In Depth: Report from the World Gas Conference in Amsterdam

During a panel discussion on LNG safety and technology developments on Wednesday, June 7, Bruno Larsen of Höegh LNG provided an overview of LNG safety issues. He specifically identified steps taken by the industry to improve the safety of LNG, including: the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), by which all 148 signatory nations to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention are bound; the Sandia National Laboratory report addressing large LNG spills over water; security measures put in place in the US after September 11; and efforts by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Society of International Gas Tanker & Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) to establish standards.

In the same panel, Hisashi Yamamoto of the International Association of Maritime Universities highlighted the potential shortage of skilled LNG mariners given the large number of LNG vessels currently ordered and under construction. He noted that by the end of 2010 the worldwide LNG fleet is expected to reach 342 vessels — up from 174 in 2004 — which would require approximately 10,100 skilled mariners. Yamamoto emphasized that the IMO’s Safety Committee has decided to establish LNG-specific standards for vessels by 2008.

In the midday keynote address, Chevron’s CEO David O’Reilly called energy security a “near-term necessity” and emphasized that the debate about energy security “will help determine the quality of life for millions of human beings.” O’Reilly also encouraged further diversity of LNG supply. Specifically addressing Chevron’s proposed Gorgon liquefaction project in Australia, O’Reilly stressed that he is confident that the project will go forward balancing “the economic benefits and environmental impact to allow full development” of the resources. O’Reilly’s comments appeared to address the Australian EPA’s rejection of the proposed project on Tuesday for environmental reasons.

Our previous coverage of the World Gas Conference is available in our In Depth section. For more information please contact David Wochner.


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