HOUSTON, Dec. 26 -- El Paso Global LNG, a unit of Houston-based El Paso Corp., has started development of its first EP Energy Bridge natural gas delivery system in the Gulf of Mexico.
El Paso applied to the US Coast Guard for a license to construct and operate an offshore natural gas deepwater port. Earlier this year, the El Paso unit unveiled its innovative concept, which features LNG tankers that can regasify their cargoes and deliver as much as 400-500 MMcfd into pipelines from miles offshore (OGJ Online, May 8, 2002).
"This project and location opens the door to deliver regasified LNG directly into the pipeline grid and serve existing base load and peaking demand markets," said Greg G. Jenkins, president, El Paso Global Petroleum and LNG Group.
"We believe the innovative EP Energy Bridge technology presents a more flexible and cost-effective means of supply to these growing markets in North America where new traditional, land-based LNG terminals are not a feasible alternative for natural gas deliveries," he added.
El Paso said it will construct an offshore buoy and riser system that includes 8 miles of 20-in. pipeline and connects into two existing subsea pipeline systems to deliver the natural gas to the main pipeline grid.
"As the Energy Bridge ship arrives at the unloading site, the buoy is pulled into a receiving cone and connected to the ship," El Paso explained, adding, "The LNG is then regasified aboard the ship and the vaporous natural gas is discharged through the buoy into the subsea pipeline system."
The company plans the new ship-based LNG regasification system to be operational by yearend 2004.