• BullionStar
    05/30/2016 - 21:24
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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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Sun, 12/02/2012 - 05:15 | 3027668 Catch-22
Catch-22's picture

Soon to be the worlds biggest submarine...

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 07:24 | 3027721 Bicycle Repairman
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!

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 08:36 | 3027748 Dr. Sandi
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.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 08:43 | 3027754 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Peak oil by 2050, bitchez!!


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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:32 | 3027878 CPL
CPL's picture

Most people can't afford it now.


Long horses and oats.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 14:32 | 3028219 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Horseshit is renewable.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 20:21 | 3028429 Manthong
Manthong's picture

JHC, that thing is big.

“A FLiNG Ain't What It Used To Be".. at sea.


Sun, 12/02/2012 - 08:39 | 3027751 Reformed Sheep
Reformed Sheep's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 11:06 | 3027949 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

You're just picking nits.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 11:12 | 3027961 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 14:35 | 3028223 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Sounds exactly like a typical gummint solution to the problem.

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 07:43 | 3029152 mind_imminst
mind_imminst's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 08:34 | 3027746 jekyll island
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? 

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 13:44 | 3028172 AmericanFUPAcabra
AmericanFUPAcabra's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 09:46 | 3027811 cossack55
cossack55's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 13:48 | 3028180 AGuy
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.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 16:49 | 3028385 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

A picture of the proposed FLNG next to one of the LNG tankers it would load

CFR (Terrorist Briefing Book) Liquefied Natural Gas: A Potential Terrorist Target?

SNL (Sandia Nerdspeak) Guidance on Risk Analysis and Safety Implications of a Large LNG Spill Over Water

Youtube - a 34,000 gallon train tank car going boom (imagine over 1,850 of these going off simultaneously)


Sweet dreams.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 09:55 | 3027818 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

Soon to be the worlds biggest submarine...

After it becomes the worlds largest fireball.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:28 | 3027872 CPL
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.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:35 | 3027881 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Renamed: The FLamiNG.


Sun, 12/02/2012 - 11:28 | 3027994 CPL
CPL's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 11:39 | 3028007 Money Squid
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.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 23:19 | 3028832 Illusory logic
Illusory logic's picture

Ever see the movie "Syriana"?  Nuff said.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 13:30 | 3028156 GottaBKiddn
GottaBKiddn's picture

Brilliantly designed unmissable torpedo target.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 05:18 | 3027669 Poor Grogman
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.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 05:25 | 3027670 AUD
AUD's picture

It'll be the new Christmas Island.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 05:31 | 3027676 Catch-22
Catch-22's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 05:38 | 3027679 Catch-22
Catch-22's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 05:58 | 3027694 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 08:45 | 3027757 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



When reality sucks even worse than the movie.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 11:04 | 3027945 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Waterworld Part II: Golden Showers

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 06:58 | 3027715 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

people will  be crashing into it, and asking for asylum

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 11:04 | 3027943 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

More like boarding it and demanding ransom, but yeah.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 11:53 | 3028035 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 08:37 | 3027750 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Can they open up their own central bank?

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 11:15 | 3027968 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 11:38 | 3028006 BurningFuld
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.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 05:26 | 3027671 Catch-22
Catch-22's picture

Fling? More like a commitment...

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 05:41 | 3027680 BattlegroundEur...
BattlegroundEurope2011's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 15:05 | 3028247 mkhs
mkhs's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 05:41 | 3027681 BattlegroundEur...
BattlegroundEurope2011's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 05:46 | 3027682 Catch-22
Catch-22's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 07:25 | 3027722 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 08:36 | 3027747 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture


Sun, 12/02/2012 - 12:03 | 3028057 garypaul
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...

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 21:34 | 3028679 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Does more to prove that Mises was correct than anything.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 05:49 | 3027685 Catch-22
Catch-22's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 05:49 | 3027686 gratefultraveller
gratefultraveller's picture

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

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 05:54 | 3027691 Catch-22
Catch-22's picture

...very perspicacious of you...

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