Another offshore LNG terminal proposed for US Northeast

Warren R. True
Chief Technology Editor-LNG/Gas Processing

HOUSTON, May 20 -- A joint venture US and Canadian company announced plans to build a 2.4 bcfd LNG terminal off New Jersey.

The $550 million Liberty Natural Gas Transmission Project will consist of a "fully submerged, offshore gas importation turret anchored to the seafloor" in 100 ft of water 15 miles off New Jersey; 50 miles of 36-in. OD subsea pipeline; a directionally drilled underground shoreline approach near South Amboy, NJ; and 11 miles of 36-in. onshore pipeline to pipeline interconnects in Linden, NJ.

According to the announcement, gas transmission capacity in the Linden area totals more than 4 bcfd. The project will submit US applications early next year and targets late 2011 for start up.

Excalibur Energy (USA) Inc. is a 50-50 joint venture of Canadian Superior Energy Inc. and Global LNG Inc., a New York-based, privately held company.

The company told OGJ the project is not associated with Excelerate Energy, the Houston-based company that has pioneered offshore LNG terminals off Texas and the UK and operates several regasification carriers. Excelerate Energy Pres. Rob Bryngelson confirmed that to OGJ.

The company declined to identify the specific offloading system planned other than to say the regas vessels will "temporarily connect to permanently anchored turrets." Roger Whelan, Excalibur's president and CEO, did tell OGJ the company has narrowed its choices of technology and expects to make an announcement in the next 3 weeks.

Similarly, no LNG supply contracts have been signed, but Whelan said Atlantic Basin suppliers, especially Trinidad and Tobago's Atlantic LNG Train X, currently under design, are logical sources.

He is not worried about the current lack of global competitiveness for North American LNG markets. "I don't think today's spot market tells us much about that market in 2011," he told OGJ.

In remarks prepared for the announcement, he said the US Energy Information Administration has projected that the US Northeast's growing population will "need an additional 30% more energy in the coming decades relative to the current demand, with energy shortfalls beginning as soon as 2012."

The project has been developed over the last 2 years, he said, and has "included an independent survey of 1,000 New York and New Jersey residents and discussions with several key stakeholders in the area. We believe we have identified the optimal low impact energy supply solution" for the region.

"Liberty Natural Gas has been planned with great care for the air, greenhouse gases, the water, marine life, and equally important, the safety of our workforce and local residents in the region…. We will not create any unsightly infrastructure visible from the shore" said Whelan.

Contact Warren R. True at warrent@ogjonline.com.

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