Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/578020
23 Fall 2015 Proceedings www.uscg.mil/proceedings re-evaluation may lead to reduced overall LNG vessel escort requirements despite the signifcant growth in the number of locations with liquefed natural gas operations and the number of LNG vessels plying U.S. waters. However, analy- sis and possible adjustments to LNG escort policy are not yet complete. LNG as a Marine Fuel America's Energy Renaissance presents the Coast Guard with a new security facet to consider. Low cost is one of a number of factors that make liquefed natural gas practical as a marine fuel. LNG-fueled container vessels, passenger/ vehicle ferries, and offshore supply vessels are under con- struction, with some projects now in operation. Bunkering vessels to supply fuel to LNG-fueled vessels are also being designed and constructed. environmental risks if improperly handled or released. Vessels, waterfront facilities, and maritime LNG infrastructure are also potential targets. Successful attacks against LNG carriers or facilities have potential consequences to the maritime environment extending beyond the loss of the vessel or facility and their person- nel. For instance, a 2012 Department of Energy report cautions that the explosive ignition of pooled LNG will likely have an adverse impact on the area surrounding the vessel, waterway, and nearby facilities. 5 This is particularly the case when the area is densely populated. It is this aspect of liquefed natural gas that has gar- nered significant media and public attention and that warrants a somewhat different, more sophisticated risk mitigation approach. Current Coast Guard maritime security and response operations policy calls for escorts of vessels carrying select certain dangerous cargoes (including LNG) in bulk as they transit through or near key port areas. Coast Guard Sector commanders, in collaboration with their area maritime security committees and various offces at the Coast Guard district, area, and headquarters levels identify and assess these key port areas based on population den- sity and MCIKR concentration. Of the two, the proximity to densely populated areas is the more dominant factor. Where new import, export, and bunkering operations are proposed, Coast Guard sector commanders identify the potential key port areas via the Risk Management Work- space, a tool that allows route pathway analyses for vessels carrying LNG in bulk. This analysis takes into account: • the likelihood of a successful attack against an LNG vessel; • amount of liquefed natural gas released; • weather conditions, and most importantly; • the impact on nearby populations. Further, these pathway analyses are broken down graphically into segments of very high, high, medium, low, and very low risk. In some instances, the risk may be low enough to allow the Coast Guard to focus limited resources on only the highest risk segments or on other maritime security activities. Beyond the key port area pathway analyses, there are other factors to consider when re-evaluating current LNG-related maritime security and response opera- tions policy, including import or export status, source country for imports, receiving country for exports, etc. Considering all of these factors, the ongoing risk-based LNG tanker escorts are a multi-agency priority. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Offcer Kelly Newlin. Notional key port analysis pathway. U.S. Coast Guard image.