LNG Safety Myths and Legends

LNG-Natural Gas Properties. Liquefied Natural Gas is a Cryogenic Liquid. LNG Density – 26.5 LB. … Historically for all types of LNG – no loss of life …

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LNG SAFETY, MYTHS and LEGENDS, Doug Quillen, ChevronTexaco Corp. Natural Gas Technology, Investment in a Healthy U.S. Energy Future, May 14 – 15, 2002, Houston, Natural gas is lighter than air, Natural Gas Density – 0.47, (Air – 1.0), Natural gas rises under normal atmospheric, conditions, Myth and Legend, \”Catastrophic release of LNG creates a, BLEVE — boiling liquid expanding vapor, explosion\”, NOT TRUE, In laboratory and open ocean combustion, tests, there have been, documented, cases of LNG BLEVEs, Myth and Legend, \”An LNG Tanker is a floating Bomb\”, Natural gas is combustible in the range, of 5% to 15% volume concentrations in, Combustible mixtures in confined space, will burn explosively, LNG does not explode or burn, Common Sense and, Knowledge, LNG is a cryogenic liquid – physical, contact or spillage constitute a personnel, and equipment hazard, LNG Natural Gas, Natural Gas presents an asphyxiation, hazard, What Happens with a Spill on, Water?, LNG pool vaporizes rapidly (faster than an, equal sized pool on land), LNG spill on or within hull can cause brittle, fracture (carbon & low alloy steel), LNG can undergo \”rapid phase transition\”, a, vapor explosion (not combustion), LNG pool formation accompanied by ignition, Natural gas cloud formation with subsequent, burn back, Assessing The Hazard, 30 Years of LNG Experience, LNG history in the US dates back to 1940\’s, LNG tanker trade initiated with exports in 1969, Eight marine incidents have resulted in, spillage of LNG – some hull damage due to, cold fracture and no cargo fires, Seven incidents not involving spillage – two, from grounding – no significant cargo loss, LNG carriers are inherently much more robust, than typical crude, fuel, and chemical tankers, LNG Tanker at Loading Berth,, Kenai, Alaska, Photo: Courtesy of Phillips Petroleum, Cross of LNG, Tanker, Assessing, Hazard, LNG vaporizes and causes condensation, of atmospheric moisture – visible cloud, As LNG vapor cloud warms it lifts, Water is a superior heat source compared, to soil/solids, Spills on water tend to vaporize rapidly, creating a potentially combustible plume, that migrates until a) the LNG source is, exhausted, and b)dilution by air reduces, the concentration below the lower, flammability limit (LFL), Assessing the Hazard, An ignition source close to the origin of, the spill is likely to cause ignition and, result in rapid burn off of natural gas, vapors, Absence of an ignition source would, result in a plume that could migrate, downwind for a considerable distance. A remote (downwind) ignition of a plume, in the flammable portion of the vapor, cloud would result in relatively slow, (subsonic) burn back to the spill pool, Assessing the Hazard, What has Changed since, Sept. 11, 2001?, Everyone is looking at their, environment differently, Potential threat to infrastructure has, increased – Responsible parties are, reacting, Assumptions about what constitutes, threats are being reassessed

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