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CNG Carrier One Step Closer
CNG truck owned by Charlie Bartholomew
EnerSea advances development of two CNG transport projects

EnerSea advances development of two CNG transport projects
Source: Rigzone 23-06-04

EnerSea Transport is advancing its efforts into the next phase of two international gas development and import project proposals for the Philippines and New Zealand using EnerSea's compressed natural gas (CNG) marine transport and storage systems and services. The two gas supply projects are being led by Unocal and Oil Search, respectively. EnerSea along with Oil Search and Itochu have signed a Pre-Development Agreement to perform a comprehensive feasibility study to establish the viability of a large scale CNG transportation project to ship natural gas from Papua New Guinea (PNG) to New Zealand.

The initiative seeks to develop a cost effective means for helping meet New Zealand's projected gas supply shortfall by providing supplies from Oil Search's extensive gas portfolio in PNG via EnerSea's gas carriers and systems. Itochu is participating as a project development partner with EnerSea and Oil Search. The joint effort is being conducted with the intention of commencing front end engineering and design (FEED) for the project before the end of 2004.

EnerSea also confirmed that it is engaged in a major gas transport proposal with Unocal and EnerSea's maritime shipping partner, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha ("K"Line), to supply gas to the Philippines. The project initiative was recently announced at a ceremony held in Manila that included prospective gas offtakers and Philippine Department of Energy staff. Natural gas from Unocal's operations would be used initially to supply fuel for the Philippines' power generation needs. Additional volumes may also be accommodated in the future, as market demand increases and/or the project expands its service to supply additional Philippine markets.

Commenting on the major project proposals, EnerSea Managing Director Paul Britton said, "These two opportunities reflect the steadily increasing recognition by gas developers, governments and end users of the unique value and application that CNG transport solutions can create for all shareholders in the gas chain." Katsue Yoshida, "K"Line Managing Director -- Energy Transport Division, said, "With "K"Line's long history of gas transportation, we are well prepared and fully committed to contribute to the successful implementation of these CNG projects."

"EnerSea is pleased to be at the forefront of the CNG evolution from the development of robust and innovative technology to project implementation," Britton continued. "These project initiatives along with our other activities in places like Atlantic Canada and elsewhere clearly signal that industry now sees CNG marine transport as a global solution ready to be applied to the stranded gas challenge. We expect to implement our US-based technology not only in international markets but also here at home where we face tremendous energy supply concerns."
CNG Carrier One Step Closer

EnerSea Transport LLC, in association with its maritime partners, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. ("K"Line) and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (RHI), announced that its VOTRANS gas carrier achieved "Class Approval in Principle" (AIP) from ABS (American Bureau of Shipping).  This is a major milestone in the companies' ability to deliver compressed natural gas (CNG) through the world's first commercial large-scale marine gas transport system of its kind.  "Class Approval in Principle is further independent validation of VOTRANS' solid engineering foundation and allows us to launch our industry-leading CNG capabilities," said EnerSea's Managing Director Paul Britton.

This achievement enables EnerSea to commence commercial deployment of its VOTRANS gas transport services to the industry.  With U.S. natural gas demand projected to reach 32 trillion cu. ft. by 2020, industry and government alike are seeking innovative solutions.

"Undeveloped gas resources in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Canada, Alaska, Trinidad, Venezuela and Colombia are all ideal prospects for helping meet U.S. gas demand using EnerSea's transport services," explained Britton.  EnerSea's plans for deployment will enable gas operators to begin shipping these new volumes in early 2007.

EnerSea and its partners recently concluded a comprehensive engineering program that started in June 2002 and culminated with the AIP award for its "V800" class vessel design.  The V800 is designed to carry 700 to 800 million cu.ft. (MMcf) of natural gas, depending on the specific gas composition.  EnerSea intends to use this vessel to support economic gas transportation services for applications with average supply rates ranging from 300 to 500 MMcf per day to markets up to 2,500 miles away.

VOTPANS V800* Main Particulars
Capacity 700 MMscf (lean)
  800 MMscf (Rich)
Length, o.a 1,004 ft. (306 m)
Length, b.p 954.7 ft. (291 m)
Beam 164-ft. (50 m)
Hull depth 89.9-ft. (27.4 m)
Full load draft 33.9 ft. (10.3 m)
Lightship draft  24.6 ft. (7.5 m)
Full load displacement 120,300 mt
Lightship displacement 87,900 mt
Gas cargo weight 19,600 mt
Deadweight 40,600 mt
Service speed 18 knots
Crew 36
Classification ABS
October 2003

EnerSea also offers V600 and VIOOO vessel classes that will enable the company to support production rates ranging from 150 to 700 MMcf per day over distances up to 3,000 miles. The ability to safely and efficiently operate and manage gas fleets is of paramount importance to EnerSea.  "K"Line joined EnerSea's maritime partnership to support the engineering program and to develop vessel operations procedures.  "K"Line will own and operate the initial VOTRANS vessels by way of dedicated time charter agreements.

