FERC Approves Second of Three Oregon LNG/Pipeline Projects

PHMSA Announces Final Control Room Management Rule, Controversial Elements Dumped From DIMP
February 2010 Vol. 65 No. 2

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the Jordan Cove Pacific Connector LNG/pipeline project with Chairman Jon Wellinghoff once again casting a lonely dissent.

Wellinghoff, as he did in September 2008 on the Bradwood Landing LNG project, argued that domestic gas supplies and hydroelectric potential were a better alternative for getting gas to northern California and northern Nevada than a new LNG terminal in Oregon. Commissioners Suedeen Kelly, Marc Spitzer and Philip Moeller disagreed and voted "yes" as they also did on Bradwood. Both projects would be located in Oregon.

The FERC "approval" is conditional on Jordan Cove meeting 128 conditions, some significant, some not so much. The project already has all local land use permits approved. But U.S. Commerce Department approval under the Coastal Zone Management Act and separate approvals under other federal laws by the Corps of Engineers remain ahead. Robert L. Braddock, vice president, Jordan Cove Energy project L.P., says he is confident that the project will have all 128 conditions satisfied by the end of calendar year 2010, which would allow the project to break ground in June 2011. However, only one of the three Oregon LNG/pipeline projects (Oregon LNG is the third; FERC has not approved it yet, as it has Bradwood and Jordan Cove) will be built, and the project that moves forward will be the one with shipper backing. Braddock explains that shippers are hesitant to sign on with any of the three prospective projects until they have all state and federal permits in hand. There is no telling yet which of the three will ultimately win the shipper jackpot.

The Jordan Cove Project would consist of an LNG import terminal on Coos Bay in Coos County, OR, and 234 miles of natural gas pipeline extending from the outlet of the LNG terminal to Klamath County, OR, on the Oregon California border. It would have the capability of receiving and unloading approximately 80 LNG tankers per year, with a proposed send-out capacity of 1.0 Bcf/d.