Energy & Technology

Shell suspends operations at Prelude floating LNG plant

Shell suspends operations

Shell has temporarily halted operations at its Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility located off Western Australia due to issues with its processes. The world’s largest floating LNG platform has experienced multiple disruptions in the past year, including a small fire that broke out in December, causing a suspension in production. Although LNG cargo shipments resumed a month later, Shell has not yet given a timeframe for when production at the facility will resume.

A Shell spokeswoman stated that the company is working through the necessary steps to restart production while prioritizing safety and stability. The problem has been described as a “process trip.” The oil and gas giant has faced various production disruptions at the Prelude FLNG plant, which has an annual capacity of 3.6 million tonnes. In addition to the small fire in December, production and shipments were also disrupted from July to September 2021 due to work bans by unions seeking better pay.

This recent production halt marks yet another setback for Shell’s Prelude floating LNG facility. The platform had previously lost all power and was shut down for four months in December 2020 after a fire. Although production resumed in April 2021, the facility has continued to experience technical difficulties. The Prelude FLNG project, which started production in 2018, was initially expected to be a flagship project for Shell, but its operations have been plagued by issues.

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The Prelude floating LNG facility is part of Shell’s strategy to expand its LNG portfolio and capitalize on the growing demand for natural gas. The platform is designed to process gas from offshore fields and liquefy it for export. It is a significant investment for Shell, costing over $12 billion to build.

Despite the ongoing challenges faced by the Prelude FLNG project, Shell remains committed to the facility’s long-term success. The company has stated that it will continue to work to improve the facility’s operational performance and address any issues that arise.

In conclusion, the temporary suspension of production at Shell’s Prelude floating LNG facility marks another setback for the world’s largest floating LNG platform. The ongoing technical issues faced by the project highlight the challenges of developing and operating such complex offshore facilities. However, Shell remains committed to the facility’s long-term success and is working to address the issues to ensure the safe and stable restart of production.

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