Natural Gas


Natural gas occurs in nature as a mixture of gases, predominantly methane. It is formed beneath the earth’s surface by decomposition of ancient organic matter over millions of years. It is also found in gas fields as well as associated with petroleum deposits in oil fields. In shale gas formations, it is found trapped in porous rocks, often along with shale oil.

If you are curious, methane is the simplest hydrocarbon, with one carbon atom bonded to four hydrogen atoms in its molecule. Several by-products such as propane, ethane, butane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, etc. are extracted from raw natural gas.  

Benefits of Natural Gas

Natural gas produces significantly lower carbon emissions for an equivalent energy release compared to any other fossil fuel. In other words, natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel. You would be surprised to know the myriad uses of natural gas. Natural gas is used mainly for space heating as well as electricity generation in gas-fired power plants. But that is not all. Natural gas is extensively used in sectors such as petrochemicals, glass, and steel. Natural gas is also used as an automotive fuel as an alternative to traditional fuels. Natural gas can be used in three ways to fuel vehicles. Cars can use either Compressed Natural gas (CNG) or Liquefied Compressed Natural Gas (L-CNG), whereas trucks and buses can use CNG or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Another major use of natural gas is as feedstock for producing fertilizers, mainly ammonia. Notably, Bharat Petroleum has a pilot project of Liquefied CNG (L-CNG) station operational in Maharashtra. Interestingly, natural gas converted into ammonia has another potent use that is gaining momentum – as a cleaner marine fuel for decarbonizing shipping. What’s more, natural gas can also be used for producing hydrogen in a low-emission mode using a process called natural gas reforming along with carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), thus priming and kick-starting the futuristic goal of a hydrogen economy with 'blue' hydrogen initially, which would be fueled by 'green' hydrogen eventually.

As Bharat Petroleum shifts gears to accelerate its journey towards a clean-energy future, natural gas acts as a 'bridge' to realizing this goal. With its myriad applications, superb versatility and ease of use, natural gas provides a robust path to walk on in our mission of progress for the nation and care for the planet!

To view Natural Gas Conversions, click here