22 December 2008 22:00 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Damage to ExxonMobil's $1bn Golden Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal from Hurricane Ike may delay its mid-2009 opening on the Texas Gulf Coast, the company said on Monday.
"The update for Golden Pass is that our assessment of the hurricane impact is still under way and includes evaluation of timetable and costs," said Kimberly Brasington, an ExxonMobil spokeswoman.
"It would be premature to speculate on the outcome of the ongoing assessment work. I can confirm that recovery and construction work continues at the site."
The facility's partial seawall was breached by 14 feet of seawater in September after Ike hit. Equipment used in the construction of a 16-foot seawall was damaged, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
A report over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal said sources close to the project believed Golden Pass' opening will be delayed because of the storm damage and Reuters said earlier in the month that an ExxonMobil official confirmed a hold-up in the project.
The capacity at Golden Pass is expected to be 2bn cubic feet/day, which will make it the third largest US terminal behind Cheniere's Sabine Pass unit in Louisiana and Southern Union's Lake Charles, Louisiana facility, according to FERC.
Located in Golden Pass, Texas, the terminal is accessed on the Sabine-Neches Waterway and will link LNG to a pipeline serving southeast Texas and other US markets.
The Golden Pass unit, approved by FERC in 2005, is expected to be supplied from the projects in Qatar - Ras Laffan 3 and the Qatargas 3 - from the country's offshore North Field.
Qatar Petroleum, an affiliate of ExxonMobil, will have a 70% share in Golden Pass LNG LLC, while ExxonMobil will own 17.6% and ConocoPhillips owning 12.4%.
ExxonMobil recently announced a joint LNG tanker initiative with Qatar Petroleum to start utilising a larger and more efficient vessel called Q-Max.
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