Inpex to buy stake in Shell's Prelude LNG project

Japan’s Inpex Oil & Gas Australia has acquired a 17.5% stake in Shell Development Australia’s Prelude floating LNG (FLNG) project in Browse basin permit WA-44-L offshore Western Australia for an undisclosed cash sum.

The two companies are already working together in the Abadi FLNG project in the Indonesian sector of the Timor Sea following Shell’s purchase of a 30% share in Abadi. The joint venture is working towards beginning front-end engineering and design for the Abadi field later this year.

Inpex said it joined the Prelude venture so that it can increase its technical expertise in FLNG facilities as well as cement the partnership with Shell.

The Prelude LNG vessel will be supplied with gas from both the prelude and Concerto fields. Total estimated reserves are 3 tcf of gas plus 120 million bbl of condensate.

The facilities will have the capacity to produce 3.6 million tonnes/year of LNG along with 36,000 b/d of condensate and 400,000 tpy of LPG.

Shell has previously released dimensions of the vessel as 488 m long and 74 m wide. When fully loaded it will weigh 600,000 tonnes. It will be permanently moored some 475 km north-northeast of Broome using four groups of mooring chains in 250 m of water. Each chain will be held to the sea floor by suction piles.

The whole facility has been designed to withstand a category 5 cyclone.

Prelude was discovered by Shell in 2007 and the company made a final investment decision to develop the field in May 2011. The development is scheduled to be brought on stream in 2017.

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