Raw natural gas contains many impurities and contaminants, including water, natural gas liquids, CO2, and H2S, that must be processed and removed before it can be transported or used. Natural gas processing therefore begins upstream at or near the wellhead to create pipeline-quality gas, but additional processing and separation is typically required further downstream prior to liquefaction in order to meet LNG product specifications. This involves the removal of CO2 at the liquefaction plant and venting the separated CO2 to atmosphere, which is standard industry practice at existing facilities and a significant contributor to life-cycle GHG emissions of natural gas.
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