MAIN PASS ENERGY HUB™
Freeport-McMoRan Energy LLC, a subsidiary of McMoRan, and United LNG are engaged in efforts to utilize McMoRan’s Main Pass Energy Hub™ (MPEH™) as a potential Deepwater Port facility to receive, store, condition, and liquefy domestic natural gas for export as liquefied natural gas (LNG). Natural gas would be received by pipeline at MPEH™, processed, and then transferred to on-site Floating Liquefaction Storage & Offloading vessels for liquefaction and offloading to LNG transport vessels for export to foreign locations. MPEH™ is located offshore in the GOM 37 miles east of Venice, Louisiana on Main Pass Block 299 and is close to significant Gulf Coast natural gas production and numerous interstate pipelines and offshore gathering systems.
The project would utilize existing offshore structures of the McMoRan owned MPEH™ Deepwater Port, which was approved by the U.S. Maritime Administration in 2007 as a Deepwater Port for the importation and regasification of LNG, conditioning of natural gas to produce NGLs, and storage of natural gas in salt caverns. Modification of the Main Pass facilities to accommodate use as an LNG export facility would require additional permit approvals.
On January 4, 2013, the Department of Energy (DOE) authorized export of domestically produced LNG by vessel from the proposed MPEH™ Deepwater Port to any country that has or subsequently enters into a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States. The approval allows export of up to 24 million tonnes of LNG per annum (3.2 bcf per day) for a 30-year term, beginning on the earlier of the date of first export or 8 years from the date the authorization is issued (January 4, 2021), pursuant to one or more long-term contracts with third parties that do not exceed the term of the authorization.McMoRan and United LNG are engaged in studies to define the project and related permitting requirements and are developing commercial arrangements required to support the significant capital investments involved in the project. A non-FTA application, seeking approval to export to countries without free trade agreements with the United States, is being developed.