Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 120

Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology

Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE


LNG CHAINS

Diploma Thesis
Rafa Sedlaczek

Trondheim
May 2008

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

ii

Abstract
One of the challenges in transporting and storing LNG is the generation of methane
through the boil-off. Boil-off is caused by the heat added into the LNG during the storage
and loading/unloading operations. In this thesis work, as a background, the world-trade in
LNG is reviewed in overall numbers. The analysis of LNG shipping technologies is
presented. The current technologies used to store LNG are reviewed. The different types of
tanks are described, and their advantages and disadvantages discussed. New, types of LNG
storage tanks (C/C LNG tank and ACLNG) are also described, with their potential
advantages and disadvantages. The sources of boil-off gas for large-scale LNG receiving
terminal are described, discussed and illustrate for a specific set of assumptions. Because
of the larger relative value of methane evaporating during the storage, the boil-off
consideration can be even more important in small-scale than in large-scale LNG chain. As
a typical small-scale LNG facility the L-CNG refuelling station is considered. Heat leak
into the LNG storage tank is calculated. The effect of a number of buses, fuelled each day
on the possible total fuel loss rate is analyzed. It is found that by increasing the number of
buses, fuelled each day, the total fuel loss rate can be reduced significantly. To prevent
boil-off of natural gas emissions, usually it is re-circulated. Some typical approaches for
the use of boil-off gas are presented, for both large- and small-scale LNG chains.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

iii

Acknowledgements
There are many people who contributed to my thesis and many events that influenced my
work during the last few months. I would like at least to mention them here.

First of all, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the person without whom
this thesis would never come to life, my supervisor Professor Jon Steinar Gudmundsson. I
am deeply grateful for the advice, support, useful and helpful assistance, patience and
enthusiasm.

I wish to thank Dr Hab. In. Stanisaw Nagy, my supervisor from AGH University of
Science and Technology in Cracow, thanks to whom my Erasmus Link Scholarship was
possible. I am also grateful for his support, and patience during our cooperation.

Special thanks to Mr Otto Skovholt from StatoilHydro for his generous suggestions and
commitment.

Special thanks to Professor Jan Falkus form AGH University of Science and Technology
in Cracow, Poland for making my Erasmus Link Scholarship possible.

I am grateful to all my teachers who, giving me a small part of their wide knowledge, got
me to the stage when I am writing this thesis.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

iv

List of Contents
Abstract........................................................................................................................... ii
Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................ iii
List of Contents ...............................................................................................................iv
List of Tables...................................................................................................................vi
List of Figures ............................................................................................................... vii
Abbreviations................................................................................................................. ix
1

Introduction............................................................................................................. 1

What is Liquefied Natural Gas? ............................................................................. 3

LNG market ............................................................................................................ 5


3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6

LNG storage tanks .................................................................................................18


4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6

Evolution of LNG fleet.....................................................................................32


Kvaerner - Moss spherical tanks .......................................................................34
Membrane tanks ...............................................................................................36
Prismatic tanks .................................................................................................38

Large-scale LNG chain ..........................................................................................40


6.1
6.2
6.3
6.4
6.5

Background ......................................................................................................18
Single containment tanks (SCT) .......................................................................19
Double containment tanks (DCT) .....................................................................21
Full containment tanks (FCT) ...........................................................................23
Membrane tanks ...............................................................................................25
New LNG storage technologies ........................................................................27

LNG vessel types ....................................................................................................32


5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4

Abundant world natural gas reserves and LNG potential.................................... 5


LNG market structure ........................................................................................ 7
LNG exporters................................................................................................... 9
LNG importers .................................................................................................12
Growing world LNG trade................................................................................14
Small-scale LNG trend .....................................................................................16

LNG value chain ..............................................................................................40


Thermal analysis of boil-off of LNG for the unloading mode............................42
Thermal analysis of boil-off of LNG for the holding mode ...............................47
Thermal analysis of the LNG storage tank ........................................................50
BOR in large-scale LNG chain .........................................................................59

Small-scale LNG chain...........................................................................................64


7.1
7.2
7.3

Background ......................................................................................................64
Thermal analysis of boil-off of LNG in cryogenic tanks ...................................66
Dynamic process during storage and fueling.....................................................72

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


8

Use of boil-off gas ...................................................................................................78


8.1
8.2
8.3

Use of BOG at ships .........................................................................................78


Use of BOG at receiving terminals ...................................................................80
Use of BOG in small-scale LNG chain .............................................................82

Discussion ...............................................................................................................84

10

Conclusions.............................................................................................................87

References ......................................................................................................................88
Appendix A. Composition of Natural Gas and LNG ....................................................91
Appendix B. Major trade movements Natural Gas and LNG (2006) .......................93
Appendix C. Major trade movements LNG (2006) ...................................................94
Appendix D. Maps of LNG facilities worldwide ...........................................................95
Caribbean, South & Central America ...........................................................................95
Asia Pacific Countries - Map A....................................................................................96
Asia Pacific Countries - Map B ....................................................................................97
Africa ..........................................................................................................................98
Western Europe Map A.............................................................................................99
Western Europe Map B ...........................................................................................100
Mexico.......................................................................................................................101
Middle East Countries................................................................................................102
Northeastern Europe ..................................................................................................103
Southwest Pacific Rim Countries ...............................................................................104
United States of America West Coast Map A ..........................................................105
United States of America Gulf Coast Map B ...........................................................106
United States of America East Coast Map C............................................................107
Canada.......................................................................................................................108
Appendix E. Conversion tables ...................................................................................109
Appendix F. Methane density at liquid and gaseous states ........................................110

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

vi

List of Tables
Table 5.1 Features of LNG membrane cargo containment systems...................................37
Table 6.1 Dimensions of the LNG tank ............................................................................55
Table 6.2 Concrete properties at normal temperature........................................................55
Table 6.3 Insulation layers of wall ...................................................................................56
Table 6.4 Bottom slab configuration. ...............................................................................57
Table 6.5 BOG and BOR for numerical example..............................................................58
Table 6.6 Boil-off gas sources, an example study.............................................................59
Table 6.7 Average emissions intensity of various life-cycle stages of LNG imported by
Japan ...............................................................................................................................62
Table A.1 Examples of Gas compositions ........................................................................91
Table A.2 Examples of LNG compositions ......................................................................92
Table A.3 Frequently used conversions ..........................................................................109
Table A.4 Typical liquid-vapour conversions .................................................................109
Table A.5 Methane pressure and density at liquid and gaseous states .............................110

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

vii

List of Figures
Figure 3.1 Proved world natural gas reserves, January 1, 2007. ......................................... 5
Figure 3.2 World LNG exporters, January 1, 2007 ...........................................................11
Figure 3.3 World LNG importers, January1, 2007............................................................11
Figure 4.1 Various types of LNG tanks [15].....................................................................18
Figure 4.2 Features of a typical single containment LNG tank..........................................19
Figure 4.3 Features of a typical double containment LNG tank. .......................................21
Figure 4.4 Features of a typical full containment LNG tank..............................................23
Figure 4.5 Membrane LNG storage tank multiples structure.............................................25
Figure 4.6 ACLNG tank details........................................................................................28
Figure 4.7 A CryoTank design .........................................................................................31
Figure 5.1 Changes of LNG cargo tanks types..................................................................32
Figure 5.2 Age of LNG fleet ...........................................................................................33
Figure 5.3 LNG carrier equipped with Moss tanks. ..........................................................34
Figure 5.4 Inside view of SPB tank. .................................................................................38
Figure 6.1 The LNG chain-from production to user..........................................................40
Figure 6.2 Boil-off gas generated by insulated pipeline heat gain. ....................................44
Figure 6.3 An LNG storage tank with the liquid stratified ................................................48
Figure 6.4 Heat flow rates through the roof ......................................................................50
Figure 6.5 Configuration of the LNG tank wall ................................................................52
Figure 6.6 Configuration of the LNG tank wall using equivalent concrete........................53
Figure 7.1 Conceptual sketch of small-scale LNG chain...................................................64
Figure 7.2 Boil-off rate as a function of thickness of superinsulation................................68
Figure 7.3 Thermal conductance as a function of thickness of insulation. .........................69
Figure 7.4 The vapour pressure curve for methane ...........................................................70
Figure 7.5 Percentage of LNG to be boiled to reduce saturated vapour pressure. ..............71
Figure 7.6 Predicted saturated pressure for 50 m3 tank with an initial fill of 25 m3 LNG. .74
Figure 7.7 Average fuel consumption...............................................................................75
Figure 7.8 Total fuel loss with number of buses. ..............................................................76
Figure 7.9 Boil-off rate as a percentage of daily consumption of the LNG for the LNG
tank..................................................................................................................................77
Figure 8.1 Process flow-scheme of boil-off re-liquefaction unit. ......................................79

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

viii

Figure 8.2 LNG storage tank with module of electric generator or liquefier......................83

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Abbreviations
LNG

Liquefied Natural Gas

LPG

Liquefied Petroleum Gas

CNG

Compressed Natural Gas

NG

Natural Gas

BOG

Boil-Off Gas

BOR

Boil-Off Rate

OECD

Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development

IEA

International Energy Agency

SCT

Single Containment Tank

DCT

Double Containment Tank

FCT

Full Containment Tank

ACLNG

All-Concrete LNG Tank

C/C

Concrete/Concrete Tank (Cryo Tank)

EEMUA

Engineering Equipments and Materials Users Association

CO2

Carbon Dioxide

CO2e

Carbon Dioxide Equivalent

SOx

Sulphur Oxides

NOx

Nitrogen Oxides

CH4

Methane

L-CNG

Liquid to Compressed Natural Gas

NGV

Natural Gas Vehicles

GHG

Greenhouse Gases

IMO

International Maritime Organisation

MSCM

Thousand Standard Cubic Metres

BCM

Billion Cubic Metres (1,000,000,000 = 109)

BCF

Billion Cubic Feet (1,000,000,000 = 109)

TCM

Trillion Cubic Metres (1,000,000,000,000 = 1012)

BTU

British Thermal Unit

ix

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

1 Introduction
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas that has been cooled to the point that it
condenses to a liquid, which occurs at a temperature of approximately -162C and at
atmospheric pressure. Liquefaction reduces the volume by approximately 600 times,
making it more economical to transport between continents. LNG is transported by special
made ships to terminals, and then stored at atmospheric pressure in super-insulated tanks.
However the ship cargo tanks, storage tanks and almost all equipment used to process
LNG are well insulated, there is always some heat leak into the LNG. Heat entering the
LNG, referred as heat inleak causes the LNG to warm up. To keep the pressure and the
temperature constant heat adsorbed by the LNG has to be released by boiling off some of
the liquid to gas. This is known as auto-refrigeration.

Methane, the primary constituent of boil-off gas is a potent greenhouse gas when released
to the atmosphere. It is worthy to note that while the quantity of CH4 emissions does not
appear significant compared to CO2, considering the global warming potential of CH4
(methane is about 21 times more greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide), these emissions are
responsible for about 13% of total CO2e emissions. Flaring alone contributes to more than
1 percent to global emissions of CO2 (IEA, 2008).

Boil-off gas is essentially gasified LNG at atmospheric pressure and it has substantial fuel
value. Excepting all negative impact that natural gas emissions exert on the environment it
is not economically profitable to dispose boil-off gas by venting or flaring. That is why at
both production and receiving sites the boil-off gas handling system is designed and
installed. Of course handling of boil-off gas requires compression equipment that is costly
to install and operate, so every possible effort is made to reduce the quantity of boil-off gas
produced.

However, currently LNG industry contributes only small part of global emissions of CH4
from the oil and gas sector, it can become a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions in
the near future. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), LNG will account
even for 70% of the increase in gas trade by 2030. If this were to happen, LNG would
make up 50% of internationally traded gas by 2030. It is clear that these large amounts of

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

LNG would generate large quantities of boil-off gas, which would become a significant
source of CH4 emissions. Due to increasing demand world wide, by the United Nations and
other global organisations, to combat greenhouse gas emissions, it is evident how
important boil-off gas generation will be.

In this thesis work the sources of boil-off gas in large-scale receiving terminals will be
discussed. As a result the boil-off from the storage volumes will be estimated for the
specific set of assumptions.

As a typical small-scale facility the L-CNG refuelling station will be considered. Natural
gas is being promoted as a transportation fuel for heavy vehicles such as trucks and city
buses, to lessen the dependency on oil and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However
this solution has many advantages the disadvantage is that the boil-off of LNG can cause
excessive pressure build-up in LNG tanks, and therefore methods have to be found to
reduce the pressure of the boil-off gas and to prevent venting of the boil-off natural gas in
storage vessels and transportation tanks. In this thesis work the thermodynamic and heat
transfer methods to analyse the pressure and temperatures changes in LNG tanks will be
used. The effect of number of buses, fuelled each day on the total fuel loss due to boil-off
will be also presented.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

2 What is Liquefied Natural Gas?


To answer the question what the liquefied natural gas is we have to define natural gas.
Natural gas comes from reservoirs beneath the earths surface. Sometimes it occurs
naturally and is produced by itself (non-associated gas), sometimes it comes to the surface
with crude oil (associated gas), and sometimes it is produced constantly such as in landfill
gas. Natural gas is a fossil fuel, meaning that it is derived from organic material deposited
and buried in the earth millions of years ago. Other fossil fuels are coal and crude oil.
Together crude oil and gas constitute a type of fossil fuel known as hydrocarbons
because the molecules in these fuels are combinations of hydrogen and carbon atoms. The
main component of natural gas is methane. Methane is composed of one carbon and four
hydrogen atoms (CH4). When natural gas is produced from the earth, it includes many
other molecules, like ethane (used for manufacturing), propane (which we commonly use
for barbeques), butane (used in lighters) and heavier hydrocarbons. Small quantities of
nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, sulphur compounds, and water may also be found in
natural gas. [1]

According to the Department of Energy (DOE 2008), liquefied natural gas (LNG) is
natural gas that has been cooled to the point that it condenses to a liquid, which occurs at a
temperature of approximately -161C and at atmospheric pressure. Natural gas is turned
into a liquid using a refrigeration process in a liquefaction plant. The unit where LNG is
produced is called a train. Feed gas to the liquefaction plant comes from the production
field. This gas must be clean and dry before liquefaction can take place. The gas is
scrubbed of entrained hydrocarbon liquids and dirt and treated to remove trace amounts of
two common natural gas contaminants: hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide. Next, the
gas is cooled to allow water to condense and then further dehydrated to remove even small
amounts of water vapour. The clean and dry gas may then be filtered before liquefaction
begins. Liquefaction takes place through cooling of the gas using heat exchangers. In these
vessels, gas circulating through aluminium tube coils is exposed to a compressed
hydrocarbon-nitrogen refrigerant. Heat transfer is accomplished as the refrigerant
vaporizes, cooling the gas in the tubes before it returns to the compressor. The liquefaction
process can have variations. For example, the Phillips Cascade, which employs three heat
exchangers with successively colder refrigerants (propane, ethane, methane) and

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

independent compressors for each exchanger refrigerant combination. Together the series
of exchangers comprise a single LNG train. [2]

As a result of liquefaction process we get liquefied natural gas (LNG). Liquefying natural
gas reduces its volume by a factor of 600, which means that LNG at -162C uses 1/600th
of the space required for a comparable amount of gas at room temperature and atmospheric
pressure and reaches the density of 420 to 490 kilograms per cubic metre. Because the
liquefaction process requires the removal of some of the non-methane components such
as water and carbon dioxide from the production gas, LNG is typically made up mostly of
methane plus a few percent of ethane, even less propane and butane, and trace amounts of
nitrogen. And, like methane, the main component of LNG, is odourless, colourless, noncorrosive, and non-toxic. [1]

Liquefied natural gas is very save. As a liquid, LNG cannot explode or burn. The lighter
than air property of methane actually makes it less hazardous than some other fuels, such
as propane or butane whose gases are heavier than air and tend to settle closer to the
ground. In gaseous form, LNG vapour can burn if it is within 5-15% natural gas in the air.
If it is less than 5% natural gas in the air, the gas is too diluted to burn. If it is more than
15% natural gas in the air, there is not enough oxygen for it to burn. When spilled on water
or land, LNG will not mix with the water or soil or leave a residue, but evaporates and
dissipates into the air. [3]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

3 LNG market
3.1 Abundant world natural gas reserves and LNG potential

Historically, world natural gas reserves have, for the most part, trended upward. As of
January 1, 2007, proved world natural gas reserves (proved reserves are those that could be
economically produced with the current technology), as reported by BP Statistical Review
of Energy were estimated at 181.46 trillion cubic metres (TCM) 1.39 TCM (about 1
percent) higher than the estimate for 2006. Much of this gas is considered stranded
because it is located in regions distant from consuming markets. [4]

The largest revisions to natural gas reserve estimates were reported for Kazakhstan,
Turkmenistan, and China. Kazakhstan added an estimated 0.99 TCM (a 54-percent
increase over 2006 proved reserves), Turkmenistan 0.82 TCM (41 percent), and China 0.77
TCM (50 percent). Declines in natural gas reserves were reported for the Netherlands (a
decrease of 0.34 TCM), Trinidad and Tobago (0.2 TCM), Argentina (0.085 TCM), Nigeria
(0.085 TCM), and Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia (about
0.057 TCM each). [4]

Figure 3.1 Proved world natural gas reserves, January 1, 2007.


