Natural gas is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, with up to 20 % of other hydrocarbons as well as impurities in varying amounts such as carbon dioxide. Natural gas is widely used as an important energy source in many applications including heating buildings, and generating electricity.
Natural gas is something you use every day. It heats homes, cooks food, generates electricity and powers a growing number of vehicles.
Nearly any vehicle can be converted to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), and automakers are now offering more options than ever before. Best of all, CNG is available today, and new stations are opening all the time. Natural gas is produced from the ground, purified and compressed, and made ready to transport and store. CNG isn't a dream for tomorrow. It's here today.
Natural gas is a vital component of the world's supply of energy. It is one of the cleanest, safest, and most useful of all energy sources. Despite its importance, however, there are many misconceptions about natural gas. For instance, the word 'gas' itself has a variety of different uses, and meanings.
Natural gas, in itself, might be considered an uninteresting gas - it is colorless, shapeless, and odorless in its pure form. Quite uninteresting - except that natural gas is combustible, abundant in the United States and when burned it gives off a great deal of energy and few emissions. Unlike other fossil fuels, natural gas is clean burning and emits lower levels of potentially harmful byproducts into the air.
There is broad scientific consensus that our nation has enough natural gas right here at home to power America for generations to come.
In fact, the Potential Gas Committee now reports that the U.S. has more than 2,000 trillion cubic feet of available gas. That's a 35% leap from their forecast just two years prior and the highest resource total ever reported in the organization's 44 years.
Most experts agree that we currently have more natural gas than Saudi Arabia has oil. In fact, the United States recently passed Russia to become the world's largest producer of natural gas.
Like oil, natural gas is an energy resource that lies hidden beneath the ground, trapped in porous rock formations. In fact, the two resources are often found together. Deposits of natural gas lie throughout the United States, but the most prolific production areas are in the Gulf of Mexico and the western and southwestern states. Although most natural gas undergoes some processing before delivery to consumers, it does not require the extensive refining necessary to turn crude oil into useful products
All natural gas produced in the United States is transported by pipeline. Pipelines from individual wells to centrally located processing plants are called gathering lines. From the plants, processed gas is channeled into large gas transmission systems that carry the fuel throughout the country.
Natural gas is found in almost every country in the world, but the largest deposits are concentrated in specific regions. Natural gas deposits exist mainly in Russia, the Middle East around the Persian Gulf, North America including the United States, the Far East, in particular China, and in the African nations of Algeria and Nigeria.
The world’s largest gas deposit is on the Atlantic Ocean floor off the coast of North America. There, at depths of 2,000 to 3,000 metres, is what is known as gas hydrate, a physical compound comprising gas and water. Gas hydrate is a hard, snow-like substance that carpets the ocean floor.