Feature Report: Gas and LNG Transportation

4 items of content in this feature report



Gas Storage

As they do with oil, industrialized countries keep a strategic reserve of natural gas to ensure uninterrupted supply in the event of an emergency situation. Storage is also a way of adjusting supply to meet fluctuations in demand.  

FR - stockage du gaz
Natural gas storage tanks. © THINKSTOCK

Natural gas consumption varies according to the season and heating needs. For example, the French consume eight times more natural gas in winter than in summer. Storage is therefore necessary to align supply with actual demand. Natural gas is mostly comprised of methane (ch4)The main component of natural gas deposits and oil deposit gas caps. Methane is produced naturally by landfills... , which is produced by the decomposition of previously living organisms.

680: The number of underground gas storage facilities worldwide

Where is Natural Gas Stored?

By converting natural gas to liquid, significantly less space is required on the liquefied natural gas (LNG)LNG is composed almost entirely of methane. Liquefying the gas reduces its initial volume by a factor of around 600... carriers used to transport it. Cooled to -160°C, LNG takes up 600 times less space than raw natural gas. From the moment it arrives at a terminal to the moment it is added to the distribution network, LNG is stored in giant tanks, but this is not a long-term storage method.

One solution is to store gas in natural underground reservoirs, a bit like artificial deposits.

There are three main underground gas storage techniques:

In liquid form, natural gas takes up 600 times less space than in a gaseous state.


In 2015, there were approximately 680 underground gas storage (UGS) facilities worldwide, with a total volume equivalent to more than 10% of annual global consumption. Most are located in three markets: North America, Europe and Russia and the main gas-producing countries of Central Asia1.