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The 10 biggest oil and gas projects in the USA



The USA has always been one of the world’s largest markets for the oil & gas industry. With that market once again picking up steam, and global projects set to triple, US industry executives are said to be growing in optimism, with 85% of them expecting to see an increase in drilling activities this year.

The LNG industry is responsible for the biggest new projects in the oil & gas sector, with 9 out of 10 of the largest US projects being LNG-based
(Image via Wiki)

To understand more about America’s future with oil & gas, we looked at the 10 biggest projects currently in development across the states. What we found showed some interesting trends.

Together the ten biggest projects will have a combined value of over $207 billion. Out of these ten projects, nine of them involve production or export of liquefied natural gas (LNG). 

This follows the global shift to reliance on natural gas than oil, led by the Asian and Middle Eastern markets. As more countries aim to shift their energy reliance to the cleaner-burning fuel than coal or oil, companies are investing in America’s natural resources. Though the USA’s first LNG export facility was only completed in 2016, the country is expected to become the third largest exporter in the world by 2020, after Australia and Qatar.

Thanks to the gas plays and shipping lanes of the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana will be the most likely to benefit, with six out of ten of the projects being constructed within the state. However the single largest project will be in Alaska, where up to 13,500 jobs may be created between 2019 and 2025.

The projects are in varying stages, with some nearing completion while some are still planning construction. Some have already been expanded from their original plans as confidence in the industry grows. And as this industry continues to change, it’s likely that the scope of these projects will as well - with other major, high-value facilities likely to be proposed before many of them are completed.

As of February 2019, these are the ten biggest USA oil and gas projects currently in production.

The Alaska LNG project could create up to 13,500 jobs during construction
(Image via Mirza)

Alaska LNG
Cost $45-65 billion

The Alaska LNG Mega-project will be one of the world’s biggest natural gas developments. Located in the industrial town of Nikiski, on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, the project includes a full LNG liquefaction plant, a storage and shipping terminal, an 800 mile pipeline running from the North Slope to the facility and a gas treatment plant.

The project will be connected to Alaska’s North Slope, which has proven gas reserves of 35 Tcf. The liquefaction plant will have a capacity of 20mtpa and will receive 2.9Bcf/d to liquefy. The shipping terminal will hold two or three 160,000 cubic meter LNG storage tanks, a marine offloading facility and two berths. Its design is based on 15.20 LNG carriers.

The Alaska LNG pipeline will run from the North Slope mountains to the town of Nikiski
(Image via Alaska Public Media)

The gas treatment plant will have four amine trains with compression, dehydration and chilling - with a capacity of 3.3 Bcf/d. Construction of the facility will be modular, with the sections - comprising 250,000-300,000 tons of steel - being sealifted to location.

The project is expected to cost up to $65 billion, with the liquefaction plant alone costing $43 billion - more than any other project on this list. At peak times it will require a workforce of 3,500-5,000 people for the liquefaction plant, 1,000-1,500 people for the storage and shipping terminal, 500-2,000 people for the gas treatment plant and 3,500-5,000 people for the pipeline.

The project is operated by Alaska LNG, with equity held by Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) (25%), BP (20%), ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. (20%) and ExxonMobil (35%).

A final investment decision is expected in the first quarter of 2019, with construction due to begin later in the year. The plant is expected to be up and running by 2025.

The Corpus Christi site already processed LNG for the internal market, but now it's being massively expanded
(Image via Cheniere)

Corpus Christi LNG Liquefaction Plant
Cost: $24.5 billion

The Corpus Christi LNG Liquefaction Plant is being developed by Cheniere Energy on one of their existing sites that was previously permitted for a regasification terminal. In total it will hold three to five liquefaction trains.

The first stage of the facility, the construction of trains 1 and 2, is nearing completion. Train 1 began LNG production in November 2018, with approval granted for commissioning activities on Train 2 in January 2019. Each of these trains will have six gas turbines and a nominal capacity to produce up to 4.5 million metric tons per year of LNG. Stage 1 also involves the construction of two LNG storage tanks, one dock and a natural gas supply pipeline.

