Oil ship

You all saw this, right?

Johan Hedstrom, an energy analyst in Australia with Southern Cross Equities, told the BBC: “The FLNG concept is an elegant solution because you don’t need so much fixed infrastructure.

“You don’t need the pipeline or the onshore refinery and when you run out of gas you can just pull up stumps and go to the next field.”

Mr Gilmour said Shell had to overcome a “raft of technical challenges”, ensuring for example that the vast amount of equipment on board would work in choppy seas.

The Prelude field is in the middle of what is known as “cyclone alley”, an area prone to extremely stormy weather.

But Mr Gilmour said the vessel had been built to withstand category-five cyclones and even a “one-in-10,000-years’ storm” producing 300km/h (185mph) gusts and 20m-high (65ft) waves.

The double-hulled vessel is designed to last 50 years.

Just as the Russian can’t excise the peasant from his soul, why is it that I can’t excise the luddite from my soul?  Repeat after me: “I will believe nothing could possibly go wrong.  I will believe there could never be a cost blowout.  I will believe man can do anything.”

9 comments for “Oil ship

  1. JD
    August 7, 2011 at 15:53

    well these work without any problems (so far)-

    the largest (i.e. deepest) is in the Gulf of Mexico which has the occasional breezy conditions 🙂

  2. dearieme
    August 7, 2011 at 16:14

    Pusillanimous, James. Put otherwise: you’re a fearty.

  3. August 7, 2011 at 16:47

    Yeah right, I’m as timid as a doormouse.

  4. Patrick Harris
    August 7, 2011 at 20:48

    When was the last “1-in-10,000 years storm”? I was going to ask when is the next “1-in-10,000 years storm” expected but if you answer the first question I should be able to work out the answer to the second question.
    What was it like and who supplied the data, that simulated the conditions, that was used to “test” the ship?

  5. August 8, 2011 at 08:31

    Well in the UK they seem to have “once in a 100 year” floods every 10 years or so…

  6. Lord T
    August 8, 2011 at 10:05

    Like everything else you can only plan for so much. Usually what gets these things is humans. Either through over confidence, lets keep going its only a bit of wind, or deliberate via sabotage. Most things go through life without breaking.

    It tends to be those that are rushed into service for some reason that fail. I wonder why that is?

  7. August 8, 2011 at 17:46

    It might work or it might not, but there are a lot of things out there working happily that look as though they shouldn’t. Just because the technological challenges are enormous doesn’t mean they can’t be solved; see JD’s link, Apollo, this here Interweb, the perpetual motion machine I bought from some bloke down the pub last night, and so on.

    As Lord T more or less says, unless it gets taken over by a government agency, it can probably be made to work.

  8. August 9, 2011 at 07:19

    When you find out just what unbelievable costs are paid by government departments, local government and public bodies for basic stuff like printers for example you ralise where out tax money is being wasted.

    You would never dream of paying the same price for the same stuff yourself for sure.

  9. August 9, 2011 at 14:08


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