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7 Pros of Natural Gas – Heating and Cheapness the Biggest Benefits

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Natural Gas in USA is seeing massive investments and interest due to very large shale gas discoveries enabled by improvements in Gas Drilling and Extraction Technology.Billions of Dollars have been invested by domestic and international oil and gas companies.Plans are being made to Export Natural Gas from America as the price of Natural Gas in USA has now become considerably lower than other parts of the world.While prices of other Fossil Fuels like Oil and Coal are rising at steep rate,Natural Gas Prices have fallen even below the 2008 crisis levels and are now at around $3.5/mmbtu.With production increasing Natural Gas is increasingly looking to garner marketshare gains in the energy sector in the US.Countries around the world like India and China are also looking to tap shale gas deposits as Energy Scarcity increases around the globe.

Natural Gas has come a long way from the 19th when  unwanted gas usually was burned off in the oil fields.Today it has a large number of diverse uses in major industries such as Power,Transport and Heating.

Pros of Natural Gas

1) Falling Costs,Cheap and Reliable – The biggest advantages and Pro of Natural Gas is that it is now cheaper than almost any other fuel.New ways of extracting Natural Gas has made it abundant and in the coming days massive formations are waiting to be discovered.

2) Providing 24/7 Electricity and Power – Natural Gas Power Plants are a bit more expensive than Coal Power Plants however unlike Coal and Nuclear Power Plants,Natural Gas Power Plants do not have cost associated with shutting and starting making them ideal for providing peaking power capacity.With solar and wind energy increasing their share in the energy mix,use of peaking power plants using Natural Gas is becoming important.

3) Heating – Heating of Homes and Cooking is the biggest Use of Natural Gas.Most homes in developed countries which have long and harsh winters use Natural Gas for Heating the Homes.Cooking on Gas Stoves is also cheaper and more efficient than Electric Stoves.It is used natural gas-powered ranges and ovens, natural gas-heated clothes dryers, heating/cooling and central heating. Home or other building heating may include boilers, furnaces, and water heaters.

4) Conversion into Transport Fuels – Natural Gas is increasingly being looked upon as a solution to transport fuel needs with the price of gasoline increasing rapidly.Shell is planning a GTL (Gas to Liquids) Plant in the US.Gas-to-liquids (GTL) is a developing technology that converts stranded natural gas into synthetic gasoline, diesel or jet fuel through the Fischer-Tropsch process

CNG is a cleaner alternative to other automobile fuels such as gasoline and diesel.Developing countries have been the major users of CNG vehicles building out infrastructure like CNG stations.In India,much of the public transport like autorickshaws and buses now compulsorily run on CNG to reduce pollution.

5) Agriculture – Fertilizers – Natural Gas is one of the main raw materials used in Fertilizers Plants.It is used in the  production of ammonia, via the Haber process

6) Easily Transported Through Pipelines and as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) – Natural Gas Infrastructure is being developed rapidly and it is now transported over land through big Pipelines and over Water through massive LNG Tankers.This is done in a cost effective manner which implies that Cost of the Gas is not increased too much

7) Efficiency – gas appliances and equipment are extremely efficient. The conversion of Natural Gas from its extraction to its find output has an Efficiency of about 90% which is high compared to other energy sources.

Read about Natural Gas Supply and Demand in India and whether Shale Gas is Environmentally Friendly


Abhishek Shah

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