Almost three-quarters of the worlds natural gas reserves are located in the Middle East
and Eurasia (Figure 3.1). Russia, Iran, and Qatar combined accounted for about 58 percent

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

of the worlds natural gas reserves as of January 1, 2007. Reserves in the rest of the world
are fairly evenly distributed on a regional basis. [4]

Natural gas, in the form of liquefied natural gas or LNG, has the potential to be exported
from countries with large, proven natural gas reserves and relatively high reserves-toproduction ratios. Some countries meeting this criterion include the Republic of Peru,
Republic of Venezuela, Azerbaijan Republic, Republic of Kazakhstan, Islamic Republic of
Iran, Republic of Iraq, State of Kuwait, State of Qatar, United Arab Emirates (also known
as Al Imarat al-Arabiyah al-Muttahidah), Republic of Yemen, Federal Republic of Nigeria,
and Independent State of Papua New Guinea. However, not all of these countries are
exporters of natural gas as LNG due to domestic need, inaccessibility to international
natural gas trade and infrastructure, geopolitics, and lack of capital or technological
investment. [5]

The 15 countries (Algeria, Australia, Brunei (Darussalam), Equatorial Guinea, Egypt,


Indonesia, Libya (also known as the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya), Malaysia
(also known as Persekutuan Tanah Malaysia), Nigeria, Norway, Oman, (also known as
Saltanat Uman), Qatar, (also known as Dawlat Qatar), Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab
Emirates (also known as Al Imarat al-Arabiyah Al-Muttahidah), United States of America)
that currently export LNG have approximately 34 percent of world natural gas reserves. [6]

In addition to expansions by current LNG exporters, Russia with 26.3 percent of the
worlds reserves is poised to become LNG exporting country, as it is currently building its
first liquefaction facilities. At least six additional countries (Angola, Bolivia, Iran, Peru,
Venezuela, and Yemen) with 19 percent of the worlds reserves are potential LNG
exporters. [6]

According to an industry LNG consultant Andy Flower the economic crossover - the point
at which transporting LNG via tanker is cheaper than transporting natural gas via pipelines
- occurs at a distance of around 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) for offshore pipelines and
around 3,800 kilometres (2,375 miles) for onshore pipelines. [6]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

3.2 LNG market structure


LNG is traded globally in two major markets - the Atlantic Basin and the Pacific Basin.
The Atlantic Basin is usually defined as made up of all land masses (including islands) that
lie adjacent to or within the Atlantic Ocean, so it will include all activity in Europe, Africa
(including North and West Africa), and the Western Hemisphere (not including the
Alaskan terminal on the Pacific Ocean). The term Pacific Basin will be used to describe
LNG activity along the Pacific Rim (including Alaska) and in South Asia (including India).
[7]

The Atlantic Basin LNG market consist of current LNG producing countries Abu Dhabi,
Algeria, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Nigeria, Norway Oman, Qatar, and Trinidad &
Tobago, and LNG consuming countries Belgium, Dominican Republic, France, Greece,
Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the UK, and the US (including Puerto Rico), as
well as future LNG producers Angola, Russia, Venezuela, and Yemen, and possible future
LNG consumers Brazil, Canadian East Coast, Germany and the Netherlands. [7]

The Pacific Basin LNG market consists of present LNG producers Abu Dhabi, Australia,
Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, and the US (Alaska), producing projects under
construction in Peru, Russia (Sakhalin), and Yemen, and current LNG consumers China
(including Taiwan), India, Japan, and South Korea, together with future Pacific Basin LNG
producers Iran and Papua New Guinea, and future LNG importers Canadian West Coast,
Mexicos West Coast, Indonesia, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, and the US West Coast.
[7]

Although the Atlantic and Pacific LNG markets are beginning to blend, significant
differences between them continue to exist. LNG trade evolved differently in the Atlantic
and Pacific basins, and this continues to affect import volume, pricing systems, and
contract terms. Importing countries in the Pacific Basin are almost totally dependent on
LNG while countries in the Atlantic Basin use domestic supplies and pipeline imports as
well as LNG to meet natural gas demand. Because current LNG importers in the Pacific
Basin did not have access to domestic or piped imported gas, LNG imports into the region

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

increased rapidly in the 1980s and early 1990s as these countries sought alternatives to oil.
Security of supply was a more important consideration in the Pacific Basin than price. [7]

When comparing the two basins you can see that, the Pacific basin is larger, but the
Atlantic basin is growing now a bit faster. The Pacific basin is the largest LNG-producing
region in the world, supplying nearly 60 % of all global exports in 2006. Indonesia alone
supplied 14 percent. Countries in the Middle East, led by Qatar, exported 15 percent, while
countries in the Atlantic Basin, led by Algeria, exported about 38 percent that year.
Expansions in Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago and Egypt, as well as new facilities in
Norway and Equatorial Guinea, would increase annual Atlantic Basin liquefaction capacity
significantly in the near future. [4]
The LNG import in the Pacific basin is also larger. Three countries in the Pacific Basin
(Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan) accounted for 60 percent of global LNG imports in
2006. Eight European countries (Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey
and the UK) received 27 percent of global LNG import, and the US accounted for almost 8
percent of global LNG import in the same year. Regasification capacity continues to grow
as most Atlantic Basin importers are planning expansions. [4]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

3.3 LNG exporters

Worldwide, there are 26 existing export, or liquefaction, marine terminals, located on or


off shore, in 15 countries. Countries that currently export LNG (start up date of earliest
liquefaction terminal is in parentheses) are: [5]

Algeria, Republic of (1971)

Australia, Commonwealth of (1989)

Brunei (Darussalam), State of (1972)

Equatorial Guinea, Republic of (2007)

Egypt, Arab Republic of (2004)

Indonesia, Republic of (1977)

Libya (also known as the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) (1970)

Malaysia (also known as Persekutuan Tanah Malaysia) (1983)

Nigeria, Federal Republic of (1999)

Norway, Kingdom of (2007)

Oman, Sultanate of (also known as Saltanat Uman) (2000)

Qatar, State of (also known as Dawlat Qatar) (1997)

Trinidad and Tobago, Republic of (1999)

United Arab Emirates (also known as Al Imarat al-Arabiyah Al-Muttahidah) (1977)

United States of America (1969)

Asia/Pacific Basin LNG producers accounted for nearly 60 percent of total world LNG
exports in 2006. During 2006, industry reports suggest that Qatar surpassed Indonesia to
become the worlds largest LNG exporter, shipping about 15 percent of worlds total LNG
export. The majority of Qatars LNG is imported by Japan, South Korea and India with
smaller volumes going to Spain and Belgium. Indonesia was the second worlds largest
LNG producer and exporter in 2006, shipping about 14 percent of the worlds total LNG
exports. Most of Indonesias LNG is imported by Japan with smaller volumes going to
Taiwan and South Korea. Malaysia, the worlds third-largest LNG exporter, ships
primarily to Japan with smaller volumes to Taiwan, South Korea and India. Australia
exports LNG from the Northwest Shelf, primarily to supply Japanese, South Korea and
India utilities. About 90 percent of Brunei Darussalam output goes to Japanese customers.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

10

The only liquefaction facility in the United States was constructed in Kenai, Alaska, in
1969, and it has exported LNG to Japan for more than 30 years. [8]

Atlantic Basin LNG producers accounted for about 38 percent of total world LNG exports
in 2006. Algeria, the worlds fourth-largest LNG exporter, serves mainly Europe (France,
Belgium, Spain, and Turkey) and the United States via Sonatrachs four liquefaction
complexes. Nigeria also exports mainly to Europe (Spain, France, Portugal, Turkey and
Belgium) but also has delivered cargos under short-term contracts to the United States.
Trinidad and Tobago exports LNG to the United States (the largest supplier of LNG to the
U.S.), Spain, the UK, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Egypt was the eighth
largest LNG exporter in 2006, shipping about 7 percent of the worlds total LNG export
mainly to Europe (Spain, France, the UK, Belgium, Greece and Italy) but also to the US
and Asian countries. Omans LNG was shipped mainly to South Korea, Japan, India and
Taiwan. Brunei, the first Asian exporter of LNG, exports mainly to Japan, with small
quantities going to South Korea. The UAE exports mainly to Japan and a small part to
India. [8]

In October 2007 Norways Snhvit plant loaded its first cargo. Snhvit is the first
Norwegian and European production and export facility for liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Most of the output from the Snhvit facility has already been contracted to El Paso for
delivery to the United States, with smaller amounts going to Iberdrola in Spain. Statoil
planed to have an initial capacity of 4.1 million ton per year and a potential expansion to
8.2 million ton per year, but series of problems at Norways Snhvit plant resulted in
slippage in the start-up of the already delayed project and restricted production to only two
cargoes in 2007. [8]

Liquefaction capacity in both regions has been increasing steadily so far, but it is expected
that planned expansion could dramatically increase liquefaction capacity in the near future.
Russia is becoming the newest Asia/Pacific Basin exporter. Its first LNG plant is under
construction on Sakhalin Island off the countrys east coast. This large facility is scheduled
to begin operation in 2008. Planned expansions of existing plants in the Atlantic Basin
could also dramatically increase its liquefaction capacity. [8]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Figure 3.2 World LNG exporters, January 1, 2007

Figure 3.3 World LNG importers, January1, 2007

11

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

12

3.4 LNG importers

Worldwide, there are 60 existing import, or regasification, marine terminals, on or off


shore, spread across 18 different countries. In addition to these existing terminals, there are
approximately 182 regasification terminal projects that have been either proposed or are
under construction all around the world. It is not expected that all of the proposed terminals
will be constructed. Countries that currently import LNG (start up date of earliest
regasification terminal is in parentheses) are: [5]

Belgium, Kingdom of (1987)

China, People's Republic of (2006)

Dominican Republic (2003)

France (also known as the French Republic) (1972)

Greece (also known as the Hellenic Republic) (2000)

India, Republic of (2004)

Italy (also known as the Italian Republic) (1971)

Japan (also known as Nihon, Nippon, Nihon Koku) (1969)

Mexico (also known as the United Mexican States) (2006)

Portugal (also known as the Portuguese Republic) (2003)

Puerto Rico, Commonwealth of (U.S. Outlying Territory) (2000)

South Korea, Republic of (1986)

Spain, Kingdom of (1969)

Taiwan (Republic of China) (1990)

Turkey, Republic of (1992)

United Kingdom (2005)

United States of America (1971)

Four countries in the Asia/Pacific BasinJapan, South Korea, India and Taiwan
accounted for almost 64 percent of global LNG imports, while Atlantic Basin LNG
importers took delivery of the remaining 36 percent. Japan remains the worlds largest
LNG consumer, although its share of global LNG trade has fallen slightly over the past
decade as the global market has grown. Japans largest LNG suppliers are Indonesia
Malaysia, Australia, Brunei, Qatar and UAE, with substantial volumes also imported

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

13

Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and USA. South Korea, the second-highest LNG importer in
the world behind Japan, currently gets most of its LNG from Qatar, Malaysia, Oman and
Indonesia with smaller volumes coming from Australia, Brunei, and Egypt. CPC operates
Taiwan's only LNG receiving terminal at Yungan township of Kaohsiung, where LNG is
imported from Indonesia and Malaysia, with smaller volumes from Australia, Nigeria,
Egypt and Oman. India has started receiving LNG shipments in January 2004 with the
start-up of the Dahej terminal in Gujarat state. Currently India is becoming one of the most
important LNG players in the world, shipping mainly from Qatar, with small quantities
from Oman, Egypt, the UEA, Algeria, Nigeria and Australia. Spain has one of the worlds
most rapidly growing natural gas markets, being the biggest LNG importer in Europe. In
2006 Spain received about 11.5 percent of the worlds total LNG import, mainly from
Africans countries such as Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria and Libya, but also from Qatar,
Trinidad and Tobago and Oman. Most French LNG imports come from Algeria, with
smaller quantities from Nigeria and Egypt. Italy and Turkey receive LNG mainly from
Algeria with smaller quantities from Nigeria and Egypt. Belgium has one regasification
terminal and receives most of its LNG from Algeria. [8]
Imports by Atlantic Basin countries are expected to grow as many expand storage and
regasification terminal capacity. France is constructing a new, offshore LNG receiving
terminal at Fos Cavaou, and Exxon Mobil has also proposed building an LNG import
terminal near Fos Cavaou by 2009. However the greatest growth in LNG import capacity
is expected in the U.S. and in the United Kingdom. The US currently gets most of its LNG
from Trinidad and Tobago, with smaller quantities from Egypt, Nigeria, Algeria and
Norway. The US is planning to build four new LNG regasification terminals on the
Atlantic and Gulf Coasts from 2007 through 2010 to meet the 58-percent increase in LNG
imports that is projected for that timeframe. Currently, the UK has a single LNG import
terminal, the NGTs Grain LNG on the Isle of Grain and imports mainly from Algeria with
smaller quantities from Egypt and Trinidad and Tobago. Exxon Mobil and Qatar
Petroleum have received regulatory approval for the South Hook LNG receiving terminal
in Milton Haven, Wales. The terminal will receive its LNG from the Qatargas II
liquefaction project in Ras Laffin. Finally, BG has collaborated with Netherlands-based
Petroplus and Malaysia-based Petronas to also build an LNG receiving terminal in Milton
Haven, on the site of an existing natural gas storage facility owned by Petroplus. [8]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

14

3.5 Growing world LNG trade

The number of countries involved in the LNG trade has expanded significantly in recent
years. In 1995, there were 8 LNG exporting countries and 9 LNG importing countries. By
2008, this had increased to 15 exporting countries and 18 importing countries, with even
more countries in the process of developing infrastructure to either export or import LNG
in the near future. The market also saw significant expansion in delivered quantities of
LNG during this time period, growing by 7.3% per year, or almost doubling to 211 billion
cubic metres in 2006. [9]

The international trade in LNG will continue to grow in coming years. The price of natural
gas has been growing in recent years when the costs of liquefying, transporting, and
regasifying LNG have fallen significantly. Rising gas import demand, especially in North
America, desire to making gas market more diverse and also the desire of gas producers
to monetize their gas reserves is setting the stage for increased LNG trade in the
years ahead. [9]

Continued expansion of demand has motivated an interest in expanding the role of LNG
imports. The traditional consuming natural gas markets in Asia (Japan, Taiwan and South
Korea) have virtually no indigenous production and, as a result, those countries rely
principally on LNG for gas supply. The production in the US, Canada and Mexico has
remained almost flat. This is especially telling given the continuous increases in drilling
activity in recent years, and higher gas prices providing incentive to develop more costly
unconventional natural gas resources in significant quantities. In Western Europe, the
North Sea gas fields and the onshore fields in France, Germany and Italy are in decline, or
has begun slowed considerably in recent years. Therefore, all three traditional OECD
natural gas markets are faced with the need to secure gas supplies from other sources in
order to satisfy growth in demand. [9]
Large distances between potential producers and consumers favour using the LNG
infrastructure. The majority of worlds natural gas resources are in the Middle East,
Central Asia and Russia with the traditional gas markets in OECD countries accounting for
less than 10% of the global reserve base. Some significant resources are also in Africa,

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

15

Latin America and Southeast Asia. However, each of these regions is distant from the
major consuming markets in North America, Europe and Asia. Because of the distance gas
cannot practically or economically be transported in its gaseous state via pipeline. Thus,
LNG provides a means of linking remote gas to markets. Moreover consumers in OECD
Europe have an additional incentive to diversify sources of supply to LNG imports, driven
by fears of over-reliance on gas supply from Russia. Concerns arise from potential supply
disruptions caused by Russian disputes with transit countries as well as longer term
concerns over whether Russia will be able to invest sufficiently to maintain export
capacity, particularly if its domestic consumption continues strong growth. [9]

Emerging natural gas markets, such as China and India, are set to grow rapidly, albeit
from a low base, and will also require increases in imports. Both have LNG and pipeline
options, but geopolitical pressures make it probable that LNG will represent a significant
share of supply to each of these emerging gas markets. Longer supply chains from a
relatively concentrated number of suppliers may lead to an increase in vulnerability to
supply disruption because of technical, logistical or geopolitical incidents. [9]

All the consideration showed above leads to consensus that LNG trade will grow faster
than natural gas demand. The World Energy Outlook by the IEA (2006) expects LNG
trade to grow by 6.6% per year between 2004 and 2030, from 90 BCM (8.7 BCF/day) to
470 BCM (45.5 BCF/day). By comparison world natural gas demand is projected to
increase by 2% per year, meaning the contribution of LNG to meeting demand is expected
to grow substantially. In fact, the IEA projects that LNG will account for 70% of the
increase in gas trade by 2030. If this were to happen, LNG would make up 50% of
internationally traded gas by 2030, compared to around 22% in 2004. [9]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

16

3.6 Small-scale LNG trend

The LNG market is dominated by a large-scale LNG value chain. Typically an LNG
production and distribution system is a huge investment. Since all these investments have
to be in place before the gas can move to market, LNG developments usually require longterm contracts with specific customers to secure financing. These contracts normally
specify delivery of gas to a particular location for a duration of 20-25 years. Historically,
LNG has almost exclusively been consumed by big power plants and, to some extent,
supplied to gas grids for domestic consumption in densely populated areas. [9]

We are now seeing some new possibilities for trading of LNG. Many places there are also
reserves of "stranded" natural gas-resources that are abandoned because currently there is
no economical way to get it to the markets. With natural gas becoming such an important
and marketable commodity, producers would like to recover and get some value out of
these resources which to a certain degree already are partly processed. As a way to meet
these demands there is a growing interest in small scale LNG process and plant solutions to
help solve the challenges mentioned above from a number of countries on almost all
continents. [10]

Small-scale distribution of LNG is a new approach. The source for LNG could be a smallscale LNG production facility, either a base-load LNG plant or an LNG receiving terminal.
According to data provided by Gasnor (2007) production capacities of small scale LNG
plants vary in the range from 2000 up to 500 000 tons of LNG per year. By comparison, a
typical large scale plant has a production capacity of between 2.5 and 7.5 million tons of
LNG per year. Compared to the large-scale LNG market, small-scale LNG distribution
system would use smaller ships, in the range from 1 500 m3 to around 10 000 m3 LNG
(Gasnor 2007). The receiving facilities and local storage tanks are based on a modular
design in order to support standardized solutions with good scalability. Small-scale LNG is
mainly delivered to industrial end users, but can be also delivered to smaller domestic
users and as fuel for vehicles (mainly buses and heavy duty trucks). [11]

Small-scale distribution of LNG gives many profits to new categories of consumers.


Small-scale LNG could become cost-competitive with alternatives such as fuel oils. This

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

17

could make natural gas available in regions with lower levels of demand than are
commercially viable with pipelines or larger ships. Small-scale LNG is flexible, can cover
widely dispersed demand at modest investment cost, is suitable to relatively small volumes
of gas, and allows for competition. There are important environmental benefits to be
gained from replacing oil fuel with gas: emissions of CO2, NOx, SOx and particulate
matters are significantly reduced. This alternative may be an important contribution to
reaching ambitious targets for reducing emissions to the atmosphere from human activities.
That is also why this development is capturing the attention and interest of high-ranking
politicians around the world. [12]

Nowadays in Norway you can see a great interest of the small-scale distribution of LNG.
Norway is rich in energy resources, particularly oil and gas, but a country with a somewhat
difficult geography. Oil and gas have been produced since 1971, but only offshore. Thus
all major pipelines are offshore, only on-shore for few kilometres to receiving terminals.
However these few kilometres of large pipelines do not form an integrated onshore grid,
they provide the opportunity for taking out some gas and distributing it locally.
Transporting liquid natural gas in bulk (LNG) is emphasized as the most appropriate
solution for a country with the topography and population pattern of Norway. LNG is also
the most suitable fuel for vessel and ship operators who are concerned about costs and
environment.

The small-scale distribution system for LNG in Norway is dominated by Gasnor. Gasnor
established two production facilities for LNG at Karmy and at Kollsnes and now is
building a third production plant for LNG at Kollsnes. At these LNG plants, a high
pressure gas is received from an export pipeline (Statpipe and Troll). Gasnor operates one
small LNG vessel and one another should be delivered in autumn 2008. The LNG is stored
in local terminals, and distributed to the end user through a pipeline. Some of the local
terminals are designed for one single industrial user, but mainly the terminals are designed
as a regional terminal for several customers and/or further distribution by tank lorries.
Gasnor also deliver LNG to other gas distribution companies in Norway, and some LNG as
fuel for heavy duty trucks and buses in England and Sweden. Nowadays in Norway there
are about 30 LNG small-scale LNG terminals in operation. [13]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

18

4 LNG storage tanks


4.1 Background

There are variety of types of LNG tanks throughout the world according to energy needs
and site environment. All of these tanks have to fulfil three basic functions:

the liquefied gas must be stored without leakage,

the heat absorption of the gas must be kept as small as possible,

the tank must be leak tight in both directions (should prevent LNG from leakage
and also should prevent any impurities from entering the tank)

In general, storage tanks are broken down to three categories: underground storage tanks,
in-ground storage tanks and above ground storage tanks as shown in Figure 4.1.

