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Shell Prelude Floating FLNG Barge: A Potentially Catastrophic Failure of Safety Standards

Shell Prelude Floating FLNG Barge: A Potentially Catastrophic Failure of Safety Standards

Posted by John Donovan: 12 May 2023

In yet another display of negligence and incompetence, Shell has shamefully suspended production at its Prelude floating LNG facility off Western Australia. The reason? A “trip.” How convenient that Shell conveniently brushes off this serious incident with such a casual technical term, downplaying the gravity of the situation.

Shell’s spokesperson, undoubtedly well-trained in corporate spin, reassures the public that they are working “methodically” to restart production, with safety apparently being their primary concern. But let’s not forget that this is the same company that has repeatedly demonstrated a reckless disregard for safety, as evidenced by the litany of incidents that have plagued the Prelude FLNG facility.

The world’s largest floating LNG platform has become a symbol of Shell’s monumental failure. In the past year alone, production at this supposed flagship facility has been suspended multiple times. In December, a small fire broke out, forcing production to halt. And now, once again, we witness a suspension of operations due to a mysterious “trip.” It seems that Shell’s definition of safety involves playing Russian roulette with the lives of its employees and the environment.

But the Prelude FLNG fiasco doesn’t end there. Unions demanding fair wages were met with work bans, resulting in further disruptions to production and shipments from July to September last year. It is clear that Shell’s greed and disregard for its workers’ well-being knows no bounds.

Adding insult to injury, a retired Global Safety consultant to Shell, who courageously exposed the company’s negligent practices in the North Sea, warned time and time again about the inherent dangers of the Prelude project. Sadly, this valiant whistleblower is no longer with us, but his message still resonates: Shell’s “Touch F*** All” approach to safety-critical maintenance is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

It is high time that we hold Shell accountable for its flagrant disregard for human life, environmental protection, and basic ethical principles. The Prelude FLNG project is proving to be a failure, a testament to Shell’s incompetence and the dire consequences of prioritizing profit over people. The world deserves better than this callous oil giant that has proven time and again that it values its bottom line more than anything else, as the population near Shell’s petrochemical plant in Deer Park near Houston is fast discovering.

Shell management has a track record of putting profits before safety, even of its own employees. Money before ethics. This is after all the company that financially supported Hitler. Google “Shell Nazi History”.

Shell is invited to point out for correction any factual inaccuracies and supply closing comments for publication as part of this article on an unedited basis. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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