Royal Dutch Shell has commenced production from the Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility offshore Australia.

Located around 475km from Broome in Western Australia, the Prelude facility begun the initial phase of output where gas and condensate are produced.

Once the initial start-up and ramp-up is completed, the facility will produce LPG, condensate and LNG bolstering Australia’s position as a natural gas exporter.

“The focus continues to be on providing a controlled environment to ensure Prelude will operate reliably and safely now, and in the future,” Shell said in a statement.

Every year, Prelude is expected to produce 3.6 million tonnes of LNG, 1.3 million tonnes of condensate and 400,000 tonnes a year of LPG.

However, it is still unclear when the facility will start exporting LNG. Analysts told Reuters that the site is expected to commence exports, starting with condensates, from early next year.

Recently, LNG Carrier Gallina introduced gas into Prelude FLNG Facility, a process which will cool down the tanks, pipelines and associated equipment at the site. It will also enable Shell to switch from diesel to gas to run the utilities.

Shell holds 67.5% stake in the project, while Japan’s Inpex, Taiwan’s CPC Corp and Korea Gas Corp owns the remaining interest.

Last month, Australia became the largest exporter of LNG in the world by displacing Qatar. In the last three years, multiple LNG projects across the country commenced production including the Ichthys facility.