Shell has again suspended production at the Prelude floating liquefied natural gas facility offshore Australia and an investigation has been launched following a fire onboard on Wednesday afternoon.

“On Wednesday 21 December at 16:25 AWST, there was a small fire detected on board Prelude in a turbine enclosure. The fire was quickly contained using a hand-held extinguisher and the area made safe,” a Shell spokesperson told Upstream.

“There were no injuries and all workers on the facility are safe and accounted for.”

It is understood the FLNG facility earlier on Wednesday had loaded an LNG cargo following planned maintenance work.

All essential systems on the Prelude FLNG facility remain in service at the time of publication.

Australia’s offshore regulator Nopsema has been informed of the latest incident on board Prelude FLNG, which has nameplate liquefaction capacity of 3.6 million tonnes per annum.

The spokesperson confirmed that production has been temporarily suspended and an investigation into the cause of the incident is under way.

“We will work methodically through the stages in the process to recommence production with safety and stability foremost in mind,” she said.

No expected date was given for the restart of operations.

The Prelude FLNG that exploits the field of the same name offshore Australia has been hit by mechanical and safety issues since starting up in 2019, including one which saw it taken out of action for most of the following year.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, the offshore facility was again offline for a couple of months due to industrial action by unionised workers.

The Prelude project is jointly owned by Shell, Japan’s Inpex, Korea Gas and a unit of Taiwan’s CPC.

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