Meeting Demand Efficiently: Infrastructure & Innovation in LNG

February 25th, 2013.

Sessions at LNG 17 to cover the latest technological advances

PRESS RELEASE – Houston, Texas – Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is one of the fastest growing segments of the gas market, with industry research suggesting that LNG demand is forecast to rise by 4.6 percent annually over the next 15 years.

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region alone, the International Energy Agency (IEA) expects demand for natural gas to rise by 79 billion cubic meters (bcm) or 20 percent between 2011 to 2017, outstripping incremental supply in the region by 7 bcm as low gas prices encourage higher consumption by the utilities and transportation sectors.

Despite the MENA region’s rich reserves of gas, these reserves are often hard to reach and the cost of doing so has seen the UAE and Kuwait turn to LNG imports, particularly during the summer months when electricity demand peaks. Without investment in upstream gas infrastructure, LNG is likely to form an increasing proportion of demand across the region.

On the customer side, demand from the Asia-Pacific region for LNG from the MENA region is strong – particularly from Japan, Korea and India. This trend looks like it will continue through 2020 with a significant increase in demand from China and Korea expected.

To meet these growing demands, the infrastructure underpinning global trade in LNG – storage tanks, terminals, tankers – will need to grow and develop in tandem.

LNG carrier design has tracked the growth of the market. When the LNG trade began in the late 1960s, carrier capacity was around 70,000 cubic meters. Carrier size and capacity has increased ever since, and by 2011 average carrier capacity was approximately 147,000 cubic meters. The Q Series of carriers, developed by Qatargas in partnership with ExxonMobil, has pushed capacity over 200,000 cubic meters. As well as innovation in the design of on-board storage tanks, onboard reliquefaction units, slow-speed diesel engines and twin propellers and rudders are all contributing to more efficient shipping of LNG.

Rising global demand for gas has also driven the evolution of receiving terminals. Global receiving capacity continues to grow, with 245 mpta of new capacity entering into operation between 2006 and 2011. The lead time and cost of land-based terminals has encouraged the development of offshore regasification facilities, including floating storage and regasification units and LNG storage and regasification vessels. Floating regasification is also bringing a degree of flexibility in transporting LNG to new small and mid-sized markets.

In the past, storage tanks have represented between 10 and 25 percent of total installed plant value, particularly modern full containment tanks. However, decades of experience with different tank designs and technological advances are bringing down both costs and construction times. In particular the high cost and limited availability of nickel steel needed for tanks has advanced the development of composite concrete cryogenic tanks (C3T), an innovation that will be touched upon at LNG 17.

The 17th International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG 17), taking place from April 16 – 19, 2013 in Houston, Texas, will set the stage for the future dynamics of the industry. It offers multiple conference sessions and over 200 speakers discussing strategic, technical and commercial issues – including growing gas demand, new market opportunities, new applications and innovations.

“The growth of the global LNG market is spurring innovation in the industry as companies think bigger but leaner at the same time. There are some fascinating cutting edge technologies being developed at the moment, which we will be getting an insight into at LNG 17,” said Jay Copan, Executive Director of LNG 17.

At LNG 17, there will be a special Spotlight Session on Technological Innovation and Infrastructure in the LNG Industry which will consider new technological advances in infrastructure. Speakers will include Jean-Marie Dauger, Executive Vice President, GDF Suez and Rob Bryngelson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Excelerate Energy.

LNG 17 will also feature conference sessions on Liquefaction, Machinery and Onshore Facilities and Terminals, Tanks and Tankers.

Register now for LNG 17: visit or email:

About LNG 17

Hosted by The American Gas Association, LNG 17 is the only global industry event conducted by the gas industry – three industry organizations are responsible for the event: the International Gas Union, the Gas Technology Institute and the International Institute of Refrigeration.