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The future of FLNG

LNG Industry,

DNV GL has developed a new unmanned floating LNG (FLNG) concept – Solitude.

The concept has the ability to overcome “many of the challenges currently faced by those looking to unlock the potential of remote offshore gas fields”, while reducing OPEX by approximately 20%.

Anticipating the need to overcome cost barriers for remote projects while meeting increasingly stringent safety and environmental standards, DNV GL launched an Extraordinary Innovation Project to explore LNG technology.

Economic viability

Commenting on the launch of the concept, Elisabeth Tørstad, CEO Oil and Gas, said: “Solitude has been developed with maintainability foremost in mind. By changing the focus from maximum efficiency to maximum reliability, and selecting robust processing options with built-in redundancy, we were able to develop a solution that ensures production levels and boosts the economic viability of FLNG projects.”

One of the features of the FLNG concept is the generation of power by fuel cells, rather than high-maintenance gas turbines. This improves power generation reliability and reduces the environmental footprint of the floating unit.

Modular equipment

The equipment is modularised and monitored from shore, while maintenance and fault corrections are carried out by robots. The topside has a system of rails that run along each process train, providing the robots with access to the equipment.

The unit is equipped with wireless sensor networks, which feed information to a condition monitoring system that oversees fault detection, maintenance and repair planning. Personal safety risks are eliminates, as no personnel need to stay onboard the unit.

Technological developments

“Existing frontier oil and gas projects have resulted in tremendous technological developments, particularly in the subsea realm, and Solitude draws on this. Operators are already controlling subsea installations and simple, fixed offshore installations from shore. Given the on-going advances in autonomous systems and remote operations, unmanned offshore installations are a natural development over the next few decades,” Tørstad continued.

“While Solitude is a holistic concept, many of its solutions can be implemented independently – and some are already available today. These projects are our way of thinking out loud. Our aim is to present high-level concepts that can form a basis for discussion and be further developed in collaboration with the industry. We see Solitude as a new opportunity for the future.”

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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