The Anonymous Widower

Have We Enough LNG Carriers To Distribute The Natural Gas We Need?

I recently, asked this question of myself, as liquefied natural gas (LNG), now seems to be being moved all over the world.

Note, that the we in the title of this post, is a global we!

I stated by reading the Wikipedia entry for LNG Carrier.

This paragraph outlines the history of LNG carriers.

The first LNG carrier Methane Pioneer (5,034 DWT), classed by Bureau Veritas, left the Calcasieu River on the Louisiana Gulf coast on 25 January 1959. Carrying the world’s first ocean cargo of LNG, it sailed to the UK where the cargo was delivered. Subsequent expansion of that trade has brought on a large expansion of the fleet to today where giant LNG ships carrying up to 266,000 m3 (9,400,000 cu ft) are sailing worldwide.

The Methane Pioneer carried only 27,000 m3 of LNG.

Things have come a long way since the Methane Pioneer.

This is said in the Wikipedia entry for LNG Carrier.

According to SIGTTO data, in 2019 there were 154 LNG carriers on order, and 584 operating LNG carriers.

I don’t think capacity is a problem.

The Wikipedia entry also talks in detail about Cargo Handling and a Typical Cargo Cycle.

It is a very worthwhile read.

August 12, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , | Leave a comment

Could A Highview Power CRYOBattery Use A LNG Tank For Liquid Air Storage?

This Google Map shows a 3D image of liquified natural gas (LNG) tanks at South Hook LNG Terminal near Milford Haven.

Note that images of these tanks under construction on the Internet, show that there is an underground portion of the tanks.

This page on the CIMC-ENRIC web site is entitled Successful Delivery Of 5,000M3 LNG Single Containment Tank Project. The page shows the design of the LNG tank.

As the density of liquid air is 870 kg/m3, a 5,000 cubic metre tank would contain 4,350 tonnes of liquid air at −194.35 °C and atmospheric pressure.

How much energy would be needed to create 4,350 tonnes of liquid air?

In this document, this is said about compressing natural gas with an electric drive.

It is the most-energy efficient technology with 230 kWh per ton of LNG.

As air and natural gas have molecules of similar weight, would 230 kWh per tonne be applicable to liquid air.

If it is, then around a GW of electricity will be needed to create the liquid air.

This Wikipedia entry is entitled Cryogenic Energy Storage and describes Highview Power’s CRYOBattery.

This section describes the operation of the CRYOBattery.

When it is cheaper (usually at night), electricity is used to cool air from the atmosphere to -195 °C using the Claude Cycle to the point where it liquefies. The liquid air, which takes up one-thousandth of the volume of the gas, can be kept for a long time in a large vacuum flask at atmospheric pressure. At times of high demand for electricity, the liquid air is pumped at high pressure into a heat exchanger, which acts as a boiler. Air from the atmosphere at ambient temperature, or hot water from an industrial heat source, is used to heat the liquid and turn it back into a gas. The massive increase in volume and pressure from this is used to drive a turbine to generate electricity.

Note.

  1. The Claude cycle is described in this Wikipedia entry.
  2. The liquid air takes up one-thousandth of the volume of the gas.
  3. Wikipedia suggests that Highview claim the process has a round trip efficiency of 70 %.

Having done calculations in the past with chemical reactions in a series of large vessels, the dynamics can be strange and I wouldn’t be surprised that as Highview learn more about the process and add more and better ways of recycling heat and coolth, efficiencies will improve.

Certainly, in the process I mathematically-modelled in the 1970s, when I worked for ICI, I remember that one large reaction vessel performed better than four or five smaller ones with the same total volume.

Hence my thought that perhaps one large containment tank could be the most efficient design.

I also think, that the design of LNG tanks must have improved significantly over the last few years, as the transport of LNG has increased in importance.

August 1, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | Leave a comment

Shell’s Jackdaw Gas Field Given Go-Ahead By Regulators

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Development of a major North Sea gas field has been approved by regulators.

The Jackdaw field, east of Aberdeen, has the potential to produce 6.5% of Britain’s gas output.

This is Greenpeace’s response

But environmental campaigners have condemned the move.

The activist group Greenpeace said it believed the approval could be unlawful and it was considering legal action.

“Approving Jackdaw is a desperate and destructive decision from Johnson’s government, and proves there is no long-term plan,” said Ami McCarthy, a political campaigner for Greenpeace.

I have my thoughts.

The Short Term Problem

We are all paying the high gas price, brought about by Vlad the Mad’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

On the other hand, I am all for cutting carbon emissions, but stopping the development of the Jackdaw gas field will do nothing to cut total emissions in the short term.