Stage 2 is the construction of a third train, an additional 160,000 cubic metre full containment tank and the completion of a second berth. A final investment decision on stage 2 was taken in May 2018 with construction activities authorised. Cheniere claim the third train is on track to enter commercial service by the second half of 2021.

Stage 3 accounts for roughly $10 billion of the overall project, and involves the construction of a further two liquefaction trains, each with a capacity of 4.5 mtpa, and an LNG storage tank with a capacity of 160,000 cubic metres. This expansion would increase the expected aggregate nominal production capacity of the entire plant to 22.5 million tons per annum.

Full FERC approval for the most recent stage 3 plans is expected on 28th June 2019, with construction due shortly after. Cheniere aim to start up the fourth and fifth trains by 2022.

The Driftwood export terminal will be able to export up to 27.6 million tonnes of LNG per year
(Image via Driftwood LNG)

Driftwood LNG (Calcasieu Parish LNG Liquefaction Plant)
Cost: $16 billion

Driftwood is a liquefied natural gas production and export terminal being built on the west bank of the Calcasieu River, south of Lake Charles, Louisiana. It’s planned to be able to export up to 27.6 million tonnes of LNG per year.

Five LNG plants are planned to be constructed, with each including one gas pre-treatment unit and four liquefaction units.

Chilled and processed gas will be stored in three tanks, each with a capacity of 175,000 cbm. Three berths for LNG ships with a capacity ranging from 125,000 cbm to 216,000 cbm will be built at a docking facility. In total, the facility will cover an area of around 800 acres.

Beyond the main facility, operators Driftwood LNG are also planning the construction and operation of a 96 mile (154.5km) pipeline with three new compressor stations and 15 new meter stations, that will deliver to the facility an annual average of 4 bcf/d of natural gas.

Currently the project is awaiting a final investment decision - planned for the first half of this year - with construction due to begin in 2019. Operations are due for 2023.

GLS's LIQUI-MAX vessels provide more efficient transport of LNG. Two of these will be permanently stationed at the Main Pass Energy Hub
(Image via MPEH)

Main Pass Energy Hub (MPEH) LNG Export Terminal
Cost: $15 billion

Located in the Gulf of Mexico, 16 miles off the southeast coast of Louisiana, the Main Pass Energy Hub will be a deepwater port facility that will allow the construction, installation and operation of floating liquefaction storage and offloading (FLSO) vessels for the on-site liquefaction and export of LNG.

Operated by Global LNG Services (GLS), the hub will permanently station two of GLS’ patented LIQUI-MAX vessels, capable of producing a total of 24 million tonnes per year of LNG. The offshore location will make it easier to export processed LNG, due to the direct access to shipping lanes without the need to negotiate inland rivers and ports.

The Main Pass Energy Hub is ideally located for access to shipping lanes and onshore LNG facilities
(Image via MPEH)

The project will be constructed around existing structures used for sugar and salt domes. The structures will be used for the storage of imported and extracted natural gas.

A final investment decision is expected in early 2019. GLS have already announced their intention to work with Siemens and Sembcorp Marine to build and deliver the first LIQUI-MAX vessel, while Baker Hughes, a GE Company, has been selected to provide rotating equipment to power the floating liquefaction facility. The project is estimated for startup in January 2023.

The Lake Charles LNG plant will create up to 5,000 jobs during construction
(Image via BG Group)

Lake Charles LNG Liquefaction Plant
Cost: $12.3 billion

Covering 400 acres, the Lake Charles LNG Facility is planned to feature three liquefaction trains with the capacity to process 2 Bcf/d of gas into 15 mtpa of LNG.

The project is owned by Energy Transfer LP, who plan to convert their existing regasification/import facility to become a bi-directional facility capable of both exporting and importing LNG. The facility will use their Trunkline Gas pipeline system for gas supply.

