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Petronas targets tonnage for first floating LNG cargo

Malaysian state producer also looking to make a move into floating regasification and LNG bunkering

Speculation is mounting as to which LNG carrier will be used to lift the first cargo produced afloat after Petronas announced it has started production from its PFLNG Satu unit.

Ahmad Adly Alias, Petronas vice-president of LNG trading and marketing, speaking at CWC’s World LNG Summit in Barcelona this week, told TradeWinds that the company most likely would use the first of MISC’s recently delivered newbuildings, the 150,200- cbm Seri Camellia (built 2016). He said that whichever vessel finally lifts the historic shipment, a Moss-type ship will be deployed to handle the transfer of the cargo from the 1.2-million-tonne perannun (mtpa) LNG floater to the visiting LNG carrier.

“If you are going to do a ship-toship, you need a more robust containment system,” he said.

Ahmad said the first commercialcargo would be shipped early in 2017, as the first LNG was produced only last week. Company officials had previously indicated the shipment would leave this year.

Talk also has been circulating that Petronas may utilise the 65,000-cbm LNG Lerici (built 1998) for shipping cargoes from the floater to fulfil its supply contract with Chinese trader Jovo Group.

Ahmad disclosed that the company had been thinking about break-bulking LNG from a mothership into a smaller vessel in either Subic Bay in the Philippines or Labuan in eastern Malaysia.

“We are very innovative in the way we try to satisfy the customer,” he said. “The customer wants small shipment sizes, so we are considering those kinds of options.”

The PFLNG Satu arrived at its production location 180 kilometres (112 miles) off Bintulu in eastern Malaysia at the end of May. It is being used to develop the Kanowit gas field there. Ahmad said it had taken 12 years to bring the world’s first floating LNG (FLNG) project to market.

He said Petronas had chosen to delay its second, slightly more deepwater, 1.6-mtpa floater, which it has on order at Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea, because it did not want to contribute to the overhang of LNG supply in the
market. This unit, the PFLNG Dua, is now due to be completed in 2020.

Petronas is also looking at diversifying its LNG activities. Ahmad said the company was currently considering a move into floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs), although this project is still “under wraps” right now.

He said the company is working on forming a consortium where Petronas would provide the LNG and possibly take an equity project stake while another party would take on the FRSU.

“We are looking at the options,” he said.

Ahmad also revealed that Petronas was looking at branching out into LNG bunkering.

He cited the company’s landbased LNG receiving terminal at Pengerang on Malaysia’s southeast coast as a possible location for these activities. He explained that the terminal had reload facilities but operations would likely entail loading cargo onto a vessel and then transferring as bunkers offshore by ship-to-ship operations.


Article courtesy of Lucy Hine, TradeWinds

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