Prelude FLNG, the world’s largest floating LNG (FLNG) vessel, will not restart full production until 2021, according to Shell
Work has been underway to restart production at Prelude FLNG since Shell suspended commercial operations at the facility offshore Broome in Western Australia in February 2020 following a series of technical issues. LNG production at Prelude FLNG was halted by Shell following an electrical trip issue on 2 February.
Prior to its shutdown, Australia offshore energy regulator National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) issued a general direction on 22 January to Shell Australia Pty Ltd in relation to increasing deficiencies with the safety management system (SMS) regarding the isolation of plant and equipment to conduct intrusive activities at the Prelude FLNG facility.
In its direction, NOPSEMA reported there have been three notifications of ‘dangerous occurrences’ at the Prelude FLNG facility that its inspectors attributed to deficiencies in aspects of the SMS that relate to the safe isolation of plant and equipment.
Shell remains committed to the project. In a statement on 15 October, Shell said “We continue to work through the process for hydrocarbon restart of Shell’s Prelude FLNG facility, with safety and stability foremost in mind. Full production is not expected to resume before year-end. Prelude is a multi-decade project, and our focus is on delivering sustained performance over the long term.”
Located approximately 475 km north-northeast of Broome in Western Australia, Prelude FLNG facility has the capacity to produce 3.6 mta of LNG, 1.3 mta of condensate and 0.4 mta of liquefied petroleum gas. The first cargo was shipped from the LNG export facility in June 2019. Prelude FLNG facility is operated by Shell in a joint venture with Inpex (17.5%), Kogas (10%) and OPIC (5%).
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