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    West Delta LNG Seeks Approvals for Offshore LNG Platform


The project would be the world's first offshore platform-based LNG production facility

by: Dale Lunan

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West Delta LNG Seeks Approvals for Offshore LNG Platform

West Delta LNG, a subsidiary of Houston-based LNG 21, has filed applications with the US Maritime Administration (Marad) and the US Coast Guard (USGC) for approvals to build and operate an offshore deepwater port in the Gulf of Mexico that would produce up to 6.1mn mt/yr of LNG.

Notice of the application – filed with Marad and the USGC in late August – was posted September 26 in the US Federal Register.

The West Delta LNG project has been in advanced planning since 2017, when China’s Honghua Group awarded a $12mn front-end engineering design (Feed) contract to UK’s Wood Group.

The offshore components of the project include a total of 13 fixed-bridge connected platforms located about 10.5 nautical miles (19.5 km) off the coast of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana in about 60 feet of water. Three of the platforms would each contain two liquefaction trains, with each train consisting of one 0.83mn mt/yr liquefaction unit and one ethane extraction unit.

Five storage platforms would each be capable of storing 60,000 m3 of LNG, for a total storage capacity of 300,000 m3, while the loading platform would be capable of accommodating LNG tankers up to 180,000 m3 of capacity. Accommodation, utilities and gas-receiving platforms would form the rest of the complex.

Onshore components of the system would include a pre-treatment plant at the existing Venice Gas Complex in Plaquemines Parish where offshore-sourced gas would be processed in cryogenic trains and gas pre-treatment packages before being delivered to the West Delta LNG complex through a single 30-inch diameter pipeline. The Venice pre-treatment facility would be connected to offshore gas pipelines and existing on-shore interstate systems that currently feed the Venice Gas Complex.

In a nominal design case, West Delta LNG would process 750mn ft3/day of feed gas into 5mn mt/yr of LNG. In an optimised case, 900mn ft3/day of feed gas would be processed into 6.1mn mt/yr of LNG.

With publication of its applications in the Federal Register, the West Delta LNG project is now in the public comment phase, which according to existing US legislation requires at least one public hearing on the application within 240 days of Federal Register publication. Within 45 days of the final public hearing, the state of Louisiana is required to notify Marad of its approval or disapproval of the project, while Marad must either approve or reject the application within 90 days of the final public hearing.

Marad and the USGC will jointly conduct the review of the project, and will enlist other federal agencies, as necessary, to ensure the project’s compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and other federal and state legislation. Marad and the USGC will also prepare either a draft or final environmental impact statement, which may also require additional public hearings or scoping sessions prior to the end of the 240-day public comment phase.