The development of the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas terminal is on pause, those behind the project told a court last week.
The companies planning the export terminal and the 229-mile pipeline leading to it have been tight-lipped about the project’s future in light of recent procedural challenges, but said in a court document Thursday that development is on hold.
“Jordan Cove (Energy Project, L.P.,) and Pacific Connector (Gas Pipeline, L.P.,) ... have decided to pause the development of the Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas Project ... while they assess the impact of recent regulatory decisions involving denial of permits or authorizations necessary for the Project to move forward,” the company’s lawyers wrote in the document, first reported by Reuters.
The comment came as the project’s lawyers asked for the suspension of a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In that case, a group of impacted landowners asked the court to review a key green-light decision from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Thursday’s filing comes after several technical struggles for the project, including federal regulators’ upholding of state decisions on clean water and coastal management permits.
Pembina, the project's Canadian parent company, hadn’t responded to multiple requests for comment from The World over the last several months, but did hint at the delays in an annual financial report, telling shareholders the Coos Bay project and others planned by the company faced challenges.
“We believe the time for these projects may come; however, we can sadly no longer predict with certainty when that time will be...” the company wrote in a document filed with the Securities Exchange Commission in February.
That report went on to say the company still supports the idea of the project and the economic development it could bring.
“The Company continues to believe in the strategic rationale of Jordan Cove, which would be the first U.S. west coast LNG facility and would benefit from advantaged access to Asian markets,” Pembina wrote in the SEC document.
The company didn’t lay out in last week’s court filing how long the development pause might last, but said it wouldn’t conduct any construction activities or file any condemnation actions for the pipeline during the period.
Local regulators have seen some permit applications for the project this year, with Coos County in March upholding the extension of a planning permit for the proposed pipeline route despite an appeal from a citizen group.
Pembina confirmed the development pause in a statement Monday.
“Pembina has decided to pause the development of Jordan Cove LNG while we reassess the impact of recent regulatory decisions,” the company wrote in an email.
“While we continue to believe in the strategic rationale of Jordan Cove, in light of current regulatory and political uncertainty, our decision reflects our steadfast commitment to our financial guardrails, our disciplined and prudent approach to capital allocation, and our commitment to comprehensively mitigating risk on this project. We are thankful for the incredible support from community members across southern Oregon and the Rockies Basin.”
This article was updated Monday evening with a comment from a Pembina spokesperson.