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Australian FLNG granted federal approval

LNG Industry,

The Scarborough floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project has received conditional approval from Australian Environmental Minister, Greg Hunt.

The proposed plan to develop the Scarborough natural gas field on the Exmouth plateau offshore Western Australia is a joint venture between ExxonMobil and BHP Billiton.

According to ‘The Australian Financial Review’, the multi-billion dollar plan to develop the Scarborough gas deposit is currently in the pre-front end engineering design phase, with further studies expected before a final investment decision in the 2015 fiscal year. First LNG production could be expected in 2021.

"ExxonMobil is in the early stages of developing the Scarborough project and significant progress has been made," a company spokesman told the newspaper. If the project goes ahead, it will be the largest FLNG facility in the world, at 495 m long, 75 m wide and capable of processing up to seven million tpa of LNG.

FLNG project highlights

In a preliminary environmental report released in September, ExxonMobil highlighted the following aspects of the project:

  • Drilling of approximately 12 production wells in two phases.
  • Installation of subsea infrastructure including umbilicals, risers and flowlines and tie-back of the production wells to the FLNG facility.
  • The FLNG facility will be permanently moored on location. The facility will combine the requirements for gas treatment, liquefaction, storage and transfer of LNG to carriers for delivery to market.
  • The Scarborough gas field has an expected producing life of approximately 25-35 years.
  • At the end of Scarborough field production, there may be options for future use of the FLNG facility, including tie-in of nearby fields or reuse at another location. If these options are not viable, the facility will be decommissioned consistent with laws and regulations at the time of decommissioning.

Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward

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