Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is a colorless, clear and non-flammable liquid formed when natural gas is cooled to -162 degrees Celsius or -260F. The cooling process significantly reduces the volume of the natural gas making its transportation quicker, secure and easier. Natural gas in its natural state has a large volume and can only be transported by pipeline. However, in the liquefied state it can be transported by tankers which mostly cover short distances. Cooling natural gas makes it safer and easier to transport since it becomes non-corrosive, non-flammable and lighter. Liquefaction is mostly done through an economical method called subsea processing
The process avails all the required equipment to separate natural gas from other products on the seabed. As such, the subsea processing helps to optimize the volume of natural gas produced from offshore wells. Subsea processing makes use of technologies such as; subsea pumping, subsea separation and compression to improve the flow of oil products to the sea bed. The process separates natural gas from substances like crude oil, sand, condensed gas and water. Therefore, subsea processing includes activities such as; solid and sand separation, gas compression and treatment, subsea water removal and disposal. Subsea processing helps to boost the productivity of the liquefied natural gas.
Transportation and Storage
Converting natural gas for liquefied natural gas helps ease its transportation to areas where it is needed. Moreover, since it is non corrosive and less toxic it can easily be transported by tankers. There are LNG carriers in ships specifically designed for transporting liquefied natural gas. Such carriers enable large volumes of natural gas to be transported over long distances from the LNG liquefaction plants.
It is one of the crucial processes in production of natural gas. The gas first goes through the treatment stage to remove impurities and non-hydro carbon gases. The gas is then further cooled until completely liquefied and stored in LNG tanks.
Uses of Natural Gas
LNG is converted back to natural gas at terminals and dispersed to homes and industries. The residential uses of natural gas include; cooking, heating and electricity generation.