In petroleum production gas is often burnt as gas flare. The World Bank estimates that over 150 cubic kilometers of natural gas are flared or vented annually. Before natural gas can be used as a fuel, most, but not all, natural gas processing to remove impurities, including water, to meet the specifications of marketable natural gas. The by-products of this processing include: ethane, propane, butanes, pentanes, and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide (which may be converted into pure sulfur), carbon dioxide, water vapor, and sometimes helium and nitrogen.
Natural gas is often informally referred to simply as "gas", especially when compared to other energy sources such as oil or coal. However, it is not to be confused with gasoline, especially in North America, where the term gasoline is often shortened in colloquial usage to ''gas''.
In the 19th century and early 20th century, unwanted gas was usually Gas flare. Today, unwanted gas (or stranded gas reserve without a market) associated with oil extraction often is returned to the reservoir with 'injection' wells while awaiting a possible future market or to repressurize the formation, which can enhance extraction rates from other wells. In regions with a high natural gas demand (such as the US), Pipeline transport are constructed when it is economically feasible to transport gas from a wellsite to an end consumer.
In addition to transporting gas via pipelines for use in power generation, other end uses for natural gas include export as LNG (LNG) or conversion of natural gas into other liquid products via gas to liquids (GTL) technologies. GTL technologies can convert natural gas into liquids products such as gasoline, diesel or jet fuel. A variety of GTL technologies have been developed, including Fischer–Tropsch (F–T), methanol to gasoline (MTG) and syngas to gasoline plus (STG+). F–T produces a synthetic crude that can be further refined into finished products, while MTG can produce synthetic gasoline from natural gas. STG+ can produce drop-in gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and aromatic chemicals directly from natural gas via a single-loop process.
Natural gas can be "associated" (found in oil fields), or "non-associated" (isolated in natural gas fields), and is also found in coal beds (as coalbed methane). It sometimes contains a significant amount of ethane, propane, butane, and pentane—heavier hydrocarbons removed for commercial use prior to the methane being sold as a consumer fuel or chemical plant feedstock. Non-hydrocarbons such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, helium (rarely), and hydrogen sulfide must also be removed before the natural gas can be transported.
Natural gas extracted from oil wells is called casinghead gas (whether or not truly produced up the annulus and through a casinghead outlet) or associated gas. The natural gas industry is extracting an increasing quantity of gas from challenging History of the petroleum industry in Canada (natural gas)#Unconventional gas: sour gas, tight gas, shale gas, and coalbed methane.
There is some disagreement on which country has the largest proven gas reserves. Sources that consider that Russia has by far the largest proven reserves include the US CIA (47 600 km³), the US Energy Information Administration (47 800 km³),US Energy Information Administration, International statistics, accessed 1 Dec. 2013. and OPEC (48 700 km³). which would place it in second place, slightly behind Iran (33 100 to 33 800 km³, depending on the source). With Gazprom, Russia is frequently the world's largest natural gas extractor. Major proven resources (in cubic kilometers) are world 187 300 (2013), Iran 33 600 (2013), Russia 32 900 (2013), Qatar 25 100 (2013), Turkmenistan 17 500 (2013) and the United States 8500 (2013).
It is estimated that there are about 900 000 km³ of "unconventional" gas such as shale gas, of which 180 000 km³ may be recoverable. of Natural-gas condensate.
Because natural gas is not a pure product, as the reservoir pressure drops when non-associated gas is extracted from a field under Supercritical fluid (pressure/temperature) conditions, the higher molecular weight components may partially condense upon isothermic depressurizing—an effect called retrograde condensation. The liquid thus formed may get trapped as the pores of the gas reservoir get depleted. One method to deal with this problem is to re-inject dried gas free of condensate to maintain the underground pressure and to allow re-evaporation and extraction of condensates. More frequently, the liquid condenses at the surface, and one of the tasks of the Natural gas processing is to collect this condensate. The resulting liquid is called natural gas liquid (NGL) and has commercial value.
