Golar LNG and Delfin Midstream have signed an agreement to jointly develop the Delfin LNG Project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
The joint development agreement will facilitate the financing, marketing, construction, development and operation of Delfin LNG, the first and only permitted floating LNG (FLNG) export project in the U.S.
Delfin LNG is a brownfield deepwater port requiring minimal additional infrastructure investment to support up to four FLNG vessels producing up to 13 million tons of LNG per annum, said Golar in a statement. It is located nearly 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana and is expected to significantly reduce coastal LNG carrier traffic while minimizing near shore environmental impacts. The project has four main parts:
* Newly built onshore gas compression on an existing site
* The use of existing 42-inch pipelines to transport natural gas nearly 50 miles offshore
* An offshore port complex comprised of four moorings
* Four floating LNG vessels with total export capacity of 13 million metric tons per year and the ability to liquefy and store the gas
Delfin purchased the UTOS pipeline, the largest natural gas pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico, in 2014 and submitted its Deepwater Port license application in 2015. Delfin LNG received MARAD approval on March 13 this year. On June 1, 2017, Delfin received approval from the Department of Energy for long-term exports of LNG to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S.
Golar has successfully designed, financed, contracted, and built its first FLNG vessel, the FLNG Hilli Episeyo, which is scheduled to sail away from Keppel shipyard in the third quarter of 2017. A second vessel of the same FLNG design, the FLNG Gandria, is soon to be converted subject to a final investment decision by the Fortuna project partners.
Golar is currently developing a Mark II next-generation floating liquefaction solution that will be used at the Delfin LNG project. The FLNG will have over 3.0 mmtpa of liquefaction capacity and is expected to be the lowest cost liquefaction solution in North America.
Final investment decision on the Delfin project is expected next year, with first LNG to be delivered by 2022.
With the rapid increase in domestic natural gas production, the U.S. is transitioning to become a net exporter of natural gas. The Department of Energy has now authorized a total of 21 Bcf/d of natural gas exports to non-free trade agreement (non-FTA) countries from planned facilities in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and now, with Delfin, from the Gulf of Mexico.