Chapter 2

The Natural Gas Resource


Natural gas is produced from the fossilization of microscopic plants that were formed during the Carboniferous period, around 300 million years ago. Over time the gas has migrated from the rocks in which it was formed, often collecting in reservoirs beneath impervious rock caps. Conventional gas reserves from these reservoirs will normally flow to the surface once the reservoir is accessed. Gas is trapped within other rocks and can only be released by hydraulic fracturing. The main constituent of natural gas is methane but it can contain a range of other higher hydrocarbons. Proved natural reserves are around 190 trillion m3 but total reserves are certainly much larger. The Middle East and Russia hold ...

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