Thank you for the question.
A preliminary Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) was conducted by Lloyd’s Register Consulting, and reviewed and validated by Abbott Risk Consultants out of the United Kingdom for the Woodfibre LNG Project. They found that there is currently no vessel large enough in Howe Sound to cause a loss of containment from an LNG carrier. You can read more about their work here: https://www.woodfibrelng.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Woodfibre-LNG-Information-Sheets-Public-Safety.pdf
That being said – work continues today through Transport Canada’s TERMPOL review process to ensure that Woodfibre LNG has the measures in place to ensure the safe transit of LNG carriers in Howe Sound. We’ve already committed to implementing the review’s recommendations because safety is our priority; for our employees and the public, where they live and work.
By the way, liquefied natural gas (LNG) cannot burn or explode because LNG does not contain oxygen, which is required for either of those reactions to occur. If LNG were to come in contact with the air, it would start to return to a gas. Since natural gas is less dense than air, the gas would dissipate into the upper atmosphere.
For an explosion to occur with natural gas, several things would have to happen at the same time: natural 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%); and, there must be a spark present. These are conditions that LNG carriers, which have one of the best safety records in the shipping industry, are designed to guard against.