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Author Topic: The Basics of Natural Gas - Part 6  (Read 1072 times)

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The Basics of Natural Gas - Part 6
« on: May 11, 2013, 02:07:24 PM »
Natural and the environment

Natural Gas burns more cleanly than other fossil fuels.  It has fewer emissions of sulfur, Carbon, and nitrogen than Coal or Oil, and it has almost no ash particles left after burning. Being a clean fuel is one reason that the use of natural gas, especially for electricity generation, has grown so much and is expected to grow even more in the future.

Of course, there are environmental concerns with the use of any fuel. As with other fossil fuels, burning natural gas produces carbon dioxide, which is the most important greenhouse gas. Many scientists believe that increasing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere are changing the global climate.

As with other fuels, natural gas also affects the environment when it is produced, stored and transported. Because natural gas is made up mostly of Methane (another greenhouse gas), small amounts of methane can sometimes leak into the atmosphere from wells, storage tanks and pipelines.

The natural gas industry is working to prevent any methane from escaping. Exploring and drilling for natural gas will always have some impact on land and marine habitats. But new technologies have greatly reduced the number and size of areas disturbed by drilling, sometimes called "footprints." Satellites, global positioning systems, remote sensing devices, and 3-D and 4-D seismic technologies, make it possible to discover natural gas reserves while drilling fewer wells. Plus, the use of horizontal and directional drilling make it possible for a single Well to produce gas from much bigger areas.

Natural gas pipelines and storage facilities have a very good safety record. This is very important because when natural gas leaks it can cause explosions. Since raw natural gas has no odor, natural gas companies add a smelly substance to it so that people will know if there is a leak. If you have a natural gas stove, you may have smelled this rotten egg smell of natural gas when the pilot light has gone out.

Sources: Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas Annual 2003, December 2004.

Previous topic in the series
The Basics of Liquefied Natural Gas
The Basics of Oil
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 02:40:28 PM by Adewale Odubiyi »


Adewale Odubiyi
Owner, Nigeria Oil & Gas Forum

Nigeria Oil & Gas Forum

The Basics of Natural Gas - Part 6
« on: May 11, 2013, 02:07:24 PM »

 

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