McMoRan to seek changes to LNG permit

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, May 9 -- McMoRan Exploration Co. said it will initiate steps to obtain approval for a change to its Deepwater Port license permit of its proposed $400 million offshore LNG receiving terminal, which includes open rack vaporization (ORV) technology, at Main Pass Energy Hub (MPEH), about 37 miles east of Venice, La. (OGJ, Apr. 4, 2005, Newsletter).

The change was necessitated by concerns by state Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who said the use of a "closed loop" regasification system, which uses natural gas rather than seawater to warm the LNG, would be required until additional data are collected and evaluated.

McMoRan said Blanco's concern comes after the Environmental Protection Agency recently indicated the use of ORV could represent "best available technology" when considering specific project factors and on May 4, indicated approval of MPEH using ORV with recommended mitigation measures. The final environmental impact statement also supports the MPEH application with ORV technology.

McMoRan said the more-costly closed loop systems would use an incremental 3.5 bcf/year for MPEH alone, thus, only exacerbating the growing energy crisis in the US. The company said it will continue to address concerns about the more-efficient ORV technology.

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