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Shell Prelude Fires

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Prelude FLNG Loads Out First Cargo Since Fire

by Bojan Lepic| Rigzone Staff| Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Even though Shell has not confirmed any restart on its massive Prelude FLNG, Reuters reported that the Methane Becki Anne LNG tanker has begun loading.

The Methane Becki Anne was the first LNG tanker to berth at Shell’s Prelude floating LNG site off Western Australia since it was shut down after a fire.

According to Reuters, the LNG carrier vessel berthed at the Prelude plant on January 17, Refinitiv ship-tracking data showed. Refinitiv’s data also showed that LNG has already begun loading.

The location of the Methane Becki Anne provided by VesselsValue also confirms that the vessel is at the Prelude FLNG site.

The facility can produce up to 3.6 million tons per annum of LNG, but issues have plagued its production since the start. Prelude FLNG initially faced start-up delays with the first LNG cargo departing the unit in June 2019, two years after it had arrived at the field from South Korea.

The first major outage occurred in February 2020 when an electrical trip caused Shell to shut down production. It was not brought back online until January 2021.

Prelude FLNG facility experienced an unplanned event that resulted in a complete loss of power at the facility on December 2, 2021, which subsequently led to unreliable and intermittent power availability over 3 days. It was shut down by Australia’s offshore regulator.

After the offshore regulator gave it the go-ahead, Shell completed the loading of the first vessel that left the Prelude FLNG site in early April 2022. Accidentally, the LNG carrier in question at the time was the same vessel as now – the 170,000-cbm GasLog Partners-owned Methane Becki Anne.

Good times on the Prelude didn’t last though as the facility was shut down again due to a union spat. The end of the year was no better. Prelude was hit by a fire in December 2022 and production had been temporarily suspended. At the time, Shell gave no timeline for when the plant would resume output.

Prelude FLNG has a production capacity of at least 5.3 million tons per annum (mtpa) of liquids – comprising 3.6 mtpa of LNG, 1.3 mtpa of condensate, and 0.4 mtpa of liquefied petroleum gas. Shell holds a 67.5 percent interest in the facility, with Inpex holding a 17.5 percent stake, KOGAS holding a ten percent interest, and CPC holding a five percent stake.

To contact the author, email bojan.lepic@rigzone.com

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