LNG is not new to the United States. The commercial shipment of LNG began more than 50 years ago, but natural gas was stored as LNG for the first time commercially in West Virginia in 1912. Before the United States began importing LNG from overseas, liquefaction technology was used to condense natural gas so that it could be stored more easily. In fact, there are 100 LNG storage facilities – called peak-shaving facilities – throughout the United States. Here, natural gas is stored as LNG until it is needed, at which time it is converted back to gas and shipped via pipeline to market.

View the locations of the peak-shaving facilities around the country.

In 1959, the industry transported the first cargo of LNG by ship. The Methane Pioneer carried a cargo of LNG from Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Canvey Island, United Kingdom.

The United States exported natural gas for a number of years, but in the 1970s natural gas demand rose, due to a number of factors – primarily consumers’ desire for independence from oil shocks. During this period, the United States began using more of its own gas. Between 1971 and 1980, four import terminals were built in the United States. The terminals are located at Lake Charles, La.; Everett, Mass.; Elba Island, Ga. and Cove Point, Md.

In the 1980s, deregulation of the federal government’s price controls on natural gas resulted in an increase of natural gas supplies domestically, which caused the natural gas companies to temporarily shut down the LNG import terminals at Elba Island and Cove Point. The terminals at Lake Charles and Everett suffered from very low utilization.

The opening of an LNG export plant in Trinidad and Tobago in 1999 had a great impact on the U.S. LNG industry because it positioned LNG supplies close to the shores of the United States. New LNG supply from Trinidad and increasing natural gas demand contributed to the Elba Island and Cove Point LNG import terminals’ return to operations in 2001 and 2003, respectively.

In 2005, an offshore facility, Gulf Gateway Energy Bridge, was added in the Gulf of Mexico to allow for additional imports. At this terminal, LNG is regasified on board an LNG ship connected to a pipeline, sending the natural gas to shore.

Freeport LNG, located on Quintana Island about 70 miles south of Houston, Texas commenced construction in 2005 and began operations in 2008. The Sabine Pass LNG terminal, located along the Sabine Pass River on the border between Texas and Louisiana, came on line in April 2008. Northeast Gateway Deepwater Port terminal was built in Massachusetts Bay and received its first LNG cargo in May 2008. America’s ninth terminal, the Cameron LNG facility in Hackberry, La. began commercial operations in July 2009.

Source: Center for Energy Economics, University of Texas at Austin

NG is not new to the United States. The commercial shipment of LNG began more than 50 years ago, but natural gas was stored as LNG for the first time commercially in West Virginia in 1912. Before the United States began importing LNG from overseas, liquefaction technology was used to condense natural gas so that it could be stored more easily. In fact, there are 100 LNG storage facilities – called peak-shaving facilities – throughout the United States. Here, natural gas is stored as LNG until it is needed, at which time it is converted back to gas and shipped via pipeline to market. 

View the locations of the peak-shaving facilities around the country.

In 1959, the industry transported the first cargo of LNG by ship. The Methane Pioneer carried a cargo of LNG from Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Canvey Island, United Kingdom.

The United States exported natural gas for a number of years, but in the 1970s natural gas demand rose, due to a number of factors – primarily consumers’ desire for independence from oil shocks. During this period, the United States began using more of its own gas. Between 1971 and 1980, four import terminals were built in the United States. The terminals are located at Lake Charles, La.; Everett, Mass.; Elba Island, Ga. and Cove Point, Md.

In the 1980s, deregulation of the federal government’s price controls on natural gas resulted in an increase of natural gas supplies domestically, which caused the natural gas companies to temporarily shut down the LNG import terminals at Elba Island and Cove Point. The terminals at Lake Charles and Everett suffered from very low utilization.

The opening of an LNG export plant in Trinidad and Tobago in 1999 had a great impact on the U.S. LNG industry because it positioned LNG supplies close to the shores of the United States. New LNG supply from Trinidad and increasing natural gas demand contributed to the Elba Island and Cove Point LNG import terminals’ return to operations in 2001 and 2003, respectively.

In 2005, an offshore facility, Gulf Gateway Energy Bridge, was added in the Gulf of Mexico to allow for additional imports. At this terminal, LNG is regasified on board an LNG ship connected to a pipeline, sending the natural gas to shore.

