Royal Dutch Shell has taken the final investment decision on the Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) Project in Australia, building the world’s first FLNG facility.
Moored far out to sea, some 200 kilometres from the nearest land in Australia, the FLNG facility will produce gas from offshore fields, and liquefy it onboard by cooling.
The FLNG facility will tap around three trillion cubic feet equivalent of resources contained in the Prelude gas field.
Shell discovered the Prelude gas field in 2007, according to a statement, issued on Friday by Shell, whose headquarters is based in Amsterdam.
The decision means that Shell is now ready to start detailed design and construction of what will be the world’s largest floating offshore facility, in a ship yard in South Korea.
From bow to stern, Shell’s FLNG facility will be 488 metres long, and will be the largest floating offshore facility in the world – longer than four football fields . When fully equipped and with its storage tanks full, it will weigh around 600,000 tonnes , about six times as much as the largest aircraft carrier.
“Our innovative FLNG technology will allow us to develop offshore gas fields that otherwise would be too costly to develop,” said Malcolm Brinded, Shell’s Executive Director, Upstream International, in press statements.
“Our decision to go ahead with this project is a true breakthrough for the LNG industry, giving it a significant boost to help meet the world’s growing demand for the cleanest-burning fossil fuel,” he added.
The facility has been designed to withstand the severest cyclones – those of Category 5. Ocean-going LNG carriers will offload liquefied gas, chilled to minus 162 Celsius and shrunk in volume by 600 times, directly from the facility out at sea for delivery to markets worldwide.
Until now, the liquefaction of offshore gas has always involved piping the gas to a land-based plant.