LNG World News Staff (Article updated on 23.05. with a comment by the Port of Milford Haven)For the past two years, United Kingdom’s special forces have been reportedly searching for mines attached to LNG tankers transporting the chilled fuel from the Middle East to the UK’s receiving terminals. According to a report by the Mail on Sunday, Special Boat Service and the specialist divers from the Royal Navy, have been conducting secret searches on LNG carriers as threats of attacks by the terrorist groups like the Al Qaeda or ISIS grow.A senior Naval source was cited by the Mail as saying that the groups have acquired limpet mines which can be attached to the hull of the LNG tankers heading for the UK.Such mines can be activated once the ships reach LNG import terminals’ such as the South Hook LNG terminal in Milford Haven or the Isle of Grain terminal in Kent. An incident at one these facilities could have severe economic consequences and lead to gas shortage in the United Kingdom, the report said.Although a large number of vessels has been searched over the past couple of years it is unclear whether any limpet mines or similar improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have been found, the report noted.In addition to the dive searches on LNG carriers, Royal Navy warships calling in Egyptian ports as well as Beirut, Lebanon, are undergoing routine checks as these vessels have also become a target for terrorist attacks, the report said.LNG World News invited the Port of Milford Haven to comment on the report.Bill Hirst, Harbourmaster at the Port of Milford Haven, said: “We have seen the recent media reports but do not have access to information regarding any activity that may or may not be carried out by UK Special Forces.”
Turkish security forces have seized one tonne and 71 kilograms of heroin on board an offshore supply ship identified as Commander Tide, Turkish anti-narcotics police department said.The Democratic Republic of Congo-flagged cargo ship was raided by Turkish naval forces, the coastguard and special police forces, on June 2nd while sailing in international waters bound for Turkey.The contraband, estimated to be worth around USD 57 million, was found in secret compartments on the ship.As informed, this is a record drug bust for the security forces in Turkey.Commander Tide’s nine crew members were detained and taken to a naval base in Marmaris, Reuters reports.The 1984-built vessel’s current position on Marine Traffic shows that the vessel, which is said to be laid-up, was stopped.According to the data by VesselsValue, the ship was bought by Marshall-Islands-based Corbata Maritime.World Maritime News Staff
DONG Energy will support two PhD research studentships at Durham University through the Durham Energy Institute (DEI). The PhDs will focus on the operation of wind turbines and helping to predict technical faults before they happen. This research could prove vital in improving the availability of offshore wind turbines, ultimately helping to further drive down the cost of energy, DONG Energy said.The PhDs will bring together turbine maintenance data and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) data, with a view to developing algorithms for predicting turbine malfunction. One student (Roger Cox) will focus on developing a method for analysing and categorising relevant maintenance issues from the maintenance database. This will feed into the work of the second student (Luke Payne), who will focus on developing advanced data methods to positively identify turbines that are developing faults before they become critical and require the turbine to be taken off line.The PhDs will be supervised by Dr Peter Matthews and Dr Christopher Crabtree from Engineering at Durham University, and will be undertaken both in Durham and on site at DONG Energy’s offices. By including the students as part of the DONG Energy team, they will be able to rapidly gain deep understanding of the company’s key challenges and priorities. This will ensure that research remains highly relevant to DONG Energy, as well as enabling knowledge transfer between DONG Energy and Durham University, the offshore wind developer said.The research is expected to be completed in December 2020.DONG Energy is funding 66% of the two PhDs, with the remaining 34% funded by Durham University.To remind, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) announced last week that it will support a new offshore wind partnership, including DONG Energy and Durham University, with GBP 3.2 million.
Nexans has opened a new high voltage test laboratory at its Calais Center of Excellence in France, making it fully operational with the capacity to test cable systems up to 1.5 million volts.The new laboratory is dedicated to high voltage direct current (HVDC) cables, a market Nexans believes is of primary importance for high-capacity links and connection of renewable energy sources, such as the DolWin 6 offshore wind farm, for which the company will provide and install two 90km-long HVDC cables.The decision to enhance its testing capacity by building a new direct current (DC) laboratory is a result of the HV market requiring an increasing number of tests at higher and higher voltage levels, Nexans said.The laboratory allows simultaneous testing of three independent qualification loops, each composed of multiple cable sections and joints and connected to the electrical network through two terminations.According to Nexans, the lab is designed to represent the various configurations existing in power grids. The generators, rated for voltages up to 1.2 million volts, operate in a controlled environment, which guarantees the optimum equipment availability required for performing ageing tests typically lasting more than one year, the company said.“As the global energy needs continue to grow, the world will require extremely reliable cable systems for power transmission at ever higher voltage levels for both AC and DC applications,” said Dirk Steinbrink, Nexans’ Senior Executive Vice President, High Voltage and Underwater Cable Business Group.The Calais Center of Excellence for HV testing is now composed of 12 HV test laboratories equipped with generators operating up to 1.5 million volts, and addresses both alternating current (AC) and DC applications.“With its new laboratory, the Calais Center of Excellence will be positioned as one of the leading hubs for helping our clients address the challenges of the future,” Steinbrink said.
