Virtual pipelines are designed for scheduling shipments of oil and oil products from one point to another, either by transportation taking place in seas and oceans, coastal tankers, and by barges. The shipments can also be handled by containers via rail or road. Thus, virtual gas pipeline operations supply markets that are either too small for normal LNG-large scale carriers or are too geographically challenging in terms of pipeline construction. In current times, this technology has made wonders possible in the oil industry.
Recently, innovations in liquefaction technology and cost reductions have made possible the cooling of natural gas into liquid natural gas, which is quite smaller in volume. It can be safely transported in relatively small amounts without high compression. As a result, it is now possible for small-scale LNG-fueled power plants to get supplies by virtual pipelines, in order to further power factories, industrial parks and mines existing in remote locations. At a regional level, a bunkering facility can accept large LNG deliveries for subsequent bulk-breaking into smaller quantities to be distributed to customers across the region. This transportation system is currently being planned and even operating in specific regions located in North America, Europe, Australia and other parts of the world.
Organizing and arranging shipments of gas from one point to another by water, by rail or road, in coastal tankers and barges or in ocean-going is known as virtual pipeline system. This system provides natural gas to various industries, which are smaller for regular large scale carriers of LNG or geologically challenging to explain or justify their investment in pipeline construction. Plants of electricity generation, several industries, and residential & commercial customer across the globe which are accessible by either by sea or road, get their supply of natural gas through the system of virtual pipeline.
Virtual Pipeline System- Drivers
Age old infrastructure of pipelines and strict regulations regarding environmental emission are two important factors which are mainly fuelling the growth of the virtual pipeline system market across the globe. Although present pipeline industry is huge and expanding day by day, modernization of the system is necessary as existing pipeline system was installed decades back. Escalating demand for the transportation of energy resources is another factor which is responsible for the tremendous rise in the demand of virtual pipeline systems. There are growing concerns about energy sources’ renewability and this concern has been positively affecting the industry of natural gas. It has never been vital and urgent requirement to transport natural gas and oil in a brisk. As the pipelines are most common and general approach, energy supply sources have adopted it and it has always been a key choice of them. As physical pipelines are limited to certain areas and regions, they are not effective in areas which are technically unfeasible and inaccessible. As a result, an industry of virtual pipeline has gaining a recognition rapidly and the market is expected to expand speedily in the years to come.
Virtual Pipeline System- Restraints
Although there are many factors which are creating positive impact on the virtual pipeline system market, there are many risks allied with natural gas’s transportation and this particular factor is likely to pose a threat to the evolution of virtual pipeline system. Liquefied Petroleum Gas is generally stored in ambient temperature, however to keep it in a liquid form it has to be pressurized. The risk is involved when this pressurized container of Liquefied Petroleum Gas remains opened or leaked. In such situation the gas flows quickly and make a dense cloud of vapor. On the other hand LNG is generally stored in low pressure and its containers are protected to keep the gas in a liquid form. As a result, LNG create densely cold vapor cloud. This is expected to create negative impact on virtual pipeline systems market throughout the assessed period.
Virtual Pipeline System- Regional Outlook
India, China and Japan, which are developing economies are working hard towards achieving the goal of maintaining the clean environment and these countries are expected to be the main users of natural gas. This trend is likely to support Asia Pacific region to expand at remarkable rate during the projected period. Increasing investments in the developing countries of Asia- pacific in terms of natural gas is also likely boost the market for virtual pipeline system in Asia Pacific region.
Virtual Pipeline System- Key Vendors
Some of the key vendors functioning in the virtual pipeline systems market are Global Partners LP, General Electric, REV LNG, LLC, Hexagon Composites ASA, Broadwind Energy, Inc., Luxfer Holdings PLC, Compass Natural Gas, SUB161°, Galileo Technologies S.A., NG Advantage LLC, Pentagon Energy LLC, LightSail Energy, Xpress Natural Gas LLC, and Cimarron Composites.
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