Pembina Pipeline Corp. has told a federal appeals court that it is pausing development of the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and related Pacific Connector pipeline to assess the impact of recent regulatory setbacks.

The project has been in the works for eight years, but it’s faced staunch opposition in Oregon, where it’s been unable to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to move forward. 

In a filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Thursday (April 22), Pembina asked the court to suspend consolidated cases in which petitioners are seeking a review of FERC’s orders approving the export project so that it can decide how a series of regulatory decisions earlier this year might impact the project.

The project still needs a water quality certification and authorizations under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) from Oregon, which have been denied by the state. In January, Jordan Cove was dealt another setback when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission declined a petition filed by Pembina to waive Oregon’s regulatory authority. The outlook dimmed further when the U.S. Department of Commerce in February sustained Oregon’s objection under the CZMA that found the project was not consistent with its coastal management plan. 

Pembina acquired the Jordan Cove project in 2017 when it took over Veresen Inc., which first filed an application with FERC in 2013. The first application was denied in 2016, when the Commission cited problems with the Pacific Connector and a lack of contracts from buyers. It was ultimately approved by FERC last year. 

Jordan Cove would be the first natural gas export facility sited on the U.S. West Coast, which is closer to key demand centers in Asia. The terminal would be capable of liquefying up to 1.04 Bcf/d for export. It would include a pipeline gas conditioning facility, five liquefaction trains, two LNG storage tanks, an LNG loading platform and transfer line and marine facilities.

The project has yet to announce any long-term supply contracts with offtakers.