LNG, or liquefied natural gas, consists mostly of methane and is cooled to approximately -256 degrees Farenheit so that it can be transported from countries that have more natural gas than they need to countries that use more natural gas than they produce. In its liquefied state, natural gas takes up 1/600th of the space, making it much easier to ship and store when pipeline transport is not feasible. As world energy consumption increases, experts anticipate that the LNG trade will grow in importance.


Despite having one of the world's largest reserves of natural gas, the United States imports a small percentage of its natural gas as LNG from Trinidad and Tobago, Egypt, Norway, Qatar, and Nigeria. Other major exporters of LNG include Indonesia, Russia, Yemen, and Norway. Russia has the world's largest supply of natural gas, followed by Iran and Qatar. In 2008, Japan was the world's largest importer of LNG.

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