The Story of Natural Gas
What is natural gas?
Natural gas is a naturally occurring mixture of gases, predominately methane. It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years.
Where is it found?
Natural gas is found in rock formations, sometimes on its own and sometimes alongside oil. Some deposits can be relatively easy to extract, while others are trapped kilometres beneath the Earth’s surface and are extracted using sophisticated processes.
How is natural gas produced?
Natural gas is often found in huge reservoirs called sedimentary basins. To gain access to these reservoirs, a hole or well is drilled through the rock to allow the gas to escape and be collected. Natural gas is most commonly extracted by drilling vertically from the Earth’s surface.
What is LNG?
LNG is a clear, colourless and non-toxic liquid which forms when natural gas is cooled to -162ºC (-260ºF). The cooling process shrinks the volume of the gas 600 times, making it easier and safer to store and ship. In its liquid state, LNG will not ignite.
When LNG reaches its destination, it will converted back into a gas by a regasification process. From there it is then piped to homes, businesses and industries where it is burnt for heat or to generate electricity.
LNG is now rapidly increasing globally as a cost-competitive and cleaner transport fuel, especially for shipping and heavy-duty road transport
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is an efficient fuel with a high calorific value.
History of LNG and its importance
The first of the international LNG cargo exports were made to England from Algeria in 1965. While the number of countries producing LNG and exporting overseas was only 8 in 1996, this number is more than 25 nowadays.
As the volume of LNG produced and consumed continues to expand at a rapid pace, floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) provide rapid and cost effective access to the global LNG market for new and expanding energy markets around the world – at a fraction of the cost and time required for the construction of an onshore LNG receiving terminal.