Where Does Natural Gas Come From?

Natural gas is found deep beneath the Earth’s surface in rock formations. Petroleum, often known as oil, is frequently found in the same places. Natural gas has been used for cooking by humans for hundreds of years.

Natural gas was first extracted industrially in 1825 in New York State. Large drills are used to pierce the Earth’s surface to extract natural gas from subsurface deposits. The fossil fuel is subsequently transported to the ultimate customer via pipelines. Natural gas is colorless, odorless, and lighter than air.

What is the source of our natural gas?

One or more production (or development) wells are drilled if the findings of a test well reveal that a geologic formation has enough natural gas to generate and profit from. Natural gas wells can be drilled into natural gas-bearing rocks both vertically and horizontally. Natural gas travels freely up through wells to the surface in traditional natural gas deposits.

Natural gas is extracted from shale and other types of sedimentary rock formations in the United States and a few other nations by forcing water, chemicals, and sand down a well under high pressure. This procedure, known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking and also known as unconventional production, fractures the formation, releases natural gas from the rock, and allows it to flow to and up wells to the surface. Natural gas is collected in collection pipelines and transported to natural gas processing units at the surface of the well.

Is natural gas produced by refining crude oil?

To define natural gas, we must first comprehend what it is made up of, aside from the fact that it is derived from nature. Natural gas is a blend of four separate naturally occurring gases with various molecular configurations. This mixture predominantly comprises of methane, which accounts for 70-90 percent of natural gas, as well as ethane, butane, and propane. These gases are the product of millions of years of compressed heat and pressure from dying creatures buried deep beneath the Earth’s surface.

Natural gas is recovered from deep below the Earth through natural gas drilling, which is done in tandem with oil drilling. Natural gas is converted into common energy by combining it with a liquid called crude oil once it has been extracted.

Is natural gas produced on the planet?

Natural gas is extracted from the earth’s crust. It’s possible that the natural gas you use in your home came from thousands of miles abroad! Natural gas, which we use to heat our houses and power our water heaters, is extracted from deep inside the earth. The gas is found in layers of rock with microscopic holes, which act as a sponge to trap the gas.

Will there be a natural gas shortage?

According to the US Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook 2022, there were approximately 2,926 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of technically recoverable resources (TRR) of dry natural gas in the United States as of January 1, 2020. If dry natural gas output in the United States remains constant at around 30 Tcf in 2020, the country will have enough dry natural gas to last roughly 98 years. The length of time the TRR will last is determined by the amount of dry natural gas produced and future changes in natural gas TRR.

Proven reserves and unproven resources are included in technically recoverable reserves. The projected amounts predicted to be produced with reasonable certainty under current economic and operating conditions are known as proved reserves of crude oil and natural gas. Unproved crude oil and natural gas resources are amounts that are anticipated to be theoretically recoverable without regard to economics or operating circumstances, based on current technology. According to the EIA, the United States had 464 Tcf of proved reserves and 2,460 Tcf of unproved reserves of dry natural gas as of January 1, 2020.

TRR estimates are very speculative, especially in areas where few wells have been drilled. As new geological knowledge is gathered through more drilling, long-term productivity for existing wells is clarified, and the productivity of new wells grows with technical advances and better management techniques, early estimations tend to vary and shift dramatically over time. TRR projections for each Annual Energy Outlook are based on the most recent well production statistics as well as information from other federal and state government agencies, industry, and academia.

Table 2 shows the technically recoverable dry natural gas resources in the United States as of January 1, 2022.

Reference case forecasts for annual dry natural gas output in the United States out to 2050 in the Annual Energy Outlook.

Other FAQs about Natural Gas

  • A kilowatthour of electricity is generated using how much coal, natural gas, or petroleum?
  • How much does it cost to produce electricity using various power plants?
  • How much of the carbon dioxide produced in the United States is due to power generation?
  • Is the EIA able to provide data on energy use and prices for cities, counties, or zip codes?
  • What are the differences between Ccf, Mcf, Btu, and therms? What is the best way to convert natural gas costs from dollars per Ccf or Mcf to dollars per Btu or therm?
  • In the Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report, how does EIA determine the year-ago and five-year averages?
  • Does the EIA provide state-by-state estimates or projections for energy output, consumption, and prices?
  • Why am I paying more for heating oil or propane than what is listed on the EIA website?
  • Is the EIA aware of any unplanned disruptions or shutdowns of energy infrastructure in the United States?

How much natural gas is there left in the world?

