A FLiNG Ain't What It Used To Be

Tyler Durden's picture

There was a time when flings (insert personal contextual experience) used to be simple, impromptu, largely trivial things seeking instant gratification. That was until Shell's Floating Liquid Natural Gas facility, or FLiNG, came along: currently being built in the South Korean shipyards (largely unoccupied in the past several years after a surge in dry bulk container ship construction left the industry with a massive inventory glut and little demand for its precision engineering), this behemoth of a ship, measuring nearly half a kilometer in length, and displacing 600,000 tonnes of water, will be the world's largest offshore floating facility when deployed 200 km off the north-west coast of Australia in 2017 to process the recently discovered Prelude and Concerto gas fields. It will also likely revolutionize the field of Liquified Natural Gas extraction.

Natural gas is one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels, in relative abundance, extremely versatile and energy rich, and in a world in which reliance on foreign crude, much of in inhospitable hands, will likely play an ever greater role in energy production. It is also very "green", as it consumes less fresh water and takes up less land per unit of energy delivered. Yet one of the historical drawbacks is that traditional transportation options are limited, and extraction facilities are very bulky and complex, highly engineered and not geared toward deep sea exploration where environmental and extraction costs are prohibitive, requiring subsea pipelines traveling hundreds of kilometers to a mainland LNG facility, thus curbing one of the largest potential sources of natural gas in the world: those located underwater. All this may change with the arrival of Floating Liquid Natural Gas facilities, such as Shell's 488 meter FLNG.

The FLiNG in context:

Developed after 10 years of research, using 600 engineers, and 1.6 million man-hours (182.5 years equivalent), Shell has manged to compact the size of a traditional LNG plant to a quarter of its land size. As Wired explains: "by stacking components vertically and using deep-sea water to cool the gas to its liquid state, the FLNG saves dramatically on deck space and enables the whole facility to occupy an area of roughly 4 football pitches: 28,500 square meters. One of its most innovative features involves the the plant's unique location: an assembly of eight one-meter diameter pipes will extend 150m below the ocean's surface, delivering around 50 million liters of cold seawater an hour, used to cool the gas."

Another cool feature: the "anchoring" mechanism. "The FLNG is set to remain on location for 25 years before returning to dock, in which time it can expect to meet its fair share of stormy weather. Although its sheer size will help in coping with the high winds and giant waves, one of the largest mooring systems in the world has been designed to help guarantee safety. A 105-meter turret will run through the facility and secure it to the seabed using mooring chains, while three 6,700 horsepower engines will turn it according to wind conditions."

Good: because if the tiny by comparison BP Deepwater Horizon rig caused such catastrophic environmental havoc after one mishap, the last thing nature will need is half kilometer large flaming barges, floating out of control in the deep seas.

The bottom line: one FLiNG can produce 5.3 million tonnes of LNG, Liquified Petroleum Gas and condensate per year. Once operational, it, and its peers, will have a decided impact on the logistics, infrastructure and geopolitical balance of power in a world in which energy (and food) will continue to play the most dominant marginal role.

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Catch-22's picture

Soon to be the worlds biggest submarine...

Bicycle Repairman's picture

" Shell's Floating Liquid Natural Gas facility, or FLiNG [...] will be the world's largest offshore floating facility when deployed 200 km off the north-west coast of Australia in 2017 to process the recently discovered Prelude and Concerto gas fields. It will also likely revolutionize the field of Liquified Natural Gas extraction."

Uh oh, time for yet another rewrite on Hubbert.  Peak oil by 2050, bitchez!!

Unless the oceans rise another 20 feet first. 

Can this "Fling" handle another 20 feet of ocean?

What about the polar bears?

Everybody turn your thermostats to 63.  NOW!

Dr. Sandi's picture

Uh oh, time for yet another rewrite on Hubbert.  Peak oil by 2050, bitchez!!

Hubbert was writing about oil. This is not oil.

GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Peak oil by 2050, bitchez!!

 

Naw, there will still be oil....but your grandkids will be to poor to afford it.

CPL's picture

Most people can't afford it now.

 

Long horses and oats.

Reformed Sheep's picture

Why a rewrite on Hubbert? Seems we're moving to extract difficult NatGas preciseley because Hubbert was right...

FeralSerf's picture

If I turn my thermostat to 63, my A/C goes on.  How's that going to help?

