LNG Shipment by Sea - Current & Future Situation

August 2007 The first LNGC over 200,000m3 is scheduled for delivery from Samsung (Korea) to the OSG Group.

Sizes/Naming convention of LNG Carriers:
Medmax  = 75,000 m3
Conventional LNGC  = 125,000 -145,000 m3 Steam Turbine
New Conventional size 155,000 – 170,000m3 
Q-flex  = 216,000 m3 (27 Qflex on order)
Q-max  =  265,000 m3 (9 Qmax on order)

The 1st LNG Carrier with a gas turbine is still to be ordered even with the proven track record of this type of propulsion plant in the Cruise Industry and 15% extra cargo capacity due to the smaller engine room size that is required.

2008 - over 300 LNG Carriers in service.

By 2010 the number of LNG Carriers in service will increase to well over 350 LNG Carriers. This is currently forecast to exceed 500 ships in the period from 2010 to 2020.

2010 expect 6 Arctic LNGC’s to be in operation.

There is currently around 3,500 to 4,000 serving LNG-ship officers. This figure is expected to rise to 5,500 by the end of the decade, with the anticipated expansion of the fleet. In a shipping industry that is already short of seafarers, it has a shortage of officers with experience of LNG and steam engineers.

LNG carriers entering in to the spot market and engaged on tramping voyages and discharging part cargoes has caused increase focus on the damage caused by sloshing.

LNG Shipping possesses the most envied Safety Record in world shipping with no significant accident or cargo spillage in its first 40 years spanning more than 40,000 sea voyages. Now with a lack of training berths on the existing tonnage and new operations evolving in countries with no LNG experience and a stellar growth in the LNG industry in the first decade of the 21st century, it must work hard to retain that.  


LNG Supply - Shipping perspective



































History of LNG Shipment / LNG Transportation by Sea

1954 Spherical design for carriage of LNG submitted by Dr Ovind Lorentzen to Norske Veritas

1954 Gaz de France conduct studies on the import of LNG to France, concluding that by ship is the most feasible.

1958 1st shipment of LNG by the ‘Methane Pioneer’ carrying 5,000 Cub.M of LNG from the Lake Charles, USA to Canvey Island, UK.

1964 “Methane Princess” and “Methane Progress” (27,400m3) enter service as the first ships to burn cargo boil-off (before this time any cargo boil-off had been vented.

1965 “Jules Verne” (25,500m3) ordered by Gaz de France

1965 Gaz Transport was established

1967 1st contract to import LNG to Japan, from Kenai (Alaska) to Tokyo on the ships: “Polar Alaska” and “Arctic Tokyo”

1967 1st Gaz Transport membrane installation on an LNG Carrier “Polar Alaska” after successful trials on LPG Ships

1970 9 LNG Carriers in service

1971 1st Technigaz membrane on an LNG Carrier “Descartes” after successful trials on LPG Ships

1973 1st LNG Carrier with spherical tanks built in the Moss Rosenberg shipyard in Norway “Norman lady” (87,600m3)

1979 SIGTTO established

1979 (June) “El Paso Paul Kaiser” (125,000 m3 LNGC) runs aground at 17 knots off Gibraltar

1979 (July) The cargo from “El Paso Paul Kaiser” is transferred to one of her sister ships and is the worlds 1st ship-to-ship transfer between LNG Carriers.

1979 (Dec) “LNG Taurus” runs aground

1980 49 LNG Carriers in service

1981 Midship jettisoning attempt of LNG

1983 30 LNG Carriers are laid up around the world for eceonomical reasons, some remaining in lay up for almost 20 years.

1985 LNGC spills approx 40m3 on her deck which causes the deck to fracture due to brittle stress.

1989 2 x IHI SPB ships ordered for delivery in 1993

1990 71 LNG Carriers in service

1997 “Methane Princess” scrapped after 32 years of service, not due to her condition but because of her uneconomical size.

1998 World fleet of LNG Carriers passes 100 ships.

All large LNG ships have traditionally been driven by steam turbine propulsion systems. The first generation of LNG ships built in the 1960’s employed steam turbine plants and, in doing so, established the technical basis for burning boil-off gas in boilers, which is still applied today. Steam turbine systems have proved extremely reliable

2004 to demonstrate that LNG was not a toxic gas, several promotional films were released depicting men and women drinking glasses of water that had earlier contained liquid LNG which had boiled off.

2005 LNG World Trade
Japan Imported 58.7 million tonnes
South Korea Imported 22.1 million tonnes
Spain Imported 15.8 million tonnes
USA Imported 13 million tonnes
France Imported 9.3 million tonnes

2005 (Nov) The introduction of a system of Internationally recognised and structured training programs were necessary, and in November 2005 SIGTTO went a long way to fulfilling that requirement by the release of the 1st version of its LNG Shipping Competency Standards as an example of guidance and suggested best practice for the LNG industry. These standards were being reviewed by an IMO sub committee in the spring of 2006.

2005/2006 Problems with the new CS1 containment system

2006 (Jan) Reports of the first occurance of cargo rollover on an LNG Carrier.

2006 (Mid) the 1st LNG Carrier with reliquefaction entered service, NYK’s “Jamal”
August 2006 First commercial transfer of 20,000m3 of LNG in the gulf of mexico between the LNG Carriers “Excelsior” and “Excalibur”

2006 (Oct) “Provalys” enters service as the first dual-fuel diesel-electric LNGC that can burn either diesel or cargo boil-off, plans for slow speed diesel and gas turbine propulsion are also in place.

2006 the world fleet of LNG Carriers had grown to over 200 ships in service with the delivery of the “Maersk Qatar”.

2006 Qatars exports of LNG reaches 26 million tpa making it the worlds largest exporter.

2007 (Feb) First full cargo transfer of LNG conducted between the LNG Carriers “Excelsior” and “Excalibur”

2007 (Feb) 1st Regasified LNG from “ship to shore via Jetty” is conducted at Teeside, UK.