LNG Risk Management

Managing the risks of onshore and offshore LNG facilities via a thorough understanding of the design and key issues associated with liquefied natural gas.

Our multifaceted approach takes into consideration the needs of regulators, engineering contractors and most importantly, you. LNG terminals, send-out facilities and associated pipelines, and power plants around the world rely on our extensive experience to complete QRAs, HAZOP and hazard identification studies, safety integrity level (SIL) reviews, and consequence analysis modeling.

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Our Team

Georges A. Melhem, Ph.D., FAIChE

President & CEO The founder of ioMosaic and internationally renowned expert in the areas of pressure relief and flare systems design, chemical reaction systems, process safety and risk analysis. Read more...

Neil Prophet

Senior Vice President and Partner He brings over 20 years of experience in pressure relief and flare systems design project management and engineering expertise for chemical, pharmaceutical and petrochemical companies. Read more...

John Barker, Ph.D.

Director The head of our international offices in the U.K. and the Kingdom of Bahrain and an expert in risk management for oil, gas and transportation. Read more...

Marcel Amorós Martí

Director and Partner His expertise consists of a diverse range of industries from chemical and petrochemical to oil and gas and utilities. Read more...

Charles Lea, P.E.

Director, Minneapolis Office Lead He directs a number of large technical projects across multiple offices and is also responsible for all project management in our Minneapolis office. Read more...

Featured Resources


Quantify Non-Equilibrium Flow and Rapid Phase Transitions (RPT)

Although non-equilibrium flow and rapid phase transitions (RPT) are well researched, the literature published so far does not explicitly quantify the RPT phenomenon or provide reliable methods for the calculation of non-equilibrium flow for mixtures. Download this paper for a clear understanding of how non-equilibrium flow and rapid phase transitions develop and how they should be quantified for pure components and mixtures alike.

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Mechanical Integrity Considerations in LNG Depressurization

In a typical LNG installation, a rapid depressurization can cause cryogenic temperatures in both upstream and downstream connected process equipment and piping. This phenomenon, sometimes referred to as auto-refrigeration, can compromise the equipment’s mechanical integrity and pose a risk of material embrittlement. As vessel metal walls are exposed to temperatures below the minimum design metal temperature (MDMT), permanent damage is possible. The potential for brittle failure is even more pronounced for a non-fire scenario. The level of severity depends on the initial pressure, initial temperature, content inventory, depressurizing rate, fluid composition, surrounding conditions, and heat transfer mechanisms.

Emergency depressurizing valves must therefore be sized to ensure a reasonable compromise between the impact of pressure and temperature. This paper examines the effects of different liquid levels, depressurizing valve sizes, vessel wall thicknesses, thermal insulations, and fluid compositions. The primary objective is to identify and illustrate the key factors that influence the mechanical integrity of a typical LNG installation, particularly at the mid to lower end of methane fluid compositions, and their impacts on carbon steel.


Emergency depressurizing systems (EDPs) are designed to reduce pressure by expelling the fluids and/or inventory from the protected equipment, thereby reducing the risk of equipment failure. Typical scenarios considered for emergency depressurization are external fire, uncontrolled reactions, and process vessel leaks.

Figure 3: Wall Segment Temperature Profile

Figure 3: Wall Segment Temperature Profile (50% Initial Liquid Level, 2" EDPV).

In the event of a pool fire or jet flame impingement, not only do the system contents experience a rise in temperature and pressure, but the temperature of the system’s walls rises as well. As the temperature of the metal increases, its mechanical strength decreases. Since the portion of the vessel filled with liquid predictably absorbs most of the heat, the main area of concern would be the unwetted or dry wall exposed to fire. As heating continues, the tensile strength is further reduced. Eventually, the wall metal temperature will reach the vessel’s ultimate tensile strength, causing equipment failure.

Much literature has been devoted to addressing system depressurization for fire scenarios; this paper focuses on the scenario of a vessel leak, alternatively referred to as a non-fired or cold depressurization. Due to expansion cooling and condensation of light ends, rapid depressurization can cause cryogenic temperatures in both upstream and downstream connected process equipment and piping.

Featured Case Studies

Process Safety Management Quality Audits

Companies have implemented their process safety management programs to comply with OSHA and EPA requirements, but they continue to have accidents. Process safety management programs can meet the letter of the law, but may not be effective in preventing accidents. Traditional audit programs look at documentation and procedures, but do little to evaluate the program quality or effectiveness.

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An international consumer products manufacturer suffered a significant business interruption due to failure of a critical support facility. This incident raised the question of whether there were other critical support facilities that could cause a similar interruption in production or a significant safety or environmental impact.


The California Energy Commission had been directed to assist in the development of clean alternate transportation fuels. As part of this effort they are supporting the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles operating on hydrogen fuel. In order to be used extensively in the transportation sector, the safety of hydrogen production, storage, and supply needs to be addressed.

A multinational energy company wanted to complete an evaluation of a pressure relief valve system in order to comply with the PSM standard OSHA 29 CFR 1910.119 which requires that employers compile information pertaining to the equipment in the process, including relief system design and design basis. 

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