Natural gas production to stay afloat as industry moves to the water


Natural gas production to stay afloat as industry moves to the water

LONDON -- The next few years will see increased use of Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) vessels in the global LNG industry, as distant ‘stranded’ natural gas fields are given new life through the pioneering technologies offered by FLNGs, states a new report by natural resources experts GlobalData.

The new report examines the huge anticipated rise in FLNG vessel capacity, which is set to witness a shift in concentration from the American continents to the up-and-coming Asian region.

FLNG vessels are used in the production, liquefaction and offload of LNG to carrier ships, and enable access to remote offshore natural gas fields left unexplored and undeveloped due to the high development costs that traditional LNG facilities would necessitate. Offshore LNG facilities can also avoid inland environmental laws, and be transferred to new locations in response to industry need.

The report discusses how technological developments have been instrumental in raising the profile of the global FLNG industry, which is slowly developing its presence in the global oil and gas industry. GlobalData’s analysis states that a total of 20 FLNG regasification terminals are planned across 13 countries for 2012-2016, representing a total regasification capacity addition of 3,488.5 billion cubic feet (bcf). These capacity additions will lead floating regasification capacity to account for 11.3% of global LNG regasification capacity.

Regional dominances in global FLNG regasification capacity will change substantially as a result. North America and South and Central America currently dominate global FLNG regasification capacity, with shares of around 40% each; but, by 2016, North America’s portion is expected to fall to around 26%, while South and Central America’s share will drop to around 20%. In contrast, the Asia-Pacific region is set to contribute a share of 25% to global capacity, despite the region holding no active FLNG regasification capacity at this moment in time.

Planned terminals expected to become operational during the next four years include Kakinada FLNG (Shell) and Pipavav FLNG in India, Fujairah FLNG in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Chittagong FLNG in Bangladesh. Europe’s share of global FLNG regasification capacity is also set to climb, albeit less impressively, from 8% in 2012 to 21% by 2016.  

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