Coast Guard lifts its ban on LNG imports through Boston harbor

Sam Fletcher
OGJ Online

HOUSTON, Oct. 16 -- The US Coast Guard on Tuesday lifted a 20-day ban on imports of liquefied natural gas through Boston harbor, which some feared might become a target for terrorist attack.

The ban imposed Sept. 26 by Coast Guard Capt. Brian Salerno, captain of the Boston port and commanding officer of the USCG Marine Safety Office there, was lifted following a report last week by marine insurer Lloyd's Register of Shipping that there is little danger to that city from a LNG explosion or fire.

That report acknowledged that an explosive projectile or bomb could rip open the refrigerated tanks that keep the natural gas liquefied at -260° F. That could release a nontoxic cloud of gas in enough volume to spread 3.7 miles. But since natural gas is lighter than air at ambient temperatures, it would tend to move up, rather than out, and would be more likely to burn than explode before dissipating into the air, said the report.

That report was commissioned by Distrigas of Massachusetts LLC, which operates the LNG import terminal in Everett, Mass., outside of Boston.

The Lloyd's Register conclusions also were verified independently by Roger Roue, technical adviser at the Society of International Gas Tankers & Terminal Operators, a nonprofit organization that promotes high operating standards and best practices for gas tankers and terminals around the globe.

Responding to an earlier inquiry by OGJ Online, Roue said there have been "no serious fires and no explosions" involving LNG tankers or terminals "during the 40 years that LNG has been transported around the globe by sea.

"Understandable as they are in the aftermath of the tragic events of Sept. 11, the fears being expressed in the Boston area are, in my opinion, entirely without foundation," he said.

Nevertheless, Distrigas officials agreed to "certain permanent changes" in security for the Everett terminal and the operation of LNG vessels in Boston's harbor that are not being imposed at the other two operative US LNG terminals (OGJ Online, Oct. 3, 2001).

The end of the ban on LNG imports through Boston harbor was timely, with local temperatures in the 40-60° F range Tuesday.

The Distrigas LNG imports supply 15%-20% of the total annual demand for natural gas for all of New England. The Everett terminal and its area network of LNG storage facilities supply 35% of New England's peak demand during winter when interstate transmission lines to that market are filled at to capacity.

A lengthy disruption of LNG imports to that facility could have created a shortfall in winter gas supplies and triggered a price escalation for customers, officials said.

Distrigas' Everett LNG terminal is the oldest and longest operating US unit of that type. Since 1971, it has taken delivery of 438 LNG cargoes, accounting for more than half of all the LNG imported into the US.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com

Related Articles

PHMSA proposes pipeline accident notification regulations

07/02/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations. ...

Quicksilver Canada gets LNG export approval

07/02/2015 Quicksilver Resources Canada Inc. has received approval from the National Energy Board of Canada to export 20 million tonnes/year of LNG from a pos...

Origin lets contract for Otway basin fields

07/02/2015 Origin Energy Ltd., Sydney, has let a $1.3 million (Aus.) contract to Wood Group Kenny for provision of a detailed engineering design for the onsho...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Shell Midstream Partners takes interest in Poseidon oil pipeline

07/01/2015 Shell Midstream Partners LP has completed its acquisition of 36% equity interest in Poseidon Oil Pipeline Co. LLC from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a s...

Shell makes FID on Appomattox deepwater development in Gulf of Mexico

07/01/2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has taken a final investment decision (FID) on the Appomattox deepwater development, authorizing construction and installatio...

Woodside-led Browse FLNG venture enters FEED phase

07/01/2015 The Woodside Petroleum Ltd.-led Browse LNG joint venture has entered the front-end engineering and design phase for a floating LNG (FLNG) developme...

Case for Keystone XL has grown stronger, TransCanada tells Kerry

06/30/2015 Canada is taking strong steps toward combating climate change, and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline crude oil pipeline remains in the US national ...

Construction begins on Chinese section of Russia-China Gas Pipeline

06/30/2015

Construction has begun on the Chinese section of the Russia-China Gas Pipeline, according to China National Petroleum Corp.

White Papers

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

When Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

When Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected