A pioneer in the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) industry, Total is today one of the world’s LNG leaders with solid and diversified positions both in the upstream and downstream portions of the LNG chain. LNG development is a key element of the Group strategy, strengthening its positions in most major production zones and markets.
Beyond the production and liquefaction of natural gas and in order to enhance the value of the Group’s gas resources, Total is also active in the trading and marketing of gas (sold either by pipeline or as LNG) and electricity as well as the shipping of LNG. The Group also has stakes in infrastructure (including regasification terminals, gas transportation and storage, and power plants) necessary to implement its strategy.
Total believes in the essential role of gas as one of the solutions to climate change issues. Replacing coal with gas at power plants could help reduce CO2 emissions by 5 Bt/y, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Strengthening the position of gas in the energy mix must however be accompanied by a greater focus on controlling methane emissions.
In 2040, natural gas is expected to be second only to coal as the world’s most widely used fossil fuel, according to IEA's Momentum Scenario. This rise is partly due to the strong growth of the LNG market and is expected to continue at an annual rate of 5%, thanks to Asian demand.
The LNG boom can be explained by its undeniable advantages. LNG presents the same advantages as natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel, which is also abundant, accessible and flexible. LNG also complements renewable energy sources. The shipping of liquefied gas by sea over great distances is an opportunity to market resources that are located very far away from major consumption centers. The ability to redirect LNG shipments offers greater flexibility in terms of supply management than transportation by gas pipelines, thereby facilitating the emergence of an integrated global gas market.
Among the world’s LNG leaders, Total ensures access to new gas resources by managing the entire LNG chain and by implementing cutting-edge technological solutions, an approach that optimizes the value of production and supply.
Liquefied Natural Gas: A Long-standing Presence and Complete Control Over the Entire Value Chain
The production, transport and processing of liquefied natural gas requires extensive expertise. A pioneer in LNG, Total applies an integrated approach to the way in which it runs and develops its business across all sectors: exploration, marketing, production, liquefaction, transport, trading or regasification. Today, the Group is the second-largest private global LNG player, with an overall portfolio of around 40 million tons per year by 2020 and a global market share of 10%.
Total’s integrated strategy relies on a global presence to satisfy demand in all major markets and particularly in Asia. The Group therefore maintains a presence in all the main LNG production regions: currently, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia, Russia, and the United States. The boom experienced by the LNG industry must be accompanied by complete control over industrial and technological risks. The Group’s LNG sites comply with the industry’s highest safety standards. Every day, teams of international experts evaluate LNG terminals, inspect transmission infrastructure and monitor LNG carriers.
A global portfolio and a presence in all markets
Upstream: recognized liquefaction processes experience
Total is known for its experience with production technology and liquefaction processes. Total's cryogenic engineering expertise means it is proficient in all the processes that exist on the market. Another asset is the Group’s presence in Australia and in the United States, which is of major importance for the growth of the LNG sector. Total and its partners have developed ground-breaking expertise that allows them to undertake complex offshore and onshore LNG projects safely.
Downstream: direct access to markets to develop production
Total’s substantial regasification capacity in the main consumer markets enables the company to provide direct, diversified access to LNG shipments. The Group is in an ideal position to develop production, optimize trade flows, secure supplies and adapt to price fluctuations.
