Monday, 13 May 2013

Derwick Associates - Natural Gas: An Underground Resource

Formed by decayed and compressed organic matter, natural gas is a trapped fuel found in underground deposits that has been there for millions of years. People around the world depend on this fossil fuel to produce manufactured goods, run their appliances, provide them with electricity, and power their compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. Leopoldo Alejandro Betancourt Lopez

According to the Natural Gas Supply Association, the United States, alone, usually accounts for roughly 25% of the world’s natural gas consumption each year. Russia is not far behind in their use of natural gas, along with the European Union.

In its pure form, natural gas is colorless, odorless, and shapeless. Natural gas can occur by itself, just above or dissolved in a petroleum deposit. There are a variety of rocks that help trap the gas and keep air out, making the environment prime for natural gas.

Unlike many other fossil fuels, natural gas burns cleanly and emits lower levels of byproducts that are harmful to life. It is a mixture of hydrocarbon gases that is highly combustible, but when burned, gives off a great deal of energy. Alejandro Betancourt Lopez

Although natural gas mixtures vary widely depending on where they are mined, they usually consist of: methane, ethane, propane, butane, carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, and a trace of some rare gases such as helium, neon, and xenon.

Like all fossil fuels, using natural gas also has its downside. Carbon dioxide and methane emissions can cause harm to the environment as greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere. Pedro Trebbau Lopez

Currently, there is controversy over the methods used to extract natural gas from the earth. Some people argue that hydrofracking, a method gaining popularity in use, results in increased toxic emissions into the air. As its name implies, hydrofracking also uses up a great deal of water, which is one of earth’s finite resources.

Regardless of what people think, natural gas consumption continues to increase around the world, as it is still known as one of the least harmful energy producers. As long as people continue to need electricity and live the way they do now, there will never be an end to the consumption of natural gas.