Santos, the oil and gas producer has voiced concerns the industry’s newest resource technology, floating LNG is being driven because of the associated higher investment costs of traditional onshore processing facilities and access to remote gas deposits.
Jobs in gas must be created to maximise the resource and allow Australian workers to benefit in terms of employment.
Santos senior executive John Anderson said most companies were being driven to use FLNG technology because of the higher costs of land-based projects and the interference of the Australian government as well as policy and regulatory constraints imposed upon resource companies by each state.
Indicators point to the use of FLNG technology is set to double between now and 2030.”The industry should focus on maximising Australian gas jobs on all projects.”, said Mr Anderson, who is head of Santos in WA and the Northern Territory.
Prelude Gas Jobs
Australian unions have increasingly voiced their concerns against the use of FLNG technology, claiming it will rob Australia of thousands of construction jobs that are generated by companies building land-based gas plants. This is of course a valid argument as Australian workers compete for WA jobs on the existing land based mining and civil construction projects. However, there are hundreds of resource projects still under construction creating mining jobs as well as WA jobs in gas exploration, processing and distribution.
Floating LNG technology is being used by Royal Dutch Shell for its $12 billion Prelude project off the coast off North East coast of Western Australia. Prelude will be the biggest floating structure that has ever been constructed and will be anchored 200km from the WA coast with an expected production life-span of around 25 years.
The components for this huge project are being built in Korea, Dubai, Japan and other parts of the world. Shell has indicated that activity was ramping up at the various locations around the world. Expectations from Shell management indicate that the Prelude facility will be manned by a flood of Australians who have vast experience in working with the technology. The company has also been quick to point out that Prelude operation and maintenance gas jobs will last for 20-25 years.
Don’t understand what FLNG technology is?… click to see an info-graphic of the concept of FLNG.
Woodside Gas Jobs – Browse WA
Woodside Petroleum is also looking at using FLNG to develop its huge Browse gas fields after abandoning plans for the onshore processing plant at James Price Point in WA’s Kimberley region.
WA Premier Colin Barnett, who is not a supporter of FLNG said he remained opposed to FLNG for larger projects, including Browse, but indicated his belief that it was more suited to smaller gas fields such as Prelude.
Mr Barnett indicated to the the industry that the government had a commercial interest in making sure the natural gas was processed onshore because WA owned the resource.
A spokesman for Woodside said the interest in FLNG was being sparked by the increasing costs of onshore projects and the reality that new natural gas discoveries were being made in remote , deep sea locations, so it makes sense to use FLNG technology.
He said it was important to not dismiss the facts that of the seven LNG plants being built in Australia, only one was using FLNG technology.
FLNG Update Nov 2013
Royal Dutch Shell’s floating LNG vision is finally taking shape the Samsung Heavy Industries’ Geoje shipyard in South Korea. The finishing touches are being made to the massive hull of the FLNG production vessel that will eventually be positioned over the Prelude gas field off the Kimberley coast. It’s expected this is to happen around 2016.
The vessel is 488m long and 74m wide, and will proudly boast the world’s biggest. When completed it will have the capacity to produce 3.6 million tonnes of LNG, 400,000t of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and 1.3mtpa of condensate each year – according to Shell sources.
Shell is banking its hopes that the 600,000-tonne prototype will be winner and a precursor to other vessels’ being built which can be used on additional gas fields, including the Torosa, Calliance and Brecknock fields off the Western Australian Kimberley coast. These fields make up the Woodside Petroleum-led Browse LNG venture.
Reference: FLNG jobs | gas jobs for Australian workers