The natural gas is a fossil fuel that is used as an energy source. It is formed by a mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons that are extracted from underground deposits. Natural gas, unlike electric power, it can be easily stored for transport.
The term natural gas is attributed to the gas coming from the subsoil, whose composition varies widely from field to field and can be extracted alone or accompanied by oil.
Natural gas basically consists of methane with a small portion of heavy hydrocarbons, as well as nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, water, and other materials.
Natural gas was formed millions of years ago when plants and small marine animals were buried by sand and stone. Layers of mud, sand, stone, plants and animal matter continued to accumulate until the pressure and heat of the earth turned them into natural gas and oil.
The Journey of Natural Gas:
Natural gas is a highly desirable energy, being a relatively clean fuel, with less pollution than other fossil fuels.
it has been the fuel with the most inaccurate projections, with the highest average error in consumption, production, and prices; then the other fuels.
Natural gas now occupies the third place in the world among the most used primary energy sources and accounts for a fifth of energy consumption worldwide.
Active Energy Ontario is a great source of energy supply. To give you an idea, this is the process and the path that natural gas follows until it reaches your home.
- Production- Once the natural gas is extracted from the deposit, it must be treated and processed so that it can be transported and marketed. For example, methyl mercaptan is added to detect leaks and prevent spontaneous combustion, impurities are filtered and gases that impede gas cooling are eliminated. The water content is also reduced and gases such as nitrogen, mercury or CO₂ are eliminated. The gas that is transported through the gas pipelines does so at high pressures, but always in a gaseous state. The transformation process to transport it in spheres or tanks will convert it into liquefied natural gas (LNG), that is, in a liquid state.
- Storage- From an economic and technical point of view, underground storage is the most profitable.
- Transportation & distribution- Normally the natural gas transport is carried out through gas pipelines from the deposit to the place of destination. In case there are no pipelines that communicate two points, the transport is done with methane tankers (or cryogenic).
- Distribution & marketing- The natural gas distribution companies are the companies dedicated to the transport of natural gas from the high-pressure transport network to the supply points of each client. As happens in the electricity sector, the gas distributor serves through the marketer, who has direct contact with the customer. That is, each zone is assigned a gas distributor, but you can freely change the trading company.
Another similarity with the electric sector is that in the transport of gas, the voltage is reduced until it reaches home to be consumed. Active Energy Ontario is a great distributor of natural gas.
While the gas pipeline circulates at high pressures, the natural gas passes through the successive pressure reducing plants, which are very complex, until the pressure drops.
The pressure levels of consumption are at 22 mbar (millibars), the pressure at which gas boilers operate and the rest of the domestic appliances that operate natural gas at home.