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Posts Tagged ‘Prelude FLNG Project’

Where does the cancellation of Browse and Masela leave Prelude?

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Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.53.14From a Regular Contributor

Cancellation of both the Browse and Masela FLNG developments on the same day suggests that the issues about which Bill Campbell has warned may finally have won the day. 

If so, this is a huge climbdown for Shell, with several billion dollars in probable write-offs. 

It’s perhaps not surprising, given the plethora of warnings from technical sources that there were serious risks involved. 

Could Prelude be next to be axed? Parking a multi-billion dollar vessel in cyclone alley for 20 years never seemed like the most appropriate use of the pension funds invested in Shell… read more

One Floating LNG Dream Sinks As Another Gets Ready To Float

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One Floating LNG Dream Sinks As Another Gets Ready To Float

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57Unfortunately for Shell it formally committed to the Prelude development in May, 2011, a time when oil was selling for around $120 a barrel, three-times the current price of around $41/bbl.

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By Tim Treadgold: March 23, 2016

No-one blinked and share prices barely fluttered when a $40 billion plan by Australia’s Woodside Petroleum ngIf: ticker to develop a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) project was torpedoed earlier today.

However, the knock-on consequences of sinking the Browse project will be felt most acutely at Europe’s biggest oil company, Royal Dutch Shell ngIf: ticker .

The immediate impact on Shell is that it has a 27% interest in the Woodside-led Browse LNG project, but it is also nearing completion of the world’s biggest floating LNG barge, the $12.6 billion Prelude project. read more

Shareholders should demand that Shell’s activities in the Arctic be stopped

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Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 12.52.57By a Regular Contributor

Hopefully, Shell will soon accept that in the US Arctic their position is now untenable…

If RDS wants to cut capex (and exposure), FLNG is a good place to start, as Simon Henry suggested yesterday. The Arctic should be next. 

The Arctic is rapidly acquiring a similar profile to the Brent Spar fiasco. The issue is not whether Greenpeace is right or wrong, it is whether Shell can win the hearts and minds of the public to support their efforts. So far, Shell’s own incompetence has been the most significant issue in eliminating any public support they once enjoyed. 

The destruction of drilling vessels and criminal convictions for polluting the environment and failing to keep the required records support the view that Shell do not know what they are doing. Neither Shell’s army of lawyers nor the judges on whom they rely have ever worked offshore and have no idea of what it entails. However, the first time that there is any illegal discharge into the sea or the air (and it will happen), or a fatality, injury or  well control incident, the lawyers who are supporting Shell’s current efforts will have nothing constructive to say.  read more

Royal Dutch Shell signals Browse FLNG go-ahead far from certain for 2016

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By Angela Macdonald-SmithJul 30 2015

Royal Dutch Shell has signalled that a final go-ahead next year for the Browse floating liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia is far from a certainty given the cost challenges of the venture in the depressed oil price environment.

Chief financial officer Simon Henry listed Browse among several large international projects that would be subject to “the dynamic nature of decision making as we take both the oil price environment but also the supply chain and the cost level into account.” read more

World’s Largest Turret Mooring Ready for Prelude

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By Wendy Laursen 2015-07-05 

Drydocks World has marked a major milestone by completing the world’s largest turret mooring system.

At almost 100 meters high, weighing over 11,000 tons and with a diameter of 26 meters, the turret will ensure Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility can operate safely in the most extreme weather conditions. 

The FLNG will be stationed in the Prelude gas field off the northwest coast of Australia. It will be Shell’s first FLNG deployment. The technology allows for the production, liquefaction, storage and transfer of LNG at sea, as well as the ability to process and export liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and condensate. read more

Shell awards contracts for its $40bn Browse project

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Written by Rita Brown – 03/07/2015

Shell has awarded the Technip Samsung Consortium two contracts for its $40billion natural gas project in Australia.

Shell’s Browse project covers the installation of three FLNG units to develop the Brecknock, Calliance and Torosa fields in the Browse Basin.

