LNG Danger To Our Communities   TimRileyLaw.com  760-683-5898

Consumer Protection Attorney Tim Riley Warns About Liquefied Natural Gas

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    I.      LNG Tanker Size and LNG Tanker Photos

    II.   LNG Tankers Holding Capacity

    III.   LNG Tanker Energy Equivalent

    IV.   LNG Tankers Maneuverability

    V.    LNG Tankers Concern the US Coast Guard

    VI.  LNG Tanker Owner Liability


I.               LNG Tanker Size and LNG Tanker Photos


How Huge Are LNG Tankers?

How Much LNG Will They Actually Hold?


To Help You Visualize How Monstrous A Typical LNG Tanker Is ... First Picture A Football Field  

Imagine An LNG Tanker Filling An Entire Football Field





II.  LNG Tanker Holding Capacity 

A Typical LNG Tanker Holds More Than 33 Million Gallons of LNG

Which Equals 20 Billion Gallons of Natural Gas

The Amount of Gas Released From Just One LNG Tanker Would Be  20 Times Greater

Than The Amount of LNG That Incinerated One Square Mile of Cleveland in 1944


The LNG Cleveland Disaster  

Liquefied Natural Gas

Liquefied Natural Gas

Do You Want LNG Tankers Coming Near Your Business, Home and Family?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Globe Staff Photo / David L. Ryan

Do You Want LNG Tankers Coming Near Your Coastal Community?

IMAGINE ...  20 Times the Volume of LNG that Incinerated One Square Mile of Cleveland

The Berge Boston, a liquefied natural gas tanker on its way to the Distrigas terminal in Everett, headed into Boston Harbor under the flight path of Logan International Airport. The weekly shipments have drawn extraordinarily tight security since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

LNG - Liquefied natural gas tanker on its way to the Distrigas terminal in Everett, headed into

Boston Harbor under the flight path of Logan International Airport.

(Photo credit: Boston Globe by David L. Ryan/ Globe Staff)


III. LNG Tanker Energy Equivalent


“The energy content of a single standard LNG tanker

(one hundred twenty-five thousand cubic meters)

is equivalent to seven-tenths of a megaton of TNT, or

about fifty-five Hiroshima bombs."

Brittle Power Energy Strategy for National Security,

Part 2  Disasters Waiting to Happen

Chapter 8: Liquefied Natural Gas, at page 88 

[First Prepared as a US Pentagon Study] 

By Lovins & Lovins

WARNINGLNG Vessel Liability is Limited by 1851 U.S. Law  TimRileyLaw.com

May 2009

Former CIA Official Warns Against LNG Terminal WJZ - Baltimore, MD, USA  According to Charles Faddis, the retired head of CIA's Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Unit, security is the safety issue. Faddis warns that an urban LNG operation creates two targets: the LNG plant itself and the enormous LNG tankers bringing in the frozen gas. According to the story, "the explosive power of a liquefied natural gas operation may be too good a target for terrorists to pass up."

February 2009

LNG opponents to show documentary on fuel dangers Providence Journal - Providence, RI WARREN - Opponents of a proposal to put a liquefied natural gas offloading facility in the middle of Mount Hope Bay are trying to raise concerns about the project with a showing of the 2004 video "The Risks & Dangers of LNG" Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Kickemuit Middle School, 525 Child St. The 45-minute video is being billed by the Kickemuit River Council and Warren Councilman Joseph DePasquale as "the film Weaver's Cove and Hess [Corporation] don't want you to see," a reference to the two developers of the project. Produced by two consumer protection advocates from Oxnard Shores, California, the video was made to demonstrate LNG's vulnerability to accidental disaster and terrorism. It also tries to show that a tanker breach could produce massive destruction to our coastal communities. Other groups who are also interested in hosting Public Screenings of the film must contact the Law Office of Tim Riley at 805-984-2350 to discuss the licensing fees and terms. Public Screening of the film is illegal without proper licensing and prior written authorization from the producers.

December 2008

2d incident involving an LNG tanker off coast stirs critics Boston Globe The US Coast Guard aided a disabled tanker carrying liquefied natural gas early yesterday after it went adrift 16 miles northeast of Provincetown. It was the second time this year an LNG tanker broke down near the state's coastline. The Coast Guard and the company considered yesterday's incident to be less severe than another one in February. In that case, the LNG tanker Catalunya Spirit went adrift for hours off Cape Cod because a computer glitch caused the vessel to lose power. After the vessel was tugged to shore, it took workers several days to restart the boilers.

November 2008

Pirates seize oil tanker off East Africa coast Los Angeles Times "Security specialists are concerned that pirates might someday seize a tanker carrying pressurized liquefied natural gas, or LNG, then blow it up or sell it to terrorists. 'If it was an LNG tanker seized, we're looking at something potentially catastrophic,' said Candyce Kelshall, a specialist in maritime energy security at Blue Water Defence, a Trinidad-based firm that provides training to governments and companies combating piracy. 'An LNG tanker going up is like 50 Hiroshimas.'"

Oil and gas pirates of Somalia New Europe - Brussels, Belgium Somali pirates, who have given the Saudi owners of a 1,000- foot oil supertanker a looming deadline to cough up a USD 25 million ransom, could easily seize a tanker carrying pressurised liquefied natural gas, or LNG, a captain of 15 years told New Europe. “Sure. Chemical tankers have already been attacked so why not gas tankers,” Marc Nuytemans, managing director of the Royal Belgian Shipowners’ Association, told New Europe telephonically from Antwerp.

July 2008

Samsung to Deliver World's Biggest LNG Tanker for Exxon Project Bloomberg Samsung was contracted to make 11 tankers, each of 266,000 cubic-meter capacity...


NOTE: “The energy content of a single standard LNG tanker (one hundred twenty-five thousand cubic meters) is equivalent to seven-tenths of a megaton of TNT, or about fifty-five Hiroshima bombs." according to Brittle Power Energy Strategy for National Security, Part 2  Disasters Waiting to Happen / Chapter 8: Liquefied Natural Gas (First Prepared as a US Pentagon Study) By Lovins & Lovins at page 88 

April 2008

House passes Coast Guard bill despite Bush veto threat The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Defying President Bush's threatened veto, the House on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill making the Coast Guard enforce security zones around eight liquefied natural gas terminals and any arriving tankers - all potential terrorism targets. Read Bill Text: https://thomas.loc.gov

February 2008

ALERT: Helpless LNG Tanker Adrift off Cape Boston Herald, United States - 2/11/08 Tug boats are racing to help a stricken Liquefied Natural Gas tanker which lost power 35 miles off Cape Cod, leaving it at the mercy of powerful winds and 12-foot high waves.  The fully laden, 933-foot long tanker Catalunya Spirit, with 29 listed aboard, was en route to Boston from Trinidad and Tobago when it lost propulsion at about 3 a.m. today, according to the U.S. Coast Guard in Boston… UPDATE: 2/12/08 Tugs assist, investigation underway; 2/13/08 repairs & investigation of computer glitch continue, electrical restored; 2/14/08 power restored, boilers activated, and testing operating system before turning on propulsion. 2/15/08 After several days of troubleshooting, repair specialists determined a malfunctioning boiler feed pump, which supplies water to the main propulsion boilers, caused the Catalunya Spirit's loss of power and propulsion. Captain of the Port of Boston reviewed and approved the final repair certification presented by Lloyd's Register and Teekay Corporation. The LNG delivery through Boston Harbor was cancelled.

January 2008

ALERT: MARITIME SECURITY (GAO REPORT) - LNG Tankers Vulnerable & Security Resources Lacking  Government Accountability Office Report LNG Tankers face three main types of threats - suicide attacks, 'standoff' attacks, and armed assaults resulting in severe threat to public safety, environmental, and energy supply chain. The Congressional report further admonishes that the US Coast Guard - the lead federal agency for maritime security - has insufficient resources to meet its own self-imposed security standards.

