Golden Pass LNG Terminal LP, 070605 FERC, CP04-386-000

Docket Nº:CP04-386-000, CP04-400-000, CP04-401-000, CP04-402-000
Party Name:Golden Pass LNG Terminal LP Golden Pass Pipeline LP
Judge Panel:Before Commissioners: Pat Wood, III, Chairman; Nora Mead Brownell, Joseph T. Kelliher, and Suedeen G. Kelly. Linda Mitry, Deputy Secretary.
Case Date:July 06, 2005
Court:Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

112 FERC ¶ 61, 041

Golden Pass LNG Terminal LP

Golden Pass Pipeline LP

Nos. CP04-386-000, CP04-400-000, CP04-401-000, CP04-402-000

United States of America, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

July 6, 2005

Before Commissioners: Pat Wood, III, Chairman; Nora Mead Brownell, Joseph T. Kelliher, and Suedeen G. Kelly.


1. On July 29, 2004, Golden Pass LNG Terminal LP (Golden Pass LNG) filed in Docket No. CP04-386-000 an application seeking authorization to site, construct and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal and associated facilities to be located near the town of Sabine Pass, Texas.1 On August 20, 2004, Golden Pass Pipeline LP (Golden Pass Pipeline), an affiliate of Golden Pass LNG, filed in Docket No. CP04-400-000 an application seeking a certificate of public convenience and necessity, pursuant to section 7(c) of the NGA and Part 157, Subpart A of the Commission’s Regulations, to construct and operate approximately 120 miles of 36-inch diameter and two miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline and related facilities to transport natural gas on an open access basis from the proposed Golden Pass LNG facilities to various interstate and intrastate pipelines in Orange County, Texas, and Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.

2. In Docket No. CP04-401-000, Golden Pass Pipeline requests a blanket certificate under Subpart F of Part 157 of the Commission’s regulations to perform routine activities in connection with the future construction, operation and maintenance of the proposed pipeline. Finally, Golden Pass Pipeline requests authorization in Docket No. CP04-402-000 to provide open access transportation on a firm and interruptible basis pursuant to subpart G of Part 284 of the Commission’s Regulations.

3. Approval of these applications serves the public interest by introducing competitively priced imported LNG to diversify our nation’s energy supplies. Accordingly, we will grant the requested authorizations, as discussed and conditioned below.

I. Proposals

4. Golden Pass LNG proposes to construct and operate LNG facilities on the banks of the Sabine-Neches Waterway (or Port Arthur Ship Channel) in Jefferson County, Texas, approximately 10 miles south of Port Arthur and two miles northeast of Sabine Pass, Texas. The facilities will import, store, and vaporize foreign source LNG that will be sent out of the terminal through an onsite metering station which will connect with Golden Pass Pipeline’s pipeline facilities. Golden Pass Pipeline proposes to transport the imported natural gas to its proposed interconnection facilities with various interstate and intrastate pipelines in Texas and Louisiana.

A. Golden Pass LNG Proposal

5. The proposed Golden Pass LNG terminal will provide a receiving terminal facility for LNG to be imported from Qatar and elsewhere abroad. Golden Pass LNG seeks authorization for a two-phase construction project in order to meet market demands and supply availability. The first phase will provide a nominal capacity of 1.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). Following the completion of the second phase, the terminal will have a nominal output of 2.0 Bcf/d, with a peak capacity of 2.7 Bcf/d. Golden Pass LNG requests authorization under NGA section 3 to site, construct, and operate: (1) a berthing structure and unloading facilities for LNG ships; (2) vaporization equipment; (3) LNG storage tanks with approximate working capacity of 155, 000 cubic meters (m3) each; and (4) associated utilities, infrastructure and facilities required to send out natural gas from the terminal. More specifically, the LNG facilities will be comprised of:

Marine Terminal and Transfer Lines

• A dredged turning basin and two protected berths, each equipped with mooring systems and accessories for safe berthing and de-berthing of LNG ships;

• Four 16-inch manifold liquid unloading arms (at each berth) for unloading of LNG, all equipped with powered emergency release couplings;

• One 16-inch stainless steel vapor return line (at each berth) to return vapor from the LNG storage tanks to the LNG ship during ship unloading, equipped with powered emergency release couplings;

• Two 30-inch single walled stainless steel insulated transfer lines (at each berth);

• Three dedicated tugs, and facilities for their berthing near or at the terminal; and

• Various controls, safety devices, appurtenances and accessories.

