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Petronas to export world's first LNG from floating production unit

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Reuters are reporting that Malaysia's Petronas is about to export the world's first LNG produced from a floating production unit, beating rivals like Royal Dutch Shell in a race that has cost developers billions of dollars.

The Petronas Floating LNG Satu (PFLNG Satu), sitting off the coat of Bintulu on Malaysia's Borneo island, is currently loading LNG into the 144 000 m3 capacity LNG tanker Seri Camellia.

The LNG tanker arrived on 25 March and has started loading the LNG cargo. PFLNG Satu's first export cargo is heading for South Korea.

The Satu facility, which is estimated to have cost as much as US$10 billion, arrived in Malaysian waters last year, preparing for first operations.

Other producers currently developing floating LNG production facilities include Royal Dutch Shell, which with the over-US$12 billion Prelude FLNG is building the world's biggest maritime vessel for use in Australia. Japan's Inpex is building a similarly big FLNG unit as part of the US$37 billion Ichthys export project, also for use in Australia.

Both these hugely expensive projects have been plagued by delays, allowing Petronas to become the first company to produce LNG from a floating production unit.

The huge development costs have led some to question whether FLNG units on this scale will be ordered again in future.

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