By Bartolomej Tomić
Prelude FLNG, the world’s largest offshore facility, is reportedly expected to leave the Samsung Heavy Industry shipyard in South Korea this week.
A source close to the matter, who wished to remain anonymous, has told Offshore Energy Today that Shell’s giant floating LNG unit is scheduled to leave the yard on Thursday, 5 a.m. local time, and is expected to reach the Prelude FLNG field in Australia in about four weeks.
The South Korean immigration officers are said to have boarded the facility on Tuesday to process the projects’ foreign workers out of the country.
Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Shell, seeking confirmation that the FLNG unit is indeed set to leave Korea on Thursday.
A Shell spokesperson said: “We don’t comment on project schedules.”
Shell’s Jessica Uhl has recently said that Shell is confident Prelude FLNG will start production in 2018, without mentioning the sail away date.
The construction of the giant facility started back in 2012. After the completion of all work at the shipyard in South Korea, the FLNG facility, longer than four soccer fields laid end to end, and is longer than the Empire State Building is tall, will be towed to its operating location at the Prelude gas field offshore of Western Australia.
Posh Terasea is expected to conduct the tow using five vessels. Once at location the 488-meter-long-hull facility will be moored and connected to the undersea infrastructure and the whole production system commissioned.
The largest floating facility ever built will unlock new energy resources offshore and produce approximately 3.6 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year.
Prelude FLNG, costing more than $12.5 billion according to Reuters, is the first deployment of Shell’s FLNG technology and will operate in a remote basin around 475 kilometers north-east of Broome, Western Australia for around 25 years.
The facility will remain onsite during all weather events, having been designed to withstand a category 5 cyclone.
Below are some interesting Prelude FLNG project numbers, as provided by Shell:
engineers worked on the facility’s design options
>200km (125 miles)
is the distance from the Prelude field to the nearest land
4 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
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
6 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
-162° Celsius (-260° Fahrenheit)
is the temperature at which natural gas turns into LNG
is the factor by which a volume of natural gas shrinks when it is turned into LNG
117% of Hong Kong’s annual natural gas demand
could be met by the facility’s annual LNG production
is the time the Prelude FLNG facility will stay at the location to develop gas fields
Offshore Energy Today Staff