To help meet the growing global demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG), a project being developed by Shell Australia Pty Ltd (Shell Australia) and SGH Energy aims to supply natural gas to the existing Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility off the coast of Western Australia.

Revealed today, 30th May, the partners have taken a final investment decision to approve the development of the Crux natural gas field, which will have the capacity to supply Prelude with up to 550 million standard cubic feet of gas per day. 

Stating that the project forms an ‘important part’ of Shell’s integrated gas portfolio, Wael Sawan, Integrated Gas, Renewables and Energy Solutions Director, Shell, said, “Natural gas from Crux will play a key role in helping Asian customers move from coal to gas as a cleaner-burning fuel.” 

“The project will help us to meet the increasing demand for LNG as the energy market transitions to a lower carbon future.” 

The project also aims to boost Shell’s customers’ security of supply, something that is becoming an ‘ever more significant’ consideration for global consumers, according to Sawan. 

According to Shell’s LNG Outlook 2022, the global trade in LNG increased to 380m tonnes during 2021 as many countries rebounded from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

During 2021, China became the world’s largest LNG importer with LNG imports reaching 79m tonnes, while the US led export growth with an increase of 24m tonnes. 

For Australia, the Crux project is expected to boost the regional economy, create jobs, and provide training opportunities. 

Commenting on the development, Tony Nunan, Chair, Shell Australia, said, “The use of Prelude’s existing infrastructure enables significantly reduced development costs, making Crux competitive and commercially attractive.” 

To be developed in the northern Browse Basin, 620km north-east of Broome, the project will consist of a platform operated remotely from Prelude. 

With construction due to start this year, Crux is expected to deliver its first gas in 2027.