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Financial Times: Shell plans floating LNG plant

By Raphael Minder in Bangkok
Published: March 10 2008 22:08 | Last updated: March 10 2008 22:08

Royal Dutch Shell said on Monday it was planning to order a floating facility capable of liquefying natural gas.

The vessel would combine with technology for developing remote gas fields and reduce environmental concerns around the building of onshore gas plants. Shell said it would issue a tender within four months to Korean and Japanese shipyards and some engineering companies.

The floating facility would have an annual production capacity of 3.5m tonnes, the Anglo-Dutch group said. Other companies such as Petronas of Malaysia have studied switching to floating facilities to tap growing demand for liquefied natural gas, particularly in Asia. The region buys about 60 per cent of world LNG production.

But Shell’s announcement is the most concrete sign to date that the technology can be used in large-scale production.

Jon Chadwick, an executive vice-president of Shell in Asia, said the company was following a “design-one-build-many” strategy for floating LNG production. He would not, however, discuss financial aspects of the forthcoming tender, nor whether Shell would limit the order (which he called “expensive”) to one vessel.

Shell insisted that such a floating facility could now be cyclone-resistant.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

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