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The world’s energy demand is growing much more rapidly than the energy industry supply. With the world’s diminishing energy resources coupled with a growing awareness of the need to protect the environment, alternative resources are being investigated by the energy industry Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is one of the alternatives being explored. The conflicting demand for more energy and cleaner environment presented a complex problem. Natural gas alone among fuels currently available in large exportable quantities, promises to solve both, hence it has become a glamour fuel.
Many areas worldwide such as North America and Europe are experiencing a decline in gas supplies due to a decrease in gas production. This decrease in production is occurring because the gas sources are no longer able to sustain the current production level. As a result, other sources of gas production are being examined. Natural gas is rapidly becoming the fuel of choice for today’s industry. It burns cleaner; hence, it creates significantly less pollution than many other forms of energy. That fact is important to today’s society because it is becoming much more environmentally concerned than before. Another positive aspect of natural gas is the decrease in production cost in the future with each advancement in technology. The natural gas industry is growing at a swift pace all over the globe. The proven reserves worldwide have recently surpassed those of oil, and gas consumption is expected to exceed that of oil by the year 2020. New natural gas fields are discovered practically everyday. The proven reserves have, indeed, grown steadily since 1980, and the total at this time places supply above expected demand. The problem, therefore, does not reside in finding gas but in establishing systems to transport it to the consumption points. That explains why Liquefied Natural Gas traffic is growing at an annual rate of 10%.
When the natural gas supply and the intended consumer are reasonably close, pipelines can be used for transporting the gas. However, as most of the world’s gas supply is in remote areas, shipboard carriage is the only alternative.
Recent advancements in technology have given energy companies the ability to transport and deliver LNG long distances, and because of the impending energy shortage, federal regulatory agencies have relaxed the constraints that have been imposed in recent years on granting offshore construction permits in relation to LNG terminals. These terminals will help in the delivery of LNG to onshore locations via an infrastructure of sub-sea pipelines and other alternative.
Propane. 3 .What is LNG? Natural gas when chilled to -162o C at a normal pressure. LNG consists of several hydrocarbons. is also dissolved in LNG. the rest being Ethane. colorless.It is clear. Nitrogen. Butane and Pentane. The composition of hydrocarbons components of LNG determines the actual density or specific gravity and also the higher calorific value of resultant LNG. Its main component is Methane. condenses into a liquid reducing its volume to approximately 1/600 and this liquid is called Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). which is usually found in natural gas. cryogenic and odorless liquid having a weight about half that of water of the same volume.
estimates worldwide natural gas reserves to be around 5.As the vapour warms to minus 160°F (minus 107°C). Odorless and colorless . Vapour Dissipation .S.Specific gravity of LNG is about 0. it becomes lighter than air and will dissipate. Most of the natural gas that is found in North America is concentrated in relatively distinct geographical areas.210. . The natural gas vaporized from LNG can cause asphyxiation in an unventilated confinement. As can be seen from the graph. • • Nontoxic. with 2158.28 mJ.LNG looks like boiling water.2 Tcf or 34 percent of the world total. 4 .836. As can be seen from the map below. or basins. Non-corrosive.Properties of LNG • • • Extremely low temperature: minus 260°F (minus 162°C).Slightly less than half that of water.S.7 or 42 percent of total world reserves. it vaporizes to about 600 times its liquid volume.45.S.R. • • • Explosion limit of LNG: 5 to 15%. Latent heat of vaporization: 510 kJ/kg. LNG will float on water . World Natural Gas Reserves The EIA in conjunction with the Oil and Gas Journal and World Oil publications. and Europe and the former U. most of these reserves are located in the Middle East with 1. When exposed to atmospheric temperatures and pressure. those states which are located on top of a major basin have the highest level of natural gas reserves.8 Tcf. Minimum ignition energy: 0. natural gas reserves are very concentrated around Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. Given this distribution of natural gas deposits. U.
natural gas has been known as a very useful substance. 5 . natural gas is being used in ways never thought possible. In the early days of the natural gas industry.Uses of Natural Gas For hundreds of years. The Chinese discovered very long time ago that the energy in natural gas could be harnessed and used to heat water. the gas was mainly used to light streetlamps and the occasional house. However with much improved distribution channels and technological advancements.
