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LNG development continues steadily, in spite of setbacks

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Both Shell and BG Group recently announced milestones in key ventures, the former's Prelude FLNG Project receiving environmental approval from the Australian government (pending FID) and BG giving the final approval to proceed with their Curtis LNG plant in Queensland.

These additions are merely two of the latest examples of a constellation of projects from a sector that remains comfortably in the forefront of the collective industry mind. The much-vaunted challenge from unconventional seems to have had limited international effect on a market that serves not only the energy-deficient Europes, Japans and Singapores of the world but also quenches the overwhelming thirst of developing areas such as China and Latin America.

However, there have been some setbacks for LNG proposals, notably in the United States, where expanded domestic gas production has driven prices from their 2008 high of $13/million Btu to under a third of that, at less than $4/million Btu in recent months. These prices make importing LNG, at its comparatively high cost, uneconomic and just this week Exxon announced the suspension of its 2007-initiated plan for an LNG terminal off the coast of New Jersey.

On the flip side, this situation has opened up the U.S. as a potential LNG exporter. Freeport LNG also reported this week that it will expand its now underutilised Texas LNG import terminal to include an export facility, thanks to support from Macquarie Group, as did a Cheniere subsidiary about its Louisiana terminal recently.

LNG outlook has always been a focal strength of the Gastech series of events, and 2011 will be no exception. The exhibition’s FREE seminar programme, the Centres of Technical Excellence (CoTEs) will showcase numerous presentations relevant to the above concerns, such as Chevron and Ebara International’s evaluation of the Gorgon LNG expanders or the analysis by Michael Coulson - Foster Wheeler - of LNG's intersection with unconventional in 'LNG from CSG: Challenges and Opportunities'. The full seminar programme can be viewed at Admission to the Exhibition and CoTEs is free and visitors are advised to pre-register online at

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