The Ichthys LNG Project
INPEX has begun construction of one of the world's largest oil and gas projects following the Final Investment Decision (FID) on the US $34 Billion Ichthys LNG Project in Australia on 13 January 2012. The Ichthys LNG Project is a joint venture between INPEX (Operator) and Total with Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Chubu Electric and Toho Gas.
The Ichthys Field is situated in the Timor Sea approximately 200 kilometers off the Western Australian coast and over 800 kilometers from Darwin. Three exploratory wells drilled in 2000 and 2001 resulted in the discovery of an extremely promising gas and condensate field with resource estimates from two reservoirs totaling approximately 12TCF of gas and 500 million barrels of condensate. Conceptual studies, FEED and ITT followed and development leading to sanctioning of the Ichthys LNG Project by INPEX and Total.
Gas from the Ichthys Gas-Condensate Field in the Browse Basin will undergo preliminary processing offshore to remove water and extract condensate. The gas will then be exported to onshore processing facilities in Darwin via an 889 kilometer subsea Gas Export Pipeline (GEP). Most condensate will be sent to a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel for stabilization and storage prior to being shipped to global markets. The Ichthys LNG Project is expected to produce 8.4 million tons of LNG and 1.6 million tons of LPG per annum, along with approximately 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak.
Production from 20 subsea wells in the first phase - 50 will be drilled in total - will be sent to the Central Processing Facility via 8?? rigid lines connected to flexible risers. The flexibles will be supported by a 110 meter high jacket type riser support structure. You see, no aspect of the Ichthys LNG Project is small.
Effluents will be separated on the Central Processing Facility (CPF), a semi-submersible floater. Gas will be dried and compressed prior to being sent ashore via a GEP. Compression will be from four compressors, designed for 590.7 MMSCFD. Following initial treatment, most liquids will be transferred from the CPF to the nearby FPSO for processing and storage. The 330 meter-long FPSO will be a weather-vaning ship-shaped vessel that is permanently moored on a non-disconnectable turret. It has been designed with a storage capacity of nearly 1.2 million barrels. Loading of two offtake tankers in tandem will be possible from the FPSO.
Producing and delivering North West Australia (NWA) deepwater gas reserves to LNG plants poses unique challenges. These include extreme metocean conditions, unique geotechnical conditions, long distances to infrastructure and high reliability/availability requirement of supply for LNG plants. A wet or dry tree local floating host platform will be required in most cases. Whereas semisubmersible, TLP, Spar and floating LNG (FLNG) platform designs all have the attributes to be a host facility, none has been installed in this region to date.
This paper will address important technical, commercial and regulatory factors that drive the selection of a suitable floating host platform to develop these deepwater gas fields off NWA. Linkages between key reservoir and fluid characteristics and surface facility requirements will be established. A focus will be on the unique influence of regional drivers and site characteristics including metocean and geotechnical conditions, water depths and remoteness of these fields.
There have been 17 FPSOs producing oil in Australian waters. These facilities have been chosen because of the remoteness of the fields and the lack of pipeline and process infrastructure. Storing oil on the FPSO for offloading and shipping from the fields becomes an obvious solution. Semisubmersible, TLP or Spar platforms show little advantage in such developments.
For deepwater gas developments, the product has to be processed, compressed and piped to shore for liquefaction. As host processing facilities, Semisubmersible, TLP and Spar platforms have clear advantages over FPSOs because of their superior motion performance in the harsh Australian metocean environment and other benefits such as facilitating drilling, dry tree completion and well services. FPSOs or FSOs may be applied for storage of associated oil and condensates. For marginal and remote gas field developments, an LNG FPSO (FLNG) may be an attractive option as it eliminates long pipelines and land-based liquefaction plants.
As discussed by Dorgant and Stingl (2005), a deepwater field development life cycle following discovery usually involves five distinct phases, Figure 1. The "select?? phase occurs after a discovery has been appraised sufficiently to further evaluate it for development. It consists of evaluating multiple development concepts and scenarios and selecting the one that will most likely achieve the identified commercial and strategic goals. Selecting a floating platform and its functions for a deepwater development is an important subset of the select phase and the overall field development planning.
The process of field development planning involves a complex iterative interaction of its key elements (subsurface, drilling and completions, surface facilities) subject to regional and site constraints (D'Souza, 2009). The objective is to select a development plan that satisfies an operator's commercial, risk and strategic requirements. It entails developing a robust and integrated reservoir depletion plan with compatible facility options. The selection occurs while uncertainty in critical variables that determine commercial success (well performance, reserves) is high. One of the challenges is to select a development plan that manages downside reservoir risk (considering the very large capital expense involved) while having the flexibility to capture its upside potential.
