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Shell starts 'game-changing' FLNG facility

19th October 2012

Shell cuts first steel on 3.6 million tonnes per year Prelude FLNG facility to be deployed off the coast of Australia

Shell starts 'game-changing' FLNG facility
The global gas market is estimated to see growth of 50 per cent by 2030 and double today's level by 2050

Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday began work on what it describes as a “game-changing” Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project which will be deployed in Australian waters to produce and transform 3.6 million tonnes of LNG per year. The move marks the increasing prevalence of natural gas in the global energy mix, and in particular in Shell’s hydrocarbon mix.


UK oil and gas major Shell on Thursday announced that first steel was cut on a Prelude FLNG facility at Samsung Heavy Industries’ Geoje shipyard in South Korea, the firm said during a presentation at one of its technology centres in the Netherlands.


"We are cutting 7.6 tons of steel for the Prelude floating liquefied natural gas facility today, but in total, more than 260,000 tons of steel will be fabricated and assembled for the facility. That's around five times the amount of steel used to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge," said Shell Projects & Technology Director Mattias Bichsel at a ceremony marking the beginning of the construction.


The facility will have 1,600 feet long and 242 feet wide. It will be deployed in the Prelude gas field, 200 km off the coast of Western Australia and is expected to produce at least 3.6 million tonnes of LNG per year for the next 25 years. Prelude FLNG is scheduled for completion in 2017, Shell said.


Gas will overtake oil in Shell’s hydrocarbon output for 2012 for the very first time, while gas consumption is expected to increase by more than 30 per cent by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).


Shell’s International Chief Energy Adviser Whim Thomas in early August said natural gas would become the "backbone rather than the back-up" of the global energy supply mix.


With a required investment of USD 380bn per year, the global gas market is estimated to see growth of 50 per cent by 2030 and double today's level by 2050, Thomas said at the time.


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