Shell working to restart Prelude FLNG production

Shell is working to restart production on its 3.6 mtpa Prelude floating LNG producer offshore Western Australia following a fire in December, a Shell spokesperson told LNG Prime on Tuesday.

The LNG giant said last month that a “small” fire, which occurred on December 21 in a turbine enclosure, was “quickly contained” using a hand-held extinguisher while there were no injuries.

Shell “temporarily” suspended production on the giant LNG producer without revealing when the firm expects to resume production again.

Earlier on the day of incident, the floating LNG producer had loaded a cargo of LNG following planned maintenance.

“We are working methodically through the stages in the process to recommence production with safety and stability foremost in mind,” a Shell spokesperson said in an emailed comment on Tuesday.

The spokesperson did not provide any additional information.

In September, Shell resumed cargo loading operations at Prelude after it reached an agreement with unions representing Prelude FLNG workers to end a long strike and restart operations on the giant floating producer.

Prior to that, the floating LNG producer came back online again in April as Shell closed the unit after an incident in December.

Prelude shipped its first cargo in June 2019 and 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 10 percent, and Taiwan’s CPC holds 5 percent.

The London-based company expects its LNG liquefaction volumes to be between 6.6 and 7 million tonnes in the fourth quarter, down from the previous forecast of 7-7.6 million tonnes.

This mainly reflects “longer than expected plant outage at Prelude and operational issues at QGC in Australia,” Shell said last week in its fourth-quarter update note.

Despite this, Shell, which is now led by Wael Sawan, is expecting “significantly higher” trading and optimization results for its integrated gas business in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the previous quarter.

Shell plans to publish its full-year results on February 2.

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