Shell Wants to Build the World’s Largest Floating Natural-Gas Plant

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Photo: New Scientist

Prelude gas field in Western Australia is considered a "stranded field" too far from land for a pipeline to connect an extraction rig to a gas liquefaction plant back on shore. So in order to process the resources extracted from Prelude, Shell is building "an island with a liquid natural gas plant on it," says Shell's Neil Gilmour. It's ten meters longer than even the largest supertanker ever built. Mark Lambert of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects says it's feasible to construct the design for the 486-meter floating plant, "but they will have to be very careful about how it flexes along its length if fatigue cracking is to be avoided." The word "Prelude" is sounding more and more ominous.

Oil company to build longest floating vessel ever [New Scientist]