Golar’s FLNG expected to arrive in Senegal this week

Golar LNG’s converted FLNG, Gimi, which will serve the first phase of BP’s Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project offshore Mauritania and Senegal, is expected to arrive in Dakar this week, according to shipping data.

The FLNG, which was converted from a 1975-built Moss LNG carrier with a storage capacity of 125,000 cbm, departed Seatrium’s yard in Singapore on November 19.

Golar said at the time that it expects the voyage to take around 60 days, including refueling stops in Mauritius prior to rounding the Cape of Good Hope and in Namibia prior to its arrival.

The 293 meters long converted FLNG is sailing under its own propulsion, supported by the 88.9 meters long escort tug, ALP Defender, according to Golar.

Gimi and ALP Defender were on Monday located offshore Guinea and are expected to arrive in Dakar on January 10, their AIS data shows.

Upon arrival, Gimi will notify BP that it is ready to be moored and connected to the GTA hub, which is expected to trigger the start of contractual cash flows under the 20-year lease and operate agreement on the GTA field, Golar previously said.

Back in February 2019, Golar entered into the deal with BP for the charter of the FLNG.

This is the world’s second converted floating LNG producer and joins Golar’s Hilli, also converted by Seatrium and currently located offshore Cameroon’s Kribi.

Gimi will produce up to 2.7 million tonnes of LNG per year, using the Black & Veatch “Prico” liquefaction process.

Project delayed due to subsea work

Following arrival of the FLNG and the FPSO at the GTA hub, BP will start upstream commissioning and supply of gas to the FLNG.

Golar said in its third-quarter report that commissioning is expected to take about six months from the commissioning start date with commercial operations (COD) expected thereafter.

This means that the commercial launch of the project could be achieved in the second or third quarter of 2024.

Golar and the GTA partners are “working on initiatives to further optimize the commissioning period in order to achieve COD as early as possible,” it said.

BP’s interim CEO Murray Auchincloss told analysts during BP’s third-quarter earnings call that the company is “hopeful” that it will launch the first phase of its Greater Tortue Ahmeyim FLNG project in the first quarter of 2024.

The company pushed back the start of the project due to a delay in the subsea scope.

However, US firm and project partner Kosmos said in its third-quarter report that the delivery of first gas from the first phase of the project has the potential to slip into the second quarter of 2024.

In October, BP selected Swiss-based offshore contractor Allseas to complete the remaining subsea pipelay scope for the FLNG project, replacing previous contractor Houston-based McDermott.

Allseas said in December that it has started GTA offshore pipelay work using what it says is the world’s largest construction vessel, Pioneering Spirit. Allseas’ offshore construction support vessel Oceanic is providing installation support.

Pioneering Spirit will complete the pipelay scope, which covers the approximately 75 km outstanding on the two export gas lines and four CRA infield lines, with multiple structures, Allseas said.

FPSO

As per the project’s FPSO unit, it left Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry’s yard in Qidong, China in January last year.

Kosmos previously said the FPSO was expected to arrive on location in the first quarter of 2024.

Its AIS data showed on Monday that it was located offshore Dakhla and heading north, not south toward Mauritania.

Following arrival and completion of commissioning activities at the site offshore Mauritania and Senegal, the FPSO will process natural gas – removing condensate, water, and other impurities – before exporting it by pipeline to the project’s FLNG facilities, 10km offshore.

With eight processing and production modules, the FPSO will process around 500 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.

The FLNG will liquefy majority of the gas, enabling export to international markets, while some of the supplies will help meet growing demand in the two host countries, BP previously said.

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