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Shell’s Prelude FLNG becomes a big headache!

Shell’s Prelude FLNG becomes a big headache!

By Bill Campbell

According to a recent article in Forbes “the biggest vessel in the world costing todate between 12 and 17 billion US may have also turned into Shell’s biggest blooper.”

It’s all been Technically very challenging as Shell has attempted to squeeze a complex LNG plant into a relatively small space Forbes say. (this website has covered this as a fundamental concern a number of times) – (1)

Goodman Sachs are also of the opinion that when eventually fully operational Prelude, the worlds most expensive LNG project, will only break even in current market conditions at around 20 dollars per a thousand cubic feet.

In the same vein, the Australian Financial Review newspaper remarks that Prelude will struggle to simply cover its operational costs.

Not a happy story.

In the midst of all this, and following the departure of the 7th cavalry in the shape of one Rob Jaeger, into the bloody arena steps one Stacey Orlandi, who she writes is an Energy Industry Leader, and coincidentally only recruited to Shell 12 months ago, to take on the challenge. She does not seem to be, according to her CV steeped in years of frontline operational experience but in the New post transformational Shell, another great experiment, experience is not a valued commodity anymore.

But let’s be fair to the lady, let’s not prejudge her Herculean challenge, she may be able to turn water into wine, miracles do happen, don’t they? We wish her well.

If your not depressed by this lot, you should be.

But not to worry folks, the Aussie chairman Tony Nunan is quoted as being PLEASED to date with the ‘PROGRESS’ made at Prelude FLNG.

Makes you think, don’t it.

Bill Campbell

(1) Research carried out by the author in 2012 and onwards determined that an offshore installation installed with a hazardous substances LNG could in no shape or form comply with the post Seveso requirements for the design of such a plant onshore. The main risk increasing factor was lack of adequate geographical separation to mitigate against escalation of hydrocarbon events, the so called domino effect, such as witnessed on Piper Alpha, for example.  The statements made by Shell that the deckplate area of Prelude was only four times smaller than a similarly rated onshore plant when in fact Research into eight plants,either completed or under construction, indicated that on average these plants took up a land area of in excess of twenty times that afforded to Prelude. The author subsequently contacted Shell Australia to ask them how they came to their conservative opinion re plant area, where was there evidence to support it?….they never acknowledged the concerns raised by the author and shareholder, nor did they provide the courtesy of a reply.


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