As coastal lands in Louisiana erode, researchers, environmentalists and engineers are all searching for ways to preserve the marsh coastline.Now, a Florida State University researcher has developed a model to help stakeholders figure out what factors they need to consider to rebuild land in this fragile wetland.The model is outlined in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.“Coastal Louisiana is losing a lot of its wetlands — about a football field every hour,” said Jaap Nienhuis, assistant professor of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science. “It’s really, really fast.”The Mississippi River has been leveed to prevent occasional flooding. But the levees have also prevented sediment from coming through and building land to offset the subsidence and land loss.Engineers and coastal experts have been looking at ways to make small cuts in the levees to allow for some of that sediment to flow through. The idea of a sediment diversion has been around for a long time, but figuring out how much land will be built or how long it will take has been a challenging issue.That’s where Nienhuis’ model comes in to play. He and his fellow researchers created a simulation that took several factors into account to see how long it would take to build land under a variety of scenarios. They looked at water and sediment discharge, root strength and soil consolidation.The effectiveness of sediment diversions vary depending on wetland characteristics. When determining the best way to build land in these at-risk areas, researchers or engineers could plug the relevant data into Nienhuis’ model to sketch out potential outcomes.“We wanted to know what kind of wetland or what kind of diversion would be most conducive to land building,” he said. “It really is a very delicate balance looking at the sediment concentration, what vegetation is there and how much. It requires a lot of very good data.”In the “sweet spot,” Nienhuis said that, engineers could potentially build 30 to 40 square kilometers of land within a few decades. However, in areas where there might not be as much vegetation or too much sediment or water is allowed in, the areas could wind up eroding more sediment and causing land loss instead of land gain.“We can use models like this to tell civil and environmental engineers what is important for land building and what’s not,” he said.Nienhuis added that his model is relatively specific to the Mississippi Delta, but it could potentially be applicable to other areas as well.Other authors of the study are Torbjorn Tornqvist and Christopher Esposito of Tulane University.
PNG LNG (Image courtesy of Oil Search)The ExxonMobil-operated PNG LNG project has entered into a mid-term sale and purchase agreement with PetroChina for the supply of liquefied natural gas starting in July 2018.The mid-term deal is for the supply of about 0.45 million tonnes of LNG per year over a three-year period from the LNG project in Papua New Guinea, according to a statement by Oil Search that has a 29 percent interest PNG LNG.This deal takes the total contracted volumes from the LNG project to 7 mtpa, with 6.6 million tonnes of PNG LNG’s annual output already committed under long-term contracts to JERA, Osaka Gas, Sinopec and CPC.ExxonMobil, on behalf of the PNG LNG project participants, is negotiating with a number of other parties for potential mid-term LNG supply agreements in lieu of spot sales.These agreements are expected to be concluded in the near-term and increase sales under new mid-term agreements to 1.3 mtpa, the statement said.The LNG export project includes the gas conditioning plant in Hides and liquefaction and storage facilities near Port Moresby with a capacity of 6.9 million tonnes per year. LNG World News Staff
Plexus has made an investment of £735,000 to acquire a 49% interest in KMS, a precision engineering business focused on the oil and gas industry. The transaction is said to be in line with management’s strategy to position Plexus as an IP-led company based around its POS-GRIP friction grip method of engineering with a design, development and now a machining capability.KMS was founded in 2001 and manufactures parts used in harsh and demanding subsea environments within the oil and gas industry. KMS supplies a range of blue-chip international clients, including Schlumberger, Halliburton, GE Oil & Gas, NOV and Weatherford.Post the sale of its niche wellhead exploration equipment services business for jack-up applications to TechnipFMC in February 2018, Plexus is focused on commercialising and exploiting its existing IP as well as developing new POS-GRIP-enabled products either organically or with partners such as TechnipFMC, with whom the company has entered into a collaboration agreement.It is anticipated that KMS will provide Plexus with additional means by which to machine bespoke equipment for new applications and technologies as well as for R&D testing, and will potentially enable Plexus to more effectively supply specific markets.Plexus is acquiring its 49% interest in KMS by means of a subscription for new shares in KMS. KMS intends to use the proceeds from the Transaction to expand existing capacity and fund other growth initiatives. For example, KMS has recently acquired a new large bore machine which has already resulted in a significant expansion in capacity. KMS intends to use circa £310,000 of the proceeds arising from Plexus’ investment, in settlement for this piece of machinery. Under the terms of the transaction, Plexus