Well despite what you may think, the oil industry is doing better than ever. With a length of 468 meters, this giant will be exploiting the Prelude gas field, about 500 km away from Australia, relying on a Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) plant. However, the vessel will be too far away from land to be connected to a pipeline, so Shell wants to use a liquid natural gas plant right on the ship.

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“In simple terms, the facility can be compared to an island with a liquid natural gas plant on it,” says Shell’s Neil Gilmour.

Still, the second largest ship is only 10 meters shorter, but it will weigh so much more, and displace 600,000 tonnes of water. Mark Lambert of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects in London says the job will be quite a challenge, but he has faith in the project.

“It’s feasible,” he says, “but they will have to be very careful about how it flexes along its length if fatigue cracking is to be avoided.”

Picture from NewScientist