VOTRANS utilizes EnerSea's patented and proprietary technology with design storage pressures of well less than 2,000 psi.  EnerSea's team was able to dramatically reduce the thickness and weight of the steel required for the containment system, thus increasing storage efficiency and reducing overall cost.

VOTRANS is designed to land natural gas via cost-effective offshore gas ports, thus eliminating the need for expensive new onshore gas terminals which are more difficult to pen-nit and build.  Other important participants in EnerSea's engineering program included Paragon Engineering and A.C. McClure Naval Architects, both of which have been involved from the beginning in EnerSea's VOTRANS development.

EnerSea has developed a range of vessel size classes, including the V600 and VIOOO for smaller and larger transport needs, respectively, to provide clients with an optimum gas delivery solution.  These vessels may be further tailored to confidently meet a project's unique and demanding transport requirements, such as specific capacity, gas composition, sea state and loading and offloading rates. 

52-JACKSON HOLE NEWS Wednesday September 26, 1990 
Business & Finance 

Natural gas can power country until year 4,490 
By Angus M. Thuermer Jr. 

He practices what he preaches. Consulting Geologist Charlie Bartholomew stopped in Jackson last week while driving from Minneapolis to a western Indian reservation where he is advising the tribes how to take advantage of their natural gas resources.  To make the thousand-mile-plus journey, Bartholomew, a maverick-looking type who equates quality of life directly with the number of nights he sleeps under the stars, drove a pickup powered by natural gas. His fuel - compressed methane - gets him 22 mpg and remains cheap despite the oil crises in the Middle East. 

 The western states are overflowing with natural gas reserves, which costs 40-60 cents a gallon. That takes the economics of driving back to what cruising was in the '60s. Bartholomew, who was visiting Dr. David Love, father of Rocky Mountain geology, and others in Jackson Hole, said the use of natural gas as a fuel could end American reliance on imported oil and diminish conflicts such as, the pending war in the Middle East. "The State of Wyoming could support the U.S. for hundreds of years about 2,500 years," Bartholomew said.  What are needed are entrepreneurs to convince gas companies to lay pipelines to various communities. "Somebody has to get it started in every town," Bartholomew said. 

If natural gas is such a great deal, why hasn't it made its way onto the transportation scene yet?  As Bartholomew explains, the only way it can be transported efficiently is by pipeline. Gasoline, refined from oil, made it as a transportation fuel because it can be easily shipped in its liquid form. Bartholomew's pickup is a stock American model which cruises on either compressed methane or gasoline.  The transition from one fuel to another is made on the fly with the flick of a switch. Parts to convert a truck average $700.  Installation costs an additional $500-$700.  A tank to hold the fuel costs from $500 to $1,200, depending whether you need to travel 100 miles a fill-up or 400 miles. All of these pieces are available with incentives from gas companies which can amount to $500, Bartholomew said. The advantages to using compressed methane go beyond its low cost.  The fuel is 130-octane and causes no engine knock.  "It's the perfect burn,' with only carbon dioxide and water vapor as exhaust, he said. 

How clean?  Consider this, Bartholomew says.  'These engines average 500,000 miles before an oil change.' Don't worry about the gas freezing either.  It isn't affected by low temperatures until the mercury dips to 259 below zero. Bartholomew said the current 22-mpg he gets is with an engine not specifically designed for the gas.  It would be more efficient to burn it in an engine "dedicated' for methane which would be jump-started with diesel.  Such a machine would triple the efficiency of the fuel. Bartholomew carries with him a stack of color snapshots of research he has done on compressed-methane powered cars, including shots of vehicles dropped from almost ' 200 feet to see if the fuel tanks would break or explode.  They don't. Bartholomew stopped locating new gas wells because nobody was using the stuff in the ones he has already found.  Helping the Indian tribes was a different issue, however. 

He says there's a fortune to be made for the person who will push for an underground natural gas line from the Riley Ridge fields into Jackson.  By establishing a market, converting home gas use from propane and convincing a gas company to construct the line, Jackson Hole could become a leader in the energy field he said. Otherwise, people won't switch over until they are forced to, which,' as Bartholomew mused while considering current events, might be very soon. march 2002