as well as design constraints imposed by owner concerning operational expectations. Objective The scope of the technical paper is to complete the front-end design concept of a floating LNG receiving terminal and its technology. And no doubt new uses are being discovered all the time. where the design has to face the following constrains Design constrains The terminal is required to satisfy regulations as set forth by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and the American Petroleum Institute (API). 6 . commercially. The design must be able to operate in water and also be able to regasify. Natural gas is used across all sectors. in varying amounts. making it a vital component of the nation's energy supply. The industrial sector accounts for the greatest proportion of natural gas use in the World. and even in the transportation sector! While the uses described here are not exhaustive. The pie-chart above gives an idea of the proportion of natural gas used per sector. in industry. they may help to show just how many things natural gas can do. The location of Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) is to be at Niger delta region off the coast of West Africa. energy from natural gas accounts for 24 percent of total energy consumed in the United States.There are so many different applications for this fossil fuel that it is hard to provide an exhaustive list of everything it is used for. Natural gas has many applications. with the residential sector consuming the second greatest quantity of natural gas. as well as be able to store the LNG tanker’s entire supply. in your home. According to the Energy Information Administration.
000 m of LNG • Must maintain a constant draft condition while loading or offloading • Must sustain offloading operations in a 1-year storm event • Must sustain shoreline delivery of LNG in a 10-year storm event Environmental conditions Wind: Figure 2 represents the directional distribution of wind speed with the top of the figure being true north.Such constraints consisted of the following • Will be permanently moored in 40 m of water • Must be able to process 1 billion cubic feet (BCF) of gas per day 3 • Must have a storage capacity of 330. This figure suggests that majority of the wind comes from the southwest. figure-2 7 .
3 meters. Table 1 Shoaled Wave Characteristics Significant wave height H at 25 m depth (m) 3. This figure shows a correlation between the directions of the prominent winds and waves. Figure 3 contains a large amount of relevant data. The corresponding wavelengths at this location are 236. From this figure it can be concluded that the larger period waves and the waves with the highest significant wave heights all seem to be propagating from the same direction.03 and 375.20 Significant wave height H at 40 m depth (m) 2.03 Wavelength L at 40 m depth (m) 375. southwest.54 Peak period T (s) 15.30 The significant wave height at the given site is 2.Wave: The shoaled wave characteristics can be found in Table 1.5 seconds. This correlates with the wind data in Figure 2.50 Wavelength L at 25 m depth (m) 236.54 meters with a period of 15. Figure 3 8 .
8 0.6 0.Current Figure 4 shows the current direction and intensity distribution. The terminal is oriented so that the bow is facing southwest.0 0. Table 2 Current Characteristics Current velocity at surface (m/s) Current velocity at 25 % of site depth (m/s) Current velocity at 75 % of site depth (m/s) Current velocity at sea floor (m/s) 1. It should be noted that the current seems to have a tendency to have opposing directions from the surface to the bottom on the original data. Because the current distribution is independent of the wind and wave forces. analysis using Mimosa and Stab Cad was used to determine how much of an effect the current has on the beam of the terminal.5 Figure 4 9 .
Natural gas compressors and pumps 10 . weight. to prevent catastrophic failure. regulatory compliance 2. there are also guidelines to follow. Locations of flares and vents are dependent on the directions of the winds. which follow the API building code. and stability 4. Atmospheric conditions. buoyancy. general arrangement and overall hull/system design 3. The following constraints and regulations from the American Bureau of Shipping can be found in both “Guide for Building and Classing Facilities on Offshore Installations (a)” and “Guide for Building and Classing Floating Production Installations (b). private. atmospheric discharge.” A pressure relief system must be built. global loading 5. and other parameters will need to be examined further before their construction can begin In case of a spill. The system must include safety sensors and self-acting devices in case of over-pressuring or to simply “maintain normal process parameters. according to API 14C code. and international regulatory agencies. heat radiation from elevated flares. mooring/station keeping Regulatory Compliance The design must meet classification guidelines from several public.” The design must have a safety system that meets ABS requirements. API and ABS are the two primary codes that are focused on for this project. The safety system is also required to have a fire and gas detection system as well as a process Emergency Shutdown system (ESO).Competency Areas The final design of the offshore LNG terminal must satisfy design requirements in five general competency areas: 1.
