Natural Gas – What is it, where is it, and how do we capture it?
What is it?
Natural gas is created naturally over the course of hundreds of millions of years. It is formed when layers of decomposing plants and animals are subject to intense heat from the Earth and pressure from rocks. All this pressure, heat and millions of years turned the natural material into coal, petroleum and natural gas.
Where does it come from?
Natural gas is found in rock formations deep below the surface of the Earth. Petroleum, or oil, is often found in the same areas. Humans have been using natural gas for cooking for hundreds of years.
The first industrial extraction of natural gas was in New York State in 1825. Large drills are used to bore into the Earth and unlock natural gas from underground reservoirs. Pipelines then transport the fossil fuel to the end user. Natural gas is invisible, has no odor and is lighter than air.
Does Canada have enough natural gas for the future?
Yes. According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Canada is the world's fifth-largest natural gas producer and has enough natural gas reserves to meet current national energy demand for 300 years.
About one-third of Canada’s energy needs are met by natural gas. Natural gas burns cleaner than other fuels, it is easy to transport and it is abundant in Canada with deposits found in nearly every province and territory.
Does the United States have enough natural gas for the future?
Yes. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States has enough recoverable reserves to last for another 84 years.
Although the U.S. supply is less than Canada’s, efficient transport systems allow natural gas to be traded between the two countries.
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