The world’s proven reserves are equal to 52.3 times yearly consumption. This indicates there’s around 52 years of gas left in the tank (at current consumption levels and excluding unproven reserves).

Russia 38 trillion cubic metres

According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020, Russia has the world’s greatest natural gas reserves, with a total proved resource of 38 tcm (1,341 trillion cubic feet).

Siberia holds the majority of Russia’s natural gas reserves, with the Yamburg, Urengoy, and Medvezh’ye fields being particularly productive.

a state-owned corporation Gazprom controls around 71% of the country’s gas reserves and roughly 16% of the global total.

Iran 32 trillion cubic metres

Iran holds around 16 percent of the world’s natural gas reserves, with a total reserve of 32 tcm (1,131 trillion cubic feet).

International economic sanctions imposed on Iran, particularly by the US in response to geopolitical tensions and Iran’s nuclear research program, have hampered the development of these massive reserves, the most of which are located offshore.

Iran and Qatar share control of the world’s largest gasfield, the South Pars/North Dome. The field is located in the Persian Gulf, offshore.

The country generated 244 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas in 2019, accounting for around 6% of global output.

Qatar 24.7 trillion cubic metres

Qatar has 24.7 tcm (872 trillion cubic feet) of known natural gas reserves, which is little more than 12% of the global total.

The majority of these reserves are in the offshore North Field, which is the world’s largest single natural gas field and spans an area about the same size as the country.

Qatar is the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the world’s largest LNG exporter in 2019, followed by Australia.

Qatar Petroleum, a state-owned firm, is in charge of the country’s natural gas operations.

Turkmenistan 19.5 trillion cubic metres

Turkmenistan, a country in Central Asia, possesses the world’s fourth-largest natural gas reserves, with 19.5 trillion cubic meters (688 trillion cubic feet).

The majority of Turkmenistan’s natural gas deposits are found in big fields in the Amu Darya basin in the southeast, the Murgab Basin in the south, and the South Caspian basin in the west.

A lack of infrastructure and export capacities has hampered the development of these enormous resources. In 2019, the country produced 63.2 billion cubic meters, accounting for only 1.6 percent of worldwide output.

United States 12.9 trillion cubic metres

With known resources of 12.9 tcm, the United States controls 6.5 percent of worldwide natural gas reserves (455 trillion cubic feet).

The shale fracturing revolution, which has also helped it become the world’s largest oil-producing nation, has boosted production of the fuel dramatically during the last decade.

In 2019, the United States produced about a quarter of the world’s natural gas supply, or 921 billion cubic meters (bcm), more than any other country.

The bulk of natural gas produced in the United States is generated onshore using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The two highest-producing regions in the country are Texas and Pennsylvania.

Where can you find natural gas underground?

Shale formations, sandstone layers, and coal seams are only few of the subsurface formations where natural gas can be discovered. Some of these formations are more difficult and expensive to extract than others, but they have the potential to significantly increase the nation’s gas supply.

What will take its place in the absence of natural gas?

New Zealand’s goal is to reach zero net carbon emissions by 2050 and reduce methane emissions by 24 to 47 percent, according to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act, which was passed in 2019. The bill establishes a framework to support the worldwide effort under the Paris Agreement to keep global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels.

Methane, commonly known as natural gas, and bottled liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) are being used in New Zealand to heat homes and businesses and generate energy. Natural gas is transported to users on the North Island via a network of pipes. This infrastructure does not exist on the South Island.

Firstgas Group outlined its roadmap for decarbonizing New Zealand’s natural gas network and transitioning away from carbon-emitting gases on Monday, a strategy that will help the country achieve its net-zero goal.

Hydrogen will be mixed into the North Island’s natural gas network starting in 2030, with the goal of converting to a 100 percent hydrogen grid by 2050, according to Firstgas Group.

Natural gas, or methane, is a dirty alternative to hydrogen, the most plentiful chemical element. Natural gas, nuclear power, biogas, and renewable energy sources like sun and wind can all be used to make hydrogen.

Biogas can be made from agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, or food waste, whereas bioLPG is propane made from renewable feedstocks like plant and vegetable waste material, which has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by up to 80%.

The Firstgas Hydrogen Network Trial report, which was also released on Monday, informs the changeover schedule. The paper, which was funded by the Provincial Develop Unit, forecasts future hydrogen supply and demand in New Zealand and evaluates technological feasibility and regulatory considerations.

Firstgas Group stated on Monday that its networks can deliver enough hydrogen to decarbonize the natural gas network by 2050.