Freeport LNG, located on Quintana Island about 70 miles south of Houston, Texas commenced construction in 2005 and began operations in 2008. The Sabine Pass LNG terminal, located along the Sabine Pass River on the border between Texas and Louisiana, came on line in April 2008. Northeast Gateway Deepwater Port terminal was built in Massachusetts Bay and received its first LNG cargo in May 2008. America’s ninth terminal, the Cameron LNG facility in Hackberry, La. began commercial operations in July 2009.

Source: Center for Energy Economics, University of Texas at Austin

LNG AND AMERICA’S FUTURE

There is a call for the United States to gain more control over its energy future with environmentally conscious practices. One of the most effective and achievable means of doing so is by diversifying the nation’s clean energy sources.

Bringing more LNG into our supply mix helps meet growing U.S. demand for natural gas and reduces our reliance on any one region for supplies.

Liquefied natural gas can and should be an important source of energy for the United States. It can help us diversify our supplies of clean and affordable natural gas and ensure that consumers have the resources they need to heat and cool their homes, cook their food, and keep the lights on.

NATURAL GAS IS CRITICAL TO THE NATION

Natural gas accounts for nearly one quarter of all energy used in the United States. This is likely to grow as America builds toward a renewable energy future and looks to clean burning natural gas as an essential part of that process.

MORE LNG SUPPLIES HELP CONSUMERS AND CONTRIBUTE TO ECONOMIC GROWTH

The U.S. consumes more natural gas than it produces. Currently, there is an approximate 13% gap between domestic natural gas production and consumption, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). LNG is a key component in helping to fill that gap.

Demand is high for natural gas because it is a clean-burning alternative to coal – especially for generating electricity. This demand will likely increase as America moves toward a greener energy future.

LNG alone cannot meet growing demand, but it has a critical role to play in the mix of energy choices necessary to help our nation meet its pressing need for new, clean energy when and where it is needed.

Although the development of shale gas in the U.S. is encouraging, given the potential permitting, environmental and economic hurdles it may face, it is unclear what proportion shale gas will contribute to the U.S. gas supply. Therefore, the U.S. must continue to position itself as an attractive market for LNG.

There are nine U.S. facilities (and one facility in Puerto Rico) currently capable of importing LNG.

As the largest market for natural gas in the world, the U.S. can expect more LNG imports in the coming years due to the significant increase in global LNG supplies.

Additional LNG imports will allow the United States to expand and diversify our natural gas supplies. More LNG imports also will mean less pressure on natural gas prices in America, and will reduce the impact that rising prices are having on American industries and consumers.

View the locations of the existing and proposed new LNG import terminals.

SUPPLEMENTING OUR NATURAL GAS SUPPLY WITH LNG

Government forecasters cannot predict the substantial increase in natural gas demand that will occur if new climate change laws become a reality.

Increased use of renewable fuel sources in the U.S. will increase demand for clean natural gas. Due to the intermittent nature of renewable fuel sources such as wind and solar, natural gas will serve as a supplement to ensure energy reliability to consumers.

Making the major energy infrastructure changes necessary for renewable energy is a long and costly process for consumers. LNG is here today and will serve as a crucial companion to renewable energy by ensuring reliability and affordability in the future.

Cooling natural gas to about -260°F at normal pressure results in the condensation of the gas into liquid form, known as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). LNG can be very useful, particularly for the transportation of natural gas, since LNG takes up about one six hundredth the volume of gaseous natural gas. While LNG is reasonably costly to produce, advances in technology are reducing the costs associated with the liquification and regasification of LNG. Because it is easy to transport, LNG can serve to make economical those stranded natural gas deposits for which the construction of pipelines is uneconomical.

Description: http://www.naturalgas.org/images/lng_delivery_facility.gif

LNG Delivery Facility with Tanker

Source: NGSA

LNG, when vaporized to gaseous form, will only burn in concentrations of between 5 and 15 percent mixed with air. In addition, LNG, or any vapor associated with LNG, will not explode in an unconfined environment. Thus, in the unlikely event of an LNG spill, the natural gas has little chance of igniting an explosion. Liquification also has the advantage of removing oxygen, carbon dioxide, sulfur, and water from the natural gas, resulting in LNG that is almost pure methane.

