Prelude FLNG Takes to the Seas

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Image Source: Shell

Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility began its sailaway from the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje, South Korea, yesterday heading for northwest Australia to the Prelude gas field.

The largest floating facility ever built was constructed by Technip Samsung Consortium. Upon completing its 3,600-mile journey to the Browse Basin 295 miles off Broome, Australia, Prelude will be moored with pre-installed mooring chains lifted from the seabed. Hookup and commissioning will then begin. Located in the East China Sea on 29 June, the estimated time of arrival according to the Marine Tracker website is 30 July.

Expected to begin operating and generating cash flow next year, the USD 12.5-billion project was hampered by long delays since Shell’s final investment decision in 2011. Prelude is expected to produce 3.6 million metric tons/year of LNG and remain on location for 20–25 years, tapping into 3 Tcf of liquids-rich gas in the field discovered in 2007. Ocean-going LNG carriers will offload the LNG.

Time-Lapse Video of Construction

PRELUDE FLNG BY THE NUMBERS

►   >600 engineers worked on the facility’s design


►   1.6 million hours worked by engineers during the engineering and design phase


►   5,000 people worked on Prelude on any given day at Geoje


►   125 miles is the distance from Prelude field to nearest land


►   4 soccer fields laid end-to-end would be shorter than the FLNG’s deck


►   175 Olympic-sized swimming pools equivalent to the liquid capacity of below-deck storage tanks


►   6,700-hp thrusters will position the facility


►   50 million liters/hour of cold water will be drawn from the ocean to cool the natural gas


►   –260°F required to convert natural gas into LNG


►   1/600 is the factor by which a volume of natural gas shrinks when it is turned into LNG