In the following video, see the Shell’s Olympus TLP hull arrive in Texas following the long journey from South Korea. The approximately 32,500 metric ton main body of the Olympus TLP, arrived in Texas two weeks ago.
The installation of the topsides will now take place before the TLP departs for its final location on the Mars Field in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Mars Field, owned by Shell (71.5%) and BP (28.5%), and operated by Shell, continues to contribute to the Gulf of Mexico’s position as a critical component of the US energy supply. Discovered in 1989 and brought onto production in 1996, the Mars Field is considered one of the largest resource basins in the Gulf of Mexico. The site for the Olympus TLP, known as the Mars B development, is located about 130-miles south of New Orleans in the Mississippi Canyon and lies in approximately 3000 feet of water.
The Olympus TLP, Shell’s sixth and largest tension leg platform, will also provide process infrastructure for two of Shell’s deep water discoveries, West Boreas and South Deimos.
The U.S. Department of Energy has granted Pangea LNG Holdings, LLC, long-term, multi-contract authorization to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to free trade agreement (FTA) nations from its South Texas LNG Project currently in development on Corpus Christi Bay.
Pangea LNG will be authorized to export up to 8 million metric tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG produced from domestic gas fields for a 25-year term commencing on the date of its first export. That amount is equal to 1.09 Bcf/day of natural gas.
Pangea LNG has also filed an application with DOE requesting authorization to export LNG to any country with which the U.S. does not have a free trade agreement in effect. That application, which was filed in December, is pending.
“Approval by the US DOE is a positive step forward for this project, which represents a significant investment in the development of the LNG market in the U.S.,” said John Godbold, Pangea LNG project director. “Exporting LNG will help stabilize U.S. natural gas prices, grow and sustain drilling and production jobs, and stimulate additional investment in developing the country’s gas reserves.”
DOE approval of FTA authorization is part of the regulatory process necessary to develop Pangea LNG’s new LNG export terminal on a 550-acre site. The site is located on the 45-foot deep La Quinta Ship Channel which is part of the Port of Corpus Christi, the sixth busiest U.S. seaport in terms of tonnage.
The South Texas LNG Project is subject to federal, state and local regulatory approvals with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) acting as the lead federal agency. Pangea will begin the FERC pre-filing process by the second quarter of 2013 and expects the project to be in operation by at least 2018.
FTA countries covered by the DOE authorization include Republic of Korea, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Peru and Singapore.
Pangea LNG B.V. is a holding company with two major LNG export projects under development – the South Texas LNG Export Project on the Texas Gulf Coast and the Tamar Project in the Eastern Mediterranean. Pangea LNG is a developer of liquefaction projects which are designed to accelerate and support the monetization of gas reserves.
by Karen Boman Rigzone Staff
The liquefied natural gas (LNG) division of Calgary-based Ferus LP successfully completed in October what the company believes to be the first-ever hydraulic fracturing operation utilizing liquefied natural gas (LNG) as engine fuel in North America.
Ferus’ LNG Division was engaged by a major oil and gas service company in the United States to conduct the pilot project, which involved six dual-fuel 2,250 horsepower pressure pumper units, powered by LNG, to stimulate well performance in the south Texas Eagle Ford shale.
The dual fuel systems allow for natural gas and diesel to be consumed simultaneously with no decrease in performance, Jed Tallman, manager of market development for Ferus LNG, told Rigzone. Approximately 10,000 gallons of LNG was used in the pilot project, which took place in the southwestern portion of the Eagle Ford play.
While the company cannot discuss the plans of the operator involved in the pilot project, Ferus LNG has been contacted by numerous operators and service companies regarding LNG as a low-cost, environmentally superior alternative fuel, Tallman said.
The increase in interest by operators and service companies in using LNG for hydraulic fracturing has been dramatic.
“Because of the large amounts of diesel consumed in fracturing fleets, the use of LNG as an alternative fuel will result in cost savings for the operator or service company, not to mention a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” Tallman commented.
