Unconventional/complex reservoirs

Mitsui Grows US Footprint With Stake in Eagle Ford’s Hawkville Gas Field

Already a partner in the Cameron LNG export facility in southwest Louisiana, Mitsui now expands its US gas and LNG exports with an investment in upstream unconventional assets.

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A Silver Hill unconventional gas asset in Texas.
Credit: Silver Hill Energy Partners

Japan’s Mitsui has purchased a 92% working interest in the Hawkville gas field in the Eagle Ford unconventional play, from the operator Silver Hill Eagle Ford E&P, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Silver Hill Energy Partners, for an undisclosed sum.

The 8,500-acre asset in south Texas has access to the Gulf Coast industrial area, which includes LNG export terminals and ammonia plants, Mitsui announced in a 20 April news release.

Mitsui E&P USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui, will develop and operate the asset, aiming for stable gas production of more than 200 MMcf/D from the Hawkville field. Gas and LNG are a “pragmatic solution” to the energy transition which contribute to a stable energy supply, Mitsui said.

The Japanese trading house intends to export US LNG as well as produce methanol using natural gas as feedstock. Besides proactively pursuing upstream development projects, Mitsui said it will strengthen its natural gas value chain, including adjacent businesses, and work toward achieving further low-carbon solutions and decarbonization through carbon capture and storage and other technologies.

The acquisition is Mitsui’s second venture in the US. Mitsui holds a 16.6% ownership stake in the Cameron LNG facility in Hackberry, Louisiana, together with Sempra Infrastructure (50.2%), TotalEnergies (16.6%), and Japan LNG Investment (16.6%), a company jointly owned by Mitsubishi Corporation and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha).

Cameron LNG train 1 began commercial operation in August 2019; train 2 followed in March 2020. The third of Cameron LNG’s three originally planned liquefaction trains entered commercial operation in August 2020.

This year, the partners anticipate a final investment decision to add a fourth train with a production capacity of 6.75 mtpa and debottleneck the three original trains to raise the facility’s 13.5-mtpa capacity by 5%, according to TotalEnergies.

Under terms of the Heads of Agreement (HOA) signed by the partners in April 2022, TotalEnergies said it agreed to offtake 16.6% of the projected fourth train’s production capacity and 25% of the projected debottlenecked capacity.

The Cameron expansion project in southwest Louisiana also includes design enhancements to reduce emissions of the facility, including electric-drive technology.

A month after signing the expansion HOA, Sempra, Mitsui, Mitsubishi, and TotalEnergies agreed to build the Hackberry Carbon Sequestration project to capture up to 2 mpta of CO2 produced at Cameron LNG. CO2 will be captured by acid-gas removal units, dehydrated, compressed, and transported by pipeline about 10 km for injection into a saline aquifer using an injection well with a capacity of up to 2 mtpa of CO2, according to TotalEnergies.