Frequently Asked Questions
Jordan Cove LNG is a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and storage facility to be located at the Port of Coos Bay, Oregon.
The proposed facility includes:
- marine facilities
- two LNG storage tanks with a total storage capacity of 320,000 m3
- five 1.5 million tons/year (mtpa) liquefaction trains
- gas treating facilities
The Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (PCGP) is a proposed pipeline that would transport natural gas (as a vapor, not a liquid) from existing interstate natural gas pipelines near Malin, Oregon, to the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal in Coos Bay. The pipeline extends approximately 229 miles across Klamath, Jackson, Douglas and Coos counties. Click here to see maps of the pipeline.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is natural gas, cooled to -260° F to make it easier to transport. When cooled to this temperature, natural gas changes from a vapor to a liquid and its volume decreases 600 times.
- LNG is non-polluting.
- LNG is not stored under pressure and is not explosive.
- LNG is odorless, non-toxic and non-corrosive.
- LNG is lighter than water and natural gas (in its vapor form) is lighter than air above -260° F.
- LNG leaves no residue after it evaporates.
- LNG is a liquid that won’t burn until it becomes a vapor, and the vapor won’t burn, except under very specific conditions (i.e. until it mixes with air and becomes diluted to between 5% and 15% LNG vapor (natural gas) in air. Above 15%, there’s not enough air for it to burn and below 5% there’s not enough LNG vapor to burn).
- Natural Gas is lighter than air and has the highest ignition temperature, highest lower flammability limit and lowest energy content of commonly used fuels. In addition, unlike propane, LNG is not stored under pressure.
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No. Two LNG facilities have operated safely in Oregon for many years. Both facilities convert natural gas from pipelines to LNG for storage purposes and convert it back to a gas for use during periods of peak demand, like freezing winter days or during summer heat waves. One has been operating since 1969 in Portland’s northwest industrial area, and the second has been operating since 1979 in Newport.
Less than 10 years ago, virtually all energy analysts agreed the U.S. was running out of natural gas energy sources and had no choice but to import more natural gas. In a matter of a few years, the outlook for energy in the U.S. (and in the world) changed dramatically, as enormous reserves of energy previously considered inaccessible became available due to advances in natural gas recovery techniques. While predicting future energy market is difficult, we believe it is unlikely to change anytime soon. In fact, the level of technically recoverable gas reserves has continued to go up as technology continues to evolve.
U.S. natural gas reserves are estimated to be near 2,718 trillion cubic feet and these reserves are estimated to meet America’s diverse energy needs for more than 100 years. Pacific Connector will create energy infrastructure and provide Southern Oregon with valuable options, opportunities and advantages for its future by increasing the available supply of natural gas to the region.
Exporting North American natural gas via Jordan Cove will have a minimal impact on wholesale gas prices in the Pacific Northwest because the existing GTN and Ruby pipelines from which it will draw Canadian and U.S. Rockies gas, respectively, have available capacity. It is forecast that because of this existing excess pipeline capacity, Jordan Cove will decrease PNW regional wholesale natural gas prices by 0.4% in 2025 and only increase the price by 0.1% in 2035 and 3.9% in 2045 (as shown in Jordan Cove LNG Export Project Market Analysis Study, Navigant Consulting).
Hydraulic fracturing is not a new technology—it has been used in the United States for decades—but within the past 10 years, its costs have come down so far that it has allowed access to gas fields that were thought to be uneconomical. This has turned the United States from being an LNG importer to an LNG exporter. Today, about two-thirds of the natural gas used in the U.S. for power generation and home heat and cooking is made possible by this technology. Without it, the United States would have had to dramatically increase its imports of natural gas in the past 10 years and the price would be higher for consumers. Furthermore, U.S. natural gas production has been attributed to a significant reduction in the U.S of coal for electricity generation.
The international demand for natural gas is so great as a cleaner and cost-effective alternative for coal and fuel-oil that Canadian and U.S. Rocky Mountain gas will still find a way to market via export terminals in the Gulf Coast states and the east coast.
Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea are aggressively pursuing the development and deployment of renewable energy sources. However, these are advanced industrial economies and neither country has any energy resources of its own. All non-renewable energy must be imported and is therefore higher cost. These nations have many incentives to pursue renewable energy, but it will still be decades before renewable energy sources can provide reliable, base-load energy generation on a national scale. U.S. allies such as Japan and South Korea would prefer to use more North American natural gas to diversify their supply portfolios and lessen their dependence on gas from Russia and the Middle East. In the case of Japan, public sentiment is against re-starting the country’s nuclear power plants in the wake of the damage caused to the Fukushima facility in 2011. Natural gas is the only practical replacement fuel for the foreseeable future.
