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Approved Applications and Operational Facilities

Overview of Deepwater Port Applications Reviewed by the Maritime Administration

To date, twenty-one Deepwater Port License Applications have been filed for approval. (Eighteen applications were filed for licenses to import liquefied natural gas (LNG), one application was filed to export LNG and two applications were filed for licenses to import oil.)  The following sections provide the current status of all deepwater port license applications filed with the Maritime Administration, to date.

Approved Applications and Operational Facilities

Of the ten approved applications, seven licenses have been issued to date. Specifically, three licenses were issued for facilities that are currently operational [Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, Neptune, Northeast Gateway], three licenses have been surrendered [Gulf Landing, Port Dolphin, Port Pelican] and the final license was issued for a facility that has been decommissioned [Gulf Gateway].  Further, it should be noted that two applications received a favorable Record of Decision but the project proposals were either withdrawn or cancelled before a license was issued [Bienville Offshore Energy Terminal, Main Pass Energy Hub]. One application has recently been approved and a license issuance is pending for that facility [Delfin LNG].

Approved – Operational Facilities

Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (Marathon Pipe Line LLC, Shell Oil Company and Valero Terminaling and Distribution Company)

Deepwater Port Type: Oil Import Facility (Throughput capacity: 1.2 million barrels per day)

On January 17, 1977, the Secretary of Transportation issued a deepwater port license to the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP). Currently, LOOP is the only deepwater port petroleum terminal in existence within the United States.  LOOP is located 16 miles southeast of Port Fourchon, Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico.  LOOP was built by a group of major oil and pipeline companies, and has been operational since May 5, 1981.  It serves as an unloading and distribution port for incoming supertankers to the Gulf region.  The petroleum is piped north to Lafourche Parish, where it is stored and piped to markets throughout the country.

For additional information regarding the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, please see the Federal Docket for the project (Docket Number: USCG-2000-6981).

Neptune LNG (Engie S.A.)

Deepwater Port Type: LNG Import Facility (Average throughput capacity: 500 million standard cubic feet per day; Peak throughput capacity: 750 million standard cubic feet per day)

On February 15, 2005, Neptune LNG LLC filed an application for construction and operation of an LNG facility to be located in Massachusetts Bay, 10 miles south of Gloucester, Massachusetts. On January 31, 2007, the Maritime Administrator signed a favorable Record of Decision for the Neptune project, contingent upon the applicant’s commitment to employ U.S. mariners aboard its vessels servicing the facility.  On March 26, 2007, the Maritime Administration issued a deepwater port license to Neptune LNG LLC to build, own and operate an LNG receiving and regasification facility.

Neptune LNG LLC, by letter dated May 24, 2012, requested the Maritime Administration allow a temporary five-year suspension of operations at the Neptune deepwater port. On June 22, 2013, the Maritime Administration issued an amended deepwater port license to allow the five-year suspension of operations.  During the suspension period, Neptune must maintain compliance with the terms, conditions and requirements of the deepwater port license amendment.

For additional information regarding Neptune, please see the Federal Docket for the project (Docket Number: USCG-2005-22611).

Northeast Gateway (Excelerate Energy)

Deepwater Port Type: LNG Import Facility (Average throughput capacity: 400 million standard cubic feet per day; Peak throughput capacity: 800 million standard cubic feet per day)

On June 13, 2005, Excelerate Energy filed an application for construction and operation of a deepwater port terminal to be located in Massachusetts Bay, approximately 13 miles south-southeast of Gloucester, Massachusetts and in Federal waters approximately 270 feet in depth. On February 7, 2007, the Maritime Administrator signed the Record of Decision for the Northeast Gateway deepwater port project, contingent upon the applicant’s commitment to employ U.S. mariners aboard its vessels servicing the facility.  On May 14, 2007, the Maritime Administrator signed the license for Excelerate to own, operate and construct the Northeast Gateway deepwater port.

For additional information regarding Northeast Gateway, please see the Federal Docket for the project (Docket Number: USCG-2005-22219).

Approved – License Issuance Pending

Delfin LNG (Delfin LNG, LLC)

Deepwater Port Type: LNG Export Facility (Average throughput capacity: 585 million standard cubic feet per day; Peak throughput capacity: 657.50 million standard cubic feet per day)

On May 8, 2015, the Maritime Administration received an application from Delfin LNG, LLC for Federal authorization required for a license to own, construct and operate a deepwater port to export natural gas to foreign markets abroad. The application was deemed complete on June 29, 2015, and a Notice of Application acknowledging receipt of the completed application was published in the Federal Register on July 16, 2015 (80 FR 42162). On March 13, 2017, the Maritime Administration issued its Record of Decision approving the project with certain technical, financial and environmental conditions.  License development is currently underway and is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2017.

