PTTEP joins FLNG contest

PTTEP Australasia has joined the race to develop the world’s first floating liquefied natural gas facility, confirming it is planning a FLNG project in the Timor Sea that could beat Shell’s Prelude project to production.
PTTEP joins FLNG contest PTTEP joins FLNG contest PTTEP joins FLNG contest PTTEP joins FLNG contest PTTEP joins FLNG contest

One option for PTTEP's FLNG project - relocating the FLNG facility between the three groups of fields

Option two for PTTEP's FLNG project - locating the FLNG facility at Cash-Maple with pipelines connecting the other fields

In documents submitted to the federal Department of Environment on Tuesday, PTTEP said it proposed to develop a FLNG facility that would produce gas from the Cash-Maple field in AC/RL7, the southern group of fields in AC/L7 including the Montara field, and the Oliver field in AC/P33.

EnergyNewsBulletin has previously reported the company was planning to develop a FLNG facility for its Timor Sea assets.

Front-end engineering and design work is expected to start in the fourth quarter and a final investment decision on the 2 million tonne per annum project is targeted for the fourth quarter of next year. Following FID, the vessel is expected to be ready for start-up in late 2016.

This timetable could rival Shell's recently approved 3.6MMtpa Prelude FLNG project, which also plans to be ready for start-up in 2016.

However, PTTEP will face a tough challenge to meet the tight timeline, given that the project will undoubtedly face rigorous safety and environmental assessment.

In 2009, PTTEP's Montara oil field, also in the Timor Sea, was the scene of Australia's worst oil spill in 25 years when between 400 and 2000 barrels of oil per day leaked into the sea over a three-month period following a well blowout.

Earlier this year, PTTEP was given approval to keep its Australian licences but it has been put on notice for 18 months to ensure all aspects of its Montara action plan are implemented.

PTTEP, which is teaming up with Germany's Linde Group and Netherlands-based SBM Offshore for the project, located 680 kilometres west of Darwin and 200km southeast of the Indonesian coastline, said the action plan was developed to prevent a recurrence of a major accident such as Montara and the likelihood of any hydrocarbon spill scenario occurring was considered to be low.

However the company said it has carried out spill modelling scenarios to assess potential environmental impacts.

"The spill modelling study undertaken has indicated that in the event of a prolonged spill scenario (80 day duration release of condensate), the condensate did not persist on the water's surface for longer than nine days and migrated a maximum distance of 25 kilometres from the release site," it said.

The company added that no hydrocarbons were shown to enter Indonesian waters or make contact with any mainland or island.

In the event of a large diesel spill, PTTEP said the modelling indicated the diesel migrated a maximum distance of 160km from the release site and no shoreline exposure to any islands or reefs was shown.

The company also noted the impact on nine threatened species and 17 migratory species that had the potential to travel through the project area would be minimal, as the area didn't contain any significant habitat that these species would rely upon.

"In addition, PTTEP AA has outlined significant management measures to mitigate potential impacts on listed flora and fauna," it said.

"Therefore PTTEP AA believes the project is unlikely to have a significant impact on these matters of national environmental significance."

PTTEP is considering two development options - relocating the FLNG vessel to each field in turn, or locating the vessel at the Cash-Maple field with the southern fields in AC/L7 and the Oliver field connected by pipelines.

Around 11 to 21 production wells would need to be drilled across the three groups of fields - five wells in AC/L7, three wells at Oliver and three to 13 wells at Cash-Maple.

The FLNG vessel will be 400m long and 65m wide and designed to withstand a one-in-10,000 year cyclone. It will have a design life of 20 years, although the hull structure will have design life of 30 years.

PTTEP's submission is open for public comment for two weeks until July 19.

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