Citing “catastrophic changes,” Port Dolphin Energy LLC on Sept. 25 asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to let it drop prior FERC approvals related to an offshore regasification project in Florida.
FERC in 2009, before the shale gas boom that has sharply boosted U.S. gas production, granted various certificates and waivers to Port Dolphin allowing the company to construct and operate in Manatee County, Florida, the onshore portion of a natural gas pipeline associated with Port Dolphin’s proposed deepwater natural gas import port. The purpose of this project was to interconnect the onshore pipeline to an interstate and an intrastate pipeline. Certain waivers were also requested that would allow Port Dolphin to operate the onshore pipeline on a sole-use basis.
In 2009, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a license to Port Dolphin to own, construct, and operate a Deepwater Port for the delivery of regasified liquid natural gas to the Florida natural gas pipeline system. Port Dolphin said it has already filed a letter with MARAD for surrendering this license, and is undertaking similar actions with other key federal/state agencies for surrendering other permits which were necessary for project construction/operation.
“Since the inception of Port Dolphins’ plan for the Deepwater Port, the natural gas industry has substantially changed,” the Sept. 25 request explained. “These changes resulted in the United States becoming an exporter rather than an importer of natural gas. As a result of these changes, Port Dolphin has been unsuccessful in its efforts to negotiate commercial contracts for the proposed Deepwater Port. Therefore, Port Dolphin intends to abandon entirely its plans to construct the Deepwater Port and the onshore pipeline and appurtenant facilities.
“As a result of the catastrophic changes in circumstances, Port Dolphin is abandoning its plans for the Deepwater Port and all of the associated construction. Subsequently, Port Dolphin no longer requires the certificates and waivers that the Commission had previously granted.”