Shell has evacuated staff from its Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility offshore Australia due to power failures caused by a fire last Thursday.
According to local media reports, around 150 non-essential workers have been transferred to the mainland, leaving a skeleton crew onboard.
The incident, which halted the production, took place on December 2 at about 23.00 hrs Western Australian time when smoke was detected in an electrical utility area, which triggered the automatic fire detection and management systems onboard the Prelude FLNG vessel.
Shell confirmed that the fire was contained and that it did not spread further. All workers on the facility have also been reported safe and accounted for. However, the production remains suspended, and the delay in restoring main power is said to have left employees without air conditioning, communication, drinkable water, and a sewage treatment system.
The Prelude FLNG facility has been operating on backup power since Friday, and an investigation has been launched by Shell, while the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has been informed. The Prelude has had a steady six months of production. Nevertheless, it is worth reminding that the world’s largest FLNG vessel had suffered several technical issues in the past. The unit was shut down for the most part of 2020, only to resume production in January of this year.