ABS, DSME to develop LNG drillship

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), a provider of classification services to the global offshore industry, has entered into a joint development project (JDP) with South Korea’ s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) to develop the industry’ s first 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.

"This project builds on years of collaboration between ABS and DSME to evaluate innovative design concepts and new approaches that serve the needs of our clients and feature enhanced safety and efficiency standards," says Dr. Hoseong Lee, ABS V.P., Global Korea Business Development and ABS Korea Energy Technology Center in Busan.

"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."

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' experience for more than 60 years and its experience leveraging these capabilities to help industry move LNG-as-fuel and other gas developments forward. For more than a decade, ABS has evaluated, new, innovative technologies through its approval in priniciple (AIP) process.

"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 E.V.P., 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."

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