LNG 101

LNG 101

Liquefied natural gas, or LNG, is natural gas in its liquid state. Natural gas is liquefied so that it can be more efficiently transported over long distances in specially designed LNG ships. Once super-cooled to -260ºF, natural gas condenses by a factor of ~600x.

To learn about the journey of an LNG molecule from the wellhead to international markets, view the video above.

LNG Liquefaction
NextDecade - FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About LNG

LNG is liquefied natural gas (methane) that has been cooled to an extremely cold temperature (-260° F/ -162.2° C). At standard atmospheric conditions, methane is a vapor, not to be confused with gasoline, which is a liquid.

Specially designed ships are used to transport LNG from export terminals to markets around the world. They have double hulls and are constructed of specialized materials that are capable of safely storing LNG at temperatures of -260° F/ -162.2° C.

U.S. LNG export projects undergo a rigorous, multiyear review and permitting process overseen by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and more than a dozen federal, state and local agencies, ensuring safe, responsible, and environmentally sound economic development.


NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG project is designed to meet or exceed all environmental and other regulatory requirements, which include strict standards governing impacts on air, land, water, and wildlife. The rigorous regulatory process and ongoing oversight by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ensure these standards are met and maintained in accordance with the law.

  • When LNG is vaporized and used as fuel, it reduces particulate emissions to near zero and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 70 percent in comparison with other, heavier hydrocarbon fuels.
  • When burned for power generation compared to other hydrocarbon fuels, the results are even more pronounced: sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions are virtually eliminated and CO2 emissions are reduced significantly.

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NextDecade - Environment
NextDecade - Safety

LNG Safety Facts

  • LNG is a natural gas cooled to -260°F
  • LNG occupies 1/600th the volume of gas
  • LNG is not toxic, corrosive, explosive or flammable
  • LNG looks like water and is colorless and odorless
  • LNG cannot contaminate soil or water
  • If spilled on land or in water, LNG vaporizes and leaves no residue
  • LNG shipping has occurred safely worldwide since first cargoes in 1964

Project Safety

  • Proven, safe, reliable technology and design
  • Comprehensive and best-practice safety policies, systems, and procedures

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U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Permitting Process

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, also known as FERC, is the main regulatory body charged with the review and permitting process for U.S. LNG export projects. The process includes a comprehensive review of the environmental, social, and economic impacts of proposed projects. The FERC, in cooperation with more than a dozen federal, state, and local agencies conducts this comprehensive review of proposed LNG projects before issuing permits. The FERC process is designed to ensure the safe and responsible development and operations of U.S. LNG export projects.

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NextDecade - Permitting