Figure 4.1 Various types of LNG tanks [15]

In Europe the above ground storage tanks have been adopted by most recent LNG projects.
The above ground storage tanks can be subdivided, according to structural details in: single
containment tanks (SCT), double containment tanks (DCT), full containment tanks (FCT)
and full containment membrane tanks.

Due to the high costs and schedule implications of constructing traditional storage tanks
some new LNG storage techniques are still developed. Two projects of modern LNG
storage tanks are presented in this work. They are the All-concrete LNG (ACLNG) tank,
developed by Arup Energy, and concrete/concrete LNG tank (C/C tank), presented by
StatoilHydro.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

19

4.2 Single containment tanks (SCT)

A conventional single containment LNG storage tank consists of a suitable cryogenic metal
inner container (economic current favour 9% nickel steel) designed to hold the LNG, with
a carbon steel outer tank designed to contain the natural gas vapours at pressures up to 2.5
psig (0.17 bar), and a steel roof. This design pressure can be increased with additional
engineering of the top roof to the wall joint, but at additional cost. The required distance
between the bund and the tank adds significantly to the total land area. Insulations
surround the inner tank to control heat leak into the tank. The outer tank is not designed to
contain the LNG in the event of an inner tank leak. A secondary means of LNG
containment (in case of a rupture of the inner tank) is generally provided, such as
engineered earthen dike design to contain 110% of the full volume of LNG from the inner
tank. Single containment tanks were the first type developed and are now used mainly in
remote locations. [14]

Figure 4.2 Features of a typical single containment LNG tank.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

20

Advantages: [14]

Generally the lowest installed cost per cubic meter of LNG storage (the cost of SCT
is about 65% that of a corresponding FCT).

Faster schedule, engineering and construction schedule can usually be reduced by


several months from the typical 36 months for FCT.

Regulatory approval of SCT designs has been consistent over the years and not a
cause for approval delays.

Side and bottom LNG outlets can be used as long as certain other requirements are
met.

Disadvantages: [14]

In the event of an inner tank failure or spill, the outer tank steel shell will not
contain the LNG and the vapours will be free to go to atmosphere.

Requires an external dike for secondary LNG containment; typically the large,
engineered earthen dike to contain 110% of the full contents of the LNG tank.
Thermal radiation and vapour dispersion zones are very large and this tank requires
a very large tract of land, highest for the conventional designs.

These tanks have lower design pressures than full containment tanks. The lower
pressure design results in increased size and the cost of the vapour handling system.

Added maintenance costs to periodically repair and recoat the outer tank paint
system to prevent corrosion.

A system needs to be designed to remove accumulated storm water runoff from


inside the secondary containment dike.

Poor resistance to external forces such as flying debris; breach of outer shell is
more likely than other tank designs considered.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

21

4.3 Double containment tanks (DCT)

A conventional double containment LNG storage tank is essentially a single containment


tank surrounded by a close-in, reinforced open top concrete outer container design to
contain all spill or leak from the inner tank, but not to hold any vapour realized during a
spill. Like a SCT DCT consists of a suitable cryogenic metal inner container (economics
currently favour 9% nickel steel) designed to hold the LNG, with a carbon steel outer tank
designed to contain the natural gas vapours at pressures up to 2.5 psig (0.17 bar), and a
steel roof. This design pressure can be increased with additional engineering of the top roof
to the wall joint, but at additional cost. Insulations surround the inner tank to control heat
leak into the tank. The outer tank is not designed to contain the LNG in the event of an
inner tank leak. In addition to this outer carbon steel wall, the DCT design also includes a
concrete outer container which functions as a secondary means of LNG containment. This
outer container is an engineered reinforced concrete cylinder surrounding the outer carbon
steel tank shell and is designed to contain the full tank volume plus some safety margin.
[14]

Figure 4.3 Features of a typical double containment LNG tank.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

22

Advantages: [14]

Lower installed cost per cubic meter of LNG storage than FCT.

Engineering and construction schedule can likely be reduced by several months


from the typical 36 months for FCT.

Regulatory approval of DCT design has set a precedent for future approvals.

Smaller thermal exclusion zones and reduced conventional onshore land


requirement (due to protection provided by outermost concrete container), similar
to FCT, but at a lower cost than FCT.

Resistance to external forces is improved with the high reinforced concrete dike.

Disadvantages: [14]

Higher installed cost per cubic meter of LNG storage than SCT.

In the event of the inner tank failure or spill, the outer tank steel shell will not
contain the LNG and the vapours will be free to go to atmosphere due to the open
top of the high concrete secondary containment wall.

Lower pressure design in the same as SCT, this increases the size and cost of the
vapour handling system when compared to FCT.

Increased soil bearing requirements (over SCT) and higher foundation, loads due
to the weight of the outer concrete containment dike.

Added maintenance cost to periodically repair and recoat the outer tank paint
system to prevent corrosion.

System need to be designed to remove accumulated storm water runoff from


inside the secondary containment dike.

Personnel entry into the annular space between the outer tank shell and the
concrete dike for maintenances is generally considered as a confined space and
requires special procedures.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

23

4.4 Full containment tanks (FCT)

A conventional full containment LNG storage tank consists of a suitable cryogenic metal
liner container (economics currently favour 9% nickel steel) designed to hold the LNG,
with a reinforced concrete outer tank designed to contain the natural gas vapours at
pressures up to 4.3 psig (0.3 bar), and a reinforced concrete roof. The outer concrete tank is
also designed to contain cryogenic LNG in the event of an inner tank leak or rupture.
Insulation surrounds the inner tank to control heat leak into the tank. Different types of
insulation are used in different parts of the tank. Typically, the annular space between the
inner and outer tanks is filled with loose perlite. In addition, a resilient blanket, such as
fibreglass material, is installed on the outside of the inner tank. This blanket provides
resiliency of the perlite. The reinforced concrete roof is lined with carbon steel, with the
liner also functioning as framework for the concrete. Heat leak from the roof of the tank is
limited by installing insulation on the suspended deck (which is suspended from the roof).
There is no insulation immediately beneath the roof, and the vapour space between the
suspended deck and the tank roof will be close to ambient temperature. For the bottom
insulation most of the LNG tanks use cellular glass (foam glass). [14]

Figure 4.4 Features of a typical full containment LNG tank.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

24

Advantages: [14]

Highest integrity design: in the event of the inner tank failure, the outer tank is
design to contain both an LNG spill and the vapour generated.

No side or bottom penetration; all pipelines pass through the roof, so in the event of
external pipeline failure the tank contents do not spill out of the tank.

Smallest thermal exclusion zone; resulting in the smallest footprint, tank spacing
and the most efficient use of land. Also land required to be under control of the
owner to avoid problems related to adjacent properties is minimized.

Inherent higher pressure capabilities than either SCT or DCT; allows the use of
smaller capacity vapour handling system, reducing the capital and operating costs
for the vapour recovery system.

Best resistance to external forces with complete reinforced concrete outer shell.

Concrete finish minimizes coating maintenance of the outer tank.

Concrete shell can be designed to withstand realistic impacts from missiles or


flying objects.

The effect of cold-shock, if any, will most likely be restricted to a small area, and
generally should not affect the vapour-tight integrity of the tank.

Disadvantages: [14]

Highest cost per cubic meter of LNG for the conventional flat-bottomed tank
designs.

Marginally the longest engineering and construction schedule (nominally 36


months from tank contractor approval to proceed).

Increased soil bearing requirements and foundation loads compared to SCT due to
the higher weight for the outer concrete wall.

Tank profile is roughly the same as the SCT and DCT designs.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

25

4.5 Membrane tanks

A conventional full containment membrane tank consists of a cylindrical thin metal


membrane primary container, designed to hold LNG. This inner membrane tank is
structurally supported by an outer pre-stressed concrete cylindrical tank. The outer
concrete tank also serves as the secondary leak containment. Insulation surrounds the inner
tank to control heat leak into the tank. The reinforced concrete roof is lined with carbon
steel, with the liner also functioning as framework for the concrete, just like in ordinary
full containment system. Applications of membrane tanks have been far less than the other
types of tanks except in Japan and Korea. [15]

The side wall and bottom slab of membrane storage tank has a multiplex structure with
three layers: reinforced concrete, insulation and a membrane, as shown in Figure 4.5.

Figure 4.5 Membrane LNG storage tank multiples structure. [15]


(1) A two millimetre membrane layer maintains LNG and gas tightness. The
membrane is corrugated to absorb contraction due to the difference in ambient
temperature and LNG temperature which is minus 162 degrees Celsius. [15]
(2) Rigid polyurethane foam (PUF) insulation restricts the permeation of heat from
outside and transfers the internal gas and LNG pressure exerted on the tank side
wall and bottom slab. [15]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

26

(3) Reinforced concrete layer, which support all structure and it is also designed to
contain cryogenic LNG in the event of an inner tank leak or rupture. [15]

Advantages: [15]

A membrane-type tank is characterized by higher flexibility in storage capacity


comparing to the 9% Ni type.

A membrane-type tank system can be built inside the gravity-based structures to


provide a relatively large storage volume.

Lower material costs due to less steel consumption comparing to the 9% Ni type.

Disadvantages: [15]

Because the wall insulation system on a membrane tank is also a structural


component its efficiency is only about one-half of the wall insulation on a full
containment tank. Lower thermal efficiency creates boil-off gas that must be
removed by compressors.

Construction of membrane tanks are more labour intensive and require higher
skilled workers.

The membrane on an LNG tank is only 1.5 mm thick which makes it more likely to
be damaged during construction. The thickness of inner tank plates for a full
containment tank average about 25 mm.

However, a membrane-type tank requires a sequential construction schedule


wherein the outer concrete structure has to be completely built before the insulation
and the membrane can be installed within a cavity within the outer structure. This
normally requires a long construction period which adds substantially to the costs.

Membrane-type tanks are designed by principles known as "experimental design".


Where new shapes and sizes are required or when different environmental and/or
seismic loading conditions are to be encountered, the satisfactory performance of
membrane-type tanks at various LNG levels is difficult to insure.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

27

4.6 New LNG storage technologies

Metal-lined concrete tanks have been used for the primary containment of LNG for many
years. However, these types of tanks are very expensive. LNG storage tanks account for a
large portion, often up to a third or more, of the cost of a LNG terminal. Moreover the
speed of delivery of an LNG terminal usually depends on the time to construct the tanks.
This is most evident at import terminals. Traditional tank solutions must be built in a
sequential manner with the secondary container being advanced to a considerable degree
before the primary container can start in earnest. Due to the cost and schedule implications
of constructing traditional storage tanks, every possible effort is made to reduce material
and time-related costs. Two of the modern solutions, which can reduce construction time
and costs significantly, are presented below.

ACLNG tanks
The All-concrete LNG (ACLNG) tank was originally developed in-house by Arup
Energy. A proposed ACLNG storage tank consist of primary containment walls and slab
constructed in post-tensioned reinforced concrete without a liner and a secondary container
in post-tensioned reinforced concrete with a moisture vapour barrier applied. The joint
between primary container walls and the slab is monolithic. Base insulation is formed of
weather-proofed blocks and a secondary bottom is ideally constructed from a non-metallic
material such as a Mylar sandwich. The secondary container and foundation
arrangements are essentially identical to those of conventional 9% Ni tanks. Variations
from a conventional tank are needed to suit the primary container geometry and the chosen
construction method. [16]

Construction of concrete primary containers without a metallic liner was made possible by
examining concretes permeability in cryogenic conditions. Concrete exhibits excellent
performance at cryogenic temperatures, many properties improving as the temperature
falls. A key design parameter is the permeability of concrete, as this affects the total
quantity of LNG lost from the primary container. This must be added to the boil-off gas to
assess the operational performance of the tank. The most definitive tests performed
demonstrated that an intrinsic permeability, K', of 10-18 m could be obtained for typical
concrete mix designs and that a permeability as low as 10-19 was possible. Concrete mix

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


design does not require special consideration, although aggregates having similar
coefficients of thermal contraction to cement paste are preferable. Water-cement ratios
should not exceed 0.45. Admixtures such as silica fume that reduce permeability can be
considered if readily available in country. [16]

Figure 4.6 ACLNG tank details [16]

Potential advantages: [16]

The ability to construct the primary and secondary containers in parallel and the
elimination of metallic liners considerably shortens the construction schedule
compared to conventional 9% Ni tanks.

Cost differentials increase where construction takes place in less developed


countries.

28

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

29

The overall delivery schedule of the All-concrete tank is 25 months from contract
award to ready-for-cool-down.

The use of weather-proof insulation materials permits the insulation works to


proceed before the tank walls and roof have been constructed

The adoption of a non-metallic secondary bottom minimizes the need for specialist
steel fabricators associated with 9% Ni tanks

Substantial cost savings could be realized when the concept becomes established in
the market place

Potential disadvantages: [16]

The perception of concrete is that it will crack and leak and this will cause extra
quantity of LNG lost from the primary container.

Use of slipform construction demands a very high level of planning and preparation
not normally associated with static forms, since once started the slide will continue
to the top of the wall in one continuous operation, what sometimes is hard to put
into practice.

Material supply to the slipform is critical to the continuous operation. Concrete


batch plants must have redundant capacity. Reinforcement must be bent and clearly
tagged and stored for delivery to the form with at least 3 days supply available,
what can give some extra challenges.

Construction of ACLNG tank is the challenge of civil engineering and requires


higher skilled workers.

It is a new technology, which has been never confirmed in practice before, so it can
cause some maintenance problems.

C/C tanks
The concrete/concrete (C/C) tank was originally developed by StatoilHydro. CryoTank is a
registered trademark in Norway, and the inner tank (liquid containment) is a unique
solution patented world wide. It is a land based Full Containment tank which complies
with standard EN 14620, and also to the near finished recommendations from the EEMUA.
The patented design principle concerns the inner tank or the liquid containment. The
sandwich wall is the key solution, with an outer reinforced concrete layer, which for big
tanks is supplied with pre-stressing. A 1-millimeter high ductile metallic sheet liner is

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

30

completely welded to each other and to the bottom steel wall base on which the concrete
wall rests. The last inner layer is also concrete which secures stable form and protection of
the liner against impact and fatigue forces. The bottom steel plate is conventional and
welded to the wall steel base. The containment is then liquid sealed. There are no particular
requirements to the concrete quality and the amount of pre-stressing, apart from having
sufficient strength. All reinforcement in the inner tank is Cryobar. [17]
The outer tank can be conventional, or the thick carbon steel liner of the outer tank can be
substituted by ductile metallic steel sheet liner of the same material as the inner tank liner
substituted the thick carbon steel liner of the outer tank. This outer liner is welded to a new
type of vertical liner strips that again are anchored in the concrete. The dome is
conventional. The bottom of the outer tank can be also improved. Carbon steel is
substituted by 5-millimeter ductile steel plates, which also cover the tank wall five metres
up from the bottom. Foam glass insulation is put behind the ductile bottom plate and
placed inside the wall and underneath the bottom. Insulation protects the concrete corner in
case of LNG pooling. Hence the commonly used extra bottom for corner protection is not
required. The wall insulation is about twice the thickness of conventional tanks. This is
governed by necessary space to operate when erecting the liners. Other insulation is
conventional. [17]
Potential advantages: [17]

CryoTank tanks can be more than twice as large as conventional tanks, i.e. larger
than 400,000 m3. This increased size can be achieved by minor increased diameter
and increased height. This implies smaller footprint as well as less costly and timeconsuming construction.

The construction time will be reduced by 6 -12 months. For import terminals this
implies early sale and increased present value.

A CryoTank of the same size as a conventional tank will be 10 to 20% cheaper.


Increasing the size, fewer tanks are necessary. Substituting three smaller tanks with
two larger tanks reduces cost by 30 to 40 %.

CryoTank can be made more resistant to earthquake. Sloshing breakers can also be
installed.

Reliability against leakage with the welded steel liner.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

31

CryoTank has double insulation in the walls compared to conventional tanks. More
insulation combined with increased height gives smaller surface and the boil-off is
reduced to the half of what standards require.

Potential disadvantages: [17]

Use of slipform construction demands a very high level of planning and preparation
not normally associated with static forms.

Construction method for thin plate liners is especially developed for the CryoTank
so it requires higher skilled workers.

It is a new technology, which has been never confirmed in practice before, so it can
cause some maintenance problems.

