Shell: Prelude FLNG maintenance extended due to additional work

Shell’s huge Prelude floating LNG producer offshore Western Australia is still undergoing maintenance as Shell identified additional scopes of work during the turnaround, the energy giant told LNG Prime.

The UK-based firm shut down the FLNG in August for scheduled maintenance saying it will take “several months” to complete it.

“Prelude is a complex facility in a remote offshore location. This is the first major turnaround for the facility and we continue to work through the process methodically taking as much time as required to ensure safe execution of all activities,” a Shell spokesperson said.

“During the turnaround, additional scopes of work were identified and decision made to take the opportunity to proactively perform these activities to enhance the facility’s resilience and sustain higher reliability ahead of restart,” the spokesperson said.

Shell’s spokesperson declined to comment on when Shell expects to restart the giant FLNG.

Operational performance “improved considerably” since initial start-up

This turnaround was originally scheduled to be completed in 2022 but was rescheduled to August 2023 due to industrial action, followed by cyclone season.

The spokesperson previously said that Prelude’s operational performance has “improved considerably” since initial start-up and the asset achieved “record performance” in the first half of 2023.

The 488 meters long and 74 meters wide FLNG shipped its first cargo in June 2019 after several start-up delays.

It has the capacity to produce 3.6 mtpa of LNG, 1.3 mtpa of condensate, and 0.4 mtpa of LPG.

Shell operates the floating facility with a 67.5 percent stake. Japan’s Inpex holds a 17.5 percent stake, South Korea’s Kogas has 10 percent, and Taiwan’s CPC holds 5 percent.

In September last year, Shell resumed cargo loading operations at Prelude after it reached an agreement with unions representing Prelude FLNG workers to end a long strike.

After that, Shell closed the unit in December the same year due to a fire and resumed shipments in January.

Shell again temporarily suspended production on the FLNG on May 10 due to a trip and resumed production two days after that.

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