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Why Shell Prelude is such a risky gamble!

After all is said and done who would build a hotel and a heliport, and a dock, besides or within 100 metres of a hazardous substances plant. It would simply not be allowed on land. This is what makes Prelude so risky.

Comment from Bill Campbell on the article:

Shell’s ill-fated $14bn gamble on Titanic Prelude FLNG Barge

FLNG

If FLNG has a future remains to be seen. It is under any measure an outstanding technical achievement. My only concern is the misplaced statements by RDS and Shell Australia on the risks. Doomcaster and I are in agreement, there is and always will be during the commissioning and steady state operation a risk of leakage so we can say the probability side of the risk equation is well understood. Whether it be human failure or otherwise leaks are difficult to avoid. The best database for leaks in the World is the homogeneous population of over 200 North Sea installations covered in HSE data which confirms in 11 years of operation that leakage frequency has a mean time between failures of circa 3 days. My problem is with the huge inventory and congested space is that Shell seriously downplays the potential consequence side of the risk equation. Post Piper Alpha and post Seveso there are two principal risk reducers, reduced inventory (fuel) and lots of space seperating modules from each other, from human habitation, control rooms, admin blocks, and from storage tanks. After all is said and done who would build a hotel and a heliport, and a dock, besides or within 100 metres of a hazardous substances plant. It would simply not be allowed on land. This is what makes Prelude so risky. read more

Shell’s ill-fated $14bn gamble on Titanic Prelude FLNG Barge

The Prelude, which is 488m long, arrived in Australia last month © PA

By John Donovan

Shell’s Prelude barge has been described as the biggest floating structure ever built and is said to be 12 times the size of the Titanic. It is a comparison that for obvious reasons Shell does not use, although others do. There have been far more dire warnings about the dangers attached to Prelude than were made about the Titanic’s maiden voyage before it tragically sunk. Most have come from a well-placed insider on the Prelude project and subsequently from Bill Campbell, the retired HSE Group Auditor of Shell International. read more

Australia’s $180 bln LNG megaproject boom enters final stretch

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE, Aug 14 (Reuters) – The last massive component of Australia’s $180 billion liquefied natural gas construction boom arrived on Monday, stepping up a race between Anglo-Dutch giant Shell and Japan’s Inpex to start chilling gas for export in 2018. Company reputations are at stake, as well as first access to overlapping gas fields and Australia leapfrogging Qatar as the world’s largest exporter of LNG. Royal Dutch Shell’s $12.6 billion Prelude project – the world’s largest floating LNG (FLNG) facility – is also behind schedule. FULL ARTICLE read more

Retired Shell official accuses company of ‘more leaks than the White House’

Bill Campbell, retired HSE GROUP AUDITOR, Shell International, comments on Paddy Briggs damning conclusion about Shell FAT CATS

The Lonely Elephant

Prelude may or may not turn out to be a white elephant but certainly from the leaked transformation documents it would appear it will be in any case a lonely elephant. 20 some years in gestation it appears that mega FLNG projects are out. As for the fat cats Paddy if Shell continues to leak (Pernis et al), more leaks than the White House, the fat cats may not be around. Are they taking their eye of the ball – who is running the business, with all this transformation stuff and reported loss of common sense and experience I read about on this website from current employees, it makes you think. read more

Alarm Bells: Shell Hydrocarbons continue getting out the box

ALARMING COMMENT POSTED BY RETIRED SHELL INTERNATIONAL HSE GROUP AUDITOR, BILL CAMPBELL

Hydrocarbons continue getting out the box

With a Fire breakout at Pernis and a leak at Singapore refinery, both incidents over the last few days, it seems loss of containment is a continuing serious issue both onshore as well as offshore.

Much has been written about FLNG suggesting Prelude for example simply just cannot afford leaks and fires because of the potential consequences – but can they be totally avoided, can they?