will be entitled to future distributions/dividend payments which would provide an annual return on Plexus’ investment, subject to KMS’ profitability, in addition to any capital appreciation in the value of Plexus’ 49% shareholding in KMS. An additional cash payment of up to £150,000 may be payable by Plexus to the current owners of KMS, subject to the future performance of KMS in the year to 31 December 2018.Plexus’ CEO Ben Van Bilderbeek said, “As a highly experienced engineering company based in Aberdeenshire with a blue-chip customer base, KMS shares many similarities with Plexus. We already have first rate IP in the form of our POS-GRIP technology, and now thanks to today’s transaction, we are further able to support our programme to expand the application of our proprietary technology throughout the oil and gas supply chain and beyond into areas such as geothermal and decommissioning. Having established our jack-up exploration wellhead business as the dominant supplier to the North Sea HP/HT market, we know the challenges companies operating in the sector face. Therefore, we look forward to working with and supporting the KMS team going forward, as we look to grow our business substantially over the coming years.“
Subsea 7 has finalised the acquisition of Toisa Pegasus, a multi-purpose offshore construction and dive support vessel. The 2009-built vessel is to be renamed Seven Pegasus and will primarily support Subsea 7’s operations in the North Sea and Asia Pacific.John Evans, chief operating officer, said: “This acquisition reinforces our leading diving capabilities and reflects our strategy to actively manage our fleet composition to meet our client’s requirements and market conditions.”The versatile vessel can perform both heavy and light construction work scopes. Designed and built by IHC, the DP3 vessel features a twin-bell 18-man saturation diving system and benefits from a 400T crane enabling it to support a range of construction projects. Its 1,200m2 back deck provides further scope for a variety of applications.The vessel will undergo a docking and crew familiarisation programme before starting operations in Q2 2019.
CSV Southern Ocean Stays with McDermott ROVOP Expands in Europe with New Office and Team Member Subsea World News has put together a recap of the most interesting articles from the previous week (May 20 – May 26). Reach Subsea Vessel to Support Titanic Survey Expedition Sonardyne Snaps Up EIVA DCN Diving Charters Another Solstad Vessel
Australia is on track to surpass Qatar as the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, U.S. Energy Information Administration said, citing Australia’s Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science (DIIS). Australia already surpassed Qatar in LNG export capacity and exported more LNG than Qatar in November 2018 and April 2019.Within the next year, as Australia’s newly commissioned projects ramp up and operate at full capacity, EIA expects Australia to consistently export more LNG than Qatar.Australia’s LNG export capacity increased from 2.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2011 to more than 11.4 Bcf/d in 2019.Australia’s DIIS forecasts that Australian LNG exports will grow to 10.8 Bcf/d by 2020–21 once the recently commissioned Wheatstone, Ichthys, and Prelude floating LNG (FLNG) projects ramp up to full production.Prelude FLNG located offshore in northwestern Australia, was the last of the eight new LNG export projects that came online in Australia in 2012 through 2018 as part of a major LNG capacity buildout.Starting in 2012, five LNG export projects were developed in northwestern Australia: onshore projects Pluto, Gorgon, Wheatstone, and Ichthys, and the offshore Prelude FLNG. The total LNG export capacity in northwestern Australia is now 8.1 Bcf/d, EIA noted.In eastern Australia, three LNG export projects were completed in 2015 and 2016 on Curtis Island in Queensland—Queensland Curtis, Gladstone, and Australia Pacific—with a combined nameplate capacity of 3.4 Bcf/d. All three projects in eastern Australia use natural gas from coalbed methane as a feedstock to produce LNG.Most of Australia’s LNG is exported under long-term contracts to three countries: Japan, China, and South Korea. An increasing share of Australia’s LNG exports in recent years has been sent to China to serve its growing natural gas demand. The remaining volumes were almost entirely exported to other countries in Asia, with occasional small volumes exported to destinations outside of Asia.For several years, Australia’s natural gas markets in eastern states have been experiencing natural gas shortages and increasing prices because coal-bed methane production at some LNG export facilities in Queensland has not been meeting LNG export commitments. During these shortfalls, project developers have been supplementing their own production with natural gas purchased from the domestic market. The Australian government implemented several initiatives to address domestic natural gas production shortages in eastern states.Several private companies proposed to develop LNG import terminals in southeastern Australia. Of the five proposed LNG import projects, Port Kembla LNG (proposed import capacity of 0.3 Bcf/d) is in the most advanced stage, having secured the necessary siting permits and an offtake contract with Australian customers. If built, the Port Kembla project will use the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) Höegh Galleon starting in January 2021.