Driving economic growth with innovation
Natural gas is becoming increasingly important as an environmentally friendly energy source capable of fuelling economic growth in many parts of the world today and for decades into the future.
Liquefied Natural Gas – LNG – delivers cleaner-burning natural gas from remote production areas to distant markets where additional imported supplies are needed. LNG’s logistical flexibility helps improve the security of supplies worldwide. These are just two of the drivers making LNG one of the fastest-growing energy markets worldwide, with demand expected to more than double to approximately 480 million tons annually (MTA) over the next 20 years.
The LNG industry is becoming increasingly global and is starting to link regional markets in Asia, Europe and North America with multiple supply options. Both suppliers and customers benefit from these developments, which are providing a wide choice of sales/supply options ranging from traditional long-term contracts to shorter term and spot arrangements to meet evolving customer and supplier needs.
ExxonMobil and our affiliates around the world have operated successfully in the LNG marketplace for decades. Together with our valued partners, we have been a driving force in transforming the LNG market into a more efficient and truly global business. Our experience spans the entire value chain, including natural gas fields and liquefaction facilities, regasification terminals, and LNG and gas marketing. Linking these individual elements of expertise into an integrated, value-added LNG development provides a strong, reliable offering to suppliers and buyers.
This web page describes ExxonMobil’s expertise and experience at each link of the LNG value chain. Whether your needs are focused on a single link or you can benefit from the full value chain proposition, ExxonMobil stands ready to become your premium partner.
From regional markets to global prominence
LNG has evolved from a primarily niche, point-to-point business in a few regional markets into a large and growing industry providing reliable supplies across the globe. The increasing importance of liquid markets will further increase the supply flexibility and help ensure that supplies will be provided to markets where LNG is most needed.
ExxonMobil is a pioneer in the LNG industry. We were involved in one of the world’s first LNG facilities. In partnership with Qatar Petroleum we have developed and employed new technologies resulting in the largest LNG production facilities and LNG vessels in the world, as well as large and technically advanced LNG regasification terminals in Italy, the UK and the U.S. Advanced technologies, project execution capabilities and economies of scale have reduced costs, thereby extending our ability to bring LNG to more people around the world.
In the early decades of the LNG industry, regional demand was satisfied with regional supplies. In the Pacific Basin for instance, ExxonMobil developed and continues to operate Aceh’s onshore and offshore resources supplying gas to PT Arun LNG facilities in Indonesia. Since 1978, Arun has supplied more than 4,100 LNG cargoes for customers in Japan and Korea.
We recognized that a dramatic step change in economies of scale would be essential for LNG to thrive in the global energy marketplace.
ExxonMobil and our venture partner Qatar Petroleum are leading this drive for efficiency. It is a partnership focused on the long-term development of a resource and based on fair dealing, mutual trust and respect. Our collective efforts in innovation have made the vision of increased scale a reality.
LNG leadership and marketing experience
ExxonMobil has significant experience in the LNG business with more than 35 years of LNG project development and market knowledge. We have developed partnerships with both national oil companies and international oil companies over the years, and have a significant presence throughout the LNG value chain.
ExxonMobil’s joint venture projects in Qatar are facilitating the development of a global market for cleaner-burning natural gas. These achievements are the result of our unprecedented focus on and commitment to:
- Strong Partnerships
- Technology Leadership
- Customer Focus
- Marketing Experience and Global Presence
- Ability to Deliver on Project Execution
- Safe, Reliable Operations
- High Environmental Standards
- Financial Strength
- Investment Discipline
Our experience in marketing and commercial transactions associated with natural gas and LNG are a key strength. This expertise translates into the ability to negotiate with and secure customers for multi-billion dollar LNG projects years ahead of first cargo – a vital step for progressing projects. We can also offer the capability to market regassified LNG volumes across the globe utilising our extensive in-country gas marketing organizations. This can include the purchase and marketing of upstream partner equity volumes.
Our global presence provides early insight into emerging energy markets. Our regional offices throughout the world are staffed by experts knowledgeable in local cultures and markets to provide customer service for new and existing customers.
