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LNG: for a responsible energy future
What is LNG ?
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is simply natural gas which has been reduced to a liquid state by cooling it to minus 162°C. The transformation to a liquid is accompanied by a volume reduction of approximately 600 to one (if the gas is initially around 15°C).
The cleanest burning hydrocarbon, LNG is used in a variety of sectors ranging from power generation, industry, heating and cooling to marine and road transport.
The main properties of LNG :
- Natural Gas is odourless, colourless, non-corrosive and non-toxic. LNG looks like boiling water. When exposed to atmospheric temperatures and pressure, it vaporizes to about 600 times its liquid volume.
- LNG has an extremely low temperature of around minus 160°C
- LNG is less than half the weight of water (weight is about 458 kg/m3)
- LNG is only flammable if the amount of gas is 5-15% in air. As the vapor warms around minus 100°C it becomes lighter than air and will dissipate
More on factual information about LNG, its technology and the industry’s multiple layers of safety can be found in the GIIGNL LNG information papers.
LNG Value Chain
The LNG Value Chain consists of four main links: 1. Exploration and Production; 2. Treatment and Liquefaction; 3. Shipping and 4. Receiving and Distribution.
- Exploration and Production:
It includes the search for hydrocarbons beneath the ground which entails prospecting for formations of natural gas deposits (natural gas fields) and its extraction through the saturation of pores and cracks of the rocks in which natural gas is found.
- Treatment and Liquefaction:
It refers to the treatment of natural gas to make it suitable for processing the liquefaction plant. Processing includes removing liquids, solids, vapours and impurities.
Liquefaction converts natural gas into liquid form by using multi-stage refrigeration processes at liquefaction plants which reduces its volume, thus allowing for easy transportation to centres of demand
Once loaded aboard in especially designed tankers, LNG is maintained in a liquid state by highly efficient insulation which surrounds the cargo compartment.
- Receiving and Distribution:
Upon arrival at the receiving facility, LNG is transferred into especially designed storage tanks where it is stored as a liquid at near atmospheric pressure and minus 160°C temperature. The LNG remains in storage until it is demanded for redelivery. At that time it is pumped from the tanks and subjected to both heat and pressure to return it to a gaseous state for transportation by pipeline.
How is LNG enabling a responsible energy future?
- LNG is the cleanest burning hydrocarbon and one of the few energy sources that can be used across all energy sectors
- Natural gas reserves are abundant and accessible, making LNG a reliable energy source
- LNG infrastructure is flexible and reduces the barriers to entry for exporters and importers
- LNG offers a cleaner and energy-efficient alternative to coal for electricity generation
- LNG supports the integration of intermittent renewables into the energy systems
- LNG fuels clean growth in industry
- LNG improves air quality
- LNG enables clean mobility
- LNG guarantees energy security and mitigates the volatility of energy demand, including for the power generation mix.