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A New Frontier!
Offshore Natural Gas
Dr. Chen-Hwa Chiu
Chevron Energy Technology Company
Dr. L. D. (Doug) Quillen
Chevron Global Gas
10 -13 March 2008
Bangkok, Thailand
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Industrial development
Technology considerations
Offshore liquefaction candidate technologies
Safety consideration
Offshore natural gas commercialization
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Economical access to offshore stranded gas
Suitable for both associated and non-associated gas
CAPEX savings and shorter development to market
Conceptual engineering since 1970s
FEED for Kangan natural gas field in Persian Gulf
Air Products and Salzgitter Group
GURF, Azure, offshore LNG safety and offshore LNG
Offshore technical and commercial considerations
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Industrial Development in
Offshore Liquefaction Projects
Several Joint Industrial Projects (JIP): Azure,
NnwaDoro, and Offshore LNG Safety
LNG transfer such as Offshore Cryogenic Loading
Japanese IHI, France Bouygues Offshore, Gaz de
Mobil applied moon pool and single mixed refrigerant
Shell considered offshore LNG projects at Greater
Sunrise and Kudu
Shell developed FLNG and FONG
Snhvit applied FLNG concepts
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Refrigeration cycle consideration
Use of aero-derivative gas turbines
LNG transfer for benign and harsh sea states
Project economics and safety over efficiency
Motion effects
Less equipment height and weight
Equipment modularization
Synergy of liquefaction plant with other facilities
LNG storage
Hull and mooring
Technology Considerations
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Offshore LNG Transfer
Loading patterns
Boom to tanker or
New development
Coflexip flexible piping
SPM articulate arms
Offshore cryogenic
loading (OCL)
ITP undersea LNG
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LNG Storage
Floating barge design
Rectangular shape favors spacing
Concrete hull versus steel hull
LNG storage
Spherical, robust, has less deck space
Membrane, sloshing effects can be reduced, has more
deck space
Prismatic, another alternative
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Equipment Consideration
Liquefaction heat exchangers
Higher design pressure to reduce flare
Avoid fluid maldistribution
Equipment integrity verification
Reduce height with separate units
Reduce numbers and sizes
Flexibility and reliability
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NnwaDoro Offshore LNG
Courtesy: Bengt Olav Neeraas, Statoil ASA
Technology Development for Floating LNG, An Operators Experience
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Liquefaction Candidate Technologies
Mixed fluid cascade
Dual nitrogen expander
Dual expander
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Liquefaction Candidate Technologies
C3-MR This is a dominant one for on-shore plants. It
has a large inventory of propane for the precooling
process. The thermal efficiency is high. The spiral
wound exchanger is designed with higher shell side
pressure to avoid flaring. Can be applied to larger
capacity around 5 MTPA
Cascade This process uses three pure refrigerants. It
has a large number of heat exchangers and
compressors. Also it has inventory of propane. Many
possibilities for modularization.
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Liquefaction Candidate Technologies
SMR It uses plate-fin exchangers and is less sensitive
to motion and permanent tilt. Shells version uses two
parallel MR compressors and a single spiral wound heat
exchanger. Its thermal efficiency is lower than C3-MR
and DMR cycles
DMR This process uses twin wound coil heat
exchangers for precooling and liquefaction respectively.
It is suitable for the compact arrangement. Minimize
the hydrocarbon inventory while obtaining an excellent
liquefaction efficiency. Shell and Air Products have
versions of this cycle.
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Liquefaction Candidate Technologies
Mixed Fluid Cascade It consists of three mixed
refrigerant cascade cycles developed by Linde and
Statoil. This process is used for Statoils Snhvit LNG
project. It uses an all electric drive design, but can be
designed for direct turbine drive as well. The
refrigeration process and a cold Arctic climate help to
boost the liquefaction plants energy efficiency
Dual Nitrogen Expander It is called by BHP as the
cLNG process. It is a relatively safer process with
nitrogen refrigerant being an inert, but its thermal
efficiency is lower than mixed refrigerant cycle
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Liquefaction Candidate Technologies
Dual Expander This is also called the NicheLNG by
ABB for application up to 3.5 MTPA. A turbo-expander
process uses two independent cycle: one uses methane
and the other uses nitrogen. Thermal efficiency is lower
than mixed refrigerant cycle
EXP Kryopak EXP cycle is a single cycle turbo-
expander refrigeration process that uses self boil-off
gas as the refrigerant. The refrigerant is in gas phase,
thus eliminates the refrigerant inventory. Thermal
efficiency is similar to that of multi-expander process
and is insensitive to motion
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Process Comparison for
Offshore LNG Plants
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Safety Consideration
Arrange overall plant layout according to risk level
Apply concept safety review and Quantitative Risk
Analysis (QRA) for better layout and safer plant
Turret mooring to allow the floating barge to
Vapor dispersion and blast overpressure modeling
Escape, evacuation, and rescue systems
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Five countries control of the worlds 6,000 + Tcf
natural gas reserves Russia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi
Arabia, Abu Dhabi
Algeria, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria,
Norway, Venezuela have the most exportable surplus
Majority of reserves are in 400-3,000+ meters of
water, more than 3,000 km from a premium market
Frequently, natural gas is associated gas produced with
oil which is expensive to transport and process
Commercialization of free associated gas may be
based on oil production and government policies not
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Mobility of a floating liquefaction plant may reduce
commercial and technical risk associated with a land-based
plant such as
Field development and platform construction
Long distance pipelines to shore
Land site remediation
Plant construction schedules
Size, quality and location of the gas resource may impact
its commercialization
Commercial risk with a floating plant will be similar to a
land-based plant
Technical risks have been identified and designs
formulated using proven technology and equipment
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Host government considerations
PSC (Production Sharing Contract) and concession gas
commercialization terms incomplete
Fiscal concessions may be required
New legislation and regulations required
Ownership of facilities used to produce oil and gas
Local Content
Industrial development
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Offshore gas liquefaction make sense to
Facilitate deep water exploration and production
Monetize stranded gas resources
Eliminate costly production platforms and pipelines
Reduce time and expense of land reclamation, dredging
and harbor development
Overcome environmental concerns