Petronas’ first floating LNG facility, PFLNG Satu, produced its first LNG from the Kanowit gas field, offshore Sarawak, on December 5.
The operational milestone marks a decade long journey for Petronas. PFLNG Satu has 22 modular systems to achieve liquefaction, production, storage and offloading. The gas is treated and liquefied via its nitrogen-based liquefaction unit.
With a processing capacity of 1.2 million tons per annum (mtpa), operating at water depths between 70 meters to 200 meters deep, PFLNG Satu is expected to lift its first cargo and achieve commercial operations in the first quarter of 2017.
The 365 x 60 x 33 meter (1,198 x 197 x 108 feet) unit made its 2,120 nautical mile journey from DSME’s yard in Okpo, South Korea, to the Kanowit gas field in May this year.
Designed to last up to 20 years without dry-docking, PFLNG Satu has the flexibility to be redeployed to multiple locations to better access marginal and stranded gas fields off Malaysia.
FLNG Projects Underway
Shell’s Prelude FLNG is expected to be installed in Australia in 2018. Other liquefaction vessels currently under construction and due to start-up before the end of 2018 include Perenco’s GoFLNG, and Exmar’s FLNG (Caribbean FLNG). Other projects currently under construction but experiencing delays include Ophir Energy’s Fortuna FLNG and Petronas’ Rotan FLNG (PFLNG 2). Eni is expected to make its final investment decision on its $5-billion Coral South liquefaction vessel offshore Mozambique in 2017.
Douglas-Westwood predicts that despite concerns over the fall in LNG spot prices and the lack of sanctioning for new floating liquefaction projects, global capex on FLNG units will total $41.6 billion over the period of 2016-2022. Continued industrialization in Africa, Asia, and Latin America is expected to lead to an upsurge in demand for import units. In line with this, countries in Africa such as Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and South Africa are expected to have their first floating import vessels installed before the end of 2022.
Many current FLNG projects have opted for newbuilds. However, the two proposed units in Africa have chosen converted LNG carriers for fields in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. Africa will account for 49 percent of floating liquefaction expenditure over the forecast period. Yet, most of the East African projects – which account for the majority of expenditure – are at an early stage.