Prelude FLNG Facility – Shell’s Largest Facility to Produce Gas

prelude flng facility

Prelude FLNG Facility is the world’s largest floating liquefied natural gas platform as well as the largest offshore facility ever constructed

What is the history of FLNG?

Experimental development of offshore LNG production began in the mid-1990s. Mobil developed a FLNG production concept based on a square structure with a moon pool in the center, known as ’The Doughnut‘, in 1997. Following that, major projects conducted by the EU and major oil and gas companies made great progress in steel concrete hull design, topside development and LNG transfer systems. The first completed FLNG production facility was the PFLNG Satu, off the shore of Sarawak in Malaysia.

Since the mid-1990s, Shell has been working on its own FLNG technology. This includes engineering and the optimization of project developments in Namibia, Timor Leste/Australia, and Nigeria. In July 2009, Royal Dutch Shell signed an agreement with Technip and Samsung allowing for the design, construction and installation of multiple Shell FLNG facilities.

Shell’s Prelude facility is set to be the biggest one ever.

Prelude – What is the future of FLNG?

Launched in 2013, Prelude is Shell’s first FLNG facility. She recently reached a significant milestone when gas was introduced onboard for the first time. The Gallina, an LNG Carrier from Singapore, shipped the gas to the facility and utilities can now switch to run on gas rather than diesel.

Prelude is now on location, 475km (295 miles) north-north east of Broome, Western Australia, in around 250 metres of water. Once operating, Prelude FLNG facility will produce and liquefy natural gas from the Browse Basin. Once fully operational, the project will deliver LNG to Shell’s customers around the world while creating significant economic and social benefits for Australia. They include hundreds of jobs, tax revenues, businesses opportunities for local companies, and community programmes.

Prelude’s hull is 488 metres long (1,600 feet). Despite its large proportions, the FLNG facility will take up just a quarter of the footprint of an equivalent land-based LNG plant. She is designed to remain at sea for around 25 years in severe weather conditions and even withstand a category five cyclone. FLNG facilities can then be re-deployed to develop new gas fields.

FLNG technology offers countries a more environmentally-sensitive way to develop natural gas resources. Prelude will have a much smaller environmental footprint than land-based LNG plants, which require major infrastructure works. It also eliminates the need to build long pipelines to the mainland.


In conclusion, it is worth noting that over the lifespan of Prelude FLNG facility, the project is expected to add billions of revenue to Australia’s economy, create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs, spend billions on Australian goods and services and improve the country’s balance of trade through export of LNG, LPG and condensate.

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