A decade ago, no one would have believed that natural gas would become an important U.S. export or that Freeport LNG Development would have three LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) production facilities in operation by 2019.
When Freeport LNG Development was founded in Texas back in 2002, its stated purpose was to “design, build, and operate an LGN import and regasification terminal.” At that time, due to the rapidly decreasing reserves of natural gas in this country, exporting wasn’t considered an option. But the shale revolution that began in earnest in 2008 changed that in a big way.
Since then, analysts have estimated that the U.S. has enough natural gas supplies for at least the next one hundred years. By 2010 it was obvious that the U.S. natural gas market could become a major player in the world of LNG exporting. That was the year Freeport LNG Development launched its natural gas liquefaction and export project.
LNG production to begin soon
The initial plans, which called for a three-train facility, have since been expanded to include a fourth. The first batch of LNG is expected to be produced by early 2018, with commercial operation of the production units on track to begin sequentially between the fourth quarter of 2018 (Train 1) and the third quarter of 2019 (Train 3). Construction of Train 4 is expected to start by the end of 2018, and become fully operational as early as 2022.
Each train has the capacity to produce more than 5 million tons of supercooled gas per year — a fact not lost on Osaka Gas Co., Chuba Electric Power, and BP Energy Company, all of which that have already signed take-or-pay tolling agreements with Freeport LNG.
BP’s newest tankers will head to Freeport
BP has six new LNG tankers currently in production and expected to join its fleet in 2018 and 2019. These state-of-the-are vessels will boast:
- Next-generation engine technology
- 25% greater fuel efficiency
- On-board reliquefaction plants, allowing ships to deliver more LNG by returning evaporated natural gas in cargo tanks to LNG
According to BP Shipping CEO, Susan Dio, “These vessels will significantly increase BP’s ability to safely transport LNG to anywhere in the world, directly supporting BP’s global natural gas strategy.”
As the Freeport LNG facilities become operational, the tankers are expected to play a key role in the 20-year liquefaction contract BP has signed with Freeport, as well as supporting BP’s other international LNG projects in Australia, UAE, Indonesia, Trinidad, and Angola.
Freeport LNG and BP — partnering for progress
Exporting U.S. natural gas might have seemed like a far-fetched idea several years ago, but today it’s clearly an idea whose time has come. According to the 2017 BP Energy Outlook, global LNG trade is predicted to grow “seven times faster than pipeline gas trade.” And by 2035, it will, according to that study, account for “around half of all globally traded gas.”
With the huge investments they’ve made in facilities and tankers, Freeport LNG Development and BP have each demonstrated their faith in and commitment to the growth of the LNG industry.
As the LNG industry continues to grow, vessel traffic in an out of the Port Freeport will increase along with it. PortVision 360 customers will be able to monitor all vessel movements in real-time, helping to schedule their dock activities, avoid traffic delays, and optimize their resources. For a FREE 2 week trial of PortVision 360 Professional, click HERE.
As the LNG industry continues to grow, vessel traffic in an out of the Port Freeport will increase along with it. PortVision 360 customers will be able to monitor all vessel movements in real-time, helping to schedule their dock activities, avoid traffic delays, and optimize their resources. To learn more, download our FREE PortVision 360 Professional info sheet below.