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Shell Prelude, suddenly, everything is not so tickety-boo

 

Reading Rob Jäger, who I knew in Shell many years past, is like listening somewhat to my comments about Prelude starting way back in 2012 or so being replayed and replayed………suddenly, everything is not so tickety-boo. Think it’s telling that this historically proud, nay boastful and confident project so sure and aware of itself in the past is so reluctant to give a firm start-up date for LNG and so reluctant to just tell the world why?

By retired Shell Global Safety Consultant, Bill Campbell

Just some background thoughts, we all wish this project well but there is a lot that doesn’t appear to stack up in the Jager piece

Reading Rob Jäger, who I knew in Shell many years past, is like listening somewhat to my comments about Prelude starting way back in 2012 or so being replayed and replayed………suddenly, everything is not so tickety-boo.  Rob talks about safety and risk so underplayed before, he talks about large vessel but small area for LNG plant so underplayed before, he talks about risk almost discounted before because Prelude was so safe , now Safety, safety is the key, its the first project by the way in the long history of Shell that is in his words NOT driven by milestones and schedule, sorry don’t believe a word of it.

It’s the fundamentals of Project Management 101 that objectives are clear, goals are set, schedules are met and milestones achieved. No successful project can be run otherwise, and so it has been since the construction of the pyramids or the Great Wall.

Perhaps something is very wrong, and they are trying to recover the situation, which is likely to be complicated by the stacking of modules on modules 100 ft or so above deck, heavily congested area so for example, difficult access for maintainers, crane lifts etc, if they needed to break into the refrigeration or liquefaction process pipework or vessels, remove pumps, valves or internally frozen lines because the gas feed was initially contaminated and allowed to flow in error this may be causing delays that would not be so  severe in a land-based plant of 80 hectares rather than the three hectares available on deck of Prelude. So lack of maintainability may be a contributory factor in delays.

The bottom line is that condensate removed dry gas has been available since in their words the facility started up in Dec last year so they have been trying to produce LNG from this gas feed after the removal of CO2 or H2S or any remaining water etc etc for approaching 6 months, and apparently have not or can not do so.

Let’s wait and see what June brings keeping our fingers crossed.

Think it’s telling that this historically proud, nay boastful and confident project so sure and aware of itself in the past is so reluctant to give a firm start-up date for LNG and so reluctant to just tell the world why?

Bill

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