, Port Arthur, Texas

May 20, 2013

Golden Pass LNG expansion seeking permits

Sherry Koonce
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — A $10 billion expansion of the Golden Pass LNG facility in Sabine Pass is closer to becoming reality now that the proposed project has entered the permitting process.

Golden Pass Products, the expansion project that will provide the company with greater flexibility to import and export natural gas in response to market conditions, submitted a formal request Thursday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin pre-filing for the necessary design, environment, and construction permits.

Once the permitting is accomplished, the construction phase will begin, Bill Davis, Golden Pass project executive, said in a telephone interview.

Davis said once the project gains government and regulatory approvals and shareholders have made their final investment, it could take up to five years for construction of the project to be completed.

Earlier this month, Golden Pass Products announced its shareholders, Qatar Petroleum International and ExxonMobile had  signed a Commercial Framework Agreement.

The agreement puts into place many of the elements that would be key for delivering gas overseas, Davis said.

“We need to figure out how to the get liquefied natural gas across the ocean and have things in place of how to get it to market,”  Davis said.

If the project is developed as anticipated, it would create about 45,000 direct and indirect jobs in the U.S. during the construction phase, according to a press release issued by the company.

In September 2012, the Department of Energy permitted Golden Pass to export LNG products to free trade agreement countries. In October, the company made application to the DOE to export to none-free trade agreement countries.

The application to export is still pending, Davis said.

The existing Golden Pass terminal includes five LNG storage tank, two berths and a 69-mile pipeline system with nine interconnects to intrastate and interstate pipelines, according to the company’s Web site.

In addition to jobs created, the project would generate millions in tax revenue.

“Obviously, it is in our interest to get this show rolling,” Davis said.

The existing facility at Sabine Pass is continuing to maintain its ready to receive status, Davis said.