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BOG RECOVERY FROM LONG JETTIES

DURING LNG SHIP-LOADING


Stanley Huang
Staff LNG Process Engineer
Chevron Energy Technology Company
Houston, Texas, USA
John Hartono
LNG Operations Advisor
Chevron Shipping Company,
San Ramon, California, USA
Pankaj Shah
Team Leader LNG Project Support
Chevron Energy Technology Company,
Houston, Texas, USA

ABSTRACT
The selection of an LNG production site should consider, among other issues, plant
plot layout and exporting port requirements. An ideal site would have a relatively large
flat land for LNG production and storage, and a shoreline with deep water to
accommodate large LNG ships. Generally, these requirements are difficult to achieve
simultaneously at a given site. It is not uncommon that one has to deal with long jetties
which may run several kilometers from LNG tanks to ship berths.
Long jetties result in higher pumping energy, and heat leakage via the long LNG
lines. Consequently, the boil-off-gas (BOG) generation rate during ship loading is
relatively high. Furthermore, transferring large volumes of BOG at low pressures across
long jetties is fairly costly. The combined effects make it uneconomical to recover BOG
from long jetties. There have been examples in which ship loading BOG was flared at
ship berths. However, as environmental regulations become more stringent, flaring of
BOG during ship loading is not a viable option.
This paper describes various BOG recovery and management alternatives suitable for
long jetties. Methods of recovering BOG are reviewed together with discussions on their
pros and cons. Examples include high pressure or low pressure transferring of BOG to
LNG plant for final recovery, in-situ re-liquefaction, and in-situ power generation. The
feasibility of the alternatives will be considered from perspectives of process efficiency as
well as marine limitations. The guidelines in this paper will serve as useful reference for
future LNG projects.

PO-34.1

INTRODUCTION
Boil-off-gas (BOG) generation and recovery in a receiving terminal is well
established. However, BOG handling and recovery in a liquefaction plant offers some
interesting challenges. During normal operation of a natural gas liquefaction facility,
BOG is produced due to the following:
1. Heat leak into the LNG storage tanks and piping
2. Flashing of the LNG in the tank and
3. Heat input from plant LNG pumps.
This mode of operation of the liquefaction plant is known as holding mode operation.
BOG generated during the holding mode is compressed and typically used as fuel gas.
During LNG ship-loading additional BOG is produced due to the following:
1. Initial chilling of the ship tanks
2. Vapor displacement from the ship tanks
3. Heat leakage through piping and vessels and
4. Energy input from LNG loading pumps
The BOG from the first two factors during ship-loading is dependent on the ship
characteristics. However, the BOG production from last two factors is proportional to the
jetty length. When the jetty is short, the ship BOG generation is relatively minor. The gas
can be flared, or returned to onshore facilities where it can be recovered. In scenarios
where long jetties are required, BOG management poses some challenges. Long jetties
imply long LNG loading lines which, in turn, result in higher pumping energy and heat
leakage. Consequently, the ship-loading BOG generation rate will be significantly higher
compared to the holding mode BOG generation. Furthermore, moving large volumes of
low-pressure BOG across long jetties is relatively costly. The combined effect generally
makes it economically unattractive to recover BOG from long jetties. There are several
instances where ship loading BOG is flared at shipping berths. However, as
environmental regulations become more stringent, flaring of BOG during ship loading is
not a viable option.
Each LNG project has its unique features which should be considered during the
design phase of BOG recovery systems. These items include the plant capacity, loading
frequency, potential for simultaneous loading, availability of incremental feed gas,
flexibility of plant operation and marine operational preferences.
One of the first considerations in designing a BOG recovery system is the final
destination of the recovered BOG. For example, the BOG can be used as fuel gas or as
feed gas to the cryogenic section. Alternatively, it can be recovered as LNG to either
onshore storage or ship tanks. The pros and cons of each option should be analyzed from
the process plant owners perspective. Another key consideration in the design of the
BOG recovery systems is related to the marine aspects. It is a common observation that
limited understanding and misconceptions of the marine aspects result in designs that

