What is LNG?

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is natural gas, predominantly methane, that has been cooled sufficiently to condense into a liquid. At atmospheric pressure, this happens at a temperature of –260° F (–161.5° C) using a simple refrigeration process. LNG is chemically equivalent to the gas that we safely use to generate electricity, heat our homes and cook our food. When natural gas is cooled into liquid phase, its volume shrinks by 600 times  thereby making it easier to store and transport in specially designed ships.  Once these ships reach their destination, LNG is warmed back to its gaseous phase and piped into the local gas pipeline grid in the same manner as locally produced gas. In the past 50 years, the LNG trade has grown to include over 40 countries either exporting or importing LNG.  Some countries, such as Japan and Korea, depend on LNG for over 95% of their natural gas requirements and have been importing LNG safely for almost 50 years.

The United States is experiencing large increases in natural gas production due to innovative technologies and efficient operations. We now have a gas surplus that can be exported to other markets that recognize the environmental benefits of clean-burning natural gas. Neighboring markets, such as Mexico, can be supplied US natural gas by pipeline. However, markets in Europe, Latin America and Asia are too far to be connected by pipeline from the United States. Exporting natural gas by LNG ships is the solution. The US will begin exporting LNG this year, and by 2019, Texas LNG will begin to export LNG from Brownsville, Texas. Exporting LNG from the United States creates jobs, provides tax revenues, and benefits the global environment by encouraging the use of clean burning gas instead of dirty coal and other fossil fuels.

Contrary to false information, LNG is not stored or transported under pressure. LNG storage tanks and ships are insulated but the liquid is essentially at atmospheric pressure. LNG is nontoxic, non-corrosive, odorless, nonexplosive and nonflammable. Natural gas in liquid form can not burn or explode because there is no oxygen or air in LNG.  In the highly unlikely event that LNG does come into contact with air, it will instantly evaporate into the atmosphere because it is less dense than air.  Even after conversion to gaseous phase, LNG fires are extremely unlikely because of the specific fuel to oxygen balance necessary for combustion.  In case of a water spill, LNG will stay on surface until it dissipates into the atmosphere without any threat to marine life. Unlike crude oil, LNG can not form slicks, mix with water or kill wildlife. 

Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel.  As compared to coal or oil, natural gas contains less than half as much carbon dioxide, less than one tenth as much nitrogen oxide and less than one percent of sulfur oxides. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions, smog and acid rain impacts are significantly reduced by using environmentally friendly natural gas.  When used to generate power, natural gas power plants are more efficient, have a smaller footprint, are less noisy, use less water and do not emit ash or other dirty solid by-products. It is no surprise that natural gas is the fastest growing of all fossil fuels, both in the United States as well as in other developed and developing economies around the world. Many environmental groups endorse the use of natural gas while we transition to renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind.


Safety Considerations

Texas LNG is totally committed to safe and environmentally friendly operations.  Texas LNG will use advanced technology, robust safety systems and procedures, and highly trained professionals to ensure the highest level of safety for our employees, contractors, customers, neighbors and surrounding community. All of our land and marine operations will adhere to the highest industry and government standards and codes. We will implement multiple layers of protection that ensure the safety ad well being of our workers and our community.  

The US Federal Government, via the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) process, will review all operational and environmental impacts of the Texas LNG project. This thorough process will ensure that we strictly design, construct and operate our facility to the highest standards for protection of the community. We are supportive and committed to this process.

The LNG industry has had an exemplary safety record – arguably the best record of any maritime industry. In the past 30 years, there has been no death or serious accident involving an LNG terminal in the United States. Since 1964, globally there have been over 135,000 return journeys of LNG ships without significant accident or safety incident, either in port or at sea.  The few LNG related accidents that have occurred have all been attributable to factors other than release of LNG into the atmosphere.

LNG carrier ships are double hulled ships specifically designed to handle liquefied natural gas at cold temperature and atmospheric pressure (not at high pressure). Tanks on board the ships are multi-compartmental, limiting impact of any leak. LNG carriers are certified ships with modern radar, leak detection and emergency shutdown technology  to ensure safety and security. Once LNG ships enter the Port of Brownsville ship channel, they will be guided by tug boats and local port pilots to ensure that all safety procedures and traffic rules are followed. All movements will adhere to local and Coast Guard regulations. Texas LNG expects to load a modest two or three ships a month from Brownsville.

To Download the August 2016 Texas LNG Community Fact Book, please click here :  

 More details on LNG and natural gas can be found at www.natgas.info, a site created by Vivek Chandra, CEO of Texas LNG.