EDF Group Commissions Dunkerque LNG Terminal

The first liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker Madrid Spirit docked at the Dunkerque LNG terminal’s jetty on July 8, marking the industrial start-up of the facility, the French electric utility company EDF Group said.

With the arrival of the 2004-built LNG tanker, the terminal received some 130,000 m3 of LNG, originating from a liquefaction plant in Bonny, Nigeria.

“The arrival of the first tanker is a key milestone, the fruit of faultless dedication from all teams working on the project. It represents the end of the construction and the industrial start-up of the terminal,” Marc Girard, President of Dunkerque LNG, said.

Once the tanker was moored and connected to the discharging arm, the facility began the cooling process to -163°C.

The company said that the tank will be discharged slowly over the course of 7 to 10 days.

Over the following 10 to 15 days, gas produced from the evaporation of some of this LNG will be sent to the flare.

Once cooled, the terminal storage installations will send the gas out to the GRTgaz transmission network, at a low rate initially to test each of the terminal’s units.

A second vessel is scheduled to arrive in the first half of August, to carry out test runs of the whole system and performance tests and the company said that the commercial operations could start at the end of September.

The terminal, which was constructed over a period of four and a half years, underwent several test runs of the installation without gas during the last few months, which included stress conditions tests, commissioning of utilities, partially cooling with nitrogen down to -110°C.

Petronet LNG eyes Bangladesh and Sri Lanka terminals

India’s Petronet LNG has laid out expansion plans that will see around $3bn spent over the next five years, including establishing gas terminals in neighbouring Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, in a move that could shake up South Asian gas trades.

Petronet LNG is looking to build a 5m tonne a year facility at Kutbdia in Bangladesh as well as a 1m tonne a year floating facility in Sri Lanka. Both moves would be Petronet LNG’s first overseas foray.

Keppel secures new marine projects

Keppel Offshore & Marine has announced that its subsidiary yard Keppel Shipyard has secured four contracts worth a total of about S$120m ($89m) from repeat customers.

The first contract is from BW Catcher, a unit of BW Offshore, for the installation and integration of topside modules for a newbuild floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

The second contract is from SOFEC to fabricate an internal turret mooring system for a floating storage and offloading vessel that will operate in Maersk Oil’s Culzean Field in the United Kingdom’s section of the North Sea.

For the third contract, Keppel Shipyard will carry out upgrading work to a pipelay vessel for Saipem Offshore Norway.

The final contract is from Woodside Energy for the modification and upgrading of a FPSO vessel to support the Greater Enfield Project.

“We are pleased to secure new orders from long-time customers who continue to entrust their projects with us, whether it is for turret fabrication or vessel upgrades. Leveraging our comprehensive range of marine services, proven execution excellence and experience, we continue to be the trusted and preferred partner in the industry, providing cost-effective and robust solutions,” said Michael Chia, managing director of Keppel Offshore & Marine.

Saipem wins contract to develop ‘supergiant’ gas field in Egypt

Saipem has won the field development contract for the “supergiant” Zohr gas field, located in Egyptian waters in the Mediterranean sea.

The firm was awarded the offshore engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract for the field by its developer Petrobel, which is a joint venture between Eni and Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC).

Saipem will install a 26-inch gas export trunkline and 14-inch and 8-inch service trunklines at the field. The company will also conduct EPCI work in deep water of up to 1,700 metres to develop six wells at the field, and will also install the umbilical system.

The contract will deploy Saipem’s ultra-deepwater pipelaying vesselCastorone, the semi-submersible pipelayer Castoro Sei, the trench/pipelay barge Castoro 10 and other specialised vessels.

Work will start in this month and is due to be completed by the end of 2017, Saipem said. The specific value of the Zohr contract was not revealed.

“We are very pleased to have been selected for the important objective of delivering first gas from Zohr before the end of 2017,” Stefano Cao, the company’s CEO, said in a release.

Eni discovered the 3,765-square-km Zohr gas field in August 2015 using the drillship Saipem 10000, which is still operating in the area. The field’s gas reserves are estimated at around 850bn cubic metres.

New Delhi to provide local yards with financial assistance

Indian shipyards will be able to access up to $5.9m in state aid to build ships, according to new regulations from the shipping ministry which follow on from last December’s shipbuilding financial assistance policy promoted by the government.

The aid will be available for a 10-year period starting this year.

The financial assistance is stipulated for standard ships – bulkers, OSVs, boxships, etc. Guidance on more specialised ships such as LNG, LPG, FPSOs, is expected to be released soon.

The Narendra Modi government has been backing a ‘Made in India’ campaign, determined to improve manufacturing capabilities on home soil.