PO-34.2

could fail to take into consideration the impact of the liquefaction plant equipment design
and operation on the ship side. The characteristics of LNG ship-loading operation are
totally different from those of ship-unloading at receiving terminals. These differences
should be recognized in design of the BOG recovery systems.
A third major consideration in the design of the BOG recovery system is related to
the characteristics of different BOG recovery systems. The recovery systems may have
different methods of generating, utilizing, and storing refrigerant. For example, there are
commercial packages available to provide instantaneous refrigeration for liquefying the
BOG, or to take BOG as feed stream to packages for LNG production. Alternatively, it is
possible to provide liquefied nitrogen (LIN) or air (LAR) packages for liquefaction of
BOG during ship loading while producing and storing LIN or LAR during holding mode.
This paper discusses the different considerations for the evaluation of the BOG
recovery options.
BACKGROUND
Baseline Operation Scenario
Figure 1 shows the schematic of the overall LNG plant layout relative to the marine
facilities. Ship loading is a relatively complex operation and requires quite a few
operators. The machine maintenance, power supply, and provision of purging nitrogen
demand a sizable plot area. For the purpose of this paper, it is assumed that there is space
to accommodate relatively small BOG compressors (e.g., about 2 MW in total duty) at
the berth area. This assumption should be verified for specific projects.
Possible installations at BOG recovery area:
1. Heavy BOG compression;
2. Refrigeration generation;
3. Refrigeration storage;
4. NRU modules
L

Berth
Jetty or Causeway

LNG Tank Area


Possible installations at berth area:
1. Primary BOG compression;
2. Exchanger for condensing BOG;
3. In-situ power generation

LNG Process Area

Figure 1. LNG Ship-loading Facilities with Possible Installations


of BOG Recovery Equipment at Specified Locations
The LNG plant as depicted in Figure 1 can be viewed as a black box of heat pump.
The plant takes in feed gas, uses mechanical work to reject heat to the environment, and
outputs LNG to be loaded to ships. Hence, the total plant throughput as measured in LNG
shipped is proportional to the total refrigeration capacity of the plant. Accordingly, if the
provided BOG recovery package includes its own refrigeration capacity, the total plant
throughput will increase. On the other hand, if the recovery package only provides recompression for the BOG, then the plant throughput will stay roughly the same because
the re-compressed BOG will compete, against the feed gas, for the available plant
refrigeration.
PO-34.3

A typical natural gas liquefaction process is depicted in Figure 2. Sweet, dry, and prechilled natural gas goes into the cryogenic section of the LNG plant. The heavies are
removed to meet LNG heating value specifications and to prevent possible freeze-out of
components, such as benzene at cryogenic temperatures. The lean, high-pressure,
liquefied natural gas stream typically goes through plant Nitrogen Rejection Unit (NRU),
sub-chilling section, before entering the LNG storage tanks. During the plant holding
mode, the flashed gases from NRU and BOG from LNG tanks are collected and
compressed to the plant fuel gas system.
FLARE
(DESIGN BASELINE)
Notes:
1. Stream 4 includes contributions of flashed gas , heat
leaks, and vapor displacement of produced LNG .
Impacts of ship-loading is not included .
2. Stream 6 includes contributions of pumping , heat
leaks, and vapor displacement of loaded LNG . It is
assumed to be flare at berth site .

HOLDING
MODE

LOADING
MODE

SHIP BOG

FUEL GAS

3
6
4
TANK BOG

PRECHILLING

N2 REJECTION

SWEET,
DRY GAS

1
GAS CHILLING,
HEAVY
REMOVAL &
LIQUEFACTION

2
SUBCHILLING

LNG

LNG

IN-TANK LNG
ACCUMULATION

ONBOARD LNG
ACCUMULATION

FRACTIONATION
SECTION

PLANT CONDENSATE

Figure 2. Baseline of Design


The loading mode operation is also shown in Figure 2. The ship BOG is shown totally
flared at the berth area. No plant resources are redirected to its recovery. As an option for
plant operators during this mode, the temperature of the LNG entering onshore tanks may
be raised slightly to compensate for the vapor replacement need of the tanks. The
instantaneous LNG production rate may be slightly increased due to the reduced load on
plant refrigeration systems. Alternatively, the operators may choose to shutdown the
onshore tank BOG compressors during this time and take the make-up fuel gas
elsewhere. This alternative will minimize the operational impacts due to ship loading.
A hypothetical base case for a BOG recovery study could be as shown in Figure 2.
There are onshore tank BOG recovery facilities, but they are not designed to handle shiploading BOG. Since no plant resources are directed to recovery ship BOG, the impact on
the plant operation from ship loading is minimal.
Recovering ship BOG could consume plant resources; if the provided recovery
facilities do not include own refrigeration capacity, the plant feed gas would need to be
curtailed in order to recovery ship BOG. It could be assumed that the plant normal feed
rate is maintained at all times. The objective would be to identify the additional
equipment required for recovering the ship BOG. The immediate implication of this

