Feature Report: Gas and LNG Transportation

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Natural Gas Liquefaction

By offering a flexible mode of transportation, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is poised to play a key role in driving the growth of natural gas in the global energy mix. The first step in the process consists of liquefying natural gas by reducing its temperature to -160°C.  

A gas liquefaction train at the Balhaf plant in Yemen
A gas liquefaction train at the Balhaf plant in Yemen. © GONZALEZ THIERRY / TOTAL

Natural gas liquefies when cooled to around -160°C, a temperature that varies slightly according to the properties of the gas. The gas is transported by gas pipelinePipeline used to transport gas over a long distance, either on land or on the seabed. from the production site to a nearby liquefactionConversion of a gas to a liquid. In industrial applications, gas is liquefied by cooling and/or pressurization... plant, where it undergoes several processes :1

  • Processing: The extracted gas is purified to remove substances such as water and mercury in order to comply with natural gas marketing specifications and prepare for the liquefaction step. Certain substances can corrode or damage the equipment and cause deposits to form during liquefaction at very low temperature.

Natural gas liquefies at approximately -160°C

The facilities used to liquefy natural gas are called "liquefaction trains".

Liquefaction plants are located as near as possible to production sites. Natural gas produced from offshoreRefers to sea-based oil exploration and production operations, as in "offshore license" or "offshore drilling". reservoirs is often piped back to land, but research has recently been focused on developing floating LNG plants. A number of projects are currently being examined.2  For oil exporting countries with offshore deposits, floating LNG solutions open up new prospects for making challenging offshore deposits commercially viable.

 

Sources: 

 (1) Total

(2)  Shell