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Shell begins restart activity at Prelude FLNG

Shell begins restart activity at Prelude FLNG

Published 04 Sept 2020

Shell has begun restart operations at its 3.6mn t/yr Prelude floating LNG (FLNG) facility offshore Western Australia (WA), which has been off line since February. But it has yet to define the timeline for when production will resume.

“The process for hydrocarbon restart of Shell’s Prelude FLNG facility has commenced,” a Shell spokeswoman said. “Once we have safely started up, we will be in a stronger position to talk about timing of production and cargo.”

Shell suspended cargo loadings at Prelude in February because of technical issues. This followed an order from Australia’s upstream regulator the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (Nopsema) in late January to carry out additional work following three safety incidents at the plant between 18 September and 9 January.

Shell said at the end of July that it expected to reduce LNG output in the third quarter because of the continued impact of Covid-19 on global gas demand, with the reduction expected to take place across several assets in Australia and Trinidad & Tobago. It expected its LNG liquefaction volumes to range between 7.6mn-8.2mn t during July-September, down from 8.95mn t a year earlier and below the 8.36mn t in April-June this year.

Nopsema in August accepted Shell’s proposal to develop the 2.2 trillion ft³ (62.3bn m³) Crux gas field in the Browse basin offshore WA, which is expected to provide backfill gas for Prelude. The development of Crux is subject to further regulatory approvals, including an accepted environment plan, a well operations management plan and a facility safety case. Shell is required to obtain all required regulatory approvals before activity on Crux can begin, Nopsema said. The firm in April delayed a final investment decision on Crux until early next year because of weaker global LNG demand and lower oil prices because of Covid-19.

Shell also operates the 8.5mn t/yr Queensland Curtis LNG on Curtis island in Queensland.


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