PO-34.4

philosophy is that plant capacity will rise above the baseline, because the ship BOG
represents additional inflow of raw materials into the plant. Other advantages of this
philosophy include:
Normal operation of the liquefaction plant is maintained regardless of the ship
loading conditions. The amount of BOG generation is somewhat unpredictable
during initial chilling of the ship tanks as it depends on initial condition of the
ship. In an extreme scenario that the ship is new or returning to duty from major
overhaul, the BOG generation during initial chilling can be excessive. The study
philosophy assures that this scenario does not have an impact on operation of the
liquefaction plant.
This philosophy is particularly relevant for de-bottlenecking or expanding
existing plants. The BOG recovery section can be treated as an add-on package.
Even for a grassroots project, the detachment of baseline operation from the ship
BOG recovery would simplify the definition of process scope. Otherwise, the
calculation of ship BOG generation cannot be finalized until detailed marine
designs are complete. This finalization can only take place at a later stage of the
engineering phase.
BOG Profiles for Ship-Loading and Unloading Operations
The ship-loading BOG is typically flared in existing LNG export terminals.
Therefore, the BOG generation profile has received little attention. In contrast, the ship
unloading BOG in receiving terminals is totally recovered. Hence, the BOG generation
profile is relatively well understood. This subsection compares the differences in BOG
generation profiles between the two scenarios.
Figure 3 shows two idealized BOG profiles; one for ship unloading and another for
ship loading. Development of a rigorous BOG profile requires dynamic simulation of the
scenarios.

PO-34.5

BOG flow rate

(3a) Ship-unloading at
receiving terminals

BOG due to vapor displacement at


LNG rate of 10,000 m3/hr

10

(3b) Ship-loading at
exporting terminals

15

20

Time, hr

BOG flow rate

BOG due to vapor displacement at


LNG rate of 10,000 m3/hr

4
5

10

15

20

Time, hr

Figure 3. Idealized BOG Profiles for Ship-unloading (Top)


and Ship-loading Operations
Ship Unloading Operation. Figure 3a represents a typical LNG unloading operation
at receiving terminals. After the initial chilling of connecting pipes and accessories, the
LNG unloading rate is raised and maintained at the maximum capacity of onboard
pumps. Correspondingly, the BOG generation rate in the onshore LNG tanks stays fairly
constant during the unloading operation. The onshore BOG recovery facilities are
typically designed to handle the ship-unloading BOG.
The parameters for estimating the maximum BOG generation rate include jetty
length, heat leaks, and tank design pressures. Usually, a portion of the generated BOG is
returned to the ship through a vapor return arm for vapor replacement in ship tanks.
Ship Loading Operation. Figure 3b depicts simplified BOG generation profile for
LNG loading operation at export terminals. While five distinct phases of the operation
can be identified, the boundaries between them are not as well defined as shown in the
figure 3b. These phases are described below.
1. Initial chilling: When a ship arrives with a minimum LNG level as heel, the ship
tanks, piping, and accessories are relatively warm, e.g. at -125 C. Accordingly,
when cold LNG at -162 C is introduced into the system, the BOG generation
increases. This initial chilling of the ship tanks should be performed slowly to
avoid excessive thermal shocks to tank materials. Typically, a chilling rate of less
than 3C in 20 minutes is considered adequate. This phase will last four or five
hours. At this point, the chilling rate limitation controls the LNG loading rate, not
the capacity of onboard BOG compressors.