Can any offshore installation meet a zero tolerance standard for leaks? read more

Shell’s 88 page global transformation plans leaked to John Donovan

Embarrassingly for Shell, as the New York Times has reported this morning, I have a leaked copy of an 88 page Shell internal document setting out proposals for Shell’s global plans generally and in particular for the Netherlands, where several hundred more jobs are going to disappear. Part of a world-wide jobs upheaval at Shell. 

A few days ago, CEO Ben van Beurden, mindful of the prospect of a falling oil price, claimed that Shell “is getting fit for the $40s.” Now we have a detailed insight about the scope of proposed transformational change at Shell deemed essential to achieving that objective. Embarrassingly for Shell, as the New York Times has reported this morning, I have a leaked copy of an 88 page Shell internal document setting out proposals for Shell’s global plans generally and in particular for the Netherlands, where several hundred more jobs are going to disappear. read more

PRELUDE FLNG; A CASE OF ADDING FUEL TO THE FIRE

By Bill Campbell – Retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International

The physics of fire is readily explained by the simple fire triangle where the constituents needed to be available for fire to begin and persist are a heat source, oxygen and a combustible fuel.

In our industry in 1988 and later in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore India were witnessed catastrophic happenings where an escalating hydrocarbon event could not be curtailed, went out of control and escalated because of the abundance of fuel in massive amounts, mainly gas.

The abundance of fuel on an offshore installation, or on a London Tower building, housing hundreds of people, raises the risk to persons occupying these facilities significantly.  Risk is not just the probability of a fire starting but the potential consequences of that fire should it start and take hold.     read more

Alarm Bells – Shell Pearl GTL gasifiers crippled?

“Pearl’s gasifiers are crippled because of water-side corrosion on the syngas effluent cooler (SEC) tubes. The shells of all of Pearl’s SECs will have to be cut apart so the tubes can be replaced. Somebody made a massive design error.” 

JOHN DONOVAN EMAILS TO SHELL 28 DECEMBER 2016

From: John Donovan <[email protected]>

Subject: Fwd: Pearl GTL gasifiers are crippled?

Date: 28 December 2016 at 18:25:12 GMT

To: Michiel Brandjes <[email protected]>

Cc: [email protected]

Dear Mr Brandjes

I am contacting you as my designated contact point with Shell at least until this weekend when you retire. 

Please see my email correspondence with Neil Gilmour, Shell VP CP Integrated Gas & Projects.

Mr. Gilmour is on leave, hence my approach to you.  read more

Joint-venture partners in Browse open to new options

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BRIDGET CARTER, GRETCHEN FRIEMANN:

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM August 30, 2016

The one thing that the Woodside Petroleum-led Browse project has never had much of is unity among the project partners. But that may quietly be changing.

DataRoom understands that the various joint-venture partners in Browse are open to new development options for the project, and that the pipeline option floated by Woodside last week is increasingly being seen by all the partners as the most sensible plan as it stands today.

Woodside chief Peter Coleman told journalists on Friday that the option of connecting Browse to the big but ageing North West Shelf liquefied natural gas plant via a massive 1000km subsea pipeline was back on the table. read more

The Panama Shortcut

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Jon Asmundsson: August 15, 2016

When the sun rose over the Caribbean Sea on July 25, the Maran Gas Apollonia was churning toward the new Panama Canal with a shipment of U.S. liquefied natural gas that it had loaded at Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana. Tugs guided the 90,434-ton tanker into the first of the Panama Canal’s new Agua Clara Locks. The gates closed, and water filled the first chamber. That night the vessel passed through Gatun Lake and the new Cocoli Locks and entered the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first LNG tanker to transit the expanded shipping lane that opened in June. Built in 2014, the Royal Dutch Shell-chartered tanker is about 13 meters (43 feet) wider than the largest ships the old locks could handle. The expansion opens the Panama Canal to about 90 percent of the world’s LNG fleet, up from less than 10 percent, allowing these football-field-size tankers to shave 11 days and one-third the cost of the typical round trip to Asia. In July the U.S. Department of Energy predicted 550 tankers could be crossing each year by 2021. read more

Royal Dutch Shell stake in Woodside Petroleum ‘held for sale’

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by Angela Macdonald-Smith: July 29 2016

Royal Dutch Shell looks to be heading for an exit from Woodside Petroleum sooner rather than later, after reclassifying its remaining $3 billion stake in the Australian oil and gas producer as an “asset for sale”.

