Commonwealth LNG in the News

Oct. 24, 2020

Commonwealth LNG Hosts Cameron Parish Hurricane Recovery Lunch

Commonwealth LNG provided free spaghetti lunch meals on Saturday Oct. 24 at the Johnson Bayou Fire Station for area residents and all support workers as Cameron Parish continues its hurricane recovery efforts.

The Johnson Bayou Fire Station has doubled as a hurricane relief distribution center during recovery from the two major hurricanes that recently ravaged the Cameron Parish area.

Commonwealth LNG Director of Communications Lyle Hanna was among those serving lunches to Cameron Parish residents.

The catering team from Brown’s Grocery of Hackberry prepared the spaghetti lunches for the drive-thru event.

Oct. 19, 2020

National Marine Fisheries Service Completes Section 7 Consultation for Proposed CLNG Project

Commonwealth LNG has received clearance under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for development of an 8.4 mpta LNG facility in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.  NMFS, also known as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, assessed potential threats to Threatened and Endangered marine species listed on the ESA from construction and operation of the proposed facility.  NMFS included the following summarization:  “Because all potential project effects to listed species and critical habitat were found to be extremely unlikely to occur, insignificant, or beneficial, we conclude the proposed action is not likely to adversely affect listed species and critical habitat under NMFS’s purview.”

July 20, 2020

 

Commonwealth cites modular advantage for EPC.

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LNG

Struggling LNG Sector Now Faces Shrinking EPC Pool

KBR’s exit from an already small group of companies capable of building complex LNG projects is a potential cause for concern in an already struggling industry. But several analysts and industry officials expressed confidence in the sector’s ability to adapt.

KBR last week told developer Pieridae it is no longer prepared to negotiate and conclude a lump sum, turnkey engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contract for the Goldboro LNG facility in Nova Scotia. The move comes after the longtime contractor announced it was turning away from building large oil and gas projects as it shifts to government contracts (NGW Jun.29’20).

KBR’s decision follows McDermott’s emergence from bankruptcy, and a delay in the planned split of LNG contractor TechnipFMC (NGW Jul.6’20).

The fate of contracts KBR has for a number of planned US-based LNG projects — including Pointe LNG, the ailing Magnolia LNG, and the Freeport LNG Train 4 expansion — is also in question.

So how worried should US LNG developers be about this latest hurdle? “I don’t believe it should be of great concern, as KBR and others may have been considering exits of this type for some time,” said Bryan Benoit, partner in energy at Grant Thornton.

“This will give the current contractors the time to bring on board and possibly recruit and train former KBR employees and train sufficient others and new ones as well,” Benoit told Energy Intelligence. “The pool may shrink but the companies in it will emerge large and healthy and capable of serving the market.”

“There are a number of other constraints [to building LNG projects] than the number of contractors,” said Fred Hutchison, president of LNG Allies, which lobbies on behalf of US projects. Those include a global gas glut, low prices, falling coronavirusrelated demand and difficulty getting financing.

As Australia discovered some years ago, the number of projects concurrently under construction has a significant upward impact on costs. In the US, several projects that people expected to go ahead have not, Hutchison told Energy Intelligence, easing the pressure on EPC contractors.

“There are lots of what-ifs” for all these projects, Hutchison said, adding that if some get further delayed “it stretches all those out,” allowing the industry to adapt to fewer EPC firms.

Also easing the way forward for LNG projects is modular construction, which leads to a reduced role for EPC contractors.

“Modular-based LNG projects, like Commonwealth LNG, can pre-emptively address these costs by having the majority of the fabrication performed offsite at predetermined prices, avoiding the large cost-overruns sometimes experienced by facilities erected entirely on site,” said Paul Varello,

founder and CEO of Commonwealth LNG, a proposed six-train, 8.4 million ton per year (1.2 billion cubic feet per day), $4 billion plant. It is to be built on a 400 acre site near the mouth of the Calcasieu River.

“We believe an adequate pool of contractor resources remains to address the industry’s needs going forward,” Varello said. “Attrition ends, and often reverses, with the improved health of the overall economy and associated energy consumption.”

