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As a brief glance will suggest, there are two essential operations when it comes to processing natural gas: exporting involves cooling the gas the gas to a liquid and then piping it somewhere to be stored or shipped or even consumed for energy while importing involves taking cooled liquid from a ship or other carrier and warming it to a gas. The difference in volumes is about 600:1 (gas to liquid).


The Ghasha (shown above) is a specialized LNG carrier. She was built in 1995 and is 293 meters long; 46 meters wide; and 71,600 tons deadweight with a gross tonnage of 111,000 tons. As of January 3rd, 2019 she is in the Malacca Strait in transit from Japan to the United Arab Emirates.

Indonesia loaded its first LNG cargo at the Bontang plant in East Kalimantan in 1977, and by 1984 Indonesia had overtaken Algeria to become the world’s leading LNG exporter.
In 1988 shipments from Bontang and Arun, the nation’s second liquefaction plant, in 1988 accounted for almost 40% of the global trade in LNG. Indonesian LNG exports peaked in 1999 at over the 28,000,000 tons per year. Indonesia remained the world’s leading LNG supplier until 2006 when it was exceeded by Qatar. Here are the current export rankings in billions of cubic meters – there have been substantial changes in the last decade.