In my view, the only way to cut carbon emissions is to replace the use of natural gas with hydrogen or electricity produced by renewable sources like solar, tidal, wave or wind power.

This change to every heating system and important industries like cement, chemicals, glass and steelmaking to hydrogen and renewable energy is not a short term or low-cost project. Especially whilst we’re still recovering from the pandemic and trying to handle Vlad the Mad.

We will need a supply of natural gas for a few years and if we don’t have enough gas will Greenpeace and their ilk, be happy to see everybody freezing and a large increase in unemployment?

The Government is between a rock and a hard place, where they can either bow to Greenpeace or buy Putin’s bloodstained gas, where there are two alternatives.

  • Buy liquified natural gas (LNG) from countries like Australia, Canada, Qatar or the United States.
  • Develop our own proven resources.

The advantages of taking the second route include.

  • Some of the countries from where gas is available, have bizarre views on human rights and keeping their people safe.
  • Gas is transported over long distances in a liquid form. Liquifying natural gas uses a lot of energy. Is that energy renewable?
  • Countries from where gas is available are thousands of miles away. How much carbon dioxide will be emitted liquifying and transporting it?
  • Gas from our own resources is delivered by pipeline.
  • Development of gas fields like Jackdaw, will surely create employment in the UK.

At a first look, I feel that developing Jackdaw and other similar fields, may well be a sensible option to help us through these difficult times.

Exporting Gas To Europe

If you look at the geographical position, you would feel, that the gas will be landed at St. Fergus gas terminal, which is to the North of Aberdeen.

But no! The gas will be landed at Bacton in Norfolk through the SEAL pipeline, which is 475 km. long

Could this be because Shell want to make sure the South of England gets its gas?

Possibly, but much of the UK’s gas imports arrive at LNG terminals in the South.

But Bacton has other assets, in that it has two undersea gas pipelines to the Continent. One is to Belgium and the other is to the Netherlands.

Surely, if we export our gas to other countries, then it is their business what they do with the carbon dioxide.

Not our’s or Shell’s!

Perhaps, we should develop other proven gas fields, as they will create employment in the UK and valuable exports. It will also help our friends out in Europe, in their time of need!

Will Shell Play The Market?

I have just been informed, that recently, improvements have been made to the pipelines in the area and Jackdaw’s gas could now go to St. Fergus.

This surely would give the gas from Jackdaw three destinations.

  • Scotland via St. Fergus.
  • England via Bacton
  • Europe via Bacton and the undersea pipelines.

So will Shell play the markets?

If in the future, we start to produce massive amounts of green hydrogen, I’m sure Europe, will be happy to buy that instead.

Powering Platforms With Renewable Energy

The BBC article says this.

And it plans also to re-power its offshore platforms with renewable electricity rather than burning gas.

Looking at the map, Jackdaw will not be far from the 2 GW wind farm, that Shell are developing.

Will they build a short interconnector from this wind farm to the gas platforms of Jackdaw and other nearby fields?

Will Shell Produce Hydrogen Offshore?

This article on Gas Processing And LNG is entitled Construction Of World’s Largest PEM Electrolyzer Completed.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Air Liquide has completed the construction of the world’s largest PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) electrolyzer. Supplied with renewable energy, this unit is now producing up to 8.2 tons per day of low-carbon hydrogen in Bécancour, Québec. With this large-scale investment, the Group confirms its long-term commitment to the hydrogen energy markets and its ambition to be a major player in the supply of low-carbon hydrogen.

The new 20 MW PEM electrolyser, equipped with Cummins technology, is the largest operating unit of its kind in the world and will help meet the growing demand for low-carbon hydrogen in North America. Bécancour’s proximity to the main industrial markets in Canada and the United States will help ensure their supply of low-carbon hydrogen for industrial use and mobility. The commissioning of this electrolysis unit increases by 50% the capacity of Air Liquide’s Bécancour hydrogen production complex.

Note.

  1. This article is about a year old and electrolysers will get larger.
  2. 20 MW of electricity will produce 8.2 tons per day of low carbon or green hydrogen.
  3. It may surprise some, that the electrolyser has been built by Cummins, who are diesel engine manufacturers. They are a company, who appear to have seen the way the wind is blowing and are making sure they lead the revolution.

How much hydrogen could a 2 GW wind farm produce?

  • Wind farms have a capacity factor, which is how much energy they actually produce compared to their rating.
  • Shell’s 2 GW wind farm will be a floating wind farm and these typically have a capacity factor of at least 50 percent.
  • I will assume the capacity factor of 50 percent.

This will give 8,200 tonnes per day of green hydrogen. This is nearly three million tons per year.

How Will The Hydrogen Be Brought Ashore?

