Time Has Come Today - Golden Pass FID Heats Up Race for U.S. LNG Exports

The dam has broken on the “second wave” of U.S. LNG export projects. ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum last week announced a final investment decision on their joint venture liquefaction and export project — called Golden Pass Products — at the brownfield site of the Golden Pass LNG terminal on the Texas side of the Sabine-Neches Waterway. That’s a skipping stone’s throw from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG and Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG terminals on the Louisiana side of the Gulf of Mexico outlet, as well as a number of other second-wave contenders. With construction slated to begin late next month, the Golden Pass project expects to become operational and begin taking feedgas by 2024. Today, we provide an update on Golden Pass, its potential feedgas needs and how it will be supplied.

2019 is set to be a pivotal year for U.S. LNG exports. Not only is it looking to be a watershed period for liquefaction capacity additions from the first wave of export projects that are already under construction and due online over the next couple of years — as we laid out in our Let Me Move You blog series — but it’s also likely to be a milestone year for the second wave of North American export projects as they race toward FIDs. We are tracking 24 of these mostly pre-FID projects in our LNG Voyager Quarterly, 18 of them along the coastlines of the contiguous U.S.

Not all of these multibillion-dollar projects may get the financial green light needed to advance to the construction phase. As we said last fall in Part 5 of our Coming Up series, if we had to put a win-place-or-show bet on which of these advance, they generally would be ones that are located at sites of existing terminals with robust connectivity to the U.S. pipeline network already in place and abundant supply — also, the backing of a team with deep pockets doesn’t hurt either. One project we said checks all those boxes was Golden Pass Products (GPP); as of last week, that project became the first of the U.S.-based pre-FID projects to score that financial go-ahead. [The first of the second-wave projects to announce FID in North America as a whole was Royal Dutch Shell’s LNG Canada, which in early October 2018 announced funding for its 14-million-metric-tonnes-per-annum (MMtpa) liquefaction/export terminal in Kitimat, BC. The project’s other partners are Petronas, PetroChina, Mitsubishi and Korea Gas.]

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