PO-34.6

2. Ramp up of LNG loading rate: When temperature indicators in the ship LNG
tanks show that proper levels of chilling are achieved, the LNG loading rate can
be ramped up. However, since the onboard compressors determine the overall
BOG handling capacity, the LNG ramp-up rate should be closely monitored to
keep BOG generation rate within the limit. The filling of ship LNG tanks is
preferred to be performed in a staggered manner so as to facilitate topping-off
later. The BOG generation is mainly attributable to the continued chill-down of
LNG tanks and vapor displacement.
3. Maximum LNG loading rate: After the LNG level exceeds approximately of
the tank height, the tank chill-down is complete. The BOG generation rate starts
to decrease. The maximum capacity of onshore LNG pumps controls the loading
rate in this phase.
4. Ramping down: When individual tanks are 80% full, the LNG loading rate is
reduced gradually until total stoppage. This is performed according to the
aforementioned staggering sequence. This ramping down also provides extra time
for suppressed BOG to continue evolving.
5. Topping-off: This phase is to maximize the utilization of all ship tanks (up to
98.5% of tank volumes). Valves to individual tanks are opened one after the other
to top-off the tanks. Certain LNG shrinkage may occur in this phase of
operation due to the continued evolution of BOG.
Owing to the highly dynamic nature of BOG profile, instantaneous BOG flow data is
of little value. Instead, operators may record accumulated BOG data in the course of an
entire loading procedure. These data normally range from 0.6 to 0.8% transferred LNG
per ship-load, equivalent to LNG loss between 840 to 1100 m3 (based on 140,000 m3
ship capacity).
The differences between the ship-loading and ship-unloading operations are further
elaborated below.
1. The capacity of a typical onshore tank is in the range of 150,000 m3 or higher. In
comparison, a ship of a similar capacity would comprise four to five separate
onboard tanks (Moss or membrane types). When accepting transferred LNG from
smaller ship tanks in receiving terminals, the larger onshore tanks provide
excellent buffering capability for tank temperature and pressure stability. This
stability advantage is non-existent when transferring LNG from larger onshore
tanks to smaller ship tanks in exporting terminals.
2. Onshore tanks can be top-filled or bottom-filled, typically, subject to the
discretion of operators based on the density of incoming LNG. In a top-filled
operation, the BOG generation can release the pumping energy and leaked heat
instantly. However, the BOG generation rate tends to be high. In a bottom-feed
operation, BOG generation can be delayed, depending on the detailed design of
bottom-feed columns. Ship-loading is bottom-feed.
3. For ship-loading scenario, the amount of BOG generation during the initial
chilling phase is determined by many factors such as types of ship tanks, levels of
LNG heel, roughness of the sea during ballast (empty) voyage, and how

PO-34.7

refrigeration in the LNG tanks is preserved in the ballast voyage. The last factor is
strongly dependent on the LNG composition and experience of the ship crew. For
ship-unloading scenario, a full ship is always chilled.
4. In Moss LNG ships, Moss tanks have a higher design pressure, up to 0.7 barg, and
can operate at a higher pressure (up to 0.25 barg). This design feature can be used
to absorb the energy input during the loading process. However, the LNG
temperature in the tank will be slightly raised. The raised temperature can be dealt
with when the LNG is transferred from the ship to the storage tanks at the
receiving terminal. The disadvantage of Moss LNG ships is that Moss tanks are
constructed of relatively large mass of metal, which takes more LNG for chilldown. Membrane tanks are just the opposite. They are constructed of relatively
small mass of metal and are not designed to hold pressures. A large percentage of
existing global LNG fleet and new-builds are of the membrane-type tanks. These
tanks are particularly susceptible to pressure fluctuations. The installation of very
large BOG compressors on the jetty to assist in the handling of ship BOG should
be evaluated carefully to ensure integrity of the membrane tanks are maintained.
LNG Tank and Ship Compressor Operating Pressures
Ship tank pressures can have significant impact on BOG generation. It can be
assumed that onshore LNG tanks are of full-containment construction and operating at
1.06 bara. Ship LNG tank operating pressure is also set at 1.06 bara. The possibility of
raising ship tank pressure to reduce the amount of ship-loading BOG is not explored in
this paper for the following reasons:
1. Ships with membrane tanks are gaining popularity in recent years. These types of
tanks are not designed to hold pressure.
2. The LNG delivery temperature may be bound by sales contracts.
3. The trapped heat in the ship LNG tanks does not disappear. It will be released in
forms of unloading BOG at the receiving terminals. This is undesirable from LNG
regasification terminal owners perspective.
Each ship is assumed to have onboard BOG compressors to boost BOG pressure up to
2.15 bara at the compressor discharge. The discharge temperature would range between 80 and -50 C, depending on the temperature of the exiting BOG at the top of LNG tanks.
The maximum ship BOG rate is controlled by the onboard compression capacity.
In scenarios of short jetty lines, typically the onboard BOG compressors are capable
of delivering BOG back to onshore facilities. Some of current practices direct the
returned BOG to LNG tanks, from which the onshore compressors draw the feed. The
major advantage is that LNG tank vapor space provides a huge buffer for the compressor.
The disadvantage is that the returned BOG may introduce heat and impurities to the tank.
This concern is particularly true when a new or overhauled ship is being cooled down.