Will the industry still use lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) contracts that put the cost risk onto contractors, which has driven KBR out of the business? “While there may be modifications to the approach, the assurances needed for the financing of large-scale capital projects would suggest that LSTK will continue to be a significant part of the equation,” said Varello.

And that is even the case in the Covid-19 era. “We agree this is a unique time,” Varello said. “It is likely future risks or delays associated with Covid-19-like events can be managed contractually via the force majeure provision and/or business delay insurance.”

Commonwealth itself is unruffled by the trials of its own contractor. “We continue to value Technip as a partner,” said Varello. “Developments related to their company’s ownership structure over the past year have had negligible impact on their ability to be responsive on our project.”

“With this notice from KBR, we are looking at all of our options, including discussing the matter with legal counsel to determine the most appropriate next steps,” Sorensen said. “There are other reputable and experienced firms who have the expertise to provide these services, with some already indicating a willingness to replace KBR. We have had discussions with several of them to gauge their interest.”

Meanwhile, KBR’s decision to walk away from building the Goldboro LNG terminal has Pieridae Energy studying all its options, including legal ones. Pieridae CEO Alfred Sorensen said KBR’s decision is an apparent contravention of its obligation under the terms of a services agreement from March 2019.

“With this notice from KBR, we are looking at all of our options, including discussing the matter with legal counsel to determine the most appropriate next steps,” Sorensen said. “There are other reputable and experienced firms who have the expertise to provide these services, with some already indicating a willingness to replace KBR. We have had discussions with several of them to gauge their interest.”

John Sullivan, Houston, and Michael Sultan, Washington

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May 5, 2020

Coastal Use Permit Notice Period Begins for Commonwealth LNG Project

The Office of Coastal Management of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) posted a Notice today initiating a 25-day comment period on a Coastal Use Permit Application for the proposed Commonwealth LNG Facility in Cameron Parish. The Coastal Use Permit process is part of the Louisiana Coastal Resources Program (LCRP), which is an effort among Louisiana citizens, as well as state, federal, and local advisory and regulatory agencies, to preserve, restore, and enhance Louisiana’s valuable coastal resources. The purpose of the Coastal Use Permit process is to make certain that any activity affecting the Coastal Zone, such as a project that involves either dredging or filling, is performed in accordance with guidelines established in the LCRP. The guidelines are designed so that development in the

Coastal Zone can be accomplished with the greatest benefit and the least amount of damage.

Details of the Permit Application can be found on DNR website in the Coastal Use Permits section.

April 17, 2020

Commonwealth LNG Approved to Export LNG to Free Trade Agreement Nations

HOUSTON, TEXAS – Commonwealth LNG received notification today that its proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility to be located in Cameron Parish Louisiana is federally authorized to export LNG to any country with which the United States has entered into a free trade agreement (FTA) requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas.

The approval came in the form of an order from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy in response to an application Commonwealth originally filed in October of 2019 and supplemented earlier this week. Under its provisions, Commonwealth LNG will be authorized to export up to 9.5 million metric tons per annum (mpta) of LNG for a 25-year term to FTA nations. A portion of Commonwealth LNG’s application that seeks authorization to export LNG to non-FTA countries will be reviewed in a separate order.

“We’re pleased to share news of this positive development in the progress of our project during an otherwise challenging period in the energy industry,” said Commonwealth LNG President and CEO Paul Varello. “The current disruption in the LNG market is likely to put an increased focus on cost-efficient processes to develop and operate these facilities and we believe our Cameron Parish facility will be a leading option in that regard.”

Commonwealth LNG expects to take a final investment decision in Q2 of 2021 and deliver its first shipments of LNG in Q3 of 2024.

March 11, 2020

Commonwealth addresses industry challenges at LNG conference

A March 10 conference in Houston headlined “Supporting U.S. LNG Exports Through Global Infrastructure Development” also acknowledged some of the headwinds the industry now faces due to concerns of a worldwide pandemic and the associated impacts on the global economy. Among the speakers was Commonwealth LNG President and CEO Paul Varello, who described the tough commercial environment faced by LNG developers. “This is not for the faint of heart…” he said. “Right now, we have to hunker down.”

