Benefits of LNG

Cheaper

The production and transport of LNG are far simpler and cost less energy than any other fossil fuel.

In the ten year period between 2005 and 2015, LNG production capacity will double from 150 Million mT to over 300 Million mT creating additional supply into in the market. This, combined with the discovery of affordable methods for extracting unconventional gas and the limited use of natural gas as a feedstock, means pricing for natural gas and LNG offers a significant advantage over crude oil linked products.  The industry view is this will continue for the foreseeable future as long as these unconventional resources continue to be accessed and additional capacity from the US, China and Australia offsetting any tightening in the market due to Asian demand.

In addition to the unit prices, further pressure will come from carbon taxes (white and green certificates) resulting from the lack of progress towards the EU 20/20/20 regulations which will force these businesses to review their energy choices away from oil products.  This is also combined with efficiency savings as gas appliances can offer 3-5% higher efficiency than equivalent oil fired products.

Cleaner

LNG is odorless, non-toxic and non-corrosive.  When exposed to the environment, LNG rapidly evaporates, leaving no residue on water or soil.  If spilled, LNG would not result in a slick because 100 percent of it evaporates, leaving no residue behind.

Composed primarily of methane, the main products of the combustion of natural gas are carbon dioxide and water vapor, the same compounds we exhale when we breathe. Coal and oil are composed of much more complex molecules, with a higher carbon ratio and higher nitrogen and sulfur contents. This means that when combusted, coal and oil release higher levels of harmful emissions, including a higher ratio of carbon emissions, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). Coal and fuel oil also release ash particles into the environment, substances that do not burn but instead are carried into the atmosphere and contribute to pollution. The combustion of natural gas, on the other hand, releases very small amounts of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, virtually no ash or particulate matter, and lower levels of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other reactive hydrocarbons.

Fossil Fuel Emission Levels - Pounds per Billion Btu of Energy Input

PollutantNatural GasOilCoal
Carbon Dioxide 117,000 164,000 208,000
Carbon Monoxide 40 33 208
Nitrogen Oxides 92 448 457
Sulfur Dioxide 1 1,122 2,591
Particulates 7 84 2,744
Mercury 0.000 0.007 0.016

Source: EIA - Natural Gas Issues and Trends 1998

Natural gas, as the cleanest of the fossil fuels, can be used in many ways to help reduce the emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere. Burning natural gas in the place of other fossil fuels emits fewer harmful pollutants, and an increased reliance on natural gas can potentially reduce the emission of many of these most harmful pollutants.

Large stocks

The worldwide stocks of natural gas are considerably greater than the stocks of accessible crude oil (access to shale gas has added 40% to world gas reserves which are estimated at over 130 years).

It makes LNG less dependent on oil-producing nations.

 

Flexible distribution

Liquefied natural gas is just as easy to transport as petrol or diesel, because it does not depend on an underground pipeline network.

This means it is an interesting alternative for industrial companies in areas that do not have access to the natural gas grid and currently rely on other fuels. Stocks can be added by transporting the gas via rail, waterways and motorways.