Coast Guard stretched thin, and it's about to get worse CBS News, Houston KHOU.com “I think it’s assuming too much the Coast Guard itself is going to come out and say ‘Sorry folks, we can’t protect you,’” said Tim Riley, an attorney who has spent the last five years investigating the dangers of liquefied natural gas. “The Coast Guard has had difficulty meeting its own self-imposed requirements for security,” the GAO report said. “We have started focusing on protecting air travel,” Riley added. “But yet our harbors are very, very risky right now. We should shore it all up before major tragedies start happening in the country.” VIDEO

LNG Tankers Vulnerable The Associated Press

LNG tankers vulnerable to attack The Australian - Sydney, Australia

April 12, 2007 

The California Coastal Commission unanimously voted 12-0 to sink BHP Billiton's LNG floating platform proposal. Three days earlier the California State Lands Commission,  before a packed house untied against LNG (800 inside & over 1000 outside), denied Billiton's LNG Deep Water Port pipeline license.

Click Arrow for Tim Riley's appearance before California Coastal Commission

March 2007

Watchdog Agency Slams LNG Science and Says Experts Can’t Assess Disaster Potential
Malibu Surfside News - Malibu, CA  Oxnard anti-LNG film producer Tim Riley said, “The GAO study shows the federal scientists are finally admitting that they do not know what the effects of millions of gallons of cryogenically-chilled liquid on a ship’s decks will be. We’ve been saying all along it would make the ship’s skin peel like a banana, and now they say they agree that more study has to be done." Riley, an Oxnard Shores attorney, said the GAO study says the same thing that he was labeled an “extremist” for bringing up three years ago. “  And there are a lot of additional questions raised by the study, like who were the scientists who were interviewed?” he said. “A lot of those people may work for the LNG industry as safety consultants.” Riley said the GAO study shows “an ever-changing worst-case scenario” and said Malibu residents cannot rest assured that the permanently-anchored Cabrillo Port would stay put in an emergency. “BHP Billiton has a proven record of failure in that department, one of its natural gas terminals that was supposedly hurricane-proof came loose in a hurricane and traveled 200 kilometers (124 miles) upside down,” he said. “There is nothing to stop an LNG leak from snapping those anchors, and the wind from blowing that facility onto the shore."

Report tells risks of LNG attacks Ventura County Star ,CA, USA  In calling for further research on LNG safety, the government report points out that previous studies have been based on inconsistent computer models instead of factual data, said Oxnard Shores attorney Tim Riley. "We've been saying this for years," said Riley, who produced a documentary on the dangers of LNG. "Our detractors try to call us fearmongers. I think they are going to be hard-pressed to call the GAO fearmongers. We've just been asking for reasonable prudence and urging more testing. We are glad to see the (government) officials are finally in agreement." LNG facilities that are awaiting government approval should be put on hold until additional research is completed, Riley said.

GAO Report Highlights Incomplete Research by Government on the Risk from Attacks on LNG Tankers    GAO Report

June 12, 2006

The newest LNG Carriers will hold more than DOUBLE the volume of LNG

Nakilat, largest LNG ships AME Info - United Arab Emirates  “The Qatar Gas Transport Company has ordered six Q-max LNG carriers which, when ready, will be the largest in the world in terms of capacity, according to Gulf News. Each carrier will have a capacity of 265,000 cubic metres. It was reported here last month that Nakilat had ordered 10 LNG carriers from South Korean shipbuilders Daewoo, Hyundai and Samsung at a cost of $5bn.”


April 21, 2005

Text from US Congressional Record  House Floor Arguments over Energy Bill H.R.6 Energy Policy Act of 2005 SEC. 320. LIQUEFACTION OR GASIFICATION NATURAL GAS TERMINALS at page H2344:  


    “I will tell my colleagues, in Rhode Island we would welcome the chance to have our gas piped in from some other country because the fact of the matter is, our State knows, as every other State that has an LNG facility knows, that if we were to ever have that explode, it would decimate a 50-mile radius.

    We will take our lives over our jobs, over our taxes, over our security.

Mr. Markey (D., MA,)

     “If you just want the Federal Government to decide in the middle of your district where this most attractive of all terrorist targets will be located, then you vote ``no,'' but understand the consequences on the floor today.”

FYI: Mr. Markey is also the Senior Member of House Homeland Security Committee


IV. LNG Tankers Maneuverability


LNG Tankers Are 12-Stories High, Can Travel at 20 Knots And Require 5 Miles to Halt

                             According to a retired LNG transport ship captain who served as a ship's captain for two decades. “… the ships are ‘massive’ -  Smith said it took him five miles to bring a ship to a halt…” Portland Press Herald, September 25, 2003  


LNG Tanker Hulls and Containers Block Forward View For 3/4 of a Mile

             "His position in the wheelhouse was at the rear of the ship behind the five bulbous LNG containers. The hull and containers blocked off Smith's forward view for three-quarters of a mile, making it impossible to know for sure if other ships were in the way."

         "Going through the Malacca Strait (between the island of Sumatra and Malaysia) is much harder because there's so much traffic. I had near-collisions every time I went through there. The prospect of hitting a large ship is a nightmare." Reflections of an LNG Skipper, Times Record 2/26/04


V.  LNG Tankers Concern The US Coast Guard


Does The U.S. Coast Guard  Consider LNG Dangerous?

Currently, Savannah, Georgia  has one of the eight operational LNG importation facilities in the continental US. 

Below Is A Copy Of the Coast Guard Standing Orders At The Savannah Port





Captain Of The Port


            STEP ACTION 9999  


       1. Order the evacuation of all USCG personnel from affected area."



December 21, 2005

Safety fears for fleet of new LNG tankers after leaks are found Guardian Unlimited - UK "A fleet of new ships built for BG and other companies to meet Britain's growing energy needs by bringing in liquefied natural gas (LNG) from abroad has been hit by leaks and safety scares. The Methane Kari Elin, which was delivered 18 months ago from a South Korean yard, has been withdrawn from service and is heading back to the far east to try to establish what has gone wrong. A second ship - the Gaz de France Energy - is currently undergoing repairs at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in France after gas leaks were discovered in tests, even before the vessel was handed over by the shipbuilder. One BP vessel - built to similar designs in the same Samsung yard in Seoul - is being inspected..."

December 22, 2005

Safety worry on gas supertankers  BBC News - UK Safety concerns have been raised over new supertankers due to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) into west Wales.

December 23, 2005

Milford Haven port authority threatens to keep out BG gas ship Guardian Unlimited - UK A port authority at the centre of Britain's liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry has warned the operator BG that it will not let its vessels enter its harbour unless it is convinced they are safe. The tough words from Milford Haven - where two LNG terminals are being constructed - comes a day after the Guardian revealed that BG had found leaks in one of its new vessels. The ship - Methane Kari Elin - is on its way back to the Korean yard where it was built amid fears that a generation of new vessels could have similar problems. A second ship - built for Gaz de France - with a cargo-carrying system similar to the BG vessel has also been found to have leaks and is back at the yard of the French shipbuilder.... One of the reasons we are continually told that planners and journalists need not see the risk assessments for the marine LNG operation is that the ships are so safe an accident is almost impossible. We have continued to ask to see the risk assessments - to no avail. Now to find out that the new breed of 'super safe' brand-new ships are developing gas leaks makes the secrecy about safety adopted by the companies and the port authority entirely untenable."


VI.  LNG Tanker Owner Liability


Financial Re$ponsibility for an LNG Tanker Disaster:

According to the controlling law in the United States, Limitation of Vessel Owner’s Liability Act, 46 U.S.C. 181, et seq., a vessel owner's liability is limited to the value of the vessel and its cargo contents remaining after a calamity occurs.

The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that where a ship sinks after a calamity, the sinking is the termination of the voyage and the value of the vessel – thus the limitation of the ship owner’s liability.

