LNG Tanker Docks at Cove Point Terminal – To Offload Nigerian LNG?

We have to confess, the LNG (liquefied natural gas) world is sometimes confusing for us. The overall theory is pretty simple. Huge plants super-cool natural gas into a liquid state (called liquefaction) and load it onto tankers. The tankers (typically ships, sometimes rail) convey the LNG to a distant port somewhere and it’s unloaded. At the receiving end, the gas is then reheated back into a gaseous state (called regasification). However, the technology that both cools and reheats the gas is complex. Dominion began working on the Cove Point LNG export plant in October 2014 (see Dominion Breaks Ground on Cove Point, MD LNG Export Facility). Cove Point will liquefy 1.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of Marcellus/Utica shale gas and load it onto ships bound for India and Japan. It took something like $4 billion and just over three years, but earlier this month the facility began to accept an initial quantity of gas as part of the “commissioning” process–which we take to mean the shakedown process, make sure everything is working OK (see Dominion Cove Point LNG Export – Dress Rehearsal Begins). Now comes word that a tanker has docked at the Cove Point facility. The tanker is already filled with LNG–from Nigeria. Apparently the Nigerian LNG will get offloaded at Cove Point, which is a bit mysterious for us. Experts say this is a “cool down” cargo, used as part of the commissioning process. We assume, like it’s name, this cargo will “cool down” the equipment that needs to be cooled down in order to begin operations. Like we said, the LNG world is sometimes confusing for us…

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