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Shell keeps exploration and production focus in Australia

John Culbertson: May 31, 2017

May 31 (UPI) — Royal Dutch Shell said Wednesday it was keeping its exploration and production portfolio in place in Australia, but stepping back from its aviation business.

Shell’s aviation subsidiary in Australia sold to independent Viva Energy Australia for $250 million in line with the Dutch supermajor’s efforts to streamline its portfolio. Shell keeps its brand name visible in the aviation refueling sector as Viva Energy remains the licensee of its fuels.

“Shell’s upstream operations in Australia, which include exploration, production and gas commercialization, are not impacted by this announcement,” the company stated.

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Fibre, wi-fi keep most Shell Prelude staff onshore

By Ry Crozier Apr 24, 2017

Implementing a subsea fibre optic link to underpin automation and remote monitoring aboard Shell Australia’s forthcoming Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) platform means it will only need to fly people out to the plant “by exception”.

The Prelude project is being closely watched by the LNG sector as a potential model for future gas extraction from increasingly remote offshore fields.

Prelude’s operations will be monitored remotely from Shell Australia’s collaborative work environment (CWE) in Perth, which acts as the company’s main operations centre.

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Prelude FLNG project relegated to the backburner

FLNG projects – mega tankers fitted with gas extraction and liquefaction facilities – allow producers to tap offshore gas wells and ship LNG without having to build costly pipelines to onshore plants. Owners can move the vessels to new fields when production at an old one ends, slashing asset end-of-life costs.

By Mark Tay: Reuters 6 March 2017

SINGAPORE: Once considered the future of gas production, floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) projects have been firmly relegated to the backburner as global gas producers seek cheaper ways to compete with a surge in U.S. shale supplies and slumping prices.

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On board Shell’s Prelude barge, the world’s biggest vessel

PAUL GARVEY: Resources reporter, Perth: 4 March 2017

The biggest vessel the world has ever seen is in the final stages of preparation ahead of its maiden voyage to its permanent home off Australia’s northwest coast.

Royal Dutch Shell’s revolutionary Prelude floating liquefied natural gas facility — 50 per cent longer and six times the weight of the world’s largest aircraft carrier — is deep into the commissioning process at a shipyard in Korea, with the 120 Australians who will man the vessel already on board to familiarise themselves with the monster.

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Shell playing long game with Prelude FLNG

Shell playing long game with Prelude FLNG

2017-2018 startup date will coincide with LNG glut

By Sally Bogle
3 February 2017

Analysts say the Prelude FLNG facility will be used to boost Shell’s global LNG sales portfolio, rather than to target specific Asian customers, and that it will reap long-term gains for the company despite its 2017-2018 startup date coinciding with a glut of LNG supply.

One of Australia’s last remaining sanctioned greenfield LNG projects yet to be commissioned, Prelude will add to Shell’s stakes in other Australian projects – the North West Shelf, Gorgon, QCLNG and the planned Browse project – and become a strategic resource with which to exploit remote gas fields around the world.

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Shell Prelude LNG over-promise and under-delivery

Extracts from a Reuters/Nasdaq article Australia’s Ichthys LNG dealt blow as major contractor pulls plug”  dated 25 Jan 2017.

Australia’s$200 billion LNG production ramp-up is one of the biggest increases in supply the industry has ever seen, and it will lift Australia over Qatar as the world’s biggest exporter of the fuel.

Even so, most of Australia’s LNG projects currently under construction, including Chevron’s huge Gorgon facility and Royal Dutch Shell’s floating Prelude production vessel, are having trouble keeping within budget and sticking to schedules, and more delays are expected.

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Shell to sell Australian aviation fuels unit to Viva Energy

Shell to sell Australian aviation fuels unit to Viva Energy

by Angela Macdonald-Smith: 19 December 2016

Royal Dutch Shell has struck a $US250 million ($343 million) deal to sell its local aviation fuels division to Viva Energy in a further slimming down of its downstream operations in Australia.

