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ExxonMobil LNG, Pipe Project Gets Preliminary Environmental Nod

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given preliminary environmental approval to ExxonMobil Corp.'s proposed Golden Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and associated pipeline facilities along the Gulf Coast.

"Approval of the proposed project with appropriate measures as recommended would have limited adverse environmental impact," according to the notice of availability of the draft environmental impact statement on the Golden Pass project [CP04-386, CP04-400]. Before Golden Pass can move forward with its LNG project, it must receive a final environmental impact statement and Section 3 approval.

The proposed facilities would consist of an LNG import terminal and interconnecting pipeline facilities near Sabine Pass, TX, 10 miles south of Port Arthur, with a 1 Bcf/d capacity, expandable to 2 Bcf/d, and targeted for in-service in late 2008.

The proposed marine terminal basin would be connected to the Port Arthur Channel, and would include a ship maneuvering area, two protected berths and unloading facilities capable of accommodating up to 200 LNG tankers each year. Other facilities would include five LNG storage tanks, with a total working volume of approximately 975,000 barrels; and a pipeline system comprised of 77.8 miles of 36-inch diameter mainline, 42.8 miles of 36-inch diameter loop, and 1.8 miles of 24-inch diameter lateral.

ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum have signed an agreement for delivery of 15.6 million tons of LNG (2 Bcf) to the United States from Qatar over a 25-year period. The Golden Pass project mirrors another ExxonMobil LNG proposal, the Vista del Sol project on the Texas coast near Corpus Christi.

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