Calcasieu Pass LNG terminal begins production

By Keefe Borden29 April 2022

Venture Global, the owner and operator of the Calcasieu Pass LNG terminal, has shipped its first LNG cargo earlier this year and is on schedule to reach its full baseload capacity of 1.3 Bcf/d by Q3.

The tanker Yiannis, chartered by JERA Global Markets, delivered the LNG to ports in the Netherlands and France. Calcasieu Pass loaded its first cargo 30 months after its final investment decision, which was the shortest amount of time of all the LNG export projects in the United States.

As of late April, Calcasieu Pass has shipped nine cargoes, according to Bloomberg Finance.

Earlier this year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorized Venture Global to commission the first six of nine liquefaction blocks. Only three blocks left to receive authorization, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported.

Each block contains two liquefaction systems, called trains. The first authorization, issued in November 2021, was one of the initial steps toward full commercial service.

Calcasieu Pass has a baseload capacity of 1.3 Bcf/d and a peak capacity of 1.6 Bcf/d. It is in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Similar to nearby LNG terminals Sabine Pass and Cameron, Calcasieu Pass will export LNG through the Calcasieu Ship Channel located on the Gulf of Mexico. The facility is the seventh U.S. LNG liquefaction export facility to begin producing LNG since 2016.

In addition to 18 mid-scale liquefaction trains, the Calcasieu Pass facility includes an onsite natural gas-fired plant to generate electricity for the facility’s operations, three pre-treatment trains, two LNG storage tanks with a capacity of 4.4 Bcf each, and two shipping berths capable of loading LNG vessels with carrying capacities of up to 185,000 cubic meters (4 Bcf).

The Calcasieu Pass terminal receives its feedgas through Venture Global’s 24-mile, 42-inch diameter TransCameron Pipeline, which has interconnections with the ANR, TETCO, and Bridgeline pipelines. Natural gas deliveries to the terminal have increased throughout 2022, averaging approximately 0.7 Bcf/d in April, according to PointLogic.

Two years ago, Siemens announced it has been awarded a contract to supply three boil-off compressor (BOG)  packages for Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass LNG project. Siemens’ scope of supply covers the engineering, manufacturing and testing of two centrifugal BOG compression packages and one reciprocating BOG compression package. All compressors were coupled with electric motors.

The EIA reported earlier this year that U.S. LNG exports reached record levels in 2021 and are on schedule to set another record this year. The steady increase in demand from LNG producers is one reason that has fueled the growing production in the U.S.

In 2021, U.S. natural gas production reached 118.8 Bcf/d, an increase of 2% from the prior year and the highest on record. Three regions drove this growth: Appalachia, Permian and Haynesville, which collectively account for 59% of U.S. production in 2021, up from 24% a decade earlier.

Production in Appalachia grew by 1.9 Bcf/d to 35.0 Bcf/d in 2021. Better productivity, pipeline buildouts and increased takeaway capacity have led to the steady increase in production in Appalachia over the last 10 years. However, the industry has reached regional transportation capacity limits, making future growth in question, the EIA reported.

Natural gas production in the Permian Basin grew by 1.4 Bcf/d to 18.3 Bcf/d in 2021. Associated gas production climbed throughout the year as oil prices remained relatively high.

Natural gas from the Haynesville region in Louisiana and Texs grew by 1.4 Bcf/d to 13.2 Bcf/d, driven largely by climbing gas prices last year. Producers in the region needed to drill deeper wells to get the gas, but still found the activity profitable. The higher production costs from the Hayesville were partially offset by the higher productivity and the proximity to LNG terminals and industrial facilities on the U.S. Gulf Coast, the EIA reported.

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