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Why Singapore is Asia's Undisputed Oil Hub

Reigning supreme as the world’s top shipping centre for the sixth year running (beating the likes of Hong Kong, London, Shanghai and Dubai), Singapore is cementing its status as the ‘undisputed Oil hub in Asia’ and leading the way in the Oil & Gas industry.

To gain a better understanding of Singapore’s success and future within the energy industry, we’re taking a closer look at some of the exciting projects and key developments within the country.

World's largest semi-submersible crane vessel - the Sleipner

Singapore is fully embracing its innovative side within the Oil & Gas industry, boasting many ground-breaking projects. Earlier this year, Sembcorp Marine (the country’s leading marine and offshore engineering company) completed their build of the world’s largest semi-submersible crane vessel, the ‘Sleipner’.

Armed with the strongest pair of revolving cranes for offshore oil, gas and renewable energy installation and decommissioning jobs, the vessel is a piece of game-changing machinery that can lift loads of up to 20,000 tonnes in tandem - the equivalent of lifting approximately 3,000 Elephants, or 2.5 million bowling balls.

Sleipner has not only been a record-breaking event for the Oil & Gas industry but an excellent development for Singapore’s workforce, with construction of the vessel involving up to 3,700 workers in a single shift at its peak.

As well as being the world’s largest crane vessel, the Sleipnir is also making history as it is the world’s first crane vessel with dual-fuel engines running on Marine Gas Oil (MGO) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

Pieter Heerema, Chairman of Heerema Marine Contractors, partners in the vessels construction, said, “Sleipnir scores several firsts in the industry: It is the largest crane vessel yet built; it has the strongest pair of revolving cranes; and it’s also the world’s first crane vessel with dual-fuel engines running on MGO and LNG, dramatically reducing harmful emissions.”

World’s first crude steam cracker reducing energy consumption and emissions

Singapore, dubbed “the undisputed oil hub in Asia”, is also taking some positive steps towards reducing emissions, which are harmful to the environment, recently announcing a commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 36% by 2030.

Singapore’s government has been proactive in their mission to provide a cleaner and greener environment, reaching out to the public for their ideas and feedback on how they can achieve this. Not only that, but this year has also seen the beginning of carbon tax, meaning that businesses producing 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions in a year will have to pay a $5 tax per tonne. Depending on the effectiveness of this scheme, the rate may increase to $10 and $15 when it is reviewed in 2023.

ExxonMobil, one of Singapore’s largest investors with assets of over $20billion, has shown its support for increasing energy efficiency in more ways than one. Recently contributing a unique innovation with its launch of the world’s first crude steam cracker, capable of cracking crude oil at the companies multi-billion dollar complex, on Singapore’s Jurong Island.

ExxonMobil Chemical’s president, Stephen Pryor, said “The cracker we’ve built is by far the most feed flexible cracker we’ve ever built. It can crack anything from light gases to heavy liquids, including crude oil. The new technology helps reduce raw material costs, energy consumption and carbon emissions, while the cracker also produces fuel components.”

In a bid to support Singapore’s efforts to increase efficiency, ExxonMobil also introduced Cogeneration technology at its refinering on Jurong Island, back in October 2017.

This innovative energy efficiency technology captures the heat that is generated from the production of electricity, which is then transferred and used in production, refining and chemical processing operations. Not only does this ensure Oil & Gas production is at the forefront of latest developments within the industry, but also provides a support towards the country’s commitment to lower carbon emissions. To read more on Cogeneration Technology, click here.

World's largest oil rig supplier announces plans to add 1,800 staff

Singapore conglomerate Keppel Corp recently announced that it plans to add 1,800 staff to its Keppel Offshore and Marine business - the world's largest oil rig supplier.

This marks the first time in four years that the company is hiring for the offshore and marine division, since cutting thousands of jobs in 2015. Due to an oil price crash in 2014 and oversupply of drilling rigs worldwide, orders at Keppel’s O&M division had previously taken a large hit, but demand is now increasing.

"With the expected increase in work flow as well as preparing for the upturn we would be looking to add to our (O&M) workforce this year," Keppel Corp CEO Loh Chin Hua shared at the company's results briefing.

The company declared its plan to recruit around 1,800 full-time staff over the course of 2019, representing a healthy 17 percent upturn in the division's workforce and a signifier of increasing demand within Singapore’s Oil & Gas industry.

New $200 million semi-submersible floating production topside

Following a brief dip in activity in previous years, it is expected there will be an increase in new Oil & Gas projects for Singapore over the next two years. One major upcoming project is the build of a US$200 million semi-submersible floating production topside. The build will be undertaken by Shell USA in Singapore before sailing off to its base in 4000ft depth of water in the Gulf of Mexico.

More high value projects are also in the pipeline, including SembCorp’s huge $175 million deal to design and build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker vessel, and for the repair and modernisation of 13 cruise ships.

With Singapore’s oil industry contributing 5% of the overall country’s GDP, developments such as these are key to boosting the country’s economy and providing job opportunities to its local workers and expats.

A bright future ahead for Oil & Gas Singapore businesses

As home of the world’s two largest oil rig builders, SembCorp and Keppel Corporation, Singapore is set to remain a force in the global Oil & Gas industry.

The country has maintained its reputation as a market leader for floating production, storage and offloading (FPSOs) conversions and offshore jack-up rigs, and also operates some of the world’s largest and most innovative oil refinery projects.

Singapore has a very bright future ahead and First Technical Singapore is excited to support Oil & Gas businesses via our in-country team based in the heart of the city.

If you are looking for an Oil & Gas recruitment agency in Singapore, that offers full compliance and a local presence, contact our Client Services Manager, David Dixon, on +44 (0)1925 909252 or email david.dixon@firstrg.com


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