LNG Storage Facilities

• Five full-containment, nine percent nickel inner tank, top-entry LNG storage tanks, each with a nominal working volume of 155, 000 m3 per storage tank;

• Three fully submerged intake pumps per tank, each sized for 3, 277 gallons per minute (gpm);

• The LNG storage tanks will have a double containment design consisting of an inner steel tank and an outer concrete tank, the outer concrete tank sized to contain 110% of the volume of the inner tank;

• Instrumentation and safety systems.

LNG Vaporization and Sendout Facilities

• Ten shell-and-tube Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF) heat exchangers to vaporize the LNG;

• A boil-off gas recovery system consisting of three boil-off gas compressors, one return gas blower and a direct-contact recondenser to reliquefy the boil-off from the LNG tanks and unloading systems;

• Twenty LNG booster pumps to transfer the LNG from storage tanks to vaporizers;

• Eight HTF gas-fired heaters; and

• On-site natural gas metering facilities.

Utilities, Infrastructure and Support Systems

• Distributed control system;

• Emergency shutdown systems;

• Hazard detection system;

• Security systems and facilities;

• Fire response system;

• Low-pressure natural gas vent;

• High-pressure natural gas vent (dedicated to high pressure pressure safety valves)

• Plant air, instrument air and nitrogen systems;

• Electric power transmission and control systems;

• Service water and drinking water systems;

• Separate storm water and waste water systems;

• Access roadways and service facilities;

• Administration, control and service buildings;

• Fire and emergency access roads; and

• Other facilities required to support safe, efficient and reliable operation.

6. The Golden Pass LNG Terminal site is located in an area zoned for industrial use south of the Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange industrial complex and will consist of approximately 205 acres of a 477 acre tract of land owned by Golden Pass LNG. The remaining 272 acres will remain in their native, undisturbed state, except for an approximate 40-acre portion that will be used as an equipment laydown area during construction.

7. In October 2003, ExxonMobil Corporation and Qatar Petroleum announced an agreement to supply LNG from Qatar to the United States for an expected period of 25 years. They did not announce how much gas will be subject to the agreement. However, Qatar’s North Field has proven natural gas reserves in excess of 900 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), some of which may be liquefied and then regasified and transported through the Golden Pass project facilities. Delivery of LNG to the United States is expected to commence in 2008/2009.

B. Golden Pass Pipeline Proposal

8. Golden Pass Pipeline proposes to construct two 36-inch diameter pipelines to provide firm and interruptible transportation service for up to 2.5 Bcf/d of natural gas from the Golden Pass Terminal facilities to existing intrastate and interstate pipelines. The two pipelines will extend approximately 43 and 77 miles, respectively, from the tailgate of the terminal to new metering and regulating stations at interconnections with AEP Texoma Pipeline in Orange County, Texas, and with Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation (Transco) near Starks in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. Up to 11 interconnections with existing pipelines are envisioned though there are no formal agreements in place concerning interconnects. Additionally, a 2-mile, 24-inch diameter lateral from the main pipeline will connect with the ExxonMobil refinery in Beaumont, Texas. The pipeline facilities will be comprised of:

• Two parallel 36-inch diameter pipelines (approximately 43 and 65 miles long) in Texas extending from the tailgate of the proposed terminal, with a mainline capacity of 1.25 Bcf/d each and a maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) of 1, 480 pounds per square inch gauge (psig);

• Approximately 12 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline extending from the downstream terminus of the Texas portion of the pipeline into Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, with a mainline capacity of 1.25 Bcf/d and an MAOP of 1, 480 psig;

• Approximately two miles of 24-inch diameter lateral pipeline extending from the Golden Pass Pipeline to the ExxonMobil Beaumont Refinery, with a capacity of 0.3 Bcf/d and an MAOP of 1, 480 psig;

• Up to ten pressure regulation and meter stations that correspond with eleven interconnections with other intrastate and interstate pipelines;

• Mainline block valves as required by Department of Transportation regulations, 2and

• Facilities associated with up to eleven interconnections to be built subject to acceptable interconnection agreements with the respective owners of downstream facilities.

9. Golden Pass Pipeline anticipates that approximately 700 acres will be required for the 50-foot and 75-foot permanent rights-of-way following construction. Construction rights-of-way will affect about 1, 600 acres, with additional work areas for waterbody, highway and railroad crossings, topsoil storage, and pipe storage and equipment yards. After construction, most lands affected by construction will be restored and allowed to revert to their former use.

10. Golden Pass Pipeline conducted an open season from November 29...

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