For over 50 years, LNG has gone from strength to strength
- 1960: Total becomes a partner in Camel, the world’s first gas liquefaction plant (Algeria)
- 1977: Adgas, now ADNOC LNG (Abu Dhabi, 5.6 Mt/year, Total 5%)
- 1977: Bontang LNG (Indonesia, 22.2 Mt/year, net supplier of natural gas until 2017)
- 1996: Qatargas 1 (Qatar, 10 Mt/year, Total 10%)
- 1999: Nigeria LNG-T1-T6 (22 Mt/year, Total 15%), Total’s first LNG project in Sub-Saharan Africa
- 2000: Oman LNG (Oman, 7.2 Mt/year, Total 5.54%)
- 2003: Total launches its trading business and its long-term LNG purchasing strategy
- 2005: Qalhât LNG (Oman, 3.7 Mt/year, Total 2.04% stake)
- 2007: Snøhvit (Norway, 4.2 Mt/year, Total 18.4%), Total’s first LNG project in Europe
- 2009: Yemen LNG (Yemen, 6.7 Mt/year, Total 39.62%), in preservation mode since 2015 due to security conditions around Balhaf site
- 2009: Qatargas 2 Train 5 (Qatar, 8 Mt/year, Total 16.7%)
- 2013: Angola LNG (Angola, 5.2 Mt/year, Total 13.6%)
- 2015: GLNG (Australia, 8 Mt/year, Total 27.5%), the Group’s first project in Australia
- 2017: A consortium led by Total is given the responsibility for developing and operating a FSRU regasification terminal in Ivory Coast
- 2017: Total accelerates its development in the gas and electricity retail market in France with the launch of Total Spring
- 2017: Yamal LNG (Russia, 16.5 Mt/year, Total 20%), the first plant located in Russia's Far North
- 2018: Total announces the acquisition of Engie's upstream LNG business (including the Idku LNG plant in Egypt and the Cameron LNG project in the US)
- 2018: Total signs an agreement to acquire Direct Energie, strengthening its development in the production and distribution of electricity and gas in France and Belgium
- 2018: Ichthys LNG (Australia, 8.9 Mt/year, Total 30%), a 4 in 1 project in LNG
- 2019: Acquisition of Mozambique LNG project (Mozambique, 12.9 Mt/year, Total 26.5%, operator)
- After 2020: Papua LNG (Papua New Guinea), Nigeria LNG Train 7 (Nigeria) and Tellurian / Driftwood (United States)
Gladstone LNG in Australia
Yamal LNG in the Arctic region
Traders in Total's trading room in London
Qatargas 1 & 2
Ichthys LNG in Australia
Cutting-edge LNG: Technological Solutions
Total implements innovative technology throughout the LNG chain. In a highly competitive environment, our teams find more economical and more efficient liquefied gas transport and production solutions and thereby open up access to new gas resources while reducing our energy and environmental footprint.
Priority given to the energy efficiency of liquefaction trains
Improving the energy efficiency of LNG trains is of critical importance to the gas industry. The liquefaction process requires a great deal of energy. The integration of lithium bromide (LiBr) absorption chillers on our sites optimizes the energy efficiency of the liquefaction units. The absorption chillers function by recovering heat from the steam produced by the gas turbines. The cold water produced as a result is used in the liquefaction process and to chill the gas turbines’ air inlet. The performance levels vary in accordance with the type of gas turbines used (heavy duty or aeroderivative gas turbines) and depending on whether a combined cycle is used simultaneously for the absorption chillers.
Adapting process architecture to cut costs
The weakness of world natural gas prices calls for a significant reduction in investment spending to launch profitable LNG projects tomorrow. Doing more with less requires thinking differently about LNG infrastructures. Therefore, we are conducting in-depth studies to integrate new technological bricks with LNG infrastructures. The challenge is to have architectures that optimize the development costs of our future liquefaction plants.
Exploiting and shipping LNG: innovative technology to cope with extreme conditions
Total develops specialized, safe technology to exploit and transport gas in the harshest environments, particularly in the extremely cold conditions of the Arctic Circle.
- The winterization of gas facilities is essential to produce gas safely at very low surface temperatures: the plant and the work stations must be protected from extreme weather conditions (low temperatures, blizzards, heavy snowfall, etc.) and any risks of flammable and/or toxic fluid leaks. The Group has therefore developed a patented axial ventilation system which improves the ventilation capacity of the production buildings. This innovative solution resolves two conflicting problems: it reconciles the need for contained areas (to limit heat loss and to prevent snow from covering production equipment) with the need for ventilation, which is required due to the possible presence of gas.