The sale follows the oil giant’s $2.9 billion divestment of its other refining and fuels activities to Viva in 2014 and comes amid heightened speculation that Shell is getting set to offload its remaining stake in Woodside Petroleum.

The deal, expected to formally close by md-2017, will see the Shell brand still used for the aviation refuelling business under a licensing deal similar to the arrangement Viva has to use the logo for its petrol retailing business. Regulatory approvals still need to be secured.

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Shell awards JGC contract for completion of Prelude LNG vessel

Written by Mark Lammey – 09/12/2016 3:58 pm

Japanese engineering firm JGC Corporation has won a contracted to support the completion of Shell’s Prelude floating LNG facility.

JGC said the construction work on the giant vessel − which is 1,600 ft long, 240ft wide and weighs in at 600,000 tonnes − was in its final stages in South Korea.

Once commissioned, it will produce 3.6million tonnes of LNG per year from the Prelude and Concerto gas fields, in the Browse Basin, off Australia.

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Shipping to become ‘major new sector’ for LNG: Shell

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by Angela Macdonald-Smith: 2 November 2016

Demand for LNG as a ship fuel has emerged as a much needed new source of growth in the oversupplied market, with oil giant Royal Dutch Shell giving a bullish assessment of the impact of tighter international rules on maritime emissions.

Shell’s head of integrated gas Maarten Wetselaar told investors in London that between shipping and trucking, the transport sector had become “a major new sector” for the LNG market.

The shipping market and the heavy trucking market together represent about 750 million tonnes of potential LNG demand, about three times the current global LNG supply, Mr Wetselaar said. He signalled that last week’s announcement of new rules on emissions from shipping had made Shell more positive on demand from the sector, noting it was an area where the competition was oil rather than cheap coal.

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Lament for Royal Dutch Shell

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Kashagan AKA “Cash All Gone”

Forgot the initial cost estimate, probably around $8-10 billion. Now 10+ years too late and ballooned to $50 billionMost normal companies would have gone bust long ago.

Shell inherited some beauties from the boys of the roaring 90s. I hope someone will write a book one day on this era. 

Reserve crisis, Pearl, Sakhalin, Kashagan, Alaska, tarsands, and I must have forgotten a few. Repeated over-promise and under-delivery. All many billions over budget, extreme overruns in startup, loss in AAA status, removal of operational and technical expertise. I find the silence on Prelude ominous. Probably goes the same way as the others.

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Australian Government unconvinced about FLNG safety claims

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By Bill Campbell (Retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International)

Comment on: Shell Australia’s giant Prelude floating LNG project likely to come on stream in 2017

(refer to 295-page Report by Economics and Industry Steering Committee issued 7 May 2015)

Much has been written on this website about FLNG, the Prelude specifically raising doubts about the validity of claims by Shell that FLNG risks are as safe as if not more so than conventional offshore installations. The Government report raised considerable concerns in relation to the safety of FLNG facilities. In particular, concerns were raised about the compact nature of the working environment offshore relative to the space afforded to an onshore LNG processing plant and that the facilities will remain manned during cyclonic storms.

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Shell Australia’s giant Prelude floating LNG project likely to come on stream in 2017

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20 September 2016

Royal Dutch Shell is building the world’s largest floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project, which has the potential to transform the way natural gas resources are developed. It is designed to recover resources offshore that would otherwise be too costly or difficult to develop without the need to lay pipelines and build processing plants on land. In this article, Hazardex takes a look at the latest developments in this ground-breaking project.

The Prelude natural gas field was discovered by Shell in the Browse Basin off north Western Australia in 2007 with an additional field, Concerto, discovered nearby in 2009. Combined, these gas fields have around 3 trillion cubic feet of liquids-rich gas. The Australian Government gave the Prelude FLNG project environmental approval on November 12, 2010, and Shell took the final investment decision (FID) on May 20, 2011.

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Shell Australia attacks Victoria’s ban on fracking, gas moratorium

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John Dagge, Herald Sun: August 30, 2016 

SHELL Australia has blasted the Victorian government’s move to permanently ban fracking and extend a moratorium on conventional onshore gas development, saying it will result in higher energy bills.