Varello’s comments were part of a session on New Designs and Approaches to Grow U.S. LNG Export Capacity. His global perspective has been shaped, in part, by Commonwealth LNG’s 8.4 million mtpa export project in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Commonwealth targets economic savings attributable to a modular approach with liquefaction trains built in Asia. All six of the project’s LNG storage tanks will also built offsite to reduce cost and schedule.

The conference was jointly sponsored by the Global Energy Institute of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; the U.S. Trade and Development Agency; and LNG Allies, the U.S. LNG Association.

March 10, 2020

Commonwealth LNG to sponsor the 18th CWC World LNG & Gas Series: Americas Summit & Exhibition

LNG and natural gas professionals from around the world will converge in Lake Charles, Louisiana November 10-12 at the 18th CWC World LNG & Gas Series: Americas Summit and Exhibition. Commonwealth LNG is proud to be serving as a Platinum Sponsor for this major industry gathering.

Produced by the CWC Group, previous Summits have been held in New Orleans, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. This year’s move to Lake Charles recognizes the area’s emergence as the epicenter of activity in the LNG industry.

“We’re pleased to be involved in supporting this important event as a Platinum Sponsor. The Lake Charles Summit will attract many key leaders of the LNG industry to this area,” said Commonwealth LNG President and CEO Paul Varello.

Commonwealth LNG is currently developing an 8.4 MTPA export terminal project in Cameron Parish, south of Lake Charles, at the mouth of the Calcasieu River and the Gulf of Mexico. The facility will employ a fully modular design that will result in a platform that enables the competitive delivery of LNG to any market under attractive contract terms. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2021 with commercial operation commencing in 2024.

Further information about the Lake Charles Summit is available at https://lngamericas.cwclng.com/conference/.

Feb 12, 2020

Commonwealth LNG President CEO Paul Varello Interviewed at Gastech

November 25, 2019

Gunvor Enters Into Strategic LNG Marketing & Gas Supply Agreement with Commonwealth LNG

HOUSTON & GENEVA & SINGAPORE & STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Gunvor and Commonwealth LNG have entered into a Strategic LNG Marketing & Gas Supply Agreement in relation to Commonwealth’s LNG export project in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

October 29, 2019

Commonwealth LNG touts modular approach, second-mover advantage

Privately held Commonwealth LNG sees its late entrance in a crowded field of US LNG developers as an advantage, with officials saying they can apply lessons learned from the first wave of LNG export projects toward a low-cost approach that will put it ahead of its rivals.

October 21, 2019

FERC Issues Commonwealth LNG’s Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Commonwealth LNG is pleased to announce that the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. The Project encompasses the construction of one liquefied natural gas plant, including six gas liquefaction trains and appurtenant facilities. Each train will have a liquefaction design capacity of approximately 1.4 million metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) for a total nominal liquefaction capacity of 8.4 MTPA.

September 03, 2019

FERC Accepts Commonwealth LNG’s Permit Application

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Commonwealth Projects, LLC is pleased to announce that the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has formally accepted Commonwealth LNG, LLC’s filing application. The Project encompasses the construction of one liquefied natural gas plant, including six gas liquefaction trains and appurtenant facilities. Each train will have a liquefaction design capacity of approximately 1.4 million metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) for a total nominal liquefaction capacity of 8.4 MTPA.

March 5th 2019

Robert Powers nominated 2019 Vice Chair, LEEA

At the February 5, 2019, LEEA Executive Board meeting, the 2019 officers were nominated and determined.

 

2019 Chair – Maury Hudson, Magnolia LNG

2019 Treasurer – Ernie Broussard, Hunt Guillot & Associates

2019 Vice Chair – Robert Powers, Commonwealth LNG

Louisiana Energy Export Association (LEEA) brings together leaders in the Louisiana LNG Industry to consider matters relating to industry business, to foster education and understanding of shared challenges, and to promote policies beneficial to the industry before federal, state and local government agencies.

