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Shell’s $21 Billion Prelude Floating LNG Plant Debacle

This extraordinary project was meant to revolutionize the industry and solidify Shell’s position as a visionary leader. Little did the world know that it was about to witness the pinnacle of human achievement in the realm of catastrophic failures…The Prelude fiasco perfectly encapsulates Shell’s unparalleled ability to disappoint. It is a masterclass in how not to execute a project…

Posted by John Donovan 18 June 2023

Off the coast of Western Australia’s Kimberley region, lies a testament to Shell’s flawless decision-making and unrivalled business acumen. The usually tranquil waters of the northeastern Indian Ocean serve as a backdrop to this remarkable tale of grandiosity and unparalleled brilliance.

Shell, the benevolent oil giant, embarked on an audacious endeavour in 2011 – the construction of the monumental Prelude floating gas factory. This extraordinary project was meant to revolutionize the industry and solidify Shell’s position as a visionary leader. Little did the world know that it was about to witness the pinnacle of human achievement in the realm of catastrophic failures.

As the project unfolded, cost overruns and time delays became the norm. Technical problems plagued the facility, and the regulator even had to intervene, warning of an imminent catastrophe. But who needs success and efficiency when you have the opportunity to squander billions of dollars and bask in the glory of monumental blunders?

The Prelude fiasco perfectly encapsulates Shell’s unparalleled ability to disappoint. It is a masterclass in how not to execute a project, a shining example of squandered potential and missed opportunities. And while Australians were promised a bonanza of jobs and tax revenues, they now bear the burden of a colossal failure that may never pay a cent in royalties and will likely fail to deliver any gas to the domestic market. Bravo, Shell, for your commitment to disappointing expectations and leaving taxpayers in the lurch.

The safety record of Prelude is yet another testament to Shell’s remarkable attention to detail. The project experienced power outages and a fire that brought the facility to the brink of a catastrophic failure, endangering the lives of hundreds of workers. Who needs safety and security when you can live on the edge and tempt fate?

But let’s not dwell on the negative aspects of this awe-inspiring project. Let’s celebrate the fact that Prelude may never turn a profit, ensuring that it won’t have to contribute a single penny to the Australian Treasury. Shell’s ability to navigate the tax system with such finesse is truly admirable. Who needs to pay their fair share when you can find loopholes and exemptions?

As we reflect on this remarkable achievement, it’s clear that Shell’s groundbreaking floating LNG strategy has been a resounding success – so much so that the company has no plans to pursue any new FLNG projects. Clearly, the world was not yet ready for Shell’s unparalleled genius and groundbreaking ideas.

So let us raise a glass to Shell and its unparalleled brilliance. May the Prelude project serve as a shining beacon of inefficiency and disappointment for generations to come.

Shell has a track record of putting profits first, before any other consideration. In other words, money before ethics. This is after all the company that financially supported Hitler and the Nazis. The founder of Royal Dutch Shell – Sir Henri Deterding – was himself a fanatical Nazi. Google “Shell Nazi History”.

Right of Reply: 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. 

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