LNG Terms – Tons/Year, Cubic Meters, BTU/SCF, MMBTU, MMSCF, TCF – All Explained (2022)

If you are associated with any aspect of an LNG plant, you know that the LNG plant capacity is always specified in tons per year. And that the LNG onshore storage is always in cubic meters and so is capacity of LNG carriers. And then LNG is sold on dollars per MMBTU. The heating value is in BTU/SCF. The gas flow coming in the plant is referenced in MMSCFD and the reservoir capacity is TCF. Being a process engineer, I am regularly asked the question: How are all these units related and can one convert from one unit to other and how? Sometimes these questions come from curious onlookers (civil, electrical, scheduling, project, safety engineers etc.) or from someone who is actually negotiating sales agreements with prospective buyers. In the case of latter, one has to be very accurate and descriptive and clear as to what data is being given out.

So I will try to summarize the relationship in a table first followed by some discussion.

BASIS : One Train with a capacity of annualized 5 MPTA or 5,000,000 tons/year

5 MPTA

571 Tons/Hr

Without correction for plant Availability (Operating Factor)

571 Tons/Hr

1.26 MM Lbs/Hr

(Video) Bbl, BOE, BTU, Mcf and Other Common Oil and Gas Abbreviations

1.26 MM Lbs/Hr

75,449 Lb-Moles/Hr

At MW = 16.7

75,449 Lb-Moles/Hr

28.63 MM SCF/Hr

1 Lb-Mole/Hr = 379.5 SCF/Hr

28.63 MM SCF/Hr

28.63 MMM BTU/Hr

(Video) Lec 1: Introduction to Natural Gas - I

Use 1,000 BTU/SCF

28.63 MMM BTU/Hr

US $ 229,063/Hr

Use US $ 8/MM BTU

571 Tons/Hr LNG

≈830 MMSCFD Feed Gas

This relation heavily depends on Feed gas composition, CO2, H2S, N2, H2O content in wellhead gas and efficiency of refrigeration compressor drivers

571 Tons/Hr

(Video) National Council on Electricity Policy | Wikipedia audio article

1,269 Cubic Meters/Hr

Use Density 450 Kg/Cubic Meter

1 TCF

≈18 MM Tons of LNG

This relation heavily depends on Feed gas composition, CO2, H2S, N2, H2O content in wellhead gas and efficiency of refrigeration compressor drivers

Mass Flow Rate - As said above, LNG plant capacity is always in tons per year per train. For discussion from this point on, let us say a typical train has a capacity of 5.0 MPTA or 5 million tons per annum (year). This translates to 571 tons/hr or 1.26 MM Lbs/hr. Actual design capacity will be higher to make up for the plant availability or known as operating factor in the refining industry. The liquefaction unit liquefies all gas that goes to it. In some cases, there will be end flash or nitrogen rejection unit at the end of the train. There will be small losses resulting from those. Also, there are small LNG tank boil off and loading operation losses. We have not made any adjustments for those in this example.

Mass Flow to Molar Flow - Assume that the molecular weight of the LNG is 16.7 lbs/lb-mole. The MW varies from plant to plant and even for the same train, the MW may vary depending on the feed gas quality. You may have rich gas or lean gas and may have a design gas composition. Ahead of the liquefaction unit, there will be treatment processes that remove MEG, condensate, formation water, CO2, H2S, etc. There will be dehydration and mercury removal. Finally, there will be some sort of NGL recovery to separate higher quantities of ethane, propane, butane and other heavier hydrocarbons. Without heavy removal, the HHV of the LNG will exceed the maximum value. Not only that, the C3 and C4’s sell for higher than LNG. After these treatments, the gas is ready for liquefaction. The process guys (and gals) will run the simulations for all these removal processes and different compositions. Each case will have slightly different MW as well as HHV. A small difference in HHV can make a big difference in the dollar value of one LNG shipment. For our discussion, we will use 16.7 as MW. Thus, 1.26 MM lbs/hr and MW of 16.7 gives us 75,449 lb moles of gas which will be liquefied.