In May 2011 Shell announced its commitment to the development of a Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) concept by taking the Financial Investment Decision on the Prelude FLNG Project. Prelude is located in Australian offshore waters, approximately 475 km north-northeast of Broome and 825 km west of Darwin, and will be Shell's and possibly the world's first FLNG development. FLNG offers a number of environmental advantages over traditional onshore LNG developments. This paper describes some of these and the associated environmental permitting/approval conditions for the project.
Technology is now available for real-time Industrial Hygiene monitoring of activities in locations such as offshore facilities, with viewing of the data remotely. The use of this technology can result in a more dynamic approach to hazard control, where the data being collected can be interpreted and control barriers altered in line with the results of monitoring. The data review can take place onshore by Industrial Hygiene specialists without the need to fly offshore. Encrypted data is transmitted via the internet for viewing onshore. No work on this application of real-time monitoring has been published previously. This innovative technology is being trailed by Shell in Australia in what is believed to be a world first.
Real-time personal monitoring equipment is available for monitoring of compounds such as VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds), benzene, heat stress, radiation and dust. The application of this type of monitoring is extremely useful in a dynamic environment such as offshore exploration drilling or during commissioning of new offshore facilities. In these environments there is limited opportunity for specialist resources such as Industrial Hygienists to be present offshore as operationally, manning levels are at their maximum during these periods.
The use of real-time monitoring with remote review by Industrial Hygiene specialist makes it possible to monitor unique, uncommon, or unplanned maintenance tasks that would otherwise be very difficult to capture.
This paper will provide results and conclusions from the trial of this technology during the refit of an LNG Tanker in Singapore and will describe how this technology may be implemented in remote facilities such as Shell's Prelude FLNG facility. The paper will also discuss likely advances in this technology over the next few years.
Conference review - No abstract available.
This paper summarises original development work implemented by Ocean Resourceinto a new type of Unmanned Production Buoy facility, the Sea Producer. Thiswork, which is both comprehensive and wide-ranging, covers the use ofautonomous buoy technology to develop various offshore oil and gas productionscenarios which would otherwise be uneconomic or indeed impossible. Recentlythis technology has received considerable interest as it represents, for somesmaller developments, possibly the only sensible and economic way forward. Thedesign concept is flexible and has applications well beyond simple production.Ocean is carrying out on-going development work into the use of the concept forcarbon sequestration allied to enhanced oil recovery. This novel developmentwill provide an initiating technology for offshore carbon sequestration againat hitherto highly economic costs. The detail of this is, however, beyond thescope of this paper.
Ocean Resource has developed and pioneered the concept of remote offshore oilor gas production from an unmanned production buoy over a period of 20 yearsand is the only company with specific experience and expertise in this complexarea. Ocean has designed, built, operated and maintained its own high stabilitybuoy systems and has completed a number of buoy designs for working buoysystems in use with Apache, Mossgas Pty, Exxon-Mobil and others for oil relatedoperations. More recently Ocean Resource has been responsible for the design ofa 5MW Power Buoy for CNR International UK Ltd (Canadian Natural Resources).Unfortunately Monitor Oil PLC, the principle constructor, went into liquidationprior to completion of the project but it is envisaged that this unit, which is95% complete will shortly be redeployed on another field. The Power Buoylocated at Dundee is subject to an option agreement for this purpose.
Ocean Resource's low cost autonomous buoy systems represent a game-changingtechnology that will enable the economic development of hitherto unexploitableor stranded oil and gas reserves. The technology is generally branded as SeaCommander where it relates to field control buoys (a developed product) and SeaProducer where it relates to production.
Sea Producer enables a step-change in offshore development expenditure loweringcapital costs at the start of project together with greatly reduced operationalcosts leading to low "through-life" costs for standalone, step-out developmentsor early production scenarios. Furthermore the relatively minimal nature of theoffshore facilities comprising the buoy and storage system leads to rapiddeployment and hence faster income and profit return to any offshoreproject.
The unique autonomous buoy technology has been developed by Ocean Resource overa period of 20 years and is an evolution of existing systems first deploed inthe 1980's. It is therefore both mature and proven. It can be used for sub-seaoil and gas field control, remote pigging, multi-phase pumping, chemicalinjection, subsea production support and remote flaring.