FERC last Wednesday gave Golden Pass Pipeline LP the go-ahead to change the configuration of its pipeline project in East Texas that will support the Golden Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal currently under construction in the southeastern part of the state.

The amended certificate order allows Golden Pass Pipeline to replace two 43-mile, 36-inch diameter pipelines (mainline and loop) that were approved by FERC with a single 33-mile, 42-inch diameter pipeline that would run from the Golden Pass LNG terminal to an interconnection in Texas with American Electric Power’s Texoma Pipeline, an intrastate pipeline. The amended facilities would be capable of transporting up to 2.5 Bcf/d of regasified LNG.

The revised project also incorporates a route change that would reduce the pipeline length between the two points to 11.9 miles from 20.8 miles, and would relocate interconnections with Kinder Morgan’s Tejas Pipeline, Kinder Morgan’s Texas Pipeline and Centana Gas Pipeline.

Golden Pass estimates that the total capital cost of the facilities, as amended, will be $425.7 million, which represents a $98.1 million increase over the $327.6 million in capital costs that were identified in the original order. The higher costs are due to the increase in material and construction costs since Golden Pass filed its initial application, the company said. Nevertheless, Golden Pass contends that its proposed modifications will result in lower overall project costs than if it had proceeded with the currently certificated configuration.

In July 2005, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the Golden Pass LNG import terminal to be sited near Sabine Pass, TX, and associated pipeline facilities. Construction of the project along the Texas-Louisiana border began last month. The terminal would provide up to 2 Bcf/d of gas to Southeast Texas and other markets, and is targeted for completion in 2009. The Golden Pass LNG project is a partnership of Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips.

It is expected that the LNG for the Golden Pass terminal will be supplied primarily from the Ras Laffan 3 and the Qatargas 3 projects in Qatar, which will produce and process natural gas from Qatar’s offshore North Field.

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