The draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the floating natural gas liquefaction and export terminal proposed for the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) by Delfin LNG LLC is available for comment.

Delfin, a unit of Fairwood Peninsula Energy Corp., said last Friday that the DEIS had been completed. The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and FERC have begun a 45-day comment period on the company’s deepwater port application.

The Delfin port would be located in federal waters within the Outer Continental Shelf about 37.4 to 40.8 nautical miles off the coast of Cameron Parish, LA. The facility, which would be the first of its kind in the Gulf of Mexico, would incorporate onshore components, which are subject to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission jurisdiction. MARAD and USCG are responsible for the offshore port. The comment period closes Aug. 29.

According to its website, Delfin expects the port to be operational in 2020. The project includes new onshore natural gas compression at a brownfield site; use of existing pipelines to transport gas offshore; the offshore port complex with four moorings; and four floating LNG vessels with total capacity of 13 million metric tons per year.

Delfin began the purchase of the UTOS Pipeline (now Delfin Offshore Pipeline) from Enbridge Inc. in 2012 and closed the transaction in 2014. The pipeline was originally built to transport gas from offshore wells in the Gulf of Mexico into the U.S. market; however, Delfin LNG plans to build an onshore compression facility to reverse the flow of the pipeline to deliver processed gas from onshore sources to the port.

Floating LNG vessels moored at the port would have liquefaction and storage capability. LNG would be periodically transferred to LNG carriers and delivered to customers.

“Delfin is convinced that floating liquefaction will be the future of LNG production,” the company says on its website. “Floating liquefaction is environmentally friendly, cost competitive, economical with limited scale, moveable in the event of a hurricane, and has a shorter and more efficient schedule relative to an onshore plant.

“Further, in the event that global energy markets drastically change in the coming decades, a floating liquefaction plant provides greater flexibility for decommissioning and re-deployment.”

FERC began the scoping process for the project last December (see Daily GPI, Dec. 29, 2015). About the same time, a proposal by HIOS (High Island Offshore System) LLC to abandon 66 miles of mainline pipeline to be repurposed for the Delfin project was drawing multiple protests at FERC from various shippers/producers (see Daily GPI, Dec. 23, 2015). The most recent filings in that docket [CP16-20] were made in March and April and are mostly responses from multiple parties to data requests.