BP sends floating LNG infrastructure to West Africa

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Jan. 23 (UPI) — A floating processing center for liquefied natural gas is on its way from a Chinese shipyard to the coast of West Africa, BP announced Monday.

A floating production, storage and offloading vessel left a Chinese shipyard on Friday for its 12,000-nautical-mile journey to the coast of Mauritania and Senegal. Once it arrives, it will be moored about 25 miles offshore to serve as a facility to process liquefied natural gas.

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The broader project is called Greater Tortue Ahmeyim and BP said the FPSO represents something of a milestone for its LNG portfolio.

“We are developing one of the world’s most unique and innovative gas projects and the FPSO forms one of the most important components,” said Rahman Rahmanov, BP’s vice president for Mauritania and Senegal.

Eight production and processing components onboard the FPSO will be able to process around 500 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day. That compares with the tens of billions of cubic meters of gas coming from U.S. shale basins each day, though BP sees it as a boon for West Africa.

The FPSO is designed to remove water and other impurities that may be associated with onboard gas before it sends it on to floating LNG terminals for deliveries.

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“The majority of the gas will be liquefied by the FLNG facilities, enabling export to international markets, while some is allocated to help meet growing demand in the two host countries,” BP explained.

LNG is emerging as a vital component of the pursuit of reliable supplies against a backdrop of geopolitical risk. Russia before the outbreak of war in Ukraine in early 2022 was suspected of using its vast network of natural gas pipelines to gain political leverage. With much of its natural resources restricted by sanctions, importing nations are leaning more on LNG, which carries fewer risks than piped reserves.

BP made its final investment decision on the Greater Tortue Ahmeyin project in 2018.