International classification society ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) has entered into a joint development project (JDP) with South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) to develop the industry’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled drillship.
The JDP will address challenges associated with storing and managing cryogenic LNG safely by combining DSME’s experience developing and applying LNG technology to floating structures with ABS’ technical standards and experience working on a number of gas-fueled, LNG and regasification unit projects.
“We are targeting the Gulf of Mexico as a key market for an LNG fueled drillship where, given the abundance of affordable shale gas resources in the US, LNG as a marine fuel makes good economic sense,” says Dr. Hoseong Lee, ABS Vice President, Global Korea Business Development and ABS Korea Energy Technology Center in Busan.
To initiate the project, DSME has performed a concept design, comparison between two types of LNG storage tanks and analysis of the fuel gas supply system that will be installed on the drillship. ABS’ scope of work calls for concept design review, basic engineering review and a risk assessment of the tank space and access area, fuel gas supply system, machinery space and access area and associated configurations.
The verification aspect of the JDP will rely on ABS’ extensive experience as the preferred classification society for the offshore and energy industry for more than 60 years and its experience leveraging these capabilities to help industry move LNG-as-fuel and other gas developments forward.
“Many North American vessel owners and operators are making the switch to LNG to achieve substantial operating savings by reducing fuel consumption and lowering emissions to meet the strict sulfur requirements in the North American Emissions Control Area,” says ABS Executive Vice President, Energy Development Ken Richardson. “ABS already has taken the critical first step to develop guidance that addresses the first application of LNG technology on US flagged support vessels for Gulf of Mexico operations. An LNG fueled drillship is another groundbreaking concept that illustrates how deepwater applications are evolving.”