Malaysia’s state-owned oil giant Petronas is pushing on with the development of a second floating LNG vessel following the success of its multi-award winning first vessel, PFLNG Satu, that began operations in early 2017 in the Kanowit field located off the coast.
Petronas’ next FLNG – known so far as just FLNG2 — is due to begin production in 2020, about two years late because the company suspended the project in 2015 under financial pressures. The new vessel, whose hull has already been launched, will follow a similar design to its predecessor.
A world first, PFLNG Satu was widely recognised for cramming an unprecedentedly large amount of technology into a relatively small space. Within PFLNG Satu’s dimensions of 360 m long by 40 m wide, engineers managed to house an LNG processing train that is normally 2.5 km2 in area.
PFLNG Satu, which has just been named project of the year by Petroleum Economist for its continuing success, has a capacity to produce 1.2M tonnes of LNG a year and boasts a storage capacity of 170,000 m3. To boot, the vessel is the first to allow side-by-side offloading of LNG in an offshore location. According to Petroleum Economist, the project “is an industry game-changer [that] set the stage for future FLNG projects.
The main virtue of FLNGs is that they can be deployed in remote – or ‘stranded’ – and marginal fields that don’t justify the high capital expenditure required by shore-based facilities and pipelines.
The hull of Petronas’ second FLNG was constructed at the Samsung shipyard in Geoje Island, South Korea. The vessel is destined for the deepwater Rotan gas field 130 km off Sabah, within the South China Sea, from where first production is slated for 2020. Designed to operate for 20 years without the need for drydocking, the non-propelled FLNG has a production capacity of 1.5M tonnes of LNG a year, slightly more than its predecessor.