Main content | back to top
10 Amazing Facts about Natural Gas
Natural gas offers an affordable and more environmentally acceptable option to power people’s lives today. Read our 10 facts to learn more about the history of natural gas and the key role it plays today.
- Natural gas is thought to have been discovered in the Middle East between 6000 and 2000 BC when lightning strikes ignited natural gas seeping from the ground.
- The first pipelines were built in China in 500 BC. The lines, which were made out of bamboo, moved gas that was used to make evaporated salt brine.
- Rembrandt Peale founded the first natural gas utility in Baltimore, USA, in 1816. The famous painter used natural gas as an energy source to light an exhibit at his gallery.
- Industry in the USA really took off in 1859, when former rail conductor Colonel Edwin dug the first well and found oil and natural gas approximately 70 feet below the earth’s surface.
- Natural gas mainly consists of methane (CH4). It also contains other hydrocarbons such as ethane, butane, propane and naphtha.
- Natural gas comes in two forms – dry or wet. Dry natural gas is what is commonly referred to by the media and is used in heating and cooling systems. Dry natural gas is almost completely methane (the higher the methane concentration within the gas, the drier it is). In comparison wet natural gas contains less than 85% methane and has a higher percentage of liquid natural gasses such as ethane and butane.
- Over 11 million road vehicles worldwide run on natural gas. The gas is used in a compressed or liquefied state to power cars, buses, taxis and trucks.
- Natural gas isn’t just used for heating and cooking. Numerous every day products such as vinyl flooring, carpeting, artificial limbs sunglasses, deodorant and cell phones wouldn’t be possible without it.
- Natural gas today accounts for 21% of global primary fuel consumed. Current reserves are enough to support global conventional gas consumption for the next 60 years.
- And finally….every evening on the hour, a volcano erupts in front of the MGM Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. It’s fuelled by pina colada-scented natural gas!
Kindly reprinted with the permission of Statoil.