Ironically, the more disastrous the damage is to the vessel - the lower the liability to the owner.  Where there is total destruction to an LNG tanker with total loss of its flammable cargo, and the calamity incinerates a coastal community destroying billions of dollars of property and infrastructure, the full extent of the LNG tanker owner’s liability for the property and business losses would be absolutely ZERO.  

Shockingly, in such scenario, for causing the death of 100,000 people and severely burning 50,000 others - the vessel owner’s financial liability, would be limited to just $420 per vessel ton.

Protecting vessel owners both American and foreign, was established by the Act in 1851, and our United States Supreme Court has long held that the owner's duty is essentially satisfied when he properly equips the vessel and selects competent crew to operate it. United States v. Atl. Mut.Ins. Co., 343 U.S. 236, 246–47 (1952) [holding that if a ship owner exercises due diligence to make the vessel in all respects seaworthy, and properly manned, equipped, and supplied, neither the vessel, nor her owner or owners are responsible for damage or loss resulting from faults or errors in navigation or in the management of the vessel].


March 17, 2005


LNG Tanker Liability is Limited by U.S. Law


Liability for disasters caused by LNG tankers delivering liquefied natural gas to American coastal communities is severely limited by the current law of the United States.

(PRWEB) March 17, 2005 -- Ironically, U.S. Law now protects foreign vessel owners transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) rather than protecting American citizens and U.S. coastal communities that could be incinerated and destroyed by an LNG tanker disaster.

Communities now facing LNG facility proposals throughout coastal America are worried about the safety of LNG, and want to know if LNG tanker owners would be responsible for American deaths, injuries and property damage resulting from an LNG spill and disaster.

“People want to know if LNG tanker owners importing their dangerous cargo to America will be financially responsible for all the damage they cause,” said consumer protection attorney Tim Riley who hosts a comprehensive LNG website https://TimRileyLaw.com.

According to Riley, who is licensed to practice law in New York and California, all LNG vessel owners are protected by the Limitation of Vessel Owner's Liability Act, 46 U.S.C. 181, et seq.; and the owner's liability is limited to the value of the vessel and value of its cargo contents remaining after a calamity occurs. The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that where a ship sinks after a calamity, the sinking is the termination of the voyage and the value of the vessel - thus the limitation of the ship owner's liability.

“Ironically, the more damage that occurs to the LNG vessel, and the more cargo lost, the lower the liability for the vessel owner. This means that an LNG tanker disaster resulting in the total loss of the vessel and total loss of its cargo would result in minimal financial liability for the LNG vessel owner - even where the disaster incinerates an entire coastal community, killing and injuring thousands of Americans while destroying billions of dollars of property. Shockingly, the LNG tanker owner's financial liability in such a scenario for all property damage would be absolutely zero; and for the loss of thousands of American lives and thousands of severely burned victims, the vessel owner’s liability would be limited to just $420 per vessel ton,” attorney Riley explained.

Protecting vessel owners was originally established by the Limitation of Vessel Owner's Liability Act in 1851, and our Supreme Court has long held that the owner's duty is essentially satisfied when he properly equips the vessel and selects competent crew to operate it, and neither the vessel, nor her owners are responsible for damage or loss resulting from faults or errors in navigation or in the management of the vessel.

Sadly, wrongful death claims, burn victim claims, medical costs, loss of earnings, destruction of homes, cars, airplanes, businesses, stores full of inventory, industrial complexes, and infrastructure losses which would result from an LNG disaster would be left without adequate recourse or compensation.

“There are approximately three dozen LNG importation facilities now being proposed throughout our United States coastline communities. Each facility would require gigantic LNG tankers holding the energy equivalent of 55 Hiroshima bombs, to deliver their ultra hazardous cargo dangerously close to coastal communities,” said Hayden Riley who co-hosts the LNG website.

“Most people don't know about LNG and the enormous risks it poses, because there are so few LNG importation facilities in the world. Currently the continental United States has only four operating facilities, three of which have never been continually operational since built in the late 70's; and even though the LNG industry has had limited activity in its short history - its safety record is truly alarming,” Mrs. Riley said.

Two massive LNG disasters have already occurred. The first in Cleveland, Ohio in 1944, which killed 128 people, produced many burn victims and incinerated one square mile of that city; and the most recent LNG disaster, of January 2004, created more burn victims caused more deaths and destroyed approximately $1 billion of property in remote Algeria. The photographs of the LNG disasters depicted on the Riley’s website resemble Hiroshima after the atomic bomb was dropped.

The tragic lesson learned from LNG disasters is that once the ultra hazardous liquefied natural gas is released from confinement, it instantaneously vaporizes and becomes an expanding ignitable vapor cloud of mass destruction incinerating everything and everyone in its path. LNG inferno temperatures are so extreme that the radiant heat produced causes death and destruction even outside the perimeter of the fiery blast.

On September 21, 2004, The Providence Journal, in an article entitled, "Lloyd's Executive Likens LNG Attack to Nuclear Explosion," that paper reported that a Lloyd's of London Insurance executive Peter Levene likened an LNG attack to a nuclear explosion. "Gas carriers too, whether at sea or in ports, make obvious targets," said Levene. "Specialists reckon that a terrorist attack on an LNG tanker would have the force of a small nuclear explosion."

Hayden Riley says, “The current proliferation of LNG proposals will result in the greater probability of another disaster. LNG facility proponents and vessel owners will never be able to guarantee our safety.”

“Attempting to minimize the tragic lesson of the Cleveland and the Algerian disasters, LNG proponents continuously hype LNG's self-proclaimed 'safety' record. They boldly maintain that their LNG facilities and tankers will operate and deliver LNG perfectly safe - always - without incident, and will be impervious to all natural calamity and terrorism. Such self-bravado is ridiculous and unrealistic, but if they truly believe all LNG operations will run perfectly safe in American communities, then they should back-up their claims by putting their money where their mouth is. All LNG vessel owners, LNG facility owners/operators, and the current LNG facility applicants should voluntarily agree to be held strictly liable and fully responsible for all harm caused by their ultra hazardous activities - without any financial limitations. But such voluntary compliance is equally unrealistic to expect.” said attorney Riley. “Our U.S. laws must be changed, and they should no longer protect foreign interests and the importers of LNG over the rights of American citizens,” he added.

The Riley’s maintain, “Protecting importers of foreign fossil fuel while exposing American citizens and communities to devastation without adequate recourse or recovery is shortsighted, irresponsible and requires immediate congressional action.”

Tim and Hayden Riley have also produced a documentary film, The Risks and Danger of LNG, which highlights the hazards of LNG by demonstrating its vulnerability to accidental disaster and terrorism; and shows how massive its destruction can be. The film was an Official Selection of the Malibu Film Festival, 2004, and has received high praises by an international anti-terrorist expert.

To preview a short trailer of the movie and to purchase a DVD or VHS copy of the entire film, visit https://LngDanger.com.

© Copyright, PR Web. All Rights Reserved


May 5, 2004


Liability law 'stacked in favour of owners'

www.upstreamonline.com  Subscription Only

By Dann Rogers

Full Story:

Opponents of two proposed import terminals off the coast of California claim existing US maritime laws protect the owners of LNG carriers and the deep-water ports at the expense of local residents in the event of a disaster.

According to the Limitation of Vessel Owners Liability Act, the liability of the owner of an LNG carrier is limited to the value of the vessel and its cargo contents remaining after a serious incident occurs.

"Ironically, the more damage that occurs to the vessel and its cargo, the lower the liability for the vessel owner," said Tim Riley, a consumer protection advocate in California who hosts a Website for groups opposed to LNG projects.

Australia's BHP Billiton and a separate group of private investors have each applied to the US Coast Guard to operate receiving terminals offshore the communities of Malibu and Santa Barbara.

The Deepwater Ports Act, which was originally created to deal with clean-up costs resulting from oil spills, limits liability of operators to $350 million.

