As a leading service provider with long experience in the maritime and oil and gas industries, we have gained extensive knowledge across the entire LNG value chain - from the wellhead along the full value chain to end consumers.
A large number of LNG fuelled ships and LNG tankers sailing the oceans today have been certified and classed by us, while we have also conducted numerous terminal feasibility and safety studies as well as certification and survey work. We have and we are running studies on behalf of private organisations and governmental bodies to prepare our clients for the introduction of a small scale LNG value chain.
Why LNG as fuel for ships and other consumers?
LNG as a fuel is both a proven and available commercial solution. LNG offers huge advantages, especially for ships in the light of ever-tightening emission regulations. Conventional oil-based fuels will remain the main fuel option for most vessels in the near future, and, at the same time, the commercial opportunities of LNG are interesting for many projects. While different technologies can be used to comply with air emission limits, LNG technology is a smart way to meet existing and upcoming requirements for the main types of emissions (SOx, NOx, PM, CO2). LNG can be competitive pricewise with distillate fuels and, unlike other solutions, in many cases does not require the installation of additional process technology.
Crude oil, ship fuel & gas price development
The figure below gives an overview of oil, ship fuel and gas price development. Gas lower heating value (lhv) has to be assumed for ship fuel. Most sources from the gas industry use upper heating value (uhv) which gives about 10% lower LNG prices than indicated here for lhv prices. Liquefaction costs have to be added to henry hub price. LNG in Europe competes with pipeline gas therefore only costs of distribution to the ship have to be added to gas price given in the figure. Prices in the figures are yearly average prices until 2014. The later prices are the spot prices at the beginning or end of the month.
Gas carriers around the world have been using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as part of their fuel source for decades. The safety record of LNG carriers is extremely good. Even though most of the principles remain the same, using LNG as fuel for conventional ships introduces new systems on board together with their associated risks. In order to design, build and operate a gas-fuelled vessel in a safe and sustainable way, these risks will have to be thoroughly investigated and minimised.
Important risk-related items to consider include:
- High energy content of the LNG tank
- Explosion hazard in case of gas leakage
- Extremely low temperatures of the LNG fuel
- Location/arrangements of system
- Hazardous vs. non-hazardous spaces
- Inexperienced crew (new fuel source)