PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Shell-operated Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility, offshore Western Australia, has shipped its first LNG product to customers in Asia.
Shell integrated gas and new energies director Maarten Wetselaar said on Tuesday that Prelude formed an integral part of the company’s global portfolio and played an important role in meeting the growing demand for more and cleaner energy.
The Prelude FLNG facility will produce 3.6-million tonnes a year of LNG, 1.3-million tonnes a year of condensate and 0.4-million tonnes a year of liquefied petroleum gas.
The project is operated by Shell in joint venture with Inpex, Kogas and Opic.
Advisory firm Wood Mackenzie on Tuesday pointed out that the first shipment of LNG from Prelude came more than eight years after a final investment decision (FID), and nearly two years after the facility arrived in Australia.
“How fast Prelude delivers its second and third cargo, and ramps up to plateau output will be a key indicator of success. Shell will be keen to ramp up to full production quickly to counteract any reserves impact from the already producing and connected Ichthys field,” said senior analyst Daniel Toleman.
“The Prelude facility will be backfilled by Crux, which entered front-end engineering design this year. We expect an FID late next year with first production in 2025. In addition, later this year Shell will spud the Bratwurst exploration well. If a significant gas resource is discovered it is likely these volumes will be developed via the Prelude facility.
“With Prelude onstream, Australia is on track to export more than 80-million tonnes a year of LNG, which surpasses Qatar as the largest LNG producer in the world.
“The completion of Prelude marks the end of the Australian greenfield LNG boom. The next investment cycle is already in sight, with backfill projects – Scarborough, Barossa, Browse, Arrow and Crux – vying for FID,” said Toleman.