The technology we are speaking about, which is set to open up offshore gas fields is floating LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals, which serve as floating liquefaction, storage and offtake facilities.
In order to make many offshore gas discoveries profitable, over the past few years several companies have been developing floating liquefaction technology to allow the offshore liquefaction of natural gas. These offshore floating LNG production facilities, called FLNG, reduce the capital expenditure required to produce LNG as compared to land-based terminals, where such expenditures are generally higher because of the cost involved in building onshore facilities and the pipeline necessary to bring the gas onshore. FLNG also reduces the carbon footprint of LNG production.
Investors should also not forget about another technology on the horizon in the global gas industry. It is called FSRU, which stands for Floating Storage and Regasification Unit. These are basically LNG carriers with onboard regasification equipment. FSRUs receive, store and convert LNG into ‘warm’ natural gas that is suitable for pipelines or use onshore.