Shell’s Prelude FLNG ships first cargo since December shutdown

Shell’s Prelude FLNG, located offshore Western Australia, has shipped its first cargo since December last year after an incident forced the company to shut the giant unit, according to shipping data.

The 170,000-cbm Methane Becki Anne, owned by GasLog Partners and chartered by Shell, left the FLNG loaded with a cargo on Sunday, its AIS data provided by VesselsValue shows.

It appears to be heading to the Kogas-operated Tongyeong LNG import facility in South Korea where it should arrive on April 21, the data shows.

Shell Australia confirmed the restart of LNG cargo loading operations in a statement on Monday but the company did not mention this shipment.

“Our focus at Prelude remains on the long-term and delivering safe, sustained and reliable performance into the future,” the statement said.

Nopsema approval

A Shell spokesperson told LNG Prime last month that the company had won approval from Australian regulator Nopsema to restart the Prelude FLNG, following the incident in December last year.

The firm had suspended production at the 488 meters long FLNG after the incident on December 2.

After that, Australian offshore regulator Nopsema had visited the FLNG facility giving Shell four directions the firm needed to complete prior to restarting the giant unit.

In February, chief executive Ben van Beurden told media during a call that Shell had expected the Prelude FLNG, “to be out for most of the first quarter.“

Prelude shipped its first cargo in June 2019 after several start-up delays. The FLNG 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, Korea’s Kogas 10 percent, and Taiwan’s CPC holds 5 percent.

(Article updated on March 11, 2022, to add a statement by Shell Australia.)

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