The LNG process involves several steps to bring natural gas from its source to the end user.
1. Gas Fields
Natural gas is produced in subsurface gas reservoirs and reached through drilling.
2. Gas Treatment and Liquefaction
The natural gas is sent by pipeline from the gas field to a processing plant, where impurities are removed from the gas. The gas is then cooled to minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit, transforming it into a liquid that is stored at subzero temperatures in specially insulated storage tanks.
3. Shipping LNG
LNG is pumped into double-hulled ships, specifically designed to handle the low temperature of LNG, and transported by sea. These carriers are insulated to limit the amount of LNG that evaporates.
4. LNG Regasification
Once an LNG ship is at the berth, LNG is transferred to and stored in insulated onshore tanks. When natural gas is needed, the LNG is transported within the terminal to a processing unit, where it is warmed to a temperature at which it reverts to its gaseous state. It can then be delivered by pipeline to homes, businesses and power plants.