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US INDEPENDENT ATP Oil & Gas is considering developing stranded natural gas deposits off West Africa and other regions remote from infrastructure using a semi-submersible outfitted as a floating liquefied natural gas platform.

The floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) business has grown rapidly in recent years and is now at the forefront of offshore industry focus, according to a recently issued report. The third edition of Douglas-Westwood’s World FLNG Market Report reviews the current and future prospects and technology concepts, and also contains market forecasts for expenditures in the FLNG sector. The report addresses both the floating regasification and the floating liquefaction vessel markets, and quantifies the size of the opportunity in volume and value. The report says that this market is poised for substantial growth, particularly within the liquefaction sector, and is forecast to be worth $7.4bn by 2017.

The report forecasts that annual growth in natural gas supply will average 1.7 per cent from 2009 to 2030. By 2030, natural gas will account for 23 per cent of total worldwide primary energy supply. The difficulties in progressing onshore projects in LNG has driven the adoption of FLNG, which now offers an increasingly important method of bringing gas from stranded reserves to the market, the report says.

The report identifies prospects by region, and discusses the current and future prospects for floating LNG liquefaction and regasification terminals to 2017 on a country-by-country basis.

Douglas-Westwood says that the market model is built on a project-by-project review of development prospects, with the timing of expenditure phased to reflect likely project structure. This model has been developed in consultation with industry experts and sense-checked to account for external factors such as supply chain constraints. The World FLNG Market Report presents a seven-year market forecast for activity in the sector over 2011-2017.