Coal seam gas (CSG), which is a form of natural gas, can be converted to LNG so that it's easier to store and transport. This process reduces the gas’s volume 600 times, which is like shrinking a beach ball down to the size of a ping pong ball.
Australia has good reserves of CSG (and other forms of natural gas). In 2013 Australia was the world’s third largest LNG exporter in 2013 behind Qatar and Malaysia1 and is expected to become the world’s largest LNG exporter by 2020.2
Globally, countries look to Australia to buy LNG from for two main reasons:
1. Economic development - energy supports economic growth. In particular, Asia needs readily available energy resources to support development.
2. Environmental reasons - natural gas emits around half the emissions of coal when used to create electricity. Gas is also a clean-burning fuel, which reduces smog and local pollution, both of which pose serious health risks in many developing countries, such as China – a major importer of Australia’s LNG.