Federal agencies work on changes to Delfin LNG export project

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), will announce in the Dec. 24 Federal Register the receipt and availability of the amended deepwater port license application submitted by Delfin LNG LLC on Nov. 19.

The purpose of this Federal Register notice is to explain the changes between the original application and the amended application and seek public comments regarding the amended application. MARAD and USCG have determined that this Federal Register notice is sufficient for satisfying National Environmental Policy Act requirements for public scoping and seeking public comment on an agency action. As such, no public scoping meetings are planned to be held for the Delfin LNG amended application.

A notice that summarized the original Delfin LNG license application was published in the Federal Register on July 16, 2015.

The proposed Delfin LNG deepwater port incorporates onshore components, which are subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The specific project changes from the original Delfin LNG application are:

  • the liquefaction capacity of the four proposed FLNGVs that would service the proposed Delfin deepwater port is increased from a base design capacity of two million metric tons per annum (MMtpa) each (approximately 97 billion standard cubic feet per year (Bscf/y)) to three MMtpa each (approximately 146 Bscf/y); and
  • construction of new-build FLNGV hulls instead of converting existing tank vessels.

In sum, the four FLNGVs will be designed to have the capability to produce approximately 12.0 MMtpa of LNG for export (approximately 585 Bscf/y), and as much as 13.2 MMtpa in the optimized design case, (approximately 657.5 Bscf/y). Each FLNGV would have a total LNG storage capacity of 210,000 cubic meters (m3), an increase from the original application’s 165,000 m3.

The amended application also provides for increased natural gas compression horsepower requirements at the onshore facility.

Other fundamental aspects of the proposed Delfin LNG project remain unchanged, including Port Delfin’s location nearly 40 nautical miles offshore of Louisiana, the reuse and repurpose of two existing offshore pipelines, installation of new pipeline laterals leading to each tower yoke mooring system (TYMS), construction of a pipeline bypass around an existing platform at WC 167, and use of air cooling technology for the natural gas liquefaction process.

On May 8, 2015, Delfin LNG filed its original application with FERC for the onshore components of the proposed deepwater port terminal including authorization to use the existing pipeline infrastructure, which includes leasing a segment of pipeline from HIOS extending from the terminus of the UTOS pipeline offshore. Delfin LNG stated in its application that High Island Offshore System LLC (HIOS) would submit a separate application with FERC seeking authorization to abandon by lease its facilities to Delfin LNG.

FERC, however, advised Delfin LNG that it would not begin processing Delfin LNG’s application until such time that MARAD and USCG deemed Delfin LNG’s deepwater port license application complete and HIOS submitted an abandonment application with FERC. On June 29, 2015, MARAD and USCG accepted the documentation and deemed the original Delfin application complete.

On Nov. 19, 2015, HIOS filed an application with FERC to abandon certain offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, including its 66-mile-long mainline, an offshore platform, and related facilities.

The amended FERC application specifically discusses the onshore facility and adjustments to the onshore operations that would involve reactivating approximately 1.1 miles of the existing UTOS pipeline; the addition of four new onshore compressors totaling 120,000 horsepower of new compression; activation of associated metering and regulation facilities; the installation of new supply header pipelines (which would consist of 0.25 miles of new 42-inch-diameter pipeline to connect the former UTOS line to the new meter station) and 0.6 miles of new twin 30-inch-diameter pipelines between Transco Station 44 and the new compressor station site.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.