That limit is outdated and would be a mere pittance of the actual damages that could result from a potential LNG disaster caused by either accident, natural occurrence or act of terrorism, said Riley.

"The cost of massive wrongful death claims, serious burn victim claims, medical costs, loss of earnings, destruction of expensive coastal homes, cars, stores full of inventory, along with ruined community infrastructure would run into billions of dollars," he said.

"These LNG proponents boast that it is a safe technology and not a likely terrorist target. They should put their money where their mouth is and waive the current limit on financial liability."

He is also advocating that a civil cause of action for any and all damages resulting from whatever cause, originating or emanating from an LNG deep-water port or vessel, should be one of strict liability.

The strict liability standard would make port and carrier operators or owners financially responsible regardless of fault.

Under such a system, a person injured would only need to show that the storage, processing or transport of LNG at sea was a causal factor in the injury, irrespective of who is to blame.

"Claimants need only prove causation of injury rather than proof of fault," said Riley. "It is time for America to look in the mirror and recognise that the current laws protect foreign interests and importers of LNG while at the same time exposing US citizens to devastation without adequate recourse for recovery."


April 25, 2004

Ventura County Star


Liability for LNG vessels is limited

By Tim Riley

 Two liquefied natural gas deepwater port facilities are being proposed off our Malibu, Oxnard, Ventura and Santa Barbara shores, and many people are concerned about the financial liability for an LNG disaster to our communities.

 Unfortunately, the existing laws protect the foreign LNG vessel owners and the corporate LNG deepwater port operators, rather than the living and breathing American citizens who could potentially be incinerated.

 All LNG vessel owners are protected by the Limitation of Vessel Owner's Liability Act, 46 U.S.C. 181, et seq.; and the owner's liability is limited to the value of the vessel and value of its cargo contents remaining after a calamity occurs.

 The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that where a ship sinks after a calamity, the sinking is the termination of the voyage and the value of the vessel -- thus the limitation of the ship owner's liability.

 Ironically, the more damage that occurs to the vessel and its cargo, the lower the liability for the vessel owner. This means that an LNG tanker disaster resulting in the total loss of the vessel and total loss of its cargo would result in minimal financial liability for the LNG vessel owner -- even where the disaster incinerates an entire coastal community -- killing 100,000 people, injuring 50,000 others and destroying billions of dollars of property and infrastructure.

 Shockingly, the vessel owner's financial liability in such a scenario for all property damage would be absolutely zero, and for loss of life and bodily injuries would be limited to just $420 per vessel ton.

 Protecting vessel owners was established by the act in 1851, and our Supreme Court has long held that the owner's duty is essentially satisfied when he properly equips the vessel and selects competent crew to operate it, and neither the vessel, nor her owners are responsible for damage or loss resulting from faults or errors in navigation or in the management of the vessel.

 All LNG deepwater port facility operators are protected by the Deepwater Port Act's financial liability limitation of $350 million, and the U.S. Coast Guard may even lower this amount.

 Originally, this limitation was created for offshore oil ports contemplating sufficient liability for an oil spill and cleanup costs. Now, protecting operators processing and storing millions of gallons of the ultrahazardous LNG, that upon release, could incinerate entire communities -- the $350 million limitation is totally inadequate.

 Losses from mounting wrongful death claims, serious burn victim claims, medical costs, loss of earnings, destruction of homes, cars, businesses, stores full of inventory, and community infrastructure could run into the billions.

 Destruction of Point Mugu or Port Hueneme and their contents could run into the billions.

 LNG proponents throughout America constantly hype LNG's alleged safety record; and they proclaim their LNG facilities and LNG tankers will operate and deliver safely -- without accident, human error, or defect and will be impervious to natural calamity and terrorism.

 They should pay the price for such claims, and be held strictly liable for their ultrahazardous activities -- without any financial limitations.

 The current laws protect foreign interests and the very few importers of LNG, while at the same time they expose American citizens and local government facilities and infrastructure to devastation without adequate recourse for recovery.

 Next time you have breakfast with an LNG deepwater port applicant -- there are approximately a half-dozen in America -- ask them to stipulate to strict liability and waive the financial liability limitations. Also, ask them to indemnify LNG vessel owners for all damages caused by LNG vessels coming to or from their deepwater ports.

 Or, you can simply suggest they put their money where their mouth is, and get out of town.

 -- Tim Riley, of Oxnard Shores, is a consumer protection advocate and personal injury attorney. He hosts TimRileyLaw.com, a Web site on the risks and danger of liquefied natural gas.

 Copyright 2004, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.


September 20, 2004

The Norway Post


LNG tanker adrift north of Bergen - now under tow

A fully loaded LNG tanker with a crew of 14 was Monday adrift west of Fedje, on the west coast of Norway, north of Bergen. The ship's engines had stopped, and the anchors were useless in the stormy weather.

However, two tug boats managed to get the tanker under tow just as the ship was only 30 yards from hitting the rocks.

There was strong wind and bad weather conditions in the area, and preparations were made to evacuate the 800 persons living on the island of Fedje, for fear that the tanker would explode if it grounded, NRK reports.

Two Coast Guard vessels and two rescue helicopters are also on their way towards the tanker.


Rolleiv Solholm


September 21, 2004

The Providence Journal
Lloyd's executive likens LNG attack to nuclear explosion

U.S. regulators don't share the concerns of the top official at the world's second-largest commercial insurer.

01:00 AM EDT on Tuesday, September 21, 2004


Journal Staff Writer

A terrorist attack on an LNG tanker "would have the force of a small nuclear explosion," according to the chairman of Lloyd's, a British insurer of natural gas port facilities like the ones being proposed in Fall River and Providence.

The assertion, which is contested by industry experts, was in a speech that the chairman, Peter Levene, delivered last night to business leaders in Houston.

Levene described Texas as a "state at risk" and said that securing its remote oil facilities is a "particular challenge."

"Gas carriers too, whether at sea or in ports, make obvious targets," said Levene. "Specialists reckon that a terrorist attack on an LNG tanker would have the force of a small nuclear explosion."

Levene did not name the specialists in his remarks, although a text of his speech contains a footnote. The footnote attributes the observation to the author of an article posted, in an abbreviated form, on the Web site of Jane's Terrorism and Security Monitor in July. The same abstract, apparently authored by the same person, Dr. J.C.K. Daly, was also posted on the Internet weblog Talk Show American.

Levene also did not specify Texas LNG port facilities and tanker ships that might be at risk.

Records kept by federal regulators show that several LNG port facilities have been proposed in Texas. They do not show any existing facilities.

Levene's company, Lloyd's, is the world's second-largest commercial insurer.

The chairman could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Some critics of the proposal in Fall River have spoken in apocalyptic terms of potential LNG disasters.

But to date, no official reports by government regulators have made comparisons between the various LNG catastrophes that experts have hypothesized and destruction from an atomic bomb.

One report does describe hypothetical fires that might erupt if gas leaks from a tanker in its liquid form changes into a gaseous form and ignites when it comes into contact with a flame.

In one instance, the blaze, in less than a minute, would be capable of inflicting third-degree burns a little less than a mile away.

Bryan Lee, a spokesman for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said federal regulators have not changed their analysis.

"Just about any expert will come up with a different assessment regarding LNG depending on the parameters and assumptions they have," said Lee, who emphasized the LNG shipping industry's safe track record.

Regulators, he said, will review the safety of different LNG proposals on a case-by-case basis.

"We stand by all of our analysis on this matter," he said.

David Manning, a spokesman for the company with plans for an LNG shipping facility at Fields Point in Providence, was taken aback by Levene's comments.

"This is completely inconsistent with any of the science and analysis that is currently in the public domain," Manning said.

Governor Romney, meanwhile, is asking for more time to study a proposed liquefied natural gas facility in Fall River, saying federal regulators haven't adequately studied potential dangers posed by a terrorist attack on a tanker.

