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    Shell gets OK to restart Prelude FLNG plant: press

Summary

A fire had broken out at the facility in December. [image credit: Shell]

by: Callum Cyrus

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Shell gets OK to restart Prelude FLNG plant: press

Shell has received regulatory permission to resume liquefaction at its 3.6mn metric tons/year Prelude FLNG facility off the coast of northwest Australia.

A fire broke out at Prelude LNG's electrical systems in December, and the UK major was told to rectify potentially "catastrophic" issues at the facility. The investigation cast doubt on Shell's ability to securely recover power faults, citing excessive structural steel cooling during outages.

Australia's National Offshore Petroleum Safety Environment Management Authority (NOPSEMA) is now satisfied the issues can be resolved, closing the order on March 18.

Shell will confirm Prelude LNG's schedule in due course. A spokesperson told Reuters the company was working "methodically" with "safety and stability foremost in mind." 

"Shell notes confirmation from NOPSEMA that Direction 1860 has been closed," the spokesperson said.

Prelude LNG will resume exports against a backdrop of strong LNG demand as Europe scrambles to replace Russian gas imports. But Shell will need to tread carefully in light of NOPSEMA's order. A previous power outage in February 2020 also led to Prelude LNG shutting off production, and technical issues also resulted in the plant launching later than scheduled.