LNG is typically transported by specialized tanker with insulated walls, and is kept in liquid form by autorefrigeration, a process in which the LNG is kept at its boiling point, so that any heat additions are countered by the energy lost from LNG vapor that is vented out of storage and used to power the vessel.

The increased use of LNG is allowing for the production and marketing of natural gas deposits that were previously economically unrecoverable. Although it currently accounts for only about 1 percent of natural gas used in the United States, it is expected that LNG imports will provide a steady, dependable source of natural gas for U.S. consumption. According to the EIA, the U.S. imported 0.17 Tcf of natural gas in the form of LNG in 2002. LNG imports are expected to increase at an average annual rate of 15.8 percent, to levels of 4.80 Tcf of natural gas by 2025.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports represent an increasingly important part of the natural gas supply picture in the United States. LNG takes up much less space than gaseous natural gas, allowing it to be shipped much more efficiently.

LNG that is imported to the United States comes via ocean tanker. The U.S. gets a majority of its LNG from Trinidad and Tobago, Qatar, and Algeria, and also receives shipments from Nigeria, Oman, Australia, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Although the majority of Americans know very little about liquefied natural gas (LNG), it has been an important part of the nation’s energy mix for almost 100 years. LNG has been used in this country since 1912, when the first facility was built to store natural gas in its liquid state in West Virginia.

Currently, there are 100 production, transport and storage facilities across the country. When LNG is returned to its gaseous state, it is used across the residential, commercial and industrial sectors for purposes as diverse as cooking, fueling vehicles, generating electricity and manufacturing paper, metal and glass.

HOW LNG IS USED TODAY

LNG is an efficient and safe way to transport natural gas across long distances and store it near consumers.

Natural gas supplies our nation with much of its energy. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2008 natural gas accounted for:

  • 76% of the residential and commercial sectors’ energy needs
    • 63 million people used natural gas to heat and cool their homes.
    • Hospitals, schools, office buildings, restaurants, stores and other commercial establishments rely on natural gas for things like space-heating, water-heating, cooking, air conditioning, dehumidification and on-site power generation.
  • 40% of the industrial sector’s energy needs
    • Natural gas is a dominant fuel for paper, metal, chemical, petroleum, stone, clay, glass, plastic and food processing industries.
  • 17% of electricity generation
    • In the last several years, most of the new power plants built in the United States used natural gas because it is a clean-burning fuel.
  • 2% of the transportation sector’s energy needs
    • Over 110,000 transit buses, taxi cabs, package delivery trucks and other vehicles operating in the U.S. are fueled with clean-burning natural gas, according to the Natural Gas Vehicle Association. According to the American Public Transit Association, 27 percent of all new transit bus orders in 2008 were for natural gas. According to the association, about 18 percent of U.S. transit buses run on natural gas.
      Source: Natural Gas Vehicle Association

This system, from extracting natural gas beneath the land and sea to serving the consumer, allows for maximum flexibility in terms of matching supply and demand, reducing dependency on a single supplier or market and ensuring that natural gas is available to American consumers.

Read more about the advantages of LNG.

FROM WELL TO SHIP

Natural gas is a fossil fuel that is extracted from the ground. Many countries with excess natural gas supplies sell it to countries with strong demand. However, natural gas cannot be efficiently transported very long distances (e.g. across oceans) in its gaseous state.

Therefore, natural gas is converted to LNG by cooling it to -260° Fahrenheit at liquefaction facilities. In its liquid form, natural gas reduces to 1/600th of its volume as a gas, making it cost effective to transport over long distances.

Read more about LNG.

FROM COAST TO COAST

LNG is shipped on secure and specially designed ships from countries that export natural gas to countries that import natural gas. Carriers have traveled more than 151 million miles without a major incident in LNG’s 50-plus year shipping history. LNG carriers are double-hulled, with more than six feet of space between the outer hull and inner hulls. This design makes LNG ships extremely strong, minimizing the likelihood of leaks or ruptures in the unlikely event of an accident.

Upon reaching U.S. waters, the Coast Guard oversees the movement of LNG ships through ports. It also has the authority to review background checks of crews, order internal ship searches and require the use of Sea Marshals (specially trained and armed Coast Guard personnel).

Read more about the ships that transport LNG.

FROM SHIP TO PIPELINE

Upon arrival at its destination, LNG is generally transferred to specially designed and secured storage tanks and then warmed to its gaseous state – a process called regasification. It is transported via pipelines to consumers, industries and power generators who rely on natural gas.

