Contracting and fabrication pose challenges

Contracting and fabrication pose challenges


Alain Poincheval, Executive Project Director for Technip, discussed the challenges facing Prelude FLNG, which will be the largest floating facility ever built, once it is completed by Samsung Heavy Industries, and will be 25 years on station offshore Northwestern Australia.

For instance, the marine environment poses challenges in engineering, such as the ability to offload LNG between two vessels on the high seas, import large quantities of high pressure feed gas on a floating facility, and to adapt gas processing facilities to a marine environment, among others.

Ciaran McIntyre, Head of Compliance Projects in Korea for Lloyd’s Register, discussed the challenges for the supply chain and FLNG vessels. With the growth of large projects in Asia in FLNG, he said, almost everything about the supply chain has changed, with anticipated and unanticipated challenges arising.

The industry anticipated challenges in size and design life, hull configuration, LNG containment, liquefaction process, and offloading, he said.

But the FLNG market is incredibly fast-moving, he added, and the supply chain is struggling to keep up. This has made the supply chain susceptible to leakages, dilution of standards, paralysis, commercial pressure, and transformation, a situation in which high standards slowly transform into the lowest cost tender the further one moves down the supply chain.

To manage the supply chain, he recommended being careful of relying on approved supplier lists, standardizing as far as possible, identifying project-specific requirements up front, and setting simply acceptance or rejection standards, among other considerations.

Saad Al-Jaabi, Senior Engineer for Systems Completions at RasGas Company Limited, discussed Integrated Natural Gas Liquids (NGL)/Nitrogen Recover (NR) technology. He said the project will be used for the first time in Qatar on the Barzan Gas Project, a joint venture project between Qatar Petroleum (QP) and ExxonMobil.

RasGas initiated a study to evaluate process licensors’ capability to supply an integrated proess design for recovering NGL and rejecting nitrogen for the Barzan Gas Project.

“RasGas, along with Chart Energy Chemicals Inc., demonstrated the ability to meet all requirements to remove the nitrogen and helium and produce sales gas, within the required specification,” he said.

The technology licensor demonstrated the ability to provide an integrated NGL/NR process that utilizes as proven Brazen Aluminum Heat Exchanger (BAHX) supplier, and utilizes high efficiency compression to meet final sales gas delivery requirements, among other considerations.

Promoting LNG as a cleaner and cheaper energy around the world can greatly reduce CO2 emission, but it’s up to the LNG industry to keep the public informed of its benefits, said Laura Musick, Process Engineering for Black & Veatch, in discussing her winning essay for the Gastech Young Engineer Foundation

“Natural gas is cleaner. The real question: Is it cheaper?” she said. Last year, diesel for transportation was $3.95 per gallon, while LNG was $2.87 per diesel gallon equivalent.

“We have to be willing to create our own market opportunities and serve all of our customers,” she said. Floating units like the EMAR Caribbean FLNG can allow companies to reach LNG resources that would otherwise be difficult.

“It’s our responsibility as the natural gas industry to spread the information necessary for investors and governing bodies to make informed decisions,” she added.

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