A Nanny Moose's picture

Sounds exactly like a typical gummint solution to the problem.

mind_imminst's picture

Funny, my thermostat is on 63, right now, has been for years.

jekyll island's picture

I'm not buying the propaganda.  Is there a sunken Russian nuclear sub off the coast of Australia close to the NG fields? 

AmericanFUPAcabra's picture

Anyone have ol' Howard Hughes on speed dial.... Oh wait

cossack55's picture

Rather than FLING, how about MOAFB (Mother Of All Floating Bombs).

AGuy's picture

About 75 years ago, the Germans built the biggest ship in the world. I was an ship designed to carry a volatile gas too. In 1937 when it docked in NJ it suddely exploded. "Oh the humanity!"

 

Hint: Hindenburg.

Urban Redneck's picture

A picture of the proposed FLNG next to one of the LNG tankers it would load
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yQKIWU_R490/UFsL12SCfrI/AAAAAAAAMHk/mTVew6467L...

CFR (Terrorist Briefing Book) Liquefied Natural Gas: A Potential Terrorist Target?
http://www.cfr.org/port-security/liquefied-natural-gas-potential-terrori...

SNL (Sandia Nerdspeak) Guidance on Risk Analysis and Safety Implications of a Large LNG Spill Over Water
http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/oilgas/storage/lng/sandia_lng_1204...

Youtube - a 34,000 gallon train tank car going boom (imagine over 1,850 of these going off simultaneously)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf3WKTwHpIU

 

Sweet dreams.

Long-John-Silver's picture

Soon to be the worlds biggest submarine...

After it becomes the worlds largest fireball.

CPL's picture

World's biggest floating bomb more like.

 

Could you imagine if it was loaded with NG and it went up in smoke?  Ecological disaster aside, you'd be able to see it from space if someone fired a bunch of stingers at it..

 

Hope they build a couple of naval carriers to defend it.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Renamed: The FLamiNG.

 

CPL's picture

It would be a prize for a pirate as well.  Hope they don't intend to float anywhere near Somalia. 

Money Squid's picture

" Ecological disaster aside,..."

The engineers thought this through - the fireball will be so large and so intense that it will sanitize everything. Nothing will be left, therefore no ecological disaster.

Illusory logic's picture

Ever see the movie "Syriana"?  Nuff said.

GottaBKiddn's picture

Brilliantly designed unmissable torpedo target.

Poor Grogman's picture

"The FLNG is set to remain on location for 25 years before returning to dock"

 

Almost worth giving it a proper name and its own government and postcode.

AUD's picture

It'll be the new Christmas Island.

Catch-22's picture

...is it 4am where you all are?

Catch-22's picture

...I gave you up arrows just for participating...

bank guy in Brussels's picture

And after that it will become Kevin Costner's boat for Waterworld Part II

savagegoose's picture

people will  be crashing into it, and asking for asylum

GMadScientist's picture

More like boarding it and demanding ransom, but yeah.

Pool Shark's picture

More like sneaking onto it and demanding welfare benefits and free tuition...

Dr. Sandi's picture

Can they open up their own central bank?

post turtle saver's picture

Biggest... floating casino... EVAR...

BurningFuld's picture

That's why it stays at sea. No country of origin = NO TAXES   Brilliant, it can sneak around the world and steal off shore gas.

Catch-22's picture

Fling? More like a commitment...

BattlegroundEurope2011's picture

ppffft.   nothing a "terrorist" speed boat, filled with explosive material, could not take out.

mkhs's picture

By terrrorist, are you referring to Michigan militia, Tea Party, gold and food hoarding libertarian, or average US citizen?

BattlegroundEurope2011's picture

ppffft.   nothing a "terrorist" speed boat, filled with explosive material, could not take out.

Catch-22's picture

...you can say that again... Oh! You just did...

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Yeah.  I agree.  And my "green" energy investments can't go any lower, can they?

garypaul's picture

Yes it's true that the "green" stuff is just BS, but that does more to prove the Peak Oil theory not disprove it...

NidStyles's picture

Does more to prove that Mises was correct than anything.

Catch-22's picture

...is it unethical to give yourself an up arrow... when things are slow like now...

gratefultraveller's picture

"Petroleum" in the last paragraph would have to be "Natural". Just saying.

Catch-22's picture

...very perspicacious of you...