First Gas for World's First Operational FLNG
Petronas’ first floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility, PFLNG Satu achieved its first gas milestone this week at the Kanowit gas field, offshore Sarawak, Malaysia.
The introduction of gas from the KAKG-A central processing platform at the field ignited the PFLNG Satu flare tower at the height of 130 meters, proving the technological aspirations of Petronas to unlock gas reserves in Malaysia’s remote and stranded gas fields, said the company in a statement.
The 365 x 60 x 33 meter (1,198 x 197 x 108 feet) unit made its 2,120 nautical mile journey from Okpo, South Korea, to the Kanowit gas field in May this year. Fitted with an external turret for water-depths of between 70 meters and 200 meters deep, PFLNG Satu will extract natural gas via a flexible subsea pipeline for the liquefaction, production, storage and offloading processes of LNG at the offshore gas field.
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 of 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). However, Exmar is currently in talks with several parties regarding the final deployment of its unit due to the termination of an initial agreement with Pacific Exploration and Production for its use offshore Colombia. Other projects currently under construction but experiencing considerable 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.