“Compressors are to apply with applicable API standards. In addition.must be built in accordance with ABS codes. For example. so the design is not feasible in this case. The alarm system should have built in testing systems that do not disturb the normal operating system. There needs to be at least 2 emergency control stations. For the safety of personnel there should be means of escape in which the escape route is in accordance with ABS. used to transport either gas or liquid. Detectors (fire. The flow lines and manifolds. a SPAR platform is only suitable for deep-water conditions. However. There will be stations where certain actions will be taken if a failure does occur. There locations must also follow standards design code. Alarm systems should comply with the following ABS standards. gas and smoke). alarm panels. one life jacket per person. At least two escape routes must be designed and the escape route plan should be “displayed at various points in the facility” There must be at least four buoys. The same 11 . There should be an emergency shutdown system which takes “place with in 45 seconds or less after the detection of a trouble condition”. Certain sections of the pipeline may have to be isolated with block valves or filled with cold liquid in order to protect them from solar fires. the relatively shallow location of the proposed site at 40 meters depth negates several possibilities. and a breathing apparatus for each person. Surfaces that are at risk of becoming extremely hot must be insulated for personnel protection. General Arrangement and Overall Hull/System Design In the initial studies all types of floating facilities were considered which are currently in use throughout the world. detection wiring and general alarm systems should comply with codes. spillage protection and combustible gases. This ensures safety systems will be totally independent from the main system in case of a failure or emergency situations. have to follow API standards. one work vest per person. everybody on the terminal should have a fireman’s outfit so as to meet requirements of SOLAS.
and the modifications to this design are discussed. Thus possible designs were narrowed down to a manageable number with little or no computations required.holds true for tension-leg platforms (TLPs) and mini-TLPs. Although the large pontoons on a semisubmersible would be advantageous with regards to storage capacity. 1 Ship Shape Barge with Spherical Tanks Figure: Ship-Shape Barge with Turret Mooring 12 . because the shallow depth makes these types of structures impractical. the draft required to keep the pontoons fully submerged would mean that the entire platform would be resting on the sea floor. The final design was selected. The following section will show the two initial concept designs plus a third concept showing a different mooring scheme for one of the base designs. The two alternatives remaining were to design either a ship-shape barge or a completely new design.
This design also included a submerged combustion vaporizer.The dimensions of this vessel are 350m in length. six open rack vaporizers are stacked three on three with a three-meter clearance below and above each vaporizer. Crew accommodations are placed farthest away from the Regasification unit to comply with regulatory safety standards. Cranes are located at the bow and stern of the vessel. Offloading processes are designed to take place on the starboard side of the vessel. allowing it to weather vane. This vessel is designed to be turret moored. LNG booster pumps. For additional security a blast wall is attached to the bow side of the crew accommodations. 2 Catamaran Hull with SPB Tanks Figure: Catamaran Hull with Spread Mooring 13 . Due to limited deck space. This design also accommodates for instruments such as seawater pumps. a control substation. This design supports three LNG storage tanks. 90m in width and 35m in height. and a potable and auxiliary water unit.000 cubic meters of storage. Boil off Gas (BOG) compressors are located on the port side while diesel storage tanks and power generators are located on the starboard side. each 60m in diameter. This dimension enables approximately 339.
