First Plant Modules Delivered for Ambitious Arctic LNG 2 Project

The heavy lift ship Geo Grace takes on pipe rack modules for Arctic LNG 2 at the Wison yard in Zhoushan, August 2021. The modules have now been delivered (GPO Heavylift)

Published Sep 22, 2021 6:10 PM by The Maritime Executive

Russian natural gas company Novatek has taken delivery of the first modules for its giant Arctic LNG 2 liquefaction plant, which is currently under construction near the port of Murmansk. 

The first pipe rack modules were built at Wison Offshore & Marine in Zhoushan, China, then loaded onto a heavy-lift ship for transport to Murmansk. Each of the two 9,000-tonne sections will be skidded off the heavy-lift ship onto a concrete gravity-based structure, which will support a complete LNG train during transport and permanent installation at the remote Gulf of Ob. 

This novel engineering solution simplifies plant construction, as most of the technical work can be completed near established support infrastructure in Murmansk. The completed GBS will be towed to the installation site, then partially flooded and sunk onto the bottom for a permanent mooring. 

It will take 14 modules to build each LNG train, and the next two modules in the series are already en route, Novatek said. The ambitious project remains on schedule; the first train was about 60 percent complete as of the end of the second quarter. 

If all proceeds as planned, the three trains will be installed and commissioned in 2023-25. Once completed, the project will have a total capacity of about 20 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). This will more than double Novatek's LNG output from the Gulf of Ob; its existing Yamal LNG plant, located on the inlet's other side, puts out about 16 mtpa. 

Arctic LNG 2 will support the development of the Ultrenneye field, located on the Gydan Peninsula. All of its production capacity has already been sold under 20-year sales and purchase agreements. 

Novatek holds a controlling 60 percent stake in the development. Its other investors include TotalEnergies (10 percent), CNPC (10 percent), CNOOC (10 percent) and a Mitsui / JOGMEC JV (10 percent).

The company may be expanding its LNG footprint further in the near future. It recently won E&P rights for the Arkticheskoye and Neytinskoye fields on the Yamal Peninsula, which have combined reserves of 2.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), including 400 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas and 28 million tons of liquids. "The new license areas are located in close proximity to Novatek's existing assets on the Yamal Peninsula and expand the company's resource base for implementing LNG projects," the firm said.