Chairman Andrew Smith has also warned the decision will cost the state investment dollars and jobs and make it more difficult for manufacturers, already under pressure, to stay in business.

“Every Victorian household and business will now pay higher energy prices moving forward,” Mr Smith said.

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Royal Dutch Shell: Huge Dividend And Long-Term Growth Ahead

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Wayne Duggan: 20 July 2016

A number of British stocks have been hit hard since the referendum vote to leave the EU, but Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) is not one of them. Shares are now up 0.3% since the Brexit vote after initially falling more than 8% during the knee-jerk market sell-off.

With the possibility that the Brexit could severely impact British GDP growth in coming years, RDS.B offers a unique opportunity to invest in a company within a sector that is in a global upswing, a company that has significant international exposure and a company that is committed to maintaining the single largest dividend payment in the MSCI World Index.

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JOHN DONOVAN SAR APPLICATION LETTER TO SHELL INTERNATIONAL LIMITED UNDER THE DATA PROTECTION ACT 1998

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LINK TO ARTICLE

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 10.23.39JOHN DONOVAN SAR APPLICATION LETTER TO SHELL INTERNATIONAL LIMITED UNDER THE DATA PROTECTION ACT 1998

19 July 2016

Mr. Gary Thomson SI-LSC/K
Shell International Limited
40 Bank Street
London E14 5NR

Dear Mr Thomson

Data Protection Act 1998 – Subject Access Request (SAR)

Thank you for your email dated 19 July 2016.

Please find enclosed completed application forms together with a postal order for £10 made out to Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

I obtained it before finding out that the fee can now instead be paid to a charity.

As you are aware, I operate royaldutchshellplc.com – a website focussed on the activities of Shell.

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Shell chair Andrew Smith vows to rein in costs as downturn bites

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ANDREW BURRELL: July 15, 2016

Shell Australia chairman Andrew Smith says the downturn in the oil and gas industry has strengthened his resolve to rein in costs as he seeks to integrate the company — the nation’s biggest foreign investor — with the Queensland assets of BG Group.

“You have to treat every dollar like it’s your own,” Smith tells The Deal, published in The Australian today, as he reflects on his 30-year career and the massive changes that have hit Shell and the petroleum industry. His mantra even extends, Smith’s colleagues reveal, to their boss’s insistence a few years ago that newspaper subscriptions be pared back in the company’s Melbourne office.

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Small fire at Prelude LNG construction site in South Korea -Shell

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SYDNEY/SEOUL, July 8 (Reuters) – Shell said a small fire occurred at the construction site in South Korea for its huge floating Prelude liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, with work resuming immediately and an investigation underway.

The incident would not have an impact on the delivery schedule, according to a source in South Korea.

Shell has declined to reveal the timetable or the budget for Prelude, based on a giant processing vessel being built in Samsung Heavy Industries’ Geoje shipyard that will be towed to a gas field off the west Australia coast.

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Shell sees slower roll-out of floating LNG

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Mr Henry said Prelude “remains on track to deliver some material cash flow in 2018,” signalling the venture still has some way until start-up.

Angela Macdonald-Smith: Energy Reporter:May 5, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell acknowledges the roll-out of its floating LNG technology will occur much more slowly than anticipated a few years ago, leaving its ground-breaking Prelude venture in WA as potentially its sole FLNG venture for several years.

Shell had targeted a conveyor belt of huge FLNG vessels running of the production line in South Korea, being deployed at remote gas fields worldwide, with several in waters around Asia.

But three projects that could have used five new FLNG vessels have been halted in their tracks, leaving the $US12 billion Prelude venture Shell’s only one for the forseeable future. FLNG ventures planned by other companies in Australia have also fallen foul to cost and price issues.