Romney sent a letter to FERC Secretary Magalie Salas yesterday, saying terrorism must be considered as a possible threat.

"There is simply no way that it makes sense to site an LNG facility in this location in the post-911 world," Romney wrote. "A thorough review would confirm this conclusion."


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Mobile Register

Fire threat in LNG ships

Top U.S. security officials now admit that insulation in vessels is highly flammable


By BEN RAINES Staff Reporter

Top officials with the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard now acknowledge that ships designed to carry liquefied natural gas are, in fact, constructed using tons of highly flammable polystyrene insulation.

The same officials had previously denied that the material was even present on the ships, maintaining in a letter to a member of Congress last May that polystyrene insulation "is not used on LNG carriers precisely because it's susceptible to melting and deformation in a fire."

Officials now describe that statement as "incorrect," and granted that many important questions remain about what might happen to an LNG vessel if terrorists attacked it. Some scenarios envision a fire a mile across, producing severe burns up to two miles away.

As early as February, some scientists brought concerns to Homeland Security officials about the widespread use of flammable insulation on ships carrying one of the nation's most dangerously flammable cargoes.

Shortly after, government documents began surfacing suggesting that there was no danger, simply because, according to the documents, the flammable insulation was not present on LNG ships.

In the past several months, the statement has turned up in congressional hearings, letters to Congress and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission documents that granted approval for new LNG terminals. Two such terminals have been proposed for the Mobile area, with a third proposed for federal waters 11 miles off of Dauphin Island.

The mistaken assertion originally appeared in a letter from Homeland Security to Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., whose suburban Boston district is home to the nation's only urban LNG port, long singled out by Homeland Security officials as a likely terror target.

In that letter, Pamela Turner, an assistant secretary for the federal security agency, rebutted concerns from the scientific community about the hazards posed by the insulation with the statement that it was "not used."

When natural gas is chilled to minus 260 degrees, it turns into a liquid, takes up 600 times less space, and can be economically shipped around the world aboard supertankers, just like oil. From a shipping perspective, the main difference between the fuels is that LNG vessels require tremendous amounts of insulation in order to keep the cargo below minus 260 degrees and in its condensed liquid state.

Beginning in February, a prominent LNG scientist warned Secretary Tom Ridge and other officials via personal letters that if terrorists attacked an LNG tanker, the heat from the ensuing fire would likely destroy the polystyrene cargo insulation.

The Mobile Register obtained a copy of one of those letters, written by University of Arkansas chemical engineering professor Jerry Havens, whose work has long been a central component of federal LNG regulations. The letter made clear that the problematic insulation was commonly used on LNG tankers.

Havens -- a former officer in the U.S. Army's chemical weapons division who is expert in biological warfare, nuclear weapons and the behavior of chemical fires -- warned "if the cargo containment insulation were to fail in a fire, I believe that the entire LNG containment could be compromised."

Writing in scientific journals and testifying before Congress, Havens has suggested the government was underestimating the public safety risks posed by an attack on an LNG vessel in a populated port area. His central criticism is that officials have never considered what would happen if all 30 million gallons on board an LNG vessel were ignited.

At this point, federal officials are making regulations based on a worst-case scenario accident that would involve less than a fifth of the natural gas aboard a tanker.

In the letter to Ridge, Havens referenced a confidential study, paid for by the LNG terminal operator in Boston Harbor and produced by Lloyd's Register of Shipping, that suggests an attack on an LNG tanker with a relatively small explosive charge could lead to an escalating series of fires and explosions that would ultimately consume the ship. Scientists both within the federal government and in academia have estimated such a fire would be a mile across and cause severe burns to people within two miles of the blaze.

Some in the scientific community have expressed alarm that the senior government officials in charge of protecting the nation's ports did not appear to understand critical facts regarding construction of LNG ships, even as the Department of Energy and FERC have sought to locate new LNG terminals in populated port areas.

Turner's statement went uncorrected by government agencies from May until Sept. 13, when a follow-up letter described the earlier statement as "incorrect." The follow-up letter states that the Coast Guard informed Markey's office on Aug. 30 that the earlier information was wrong.

In the interim, beginning in June, the Mobile Register published portions of numerous industry documents that show polystyrene is the primary insulation on LNG ships, and referenced a paper by the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators that states the material was so flammable that dozens of shipyard workers have been killed in accidental fires during tanker construction and repair.

The inaccurate statements regarding the presence of the foam insulation on LNG ships have been repeated in FERC documents, and were used by FERC to justify, in part, the construction of new LNG terminals in populated areas.

In its approval for a new terminal in Freeport, Texas, FERC wrote that bringing the LNG tankers into Freeport represented an "acceptable risk," partly because "polystyrene insulation is not used on LNG carriers."

Last week, a FERC spokeswoman said that several other pending permits for new LNG terminals contain the same statement by the agency. There was no word on whether those permits will be reviewed or whether the erroneous information will be repeated in future permit approvals.

FERC officials declined further comment for this story.

Capt. Dave Scott, with the Coast Guard in Washington, said that his agency was responsible for the error, and said it was made while conducting research into LNG issues. He said that since then, the Coast Guard has conducted further research and determined that, while the flammable insulation is used on LNG ships, the vessels are in compliance with all U.S. and international shipping regulations. In addition, he said his agency was satisfied with safety features designed into LNG ships, and warned that "there is no such thing as a terrorist-proof ship."

"We erred in saying it was not used. Of course it is used... Our position at the Coast Guard is that intentional damage to an LNG vessel is an unacceptable event. We are doing everything possible to make sure that doesn't happen," Scott said. "We recognize the dangers posed by gas ships. That's why we take the precautions we do."

He cautioned that protecting numerous LNG terminals in the nation's ports will require significant Coast Guard resources, more than if the terminals were built offshore, away from port facilities and the public. At least four offshore terminals are planned for the Gulf of Mexico, with permit applications well under way.

"If you can reduce the public safety impacts of something, all things being equal, then an offshore terminal would be preferable in many respects," Scott said. "That's not to say an inshore terminal could not be responsibly managed. But an inshore terminal may demand a higher level of Coast Guard resources to protect than an offshore terminal."

Scott said that the Coast Guard will act responsibly if a long-awaited LNG safety study under way by the Sandia National Laboratory indicates that LNG ships need safety improvements to lessen the risk of catastrophic fire or require increased security measures to protect the public.

Homeland Security officials indicated in their latest letter to Massachusetts congressman Markey that they are unsure what would happen to an LNG ship in the event of a terrorist attack.

The agency letter suggests that the same LNG safety study Scott mentioned "is expected to examine how the cargo tank insulation would perform under an extreme fire load, and the degree to which insulation decomposition could affect the survivability of undamaged cargo tanks."

That letter -- written by Homeland Security's Turner, who signed the earlier letter as well -- states "there is no economically feasible engineering or design solution that could mitigate the consequences of a large scale LNG release on the vessel's hull."

Turner made that comment in reference to scientists' concerns that the steel hull of an LNG ship might crack and fall apart after a terror attack due to the simultaneous temperature extremes posed by both an intense natural gas fire and the super-chilled LNG. In her earlier letter, she dismissed concerns about possible hull damage, writing that "special crack-arresting steel in strategic locations throughout the vessel's hull" had solved that problem.

The Mobile Register left a message for Turner, seeking comment, but she did not respond.

Copyright 2004 al.com. All Rights Reserved.


Widespread LNG Carrier Holding Tank Cracking Detected

"Managing Innovation using the Norman Lady and Höegh Galleon as Case Studies"

    Full Case Study: https://www.dnv.com/binaries/2003-P004%20Managing%20Innovation_tcm4-14798.pdf

    Summary: “During maintenance work on LNG/C Asake Maru in August 1998 widespread cracking were detected in her 9% Ni-steel spherical cargo tanks. Subsequently, the same type of cracking was detected in the cargo tanks of her sister vessel Norman Lady…”

    Abstracts: “The LNG Challenger, which changed her name to LNG Pollenger, continued her “short-contract” trading, but mainly in LNG-trades up to 1987, when she was sold to a Japanese Consortium, renamed the Asake Maru, and put into service mainly between Japan and Indonesia. Later, in 1998, she changed name again, this time to the Mystic Lady, (after the Mystic River, where Cabot’s LNG terminal is located in Boston) as she was supposed to be employed in a long-term charter contract with CABOT LNG of Boston, MA after an extensive refurbishment program.”

