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Floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG)
Finding more ways to unlock supplies of natural gas, the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, is helping to meet increased energy demand with less impact on the environment. One approach cools natural gas to -162° Celsius (-260° F), turning it into liquid and shrinking its volume by 600 times. It can then be shipped to far-off countries where the energy is needed. Revolutionary technology will allow this process to take place at sea, without the need to lay pipelines and build processing plants on land.
Natural gas provides a cleaner alternative for power generation. But not all gas fields are located near to the towns and cities that need the energy. Chilling the gas converts it into a liquid, reducing its volume so it can be shipped to markets around the world.
Traditionally, liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants are built on land. With around five decades of experience in the LNG industry, Shell has been developing new technology since the mid-nineties that will allow the gas to be cooled at sea.
Moving the production and processing out to sea where the gas is found is a major innovation that brings huge new energy resources within reach. It also helps to avoid the potential environmental impact of constructing and operating a plant on land, including laying pipelines to shore and building other infrastructure.
We are surging ahead with the world’s first floating liquefied natural gas facility, Prelude FLNG, off Australia’s north-west coast. We expect Prelude FLNG to be the first of many FLNG projects. This approach makes it possible to unlock new natural gas resources, including smaller, remote fields as well as large fields supported by several facilities.
There are also plans to use our FLNG technology and expertise elsewhere.
The Woodside-led Sunrise Joint Venture has chosen FLNG as its preferred development concept to develop the Greater Sunrise gas fields in the Timor Sea.
Shell has a 30% share in INPEX’s Abadi gas field project off the coast of Indonesia. Shell is the strategic partner and will leverage its FLNG related expertise and project delivery capabilities to support Inpex in the successful development of the Phase 1 FLNG project (2.5 mtpa) and concept development for the full field development.