London — UK-listed Predator Oil & Gas has completed its timeline for commissioning a floating LNG import terminal in Ireland, with first gas deliveries from the project expected in the first half of 2024, the company said Sept. 30.
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Predator -- better known for its upstream work in Morocco, Ireland and Trinidad -- first said in May it wanted to develop an FSRU in Ireland following the execution of confidentiality agreements with a global supplier of LNG and an owner of LNG regasification vessels.
Ireland has no LNG import capacity at present, though two other projects are also at the planning stage.
In its first-half results statement, Predator said the 2024 target was used as the starting point for its work schedule and would form the basis of finalizing the collaboration agreement with the FRSU vessel provider.
No shale gas
The company said it had made progress with regulatory authorities, gas infrastructure owners, gas buyers and the FSRU provider "to establish an offshore LNG opportunity for Ireland to import LNG that does not use shale gas as a LNG feedstock."
That is key to the project's success after the new Irish government said in June that it did not support the import of "fracked gas" and would develop a policy to establish that position.
The two other LNG import projects planned for Ireland both have links to the US gas industry.
The long-delayed 5 Bcm/year Shannon LNG terminal in western Ireland is under development by US-based private equity firm New Fortress Energy.
Also under development is the 4 Bcm/year Inisfree floating LNG import facility in the south of the country, proposed by US LNG company NextDecade, which proposed to bring LNG from the company's Rio Grande LNG export facility in the US.
"As Ireland moves towards carbon neutrality, we do not believe that it makes sense to develop LNG gas import terminals importing fracked gas," the government said.
Dublin has also said it would end the issuing of new licenses for exploration and extraction of gas, on the same basis as the decision last year in relation to oil exploration and production.
Predator said this would leave Ireland exposed to increased dependence on UK gas imports.
"With the change in government policy, no new gas fields are likely to be developed offshore Ireland in the foreseeable future," the company said.
"Ultimately and inexorably Ireland will be wholly dependent on gas through the UK interconnectors for security of gas supply. Any interruption to supply whether political, operational or through a form of natural disaster would result in an inability to supply flexible 'on demand' energy," it said.
Predator said it was encouraged by its discussions with stakeholders. "The rapid and proactive engagement of all the key stakeholders demonstrates the potential significance of LNG as a contributor to Ireland's security and diversification of energy supply," it said.
Predator has said in the past the FSRU would have a technical capacity of around 40% of the planned InfraStrata FSRU project in northwest England.
That would imply a technical capacity of the Irish FSRU of 2-2.4 million mt/year (2.8-3.3 Bcm/year).
Ireland's gas demand is currently around 5-6 Bcm/year, meaning the import terminal could meet around half of Irish annual consumption.
As well as imports from the UK, Ireland meets its gas demand from the offshore Corrib field.
The field started up in 2015 and has produced at rates as high as 350 MMcf/d -- or 10 million cu m/d.
However, the field is in decline and according to industry estimates may only produce for 15 years -- meaning it could reach the end of its operational life as early as 2030.