June 12th, 2019

Commonwealth LNG and Gunvor Singapore Pte Ltd Sign Heads of Agreement

Commonwealth Projects, LLC and Gunvor Group Ltd today announced their respective subsidiaries, Commonwealth LNG, LLC and Gunvor Singapore Pte Ltd, have signed a heads of agreement (HOA).

The HOA anticipates the negotiation and finalization of a definitive 15-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) sale-and-purchase agreement (SPA) for 1.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of LNG offtake from the Commonwealth LNG export project under development in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

March 5th 2019

Robert Powers nominated 2019 Vice Chair, LEEA

At the February 5, 2019, LEEA Executive Board meeting, the 2019 officers were nominated and determined.

 

2019 Chair – Maury Hudson, Magnolia LNG

2019 Treasurer – Ernie Broussard, Hunt Guillot & Associates

2019 Vice Chair – Robert Powers, Commonwealth LNG

Louisiana Energy Export Association (LEEA) brings together leaders in the Louisiana LNG Industry to consider matters relating to industry business, to foster education and understanding of shared challenges, and to promote policies beneficial to the industry before federal, state and local government agencies.

May 2nd, 2019

Commonwealth LNG export terminal still on track for 2024

The approximately $4 billion Commonwealth LNG export terminal is expected to reach final investment decision and get final federal approval by the first quarter of 2021 and start operations by early 2024, officials said on Wednesday.

Scott Ray, Commonwealth LNG vice president, told Gulf Coast Industrial Group members that each of the facility’s six liquefaction trains will be capable of producing 1.4 million tons of LNG per year, or a total of 8.4 million tons annually. The project site is located on 400 acres in Cameron Parish at the west bank of the Calcasieu Ship Channel at the Gulf of Mexico.

March 5th 2019

Robert Powers nominated 2019 Vice Chair, LEEA

At the February 5, 2019, LEEA Executive Board meeting, the 2019 officers were nominated and determined.

 

2019 Chair – Maury Hudson, Magnolia LNG

2019 Treasurer – Ernie Broussard, Hunt Guillot & Associates

2019 Vice Chair – Robert Powers, Commonwealth LNG

Louisiana Energy Export Association (LEEA) brings together leaders in the Louisiana LNG Industry to consider matters relating to industry business, to foster education and understanding of shared challenges, and to promote policies beneficial to the industry before federal, state and local government agencies.

April 1st, 2019

U.S. LNG Developer Is Offering Shorter-Length Supply Contracts

By Naureen S. Malik
(Bloomberg) — In the fast-expanding global liquefied natural gas market, long-term supply contracts lasting 20 years
have become the norm. But one aspiring U.S. producer is challenging that model.

Closely held Commonwealth LNG, which is seeking to build a $4 billion Louisiana export terminal, is offering potential customers contracts as short as 10 years, Chief Executive Officer Paul Varello said in a telephone interview. It’s also offering fixed-price terms, and is willing to sell for less than the U.S. industry standard of 115 percent of the Henry Hub benchmark, he said.

The possibility of shorter-term contracts shows how LNG is becoming more commoditized, as production and trading volumes continue to grow. Commonwealth is facing fierce competition not only from the world’s biggest LNG suppliers like Qatar and Royal Dutch Shell Plc but also about a dozen other U.S. export projects.

“I am hopeful that we will get to agreements with several of the customers” this week at the industry’s biggest event of this year, LNG19, in Shanghai, Varello said.

The Houston-based developer expects to receive approval for its project from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in late 2020 and then make a final investment decision in the fourth quarter of next year, Varello said. Start-up would then follow in the first quarter of 2024 or even earlier. Varello said the company will need six customers to be able to build 8.4 million tons per year of LNG capacity.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Naureen S. Malik in New York at nmalik28@bloomberg.net


To contact the editors responsible for this story:

Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net
Carlos Caminada 

March 7th, 2019

2019 USCG Issues Letter Of Recommendation to FERC that the Calcasieu Waterway be Regarded as Suitable for Commonwealth LNG’s Terminal

Based upon a comprehensive review of the applicant’s WSA and after consultation with State and local port stakeholders, I recommend that the Calcasieu River Ship Channel be considered suitable for accommodating the type and frequency of LNG marine traffic associated with this project.

