Liquefied Natural Gas

Natural Gas is difficult to liquefy by compression alone, it is usually liquefied, stored and transported at very low temperature

LNG acts like oil and coal for transportation, like natural gas once it is returned to its gaseous form


Unlike propane gas it is not practical to liquefy natural gas (which is mostly methane gas) by compression alone, and it is normally liquefied by refrigeration to -160 oC and stored and transported at moderate pressures

LNG needs to be transported in specialist ships (LNG vessels) that can maintain the low temperature required, so are quite different to other commodity carriers

On arrival at a destination port the LNG needs to be returned to its gaseous state in a plant which is attached to a gas terminal

Other than the ships themselves the logistics of LNG transport involve the same complexities as oil and coal

 LNG is big business for two main reasons:

A vast quantity of natural gas is already available from oil rich countries - but there are no pipelines to flow it long distances (Russian gas into Europe being the main exception)

The process of extracting natural gas from unconventional sources (typically shale) by hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") is likely to yield even more gas - but usually not where it's needed



» Detailed Glossary