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Key facts

key facts
Location: Browse Basin, Australia
Depth: ~250 metres
Category: Floating liquefied natural gas
Interest: Shell 67.5%, Inpex 17.5%, CPC 5%, Kogas 10%
Fields: Prelude and potentially other Shell natural gas assets in the region
FLNG facility production capacity: At least 5.3 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of liquids: 3.6 mtpa of LNG, 1.3 mtpa of condensate and 0.4 mtpa of LPG
Key contractors: Technip Samsung Consortium

Current developments

Shell took final investment decision on the Prelude FLNG Project on 20 May, 2011.

It has started building a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility to produce and export LNG off the coast of Australia.

Engineers worked over 1.6 million man hours for the front end engineering and design (FEED) phase of development for the Prelude FLNG Project.

Shell has moved the Prelude FLNG project forward at a rapid pace.

It is now under construction and we are building up our organisational capacity in Australia to support the operations phase Engineers cut the first steel for the facility’s substructure in October 2012  and major construction of the substructure and the topsides is now in full flow.

This follows on from the cutting of first steel for the well heads in September 2011, the turret in May 2012 and the topsides in January 2013.

Shell is preparing to undertake a programme to drill the seven Prelude development wells.

This drilling programme will be supported out of Broome, Western Australia.

The design and construction contract for the Prelude Darwin Supply Base has been awarded.

Shell Australia is ramping up recruitment for the Prelude FLNG project.

It launched the first major technical recruitment campaign in March 2013.

Shell Australia is also working with universities and education providers to build expertise and capacity in Western Australia to support Prelude FLNG.

Through a multi-million dollar partnership with The University of Western Australia, Shell is funding a new chair at UWA’s Energy and Minerals Institute to improve research and education in offshore engineering.

Leading geotechnical professor, David White, has taken up the new position as the Shell EMI Chair in Offshore Engineering.

He will be supported by two Associate Professors and three sponsored PhD scholarships funded by Shell Australia.

The Global FLNG Training Consortium in Western Australia is a partnership between Shell, The Challenger Institute and Curtin University. A multi-year training programme under development will train FLNG technicians in Western Australia.

Since FID, Shell has welcomed three joint venture partners to the project – INPEX (17.5%), KOGAS (10%) and CPC Taiwan (5%).

Once operational, the Prelude FLNG facility will produce at least 5.3 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of liquids: 3.6 mtpa of LNG, 1.3 mtpa of condensate (equivalent to 35,000 bbl/d) and 0.4 mtpa of LPG.

Prelude FLNG is the first of what we expect to be multiple Shell FLNG projects and builds on our existing capability and LNG leadership.


The floating facility will chill natural gas produced at the field to –162°C (-260°F), shrinking its volume by 600 times so it can be shipped to customers in other parts of the world.

Ocean-going carriers will load the LNG as well as other liquid by-products (condensate and LPG) for delivery to market.

The Prelude FLNG facility will be 488m (1,600-feet) long, 74m (240-feet) wide and will displace around 600,000 tonnes of water.

It will be the largest floating offshore facility in the world.

The Prelude FLNG facility is being built  at Samsung Heavy Industries’ Geoje Island ship yards in South Korea.

The Samsung ship yard is one of the few yards in the world big enough to construct a facility of this size.

Once constructed, the facility will be towed to its location, approximately 475 kilometres (around 300 miles) north-northeast of Broome, Western Australia.

The facility will be moored and hooked up to the undersea infrastructure and the whole production system commissioned.

The Prelude FLNG facility has been designed to withstand the most powerful tropical cyclones.

It will remain permanently moored at the location for around 20-25 years before needing to dock for inspection and overhaul.

The LNG, LPG and condensate produced will be stored in tanks in the hull of the facility.

LNG and LPG carriers will moor alongside to offload the products.


The Prelude FLNG Project is well placed to help meet the growing natural gas demand of Asia.

Environment & society

The project will create around 350 direct and 650 indirect jobs. Recruitment of staff to operate the facility will ramp up during 2013 and 2014. Prelude will also provide taxes and revenue to Australia, create opportunities for local businesses and result in Shell spending billions in capital and operating expenditure.

The Australian Government gave the Prelude FLNG Project environmental approval on November 12, 2010.

The Prelude FLNG Project will use significantly less materials, land and seabed area than developing the same gas via a similar onshore facility.

Developing the gas at the location of the gas field will reduce impact on sensitive coastal habitats as FLNG avoids the need for shoreline pipe crossings, dredging and jetty works. Product carriers will be far from coastal reefs or whale migration routes.

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