The HyDeploy project is investigating blending of hydrogen into our natural gas grid.

  • It appears that up to 25 % of hydrogen can be added without the need to change boilers and appliances.
  • This blending of hydrogen into our natural gas supply, would cut our carbon emissions by a worthwhile amount.

So will we see gas piped to nearby gas platforms like Jackdaw for blending with fresh virgin natural gas?

This would have the following advantages for Shell.

  • They wouldn’t need to install an electric cable to the shore with all its associated onshore and offshore substations.
  • The hydrogen could be brought ashore at either Bacton or St. Fergus gas terminals.
  • Shell could invite other local wind farms to share their electrolyser.
  • Shell would need to new onshore installations.

If Shell get this right, they could cut the project cost.

Will Shell Produce Blue Hydrogen Offshore?

I wonder if Shell have a cunning plan.

  • It is known, that Shell have developed a catalyst-based blue hydrogen process, which splits natural gas into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, with the addition of oxygen from the air.
  • I suspect the process could need a lot of energy to work. But at least a GW from the nearby wind farm will probably be a good start.
  • Could that carbon dioxide be captured and stored in a depleted gas field.
  • The hydrogen could be piped to either Bacton or St. Fergus, as I previously described.

This hybrid method might be a more economic way to produce zero-carbon hydrogen.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t be surprised if Shell will produce hydrogen offshore.

 

June 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

UK Energy Exports To Europe At Record High

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Britain has exported record amounts of gas to Europe so far this year as its liquefied natural gas terminals receive shipments destined for the Continent.

Electricity exports also have surged to unprecedented highs in recent weeks after an unexpected glut of gas pushed down short-term gas prices and resulted in gas-fired power plants generating more for export.

Who’d have thought it, that all those gas pipelines and electricity interconnectors between the UK and the Continent of Europe would be part of the replacementliqui for Russian gas.

According to Wikipedia, we have three liquified natural gas terminals; two at Milford Haven; South Hook and Dragon, and Grain on the Isle of Grain.

Note.

  1. South Hook is Europe’s largest liquified natural gas terminal and is owned by a partnership of the Qataris, ExxonMobil and Elf.
  2. South Hook and Dragon together can provide 25 % of the UK’s natural gas needs.
  3. Grain is owned by National Grid and according to Wikipedia, is in terms of storage capacity it is the largest LNG facility in Europe and the eighth largest in the world.
  4. Grain can supply 20 % of the UK’s natural gas needs.
  5. Grain has a reloading facility, so that gas can be exported.
  6. Grain seems to be continually expanding.
  7. Both Milford Haven and the Isle of Grain have large gas-fired power-stations.

Politicians say we don’t have enough gas storage, but we do seem to have world-class LNG terminals.

I have a couple of extra thoughts.

Blending Natural Gas With Hydrogen

HyDeploy is a project investigated blending hydrogen natural gas to cut carbon emissions. The project is described in this post called HyDeploy.

Surely, these terminals could be places, where hydrogen is blended with our natural gas supply.

  • The terminals are connected to the UK gas network.
  • Both Milford Haven and the Isle of Grain should have access to large amounts of offshore wind energy in the next few years, which could be used to generate green hydrogen.
  • The terminals would need electrolysers to generate the hydrogen.

The Isle of Grain already has a blending capability.

NeuConnect

NeuConnect is an under-development interconnector between the Isle of Grain in Kent and Wilhelmshaven in Germany.

  • It will have a capacity 1.4 GW.
  • All the planning permissions seem to be in place.
  • Prysmian have won a € 1.2 million contract to deliver the interconnector.
  • Arup and German engineering firm Fichtner have formed a joint venture to provide project services for the interconnector.
  • Construction could start this year.

It looks like the Germans will be replacing some of Putin’s bloodstained gas with clean zero-carbon energy from the UK.

Should We Develop More Gas Fields?

There are some gas fields in the seas around the UK, like Jackdaw, that could be developed.

Suppose, we extracted the gas and sent it to the reloading terminal on the Isle of Grain through the gas transmission network, where it could be exported by ship, to the Continent.

The UK would not be increasing its carbon emissions, as that would surely be the responsibility of the end-user.

Should We Develop More Gas Fired Power-Stations?

I believe it is possible to develop carbon-capture technology for gas-fired power stations.

The carbon dioxide would be either used in a beneficial way or stored in perhaps a worked-out gas field under the North Sea.

So long as no carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, I don’t see why more gas-fired power stations shouldn’t be developed.

What is happening at Keadby near Scunthorpe would appear to be one model for zero-carbon power generation.

Keadby Power Station

 

This is an existing

Conclusion

We will be exporting more energy to the Continent.

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment