Gas Processing News

Adrienne Blume, Managing Editor

Novatek launches small-scale LNG plant in Magnitogorsk

Fig Russia

Russian independent LNG producer Novatek recently launched its first small-scale LNG plant in the Chelyabinsk region. The plant has a design capacity 

of 40,000 tpy. Novatek-Chelyabinsk, a wholly owned subsidiary, has commenced pilot LNG production at the facility.

The LNG produced will be sold primarily as gas motor fuel, which represents the downstream market being actively developed by the company. Novatek will supply LNG to its branded refueling complexes for passenger, cargo transport and mining equipment in the Chelyabinsk region and neighboring areas.

Novatek noted, “The use of liquefied natural gas as a motor fuel can significantly reduce emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere that is important to protect the environment, as well as reduce the fuel costs for transportation.”

Kinder Morgan starts up final unit at Elba Island LNG

Fig Elba

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted Kinder Morgan Inc.'s request to put in service the 10th and final liquefaction train at the company's nearly $2-B Elba Island LNG export plant in Georgia.

Train 7 was put into service on August 27, 2020, less than a year after Train 1 entered service in October 2019. Each train is capable of liquefying approximately 2.5 MMtpy of LNG (0.35 Bft3d) of natural gas.

The first export cargo from Elba Island left in December 2019, but the project has not exported another cargo since January as steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have sapped global energy demand.

Elba, which is 51% owned by units of Kinder Morgan and 49% by EIG Global Energy Partners, is supported by a 20-yr contract with
Shell to purchase 100% of the liquefaction capacity.

Including projects under construction, U.S. LNG export capacity is expected to rise from 9.8 Bft3d now to 10.5 Bft3d by the end of 2021 and to 12.5 Bft3d by the end of 2022. That keeps the U.S. on track to become the world's biggest LNG exporter in 2024. It was the third-biggest exporter in 2019, behind Qatar and Australia.

Four Philippine LNG projects on track despite virus delays

Four LNG import terminal projects in the Philippines are in various stages of approval and financial closure, despite "minor delays" caused by coronavirus restrictions, according to Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

The Southeast Asian country will rely on imported LNG to feed some of its power plants running on supply from its Malampaya gas field in western Philippine waters. The Malampaya field is expected to dry up within the next few years.

The projects of First Gen Corp., U.S.-based Excelerate Energy LP, Batangas Clean Energy Inc., and Australia-listed Energy World Corp. are still in the pipeline. First Gen has had talks with Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd.
to build an LNG terminal in Batangas province, near its four 2,100-MW gas-fired units. Excelerate plans a floating LNG terminal, while Batangas Clean Energy has proposed a 1,100-MW power plant alongside an LNG import terminal. In 2021, Energy World aims to put online a 650-MW LNG-fueled power plant in Quezon province, near its LNG receiving plant.

However, projects proposed by Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc., which had partnership talks with CNOOC Gas and Power of China and SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., a unit of San Miguel Corp., were excluded from the government's list. Plans for Phoenix's $2-B LNG hub have been put on hold, while San Miguel's project has yet to obtain government approval. San Miguel, which operates a 1,200-MW gas-fueled unit, is partnering with Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Co. for its LNG project.

Turkey announces large gas find in Black Sea

Turkey has reportedly made its biggest-ever natural gas discovery, a 320-Bm3 (11.3-Tft3) field in the Black Sea. Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said the discovery is part of an even larger reserves bank that could come onstream as soon as 2023.

The Fatih drillship began work in late July in the Tuna-1 zone, about 100 nautical mi north of the Turkish coast in the western Black Sea. If the gas can be commercially extracted, the discovery could help Turkey reduce its heavy dependence on imports from countries such as Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan. However, officials and analysts have cautioned that it could take up to a decade for gas from the Black Sea find to come online, and billions of dollars of investment would be required to build up the infrastructure for production and supply.

The gas find is located in waters 2,100 m deep, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said, with drilling extending another 1,400 m below the seabed. Turkey plans to accelerate its exploration operations in the Mediterranean.

Total, Mozambique sign security pact for $20-B gas project

French oil major Total signed a security pact with the government of Mozambique to protect a $20-B LNG project being developed in the southern African country. Mozambican security forces have been battling a low-level insurgency against militias suspected of having links to Islamic State in the gas-rich north of the country.

Violence in the northern Cabo Delgado region has recently claimed dozens of lives. In early August, insurgents captured a heavily defended port in the far northern town of Mocimboa da Praia.

Total's project includes the development of the Golfinho and Atum natural gas fields in the Offshore Area 1 concession, containing more than 60 Tft3
of gas, and the construction of a liquefaction plant with a capacity of 13.1 MMtpy. Initial production is slated for 2024.

According to government officials, the pact is intended to bolster security measures and create a safe operating environment for partners like Total, which will enable their ongoing investment in Mozambican industry.

McDermott awarded FEED contract for Vietnam gas pipeline

McDermott International Ltd. was awarded a contract by Delta Offshore Energy to provide front-end engineering design (FEED) services for a subsea gas pipeline. The pipeline will connect a regasification platform, located approximately 22 mi (35 km) offshore Vietnam, to the planned, 3,200-MW power plant in Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam. McDermott has also been awarded the pre-engineering geotechnical and geophysical survey services being carried out as part of the FEED scope.

McDermott's Houston office is leading engineering services—supported by its Kuala Lumpur office, which has a long track record of delivering solutions to customers in Vietnam. McDermott will perform project management, execution planning and estimation services. Installation studies will be performed by McDermott's marine operations. GP


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