Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil have made a final investment decision to proceed with development of the Golden Pass LNG export project in Texas and have awarded construction contracts to a US-Japanese consortium for work to begin within weeks and for the facility to be operational in 2024.
“Golden Pass will provide an increased, reliable, long-term supply of liquefied natural gas to global gas markets, stimulate local growth and create thousands of jobs,” said ExxonMobil Chairman and Chief Executive Darren Woods.
An engineering consortium comprising McDermott and Zachry Group of the US and Japan’s Chiyoda Corp. have been awarded the contract to build the plant.
“The extensive experience of ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum provides the expertise, resources and financial strength needed to construct and operate an integrated liquefaction and export facility in the US,” added Woods.
The Golden Pass project is located on the Sabine-Neches Waterway in Texas. It is 70 percent-owned by Qatar Petroleum while ExxonMobil holds the remaining 30 percent stake, having acquired 15 percent from former shareholder ConocoPhillips.
Originally designed as an import facility before the shale-gas revolution, Golden Pass will be reconfigured at a cost of more than $10 billion to export up to 15.6 million tonnes per annum of LNG.
“It is expected to create about 9,000 jobs over the five-year construction period and more than 200 permanent jobs during operations,” said ExxonMobil.
McDermott, Chiyoda and Zachry will perform engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of three Trains, each with capacity to produce 5.2 MTPA.
“McDermott has extensive experience in executing major projects along the US Gulf Coast,” said Richard Heo, McDermott's regional Senior Vice President.
“We will apply not only our vertically-integrated capabilities but also some of the best practices and lessons learned for major construction projects in the region,” he explained.
“We will also leverage the existing relationships we have with our partners and our customers to ensure that the Golden Pass project is a success,” stated the McDermott executive.
Golden Pass is part of ExxonMobil’s plans to invest more than $50 billion over the next five years to build and expand manufacturing facilities in the US.
“This project builds upon the successful international relationship between ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum, with Qatar Petroleum joining ExxonMobil in exploration and development activities in Argentina, Brazil and Mozambique,” said the US major.
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has already approved the Golden Pass project, concluding that it “would result in some adverse environmental impact, though impacts would not be significant with implementation of proposed mitigation” by the developers and the regulators.
ExxonMobil has extensive assets in the US Gulf Coast area and is the biggest leaseholder in the Permian Basin, which it owns in parallel with pipelines and petrochemical infrastructure and plants that extend from South Texas into Louisiana.
The FERC has also approved permits for the associated Golden Pass Pipeline linking the plant to the major pipelines bringing in shale-gas resources.
ExxonMobil’s growing Gulf expansion programme consists of 11 major chemical, refining, lubricant and energy projects at proposed new and existing facilities along the Texas and Louisiana coasts.