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Reuters: UPDATE 1-Shell temporarily suspends LNG liftings from Prelude off Australia

* No timeframe for resuming output at Shell’s Prelude FLNG

* Outage keeps Prelude LNG off amid market glut (Adds background on Prelude)

MELBOURNE, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell has temporarily suspended cargo liftings from its Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility off northwest Australia while it works to restore production following an electrical trip on Feb. 2.

“Work continues to restore full operations on Prelude, our floating LNG facility in Australia,” the energy giant said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

Shell two weeks ago announced the suspension of LNG production due to the electrical trip.

“The shipping schedule has been proactively adjusted, with cargoes temporarily suspended,” Shell said in its statement.

A Shell spokeswoman declined to comment on the likely timing for restoring production or how many cargoes might be affected.

Prelude, the world’s largest floating LNG facility, shipped its first LNG cargo in June last year following start-up delays. It has been working to get to steady output at full capacity since then.

Prelude has the capacity to produce 3.6 million tonnes a year of LNG, 1.3 million tonnes a year of condensate and 400,000 tonnes a year of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

The outage comes at a time when the Asian LNG market has sunk to record low prices below $3 per million British thermal units as the coronavirus epidemic has dented gas demand in China, the world’s second-largest importer of LNG.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Kim Coghill and Tom Hogue)

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