Tuesday, 01 December 2020 07:00

LNG Unlimited – 1 December 2020

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GRTgaz and regional partner Teréga outline storage and supply picture for EU LNG

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The Abu Dhabi Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) has approved 448 billion dirhams ($122 billion) in capital expenditure for national oil and gas company and LNG exporter Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (Adnoc) through 2025 as it also pursues growing joint ventures, especially in unconventional natural gas to make the United Arab Emirates self-sufficient.

Norway, Western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer and the third-largest exporter of natural gas in the world after Russia and Qatar, has announced its 25th licensing round on the Norwegian Continental Shelf for February 2021.

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Saipem, the company currently working on the major global LNG project, said it received a contract to conduct booster compression module front-end engineering and design services for the Australian Ichthys LNG export plant operated by Japan’s Inpex Corp.

The Italian company said it planned to install the BCM onto the “Ichthys Explorer” central processing facility.

Work scope

The scope of work comprises the BCM front-end engineering and includes the option to provide a lump-sum price to execute the full engineering, procurement and construction scope from detailed design through to fabrication and load out.

Inpex is operator of the onshore Ichthys plant at Bladin Point near Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory.

The Australian Ichthys plant came on stream in 2018 and produces almost 9 million tonnes per annum of LNG from two processing Trains, while the Ichthys gas field is offshore northwest Australia and connected to the plant by a 890-kilometre subsea pipeline to Bladin Point.

Shares in Ichthys LNG held by Inpex amount to around 66 percent of equity, while French major Total has 26 percent.

Micro-stakes are additionally held by customers CPC Corp. of Taiwan and Japan’s main utilities and LNG buyers, JERA Co. Inc., Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Kansai Electric and Toho Gas.

“This contract furthers our presence in this strategic market,” said Gianalberto Secchi, Saipem Offshore Area Manager for the North Pacific-East Indian Ocean region.

Saipem has an impressive amount of work in its LNG project portfolio, especially on the subsea side and is currently involved in Mozambique LNG in southeast Africa in addition to other ventures.

Saipem is also involved with TechnipFMC, the Franco-US energy and LNG engineering company, in the Arctic LNG II venture being development by Russian natural gas company Novatek and its partners.

The Italian firm has additionally been retained for the engineering contract on the new seventh Train and debottlenecking project for Nigeria LNG.

Zvezda Shipbuilding in the Russian Far East has held a steel-cutting ceremony for the first in a series of 15 ice-breaking LNG carriers ordered by the nation’s Sovcomflot shipping line to serve the Arctic LNG II export project being developed by natural gas company

Titan LNG, a Dutch supplier to the marine and industrial markets with quayside and ship-to-ship delivery of LNG to river barges and sea-going ships in the ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp, has launched a free-to-use LNG-delivered prices overview.

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Russian natural gas company Novatek, operator of the Yamal LNG export plant in northern Siberia, confirmed the completion of the first ship-to-ship LNG trans-shipment in the Kildin Strait of the Barents Sea, an area that came to prominence for a naval incident involving two nuclear-powered submarines in the post-Cold War era.

The area off the coast of Russia to the north of the port of Murmansk has now started operations as the main trans-shipment point for cargoes from the Yamal LNG in northern Siberia for the winter supply season when the Northern Sea Route is closed.


Kildin Island and the Strait are about 5 kilometres offshore Russia, about 70 kilometres from the port of Murmansk and around 120km from Norway.

The island last rose to prominence on 11th of February 1992, several months after the collapse of the Soviet Union, as it was the nearest land area to a collision between the US Navy nuclear submarine “USS Baton Rouge” and the Russian Navy nuclear submarine “B-276 Kostroma”, which had just left the Russia’s naval base of Severomorsk.

Both submarines sustained damage but no casualties were reported.

The Russian federal authorities earlier in 2020 approved the establishment of three new LNG reloading points located in a bay south of Kildin Island.

In the first trans-shipment confirmed by Novatek on November 25, the Arc7 ice-class LNG tanker “Nikolay Yevgenov”, with 172,600 cubic metres of capacity, successfully reloaded an LNG cargo delivered from the Yamal LNG facility at Sabetta to the conventional 172,00 cubic metres capacity vessel “Yamal Spirit”. “The temporary trans-shipment area will ensure uninterrupted year-round LNG from the ice-class tankers carrying LNG produced in the Russian Arctic to conventional tankers,” said Novatek.

“The trans-shipment operations were conducted in compliance with all applicable Russian environmental requirements, and included representatives from the Novatek-Western Arctic subsidiary, the Russian and foreign shipowners, auxiliary fleet operators and the LNG trans-shipment operators,” explained Novatek.

“The safety of navigation was ensured by the seaport of Murmansk and Rosmorport,” it added.

“The creation of the trans-shipment infrastructure allows the company to develop its internal competencies to perform LNG trans-shipments in the Russian Federation, as well as optimizing the Arctic tanker fleet,” stated Novatek.

Kildin Island belongs to the Murmansk Oblast (administrative area) of the Russian Federation.

The Russian federal port authority will be responsible for escorts of the LNG carriers involved in the reloading.

It is believed that a number of the vessels from the Yamal plant will also sail into nearby Kola Bay for ship-to-ship transfers.

Executives have said that most of the Yamal ships will sail from Sabetta to the reloading facility in Kildin and conventional tankers will bring the LNG further to the markets.

The Yamal plant's capacity is now 16.5 million tonnes per annum and a fourth smaller liquefaction Train is scheduled to start soon.

Novatek previously did ship-to-ship reloadings of LNG off Honningsvag, the Norwegian port.

The Norwegian logistical and ship management company, Tschudi Shipping, handled those reloading operations for Russian LNG after it signed an agreement with Novatek.

The last LNG tanker left Honningsvag at the start of July 2019 and has now be replaced with the Kildin Island operations.

Novatek has signed an agreement with Japanese shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines to cooperate on the construction of permanent LNG trans-shipment stations, one on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East and a second near Murmansk.

The proposed trans-shipment projects would be partly financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation as they help in securing LNG cargoes for Asia via the NSR from the Yamal facility and eventually from the Novatek-led Arctic project planned for the Gydan Peninsula.

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Endesa, the largest power company in Spain and the second-largest natural gas operator, has launched a project to expand its port terminal in Los Barrios in the Port of Algeciras to capture the liquefied natural gas bunkering business around Cádiz and in the Strait of Gibraltar.

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Venture Global, the US developer of three LNG export plants in Louisiana, said that US engineering firm KBR was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the first phase of the Plaquemines project on the banks of the Mississippi River.