Liquified natural gas (LNG)

Glossary / Oil and gas / Liquified natural gas (LNG)

LNG is a natural gas that has been cooled to a very low temperature, around -162 degrees Celsius (-260 degrees Fahrenheit), at which point it transforms into a liquid state. The liquefaction process reduces the volume of natural gas by around 600 times, making it more efficient to transport and store.

LNG is predominantly composed of methane, the primary component of natural gas, but it may also contain small amounts of other hydrocarbons and impurities. By converting natural gas into a liquid form, LNG becomes easier to handle and
transport over long distances, including across oceans.

The main reasons for liquefying natural gas are:

– Storage and transportation. LNG takes up significantly less space than natural gas in its gaseous state, making it practical to transport and store. It enables the shipment of natural gas from production centers to distant markets, where pipelines may not be feasible or economically viable.

– Energy density. The liquefaction process increases the energy density of natural gas, allowing for more efficient storage and utilization. This makes LNG a valuable source of energy that can be easily transported to regions with high energy demand.

– Global trade. LNG has facilitated the development of a global market for natural gas. It has enabled the expansion of natural gas trade between countries and regions, promoting access to diverse sources of supply and enhancing energy security.

LNG is typically transported in specialized cryogenic tankers that maintain the low temperatures necessary to keep it in a liquid state. Upon reaching its destination, LNG is regasified, converting it back into its gaseous form before being distributed through pipelines for commercial and residential use.

LNG is utilized for various purposes, including power generation, heating, and industrial processes. It is considered a cleaner burning fossil fuel compared to coal and oil, as it emits lower levels of pollutants and greenhouse gases.

LNG industry has grown significantly over the years, with numerous LNG liquefaction and regasification terminals established worldwide to support the global trade of natural gas and meet the increasing demand for cleaner energy sources.

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Frequently Asked Questions

LNG is a cleaner-burning fuel than traditional natural gas due to its lower carbon content and reduced emissions. However, the process of converting natural gas to LNG requires significant energy and resources. Additionally, the transportation and storage of LNG can pose safety and environmental concerns. Ultimately, the decision of which fuel to use depends on various factors, including cost, availability, and environmental impact.

LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and LNG (liquefied natural gas) are both fuels in a liquid state, but they differ in their composition and usage. LPG is made up of propane and butane, typically used for heating and cooking. LNG, on the other hand, is mostly methane and is used for transportation and power generation. LPG is more commonly used in homes, while LNG is used in larger industrial settings.