Natural gas is a combination of gases naturally found below the surface and in Earth’s atmosphere that are rich in hydrocarbons. The colorless and odorless gas is mostly comprised of methane, one of the major organic compounds on Earth, which consists of one carbon and four hydrogen atoms. In addition to methane, there are also small traces of combustible hydrocarbon gas liquids and nonhydrocarbon gases. Humans mainly utilize natural gas as a source of energy for heating methods like cooking and electricity generation.
Natural gas is often referred to as ‘fossil fuel’ because it was formed hundreds of millions of years ago from organic matter, like plankton, and other life forms. The gas is usually found in rock formations below the surface of the Earth, with Petroleum. Natural gas reserves are buried deep inside the Earth, close to other hydrocarbons beds like coal and crude oil.
Millions of year ago, plant and animal remain decayed and built up in thick layers, in some cases, mixed with sand and silt. With the help of pressure and heat, some of the organic material turned into coal, while some turned into Petroleum and others into natural gas. In certain places, however, the natural gas transferred into large cracks and spaces between layers of rock.
Natural Gas Extraction
To extract the natural gas, large drills will pierce the Earth and unlock the natural gas from its underground reserves. Then, pipelines will take the weightless natural gas and transfer it to the end user.
It is important to note that natural gas is never used in its pure purest form, it instead goes through processing and is converted into cleaner fuel for consumption. By-products like propane and ethane are also extracted during the processing of natural gas.
In other areas, natural gas will usually appear in the tiny spaces within some formations of sedimentary rock, often referred to as ‘shale gas.’ When natural gas appears in the form of coal deposits, it is referred to as ‘coalbed methane.’
Getting Natural Gas in Canada
To locate natural gases, geologists will first begin to study earth’s structure and behavioral processes. Then, they will locate the types or rock that they feel are likely to contain natural gas deposits. Most times, some of these areas are on land while others are offshore and deep below the ocean floor.
In regard to the delivery process, natural gas is usually transported in pipelines and it is particularly used for heating methods like fueling hot water and appliances.
Canada is the fifth-largest natural gas producer in the world and has recommended natural gas reserves to continue meeting the demand for 300 years, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. In addition, roughly one-third of Canada’s energy needs are actually met by natural gas. One thing that’s great about natural gas is that it burns cleaner than other fuels, it is more transportable, and there is a large abundance of it in Canada, with deposits in almost every province and territory.