LONDON, June 4 (Reuters) - Shipment of the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo from the long-awaited Prelude floating production project in Australia is “imminent”, Royal Dutch Shell said on Tuesday.
Prelude - the world’s biggest floating LNG production unit and the biggest maritime vessel ever built - is expected to have an annual LNG production capacity of 3.6 million tonnes.
It will also produce 1.3 million tonnes a year of condensate and 400,000 tonnes a year of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
The start-up of LNG production from Prelude would correspond with new project start-ups in the United States and would further saturate the tumbling global LNG market with oversupply.
Shell, owns 67.5 percent of the Prelude FLNG project, did not elaborate on how quickly the project would ramp up production, however.
The company first decided to go ahead with the project in 2011. After long delays, it introduced gas to the 490 metre-long (1,600 ft-long) Prelude FLNG for the first time a year ago as part of the cooling process before start-up.
Shell had hoped to start generating cash flow from Prelude in 2018.
It exported the first condensate cargo in March this year.
Japan’s Inpex Corp, Taiwan’s CPC Corp and Korea Gas Corp hold the rest of the shares in the Prelude project. (Reporting by Ekaterina Kravtsova; Editing by Susan Fenton)