The first “train” of the Cameron LNG project in Lake Charles, La. has reached its final commissioning stage and feed gas is now flowing to it. Which means it’s about ready to begin liquefying and exporting LNG. So what does that have to do with the Marcellus/Utica? We’ll tell you, because there is a connection.
Let’s first get the news about Cameron LNG, a joint venture of Sempra, Total, Mitsui, and Japan LNG Investment, and the feed gas now flowing:
Cameron LNG began pipeline feed gas flow on Monday in preparation of starting up Train 1 and commencing liquefied natural gas (LNG) production at its Hackberry liquefaction-export project according to a press release.
“This is a significant milestone for the company and is the culmination of four-and-a-half-years of hard work and dedication by all our employees and stakeholders,” Farhad Ahrabi, CEO of Cameron LNG, said. “The introduction of feed gas will allow our teams to do test runs before we begin making LNG to ship to global markets.”
The news release also said the process to commission Cameron LNG began in late 2018 and includes testing of all support systems, combustion turbines and compressors, as well as the delivery of feed gas from the transmission pipeline and production of first LNG. The commissioning process is closely monitored by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The Cameron LNG liquefaction-export project includes three liquefaction trains with a projected export of 12 million tonnes per annum of LNG, or approximately 1.7 billion cubic feet per day.
Cameron LNG is jointly owned by affiliates of Sempra LNG, Total, Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Japan LNG Investment, LLC, a company jointly owned by Mitsubishi Corporation and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK). (1)
We poked around and found that Cameron is located near Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG export facility. We know that Marcellus/Utica gas flows to Sabine Pass. Might M-U gas also flow to the Cameron facility?
We found the answer to that question in our own archives! Last November we wrote a post about Marcellus/Utica gas flowing to the Gulf Coast via Columbia Pipeline (see 1 Bcf/d of M-U Gas Ready to Flow to Gulf Coast via Columbia Pipe). In that post we quoted RBN Energy as saying:
U.S. Northeast natural gas producers will soon get another boost of pipeline capacity with direct access to Gulf Coast demand. TransCanada’s Columbia Gas and Columbia Gulf transmission systems are gearing up to place into service their tandem Mountaineer Xpress and Gulf Xpress expansions, which will allow another 1 Bcf/d of Marcellus/Utica gas to flow south as far as Louisiana. The new capacity should further ease takeaway constraints for moving gas out of the Northeast, potentially redistributing outflows across the various takeaway routes, while also allowing Appalachian gas supply to grow.
The RBN post then goes on to say this about Marcellus/Utica gas and its path to the Louisiana coast:
From Rayne [Louisiana], the gas will have the capability to flow southwest into the Cameron Interstate Pipeline (CIP) for subsequent delivery to Sempra Energy’s planned Cameron LNG liquefaction facility (via the Cameron Access Project, put in service in March 2018) or turn southeast to serve growing power generation demand. Serving the liquefaction facility, there are numerous firm transportation contracts in place to move gas from multiple locations along CGT, including the Rayne compressor station and CGT’s mainline pool, to the terminal.
So there you have it. M-U gas will help feed the new Cameron LNG facility.
We located the following article which outlines the facility’s particulars, for more background on this new potential demand source for our gas:
The Cameron Liquefaction Project involves the construction of additional natural gas liquefaction and export facilities to the existing LNG re-gasification facility at Cameron LNG.
The project is being developed by Cameron LNG, a special consortium company between Sempra LNG and Midstream (50.2%), Total (16.6%), Mitsui (16.6%) and Japan LNG Investment (16.6%), a joint venture between Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha and Mitsubishi.
The facility will feature three liquefaction trains with a combined capacity of 14 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG). It will enable the partners to export up to 12 Mtpa or 1.7 billion cubic feet per day of LNG for 20 years.
The front end engineering design (FEED) phase for the project commenced in November 2011 and the conditional non-free trade agreement (FTA) approval from the US Department of Energy (DOE) was granted in February 2014. The approval enables the project partners to export LNG to countries that have not signed an FTA with the US, including those in Europe and Asia.
The final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project was issued in April 2014, while the final investment decision (FID) for the Cameron LNG processing and export project was completed in August 2014. The overall development cost of the project is $10bn.
Construction work for the LNG export facility was completed in 2018 and the commissioning process of the first liquefaction train was initiated in November of the same year. All three LNG trains are expected to begin operations in 2019. The project is generating more than 1,300 onsite jobs and approximately 3,000 people are expected to be involved during the peak construction period. The project is also helping to boost the US economy by generating $2bn per year during the construction phase and $14bn to $18bn per year during the operational phase.
The project partners are also undertaking the development of the second phase of the Cameron LNG facility, which will include two additional liquefaction trains and two LNG storage tanks.
Cameron LNG terminal features
Cameron LNG is a LNG receipt terminal covering an area of 118.6 acres along the Calcasieu Channel in Hackberry, Louisiana. The terminal technically came online in July 2009 and is currently fed with natural gas by LNG carriers.
The terminal features two marine berths, three LNG storage tanks with a combined capacity of 480,000m³, and a regasification terminal for the vaporisation of 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of gas.
Cameron Liquefaction Project details
The project is being constructed over an area of approximately 502 acres, covering around 70 acres of the existing terminal. It will make use of regasification facilities at the existing Cameron LNG receipt terminal.
In addition to the construction of the three liquefaction trains, the project also involves the construction of a 160,000m³ full-containment LNG storage tank, facilities for refrigerant make-up and condensate product storage, expansion of the Cameron Interstate Pipeline by installing a 33.79km and 42in diameter pipeline, installation of a 56,820hp compressor station, a heavy hydrocarbon removal unit and ancillary facilities.
A truck loading/unloading area and a marine work dock are also built to assist the construction works. Electricity required for the project will be conveyed through a 12-mile-long double-circuit 230kV transmission line to be constructed by Entergy. Three 1.5MW diesel-fuelled stand-by generators will also be installed at the site to provide power backup.
The pipeline will enable two-directional flow of natural gas from the expanded terminal and Cameron Interstate Pipeline by further connecting with five major interstate pipelines. The new pipeline will traverse the Cameron, Calcasieu and Beauregard Parishes. The compressor station will comprise 12 CAT G3616 natural gas-driven compressors and minor adjustments will be made to the existing metering and interconnection facilities.
LNG off-take from the Cameron facility
Toho Gas entered into a sales and purchase agreement with Mitsui in January 2014 to purchase LNG from the Cameron export facility.
Tokyo Gas signed a sales and purchase agreement with Mitsui in July 2014 for the purchase of LNG.
Mitsui will handle 4Mtpa of LNG, of which 300,000t will be purchased by Toho Gas and 520,000t will be sold to Tokyo Gas for 20 years from the start of production.
Contractors involved with the liquefaction project
The EIS for the project was prepared by the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with assistance from the US Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard, US Department of Energy and the US Department of Transportation.
The $6bn engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract was awarded to Chiyoda and McDermott. The FEED work was carried out by Foster Wheeler, who is also providing technical assistance for the project development. (2)
(1) Fenton (LA) KPLC NBC (Apr 15, 2019) – Cameron LNG begins pipeline feed gas flow as part of final commissioning
(2) Hydrocarbons Technology (undated) – Cameron Liquefaction Project, Hackberry, Louisiana
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