LNG Barges Explode in Mobile, AL

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Seacowboys, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    A number of folks have asked me about the LNG barges that blew up in Mobile last Wednesday. I was called to look them over today to see about removing them and took a bunch of pictures. They both were new barges measuring 300' x 56' x 12", double bottomed with a center-line bulkhead separating the tanks down the middle into a total of 8 storage tanks each. Every tank exploded, some simultaneously with others so that there were reported on 7 individual explosions. The force was sufficient to send a 40 ton piece of the top over 300 yards across a completely separate barge channel. the bulkheads were z-patterned, similar to sheet-piling and most were blown completly straight. Tops that were not blown completely away were peeled open like oranges. It was very fortunate that only four people were seriously injured and no fatalities as yet, though it is still not looking good for a couple of the survivors. photo.JPG photo (1).JPG photo (2).JPG photo (3).JPG photo (4).JPG photo (5).JPG photo (6).JPG photo (7).JPG photo (8).JPG photo (9).JPG
    ditch witch likes this.
  2. Pistolero

    Pistolero Monkey++

    More then one incident sounds like terrorism to me...
  3. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

  4. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    impressive. I'm surprised anyone lived through that.:(
  5. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    got some friends that responded to the the job ...
    said the explosions were pretty impressive to see and here ..
    The explosion was so big it was setting airbags off in the parking lot...
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Hm. LNG doesn't burn. There was something else in those tanks. FWIW, I've never seen rectangular tanks used on LNG or pressurized liquid fuel tanks. Zumzing iz rotten in Mobile. Are the barges still floating? No water visible in the shots shown, so they might not be in the mud, the hulls aren't breached that we can see.
  7. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    now ghrit, you're getting as paranoid and I am.
  8. cdnboy66

    cdnboy66 Monkey++

    have you read his sig line???

  9. cdnboy66

    cdnboy66 Monkey++

    so...my questions are these
    -did the temperature difference between where the load was shipped from and where the load blew up change drastically
    - would a temperature change like that cause a huge pressurization change in the gas
    - if the gas changed ( increased) pressure drastically, would a rupture in the metal cause enough of a spark to ignite it
    -would said ignition and resultant heat increase cause the other tanks to burst and explode

    I'm not an engineer and know very little about this topic, so...just wondering
  10. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Wonder if we can expect more "accidents" like this and the fertilizer plant. Seems a bit more than a coincidence.
    Beano likes this.
  11. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    they barges were being gas freed ..
    nothing is susposed to come within a 100 ft of the barges .
    a boat pulled up near the barges and a spark from something set it off...
    barges are still floating just the top blew off...
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Seacowboys thread title says LNG. Someplace else, fuel was mentioned; that I believe, and could easily be convinced it was gasoline. "Gas freed" means air purged of vapor?
  13. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    yes gas freed meens cleaned very well to allow "hot work " or entrance with out respetory protection ...
    or make it able to use the barge for a different product...
  14. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    articles on gogle call them fuel barges ... but what kind of fuel im not sure
  15. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Thot that might be the case. Just read a few on line search results - looks like the product is misidentified several times. One said "natural gasoline" another said "natural gas." The press is still TARFU.
    Thanx, KAS.
  16. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    As with the pressurized liquid fuel tanks on ships, the ones I have seen go into the Port of YVR (Vancouver BC) up to reed point , have four huge balls ,built on a deep sea ship . NOTHING MOVES (water or air ) wise as it moves up the inlet.
    Seabus (water passenger ferry) stops two runs as it passes .
    It has an escort or two tugs ..

    So I agree "I've never seen rectangular tanks used on pressurized tanks " Even my gas bottles look like torpedo's..

    Something is wrong with the story, they close down the water way from entering from the pacific ocean around Victoria into the reed point fuelling docks while this vessel is in travel. I was told by the marine pilots that it could remove Vancouver if the cargo leaked and exploded.

  17. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    the tanks were not pressurized, I just talked with Jim Elliot, T and T Marine Salvage, they contained Liquid natural gasoline. @KAS, Jim said to say howdy.
    Natural gasoline is a natural gas liquid with a vapor pressure intermediate between natural gas condensate(drip gas) and liquefied petroleum gas and has a boiling point within the range of gasoline. The typical gravity of natural gasoline is around 80 API.
    This hydrocarbon mixture is liquid at ambient pressure and temperature. It is volatile and unstable but can be blended with other hydrocarbons to produce commercial gasoline.
    The natural gas hydrocarbons mixture is mostly pentanes and heavier (smaller amounts of C6 and C6+), extracted from natural gas, that meets vapor pressure, end-point, and other specifications for natural gasoline set by the Gas Processors Association.[1] Includes isopentane which is a saturated branch-chain hydrocarbon, (C5H12), obtained by fractionation of natural gasoline or isomerization of normal pentane.[2]
    Natural gasoline is often used to denature ethanol produced for E85 "flexible fuel". Natural gasoline has a lower octane content than conventional commercial distilled gasoline, so it cannot normally be used by itself for fuel for modern automobiles. However, when mixed with high concentrations of ethanol such as mid-level blends, like E50 or E85, the octane content is raised high enough to be used easily in flex-fuel vehicles. It may be sourced from production of natural gas wells (See "drip gas") or may be produced by extraction processes [3] in the field, as opposed to refinery cracking of conventional gasoline.
  18. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Boat's Length 300.0 ft
    Boat's Gross Tons 1632.0
    Boat's Net Tons 1632.0
    Vessel Build Year 2012
  19. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    OK, got it. Thank Jim for the clarification, please. NGL as differentiated from LNG. LNG is usually interpreted as Liquid Natural Gas which requires pressure to remain liquid. NGL is a mixture (per the above quote) that comes out of the ground with natural gas streams (wet gas formations), is captured and treated for either direct or blended use in other liquid fuels.

    Are you getting the contract?
  20. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Sounds like, Basically, this is a liquid product that is transported, unpressurized, and these barges were being de-Vaporized, so that they could be cleaned, or worked on. Then during that process a vessel came along side, and somehow ignited the Vapors being forced out of the Tanks. This would then be a FAE (Fuel Air Explosion) which generates considerable Pressures but is a fairly SLOW Explosion, which would tend to do exactly what happened. Peel Back the Deck Plates as the Welded Seems Failed due to the Over-Pressureing of the Tanks. Each Tank, would be a separate explosion. In the video, you can see Jets of Flame, coming from different places on the barge, and then when the internal Tank Pressures reached the Welded Seem Failure Pressure, and the tank was Breached, a massive flareup as each tank, ruptured. I wonder if the guys on the vessel that tied up, came out unscathed, and if they just "Tossed their Shorts" in the "Burn Barrel" after the ignition....
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