Malampaya Phases 2 & 3
The Malampaya deep-water gas-to-power project signaled the birth of the natural gas industry in the Philippines. It delivers up to 20% of the country’s electricity requirements using indigenous resources of natural gas, the cleanest-burning hydrocarbon, and reduces the need for imported oil. Phases 2 and 3 have sustained levels of gas production in recent years, helping to maintain national energy security.
Our Malampaya deep-water gas-to-power project off the coast of Palawan began operating with a first offshore platform in 2001. A second platform started up in 2015 – the first to be designed and built in the country – to help maintain vital supplies of energy for years to come.
Time-lapse video shows the making of Malampaya
Title: Shell – Malampaya
Duration: 1:00 minute
Shell – Malampaya
[Background music plays]
Self-Installing platform helps keep the lights on
Malampaya Deep-water Gas-to-Power
Project Phase 3, Philippines
Sped-up footage of the erection of a centrally-located, tall, red gantry on a vast, level concrete foundation. Construction equipment and vehicles move about around the gantry as it’s being raised. Blue-roofed warehouses are visible at the side of the foundation area.
More than 1,400 Filipino workers built the platform at the fabrication yard
Sped-up aerial footage of the fabrication yard, which is located in an open, below-ground area. The tall, red gantry moves overhead on tracks either side of the fabrication yard, lowering massive, modular pieces of a building being constructed in the sunken area. The scene is very busy, with workers constantly coming and going.
Construction took around two years
Sped-up footage. The camera zooms in on the work going on on the upper level of the building being constructed in the fabrication yard. More massive modular pieces of the building are being lowered into place on the construction by the gantry.
The new platform was towed 50 km offshore
The building which was being constructed in the sunken area, supported on a massive floating platform, is towed away from the pier and out of the harbour by two tugboats. A tall, massive leg extends from each corner of the floating platform.
The tugboats tow the floating platform further out to sea, passing a densely-forested headland.
The platform legs were lowered into the sea
Sped-up footage of the platform in open ocean. There is a tugboat attached to each leg. The tugboats are each positioned at an equal distance from each leg, facing away from the platform.
The topsides were raised into position
Sped-up footage, from the deck of an adjacent platform, of the platform with its legs now lowered about halfway into the ocean. The platform begins to rise.
Close-up, at deck level, of the rising platform.
A 50-metre bridge connects the platforms
Sped-up footage. The platform has risen to the top of the four legs. A crane from the adjacent platform lowers a metal bridge to span the narrow gap between the two platforms.
This is the first offshore platform designed and built in the Philippines
Sped-up footage of the two platforms at dusk. A flame is visible at the top of near-vertical narrow chimney on one of the platforms. A tugboat floats alongside as the sky darkens and lights come on on the two platforms.
The platform will help maintain the supply of natural gas
Sped-up footage of a night-time scene on the platform. The view is a closer one, from just alongside the platform. As we watch, the platform rises. Workers are visible on the various levels of the platform.
Malampaya meets around 30% of the Philippines’ energy needs
A foggy daytime scene of the two platforms, side by side, in the open ocean.
Location: Offshore, northwest of Palawan island; West Philippine Sea
Depth: Wells are in 820 metres (2,690 feet) of water and the reservoir is 2,990 metres below sea level
Interests: Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. 45% (Shell-operated), Chevron 45%, Philippine National Oil Corporation-Exploration Corporation (government) 10%
Key contractors: Malampaya is a joint undertaking of the Philippine national government and the private sector. The project is spearheaded by the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) and developed and operated by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX) on behalf of joint venture partners Chevron Malampaya LLC and the Philippine National Oil Corporation-Exploration Corporation
Fields: Malampaya-Camago gas reservoir
Production (100%): ~ 429 mmscf/d natural gas production; ~ 15 kb per day condensate
Since 2001, the Malampaya project has been producing cleaner-burning natural gas for three power plants at Batangas, on the country’s largest and most populous island of Luzon. The power plants have a combined generating capacity of 2,700 megawatts – enough to meet up to 30% of Luzon’s electricity needs, or about 20% of the country’s total electricity requirements.
