Global demand for natural gas, could rise by more than half by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency.

Natural gas is the cleanest-burning hydrocarbon. We explore for it, and produce it, on and offshore. It makes up more than half of our production today.

Advantages of natural gas

Natural gas is the cleanest-burning hydrocarbon, producing around half the carbon dioxide (CO2) and just one tenth of the air pollutants of coal when burnt to generate electricity.

It is abundant. If consumption remained at today’s levels, there would be enough recoverable gas resources to last around 230 years.

It is versatile. A gas-fired power station takes much less time to start and stop than a coal-fired plant. This flexibility makes natural gas a good partner to renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, which are only available when the sun shines and the wind blows. 

Liquefied natural gas (LNG)

We cool natural gas to -162° Celsius (-260° Fahrenheit), turning it into a liquid and reducing its volume by 600 times, which makes it easy and economical to ship to energy-hungry places around the world. We also turn LNG back into gas for distribution to homes and businesses.

As a pioneer of LNG, Shell provided the technology for the world’s first commercial LNG plant in 1964, and shipped the very first commercial cargo, starting a global trade. We have been designing and building LNG plants.

Learn more about LNG on our global website

Floating LNG (FLNG)

Traditionally, LNG plants are built on land. But Shell is building a giant floating facility to produce liquefied natural gas at sea, Prelude FLNG. It will also be the largest offshore floating facility ever built – 488 metres (1,600 feet) long and 74m (243ft) wide.

Shell has developed revolutionary technology that allows gas to be produced, liquefied, stored and offloaded into LNG carriers at sea. It allows clusters of smaller, remote fields to be unlocked by one FLNG facility, or larger fields to be served by several FLNG facilities.

Discover more about Prelude FLNG on our global website

A truck getting ready to fuel at Shell's LNG fuelling station

LNG for transport

Natural gas could form a bigger part of the transport energy mix as a lower-carbon fuel, alongside developments in vehicle efficiency, biofuels, hydrogen and electric mobility.

We are exploring the use of LNG as a transport fuel for trucks and ships with potential economic and environmental benefits compared to diesel and fuel oil. Other uses include in trains, the mining sector and industrial applications. We are also looking at ways to use LNG more in our own operations.

Read more about LNG as a transport fuel on our global website

Gas-to-liquids (GTL)

Shell’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology converts natural gas  into high-quality liquid products that would otherwise be made from crude oil. These include transportation fuels, motor oils and the ingredients for everyday necessities like plastics, detergents and cosmetics.

GTL products are colourless and odourless. They contain almost none of the impurities – sulphur, aromatics and nitrogen –found in crude oil.

Learn more about gas-to-liquids (GTL) on our global website

Tight and shale gas

High volumes of natural gas are trapped tightly in tiny rock pores 100 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Advanced technology is helping us to unlock this gas responsibly and boost energy security.

Read more about tight and shale gas on our global website

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The energy future

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