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Energy Security, Few Possible Options - page 11 / 25

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(4) Transportation of gas as Gas Hydrates

Large number of small fields globally are not developed for economic reasons as piping costs of gas is prohibitive.

Such unutilized gas reserves may be about 40% of world reserves.

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding company (MES), in association with Osaka University, is developing technology to convert small volumes of gas to Natural Gas Hydrates (NGH) for transportation.

NGH is palletised to increase its stability, storing efficiency, and ship loading/unloading efficiency.

A 600 KG/day plant of NGH has been built and tested for continuous operation.

In comparison with the conventional Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) which is produced and stored at extremely low temperature of -162°C , the production cost for NGH is much lower as it needs only -20°C at atmospheric pressure.

Though transportation amount per unit energy of NGH is more than that of LNG, the total cost of NGH system including production, storage, transportation and gasification therefore is much cheaper than that of LNG.

MES has developed all the components of the value chain, i.e. for NGH manufacture, road and ocean transportation, re-gasification etc.

Physical properties of NGH and LNG;

                                                                                NGH                              LNG

               Modes of transport & storage                          Solid                                Liquid

               Temperature to be maintained                       -20°C                              -162°C

               Gravity                                                               0.85-0.95                       0.42-0.47

               Content of Natural Gas (in 1 M3)                    170 NM3                               600NM3

Possible applications;

Remote gas/oil fields.

Cluster of consumers away from City Gas facility.

Peak demands of power plants.

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