Shell’s Prelude FLNG resumes operations following strikes

Article by Adam Duckett

The huge Prelude floating LNG plant has been beset with issues since it started production in 2018

SHELL has resumed shipping LNG cargos from its massive Prelude floating LNG project following a strike by workers that started in June.

Shell and Unions reached an agreement after industrial action prevented major planned maintenance work and forced the facility to shut down in mid-July. Offshore Alliance, which includes the Australian Workers’ Union whose members joined the strike, estimates that the industrial action cost the oil major A$1.5bn (US$1bn) in lost production.

The Alliance said that the agreement has secured members a range of benefits, including salary increases of between A$30,000–50,000, improved rostering, and new security and career progression provisions. It said that job security had been a major “sticking point” in negotiations with Shell.

Shell said it is now focused on moving forward as a business and delivering affordable, reliable energy through continued safe and, stable production.

Prelude is a 488 m long ship, which has production capacity of 3.6m t/y of LNG, 1.3m t/y of condensate, and 0.4m t/y of LPG. The facility has struggled to maintain operations since it started operations in 2018. Production was halted by a fire in December 2021. That followed a lengthy halt after an electrical trip in 2020. And that fault followed, though was not linked to, an order from Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) for Shell to revise its safety management system after three “dangerous occurrences” onboard that involved loss of containment.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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