Exxon Mobil Corp. and Qatar Petroleum International inked a deal Thursday that sets the stage for a new, $10 billion terminal to export liquefied natural gas from Texas.
The companies, which own Houston-based Golden Pass Products, formed a “commercial framework agreement” that would support the construction of a planned LNG export terminal at the site of Golden Pass’ existing LNG import facilities in Sabine Pass, Texas.
Houston-based Cheniere Energy Partners is building a separate LNG export terminal, called Sabine Pass, in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.
Cheniere’s terminal is the only new export project that has been approved to ship natural gas to countries with which the United States does not have free trade agreements.
Golden Pass is among several proposed export facilities awaiting approval, though there are other applications that are expected to come before federal regulators before Golden Pass gets a review.
The agreement between Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum would support the sale of up to 15.6 million metric tons of LNG per year through their existing networks and arrangements in Europe and elsewhere, said Bill Davis, project executive for Golden Pass Products, in an interview with FuelFix.
It would give the companies flexibility to feed the gas into a network where there is already demand for the resource, or to sign dedicated long-term agreements for fixed quantities of LNG, he said.
Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil are two of the world’s largest players in natural gas.
“We’ve already got this blueprint of how to take all that gas, find a market for it provide shipping for it and take advantage of pre-existing and potential future positions,” Davis said.
Golden Pass Products is a joint venture in which Qatar Petroleum owns a 70 percent stake and Exxon Mobil owns a 30 percent share. The entity is affiliated with Golden Pass LNG, which is owned by the same companies and ConocoPhillips. Golden Pass LNG owns the import facilities at Sabine Pass, Texas.
If the Golden Pass export site receives regulatory approvals, Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum plan to invest $10 billion in constructing the site, which will generate 45,000 direct and indirect jobs throughout the United States, Davis said.