LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS (LNG)

Liquefied natural gas, commonly referred to as LNG, is natural gas that has … To produce LNG, natural gas is piped from the wellhead to a liquefaction …

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Liquefied natural gas, commonly referred to as LNG, is natural gas that has been cooled to its liquid state. This is done primarily as a means to facilitate delivery of natural gas from the wellhead to consumers, particularly when the wellhead is remote from the end-user and the gas cannot practically or economically be transported in its gaseous state via pipeline. Thus, LNG provides a means of linking remote gas to markets.
Despite its rapid growth in recent years, LNG remains a relatively small contributor to world gas demand (under 7% of the total in 2005) and even to total internationally traded gas, (about 22% of gas trade). Pipeline gas still dominates international trade, notably supply to Western Europe from Russia, North Africa and Norway; and supply to the US from Canada.
With regard to the regional breakdown of LNG trade, Pacific Basin and Asian markets are still almost double the size of Atlantic Basin and Mediterranean markets. Nevertheless, the Atlantic Basin market has grown much faster than the Pacific market over the past ten years, growing by 12% per year compared to 5.5% per year in the Pacific Basin market.
To produce LNG, natural gas is piped from the wellhead to a liquefaction plant at a coastal location, and there transformed from gaseous to liquid form by cooling to very low temperatures. Once cooled, LNG occupies approximately 1/600th of the volume of gas at atmospheric conditions, making shipment in specialized low-pressure tankers possible. The liquefied gas is then loaded on to specialized LNG tankers and shipped to one of the major gas consuming countries. Upon reaching its destination, the LNG is offloaded at a receiving terminal and regasified for delivery into the local pipeline and storage network, where it becomes completely integrated with natural gas produced locally or imported by pipeline.
The process of moving LNG from the wellhead, through liquefaction, shipping and regasification, and ultimately to the pipeline network creates value that is otherwise unattainable. This LNG “value chain” is thus comprised of wellhead production, pipeline to a coastal location, coastal liquefaction plant, LNG tanker, coastal regasification terminal, and pipeline to a distribution grid and consumers

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