After years of construction, Prelude FLNG, the world’s largest offshore facility, has left the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea, and is now being towed to its offshore location in Australia.
As Offshore Energy Today reported earlier this week, a source close to the matter, who wished to remain anonymous, told Offshore Energy Today that Shell’s giant floating LNG unit was scheduled to leave the yard on Thursday, 5 a.m. local time, and expected to reach the Prelude gas field in Australia in about four weeks.
Now, the vessel tracking website Marine Traffic, is showing the huge unit as on the move, being towed by several tugs. According to MarineTraffic, the Prelude FLNG will reach its Browse Basin destination on July 30. Also, a video has appeared on YouTube apparently showing a time-lapse of the sail-away.
Shell has subsequently confirmed the Prelude FLNG has sailed away, in a brief post on Linkedin, saying: “An engineering milestone. The Prelude project has begun the 5,800km journey to Australia. After the hook-up and commissioning is complete, the world’s largest floating facility will extract and liquefy natural gas at sea, delivering more and cleaner energy to the world.”
Additionally, Shell has also shared a video of the sailaway:
Posh Terasea is conducting the tow using the Terasea Hawk, Terasea Osprey, Terasea Falcon, and Posh Constant vessels.
Once at location, the 488-meter-long-hull facility built by the Technip-Samsung consortium will be moored and connected to the undersea infrastructure and the whole production system commissioned.
The construction of the giant facility started back in 2012.
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