March 5th, 2019

Arup to Advise on Industry First LNG Modular Tank Design

Arup has announced that it has been selected by Commonwealth LNG to provide specialist engineering services for the development of industry’s first LNG modular storage tanks.

 

According to the statement, Arup is supporting Commonwealth LNG in its aim to obtain final approval from the US
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by providing structural, mechanical and naval architecture engineering services in relation to the design of the modular storage tanks to be used at the facility. Once approved, Arup claims that construction is expected to begin in 2021.

February 20th, 2019

CEO for Commonwealth LNG -Paul Varello, speaks in Japan about the Need for Innovation in Designing and Building Future LNG Liquefaction Plants

The CWC LNG & Gas Summit took place in Tokyo, Japan on 19-20 February 2019 with participation and support from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), JERA Co. Inc., Tokyo Gas and the Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ), along with more than 250 senior executives from across the LNG and gas value chain in both Japan and globally.

February 5th, 2019

Commonwealth LNG’s EVP, Robert Powers, Named 2019 Vice Chair, LEEA

At the February 5, 2019 LEEA Executive Board meeting, the 2019 officers were nominated and determined naming Commonwealth LNG’s Executive Vice President, Robert Powers, as Vice Chair. LEEA brings together leaders in the Louisiana LNG Industry to consider matters relating to industry business, to foster education and understanding of shared challenges, and to promote policies beneficial to the industry before federal, state and local government agencies.

December 21st, 2018

Commonwealth LNG files draft Resource Report 13 with FERC.

Commonwealth LNG submitted draft Resource Report 13 to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its proposed natural gas liquefaction and export facility in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

“With the submission of draft Resource Report 13 to the FERC, Commonwealth LNG continues to actively progress the development of its export facility,” said Paul Varello, President and CEO of Commonwealth Projects. “Commonwealth LNG is focused on managing risk and lowering capital cost resulting in a platform that enables the competitive delivery of LNG to any market, under shorter and more flexible contract terms.”

October 18th, 2018

Commonwealth LNG Selects Transport Technology Firm, Mammoet USA South, Inc.

Commonwealth LNG is pleased to announce that Mammoet USA South, Inc., a global leader in heavy lifting and transport technology, has been awarded a consulting services agreement for Commonwealth’s LNG export terminal located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

The agreement secures Mammoet’s extensive experience and expertise in heavy lifting and transport of large process modules in support of Commonwealth’s Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) permitting process. Commonwealth LNG anticipates filing its Draft Resource Reports with FERC on Dec. 1, 2018.

October 12th, 2018

Commonwealth LNG Selects TechnipFMC, CH-IV, Lloyds

Commonwealth LNG signed an engineering service contract with TechnipFMC, a worldwide leader in LNG engineering, for engineering services and development of Resource Report 13 for the proposed 8.4 MTPA LNG export terminal located on the western shore at the mouth of the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

Commonwealth LNG signed a master services agreement with Lloyd Engineering for the marine facility and turning basin design, and support of the Water Suitability Assessment (WSA), with the U.S. Coast Guard. Collectively with the Maritime Pilots Institute in Covington, Louisiana, the group completed simulations and then subsequently prepared a draft WSA.

February 22nd, 2018

Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Commonwealth LNG Project

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Commonwealth LNG Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Commonwealth LNG LLC (Commonwealth LNG) in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

The Commission will use this EIS in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public interest.

January 3rd, 2018 

Commonwealth LNG Names SMBS, Debt Financial Advisors

Commonwealth LNG has announced that Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) will serve as its debt financial advisors for a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Export Terminal on the west bank of the Calcasieu River in Cameron, Louisiana.

Commonwealth’s President and CEO Paul Varello said, “We are pleased to be partnered with this global financial leader as we move forward with our innovative LNG investment. SMBC’s experience and reputation in capital asset advice and management will help ensure the stability and predictability of our development project in southwest Louisiana.”

November 1st, 2017

Commonwealth LNG joins LNG industry leaders in becoming a member of the Louisiana Energy Export Association (LEEA).