Transporting LNG

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been safely produced and transported across the world in increasing quantities for more than 50 years.

LNG is shipped in double-hulled tankers especially designed and constructed to maintain the low temperature of LNG. These ships contain primary and secondary cargo containment systems that prevent leaks, and the ships feature sophisticated equipment to enhance safe navigation. The gas is stored in a special containment system within the inner hull. The design of this system enables the LNG to stay cold without the need for pressurisation.

There has not been a single serious accident or safety problem while in port or at sea. 

Typically LNG ships are up to 290m long and constructed to stringent international standards. They are equipped with a comprehensive range of safety equipment, emergency shutdown systems and fire and gas detection systems. These carriers are also subject to international security and safety codes.

ConocoPhillips is a member of the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators Ltd, which provides international criteria for best practices and standards for LNG shipping.

LNG weighs less than half the weight of water so it will float if spilled on water, before quickly evaporating and dissipating into the atmosphere, leaving no residue. If LNG were to spill, the environmental cleanup would be minimal to non-existent.


  • Ships will arrive in Gladstone Harbour approximately every three days for loading, with 120-130 shipments each year
  • It takes 12-14 hours to fill an LNG ship
  • Each LNG ship will be guided by four tugs and a Pilot while in the Gladstone Harbour
  • The LNG ships are owned and operated by customers.

Gladstone Harbour

LNG ships are subject to stringent international security and safety codes and there are strict vessel channels and controlled movements of the carriers once they enter the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Gladstone Harbour, established in 1925, is a sheltered and secure deep water port. It is currently the largest multi-commodity port in Queensland and is classified as a heavy industry hub.

To enter Gladstone Harbour, the LNG Ship Master and Pilot will follow the port transiting requirements set out in a Vessel Transit Plan prepared by Maritime Safety Queensland and the Gladstone Ports Corporation. To further enhance safety, the LNG ships will be escorted by four tugs whilst transiting the inner harbour, and two tugs while in the outer harbour.

Gladstone Ports Corporation

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