Arctic LNG is getting to be increasingly feasible and seems to become a prospective transporting method for natural gas in the near future. Recent evaluation of geological information has suggested that 25% of the world’s remaining natural resources lie below thick ice in the Arctic offshore. Russian Arctic offshore has according to estimates 31% of the world’s known and currently unexploited reserves of natural gas. Longer-term prospects are therefore promising. A six-fold increase in LNG trade from now until 2030 is expected . Over this longer term it seems likely that exploitation of the giant natural gas fields of the Western Arctic regions of Russia will enhance the development of Arctic LNG shipping.
Increasing energy demand is driving greater interest in the exploration and production of natural gas in the Arctic Region. This creates a challenge for shipping gas in such extreme conditions. In this paper, we mainly investigate the overall LNG market. And explore available alternative transportation options.
Over the last five years there has been significant research and development done in the areas of LNG ships and ice-class tankers. In this paper the most promising ship design and power concepts of Arctic LNG ships/tankers are going to be reviewed. We will discuss in detail recent developments and trends in LNG ship and ice-strengthening tanker design such as:
• The first large double-acting ice-class tanker (DAT) design
• Double acting pusher puller barge (DAPPB) design
Also, offloading systems for LNG carriers are going to be touched upon in this paper. Analysis of the mentioned above concepts will be carried out with Russian Arctic Offshore Yamal region as an example. Potential solution for the issue of Arctic-class tankers’ limitation to navigate in thick ice areas is ship-to-ship LNG transfer, which is also presented in this paper. Arctic tanker could transport its cargo of LNG to the edge of the ice sheet and transfer the load to another, faster vessel, or perhaps offload at a dedicated storage site. The possible offloading concept from shore to offshore in the harsh ice condition of this region and further loading to tankers seems to be very feasible issue to observe. Comparison between two offloading system like STS (ship-to-ship) and Tandem in the Arctic condition will be given.