Prelude LNG Shipments Disrupted Until Mid-July Over Pay Spat
Shell’s massive Prelude FLNG simply can’t catch a break as the company announced that shipments from the facility will be disrupted until at least mid-July.
Shell stated that shipments of the chilled fuel from the Prelude FLNG would be disrupted until at least mid-July due to work bans by unions fighting for better pay.
"We have issued a notice to customers that cargoes will be impacted until at least mid-July due to the industrial action," a Shell spokesperson told Reuters.
Since the very start of LNG production Prelude has had issues cropping up. Namely, the first problem in the facility occurred in February 2020 when an electrical trip caused Shell to shut down production. It was not brought back online until January 2021.
Then, the facility experienced an unplanned event that resulted in a complete loss of power at the facility on December 2, 2021, which led to unreliable and intermittent power availability over three days.
Inspectors determined that Shell did not have a sufficient understanding of the risks of the power system on the facility, including failure of mechanisms, interdependencies, and recovery. That meant that Prelude FLNG would be out for most of the first quarter of 2022.
In late March, Australian watchdog NOPSEMA closed the investigation into the latest issues that caused Shell’s Prelude FLNG facility to halt production, clearing the path for restart.
Shell finally resumed shipping liquefied natural gas from the Prelude FLNG facility in April. Shell completed the loading of the 170,000-cbm GasLog Partners-owned Methane Becki Anne LNG carrier that left the Prelude FLNG site on April 10 and started its journey towards Kogas’ Tongyeong LNG import facility in South Korea.
This latest issue means that the Prelude FLNG facility was able to work for less than three months without disruption after a four-month long shutdown.
Located some 295 miles northeast of Broome, Western Australia, in the Browse Basin, Prelude FLNG, can produce up to 3.6 million tons per annum of LNG, 1.3 mtpa of condensate, and 0.4 mtpa of LPG. Even the very startup was problematic as it shipped its first LNG cargo in June 2019 after several delays.
The Prelude FLNG facility is operated by Shell in a joint venture with Inpex which holds a 17.5 percent interest in the project. KOGAS and OPIC are the other two partners in the field and hold 10 and 5 percent, respectively.
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