Shell, which has a 27% interest in the scheme, will use its floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) technology to leveraging the site’s 15.4 trillion-cubic-feet of gas.

The Technip Samsung Consortium will manage the front-end engineering design (FEED) elements of the Browse FLNG project, taking into account the composition of the gas, local weather conditions and factors specific to each of the three fields. read more

WA inquiry shines spotlight on floating LNG safety fears

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Article by Angela Macdonald-Smith published by The Sydney Morning Herald: 8 May 2015

WA inquiry shines spotlight on floating LNG safety fears

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Royal Dutch Shell and Woodside Petroleum have insisted that workers to be stationed on vast floating liquefied natural gas plants far off the Western Australian coast will be safe despite serious concerns having been raised in a parliamentary inquiry that they won’t be evacuated even for severe tropical cyclones.

A WA parliamentary committee examining the safety of floating LNG highlighted fears that workers would be thrown around within their accommodation modules during cyclones and could experience psychological stress at being unable to leave the vessel. read more

Damning Verdict on Shell’s Prelude FLNG Propaganda

These claims do not appear to be founded on fact but appear to be simply propaganda; …the Shell claims are fiction, wishful thinking. Royal Dutch Shell, bound by its general business principles of honesty and integrity, casts these principles aside by simply fabricating stories re the health and safety risks of FLNG, as a means to an end. 

An article by Mr Bill Campbell, retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International.

By Bill Campbell

Is Shell prepared to stand by the public statements they make about FLNG risks? Not likely it appears 

In recent articles I challenged the unsubstantiated claims, with respect to the health and safety risks associated with FLNG, made by Shell on its websites. These claims do not appear to be founded on fact but appear to be simply propaganda. Shell would dearly wish that the risks of Prelude FLNG for example were quote on par with the risk levels of modern offshore installations, but this is a statement drawn from the ether, with no credible analysis to support it. 

The industry itself does not support the Shell euphoria with their more down to earth and sober assessment of the risks as we venture into the unknown by locating a hazardous substances plant on a vessel on the high sea for the first time.  read more

Sunday Times Article: Shell Prelude a potential white elephant

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 19.58.31By John Donovan

According to an article by Dominic O’Connell published in a whole page article in The Sunday Times on 9 November 2014, Prelude is in danger of becoming a white elephant. (See page 5 of the Business Section)

The article correctly describes Prelude as the brainchild of Royal Dutch Shell (unless it turns out that Shell pirated the technology).

Shell is described as a venerable oil and gas company said to have a history of making big plays that might not generate dividends for decades. read more

Prelude a giant production and processing barge masquerading as a ship

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By John Donovan

A parliamentary inquiry into the safety of floating LNG (FLNG) processing plants is underway in Western Australia this week.

On 28 December 2013, I published an article revealing that a whistleblower inside the Shell Prelude project – the first of these gigantic processing plants, had contacted me.  The person in question supplied me with internal information and photographic evidence supporting his anxiety about potentially dangerous, shoddy workmanship.

The whistleblower was intimately involved in the project at a high level and had deep concerns that warnings issued to Shell (and other parties) were ignored and financial considerations were taking priority over safety issues. He was particularly anxious about alleged use of totally unqualified personnel. read more

SpaceShipTwo Explosion: Shell Prelude another pioneering venture fraught with risk

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 10.07.59The New York Times magazine has published an informative article by Robert Sullivan about Prelude, under the appropriate headline:

“The Biggest Ship in the World (Though It Isn’t Exactly a Ship)”

The dangers associated with innovative  technology, with potentially disastrous consequences, are heightened following the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo rocket ship explosion in the US.

