Shell (RDS.A) Resumes Work at Prelude Floating LNG Facility


Royal Dutch Shell plc RDS.A recently confirmed that it resumed activities at Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility offshore Western Australia. The facility remained offline since February due to engineering glitches. This suspension followed an order from Australia’s upstream regulator to perform additional work following three safety incidents that took place at the facility between September and January.

The closure of the Prelude plant depressed Australia’s LNG export volumes, which further took a hit from an extended shutdown of Train 2 at the Chevron Corporation CVX-regulated Gorgon LNG site due to technical snags stemming from fractured heat exchangers.

Prelude, which is the world’s biggest floating gas-export vessel, is around 50% bigger than the largest aircraft carrier and is constructed by Technip Samsung Consortium in South Korea. The project is a joint venture among Shell, Inpex Corporation, Korea Gas Corporation and Taiwan’s CPC Corporation with Shell being the chief operator, owning a 67.5% stake in the project.

Prelude handles production, liquefaction, storage and transfer of LNG at sea as well as processing, exporting and condensation of liquefied petroleum gas. The facility has a production capacity of 5.3 million tons per annum (mtpa) of liquids with LNG accounting for 3.6 mtpa or 68% of the total capacity. The $12.5-billion project is expected to generate cash flow from next year and boost Shell’s Integrated Gas business.

Being a significant project in Shell’s portfolio, Prelude FLNG is a path-breaking facility for the emergence of floating LNG. Notably, it is also the first and the most versatile endeavor planned by the company. The facility is expected to unearth new offshore energy sources for the company and supply LNG across the world.

About Shell

Headquartered in the Netherlands, Shell is one of the largest integrated energy companies and is engaged in production, refining, distribution and marketing of oil and natural gas. The company has been an offshore pioneer in the Gulf of Mexico for more than 40 years and achieved some remarkable technological milestones in the design, construction and operation of world-class oil and gas producing assets. At present, the company operates nine deep water production hubs, several subsea production systems and one of the largest contracted drilling rig fleets in the gulf region.

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

Shell currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked players in the energy space include Murphy USA Inc. MUSA and SilverBow Resources Inc. SBOW, each presently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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