23  January  2019

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Cetech Ipr AS

In August 2004, Statoil, Teekay Shipping and Leif Hegh & Co. turned a long-term project cooperation into the company CETech. The objective of the cooperation was to commercialize a compressed natural gas (CNG) transport technology, enabling shipment of natural gas under high pressure from offshore fields to terminals on land or offshore. Since then, CETech has expanded its scope, by offering a combined CNG/oil carrier ?the Shuttle Producer ?in addition to its single-purpose CNG Shuttle.

Realizing Huge Energy Reserves
Undeveloped oilfields imply huge energy reserves that are not being utilized. No solution is available for handling the associated gas. Pipelines require relatively short distances to market, while LNG is more attractive for larger gas production and greater distances. CETech is about to change this, by making these resources monetarily expedient through CNG transport.

As of today, natural gas is transported under pressure in pipelines or in dedicated liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers cooled to low temperatures for shipment as a liquid. Transporting gas under high pressure in dedicated CNG carriers eliminates investments related to fixed pipelines and liquefaction plant installations, simplifying the requirements of receiving terminals, thus leading to significant cost advantages. Compressing instead of liquefying the gas furthermore reduces energy loss.

CNG Shuttle and Shuttle Producer
The CNG Shuttle containment system design idea is horizontal, thick-walled storage pipes. Pressure can be in the range of 150-250 bar. The CNG containment system is manufactured independently at any suitable site, and then fitted to the vessel. The Shuttle Producer concept is essentially a CNG storage unit incorporated with a conventional shuttle tanker having a separation unit on board. This is aimed at fields which may be considered marginal with traditional technology. This flexibility enables owners to choose between a vast variety of yards for the hull construction, as well as catering for local delivery content.

Technical Challenges
The containment systems represent the primary technical challenge when designing CNG ships. High pressure requires thick-walled steel storage pipes. The compressed gas shuttle carrier concept utilizes well-known technology by stacking large diameter offshore pipelines on a ship. Design and dimensioning of the support system have focused on minimizing the dynamic interaction between pipes and hull. The design of the pipe ends has also required comprehensive studies. A dedicated heating system for the cargo compartment has been designed to handle temperature drops that can arise when gas is discharged. The pressure drop in the cargo tanks during discharge can result in a significant temperature drop, which in turn can be critical for the steel in the containment system. The concept has been given Approval in Principle by DNV.

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