Qatargas unveils the innovations in global energy that made Qatargas 2 possible
Offshore (watch the video)
The construction of the offshore project began five years ago in the North Field, approximately 90 kilometres off the coast from Qatargas’ facilities at Ras Laffan. The offshore construction was truly an international effort, as multinational contractors and shareholders provided invaluable expertise and delivered technology from around the world.
The Qatargas 2 project began with the drilling of 30 wells on three new platforms in Qatar's North Field. The offshore platforms are unmanned, and are expected to produce 2.9 billion cubic feet of gas per day, an increase from the Qatargas 1 platforms that produce 1.6 billion cubic feet per day. Total production is piped to shore via two wet-gas subsea pipelines.
Every step of the Qatargas 2 project has been innovative including achievements in construction.
To create the offshore facilities, Qatargas began with a drilling process that set a new benchmark for the company. The thirty Qatargas 2 wells were completed a full 28 days ahead of schedule – the fastest time ever for wells drilled in the North Field.
The construction of the offshore platforms was also an achievement as they were pre-fabricated in Abu Dhabi and then floated out to the North Field, making it safer and easier for the platforms to be constructed. These will also be the first unmanned Qatargas platforms.
Onshore (watch the video)
Qatargas 2 is the largest liquefied natural gas project in the world and Qatargas’ first expansion project. The Qatargas 2 onshore project will make Qatargas capable of supplying 20% of the UK’s demand for natural gas for many years to come.
Once ashore the mega-train processing is based on Air Product’s proprietary APX process technology. This technology is a milestone for the LNG industry, allowing Qatargas to increase output to a record level for each train.
Each train has a capacity of 7.8 million tones per annum (mtpa) as well as 0.85 mtpa of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), 140,000 bpd of condensate, power utilities and water injection systems.
It has far surpassed the quantity of gas that an LNG train has produced before, now reaching 7.8 million tonnes per year. This is a 66% increase on any performance ever achieved in the industry – a key step in making LNG economically viable for long distance markets.
As trains 4 and 5 start producing LNG, they will be strengthening Qatargas’ reputation as a safe and reliable source of energy and enabling Qatargas to expand into new markets.
Construction of the Qatargas 2 trains, trains four and five, was a momentous undertaking. Over 40 new technologies and 3 million pounds of new equipment and systems were implemented.
Shipping (watch the video)
As the largest liquefied natural gas project in the world, Qatargas 2 needed a fleet of ships to take the LNG it would produce to UK and beyond.
This shipbuilding programme can be considered the largest single coordinated merchant ship building programme undertaken in over 60 years.
This programme will see 53 ships being constructed in South Korea for both Qatargas and RasGas, 14 of which are being used for the Qatargas 2 Project alone - eight Q-Flex vessels and six Q-Max vessels.
With the delivery of the last ship scheduled for 2010, Qatar’s ships will represent 25% of the world’s LNG shipping capacity.
The Q-Flex and Q-Max design and construction standards were landmark events for the LNG shipping industry, surpassing all that has gone before without compromise. These ships feature for the first time ever in LNG ships:
- Slow speed diesel engines
- Twin engines
- State of the art fire-fighting system
- Onboard liquefaction, which ensures that all of what is loaded onboard is delivered
Increasing the size of the Q-Max and Q-Flex achieved economies of scale that made accessing new markets possible. The size of the largest conventional LNG ship is around 151,000 cubic meters – Qatargas increased these ships up to 266,000 cubic meters with the Q-max, allowing for an 80% increase in capacity.
One full cargo of a Q-Max can heat every home in the UK – that’s 26 million homes – for one day.
UK Distribution process (watch the video)
The South Hook LNG Terminal project in Milford Haven in Wales was constructed to accommodate the delivery of LNG from Qatargas 2. This is a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil and Total.
The terminal is now the largest in Europe allowing the import and regasification of LNG. With a capacity of 15.6 million tonnes per annum, it will be receiving gas directly from Qatar as a result of the Qatargas 2 project.
The project has created hundreds of new jobs for the people in the local communities who have worked for the past four years in order to get the terminal ready to receive gas, which will be pumped into the national grid and heat homes and businesses throughout the UK.
There are few projects in the UK that compare to the South Hook LNG Terminal development in terms of pure scale of the physical infrastructure. The five storage tanks are the largest in the world at 95 meters in diameter and nearly 44 meters high – one tank can hold the Royal Albert Hall in London in its entirety.
The project also had a clear awareness of the needs and concerns of the local community, which had an impact on the overall design of the facility, including the tanks.
Submerged Combustion Vaporizers and other specialized technologies will minimize air and water pollution, whilst safety standards have been taken to entirely new levels to ensure the comfort and security of the local community.