Europe’s Dependence on LNG

Europe’s Dependence on LNG

Europe’s Dependence on LNG

Context:

  • The EU is weaning itself off piped Russian gas by rapidly expanding imports of liquified natural gas, As liquified natural gas tankers carrying fracked US gas start to land in northern Germany, climate activists are calling it a major setback in the effort to limit global heating.

About LNG:

  • LNG is natural gas that has undergone extreme cooling to a liquid condition (liquefaction) at a temperature of about -161 degrees Celsius (-259 Fahrenheit).
  • The volume of this liquid gas has shrunk by 600 times and it weighs only half as much as water.
  • The compressed fossil fuel, which is almost entirely made up of the powerful greenhouse gas methane, can be shipped anywhere in the world.
  • The cargo is re-gasified in a floating terminal and dispersed through pipelines once it has reached its destination.
  • However, despite LNG’s potential for export, its market has been constrained by the high cost of liquefaction and production.
  • Also, the rising operating and infrastructure expenses, the estimated cost of developing floating LNG terminals in Germany to import gas to replace Russian gas has doubled.

Environmental Challenges:

  • Energy-intensive processes are needed to extract natural gas from reservoirs, transporting it from gas fields to LNG processing facilities, freezing the gas to extremely low temperatures, and maintain that temperature before the gas is warmed and regasified.
  • The chances of methane leakages across the production, transport, and regasification chains are simply much higher and hence much more emissions-intensive with LNG due to its far more complex production and transport process.
  • Particularly, the emissions intensity of piped gas from Norway is about ten times lower than the average emissions of LNG.

           Source The Hindu

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