April 13, 2011
GULF OF MEXICO, USA – Responding to the changing market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports into the U.S. Gulf Coast, Excelerate Energy® LP (Excelerate Energy) will retire its deepwater facility in the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Gateway Energy Bridge Deepwater Port (Gulf Gateway®). Excelerate Energy will continue to import LNG into the United States through its Northeast Gateway® Deepwater Port facility located offshore Boston, Massachusetts, providing incremental LNG access to the high-demand Northeastern United States gas markets.
Gulf Gateway was the first deepwater LNG import facility in the world. Excelerate Energy’s commissioning of Gulf Gateway in March 2005 allowed the realization of the floating LNG regasification concept which was first conceived in 2001. Gulf Gateway provided the means for establishing the technical and commercial viability of the Energy Bridge Regasification Vessels (EBRVs®). EBRVs are specially built LNG vessels equipped with onboard regasification capabilities allowing the delivery of natural gas directly into downstream markets.
Gulf Gateway had been effectively delivering natural gas to the Gulf Coast region through two separate offshore pipeline systems. However, in September 2008, Hurricane Ike caused significant damage to both pipelines. Although Gulf Gateway was unaffected by the hurricane, neither pipeline has been able to return to its prior level of service and provide adequate operational pipeline capacity for Gulf Gateway.
“Gulf Gateway has served us well, and was instrumental in confirming the viability of floating LNG regasification – turning an innovative concept into an accepted industry solution. As Excelerate Energy looks to expand its operations and deliver flexible and efficient regasification solutions around the world, we are focused on markets with the greatest need. This focus, coupled with the surge in LNG importation capacity in the United States Gulf Coast in recent years, has reduced the need for Gulf Gateway and confirmed that its retirement is the most financially prudent course of action for us,” said Rob Bryngelson, Excelerate Energy President and CEO.
The decommissioning further proves the flexibility of Excelerate Energy’s Gateway and GasPort® solutions compared to traditional land-based facilities. Gulf Gateway will be removed within 68 days of permit approval and will have little environmental impact.
In order to take advantage of favorable weather conditions, Excelerate Energy intends to have the facility and related components removed from its offshore location as soon as practicable. Currently, the decommissioning plan is being finalized in coordination with the U.S. Maritime Administration and other regulatory agencies to ensure an efficient and environmentally sound process.