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Commodities

FERC plans to decide on Marathon Alaska LNG import project by year end

FILE PHOTO: A Marathon Petroleum banner in El Paso, Texas, U.S., October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Julio-Cesar Chavez/File Photo

(Reuters) - U.S. energy regulators said on Wednesday they plan to make a decision on Marathon Petroleum Corp’s plan to convert the Kenai liquefied natural gas export plant in Alaska into an import terminal by the end of the year.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said it planned to issue an environmental assessment by Sept. 3 and make a final decision by Dec. 2. The federal authorization deadline comes 90 days after the environmental assessment.

In April, FERC delayed an earlier plan to issue an environmental assessment by April 24 since it had to wait for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) to make a decision on the company’s plan for a vaporizor.

PHMSA said in May that it had no objection to the planned location of the vaporizor.

The Kenai LNG export plant entered service in 1969. The plant was the only big LNG export facility in North America until Cheniere Energy Inc’s Sabine Pass export terminal in Louisiana entered service in February 2016. Nearly all of the LNG from Kenai went to Japan.

ConocoPhillips, the operator of Kenai, mothballed the facility in 2015 before selling it to a unit of Andeavor in February 2018.

Marathon Petroleum completed its purchase of Andeavor in October 2018.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; editing by Diane Craft

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