On March 25, 2022, FERC found that Nopetro LNG, LLC’s (“Nopetro”) proposed natural gas liquefaction and truck loading facility and proposed transloading operations in Port St. Joe, Florida, are not subject to FERC’s jurisdiction under sections 3 or 7 of the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”).
On April 20, 2021, Nopetro requested FERC declare that it does not have jurisdiction over its facilities in Port St. Joe, Florida under the NGA. In its petition, Nopetro explained that it plans to construct and operate as many as three liquefaction trains that will liquify up to 3.86 billion cubic feet per year of natural gas for export and delivery to markets in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. The facility will receive natural gas from St. Joe Natural Gas Company Inc., which is regulated by the Florida Public Service Commission. Once natural gas is liquefied, Nopetro explained that the liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) would be filled in International Organization for Standardization (“ISO”) containers and transported roughly a quarter of a mile via third-party truck operators. From there, the ISO containers would be loaded onto ocean-going general cargo container vessels for export.
FERC found that Nopetro’s construction and operation of the liquefaction and truck loading facility and proposed transloading operations, as described, would not be subject to the Commission’s jurisdiction under sections 3 or 7 of the NGA. FERC noted that when considering whether a facility is an LNG import or export terminal subject to the Commission’s jurisdiction, FERC considers the following: (1) whether an LNG terminal would include facilities dedicated to the import or export of LNG; (2) whether the facility would be located at or near the point of import or export; and (3) whether the facility would receive or send out gas via a pipeline. FERC found that because Nopetro’s liquefaction facility is not located at the point of export such that LNG can be directly transferred to vessels for export, FERC does not have jurisdiction over the facility under section 3 of the NGA. FERC also determined that the crane located at the dock used to load the ISO containers would not be subject to NGA section 3 jurisdiction because it is a general-use pier facility, which is outside the scope of FERC’s natural gas facility jurisdiction. Finally, FERC found that it does not have jurisdiction over Nopetro’s liquefaction facility and associated transloading operations because they do not facilitate the interstate transportation of natural gas by pipeline.
While FERC determined that Nopetro’s facility is not subject to its jurisdiction, FERC did note that the facility has been subject to National Environmental Policy Act review through the Department of Energy’s issuance of a categorical exclusion, and Nopetro is required to obtain various local, state, and federal permits.
FERC’s order is available here.