Shell's floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility by Technip & Samsung

  asvin deepak
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Dear All,




 Shell is Building the World's Largest Man-Made Floating Object

Shell's Prelude floating liquefied natural gas ship       Photo: Royal Dutch Shell
Shell is making good on its promise to build the largest object ever to float on water, announcing on Friday that it would build the Prelude FLNG Project to harvest offshore natural gas fields. The gargantuan ship will suck up the equivalent of 110 000 barrels of oil per day.
The Prelude floating liquefied natural gas facility (FLNG) will dwarf even the biggest warships, weighing in at 600 000 tonnes. By contrast, the United States’ next-generation Ford-class aircraft carrier will displace 101 000 tonnes of water. Shell says its ship will be able to withstand a category 5 typhoon.

In some ways, it’s more of a mini-island than a ship, designed to be moored in the same spot off the north‑west coast of Australia for 25 years. The facility will be one-third of a mile long—longer than five football fields laid end to end—and will contain 260 000 tonnes of steel, about five times the amount used to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

FLNG size comparison           Royal Dutch Shell

Without an ocean‑going facility, it would be impossible to harvest natural gas that far from land, Shell said. The Prelude will be the first facility of its kind, but not the last—the design can accommodate a wide range of gas fields, said Malcolm Brinded, executive director for Shell’s Upstream International, in a news release. So someday, massive floating gas factories could be deployed in various oceans throughout the world.

Floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) is a revolutionary technology that will allow Shell to access offshore gas fields that would otherwise be too costly or difficult to develop. Prelude FLNG (100% Shell) is the world’s first FLNG development.

Key facts


Browse Basin, Australia


c .250 metres


Floating liquefied natural gas


Shell 100%


Prelude and potentially other Shell natural‑gas assets in the region

FLNG facility production capacity:

At least 5.3 million tonnes per annum (Mt/a) of liquids: 3.6 Mt/a of LNG, 1.3 Mt/a of condensate and 0.4 Mt/a of LPG

Key contractors:

Technip/Samsung Heavy Industries consortium

Current developments

Shell took its final investment decision on the Prelude FLNG Project on 20 May 2011. It will start building the floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility to produce and export LNG off the coast of Australia at the site of the gas field. Over 1.6 million man hours were worked for the front‑end engineering design (FEED) phase of development for the Prelude FLNG Project.

Once operational, the Prelude FLNG facility will produce at least 5.3 Mt/a of liquids: 3.6 Mt/a of LNG, 1.3 Mt/a of condensate (equivalent to 35 000 bbl/d) and 0.4 Mt/a of LPG.  Shell has moved the Prelude FLNG Project forward at a rapid pace, with first production of LNG expected some ten years after the gas was discovered. Shell discovered the Prelude gas field in 2007.


The floating facility will chill natural gas produced at the field to –162 °C, shrinking its volume by 600 times so that it can be shipped to customers in other parts of the world. Ocean-going carriers will load the LNG as well as other liquid by-products (condensate and LPG) for delivery to market.

The Prelude FLNG facility will be 468 m long, 74 m wide and will displace around 600 000 tonnes of water. It will be the largest floating offshore facility in the world. The Prelude FLNG facility will be built at Samsung Heavy Industries’ Geoje Island shipyards in South Korea. The Samsung shipyard is one of the few yards in the world big enough to construct a facility of this size.

Once constructed, the facility will be towed to its location, approximately 475 kilometres north-north‑east of Broome, Western Australia. The facility will be moored and hooked up to the undersea infrastructure and the whole production system commissioned.

The Prelude FLNG facility has been designed to withstand the most powerful tropical cyclones. It will remain permanently moored at the location for around 25 years before needing to dock for inspection and overhaul. The LNG, LPG and condensate produced will be stored in tanks in the hull of the facility. LNG and LPG carriers will moor alongside to offload.

Asvin Kumar Deepak

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