The move appears to be driven by technical reasons because of Shell’s reduced representation on Woodside’s board. But at the same time it may signal a firmer intention to dispose of the circa 13 per cent stake, which Shell has for some time declared as a non-strategic holding. read more

Shell Gas Director Says World Isn’t Oversupplied With LNG Yet

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By Lynn Doan: June 10, 2016 – 10.52 PM BST

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 10.26.15For months, banks including Citigroup Inc. have talked about a massive oversupply in the global market for liquefied natural gas. The head of natural gas at Royal Dutch Shell Plc, one of the world’s biggest producers of the fuel, would beg to differ.

“There isn’t really yet the kind of oversupply that people talk about,” Maarten Wetselaar, Shell’s integrated gas and new energies director, said on Friday in an interview in Palo Alto, California. For proof, he said, look at Europe, where natural gas demand gained last year and LNG imports from overseas were little changed. read more

Shell sees slower roll-out of floating LNG

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Mr Henry said Prelude “remains on track to deliver some material cash flow in 2018,” signalling the venture still has some way until start-up.

Angela Macdonald-Smith: Energy Reporter:May 5, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell acknowledges the roll-out of its floating LNG technology will occur much more slowly than anticipated a few years ago, leaving its ground-breaking Prelude venture in WA as potentially its sole FLNG venture for several years.

Shell had targeted a conveyor belt of huge FLNG vessels running of the production line in South Korea, being deployed at remote gas fields worldwide, with several in waters around Asia.

But three projects that could have used five new FLNG vessels have been halted in their tracks, leaving the $US12 billion Prelude venture Shell’s only one for the forseeable future. FLNG ventures planned by other companies in Australia have also fallen foul to cost and price issues. read more

GE starts production on Shell’s Prelude risers, must withstand a 1-in-10,000-year cyclonic event

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47Written by Rita Brown – 11/04/2016 7:38 am

GE Oil & Gas today confirmed it had started production on four high pressure, high temperature dynamic flexible risers destined for Shell’s Prelude, the world’s largest offshore floating facility.

The firm is building them to survive a 1-in-10,000-year cyclonic event, according to the contract spec.

GE will complete the work at its facility in Newcastle, UK, where it has invested more than $21million to expand its production carousel capacity to accommodate the giant kit. They must also be able to withstand high pressures, high operating temperatures, the potential for cold shut-downs and rapid depressurisation. read more

Pickard quits Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 09.51.25Peter Klinger: November 11, 2015

Ann Pickard, once dubbed the “bravest woman in oil and gas” before she transformed Royal Dutch Shell’s century old presence in Australia, has quit the Anglo-Dutch giant.

However, the decision to retire from Shell will not spell the end of her exposure to oil and gas, and LNG in particular which she championed during her stint as the Anglo Dutch giant’s Australia country chair.

Ms Pickard is joining the board of oil and gas engineering contractor KBR as a non-executive director from next month. read more

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Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 07.57.03Angela Macdonald-Smith: November 4, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell remains unequivocally bullish on prospects for liquefied natural gas despite the current market glut, pointing to several options for new supply projects after its planned $US70 billion ($97 billion) takeover of BG Group and plenty of new markets opening up around the world.

“The fundamentals of this market look as robust now as in the past to us,” chief financial officer Simon Henry told investors overnight Australian time, spelling out Shell’s expectation that global LNG demand will expand at 5 per cent a year to 2030, only modestly lower than the 8 per cent annual growth seen since 2000. read more

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