A clean and affordable method for natural gas transportation.
LNG (liquefied natural gas) is natural gas that has been super-cooled below minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 162 degrees Celsius) and condensed into a liquid. It occupies 600 times less space than its gas form, which allows it to be transported in ships from remote locations to markets where it’s needed. At a receipt terminal, LNG is unloaded and stored until it is warmed back into its gaseous state and moved via pipeline to consumers.
LNG is used for the same purposes as conventional natural gas, such as heating, cooking and power generation.
Natural gas is a major source of energy in the U.S. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), about 25 percent of the energy used in the U.S. comes from natural gas. The major consumers of natural gas in the U.S. are: the electric power sector (31 percent), the industrial sector (27 percent), the residential sector (21 percent), the commercial sector (13 percent), and transportation & other (8 percent).
LNG is transported in large, specially designed LNG carriers. These ships have double hulls and are about 950 feet long and 150 feet wide. LNG is a proven, safe way of transporting energy supplies.
LNG terminals worldwide have an exemplary safety record due to advanced technology, well-trained professionals, a thorough understanding of LNG risks, robust safety systems and procedures, and rigidly adhered-to standards, codes and regulations. No serious accidents involving an LNG import terminal have occurred in the U.S. in over 30 years. Transportation of LNG via ship has a long record of safe operation. In LNG’s more than 50-year shipping history, LNG ships have traveled more than 150 million miles without a major incident. There have been no collisions, fires, explosions or hull failures resulting in a loss of containment for LNG ships in ports or at sea. Only eight LNG incidents have occurred worldwide and none of those led to a loss of life or a breach of the vessels’ cargo-containment systems.
No. Contrary to some misconceptions, LNG is not stored under pressure. According to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, “Although a large amount of energy is stored in LNG, it cannot be released rapidly enough to cause the overpressures associated with an explosion. LNG vapors (methane) mixed with air are not explosive in an unconfined environment.”
Within an LNG facility or onboard a ship, there are various types of hazard detectors used to alert personnel to a leak or spill. These could include detection for the presence of gas, flame, smoke, high temperatures or low temperatures. While LNG vapors have no odor or color, if an LNG release occurred, LNG’s low temperature will cause condensation of water vapor in the air and form a visible white cloud that would be readily apparent.
Natural gas derived from LNG is the cleanest of all fossil fuels. When combusted, natural gas generates 20 percent less carbon dioxide than conventional fuels. In addition, the gases generated during the burning of natural gas are virtually free of other emissions. Natural gas is non-toxic and non-corrosive.
No. If spilled, LNG would not result in a slick. Absent an ignition source, LNG evaporates quickly and disperses, leaving no residue. There is no environmental cleanup needed for LNG spills on water or soil.