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ExxonMobil Leases Advanced LNG Technology to U.K. Firm

ExxonMobil Leases Advanced LNG Technology to U.K. Firm

After finalizing new technology that will speed up construction times on liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co. said Friday that it has licensed the patented LNG storage tank technology to U.K.-based Skanska Whessoe, an engineering, procurement and construction contractor with specialized, worldwide experience in storage and handling of low-temperature fluids.

The upstream research unit of ExxonMobil Corp. said that this new innovation in LNG storage technology, called modular tanks, offers the potential for significant cost savings and faster construction times for LNG import and export terminals.

"The licensing agreement is for the offshore application only," said Bob Davis, spokesman for ExxonMobil. "We are looking into expanding the agreement to include onshore applications, and possibly, expanding to additional LNG tank fabricators."

Skanska Whessoe operates worldwide to design and build tanks and terminals for the LNG/LPG market and is also in the business of associated gas treatment, fluid handling and storage systems.

The new technology uses modern shipyard fabrication practices and a scalable, modular design to provide a full-containment LNG storage system. The company noted that its tanks have been designed and rigorously evaluated for a wide range of conditions including earthquake prone areas of the Pacific-rim, North America, and Europe.

The new modular tanks are fully compatible with the design standards and criteria currently being considered for use at LNG import terminals worldwide," ExxonMobil said. As an added safety feature, the inner nickel/steel and the outer reinforced, prestressed concrete tanks of the modular storage system are liquid and gas tight, and independently capable of containing the stored LNG.

"While currently participating in the production of about 20% of the world's LNG, ExxonMobil is leveraging its LNG experience, technology and worldwide gas marketing processes to rapidly grow its LNG portfolio," the company said.

ExxonMobil's new applications of LNG technology are being planned for its joint venture projects with Qatar Petroleum that are developing resources from Qatar's giant North field. Projects include the world's largest liquefaction trains, each producing about 7.8 million tons annually of LNG, surpassing the current industry-record of 4.7 million tons annually from trains in RasGas II, which is also a joint venture project between Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil.

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