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Samsung Heavy loses $4.6-billion FLNG order from Shell on oil drop

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Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 13.50.03By KYUNGHEE PARK on 4/28/2016

SUNGNAM, South Korea (Bloomberg) — Samsung Heavy Industries Co., the world’s third-largest shipbuilder, said an order to build three floating LNG production facilities was canceled after the energy development project was scrapped amid a plunge in oil prices.

The contract, valued at 5.27 trillion won ($4.6 billion), from Royal Dutch Shell was voided because of the current difficult market conditions, the Sungnam, South Korea-based company said in a regulatory filing Thursday. The shipbuilder won the deal in June on the condition that the project will start only after the client is ready to proceed.

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Shell cancels huge $4.6bn FLNG order at Samsung

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Shell to axe jobs as cost-cuts hit home

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Shell last week informed local staff that it was starting a round of job cuts, with a large portion of workers within the company asked to re-apply for their current positions.

While no fixed target has been set, it is estimated that about 250 jobs around Australia are likely to go as a result of the changes.

The round of job cuts follows Shell’s recent takeover last year of BG Group. The redundancies will remove many of the overlapping roles inherited through the takeover.

Shell had already flagged that it would axe about 2800 jobs worldwide as a result of the BG takeover, as well as a further 7000 around the globe as part of its response to the plunge in oil and gas prices.

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Project Prelude – A case study in the generation of real material debt

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Comment By Bill Campbell (Retired HSE Group Auditor Royal Dutch Shell International) on the article published in The Australian: “Shell chief Ben van Beurden backs FLNG program

Interesting use of terminology by BvB, real material cash, what other type is there rather than funny money.

Prelude dumped from super star gamechanger status to important tool, an aspirin rather than a panacea for all ills, has certainly generated, and it appears will continue to generate, something of a debt mountain for RDS. $15 billion and counting has been allocated to finance the venture outflowing since at least 2007/8 at commencement of conceptual and then detailed design. I may be wrong, but I thought the production start date was given at the time when the first metal was cut in the yards in 2010, as 2016 – now it will be a least 10 years till 2018 before the project will start generating revenue. Our esteemed contributor London Lad, who knows a thing or three about project economics, will confirm, if he feels so inclined, that the breakeven point in any project is determined by how quickly capital spending is halted and operational revenue creation is started. The viability of the project per se, as to whether it will ever add value or be a financial millstone, is determined when production eventually starts by the rate of return of the capital invested, and here BvB hopes for real material cash, and lots of it, and hopefully by 2018 the cash will start to flow. Anybody guess how long it will take for this Project to breakeven?

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Buhari urged to stop work on Egina FPSO

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A Lawyer, John Owubokiri, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to order contractors handling the construction of the Total’s Egina floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel to stop work on the platform until all the legal issues are resolved.

Owubokiri, who is a principal partner, Owubokiri & Co, said Buhari recognises the rule of law and due process, therefore, flagrant disrespect of the law by the owners of the Egina project should be dealt with to deter future occurrence.

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Musings about the OPL 245 Shell/ENI corruption scandal and the sinking confidence in Prelude

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I would have thought that Simon Henry’s position as CFO should now be untenable, in view of the apparent lack of effective financial governance in Nigeria while he was CFO. 

By John Donovan

A large number of press articles have appeared recently mentioning Ben van Beurden. 

Since these articles are presumably fed to the press by Shell’s PR team, and Shell is not a one-man company, I checked to see whether other Shell directors have appeared recently in press releases.

The results are somewhat curious. For example, searching for Matthias Bichsel on Google News shows that articles were published about him at least weekly until October last year, but the articles then stopped abruptly. References to Simon Henry seem to have dried up a few weeks ago – until mid-March there were articles on Henry on an almost daily basis, but recently there has been nothing. Harry Brekelmans seems to have had a low profile since his appointment, so it is harder to see whether any change has occurred. Andy Brown has almost as many press articles as Ben van Beurden. 

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Enthusiasm cools for Prelude FLNG

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Chief executive Ben van Beurden said Prelude, Shell’s first attempt at FLNG, should generate “real material cash” in 2018.

