July 28, 2009
Shell inks FLNG agreement with Technip and Samsung
The potential for floating LNG (FLNG) facilities is enticing enough that a whole conference on the theme of commercializing FLNG is taking place today and tomorrow at the Traders hotel Singapore. It's also big enough to persuade consultancy Douglas Westwood to come out with $5,300-plus "World FLNG Market Report" that forecasts $23 billion of FLNG expenditure in the period to 2016.
Douglas Westwood's Steve Robertson believes that "vertically integrated majors will be best placed to assemble a project from the upstream elements through to liquefaction, transport and regas stages."
Against this background, Shell Gas & Power Developments BV today said it had signed a master agreement with a consortium comprising Technip and Samsung for the design, construction and installation of multiple floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facilities over a period of up to fifteen years. Shell and Technip-Samsung also signed a contract for execution of the front end engineering and design (FEED) for Shell's 3.5 million tonne per annum (mtpa) FLNG solution.
By placing gas liquefaction facilities directly over offshore gas fields, the FLNG solution precludes the need for long distance pipelines and extensive onshore infrastructure. This, says Shell, provides a commercially attractive and environmentally sensitive approach for monetization of offshore gas fields.
The Shell FLNG concept's key dimensions are approximately 450 metres x 70 metres, with a 3.5 mtpa LNG capacity, plus associated LPG and condensate production; taking total liquid production potential to over 5 mtpa. Topsides weight is estimated in excess of 50,000 tonnes. Shell's FLNG design is suitable for more distant offshore fields, designed to operate under harsh metocean conditions and process a wide range of gas compositions.
The broad operating parameters of the Shell design mean it can be redeployed. Shell's standardized "design one Ð build many" approach allows material repeatability gains to be captured during design and construction phases. After completing the FEED phase, Shell will examine key aspects of each potential FLNG project in its portfolio before considering a final investment decision.
Shell's invitation to tender was released in June 2008 and was issued to three consortia comprising international engineering and shipyard contractors, selected following an extensive pre-qualification exercise. Bids were received in January 2009.