60 meters wide and 25 meters high. These twin hulls are hollow to allow for four semi-prismatic LNG storage tanks (two per hull). and 22 meters high. It was also considered to use four Moss spherical tanks instead of four SPB tanks. between two of the tanks on one side. parallel to the long side of the deck. with the carrier berthing 14 . as the spherical tank design suffers from a lack of deck space and the SPB tank design suffers from an overabundance of deck space. The hulls are 200 meters long.e. the large footprint of the tanks on the main tank (in addition to the footprint of the Regasification plant itself) would leave little deck space for the safe placement of the living quarters away from dangerous areas (i. Storage and Offloading). This configuration uses side offloading for arriving LNG carriers. but with a turret-mooring system instead of a spread-mooring system. When full. It must also be noted that at the placement of topside structures for the catamaran hull is problematic. each approximately 75 meters long.This design combines the stability of a semi-submersible with the storage capacity and shallow draft of an oil-based FPSO (Floating Production. while still allowing room in the hulls for two ballast tanks per hull to aid in leveling and stability of the platform. etc. the cross-section of the platform exposed to wind and wave forces is at a minimum.000 cubic meters of LNG storage. it soon became apparent that since each sphere would have to be about 55 meters in diameter. with three mooring lines at each of the four corners.8 meters. The deck is two hundred meters square. the weight of the LNG in the tanks would increase the draft of the platform by approximately 5. 50 meters wide.). This would allow the entire platform to weathervane in response to changing weather conditions. This particular design tests the feasibility of a spread-mooring configuration. The turret is also placed so that when the platform reaches a stable position. LNG carriers arriving at the terminal would offload their LNG by berthing along the side of the terminal. Catamaran Hull with Single-Point Mooring The third design considered is the same catamaran hull with a similar deck and storage tank configuration. The total volume of all four tanks will exactly satisfy the design constraint of 330. 3. with two outrigger hulls beneath. However.
which would not be a recommended service condition for either the carrier or the terminal.parallel to the side of the platform and its bow facing into the wind. A tandem configuration would not be practical for this design because the wake vortices from the twin hulls would interact with each other near the exact location of the berthed carrier. Figure: Catamaran Hull with Single-Point Mooring Design Catamaran Hull Advantages Innovative design Disadvantages Inability to align itself to weather conditions (short moment arm) spread mooring only Wide hull width required to accommodate SPB tanks Large frontal area exposed to wind Difficulty in construction (two shipyards required) Ample deck space Low center of gravity Inherent stability in roll/pitch/yaw conditions Shallow draft Fatigue and bending stresses on centerline of main deck between hulls Limited deck space Ship Shape Barge Well-established and proven design Flexibility in selecting mooring systems Constructability constraint (length and width of hull) 15 .
Like the catamaran design. instead of competing with equally-capable shipyards for the contract. In order to keep construction costs down. This in turn led to exploring different types of LNG containment systems available on the market.Final selection After assessing feedback from industry representatives. Also. This approach has two benefits associated with it. as the production costs are directly tied to the market conditions within the shipbuilding industry. An overly wide breadth in the design would mean that only a small number of shipyards would be large enough to build the vessel. In minimizing the environmental forces that the vessel would experience. The manufacturability of the FSRU design itself is also of paramount importance. Manufacturisation The selection of the shipyard in which to build the proposed facility is of vital importance. it reduces any potential scheduling 16 . First it allows for competitive pricing between the shipyards. the hull is designed to optimize the storage capacity of the LNG by holding the breadth within a specific range and the length being varied to achieve the specified storage requirements. it was proposed to contain the LNG within the hull of the vessel as to maximize the deck space for equipment. Secondly. In this case. several of the larger shipyards have websites with information for potential clients which aided in shipyard selection. it was decided to utilize the positive attributes associated with the first two designs and combine them into the final design selection. and progress reports. ultimately driving up the cost of construction because the shipyard would be free to dictate a price to the company as a result of market forces. it was necessary to limit the dimensions of the terminal’s hull to a reasonable trade off between the breadth and length. a spread mooring system would be utilized due to the environmental conditions and the water depth. Fortunately. it was decided to use the ship-shape barge but limit its size for competitive construction bidding.
a narrower design could be relocated to another shipyard instead of being locked into a single yard. If for any reason the shipyard was unable to complete construction of the facility. Final Dimensions • Length between perpendiculars (LBP) – 340m • Breadth – 65m • Molded depth – 33m Figure 5 Bow View of Selected Design Figure 6 Beam View of Selected Design 17 . keeping the project on time.conflicts.
