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FERC Suspends Venture Global Review

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FERC has suspended its environmental review of the CP2 liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Louisiana and a pipeline that would feed it, citing a lack of information to complete the process.

The Venture Global LNG project had been scheduled to receive a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) this month and a final EIS in February. Under the schedule, the project was on track for regulatory approval by mid-2023.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said environmental and engineering data requests have only been partially answered by Venture subsidiaries CP2 LNG LLC and Venture Global CP Express LLC.

“A number of responses to data requests remain outstanding and/or are deficient,” FERC said in a notice suspending the review schedule.

The Commission noted that the subsidiaries have said some information would not be submitted in time for staff to evaluate responses and finish the draft EIS this month. FERC said it would revise the environmental review schedule once it receives the outstanding information.

Venture said it has responded to more than 300 data requests by FERC so far and expects to address outstanding information in the coming weeks. The company is also advancing carbon capture and sequestration technology for the project.

“Venture Global is working hard to complete outstanding regulatory deliverables for CP2, a project that will supply US LNG to the world at a historic time in global energy markets,” said spokesperson Shaylyn Hynes.

“We appreciate that FERC continues to process CP2 and remain committed to satisfying the Commission’s regulatory requirements – as we have for years spanning multiple administrations.”

ClearView Energy Partners LLC said in a note to clients late Wednesday that it is not unusual for FERC to suspend an environmental review, “but it usually occurs for projects that don’t appear viable.”

Venture has signed long-term offtake deals to supply 3.75 million metric tons/year (mmty) from the 20 mmty CP2 project. One 20-year deal was inked with German utility EnBW as Europe, and particularly Germany, are working to cut reliance on Russian imports following the invasion of Ukraine.

Venture also started commissioning the Calcasieu Pass LNG export terminal this year and reached a final investment decision in May to move ahead with the Plaquemines LNG terminal in May.

“The indefinite suspension suggests to us that the sponsor may presently be unable to allocate the needed staffing or other resources to the project at this time to allow FERC to reset the schedule,” ClearView analysts said.

The CP2 terminal is among several greenfield and expansion projects in the United States that have made substantial progress this year as the world looks to displace Russian natural gas supplies. Nearly 25 mmty of US offtake deals have been signed this year alone.

ClearView also noted that FERC’s swift suspension of the environmental review schedule was likely an effort to avert further criticisms that it has been slow to approve export projects. FERC has approved about a dozen export terminals since 2018.

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