Today at the World Gas Conference 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Lloyd’s Register launched its Rules for Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facilities, formulated through its extensive work with Shell on their Prelude FLNG project.
Upon completion, Prelude will be the largest manmade floating object, measuring 488m long and displacing 600,000 tonnes of water.
Lloyd’s Register’s unprecedented 50-year offshore experience, including its technical knowledge of LNG containment and liquefaction technology, FPSO development and process engineering systems, has allowed this 250-old classification society to publish the first set of rules to comprehensively look at all areas of FLNG facilities.
“Natural gas is a key ‘fuel for the future’ and its safe and economic production will become increasingly more important,” says John Rowley, President, Lloyd’s Register Asia. “The FLNG facilities we have worked on to form these rules will be the biggest floating structures ever seen and in the coming decades, they will allow us to unlock the world’s stranded offshore natural gas reserves. They are essential to the world’s future energy mix and Lloyd’s Register’s experience and knowledge is integral to their safe, sustainable and economic operation.”
The Lloyd’s Register Rules for FLNG Platforms reinforce LR’s position at the forefront of new maritime technology, building upon the work the company has performed with numerous LNG firsts, such as classing the first LNG fuelled tanker, Argonon. The Rules are the world’s most comprehensive, and the only framework of their kind to be based on a real-world FLNG project.
“The first FLNG facilities will have 75% of the capacity of a conventional LNG liquefaction facility, with just 5% of the surface area” said Wijnand Moonen, Business Manager for SE Asia, “This should give you an idea of the complexity of these new facilities”.
With natural gas prices set to vary greatly between regions in the near future, LNG is needed to supplement pipelines in the transportation of this low-carbon fuel. Equally, the energy industry requires more effective storage solutions as demand fluctuates. Flexibility is also a rising concern, as the Fukushima incident recently demonstrated when QatarGas delivered LNG to Japan at short notice to help meet Japan’s energy deficit.
Industry experts point to FLNG as a solution that can offer easy transportation, storage and flexible supply of natural gas in an increasingly uncertain energy landscape.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, June 6, 2012