natural gas form

What is natural gas

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Natural Gas

Natural gas is a fossil energy source that formed deep beneath the earth’s surface. Natural gas contains many different compounds. The largest component of natural gas is methane, a compound with one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms (CH4). Natural gas also contains smaller amounts of natural gas liquids (NGL, which are also hydrocarbon gas liquids), and nonhydrocarbon gases, such as carbon dioxide and water vapor. We use natural gas as a fuel and to make materials and chemicals

How did natural gas form

Millions to hundreds of millions of years ago and over long periods of time, the remains of plants and animals (such as diatoms) built up in thick layers on the earth’s surface and ocean floors, sometimes mixed with sand, silt, and calcium carbonate. Over time, these layers were buried under sand, silt, and rock. Pressure and heat changed some of this carbon and hydrogen-rich material into coal, some into oil (petroleum), and some into natural gas

Where is natural gas found

In some places, natural gas moved into large cracks and spaces between layers of overlying rock. The natural gas found in these types of formations is sometimes called conventional natural gas. In other places, natural gas occurs in the tiny pores (spaces) within some formations of shale, sandstone, and other types of sedimentary rock. This natural gas is referred to as shale gas or tight gas, and it is sometimes called unconventional natural gas. Natural gas also occurs with deposits of crude oil, and this natural gas is called associated natural gas. Natural gas deposits are found on land, and some are offshore and deep under the ocean floor. A type of natural gas found in coal deposits is called coalbed methane