Floating LNG technology will allow stranded gas in deep and ultra-deepwater to be monetised
When it was launched in January at the Geoje Island shipyard of South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), Coral Sul FLNG carried with it several noteworthy distinctions. Africa’s first purpose-built and the third floating LNG facility for the continent, Coral Sul FLNG also pushed the floating technology envelope, helping to monetise ‘stranded gas’ in ultra-deepwater.
With a gas liquefaction capacity of 3.4 mta, Coral Sul FLNG will operate in water of approximately 2,000 m starting in 2022, fed by six subsea wells offshore Mozambique. Of the four FLNG vessels in operation, none operate in water more than 250 m.
Built for Italy’s Eni and the Area 4 partners, Coral Sul floating LNG (FLNG) is part of the Coral South project that will put in production 450Bn m3 of gas from the Coral reservoir, offshore Mozambique. With the launch, Eni says the project is now more than 60% complete and on target to begin production by 2022.
Coral Sul FLNG has an overall length of 432 m, beam of 66 m and weighs approximately 140,000 tonnes. Its eight-story accommodation module, which will house up to 350 people, is also ready to be lifted and integrated with the hull system. Fabrication activities are also underway for the 12 gas treatment and LNG modules, with all main equipment ready for integration and first deck stacking executed, according to Eni.
Eni executive vice president for the East Africa region Adriano Mongini, says: “The Coral Sul FLNG hull launching is an outstanding milestone which has been possible thanks to the commitment of Eni, its Area 4 partners, contractors and Mozambican authorities. We share the belief that Coral South is a pioneering project that will trigger further developments and new investments.”
Area 4 is operated by Mozambique Rovuma Venture SpA (MRV), an incorporated joint venture owned by Eni, ExxonMobil and CNPC, which holds a 70% interest in the Area 4 exploration and production concession contract. Other stakeholders in Area 4 are Galp, Kogas and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos EP, each holding a 10% interest.
Eni is leading the construction and operation of the FLNG facility on behalf of MRV.
Between 2011 and 2014, Eni discovered substantial natural gas resources in the Rovuma basin, in the Coral, Mamba Complex and Agulha reservoirs, holding an estimated 2,400Bn m3 of gas in place. Eni also holds exploration rights to offshore blocks A5-B, Z5-C and Z5-D in the Angoche and Zambezi basins.
As the first LNG project in Mozambique, the Coral South FLNG project also carries with it the ambitions of a nation. Mozambican Institute of Petroleum (INP) chairman Carlos Zacarias, representing the Government of Mozambique, says the export of the first LNG cargo gas from the Coral South FLNG Project, and from Mozambique in 2022, will lead to job creation, development of local businesses and revenue, which will benefit the Mozambican state and people over the duration of the project.
Coral South FLNG Project has launched initiatives aimed at enhancing the overall capabilities of the local workforce and supply chain and the development of local small- to medium-size enterprises.
PFLNG Dua nears delivery
With one of the world’s largest LNG sales portfolios, Malaysia national oil and gas company Petronas is pushing the frontiers of floating LNG technology to develop stranded gas reservoirs in deepwater.
In November Petronas held a naming ceremony for its second floating LNG facility, PFLNG Dua, at SHI. When it is commissioned in 2020 the FLNG will have the capability to liquefy gas extracted from deepwater reservoirs in depths of up to 1,500 m.
The Malaysian energy company says PFLNG Dua is “bigger and better” than the 365-m PFLNG Satu, its first FLNG, which achieved its first LNG cargo on 1 April 2017 moored some 180 km offshore Bintulu in Sarawak, Malaysia. PFLNG Dua will have the capability to produce 1.5 mta of LNG, with a storage capacity of 177,000 m3. By comparison, PFLNG Satu has a capacity to produce 1.2 mta of LNG.
Designed for a 20-year operational life, the US$1.6Bn PFLNG Dua was jointly built by JGC Corporation and SHI, the consortium responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning (EPCIC) of the floating LNG facility.
Construction on 393-m PFLNG Dua started in 2015 and once completed in February 2020 it will be moored at the Rotan Gas Field in water of 1,300 m, located 140 km offshore Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
In his speech at the naming ceremony at SHI’s Geoje Island shipyard, Petronas president and group CEO Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee said that PFLNG Dua is a key solution to monetise stranded deepwater gas fields in a safe, economical and sustainable manner. “The development of PFLNG Dua is a step forward in providing a new supply source of energy,” said Mr Wan Zulkiflee. “As an integrated energy player, Petronas is fully invested to unlock the potential of natural gas,” he added.
Petronas is also willing to add a third FLNG to its portfolio if the right opportunity should present itself, Petronas gas and new energy business executive vice president and chief executive Adnan Zainal Abidin told local Malaysian media. “If there is a reservoir with a sizeable amount of reserves and with the right gas composition that it is economically viable, it opens up a case for another floater, ” he was quoted as saying.
He pointed out that an FLNG could be used for both offshore and nearshore applications and not just in Malaysia. He said the company was exploring opportunities outside of Malaysia in Africa, Brazil and Mexico.
“Whenever we find gas, we have the option to monetise it. So, this gives us a new play to remain relevant in the LNG market,” he said.