Figure 4.7 A CryoTank design [17]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

32

5 LNG vessel types


5.1 Evolution of LNG fleet

The LNG carrier (Liquefied Natural Gas) is product of the late twentieth century. LNG
carrier is a ship designed for transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG carriers have
two principal parts, the basic ship comprising the hull and propulsion plant, and the
cryogenic section consisting of containment tanks and cargo handling arrangements. They
are double-hulled, and specially designed and insulated to prevent leakage or rupture in an
accident. The LNG is stored in a special containment system within the inner hull where it
is kept at pressure in the range of 1,060 to 1,080 millibar (absolute) and -160C. [25]

Gas carrier tanks, according to International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules, must be
one of three types. Those are ones built according to standard oil tank design (Type A),
others that are of pressure vessel design (Type C), and, finally, tanks that are neither of the
first two types (Type B). All LNG tanks are Type B from the Coast Guard perspective,
because Type B tanks must be designed without any general assumptions that go into
designing the other tank types. There are three general Type B tank designs for LNG. The
first type of design, the membrane tank, is supported by the hold it occupies. The other two
designs, spherical and prismatic, are self-supporting. [18]

Figure 5.1 Changes of LNG cargo tanks types. [19]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

33

Existing LNG carriers cargo containments systems reflect one of two main designs:
spherical design produced by Kvaerner-Moss, and membrane design by two firms:
Technigaz and Gaz Transport. Figure 5.1 shows that spherical design was used by most of
LNG ships till 2003. Nowadays there are ordered 21 of 145 new vessels with Moss tanks
only and the rest are being built with membrane design. Technigaz technology will be
installed in 44% of new buildings and 41% new LNG carriers will be equipped with Gaz
Transport membrane. [19]

LNG fleet is in the midst of an unprecedented expansion. At December 2000 there were
119 vessels of summary tanks capacity 12,003 MSCM. The prediction was that in 2005
would be 148 LNG carriers and 172 ships in 2010. Nobody predicted that LNG market
would start develop so quickly. At the beginning of XXI century some new players entered
LNG market. They ordered a lot of ships to serve their new LNG projects. These ships
started to be delivered in 2003 17 new vessels, in 2004 20 and in 2005 - 29. At the end
of 2005 LNG fleet comprised 195 ships (47 more then was predicted in 2000) of summary
tanks capacity 23,143 MSCM. 224 LNG carriers were sailed across the oceans on 1st
March 2007 and they were able to carry 27,279.5 MSCM liquefied natural gas. New orders
will boost the global LNG fleet to over 300 vessels in 2008, and to 369 at the end of 2010.
[19]

Figure 5.2 Age of LNG fleet [19]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

34

5.2 Kvaerner - Moss spherical tanks

This is the most well known tank that many people equate with the appearance of an LNG
carrier. The large spherical tanks, almost half of which appear to protrude above a ship's
deck, is often what people visualize when someone says "LNG carrier." The early sphere
designs were shells of 9-percent nickel steel. Subsequently, aluminium was used. The
sphere is installed in its own hold of a double-hulled ship, so that it is supported around its
equator by a steel cylinder (called a skirt). The covered insulation surrounding the sphere
can channel any leakage to a drip tray located under the sphere's "south pole." [18]

Figure 5.3 LNG carrier equipped with Moss tanks. [20]


(1) Moss spherical tanks - developed by Norwegian firm Moss Rosenberg Verft AS (now
Moss Maritime). [20]
(2) Tank material, aluminium alloy. [20]
(3) Tank dome, located at the top of the tank, it contains the entrance for servicing, as well
as for the various pipes that go inside the tank. [20]
(4) Tank thickness, between 25 and 60 mm (150 mm at the equatorial rings). [20]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

35

(5) Thermal insulation features, Moss tanks are covered with thermal insulation panels
(200 to 300 mm thick). Each multilayer panel is comprised of phenolic resin foam on
the low-temperature side (tank side), polyurethane foam on the ambient temperature
side, and aluminium-plastic sheet on the exterior. [20]
(6) Pipe tower, made with the same materials as the tanks, this shaft, about 3 m in
diameter, is placed vertically in the middle of the tank to accommodate
loading/unloading pipes, cargo pumps (located at the bottom of the shaft) to discharge
LNG to onshore facilities, stairs and instrumentation. [20]
(7) Contraction, when loaded with LNG of approx. 162C, the tank contracts about 150
mm in diameter. However, this deformation is absorbed by contractions of the
cylinder-shaped support at the equator of the tank.[20]
(8) Cylinder-shaped support, in order to reduce the entrance of heat into the tank, part of
the structure is made of stainless steel (thermal brake).[20]
(9) Propulsion plant (can use the boil-off gas). [20]

Some of the known advantages, from an operators viewpoint, for spherical tanks are: they
cause no operational problems, they show a great tolerance in the event of faulty operation
and an inherent ability to limit the consequences of damage, and they can be pressurized
for emergency discharge of LNG or as an alternate to pumping.
Some of the known disadvantages are: they protrude through the deck and cause a
visibility problem from the bridge, have a higher centre of gravity, have a higher boil-off
rate. In addition the older 9-percent nickel steel tanks have shown significant amounts of
swallow cracking after years of service. The cracks develop next to the welds due to the
effect of the heat of the welding on the original material (known as the "heat-affected
zone''). The cracks can be repaired by gouging them out and welding in new material.
Aluminium tanks can have a different cracking problem. Attaching the aluminium tank to a
steel cylinder is a difficult process, due to the metals involved, and cracks are liable to
develop where those materials are joined.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

36

5.3 Membrane tanks

In general membrane cargo tanks are composed of a layer of metal (primary barrier), a
layer of insulation, another liquid-proof layer, and another layer of insulation. Those
several layers are then attached to the walls of the externally framed hold. There are three
types of "Membrane" type, which are "TGZ Mark III system" (this design is originally by
Technigaz), "GT NO96 system" (this is Gaz Transport's tank design) and "CS 1 system".
"CS 1 system" is a new system which adopts merits of both "TGZ Mark III system" and
"GT NO96 system".
GTT Mark III
First sealing barrier is made of a stainless steel with waffles to absorb the thermal
contraction when the tank is cooled down. Second sealing barrier, made of Triplex, has a
function of preventing the cargo from leaking out during a predetermined period of time
when the primary barrier is broken down. The insulation layers are made of polyurethane
foam. Plywood is installed between the first and second sealing barriers and the first and
second insulation barriers, allows constant load to be applied to the sealing barriers due to
the uniform arrangement of the insulation barriers, and reduces the displacement created
due to vertical load. Glass wool is installed between the insulation boxes, reduces the
horizontal displacement and prevents the occurrence of high stress. [21]

GTT NO 96-2
First and second sealing barriers are sheets of Invar, an alloy of 36-percent nickel steel.
Unlike regular steel, Invar hardly contracts upon cooling. The insulation layers are
plywood boxes holding perlite, a glassy material. Function Tongue is installed at an
insulation box and welded in three-ply way between membrane sheets to connect them,
and it allows the membrane and insulation box to be connected to each other. Joist is
installed between the insulation boxes to reduce horizontal displacement and prevent high
stress from being created [21]

Table 5.1 consists the most important designs intricacies of both GTT Mark III and
GTT NO 96-2 systems.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

37

Table 5.1 Features of LNG membrane cargo containment systems


Gaz Transport System

Technigaz System

36% nickel steel (Invar)

Stainless steel

(Measures are not required due to


very low coefficient of thermal
expansion of membrane)

By expansion and convection of


membrane

Insulation boxes filled with


Perlite

Plastic foam

BOR
(insulation thickness)

0.15%/day (about 530mm)

0.15%/day (about 250mm)

Secondary barrier

The same as primary

Triplex

Tank section

Insulation
structure

Tank material
Measures for
thermal expansion and
contraction
Insulation material

Some of the known advantages for the membrane tanks are: they offer flat deck therefore
adequate surface for topsides, this configuration gives also a good visibility from the
bridge and improve maintenance of the deck, assure structural continuity throughout the
hull space since the deck has no openings for tanks, a maximized hold space reduce the
overall ship dimensions and gross tonnage for a given LNG cargo capacity, and it is a cost
effective design for large tanks - competitiveness compared to other types of LNG carriers.

Some of the known disadvantages, from an operators viewpoint, for the membrane tanks
are: they are more likely to rupture during the collision, require higher primary barrier
maintenance, and the most important is that they show a possibility of damage to the
membrane, piping, and pumps support structures from sloshing (the study of sloshing is
one of the greatest technical challenges presently facing todays designers).

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

38

5.4 Prismatic tanks

The second type of self-supporting tanks after Moss system is the Self-supporting,
Prismatic, Type B (SPB) tanks by Ishikawajima Heavy Industries (IHI). These tanks are
reminiscent of the tanks on old single-skin oil tankers. Prismatic tank do not form part of
the ships structure and are manufactured separately, incorporating pumps and lines etc
before being inserted into the hull. Unlike other systems, they require their own support
structure inside the tank, making them heavier and requiring more detailed inspection. The
material for tank construction can be aluminium, 9-percent nickel steel, or 304 stainless
steel. The tank is subdivided by a centreline liquid tight bulkhead and a swash bulkhead
into 4 spaces. Because of this, natural frequency of the liquid inside tank is far from that of
ships motion, eliminating any chance of resonance of the liquid cargo and ship two
motions. The tanks are installed in the hold of a double hull ship and are insulated with
covered polyurethane foam that also is able to serve as channelling for any possible tank
leakage to drip trays. [22]

Figure 5.4 Inside view of SPB tank. [22]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

39

IHIs technology, which is particularly robust, has been in use for years, both in LNG ships
and in floating storage and offtake systems. The Polar Eagle and the Arctic Sun both
utilize SPB storage and have been plying the Alaska-Japan route for many years.
Elsewhere, the technology is employed in Chevrons SPB-enabled Escravos LPG Floating
Storage and offtake unit that was installed offshore Nigeria in 1997. Nowadays because the
membrane and Moss solutions are develop very rapidly IHI is no longer building the
system and low numbers make units relatively expensive. [22]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

40

6 Large-scale LNG chain


6.1 LNG value chain

To make LNG available for use, energy companies must invest in a number of different
operations that are highly linked and dependent upon one another. Figure 6.1 shows the
main elements of the Large-Scale LNG Chain. The Chain starts with gas production,
usually from offshore wells though some plants receive gas from onshore sources. The gas
produced can be from a gas field (nonassociated gas) or may be produced along with oil
(associated gas). The distinction between associated and nonassociated gas is important
because associated gas must have liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) components (i.e., propane
and butane) extracted to meet heating value specifications of the LNG product. [23]

Figure 6.1 The LNG chain-from production to user. [24]


The production gas enters the LNG liquefaction facility and goes through several steps of
treating before being liquefied. The LNG leaving the liquefaction plant must be stored until
a ship arrives to transport the product. Although it would be possible, in theory at least, to
run down the product directly into the ship and greatly reduce or eliminate storage. Storage
tanks are less expensive than ships and economics favour storage at the facility. [23]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

41

Stored in production facility LNG is then transported to regasification terminals. There is


only one economical solution of transport these quantities of liquid to distant destination
shipping. LNG tankers are double-hulled ships specially designed and insulated to prevent

leakage or rupture in an accident. The ships typically travel at 19 knots, but to calculate a
total duration you have to add at least a day of turn-around at each end. [23]

To return LNG to a gaseous state, it is fed into a regasification plant. On arrival at the
receiving terminal in its liquid state, LNG is first pumped to a storage tank, similar to those
used in the liquefaction plant, at atmospheric pressure. The time needed to unload a ship
once the unloading pumps, are started is about 12 to 18 hours. The receiving terminal
stores the LNG, which is later vaporized and sent out into a pipeline, or in some case
directly to an electric power plant (commonly done in Japan).[23]
Due to heat leakage into LNG during holding, shipping and loading/unloading
modes large quantities of boil-off gas are generated. From the receivers viewpoint the
most important are unloading and holding modes, and the loses of methane during
these periods. The thermal analyses of boil-off of LNG for these modes are carried out
below.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

42

6.2 Thermal analysis of boil-off of LNG for the unloading mode

The unloading mode is the period when an LNG carrier is moored to the jetty and is
connected via the unloading arms and the jetty piping to the onshore storage tank. The
pumps on the LNG carrier will transfer the LNG in both the unloading and the recirculation lines to the onshore storage tanks. At the end of unloading, pressurized nitrogen
gas will be used to purge the arms of LNG before disconnecting.

A typical LNG Unloading System consist of all the facilities, infrastructure and equipment
required to safely dock the LNG ship, to establish the necessary ship to shore interfaces,
and for transferring the cargo from the ships tank to the onshore piping. Typical unloading
time for a full-size tanker (125,000 to 250,000 cubic metres) is 12 to 18 hours, depends on
a size of the ship. [25]

Main factors that affect the quantity of LNG boil-off during the unloading mode are the
followings: [25]

Higher ships operating pressure than the LNG storage tank

The energy used by the ships pumps, transferred to the LNG as heat

Heat leak into the LNG through the pipes, and equipment

Heat leak into the vessels tank

Vapour returned to the ship

Vapour displacement

Tanks operating pressure


Differences in operating pressures between ship and onshore storage tank can affect the
quantity of boil-off gas. The cargo tanks of the LNG ships operate in the range of 1060 to
1080 millibar absolute pressure. The LNG cargo attains an equilibrium temperature
corresponding to the cargo tank pressure. Each 10 millibar increase in operating pressure
will result in approximately 0.1C increase in the LNG temperature. So if we have
differences in operating pressures between cargo tank and onshore storage tank, for
example the LNG cargo tank operates at 1,060 millibar absolute pressure, and the onshore
LNG tank operates at 1,050 millibar absolute pressure, the LNG in the ship will be about
0.1C warmer. To attain to the new tank conditions the LNG will cool itself, by evaporate

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

43

a small portion of the LNG. This process is called auto- refrigeration. For the conditions
assumed above, each cubic meter of the LNG will result in approximately 0.3kg of boil-off
gas. At a typical unloading rate of 12,000m3/hr, this translates into 3,600kg/hr of boil-off
due to the 10 millibar lower pressure in the onshore tank. [25]

Energy of pumping
One of the very important element in transporting LNG, which has a big effect on boil-off
rate is the transfer LNG from the ships to the onshore storage tanks. LNG is transferred
from the ships to the onshore tanks by the pumps located on the ships. The LNG ships have
two different types of pumps. These are the large cargo pumps for transferring LNG, and
the small spray pumps that provide LNG for the spray ring that helps keep the entire
storage container in a cool state. The size and capacity of these pumps vary from one ship
to another, but the cargo pumps usually have a capacity of 1,200 to 1,400 m3/hr and
develop 150 to 240 metres of head. The spray pumps usually have a capacity of 40 to
50 m3/hr [23]

When we consider the most typical 130,000 cubic meter tanker it requires over 3,000kW of
pumping energy. Almost all this energy is converted to heat and adsorbed by the LNG.
This large amount of heat is sufficient to heat the LNG by as much as 0.5C. To keep the
temperature constant corresponding to the LNG tank pressure some portion of the LNG
will evaporate. This phenomenon can result in about 20,000kg/hr of boil-off gas. All or a
portion of this boil-off gas can be suppressed if the LNG tank can be operated at higher
pressure. [25]

Heat leak vie unloading line


The unloading piping also referred to as the unloading line is the transfer pipe from the
jetty area to the LNG storage tank area. During periods between ship arrivals the unloading
line should be maintained in a cold condition and not allowed to warm up due to heat leak
from the surroundings. To keep the unloading line cold, a small portion of the LNG from
the discharge of the first stage sendout pumps is allowed to flow through the unloading
line, toward the jetty. At the jetty this LNG is diverted to a smaller-sized recirculation
line, and returned to the onshore process area. [25]

There are two choices for configuring the unloading line:

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

One large-diameter unloading line with a smaller recirculation line

Two equal-sized lines, each sized fro 50% flow.

44

With the first configuration, the majority of the unloaded LNG will be transferred through
the larger line, which is usually in the 32-inch to 36-inch range and a small portion through
the recirculation line, 10 to 12-inch. With the second configuration flows in both pipes are
equal, and during the holding mode the second unloading pipe also serves as the
recirculation path. Typically, the unloaded line in this configuration will be in 24 or 26inch range. [25]

The Unloaded pipelines can be made of stainless steel, 9% nickel and invar 36. They are
usually either mechanically insulated with up to 8 inch thick glass foam or
polyisocyanurate insulation, insulated using a pipe in pipe technique with aero gel (or other
powder type) insulation, or a high vacuum jacket insulation using one of several
techniques. [26]

However the unloaded pipelines are insulated, there is always some heat leak into the
LNG. The rate of this leaking per square meter of outside insulation is small of course, but
when we consider the large diameter and long length of the unloading line it can result in a
meaningful heat leak. Some examples of the boil-off gas rates generated by insulated
pipeline heat gain are shown in the Figure 6.2.

Figure 6.2 Boil-off gas generated by insulated pipeline heat gain. [26]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

45

We could consider some heat that leakage into the LNG through the unloading arms,
which are normally uninsulated, but the extreme cold of LNG causes ice build-up on the
exterior surface of these arms. The ice layer acts as insulation, so heat inleak is relatively
small and can be omitted. [25]

Heat leak into ship cargo tanks


Cargo tanks in LNG ships also absorb some quantities of heat from the ambient during the
voyage. Due to warming up during transportation, gas naturally evaporates from the cargo.
Boil-off typically averages 0.12 to 0.15% per day of full tank contents, depends on tanks
type. When we consider a typical 130,000 cubic metre tanker, about 150 to 195 cubic
metres of LNG will boil-off each day. This corresponds to a boil-off rate of 2,800 to 3,600
kg/hr. Typically the boil-off gas generated during voyage is recovered. Until now ships
have employed gas compression and use the boil-off gas as fuel for the propulsion systems.
However, the high consumption of the steam turbine, as compared to last-generation diesel
engines, results of their replacement. Instead of the common application of using the boiloff gas as fuel, the LNG BOG re-liquefaction systems are used. The LNG re-liquefaction
system has merit in the large savings in total fuel consumption and improved propulsion
redundancy. [25]

Ship vapour return


Ship vapour returned from the storage tank is also the boil-off source somehow. During
unloading operation large volumes of LNG are pumped out of the ship during a short time.
This results in rapid pressure drop or even in a tendency to create a vacuum. To offset this,
and to maintain the cargo tanks at their operating pressure, natural gas is brought in to
replace the void created by the exiting LNG. Some of the vapour needs of the ship will be
satisfied by the boil-off its own cargo tanks, but the remaining volumes needs to be
transferred from onshore. The pipeline to transfer natural gas from onshore plant to the
ship is referred to as the vapour return line. The ship vapour return line, unlike the
unloading line, is not maintained in a cold condition between ships unloadings. During the
initial period of unloading, until the line cools down, the vapour reaching the jetty will be
to warm to be admitted into the cargo tanks. The gas is therefore cooled at the jetty, in a
desuperheater, before it is transferred to the ship. [25]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

46

When we consider a typical 130,000 cubic metre tanker and assuming a tanker unloading
at 12,000m3/hr, this correspondents to about 22,000 kg/hr of gas (at -160C), needed to
maintain the cargo tank pressure. Cargo tank boil-off provided about 3,600 kg/hr (boil-off
rate 0.15%) but the remaining volumes, about 18,400 kg/hr, will have to be delivered
through the ship vapour return line. [25]

Physical vapour displacement


The LNG entering the tanks will physically displace an equal volume of vapour. Though
this is not boil-off in the true sense, it does contribute to the net volume of gas exiting
the tank, and hence needs to be considered in sizing the boil-off system. The scenario in
the LNG storage tank is merely a mirror image of what in the ship cargo tanks. For
example, if LNG is being unloaded at 12,000 m3/hr, a similar volume of vapour is
physically displaced from the tank. This volume would correspond to approximately
22,000 kg/hr of natural gas displaced from the tank. [25]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

47

6.3 Thermal analysis of boil-off of LNG for the holding mode

The holding mode we can refer to as the period between unloadings. This system consists
of one or more special designed storage tanks. It is a very important component in largescale LNG chain, which provides a buffer between the LNG discharged from the ships and
the regasification system. In general you can say that the minimum required storage
capacity is the volume of LNG discharged from the largest ship expected at the terminal. In
practice this capacity is larger than this minimum to provide a cushion to account for
scheduled and unscheduled delays in ship arrival. The current technologies used to store
LNG are to be reviewed in particular in the chapter 4.

Main factors, which affect on the boil-off gas rate during the holding mode, are [25]:

Heat leak from the surroundings into the LNG via the floor, walls and roof of the
LNG storage tanks

Barometric pressure drop

The phenomenon referred to as rollover

Heat leak into LNG storage tanks


Heat leakage into LNG storage tanks is the main factor that causes boil-off during the
holding mode. To predict the boil-off rate a thermal analysis of the LNG storage tank is
required. The structural details of LNG tanks are usually very complicated as presented in
chapter 4, so the full thermal analysis modelling including all the components inside the
LNG tank may involve cumbersome tasks and even be impractical. A simplification
thermal analysis of the 200,000 cubic metres LNG storage tank was showed in the
subchapter 6.4. According to made calculations the boil-off rate averages 0.07 to 0.095%
per day of full tank contents. This correspondents to about 2,600 to 3,300 kg/hr or 62,400
to 79,200 kg/day per tank.

