Case study

LNG on legs

A world-first fixed-platform natural gas liquefaction facility with uncongested open-water access for LNG carriers, free of the coastal footprint that burdens shore-based facilities.

Project details
Project name:
Client name:
Gulf of Mexico
Mark Netzel
Senior Vice President, Upstream/Midstream
Larry Cutburth
Midstream Project Manager
Key stats
World first:
World’s first platform-based liquefied natural gas facility
Total optimal capacity:
6 MMtpa
Storage capacity:
Tanks capable of storing 300,000 cubic metres of LNG
Wood has partnered with LNG21 on their pioneering project to develop the world’s first offshore platform-based liquefied natural gas (PLNG) and storage facility in the Gulf of Mexico.

The abundance of natural gas in the US along with the rising global demand of LNG, particularly in Asia, is establishing a strong incentive for the development of innovative solutions to export LNG from the US.

Onshore LNG facilities have been the predominant industry solution since the 1960s but with the constant flux in market supply and demand dynamics, floating LNG (FLNG) facilities (offshore and near-shore) are becoming increasingly prevalent with a focus on lowering project costs, improving operating efficiencies and reducing execution schedules.

The LNG21 project is designed as a world-first fixed-platform natural gas liquefaction facility with uncongested open-water access for LNG carriers, free of the coastal footprint that burdens shore-based facilities.

Working as one, Wood and LNG21 developed the proposal for the visionary multiple fixed platform, bridge-connected scalable complex, engineered to host and support a variety of LNG processing and storage systems on individual or multiple dedicated platforms. The unique PLNG approach offers a safe, cost-effective and time compressed schedule in executing mid-scale LNG developments between at-shore, near-shore and deepwater floating vessels.

Wood’s initial scope on the project included the successful pre-front end engineering design (FEED) work, optimising design to meet safety and environmental regulations, as well as enabling the client to define the siting and installation strategies.

In the next phase, Wood delivered front-end engineering design for the proposed development, combining an established, industry-wide offshore solution – the fixed jacket supporting the topside processing facilities – with proven LNG processing equipment operating globally. Initially designed to include six modular natural gas liquefaction trains, with a total optimal capacity of 6.1 million metric tonnes per annum, all modules will be installed on conventional fixed platforms designed by Wood.

The primary power for the development will come from steam turbines - combined cycle power generation – capturing waste heat from liquefaction and generating electricity. This will not only reduce the need for additional gas turbines but lower carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere.

Within the pioneering engineering and design scope, Wood’s team evaluated onshore gas pre-treatment plant configuration and layouts, general utilities, feed gas processing, compression, transportation and delivery via repurposed pipelines from existing onshore facilities in Louisiana to the LNG facility 10 miles offshore.

By applying existing technologies from recognised industry suppliers, Wood’s engineering design ensures reliable performance from equipment with a proven track record, increasing uptime and reducing the need for resource-heavy shutdowns.

Wood was selected for the project based on the company’s global heritage, unrivalled expertise, engineering model and adherence to environmental and safety regulations. Building a long-term partnership with LNG21, the company is committed to achieving the construction and eventual completion of the development.

In the next phase of the project, pending approval, Wood will commence work on the detailed design, procurement and build of the facility. Once complete, gas from the Texas Permian Basin will be transported to the offshore platform where it will be liquefied, stored and ultimately exported globally.