Small scale FLNG to unlock hundreds of small gas fields?

Four companies, Add Energy, Transborders Energy (TBE), TechnipFMC, MODEC have teamed up to create what they say is a unique and fast deployment business model for the FLNG (floating liquefied natural gas) industry that will free up small-scale stranded resources around the world and establish a new concept in global gas field development.

Illustration; Image by Transborders Energy
Illustration; Image by Transborders Energy

According to Add Energy, an international energy consultancy provider, the new business model targets discovered gas resources of ≈ 0.5 to 2.0 trillion cubic feet of gas that have little value to their current owners because they are either in remote locations where tieback is capital intensive, or lack an economically viable development concept.

Small scale FLNG

Key to the model, Add Energy explains, is the deployment of an innovative small scale FLNG vessel. Rather than investing up to five years in identifying a gas resource, understanding its size and potential and creating a bespoke development concept, the new model establishes a pre-defined concept incorporating the use of a ≈1.0 million ton per annum FLNG vessel and applies it to fields that fit the concept.

This low-cost concept represents a radical change in gas field development and will unlock hundreds of the world’s previously uneconomic smaller natural gas plays, the companies involved claim.

TBE Managing Director Daein Cha said: “The economies of scale pursued by mega-projects have not eventuated. They are too capital intensive and risky in terms of resilience and flexibility for what is a commoditizing business.

“However, the deployment of our pre-determined, low cost small scale FLNG concept on already discovered but stranded resources with innovative financial and commercial structures delivered by a small but high caliber team establish a new value proposition to the resource owners and LNG buyers.”

Add Energy will manage the drilling operations, maintenance, safety and risk management of the projects and is the exclusive partner to engineer, procure, drill and operate the wells.

TechnipFMC is a global leader in engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of oil and gas projects. It is an industry leader for FLNG and subsea, umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) and is the exclusive partner for TBE to EPCI the SURF and the FLNG vessel.

Japan’s MODEC, a global expert in providing and managing floating production systems, is the technical adviser for the EPCI of the hull, LNG tank and turret mooring system of the FLNG vessel, together with the operations and maintenance of TBE’s FLNG vessel.

 

First test in Australia

 

Offshore Australia has been identified as suitable for an initial pilot project, with a target resource to be confirmed early 2018 and the project to reach Final Investment Decision by 2020. TBE is also in discussion with resource owners of other jurisdictions to pursue global opportunities.

Eduardo Robaina, VP for Well Engineering, Add Energy, said: “LNG development is currently focused on fields with large scale volumes between 5 and 10 trillion cubic feet or more. However, a supply shortage in LNG is expected from mid-2020 due to demand growth and a failure to proceed with new mega-project developments.

“Large scale LNG projects typically involve up to five years of front-end engineering and design work and a further six years for EPC activities, but new projects need to progress now to capture this upside.

“The Transborders’ concept enables the development of previously uneconomic resources at a much faster pace than that of mega projects and will help feed the growing demand for energy, initially in Asia and elsewhere. Add Energy’s role will be to ensure well construction, maintenance and well intervention activities , are carried out in accordance with best practices and industry standards.”


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