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Meeting the demand for LNG

6 August 2017

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is a big part of BP’s lower-carbon strategy and BP Shipping has a vital role in the complex job of transporting it to consumers.

"LNG is the epitome of what we do for BP customers.” That’s the view of Oli Beavon, vice president of marine and technical (M&T)

And, he’s in a good position to know. Consumers might be surprised to learn that the gas they cook with comes from distant and exotic locations. Cryogenic technology makes this possible – and BP Shipping makes it happen.


Natural gas turns into a liquid when it is super-cooled to about -162°C. This greatly reduces its volume and makes it easier to transport to market, where controlled warming turns it back into a gas that is piped to consumers for cooking, heating and industrial use.As demand for LNG increases, we are expanding our fleet of LNG carriers to ensure that gas can be safely transported from where it is extracted and processed to customers around the world.Globally, several LNG projects are coming online between 2018 and 2021, the same period as the new fleet enters service. 

The British Ruby sailing at sea

The British Ruby

Delphi milestone reached

The ‘Partnership’ class vessels of Project Delphi exemplifies BP Shipping’s “innovative and agile” strategy, says Oli. Though bigger than any previous LNG carriers built for us, they will be 25% more efficient and able to navigate the most challenging ports.


Project Delphi passed another milestone on 30 June, when the keel for the first of the six new carriers was laid at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in Okpo, South Korea.


“The keel lay block is the stern section, encompassing the lower portion of the engine room,” explains site construction manager Sandy Farquhar. The operation involved lifting it into position in the dry-dock from the quayside where it was fabricated. 


Since then, the vessel has rapidly taken shape as it nears its launch and float-out in September. 

Portrait of Oli Beavon

Construction of the first vessel is six months ahead of the other five, so that improvements identified during commissioning and sea trials can be included in their subsequent builds.

BP Shipping is preparing for their entry into service by sending experienced LNG mariners to make sure that the terminals that the new ships will serve can take them. “This direct assessment opens the door for BP’s commercial side to look for more opportunities,” says Oli 

4.4 million

The amount in tonnes of LNG per year in the Freeport LNG contract .


3.3 million

The amount in tonnes of LNG per year in the Coral South LNG contract 


174k cubic meters

The capacity of each new BP Shipping LNG carrier 35%

New LNG hub off West Africa

Map of West Africa, highlighting Mauritania and Senegal

BP Shipping expects to provide “lots of support” in the development of the Tortue deepwater gas discovery off the coast of Mauritania and Senegal. BP sees great potential at Tortue, which it bought into last December, to create a new LNG hub in Africa. “Because we’re an integrated energy company, we have the ability to make these projects happen,” says Oli Beavon. “By 2021, I hope that our ships will be pulling into a new terminal off West Africa. The design is yet to be finalized and we are working closely with our Upstream partners to ensure that our ships will be able to be accommodated in the facility.” 

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