Offshore pipeline plans to serve Delfin LNG

OREANDA-NEWS. November 26, 2015. The High Island Offshore System (HIOS), built in the 1970s to bring Gulf of Mexico natural gas to the contiguous US, plans to stop its current services and instead send onshore gas to the proposed Delfin LNG deep water export terminal.

HIOS, owned by Houston-based Genesis Energy, flowed about 1.7 Bcf/d (48mn m?/d) to the US at its peak in 1981, but is now only sending about 62mn cf/d because of declining production in the Gulf of Mexico.

It has applied to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for authorization to abandon its 66-mile (106km), 42 inch (107cm) main line and offshore platform in the West Cameron 167 (WC-167) block, among other facilities. WC-167, the northern terminus of HIOS, is about 30 miles (48km) offshore Cameron parish, Louisiana.

HIOS asked FERC to authorize the requests by September 2016 to allow Delfin to come online by the third quarter of 2019 as scheduled.

HIOS will reroute its gathering lines to allow its customers to send gas to the contiguous US via the existing Stingray subsea pipeline. Shippers will still be able to send gas to receipt points at WC-167, which is connected to the Kinetica and TC Offshore systems to take gas onshore.

HIOS said some of its customers have consented to the proposed changes and others are reviewing the matter. It said it is confident that most, if not all, of its customers will agree, rather than face the prospect of paying higher fees to use the increasingly underutilized HIOS system.

Delfin plans to use two existing subsea pipeline systems to significantly reduce costs. It would lease a segment of HIOS and build short laterals from that segment to as many as four moored liquefaction vessels, about 50 miles offshore Cameron parish.

To access to onshore gas, Delfin's parent company, Fairwood Peninsula Energy, previously bought from Canadian midstream company Enbridge the abandoned 42-inch (107cm) diameter, 30-mile U-T Offshore System (UTOS), which extends from Cameron parish to WC-167.

HIOS plans to disconnect its main line from WC-167 and install 700 feet (213m) of new pipeline to connect with UTOS. The proposed changes would be regulated the US Maritime Administration (Marad). Delfin has already applied to Marad for construction authorization.

Delfin would have combined baseload capacity of up to 8mn t/yr, equivalent to 1.1 Bcf/d (31mn m?/d) of gas, reaching full production in the third quarter of 2022. It could be expanded to 13mn t/yr.

Delfin has signed preliminary liquefaction deals with Brazil's BTG Pactual Commodities and Lithuania's state-owned Litgas.