The previous design of this project included a 420MW combined-cycle natural gas power plant that would have been located on the South Dunes property at the Port of Coos Bay. The new project design as submitted to FERC on September 21, 2017, benefits from an extensive value engineering and optimization process that eliminated the need for a power plant. In the prior design, the power plant would have generated electricity to run electric-drive liquefaction equipment. In the new design, the same turbines that would have generated power in a power plant will be coupled directly to the liquefaction equipment in a “direct drive” system that is more efficient, will result in lower emissions and will not require construction of a power plant.
The Project, which includes both the LNG Terminal and PCGP, will be a major investment in the energy infrastructure of Southern Oregon, and offers short and long-term economic benefits to the region. While much of the initial employment will be short term, approximately 6,000 jobs will be required during peak construction—nearly 2,000 for the Terminal and just over 4,000 for the Pipeline.
Average job numbers are expected to be approximately 1,000 during the 53-month construction period of the LNG Terminal and just over 1,400 during the 24-month main construction period of the natural gas pipeline.
Over the course of construction there will be a need for skilled and talented craftsmen to help build this exciting and much needed piece of American infrastructure. Additional benefits will also be felt by local community businesses such as restaurants, service providers, rental properties, etc.
Approximately 215 workers will be directly employed by Jordan Cove LNG in Oregon during operations, amounting to about $44.8 million in total labor compensation. This includes about 180 people at the LNG terminal in Coos Bay, approximately 15 workers across the pipeline, and an additional 20 working in an office in Portland.
Spending by businesses and jobholders that will originate as a result of the Project will spread throughout the economy. Many industries in Coos County, around southern Oregon, and throughout the state will feel the impacts. The table below (as provided in the appendices of Resource Report 5) shows the annual contributions to local businesses by major industry.
Many of the industries that will experience significant benefit from the Project serve households, especially households living in the four counties where the Project will have business locations. For example, more than $5.2 million in output a year would be attributable to the Project at area restaurants, hotels and similar businesses. That will require over 60 employees earning nearly $1.9 million in 2024 alone. Millions of dollars in sales at retail stores, healthcare providers, personal care businesses and the like will be attributable to the Project’s operations.
The LNG Terminal and PCGP will generate more than $60 million per year in annual taxes and payments in in lieu of taxes to Coos, Douglas, Jackson and Klamath counties. The pipeline will generate about $5 million for each county in annual tax revenue. Those tax revenues will support local schools and allow local communities to enhance public services such as police, fire, EMS and first responders. In addition to this tax revenue, the terminal will pay $40 million per year into a Community Enhancement Plan (CEP) which would be in lieu of Coos County taxes for a period of 19 years. The CEP is a community-driven initiative that would ensure Coos County receives the maximum benefit possible from an amount equivalent to what the terminal would otherwise pay in county taxes. This will allow for the creation of a long-term community benefits fund to endow schools and other county services long into the future and would also benefit schools in Reedsport (Douglas County) and Port Orford (Curry County).
The terminal and pipeline will also pay $48 million annually in Oregon corporate taxes, for a total in-state tax benefit of $108 million annually.
The proposed LNG Terminal and Pipeline will be subject to stringent environmental review. The project must adhere to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in addition to other federal, state and local agency guidelines. We have consulted with numerous federal and state agencies and various stakeholder groups to maximize the project’s ability to avoid, minimize and mitigate environmental effects.
There has never been a significant LNG cargo release in the roughly 60 years since LNG has been transported via ocean-going vessels. If there was such a release, it is important to note that LNG is not soluble in water and any LNG released would evaporate quickly as it transfers back to a gaseous state. There would be no residue left on or in the water. LNG and natural gas release in water would have minimal impact on marine life as it would pass through the water until it reaches the surface and evaporates into the air.
The pipeline will cross 342 waterbodies:
- 66 are perennial
- 163 are intermittent
- 100 are ditches
- 9 are lakes or stock ponds
- 4 are estuarine
- 64 of the 342 affected waterbodies are not crossed by the centerline of the pipeline but are located within temporary rights of way or temporary work areas
Impacts to aquatic, plant and animal species will be avoided and minimized through the following:
- Construction will be planned to take advantage of seasonal benefits. For example, the 163 intermittent streams listed above will be crossed in the summer when they are dry. In-water work will take place during agency-defined “in-water work windows” to minimize impacts to fish.
