GE Selected For World's Largest FLNG Project
A breakthrough for tapping into stranded gas reserves in remote sites-- project expands GE's growing presence in Australia's oil and gas sector.
GE Oil & Gas has entered into an agreement with Technip to supply two steam turbine-driven compressors for the Shell Prelude Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) project. The facility, which is to be based offshore Australia, will be the largest floating offshore facility in the world. Technip and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) formed a consortium (TSC) which Shell has tasked to engineer, procure, construct and install the Prelude FLNG facility.
The GE compression trains will be vital elements of the liquefaction process, which cools natural gas to a liquid state. In addition to the supply of the steam turbines and compressors, the scope of GE's agreement with Technip France includes start up and two years of training, operation and spare parts.
"This is a milestone achievement for GE, marking the first order in the FLNG industry for main refrigerant trains," said Prady Iyyanki, president and CEO--turbomachinery equipment for GE Oil & Gas. "This is a very promising market and will be a focus of our growth efforts in the future."
The Shell Prelude FLNG facility will measure 488 meters from bow to stern and will weigh around 600,000 tons when fully loaded. It will contain 260,000 tons of steel, and its deck area will be longer than four football fields. The capacity of the on-board storage tanks will be equivalent to 175 Olympic swimming pools.
Shell's FLNG facility will be moored at the Prelude gas field, about 200 kilometers off Western Australia's Kimberly Coast. Offshore fields such as Prelude may hold significant quantities of natural gas, but many are at great distances from land or the nearest pipeline. Tapping into these "stranded" gas resources has been nearly impossible until now. The Shell FLNG facility addresses this industry challenge.
"Since an FLNG plant is on a floating structure, the key critical-to-quality challenges are robustness, weight and footprint, extension of performance curves and reliability. GE has offered a solution that will meet those requirements," said Joel Leroux, TSC Shell FLNG consortium project director.
GE Oil & Gas is a leader in LNG applications. To meet the specific requirements of the Shell Prelude project, GE is minimizing the casings of the steam turbines and centrifugal compressors to reduce weight and footprint. GE is designing the compression trains to cover a wide range of operating conditions, developing a technology for potential use in future FLNG plants at different sites.
GE also will build a new facility for testing centrifugal compressors and will perform a partial load string test for the steam turbine-driven compressor trains.
The Shell Prelude project further expands GE's growing presence in the Australian oil and gas sector. GE has been a key equipment supplier to different companies for a variety of onshore projects in the country, including the development of Gorgon, one of the world's largest untapped natural gas fields.
With this project the total value of LNG contracts awarded globally to GE, by different companies, in the first nine months of 2011, reaches the value of $1 billion, confirming GE's successful trend in supplying onshore, offshore and floating LNG projects.