Figure 5 and Figure 6 shows the bow and beam views of the final structure respectively. SPB tanks are advantageous in that they are independent from the hull structure and the geometry of the tanks can be designed to conform to the hull’s final shape. which optimized the safety of the terminal as well as complying with ABS steel vessel design guidelines. With these dimensions defined. A double-hull layout was a direct effect of this ballast configuration. The mechanical arms have a smaller overall range of displacement. the LNG tanks drove the rest of the dimensions. With the terminal’s breadth a major concern. therefore. requiring more stringent design constraints and thus giving the team versatility in using either offloading system without a significant redesign or reanalysis.000m of LNG storage within the hull structure.One of the goals was to limit the vessels beam to within 60m-70m to allow for a variety of options in terms of shipyard selection and pricing which was achieved by increasing length as written above. a contingency design using conventional mechanical arms designed by FMC has been considered. it became possible to contain the entire 330. for a total of ten tanks. The ballast tanks were designed as five adjacent J-tanks on each side of the terminal. 3 Five semi-prismatic type B (SPB) tanks were selected for the LNG containment. Buoyancy and Stability The shallow water at the site location dictates that the draft of the vessel must be established early in the design process to ensure that the vessel floats with enough distance between the keel and the sea floor to allow for the mooring and to prevent 18 . Weight. This system was selected because of the internal flexibility of the hoses and the added range of displacement within the support booms. The possibility exists that these mechanisms will not be available from Technip-Coflexip upon project completion. This allowed for ample space for processing equipment as well as safety for crew members to perform daily operations. The offloading system selected for the terminal is a series of four “In-Air Flexible” offloading mechanisms designed by Technip-Coflexip.
that this unit area mass is an estimate that takes into account the actual plate thickness as well as a lump estimate of the weights of the structural elements (beams. Table 6 Masses of Terminal Components (Lightship) Item Hull LNG tanks Ballast tanks Topsides Mooring lines Confidence (15%) TOTAL Mass (mt) 29. girders. the loaded condition is defined as full LNG tanks and empty ballast tanks. but this estimated value is an extremely useful approximation for front-end engineering analysis. 19 . A more precise measurement of the total mass can be obtained once the detailed structural engineering design is complete. The masses of each component of the terminal are shown in Table 6 below. The draft of the vessel was calculated to be roughly 11. It must be stressed. Once the dimensions were finalized. the weight of the vessel was calculated.668 23. and miscellaneous utility weights. the LNG tanks.235 The terminal was then analyzed in both the loaded and unloaded conditions to determine the terminal’s center of mass and draft in each case. the topsides. The results of this analysis are summarized in Table 7 below.733 12. and the unloaded condition is defined as empty LNG tanks and full ballast tanks.334 13.900 91. To maintain a constant draft. To this end. a spreadsheet was developed to calculate the lightship weight of the vessel.600 581 11. which is well within an acceptable range for this particular site depth. including the weight of the hull itself.58 meters. This spreadsheet allows optimization of the overall dimensions of the vessel as well as more specific parameters such as the spacing between LNG tanks and the ballast tank dimensions. however. etc) that hold the plates together. A unit area mass of 405 kilograms per square meter was multiplied by the total surface area of all the steel components within the vessel to arrive at the estimated lightship mass. keel.slamming against the bottom in extreme weather events.
6 Unloaded 17. In a real-world scenario.6 Global Loading Global loading of the ship was taken into account to determine if the ship would be able to sustain all the vertical loads that are applied to it. and buoyancy. Figure 7 shows the loads from the topside structures along the longitudinal axis. however for the purposes of a conservative engineering estimate. all three forces are assumed to be horizontal. hitting perpendicular to the bow.0 11. including the weight of the vessel.Table 7 Centers of Mass and Drafts in Loaded/Unloaded Conditions KG (m) Draft (m) Loaded 17. weight of the LNG onboard.4 11. topside weights. Figure 7 – Topside Loading 20 . waves and currents are hitting the bow at different angles. the three environmental forces from wind.