Most town "gashouses" located in the eastern US in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were simple by-product coke (fuel) ovens that heated bituminous coal in air-tight chambers. The gas driven off from the coal was collected and distributed through networks of pipes to residences and other buildings where it was used for cooking and lighting. (Gas heating did not come into widespread use until the last half of the 20th century.) The coal tar (or asphalt) that collected in the bottoms of the gashouse ovens was often used for roofing and other waterproofing purposes, and when mixed with sand and gravel was used for paving streets.
In 2010, the cost of extracting natural gas from crystallized natural gas was estimated to be as much as twice the cost of extracting natural gas from conventional sources, and even higher from offshore deposits.
The image below is a schematic Process flow diagram of a typical natural gas processing plant. It shows the various unit processes used to convert raw natural gas into sales gas pipelined to the end user markets.
The block flow diagram also shows how processing of the raw natural gas yields byproduct sulfur, byproduct ethane, and natural gas liquids (NGL) propane, butanes and natural gasoline (denoted as pentanes +).
Because of its low density, it is not easy to store natural gas or to transport it by vehicle. Natural gas pipeline transport are impractical across oceans, since the gas needs to be cooled down and compressed, as the friction in the pipeline causes the gas to heat up. Many List of natural gas pipelines#North America are close to reaching their capacity, prompting some politicians representing northern states to speak of potential shortages. The large trade cost implies that natural gas markets are globally much less integrated, causing significant price differences across countries. In Western Europe, the gas pipeline network is already dense.. Usually sales quality gas that has been Natural-gas processing is traded on a "dry gas" basis and is required to be commercially free from objectionable odours, materials, and dust or other solid or liquid matter, waxes, gums and gum forming constituents, which might damage or adversely affect operation of equipment downstream of the custody transfer point.
LNG carriers transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) across oceans, while tank trucks can carry liquefied or compressed natural gas (CNG) over shorter distances.. Compressors and decompression equipment are less capital intensive and may be economical in smaller unit sizes than liquefaction/regasification plants. Natural gas trucks and carriers may transport natural gas directly to end-users, or to distribution points such as pipelines.
In the past, the natural gas which was recovered in the course of recovering petroleum could not be profitably sold, and was simply burned at the oil field in a process known as gas flare. Flaring is now illegal in many countries. Additionally, higher demand in the last 20–30 years has made production of gas associated with oil economically viable. As a further option, the gas is now sometimes re-wikt:inject into the formation for enhanced oil recovery by pressure maintenance as well as miscible or immiscible flooding. Conservation, re-injection, or flaring of natural gas associated with oil is primarily dependent on proximity to markets (pipelines), and regulatory restrictions.
Natural gas can be indirectly exported through the absorption in other physical output. A recent study suggests that the expansion of shale gas production in the US has caused prices to drop relative to other countries. This has caused a boom in energy intensive manufacturing sector exports, whereby the average dollar unit of US manufacturing exports has almost tripled its energy content between 1996 and 2012. [https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/ National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC)]
Many gas and oil companies are considering the economic and environmental benefits of floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG). There are currently projects underway to construct five FLNG facilities. Petronas is close to completion on their FLNG-1 The Browse LNG project will commence Front-end loading in 2019.
Natural gas is primarily used in the northern hemisphere. North America and Europe are major consumers.
Combined cycle power generation using natural gas is currently the cleanest available source of power using hydrocarbon fuels, and this technology is widely and increasingly used as natural gas can be obtained at increasingly reasonable costs. Fuel cell technology may eventually provide cleaner options for converting natural gas into electricity, but as yet it is not Natural gas prices. Locally produced electricity and heat using natural gas powered Combined Heat and Power plant (CHP or Cogeneration plant) is considered energy efficient and a rapid way to cut carbon emissions. making it a powerful domestic cooking and heating fuel. In much of the developed world it is supplied through pipes to homes, where it is used for many purposes including ranges and ovens, gas-heated clothes dryers, HVAC/air conditioning, and central heating. Heaters in homes and other buildings may include boilers, furnaces, and water heaters. Both North America and Europe are major consumers of natural gas.