Molar Flow to Gas Flow in SCF - We know that for any gas mixture regardless of MW, there are 379.5 SCF of gas per lb-mole. So the subject LNG is going to give us 28.6 MM SCF of usable vaporized gas per hour. In reality, when the LNG reaches the receiving terminal, it may have used some of the gas as fuel along with misc. loading and shipping losses. But we are not considering a very small impact of that in this discussion. The complete process simulation will include all that up to and including loading. And that is what the marketing folks will use to sell the LNG to the customers.

BTU Content of the LNG - The HHV of LNG has a defined range of a minimum 975 BTU/SCF to a maximum of 1,050 BTU/SCF. Note that this HHV is of the gas vaporized from LNG and not that of the cubic feet of liquefied gas. 1,000 BTU/SCF is widely used value for discussion purposes. So the total HHV of the LNG produced in our case is 28.6 billion BTU per hour.

HHV to $$$ per Hour - LNG is always sold on MMBTU basis, and never on volume or weight basis. In Asia, which is LNG’s biggest consumer, LNG may go for US$ 15/MMBTU. But the LNG market has been quite volatile. If LNG was sold at US $ 8/MMBTU, this train will generate a gross revenue of US $ 22,879 per hour or US $ 2 billion per year. And of course there are costs associated with exploration, drilling, capital costs, operating costs and taxes that need to be recovered.

MMSCFD – If the gas is coming from wellhead, it will have condensate, formation water, propanes, butanes and heavier components. It may also have MEG which is injected in the pipeline to prevent hydrate formation. Other undesirables are benzene, mercury, CO2 and H2S etc. All these are removed before liquefaction. Propanes, butanes are sold as LPG. Condensate is also stabilized and sold. In addition, significant quantity of feed gas is used to run those enormous refrigeration compressors and gas turbine generators. (In some cases, LNG plant operators are required to supply gas to local communities for domestic and/or industrial uses). Then what is left is liquefied. After removing all the liquids, the feed gas is accurately measured in MMSCFD. Let us assume that there is no supply for domestic/industrial consumption. As a very broad rule of thumb, a 5 MPTA train will need about 830 MMSCFD of gas coming in the plant.

Cubic Meters of LNG – The onshore storage and the LNG carriers have a fixed capacity just as for any other liquid storage systems. This capacity is always measured in cubic meters. Why not in barrels or cubic feet, one may argue. It has always been in cubic meters and majority of LNG customers use metric measurements. The conversion from tons to cubic meters is simple. You just need to know the density of the LNG. This is available from the heat and material balances that the process engineers run for different compositions. So let us use a typical LNG density of 450 kg/cubic meter. (Note – density of water is 1,000 kg/cubic meter). Let us say one LNG tank has a capacity of 180,000 cubic meters. So the tank holds 81,000 tons of LNG. At 571 tons per hour of LNG production per hour per train, it holds 142 hours of LNG production. Most LNG plants have at least two LNG tanks. Some may be a bit smaller in capacity. Unlike crude oil tank farms, one can’t justify LNG tank farm as the LNG tanks are very expensive (LNG is stored at minus 260 deg F). In order for LNG train(s) to keep running, the LNG must be loaded into carriers regularly. The typical LNG customer will be thousands of kilometers away from the LNG plant. The LNG carriers move slowly at about 20 knots, so several LNG carriers must be on their way to ensure onshore tanks are available for continuous LNG production. It is not profitable to curtail LNG production because the next carrier is still a few days away. The LNG shipping logistics is very complicated and must be worked out along with lining up LNG purchasers.

TCF – TCF stands for trillion cubic feet of gas. BCM is also used and it stands for billion cubic meters. One bcm equals 35.2 bcf or billion cubic feet. Gas reservoir capacity is usually referred in TCF. The question I always get is how long does one TCF of gas last? The answer depends on the composition of the gas and how fast you take the gas out of the reservoir. The heavier components have to be removed before liquefaction but they count in the reservoir capacity. In addition, there will be other impurities and gases such as CO2, H2S etc. On my last project, the reservoir capacity was known to be 120 TCF. Our Hysis runs for a case indicated that one TCF of wellhead gas produced about 18 million tons of LNG. For the two 5 MPTA trains, the reservoir had enough gas to last 216 years. So there was plenty of gas for more trains. And the project did consider plans for future mega trains that would give total LNG park capacity to 100 MPTA. Without making adjustment for NPV, the 100 MPTA Park and 120 TCF corresponds to 840 billion dollars of LNG.

