Petrobras set to announce winner of offshore LNG production unit tender
The group that will be awarded the construction contract for this novel offshore LNG production unit will be known by October 31 Petrobras is keen to begin construction of the unit as it considers offshore natural gas liquefaction vital to guarantee a efficient output for the Santos Basin pre-salt gas.
Many of the Santos Basin pre-salt fields are located over 300km from the coast, which convinced Petrobras to seek other options in order to deliver the gas to the market. Normally gas is transferred from wells to the coast through underwater pipelines but with such distances involved and with many of thereservoirs located in deep water, the national operator opted to develop this option where the ship will be moored in deepwater adjacent to some wells from which it will receive the gas, and acting as a floating refinery the ship will liquefy the gas offshore and transfer the liquefied gas to LNG carriers offshore. These carriers will the head for the coast of directly to other countries to export the pre-salt gas. It is most likely that the majority of this offshore production will target the export market as the simple fact that the carriers are loaded offshore decreases the cost of the export operation as the ships will not need to pay high taxes in Brazilian ports.
Three consortiums are participating in this tender through their technical proposals, these are:
Technip/Modec/JGC, another is composed of SBM and Chiyoda and finally there is the Saipem project.
Petrobras´s partners in this venture are BG, Repsol and Galp, which are also partners to the national operator in various Santos Basin pre-salt fields. The Project is expected to be completed after 2015. There is only one other such project being developed in the world and that is being done by Shell and partners for the massive Australian gas fields.