NEWS: Floating LNG & pipeleine proposed near Channel Islands.

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Posted by Chris on January 29, 2004 at 01:08:05:

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) - A $500 million floating liquefied natural gas terminal 20 miles off Ventura County has completed the license application process for a deep-water port.

Australia-based BHP Billiton, which made the announcement Tuesday, now faces an extensive environmental review process, which will take into account economic, environmental, marine habitat and public safety issues.

BHP spokeswoman Kathi Hann said public hearings will be scheduled as part of the review, which is expected to take a year and will be overseen by the Coast Guard and the California State Lands Commission. If approved, it could be in operation by 2008.

The proposed Cabrillo Deepwater Port, the first floating terminal on the West Coast, would act as a receiving point for shipments of California-bound natural gas. Liquefied natural gas would be converted to vapor through a heat exchange system and transported by an undersea pipeline to existing onshore natural gas facilities, Hann said.

BHP officials said the terminal, 20 miles off Oxnard, would be placed outside Santa Barbara Channel shipping lanes and marine mammal migratory routes, as well as away from the Point Mugu Navy base and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

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