Hercules Offshore sells rig for $3.16m

Financially strapped American drilling contractor Hercules Offshore announced on Monday that one of its subsidiaries is selling a jack-up rig for $3.16m.

Hercules International Drilling Ltd is making the sale of rig Hercules 267to an unnamed buyer as the parent company is going through bankruptcy proceedings for the second time in a year. The price indicates it has likely been sold for scrap.

In the company’s most recent rig fleet status report, in March, Hercules 267 is described as being warm stacked – idle but ready to be deployed quickly – in the African nation of Gabon.

New Panama Canal Brings US LNG Closer to Asia

New Panama Canal Brings US LNG Closer to Asia
The newly expanded Panama Canal has significant implications for LNG trade, reducing travel time and transportation costs for LNG shipments from the US Gulf Coast to key markets in Asia and providing additional access to previously regionalized LNG markets, according to US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Furthermore, the canal will be able to accommodate 90 percent of the world’s current liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers with LNG-carrying capacity up to 3.9 billion cubic feet (Bcf), while, prior to the expansion, only 30 of the smallest LNG tankers with capacities up to 0.7 Bcf, which make up 6 percent of the current global fleet, could transit the canal.
With the new locks, which provide access to a wider lane for vessels, only the 45 largest LNG vessels, 4.5-Bcf to 5.7-Bcf capacity Q-Flex and Q-Max tankers used for exports from Qatar, will not be able to use the expanded canal.

Transit through the Panama Canal will considerably reduce voyage time for LNG from the US Gulf Coast to markets in northern Asia.

A transit from the US Gulf Coast through the Panama Canal to Japan will reduce voyage time to 20 days, compared to 34 days for voyages around the southern tip of Africa or 31 days if transiting through the Suez Canal. Voyage time to South Korea, China, and Taiwan will also be reduced by transiting through the Panama Canal.

Additionally, the new canal will cut the travel time from the US Gulf Coast to South America, declining from 20 days to 8-9 days to Chilean regasification terminals, and from 25 days to 5 days to prospective terminals in Colombia and Ecuador.

In addition to shortening transit times, using the Panama Canal will also reduce transportation costs, EIA informs.

Transit costs through the Panama Canal for an average 3.5 Bcf LNG carrier are estimated at USD 0.20 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) for a round-trip voyage, representing about 9 percent to 12 percent of the round-trip voyage cost to countries in northern Asia.

Currently, about 9.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of US natural gas liquefaction capacity is either in operation or under construction in the United States. By 2020, the United States is set to become the world’s third-largest LNG producer, after Australia and Qatar, according to EIA.

NASSCO to Build Six Oilers for US Navy

NASSCO to Build Six Oilers for US Navy
US shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO has received a contract for the detailed design and construction of six John Lewis-class (TAO-205) oilers for the US Navy.

Designed to transfer fuel to the navy’s surface ships operating at sea, the oilers will have the capacity to carry 156,000 barrels of oil, including new bio fuels.

The oilers will also have significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and will reach a speed of 20 knots.

The first ship of the program was funded in the FY2016 budget, allowing engineering and design work to begin immediately.

The US Navy’s FY2017 budget requests advance procurement for a second ship, with procurement expected to occur in FY2018.

Currently, the San Diego-based shipbuilder is under contract to construct its fourth Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) for the US Navy, USNS Hershel Williams, and is under contract to procure long-lead time material and engineering support for a fifth ESB.

Deep Sea Supply awarded PSV contracts

Norwegian offshore operator Deep Sea Supply has announced that it has been awarded three new time charter contracts by BP for operations in Egypt.

The PSV Sea Swift has been awarded a 2 years firm plus 1 year option contract, while Sea Spear and Sea Spark have been awarded 1 year firm plus 1 year option contracts.

All three vessels are expected to commence operations in the third quarter of 2016.

Rowan seals multiple rig contract extensions

Rowan Companies has reported a series of contract extensions in its latest fleet status report.

Drillship Rowan Resolute has received a blend and extend amendment awarded by Anadarko. The drillship has been given an extension at a dayrate of $580,000 for an estimated 273 days. Starting July 1, the dayrate will be reduced to $180,000 for an estimated 210 days followed by a return to the original dayrate of $608,000 for the remainder of the primary term.

Jackup rig Rowan Viking has been awarded a contract extension with Lundin for 270 days for $275,000 per day following the primary term. The reduced rate $282,000 is retroactive to January 1, 2016.

Jackup rig Gilbert Rowe has been awarded a contract extension with Saudi Aramco at the current rate of $69,000 to December 31, 2016 while another jackup rig Rowan Gorilla VII’s dayrate will be reduced to a standby rate (85% of operating rate) in mid-August.