ChevronTexaco Corp.’s Port Pelican LNG project has moved ahead in the race to build the world’s first deepwater natural gas port in the Gulf of Mexico. The project has received approval for a deepwater port license from the Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation, paving the way for the company to begin construction next year.

The proposed terminal would be located about 40 miles off the Louisiana coastline in Vermillion Block 140 in the Gulf of Mexico and would include an LNG ship receiving terminal, LNG storage and regasification facilities, and pipeline interconnections to existing offshore pipeline infrastructure to deliver gas to the Henry Hub in Louisiana.

“Port Pelican is a key element of our LNG strategy and provides a viable solution to commercialize our large natural gas resources,” said John Gass, president of ChevronTexaco Global Gas. “The achievement of this milestone, in conjunction with our recent announcement of a proposed offshore LNG terminal in Baja California, Mexico, is yet another demonstration of ChevronTexaco’s commitment to building an integrated, global natural gas business.”

The proposed $800 million terminal would be capable of handling 1.6 Bcf/d of deliveries. ChevronTexaco said it expects Port Pelican to be in service in 2007. The company recently awarded major contracts for front-end engineering design and is currently securing LNG supplies.

“This is a positive example of industry and government working together to ensure the energy infrastructure is in place to meet the growing demand for natural gas in North America,” said Richard Lammons, vice president of Port Pelican LLC.

Port Pelican would be the first deepwater port in the United States since the 1976 Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, and would be the first natural gas deepwater port in the world, ChevronTexaco said.

Several other major energy companies are planning offshore Gulf of Mexico LNG receiving terminals, including Shell, ExxonMobil, El Paso and McMoran (see Daily GPI, Oct. 30, July 24, May 31). Shell recently filed its own application for a deepwater port license for its Gulf Landing terminal, which would be developed for service in 2008-09. The Shell facility would be located in West Cameron Block 213.

Numerous other LNG terminals are proposed along the Gulf Coast. ExxonMobil said last month that it plans to build four LNG terminals in the Gulf Coast region, including one offshore (see Daily GPI, Oct. 17).

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