Even though it may be ousted by coal by 2020, oil still remains the primary source of global energy, while gas accounts for nearly 23% of global consumption. However, the inevitable increase in demand matched with the growing scarcity of resources and new environmental issues have rocked the sector, which finds itself facing new challenges.
Oil & Gas: What are the issues today?
Resource depletion requires Oil & Gas stakeholders to optimise the use of their reserves, but also to discover new deposits, which are generally difficult to access (deep, offshore) and so increasingly costly to exploit. Some are also choosing to seek out alternative or so-called “unconventional” resources such as tar sands and shale gas, or the use of new mining technologies like dry fracturing (or “Non hydraulic Exothermic Extraction”), which make it possible, for example, to extract shale oil without the use of hydraulic fracturing. They must be in a position to adapt to stringent safety standards and major environmental considerations.
ALTEN: multi-skilled and international expertise
ALTEN offers innovative solutions through a varied and comprehensive service portfolio: it has major expertise in the fields of Oil & Gas, with an area of activity that spans the entire value chain, from conceptual to operational phases, to best meet the expectations of the players in the industry and provide services with high added value. Finally, with experience in the management of major multi-skilled projects, ALTEN works with various stakeholders in more than 50 countries, including through subsidiaries in Lagos (Nigeria), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Moscow (Russia), an office in London (UK), and several joint ventures.
FLNG Prelude project: revolutionising gas production
As an example, ALTEN has worked for two years developing FLNG Prelude, the world’s first deployment of the FLNG concept (Floating Liquefied Natural Gas facility). This project aims to revolutionise the exploitation of natural gas resources, unlocking hitherto unusable energy resources without installing pipelines or liquefaction plants onshore. Hundreds of engineers have combined their experience in designing what will become the largest floating unit in the world: ALTEN collaborated on the analysis of environmental conditions for the installation of the anchoring system, the study of extreme loading conditions, the development of computational and analysis tools, and evaluation of the operability of the unloading operation.
The FLNG’s first site will be the Prelude gas field (Shell), 200 km off the north-west coast of Australia. It will produce at least 5.3 million metric tons of liquid per year, of which 3.6 mtpa LNG – easily enough to match the annual demand for LNG in Hong Kong. Finally, the project will lead to the construction of several FLNGs over the coming ten years.