The first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has sailed from Shell’s Prelude floating LNG (FLNG) facility offshore Australia, Shell announced Tuesday alongside its joint venture partners INPEX, KOGAS and OPIC.
This shipment from the world’s largest floating producer of LNG, located 475 kilometers northeast of Broome in Western Australia, will be delivered by the LNG carrier Valencia Knutsen to customers in Asia, more than eight years after financial investment decision (FID) and nearly two years after the facility arrived in Australia.
"How fast Prelude delivers its second and third cargo, and ramps up to plateau output will be a key indicator of success," said Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Daniel Toleman. "Shell will be keen to ramp up to full production quickly to counteract any reserves impact from the already producing and connected Ichthys field."
When at plateau production, Prelude FLNG will be able to fill one shipborne cargo every week.
Maarten Wetselaar, Integrated Gas and New Energies Director, said, “Today’s first shipment of LNG departed from Prelude FLNG, safely. Everyone involved should be very proud of the work taken to reach this important milestone.
“Prelude forms an integral part of our global portfolio and plays an important role in meeting the growing demand for more and cleaner energy for our customers around the world.”
Zoe Yujnovich, Chairman Shell Australia, said, “Prelude FLNG combines human endeavor and ingenuity from across the globe and here in Australia. We are proud to work with our local communities, suppliers and partners to ensure its safe, reliable operations into the future.”
Toleman said, "The Prelude facility will be backfilled by Crux, which entered FEED this year. We expect an FID late next year with first production in 2025. In addition, later this year Shell will spud the Bratwurst exploration well. If a significant gas resource is discovered it is likely these volumes will be developed via the Prelude facility.
"With Prelude onstream, Australia is on track to export more than 80 mmtpa of LNG, which surpasses Qatar as the largest LNG producer in the world.
"The completion of Prelude marks the end of the Australian greenfield LNG boom. The next investment cycle is already in sight, with backfill projects – Scarborough, Barossa, Browse, Arrow and Crux – vying for FID."