PO-34.8

PROCESS OPTIONS
This section describes the possible destination for the recovered BOG.
Five different destinations for the recovered BOG are discussed and each has its own
intrinsic pros and cons. Figure 4 indicates some possible process options for BOG
recovery. The options are classified based on the final destinations for the recovered
BOG.
a) As fuel gas (FUELG)
b) As feed to plant cryogenic section (FEEDG)
c) As LNG at onshore site (LNG_1)
d) As LNG at berth site (LNG_2)
e) In situ power generation (POWER)
The difference between LNG_1 and LNG_2 is that in LNG_1 BOG is transported
back to the onshore facilities for re-liquefaction. In contrast, LNG_2 liquefies the BOG at
the berth by transporting refrigerant to the berth. The implications of this difference
include:
In LNG_1, a cryogenic or non-cryogenic pipeline carries BOG from the berth to
the onshore LNG tank. In LNG_2, a cryogenic pipeline to carry refrigerant to the
berth is provided. Hence, one will be used to carry gas, and the other one to carry
cryogenic liquid, e.g. LIN or LAR.
Depending on the delivery point for LNG_1, a separate NRU package may be
required to avoid N2 accumulation in onshore LNG tanks. This NRU is not
needed if the product is injected to the export LNG line for direct return to ships.
Although different operators may have different criteria to evaluate BOG recovery
processes, some of the critical criteria are listed below:
It may be desirable to consider that the LNG production is isolated to a great
extent from ship-loading operations. This ensures that optimal plant steady-state
conditions can be maintained for LNG production under all operating modes.
Therefore, a BOG recovery system exerts the least disturbances to the plant
operation would be the most desirable.
If the recovered BOG can bring in extra revenue, that would be a plus.
If BOG recovery system has high thermodynamic efficiency then it can be economically
used to produce extra LNG during holding mode, this is a desirable characteristic.

PO-34.9

FLARE
(DESIGN BASELINE)

(FEEDG)

(FUELG)

(LNG_1)
SHIP BOG

N2 REJECTION
MODULE

N2 REJECTION
MODULE

FUEL GAS

(LNG_2)
(POWER)

TANK BOG

PRECHILLING

GAS CHILLING,
HEAVY
REMOVAL &
LIQUEFACTION

N2 REJECTION

IN-SITU POWER
GEN

SUBCHILLING

LNG

LNG

IN-TANK LNG
ACCUMULATION
FRACTIONATION
SECTION

PLANT CONDENSATE

Figure 4. BOG Recovery Process Options


Ship loading is an intermittent operation. BOG recovery requires compression or
refrigeration machinery, both are suitable for continuous operation. Consideration has to
be given to converting the intermittent operation to continuous characteristics. The
advantages of a continuous operation over intermittent operation include efficient use of
equipment capacity and elimination of thermal cycles. Figure 5 shows the two
approaches of smoothing-out the intermittent operations; back-fill versus averaging. The
back-fill approach would provide a BOG recovery capacity matching the maximum
continuous BOG generation rate. During the holding period, incremental plant feed gas is
assumed to be available to feed the BOG recovery system so as to utilize its full capacity.
In other words, all the plant supporting system, such as gas pre-treatment, utility, and
LNG storage, should be sized for this additional increment in the plant capacity. In
contrast, the averaging approach would only provide a capacity for the BOG recovery
system matching a time-averaged demand. During the holding period, the cold refrigerant
is stored in dedicated storage tanks. The stored refrigerant is used to recover the entire
BOG during the ship-loading operation. Although the cost of providing and storing cold
refrigerant appears to be more expensive than liquefying BOG directly, this approach
requires equipment with smaller capacity in continuous operation.
The various process options described in this section or available for the recovery of
BOG can be evaluated based on specific project requirements using a life cycle cost
analysis to select the most appropriate option.

