Natural gas is the fuel of choice—
throughout the world.
After more than 150 years, the natural gas
industry continues to grow. Deregulation and
the demand for cleaner burning fuels have
produced a tremendous market for natural
gas. The industry continues to create new
technologies for recovering natural gas,
as well as finding new ways for people to
enjoy its advantages. Today, natural gas
is clearly the world’s fuel of choice.
More importantly, it is the future of
clean energy here at home and
around the world.
Where and how we get natural gas.
Natural gas is found in reservoirs beneath the earth. Using sophisticated technology, production companies search for evidence of these reservoirs to find the location of natural gas. Then, they drill wells in the earth where it is likely to be found. When found and extracted, the natural gas is refined to remove impurities. Then, the clean natural gas is transmitted through a network of pipelines and delivered to its point of use.
Where natural gas originates.
Like oil and coal, natural gas is a fossil fuel. All these fuels are, essentially, the remains of plants and animals and microorganisms that lived millions of years ago. Unlike other fossil fuels, however, natural gas is colorless, shapeless, and odorless in its pure form. More importantly, it is clean burning and emits lower levels of potentially harmful byproducts into the air.
The beginning of the natural gas industry.
In 1821, the first well specifically intended to obtain natural gas was dug in Fredonia, New York. After noticing gas bubbles rising to the surface of a creek, William Hart dug a 27-foot well to achieve a larger flow of gas to the surface. Thus, Hart is regarded by many as the ‘father of natural gas’ in America. In 1859, in Pennsylvania, Colonel Edwin Drake dug the first prototypical well. Drake hit oil and natural gas at 69 feet below the surface of the earth.
Building a natural gas infrastructure.
Until the 1940s, there was no pipeline infrastructure, so natural gas was used almost exclusively as a source of light. After World War II, technological advances allowed for the construction of reliable pipelines. Once the transportation challenge was met, new uses for natural gas were discovered. These included home heating and appliance operations—not to mention the use of natural gas in manufacturing and processing plants.
The evolution of natural gas technology.
Over the years, innovative technologies have made natural gas easier to locate and produce. At the same time, these new technologies have lessened the impact exploration and production have on the environment. Today, industry technology allows for more efficient natural gas recovery, cleaner operations and much smaller drilling footprints.
Natural gas and the environment.
Natural gas is a vital source of energy for reducing pollution and maintaining a clean and healthy environment. In the first place, it is a clean burning fuel, emitting fewer pollutants into the atmosphere. Moreover, the process of extracting natural gas and delivering it to the end user has been greatly improved by technology designed to help protect the environment.