Energy sources have been a part of us for a long time. Since energy was discovered society as we know it has changed very quickly. Humanity has gone from no electricity to electric cars in a matter of a couple of centuries, which compared to all of humanity is a very short time frame. Let’s take a deeper look at natural gas in this article.
Energy has its positive attributes and has affected our daily lives incredibly well. It has made jobs easier and has made technology develop faster than ever. Although the energy sources that we mainly use are gases that have had a very negative outcome for the world.
However, today we will talk about natural gas; what it is, its history, and much more for you to be more aware of its positive and negative attributes.
Understanding Natural Gas
To keep it short, natural gas is a fossil fuel source that is taken from fossils beneath the surface of the earth. It is a known commodity in the finance world. These fossils are then turned into gas, which we call natural gas, and used as an energy source. Its main component is methane, containing one carbon atom and four hydrogens.
Gas also contains hydrocarbon gasses, non hydrocarbon gasses, carbon dioxide, and more, but in much smaller amounts. It is highly flammable. Often it is associated with crude oils and it is a sort of petroleum.
Natural gas’s main uses as a fuel are for heating, cooking, and electricity (generating electricity). Other uses consist mainly of a source of fuel for vehicles. It is also an important component of the production of plastic and many other chemical products.
(An Oil refinery. Source: CNN)
Natural gas is typically dissolved in oil at high pressures in a reservoir, and it might exist as a gas cap above the oil. The pressure of natural gas imposed on the subsurface oil reserve in many situations provides the urge to propel oil to the surface.
There are other reserves containing just gas and no oil. This gas is known as nonassociated gas. Dry gas is non associated gas that comes from sources that are not related to any known source of petroleum fuels.
The History of Natural Gas
Between 6000 and 2000 BCE, the first natural gas leaks were discovered in Iran. Many early authors documented natural petroleum seeps in the Middle East, particularly in what is now Azerbaijan’s Baku area. The gas leaks, which were most likely triggered by lightning, supplied fuel for the “everlasting fires” of the ancient Persians’ fire-worshiping religion.
It was also discovered in China way back in 900 BCE, and many reports stated that the Chinese dug their wells for oil with bamboo poles that they made. These wells were then developed into 1,000-meter wells, and more than 1,100 of these wells were made before the 1900s.
In Europe, natural gas had not yet been heard of or known up until 1659, when it was first discovered in England. Even though it was discovered, it was not used and, up until 1790, throughout Europe, gas was obtained from carbonized coal.
In North America, natural gas was first introduced in 1821 in New York. It was introduced much later than other countries in the world, but it still had the same uses as other countries. It was used mainly for cooking and heating.
Types of Natural Gas
Natural gas was widely spread in the 20th century when it became a premium fuel for vehicles, especially in North America. Although there are different types of natural gas, here are some of those types.
Shale gas is a form of natural gas that, due to its permeability being too low, does not allow gas to flow normally. Instead, they require fractures that help the gas flow. This creates a need for fracture wells, which are shale gas wells that have natural fractures.
Its production became a hit in the US and Canada (North America) and since 2014 has started being implemented in other countries as well. Some of these countries include Poland, China, and South Africa.
Town gas is an explosive gaseous fuel produced through disruptive coal distillation. It is similar to natural gas in that it has a range of high-calorie gasses such as hydrogen, carbon monoxide, methane, and other unstable hydrocarbons, as well as minor amounts of non-caloric gasses such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, most town “gashouses” in the eastern United States were basic by-product coke burners that cooked bituminous coal in sealed compartments. The gas emitted by coal was gathered and delivered by piping systems to households and other structures, where it was utilized for cooking and illumination.
Crystallized Natural Gas
Vast sums of natural gas, primarily methane, reside as clathrates under sediment on offshore continental shelves as well as on land in northern locations with permafrost, including Siberia. Hydrates must be formed under conditions of low temperatures and high pressures.
In 2010, it was anticipated that the cost of obtaining natural gas from crystallized natural gas might be up to double that of collecting natural gas from traditional sources and even greater from offshore resources.
How Demanded Is Natural Gas?
Natural gas output in the United States has risen 2 – 3 times by mid-2020, with the present level topping both prior maxima. It peaked at 24.1 trillion cubic feet annually in 1973, then fell to 24.5 trillion cubic feet in 2001. Withdrawals have climbed virtually every year since 2006, with 2017 output reaching 33.4 trillion cubic feet and 2019 production reaching 40.7 trillion cubic feet.
Will Natural Gas Ever Run Out?
With the very same yearly pace of dry natural gas the United States produces of around 30 Tcf in 2020, the country seems to have enough dry natural gas to last roughly 98 years. The precise length of time the TRR will continue is determined by the quantity of dry natural gas produced and future variations in natural gas TRR.
What Would Happen if We Ran Out of Natural Gas?
If fossil fuels dry out one day, there may be a power outage. This will harm hospitals in moderate nations. When fossil fuels are no longer available, operations will be delayed. Ventilation systems and many medical treatment devices will cease to function.
Although humanity may find a new way to get energy, it is commonly believed that we will not just run out of fossil fuels randomly one day. We know that we will be prepared for it much earlier and we will have some sort of plan to stop it.
- Humanity has gone from no electricity to electric cars in a matter of a couple of centuries, which compared to all of humanity is a very short time frame.
- To keep it short, gas is a fossil fuel source that is taken from fossils beneath the surface of the earth.
- Its main component is methane, containing one carbon atom and four hydrogens.
- Natural gas also contains hydrocarbon gasses, non hydrocarbon gasses, carbon dioxide, and more but in much smaller amounts.
- Natural gas is typically dissolved in oil at high pressures in a reservoir, and it might exist as a gas cap above the oil.
- In Europe, natural gas had not yet been heard of or known up until 1659, when it was first discovered in England.
- Natural gas output in the United States has risen 2 – 3 times by mid-2020, with the present level topping both prior maxima.
- With the very same yearly pace of dry natural gas the US produces of around 30 Tcf in 2020, the country seems to have enough dry natural gas to last roughly 98 years.