- Companies that extract natural gas drill thousands of feet into the earth and use enormous wells and pumps to transport it to the surface.
- The gas is then delivered to your town through underground gas lines. Utility companies deliver water to your home through smaller pipes.
- These pipes are connected to the outside metre that measures the amount of natural gas consumed by your household.
- More pipes connect the gas metre to the home’s gas appliances, such as the furnace, water heater, clothes dryer, and stove.
What Is Natural Gas
Natural gas is a source of energy that lies beneath the earth’s surface. Even though natural gas is made up of a lot of different things, one of its main parts is methane (CH4), which has one carbon atom surrounded by four hydrogen atoms. Natural gas is tasteless, colourless, and odourless. What we think of as its characteristic smell is a commercial addition to help warn people of gas leaks.
Apart from methane, natural gas contains other hydrocarbon components and non hydrocarbon components. A hydrocarbon is any compound that has both carbon and hydrogen. These compounds are often found in fuels like petroleum and natural gas.
Natural gas contains hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGLs) such as propane, butane, and ethane. These HGLs would be gases at atmospheric pressure, but they condense into liquid form at extreme pressures such as those found deep beneath the earth’s surface, or in pressurised containers. Natural gas also contains non hydrocarbon gases like water vapour and carbon dioxide.
Natural Gas in Australia
Natural gas is the energy source that is growing the fastest in Australia. It makes up 18% of our primary energy use. This is projected to reach 24% by 2020. This is a big change for Australia’s future because it has many advantages over other fossil fuels.
What Is The Source of Natural Gas?
The natural gas we use to heat our homes and water is extracted from the earth’s crust.
The gas is found in layers of porous rock, which acts as a sponge for the gas. To bring gas to the surface, gas companies drill hundreds of feet underground and pump it through pipes.
Where Is Natural Gas Obtained?
How does natural gas exist? The creation of natural gas beneath the surface of the earth began millions, or perhaps hundreds of millions, of years ago. During this time, as plants and animals died, layers of decaying organic matter built up on the surface of the Earth and on the ocean floors.
On top of the organic stuff, sediment, sand, and rock collected over many years. The organic material was pushed down by the weight of the new layers until pressure and heat deep in the earth began to change its shape. In different regions, the decayed plant and animal matter transformed into coal, oil, and natural gas.
The natural gas, however, did not always remain exactly where it had formed; it moved to new locations. Today, different types of natural gas are given different names based on the geologic formations in which they are found.
1. Vonventional Natural Gas
A portion of the natural gas moved underground towards the naturally occuring fissures between the surrounding rock layers. This natural gas is called “conventional natural gas,” and it is found in cracks and holes.
2. Shale Gas
In some areas, natural gas did not enter the spaces between rock layers. Instead, it moved into the microscopic pores of certain types of rock formations, particularly sandstone, shale, and other sedimentary rocks. This form of natural gas is referred to as shale gas. Sometimes referred to as tight gas or unconventional natural gas. Shale gas is harder to get than regular natural gas, and you have to drill in a different way to get it.
3. Other Natural Gas Variants
In some instances, natural gas formed alongside crude oil deposits underground. Some of these places are deep underground, and others are on the bottom of the ocean. In either case, this type of natural gas is referred to as associated natural gas because it occurs alongside crude oil.
In some instances, natural gas formed alongside underground coal deposits. Coalbed methane refers to the type of associated natural gas that formed alongside coal.
What Is The Benefit Of Natural Gas Used for?
Reducing carbon emissions
Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel to burn because it releases the least amount of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a major cause of the “glasshouse effect,” which makes the Earth warmer.
Superior safety measures
Natural gas is safer than other combustible fuels, such as coal, because it is lighter than air and disperses easily in the event of a gas leak.
A natural fuel source
Methane, which comes from animals digesting food and plants breaking down, makes up most of natural gas. Methane is not harmful and does not cause cancer.
Cheaper to operate
Natural gas is one of the least expensive options, so it can also help you save money.