The fundamentals of our approach
- Consistency – Our approach to the business is consistent with a long-term view – and has remained so throughout our 125-year history.
- Integrity – ExxonMobil has an unwavering commitment to high ethical standards and operational excellence.
- Discipline – We take a disciplined approach to all aspects of our business.
- Reliability – Unrelenting emphasis on flawless operations translates into superior results. Our focus on execution excellence results in world-class projects that are leaders in safe and reliable operations. Reliability delivers value to our business partners and customers.
- Ingenuity – More than 16,000 scientists and engineers at ExxonMobil seek innovative solutions to complex energy challenges. Their ingenuity has enabled ExxonMobil to remain the industry’s technology leader.These fundamentals serve as the key to our to success and uniquely position ExxonMobil as a partner of choice in the LNG marketplace.
Valuing strong partners
Host nations play a critically important role in facilitating successful development of their resources by providing a stable political, economic and regulatory environment. Such an environment will attract necessary international investment, technology and management skills to help meet a country’s strategic objectives and long-term vision for the nation’s overall economic development and energy security.
The partnership between ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum has a combined vision for the development of Qatar’s North Field with the unique strengths of both partners. The result has been an unprecedented, successful partnership that supplies cleaner-burning energy to all major gas markets around the globe.
ExxonMobil is pleased to be able to play a key role in making Qatar’s vision a reality and supports its unprecedented continued economic growth.
The global outlook for natural gas and LNG
The long-term outlook for global gas demand growth remains strong. LNG supplies are expected to play an increasingly important role in meeting global gas demand. LNG is the vital link between geographically separated gas suppliers and gas customers.
As the global LNG market grows, LNG’s flexibility and market liquidity will enable LNG to flow to markets where natural gas is needed most. In effect, global LNG supplies are expected to play an appreciable role in balancing global gas demand and supply.
ExxonMobil conducts an exhaustive study each year of the global demand for all energy. We also focus on the specifics of natural gas and LNG.
In general, natural gas demand is forecast to grow dramatically around the world. In North America, Europe and Asia, LNG will become a growing component of supplies required to meet demand growth through 2030 and beyond.
We forecast that LNG supplies will continue to grow from traditional sources combined with new projects in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America.
Developing technology leadership with our partners
In recent years, ExxonMobil increased its investment in research and development of energy related technologies to approximately US$1 billion annually – the largest of any IOC.
For LNG in particular, economies of scale matter.
With our partner Qatar Petroleum we have produced a step change in size of liquefaction trains that is nearly four times the size of previous trains of the mid-1990s. The newest trains of 7.8 MTA at QGII and RL3 are world-class facilities and the new benchmark for efficiency.
We also helped develop the newest classes of LNG carriers with the 210,000 cubic meter capacity Q-Flex ships in 2007 and the 265,000 cubic meter Q-Max vessels in 2008. The largest of these vessels is capable of carrying 80% more LNG cargo than a conventional LNG ship.
The large LNG ship technologies, developed in conjunction with joint venture partner Qatar Petroleum, include a number of industry breakthroughs and significant enhancements, including increased ship size, onboard reliquefaction units, slow-speed diesel engines, twin propellers and rudders, and the largest shipboard LNG tanks ever built.
The on-board reliquefaction facilities created an opportunity to shift from steam boilers and turbines used for propulsion by conventional LNG ships to highly efficient slow speed diesel engines. The Q-Max ships are equipped with two diesel engines driving twin propellers and rudders. This leads to more energy efficient, reliable and maneuverable ships and reduces fuel consumption by up to one-third.
The Q-Flex and Q-Max vessels were developed under the leadership of Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil coupled with significant engagement by shipyards, naval architects and marine engineers and key technology providers. The end result is an innovative and proven LNG carrier design operating at a typical savings of 20% in transportation costs.
Innovation in the LNG value chain also extends to the design of new and larger receiving terminals.
