LNG, or liquefied natural gas, is natural gas that is cooled to -260° Fahrenheit until it becomes a liquid and then stored at essentially atmospheric pressure. Converting natural gas to LNG, a process that reduces its volume by about 600 times – similar to reducing the volume of a beach ball to the volume of a ping-pong ball – allows it to be transported internationally via cargo ships. Once delivered to its destination in the U.S. or abroad, the LNG is warmed back into its original gaseous state so that it can be used just like existing natural gas supplies, by sending it through pipelines for distribution to homes and businesses.
When returned to its gaseous state, LNG is used across the residential, commercial and industrial sectors for purposes as diverse as heating and cooling homes, cooking, generating electricity and manufacturing paper, metal, glass and other materials. LNG is also increasingly being used to fuel heavy-duty vehicles.
Clean burning natural gas is used to heat and cool over half of all American homes and power 23 percent of the nation’s electricity. Even though America has an abundance of natural gas, LNG is essential to providing the U.S. with the ability to import or export natural gas depending on market conditions.