Weighing an impressive 4300-tonnes, the largest piece of the turret for Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility has set sail from Dubai for the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje, South Korea.
When complete, standing at almost 100m high, it will be the largest in the world.
The turret is part of a mooring system designed to ensure Prelude FLNG can operate safely in the most extreme weather conditions, including category five cyclones.
The turret will run through the front of the facility and connect to giant chains that will keep it moored securely over the Prelude gas field. The turret mooring system includes four groups of four mooring lines, 16 in total, that will secure the facility to anchor points about 250m below the surface of the sea. The system will allow the facility to turn slowly in the wind and with currents – ensuring it can remain safely at its location through the most powerful cyclones.
“Designed in Monaco, built in Dubai, shipped to South Korea and for use off Australia, the turret is an example of the truly global nature of this project,” says Matthias Bichsel, Shell projects & technology director.
Shell was the first company to commit to an FLNG project, and the company says it expects Prelude FLNG to be the first of many such Shell facilities.
The Prelude FLNG floated out of the dry dock at Samsung Heavy Industries yard in January 2014, where is currently under construction.
Once complete, Prelude FLNG will operate in a remote basin around 200km off Australia’s northwest coast, for approximately 25 years. When fully loaded, it will weigh more than 600,000-tonne. It will produce about 3.6MM tonnes of LNG a year to help meet rising global demand for cleaner energy.
FLNG will allow Shell to produce natural gas at sea, cool it onboard into LNG, and pump it directly into ships that will transport it to customers around the world. According to Shell, it can mean faster, cheaper and more flexible development of offshore gas fields that would otherwise be too costly to develop.
Shell says that after the first 25-year assignment in a remote basin about 475km northeast of Broome, Western Australia, the Prelude FLNG could be refurbished and moved to a different field for another quarter century.
In September 2013, the first vessel turret modules were revealed to Shell. The first Module, the bogie support structure, standing 22m high, with a diameter of 30m and weighing 1300-tonne was the first to be integrated with the Prelude.
Shell signed a master agreement with the Technip-Samsung Consortium (TSC) in July 2009 to work on the design, construction and installation of multiple floating LNG facilities over a period of up to 15 years based on Shell’s proprietary design. This was followed by a specific agreement in May 2013 to proceed with detailed design and construction of a facility for Prelude, which is whollyowned by Shell.
Shell is the operator of Prelude FLNG in joint venture with INPEX (17.5%), KOGAS (10%) and OPIC (5%) and working with long-term strategic partners Technip and Samsung Heavy Industries (the Technip Samsung Consortium).
Images from Shell