Shell has reportedly shipped the first condensate cargo from its Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project located 475km north-north east of Broome in Western Australia.
Measuring 488m in length and 74m in width, the Prelude FLNG is the world’s largest floating liquefied natural gas platform and the largest offshore floating facility ever built.
A Shell spokesperson was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We can confirm that the first shipment of condensate has sailed from the Shell-operated Prelude FLNG facility. This is another step towards steady state operations.
“The focus continues to be on providing a controlled environment to ensure Prelude will operate reliably and safely now and in the future.”
Shell did not confirm where the cargo will be used. However, trade sources have reportedly told S&P Global Platts that it will be used within Shell’s network of splitters and refineries.
The shipment is the facility’s first product offtake. It is not clear when the company will ship the first LNG cargo from the project.
The Prelude FLNG was initially expected to start generating cash flow in 2018. According to a report in The West Australian, the delay was due to the cancellation of a tanker charter arranged to load condensate in February due to technical problems on the FLNG.
The FLNG entered start-up and ramp-up in December 2018. This is said to be the initial phase of production. The facility is expected to produce 3.6 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of LNG, 1.3Mtpa of condensate and 0.4Mtpa of LPG.
Shell operates the Prelude FLNG project with a 67.5% stake. Other stakeholders in the facility include Japanese explorer Inpex, South Korea’s KOGAS and Taiwan’s CPC.