Many onshore LNG projects are struggling with cost-blowout mainly due to construction delays, skilled labor shortage, environmental issues, etc. In order to avoid this critical project risk, FLNG is coming up as a viable alternative even it has not been commercially proven yet and has some technical challenges to be overcome, such as motion effects, weather risk, sloshing and reliability of offloading system.
Offloading LNG to a fixed terminal has been successfully carried out for many years with well established procedures. Offloading LNG from an FLNG to an LNGC links value chain of production to shipping, which is more complex compared to a fixed terminal case since seawater motion generates dynamic to dynamic situation between two floating bodies: FLNG and LNGC. Once FLNG starts operation, fixing the offloading system requires considerable amount of operation losses. This is not a simple equipment cost matter, but risk and reliability issue of the FLNG. Selection of reliable LNG transfer technology is an essential parameter that affects FLNG development and operation.
This paper presents LNG transfer technologies which are at various stage of qualification in view of the latest development status, testing & certification, safety & operability, cost, availability and reliability. Comprehensive evaluation of the offshore LNG transfer systems having high reliability has been discussed. A case study for economic analysis of the different transfer systems is included to provide more detailed information.
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