LNG exports have global environmental benefits, report says

The Center for Liquefied Natural Gas revealed the findings of a new report discussing the environmental benefits of exporting LNG.

The Pace Global-authored “LNG and Coal Life Cycle Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions” study found greenhouse gas emissions from coal-generated electrical power to be 92 percent to 194 percent higher than power generated from U.S.-produced LNG in five key international markets, the association said in a statement.

According to CLNG, the study’s findings are in line with recent analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showing that carbon emissions from the power sector hit a 27-year low in April, 2015.

The study provided a granular investigation of emissions during every stage of the LNG lifecycle process, from well head to power generation, and compared those emissions to emissions from coal in five major markets for U.S. LNG exports – Germany, Japan, South Korea, China, and India, CLNG said.

Specific findings relating to electricity generated from U.S-produced liquefied natural gas versus the continued use of coal in these five markets indicated that:

  • An efficient new-build coal plant emits about 92 percent more greenhouse gases than the most intensive (High GHG) LNG scenario, with emissions from the average existing coal-fired plant being about 139 percent to 148 percent higher; and
  • An efficient new-build coal plant typically emits 106 percent more greenhouse gasses than the least intensive (Low GHG) LNG scenario, with emissions from an existing coal facility being about 117 percent to 194 percent higher.

The study further included a detailed breakdown of those elements in the lifecycle that are most emissions intensive.  A substantial majority of emissions from both coal and U.S.-produced LNG were found to originate during the combustion phase (67–74 percent for LNG; 77–79 percent for coal), demonstrating that emissions of greenhouse gases during the liquefaction process for natural gas is relatively insignificant.

CLNG spokesperson Casey O’Shea said, “This report proves that regardless of whether the LNG importer is in Asia or Europe, and regardless of whether they use domestically-mined or imported coal, that country can lower greenhouse gas emissions by using LNG exported from the U.S.” 

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Image: BG Group

 

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