Hi Phil – thanks for the question.
LNG carriers, like other large commercial ships, carry a large amount of stored energy; however, the physical characteristics of LNG are very different from an explosion or bomb.
An explosion is a sudden and violent release of energy, with the level of violence dependent on the rate at which the energy is released.
Explosives/bombs are designed to be destructive and to take place in a very short period of time, usually seconds.
In the unlikely event of a release, LNG would turn back into a gas and dissipate into the air.
For an explosion to occur, many things would have to happen at the same time:
- The LNG would have to warm to a gas state
- The gas would have to be contained in a confined space
- The ratio between gas and air must be within a very specific range (5% – 15%)
- There must be a spark present.
LNG carriers and facilities are specifically designed, operated and maintained to ensure safe operation and prevent these conditions from happening.