Prelude FLNG Ships First Gas

Handout photo of Prelude FLNG Facility with the Valencia Knutsen berthed side-by-side
An aerial view of the Prelude FLNG Facility with the 290-meter Valencia Knutsen berthed side-by-side in this undated handout photo obtained June 11, 2019. Royal Dutch Shell Australia/Handout via REUTERS

The long-awaited first shipment of liquefied natural gas has sailed from Shell’s massive Prelude FLNG facility that is now permanently moored off the coast of Western Australia.

Shell announced Tuesday that the first shipment of LNG departed Prelude aboard the LNG carrier Valencia Knutsen destined for customers in Asia.

The Prelude FLNG facility is operated by Shell in joint venture with INPEX (17.5%), KOGAS (10%) and OPIC (5%). The technology allows the facility to extract and liquefying gas at sea before loading it directly onto ships for export to customers around the globe.

Built in South Korea, the massive structure measures 488 meters in length and displaces nearly 600,000 tonnes, making it one of the largest floating objects ever constructed. The facility is permanently moored in about 250 meters of water at the Prelude field approximately 475 kilometers northeast of Broome in Western Australia.

At peak production, Prelude will produce 3.6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG, 1.3 mtpa of condensate and 0.4 mtpa of LPG.

“Today’s first shipment of LNG departed from Prelude FLNG, safely. Everyone involved should be very proud of the work taken to reach this important milestone,” said Maarten Wetselaar, Integrated Gas and New Energies Director. “Prelude forms an integral part of our global portfolio and plays an important role in meeting the growing demand for more and cleaner energy for our customers around the world.”

Royal Dutch Shell first announced plans for the Prelude in 2011, and construction began in South Korea by consortium involving Technip and Samsung Heavy Industries in 2012. The facility finally reached Australian waters in 2017 before undergoing an extensive hook-up and commissioning phase.