Moving stranded gas to markets could soon be accomplished using a gas FPSO (GFPSO). Jan Wagner, technical director of process engineering at Fluor, told participants at the annual Newfoundland Ocean Industries Association meeting in St. John's, Newfoundland that the idea is technologically feasible.
"I don't see any show stoppers," he said.
New reserves are farther offshore and in deeper water where the fields cannot be easily produced, Wagner said, making alternative forms of production necessary.
Wagner suggested that offshore gas production could take a number of forms.
"Relatively low liquid production rates may lead to other than ship-shaped facilities. We may see semisubmersibles, or we may see barges," he said. In the end, the best option will be determined by capital and operating costs, Wagner said.
The primary challenge, according to Wagner, is gas export, which could take a number of forms. These include subsea pipeline, which Wagner called the simplest transportation option. Another option is conversion to CNG or LNG to reduce volume, which is "much more processing intensive," according to Wagner. A third option is conversion to another energy, such as power, that could be exported via subsea cable.
Regardless of the production and exportation choices, Wagner believes the industry should be actively looking for solutions to bring the significant stranded reserves in Atlantic Canada to market.
"Gas is a big issue in Eastern Canada," he said.