Shell suspends production at Prelude FLNG after fire breaks out

Oil and gas giant Shell has shut down production at its Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility offshore Australia after a fire broke out on 21 December.

Illustration only / Archive / Courtesy of Shell

“On Wednesday 21 December at 16:25 AWST, there was a small fire detected on board Prelude in a turbine enclosure. The fire was quickly contained using a hand-held extinguisher and the area made safe. There were no injuries and all workers on the facility are safe and accounted for”, a Shell spokesperson told Offshore Energy.

Following the incident, the company temporarily suspended production and an investigation into the cause of the incident is underway.

“We will work methodically through the stages in the process to recommence production with safety and stability foremost in mind. The regulator has been informed“, the spokesperson said.

Details about the planned start-up of production were not disclosed.

The production at the Prelude FLNG facility was restarted in September this year when Shell reached an agreement with the Australian Workers’ Union and Electrical Trades Union to end Protected Industrial Action (PIA) that started back in June.

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Prior to this, the facility was shut down from December 2021 until April 2022 due to a fire incident.

The Prelude FLNG facility produces natural gas from an offshore field approximately 475 kilometres north-northeast of Broome in Western Australia. It has the capacity to produce 3.6 million tonnes of LNG per year.

Shell holds a 67.5% stake in the facility while Japan’s Inpex holds a 17.5% stake, Korea’s Kogas 10%, and Taiwan’s CPC holds 5%.