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LNG Technology on the Move: The Only Thing Constant is Change... Disclosure Number: IPCOM000217663D
Publication Date: 2012-May-10
Document File: 8 page(s) / 1M

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Paper # 1906

LNG Technology on the Move: The Only Thing Constant is Change...

Charles Durr, Director LNG, GTL and Gas Processing Technologies, KBR

Chris Caswell, P.E., Project Engineer, KBR

Linda Echterhoff, P.E., Project Engineer, KBR
Don K. Hill, Technology Director LNG, GTL and Gas Processing, KBR David A. Coyle, P.E., Technology Manager LNG, GTL and Gas Processing, KBR

Over the past forty years the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry has evolved into one of the most technologlcally advanced segments of the energy community. Technology innovations have shaped all aspects of the LNG value chain, yielding cost reductions, efficiency and productivity improvements, and enhancements in safety.

Since the first commercial shipment of LNG in 1964 [from the industry's first baseload liquefaction facility, the Sonatrach-CAMEL (Compagnie Algerienne de Methane Liquide) GL 4Z LNG plant in Arzew, Algeria], the industry has been in constant evolution. The LNG industry is in a period of dramatic, unprecedented growth, expanding faster than any other mature sector of the international oil and gas community. Committed liquefaction projects are now contributing to a 13% compounded annual growth rate in worldwide capacity. Over a period from 2000 to 2007, the industry is building one half of the total world liquefaction capacity that was built over the past forty years. Due to this accelerated growth, one might question what an LNG project might look like in ten years. To understand where the LNG industry is headed, it is paramount to understand the history of LNG production facilities and the role of technology.

History of LNG - The Role of Technology

Technology, simply put, enables businesses to create value. Technology provides the framework for developing and evaluating innovations and design improvements using appropriate risk management. Through successful technology implementation, value is created by:

Creating new businesses and products;

Developing new markets and new market players; and
Improving the profitability and competitiveness in existing businesses.

The ultimate goal is to develop solutions that are more efficient and cost effective than those of the past.

At the dawn of the baseload LNG industry, the low cost of natural gas supply made projects with relatively high energy consumption acceptable. At the time, there was no real economic impetus for the industry to develop more energy efficient processes or plant designs. The first liquefaction plant, CAMEL GL 4Z, employed a seawater-cooled,

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Paper # 1906

steam turbine driven plant design, capable of producing a total of 1.2 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) from three trains. Other projects built early in the industry employed similar designs, with individual train capacities ranging up to just over 2 MTPA.

Soon after the first LNG projects were built, worldwide LNG demand accelerated, driven
by fuel requirements in countries such as Japan. To meet this demand, both plant...