Domestic appliances, furnaces, and boilers use low pressure, usually 6 to 7 inch of water (6" to 7" WC), which is about 0.25 psig. The pressures in the supply lines vary, either utilization pressure (UP, the aforementioned 6" to 7" WC) or elevated pressure (EP), which may be anywhere from 1 psig to 120 psig. Systems using EP have a pressure regulator at the service entrance to step down the pressure to UP.
In the US compressed natural gas (CNG) is used in rural homes without connections to plumbing-in public utility services, or with portable Grill (cooking). Natural gas is also supplied by independent natural gas suppliers through Natural Gas Choice programs throughout the United States. However, as CNG costs more than LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), LPG is the dominant source of rural gas.
The advantages of liquid methane as a jet engine fuel are that it has more specific energy than the standard kerosene mixes do and that its low temperature can help cool the air which the engine compresses for greater volumetric efficiency, in effect replacing an intercooler. Alternatively, it can be used to lower the temperature of the exhaust.
Natural gas produces far lower amounts of sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides than other fossil fuels. The pollutants due to natural gas combustion are listed below:
|class="wikitable sortable"||+ Comparison of emissions from natural gas, oil and coal burning|
!Pollutant (lb/MMBtu)!! NG !! Oil !! Coal
Extraction of natural gas (or oil) leads to decrease in pressure in the oil reservoir. Such decrease in pressure in turn may result in subsidence, sinking of the ground above. Subsidence may affect ecosystems, waterways, sewer and water supply systems, foundations, and so on.
In hydraulic fracturing, well operators force water mixed with a variety of chemicals through the wellbore casing into the rock. The high pressure water breaks up or "fracks" the rock, which releases gas from the rock formation. Sand and other particles are added to the water as a proppant to keep the fractures in the rock open, thus enabling the gas to flow into the casing and then to the surface. Chemicals are added to the fluid to perform such functions as reducing friction and inhibiting corrosion. After the "frack," oil or gas is extracted and 30–70% of the frack fluid, i.e. the mixture of water, chemicals, sand, etc., flows back to the surface. Many gas-bearing formations also contain water, which will flow up the wellbore to the surface along with the gas, in both hydraulically fractured and non-hydraulically fractured wells. This produced water often has a high content of salt and other dissolved minerals that occur in the formation. The decades in development of drilling technology for conventional and unconventional oil and gas production has not only improved access to natural gas in low-permeability reservoir rocks, but also posed significant adverse impacts on environmental and public health.
The US EPA has acknowledged that toxic, carcinogenic chemicals, i.e. benzene and ethylbenzene, have been used as gelling agents in water and chemical mixtures for high volume horizontal fracturing (HVHF).
Quantities of natural gas are measured in normal cubic meters (cubic meter of gas at "normal" temperature ) or Standard cubic foot (cubic foot of gas at "standard" temperature ),an approximate value).
In the United States, retail sales are often in units of therms (th); 1 therm = 100,000 BTU. Gas sales to domestic consumers are often in units of 100 standard cubic feet (scf). Gas meters measure the volume of gas used, and this is converted to therms by multiplying the volume by the energy content of the gas used during that period, which varies slightly over time. The typical annual consumption of a single family residence is 1,000 therms or one Residential Customer Equivalent (RCE). Wholesale transactions are generally done in decatherms (Dth), thousand decatherms (MDth), or million decatherms (MMDth). A million decatherms is a trillion BTU, roughly a billion cubic feet of natural gas.
The price of natural gas varies greatly depending on location and type of consumer. In 2007, a price of $7 per 1000 cubic feet () was typical in the United States. The typical caloric value of natural gas is roughly 1,000 BTU per cubic foot, depending on gas composition. This corresponds to around $7 per million BTU or around $7 per gigajoule (GJ). In April 2008, the wholesale price was $10 per 1000 cubic feet ($10/MMBTU).).. Thus, if the price of gas is $10/MMBTU on the NYMEX, the contract is worth $100,000.
A gigajoule (GJ) is a measure approximately equal to half a barrel (250 lbs) of oil, or 1 million BTUs, or depending on gas supply and processing between the wellhead and the customer.
In the Russian Federation, Gazprom sold approximately