So you can construct a spreadsheet with such information and make a very useful tool for your LNG work.

Future Post – Why do they always have to have power plant along with LNG Plant?

FAQs

How many BTUs is a cargo of LNG? ›

Rather, it's basic physics: A given volume of LNG contains only about 64 percent as much energy as the same volume of crude oil. For example, the crude oil on a fully loaded million -barrel tanker contains 5.6 trillion Btu of energy. And LNG? A tanker of the same volume would carry 3.6 trillion Btu.

How many SCF are in a gallon of LNG? ›

1 gallon natural gas = 82.62 cubic feet natural gas.

How much energy is in a ton of LNG? ›

One million ton of LNG contains the energy equivalent of about 48 billion cubic feet (48 bcf) of natural gas, or 8.59 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) or 1.17 milllion tons of oil equivalent (mmtoe).

How many cubic meters are in a metric ton of LNG? ›

cubic metrecubic metre of LNG
1 gigajoule26.30.045
1 kilowatt hour0.09490.000162
1 cubic meter LNG5841
1 ton LNG1,379
4 more rows

What pressure is LNG stored at? ›

LNG is generally stored in large-volume above-ground low-pressure (less than 5 pounds per square inch gauge) tanks.

How is LNG price measured? ›

LNG prices are often linked to natural gas and oil price benchmarks. Liquefaction fees and shipping costs are also sometimes factored into prices, depending on the structure of the deal or supply contract.

How is LNG price calculated? ›

P(LNG) = A × P(Crude Oil) + B Where: P(LNG) is the price of LNG in $/MMBtu P(Crude Oil) is the price of crude oil in $/bbl A and B are constants negotiated by the buyer and seller.

How many tonnes of LNG can a ship carry? ›

LNG carrier

The LNG ships have a cargo carrying capacity between 125,000 cum to 260,000 cum. The most popular size is up to 180 000 cum. In order to facilitate transport, natural gas is cooled down to approximately −163 °C (−261 °F) at atmospheric pressure, at which point the gas condenses to a liquid.

What does 1 gallon of LNG weigh? ›

Compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) used as motor fuel must be sold in gasoline gallon equivalents (GGE) or diesel gallon equivalents (DGE). A GGE of CNG is equal to 5.66 pounds (lbs.) and a DGE of LNG is equal to 6.06 lbs.

What does 1 MMBtu of natural gas weigh? ›

Weight Of Natural Gas

Natural gas is often measured by its weight, and is typically quoted in terms of thousand cubic feet (MCF), or million British thermal units (MMBtu). The weight of natural gas varies depending on its composition, but is typically between 0.6 and 0.7 pounds per cubic foot.

How many BTU is a SCF of natural gas? ›

Since both temperature and air pressure affect the energy content of a cubic foot of natural gas, the SCF is a way of standardizing. One SCF = 1020 BTUs. MCF – An MCF is 1,000 cubic feet. One MCF = 1,020,000 btu's.

What is SCF in natural gas? ›

Gas is measured in standard cubic feet, standard cubic meters or in normal cubic meters. From: Handbook of Multiphase Flow Assurance, 2019.

How many MCF are in a ton? ›

1 ton (40 cubic feet) = 1.133 cubic metres. 1 cubic metre = 0.883 cubic tons (35.32 cubic feet)

What are the components of LNG? ›

LNG is mostly methane plus a few percent ethane, even less propane and butane, and trace amounts of nitrogen. When liquefied, natural gas that would fill a beach ball... ...

How much does 1m3 of LNG weigh? ›

- Natural gas: 1 m3 = 0,829 kilogram; - Other gas: variable dependent on composition.

What is the density of LNG? ›

The density of LNG falls between 430 kg/m3 and 470 kg/m3 (3.5 to 4 lb/US gal). LNG is less than half the density of water; therefore, as a liquid, LNG will float if spilled on water. Specific gravity is a relative quantity.

How do you convert BTU to MMBtu? ›

Btu↔MMBtu 1 MMBtu = 1000000 Btu.

How many Btus are in 1 kg of natural gas? ›

Convert LPG kg to BTU: 1 kg = 46,452 BTU of energy from LPG

The second table covers most of the units of measure and gas bottle sizes for the USA including Pounds, Gallons, BTU, Therms & ft³. You can convert all combinations of Pounds, Gallons, BTU, Therms & ft³.

