Ultramegasuper Ship Will Tap Australian Natural Gas

FLNG Rear Very High 3K_LAvailableForPrint.jpg

Shell's newest fossil-fuel-extracting vehicle will dwarf every American naval ship, if that tells you anything about what's important in today's world.

The Prelude FLNG will be a third of a mile long and weigh 600,000 tons. That's six times heavier than our largest class of aircraft carrier. The ship will be used to extract, cool, and transload natural gas, so that it can be transported to major markets in tankers. In the simplest terms, it's a floating drilling rig and refrigerator moored to the seafloor by four groups of tethers. What's really impressive is how small it is; a similar facility on land would be several times as large, Shell says.


The Prelude has been on the drawing board for a couple of years, but Shell made its final decision to go ahead with the ship this week. It will tap the Prelude gas field, which is located about 125 northwest of the Australian coast.
Presented by

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Technology

Just In