It claims that hydrogen mixes of up to 20% cut carbon emissions from natural gas consumers while requiring no changes to existing equipment. From 2030, the blends might be gradually spread across the country.

Beginning in 2035, networks will be converted to 100% hydrogen gas. This gives time for appliances to be replaced with pure hydrogen-powered technology. Firstgas estimates that the gas network will be completely converted to hydrogen by 2050.

Hydrogen is predicted to largely replace fossil fuels in emissions where electrification the transfer to electrical power is not possible, making reductions more difficult.

The strategy attempts to satisfy the Zero Carbon Act’s goals without requiring gas customers to use electrification or carbon offsets or to replace their current gas equipment.

When needed to meet demand during peak hours or dry spells, stored green hydrogen will be converted back to electricity.

Hydrogen Project Leader Angela Ogier told The AM Show on Monday morning, following the news, that the strategy will ensure that the benefits of gas can continue in a zero-carbon future.

“It’s a means for us to keep utilizing our barbecues, lengthy, hot showers with our hot water heaters, and gas stoves in the future of net-zero,” she explained.

At this time, the majority of hydrogen is made from fossil fuels. However, it is believed that in the future, the clean alternative can be made using electricity and water in a process known as electrolysis.

“It’s more expensive right now,” Ogier told The AM Show. “This type of technology is becoming more affordable. By 2030, we expect the cost to have been cut in half.”

Green hydrogen, produced from excess renewable electricity, will be used to replace fossil fuels where practicable, according to the Firstgas Hydrogen Network Trial report. According to Firstgas, the hydrogen will be created by regionally distributed electrolysers and distributed through existing local pipe networks that transport natural gas to customers.

According to Ogier, the hydrogen is expected to be transported to New Zealand houses via existing gas pipelines.

“We’ll have a lot of work ahead of us,” she predicted. “We’ve looked into the viability of changing the pipes would we have the capacity in our pipelines to deliver the hydrogen we need in a hydrogen world? And what must we do to ensure that it is truly safe? We need to go over everything and double-check everything.”

Firstgas Group CEO Paul Goodeve acknowledged in a statement on Monday that many Kiwis have been affected “Some suggestions for the future of gas in New Zealand have left him “unsettled.”

“In a cleaner future with zero carbon gas, the benefits of gas are here to stay,” Goodeve stated.

The strategy, along with its schedule, lays out everything you need to know “He promised “absolute security” to gas users and the country.

“This is a feasible path to zero carbon emissions that requires no action from customers for the next 15 to 20 years.

“Gas users have the assurance that they will be able to keep using their existing equipment while reducing emissions, and the nation has the assurance of a stable transition to zero-carbon gas by 2050.”

“New Zealand will have a zero-carbon electricity network and energy from a clean and reliable gas that provides the same benefits that natural gas and LPG customers have come to expect by 2050, according to Goodeve.

“At the time of usage, hydrogen emits no pollution. It takes the role of fossil fuels that electricity isn’t well equipped to replace, such as heavy transportation and process heat in manufacturing.”

During dry years and high demand periods, hydrogen can also replace coal and gas in the production of power, resulting in a 25% reduction in total emissions from the energy industry.

What is it about natural gas that is so bad?

Every extraction of fossil fuels is harmful to the environment and increases our economic footprint. So, if you’re wondering, “The answer to the question “Is natural gas worse for the environment than solar power?” is yes. However, if we inquire, “Is natural gas the most environmentally benign fossil fuel?” The answer is yes.

Fracking, which uses a lot of water from local water reservoirs and pollutes streams, is the most serious concern from natural gas extraction. Furthermore, this process emits methane into the atmosphere. While carbon dioxide emissions are low, natural gas combustion also emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas that seeps into the atmosphere in large quantities.

Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfur dioxide are all released when natural gas is burned (SO2). It’s also hazardous if it’s not transported or extracted properly. If natural gas is not transported properly, it can result in an explosion. Natural gas has a storage problem: its volume necessitates larger storage facilities, which are more expensive to operate.

The fact that it is not renewable is a significant disadvantage. According to Worldometers, natural gas reserves are only available for 52 years. If you never want to run out of energy, you must consider alternative energy sources to natural gas.

However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that natural gas has a larger and more geographically distributed resource base than oil, making it a more reliable source of energy.

How long will there be enough oil?

The world’s proven reserves are equal to 46.6 times its yearly consumption. This means it will run out of oil in around 47 years (at current consumption levels and excluding unproven reserves).