PO-34.10

Additional feed gas


during holding mode
to level capacity

BOG

BOG

BOG

Back-fill approach

Providing time averaged


capacity only

BOG

BOG

BOG

Time-averaged approach

Figure 5. Two Approaches to Smoothen Intermittent


BOG Recovery Processes
JETTY PIPELINE FOR BOG RECOVERY AND MARINE CRITERIA
A dedicated jetty (or causeway) pipeline is required to provide a means of
transporting BOG onshore or refrigerant offshore so that material processing or energy
exchange can be realized. Since this pipeline is dedicated to the BOG recovery, its
operation is independent of the LNG plant. The process criteria described before are not
applicable. Furthermore, the pipeline has direct interaction with ship onboard facilities
hence marine criteria are appropriate to provide guidelines for the design of the pipeline.
Jetty Pipeline Options
While the possibility of packing the BOG pipeline during ship-loading is not
practical, operating the BOG pipeline at elevated pressures does provide the following
advantages:
Higher pressures lead to smaller pipe sizes.
Higher pressures result in higher compressor discharge temperatures, which
allows for non-cryogenic pipe materials.
Higher temperature eliminates the need for cryogenic insulation and leads to
saving in bulk materials.
Higher pressures provide operating buffer for gradual start-up and shutdown of
certain equipment items used for intermittent operation.
The following piping options to the jetty are possible.
1. No compression on the LNG loading berth. The onboard ship compressors are
adequate for recovery of BOG
PO-34.11

2. Compression system on the loading berth. The discharge pressure of the


compressor is dependent on the size of the BOG line from the berth to the plant
3. Transportation of the refrigerant to the berth area for condensation of BOG
The above options need to be individually evaluated for specific project requirements.
Some of the marine considerations for this evaluation are detailed below.
Marine Considerations
The marine considerations should focus on the protection of ships and its cargo.
Different ship crews may have different preferences. A set of the marine criteria that
could be potentially used are listed below:
The onboard BOG compressors are typically designed to send ship tank BOG to
flare facilities for disposal and are not suitable for high discharge pressures for
transporting ship BOG for long distances.
Onshore facilities should be designed to eliminate the possibility of creating
vacuum on the discharge side of the onboard BOG compressors. The creation of
vacuum could affect the integrity of LNG ship tank containment system.
Adequate precautions should be taken to avoid such a situation.
The onboard BOG compressors are provided in multiple units. These machines
may be individually shutdown in response to the dynamic nature of BOG profiles.
Onshore facilities should be capable of handling such scenarios.
To shorten the mooring period, it is desirable to have onshore facilities pre-chilled
before ship arrival. The ramping-up of BOG generation during initial chilling can
be much higher than 3 C per 20 min, which is set for Moss type tanks. A ship
with membrane-type tanks does not contain much metal and the cooling rate can
be faster.
The marine criteria discussed above can be applied to evaluate the different pipeline
options from a life cycle costing perspective. When the jetty is short, the onboard BOG
compressors are capable of returning the gas to onshore facilities. To compensate for the
small volume between the vapor return arm and the onshore compressors, the returned
ship BOG can be routed to onshore LNG tanks. If this practice is acceptable, the vapor
space in the onshore LNG tanks serves as excellent buffer for BOG compressors. There
would be no further limitations on onshore BOG compression. However, if the returned
BOG is not directed to the LNG tanks, then the marine criteria are applicable to the aforedescribed process options. Those process options requiring no BOG compression would
be favored.
PROCESS MODULES
The equipment used in the BOG recovery can be classified into the following four
categories:

