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LNG as a fuel carries with it many risks

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Extracts from a MarineLink.com article by Joseph Keefe published 26 June 2014 under the headline: “Maritime Fuel of the Future: Training to an Uncertain Standard”

First extract

Despite its unquestionable allure, LNG as a fuel carries with it as many risks as it does answers to the problems it promises to solve.

Second extract

Separately, Royal Dutch Shell plc announced in December that the company would not move forward with a proposed 140,000 barrels per day Gulf Coast gas-to-liquids (GTL) project in Louisiana. Shell described the decision tersely by saying, “Despite the ample supplies of natural gas in the area, the company has taken the decision that GTL is not a viable option for Shell in North America, at this time, due to the likely development cost of such a project, uncertainties on long-term oil and gas prices and differentials, and Shell’s strict capital discipline.”

FULL ARTICLE

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Dec 5 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it would not move forward with its proposed 140,000 barrel per day Gulf Coast gas-to-liquids (GTL) project in Louisiana, despite ample supplies of natural gas in the area.

COMMENT RECEIVED FROM A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR

John

You seem to have confused LNG and GTL

Natural Gas Liquefaction is a physical process by which natural gas (primarily methane) is cooled sufficiently to become a liquid (LNG), and can be easily transported in a specially constructed cryogenic tanker. The liquid is heated at the destination in a regasification plant, vaporised and returned to the gaseous state. This is a process which has been in widespread use for the transport of hydrocarbon gases since the 1960s. Shell is currently involved in the construction of a floating vessel equipped to cool and liquefy natural gas produced from the Prelude field in Australia.

Gas-to-Liquids is a chemical process (Fischer-Tropsch process) developed in the 1920s in Germany for the manufacture of liquid hydrocarbon fuels from coal. The process was further refined by Sasol in South Africa during the 1960s as a means of circumventing the oil embargo. Shell has built plants in Bintulu (the first of which was destroyed in an explosion and fire) and more recently in Qatar which use a similar process to convert natural gas into easily transportable liquid hydrocarbon fuels such as diesel and jet fuel.

Both LNG and GTL use hydrocarbon gas feedstock and produce a liquid, although liquid methane (LNG) is very different from diesel fuel (GTL). Both involve the construction of huge plants at a cost of tens of billions of dollars and are used to enable stranded gas to be monetised.

Reply by John

Have now added a vital missing word – “Separately”.

Your explanation was so clear and informative that I decided to publish it in any case. 

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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