Remaining LNG projects face obstacles

After the demise of one LNG terminal project last week, two other natural gas projects in the state face regulatory and economic challenges.

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After the demise of NorthernStar’s Bradwood Landing project last week, the two remaining LNG proposals in Oregon face daunting regulatory processes before they can be approved.

The projects, one by Jordan Cove in Coos Bay and the other by Oregon LNG in Warrenton, may have an easier time because they lack specific environmental issues brought about by the Bradwood Landing location. But they may also come up against economic challenges.

The economics of importing natural gas are looking bleak. Financial backers are more reluctant than they were a few years ago. And domestic competition is coming on strong, with a proposed pipeline from Wyoming on the verge of final approval and nabbing the same customers an LNG terminal in Oregon would need.

Yet the moral of NorthernStar’s story isn’t necessarily that an LNG terminal isn’t viable in Oregon, or that the permitting process is impossible, observers say. Rather, it may be that NorthernStar went about it in the wrong way, and ultimately sank its own ship.

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