LNG Shipping at 50

Society of International Gas Tanker & Terminal Operators

“In the 50 years since they loaded their first commercial shipment, LNG carriers have safely delivered over 77,000 cargoes. These consignments all reached their destinations with no breach of a cargo containment system and with no onboard fatalities directly attributable to the cargo. This is a very impressive, in fact unprecedented, safety record for the carriage of liquid hydrocarbons by sea in bulk. This exemplary safety record is due to several reasons. These include, but are not limited to, a strong, overarching safety philosophy; robust equipment and systems design; good operational and maintenance procedures; operating in excess of the minimum requirements and according to best practice guidelines; and high standards of training coupled with competency verification.”

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Infrastructure Security: Issues for Congress

Congressional Research Service

“The LNG marine safety record is partly due to the doublehulled design of LNG tankers. This design makes them more robust and less prone to accidental spills than single-hulled oil and fuel tankers like the Exxon Valdez, which caused a major Alaskan oil spill after grounding in 1989.”

Breach and Safety Analysis of Spills Over Water from Large Liquefied Natural Gas Carriers

Sandia National Laboratories

“The likelihood of a natural gas cloud fully extending, especially in a near-shore urban area, and then igniting is very low.”

Guidance on Risk Analysis and Safety Implications of a Large Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Spill Over Water

Sandia National Laboratories

“Risks from accidental LNG spills, such as from collisions and groundings, are small and manageable with current safety policies and practices.”

Consequence Assessment Methods for Incidents Involving Releases from Liquefied Natural Gas Carriers

ABS Consulting

“As a liquid, LNG will neither burn nor explode.”

“Liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been transported by sea since 1959 in specially designed LNG carriers. These vessels have a remarkable safety record and provide an essential link in the movement of LNG from production locations to consumer locations.”

“LNG is less hazardous than liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied ethylene, which have (1) higher specific gravities, (2) a greater tendency to form explosive vapor clouds, (3) lower minimum ignition energies (MIEs), and (4) higher fundamental burning velocities. LNG is not toxic, and it rapidly evaporates; therefore, long-term environmental impacts from a release are negligible if there is no ignition of natural gas vapors.”

LNG Safety and Security

University of Houston Law Center, Institute for Energy, Law & Enterprise

“Explosion is a hazard unlikely to occur with LNG activity. LNG in liquid form itself will not explode within storage tanks, since it is stored approximately -256°F (- 160°C) and at atmospheric pressure. Without pressure or confinement or heavily obstructed clouds of the vapors, there can be no explosion.”

“LNG vapor, mainly methane (natural gas), burns only within the narrow range of a 5 percent to 15 percent gas-to-air mixture. If the fuel concentration is lower than 5 percent, it cannot burn because of insufficient fuel. If the fuel concentration is higher than 15 percent, it cannot burn because there is insufficient oxygen. For LNG to burn, it must be released, vaporize, mix with air in the flammable ratio, and be exposed to an ignition source.”

“It should also be noted that LNG vapors do not catch fire as easily as those of other common fuels such as gasoline or propane, and LNG vapors dissipate more easily, meaning that potential hazards can persist longer for other fuels than for LNG.”


LNG and Coal Life Cycle Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

PACE Global

“Existing coal technology for the five LNG export markets analyzed in this study was found to produce approximately 117 percent to 194 percent more emissions on a life cycle basis than the least emissions-intensive case (Low GHG Case) for LNG (1.071 tonnes CO2-e/MWH for the installed coal power plant case in Germany compared to 0.494 tonnes CO2-e/MWH for the Low GHG German LNG case; and 1.499 tonnes CO2-e/MWH for the installed coal power plant case in China compared to 0.510 tonnes CO2-e/MWH for the Low GHG China LNG case).”

Study on the Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from the United States

National Energy Technology Laboratory

“This analysis has determined that the use of U.S. LNG exports for power production in European and
Asian markets will not increase GHG emissions, on a life cycle perspective, when compared to
regional coal extraction and consumption for power production.”

America’s Energy Resurgence: Sustaining Success, Confronting Challenges

Bipartisan Policy Center

“Recommendation: Restricting international trade in fossil fuels is not an effective policy to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions or to advance domestic economic interests, and we recommend against any such restrictions.”


Impact of LNG Exports on the U.S. Economy: A Brief Update


“U.S. LNG exports support between 220,000 and 452,000 additional jobs.”

“U.S. LNG exports will add between $50 billion and $73 billion to the U.S. economy by 2040.”

The full study can be found here.

The Macroeconomic Impact of Increasing U.S. LNG Exports

U.S. Department of Energy

“Rising liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports are associated with a net increase in domestic natural gas production…The overall macroeconomic impacts of higher LNG exports are marginally positive, a result that is robust to alternative assumptions for the U.S. natural gas market.”

