Shell's Prelude FLNG Facility Resumes Operations

File photo: Shell
File photo: Shell

Shell has resumed operations at its Prelude liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility 475 kms (300 miles) off the west coast of Australia and its first cargo could be loaded within days, two industry sources told Reuters on Monday.

The timing of the giant floating facility's return to operation coincides with peak consumption in major markets including China and Europe as the northern hemisphere winter drives demand, though high inventories and generally mild weather have limited buying so far this year.

Shell, which began extensive maintenance at the facility in August, declined to comment. It said last month that it expected the plant to ramp up production in December.

A Shell tanker, the 174,000 cubic metre Orion Bohemia, is circling near the plant, ICIS LNG ship-tracking data shows. If it loads from Prelude, it will be the first vessel to do so since Aug. 8.

Prelude, the deck of which is longer than four soccer fields, has suffered several outages since it started production in June 2019, including a fire that led to a full power loss in December 2021.

Reuters reported in September that Shell considered shutting Prelude for a year to fix issues but instead opted for a shorter maintenance period.

(Reuters - Reporting by Ron Bousso and Marwa Rashad; Editing by David Goodman)

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