Global gas and oil giant Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) has announced its decision to proceed with construction of its $10 billion Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) site off the coast of Western Australia.


The Prelude site will employ over 350 people, with 200 off shore and is expected to exceed $10 billion to construct, with Wood Mackenzie estimating the costs to be in excess of $10.3 billion.


The gas is expected to be processed by a massive 600,000 tonne vessel, 475km north-northeast of Broome instead of the traditional piping to a land-based refinery which, if produced, may be the largest vessel ever constructed.


The Prelude site is to be the world’s first floating LNG site, with RDS’ main competitor Woodside’s experiencing delays in its Sunrise Flats project.


When operational, the site will produce 3.6 million tonnes of LNG, 1.3mt of condensate and 400,000t of LNG.