Effect of Increased Levels of Liquefied Natural Gas Exports on U.S. Energy Markets

U.S. Energy Information Administration

“Added U.S. LNG exports result in higher levels of economic output, as measured by real gross domestic product as (GDP). Increased energy production spurs investment, which more than offsets the adverse impact of somewhat higher energy prices when the export scenarios are applied. Economic gains, measured as changes in the level of GDP relative to baseline, range from 0.05% to 0.17% and generally increase with the amount of added LNG exports required to fulfill an export scenario for the applicable baseline.”

Updated Macroeconomic Impacts of LNG Exports from the United States

NERA Economic Consulting

“In all of the scenarios analyzed in this study, NERA found that the U.S. would experience net
economic benefits from increased LNG exports…Depending on the study, construction of 1 Bcf/d of capacity will provide between 2,500 and 4,000 job-years of direct employment over the 48-month construction period…In addition to these on-site jobs, manufacturing of machinery and equipment for the LNG plant, including compressors, pipes, and compressor vessels, will also provide employment, and exploration and production for natural gas will need additional workers over the life of the facility to support the required net increase in U.S. natural gas production.”

The Benefits of Natural Gas Production and Exports for U.S. Small Businesses

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

“Expanded demand for U.S. natural gas internationally will be a net positive, resulting in greater U.S. natural gas production, increased investment, enhanced GDP growth, rising incomes, and more jobs…. Looking ahead, the opportunity exists for exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG), given the large differential in natural gas prices in the U.S. versus elsewhere in the world, and rising global demand. Unfortunately, though, there is a movement afoot to have government limit LNG exports, based on the unfounded fear that LNG exports will dramatically drive up domestic natural gas prices.”

U.S. LNG Exports: Impacts on Energy Markets and the Economy

ICF International

“The net effects on U.S. employment from LNG exports are projected to be positive with average net job
growth of 73,100 to 452,300 between 2016 and 2035, including all economic multiplier effects…. The net effect on annual U.S. GDP of LNG exports is expected to be positive at about $15.6 to $73.6 billion annually between 2016 and 2035, depending on LNG export case and GDP multiplier effect. This includes the impacts of additional hydrocarbon liquids that would be produced along with the natural gas, greater petrochemical (olefins) production using more abundant natural gas liquids feedstock, and all economic multiplier effects.”

Macroeconomic Impacts of LNG Exports from the United States

U.S. Department of Energy

“[F]or every one of the market scenarios examined, net economic benefits increased as the level of LNG exports increased. In particular, scenarios with unlimited exports always had higher net economic benefits than corresponding cases with limited exports.”

Natural Gas in the U.S. Economy: Opportunities for Growth

Congressional Research Service

“Exports of energy-related resources have not been a big part of U.S. trade so increasing them would likely improve the overall U.S. trade balance. Nevertheless, the rise in U.S. natural gas production has already benefitted the U.S. trade position by dramatically decreasing imports, the other component of the trade balance. Increasing U.S. LNG exports would also expand the role of the United States in international natural gas markets. Asian countries, in particular, and some European countries have called for more U.S. LNG exports.”

Liquid Markets: Assessing the Case for U.S. Exports of Liquefied Natural Gas

Brookings Institution

“Exports of U.S. natural gas will take advantage of the benefits of the existing producer’s surplus resulting from the pricing differentials between the natural gas markets in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Contractual terms will determine how this surplus is shared between U.S. sellers and foreign buyers. The benefit of this trade will likely outweigh the cost to domestic consumers of the increase in the price of natural gas as most of the natural gas demanded by exports will come from new natural gas production as opposed to displacing existing production from domestic consumers.”

The economic impact of LNG exports from the United States


“The results show that the North American gas market is dynamic. If exports can be anticipated, and clearly they can with the public application process and long lead time required to construct a LNG liquefaction plant, then producers, midstream players, and consumers can act to mitigate the price impact. Producers will bring more supplies online, flows will be adjusted, and consumers will react to price change resulting from LNG exports.”


American Gas to the Rescue? The Impact of US LNG Exports on European Security and Russian Foreign Policy

Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy

“(T)he additional global gas supply that has resulted from the US shale boom has strengthened Europe’s bargaining position with Russian suppliers. US LNG export terminals already approved and under development will continue to improve that negotiating power and provide the region with more supply options. Additional LNG terminals, were they to be approved, financed and constructed, would have an even greater effect.”

The Geopolitical Implications of U.S. Natural Gas Exports

American Security Project

“Allowing American LNG to reach world markets will enhance the energy security of our allies, providing geopolitical benefits to the U.S.”