What is LNG?
LNG stands for liquefied natural gas. Natural gas becomes liquid when it is cooled to approximately -162°C. The liquefaction process shrinks the volume of natural gas by 600 times – similar to reducing the volume of a beach ball to the volume of a ping-pong ball. When LNG is warmed to its original gaseous state, it can be used for a variety of purposes including heating and cooling homes, generating electricity and fueling machinery.
Is LNG safe?
LNG is a hydrocarbon but it is very different from crude oil. Due to its low temperature while in liquid form, it is less prone to burning or exploding. In the unlikely event of a spill on water or land, LNG would vaporize and dissipate into the atmosphere with little to no residue. LNG is odourless, colourless, non-corrosive and non-toxic.
The liquefaction process shrinks the volume of natural gas by 600 times – similar to reducing volume of a beach ball to the volume of a ping-pong ball.
Why develop LNG?
Natural gas is the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel and British Columbia’s most abundant energy resource. Canada is a producer and exporter of natural gas, and the U.S. is Canada’s largest market. However markets are changing with the safe and cost-effective recovery of natural gas in shale. The availability of natural gas in the U.S. is rapidly increasing and exports from Canada are dropping.
The international situation is different as global demand for natural gas is growing, much of it for power generation. According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), world trade in LNG has more than tripled over the last 20 years. LNG development is a way for Canadian natural gas to play an important role in filling the world’s energy demand.