The International Maritime Organization selected Norwegian maritime regulator Det Norske Veritas to conduct a review of prospects for liquefied natural gas as a fuel source for international shipping in the North American Emission Control Area.
NECA encompasses the eastern and western maritime borders of Canada and the United States, including offshore Hawaii.
North America is rich in natural gas. The U.S. and Canadian governments are weighing the prospects of natural gas exports via LNG.
DNV said LNG is limited in the region and major investment decisions would have to be made when considering the resource as a fuel source.
"In developing LNG as an alternative fuel for short-sea shipping, we foresee significant market opportunities for manufacturers, ship designers, and yards with focus on LNG technology," DNVs' regional business chief Tony Teo said in a statement Tuesday. "But there are many variables and risks that have to be assessed and managed first, and we hope this study will contribute to this."
The report to the ILO is expected by October.