Qartar for an expected 25-year period.

The planned LNG terminal was beset with widespread controversy from the start. Local residents were up in arms over the potential safety and security hazards associated with siting the facility nearby their homes. Alabama Gov. Robert Riley warned FERC and the state port authority that he would block the sale of state-owned land to ExxonMobil unless the agency first conducted an independent, site-specific study of the potential hazards facing the public.

ExxonMobil still is moving forward with three other proposed LNG terminals in the Gulf Coast area: the 1 Bcf/d Golden Pass terminal in Sabine Pass, TX; the 1 Bcf/d Pearl Crossing facility, off the coast of Louisiana; and the 1 Bcf/d Vista del Sol terminal on Quintana Island in San Patricio County, TX. The applications for certificates to build these projects are pending either before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the U.S. Coast Guard.

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