El Paso Develops EP Energy Bridge Site for the Gulf of Mexic

El Paso Global LNG, a subsidiary of El Paso Corporation announced the development of its first EP Energy Bridge(TM) natural gas delivery system in the Gulf of Mexico, located about 116 miles off the coast of Louisiana. In accordance with the passage of the Deepwater Port Act Amendments in the Maritime Security Act of 2002 in November, the company filed an application with the United States Coast Guard to obtain a license to construct and operate an offshore natural gas deepwater port. This new ship-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification system is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2004.

"This project and location opens the door to deliver regasified LNG directly into the pipeline grid and serve existing base load and peaking demand markets," said Greg G. Jenkins, president of the El Paso Global Petroleum and LNG Group. "We believe the innovative EP Energy Bridge technology presents a more flexible and cost-effective means of supply to these growing markets in North America where new traditional, land-based LNG terminals are not a feasible alternative for natural gas deliveries."

El Paso plans to construct an offshore buoy and riser system that includes approximately eight miles of 20-inch pipeline and connects into two existing subsea pipelines to deliver the natural gas to the main pipeline grid with minimal environmental impact. EP Energy Bridge(TM) ships can regasify and deliver up to 500 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. As the EP Energy Bridge(TM) ship arrives at the unloading site, the buoy is pulled into a receiving cone and connected to the ship. The LNG is then regasified aboard the ship and the vaporous natural gas is discharged through the buoy into the subsea pipeline system.