At Gastech 2014, Shell displayed renderings of its Prelude FLNG project, being built at the Samsung Heavy Industries Shipyard in Geoje, South Korea
The world’s population is growing by approximately 200,000 people every day. By 2050, there will be over 9 billion people on the planet, compared to 7 billion today. In Asia specifically, we are seeing a historic transformation as countries move from rural to urban societies. Rapid growth and development of the Four Asian Tigers (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan) has both astounded and intrigued those in business, politics, and economics for the past decade and experts predict this growth will be sustained over the decades to come throughout South East Asia, China, and India. This rapid population growth – coupled with improved access to reliable energy – means that meeting the world’s energy needs will be a formidable challenge.
While there’s no ‘silver bullet’ solution to supplying global energy, we view natural gas as a key component in continuing to meet increasing energy demand in both a secure and environmentally sustainable manner. Furthermore, the IEA estimates that there is sufficient recoverable natural gas resources to last for at least the next 230 years at current consumption levels.
In the APAC region, natural gas is already an important part of the energy dynamic. However, many cities and industries that need the energy are located far from the gas fields. Transporting gas by pipeline can be costly and impractical in some situations. To make it easier to transport and store the gas it is cooled it to a liquid i.e. liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Japan and South Korea are traditional importers of LNG, with Singapore and Malaysia beginning to import LNG last year.
This growth in gas demand is why LNG is an important part of Shell’s portfolio. In fact, Shell is the largest LNG supplier of international oil companies and has been instrumental in the development of the LNG industry.
Our latest innovation in LNG technology, is Floating LNG (FLNG). Our first project Prelude, is currently being built at the Samsung Heavy Industries Yard in Geoje in South Korea. Once completed, Prelude will move offshore Australia, converting natural gas into LNG. FLNG reduces the cost and environmental footprint of an LNG development because there is no need for subsea pipelines or onshore elements.
As demand for energy grows, we see natural gas as the best solution to help meet this demand as part of the global energy mix.
Neil Gilmour is Vice President Development, Integrated Gas for Royal Dutch Shell.