Royal Dutch Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility left the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje, South Korea, on Thursday, headed for Australia.
The 488-meter (1,600-foot) facility, constructed by Technip Samsung Consortium, is being towed to the Browse Basin off North West Australia. On arrival at the Prelude offshore gas field, 475 kilometers (295 miles) north east of Broome, pre-installed mooring chains will be lifted from the seabed 250 meters below and secured to the facility. Once secure, the hook-up and commissioning process will begin.
The FLNG facility has a production capacity of at least 5.3 million tons per annum (mtpa) of liquids: 3.6 mtpa of LNG, 1.3 mtpa of condensate and 0.4 mtpa of liquefied petroleum gas.
Inpex, a 17.5 percent shareholder in Prelude, said the development of gas fields using FLNG facilities has numerous advantages including a lesser environmental impact compared to onshore LNG development and the option of developing small- and medium-sized gas fields that would be uneconomical through an onshore LNG development scheme.
Shell owns a 67.5 percent share of the project; Kogas owns 10 percent and Taiwan’s CPC owns five percent.
Cash flow from the project is expected in 2018.
The project in numbers:
* Over 600 engineers worked on the facility's design options
* Over 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the nearest land
* Four soccer fields laid end to end would be shorter than the facility's deck
* 175 Olympic-sized swimming pools could hold the same amount of liquid as the facility’s storage tanks
* 6,700 horsepower thrusters will be used to position the facility
* 50 million liters of cold water will be drawn from the ocean every hour to help cool the natural gas
* Six of the largest aircraft carriers would displace the same amount of water as the facility
* 93 meters (305 feet) is the height of the turret that runs through the facility, secured to the seabed by mooring lines
* 117 percent of Hong Kong's annual natural gas demand could be met by the facility's annual LNG production
* 20-25 years is the time the Prelude FLNG facility will stay at the location to develop gas fields