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US considers border-crossing permit for Spectra's Valley Crossing gas project

FERC sent the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense information they need to review a cross-border permit for 2.6-Bcf/d natural gas transportation facilities between Texas and Mexico proposed by Spectra Energy Corp's Valley Crossing Pipeline LLC.

In separate Dec. 22 letters, FERC Deputy Secretary Nathaniel Davis asked Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter for their views on the proposed presidential permit, which all cross-border pipeline projects require. FERC enclosed copies of the Valley Crossing project application and a draft copy of the presidential permit order that would be granted if FERC approves the application. The draft permit included terms and conditions the State and Defense departments have required in similar cases.

On Nov. 21, Valley Crossing applied for a Natural Gas Act certificate and a presidential permit. The company asked FERC to issue the certificate order by July 3, 2017. The project would include 1,000 feet of 42-inch-diameter pipeline that would run from Texas waters in the Gulf of Mexico to the international boundary. The gas moving through the pipeline would go to to Mexico's Comisión Federal de Electricidad to fuel power plants owned by the state-owned electric utility.

The Spectra subsidiary also plans to construct the Valley Crossing intrastate gas transmission system, which would include about 165 miles of 42-inch and 48-inch pipeline running to the border from the Agua Dulce Hub in Nueces County, Texas. (FERC docket CP17-19)