As a fossil fuel enthusiast, or prospective natural producer/distributor, you might have come across the lucrative business of natural gas and are wondering what it is, and how you can profit from it. There is a whole bunch of information out there on this phenomenon and this article looks to address questions such as what natural gas is, how it occurs, how is it extracted, and how it is processed into a usable form. By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of it, do read on to find out more.
Natural gas comprises a wide range of chemicals. Methane, a molecule having a ratio of one carbon atom to four hydrogen atoms, is the most abundant component of natural gas (CH4). Natural gas is used as a fuel as well as to manufacture materials and chemicals.
Plant and animal remnants piled up in layer upon layer on the planet’s surface and ocean floor million years to millennia ago, often combined with gravel, silt, and calcium carbonate. These strata were covered throughout time by sand, gravel, and rock. Heat and pressure converted part of this carbon and hydrogen-rich substance into coal, portions into oil (petroleum), and some into natural gas.
Natural gas migrated into huge fractures and gaps between layers of overlaying rock in certain areas. The natural gas contained in these formations is frequently referred to as ordinary natural gas. Natural gas may also be found in the small pores of certain shale, sandstone, and certain other sedimentary rock formations. This natural gas is known as shale gas or tight gas, and it is also known as unconventional natural gas.
Natural gas may also be found in crude oil deposits, and this type of natural gas is known as related natural gas. Natural gas reserves can be discovered on land, offshore, and deep beneath the ocean floor. Natural gas contained in coal beds is known as coalbed methane.
Geologists, that study the structure and activities of the earth, are at the forefront of the quest for natural gas. They identify the geologic formations that are most likely to have natural gas reserves.
Geologists frequently utilize seismic surveys on land and in water to determine the best locations for drilling natural gas and oil wells. Seismic surveys generate and analyze seismic waves in the ground in order to learn more about the geology of rocky outcrops.
A thumper truck, with a vibrating pad, pounds the ground to produce seismic waves in the bedrock, may be used for terrestrial seismic surveys. Seismic surveys in the water utilize sound blasts to produce sonic waves to investigate the geology beneath.
If seismic investigations show that a location has the potential to produce natural gas, an exploration well is drilled and tested. The test findings indicate the quality and amount of natural gas accessible in the resource.
If the findings of a test well indicate that a geologic formation contains enough natural gas to extract profitably, one or more production wells are drilled. Natural gas wells can be dug into gas-bearing rocks both vertically and horizontally. With butterfly valves helping regulate the flow, natural gas travels up freely via wells to ground level in typical natural gas reserves.
Natural gas is extracted from shale and other geological rocky outcrops in some countries by pushing water, chemicals, and sand through a well under high pressure. This method, known as hydraulic fracking or fracturing and also known as unconventional natural gas production, cracks up the formation, extracts the natural gas from the bedrock, and enables the natural gas to escape to and up the wells to the surface. Natural gas is collected at the surface of the well and transported to natural gas processing plants via collection pipes.
Wet natural gas is natural gas extracted from natural gas or crude oil wells that comprise NGL (Natural Gas Liquids) and water vapor in addition to methane. Nonhydrocarbons could also be present in wellhead natural gas, and the majority of these must be purged before natural gas is delivered to consumers.
Natural gas is transported from the wellhead to processing facilities, where water vapor and nonhydrocarbon chemicals are eliminated, and NGLs are extracted from the gas mixture and sold separately. Water or other contaminants in natural gas might raise the risk of pipeline damage due to corrosion or hydrate formation. Mol sieve dehydration is a method that removes water vapors from gas streams utilizing molecular sieves, a very efficient desiccant material.
Ethane is frequently left in refined natural gas. Natural gas plant liquids are the separated NGL, and processed natural gas is known as dry, consumption, or pipeline standard natural gas. Some wellhead natural gas is adequately dry to meet pipeline transit standards without further processing. Natural gas is laced with chemicals known as odorants to identify breaches in natural gas pipes. Pipelines transport dry natural gas to large underground facilities or distribution centers.
With the information above, we believe you have all you need to know as you start off preparing for natural gas extraction and/or processing. For natural gas drying, we do recommend getting your molecular sieve 13x from a certified OEM. Also, consider getting in contact with a PPE supplier and manufacturer for you and your natural gas processing personnel. As the saying goes, good lighting helps avoid danger, get yourself some LED lighting for your processes. Although we do advise you to acquire the help of professionals that are licensed to conduct such operations if you are not licensed to do so. The alternative would be acquiring the license if you’re in a position to do so.