- Total is taking part in the launch of a large-scale brash-ice management system that is implemented for the first time on Yamal LNG in Russia. It will allow ships to sail into the LNG port and its approach channels at any time, even in winter when ice is present. Combined with ice-breaking ships and jetties in the port, a system that breaks up ice by releasing bubbles and injecting water was installed on the bed of the port, close to the jetties. It helps minimizing the formation of residual ice caused by the passing of ships.
- Our teams also have unique expertise in the engineering and construction of industrial facilities on permafrost. The construction of Yamal LNG plant on piles in a permafrost area was a challenge due to the size and the weight of the equipment (several thousand tons). The techniques used ensure that the gas facilities will remain stable on the permafrost throughout the project’s lifetime.
Floating LNG solutions to respond to market developments
Total has developed several floating architectural designs for LNG that are ready to respond to new requirements, from processing to regasification.
- Taking advantage of its expertise in FPSO units, Total participates in the design, construction and exploitation of LNG Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRU). These FSRUs do not take as long to develop as conventional terminals and do not require as much investment.
- Studying the marinization of amine absorption columns for floating LNG facilities was the challenge to retain the effectiveness of this separation process in marine conditions. Movements caused by ocean swell alter liquid distribution, clogging point and mass transfer in the columns. A hexapod with 6 Degrees of Freedom has been set up in a laboratory at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, where experimental tests are taking place. This equipment is used to simulate wave-induced acceleration and thus better manage this phenomenon. The tests increased the data already acquired on an oscillating pilot unit.
- The development of LNG remains contingent on the ongoing implementation of a high level of safety and on compliance with stringent standards. Total is involved in several research projects that aim to assess and manage the risks associated with floating facilities, particularly for liquefaction, to reduce these risks from the design stage onward. Regardless of the type of LNG development activity, the hazards to people, environments and property are systematically identified. The associated risks are assessed and measures that will reduce these risks are defined and implemented.
Maritime expertise: new opportunities for shipping LNG
Total is at the cutting edge of LNG shipping technology, a strategic part of opening new, more commercially attractive routes and shipping LNG to destinations that are more difficult to access.
- The Group has worked with its partners to study and coordinate the design for the first LNG ice-breakers, a global innovation. These ARC7, winterized, double-acting vessels have a strengthened hull and a capacity of 170,000 m3. Each vessel is equipped with three 15 MW azimuth thrusters. They are capable of breaking 2.1-meter-thick ice when proceeding astern.
- An innovative shipment solution has been implemented to export Arctic LNG from Yamal LNG to Asia all year round: transshipment. LNG ice-breakers are the best solution for short ice-covered routes. Their cargo is therefore transshipped onto conventional vessels in Northern Europe to optimize the shipping process, either from one docked vessel to another or via an onshore buffer storage tank. Transshipment becomes a routine operation at several LNG terminals, including those at Zeebrugge, Belgium and Dunkirk, France.
- The development of a new proprietary simulation software program enables us to optimize the fleet of LNG carriers required for a project. This tool models the project data for the entire LNG chain. It specifies the volume of the onshore storage tanks and the number of LNG handling jetties to be created at the liquefaction plant and the LNG terminals.
- Now, our teams engage in continuous technological monitoring of the emerging techniques and new operating methods adopted by LNG carriers: optimized hull shapes, new types of propulsion, cargo containment systems linked to the tanks’ evaporation rate, on-board re-liquefaction systems, and ship winterization.
Liquefied Natural Gas
Deploy an Assertive Strategy in Gas and LNG
Liquefied Natural Gas
Adapt Process Architecture to Cut Costs
Liquefied Natural Gas
Yamal: Immersion in the Most Extreme Circumstances
Liquefied Natural Gas
Yamal: Operate in the Heart of the High North
Liquefied Natural Gas
Yamal: Build Foundations on Permafrost
Liquefied Natural Gas
Yamal: Design an LNG Ice-Breaker Ship