For additional information regarding Delfin LNG, please see the Federal Docket for the project (Docket Number: USCG-2015-0472).

Approved – Surrendered Licenses

Gulf Landing (U.S. Gas & Oil, LLC)

Deepwater Port Type: LNG Import Facility (Peak throughput capacity: 1.2 billion standard cubic feet per day)

On November 3, 2003, Gulf Landing, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell U.S. Gas & Oil, LLC, filed an application for the construction and operation of an offshore Gravity Based Structure to be located thirty-eight miles offshore of Louisiana. On February 16, 2005, the Record of Decision was issued and on April 29, 2005, the official license was issued.  However, in March of 2007, Gulf Landing announced its intention to terminate all project and construction activities for the proposed facility.

Thereafter, on April 30, 2009, Gulf Landing LLC surrendered its deepwater port license. The Maritime Administration accepted the license surrender and issued a license surrender notice in the Federal Register on July 1, 2009 (71 FR 31479).  This project remains closed.

For additional information regarding Gulf Landing, please see the Federal Docket for the project (Docket Number: USCG-2004-16860).

Port Dolphin (Port Dolphin LLC)

Link to the Federal Docket for Port Dolphin (Docket Number: USCG-2007-28532)

Deepwater Port Type: LNG Import Facility (Average throughput capacity: 800 million standard cubic feet per day; Peak throughput capacity: 1.20 billion standard cubic feet per day)

On March 29, 2007, Port Dolphin Energy LLC filed an application with the Maritime Administration to construct a deepwater port located in Federal waters approximately 28 miles offshore of Tampa, Florida. On October 26, 2009, the Maritime Administration issued a Record of Decision approving, with conditions, the Port Dolphin Energy Deepwater Port License application and on April 19, 2010, the official license was issued.

On August 28, 2015, Port Dolphin LLC provided a letter to the Maritime Administration expressing intent to surrender its deepwater port license. The Maritime Administration accepted the license surrender on April 25, 2016 and issued a license surrender notice in the Federal Register on May 11, 2016 (81 FR 29324).  This project remains closed.

For additional information regarding Port Dolphin, please see the Federal Docket for the project (Docket Number: USCG-2007-28532).

Port Pelican (Port Pelican, LLC)

Link to the Federal Docket for Port Pelican (Docket Number: USCG-2002-14134)

Deepwater Port Type: LNG Import Facility (Peak throughput capacity: 2.0 billion standard cubic feet per day)

On November 25, 2002, Port Pelican, LLC (Port Pelican), an affiliate of ChevronTexaco Corporation, applied for a deepwater port license to construct a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) gravity based structure facility off the coast of Louisiana. The Port Pelican deepwater port license was issued on January 20, 2004 and was the first deepwater port license to be issued for the construction and operation of an LNG facility.

On July 11, 2005, Port Pelican LLC provided a letter to the Maritime Administration and U.S. Coast Guard of its plans to place the project on an indefinite hold. On October 4, 2005, a Notice of Cancellation was published in the Federal Register (70 FR 57885).  Later, on October 28, 2009, the Maritime Administration received notification from Port Pelican LLC of the relinquishment of its License.  In response, the Maritime Administration published a Federal Register Notice on December 9, 2009 (74 FR 65205), announcing the relinquishment of the License and cancellation of all actions related to the project.  To date, the project remains closed with the Maritime Administration.

For additional information regarding Port Pelican, please see the Federal Docket for the project (Docket Number: USCG-2002-14134).

Approved – Decommissioned

Gulf Gateway Energy Bridge (Excelerate Energy)

Link to the Federal Docket for Gulf Gateway (Docket Number: USCG-2003-14294)

Deepwater Port Type: LNG Import Facility (Average throughput capacity: 500 million standard cubic feet per day)

Gulf Gateway Energy Bridge, LLC (Gulf Gateway), which was formerly owned by El Paso Energy Bridge Gulf of Mexico, LLC and is now owned by Excelerate Energy Limited Partnership, filed a Deepwater Port License Application on December 20, 2002. The Gulf Gateway site was located in the Gulf of Mexico 116 miles off the coast of Louisiana.  The Record of Decision was issued on December 31, 2003 and the license was issued on May 26, 2004.

On February 22, 2012, Excelerate Energy notified the Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard of its intention to decommission the Gulf Gateway Energy Bridge deepwater port. After careful review and evaluation of the proposed removal plans, the Maritime Administration approved the decommissioning and terminated the license for the Gulf Gateway deepwater port by letter dated June 28, 2013.

For additional information regarding Gulf Gateway, please see the Federal Docket for the project (Docket Number: USCG-2003-14294).