Using Natural Gas to Power the Future

In a world with changing energy needs, natural gas often gets overlooked on the list of electricity fuel sources. To define natural gas, however, consider a sustainable, affordable and renewable choice for energy production. One of the main benefits of natural gas is its availability. Its heavier counterpart, petroleum is often found in unstable and politically volatile areas of the world, making it vulnerable to disruption anytime something happens anywhere along the supply chain. On the other hand, natural gas reserves are plentiful within the United States, it’s produced within the country not only cutting out transportation cost but making itself stand out as a safe option.

In addition to this, the environmental impact of natural gas is less than petroleum, cutting lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 11% (83% if running on RNG – Renewable natural gas). On top of this, some Compressed natural gas systems are totally sealed, which means that there is actually zero evaporative emissions from that system. As a further benefit, renewable natural gas is created by capturing biogas from decomposing organic materials. This means it’s using both wastes from landfill and the like and natural waste from livestock. This greatly reduces that methane from entering the atmosphere, which in turn reduces emissions, as a greenhouse gas methane is 25 times worse than carbon dioxide. By creating biogas through anaerobic digestion, the by-products are less offensive smells and a supplement rich compost.

With the benefits of natural gas coming to light, more and more systems are fitting new systems to naturally use gas or are retro-fitting to adapt to using natural gas. Also, there is an extensive current infrastructure to support natural gas distribution, although many areas of the country do not have as many local stations to distribute the gas on a local level, despite its growing uses. As the use of natural gas grows, the demand to expand ways to distribute will as well.

Fracking offers an energy solution

There have been a lot of debates going on whether fracking is good or bad. However, it is widely evident that fracking has a lot of benefits, and any debate to ban it should take a hard look at the consequences on US energy production if the practice is withdrawn.

So what does fracking mean? Fracking is the practice of hydraulic drilling to crack open underground oil and gas formations. With the increased technology, the practice has saved the American energy exploration and production from the brink of decline. Today, the practice is responsible for hundreds of thriving oil and natural gas production channels.

Fracking involves drilling underground a few miles through the shale and rock formation then moving horizontally for a thousand feet or more. With fracking, one drilling site can have many wells. The wells are worked structurally and cemented before perforations are made to conduct a mixture of sand, water and other additives at high pressure to create fractures in the parent rocks. Water acts as the transporting agent with significant mechanical impact as sand. The additives reduce friction and prevent pipe corrosion hence boosting efficiency in the system.

Fracking has enabled the country exploit and tap a lot of oil and natural gas, which was previously impossible. In the next ten years, the country will have drilled more than 95% of the wells. The technique has changed the energy position in the country from scarcity to abundance. Fracturing is also used to accelerate the production rate from older wells.

With the increased rate of production featuring low-cost fracking techniques, there is a significant decrease in prices of natural gas and oil in the United States. Manufacturing plants can now carry out their operations without huge overhead costs, which has trickled down to cheap commodities in the American market. Thousands of people are now working in the oil fields and inflation is benign because of a healthy energy production system in the country.

The technique has reduced the amount of coal used in energy production hence cutting the rate of pollution and greenhouse emissions in the country. Because of fracking, the country now deserves the bragging rights as the world’s leading natural gas producer. The United States Energy Information Administration estimated that the country’s energy production will increase by 56% over the next three decades with fracking.

The bottom line is that fracking is an integral part of US energy production. It’s like the engine in the country’s energy revolution.