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    Natural gas: Pipelines and LNG


    Author: Jimmy Thomson, Canadian Geographic

    Publish Date: Oct 9, 2013   Last Update: Sep 20, 2018


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    The natural gas industry operates natural gas processing plants, which remove impurities and natural gas liquids (NGL), natural gas storage facilities, gathering pipelines, and NGL facilities. 

    Next, the gas is distributed via transmission lines to local distribution companies and then to homes and businesses.

    Gas is exported from Canada to the U.S. via pipeline. The TransCanada Mainline crosses through southern Manitoba and carries natural gas from western Canada to markets in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and the U.S.

    To be shipped to other countries, it would have to be compressed into liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG is cheaper to transport because it takes up significantly less space than natural gas — about 1/600th.

    For the gas to change state to become a liquid, it must first be cooled to below -160 degrees Celsius. This cooling process takes a great deal of energy. Proposed LNG plants in British Columbia are expected to require between 2,000 and 4,000 megawatts of power, which will likely be supplied partly by hydroelectricity and partly by natural gas-fired power plants.

    Currently, one LNG import facility exists in Canada, in Saint John, N.B., but there are proposals for nine LNG export facilities in B.C. and two in Nova Scotia.


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