Shell’s Prelude FLNG receives test cargo

Shell's Prelude FLNG receives test cargo
Image courtesy of Shell

Shell’s Prelude FLNG facility off the Australian coast saw the first gas introduced onboard as the LNG carrier Gallina delivered a cargo to the unit from Singapore.

The Hague-based LNG giant Shell noted in a release dated June 8 that the introduction of hydrocarbons into the Prelude FLNG facility will allow the test of processes and systems before the subsea wells are opened and before the start-up.

It’s the first time a vessel has berthed side by side with Prelude and tested its offloading arms, in reverse order to how this will work once Prelude FLNG is operational.

Shell’s Prelude FLNG facility is the largest of its kind with 488m in length and 74m in width and will become the third FLNG unit in operation following Petronas’ PFLNG Satu and Golar’s converted Hilli Episeyo that recently began commercial operations offshore Cameroon.

“Prelude’s offloading arms have been specifically designed to ensure safe offloading while both the facility and the Gallina are moving. In this case, the offloading arms transferred the LNG from the Gallina to Prelude,” Shell said.

Once onboard, the LNG makes its way through process equipment and pipework and is stored within tanks in the hull of the facility. These tanks have been designed to withstand the sloshing of the product that could happen due to the movement of the facility.

Shell added that four of the LNG tanks with a 39,000 cubic meter capacity are now full. Introduction of natural gas will allow the Prelude FLNG’s utilities to switch to gas rather than diesel.

The next step will be to test and ready the LNG plant on board Prelude in preparation for opening the wells. This is followed by a period called start-up, ramp-up, after which LNG will be produced, Shell said.

The Prelude FLNG facility is expected to stay moored at the Prelude gas field offshore Western Australia for 25 years. It is designed to produce 3.6 mtpa of LNG, 1.3 mtpa of condensate and 0.4 mtpa of LPG for export.

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