Large-scale LNG liquefaction and export facilities are helping to write the demand story for US natural gas reserves. But there is a newer demand factor for that gas: small-scale facilities sending LNG to otherwise little-tapped markets and finding new applications for the fuel. Small LNG plants, usually with production capacities of less than 1 million mt/year, are springing up across the US to service niche markets, such as providing IMO-compliant bunker fuel to oceangoing vessels, meeting peak-shaving demand and serving a growing export market in the nearby Caribbean. These small facilities can be sited and built more quickly and cheaply than their behemoth world-class cousins. Construction costs range into the millions rather than billions and construction takes months rather than years. The smaller plants can be built almost anywhere, allowing siting near gas production or near markets. Containerized shipment can be by truck or vessel. The timing also seems right. The Trump administration is pursuing a rulemaking to allow long-distance shipment of LNG by rail. Demand for LNG With the increase in US shale gas production over the past decade and a half, the demand for LNG for both domestic use and export has also increased dramatically. According to the… continue reading
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Source: CTRM Center