Barometric pressure drop


Barometric pressure drop can cause a significant increase in the boil-off rate. Storage tanks
are operated generally over a small range of gauge pressure. Typical LNG storage tanks
operate in the range of 1,050 to 1,250 millibar absolute pressure. When barometric
pressure drops, the absolute pressure in the tank falls as well. To equilibrate with this lower

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

48

pressure, the temperature of the LNG in the tank has to fall (by approximately 0.1C for
every 10 millibar drop). The only one way to decrease the temperature in the tank is by
release some of the liquid to gas. Of course it can be estimate the rate of boil-off due to
changes and rate of changes in tank pressure. A drop in barometric pressure has a real
matter if it is rapid, because only then it can cause a significant increase in the rate of boiloff from the LNG tank. So if in some locations rapid drops in barometric pressure are
expected in designing vapour handling systems, it is prudent to make some reasonable
allowance for barometric pressure drops. [25]
Boil-off by rollover
Incorrect maintenance of the LNG tank can result in phenomenon referred to as rollover.
Under certain conditions it is possible for two different cargoes of LNG, having different
densities, to form two separate layers or strata in the LNG storage tank. Liquefied Natural
Gas is generally stored in refrigerated tanks at temperatures of about -160C and pressures
slightly above atmosphere in liquefaction plants and LNG regasification terminals. Heat
leaks, even in well-insulated tanks, cause a slow boil-off of the LNG, and this requires
removal of some vapour. During this weathering process the composition of the LNG
changes because the small amount of nitrogen present is much more volatile than the
methane and the heavier hydrocarbons are effectively non-volatile at storage conditions.
Nitrogen boils off preferentially leading to an increase in the bubble point of the mixture
and a reduction in liquid bulk density. In nitrogen-free LNG, loss of the more volatile
component methane leads to a slight increase in saturation temperature without a
significant change in the liquid density. The density variations resulting due to loss of
nitrogen lead to stratification, as shown in Figure. 6.3. [27]

Figure 6.3 An LNG storage tank with the liquid stratified

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

49

In any of aforementioned instances, the temperature creep will ultimately cause a slightly
warmer layer of product to boil off. This layer will then rise to the top in the tanks
vapour space, and it will evaporate and become denser. This phenomenon is called
Weathering. Subsequent heating then can cause the product to stratify in the tank, with
the lighter layer on top. If the bottom layer continues to heat, its density can begin to
resemble that of the upper layer, and this will cause rapid mixing and instability in the
tank. As the densities of two layers approach each other, the two layers mix rapidly, and
the lower layer which has been superheated gives off large amounts of vapour as it rises to
the surface of the tank. This phenomenon is known as rollover. The large amounts of
vapour generated by this phenomenon can cause a dramatic vapour expansion and increase
in internal tank pressure. [27]

Rollover has been studied extensively and physical models have been developed to predict
tank behaviour under rollover conditions. Correct tank filling procedures and proper
operational practices should prevent stratification from occurring. In addition, tanks are
provided with sophisticated monitoring devices than can help in early detection of
stratification. Because of these reasons the sizing of the boil-off gas handling system does
not require a provision for rollover. However, in the design of the tank overpressure
protection system it is prudent to make an allowance for rollover. [27]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

50

6.4 Thermal analysis of the LNG storage tank


LNG has a cryogenic temperature as low as 163C to ensure the minimum storage volume
when stored in LNG tank. Of the various types of LNG storage tanks, the full containment,
above-ground type (Figure 4.3) is now employed worldwide; thus, it is selected as the main
structural type considered in this study. However, the structural details of the FCT tanks
are very complicated as presented in the Subchapter 4.4, so the full thermal analysis
modelling including all the components inside the LNG tank may involve cumbersome
tasks and even be impractical. A convenient procedure of thermal analysis of the LNG tank
was proposed by Se-Jin Jeon, Byeong-Moo Jin and Young-Jin Kim in an article entitled
Consistent thermal analysis procedure of LNG storage tank, published in Structural
Engineering and Mechanics, Vol. 25, No. 4 (2007). A thermal analysis of the LNG storage
tank, presented in this thesis work is based mainly on this article.

Roof analysis

Lets assume the equilibrium of the heat flow rates penetrating the roof (Figure 6.5) in a
steady state.

Figure 6.4 Heat flow rates through the roof


We can not neglect the effect of convection between the outer face and the environment, in
which the outer face temperature makes a slight difference from the ambient temperature.

51

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


To efficiently introduce the convection effect into the present formulation, a concept of
equivalent convection thickness is devised. This indicates an additional imaginary
thickness of concrete attached to the actual concrete thickness by which we can
conveniently set the surface temperature equal to the ambient temperature.
Convection heat flux can be expressed by Eq. (6.1) [28], where is a temperature

difference between the surface and environment, and hc is the convection coefficient of the
concrete.
q = hc DT ,

(6.1)

Heat flux by conduction in a surface normal direction (n) through the imaginary concrete
thickness (tc,eq) is expressed in Eq. (6.2) [28], where c is the thermal conductivity of the
concrete.
q = lc

T
DT
= lc
,
n
t c,eq

(6.2)

By equating Eqs. (6.1) and (6.2), an equivalent convection thickness can be calculated, as
in Eq. (6.3) [28]
t c ,eq =

lc
,
hc

(6.3)

In Figure 6.4 three kinds of heat flow rates are considered, Q1 and Q3 for the heat
conduction and Q2 for the heat radiation, as follows: [28]

T - Tb
Q1 = lc a
tc

Aroof ,

(6.4)

))

(6.5)

Q2 = F e s Tb4 - Tc4 Aroof ,

T - Td
Q3 = ld c
td

Adeck ,

(6.6)

where d is the thermal conductivity of the deck insulation; tc and td are the thicknesses of
concrete roof and deck insulation, respectively; Aroof and Adeck are the areas of the roof and
suspended deck, respectively; F is the form factor; is the emissivity; and is the StefanBoltzmann constant.

52

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Here, the conduction effects of the carbon steel liner attached inside the concrete roof and
the suspended deck itself may be neglected due to their negligible thicknesses and high
thermal conductivities.

Note that tc should be calculated by adding the equivalent convection thickness to the outer
face of the actual concrete thickness.

The resultant emissivity in Eq. (6.5) can be calculated taking into account an interaction of
two relevant materials as shown in Eq. (6.7) [28]:

e=

1
,
1
1
+
-1
e cs e d

(6.7)

where cs is the emissivity of the carbon steel liner and d that of the deck insulation.

When a heat balance is achieved in an equilibrium condition, the equality of Eqs. (6.4) to
(6.6) can be established. We can determine the temperatures and heat rates shown in Figure
6.4 by solving these nonlinear systems of equations as represented in Eq. (6.8) [28].

Q1 = Q2 = Q3 ,

Wall analysis

Fig. 6.5 shows the original configuration of the LNG wall.

Figure 6.5 Configuration of the LNG tank wall

(6.8)

53

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


Lets convert insulation into equivalent concrete with the condition that the heat flux

should be equivalent even after the conversion, as shown in Eq.(6.9) [28] and Fig. 6.6, by
which the equivalent concrete thickness (tci,eq) corresponding to an i-th insulation can be
obtained in Eq. (6.10) [28].

Figure 6.6 Configuration of the LNG tank wall using equivalent concrete.
q = li

DTi
DTi
,
= li
Dt i
t ci ,eq

t ci ,eq =

lc
ti ,
li

(6.9)

(6.10)

The aforementioned procedures are based on heat conduction theory for a one-dimensional
case. Therefore, the theories can be applied to the bottom slab precisely but can be
approximately applied to the wall. Strictly speaking, the temperature distribution of the
wall part of circular tank structures follows the axisymmetric heat conduction theory
shown in Eq. (6.11) [28], where the heat flow rate (Q) is represented for the circumference
of circular wall and the wall height (L).

Q=l

DT
2p L ,
r +t
log e

(6.11)

The reason why a one-dimensional theory can be alternatively applied to the heat transfer
through the LNG tank wall is that, for almost all the LNG tank dimensions, the radius (r) is
sufficiently larger than the thickness (t) of the concrete wall or the wall insulation layers.

54

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


For such conditions, it can be proven that axisymmetric theory is well approximated to a
sufficient degree of accuracy using one-dimensional theory. By substituting the Taylor
series expansion of the natural logarithm of Eq. (6.12) [28] into Eq. (6.11), the onedimensional heat conduction equation of Eq. (6.13) [28] can be derived, where 2rL

indicates nothing but the area. It also indicates that the logarithmic temperature distribution
of Eq. (6.11) can be approximated by the linear distribution of Eq. (6.13).
t t 1 t
1 r
t
r +t

log e
= log e 1 + = - + - ... ,
3 t
r
r
r r 2r
2

Q = lc

DT
2prL ,
t c ,eq

(6.12)
(6.13)

Where tc,eq should be calculated by adding the equivalent convection thickness (like in roof
analysis) and equivalent thicknesses of all insulation layers as shown in Eq. (6.14) [28].
n

t c ,eq =
i =1

lc
l
ti + c + t c ,
li
hc

(6.14)

Bottom slab analysis

Analysis of the bottom slab is similar to the procedure used in the analysis of the wall.
First we convert bottoms insulation into equivalent concrete with the condition that the
heat flux should be equivalent even after the conversion, using Eq. (6.10).
t ci ,eq =

lc
ti ,
li

(6.10)

Then the heat flow rate through the bottom slab can be obtained in Eq. (6.15) [28] as:

Q = lc

DT
pr 2 ,
t c ,eq

(6.15)

Note that tc,eq should be calculated by adding the equivalent thicknesses of all insulation
layers, as shown in Eq. (6.16).
n

t c ,eq =
i =1

lc
ti + tc ,
li

(6.16)

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

55

Numerical example

Table 6.1 shows the thicknesses of the main sections of an LNG tank with 200,000 m3
capacity adopted in this example.
Table 6.1 Dimensions of the LNG tank [28]
Sections

Thickness [m]

Remarks

Wall

0.75

General part

Roof

0.6

General part

Bottom slab

1.8

General part

Diameter of wall

92.0

Inner diameter

Radius if curvature of roof

73.6

Inner radius

Height of wall

36

Except ring beam

Table 6.2 contain the properties of concrete at normal temperature.


Table 6.2 Concrete properties at normal temperature [28]
Properties

Value

Poissons ratio (c)

0.2

Density () [kg/m3]

2300

Thermal conductivity (c) [W/(mK)]

2.324

Specific heat (cc) [J/(kgC)]

920.5

Convection coefficient (hc) [W/(m 2K)]

12.78

Coefficient of thermal expansion ( c) [/C]

1105

Roof
The form factor (F) (or, alternatively, view factor), which is a function of various factors,
is defined with reference to two surfaces that radiate toward each other. However, in the
case of a flat dome roof of a typical LNG tank and suspended deck, the form factor can be
assumed as a unity. Additionally required information is: d = 0.038 W/(mK) [28]; td = 0.5
m; cs = 0.66 [28]; d = 0.96 [28]; Aroof = 7467.4 m2; Adeck = 6647.6 m2; = 5.6710-8
W/(m2K4) [28].

56

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

(1) Equivalent convection thickness (Eq. (6.3)).

t c ,eq =

lc 2.324
=
= 0.182m
hc 12.78

(2) Emissivity (Eq. (6.7)).


e=

1
1
1
+
-1
e cs e d

1
1
1
+
-1
0.66 0.96

= 0.6423

(3) Heat flow rates (Eqs. (6.4) to (6.6)), with Ta = 288.15K and Td = 110.15K.
T - Tb
Q1 = lc a
tc

288.15 - Tb

Aroof = 2.324
7467.4
0.6 + 0.182

))

))

Q2 = F e s Tb4 - Tc4 Aroof = 1 0.6423 5.67 10 -8 Tb4 - Tc4 7467.4

T - Td
Q3 = ld c
td

T - 110.15

Adeck = 0.038 c
6647.6
0.5

(4) Solve the nonlinear systems of equations (Eq. (6.8)).

Tb = 284.3K
Tc = 280.8K
Qr = 6.174 10 6 W

Wall
Table 6.3 shows the thicknesses, thermal conductivities and the corresponding equivalent
concrete thicknesses (Eq. (6.10)) of insulation layers of the wall considered in this
example.
Table 6.3 Insulation layers of wall [29]
Material

Actual thickness

Thermal conductivity

Equivalent thickness

[mm]

W/(mK)

[mm]

9% Ni inner tank

10

Resilient glass blanket

12

Not considered
0.038

18347

57

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


Perlite powder

635

Carbon steel liner

Outer tank wall

750

0.023

36893
Not considered

2.324

750

Convection effect

182

Total thickness

56170

Heat flow rate through the wall (Eq. (6.13)), with Ta = 288.15K and Td = 110.15K.
Qw = 2.314

288.15 - 110.15
2p 46 36 = 7.663 10 4 W
56.173

Bottom slab
Table 6.4 shows the thicknesses, thermal conductivities and the corresponding equivalent
concrete thicknesses (Eq. (6.10)) of typical insulation layers of the bottom slab considered
in this example.
Table 6.4 Bottom slab configuration. [29]
Material

Actual thickness

Thermal conductivity

Equivalent thickness

[mm]

W/(mK)

[mm]

9% Ni inner tank

Ply wood

12

0.209

133

Dry sand

88

1.104

185

Foam glass 1

200

0.038

12,232

Dry sand

95

1.104

200

9% Ni secondary
protection

Not considered

Not considered

Ply wood

12

0.209

133

Dry sand

88

1.104

185

Foam glass 2

300

0.038

14,525

Dry sand

95

1.104

200

Carbon steel liner

Outer tank bottom slab

900

Not considered
2.324

900

(distance to the heater)


Total thickness

32,516

58

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


Heat flow rate through the bottom slab (Eq. (6.15)).
Qb = 2.314

288.15 - 110.15
p 46 2 = 8.457 10 4 W
32.516

Boil-off gas generation


Assuming that all the heat which leaks through the wall and bottom slab and only 5% of
the heat which leaks through the roof warms the LNG, we have:

Q = 0.05 Qr + Qw + Qb = 4.699 10 5 W

The boil-off rate (in % of storage per day) can be calculated directly for the 200,000cubic
metres tank by Eq. (6.17) [29] and Eq. (6.18) [17] as follows:

BOG(kg / hr ) =

BOR(% / day ) =

Q( J / s ) 3600( s / hr )
,
Heat _ of _ vaporization( J / kg )

(6.17)

(BOG (kg / hr ) / Liquid _ density(kg / m ) 24(hr / day ) 100% ,


3

Tank _ volume(m 3 )

Table 6.5 BOG and BOR for numerical example.


Tank size [m3]
Cargo

Density

Heat of vaporization

[kg/m3]

[J/kg]

LNG (Snhvit) 450.61 [28]


Pure methane

419.64 [28]

200,000
BOR

BOG

[%/day] [kg/hr]

640,360 [28]

0.07

2642

509,500 [28]

0.095

3320

(6.18)

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

59

6.5 BOR in large-scale LNG chain

Table 6.6 is a tabulation of quantities of boil-off gas generated during holding and
unloading modes for a receiving terminal for the set of conditions and assumptions listed
below. It is emphasized that the boil-off rates will vary significantly as the design
parameters change, and the tabulation here is intended merely to illustrate the boil-off rates
for a specific set of assumptions.

Basic assumptions:
Ship cargo tanks volume ......................................................................... 130,000 m3
Cargo tank pressure ................................................................................ 1,060 mbar (ab.)
Ship cargo tank heat leak ........................................................................ 0.15 %/day
Unloading rate ........................................................................................ 12,000 m3/hr
Unloading line length.............................................................................. 1,000 m each
Unloading line size ................................................................................. 2 x 24 inch
Ship cargo pump head............................................................................. 150 m
Onshore storage volume.......................................................................... 200,000 m3
Onshore LNG tank pressure .................................................................... 1,050 mbar (ab.)
Onshore tank heat leak ........................................................................... 0.08 %/day
Table 6.6 Boil-off gas sources, an example study
Source of boil-off

Unloading Mode, Holding Mode,


kg/hr

kg/hr

3,600

Energy of pumping

20,000

Unloading line heat leak (vacuum insulated)

1,600

Ship cargo tank heat leak

3,600

Onshore LNG tank heat leak

2,800

2,800

Vapour return to ship cargo tanks

(22,000)

22,000

Flash due to difference in tanks (ship


and onshore) operating pressures

Displacement from LNG tanks due to


unloaded LNG

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

60

As presented above large quantities of boil-off gas are generated in large-scale LNG
chains. It has been also discussed that the unloading mode vapour load can be many times
that in the holding mode. According to the Table 6.6 total quantity of boil-off gas,
generated during unloading operations, can even reach a value of 25,200 kg per hour.
Assuming that the time needed to unload a ship is about 12 to 18 hours, about 300,000 to
450,000 kg of boil-off gas is generated.

A quantity of boil-off gas generated during the transport by ships has also a significant
meaning. The ships typically travel at 19 knots (1 knot 0.514 m/s). Assuming that the
average distance that ships have to cover is about 4000 km, that gives about 5 days of
shipping. As presented before ships produced about 3600 kg of boil-off gas every hour, so
the total quantity of boil-off gas generated during the whole journey can be about 430,000
kg.

According to the calculations made in the subchapter 6.4, current LNG storage tanks are
designed to limit the boil-off gas generation to about 0.07 to 0.095% per day. Assuming
that LNG is kept in the tank up to ten days, a 200,000 cubic metres tank generates about
600,000 to 800,000 kg of boil-off gas during the storage.

In 2006, about 211 billion cubic metres of natural gas were imported in the form of LNG
[4]. If make an assumption that all this quantity of LNG were transported by 130,000 cubic
metres tankers, each of the unloading operations took 18 hours, and LNG were kept in the
storage tanks for ten days, about 5 billion cubic metres (about 2.061012 kg) of boil-off gas
were generated. Of course a real boil-off rates will vary significantly as the design
parameters change (design parameters means here: ships and tanks sizes, delivery time,
duration of unloading operations etc.), and the numbers presented above are intended
merely to illustrate how big the boil-off gas generation can be.

Large quantities of boil-off gas can increase substantially the greenhouse gas emissions. It
is worthy to say that only small portion of generated boil-off gas is vented or flared, at least
in theory. Not all companies physically measure venting/flaring. Often, from an operators
point of view there is no need to measure the vent/flare unless undertaking a study to see
the economic losses resulting from venting/flaring, or if required to do so by national

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

61

legislation. According to this information we can state that the venting or flaring of
methane does not constitute a major source of GHG from the LNG Chain.

Disposition of gas that evaporated contribute an additional source of GHG emissions. As


discussed above most portion of boil-off gas is collected and recirculated. Recirculation of
boil-off gas requires compression equipment. Compressors along with the drivers to power
them are large single point emissions sources, resulting in CH4 emissions due to leakage,
and CO2 emissions from fuel combustion to power the compressors. Compressor stations
can have upwards of 2,500 different components, nearly all of which are susceptible to
leaks whether intentionally (vented emissions) or unintentionally (fugitive emissions).
[30]

A good review of CO2 life cycle of LNG, including liquefaction, transport and regasification stages was presented by Tamura (2001) et al. According to his study over half
of the CO2 emissions associated with liquefaction of natural gas arise from the refrigeration
compressors/turbines used to cool and compress the natural gas.