ExxonMobil and our venture partners Qatar Petroleum and Edison developed the Adriatic LNG terminal – the first offshore gravity based structure in the world for LNG. The terminal is located approximately 10 miles offshore of Porto Levante, Italy in the Adriatic Sea.
The structure is made of reinforced concrete weighing about 290,000 tons with a top deck area larger than two soccer fields. The terminal capacity is approximately equal to 10% of Italy’s annual gas consumption and to about 10% of installed LNG regasification capacity in Europe.
Qatar Petroleum and Total SA are joint venture partners with ExxonMobil on another terminal called South Hook, a large land-based LNG terminal located on the site of the former Esso oil refinery at Milford Haven in the UK. Milford Haven offers a safe, deep water anchorage readily accessible by large LNG tankers.
The Golden Pass terminal located in Texas on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico is a third LNG receiving terminal for ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum, with ConocoPhillips joining this venture to supply LNG to the U.S. marketplace.
ExxonMobil technology and expertise can be applied to other terminal designs like the proposed BlueOcean Energy offshore floating terminal designed to bring global natural gas supplies to the U.S. East Coast.
ExxonMobil is also participating in the development of LNG projects in Papua New Guinea and Australia.
Partners rely on each other’s strengths
There are three recurring strengths that make ExxonMobil the partner of choice at every link in the LNG value chain – proven project execution; attention to safety and the environment; and unparalleled financial strength.
Our experienced global workforce and structured project management systems focus on delivering projects of all sizes and complexity safely, on time, and on budget. Jointly with our partners we allocate the proper resources necessary to achieve industry-leading results that we have come to expect and have delivered for decades.
Our performance demonstrates our steadfast commitment to the highest standards of safety, health and environmental care. We help to improve industrial safety performance wherever we operate by applying a disciplined focused approach to safety and by sharing best practices and procedures with our partners and contractors.
ExxonMobil’s legendary cost management and disciplined investment approach have helped position us as the industry leader in superior returns. This reputation and track record of successful project execution provides ExxonMobil and our partners with access to capital at superior rates.
Facilitating the development of a global market for cleaner-burning natural gas, ExxonMobil is an industry leader in all aspects of the LNG value chain from resource development, liquefaction, transportation, receiving terminals and gas marketing.
If you are interested in partnering with ExxonMobil or learning more about the world’s rapidly expanding natural gas supply network, please contact one of our offices listed on the contacts page in the back of this booklet.
The global LNG value chain
The LNG Value Chain is complex and capital intensive. To implement the full value chain proposition successfully requires unwavering focus on:
Extraordinary fiscal investments
Safety and environmental leadership
Significant experience in developing and operating each link of the value chain
Project execution and operational excellence
Detailed knowledge of the market
Natural gas production
- Natural gas is produced in subsurface gas reservoirs and reached through drilling onshore gas treatment plant
- Natural gas is piped in from the offshore platform, and impurities and liquids are removed
- New Q-Flex and Q-Max ships can carry about 45-80% respectively, more cargo than average carriers
- These double-hulled ships have larger cargo tank designs, optimized ship propulsion and enhanced processing technology that enable ships to deliver LNG more efficiently to destinations
LNG liquefaction train
- Gas is condensed into a liquid at atmospheric pressure by cooling it to -260°F (-162°C)
- Gas in liquefied form (LNG) takes up about 1/600th less space than in a gaseous form
- LNG is then stored at subzero temperatures in insulated tanks until it is loaded onto LNG carriers
- LNG is unloaded from carriers and stored at subzero temperatures in insulated tanks
- When needed, LNG is piped to regasification units where it is warmed to a point where it reverts back to its gaseous state for transport
- There are different structural types of LNG terminals, including onshore, offshore gravity-based and offshore floating
Customer utility company
- Gas is transferred via natural pipeline to serve a network of industrial, commercial and residential markets
- The world’s natural gas needs are expected to increase more than 40 percent by 2030, with gas forecasted to surpass coal as the second-largest energy source, accounting for nearly 25 percent of global demand