Prelude FLNG turret sets sail for Samsung shipyard

The largest piece of the turret for Shell’s 3.6 million tonne/year Prelude floating LNG (FLNG) plant has set sail from Dubai for the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje, South Korea, where the vessel is under construction.

Prelude FLNG will operate in Browse basin about 200 km offshore northwestern Australia, developing the Prelude and nearby Concerto gas fields in permit WA-371-P with total reserves of 3 tcf of gas and about 120 million bbl of condensate. Shell expects startup in 2016.

In addition to its LNG output, Prelude will produce 1.3 million tpy of condensate and 0.4 million tpy of LPG (OGJ Online, Dec. 3, 2013). After the first 25-year assignment, Prelude FLNG could be refurbished and moved to a different field for another quarter century, Shell said.

The turret is part of a mooring system designed to ensure Prelude FLNG can operate safely in the most extreme weather conditions. At almost 100 m high, it is the largest in the world, according to Shell. The turret will run through the front of the vessel and connect to giant chains that will keep it moored securely over the Prelude gas field.

Prelude FLNG, at 488 m long and 74 m wide, will be the largest floating facility in the world once it’s complete, weighing more than 600,000 tonnes with cargo tanks full. Prelude FLNG is designed to withstand a category 5 cyclone.

Shell was the first company to commit to an FLNG project, and it expects Prelude FLNG to be the first of many such Shell facilities.

Shell is the operator of Prelude FLNG in joint venture with Inpex (17.5%), Kogas (10%), and OPIC (5%) and working with long-term strategic partners Technip and Samsung.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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