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Handbook of Energy by Christopher G. Morris, Cutler J. Cleveland

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Section 8

Natural Gas

The Chinese used relatively advanced drilling techniques to co-produce natural gas and brine as early as 900 BC in Sichuan Province. The Sacred Fire of Vesta in Ancient Rome, which burned within the Temple of Vesta on the Roman Forum, probably was fueled by natural gas seeps (ca. 191 BC).

The first documented discovery of natural gas in Europe was a description of an inflammable gas seeping from coal deposits near Wigan, England (1659). The first natural gas well in the U.S. was drilled in the village of Fredonia, New York by William Hart (1821); the gas was used to light buildings and cook food in the local hotel.

The natural gas industry is dominated by a small number of very large fields. The massive Hugoton gas field ...

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