Technip sees floating LNG plants proliferate off Australian waters
Technip, the French oil-services provider building the Prelude floating liquefied natural gas vessel for Australian waters, expects such projects to proliferate as onshore ventures face delays and cost overruns.
“There is more and more of a realisation that floating LNG could be a solution that is more cost-effective and time-effective than traditional onshore LNG,” chief executive officer Thierry Pilenko said yesterday on a conference call.
Costs for land-based LNG plants are surging in Australia as the country adds projects to compete with Qatar as the biggest exporter of the liquefied fuel. Woodside Petroleum and BG Group have blown budgets for Australian ventures after labour expenses rose, while Chevron Corp is reviewing the cost of its A$43bn ($45bn) Gorgon development.
Technip is building Royal Dutch Shell’s Prelude LNG vessel, due to operate from about 2017, with South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Paris-based Technip is also working with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co to develop a Malaysian offshore project for Petroliam Nasional, and is studying a venture for Brazil.
Demand for LNG, which is gas chilled to a liquid for transport by tanker, was boosted by the shutdown of Asian reactors following Japan’s nuclear meltdown last year, driving up prices. In Australia, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and GDF Suez are considering offshore projects.
Technip will be involved in a GDF Suez competition to look at the feasibility of its Australian venture, according to Pilenko, who said “I wouldn’t be surprised if there are additional projects” announced next year for the Australian market.
Technip, Europe’s largest oilfield-services provider after Italy’s Saipem, reported a 21% increase in third-quarter profit yesterday and raised targets for the full year.
Net income climbed to €146.3mn ($190mn) from €121mn a year earlier after oil producers expanded exploration, raising demand for Technip’s services. Sales gained 23% to €2.08bn.
Demand for LNg is zeer hoog