The fabrication of industry's first offshore LNG deepwater port buoy, designed by Advanced Production and Loading AS of Norway (APL), is underway at Junoverken AB yard in Uddevalla, Sweden. The port buoy will be ABS-classed as an A1 single-point mooring (SPM). APL has contracted ABS to provide classification services for its Submerged Turret Loading (STL) system, a SPM and an integral component of the industry's first offshore LNG terminal, destined for the Gulf of Mexico, 116 mi off Louisiana.
ABS, which has classed 40 SPMs worldwide, is extending its classification services to make industry's first step in offshore LNG development both safe and efficient, as operators seek to apply offshore technology to innovations for gas transfer in a marine environment.
Dubbed the Energy Bridge Deepwater Port, the terminal system incorporates APL's STL technology used in the offloading of oil in regions including the North Sea, offshore China, and offshore Western Australia. The STL buoy, planned for installation on West Cameron block 603 in 280 ft of water, is scheduled for transport to US waters this November. First cargo for the Energy Bridge Deepwater Port is scheduled for January 2005, with planned capacity to deliver base load gas volumes in excess of 500 MMcf/d.
The 186-ton STL unit will allow specially built LNG carriers fitted with onboard re-gasification equipment to transfer gas through the buoy, which is connected to a pipeline end manifold (PLEM) on the seafloor. ABS' scope of work encompasses the submerged turret-loading buoy; the mooring system for the buoy; and the riser to take the gas from the buoy to the PLEM.