Launch of world’s largest floating facility
Tue, 10 December 2013
The 488m-long hull of Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility has been floated out of the dry dock at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) yard in Geoje, South Korea, where the unit is currently under construction.
Once complete, Prelude FLNG will be the largest floating facility ever built. It will unlock new energy resources offshore and produce approximately 3.6 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per annum to meet growing demand, Shell said.
Prelude will allow Shell to produce natural gas at sea, turn it into LNG and then transfer it directly to the ships that will transport it to customers. It will enable the development of gas resources ranging from clusters of smaller, more remote fields to potentially larger fields via multiple facilities where an onshore development is not viable. According to Shell, this means faster, cheaper, more flexible development and deployment strategies for resources that were previously uneconomic, or constrained by technical or other risks.
Prelude FLNG is the first deployment of Shell’s FLNG technology. Upon its completion in 2015, it will operate in a remote basin around 475 km north-east of Broome, Western Australia, for around 25 years. The facility will remain onsite during all weather conditions, having been designed to withstand a category 5 cyclone.
Shell is the operator of Prelude FLNG in joint venture with INPEX (17.5%), KOGAS (10%) and OPIC (5%), working with long-term strategic partners Technip and Samsung Heavy Industries (the Technip Samsung Consortium).