World’s biggest vessel afloat for the first time
The Prelude, a “floating liquefied natural gas facility” owned by oil and gas company Shell dipped its toes into the water as it left the Geoje shipyard in South Korea for the first time. The Prelude will be the biggest vessel ever sent to sea however plans were already under way for something bigger.
The Prelude FLNG system will be used in the Prelude and Concerto gas fields in the Browse Basin, 200 km off the coast of Australia; drilling is expected to begin in 2017 and have a planned life expectancy of 25 years. Shell has also shied away from offering estimates of Prelude’s likely cost, but analysts say FLNG could end up costing around $10.8-$12.6 billion.
Prelude weighs in at 600,000 tonnes, which is six times the weight of the world’s largest aircraft carrier, it is 488 metres long and 74 metres wide and is designed to withstand Category 5 cyclones.