Shell has been a pioneer in liquefied natural gas (LNG) for more than 50 years. In Arzew, Algeria, the first commercial LNG liquefaction plant was delivered in 1964 with Shell involvement, and we shipped the first commercial cargo from Algeria to the UK in the same year, starting today’s global trade.

We have continued to innovate and improve the technology behind LNG, and to find ways to make more LNG available where it is needed around the world. For example, we are building Prelude FLNG, the world’s largest floating LNG production facility, which will unlock gas resources from underwater fields too uneconomic or challenging to reach from land.

What is LNG and how can we use it?

LNG is a clear, colourless and non-toxic liquid which forms when natural gas is cooled to -162ºC (-260ºF). The cooling process shrinks the volume of the gas 600 times, making it easier and safer to store and ship. In its liquid state, LNG will not ignite. 

When LNG reaches its destination, it is turned back into a gas at regasification plants. It is then piped to homes, businesses and industries where it is burnt for heat or to generate electricity. LNG is now also emerging as a cost-competitive and cleaner fuel, especially for shipping heavy-duty road transport.

Fuelling a growing market with LNG

LNG is rapidly playing a bigger role in the energy mix, and the market for it is expected to grow at around 5% annually. Global demand could increase from about 240 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to around 430 mtpa in 2025. For comparison, just 80,000 tonnes of LNG were shipped by two carriers in 1964, the first year of the LNG trade.

Shell is involved at every stage of the LNG value chain: finding the fields and extracting gas, liquefying gas and shipping it, then turning the LNG back into gas and distributing it to customers.

Read about our trading and supply business

Our LNG presence

We are one of the world’s largest LNG shipping operators, managing and operating more than 40 carriers in an industry-wide fleet comprising around 400 carriers. Our trading operation buys and sells LNG to and from Shell, its partners and third parties, helping to meet customers' long-term energy needs and respond flexibly to short-term changes in demand.

Today Shell has LNG supply projects either in operation or under construction in seven countries. We also have a major interest in one regasification plant in Hazira in India, and long-term access to capacity in several others in Europe, the Middle East and North America.

LNG supply projects and regasification plants

More in energy and innovation

LNG for transport

Liquefied natural gas can be a cost-competitive and cleaner fuel for heavy-duty road transport, shipping and industrial users. 

Floating LNG

Shell is building the world’s largest offshore floating facility, to produce liquefied natural gas safely at sea. Discover Prelude FLNG.

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