What’s up with LNG?

Tuesday August 6th 2019

Liquefied Natural Gas has been on the rise worldwide since the 1970s, with the largest international oil and gas companies investing in LNG plants as well as import/ export terminals. According to the Centre for Energy Economics, the experimentation with LNG and its first plant date back to 1912-1917. The world was quickly turned off of LNG production when disaster struck in Cleveland, Ohio in 1944 at an LNG peakshaving facility. A massive fire occurred due to a leak of 9,400 gallons of LNG after the introduction of a new, larger LNG tank constructed of low nickel content, which caused the tank to crack. The explosion and the resulting fires killed 128 people. This, of course, instilled fear into the public regarding the industry
and resulted in a lack of interest from major players for the coming decade. Extensive safety precautions were developed and LNG production and transportation became a more regulated and stable operation, with only one reported incident in Algeria in 2004 since.*

It was the United Kingdom who later showed an interest in LNG and converted an old World War 2 freighter, The Methane Pioneer. The country became the world’s first LNG importer and began a small scale operation between the UK and Algeria. Things picked up following the success of the operation, which later resulted in hundreds of plants and terminals worldwide, including 13 terminals and one plant in the USA, 3 plants in Australia, 2 plants in Norway, 4 terminals in the UK and one terminal in Canada, with pending plans for another on the west coast. “About five or ten years ago, the USA was the biggest importer of LNG, and they had set up many import terminals to support receiving LNG into the country. Lately, because of all of the shale gas readily available in the country, the need to import LNG into the USA has significantly diminished. It will be interesting to see how the shift the USA has made from importing to exporting LNG will affect other countries’ economic states – only time will tell” says ESD’s highly experienced Technical Trainer, David Llewellyn. David is among three of ESD’s LNG trainers who have extensive hands-on experience in the industry as well as in the classroom, educating staff of many existing and developing LNG projects. ESD has worked largely in Australia, training hundreds of staff on Chevron’s developing Gorgon project, Woodside operated NorthWest Shelf and Pluto plants, Shell’s developing Floating LNG – Prelude, ConocoPhillips and Santos’ operated Darwin LNG, ConocoPhillips and Origin Energy’s Australia Pacific LNG, and Santos’ Gladstone LNG. ESD Simulation Training hopes to provide support training for upcoming LNG developments in Canada and the USA and continue to support the LNG industry by providing top class, hands-on technical training worldwide.

CH.IV International
Centre for Energy Economics
*There was one incident in New York in 1973 which was at an LNG
facility, but is reported to be due to construction & maintenance of the
facility rather than directly due to the production and transportation
of LNG. This remains controversial.
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