LNG Safety - Facts and Fiction
Publication Date: 2009-May-05
The IP.com Prior Art Database
LNG Safety: Facts and Fiction
S. E. Handman, Chief Engineer
M. W. Kellogg, Houston, Texas
Session 4 Paper 3
LN G Safety: Facts and Fiction
S. E. Handman, Chief Engineer, Pullman Kellogg Division 'Of Pullman Inc., Houston, Texas
Recent newspaper articles in the United States warn of the great hazards and the inevitable catastrophe that must certainly occur if this new LNG industry is permitted to develop. Is this indeed the case?
Almost twenty years have passed since the Methane Pioneer left Lake Charles, Louisiana bound for Canvey Island with the first trial shipment of LNG. Since that historic voyage in January 1959, there have been well over 3100 safe voyages completed by the world fleet of LNG carriers. Worldwide, there are ten LNG liquefaction plants currently operating and supplying LNG to about 16 import/receiving terminals. In addition, there are well over 120 LNG peak -shaving facilities currently in operation. The modern LNG industry has had an exemplary safety record since that first shipment in 1959. It does not seem appro- priate to consider the modern LNG industry as in its infancy or as anew, untried technology suddenly thrust upon an unwary public without any consideration of potential hazards.
In a 1965 article in American Scientist, C. M. Sliepcevich presented an interesting account of the history of the LNG industry. A 1910 plant designed to recover ethane and pro- pane from natural gas by refrigeration led to a 1917 plant designed to recover helium from natural gas based on liquefying the natural gas and, hence, to the development of LNG technology.
It is worth noting that substantial experience in the design and operation of natural gas liquefaction and re- vaporisation plants has been gained from helium extraction plants. The Kellogg-designed and constructed helium ex- traction plant in Liberal, Kansas started operation in 1963, at about the same time as the start of the regular com- mercial LNG trade between Arzew and Canvey Island. The liberal plant liquefies one billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, separates the helium and then revaporises the natural gas for return to the pipeline. This plant has been operating safely and reliably since 1963. A somewhat similar Kellogg-designed and constructed plant liquefying and revaporising 225 million cubic feet per day of natural gas at Scott City, Kansas has an equally outstanding history of safety and reliability since it went on stream in 1968. This experience was used and enhanced in the engineering and design of the Columbia-Consolidated receiving terminal at Cove Point, designed to send out one billion cubic feet per day of natural gas with a storage capacity of I 500 000 barrels. This import terminal is now in operation. Our current activities include enginee...