But he steered clear of disclosing the construction progress and when the floater would leave its South Korean shipyard for the Browse Basin.

The gas world is watching Prelude’s progress, not least the Woodside Petroleum-led Browse joint venture (which includes Shell) which wants to use FLNG as the development option but is pondering technological advances beyond what Prelude is designed to achieve.

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Shell chief Ben van Beurden backs FLNG program

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  • THE AUSTRALIAN
  • APRIL 13, 2016 12:00AM

Matt ChambersResources reporter: Melbourne

Paul GarveyResources reporter: Perth

Shell chief Ben van Beurden has defended the company’s floating LNG program after the shelving of the Browse LNG project in ­Western Australia and calls from joint-venture partner Woodside Petroleum for Shell to use more advanced FLNG technology to ­reduce costs at the giant gasfields.

Shell is pioneering the use of floating LNG (FLNG) through the $US15 billion ($19.6bn) Prelude project, where the world’s largest vessel is being built to process gas from the Prelude field in the Browse basin.

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Delays slow Prelude’s sail-away

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Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57Peter Klinger – The West Australian on April 12, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell’s floating LNG prototype is thought to be two years behind its original schedule, demonstrating the complexity of a new processing module the energy sector hopes will deliver the next generation of liquefaction production.

Prelude’s progress will be a topic of discussion at the LNG18 conference, which kicks off in Perth today and includes sector heavyweights such as Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden.

Shell has never revealed the timetable or budget for Prelude, based on a giant processing vessel built in South Korea to be towed to its namesake gas field off the Kimberley. The latest guidance from Shell is for “material cash in 2018” though that timetable could be challenged.

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GE starts production on Shell’s Prelude risers, must withstand a 1-in-10,000-year cyclonic event

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47Written by Rita Brown – 11/04/2016 7:38 am

GE Oil & Gas today confirmed it had started production on four high pressure, high temperature dynamic flexible risers destined for Shell’s Prelude, the world’s largest offshore floating facility.

The firm is building them to survive a 1-in-10,000-year cyclonic event, according to the contract spec.

GE will complete the work at its facility in Newcastle, UK, where it has invested more than $21million to expand its production carousel capacity to accommodate the giant kit. They must also be able to withstand high pressures, high operating temperatures, the potential for cold shut-downs and rapid depressurisation.

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Shell’s GameChanger Program: Turning Frogs into Princes

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Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57by Nicholas Newman: Rigzone Contributor: Monday, March 28, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell plc established its reputation for ground-breaking innovation with the design and construction of the world’s first commercial liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Algeria in 1964. Today, the need to be ever more innovative is crucial, given the crash in oil and gas prices, which is forcing extreme cuts throughout the industry value chain. In addition, the fossil fuel industry is coming under pressure from the adoption of policies aimed at combating climate change making long-term investments commercially much more difficult to justify. 

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Floating LNG hopes are deflated by Browse, Abadi decisions

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Angela Macdonald-Smith: 28 March 2016

Questions are being asked about whether floating LNG technology will live up to its hype after last week’s decision by Woodside Petroleum’s Browse gas venture to freeze work was followed by the axing of a floating design for the Abadi gas field in Indonesia.

The decisions are seen as major setbacks for the innovative technology that was expected to revolutionise the industry by allowing remote offshore gas fields to be developed more cheaply and with less environmental impact.

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ABB wins five-year Shell contract for Prelude FLNG

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Stuart McKinnon – The West Australian on March 24, 2016

The Malaga factory of Swiss multinational engineering giant ABB will be the focal point for a five-year contract to provide services and equipment to Shell’s Prelude floating LNG facility off the Kimberley coast.

The Shell order includes the delivery of motors, generators, variable speed drives and low-voltage switchgear and guarantees service and lifecycle management of the electrical equipment as well as service and support for motors from third-party vendors.