“In late August 1998, as Höegh was about to take technical management of the Mystic Lady, (ex LNG Challenger), a non destructive test (NDT) of the cargo tanks revealed many smaller hair-line cracks along the welds of the tanks. Several investigations were conducted, and it was soon concluded that the cracks were related to the environment inside the cargo tanks during operation of the ship, or even as far back as during the building of the vessels. The cracks were classified to be Hydrogen Induced Stress Corrosion Cracks (HISCC), which may have been created under circumstances where water had been present inside the tanks for some time (at least 14 days). It was further concluded or anticipated that the cracks were found in all internal welds of all the five tanks on board.”

“This was of course very alarming news to Höegh, being the operating owner of the sister vessel, the Norman Lady. Needless to say, it was difficult to believe that there should be cracks in the cargo tanks of the Norman Lady. At every dry-docking in the past, the cargo tanks had been checked in accordance with DNV’s requirements, with procedures for ultrasonic and liquid Dye Penetrant testing (DP), and without any indications of such cracking.”

“As feared, the same kind of cracks was discovered on the Norman Lady, although not to the same extent as on the Mystic Lady. It was decided that by the first opportunity the tanks should be gas-freed and checked. So in October 1998 this work started with NDT personnel from DNV.”


October 28, 2004

Philadelphia Inquirer

PSEG says gas terminal is a risk

The operator of two nuclear plants says shipments passing nearby on the river would be unsafe.

By Adam Fifield

Inquirer Staff Writer

The operator of two nuclear power plants in Salem County has objected to energy giant BP's plan to build a liquefied natural gas import terminal in Gloucester County, saying it is concerned about the threat posed by ships loaded with the potentially volatile fuel passing nearby.

Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., the parent company of PSEG Nuclear and the PSE&G utility company, filed comments last week with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC. The group said the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear facilities are situated on the east shore of the Delaware River "in close proximity" to the route tankers carrying the gas would follow.

Full Story: https://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/10033926.htm?1c



December 20, 2004

MSNBC.com  LNG ships vulnerable to terrorist attacks

The Associated Press

Attack on gas vessel could cause big damage

    Low probability, report finds, but the risk is extensive

    WASHINGTON - A terrorist attack on a tanker delivering liquefied natural gas at a U.S. port could set off a fire so hot it would burn skin and damage buildings nearly a mile away, government scientists say in a report expected to influence where multibillion-dollar terminals will be built.

The report from a government nuclear weapons lab, a 160-page unclassified version of which was obtained Monday by The Associated Press, characterizes a liquefied natural gas, or LNG, tanker spill from a terrorist attack as a low probability. If successful, however, it would become “a high consequence event” that could produce massive injuries and property damage, the report said.

The yearlong study by scientists at Sandia National Laboratory, a premier federal research facility, provides the most detailed analysis to date of the potential public safety impact of a terrorist attack on an LNG transport tanker.

‘Deterrent measures’ urged While the report does not recommend prohibiting tankers from carrying LNG through heavily populated areas, it says those shipments should occur only after “the most rigorous deterrent measures” are in place to reduce the probability of an attack.

The tankers, each of which carries up to 30 million gallons of LNG, arrive every few days at four U.S. terminals: one on Boston’s outskirts, another in Maryland and two on the Gulf Coast. All are expanding as regulators weigh the merits of putting more than three dozen more such facilities at U.S. ports, many in urban areas.

In its minus-260 degrees liquid state, LNG cannot explode and is not flammable. If a missile or explosive should tear a hole in a tanker or a storage tank, however, the escaping liquid would be transformed instantaneously into a gas and probably would ignite in a massive fire.

The Sandia report said terrorists, using readily available weapons and technology, could blast a 10-foot hole into the side of an LNG tanker.

The assessment evaluates a range of scenarios that would result in the release of millions of gallons of LNG from a transport tanker. The scenarios include a takeover of a vessel by an insider or a hijacker, as well as external attacks using explosives-laden boats, triggered explosions or rocket-propelled grenades or missiles.

Under some circumstances, an attack could produce cascading damage that could result in the failure of as many as three of a ship’s five LNG cargo tanks, which would increase the fire’s intensity and lengthen its duration.

Detailed discussions of specific threats were included only in the classified version of the report, but the unclassified version examined the general impact such an attack and LNG fire on water would have to people within a mile of the spill.

“We are not recommending that there be any kind of ‘no ship zone,’” said Mark Maddox, a deputy assistant secretary at the Energy Department, which commissioned the study. “What we’ve learned is that we can significantly reduce the likelihood of a terrorist attack occurring with security planning and mitigation.”

Severe burns a mile away Even with many details left out of the unclassified version, the report describes a harrowing potential for disaster if a terrorist attack were to succeed in releasing millions of gallons of LNG from a double-hulled vessel that typically carries more than 30 million gallons of the frosty liquid fuel.

The Sandia scientists identified “several credible” terrorist scenarios that the report said would result in at least one — possibly as many as three — of a tanker’s five cargo tanks being breached. That would ignite a pool of fire to spread several hundred yards in all directions, the report said.

While “the most significant impacts to public health” and the most severe destruction of buildings would be within a 550-yard radius of the fire, heat that could burn the skin and damage houses could extend to nearly a mile away.

The government study also confirmed the possibility raised earlier this year by some scientists that a breach of a cargo tank could cause a cascading of structural breakdowns in adjacent tanks and result in a larger release of LNG and a more intense and longer-lasting fire. Such a cascading event “cannot be ruled out especially for large spills,” the report said.

The study found that the foam insulation used on many LNG tankers was likely to decompose under intense heat from a fire, resulting in a heat transfer that “could lead to rupture or collapse” of adjacent tanks, adding to the cascading effect.

Concern about the foam was raised earlier this year by Jerry Havens, a chemical engineer at the University of Arkansas, in letters to both the Department of Homeland Security and Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass.

Homeland Security officials initially claimed that tanks did not use foam insulation, only to later acknowledge that, in fact, the material was widely used.

While generally discounting the likelihood of an explosion, the report said that in a large release, LNG would flow into ship cavities and that with the optimal mixture of fuel and oxygen, an explosion could not be discounted. That would result in more fuel’s being released onto the water.

© 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


December 21, 2004

The Boston Globe

Study spells out high toll on city in LNG attack

By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff

WASHINGTON -- A terrorist attack on a liquefied natural gas tanker would cause ''major injuries and significant damage to structures" a third of a mile away and could cause second-degree burns on people more than a mile away, according to the most detailed study yet of the ramifications of an LNG disaster.

The study, commissioned by the Department of Energy to resolve differences between earlier studies, indicates that a successful attack on a tanker -- via methods such as internal sabotage, a rocket-propelled grenade, a kamikaze flight, or a USS Cole-style suicide boat ramming -- would create a profound security threat to Boston.

MORE: https://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2004/12/21/study_spells_out_high_toll_on_city_in_lng_attack/


December 21, 2004

Los Angeles Times


Tanker Blast Could Have Wide Reach

 Report says a terrorist attack on a shipment of liquid natural gas could spread fire a mile away. The study may affect placement of terminals.

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

WASHINGTON — A terrorist attack on a tanker delivering liquefied natural gas at a U.S. port could set off a fire so hot it would burn skin and damage buildings nearly a mile away, government scientists said in a report expected to influence where multibillion-dollar terminals would be built on the California coast and elsewhere.

