The LNG industry in the US is currently facing challenges obtaining approvals for new receiving terminals. A factor of concern at public meetings relates to the potential hazards associated with marine transport accidents or terrorist events. A paper “Consequences of LNG Marine Incidents” reviews the range of potential LNG marine spillage events from collision, grounding, operational error, and terrorism. The purpose of this study is to develop a range of well conceived maximum credible failure cases from accidental or terrorism causes and to predict hazard zones using a well validated model. Hazard zones that are presented in this paper tend to fall below many of the values previously quoted. While additional experimental trials may be warranted, current results are of sufficient confidence to draw valid conclusions.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) represents an important potential energy source for the US over the next 30 years and will contribute to energy security and diversity. Government agencies including the US Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the US Coast Guard) are actively involved to ensure a suitable and safe infrastructure. One public concern is the marine transport element, as this may appear to have more vulnerability to threats than the LNG terminal itself which has robust LNG tanks and secure boundaries.
Currently there are 5 import and 1 export LNG terminals in the US including Puerto Rico. There are over 30 proposed developments in the US and in nearby parts of Canada and Mexico. While a small number of new terminals have been approved or are proceeding through the approval process, a number have failed to go forward and local opposition to LNG has developed. Some of the public objections relate to safety concerns about the potentially large consequence zones for LNG shipping incidents. While some of these estimates have been based on non-credible assumptions and inappropriate models, others have been based on sound assessments but with overly pessimistic assumptions.