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Major European energy companies ask US regulators to deny Venture Global LNG's permit extension

FILE PHOTO: European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva

HOUSTON (Reuters) -Top European energy companies on Friday asked U.S. regulators to reject Venture Global LNG's request for a one-year construction permit extension to its Louisiana export plant.

Shell PLC, Italian utility Edison, Repsol, Orlen SA, and Galp Energia SA oppose the request because they believe Venture Global LNG has completed its plant but has failed to give them contracted cargoes.

Venture Global last month asked for a one-year extension to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) permit to complete its Calcasieu Pass plant, or to receive assurances it did not need an extension.

"Shell LNG respectfully requests that the Commission find

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the Extension Request, in its conditional form, to be moot and summarily deny it," the company said.

Edison asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to compel Venture Global to release commissioning documents to justify the extension request.

Repsol and Galp told federal regulators they cannot participate fully in the 15-day intervention period because of their lack of access to commissioning documents.

The European companies say they contracted with Venture Global LNG but have not their gas cargoes under long-term contracts. Venture Global LNG has been selling gas from the plant for more than a year to others, costing them billions in lost profit.

Venture Global LNG on Friday asked FERC to "reject the myriad claims of BP, Shell and Orlen," saying they are too late to be allowed to join the deliberations and have no basis for seeking FERC information on the plant's operations.

Venture Global said it will not provide those documents unless they are compelled by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC),in a February 26th filing with the commission.

BP Plc last week urged U.S. regulators to refuse Venture Global LNG's request for an extension of time to build its Calcasieu Pass export plant.

(Reporting by Curtis Williams in Houston; Editing by Leslie Adler and David Gregorio)