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McMoRan Exploration Co. Announces Coast Guard/MARAD Publication of Environmental Assessment and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact for Main Pass Energy Hub(TM) LNG Project.

NEW ORLEANS New Orleans (ôr`lēənz –lənz, ôrlēnz`), city (2006 pop. 187,525), coextensive with Orleans parish, SE La., between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, 107 mi (172 km) by water from the river mouth; founded  -- McMoRan Exploration Co. (NYSE NYSE

See: New York Stock Exchange
: MMR MMR measles-mumps-rubella (vaccine); see measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine live, under vaccine.

measles, mumps, rubella vaccine
) announced the publication of the Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact by the United States Coast Guard United States Coast Guard

U.S. military service that enforces maritime laws. It is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security; in wartime it functions as part of the U.S. Navy. The Coast Guard enforces federal laws on the high seas and waters within U.S.
 (Coast Guard) and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for the Main Pass Energy Hub[TM] (MPEH[TM]) LNG LNG (liquefied natural gas): see under natural gas.  license application. The Coast Guard issued a public notice on September 19, 2006, establishing a timeline for a record of decision on the project, including public hearings to be held during the week of October 2, 2006. Comments on the application, including from the Governors of adjacent coastal states (Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama), are required by November 20, 2006, and a record of decision would be issued by January 3, 2007. A copy of the Coast Guard letter outlining the schedule is being filed with this press release on Form 8-K Form 8-K

The form required by the SEC when a publicly held company incurs any event that might affect its financial situation or the share value of its stock.

Form 8-K

See 8-K.
 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

As previously reported, McMoRan submitted an amendment to its license application with the Coast Guard and the MARAD on May 31, 2006 to obtain approval of its MPEH[TM] project using Closed Loop technology.

The EA analyzed the changes associated with the amended application and determined that the project will not have a significant impact on the environment. The Coast Guard has issued a Draft Finding of No Significant Impact for public review and comment. The Coast Guard indicated that comments from the public and from State and Federal agencies supported the Closed Loop technology.

In addition, McMoRan also reported that it received a letter from the Department of Natural Resources Many sub-national governments have a Department of Natural Resources or similarly-named organization:
  • Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines
  • Natural Resources Canada
 for the State of Louisiana CODE, OF LOUISIANA. In 1822, Peter Derbigny, Edward Livingston, and Moreau Lislet, were selected by the legislature to revise and amend the civil code, and to add to it such laws still in force as were not included therein.  on September 21, 2006 indicating that the proposed facility is consistent with the Louisiana Coastal Resources Program. A copy of this letter is being filed with this press release on Form 8-K with the SEC.

McMoRan's Co-Chairmen James R. Moffett and Richard C. Adkerson said, "The publication of the Draft Finding of No Significant Impact is a significant milestone, indicating the imminent completion of our permitting process for our proposed major new LNG port. The MPEH[TM] project would provide critical supplies of natural gas to our nation, generate substantial direct economic benefits through job creation and investment in the State of Louisiana and Gulf Coast region and be operated in an environmentally responsible manner. We look forward to receiving a positive record of decision on the project."

The MPEH[TM] terminal would be capable of regasifying LNG at a rate of 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas (Bcf) per day. The use of existing facilities provides significant cost advantages, and the proposed project benefits from its offshore location near established shipping lanes. McMoRan is continuing discussions with potential LNG suppliers as well as gas marketers and consumers in the United States to develop commercial arrangements for the facilities.

McMoRan is also considering investments to develop substantial cavern storage and a 36-inch pipeline from MPEH[TM] to Coden, Alabama that would enable expanded access to U.S. gas markets. These plans include 28 Bcf of initial cavern storage capacity and aggregate peak deliverability from the proposed terminal, including deliveries from storage, of up to 2.5 Bcf per day. As previously announced, McMoRan has received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the United States federal agency with jurisdiction over electricity sales, wholesale electric rates, hydroelectric licensing, natural gas pricing, and oil pipeline rates.  to transport gas onshore using the proposed pipeline.

McMoRan Exploration Co. is an independent public company engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas offshore in the Gulf of Mexico Noun 1. Gulf of Mexico - an arm of the Atlantic to the south of the United States and to the east of Mexico
Golfo de Mexico

Atlantic, Atlantic Ocean - the 2nd largest ocean; separates North and South America on the west from Europe and Africa on the east
 and onshore in the Gulf Coast area. McMoRan is also pursuing plans for the development of the MPEH[TM] which will be used for the receipt and processing of liquefied natural gas liquefied natural gas: see under natural gas.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG)

A product of natural gas which consists primarily of methane. Its properties are those of liquid methane, slightly modified by minor constituents.
 and the storage and distribution of natural gas. Additional information about McMoRan and the MPEH[TM] project is available on its internet website "" and at "".

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT: This press release contains certain forward-looking statements regarding our potential Main Pass Energy Hub(TM) project. Accuracy of the projections depends on assumptions about events that change over time and is thus susceptible to periodic change based on actual experience and new developments. McMoRan cautions readers that it assumes no obligation to update or publicly release any revisions to the projections in this press release and, except to the extent required by applicable law, does not intend to update or otherwise revise the projections more frequently than quarterly. Important factors that might cause future results to differ from these projections include: variations in the market prices of natural gas; environmental costs; general development risks and hazards; and financing, regulatory, and feasibility requirements for the potential Main Pass Energy Hub(TM) project. Such factors and others are more fully described in more detail in McMoRan's 2005 Annual Report on Form 10-K Form 10-K

A report required by the SEC from exchange-listed companies that provides for annual disclosure of certain financial information.

Form 10-K

See 10-K.
 and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q Form 10-Q

See 10-Q.
 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 25, 2006
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