U.S. suspends review on Trafigura oil-port project -official
HOUSTON, March 15 (Reuters) - U.S. maritime officials have
suspended their review of Swiss trader Trafigura AG's
application for a Gulf Coast deepwater terminal while they await
additional information, a U.S. Coast Guard official said on
Trafigura is one of four groups seeking U.S. permits to
build deepwater oil export facilities capable of fully loading
supertankers that carry 2 million barrels. The projects are
designed to load oil flowing from U.S. shale fields onto tankers
that will carry it to Asia, Latin America and Europe.
The Maritime Administration and U.S. Coast Guard called on
Trafigura to provide data on pipeline construction through
waterways and on its consultations with groups like the Texas
Historical Commission, which focuses on historic preservation,
among other things.
The suspension will result in at least a one-month delay in
Trafigura's plans, the Coast Guard said.
Trafigura downplayed the significance of the suspension and
said it was working to provide the requested information.
It is a common event "to ensure officials have adequate time
to review materials or to allow the applicant to provide
additional information," spokeswoman Victoria Dix said in an
Such "stop clock" notices are common in such regulatory
reviews, said Curtis Borland, an attorney-advisor at the Coast
Guard in Washington. "I'm not aware of any other deepwater port
application that has not received a 'stop clock' letter."
In addition to Trafigura, Carlyle Group, Enterprise
Products Partners LP and Enbridge Inc have filed
applications with the U.S. regulators to build such ports along
the U.S. Gulf Coast.
(Reporting by Collin Eaton in Houston
Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
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