Shell’s Prelude floating LNG facility in the Browse Basin off the coast of Western Australia received federal approval on November 12th 2010.
Federal environment minister Tony Burke said:
“While there are significant economic benefits to these projects, which must be a consideration in my decision, my focus has been on protecting environmental matters.”
The Project will be carried out using a Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility designed to extract and process natural gas and associated condensate.
Ann Pickard, Country Chair, Shell in Australia said:
“Receiving environmental approval is an important milestone as we continue to work on the development of the Prelude Project.
“Deploying our Floating LNG technology reduces the Project’s cost and environmental footprint, as it removes the need for offshore compression platforms, long pipelines to shore, nearshore works such as dredging and jetty construction, and onshore development such as building roads, laydown areas and accommodation facilities.”
The Prelude FLNG Project is scheduled to commence production in 2016 with an estimated operational life of 25 years. Annual production is estimated to peak at 3.6 million tonnes of LNG, 1.3 million tonnes of condensate and 0.4 million tonnes of Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
Shell is the Operator and 100% equity holder of the WA-371-P permit in the Browse Basin, approximately 475km north-northeast of Broome, Western Australia, and over 200km from the nearest point on the mainland. Shell discovered the Prelude gas field in January 2007 and the Concerto gas field in March 2009, with both fields to be developed sequentially by the Prelude FLNG facility. Whilst pending a Final Investment Decision, the Prelude FLNG Project is now in the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) phase of development.
The dimensions of Shell’s FLNG facility are approximately 480 by 75 metres, and when fully ballasted, the FLNG facility will weigh around 600,000 tonnes.