- Major waterbody crossings include five via horizontal directional drilling: two Coos Bay crossings as well as the Coos, Rogue and Klamath Rivers, will be crossed using Horizontal Directional Drilling and one crossing of the South Umpqua River using a Direct Pipe which allows the pipeline to be placed deep (approximately 50 feet or more) below the riverbed to avoid impacts to the waterbody.
Safety is a core value, and the safety of the public and our workers on this pipeline is one of the highest priorities. We have incorporated measures into the design of the pipeline that will provide for added safety of the system. These measures include:
- Automated mainline valves with pressure monitoring and remote shut off
- Thicker and stronger steel for added safety
- Additional quality control from the manufacturing of the materials through the construction of the project to assure quality of the system
- After construction but before operation, the pipeline will be tested to withhold pressures higher than will be used during operations to ensure the quality of the pipeline. The testing will be performed with clean water so that should a leak be found, any liquid released is clean water.
- The pipeline will undergo regularly scheduled inspections throughout its operational lifetime that will include inspections for both internal and external corrosion using internal, in-line inspection tools as well as the installation of a corrosion protection system on the exterior of the pipeline.
- To ensure safe and dependable operation the entire pipeline will be monitored remotely 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for safe operation.
Yes. Jordan Cove LNG will be building the Southwest Oregon Regional Safety Center complex adjacent to the terminal on the South Dunes site. This complex will include a full-time professionally staffed fire station with emergency response crews dedicated to the Jordan Cove LNG facility (paid for by Jordan Cove LNG), a Coos County Sheriff’s substation, offices for the Port and U.S. Coast Guard, and world class training facilities. Additionally, Jordan Cove LNG plans to partner with Southwest Oregon Community College to create an LNG Fire Training Center—a first on the West Coast. There is only one other program like it, located at the University of Texas A&M. As the use of LNG grows as a maritime and surface transportation fuel, there will be an increased need for specialized LNG training. Southwest Oregon Community College and Coos Bay will be poised to be the West Coast center for this training.
Yes. As part of its review process, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will ensure the safety and security of the local community. In fact, FERC will not approve Jordan Cove LNG if safety and security are not adequately addressed.
In addition to FERC, federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Aviation Administration, Maritime Administration and the United States Coast Guard will specifically analyze safety and security measures.
Over the past 170 years, the Coos Bay Area has experienced relatively low seismic activity. However, it is now well understood that the Oregon coast may be susceptible to a large magnitude earthquake associated with the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ).
All critical project foundations and structures have been designed to a resist a 9.3 magnitude CSZ earthquake. Plans will also be put in place to ensure any potential hazards created by an earthquake, including soil liquefaction, are mitigated.
All critical LNG facilities are designed to meet Safe Shutdown Earthquake standards, whereby certain structures, systems and components that are critical to safety would remain functional in the event of an earthquake.
Underground steel pipelines generally perform well in earthquakes. The pipeline’s routing and construction are designed to avoid and mitigate potential threats, including faults, unstable soils or certain types of land movement.
To address tsunami hazards at the LNG terminal and South Dunes site, all buildings designated as ‘shelter in place’ sites or ‘vertical tsunami refuges’ will be built to the same elevations designated in evacuation protocols for North Bend and Coos Bay. Vertical tsunami refuges shall be at or above an elevation of 52 ft. at the South Dunes site, and at or above 60 ft. at the LNG terminal site.
Every element of the terminal and South Dunes facilities deemed critical for operations and safety has been designed to meet or exceed the projected elevation of a 2,475-year tsunami event (+34.5 ft.), as required by code. The LNG processing areas will be built to an elevation of 46 ft. or above. Planned safety features include a 46 ft. high impervious berm to protect the LNG tanks and provide on-site containment of a single 160,000 m3 LNG tank in the highly unlikely event of a breach.
The United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Office of Pipeline Safety and its partnering state regulatory agencies inspect transmission pipelines and enforce regulations to better assure safety and reduce risk. In addition to federal government regulatory requirements, standards and recommended best practices are developed by industry organizations, such as the American Gas Association and American Petroleum Institute, to provide further guidance on the safe construction, operation and maintenance of pipelines.
According to USDOT statistics, pipelines are the safest method for transporting energy products. As this project is designed, constructed and operated, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of safety, using construction and operational procedures that meet or exceed already stringent industry regulations. The pipeline will be operated and maintained by highly qualified and trained personnel who will live in the communities along the pipeline route.
