LNG has been safely handled for several decades,
more than 135,000 LNG carrier voyages have taken
place without major accidents or safety or security
problems, either in port or at sea. LNG history in the
U.S. dates back to the 1940’s and LNG tanker trade initiated
with exports in 1969. LNG ships are double-hulled,
with more than 6 feet of void space or water ballast
between the outer and inner hulls and the cargo tanks.
The double hulls help to prevent leakage or rupture in
the event of an accident. LNG ships are also equipped
with sophisticated leak detection technology, emergency
shutdown systems, advanced radar and positioning
systems and numerous other technologies designed to
ensure the safe and secure transport of LNG.
The U.S. Coast Guard determines the suitability of every
LNG ship that delivers cargoes into and out of the U.S.
through a rigorous annual inspection. If a ship fails the
inspection, all deficiencies must be fixed before it can
unload its cargo or leave the country. LNG ships are
issued a Certificate of Compliance by the Coast Guard
to state that they are in complete compliance with U.S.
regulations. In addition numerous other federal agencies
regulate this industry in the United States, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).