Shell’s Prelude FLNG to ship first cargo since July

Shell’s 3.6 mtpa Prelude floating LNG unit offshore Western Australia is gearing up to ship the first cargo of liquefied natural gas since July this year.

Last month, Shell said it had reached an agreement with unions representing Prelude FLNG workers to end the strike and restart operations on the giant floating producer.

The workers started protected industrial action on June 14, while Shell stopped production on July 11 on the giant unit due to additional working bans.

Shell also decided to postpone the FLNG’s scheduled maintenance.

The 2021-built 174,000-cbm Minerva Chios, owned by Minerva Marine, was on Thursday located close to Prelude, according to its AIS data provided by VesselsValue.

The vessel is empty and it is expected to arrive at the unit on September 16, the data shows.

Besides Minerva Chios, the 174,000-cbm Kool Orca, owned by Eastern Pafific Shipping, is also signaling Prelude as its destination. This vessel is empty and not far from the FLNG, according to the data.

A Shell spokesperson told LNG Prime on Thursday that the company would not comment until the restart process of the FLNG is complete.

The restart of shipments from Prelude FLNG comes at a time of very high gas and LNG prices and high demand, especially in Europe, ahead of the peak winter period.

The JKM LNG price for October currently trades at about $53 per MMBtu.

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, South Korea’s Kogas 10 percent, and Taiwan’s CPC holds 5 percent.

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