In 2016, Qatar exported 77.2 million tonnes of LNG, liquefied natural gas. Natural gas is cooled down to a liquid state by lowering the temperature to minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit and reducing its volume by about 600 times compared to its gaseous state. In LNG plants in Qatar, as in the rest of the world, the gas is released from substances exposed to such low temperatures that they freeze. At the end of this process the liquid is transparent, colourless and odourless. Liquefying natural gas is done to reduce the complexity of its transport: natural gas pipelines are expensive and cannot be used over very long distances.
After liquefaction, the LNG's journey begins and it is shipped on gas tankers which are hundreds of metres long. When it arrives in the importing countries inside its tanks, the LNG is converted back to its original form with the regasification process, passing through vaporizers that heat it at very high temperatures. Having been returned to its previous state, the gas can now be piped through gas pipelines to easily reach the user network.