To outside observers, collaboration and major oil and gas projects may not have a lot in common. However, according to Shell Australia’s David Bird, the company's record-breaking Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project would still be a pipe dream without help from collaborators every step of the way.
“Our interests are fundamentally aligned with those of the supply chain, service providers and the government.
“A key driver for Shell is to work together to make sure that the Australian oil and gas sector becomes the best, safest, most reliable, competitive, efficient and innovative in the world," said the Prelude VP.
The presentation delivered to Club members at the October industry dinner highlighted the massive level of collaboration required to get such an enormous project off the ground including in areas of access to capital, design, construction and operation.
“Despite our size and technological prowess we could not have delivered Prelude on our own especially without our project partners,” said Mr Bird.
The Prelude FLNG facility is operated by Shell in partnership with INPEX (17%), KOGAS (10%) and OPIC (5%).
“Shell Australia will require around 200 contracts to support the Prelude FLNG facility for a period of about 25 years of operations. These contracts will be awarded over the next two years and will be predominately supported from Australia, we estimate that at least $200 million per year or about 70 per cent of the annual operating cost will be Australian," Mr Bird said.
Importantly Prelude’s collaboration extends to the education sector with UWA’s specialist team of more than 40 academics currently engaged for their expertise in offshore engineering and ocean facilities.
The supermajor is also collaborating with local social investment partners in Broome, East and West Kimberley and the Northern Territory. An example of this is the Djarindjin airport on the Dampier Peninsula.
"Broome Airport will be used as the helicopter base for Shell contracted flights to and from the oil and gas field. However due to Prelude's distance from the land, helicopters will need to be refueled at the remote Djarindjin, north of Broome creating 18 new jobs for indigenous members of the local community," said David Bird.
As the project moves into an operation phase, a team of between 120-140 people will work on board Prelude during operations.
The project will also be supported by teams and contractors across Perth, Darwin and the Kimberley – providing long-term steady Australian jobs both directly and indirectly.