To obtain an overall assessment on risks relating to Prelude, the article by Robert Sullivan is best read in conjunction with a series of articles by experts triggered by a well-placed whistleblower directly involved in the equally pioneering Shell Prelude project. Includes articles by Bill Campbell, the retired distinguished HSE Group Auditor of Shell International and Hans Bouman, another retired Shell guru with a track record of spotting potential pitfalls in major Shell projects. read more

Royal Dutch Shell Prelude Project ‘A Step Too Far’

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 17.11.37By John Donovan

I have received a comment about the most recent Bill Campbell Prelude article from another expert, a former Shell executive. 

I refer to Hans Bouman, the retired Groningen Gas Field Asset Manager for NAM, a joint Royal Dutch Shell/ExxonMobil operation.

Mr Bouman is the expert who in 2002 warned Shell/Sakhalin Energy internally of his concerns over the Sakhalin2 project, including an unforgiving schedule, a theme he returned to a number of times. 

Extract from a May 2002 internal email from Hans Bouman to Engel van Spronsen, Technical Director, Sakhalin Energy: read more

Prelude FLNG risks are on par with modern offshore oil and gas facilities say Shell – but are they?

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 18.54.34Final article in a series of five articles by Bill Campbell, retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International, about risks relating to the Shell Prelude FLNG project.

Prelude FLNG risks are on par with modern offshore oil and gas facilities say Shell – but are they? Let’s discuss 

With the implementation of the recommendations post Piper A, turned quickly into legislation, the potential consequences of hydrocarbon releases have been markedly reduced, but Floating FLNG facilities cannot comply, other than that front end gas feed from the reservoir will be shut in and the process gas flared, huge amounts of volatile hydrocarbon liquids remain stored in the hull, which is also the primary structure supporting the process, utilities and the living quarters.

Prelude for example has in its hull, tanks with a capacity to hold 220,000 m3 of LNG, when the cryogenic liquid is returned to gas this equates to 132 million m3 of methane. It also has capacity for 90,000 m3 of LPG and 126,000 m3 of Condensate, with an overall capacity Shell states equivalent to 175 Olympic swimming pools. read more

FLNG Prelude: A New Dawn in the Age of Maritime & Energy

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Extracts from a highly informative MarineLink.com article by Patricia Keefe about the pioneering Shell FLNG Prelude project

Aptly named Prelude, at 488 meters long, 74 meters wide, and clocking in at 600,000 tonnes when fully ballasted, the FLNG facility, which is under construction at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea, will be the largest object ever floated on the ocean. Bruce Steenson, Shell’s general manager of integrated gas programs and innovation, has been widely quoted as confirming that Shell is working on an even larger design. “That next one will be off the rails,” he told Reuters. Prelude will be sitting out in the middle of nowhere in cyclone alley central. Shell has no intentions of untethering the facility every time a bad wind blows and towing it to shore. Instead, a number of factors are supposed to ensure that Prelude sits tight in savage seas. read more

A plea for early safety design in FLNG

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Extract from an article by LNG INDUSTRY Written by Mike Johnson, Principal Consultant, DNV GL. Edited by Callum O’Reilly: published 9 July 2014

Floating LNG (FLNG) production plants are approximately the size of four football pitches. As these vessels are set afloat in the middle of the ocean to face nature’s wrath, and have people working in the restricted space available, it is simple to understand the mammoth undertaking, in not only their construction, but also making them seaworthy, safe and environmentally sustainable. Every single step of the design, construction and operation process is abound with risk…

FULL ARTICLE – EXTENSIVE AND INFORMATIVE read more

Bonaparte Surrender

By John Donovan

It seems that the alarming articles we have published about the Royal Dutch Shell Prelude FLNG project, highlighting risks based on insider information and expert opinion, may have had an unintended impact. 

According to a Dow Jones news report published today, GDF Suez SA and Santos Ltd have both withdrawn from their plans to develop their own floating liquefied natural gas project off the northern coast of Western Australia – the Bonaparte venture.

The Capital.gr article points out that budget overruns at a number of LNG developments in Australia “have underscored the risks for international energy companies weighing new projects.” read more

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