Driven by a surge in LNG exports, the North America natural gas market will support 29 bill cu ft per day of production between 2022-2033, tripling its current market size, according to a new report from Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac).
Germany’s reliance on Russian gas and the need to find alternate supplies given the current geopolitical situation has resulted in the country being on course to become the highest European LNG consumer.
US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulators have approved Commonwealth LNG’s gas terminal export project.
Commonwealth is expected to begin exporting 8.4 mill tonnes a year of LNG from Cameron, Louisiana once it comes online in 2027. It was the first export terminal to be approved by FERC in over two years.
Rich Glick, a US Democrat and FERC Chairman said federal natural gas law covering LNG terminals requires the panel to approve the facilities unless they are contrary to public interests.
However, Glick said that he was concerned that the terminal will produce the equivalent of 3.5 mill tonnes of carbon emissions per year. "I still am at a loss as to why we don't at least assess the significance of the greenhouse gas emissions in terms of making our determination ... and I think it is something we need to grapple with as we move forward," he told newswires.
The other two Democratic commissioners out of the total of five, also voted for the project but expressed concerns about its pollution impact on minority communities near the facility.
QatarEnergy has signed a 27-year sales and purchase agreement (SPA) with Sinopec, the company’s President and CEO and Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, said earlier this week.
bp has confirmed that one of its LNGCs, ‘British Sponsor’*, loaded the first cargo from Mozambique’s offshore ‘Coral Sul’ FLNG facility last week.
In a recent update, Freeport LNG Development said that as of 14th November, the reconstruction work necessary to commence initial operations was around 90% complete.
All of the reconstruction work was anticipated to be completed by the end of November and subject to Freeport meeting the regulatory requirements, initial production is targeted for mid-December.
The reconstruction work will lead to the utilisation of all three liquefaction trains, two LNG storage tanks and one dock.
Proposed remedial work activities for a safe restart of initial operations have been submitted to the relevant regulatory agencies for review and approval.
Each of Freeport LNG's three liquefaction trains will be restarted and ramped up safely, in a slow and deliberate manner, with each train starting separately before restarting a subsequent train.
It is expected that about 2 bill cu ft per day of production will be achieved in January, 2023. Full production utilising both docks remained on course to start in March, 2023, Freeport said.
"Our teams have worked diligently over the last several months alongside regulators to ensure the safe restart of our facility. I am immensely grateful for their efforts," said Michael Smith, Freeport LNG’s Founder, Chairman and CEO. "We are committed to moving forward with an uncompromising safety focus and enhanced operational processes that will enable us to chart a safe, sustainable path forward to serve our customers and the broader LNG market as a whole."
Last week, Freeport LNG Development divulged the results of an independent, third-party root cause failure analysis (RCFA) report on the incident.
The report was commissioned by Freeport LNG and independently conducted by the IFO Group in order to identify the causes.
The IFO’s findings were as follows:
Direct Cause - Isolation of a piping segment containing cryogenic LNG without proper overpressure protection, which LNG then warmed and expanded, due to exposure to ambient conditions, resulting in a boiling liquid, expanding vapour explosion, or BLEVE, and the rupturing of the piping segment.
Root Causes - Pressure safety valve (PSV) testing procedure and car seal programme deficiencies.
. Failure to re-purpose temperature indicator alarms used for cool down operations during commissioning on LNG piping that could warn operators of increasing temperatures in LNG piping during operations.
. Operating procedures that allowed operator discretion to close valves that could allow LNG to be isolated in a piping segment.
Contributing Causes - Failure of 2016 Hazard and Operability study to evaluate the potential for a blocked-in LNG piping segment with inadequate overpressure protection.
. Failure to utilise management of change process for revisions to tank management operating procedures.
. Failure to accurately and timely diagnose sudden pipe movement as being due to piping stresses from the over-pressuring of an adjacent piping segment.
. Operator fatigue as a result of significant overtime needs.
IFO Group proposed recommendations to resolve each of the root and contributing causes, and Freeport LNG is implementing each of those recommendations, the company claimed.
Specifically, Freeport LNG said that it had made significant enhancements to its PSV testing processes and car seal programme, implemented procedural changes to avoid operating scenarios that could allow blocked-in LNG in piping segments, and revised its control system logic to alert control room operators to valve positions or temperature readings that indicate possible isolation of LNG in any piping segments.
It is also updating its training programme to address causes of the incident, as well as identification and diagnosis of abnormal operating conditions in the facility.
To supplement IFO's report, Freeport LNG also engaged another independent consultant to perform a full review of its LNG storage and transfer operating procedures, its control systems maintenance and inspection procedures, and its personnel qualifications and training programmes.
As a result, Freeport LNG is implementing various recommended improvements in these areas.
In addition, Freeport LNG has undertaken a significant hiring effort to increase LNG plant employee staffing by over 30%, in order to reduce the amount of overtime, as well as create new functional departments within the organisation that are focused on improved training, operational excellence, quality assurance, and improved business performance.
Freeport LNG is also executing an extensive company-wide process safety management initiative to apply and reinforce process safety concepts into daily work processes across the organisation.
The construction of the first floating LNG terminal at Wilhelmshaven is now complete, according to German Lower Saxony State Economy Minister, Olaf Lies.
The UTM Group recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at developing the first FLNG production platform in the West Africa sub-Sahara region.