FERC staff issued a favorable final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the Golden Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Texas. The project would entail expansion of an existing LNG import terminal to add liquefaction and export capability and construction of a short natural gas pipeline.

A favorable draft EIS was issued for the project last March (see Daily GPIMarch 28). Once completed, bi-directional flow of natural gas/LNG would be possible at Golden Pass, allowing for both import and export of LNG.

The project would add to the existing terminal three liquefaction trains, a truck unloading facility, refrigerant and condensate storage, safety and control systems, and associated infrastructure; supply dock and alternate marine delivery facilities; 2.6 miles of a 24-inch diameter pipeline loop adjacent to the existing Golden Pass pipeline; three new compressor stations; five new pipeline interconnections and modifications at existing pipeline interconnections; and miscellaneous appurtenant facilities [CP14-517, -518].

Environmental harms caused by the project could be adequately mitigated through proposed and recommended measures, FERC staff said.

The Golden Pass LNG Terminal near Sabine Pass, TX, is a joint venture formed by affiliates of Qatar Petroleum (70%), ExxonMobil (17.6%) and ConocoPhillips (12.4%). Among the largest terminals in the world, it is capable of importing approximately 2 Bcf/d of through its dual berth ship docks.

Golden Pass Products currently expects to complete permitting in 2017. Following a decision on investment, the project would cost about $10 billion over five years to build liquefaction facilities. The project has received U.S. Department of Energy authorization for exports to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries and awaits DOE authorization to export to non-FTA nations.

The Golden Pass LNG import project began in November 2003 (see Daily GPINov. 21, 2003). Construction of the Golden Pass Pipeline was completed in 2009, followed by completion of the terminal construction in 2010. Golden Pass received its first LNG cargo in October 2010.