The facility must also be able to survive a 100 year storm event. Due in large part to the directionality of the environment in the West Africa area the spread moored system was decided on rather than a turret moored system. This influenced the decision between a turret and a spread moored system. Some of these factors are the soil composition of the sea floor. what their layout is. and what diameter 21 . During the 100 year storm event the mooring system is not only required to not fail but certain API requirements for loading and offset must be checked. Along with the system being spread moored. and cost of the system. During the damaged case when the most loaded line is broken the second most loaded line tension must not exceed 80% of the breaking strength (API 1995). According to API codes this amount for shallow water is between 15 and 25% of the water depth. this would translate to offsets ranging from 6 to 10 m for this facilities depth of 40 m. The above requirements are used for what is called the maximum operating condition. Spread moored systems are typically utilized when the environment predominately is generated in certain directions. the bow will face towards the 225 degree direction relative to true north. In the case where the system is fully intact the most loaded line tension must not exceed 60% of the breaking strength of the line (API 1995). the types of loading and unloading procedures to and from the facility. which in this case is the 10 year storm event. The sea bottom at this particular site is soft sand so a taut type mooring system is out of the question. it is necessary for the facility to not offset more than what the flexible connections to the pipeline can handle. In actual distance. the directionality of the environmental data. With this in mind. There are several factors for deciding what type of mooring system to have. Once the leg type was decided the next step is to decide if there is directionality to the environmental data.Mooring/Station Keeping Since the regasified LNG must be piped to market. what their length is. This leaves only the option of the catenary style mooring system. the maximum operating condition is the condition that still allows the facility to send gas to shore. Since the system is a catenary spread moored system. the next step is to design how many legs (lines) in the system.
465 14. with a leg extending off the facility at the four corners at an angle of 45 degrees off of the longitudinal axis.980 2. with the other two lines being spaced at ±5 degrees off of the center line. This angle is the angle of the center line.1016 Weight in water Breaking Strength (kN/n) (kN) 3.932 7.127 0.size of chain should be used to satisfy the API codes stated above.445 12.811 Table 8 Chain Characteristic 22 . In the table below the characteristics of different chains being considered can be compared.1143 0. Figure 8 shows the initial layout of the proposed system.440 1. Figure 8 Horizontal Layout of Mooring Lines These lines are separated into 4 different legs. Size (in) 5 4. A 12 line system was chosen for the initial design due in part to its safety factor and large restoring force.5 4 Size (m) 0. The first chain size analyzed was the 5 inch chain.
Flexible hose loading concept To be acceptable. LNG is currently being transferred between ship and onshore storage exclusively via fixed articulated loading arms. These arms incorporate swivel joints to accommodate the relative motion between the stationary block and the buoyant LNG ship.Marine arms for cryogenic service Loading systems for low temperature and cryogenic service are normally double counter weighted marine arm design. a loading system using flexible hose must meet the following criteria: • • • The loading system must be easily acceptable to existing LNG ship designs The system must be robust and highly reliable The cryogenic hose must not be a limiting factor due to weather or environmental condition 23 .
• • • The service of the hose must be sufficiently long to avoid continual replacement of worn hose The hose must meet all the applicable standards and must be certified The system should be cost competitive 24 .
It is 25 . Marine arm accessories The cryogenic loading systems are available with hydraulic assist for larger arms. One of the important types of marine arm is the RCMA (Rotart Counter Marine Arm). The hose construction consists of multilayer of polyester fabric and polymer film sandwiched between the inner and outer stainless steel wire built on a mandrel with integral flanged end fittings. The purpose of polymeric film is to provide a leak free seal within a hose body and the labyrinth construction of the film packs offer a significant contribution to the axial strength of the hose.Hose selection There are basically two types of flexible hose used for LNG transfer: • • A composite hose consisting of layers of polymer fabric and film bound with stainless wire for integrity Corrugated stainless steel hose Composite hoses have been used for offshore loading of cryogenic liquid in sizes up to 20 inches. The completed hose is lagged with polypropylene rope to provide additional scuff protection for the outer wire and hose carcass.