Read more about LNG terminals.

FROM PIPELINE TO CONSUMER

Once LNG returns to its gaseous state, it is distributed as natural gas through pipelines to consumers. The transportation infrastructure has thousands of miles of pipelines across the country. Much of this process is managed by local distribution companies. The 63 million American households that use natural gas in their homes are familiar with the local utilities that manage these distribution systems in their communities.

Read more about how natural gas is used.

 


Description: FROM  WELL TO SHIP

FROM WELL TO SHIP


Description: FROM  COAST TO COAST

FROM COAST TO COAST


Description: FROM  SHIP TO PIPELINE

FROM SHIP TO PIPELINE


Description: FROM PIPELINE TO CONSUMER

FROM PIPELINE TO CONSUMER

EXISTING IMPORT TERMINALS

Today, there are nine U.S. facilities (and one facility in Puerto Rico) capable of importing LNG.

They are located in:

 

View the locations of the existing LNG import terminals.

 

GOVERNMENT APPROVAL OF LNG IMPORT TERMINALS

When a company decides to build an LNG import terminal, it goes through a lengthy and comprehensive review and permitting process with federal, state and local governments. Without significant delays, it may take up to seven years to bring a new terminal on-line. During this process, from the initial meeting with lead federal regulators, through the rigorous permitting process, to construction and on-going inspections, the LNG terminal developer works closely with the governmental authorities.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is responsible for approvals regarding siting, operation and expansion of onshore LNG import terminals, offshore import terminals in state waters, as well as pipelines and other onshore LNG facilities. The U.S. Coast Guard and Maritime Administration (MARAD) have jurisdiction for siting and operation of all LNG import terminals in federal waters. View the locations of the approved LNG import terminals.

PROPOSED NEW IMPORT TERMINALS

To help bridge the natural gas demand and supply gap, many more import terminals have been proposed along the nation’s coasts, although not all of these facilities will be built. View the locations of the proposed LNG import terminals.

Additionally, developers have indicated a number of other potential sites for new LNG import terminals. These, however, have not been submitted for federal agency review. View the locations of potential LNG import terminals.

LNG AND AMERICA’S FUTURE

There is a call for the United States to gain more control over its energy future with environmentally conscious practices. One of the most effective and achievable means of doing so is by diversifying the nation’s clean energy sources.

Bringing more LNG into our supply mix helps meet growing U.S. demand for natural gas and reduces our reliance on any one region for supplies.

Liquefied natural gas can and should be an important source of energy for the United States. It can help us diversify our supplies of clean and affordable natural gas and ensure that consumers have the resources they need to heat and cool their homes, cook their food, and keep the lights on.

NATURAL GAS IS CRITICAL TO THE NATION

Natural gas accounts for nearly one quarter of all energy used in the United States. This is likely to grow as America builds toward a renewable energy future and looks to clean burning natural gas as an essential part of that process.

MORE LNG SUPPLIES HELP CONSUMERS AND CONTRIBUTE TO ECONOMIC GROWTH

The U.S. consumes more natural gas than it produces. Currently, there is an approximate 13% gap between domestic natural gas production and consumption, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). LNG is a key component in helping to fill that gap.

Demand is high for natural gas because it is a clean-burning alternative to coal – especially for generating electricity. This demand will likely increase as America moves toward a greener energy future.

LNG alone cannot meet growing demand, but it has a critical role to play in the mix of energy choices necessary to help our nation meet its pressing need for new, clean energy when and where it is needed.

Although the development of shale gas in the U.S. is encouraging, given the potential permitting, environmental and economic hurdles it may face, it is unclear what proportion shale gas will contribute to the U.S. gas supply. Therefore, the U.S. must continue to position itself as an attractive market for LNG.

There are nine U.S. facilities (and one facility in Puerto Rico) currently capable of importing LNG.

As the largest market for natural gas in the world, the U.S. can expect more LNG imports in the coming years due to the significant increase in global LNG supplies.

Additional LNG imports will allow the United States to expand and diversify our natural gas supplies. More LNG imports also will mean less pressure on natural gas prices in America, and will reduce the impact that rising prices are having on American industries and consumers.

View the locations of the existing and proposed new LNG import terminals.

For more information: