Photo: Courtesy of Shell

Shell says Prelude FLNG will remain closed in Q1 2022

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said that the Prelude FLNG facility in Western Australia will remain closed for most of the first quarter of 2022.

Shell says Prelude FLNG will remain closed in Q1 2022
Courtesy of Shell

Following the fourth-quarter 2021 results report, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden told news outlets that the company needs to carefully resolve the issues at the facility before the restart. He said they have found an electrical fault in the battery systems associated with the uninterruptible power supply.

Therefore, t FLNG will remain shut for the remaining quarter of 2022. The delay is also due to strict pandemic rules in Australia.

The Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) is located at Browse Basin; 475 kilometres from Broome in Western Australia. It has the capacity to produce 3.6 million tonnes per annum of LNG. In addition, it can produce 1.3 mtpa of condensate, and 0.4 mtpa of LPG.

In December last year,  Shell had to close the facility due to a fire incident and power outage. On a similar note, the FLNG unit went offline from February 2020 to January 2021 due to an electrical trip.

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Because of the fire, Australian offshore safety regulator NOPSEMA had ordered Shell to keep the FLNG shut.  “The failure to restore reliable power was seen to represent an ongoing impact and risk to the health and safety of the personnel on the facility,” its statement read. Later, the regulator said that the facility was at risk of suffering a “catastrophic failure”.

However, NOPSEMA found Shell “appropriately managed” the immediate risks to the crew. The regulator did not consider the prosecution of Shell at that stage.

Beurden said the company is working closely with NOPSEMA to fix the issues.  

Shell holds a total of 67.5 per cent stake in the facility. There are also Japan’s Inpex (17.5 per cent stake), Korea’s Kogas 10 (per cent), and Taiwan’s CPC (5 per cent).