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Australian Energy Giant Woodside Delays Large Offshore L.N.G. Project

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By STANLEY REED: A version of this article appears in print on March 24, 2016, on page B2 of the New York edition

Woodside Petroleum and its partners, including the energy giants Royal Dutch Shell and BP, have decided to delay indefinitely the development of a huge liquefied natural gas project off Western Australia, the company said on Wednesday.

The decision to postpone the project, called Browse, comes as L.N.G. prices in Asia have fallen by around two-thirds since 2014. The slump is attributed to a supply glut set off largely by a building boom and by lower-than-expected demand from major customers like China.

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Where does the cancellation of Browse and Masela leave Prelude?

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Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.53.14From a Regular Contributor

Cancellation of both the Browse and Masela FLNG developments on the same day suggests that the issues about which Bill Campbell has warned may finally have won the day. 

If so, this is a huge climbdown for Shell, with several billion dollars in probable write-offs. 

It’s perhaps not surprising, given the plethora of warnings from technical sources that there were serious risks involved. 

Could Prelude be next to be axed? Parking a multi-billion dollar vessel in cyclone alley for 20 years never seemed like the most appropriate use of the pension funds invested in Shell…

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One Floating LNG Dream Sinks As Another Gets Ready To Float

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One Floating LNG Dream Sinks As Another Gets Ready To Float

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57Unfortunately for Shell it formally committed to the Prelude development in May, 2011, a time when oil was selling for around $120 a barrel, three-times the current price of around $41/bbl.

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By Tim Treadgold: March 23, 2016

No-one blinked and share prices barely fluttered when a $40 billion plan by Australia’s Woodside Petroleum ngIf: ticker to develop a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) project was torpedoed earlier today.

However, the knock-on consequences of sinking the Browse project will be felt most acutely at Europe’s biggest oil company, Royal Dutch Shell ngIf: ticker .

The immediate impact on Shell is that it has a 27% interest in the Woodside-led Browse LNG project, but it is also nearing completion of the world’s biggest floating LNG barge, the $12.6 billion Prelude project.

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47Published at 11:00AM – 19/12/15

Shell’s giant Prelude FLNG project is nearing completion, as the oil and gas supermajor releases an updated video of the project.

Shell Prelude FLNG

Prelude LNG project, will be located 200 miles (322km) offshore Western Australia, in an area known as the Browse basin, in 820 feet (250m) of water.

The project is centred around the giant Prelude FLNG vessel, currently under construction in South Korea.

The 488 metre (1,601 ft) long, 74 metre (243 ft) wide vessel is part of an overall project, that includes vast subsea infrastructure and technological breakthroughs, that has cost Shell and partners an estimated US$12.6 billion.

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LNG market seen in worse state than oil

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“The oil market is not so bad,” Dr Fesharaki said. “LNG is far worse.”

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Angela Macdonald-SmithEnergy Reporter: 7 Dec 2015

The crude oil market is seen as being in dire straits, but liquefied natural gas is much worse, according to experts.

Hanging as a dark cloud over the market for the next several years are large volumes of LNG from committed US export projects that have firm sales contracts but have yet to be sold to end-users.

Consultancy FGE says between 25 million and 35 million tonnes of the 65 million tonnes a year of US LNG export capacity under construction has been sold to “middle men”, traders or portfolio LNG players such as BG Group or Mitsubishi, that still need to sell the gas on.

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Pickard quits Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 09.51.25Peter Klinger: November 11, 2015

Ann Pickard, once dubbed the “bravest woman in oil and gas” before she transformed Royal Dutch Shell’s century old presence in Australia, has quit the Anglo-Dutch giant.

However, the decision to retire from Shell will not spell the end of her exposure to oil and gas, and LNG in particular which she championed during her stint as the Anglo Dutch giant’s Australia country chair.

Ms Pickard is joining the board of oil and gas engineering contractor KBR as a non-executive director from next month.

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Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 07.57.03Angela Macdonald-Smith: November 4, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell remains unequivocally bullish on prospects for liquefied natural gas despite the current market glut, pointing to several options for new supply projects after its planned $US70 billion ($97 billion) takeover of BG Group and plenty of new markets opening up around the world.

