Shell introduces its new ‘Prelude’ tanker which is largest in the world
Shell have said they are reaching the advanced stages in their building of the largest vessel ever constucted. The new oil carrier called The Prelude is located near Geoje Island just off the South Korean coast, has required 5,000 workers to complete its construction. The deck of the gigantic vessel is the length of seven football pitches and it contains three times as much steel as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
The idea behind the new vessel is that it is to spend several years stationed above a natural gas field located off the Australian coast and will pump fuel from under the seabed to be shipped to customers in the Asian market. The construction was lead by Royal Dutch Shell and it is believed that the project could transform the world’s gas industry. This is because up until now, liquefied natural gas projects, that cool the fuel until it turns into a liquid so that it can therefore be transported on tankers, have relied strongly on giant plants located on land.
Placing a LNG facility on the top of the ship will now open up a considerable amount of fields that had been previously considered to be too isolated and small to be considered. The news has been widely welcomed in most quarters and Shell Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser believes that the move is a vitally important one that is the single most important one he has made in his time with the company saying “It’s a very crucial technology; this will be a solution that works for many, many fields.”
The ship will produce 3.6 million tons of LNG annually which would be enough fuel to supply a city the size of Hong Kong. The Prelude is expected to be fully finished an operational by 2017 when it will be brought to Australia and begin producing gas. It is certainly an exciting time for the company.