PERTH, Australia, May 20 (UPI) -- Shell announced Friday it is committed to building the first-ever offshore facility that can cool processed natural gas to liquid at sea.
Malcolm Brinded, Shell's executive director of upstream international, said during a Friday speech in Perth, Australia, that his company was intent on building a floating liquefied natural gas facility that can cool natural gas on site.
"Shell is the first and only company to have the courage, capital and confidence to take such a momentous decision," he said.
Liquefied natural gas can be delivered to more diverse markets than conventional gas, which requires pipelines that sometimes pass through politically sensitive or dangerous territory.
Shell, he said, expects the demand for natural gas to double by 2030 and sees demand for LNG doubling within the next 10 years.
The 600,000-ton vessel would measure about 1,600 feet, making it the largest floating offshore facility in the world. It would first be deployed to Australian waters of Shell's Prelude natural gas field.
"We believe FLNG is a game-changer for the energy industry, and Shell is proud to be leading the way," he said during his speech.
Conventional tankers could start deliveries from the Prelude FLNG by 2017.