It will be operated by Shell, who are expected to reach a FID later this year. The deadline to commence construction is November 2019.

The plans include:

  • Three LNG trains, each containing metering and gas treatment facilities, liquefaction and refrigeration units, safety & controls systems and associated infrastructure. Each will have a capacity of 5.48 mtpa of LNG.
  • Modifications and upgrades to the existing LNG terminal.
  • A half mile (0.8km) feed gas line with a 48” diameter to supply natural gas to the facility from existing transmission pipelines.
  • 17.9 miles (28.2km) of natural gas pipelines at both 24” and 42” diameters.
  • A new compressor station with 103,175hp.
  • Abandonment of 3,000 hp compressor unit, installation of a unit with 15,900 hp and piping mods at one existing compressor station.
  • Modification of station piping at three other existing compressor stations.
  • Five new meter station and upgrades of five existing meter stations.
  • Modifications of certain existing pipeline facilities.
  • Construction of miscellaneous auxiliary and appurtenant facilities.

Train one is planned to start up in 2020. Trains 2 and 3 will follow at 6 month intervals. At peak, the project will create up to 5,000 jobs. Once operational it’s expected to add 200 full-time positions to the 50 jobs already held at the existing site.

The Lake Charles Ethane Cracker will produce 1.5 million tons of ethylene annually, when it begins production in July
(Image via Sasol)

Lake Charles Ethane Cracker and Derivatives 
Cost: $11.8 billion

Another big opportunity for Lake Charles, this world-scale petrochemical complex is being constructed by Sasol near their existing site in Southwest Louisiana. It’s expected to triple the company’s chemical production capacity in the US. 

The venture will include an ethane cracker capable of producing 1.5 million tons of ethylene annually, around 90% of which will be converted into a range of commodity and high-margin specialty chemicals for downstream markets led by Sasol. 

It will also include six chemical manufacturing plants:

  • A 450,000 tpa low density polyethylene (LDPE) unit
  • A 450,000 tpa linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) unit
  • A 300,000 tpa ethylene oxide and glycol (EO/EG) unit
  • Two units producing 300,000 tpa of specialty alcohols (Guerbet and Ziegler)
  • An ethoxylation (ETO) unit

Early works activities, site preparation and civil construction work have been underway since 2014, with mechanical completion achieved in December 2018. Over the course of construction the project will create 5,000 jobs, with 500 permanent jobs being available when complete.

The cracker is expected to come online by July 2019 with LDPE plant beginning operations in August 2019.  

Expansion of the G2 LNG Export terminal will allow it to process 14 million tonnes per year of liquefied natural gas
(Image via G2)

G2 LNG Export Terminal
Cost: $11 billion

Another company taking advantage of the natural gas plays in Louisiana are G2 LNG, who are developing a 14mtpa LNG export facility in Cameron Parish.

The project will include two LNG trains, each with a capacity of 6.7 million tons per annum, three 180,000 cubic metre LNG storage tanks and two marine vessel loading berths capable of receiving up to 250,000 cubic metre LNG carriers.

Originally G2 LNG expected to break ground on the project in mid-2017, however an expansion of the plans, adding a further 500 acres to the development to facilitate the export of petrochemicals, led to the project being pushed back. Preliminary applications have been re-filed and the terminal is now not expected to start up until 2021.

The initial project plans demonstrated a potential 3,500 construction jobs. The revised expansion may increase this.

Commissioning has already begun for Cameron LNG's first train which is due to begin producing in the next few months. Two more trains will follow by early next year
(Image via Sempra Energy)

Cameron LNG Liquefaction Plant (Trains 1, 2 and 3)
Cost: $10.165 billion

On the boundary between Cameron Parish and Calcasieu, Cameron LNG are developing their existing LNG import facility to a new liquefaction plant with a capacity of 14.95 million tons per annum and three liquefaction trains.

