Total Moves Forward with LNG Bunkering at Port of Sohar

Port of Sohar (file image)

Published Jul 18, 2019 8:25 PM by The Maritime Executive

American petroleum engineering company McDermott has been awarded a large contract to do the front-end engineering design (FEED) work for the planned Sohar LNG Bunkering Project at the port of Sohar, Oman.  Sohar is adjacent to the Strait of Hormuz, making it well positioned as a potential LNG bunkering hub as IMO2020 approaches. 

"This award is a reflection of McDermott's 60-year history of delivering innovative LNG solutions worldwide, beginning with our tank storage solutions in the 1950s to our liquefaction capabilities today," said Linh Austin, McDermott's SVP for Middle East and North Africa.

The scope of work includes defining the onshore LNG liquefaction facility, which will be a mid-size installation. The plan calls for a capacity of one million tonnes per annum (mtpa) - much smaller than most LNG export terminals, which usually have capacities in the range of 5-15 mtpa. McDermott will also prepare the tender for the project's EPC contract. 

French oil major Total is partnering with the Oman Oil Company to develop the bunkering terminal, which will be fed by several new natural gas discoveries in Oman's Greater Barik region. Total hopes to reach a gas production potential of about 500 million cubic feed per day, and perhaps more. (Shell is the operator of the gas fields with a 75 percent stake, while Total holds the remaining 25 percent.)  

French ocean carrier CMA CGM's flagship rotation, French Asia Line 1, is served by the line's very largest vessels, and it includes a port call near Sohar. The line has ordered nine LNG-powered megamax boxships of 22,000 TEU each, and an LNG bunkering facility in Oman would provide them with a refueling station near the midpoint of their voyage.

Korea Gas Corporation (Kogas) has studied the possibility of an LNG bunkering service at the nearby port of Fujairah, the region's primary hub for conventional bunker fuel.