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Woodside and partners to deploy a fleet of FLNG on Browse

Woodside to moore three Shell-type FLNGs on Browse

2B1st_Project_Smart_Explorer_Sales_Pursuit_ToolWoodside Petroleum (Woodside) and its partners, Shell, BP, Mitsubishi-Mitsui (MIM), and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC or PetroChina) are setting up the benchmark for the development of the natural gas fields offshore Western Australia in confirming the decision to deploy a fleet of three floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) vessels on the Browse project.

It took less than five months, since the no-go decision made on April  13th 2013 on Browse original conceptual design based on a conventional offshore platform, export pipeline and onshore LNG trains to adopt the FLNG concept.

Woodside_Browse_FLNG_Project_MapThis no-go decision had been forged when Woodside and its partners were observing the costs and schedule of the other similar LNG projects on Western Australia running out of control under the accumulation of the giant projects in front of permanent shortage of human resources for the engineering and construction work.

From the original budget, the last estimations for Browse conventional execution were bubbling to $40 billion capital expenditure on first quarter 2013, causing the project to stop in this configuration even before the final investment decision (FID) planned on June 2013.

In Browse, Woodside and its partners share the working interests such as:

 – Woodside 31.3% is the operator

 – Shell 27% after the swap of assets with Chevron on Carnarvon

 – BP 17%

 – MIM 14.7%

 – PetroChina 9% bought in 2012 from BHP Billiton

 Since Shell had increased its stake in the Browse project, the FLNG option came up to Woodside and the other partners, BP, Mitsubishi-Mitsui and PetroChina, as a realistic alternative to the original design

Technip appointed to provide FLNG feasibility study

In August 2013, Woodside and its partners appointed Technip to perform a quick feasibility study to deploy FLNG vessels on Browse project since it covers three gas fields Brecknock, Calliance and Torosa.

Located 425 kilometers from James Price Point in Western Australia where the onshore LNG plant was supposed to be established, these three fields are estimated to hold:

 – 15.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas

 – 417 million barrels of condensate

Considering that the Retention Lease approved by the Australian Government is imposing to Woodside and its partners the deadline of December 31st 2014 to start Browse development, limited additional time is left to rework the feasibility study and front end engineering and design (FEED) of the project.

Woodside-Shell_Browse_FLNGPrior to appoint Technip to perform a fast track feasibility study, Woodside and its partners had closed a deal to use Shelltype FLNG vessels in case they should proceed with this concept.

In parallel Shell,Technip and Samsung Heavy Industries (Samsung) had signed on their side a strategic agreement for the further development of FLNG series.

Therefore Woodside and its partners can expect to save time on the new FEED work and make the final investment decision (FID) on first half 2015.

Based on Shell Prelude model with a capacity of 3.5 million tonnes per year (t/y),Technip is working on FLNG vessels to handle 4 to 6 million t/y per unit for Browse.

In this context, Woodside and its partners Shell, BP, Mitsubishi-Mitsui and PetroChina are planning to deploy three FLNG in phases with the first vessel to be in production in 2020 and the next units to be moored 15 months later each.

For more information and data about oil and gas and petrochemical projects go to Project Smart Explorer


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