“LNG offers significant environmental and cost-saving advantages and is quickly becoming the alternative fuel of choice for heavy-duty high horsepower on-road and off-road applications in North America,” said Ferus President and CEO Dick Brown in a Nov. 28 statement. “We were very pleased to play such a critical role in this ground-breaking project, and we intend to be at the forefront of this growing industry as more and more diesel consumers make the switch to North America’s abundant supply of natural gas.”
It is difficult to estimate the specific size of the market for LNG in hydraulic fracturing and in other areas such as railroad transportation and trucking moving forward, Tallman commented.
“But given the economic benefits, improved emissions profile, and increased gas production, we feel that LNG will make up a considerably larger percentage of our domestic energy consumption in the future.”
While the use of LNG for hydraulic fracturing is not being specifically done to alleviate criticism of hydraulic fracturing, the improved emissions profile of natural gas certainly is a benefit, Tallman said.
To complete this project, which marks a significant milestone in the adoption of natural gas as an alternative engine fuel, Ferus managed the entire supply chain on behalf of its client including LNG supply, transportation, and on-site storage and vaporization using specialized equipment and highly-trained personnel.
In addition to being a cleaner-burning and less expensive fuel alternative, LNG is non-toxic, non-combustible, non-flammable as a liquid, and dissipates into the atmosphere in the event of a leak or a spill, making it safer than diesel and gasoline, the company said in a statement.
The use of LNG requires specialized fuel handling equipment and additional training for individuals involved in the LNG supply chain.
“As a leading provider of cryogenic liquids for the energy sector, Ferus is uniquely qualified for the undertaking,” Tallman said.
The increased use of natural gas to fuel not only hydraulic fracturing but transportation has grown thanks to the abundance of shale gas in the United States.
The use of natural gas over diesel is becoming more widespread, likely due to the cost benefits associated with fuel switching, according to a Nov. 28 analyst report from GHS Research. GHS referenced Baker Hughes‘ Nov. 26 announcement that it would convert a fleet of its Rhino hydraulic fracturing units to bifuel pumps as a way to improve operational efficiency, lower costs and reduce health, safety and environment impacts. Bifuel is a mix of gas and diesel.
The new pumps use a mixture of gas and diesel, reducing diesel use by up to 65 percent with no loss of hydraulic horsepower. The converted fleet, which meets all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards, can also reduce a number of emissions including nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide and particulate matter.
Baker Hughes first converted a small fleet of its units in Canada; the success Baker Hughes saw with this endeavor prompted to company to convert an entire fleet in the United States. The company is converting several more fleets of Rhino trucks to Rhino Bifuel equipment. Baker Hughes also has a test program in Oklahoma, where a number of light-duty vehicles have been converted to natural gas.
Westport Innovations, which manufactures natural gas-powered truck engines, recently reported it is building a railroad locomotive engine that can run on LNG. During 2012, the company saw “broad consensus” for the first time that natural gas will take material market share in every global transportation market within the next five years, said David Demers, chief executive officer for Westport, during the company’s third quarter 2012 earnings update Nov. 8.
Demers noted that consensus suggests that the company will see 7 percent to 15 percent of the North American trucking industry run on natural gas in 2017.
Westport Innovations will also introduce new natural gas-powered versions of the Ford F-450 and F-550 Super Duty trucks in mid-2013, the company said in a Dec. 3 statement.
“Although current demand for natural gas used in vehicles is minor relative to the demand associated with power generation, industry and residential heating, it is catching on and may soon reach a tipping a point where growth rapidly accelerates, with or without government intervention,” GHS reported.
- Baker Hughes using natural gas in fracturing jobs (fuelfix.com)
- Baker Hughes Converts Fleet of Hydraulic Fracturing Units to Bifuel (maritime-executive.com)
- USA: Waller Marine to Develop LNG Terminal (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Natural gas exports are in near future, Exxon says (star-telegram.com)