Where does Natural Gas come from?
You use it in your stove, your oven, and perhaps, in your dryer, but do you know where natural gas comes from? Yes, that's right - it comes from underground pipelines that travel right into your home, but where does natural gas actually originate? And how does it get from its production point all the way into your clothes dryer?
The Great Beginnings of Natural Gas
Hundreds of millions of years ago, the world was a very different place. There were no buildings, people, or animals that you'd recognize today, but there were a lot of plants, trees, and teeny tiny sea creatures. Over time, these organic beings died, and proceeded to sink to the bottom of the sea. Time, rock formations, and pressure turned the organic matter into something called peat. Then, as the years passed, heat from the center of the earth changed the peat into petroleum and other fossil fuels.
Discovering Natural Gas
How did this natural gas fossil fuel become a useful source of energy? First it had to be discovered. This was accomplished when, in some places, the trapped gas was released above ground creating unusual spouts of heat and fire. Eventually, scientists realized that deep beneath the ground, there were vast resources of this energy producing gas just waiting to be extracted.
Making Natural Gas Available
Once the natural gas reserve is discovered, the gas is extracted from the ground by a pipeline and sent to power plants, factories, and processing plants. Here, the gas is cleaned, separated, and converted into a usable fuel for homes and businesses. It is then sent to underground reservoirs where it waits for distribution via smaller pipelines.
Distribution of Natural Gas Around the World
The United States produces a quarter of the earth's natural gas. It is located all over the country, but the five best sources for the fossil fuel are Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Louisiana.