BP Takes Delivery of FLNG Vessel for Mauritania-Senegal Project

The floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) vessel for a Mauritania-Senegal project of BP PLC has arrived at its destination on the maritime border of the two countries, the British energy giant said.Gimi, owned and operated by Bermuda-based Golar LNG Ltd., will serve the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) LNG project, which is planned to produce 2.3 million metric tons per annum in the first phase of development.

“The innovative project is expected to produce LNG for more than 20 years, enabling Mauritania and Senegal to become a global LNG hub”, operator BP said in a news release announcing the vessel’s arrival.GTA had been planned to start production 2022, according to BP’s announcement of the final investment decision December 21, 2018. But the project has faced delays. Delaware-registered Kosmos Energy Ltd., one of BP’s three project partners, said in its third-quarter earnings release November 6, 2023, a revised plan was expected to commence that quarter with new contractors.

Then BP interim chief executive Murray Auchincloss, officially named chief executive last month, told the company’s third-quarter results conference startup was now expected in the first quarter of 2024.“The successful and safe arrival of the FLNG vessel is another step forward for GTA Phase 1 and is testament to our team and partners’ commitment to safely delivering this project”, BP senior vice-president Emil Ismayilov said in a statement. “The people behind the project have delivered through many challenges, including the pandemic, to orchestrate a major feat of engineering”.

GTA Phase 1 will source gas from deepwater reservoirs approximately 120 kilometers (74.6 miles) offshore via a subsea system linked to a floating production and storage offloading (FPSO) vessel. The FPSO unit processes the gas to remove heavier hydrocarbon components. The processed gas will then travel by pipeline to the FLNG vessel at the GTA Hub. In the FLNG unit, the gas is cryogenically cooled in four liquefaction trains and stored before transfer to LNG carriers. Gimi can store up to 125,000 cubic meters (4.4 million cubic feet) of LNG, according to BP.

“With wells located in water depths of up to 2850m [9,350.4 feet], the GTA Phase 1 development has deepest subsea infrastructure in Africa”, BP said in the press release announcing Gimi’s arrival. “The multibillion-dollar investment has been granted the status of National Project of Strategic Importance by the Presidents of both Mauritania and Senegal”.The Tortue field is estimated to contain 15 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas, according to the GTA factsheet on BP’s website.

Gimi, built 1976 and converted 2023 with an output capacity of 2.45 MMtpa, has been chartered to BP for 20 years, according to Golar. Announcing the departure of the vessel November 19 from Singapore, where Gimi was built by Seatrium Oil & Gas Ltd., Golar said, “Upon arrival, FLNG Gimi will notify BP that it is ready to be moored and connected to the hub, which is expected to trigger the start of contractual cash flows under the 20-year Lease and Operate Agreement on the GTA field”.