A fire late at night on 2 December on Shell’s Prelude floating LNG vessel off the Kimberley coast caused production at the $24 billion giant to be shut down and left the crew using backup power.
A small fire was detected at about 11pm in an electrical equipment area on the world’s largest vessel, a Shell spokesman said. The fire triggered automatic fire systems and was extinguished before it spread further, and all workers were safe and accounted for.
‘The incident resulted in the loss of main power and the facility is currently operating on backup diesel generators,’ the spokesman said. ‘While work is under way to restore main power, production on the Prelude has been suspended temporarily.’
A spokeswoman for offshore safety regulator NOPSEMA said it had been informed of the fire by Shell and had started an investigation.
Any fire at a floating gas plant is potentially serious compared to a land-based facility.
The fire comes after the 488m-long Prelude had achieved steady production for some time after a string of problems in its first few years moored 475km north-east of Broome.