PO-34.12

(1) BOG Compression


Depending on the final destination of the recovered BOG, as many as three stages of
compression may be required. Only the primary compression, up to about 8 bar
discharge pressure, may be suitable for jetty installation due to machine weight and
dimension. A secondary and final compression, up to 50 bar discharge pressure is
more suitable for onshore installation.
(2) Refrigeration Systems
Closed-loop refrigeration systems are proven technology. They have been used
extensively in the LNG industry [1, 2]. The N2-loop is relatively new but is
considered feasible [3]. Small-scale application of nitrogen based refrigeration
systems for BOG re-liquefaction is commercially available. Additionally, single-loop
refrigeration systems typically used in peak-shaving applications can be used here as
well.
Open-loop refrigeration system designs are also available from several vendors.
Examples include the Nitech of BCCK [4] and Kryopak Process [5].
There are several vendors that supply packaged units for the generation of chilling
medium. Examples include Air Products, Linde and Air Liquide. LIN and LAR are
functionally similar from the perspective of refrigeration storage. The refrigeration
modules should be located in the onshore BOG Recovery area due to their large
dimensions and heavy weight.
(3) Nitrogen Rejection (NRU)
The need for NRU is project-specific. When the inlet gas has low N2 content, there
would be no concerns about the N2 content in the LNG and a NRU is not required.
(4) Power Generation
Since it is uneconomical to store ship BOG by pipeline packing, the power generation
option is required to be sized for instantaneous BOG rates. Under this scenario, the
instantaneous power generated is too large to be productively utilized. Hence this is not
considered a viable option.
Each of the process options depicted in Figure 4 can be designed by suitable
combination of the process components described above. Options FUELG and FEEDG
require BOG compression modules only. Options LNG_1 and LNG_2 could be
configured with various process schemes because there are different ways of providing
refrigeration modules, some of which may require BOG compression or nitrogen
rejection. After process schemes are defined, the Life-cycle cost (LCC) analyses should
be performed for all the cases under consideration. The selection of the BOG recovery
option depends on three major decisions: (1) lengths of jetties, (2) concerns of marine
operation, and (3) availability of feed gas if additional refrigeration capacity is available.
SUMMARY
There is no unique one-case-fits-all solution for BOG recovery. Each individual
project situation has to be evaluated for the specific requirements of the project. Some
observations on the BOG recovery systems are listed below:

PO-34.13

1. A cryogenic pipeline on the jetty (or causeway) is expensive. It should be avoided


whenever possible.
2. The selection of process option for BOG recovery is strongly influenced by the
marine considerations. If onshore compression is unacceptable, then the solution
is to use LIN to liquefy the BOG. In other words, LIN package should be
provided and the produced LIN is stored during the holding mode. The stored LIN
is released during ship-loading mode to recover BOG.
3. If onshore compression is acceptable, the product is limited to high-pressure gas.
This option is worth evaluating when the LNG plant can accept high-pressure
returned BOG for incremental LNG production.
4. If additional feed gas liquefaction capacity is available, a proactive approach is to
view the BOG recovery system as an opportunity to expand the LNG plant
capacity. The provided refrigeration capacity to liquefy BOG during ship loading
can be used to produce LNG during holding mode. This added plant capacity may
improve economics of the project. On the other hand, if additional feed gas is not
available, then the provided refrigeration package will be sitting idle most of the
time.
REFERENCES CITED
1.

Yost, C., DiNapoli, R., Benchmarking Study Compares LNG Plant Costs, Oil &
Gas Journal, issue of April 14 (2003).

2. Mokhatab, S., Economides, M. J., Process Selection Is Critical to Onshore LNG


Economics, World Oil, issue of February (2006).
3. Finn, A., New FPSO design produces LNG from offshore sources, Oil & Gas
Journal, issue of August 26 (2002).
4.

Butts, R. C., Chou, K., Slaton, B., Nitrogen-Rejection Process Developed for Small
Fields, Oil & Gas Journal, issue of March 13 (1995).

5.

Kryopak website, www.lngplants.com (2006).

GLOSSARY
BOG

Boil-Off Gas, which include contributions from vapor displacement, pump


energy input, and heat leaks through piping and vessels.
CS
Carbon Steel
Holding The operation mode of an LNG plant when there is no ongoing ship-loading
mode
operations. The BOG generated from onshore LNG tanks is handled by
dedicated compressors.
LAR
Liquefied Air
LCC
Life cycle cost. The analysis takes into account initial investment and
operation costs
LIN
Liquefied Nitrogen

PO-34.14

Loading The operation mode of an LNG plant when there is ongoing ship-loading
mode
operations. Since LNG is pumped out at a fast rate, attention should be paid
to vapor replacement. Also, there will be significant amount of ship-loading
BOG which needs to be handled.
LTCS
Low Temperature Carbon Steel
NPV
Net Present Value
NRU
Nitrogen Rejection Unit
SS
Stainless Steel
TIC
Total Installed Cost
VIP
Vacuum Insulated Piping

PO-34.15