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.