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Oxair to service Shell’s Prelude FLNG facility

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Oxair Gas Systems has been awarded a key contract to provide technical support for the world’s largest floating liquefied natural gas facility, anchored about 200 km off the western coast of Australia.

The Perth-based company has won the service contract to maintain the nitrogen generator plant (built by Air Products) on-board Prelude. The Prelude FLNG facility will be 488 m long and 74 m wide, making it the largest offshore floating facility ever built. It has around 260 000 t of steel in the facility alone, around five times the amount of steel used to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and has a potential production capacity of at least 5.3 million tpy of liquid. The facility represents a golden opportunity for the oil and gas industry to exploit gas fields which would otherwise be too costly or challenging to develop.

Oxair’s Managing Director, David Cheeseman commented: “Oxair is delighted to have been chosen to manage the maintenance of the nitrogen generator plant on board Prelude. The enormous scale of the project underlines the confidence which Shell places in our company. Our firm has a long affiliation with Air Products and has been building and selling nitrogen systems worldwide using Air Products’ technology for over 27 years. We are thrilled to work as a key supplier to this world class project.”

The FLNG facility is designed to withstand a category five cyclone and will enable the safe, reliable and continuous production of LNG, whilst moored above the gas fields, for the next 25 years. It aims to take in the equivalent of 110 000 bpd of oil in natural gas and cool it into liquefied natural gas. The chilling process will reduce the volume of the natural gas by a factor of 600, which will then be loaded onto specialised LNG tankers ready for transport and sale throughout the world.

Not only will the Prelude project use significantly fewer materials, less land and seabed than developing the same gas via a similar onshore facility, but developing the gas in situ means that its impact on sensitive coastal habitats is also reduced. The FLNG avoids the need for shoreline pipe crossings, dredging and jetty works and product carriers will be far from coastal reefs and whale migration routes.

Oxair designs are focused on meeting exacting customer requirements, reliability, ease of maintenance, safety, and plant self-protection making it an ideal contract partner for Shell. It is a world leading manufacturer of gas process systems, for shipboard and land-based use to suit any requirement.

In addition, Oxair is currently involved in the GOAL ZERO partnership Forum with Shell and other partners, an initiative which seeks to make the interaction between all contractors as transparent as possible with regard to key safety practices.

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