Another significant source of emissions arises from the removal of CO2 from the feed gas
stream, however, emissions can vary greatly from field to field depending on the CO2
content of the source gas. There is some venting of CO2 associated with LNG production.
For example, while the CO2 content of raw gas may be low enough to be suitable for
pipeline transport, it still may have to be removed during liquefaction. Carbon dioxide has
a higher freezing point than LNG, so if it is not removed prior to liquefaction, it will freeze
out in the processing train causing blockages. As part of the CO2 removal process, the gas
is often vented into the atmosphere. [30]

Gas vapours also are released when LNG is loaded into tanks on cargo ships. These
vapours are either flared, or collected by a compressor and re-injected into the LNG
liquefaction process. The temperature of the ship when it arrives will impact the amount of
vapours released, and thus the feasibility, and costs, of flaring versus recovery. Ships will
normally arrive cold, but not as cold as when the LNG is in the ship. As these ships are
loaded with LNG, some of the LNG immediately vaporises. These initial vapours are
normally flared. [30]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

62

Emissions from LNG transport were examined by looking at LNG transportation between
Indonesia and Japan. Average emissions were determined using the average amount of fuel
loaded, the amount of LNG boil off gas and fuel oil consumed during transport and cargo
handling. [30]
Regasification emissions, reported by Tamura et al., used an assumption that only 0.15%
of the gas is used to run the regasification terminal, while electricity, which may be
generated with cleaner energy sources, provides the additional energy requirements. These
values were used as lower and upper bounds of the range of emissions from regasification
of LNG. The results from Tamuras studying are presented in the Table 6.7.
Table 6.7 Average emissions intensity of various life-cycle stages of LNG imported by
Japan
Stage of life cycle

Emission intensity: g-CO2e/MJ *

Liquefaction

2.15

CO2 from fuel consumption

1.43

CO2 from flare combustion

0.09

CH4 from vent

0.15

CO2 in raw gas

0.48

LNG transport

0.44

Regasification terminal

0.36

Source Tamura I. et al. 2001


*

CO2 equivalent per LNG heat value at liquefaction terminal outlet.

Using the numbers from the Table 6.7 we can evaluate approximate quantity of CO2
emissions from the typical LNG train. An LNG train is the term used to describe the
liquefaction and purification facilities on an LNG plant. A standard LNG plant train has a
capacity of 4 millions ton per annum (International Gas Union, 2008). When multiply the
typical LNG train size by the LNG heat value (approximately 30MJ/m3 - Wikipedia) and
divided by the average LNG density (423kg/m3 - Wikipedia ) we get a value of 2.837108
MJ. According to the Table 6.7 the production of every MJ of LNG results in 2.15 grams
of carbon dioxide emit to the atmosphere. This means that a typical LNG train can emit
about 670 metric tons of equivalent carbon dioxide.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

63

It has been presented that, however methane leakages are relatively small, there is a
greenhouse gas emissions from LNG. According to data given by Tamura et al. it can be
seen, that most part of GHG emissions comes from the liquefaction plant. The conclusion
can be that, however most part of boil-off gas is collected and recirculated, a significant
increase in LNG trade, as expected by the EIA(2006), can result in larger emissions of
GHG arises from the boil-off gas handling systems. Thus, some effort should be made to
implement newer compressor technology, since they are a major part of all boil-off gas
handling systems. And the main attention should be paid to reduce GHG emissions.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

64

7 Small-scale LNG chain


7.1 Background

Small-scale LNG is a complement to the traditional large-scale LNG supply chains where
LNG is transported over long distances to large and costly receiving terminals where it is
turned into gas and fed into national pipeline systems. With the small-scale LNG concept,
natural gas in the form of LNG can be supplied directly to end-users located outside the
normal cover of pipeline systems. This will give these end-users the unique opportunity to
switch to natural gas - an energy source with significantly lower emission levels of
greenhouse gases. As a complement to the large-scale LNG chain, small-scale plants are
plants that are installed near one of the major export lines and connected to these lines for
continuous LNG production in a smaller scale. In other words, small-scale LNG is not a
large system in terms of gas quantities.

Legend

Figure 7.1 Conceptual sketch of small-scale LNG chain. [12]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

65

Typical small-scale LNG chain consists of small-scale production plant, where production
capacity is between 20 and 200,000 tons/year, typical small-scale tanker, with capacity up
to 10,000 cubic metres, roadtanker and a small-scale receiving terminal, as shown in Fig.
7.1. In small-scale LNG chain the LNG is distributed locally by tanker trucks, in a range of
about 300 km from the production facility, to various customers with a small to moderate
need of energy or fuel. The tanker trucks are superinsulated to keep the gas liquefied at 162C. A truckload is typically 50 cubic metres of LNG, or 30,000 standard cubic metres
of gas. The small-scale receiving terminal is the location to which those trucks deliver.
This small-scale receiving terminal provides gas for local users, mainly industrial, but it is
also possible to deliver natural gas to smaller domestic users or as fuel for vehicles (mainly
buses and heavy duty trucks). The main component of small-scale LNG receiving terminal
is a vacuum insulated pressure vessel ranging in capacity from 2,000 to 60,000 litres
(standard VT-LNG storage tanks) or in customized engineering tanks, going up to 680,000
litres gross volume. [12][29]

66

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


7.2

Thermal analysis of boil-off of LNG in cryogenic tanks

A convenient procedure of thermal analysis of boil-off of LNG in small-scale LNG facility


was made by Chen Q. S., Wegrzyn J., and Prasad V., in a paper entitled Analysis of
temperature and pressure changes in liquefied natural gas (LNG) cryogenic tanks,
published in Cryogenics 44 (2004). A thermal analysis of boil-off of LNG in L-CNG
refuelling station, presented in this thesis work, is based mainly on this article.

Heat leak through shell of LNG storage tank


A typical small-scale LNG storage vessel consists of a 9% nickel steel inner liner and
carbon steel outer liner, using double wall construction with super insulation under high
vacuum. For this kind of structure the thermal resistance of the shell of tank can be
estimated as [31]
R=

1
1
1
+
Rm Rs

(7.1)

where, Rm is the resistance of the multilayer superinsulation, Rm = Dh /(k m S ) [31], Rs is the


parasitic heat resistance of the support connecting the inner and outer shells of tank,
Rs = Dh /( k s S s ) [31], S is the area of inner shell of tank, Ss is the area of support junction,

h is the thickness of multilayer superinsulation, km is the average thermal conductivity of


superinsulation, ks is the conductivity of stainless steel.
For steady flow through the wall, the heat flow rate across the shell of LNG tank can be
estimated as [31]
q=

DT
bV
k S k S
k S + k s aS
,
= DT m + s s = DT m
= DT ( k m + k s a )
R
Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh

(7.2)

where, the ratio of the support junction area and total area a = S s / S , the area density of
tank b = S / V (for a plain tube equal to b = 4 / D , where D is the diameter of the tube),V
is the capacity of LNG tank, and DT = T - T is the temperature difference between the
ambient and the LNG, where T is the ambient temperature.

67

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


From Eq. (7.2) the heat conductance of the tank shell can be estimated as [31]
C = ( k m + k sa )

bV
,
Dh

(7.3)

If we assume that all heat which leaks into the tank warms the LNG, the boil-off rate of
LNG due to heat leak through the shell of LNG storage tank is estimated as [31]
q
,
hg - hl

m1 =

(7.4)

where hg and hl are the enthalpies of methane in gaseous and liquid states, respectively.
From Eq. (7.4), the boil-off rate of LNG can be estimated as [31]
r=

m1
b
,
= DT ( k m + k sa )
Vr
r Dh (hg - hl )

(7.5)

where is the density of LNG.

The enthalpy of liquid methane can be estimated as [32]


T

hl = c p dT ,

(7.6)

The heat capacity of liquid methane we can estimate using correlation based on a series
expansion in temperature [33],
c p = A + BT + CT 2 + DT 3 ,

(7.7)

where, A=5149, B=-43.249, C=0.301449, and D=-4.49243*10-4

The enthalpy of gaseous methane can be obtained as [33]


h g = hl + DH ,

(7.8)

where H is the heat of vaporization and it is based on the Watson correlation [32]
n

T -T
DH = DH 1 c
,
Tc - T1

(7.9)

where, H1 is the heat of vaporization of methane at boiling point,


DH 1 = 0.5095 10 6 J / kg , Tc is the critical temperature of methane, Tc=190.55 K, T1 is the

temperature of boiling point, T1=111.65 K, and n = 0.38 for 90.55K < T < 190.55K.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

68

The thermal conductivity of superinsulation km is generally estimated as 510-5 W/(mK)


[31], conductivity of 1% chrome steel at 273K, ks as 43 W/(mK) [31], the tank is filled
with the LNG at -150C at the pressure 2.5bar. The enthalpy of liquid methane from Eq.
7.6 is estimated as hl = 4.707105 J/kg. The heat of vaporization, H according to Eq. 7.9 is
estimated as 4.779105 J/kg, and the enthalpy of gaseous methane hg obtained from Eq. 7.8
is 9.485105 J/kg. Fig. 7.2 shows the boil-off rate as a function of insulation thickness for
50 cubic metres tank, the area density of tank = 2 m-1, and the area of the cross-section of
support strut of 0.001%, 0.002%, 0.005% and 0.01%. The boil-off rate were calculated
using Eq. 7.5 The boil-off rate here means what percentage of fuel to be boiled off to keep
the same temperature when heat is added into the fuel.

Figure 7.2 Boil-off rate as a function of thickness of superinsulation.

In the Fig. 7.2 you can see that the boil-off rate strongly depends on the area of the crosssection of support strut, which links the outer and inner shells of the tank. For example for
junction area ration =0.005%, the boil-off rate for insulation of 0.03 m thickness is 1.2%
per day. With a reduction in the area of strut cross-section, e.g., =0.002%, the boil-off rate
is reduced to 0.45% per day for the insulation of the same thickness.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

69

Fig. 7.3 shows the thermal conductance as a function of insulation thickness for 50 cubic
metres tank, the area density of tank = 2 m-1, and the area of the cross-section of support
strut of 0.001%, 0.002%, 0.005% and 0.01%. The thermal conductance was estimated
using Eq. 7.3.

Figure 7.3 Thermal conductance as a function of thickness of insulation.

In the Fig. 7.3 it can be seen that, for junction area ratio =0.005%, the thermal
conductance for 0.04 m thickness insulation is 5.5 W/K. With a reduction in the area of
strut cross-section, e.g., =0.002%, the thermal conductance is reduced to 2.2 W/K.
However, the junction area ratio has to be large enough for the strut to support the weight
of the tank.

Heat release by boil-off


When heat is added into the LNG, the vapour pressure inside the tank will increase.
Venting of natural gas can be used to reduce the vapour pressure and thus the LNG
temperature. We assume that the vapour is in the saturated state, so that the relationship
between the vapour pressure and temperature of LNG is known (Fig. 7.4).

70

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Figure 7.4 The vapour pressure curve for methane (Source:


http://encyclopedia.airliquide.com)
If the initial mass of LNG is m1, and temperature is reduced by T after venting a certain
amount of LNG, m; the following equation is valid for small T [31]

[h

(T ) - hl (T ) m = [hl (T ) - hl (T - DT )] (m1 - m)

From the above equation, the boil-off is then [31]

r = m / m1 = [hl (T ) - hl (T - DT ) ] / hg (T ) - hl (T - DT )

(7.10)

The percentage of LNG to be boiled off in order to reduce vapour pressure is shown
in Fig. 7.5.

(7.11)

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

71

Figure 7.5 Percentage of LNG to be boiled to reduce saturated vapour pressure.

For example to reduce the saturated vapour pressure from 20 bar to 2.5 bar, 32.25% LNG
is to be boiled. Similarly, to reduce the saturated vapour pressure from 20 to 10 bar,
17.95% LNG has to be boiled of, and from 10 to 2.5 bar, 17.36% LNG has to be boiled off.
Evidently, the venting of boiled off gas can result in the loss of large amount of LNG.
Certainly venting is not an efficient way to reduce the vapour pressure and has to be
avoided

72

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


7.3 Dynamic process during storage and fueling

Storage process without fuelling buses


In this work a cryogenic tank of 50 m3 is considered. The initial fill is 25 m3 with a
saturated pressure 2.5 bar and the equilibrium boiling temperature of the LNG ~123.9 K.
The thermal conductance of the LNG tank is estimated to be about 2 W/K (with latent heat
of vaporization for LNG in these conditions it gives a heat leak rate, Q = 338.2W ). We
desire to know how the saturated pressure in this refuelling tank changes with the time,
without filling and venting operations.

A good solution of this problem was proposed by J. A. Barclay, A. M. Rowe and M. A.


Barclay in an article entitled Pressure build-up in LNG and LH2 vehicular cryogenic
storage tanks, published in Advances in Cryogenic Vol. 710 (2004). A consideration
showed below is based on this article.

The key to solving this problem without having to solve the complex changes in the vapour
and liquid phases separately as a function of temperature and pressure is to realize that this
is a closed system. Therefore, the average density in the tank remains constant as the
pressure and temperature increase, due to the heat leak into the cryogen.

Using the code, called AllProps [35], we can estimate the properties of the LNG at the
initial pressure and temperature, such as: the density of the liquid phase,
r l = 403.85kg / m 3 , the density of the vapour phase, r v = 4.18kg / m 3 and the initial

internal energy, ui = -863.62kJ / kg .

Using these densities and the volume of the vapour and liquid phase in the tank the initial
mass of the LNG in liquid and vapour phase can be estimated using Eqs. (7.12) and (7.13)
[34].

m l = Vl r l ,

(7.12)

m g = (Vtan k - Vl ) r v

(7.13)

73

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Using Eqs. (7.12) and (7.13) the mass of the LNG in the vapour phase is mv = 104.5kg and
the mass of the LNG in the liquid phase is ml = 1.01 10 4 kg .

The quality of the LNG is given by the ratio of the mass of the vapour to the mass of the
liquid estimated by Eq. (7.14) [34], and it gives a value, X = 0.01 .

X = mv / ml ,

(7.14)

Using the quality, the average density in the tank can be calculated using Eq. (7.15) [34].
-1

r av

1 - X X
=
+ ,
rv
rl

(7.15)

Under the given conditions the average density in this tank is, r av = 202.98kg / m 3 .
Now, assuming that we know the final pressure, set by p f = 2.6bar for example, and
knowing the constant average density, using the code AllProps [35] we can estimate the
final temperature, T f = 124.49 K and the final internal energy as u f = 861.49kJ / kg .

The constant volume process means that the changes in internal energy between the final
and the initial states times the total mass of the LNG in the tank Eq. (7.16) [34] divided by
the rate of the heat influx will give the time it takes to reach the final pressure Eq. (7.17)
[34].

DU = ( m l + m v ) ( u f - u i ) ,
time =

DU
,
Q

(7.16)
(7.17)

Using above equations, the time to reach the pressure 2.6 bar is about 18 hours (~0.744
day).

Above procedure is then repeated for successive values of the final pressure and the results
are shown in Fig. 7.6.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

74

Figure 7.6 Predicted saturated pressure for 50 m3 tank with an initial fill of 25 m3
LNG .
It is seen very well that the saturated pressure increases with time without filling and
venting. With set of assumption used in this example the saturated pressure increases about
0.15 bar each day.

Boil-off rate with number of buses


Loosing fuel by boil-off is one of the most important factors which have an affect on costeffectiveness of using LNG as a fuel for vehicles. Since the LNG as a cryogenic fluid has
to be maintained at very low temperature it is not efficient to store it in the tanks for a long
time, where it is jeopardized through the heat leakage. Longer time of storing LNG in the
tank increases its temperature and causes a higher boil-off rate.

Using a large tank for storing LNG, or fuelling only a few vehicles each day can lead to the
situation describe above. LNG is kept in the tank for a long time, instead of being used,
what causes a higher loss of fuel. It is expected then, that number of vehicles fuelled each
day can have a significant effect on fuel consumption. Figure 7.7 shows the average fuel
consumption for ten cities where natural gas is used as a fuel for city buses. Number of
buses varying from 4 (Trondheim, Norway) to 136 (Colmar, France). It can be seen that

75

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

fuel consumption of buses in Trondheim is surprisingly high, while in the Malm where is
125 CNG buses the average fuel consumption is the lowest.

Figure 7.7 Average fuel consumption (Source: Fryczka, D., Natural Gas use for on
road transport, Diploma thesis, June 2004)

The effect of number of buses fuelled each day on fuel loss rate is analyzed by considering
an LNG tank of 50 cubic metres and thermal conductance varying from 1 to 5 W/K. It is
assumed that the pressure in the tank is 2.5 bar and the equilibrium boiling temperature of
the LNG is 123.9 K, and this conditions is maintained constant during the test time.

The boil-off rate for each conductance can be estimated by the Eq. (7.18).
BOR =

C (T - T )
,
DH r l V

(7.18)

Where T is the ambient temperature (assumed as 293 K), T is the equilibrium boiling
temperature of the LNG, l is the density of the liquid phase of the LNG
( r l = 403.85kg / m 3 estimated by using AllProps [35]), V is the tanks volume and H is
the latent heat of evaporation for the LNG (in calculations I will use methane heat of
evaporation as the main component of the LNG). The latent heat of evaporation at boiling
point is H1 = 0.5095106 J/kg. To estimate the value for condition used in this example I
will use the Watson correlation [32].

76

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


n

T -T
DH = DH 1 c
,
Tc - T1

(7.19)

Using Eq. (7.19), and knowing the critical temperature of methane Tc=190.55, the
temperature of boiling point T1=111.65 K and n = 0.38 for 90.55K < T < 190.55K, H =
0.4779106 J/kg.

Knowing the heat of evaporation and using the Eq. (7.18), the boil-off rates for the tanks of
1, 2 and 5 W/K conductance, are 0.15%, 0.3% and 0.76% respectively.

The effect of number of buses fuelled each day on the fuel loss rate is shown by the total
fuel loss from the tank, when the number of buses fuelled each day varying from 1 to 40.
Only the one total volume for each case is considered, and the total fuel loss is estimated as
the amount of boil-off gas generated during the time of emptying tank, divided by the total
tanks capacity. The fuel loss with number of buses is shown in Fig. 7.8.

Figure 7.8 Total fuel loss with number of buses.


For thermal conductance of 2 W/K, the total fuel loss is about 7% of the total filled fuel,
when fuelling four buses every day. The fuel loss is reduced to less than 3% when fuelling
more than ten buses every day, and it can be reduced to less than 1%, when fuelling more
than 31 buses each day. For 40 buses and for the tank of the same thermal conductance the

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

77

total fuel loss is about 0.75% of the total filled fuel. It is evident that increasing number of
buses fuelled each day can reduce the fuel loss, as a percentage of total fuel delivered. It is
important also to reduce the thermal conductance of the shell of tank and the thermal
conductance is related to the steel strut support between shells of tank.