What is the typical size of LNG carrier? ›

A typical modern LNG ship, or LNG carrier, is approxi- mately 300 m long, 43 m wide and has a draft of 12 m. Cargo capacities range from 1,000 cubic meters up to 267,000 cubic meters.

What is the maximum size of an LNG storage tank? ›

Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) has developed the world's largest above-ground full containment LNG storage tank with a gross capacity of 200,000m3.

What are the properties of LNG? ›

LNG PROPERTIES

Liquefied natural gas, or LNG, is natural gas that has been cooled to minus 160° C (minus 260° F) at atmospheric pressure and reduced to a liquid state that is 1/600th its original volume. LNG is clear, colourless, and odourless. LNG is non-corrosive and non-toxic.

What is the difference between LNG and natural gas? ›

LNG is natural gas in its liquid form. LNG is produced by purifying natural gas and super-cooling it to -260°F to turn it into a liquid. During the process known as liquefaction, natural gas is cooled below its boiling point, removing most of the extraneous compounds found in the fuel.

Is LNG price linked to oil? ›

4.4.

Long-term LNG agreement is linked with oil prices at a high proportion, and over 90% of the long-term LNG import agreements in Northeast Asia are linked with the JCC price. Changes in international oil prices can be transmitted to the LNG market in 3–6 months.

What does MMBtu stand for? ›

MMBtu—1,000,000 British thermal units. Therm—One therm equals 100,000 Btu, or 0.10 MMBtu.

How many cubic feet is 1 MMBtu? ›

CONVERT : between other energy measuring units - complete list. How many cubic feet of natural gas are in 1 one-million British Thermal Unit? The answer is: 1 mmBTU equals 1,000.00 cu ft N.G.

How much does a cubic meter of LNG cost? ›

The liquified gas is cheap, with average delivered import prices in the US of $109 per cubic meter of LNG, or about $0.18 per cubic meter of natural gas, although prices are obviously spiking in late 2021 around the world.

What is the current price of LNG? ›

Basic Info. US Liquefied Natural Gas Exports Price is at a current level of 12.76, down from 14.37 last month and up from 7.23 one year ago. This is a change of -11.20% from last month and 76.49% from one year ago.

What is LNG price slope? ›

1 LNG Pricing History

suitable adjustment for freight. Thus, for many decades, most LNG contracts were priced using a slope of approximately 14.5%. Over time, several variations were also adopted, including the “S-curve”.

What is the gas group classification of an LNG carrier? ›

Gas Carriers can be split into two distinct groups. One is the liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier. The other is the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carrier. LNG is mainly methane and ethane.

How much natural gas is in a LNG tanker? ›

Their rectangular shape allows for a more efficient use of the space on board the ship. The largest, currently operating LNG carriers can hold more than 210,000 cubic meters of liquefied gas.

What is the largest LNG carrier? ›

The Qmax LNG carriers are the biggest in the world, wherein the name 'QMax' stands for the country of operation and the maximum size of the tanker able to dock at Qatar's LNG terminal facilities. These LNG tankers use a type of membrane technology that ensures maximum efficiency.

What pressure does LNG liquify? ›

At What Temperature And Pressure Does Natural Gas Liquify? Natural gas liquefies at a temperature of -161 degrees Celsius and a pressure of 6.8 MPa.

How much does a Litre of LNG weigh? ›

The density of LNG is roughly 0.41 kg/litre to 0.5 kg/litre, depending on temperature, pressure, and composition, compared to water at 1.0 kg/litre.

Is LNG flammable in liquid state? ›

LNG is very safe, and will not ignite as a liquid. As is warms and changes back to a vapor it is still a very safe fuel, because of its high ignition temperature of 1000 F, and the narrow flammable range of 5 – 15 percent in air.

How much gas does Russia supply to Europe? ›

In 2021, the EU imported around 155 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas from Russia.

How many m3 are in a MMBtu? ›

1 MMBtu = 28.263682 m3 of natural gas at defined temperature and pressure. 1 standard cubic foot of natural gas yields ≈ 1030 BTU (between 1010 BTU and 1070 BTU, depending on quality, when burned).

How do you convert MMBtu to SCF? ›

The formula used to convert scf to MMBTU (IT) is 1 Standard Cubic Foot = 2.71948112870604E-06 MMBTU (IT).