The facility will also include two marine berths capable of accommodating Q-Flex sized LNG ships, a 160,000 cubic metre LNG storage tank (to be added to the 3 existing tanks), a compressor station, a 21-mile, 42” diameter pipeline and vaporisation capability for regasification services of 1.5 Bcf/d. It will also have the capacity to store and ship natural gas liquids (NGLs).

Cameron LNG are partnering with Sempra LNG & Midstream, Mitsui & co., Mitsubishi Corporation, Total and NYK Line on the project. Over the four years of construction, around 1,300 on-site engineering and construction jobs are needed on average, with up to 3,000 jobs created over the peak 12 months of construction.

Cameron LNG initiated the commissioning process for the support facilities and first liquefaction train of phase 1 in November 2018. Gas feed is expected by the end of Q1 2019. Trains 2 and 3 are expected to be completed in Q4 2019 and Q1 2020 respectively.

The Jordan Cove LNG plant is located ideally for export to China and Japan - high importers of Liquefied Natural Gas
(Image via Jordan Cove LNG)

Jordan Cove LNG Liquefaction Plant
$10 billion

Based in Coos County, Oregon, the 7.8mtpa Jordan Cove plant will process gas and export it through a deepwater port to the Asian markets. The plant will involve five trains, each with a capacity of 1.5 mtpa, plus two 160,000 cubic metre storage tanks, two gas treatment facilities and a marine terminal with a jetty capable of handling 210,000 cbm vessels.

A second phase expansion is also planned that will add a further two trains, increasing the total capacity to 9mtpa.

It will process gas from Western Canada, using existing pipeline and gas gathering networks connected to the Malin, Oregon trading hub. A proposed 36” diameter pipeline will be constructed to transport gas approximately 229 miles from interconnections with the Ruby Pipeline and Gas Transmission Northwest pipeline near Malin.

Currently the project owners are awaiting a decision from the US FERC, expected in November 2019. They’re also seeking partners on the project. If all goes to plan, the facility is expected to start up in 2024.

At peak construction the project will create over 6,000 jobs. Once complete there will be 200 full-time jobs available.

The Golden Pass Products LNG Expansion Liquefaction Plant will export 16 million tons of LNG per year through 3 miles of pipeline
(Image via Golden Pass)

Golden Pass Products LNG Expansion Liquefaction Plant & Export Pipeline
Cost: $10 billion

Yet another LNG facility being upgraded to add liquefaction and export capabilities is the Golden Pass Products LNG Expansion in Sabine Pass, Texas.

The project is estimated to export 16 million tons of LNG per year, through three liquefaction process trains, each with a nominal throughput of 5.2 mtpa, associated treatment, power and utility systems and interconnections to existing import facilities and controls.

Golden Pass will also make modifications and upgrades to the existing facilities such as expanding the facility’s storm protection levee system and expanding other safety and security assets.

Pipeline upgrades will include installation of around 3 miles (4.8km) of 24” pipeline that will facilitate bi-directional flow capability and improve system hydraulics. Additional compressor stations will facilitate the receipt and redelivery of up to 2.6 Bcf/d of natural gas supply to the proposed export facility.

The project is jointly owned by Qatar Petroleum (70%) and ExxonMobil (30%). The two companies made a financial investment decision in February 2019 to proceed with the development. Construction will begin in the upcoming months, with the facility expected to start up in 2024. Baker Hughes, a GE company has since been awarded a contract to supply turbo machinery equipment for the project, including 12 centrifugal compressors and six MS7001 EA heavy-duty gas turbines.

Construction is expected to create around 9,000 jobs, with at least 200 full time jobs available once the project is completed.

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Tags: Oil & Gas
Recent Comments
A Civil Engineer in profession with expertised in quality assurance and control would like to be a part of this projects.
Jose Rammel Bergonio, 05 March 2019
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The 10 biggest oil and gas projects in the USA - Time to read 14 min
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