U.S. LNG export projects – Part 3 (Projects under review)

U.S. LNG export projects – Part 3 (Projects under review)

In this, the third of our three-part series, we take a look at the U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects that are currently in the middle of their regulatory reviews at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)—which has jurisdiction over the siting, construction, and safety of LNG facilities—and the U.S. Department of Energy—which has jurisdiction over the export of the natural gas itself.

As discussed in previous instalments, six liquefaction projects are now under construction in the United States, and five more are near, or at the end of their FERC/DOE reviews. The remaining projects that are under regulatory review fall into two sub-categories: (1) those that are in the “formal” review process; and (2) those that are in the informal process (referred to as “pre-filing” in the FERC parlance.

Projects Under Formal FERC Review

  • Gulf LNG. Kinder Morgan, the largest North American energy infrastructure company, owns an LNG import terminal, near Pascagoula in Jackson County, Mississippi (the only such terminal in that state). Kinder Morgan—which also owns the Elba Island LNG terminal in Savannah, Georgia—assembled a joint venture several years ago, to add liquefaction and export facilities to the Gulf LNG project. (Kinder Morgan owns 50% of the joint venture with the remainder owned by a consortium of private equity firms, including the Blackstone Group, Arc Logistics Partners, and Lightfoot Capital Partners.) This project, the remaining “brownfield” project, would be built in two 5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) phases, the first of which would cost $5 billion, and the second $3 billion. The formal FERC permit for Gulf LNG was filed on June the 19th, 2015.
  • Calcasieu Pass. This project, located where Louisiana’s Calcasieu Ship Channel meets the Gulf of Mexico, is proposed by Venture Global LNG, which is also developing the Plaquemines LNG project (also in Louisiana). The Calcasieu Pass project will use a series of Chart Industries’ mid-scale, modular plants, and “proprietary technology” to produce 10 Mtpa. Shell agreed to purchase 1.0 Mtpa of LNG from the facility, under a Sales and Purchase Agreement announced on Feb. the 17th, 2016. The FERC application for the project was filed on Sept. the 9th, 2015. Venture Global LNG has raised more than $280 million in private equity for its two projects.
  • Texas LNG Brownsville. One of three projects proposed for the Port of Brownsville, Texas, this facility would be built in two 2.0 Mtpa phases. The project, being developed in co-operation with Samsung, is located on a deep-water seaport located on the southern-most tip of Texas, along the U.S.-Mexico border. The FERC application for the project was submitted on March the 31st, 2016.
  • Rio Grande LNG. Two subsidiaries of NextDecade filed a formal FERC application on May the 5th, 2016, for authorisation to site, construct, and operate liquefaction and LNG export terminal facilities in the Brownsville Navigation District in Cameron County, Texas, along with an interconnected pipeline. The Rio Grande LNG facilities would consist of six liquefaction trains, each with a nominal capacity of 4.5 Mtpa, for a total project size of 27 Mtpa.
  • Annova LNG. Exelon, the large U.S. energy producer, is the third company to propose a LNG export project at the Port of Brownsville. Annova filed its formal application with FERC on July the 16th, 2016, for a 7 Mtpa liquefaction project.

Projects in the FERC Pre-Filing Process

  • Port Arthur LNG. Sempra LNG & Midstream and Woodside Petroleum Ltd., are developing the proposed Port Arthur LNG natural gas liquefaction facility in Port Arthur, Texas. Located at a site previously permitted for an LNG regasification terminal along the Sabine-Neches Ship Channel, the project intends to include two natural gas liquefaction trains with a total export capability of approximately 10 Mtpa. The project commenced the FERC pre-filing process on March the 31st, 2015.
  • Plaquemines LNG. The second LNG export project proposed by Venture Global would be twice as large (20 Mtpa) as the company’s Calcasieu Pass project. The proposed liquefaction and LNG export terminal to be located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, near the river mile marker 55, in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, will be comprised of 20 integrated pre-cooled single mixed refrigerant blocks, four 200,000 cubic metre LNG storage tanks, and three marine loading berths. The project began FERC pre-filing on June the 18th, 2015.
  • Driftwood LNG. Tellurian Investments asked FERC on May the 11th, 2016, to initiate the pre-filing review process for a 26 Mtpa LNG project—Driftwood LNG—on the west side of the Calcasieu River near Carlyss, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. The project will also include construction of a new 96-mile pipeline, which will interconnect with existing interstate pipeline systems. The liquefaction facility will consist of five LNG plants, and each plant is comprised of one gas pre-treatment unit and four liquefaction units. Bechtel will provide the LNG project engineering and design, and Chart Industries - the engineering and liquefaction technology.

This completes our three-part series on the major LNG export projects under active consideration in the United States. Since we started this series, in the Sept. 2016 CEEP report, one project (Elba Island) has started construction, another one (Magnolia LNG) has cleared its final FERC hurdle, whilst (Delfin LNG) has obtained its final environmental impact statement from the U.S. Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard.

LNG Allies publishes a U.S. LNG Export Projects Update once every 45-60 days, and we upload a set of project tables and maps, as events warrant. The latest tables/maps can always be found at this Internet address: www.lngallies.com/docs/nalng.pdf.

Fred H. Hutchison, Executive Director of LNG Allies and Our Energy Moment.