This Day in History

This Day in History (1980): Ju’aymah Product Loaded at New Offshore Platform

A Japanese vessel is the first to be loaded at the Ju’aymah gas loading platform.

This Day in History (1980): Ju’aymah Product Loaded at New Offshore Platform

From the May 14, 1980, edition of The Arabian Sun


Another Gas Program “first” was recorded on May 12 when propane produced at the Ju’aymah Fractionation Plant was loaded aboard the Sun River.



Initial operation of the Ju’aymah loading platform follows closely on the heels of the start-up of the first two modules of the Shedgum gas Plant and the completion of the Ju’aymah plant.



A total of 449,000 barrels of propane was loaded on the 76,000 cubic meter Sun River which had the honor of being the first vessel to take on cargo at the Ju’aymah loading platform. The Japanese ship took on 101,000 barrels of butane at Ras Tanura prior to its loading at Ju’aymah. The cargo is bound for Japan.



Two 30,000-barrel-an-hour loading systems facilitate the rapid loading of propane and butane, commonly referred to as LPG. Each system consists of a 36-inch loading line and a 20-inch return line; the latter is required for circulation when not loading, to maintain the system in a chilled-down condition.



Because of the extended shallowness of the waters off Ju’aymah, a six-mile-long prestressed reinforced concrete trestle was built to support the loading and recirculation lines as well as the bunker and black diesel fuel lines required to service the LPG tankers. A 48-inch saltwater intake line, an electrical distribution system and a road connecting the loading platform to the onshore facilities are also carried on the trestle.



The loading platform has two berths, each capable of accepting up to a 200,000 cubic meter tanker which is roughly twice the size of the LPG tankers now in service.



Cargo loaded on the Sun River can trace its lineage all the way back to associated gas produced along with crude oil in the Ghawar field. From the wellhead, the oil and gas mixture moved through a gas-oil separator plant with the separator gas continuing on to the Shedgum Gas Plant where a natural gas liquids stream was produced. The NGL was then piped to Ju’aymah for separation into ethane, butane, propane and natural gasoline through a process of controlled vaporization and condensation.


Caption for top photo: Tugs nudge the Japanese LPG tanker Sun River into one of the two berths at the Ju’aymah loading platform. The vessel took on 449,000 barrels of propane produced at the Ju’aymah Fractionation Plant.



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