Converting natural gas to a liquid reduces its volume by around 600 to 1, making it much easier and economical to transport over large distances and store in large quantities. It is also an economical alternative to piped gas (natural gas transported from its country of origin through pipelines), and a convenient way to get gas to countries which do not have access to gas pipelines. Since LNG occupies only one-six hundredth (1/600) of the volume of natural gas, and takes up less space, it is more economical to transport over large distances and can be stored in larger quantities. As a result, gas importing countries can flexibly source energy from a large number of gas producing countries.