“The fundamentals of this market look as robust now as in the past to us,” chief financial officer Simon Henry told investors overnight Australian time, spelling out Shell’s expectation that global LNG demand will expand at 5 per cent a year to 2030, only modestly lower than the 8 per cent annual growth seen since 2000.

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SBM Offshore wins Browse FLNG FEED

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by  AOG Staff: Monday, 19 October 2015

SBM Offshore has been awarded the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract for three large scale turret mooring systems associated with the proposed Browse floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) development in Australia.

The turrets are expected to be designed similar to and slightly larger in size than the Shell Prelude FLNG turret that SBM Offshore was awarded in 2011, and whose last module was recently successfully delivered from the construction yard in Dubai. Integration with the Prelude facility in Korea is currently ongoing.

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Shell keeps Prelude under wraps

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Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 23.09.25The Anglo-Dutch giant has never disclosed Prelude’s capital cost or start-up date

Peter Klinger: October 13, 2015

Just a year out from market expectations of first gas, Royal Dutch Shell is giving nothing away about the pace of progress at its revolutionary Prelude floating LNG operation.

Shell has sent out its regular update of the mega-project, which comprises construction of the industry-changing floating processing plant in Samsung’s Geoje shipyard in South Korea and a gas-condensate well and subsea pipeline network in the Browse Basin off the Kimberley.

Shell’s update said the second-last module had been installed on the Prelude floater, while in the Browse Basin the focus was on installing flow lines and pipeline end terminations.

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Shell toughens local project hurdles

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Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 19.22.09Matt ChambersResources Reporter: Melbourne: 31 July 2015

Oil major Shell has laid down tougher hurdles for its Australian projects including Browse LNG off Western Australia and Arrow coal-seam gas in Queensland.

It has cut the oil price at which new projects need to go ahead and flagged a major LNG project ­pipeline overhaul if its planned $91 billion takeover of BG Group is successful.

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said the company would require projects to be profitable near $US50 a barrel of oil, down from previous indications of ­between $US70 and $US90.

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Shareholders should demand that Shell’s activities in the Arctic be stopped

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Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 12.52.57By a Regular Contributor

Hopefully, Shell will soon accept that in the US Arctic their position is now untenable…

If RDS wants to cut capex (and exposure), FLNG is a good place to start, as Simon Henry suggested yesterday. The Arctic should be next. 

The Arctic is rapidly acquiring a similar profile to the Brent Spar fiasco. The issue is not whether Greenpeace is right or wrong, it is whether Shell can win the hearts and minds of the public to support their efforts. So far, Shell’s own incompetence has been the most significant issue in eliminating any public support they once enjoyed. 

The destruction of drilling vessels and criminal convictions for polluting the environment and failing to keep the required records support the view that Shell do not know what they are doing. Neither Shell’s army of lawyers nor the judges on whom they rely have ever worked offshore and have no idea of what it entails. However, the first time that there is any illegal discharge into the sea or the air (and it will happen), or a fatality, injury or  well control incident, the lawyers who are supporting Shell’s current efforts will have nothing constructive to say. 

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Royal Dutch Shell signals Browse FLNG go-ahead far from certain for 2016

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By Angela Macdonald-SmithJul 30 2015

Royal Dutch Shell has signalled that a final go-ahead next year for the Browse floating liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia is far from a certainty given the cost challenges of the venture in the depressed oil price environment.

Chief financial officer Simon Henry listed Browse among several large international projects that would be subject to “the dynamic nature of decision making as we take both the oil price environment but also the supply chain and the cost level into account.”

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World’s Largest Turret Mooring Ready for Prelude

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By Wendy Laursen 2015-07-05 

Drydocks World has marked a major milestone by completing the world’s largest turret mooring system.

At almost 100 meters high, weighing over 11,000 tons and with a diameter of 26 meters, the turret will ensure Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility can operate safely in the most extreme weather conditions. 

