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Excelerate Energy Sees Ship-to-Ship Transfer as LNG Industry 'Milestone'

In addition to announcing its second operational liquefied natural gas (LNG) port worldwide, The Woodlands, TX-based Excelerate Energy said Monday that after numerous ship-to-ship transfer test runs in the Gulf of Mexico, it has conducted the first-ever commercial transfer of LNG from one ship to another, which could revolutionize the way LNG is delivered.

Excelerate Energy said the first LNG cargo at Teesside GasPort in Teesport in Northern England has arrived, marking the first-ever dockside regasification port and second operational LNG facility in the UK. The Energy Bridge vessel arriving at the Teesside GasPort received its LNG cargo via the first-ever commercial transfer of LNG from one ship to another.

"This historic project confirms the unique ability of Excelerate Energy's ship regasification technology to quickly and cost-effectively create new market access for LNG supplies," said CEO Kathleen Eisbrenner. "Dockside regasification is a milestone for the LNG industry, opening new market possibilities and options."

Excelerate Energy's specially designed Energy Bridge vessels allow LNG to be revaporized to gas onboard the ships so that it can be directly fed into natural gas pipelines. Traditional LNG ships must deliver their cargo as liquid to onshore terminals that then convert it to gas. Excelerate Energy's Teesside GasPort was built with the initial capacity to import up to four LNG cargoes per month, each of which contains approximately 3 Bcf of natural gas. The total cost of the Teesside GasPort was less than 40 million pounds, whereas a conventional land-based facility of comparable size would likely have cost more than 400 million pounds.

Excelerate Energy's delivery of Energy Bridge vessel Excelsior's cargo to the Teesside GasPort was preceded by the completion of the first-ever full cargo commercial transfer of LNG, demonstrating a technology that has dramatic implications for the LNG industry globally. The transfer took place at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, just north of Scotland. Prior to arrival at Teesport, the Excelsior received 132,000 cubic meters of LNG from the conventional vessel Excalibur.

"This successful transfer marks a turning point for both our company and the LNG industry," added Eisbrenner. "Now that we have a proven ability to safely and effectively transfer LNG between conventional LNG ships and our Energy Bridge vessels, our fleet can be deployed as distinct floating terminals, allowing for even further market reach in minimal time frames and with modest cost."

Excelerate Energy said it intends to leverage these advantages as it launches the Excelerate GasNet, a logistical services and trading platform upon which Excelerate Energy plans to develop commercial relationships with key industry participants.

"Our ship-to-ship transfer milestone follows several months of development and test runs in the Gulf of Mexico, where Energy Bridge vessels performed controlled tests and transferred relatively small quantities of LNG to assess procedures and ensure the transfer could be done safely and effectively," said Jonathan Cook, vice president-Operations and Marine Services for Excelerate Energy.

"This new capability comes at a fortuitous time for the LNG industry, and for energy markets in general," continued Cook. "With the demand for LNG rising globally, ship-to-ship transfer capability provides significant strategic opportunities for product delivery. No longer will vessels need to sail between continents to achieve optimization opportunities, or to address security of supply concerns. Excelerate Energy's successful proof of the technology enabling ship-to-ship transfers of LNG breaks the paradigm of traditional LNG logistics."

With the success of this transfer, Excelerate Energy officials expect to open the way for additional cargoes to be transported on conventional LNG ships for increased deliveries of LNG to Excelerate's Energy Bridge ports.

The Teesside GasPort near Middlesbrough marks Excelerate Energy's second operational LNG port. It will allow Excelerate Energy to deliver at peak rates of up to 600 MMcf/d of natural gas to the UK market. At the Teesside GasPort, the company's Energy Bridge vessel Excelsior docked alongside a dedicated jetty where it connected to the onshore facility that feeds into the UK gas grid -- the National Transmission System.

The company's first LNG port, Gulf Gateway Deepwater Port, is located approximately 116 miles off the coast of Louisiana and received its first cargo delivery in March 2005 (see Daily GPI, April 7, 2005). Excelerate Energy also has received its record of decision from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) for approval of the company's Northeast Gateway Deepwater Port LNG facility in Massachusetts Bay, 13 miles south southeast of Gloucester, scheduled to be operational in December 2007 (see Daily GPI, Feb. 9).

Excelerate Energy is currently committed to a fleet of five regasification vessels capable of serving the projects. The first two vessels, Excelsior and Excellence, are currently in service with a third sister ship to be delivered in October 2006. The remaining two ships will be delivered in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

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