Fig. 7.9 shows the ratio of the daily boil-off rate to the average daily consumption of the
LNG, used for fuelling buses (number of buses varying from 1 to 40). The boil-off rates for
the tanks of 1, 2 and 5 W/K conductance, considered in this example, are 0.15%, 0.3% and
0.76% respectively.

Figure 7.9 Boil-off rate as a percentage of daily consumption of the LNG for the LNG
tank.
It is evident and easy to forecast that increasing number of buses fuelled each day, causes
that daily boil-off rate becomes less important. As shown in Fig. 7.8 the boil-off rate is an
important part of the LNG consumed each day, when number of buses is less than five. For
example for the tank of 2 W/K conductance the boil-off rate is more than 15% of daily
consumption of the LNG, when fuelling two buses every day. For the same tank the
percentage of the boil-off decreases to 3%, when fuelling ten buses every day. The boil-off
rate can be neglected, when fuelling more than twenty buses every day using an LNG
cryogenic tank with C = 2 W/K.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

78

8 Use of boil-off gas


8.1 Use of BOG at ships

Even the cargo tanks are well insulated some quantities of boil off gas are produced due to
heat inleak. Typical values are about 0.1 to 0.15% of the full contents per day, which over
a 20 day voyage, becomes a significant amount. Until now ships have employed gas
compression and use the boil-off gas as fuel for the propulsion systems. LNG carriers have
been equipped with steam turbines powered by heavy fuel oil (HFO) and/or LNG BOG.
The high consumption of the steam turbine as compared to last-generation diesel engines
in addition to environmental concerns and future regulation will eventually motivate their
replacement. Instead of the common application of using the boil-off gas as fuel, the LNG
BOG re-liquefaction system provides a solution to liquefy the boil-off gas back to the
cargo tanks. The LNG re-liquefaction system has merit in the large savings in total fuel
consumption and improved propulsion redundancy.

To illustrate how the on board re-liquefaction system for LNG ships looks like I will
describe the concept developed by Tractebel Gas Engineering (TGE). The TGE process
concept for the re-liquefaction of boil-off gas is based on the classical Brayton Cycle. BOG
is withdrawn from the cargo tanks and compressed to an intermediate pressure of about 3
6 bar a. It is then liquefied in a main process exchanger (BOG Liquefier). Liquefied BOG
is flashed down to tank pressure in a separate valve and sparged into each of the cargo
tanks on the ship. The process is designed to achieve 100 % liquid BOG at tank pressure.
The cooling and liquefaction of the BOG is done in exchange with cold, gaseous nitrogen.
[37]

The main heat exchanger assembly is an aluminium plate fin type exchanger which has 3
streams. The BOG is cooled in one of the streams whilst HP nitrogen is cooled in the
second stream. The third stream is the cold, low pressure nitrogen, which provides the
refrigeration for the process. [37]

Nitrogen is compressed in a three stage turbo compressor to a high pressure. It is cooled


after each stage in a shell & tube heat exchanger to ambient temperature using seawater as

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

79

coolant. The pre-cooled high pressure nitrogen is then fed to the BOG liquefier and cooled
down to approx. 80C to -110 C. Cold high pressure nitrogen is fed to an expander
which is directly coupled to the third compressor stage to form a Compander. Outlet
temperature of the low pressure nitrogen is approx. -170C to -180C. A simplified flowshame of boil-off reliquefaction process is shown in Fig. 8.1. [37]

Figure 8.1 Process flow-scheme of boil-off re-liquefaction unit.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

80

8.2 Use of BOG at receiving terminals

The LNG gasification plant is mainly composed of LNG storage tanks, LNG pumps, LNG
vaporizers, and the gas pipeline. During normal operation, boil-off gas (BOG) is produced
in the tanks and liquid-filled lines by heat transfer from the surroundings. The quantity of
vapour in the tank outlet increases significantly during ship unloading. These additional
vapours are a combination of volume displaced in the tanks by the incoming LNG, vapour
resulting from the release of energy input by the ship pumps, flash vapour due to the
pressure difference between the ship and the storage tanks, and vapour generated from heat
leak through the unloading arms and transfer lines. These quantities of boil-off gas are
collected using compressor systems and then they should be utilized.

The usual order of priority for utilizing the boil-off gas from the discharge of the boil-off
gas compressor is the following:

Return to ship during unloading

Use as a fuel on-site

Recondense into LNG

Compress and place into the sales stream/pipeline

Flare (only in emergencies)

Return to ship
This is the first priority during ship unloading. When LNG is pumped out of the ship there
will be a tendency to create a vacuum. To offset this, and to maintain the cargo tanks at
their operating pressure, natural gas is brought in, by the vapour return line, to replace the
void created by the exiting LNG. Unlike the unloading line, the vapour return line is not
maintained cold during periods between ship unloadings, so during the initial period of
unloading the vapour returned to the jetty is too warm. Therefore, the vapour has to be
cooled, in a desuperheater, before it enters the ship cargo tanks.

Use as a fuel on-site


When considering typical LNG gasification plant, there will be a significant fuel gas
demand. The gas from the discharge of the boil-off compressor is less valuable than the
high pressure gas from the vaporizer discharge. Therefore, every possible effort is made to

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

81

reduce the usage of the gas from the vaporizers discharge. The boil-off gas is a convenient
source to meet the plant fuel needs. For example the boil-off gas can be used as the heat
source for the vaporizer (SCV type vaporizers consume a significant quantities of fuel gas).
If high pressure gas is used, its pressure needs to be reduced before it enters the fuel gas
system. This pressure reduction can cause a substantial drop in temperature, and the gas
may have to be heated before it enters the fuel gas system. [25]

Recondense into LNG


During normal operation, boil-off gas (BOG) is produced in the tanks and liquid-filled
lines by heat transfer from the surroundings. This vapour is collected in the boil-off header
that ties into the boil-off compressor suction drum. Boil off vapours generated during
normal operation (not unloading) by heat leak into the storage tank and piping are
compressed and liquefied in a recondenser. [25]

The basic principle of the recondensers operation is very simple. The boil off gas is
compressed to around 6 to 9 bar gage range and mixed with supercooled LNG. The
supercooled LNG, meaning that it has the capacity to absorb natural gas and hold it as a
liquid. The supercooled LNG arises when pumped in the first stage sendout pumps, the
LNG attains greater pressure but the temperature rises only slightly. At operating pressure
of the recondenser (6 to 9 bar gauge range) every kilogram of LNG, from the discharge of
the first stage pumps, can absorb or recondense about 0.1 kilogram of boil-off gas from the
discharge of the boil-off compressor. [25]

Compress and place into sales pipeline


Compressing large volumes of gas to high pressure is usually costly. Therefore, compress
boil-off gas and place it into the sales stream/pipeline is used only if it is the only option.
These situations arise usually where there is very low internal demand for the boil-off gas,
for example there is no sendout from the terminal, or the sendout is extremely low. Then
the ability to recondense is drastically reduced and to avoid venting or flaring the boil-off
gas a high pressure compressor might be necessary. [25]

Flaring
The flare system should be used only during the plant upsets or other unexpected
circumstances. [25]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

82

8.3 Use of BOG in small-scale LNG chain


It has already been described that the boil off gas (BOG) is produced as the LNG is
received and stored even in small-scale. The boil-off gas, produced due to heat from
ambient conditions and tank pumps, in addition to barometric pressure changes, causes the
pressure build-up inside the LNG tank. To reduce the storage tank pressure boil-off gas
should be removed. Removed boil-off gas is stored then in a special made BOG tank. To
protect environment from additionally greenhouse gas emissions and also to prevent fuel
loss in LNG stations boil-off gas should be utilize.

In plants using the LNG for fuel equipment for factories and city gas LNG plants, the
supply pressure is only approximately 0.2 to 0.3MPa. Therefore, the BOG can be mixed in
the supply gas without any problems. However, the application of the LCNG refuelling
station, considered in this work, is intended only for refuelling to NGV. Therefore, it is
difficult to process the low pressure gas, which has been evaporated once. Additionally, as
the BOG is produced, the weathering problem must be investigated that the LNG
component in the LNG tank is concentrated to heavy contents. It is thought that this
problem may easily occur in the refuelling station where a large LNG tank is installed and
only few vehicles are charged every day, just like it arises in Trondheim. [38]

In small-scale LNG chain boil-off gas can be used as a fuel on-site, to power an electric
generator or be re-liquefied. All of these ways of utilizing BOG can be successfully
applied in Trondheim.

BOG used as a fuel on-site


The BOG of the BOG tank can be used as the heat source for the vaporizer. As for the
process other than this method, a system is used that increases the pressure using the
compressor and collects the gas to the gas storage unit. This compressor is intended to
process the BOG and is not intended to increase the pressure at normal working level.
Therefore, a compressor having a large capacity is not required. In this system, a small
engine compressor can be used. [38]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

83

BOG to power an electric generator or be re-liquefied


A typical storage LNG tank with electric generator or liquefier module is shown in Fig.
8.1. The LNG tank pressure should be below 175-200 psi (12-13.8 bar). LNG tank needs to
be vented or vented gas be used when head pressure exceeds 150-175 psi (10.3-12 bar). A
pressure-activated valve is used to keep the tank pressure below the set point, for example
80 psi (5.5 bar). When the tank pressure exceeds the set point, the three way pressureactivated valve routes ullage vapour instead of liquid to the engine. This decreases the tank
pressure the same way as venting. When the fuel tank pressure is below a set-point, liquid
is drawn from the tank to the engine. [34]

Figure 8.2 LNG storage tank with module of electric generator or liquefier.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

84

9 Discussion
The strong price increases for oil and gas of recent years have led to a re-evaluation of the
attractiveness of natural gas for power generation, the principal growth market for gas.
Natural gas reserves are mainly concentrated in the Middle East and Former Soviet Union,
accounting for over 71 percent of the global reserves at the end of 2006. Unlike global
natural gas reserves, the major consuming nations are located in Pacific Asia, North
America and Europe. This imbalance in resources has created an opportunity for
international trade in natural gas. Because of the distance between producers and
consumers gas cannot practically or economically be transported in its gaseous state via
pipeline. Thus, LNG provides a means of linking remote gas to markets. Moreover
consumers in OECD Europe have an additional incentive to diversify sources of supply to
LNG imports, driven by fears of over-reliance on gas supply from Russia.

Continued expansion of demand has motivated an interest in expanding the role of LNG
import. The number of countries involved in the LNG trade has expanded significantly in
recent years, accounting for 15 exporting countries and 18 importing countries, with even
more countries in the process of developing infrastructure to either export or import LNG
in the near future. This involves the large volumes of LNG, which need to be stored.

LNG storage tanks account for a large portion, often up to a third or more, of the cost of a
LNG terminal. Usually metal-lined concrete tanks are used for the primary containment of
LNG. Due to the high costs and schedule implications of constructing traditional storage
tanks, there is a great interest in finding new solutions for storing LNG. One of the
innovations is all-concrete LNG tank (ACLNG). The ACLNG tank eliminates the need for
a liner in the primary container and utilises a simple and cost-effective water vapour barrier
on the secondary wall. Savings are achieved through a performance-related approach to
design simplicity and speed of construction, avoiding the long lead time associated with
proprietary liners, membranes or 9% Ni-steel, the cost of specialist sub-contractors. One of
the disadvantages is that the perception of concrete is that it will crack and leak and this
will cause extra quantity of LNG lost from the primary container. Some other solution is
proposed by StatoilHydro. CryoTank is a concrete/concrete tank (C/C tank), where the
structural strength comes from the concrete and the tightness from a completely sealed

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

85

metallic liner. The mount of steel used is substantially reduced compared with
conventional LNG tanks. CryoTank tanks can be more than twice as large as conventional
tanks, i.e. larger than 400,000 m3. This increased size can be achieved by minor increased
diameter and increased height.
One of the challenges in transporting and storing LNG is the generation of methane
through the boil-off. Boil-off is caused by the heat added into the LNG during the storage
and loading/unloading operations. In this work the sources of boil-off for typical largescale receiving terminal was presented and discussed. A special emphasis was put on the
thermal analysis of an example LNG storage tank. In this study the heat transfer through
the roof, wall and the bottom slab of the 200,000 cubic metres LNG tank, was considered.
It was showed that the range from 0.07% to 0.095% of stored LNG is lost every day by
boil-off, when assuming LNG (Snhvit) and pure methane respectively. It has been showed
also that the quantity of boil-off gas generated during the ship loading/unloading
operations can be several times that generated during storing (holding mode).

It has been shown that, there are probably some methane losses in LNG chains, due to
leakages, venting or flaring, however they are hard to define. Not all companies physically
measure venting/flaring. Often, from an operators point of view there is no need to
measure the vent/flare unless undertaking a study to see the economic losses resulting from
venting/flaring, or if required to do so by national legislation and even then that
information are not easy to get.

It has been presented that even when assume that the main part of boil-off gas, generated
by LNG chain, is recirculated some additional GHG emissions arise. A significant increase
in LNG trade, as expected by the EIA(2006), can result in larger emissions of GHG arises
from the boil-off gas handling systems. Thus, some effort should be made to implement
newer compressor technology, since they are a major part of all boil-off gas handling
systems. And the main attention should be paid to reduce GHG emissions.

Generating methane by boil-off in small-scale is also a significant consideration. In


general, the relative value of boil-off in small-scale facilities is larger than in large-scale
facilities (relative value means here the boil-off as a fraction of stored volume). A thermal
analysis of a typical small-scale 50 cubic metres LNG tank was carried out. The results

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

86

showed that the boil-off rate strongly depends on thickness of superinsulation and the area
of the cross-section of support strut, which links the outer and inner shells of the tank. For
example for junction area ration =0.005%, the boil-off rate for insulation of 0.03 m
thickness is 1.2% per day. With a reduction in the area of strut cross-section, e.g.,
=0.002%, the boil-off rate is reduced to 0.45% per day for the insulation of the same
thickness.

Because of the smaller sizes of tanks in small-scale facilities than in large-scale facilities,
an excessive pressure build-up in LNG tanks, caused by boiling-off some portion of LNG,
is much more important. When considering a 50 cubic metres tank, which thermal
conductance is estimated to be 2 W/K you can see that saturated pressure increases about
1.5 bar in ten days without filling and venting operations at about 25 cubic metres fill and
2.5 bar saturated pressure. This gives about 0.15 bar pressure build-up each day.

Natural gas is being developed as a transportation fuel for heavy vehicles such as trucks
and city buses. In Trondheim there are 4 CNG buses, but the problem is that the natural gas
consumption of Trondheims buses seems to be relatively high. The thing is that natural
gas for Trondheims buses is stored as an LNG form in cryogenic tank. Higher natural gas
consumption of Trondheims buses is caused probably by boil-off loses of stored LNG at
refuelling stations. When only few buses are fuelled each day the pressure of boil-off gas
may build up inside the LNG tank. To reduce the storage tank pressure, boil-off gas is
removed, what causes a bigger loses of fuel (LNG). In this study it was calculated that for
a 50 cubic metres LNG tank, which thermal conductance is estimated to be 2 W/K, the
total fuel loss is about 7% of the total filled fuel, when fuelling four buses every day. The
fuel loss decreases to less than 3% and less than 1%, when fuelling more than ten and more
than thirty one buses every day. It is evident that the total fuel loss strongly depends on
number of buses fuelled each day.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

87

10 Conclusions
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) will play an increasingly important role in the natural gas
industry and global energy markets in the next several years. The combination of higher
natural gas prices, lower LNG costs, rising gas import demand, and the desire of gas
producers to monetize their gas reserves is setting the stage for increased global LNG
trade.

Boil-off generation during loading/unloading operations can be many times that in the
holding mode. Boil-off generation during ship unloading is a significant consideration
while defining the parameters for the LNG tanks. However, the selection of LNG tank type
and its related design basis has many ramifications, and boil-off gas is only one of them.

The number of buses fuelled each day in an LCNG station has a large effect on the total
loss of fuel. By increasing number of buses fuelled each day the total fuel loss can be
greatly reduced. It is important also to reduce the thermal conductance of the shell of tank
and the thermal conductance is related to the steel strut support between shells of tank. The
total fuel loss for the tank, which thermal conductance is estimated to be 2 W/K, is about
7% of the total filled fuel, when fuelling four buses every day. The fuel loss is reduced less
than 1% when fuelling more than thirty one buses every day.

Boil-off gas is essentially gasified LNG at atmospheric pressure and it has substantial fuel
value. Methane is about 21 times more greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide so it should not
be vented or flared, except in emergencies. To eliminate the fuel loss, by boil-off,
evaporated gas should be re-circulated. Boil-off gas can be disposed by re-liquefaction, use
as a fuel on-site or compress and place into the sales stream/pipeline.

