El Paso files offshore LNG port application
In the EP Energy Bridge system, instead of LNG being supplied as a liquid to a shoreside plant that then regasifies it, the LNG is regasified using equipment installed onboard the LNG ship. When an Energy Bridge ship arrives at receiving port, it is moored to an underwater buoy connected directly to the onshore pipeline system. This system allows LNG carriers to discharge their cargo even at ports that do not have conventional re-gasification plants and receiving terminals.
El Paso Global LNG has now filed an application with the U.S. Coast Guard, in accordance with the Deepwater Port Act Amendments in the Maritime Security Act of 2002, to obtain a license to construct and operate an offshore natural gas deepwater port. The new ship-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification system is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2004.
"This project and location opens the door to deliver regasified LNG directly into the pipeline grid and serve existing base load and peaking demand markets," said Greg G. Jenkins, president of the El Paso Global Petroleum and LNG Group. "We believe the innovative EP Energy Bridge technology presents a more flexible and cost-effective means of supply to these growing markets in North America where new traditional, land-based LNG terminals are not a feasible alternative for natural gas deliveries."
El Paso plans to construct an offshore buoy and riser system that includes approximately eight miles of 20-inch pipeline and connects into two existing subsea pipelines to deliver the natural gas to the main pipeline grid with minimal environmental impact. EP Energy Bridge ships can regasify and deliver up to 500 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. As the EP Energy Bridge ship arrives at the unloading site, the buoy is pulled into a receiving cone and connected to the ship. The LNG is then regasified aboard the ship and the vaporous natural gas is discharged through the buoy into the subsea pipeline system.