The report from a government nuclear weapons lab, a 160-page unclassified version of which was obtained Monday by Associated Press, characterized a liquefied natural gas spill from a terrorist attack as a low probability. If an attack were successful, however, it would become "a high consequence event" that could produce massive injuries and property damage, the report said.

The yearlong study by scientists at Sandia National Laboratories, a federal research facility, has provided the most detailed analysis of the potential outcome of a terrorist attack on a tanker transporting liquefied natural gas.

MORE: https://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-lng21dec21,1,6020398.story?coll=la-headlines-nation


December 21, 2004

Department of Energy Releases Liquefied Natural Gas Safety Study

    An analysis prepared by DOE's Sandia National Laboratory examines the safety implications of a LNG spill. The study provides guidance on the appropriateness of LNG models, assumptions and risk management to ensure the safety of human health and property relative to a potential LNG cargo spill over water.  

READ THE ENTIRE REPORT https://fossil.energy.gov/programs/oilgas/storage/lng/sandia_lng_1204.pdf


December 21, 2004

Bangor Daily News

Training sources sought for LNG carrier crews



A potential shortage of qualified mariners in the liquefied natural gas shipping industry has launched an international effort to boost training and define standards for new LNG tanker officers and crews, according to industry experts. Increasing Demand for LNG-trained crews will nearly double by 2009, as shipyards worldwide deliver more than 100 new tankers now on order, according to industry experts.

"The industry is going to need, in our estimation, within five years, an additional 5,000 officers just to take care of the needs of the new ships," Tyler said last week.

The numbers potentially could be driven much higher as officers, many of whom already have put in 25 to 30 years at sea, retire from the current LNG fleet.

Demand among LNG shippers for U.S. sailors, generally considered more highly skilled and expecting wages above those from many other nations, remains uncertain. There is agreement that the issue is not simply to supply enough crew for the new ships, but to supply sufficient LNG-related training. If the effort falls short, many industry experts suggest the mean level of LNG-specific experience and expertise could slump as the new generation of carriers goes to sea.

"The American public should be thinking about, when these ships come into our waters, what is the level of competence of the crews," said Capt. George Sandberg, head of the Marine Transportation School at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y.

By its nature, liquefied natural gas requires more careful handling than the crude oil hauled by standard tankers. Chilled at land-based liquefaction plants to minus 265 degrees Fahrenheit, the gas turns to liquid and creates a number of logistics challenges when pumped into 12-story tall, ship-borne tanks constructed of 7-inch-thick aluminum.

In transit, the cargo warms slightly, creating what mariners call boil-off gas, traditionally burned-off at sea through vent pipes or pumped into the ship's engines as supplemental fuel. While the gas is still extremely cold, sailors must use a complex series of techniques to manage such boil-off. On standard tankers, small quantities of petroleum that find their way from storage tanks onto other parts of the ship do little or no damage. LNG carriers are outfitted with special heating systems to protect their inner hulls from the possibility of contact with the superchilled liquid (all are double-hulled vessels).

Unprotected steel that comes into contact with LNG in its liquid form can crack "like an eggshell," Tyler said.

The massive, thermoslike tanks also raise the center of gravity in many LNG carriers relative to the lower-slung crude tankers. Some LNG ships have squared tanks, which increase capacity and lower the center of gravity. But those tanks also allow the heavy cargo to "slosh," creating additional navigational challenges in heavy seas.

In spite of the challenges, the 40-year-old LNG shipping industry has maintained an essentially unblemished record: "No major losses of cargo, no shipboard fatalities associated with the cargo and only one minor LNG onboard fire due to a lightning strike ... which did not affect the cargo tanks," according to an industry official quoted in a December 2004 report by Lloyd's Register, a London-based risk assessment and management organization.

Safety challenges will increase, however, as more LNG ships move more product to and from a growing number of terminals and ports. The new ships carry much more fuel and newer technology, including, in some cases, on-board reliquefaction plants to recapture boil-off gas and equipment to convert the LNG to gas form for delivery into pipeline systems, bypassing the need for onshore gasification terminals.

"We are expanding the fleet tremendously," Somerville said. "And we are all striving to make sure we have the qualified crews for these ships, which are getting bigger and much more sophisticated than in the past."

In the past, with one or two new LNG tankers coming on line each year, companies have handled the bulk of their LNG-specific training in-house. Now the pace has changed, with those same companies, and many new ones, pushing the number of carrier deliveries into the dozens per year.


January 24, 2005

Oil & Gas Journal

Faults postpone delivery of LNG vessel


Doris Leblond OGJ Correspondent

PARIS, Jan. 24 -- The 75,000 cu m Gas-de-France-Energy LNG carrier, dedicated last November and due for delivery at the end of 2004, is being investigated for faults detected during tests at sea.

Delivery of the ship, built by Alstom Group's Chantiers de l'Atlantique at Saint-Nazaire, France, at a cost of 150 million euros, has been postponed indefinitely.

The secondary protective membrane, which doesn't come in contact with the LNG, has shown signs of leaks, and its materials have behaved abnormally under pressure.

The membrane technology was developed by Gaztransport et Technigaz (GTT), a joint affiliate of Gaz de France, Total, and Italy's Saipem. Its new version, Cryogenic Cargo Containment System, was used for the first time on Gaz-de-France-Energy. Chantiers is using the technology in two 154,000-cu-m LNG carriers ordered by Gaz de France.

The first one, Provalys, is due for delivery at the end of 2005. At this stage, there is no talk of postponement. But GTT has sold its manufacturing license to LNG-carrier builders worldwide, and pinpointing weaknesses in the secondary membrane is a delicate task on a tanker that has been completed and should take some time, according to Gaz de France.


February 21, 2005

Business Times

LNG tanker fleet needs to expand 34%


(LONDON) The global fleet of liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers will need to expand 34 per cent in the next five years to meet rising demand from exporters, including Qatar, the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators estimates.

About 380 carriers need to be trading by 2010, including the 175 in service and 107 on order, Andrew Clifton, technical adviser at the London-based group, said at an International Petroleum Week conference.

'China will emerge as a major shipbuilder, given that other yards are fully booked until 2010,' Mr Clifton said. Shipyards received a record 77 orders for LNG tankers last year, including contracts for the world's largest, according to Oslo-based shipbroker Lorentzen & Stemoco. Shipbuilders in South Korea won most of the orders.

LNG is gas that is cooled to a liquid so it can be transported by tankers over long distances to markets that are not connected by pipelines. Ninety per cent of LNG shipments are on tankers leased under long-term contracts on specific routes, Mr Clifton said.

'Most tankers will be chartered on long-term agreements,' he said. 'About eight vessels are currently anchored off Gibraltar waiting for business.' - Bloomberg

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.


March 14,  2005

Pirates Seize Gas Tanker in Malacca Straits

Voice of America - Jakarta

By Nancy-Amelia Collins Jakarta Collins report   [Listen to]  

Malaysian patrol boat in Malacca Straits Pirates briefly seized a chemical tanker in the Malacca Strait, releasing the boat and crew but holding the captain and chief engineer for ransom. The latest act of piracy in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes underscores security concerns for that region.

Around 35 pirates armed with machine guns and rocket launchers seized the Indonesian-owned chemical tanker on Saturday before disembarking with the ship's captain and chief engineer.

The attack took place as the ship was sailing from Kalimantan on Borneo Island for the Indonesian port of Belawan in the Malacca Strait, one the world's busiest sea ways.

Almost all of China and Japan's oil imports and more than a quarter of global trade pass through the Strait, an area plagued by pirates.

Noel Choong of the International Maritime Bureau, a non-profit shipping association in Malaysia, says the ship was carrying an unknown but highly flammable liquid.

Mr. Choong says the incident was simply a criminal act, not terrorism. He says that on Monday the owners of the vessel are negotiating with the pirates for the release of the captain and engineer.