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

88

References
[1] Chevron, Gorgon Project, What is LNG?, [Internet, read April 2008]
[2] U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, Liquefied Natural Gas:
Understanding the basic facts, August 2005, [Internet, read April 2008]
[3] International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group, Environmental, Health, and
Safety Guidelines: LNG LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS FACILITIES, April 2007,
[Internet]
[4] BP, BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2007, London, UK, June 2007, p. 22.
[Internet]
[5] California Energy Commission, Liquefied Natural Gas Worldwide,
http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/international.html, [Internet, page updated 11/20/2007]
[6] Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, The Global
Liquefied Natural Gas Market: Status & Outlook, Washington, USA, December 2003.
[7] Weems, P. R., Rogers, D. M., Atlantic Basin LNG sees rapid growth; Mideast
capacity plays major role, LNG Observer April 01, 2007, volume 4, issue 2
[8] Energy Information Administration , Official Energy Statistics from the U.S.
Government, Country Analysis Briefs, http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/ [Internet, read
April 2008]
[9] Petroleum Council Global Oil & Gas Study, Topic paper#13, Liquefied Natural Gas
(LNG), made available July 18, 2007, www.npc.org, [Internet]
[10] Kunert, S., Larsen, . B., Small is beautiful Mini LNG concept, presented at
Gastech 2008, International Conference, Bangkok, March 10-13.
[11] Skjervheim, A., Erfarenheter av LNG frn Norge, paper made for Gasdagarna i
Bstad 17-18 October 2007
[12] Jarlsby, E., Lowering downstream entry barriers for natural gas: Small-scale LNG
distribution in Norway, presented at IRAEE international conference Energy &
Security in the Changing World, Tehran, May 25-27, 2004
[13] Gasnor homepage: http://www.gasnor.no/1005/Side.aspx, [Internet, read April 2008]
[14] CHIV International, Downeast LNG import terminal, Major equipment alternatives
study, Document: 04921-TS-000-106, July 2006.
[15] TOKYO GAS Co., LNG Technologies, Chapter 3 Receiving Terminals,
http://www.tokyo-gas.co.jp/lngtech/chap_03/index.html [Internet, read April 2008]

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

89

[16] Powell, J., Thomas, G., Construction of All Concrete LNG Tanks, presented at
Gastech 2008, International Conference, Bangkok, March 10-13
[17] Skovholt O., A new C/C LNG tank, presented at Gastech 2008, International
Conference, Bangkok, March 10-13
[18] 2000-2008 GlobalSecurity.org, site maintained by John Pike,
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/tanker-lng.htm [Internet, read
April 2008]
[19] Starosta, A., Safety of cargo handling and transport liquefied natural gas by sea.
Dangerous properties of LNG and actual situation of LNG Fleet, Gdynia Maritime
University, Gdynia, Poland.
[20] Scope, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Quarterly Newsletter, Technologies Behind LNG
Carriers: Transferring LNG Safely at Ultralow Temperatures, No 69, pp 6-7 October
2006
[21] U.S. Patent No. 6,035,795, Ship with liquid tank, Issued on February 6, 2007,
http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/7171916-fulltext.html, [Internet, read April 2008]
[22] Ship & Offshore Engineering Dept., Shipbuilding & Offshore, IHI website,
http://www.ihi.co.jp/offshore/spbinside_e.htm [Internet, last modified 12/27/00]
[23] Coyle, D. A., Patel, V., Process and Pump Services in the LNG Industry, Proceedings
in the twenty-second pump users symposium, Houston Texas, 2005
[24] The independent natural gas information site Copyright Vivek Chandra.,
http://www.natgas.info/html/liquefiednaturalgaschain.html,
[25] Tarakad, Ram R., LNG Receiving and Regasification Terminals, An Overview of
Design, Operation and Project Development Considerations, Zeus Development
Corporation, Houston, Texas 2003.
[26] Kitzel, B., Choosing the right insulation, PHPK Technologies, USA, reprinted from
LNG INDUSTRY, spring 2008
[27] Bates, S., Morrison, D. S., Modeling the behavior of stratified liquid natural gas in
storage tanks: a study of the rollover phenomenon, J. Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol.40
No. 8, pp. 1875-1885, 1997.
[28] Se-Jin Jeon, Byeong-Moo Jin and Young-Jin Kim, Consistent thermal analysis
procedure of LNG storage tank, Structural Engineering and Mechanics, Vol. 25, No. 4
(2007), pp. 445-466
[29] Chart Ferox Group a member of Chart Industries, Inc., http://www.chart
ferox.com/systems/systems-lng-systems-satellite-plants.htm, [Internet, read April

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

90

2008]
[30] Tamura, I., Tanaka, T., Kagajo, T., Life Cycle CO2 analysis of LNG and city gas,
Applied Energy 68 (2001) , pp.301-319.
[31] Chen, Q. S., Wegrzyn, J., Prasad, V., Analysis of temperature and pressure changes
in liquefied natural gas (LNG) cryogenic tanks, Cryogenics 44 (2004), pp. 701-709.
[32] Moran M. J., Shapiro Howard N., Fundamentals of engineering thermodynamics,
third edition, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 1998.
[33] Yaws C. L., Physical properties, Chem Eng 1977.
[34] J. A. Barclay, A. M. Rowe and M. A. Barclay, Pressure build-up in LNG and LH2
vehicular cryogenic storage tanks, Advances in Cryogenic (2004), Vol.710, pp. 41-47.
[35] AllProps code has been made available by the Thermophysical Science Group at the
University of Idaho, (www.uidaho.edu)
[36] White, FM., Heat transfer, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1984
[37] Gerdsmeyer, K-D., Isalski, W. H., On-board reliquefaction for LNG ships, TGE Gas
Engineering (read April 2008).
[38] Yonezawa, M., Development of L-CNG Refuelling System, Chiyoadkikai Works Co.,
Ltd

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

91

Appendix A. Composition of Natural Gas and LNG


Natural gas is composed primarily of methane but also contains ethane, propane and
heavier hydrocarbons. Small amounts of impurities, including carbon dioxide (CO2),
hydrogen sulphide (H2S), nitrogen (N2) and water (H2O) may also be found in natural gas.
Because these impurities can detract from the heating value and properties of natural gas,
they are often removed during the refining process and used as commercial by-products.
The Table A.1 provides a typical natural gas composition.
Natural gas is an odourless gas that is classified according to its composition. Dry gas has
very high methane content, while wet gas contains considerable amounts of hydrocarbons
of higher molecular weight known as alkanes, which include ethane, propane, and butane.
Residue gas is the gas remaining (mostly methane) after the alkanes have been extracted
from wet gas. Sour gas contains high concentrations of hydrogen sulphide (a colourless,
poisonous gas with the odour of rotten eggs). The Table A.1 provides examples of natural
gas compositions.
Table A.1 Examples of Gas compositions

Troll (1)

Sleipner Field(2)

Draugen (3)

Methane

93,070

83,465

44,659

Ethane

3,720

8,653

13,640

Propane

0,582

3,004

22,825

i-Butane

0,346

0,250

4,875

n-Butane

0,083

0,327

9,466

C5++

0,203

0,105

3,078

Nitrogen

1,657

0,745

0,738

Carbon Dioxide

0,319

3,429

3,429

100

100

100

Molar content %

Total

Source: Fryczka, D., Natural Gas use for on road transport, Diploma thesis, June 2004
(1) After processing at Kollsnes (on-shore processing plant), average for Nov. 2000.

92

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

(2) After off-shore processing into off-shore pipelines, combination of Sleipner East
and West, average Nov. 2000.

(3) After off-shore processing into pipeline sgard Transport to Krst (on .shore
processing plant) for further processing, average for Dec. 2000.

The liquefaction process requires the removal the some of the non-methane components
such as water and carbon dioxide from the produced natural gas to prevent them from
forming solids when the gas is cooled to about LNG temperature (-162C). As a result,
LNG is typically made up of methane. The Table A.2 provides examples of Liquefied
Natural Gas compositions.
Table A.2 Examples of LNG compositions
Properties at bubble point at normal pressure

LNG

LNG

LNG

Example 1 Example 2 Example 3

Molar content %
Nitrogen

0,5

1,79

0,36

Methane

97,5

93,9

87,20

Ethane

1,8

3,26

8,61

Propane

0,2

0,69

2,74

i-Butane

0,12

0,42

n-Butane

0,15

0,65

C5++

0,09

0,02

Molecular weight (kg/kmol)

16,41

17,07

18,52

Bubble point temperature (C)

-162,6

-165,3

-161,3

431,6

448,8

468,7

590

590

568

1,367

1,314

1,211

Density (kg/m )
Volume of gas measured at 0C and
101325 Pa/Volume of liquid (m3/m3)
Volume of gas measured at 0C and
101325 Pa/Mass of liquid (m3/10 3kg)

Source: Bengt Olav Neeraas, Statoil ASA, September 2007

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Appendix B. Major trade movements Natural Gas and LNG (2006)

93

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Appendix C. Major trade movements LNG (2006)

94

95

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Appendix D. Maps of LNG facilities worldwide


Caribbean, South & Central America
Approximate location,
Calypso LNG, Grand Bahama Island
Approximate location, Southeast region

Ocean Cay Island, Northern Bahamas

Peuelas LNG, Bahia de Guazanilla

Approximate location,
Northwest region

Puerto Corts
Andres LNG-AES Sparrow Piont LNG
Port Esquivel
Mariscal Sucre LNG-Venezuela LNG-CIGMA LNG

Atlantic LNG +expansion, Port Fortin

La Unin

El Jos, State of Anzoategui


Tazrona Basin, Caribbean Coast
Approximate location,
Northeast region (Petrobras)
Approximate location,
Northeast region (Shell, Petrobras)
Port of Pecm

Saupe Power Plant,


GNL do Nordeste

Camisea LNG/Peru LNG,


Pampa Malchorita

Pacific LNG

Bahia de Mejillones LNG, Mejillones LNG


Baia de Guanabara,
Rio de Janeiro

Quintero LNG

Approxiamte location, San Jos

Bahia Blanca

Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/worldwide/africa.html, 1994-2008


CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Asia Pacific Countries - Map A

Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/worldwide/asia_pacific.html, 1994-2008 CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

96

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Asia Pacific Countries - Map B

Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/worldwide/asia_pacific.html, 1994-2008 CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

97

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Africa

Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/worldwide/africa.html, 1994-2008 CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

98

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


Western Europe Map A

Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/worldwide/western_europe.html, 1994-2008 CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

99

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


Western Europe Map B

Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/worldwide/western_europe.html, 1994-2008 CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

100

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Mexico

Energi a Costa Azu l + expansion 14 miles north o f Ensenada, Baja Califor nia

Termina l GNL de So nora/Sonor a Pacific LNG , Sonora

Dorado Hiload LNG Regasificatio n Terminal+


35 nautica l miles offsh ore in Gulf o f Mexico, Tamaulipas

Topolobampo, Sinaloa
Terminal de LN G de Altam ira, Tamaulip as

Approximate loca tion, Port of Manyanillo, Colima

Puerto Layaro, Lyaro Crd enas, Micho acn

Salina Cr uy, Oaxaca

Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/worldwide/mexico.html, 1994-2008 CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

101

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Middle East Countries

Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/worldwide/middle_east.html, 1994-2008 CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

102

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Northeastern Europe

Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/worldwide/northeastern_europe.html, 1994-2008 CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

103

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Southwest Pacific Rim Countries

Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/worldwide/southwest_pacific_rim.html, 1994-2008 CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

104

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


United States of America West Coast Map A

Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/worldwide/united_states.html, 1994-2008 CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

105

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


United States of America Gulf Coast Map B

Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/worldwide/united_states.html, 1994-2008 CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

106

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


United States of America East Coast Map C

Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/worldwide/united_states.html, 1994-2008 CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

107

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Canada

Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/worldwide/canada.html, 1994-2008 CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

108

109

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

Appendix E. Conversion tables


Table A.3 Frequently used conversions
To

Billion Cubic

Billion Cubic

Million Tons of

Trillion

Metres of NG

Feet of NG

LNG

Btu

Multiply by

From
Billion Cubic Metres of NG

35.315

0.760

38.847

Billion Cubic Feet of NG

0.028

0.022

1.100

Million Tons of LNG

1.136

46.467

51.114

Trillion Btu

0.026

0.909

0.020

Source: DOE Office of Fossil Energy

Table A.4 Typical liquid-vapour conversions


To
From

Liquid Measures

Vapour Measures

Metric Ton

Cubic Metre

Cubic Foot

Cubic Metre

Cubic Foot

LNG

LNG

LNG

NG

NG

Heat Measure
Btu

Multiply by
1 Metric Ton LNG

2.193

77.445

1.316

46.467

51,113,806

1 Cubic Metre LNG

0.456

35.315

600.00

21.189

23,307,900

1 Cubic Foot LNG

0.0129

0.0283

16.990

600.00

660,000

1 Cubic Metre NG

0.000760

0.001667

0.058858

35.315

38,847

1 Cubic Foot NG

0.000022

0.000047

0.001667

0.02832

1,100

Source: DOE Office of Fossil Energy

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS

110

Appendix F. Methane density at liquid and gaseous states


Table A.5 Methane pressure and density at liquid and gaseous states
Pressure

Temperature

Liquid density

Vapour density

bar

psi

kg/m3

lb/gal

kg/m3

1
1,1
1,2
1,3
1,4
1,5
1,6
1,7
1,8
1,9
2
2,1
2,2
2,3
2,4
2,5
2,6
2,7
2,8
2,9
3
3,1
3,2
3,3
3,4
3,5
3,6
3,7
3,8
3,9
4
4,1
4,2
4,3
4,4
4,5
4,6
4,7
4,8
4,9
5
5,1
5,2
5,3
5,4
5,5
5,6
5,7

14,50
15,95
17,40
18,85
20,30
21,75
23,21
24,66
26,11
27,56
29,01
30,46
31,91
33,36
34,81
36,26
37,71
39,16
40,61
42,06
43,51
44,96
46,41
47,86
49,31
50,76
52,21
53,66
55,11
56,56
58,01
59,46
60,91
62,36
63,81
65,26
66,72
68,17
69,62
71,07
72,52
73,97
75,42
76,87
78,32
79,77
81,22
82,67

-161,64
-160,48
-159,39
-158,37
-157,41
-156,49
-155,63
-154,8
-154,01
-153,26
-152,53
-151,83
-151,15
-150,5
-149,87
-149,25
-148,66
-148,08
-147,52
-146,97
-146,44
-145,92
-145,41
-144,91
-144,42
-143,95
-143,48
-143,03
-142,58
-142,14
-141,71
-141,29
-140,88
-140,47
-140,07
-139,68
-139,29
-138,91
-138,53
-138,16
-137,8
-137,44
-137,09
-136,74
-136,39
-136,05
-135,72
-135,39

111,51
112,67
113,76
114,78
115,74
116,66
117,52
118,35
119,14
119,89
120,62
121,32
122
122,65
123,28
123,9
124,49
125,07
125,63
126,18
126,71
127,23
127,74
128,24
128,73
129,2
129,67
130,12
130,57
131,01
131,44
131,86
132,27
132,68
133,08
133,47
133,86
134,24
134,62
134,99
135,35
135,71
136,06
136,41
136,76
137,1
137,43
137,76

-258,95
-256,86
-254,90
-253,07
-251,34
-249,68
-248,13
-246,64
-245,22
-243,87
-242,55
-241,29
-240,07
-238,90
-237,77
-236,65
-235,59
-234,54
-233,54
-232,55
-231,59
-230,66
-229,74
-228,84
-227,96
-227,11
-226,26
-225,45
-224,64
-223,85
-223,08
-222,32
-221,58
-220,85
-220,13
-219,42
-218,72
-218,04
-217,35
-216,69
-216,04
-215,39
-214,76
-214,13
-213,50
-212,89
-212,30
-211,70

422,59
420,88
419,28
417,77
416,34
414,98
413,67
412,42
411,22
410,06
408,95
407,87
406,82
405,8
404,81
403,85
402,91
402
401,1
400,23
399,38
398,54
397,72
396,91
396,12
395,35
394,59
393,84
393,1
392,38
391,66
390,96
390,26
389,58
388,91
388,24
387,58
386,94
386,29
385,66
385,04
384,42
383,81
383,2
382,6
382,01
381,42
380,84

3,527
3,512
3,499
3,486
3,475
3,463
3,452
3,442
3,432
3,422
3,413
3,404
3,395
3,387
3,378
3,370
3,362
3,355
3,347
3,340
3,333
3,326
3,319
3,312
3,306
3,299
3,293
3,287
3,281
3,275
3,269
3,263
3,257
3,251
3,246
3,240
3,235
3,229
3,224
3,218
3,213
3,208
3,203
3,198
3,193
3,188
3,183
3,178

1,7946
1,9587
2,1216
2,2836
2,4446
2,6049
2,7644
2,9233
3,0816
3,2393
3,3966
3,5533
3,7097
3,8656
4,0212
4,1765
4,3314
4,4861
4,6405
4,7947
4,9486
5,1024
5,2559
5,4093
5,5625
5,7156
5,8686
6,0214
6,1741
6,3267
6,4792
6,6317
6,7841
6,9364
7,0887
7,2409
7,3931
7,5453
7,6974
7,8495
8,0016
8,1538
8,3059
8,458
8,6102
8,7623
8,9145
9,0668

BOIL-OFF IN LARGE- AND SMALL-SCALE LNG CHAINS


5,8
5,9
6
6,1
6,2
6,3
6,4
6,5
6,6
6,7
6,8
6,9
7
7,1
7,2
7,3
7,4
7,5
7,6
7,7
7,8
7,9
8
8,1
8,2
8,3
8,4
8,5
8,6
8,7
8,8
8,9
9
9,1
9,2
9,3
9,4
9,5
9,6
9,7
9,8
9,9
10
10

84,12
85,57
87,02
88,47
89,92
91,37
92,82
94,27
95,72
97,17
98,62
100,07
101,52
102,97
104,42
105,87
107,32
108,77
110,22
111,68
113,13
114,58
116,03
117,48
118,93
120,38
121,83
123,28
124,73
126,18
127,63
129,08
130,53
131,98
133,43
134,88
136,33
137,78
139,23
140,68
142,13
143,58
145,03
14,50

-135,06
-134,74
-134,42
-134,11
-133,8
-133,49
-133,19
-132,89
-132,59
-132,3
-132
-131,72
-131,43
-131,15
-130,87
-130,6
-130,32
-130,05
-129,79
-129,52
-129,26
-129
-128,74
-128,48
-128,23
-127,98
-127,73
-127,48
-127,24
-127
-126,76
-126,52
-126,28
-126,05
-125,81
-125,58
-125,35
-125,12
-124,9
-124,67
-124,45
-124,23
-124,01
-161,64

138,09
138,41
138,73
139,04
139,35
139,66
139,96
140,26
140,56
140,85
141,15
141,43
141,72
142
142,28
142,55
142,83
143,1
143,36
143,63
143,89
144,15
144,41
144,67
144,92
145,17
145,42
145,67
145,91
146,15
146,39
146,63
146,87
147,1
147,34
147,57
147,8
148,03
148,25
148,48
148,7
148,92
149,14
111,51

-211,11
-210,53
-209,96
-209,40
-208,84
-208,28
-207,74
-207,20
-206,66
-206,14
-205,60
-205,10
-204,57
-204,07
-203,57
-203,08
-202,58
-202,09
-201,62
-201,14
-200,67
-200,20
-199,73
-199,26
-198,81
-198,36
-197,91
-197,46
-197,03
-196,60
-196,17
-195,74
-195,30
-194,89
-194,46
-194,04
-193,63
-193,22
-192,82
-192,41
-192,01
-191,61
-191,22
-258,95

380,27
379,7
379,14
378,58
378,02
377,47
376,93
376,39
375,85
375,32
374,8
374,27
373,75
373,24
372,73
372,22
371,71
371,21
370,72
370,22
369,73
369,24
368,76
368,28
367,8
367,32
366,85
366,38
365,91
365,45
364,99
364,53
364,07
363,61
363,16
362,71
362,26
361,82
361,37
360,93
360,49
360,06
359,62
422,59

3,174
3,169
3,164
3,159
3,155
3,150
3,146
3,141
3,137
3,132
3,128
3,123
3,119
3,115
3,111
3,106
3,102
3,098
3,094
3,090
3,086
3,081
3,077
3,073
3,069
3,065
3,062
3,058
3,054
3,050
3,046
3,042
3,038
3,034
3,031
3,027
3,023
3,020
3,016
3,012
3,008
3,005
3,001
3,527

9,219
9,3713
9,5237
9,6761
9,8286
9,9811
10,134
10,286
10,439
10,592
10,745
10,898
11,051
11,204
11,357
11,51
11,664
11,817
11,971
12,125
12,279
12,433
12,587
12,741
12,895
13,05
13,204
13,359
13,514
13,669
13,824
13,98
14,135
14,291
14,446
14,602
14,758
14,915
15,071
15,227
15,384
15,541
15,698
1,7946

Based on AllProps code version 6/4/96, developed by The Center for Applied
Thermodynamic Studies University of Idaho.

111