May 3, 2005
Adriatic offshore LNG terminal plans move head
Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil and Edison have announced "major milestone agreements" for the Isola di Porto Levante liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal to be located offshore the coast of Italy in the North Adriatic Sea.
The terminal, scheduled for startup by year-end 2007, will have a regasification capacity of 8 billion cubic meters a year.
The Isola di Porto Levante terminal owners have secured all the primary authorizations for construction and operation from the Italian government and European Union Commission.
A contract has been awarded to Aker Kvaerner for development of the gravity-based structure (GBS), LNG storage tanks and LNG off-loading and regasification facilities. In addition, Snamprogetti, an ENI affiliate, will be the contractor for the pipeline associated with the project.
Aker Kvaerner EVP Simen Lieungh commnted: "This project utilizes the joint competence in Aker Kvaerner, such as our regasification expertise in Houston and our concrete expertise in Oslo, as well as the group's proven project execution model."
The terminal will be located approximately 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from the Veneto coast and positioned in about 30 meters (98 feet) of water.
The concrete GBS will be constructed onshore, towed to the site and positioned to create an artificial island. The LNG storage tanks, which will be designed using ExxonMobil's proprietary modular tank technology, will be positioned inside the GBS and have a total storage capacity of 250,000 cubic meters.
The terminal will be equipped with a berthing/mooring system for product unloading, designed to accommodate ships delivering up to 152,000 cubic meters of LNG. Delivery frequency is anticipated to be an average of two ships a week.
In addition to Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil and Edison progressing plans to construct and operate the Isola di Porto Levante terminal, Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil are making a number of upstream investments associated with the project. These include a wellhead platform with an expected seven wells, pipelines, a 4.7 MTA LNG train at Ras Laffan City and five conventional LNG tankers to supply the new LNG terminal.
His Excellency Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Second Deputy Premier and Qatar Minister of Energy and Industry, said: "The progression of the Isola di Porto Levante LNG terminal is a major achievement that is designed to provide Italy a significant additional source of natural gas which will strengthen the country's regional and national economic competitiveness and diversify its sources of energy supply. A project of this size and complexity is only possible through the excellent working relationship that exists between Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil, and our partner in this venture, Edison. I thank those in the Italian government and the European Union Commission who have worked diligently in support of the Isola di Porto Levante LNG project, which will create employment opportunities for Italy and the region, and provide a secure energy supply for continued economic growth."
Stuart McGill, Senior Vice President of Exxon Mobil Corporation, said: "The terminal will be built and operated using the most advanced technology employing the highest international design, construction and safety standards. We appreciate the commitment on the part of the Italian Government and all other stakeholders in advancing this state-of-the-art project."
"The Isola di Porto Levante will be the first Italian LNG infrastructure of this size and it represents an important milestone in the long/medium term Edison strategy," said Umberto Quadrino, Edison's Chairman and CEO. "Edison will retain 10 percent ownership of this facility but will be its principal user, having access to about 80 percent of its total regasification capacity. Starting by year-end 2007, we will be able to rely for 25 years on the delivery of about 6.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year, an amount that will go a long way in meeting Edison's supply needs and helping it achieve its growth objectives. In addition to strengthening Edison's competitiveness, it will make a significant contribution to diversifying the sources for Italy's energy supply while increasing its flexibility and safety, and preserving the environment."
The current announcements evolve from a November 2003 Heads of Agreement between Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil and Edison, whereby affiliates of both Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil would acquire 90 percent interest (Qatar Petroleum affiliate 45 percent; ExxonMobil affiliate 45 percent) in the Edison company (Edison LNG Srl) that will develop the terminal project, and a Sales and Purchase Agreement between the Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company (II), RasGas (II) (a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil), and Edison for the delivery of LNG supplies. As a result of these agreements signed today, Edison LNG Srl will change its name to Terminale GNL Adriatico Srl. Eighty percent of the terminal capacity will be allocated for 25 years to processing LNG imported under the RasGas(II)-Edison SPA, with the remaining 20 percent capacity available to users through regular transparent procedures.
The gas for the project will be sourced from Qatar's giant North Field, which has recoverable resources of more than 900 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
As a result of the agreement signed today, Edison received 9.95 million euros for the sale of 90 percent of Edison LNG and waived a receivable owed by Edison LNG amounting to 10.79 million euros. Edison SpA has confirmed this sale will not have a material operating or financial impact on Edison's financial statements.
On Dec. 31, 2004, Edison LNG net equity capital amounted to 7.9 million euros.
With regard to Edison LNG, the parties also agreed that:
All parties will be barred from selling their interests in Edison LNG for 36 months from the date the terminal begins operations, but not beyond July 1, 2011 (Lockup Clause);
Edison will have the right to buy back the 90 percent interest in Edison LNG or sell its 10 percent interest if events preventing the construction of the terminal were to occur due to causes attributable to the majority partners (Put and Call Clause);
The two majority partners will have the right to buy Edison's 10 percent interest if the gas supply contract with RasGas II were to be terminated for reasons attributable to Edison (Call Clause);
In the event either a put or call clause is exercised, the price of the equity interest affected will be determined based on the company net equity capital at the time of exercise.
The parties are committed--pro quota--to financially sustain the investment.