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Jordan Cove LNG to refile application after FERC denies rehearing

The developers of the Jordan Cove LNG export project plan to refile their FERC application after they design a more efficient facility, following a decision in which the commission denied a second chance for the original project.

In a Dec. 15 news release, Jordan Cove Energy Project LP said it intends to resubmit an application for a design that no longer includes a power plant. The original plan included a power plant that was outside FERC jurisdiction and subject to Oregon state approval.

On Dec. 9, FERC had said it would not reconsider its initial rejection of the LNG terminal and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline because developers had failed to present "extraordinary circumstances" that would have justified a rehearing. In its order, FERC said the project developers had the option of refiling an application and creating a new record.

"While the decision on Friday was disappointing, we remain committed to this project," Jordan Cove CEO Elizabeth Spomer said in the statement. "Through feedback from stakeholders and extensive engineering work, we have designed a more efficient facility that does not require a power plant, and will reduce overall environmental impacts."

The Colorado Oil & Gas Association welcomed a new Jordan Cove application as a chance to rebuild the U.S.-Japan alliance after a "geopolitical slight" by FERC that frustrated both U.S. gas producers and Asian customers. The group said Jordan Cove "should expect imminent approval" in light of President-elect Donald Trump's commitment to an energy infrastructure-friendly administration.

FERC initially denied the Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector projects in March, pointing to a lack of commercial support and impacts that outweighed the project's benefits. Developers in April filed a request for rehearing, saying they had entered into agreements that demonstrated commercial support for the project.

Though Spomer and other supporters of Jordan Cove repeatedly pointed to agreements with Japanese companies ITOCHU Corp. and JERA Co. Inc. as indication of the need for the project, the evidence likely came too late in the process, Joseph Fagan, a partner at Day Pitney LLP, said in a Dec. 12 email. "FERC repeatedly [expressed] its frustration with the fact that the evidence of market support/demand was not provided during the FERC review process despite the attempt by agency staff to elicit evidence of such support," he said.

Prior to the rehearing denial, lead developer Veresen Inc. had allocated $30 million in its 2017 capital budget to develop the planned 0.9-Bcf/d LNG export project in the port of Coos Bay, Ore., and the Pacific Connector pipeline. (FERC dockets CP13-483, CP13-492)