The FLNG will be stationed in the Prelude gas field off the northwest coast of Australia. It will be Shell’s first FLNG deployment. The technology allows for the production, liquefaction, storage and transfer of LNG at sea, as well as the ability to process and export liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and condensate.

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Shell awards contracts for its $40bn Browse project

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Written by Rita Brown – 03/07/2015

Shell has awarded the Technip Samsung Consortium two contracts for its $40billion natural gas project in Australia.

Shell’s Browse project covers the installation of three FLNG units to develop the Brecknock, Calliance and Torosa fields in the Browse Basin.

Shell, which has a 27% interest in the scheme, will use its floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) technology to leveraging the site’s 15.4 trillion-cubic-feet of gas.

The Technip Samsung Consortium will manage the front-end engineering design (FEED) elements of the Browse FLNG project, taking into account the composition of the gas, local weather conditions and factors specific to each of the three fields.

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ARCTIC ALARM BELLS: SHELL KICKS OUT 60 WORKERS IN HOLLAND FOR DRUG USE

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 20.27.32By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell has expelled 60 workers from a Dutch chemical plant after workers were caught using drugs.

The Shell Moerdijk plant in the Netherlands makes chemical products from petroleum. It employs over 800 employees and over 500 contractors. It is one of the largest chemical complexes in Europe. 

Last October I reported a steam leak at the plant which resulted in flaring activity and a declaration of force majeure by Shell.

Today comes news of widespread drug use by workers at the plant.

Imagine the potential consequences if Shell workers in the Arctic drilling campaign had a similar problem. Perhaps they did in 2012. It would explain a lot.

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WA inquiry shines spotlight on floating LNG safety fears

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Article by Angela Macdonald-Smith published by The Sydney Morning Herald: 8 May 2015

WA inquiry shines spotlight on floating LNG safety fears

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Royal Dutch Shell and Woodside Petroleum have insisted that workers to be stationed on vast floating liquefied natural gas plants far off the Western Australian coast will be safe despite serious concerns having been raised in a parliamentary inquiry that they won’t be evacuated even for severe tropical cyclones.

A WA parliamentary committee examining the safety of floating LNG highlighted fears that workers would be thrown around within their accommodation modules during cyclones and could experience psychological stress at being unable to leave the vessel.

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Shell, With $70B Deal For BG Group, Becomes World LNG Giant

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Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 08.12.04Christopher Helman

So this is how the consolidation starts. Royal Dutch Shell is making a smart move in its $70 billion acquisition of BG Group . The deal will gain Shell access to the most exciting deepwater oil projects in the world, in Brazil. While adding in BG Group’s fast-growing liquefied natural gas business will soon make Shell the undisputed world leader in LNG. The combination will set Shell on the path to unseat Exxon Mobil XOM -1.95% as the world’s biggest oil company — at least until the next big acquisition is revealed.

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Key role of Shell lawyers in pioneering Shell Prelude FLNG

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By John Donovan

PRELUDE DESIGNED BY SHELL LAWYERS? MORE IMPORTANT ROLE THAN ENGINEERS? 

What will Bill Campbell make of the boasts from Shell’s chief lawyer Donny Ching, about the pivotal role of Shell in-house lawyers in the world’s first floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, Prelude FLNG?

Extracts from an article about Donny Ching published by The Law Society Gazette on 5 December 2014:

Ching also believes that external law firms would have been no substitute for in-house lawyers in the work they did to build the world’s first floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, Prelude FLNG.

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Combustible pioneering behemoths – the Hindenburg and Shell Prelude

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By John Donovan

I am not sure that directly comparing the explosive potential arising from the Hindenburg and the Shell Prelude is strictly appropriate. However, what is beyond doubt is that these pioneering ventures both captured the attention of the worlds media and a loss of containment on the Prelude could potentially create another catastrophic event.

The Shell Prelude, by far and away the biggest vessel the world has ever see, is nearing completion in South Korea. A well placed whistleblower says that Shell management has ignored his warnings over shoddy work in the construction and outfitting that puts safety at risk.

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