Riley Will Meet with ConocoPhillips before ruling on LNG

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MOBILE, Ala. After hearing from conservation and environmental groups, Governor Bob Riley said today he needs more time before issuing a decision that could halt oil and gas producer ConocoPhillips' plans for an offshore liquefied natural gas terminal.

Groups opposed to the one billion dollar project in the Gulf of Mexico, about 11 miles south of Dauphin Island, say it would damage marine life by using open loop vaporizing technology.

The terminal would be capable of vaporizing up to one billion cubic feet per day of LNG using this techology. It would require 136 to 177 million gallons per day of seawater for the regasification process, according to federal officials.

Riley has the power to veto the project, but said he would not make a decision until he meets with ConocoPhillips officials.

ConocoPhillips spokesman Steve Lawless said the meeting is expected in a couple of weeks but details haven't been completed.

He said the company's federal application for the project is based on the open loop system.

"That's what we'll stick with, says Lawless, calling it a system that has the least environmental impact.

ConoocoPhillips representatives did not speak at today's public hearing in Mobile.