5 Major LNG Projects To Look Forward To In 2021


The Oil and Gas industry is undergoing transformation to reduce its carbon emissions in a bi...

NES Fircroft

By NES Fircroft

The Oil and Gas industry is undergoing transformation to reduce its carbon emissions in a bid by governments and regulatory bodies to move towards a net-zero future.

Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is anticipated to have an important part to play in this. So, here are some major projects happening around the world that are set to boost the global LNG industry.

Alaska LNG Project, USA – 20mtpa

The Alaska LNG project, located in Nikiski in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, consists of 1.4 thousand kilometres of pipelines, a gas treatment plant, and a 20 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) liquefaction facility.

This huge project, estimated to cost 65 billion USD, will commercialise Alaska’s North Slope natural gas resources through new LNG export and domestic gas supply infrastructures. The gas will come from the Prudhoe Bay (75%) and Point Thomson (25%) oil and gas fields.

The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) is responsible for the development of the project. AGDC signed a joint-venture agreement with BPConocoPhillipsExxonMobil and TransCanada (now TC Energy) to develop this project back in July 2014.

However, the project has since changed hands. TC Energy sold its stake in the project to AGDC in 2015, whilst the three other companies chose to exit the project in 2016. AGDC agreed on a non-binding joint-development agreement with Sinopec, the Bank of China and the China Investment Corporation (CIC) in November 2017.

Pre-FEED (preliminary front-end engineering and design) started in 2015. The final environmental impact statement (EIS) was issued by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in March 2020.

Driftwood LNG LLC, USA – 27mtpa

Driftwood LNG LLC, owned by the American company Tellurian Inc. whose headquarters are in Houston, Texas, is currently developing an LNG production and export terminal on the west bank of the Calcasieu River in Louisiana.

Once the project is finished, the terminal will have an export capacity of up to 27.6 million tonnes of LNG per year to clients across the world.

The turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contract Driftwood holds with Bechtel is worth a lump-sum of 15.5 billion USD. It has already received the most important permits necessary for construction and operation and is already through more or less 30 percent of the engineering.

The purchase and lease of about a thousand acres of real estate has been accomplished to ensure an ideal construction site with plenty of laydown surface for equipment and deep-water access for shipping.

Driftwood LNG will create over six thousand construction jobs and about four hundred operational jobs.

Orca Floating, Canada – 24mtpa

Orca Floating is being developed by Orca LNG Ltd. in British Colombia, Canada.

The project involves the construction of a 24mtpa LNG export facility with 6 permanently moored FLNG vessels, in the form of converted barges near Prince Rupert in Kaien Island, a natural gas treatment facility, a compression unit, gas processing units, storage tanks, vacuum chambers and distillation units, the laying of pipelines, and the installation of compressor units.

The project, which was announced in 2014, has an estimated cost of 15.8 billion USD and is expected to begin operation in 2026.

In July 2015, the Orca LNG Terminal secured a 25-year natural gas export licence for a maximum term quantity of 901 billion cubic meters from the Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB).

North Field LNG Expansion Project, Qatar – 32mtpa

North Field, offshore north-east of the Qatar peninsula, is the world’s biggest single non-associated natural gas field in the world. It’s also the world’s largest-ever LNG project.

Its expansion was announced back in April 2017, after Qatar Petroleum decided to revoke its self-imposed 12-year ban on field development. The field is operated by its subsidiary Qatargas. FID (final investment decision) for the first phase of the project, North Field East, was announced in February 2021 for the $28.75bn development.

The expansion project of North Field will increase Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77mtpa to 110mtpa. This equates to a 43% capacity increase.

The expansion project will involve the development of four new LNG trains and eight wellhead platforms. Eighty new wells will be drilled as part of this.

McDermott was awarded the FEED contract for the expansion project in November 2019. The FEED contract for the onshore facilities was given to Chiyoda Corporation, a Japanese engineering firm.

It’s expected that first gas from the expansion will be delivered by the end of 2023. This expansion is in line with Qatar’s bid for more sustainable development by 2030 and their National Vision 2030.

Rio Grande LNG, USA – 27mtpa

The Rio Grande LNG project, with an estimated cost of 15 billion USD, is one of the biggest private investments in Texas, USA. NextDecade, a Texas-based LNG development company, has planned to develop and operate, under its subsidiary Rio Grande LNG, a 27mtpa gas liquefaction and export facility at the Port of Brownsville.

The feed gas pipeline will be built and operated by Rio Bravo Pipeline, another subsidiary of NextDecade, although Enbridge signed an agreement to purchase Rio Bravo Pipeline from NextDecade in February 2020. The plant will involve six liquefaction trains of minimum 4.5Mtpa capacity each.

McDermott (then CB&I) was awarded the FEED contract for the project in May 2015. Final environmental approval for the project was granted by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in April 2019. Construction and operation approval for the terminal and the pipeline were given in November 2019.

Commercial operations are predicted to start in 2023.

NES Fircroft and supporting the Oil and Gas industry

NES Fircroft has been recruiting engineering and technical professionals for global oil & gas jobs since 1970. Our recruiters source candidates for some of the biggest energy projects across the world, with jobs available across various industry verticals.

Through tailored workforce solutions, we’ll help energy clients to staff their projects, and through demonstrable experience (we’re proud to look after over 12,500 contractors), our discipline-specific recruiters will help support contractors on their assignments, and help candidates prepare for the job market.