During the next five years, the commencement of several floating terminals throughout the Asia Pacific region will add further flexibility to natural gas drilling operations, allowing worksites to be relocated simply and quickly.

That’s according to a new report by oil and gas experts GlobalData. The new report states that floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) production technology, which until only recently was just a concept, will gain momentum during the next five years due to its economical nature and easy drilling functions.

Floating LNG production and regasification terminals account for a significant share of the region’s planned LNG capacity additions. Australia will witness the completion of new floating LNG (FLNG) liquefaction terminals Sunrise FLNG and Prelude FLNG within the next five years, while Indonesia is due to see the Abadi FLNG completed during the same period.

A number of projects which were stalled, due to financial worries, are now being developed following the introduction of floating terminals. FLNG and Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) platforms limit the need for undersea pipelines, LNG storage tanks, onshore sites and related construction in offshore areas, thereby reducing the cost of LNG production. FLNG production terminals can be stationed directly over an offshore field, and relocated once the field is depleted, or in case of bad weather.

The global planned LNG regasification market will also see a surge in the completion of floating regasification terminals, which will be set up in several countries including Bangladesh, China, India and Indonesia. The regasification market has been witnessing a global increase in capacity, but during the next five years, the Asia-Pacific region is set to dominate this trend. The region will see a huge rise in its natural gas consumption, buoyed by the demand of fast-developing countries, India and China. India is expected to develop the highest planned regasification capacity, as the country will be importing significant amounts of natural gas for consumption in its industrial, domestic and power generation sectors.

The Asia-Pacific region will lead the world in planned LNG liquefaction and regasification capacity additions during the 2012–2017 period, contributing about 47.4% to the global planned liquefaction capacity additions by 2017, and 42.7% to the global planned regasification capacity.