Damage from outside forces, such as third party digging, is one of the greatest threats to a pipeline—regulations require thicker pipe wall in more densely populated areas primarily to protect the pipeline from increased activity in those areas (and generally more weight on the pipeline). The required wall thickness of a natural gas pipeline is determined by DOT regulations and is based on the density of inhabitable structures near the pipeline. It is worth noting that enhancements in manufacturing, construction and monitoring technologies have increased pipeline safety since the regulations were adopted in 1970. Pacific Connector will construct the pipeline with the benefit of modern technology, stronger steel and advanced safety processes.
The safety standards for the design and construction of LNG vessels make them the most expensive vessels in the global commercial fleet. The LNG fleet has one of the most exemplary safety records in the maritime industry.
Jordan Cove LNG is required to take certain precautions that will ensure vessel transits into Coos Bay are as safe as possible. These precautions include:
- The Coast Guard will establish escort requirements and regulated navigation areas and safety and security zones for the transit of an LNG vessel from open waters to its berth and back out again.
- The vessels must comply with all related elements of the new Maritime Security Act, including a plan for preventing and responding to attempted acts of terrorism.
- Every vessel transit into or out of Coos Bay will be piloted by a licensed and certified pilot with special credentials to pilot vessels in the Port of Coos Bay.
- The terminal will be surrounded by a double fence and have 24-hour video surveillance. When a vessel is in port, guards will be on-duty 24 hours-a-day.
An easement is a limited right to use land for specific purposes. Click here for information about the easement process. Pacific Connector will seek a permanent easement from landowners along the proposed Pacific Connector route and will negotiate for land rights in a fair and equitable manner based on established land valuation practices. An easement is a limited right to use the land for a specific purpose. It does not convey ownership of the land. Pacific Connector will compensate landowners for an easement to construct, operate and maintain an underground pipeline and, in limited cases, above-ground equipment related to the pipeline such as valves, pipeline markers and corrosion protection equipment.
Pacific Connector’s easement will be a permanent width of 50 feet with the pipeline centered in that space (25 feet either side). During construction, in addition to the permanent easement, we will be utilizing temporary work space adjacent to the easement for the entire distance of the pipeline. This work space is needed to safely lay out the pipe, weld together the pieces of pipe, dig and store the excavated soil as part of the ditching process, and allow for safe travel of construction traffic along the project.
The amount of compensation will vary based on property characteristics (such as size, location, zoning, land use, etc.). Each affected property owner will be given a detailed workbook describing the size and location of the easement, temporary extra workspace and access requirements. The workbook will include a copy of the market analysis used to determine the easement value. Landowners will have opportunities to present additional information that may be considered in the negotiating process. Compensation will be included for any additional impacts the pipeline easement may have, such as disrupting customary use of the land. The compensation for the necessary land rights will be made in a one-time lump-sum payment, notwithstanding that prior option payment(s) may apply in certain circumstances. Compensation for any additional impacts relating to the installation of pipeline facilities will be made as required during and after construction.
Many factors contribute to the assessed value of a parcel of property. In some areas in the Pacific Northwest, the value of property has increased after installation of a natural gas pipeline due to enhanced landscaping, addition of recreational space and other benefits. Various studies (including analysis from independent academic institutions) have analyzed land value before and after pipeline construction and conclude there is generally no significant impact on the sale price of land. Click here for more information on working with landowners.
Yes, landowners whose property may be affected by the proposed route will receive a letter or a personal contact notifying them of the various surveys that will take place on their property. All potentially affected landowners should have received a packet of information from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) advising them that their property may be affected by the pipeline project. This letter also includes the dates and locations of public meetings and instructions for obtaining additional information.
The Pacific Connector crosses land owned by 227 landowners in Coos, Douglas, Jackson and Klamath counties. As of September 21, 2017 (when we filed our applications with FERC), Jordan Cove had already reached voluntary easement agreements with 88 (~40%) of those landowners.
No. The pipeline does not cross any land owned by a Native American Tribe. However, we are attempting to work with those tribes whose ancestral lands are near the proposed pipeline route so we can address their concerns, especially those related to sensitive cultural sites, as best we can.
Interstate natural gas pipelines are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Pipeline companies must obtain a federal Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity—in addition to various state and federal permits—before any pipeline facilities can be built. Learn more about FERC on their website.
The timeline for federal review and pipeline construction varies depending on the size of the project. The proposed timeline for the Jordan Cove Project to receive its permits is by the end of 2018.
