January 17, 2008 / 6:11 PM / 12 years ago

Deadline extension sought for Texas LNG terminal

HOUSTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Proponents of a liquefied natural gas import terminal near Corpus Christi, Texas, on Thursday asked U.S. regulators for a nearly three-year extension of the original deadline for putting it in operation, according to a filing.

Ingleside Energy LLC and San Patricio Pipeline LLC, units of Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY.N), asked the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to extend the original July 2008 start-up deadline to April 30, 2011, the letter that was filed showed. FERC licensed the project in July 2005.

The letter cited market conditions in the LNG industry for the request to delay. The growth of the LNG trade has been hampered by uneven development of supply and demand, including delays in facilities overseas for liquefying natural gas for shipment.

Regulators have approved two other LNG terminals for the Corpus Christi area, one by Cheniere Energy Inc (LNG.A) and another by the 4Gas Texas LLC, a unit of Dutch-based 4Gas BV, which took over a plan dropped by Exxon Mobil. Like Ingleside, both await further development of the market.

LNG is gas cooled to -260 degrees Fahrenheit (-163 degrees Celsius), reducing it to 1/600th its previous volume, so that it can be transported by ship where pipelines do not reach. (Reporting by Bruce Nichols; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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