Natural gas is the fossil energy that we get in abundance from the earth’s surface. Consisting of several components, methane is the largest component in natural gas with small amounts of natural gas liquids, four hydrogen atoms, one carbon atom, and non-hydrocarbon gases. Natural gas is widely used in making chemicals, materials and majorly for fuel.
As natural gas is an economical fuel resource, it is widely in demand in various industries and other commercial use. Platforms like Utility Bidder are often used by businesses to search for efficient natural gas suppliers to achieve economies of scale by lowering down fuel expenses.
The remains of animals and plants are deposited on the earth’s surface from millions of millions of years ago to form a thick layer on ocean floors and the earth’s surface. These remains are sometimes also mixed with calcium carbonate, sand, and salt and buried for several thousand years resulting in hydrogen and carbon-rich materials like petroleum, coal, and natural gas.
How does natural gas form?
The marine plants and animals are buried under the ocean floor which is covered with sand and silt over time. These remains are buried deeper and deeper over the thousand years. The enormous pressure and heat transform these remains into natural gas and oil. When we drill down the layers of silt and sand, we can extract natural gas from various rock formations.
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Where do we find natural gas?
Natural gas is found in abundance in the layers of overlying rocks. It is known as conventional natural gas. The natural gas that occurs in the tiny pores within the sedimentary rocks like shale and sandstone is referred to as unconventional natural gas.
The deposit of crude oil also forms the natural gas known as associated natural gas. Hence, the natural gas deposits are found deep under the ocean floor and on land.
How do Geologists search for natural gas?
Geologists locate the geologic formation by analyzing the structure of the earth. They find out the possible geologic formations that contain natural gas. Seismic surveys are used for identifying the right areas for natural gas in oceans and on land areas.
If the results of the seismic analysis are positive, an exploratory well is drilled out to assess the quality and quantity of the natural gas available in the given resource.
How it is drilled out?
Once the results from the tests are affirmative, natural gas wells are drilled down horizontally and vertically for extraction. Conventional natural gas floats up naturally to the wall surfaces. In countries like the United States, natural gas is formed by forcing chemicals, sand, and water under the high pressure known as fracking or hydraulic fracturing.
Once the natural gas is extracted, it is sent to the processing plants to remove the components like non-hydrocarbon and water vapours. The separated NGL (natural gas liquid) is processed further to dry to transform into pipeline quality natural gas.
Chemicals like odorants are added further to the natural gas to detect pipeline leakage. Dry natural gas is sent to the distribution companies to reach the final consumers.