Another US LNG terminal begins operations

Operations have begun at what is likely to be the last LNG terminal to be built in North America.

A formal ceremony Oct. 27 at Pascagoula, Miss., inaugurated the Gulf LNG terminal, equally owned by GE Energy Financial Services and El Paso Corp., Houston. A subsidiary of El Paso will operate the 5 million tonne/year terminal.

Start-up of the terminal brings to 87.5 million tpy the amount of LNG import capacity operating along the US Gulf Coast, OGJ data show. Of the six US terminals now operating on the gulf, four are in varying stages of petitioning for permission to become LNG export plants (OGJ, Mar. 7, 2011, p. 100).

Earlier this week, BG Group announced it had signed the first sale and purchase agreement (SPA) for LNG produced on the US Gulf Coast (OGJ Online, Oct. 26, 2011). The LNG producer will be Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC, a unit of Cheniere Energy Partners LP, which operates the largest import terminal in the Western Hemisphere in Cameron Parrish, La.

Under the SPA, LNG exports could begin as early as 2015.

The Gulf LNG terminal sits near to Bayou Casotte Ship Channel in the Port of Pascagoula. It consists of two 160,000-cu m storage tanks with combined capacity of 6.6 bcf; 10 vaporizers, providing a base sendout capacity of 1.3 bcfd; and 5 miles of 36-in. pipeline connecting to downstream pipelines owned by Gulfstream, Destin, Transco, and Florida Gas Transmission.

The pipelines provide access to the Pascagoula gas processing plant operated by BP America Production Co.

The Gulf LNG terminal is contracted under 20-year firm service agreements for all of its capacity with a group of LNG producers, including several major oil and gas companies, to support the facility and provide a source of LNG.

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

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