Shell closes Prelude FLNG after fire

Energy giant Shell has shut down its Prelude (IMO 9648714) floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility off Western Australia because of a fire on December 3rd. The FLNG, located at Browse Basin, 475km from Broome in Western Australia, is operated by Shell Australia Pty.

The fire triggered the automatic fire systems of the floating LNG facility and was extinguished before it spread further. All workers were safe and accounted for.

Local reports stated that smoke detected in an electrical equipment area. This caused the loss of mains power and meant that the facility was operating on backup.

The company said that it would suspend the facility’s activities until the mains power was restored.

Shell holds a 67.5% stake in the FLNG. Japan’s Inpex owns 17.5%, South Korea-based Kogas has 10% and CPC of Taiwan owns 5%.

Offshore safety regulator NOPSEMA has been informed of the fire by the operator Shell and has started an investigation.

The Prelude had been towed to Australia in mid-2017, 18 months behind schedule, and did not produce LNG for another two years, while problems with the complex facility were fixed. Technical problems during 2020 meant that the Prelude was shut down for some of the year while technical issues were addressed.

2017-built, Australia-flagged, 499,167 gt Prelude is owned and managed by Shell Australia Pty Ltd. It is entered with Standard Club (Standard Offshore Division) on behalf of Inpex Oil & Gas Australia PTY LTD