The GASVESSEL Project
Key to securing Europe’s energy supply is diversifying supply routes. This includes identifying and building new routes that unlock resources and decrease Europe’s dependence on a single supplier of natural gas and other energy resources. The GASVESSEL project opens up new possibilities to exploit stranded, associated and flared gas where this is currently economically not viable and creates new cost-efficient gas transport solutions. This will be achieved with a novel offshore and onshore compressed natural gas (CNG) transportation system.
New in the CNG transportation concept is the innovative, patented solution for the manufacturing of Pressure Vessels that are 70% light than current state-of-the-art alternatives. This enables new ship designs with much higher payloads and consequently dramatically lower transportation costs per cubic metre of gas.
The GASVESSEL project fills a market niche in transporting smaller gas volumes, where it is not justified to use LNG concepts or pipelines. For CNG no expensive liquefying and re-gasification plants are necessary, which drive up the costs of LNG. It is also much more flexible than point-to-point pipelines and is also not associated with environmental and political difficulties during construction. These reasons make CNG the most efficient transport method for natural gas up to 2500 km.
GASVESSEL will open up energy routes in Europe to three different oil and gas fields:
- East Mediterranean gas fields – the CNG concept will enable supply of remote areas such as the Greek and Italian islands and Cyprus
- Black Sea region – CNG transport offers a flexible solution for early start-up of gas exploitation, before the planned pipeline will be finished
- Barents Sea offshore oil field – the CNG concept will exploit gas associated to oil winning, which is currently reinjected in the oil fields
The main objective is to prove the techno-economic feasibility of the new CNG transportation concept. Three geo-logistic gas exploitation scenarios will be analysed to establish where and how the GASVESSEL concept provides added value. Research and development efforts will concern the functional design of the Pressure Vessel, the prototype facilities and the ship design including gas-compression and decompression systems. This new concept will finally be validated with a cost-benefit analysis and a class design review and safety assessment.
The GASVESSEL concept contributes to ensuring secure and affordable supplies of energy to Europe by diversifying supply routes. It allows identifying and building new routes that decrease the dependency of EU countries on a single supplier of natural gas and other energy sources. More efficient and economically viable off-shore CNG transport make waterborne supply of currently unexploited gas resources that dramatically exceed current annual gas consumption in Europe commercially interesting.
On top of that, the GASVESSEL concept is expected to open up important additional business opportunities for European industries from shipbuilding, shipping, Pressure Vessel manufacturers, epoxy resin and carbon fibre manufacturers to oil and gas and energy production companies.