Methane: Key Facts On Natural Gas’ Principle Component

Methane is the principal component of natural gas, itself a flammable mixture of hydrocarbon compounds that frequently form around coal and petroleum. Natural gas is looking to be a promising transitional fuel. The growth of natural gas power throughout the United States alone has helped it begin the transition away from heavily polluting coal.

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Although natural gas is the primary source of combustible methane used in energy production, methane itself is a common byproduct of many industrial and agricultural processes. Much methane itself is produced from flatulence produced by cattle farming and from the decomposition of waste in modern sanitary landfills. Ways of harnessing methane produced elsewhere have been in place. Gas extracted from landfills and agriculture, for instance, have been used domestically for energy production in the same way as natural gas.

On its own, methane is a very potent pollutant, even more so than the exhaust it produces during energy production. In general, environmentalists feel it safer to burn the methane than to let it escape into the atmosphere. Domestic natural gas consumption and flaring have been done in response to this, and the growth of natural gas production offers both an economic solution to natural gas along with a few potential concerns. To keep off methane pollution modern plants have to keep facilities sealed tightly to prevent leaks.

Methane can be burned in conventional steam turbine energy systems as with coal and petroleum. Today, however, plants dedicated to burning natural gas utilize special systems that burn the gas more effectively, producing more power from fuel gas in the process.

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Brian Alfaro and Primera Energy are dedicated to minimizing the ecological impact of their oil and gas exploration operations in Texas. Visit this Facebook page for more on his company’s commitment to sound energy production.

Earthly Origins: How Is Crude Oil Produced?

Petroleum is used to power homes, cars, and businesses; but where did it come from?

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Image source: faceofmalawi.com

Natural gas and oil make up petroleum. The word petroleum means “rock oil” in Latin. Petroleum is a fossil fuel made naturally from (prehistoric) decaying plants and animal remains. Petroleum is a mixture of different molecules, including hydrogen and carbon that exist as liquid or vapor. It can be found in offshore wells, deep seas, and caves.

Petroleum is generated over millions of years. For petroleum generation or production to occur, organic matter like dead plants or animals must accumulate in large numbers. This organic matter will then be deposited along with sediments (rocks). Sediments and organic material that are now formed as source rocks will be buried in the absence of oxygen. Without oxygen, the organic material in the source rock will be transformed into petroleum. Source rocks like shale or limestone are an excellent source of petroleum.

Natural gas is found next to or near petroleum. The oil is then transported for fuel distillery. There are technologies used to liquefy natural gas so it can be transported in tanks. There are more than 100 countries that produce both oil and natural gas. Technologies that help find sources of petroleum are now advanced. There are still oil and gas reserves to be discovered—in deeper basins and remote areas.

Primera Energy LLC is headed by Brian Alfaro. The company operates on the Eagle Ford Shale in Southern Texas. For more petroleum news and facts, follow this Twitter account.