John Crane: A Pioneering Market Leader and Integral Partner for LNG | 2024 | Blog | Resources | John Crane

John Crane: A Pioneering Market Leader and Integral Partner for LNG

June 11, 2024

5 Minute Read

Global LNG trade grew by an impressive 6.8% between 2022 and 2023, reaching a new record of 401.5 million tons (MT) (IGU World LNG Report, April 2023). LNG is the bridge between fossil fuels and the energy transition, providing a sweet spot between environmental and efficiency considerations. Other benefits of LNG include ease of transportation and energy security.

John Crane is a market leader in LNG solutions. We have been engaged in the LNG value chain since the development of the industry. Today, more than 90% of the dry gas seals operating on large LNG liquefaction plants are John Crane branded, and we provide turbomachinery technologies and services to enhance, protect and maintain the reliability of our mechanical seals.

Reliability is Key

LNG facilities require 24/7 operation, making reliability and uninterrupted performance crucial. Downtime can lead to substantial financial losses, reaching millions of dollars per day and contributing to the escalation of gas costs for domestic consumers. John Crane’s reputation for reliable turbomachinery solutions makes us a pioneering market leader in this industry and an integral partner in maintaining a stable global market.

Dry Gas Seals

John Crane first supplied dry gas seals for LNG operations in 1991, and we’ve continued to engineer hundreds of units each year. We have supplied more than 2,000 dry gas seals for LNG applications around the globe and have equipped approximately 700 centrifugal compressors, accounting for around 1,000 dry gas seals in continuous operation.

John Crane’s Type 28XP dry gas seal provides an enhanced solution for dry gas seals operating in the most arduous LNG applications. The high flow rates of the LNG main compressors with shaft diameters up to 350mm and the very low temperature in the refrigerant cycles make the Type 28XP dry gas seal our customers’ first choice.


Turbomachinery Solutions

John Crane’s turbomachinery solutions team has collaborated closely with key players in the oil and gas industry to curate specialist programs and technology. We have built up years of experience that is unmatched in the field.

John Crane has the capabilities and expertise to service some of the largest LNG plants and mega trains around the globe, equipped with our dry gas seals. Our global network of turbomachinery service centers supports our dry gas seals locally. These hubs of excellence are fully equipped with on-site technical support and field service engineers who repair, refurbish and test dry gas seals to keep them functioning in as-new condition maintaining optimum reliability. Read more about our Dry Gas Seal Refurbishment Program.

LNG Value Chain

The value chain encompasses the production, processing and conversion of natural gas to LNG, its long-distance transportation and regasification, as it travels from the wellhead to end-users. At John Crane, we support our customers through most stages of the LNG value chain, including production, liquefaction, transportation and combustion of LNG.


In the LNG value chain, John Crane’s seal gas filters remove liquid and particle contamination to extend the lifetime of dry gas seals used in compressors, gas turbines and turbo expanders. John Cranes’ filters and gas conditioning units are the industry’s preferred solutions to maximize reliable dry gas seal operation. These gas filters have also proven their value in contaminant removal in boil-off gas. When integrated, John Crane’s dry gas seals and supporting systems ensure optimized performance for LNG applications.

Decarbonization of LNG

As demand for low-carbon LNG grows, more stakeholders in the industry are expected to prioritize the decarbonization of their operations. Looking further toward 2050, the future of the LNG value chain holds several possible decarbonization scenarios. Some possibilities include renewable natural gas or biomethane, low carbon and renewable hydrogen, ammonia, e-methane and carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS). The pace of technological innovation is so rapid that the list will not remain static, and it’s clear that a technological revolution is required for the world to meet the challenge of decarbonizing 80% of its energy use that still relies on fossil fuels.

Technology Innovation for the Future

John Crane is developing new technologies and solutions to enhance our portfolio for the LNG market. These include John Crane’s Carbon LF material for LNG applications and recent developments that support our customers’ energy and environmental strategies, including reducing nitrogen consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

John Crane’s Carbon LF material is available for primary rings on Type 28XP LNG dry gas seals. Already in use, Carbon LF was developed by the industry to resist surface degradation or deterioration on the seal face caused by demanding compressor operating conditions such as expansive LNG applications. Carbon LF has proven itself as a viable alternative to traditional carbon stationary ring materials used in combination with harder tungsten carbide or silicon carbide (SiC) rotating rings. To date, Carbon LF stationary rings have shown only minor wear in LNG compressor installations, passing all seal evaluation criteria, including leakage and endurance performance metrics. Download the full whitepaper.

In addition, John Crane’s Seal Gas Recovery (SGR) system is designed to work with tandem seal installations to recover seal leakage and divert the gas stream for more productive purposes. In tandem seal arrangements, seal gas leakage is routed to the flare line and burned as waste, resulting in emissions. However, John Crane’s SGR system minimizes the release of emissions. Download the full whitepaper.

Wet-to-Dry Gas Seal Retrofits for LNG Applications

Over the last ten years, John Crane’s wet-to-dry retrofits of old compressors in oil and gas applications have helped customers reduce approximately 278,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions per year. By switching to our Wet-to-Gas (W2G) seals, customers around the globe are minimizing methane leaks and emissions while boosting the reliability of their compressors. These retrofit solutions improve a plant's efficiency and reduce its environmental footprint while significantly cutting emissions and can also be applied to LNG compressors. Download the full whitepaper: Retrofitting Compressors with Dry Gas Seals: Understanding the Environmental and Economic Benefits.

Energy Security for Today and Tomorrow

While decarbonization is a long-term future goal, the ongoing global energy crisis has reminded the world of the critical importance of energy security. For a while now, LNG has played a crucial role in bolstering energy security and delivering energy to consumers around the globe when they are faced with global supply disruptions and conflicts. Technology and the services that support the reliable production of LNG in today’s unstable energy market are therefore, a critical consideration for many, in today’s current climate.

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