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PRELUDE FLNG is a very risky business


Bill Campbell, retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International, comments on the UPI article “In Australia, Shell signals new era for LNG

For hazardous substances plants Size Matters, it’s crucial.

The size re surface deck area of the Prelude vessel wrt an onshore plant continues to be misstated, purposefully I assume. Even if the total deck of Prelude was used exclusively for the LNG process ignoring area taken up by Accomodation, Turret etc we have total of 3.6 Hectares. On average LNG land plants with equivalent throughputs are 20 times (not four times) on average larger than the 3.6 Hectares provided on the Prelude deck. As an example of this that you can check out easily on the web is that Woodside Energy has allocated 80 Hectares for its onshore Pluto LNG site and facilities or 22.2 times the total area of the Prelude deck. I took up the propaganda on size with Shell Australia a few years ago, they are the regular publisher of these alternative facts, asking them to clarify where in the world was there a LNG plant onshore occupying just 14 Hectares (4 times the Prelude total deck space).

Still await a reply because folks there ain’t.

That size matter is crucial to risk, especially the escalation of say a hydrocarbon event. On Prelude we do not have the geographical clearances required post Seveso to restrict escalation, on Prelude clearance between modules is as little as 2 metres not the 200 metres or more provided on land.

Shell in continually downplaying the risks of Prelude is whistling in the dark, we all wish this project, a spectacular technical achievement by any World measure, well, but it does not bode well to continually downplay that FLNG is a very risky business.

Bill and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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