Shell successfully completed Malampaya Phase 2 in 2013, which added two new production wells. Malampaya Phase 3 saw the design, fabrication and installation of a new depletion compression platform to maintain levels of gas production, which began operating in October 2015. This was the first oil and gas platform to be designed and built in the Philippines, and its successful completion has made the country a player in construction for the oil and gas industry.
The project extracts natural gas and condensate from the depths of the Palawan Basin. A nearby shallow-water production platform processes the gas and exports it through a 504-km (313-mile) underwater pipeline to a gas plant on shore. This processes the gas further and sends it to three power plants in Batangas.
In February 2015, Shell towed the Malampaya Phase 3 depletion compression platform from its construction yard out into the West Philippine Sea, where self-installation technology lowered its 80-metre legs, positioning it next to the existing platform. Self-installation takes away the need for large vessels specialising in offshore platform installation. Most importantly, its use on Malampaya Phase 3 minimised interruption to gas production.
Both platforms are designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes, a challenge unique to this region.
Environment and society
The flow of indigenous natural gas from the West Philippine Sea is helping to fuel the Philippines’ economic growth and progress. Shell supports health improvement, livelihood generation programmes and environmental conservation efforts through its partner foundations in Palawan, Oriental Mindoro and Batangas.
In 2002, the United Nations Environmental Programme and the International Chamber of Commerce selected the Malampaya project for the World Summit Business Award for Sustainable Development in Partnerships. The project was rewarded for achieving a careful balance of social, environmental and economic components during its development.
Pilipinas Shell Foundation, the social arm of Shell in the Philippines, works with the province of Palawan to implement a USAID programme called Movement Against Malaria in more than 300 villages on Palawan island. The programme has set up centres in each village to provide early diagnosis and prompt treatment of malaria.
Beyond providing power for large cities and industries, the Malampaya project aims to bring sustainable and affordable energy to communities least likely to be connected to the grid. Pilipinas Shell Foundation has also put in place a micro-grid using hydropower and solar energy to power the village of Kalakwasan on Palawan island. The village is home to the Batak indigenous people. Today all homes in Kalakuasan are powered by the mini-grid and tribesmen are trained to operate and maintain the system.
Malampaya is located in one of the most biologically diverse areas of the world, known as the Coral Triangle. Its waters are important for biodiversity and vital for the livelihoods of many local villages which depend on them for fishing. But the species-rich waters and corals are under threat from natural phenomena such as storms, illegal fishing and over-fishing. The Malampaya Foundation, the project’s social arm set up by the joint venture partners, is working with communities to help manage and restore their local marine resources and enhance livelihoods.
Building local skills and expertise
Malampaya Phase 3 included the first offshore platform to be designed and built completely in the Philippines, and brought new technical expertise into the country. Shell is helping to raise project expertise to world-class levels in the long term, enabling the Philippines to compete for future oil and gas projects regionally and globally.
The third project phase has provided more than 1,200 new jobs for Filipinos, generated business for local companies, and is improving the skills of local workers. More than 90% of those operating the platform are Filipinos.
Poor and unemployed young adults from local communities can gain skills for jobs in areas such as welding, pipe-fitting, and construction as part of a vocational training programme run by the Malampaya Foundation. The programme, called Bridging Employment through Skills Training (BEST), links trainees with industries in need of skilled workers. Since 2007 more than 4,000 young adults have graduated from this programme, 80% of whom have found work in the Philippines or abroad.
Safety training is mandatory before anybody is allowed to work on the Malampaya project. In 2013, the Malampaya Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Training Centre opened. It has trained more than 6,000 Filipinos to world-class HSE standards.
More in about us
Upstream Technology magazine talks to Shell about the latest development phase of the Malampaya gas-to-power project in the Philippines, and its technical and logistical challenges.
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