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Fears there could be a loss of hydrocarbons from the Shell Prelude facility

Shell issued direction from regulator over Prelude processes

SHELL Australia has been issued a direction from the national regulator over health and safety concerns at the Prelude floating LNG facility offshore northern Western Australia.

Paul Hunt: Senior Journalist: Oil & Gas, Policy. 29 Jan 2020

The Prelude FLNG facility produces natural gas from an offshore field approximately 475km north-north east of Broome and last weekend shipped its 15th cargo of LNG.

This morning the National Offshore Petroleum and Environmental Management Authority (NOSPEMA) ordered Shell not to conduct “intrusive activities” to certain parts of the plant and equipment aboard the Prelude over fears there could be a loss of hydrocarbons from the facility.

There is no immediate threat or risk to workers or the environment.

Energy News understands NOPSEMA issued Shell the direction over process concerns, not maintenance or mechanical problems.

In a statement to Energy News, Shell Australia said production had not been affected and the vessel was still operating safely.

“Shell has received a direction from NOPSEMA, the Australian regulator, regarding certain work activities on Prelude,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

“As a result, activities related to isolations of the plant and equipment have ceased except where required for safety reasons. A detailed review of the controls is now being undertaken to identify gaps to be addressed.”

Shell has been working with NOPSEMA for several months to rectify its processes around isolation activities.

Before any plant is inspected, maintained, cleaned or repaired, where practicable, it must be shut down and its energy sources locked out and tagged as part of an isolation procedure.

However, NOPSEMA has raised concerns that Shell has not ensured “best practice” and has demanded the company put in place new isolation procedures within 60 days.

In its notice, it also said Shell senior management would be required to attend a meeting with the regulator to prove it had made the changes.



ARTICLE: Royal Dutch Shell Prelude to disaster?: 10 Jan 2014

ARTICLE: Shell Prelude FLNG: loss of containment of hydrocarbons almost inevitable: 21 Feb 2014

ARTICLE: What should frighten stiff Royal Dutch Shell shareholders: 15 March 2014

ARTICLE: Tales of the Unexpected and Royal Dutch Shell Prelude FLNG: 28 March 2014

ARTICLE: Prelude FLNG: A case of all your eggs in the one basket: 10 July 2014

ARTICLE: Prelude FLNG risks are on par with modern offshore oil and gas facilities say Shell – but are they?: 23 Sept 2014

ARTICLE: Royal Dutch Shell Prelude Project ‘A Step Too Far’: 25 Sept 2014

ARTICLE: SpaceShip Two: Shell Prelude another pioneering venture fraught with risk: 2 November 2014

ARTICLE: WA turns spotlight on FLNG safety: 11 November 2014

ARTICLE: Prelude a giant production and processing barge masquerading as a ship: 11 November 2014

ARTICLE: Sunday Times Article: Prelude a potential white elephant: 11 November 2014

ARTICLE: Damning Verdict on Shell’s Prelude FLNG Propaganda: 12 November 2014

ARTICLE: Combustible pioneering behemoths – the Hindenburg and Shell Prelude: 21 November 2014

ARTICLE: Key role of Shell lawyers in pioneering Shell Prelude FLNG: 05 December 2014

ARTICLE: The Future of Natural Gas: LNG vs. FLNG: 26 Feb 2015

ARTICLE: The Sydney Morning Herald: WA inquiry shines spotlight on floating LNG safety fears: 8 May 2015

ARTICLE: THE WEST AUSTRALIAN: Delays slow Prelude’s sail-away: 11 April 2016

ARTICLE: THE WEST AUSTRALIAN: Gas industry needs to work harder, innovate: Shell boss: 12 April 2016

ARTICLE: ENERGY VOICE: GE starts production on Shell’s Prelude risers, must withstand a 1-in-10,000-year cyclonic event: 11 April 2016

ARTICLE: THE AUSTRALIAN: Shell chief Ben van Beurden backs FLNG program:13 April 2016

ARTICLE: THE WEST AUSTRALIAN: Enthusiasm cools for Prelude FLNG: 13 April 2016

ARTICLE: BY JOHN DONOVAN: Musings about the OPL 245 Shell/ENI corruption scandal and the sinking confidence in Prelude: 13 April 2016

ARTICLE: BY BILL CAMPBELL: Project Prelude – A case study in the generation of real material debt: 17 April 2016/a>

Hazardex: Shell Australia’s giant Prelude floating LNG project likely to come on stream in 2017: 20 Sept 2016

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