"At the moment we can safely say that it's a piratical attack, it's not for political gain, but it's for monetary [gain]," said Noel Choong. "But of course a lot of people are also afraid that terrorists may actually learn from the pirates."

Mr. Choong says it is impossible to say who is behind the attack, although the ship's owners blame Indonesia's Aceh separatist group, the Free Aceh Movement, or GAM.

But Mr. Choong says pirates often attack ships in the Strait and blame GAM.

The attack underscores international concerns that terrorists may team up with pirates and launch an attack in the Malacca Strait or block the waterway to disrupt world trade. One particular concern is that terrorists would seize a tanker carrying oil or gas, and then crash it into a port city.

The narrow 960-kilometer Malacca Strait is bordered by Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Last year, the three nations began coordinated security patrols in the waterway.

Security experts say the type of ship seized Saturday is the perfect size to use as a weapon.

Increased security has made land targets more difficult for terrorists, so some groups are looking for maritime targets. On Friday Malaysia said it would boost security in the Malacca Strait with a 24-hour radar system.


April 23, 2005

Security for Long Beach LNG plant will be costly
Long Beach Press-Telegram - Long Beach,CA,USA

    LONG BEACH — A report released Friday by Long Beach's fire and police chiefs about the manpower needed to secure a liquefied natural gas terminal in Boston Harbor paints an expensive and labor-intensive picture of security for an LNG terminal proposed here. In a trip to Boston April 10-11, Long Beach Fire Chief Dave Ellis and Deputy Police Chief Tim Jackman found that state and city police commit officers, divers, boat escorts and a helicopter to ensure the ships move through the harbor without incident.

The arrival of LNG tankers also triggers a 3-mile-long safety zone through which no vessels can pass, and traffic on a major bridge is halted while tankers pass underneath.

"Much has been made of the fact that there has never been a significant LNG incident at sea," the report says. "The real issue is that the probability of an incident is greater than zero meaning that instead of minimizing the likelihood of an event, attention should be directed towards the consequences of an eventual incident and ways to mitigate those consequences."

Jackman emphasized that point at the meeting.

"It's not a question of if something will happen, but when something will happen, if you're talking about probability," he said.

July 10, 2005

Michael Richardson: Maritime attacks could damage our gas exports
Australian - Australia  However, recent developments have evidently prompted Canberra to pay much closer attention to the possibility of an attack launched by al-Qai'da-inspired terrorists in the southern Philippines against ships carrying billions of dollars of Australian exports to Asia and the US, including tankers laden with liquefied natural gas headed for Japan, South Korea or Taiwan. The destinations will soon include China and the west coast of North America as well.

July 18, 2005

Top LNG ship takes shape in Shanghai
China Daily - China   ... China's first self-made liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier, which is taking shape in dry dock in Shanghai, has a price tag larger than that of a Boeing 747... Wang said the LNG vessel is double-hulled with two layers of membranes made of Invar, a metal high in nickel content that does not contract under low temperatures. The liquefied gas is carried at atmospheric pressure in the specially insulated tanks, referred to as the 'cargo containment system', inside the inner hull, Wang explained. He said that even a worker's sneeze or sweating could harm the Invar-melting process because one drop of foreign fluid on the 0.7-millimetre-thick membranes could lead to a leak that is invisible to the naked eye.

August 16, 2005

LNG expert warns of ‘half-mile-wide' fire
The Daily Astorian - Astoria, OR, USA "... there is no federal regulation that sets boundaries or exclusion zones based on the threat of a spill on water, said Havens, who has studied LNG for more than three decades."

"Although there are exclusion zones that the Federal Energy Regulatory Council requires based on models of LNG spills on land, models that Havens’ work helped establish, there aren’t any mandated boundaries in place based on what would happen if LNG is released on water. But because there is no way to contain LNG on water, a spill from a ship is something that needs to be seriously considered, Havens said."

"If millions of gallons of LNG is spilled on water and the rapidly evaporating fuel is ignited, it could cause a fire bigger than one anyone has ever studied, he said."

"A typical tanker holds 35 million gallons of LNG in a handful of separate tanks, and if 3 million gallons spill from one tank and ignites, the fire could envelop the entire ship and cause structural damage, possibly resulting in additional spills, he said."

"Havens added that he and others haven’t attempted to figure out what the effects of a cascading fire would be, because there are so many unknown variables, like the timing of the different spills."

“I’m not trying to scare you,” Havens told the audience Monday. “I believe that we have to be realistic, and we have to know what we’re dealing with.”


October 17, 2005

Samsung Heavy Detects Fault In LNG Carrier
All Headline News - USA  Seoul, South Korea (AHN) - Samsung Heavy Industries Co. announces on Monday it has detected faults that can cause gas leakages in an LNG carrier it has built for BG Group Plc. However, the company has made it clear that it has not found faults in other ships. Pressure tests show the secondary membrane barrier in the containment system installed on the ship could leak, reports weekly industry newsletter TradeWinds.

LNG fears hit shares https://www.TradeWinds.no/ (subscription) Shipbuilders among biggest losers on South Korean exchange as TradeWinds report of gas carrier leaks affects investor confidence.

January 11, 2006


Who Will Crew LNG Tankers? BangoreDailyNews Maine CASTINE ...The anticipated shortage of qualified officers and crew for LNG tankers will be one of the key issues that Leonard H. Tyler, president of Maine Maritime Academy, will deal with as he takes over as chairman of the International Association of Maritime Universities..."The number of ships is expected to grow from 180 today to about 400 ships by 2010, and that's during a period when we're expecting to see a significant number of retirements in that segment of the industry," he said Tuesday. LNG tankers have different, specific requirements for both deck and engine room officers, and, in the past, shippers have been able to spend a decade or so developing qualified officers to take over as masters of their vessels, he said. The expansion of the LNG fleet, however, will happen within the next four years at a time when there is a general shortage of officers in the maritime industry.


March 1, 2006


LNG sector to feel crew shortages pinch as fleet expands TMCnet (Lloyds List Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Failure to address the shortage of well trained seafarers for liquefied natural gas tankers will result in accidents warns an executive from Eurasia, writes Marcus Hand in Singapore. 'The shortage of staff is really beginning to hurt the industry. 'If we don't have enough trained manpower accidents will definitely occur,' Ravi Korivi, LNG consultant for Eurasia Maritime Management told a conference in Singapore.


March 15, 2006

Near-miss shuts down LNG imports on Elba Savannah Morning News - Savannah, GA A potentially disastrous spill was averted early Tuesday morning when a liquefied natural gas tanker discharging its load at the Southern LNG terminal on Elba Island broke from its moorings and pulled away from the pier. The dock was shut down for about 36 hours while representatives from the Coast Guard and an LNG engineer from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission investigated the incident.

July 13, 2006

Ship carrying liquid gas burns off Jordan Seattle Post Intelligencer  AMMAN, Jordan -- A tanker carrying liquefied natural gas caught fire as it unloaded Thursday in Aqaba, injuring 12 people, the manager of the Jordanian port said. Four of the injured were firefighters, who needed an hour to bring the blaze under control, said Awwad al-Maaytah, the director general of Aqaba Port Authority. The other injured were crewmen. The ship was promptly evacuated and towed away from the pier in the Red Sea port having unloaded only half of its cargo. Al-Maaytah said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

July 14, 2006

Jordan Liquid-Gas Ship Mishap Injures 19  All Headline News

December 24, 2006

LNG tanker asleep at the slip? River is no racetrack Savannah Morning News  "... and apparently wasn't refuted - that the tractor tugs tending the Golar Freeze were not in the proper position for a vessel discharging LNG. Mr. McCarthy also said the docking pilot on watch on the bridge of the Golar Freeze was asleep and not monitoring the Charleston's progress upriver."

August 2007

Canadian PM to Bush: No LNG Tankers OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper has reiterated in a private meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush that Canada will not let massive tankers carry liquefied natural gas through tricky Head Harbour Passage.







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