9.1 Development History of LNG

Although the LNG industry is perceived to have developed rapidly, it is based on quite old foundations. Some key development milestones include:

  • Michael Faraday liquefied methane in 1820
  • Karl von Linde developed compressor refrigeration machine in 1873
  • First LNG plant built in 1912 in West Virginia, began operation in 1917
  • Patent filed for LNG in 1914
  • First commercial liquefaction plant built in 1941 in Cleveland, Ohio
  • First LNG disaster in 1944 in Cleveland, Ohio
  • First LNG tanker, the Methane Pioneer, carried first cargo of 7,000 bbl. LNG in 1959 from Louisiana to UK
  • First export / import trade in 1964 between Algeria and UK
  • One of the longest continuously operated LNG plants at Kenai, Alaska, started in 1969 and shut down in 2013
  • LNG is a demand driven industry and demand is determined by competing energy sources, mainly oil and coal
  • From the start of the international trade in the 1960s, LNG demand reached 50 MTPA in 1990, then 100 MTPA in 2000, and 240 MTPA in 2012
  • Production is expected to approximately double between 2012 and 2030