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ConocoPhillips Files Another Offshore Gulf LNG Terminal

ConocoPhillips Files Another Offshore Gulf LNG Terminal

Despite about 50 Bcf/d of LNG import capacity planned in North America, new projects continue to be announced at a rapid clip. ConocoPhillips last week submitted plans to the U.S. Coast Guard for construction of the Beacon Port Clean Energy Terminal in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico about 56 miles south of Louisiana. It will be the fourth LNG project in which ConocoPhillips has invested.

This terminal will offload LNG from carriers, store and regasify the LNG, then make the natural gas available through a system of pipelines for delivery to consumers in Louisiana and beyond. It will have a throughput capacity of 1.5 Bcf/d and will consist of two concrete gravity-based LNG storage tanks, regasification equipment, docking platforms and other unloading and operational equipment. There also will be a separate platform adjacent to the tanks to house terminal's crew and other related equipment and non-operational facilities, ConocoPhillips said.

Beacon Port will send gas to the mainland through 46 miles of new pipeline and a riser platform that will connect to existing pipelines 29 miles south-southeast of Johnson's Bayou, LA. Existing pipelines will bring the gas to shore. Construction could begin in late 2006 and will take four years with service expected in 2010.

The terminal is part of a major expansion of ConocoPhillips' liquefied natural gas business. The company already has stakes in the FERC-approved Freeport, TX LNG terminal, the Long Beach LNG terminal near Los Angeles and the Compass Port terminal offshore Alabama. In addition, it has an active liquefaction facility in Kenai, AK, as well as others at various stages of development around the world, including Australia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia and Venezuela.

There is a rapidly growing number of LNG terminals approved, on file or planned along the Gulf Coast and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, in addition to dozens more elsewhere in the United States, Canada and Mexico. At some point one would assume that enough is enough and any more would lead to a supply glut that would pressure domestic gas prices down to levels that might make most LNG projects uneconomic. That hasn't deterred the many exuberant project planners, however.

A total of five U.S. LNG import terminals with 7.7 Bcf/d of proposed peak sendout capacity have been approved by FERC and the Coast Guard/Maritime Administration for construction along the Gulf Coast or offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Ten more proposed Gulf terminals, totaling 13.1 Bcf/d of sendout capacity, have been filed with federal regulators (see http://intelligencepress.com/features/lng/).

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