How much does 1m3 of LNG weigh? ›

- Natural gas: 1 m3 = 0,829 kilogram; - Other gas: variable dependent on composition.

How much does a cubic meter of LNG cost? ›

The liquified gas is cheap, with average delivered import prices in the US of $109 per cubic meter of LNG, or about $0.18 per cubic meter of natural gas, although prices are obviously spiking in late 2021 around the world.

How many Btus are in a gallon of liquid natural gas? ›

Sample Btu conversion factors
Energy source/fuelPhysical units and Btu1
Natural gas1 cubic foot = 1,039 Btu2 1 therm = 100,000 Btu
Motor gasoline1 gallon = 120,238 Btu3
Diesel fuel1 gallon = 137,381 Btu4
Heating oil1 gallon = 138,500 Btu5
4 more rows
30 Jun 2022

What is the capacity of an LNG tanker? ›

LNG Carrier

LNG carriers vary in cargo capacity, from 1000 to 267,000 m3, but the majority of modern vessels are between 125,000 and 150,000 m3.

How is LNG price measured? ›

LNG prices are often linked to natural gas and oil price benchmarks. Liquefaction fees and shipping costs are also sometimes factored into prices, depending on the structure of the deal or supply contract.

What does 1 gallon of LNG weigh? ›

Compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) used as motor fuel must be sold in gasoline gallon equivalents (GGE) or diesel gallon equivalents (DGE). A GGE of CNG is equal to 5.66 pounds (lbs.) and a DGE of LNG is equal to 6.06 lbs.

How many m3 are in a MMBtu? ›

1 MMBtu = 28.263682 m3 of natural gas at defined temperature and pressure. 1 standard cubic foot of natural gas yields ≈ 1030 BTU (between 1010 BTU and 1070 BTU, depending on quality, when burned).

Is LNG the same as natural gas? ›

what is LNG – liquefied natural gas? LNG is natural gas that has been cooled to –260° F (–162° C), changing it from a gas into a liquid that is 1/600th of its original volume.

How much is a m3 of gas? ›

Cubic meters are a unit of volume. 1 m3 of natural gas is equal to: 35.315 cubic feet of natural gas. 35,300 BTU.

Which country is the highest LNG price? ›

South Korea had the highest landed price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world as of October 2021. South Korea's landed price of LNG stood at 35.43 U.S. dollars per million Btu at this time, compared with the United States' (Lake Charles) price of just 5.43 U.S. dollars per million Btu.

How many BTUs is a ton? ›

The size (cooling capacity) of your air conditioner is determined by the amount of Btu (British thermal unit) and the Tonnage (12.000 Btu = 1 Ton).

How many MMBtu are in a ton of natural gas? ›

1 bcm is equal to 36,000,000 mmbtu and one ton of natural gas is equal to 52.4 mmbtu (as per IEC data book).

How do you convert BTU to tons? ›

Convert BTU To Tons: How Many BTU In A Ton?
  1. 1 ton is equal to 12,000 BTUs. To convert BTU to tons, you can use this simple and handy calculator: ...
  2. 1 Ton = 12,000 BTU. The case when you have a number of tons and want to convert to BTUs:
  3. Tons x 12,000 = Number of BTUs. ...
  4. Number of BTUs / 12,000 = Tons.

What pressure is LNG shipped at? ›

Most of this type of vessels have 4-5 tanks. These tanks here have a working pressure of 22 kPa(3.2Psi) which can be increased in case needed.

What are types of LNG? ›

Different type and sizes of Liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers
  • LNG carrier. LNG(Liquified Natural Gas) Carriers are specifically designed to trade a high volume of LNG. ...
  • Moss tanks (Spherical IMO type B LNG tanks) ...
  • IHI (Prismatic IMO type B LNG tanks) ...
  • TGZ MARK III. ...
  • GT96. ...
  • C-type. ...
  • LNT-Abox system.

Can Europe replace LNG with Russian gas? ›

What LNG Can and Can't Do to Replace Europe's Imports of Russian Gas. A crucial part of the European Union's plan to wean itself off Russian energy is to greatly increase purchases of liquefied natural gas from other producers. But the EU isn't yet equipped to receive enough of the fuel to replace Russian gas entirely.

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