All information provided to the FERC by the applicant is part of the public record and available for public inspection. The only information that is not viewable by the public is data that has been designated by the FERC as sensitive for national security or privacy reasons. You can learn more about the FERC and our partner’s regulatory and project siting processes here.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is composed of five commissioners who are appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate. Commissioners serve five-year terms and have an equal vote on regulatory matters. To avoid any undue political influence or pressure, no more than three commissioners may belong to the same political party as the President. Find more on the FERC commissioners here.
Among other things, the Certificate Application contains a description of the proposed facilities, the need for the project, detailed maps, schedules and numerous environmental reports. This information details the various studies and analyses that have been conducted to determine the potential effects of construction and operation on the environment and community.
There are many federal and state agencies that will regulate various activities at the Jordan Cove LNG terminal, including:
- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
- U.S. Department of Transportation - Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
- U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
- U.S. Coast Guard
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
- Oregon Department of Energy
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the only federal agency that can authorize the construction and operation of Jordan Cove. FERC also acts as the lead federal agency charged with conducting the associated environmental review of the Jordan Cove project under the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Other federal agencies such as with the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, EPA, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers participate in the development of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which is the evaluation of the potential environmental impacts of Jordan Cove.
The Environmental Impact Statement process can be broken down into a series of steps:
- Project Proponent submits an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with all of the documentation required by FERC under its regulations to provide all the necessary background information to assess the potential environmental impacts associated with the project.
- FERC and the other Federal Agencies (Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, EPA, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) then review all the information (thousands of pages of documents) to determine whether the applicant has provided all the required information. If FERC finds deficiencies, data gaps or a need for clarification, FERC will send out formal requests for information to the applicant who must provide timely responses.
- To obtain initial feedback from the public, FERC will hold a series of scoping meetings in the areas in which the terminal or pipeline will be located.
- FERC then issues a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for public review and comment. The public comment period is typically 60 days.
- FERC, using input provided by Jordan Cove, will respond to all the public comments potentially resulting in changes to the EIS. This will culminate in FERC issuing a final EIS along with a recommendation to the FERC commissioners to approve, approve with conditions or deny the application.
- The FERC commissioners will meet to make a final decision as to whether the application should be approved or denied.
NOTE: Once an application is submitted to the FERC, the agency will post it and every other communication and document, including data requests and responses, on the FERC website on a real-time basis.
There are two docket numbers because the project is governed by two sections of the federal Natural Gas Act (NGA). The LNG Terminal falls under Section 3 of the NGA, while the Pipeline is under Section 7.
The cost of materials and equipment bought in or brought into Oregon are estimated to be approximately $464 million.
During construction, approximately $33 million would be spent on local contracted services such as logging, hauling and other professional services.
Estimated local expenditures include:
- $47.4 million by non-local workers for housing, expenses, etc.
- $151.6 million in local worker compensation
- $108.4 million on construction materials
The total construction spending in Oregon and Washington as a result of the Jordan Cove Project would average $1.7 billion annually over a four-year construction period. As a result, the gross domestic product or GDP (which is a monetary measure of the market value of all final goods and services produced in a period) of Oregon and Washington would be approximately $434.6 million higher during each year of construction. On average Oregon and Washington could experience more than 3,000 well-paying jobs over the four years and labor income would be $330 million higher.
Southern Oregonians understand the economic importance of exports. Since 2010, Oregon exports totaled more than $73 billion, with China and Canada being Oregon’s top two export destinations. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy studied the question of exporting natural gas and concluded that a measured, balanced approach would result in a net economic benefit to our country. Jordan Cove would be a key part of that balanced approach by being the only LNG export terminal on the U.S. West Coast.
There are more than 100 LNG storage facilities located throughout the United States. Most of these facilities are designed to liquefy natural gas and store LNG during the summer months and then regassify it for shipping during the winter months. There are four such facilities in the Pacific Northwest including Plymouth, Washington; Nampa, Idaho; Portland, Oregon; and Newport, Oregon.
Although actual utilization will be determined by terminal user requirements, the facility is being designed to accommodate an average of about two vessel-calls per week.
This will vary based upon vessel size but it is anticipated that an average vessel will spend approximately 24 hours in port.
The Parent Company
This is good news for Jordan Cove, as Pembina has committed to support the project and move it forward. As a press release stated, “The combined entity will continue to build upon the momentum of the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) development project as it progresses toward key regulatory and commercial milestones.”