Ways to Save Natural Gas
Prepare in Fall, save
big $$ in Winter
Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)
Control Your Gas Rates
Competing Gas Companies
What is Natural Gas?
Natural gas, in itself, might be
considered a very uninteresting gas - it is colorless, shapeless, and
odorless in its pure form. Quite uninteresting - except that natural
gas is combustible, and when burned it gives off a great deal of
energy. Unlike other fossil fuels, however, natural gas is clean
burning and emits lower levels of potentially harmful byproducts into
the air. We require energy constantly, to heat our homes, cook our
food, and generate our electricity. It is this need for energy that
has elevated natural gas to such a level of importance in our society,
and in our lives.
Natural gas is a combustible mixture of
hydrocarbon gases. While natural gas is formed primarily of methane,
it can also include ethane, propane, butane and pentane. The
composition of natural gas can vary widely before it is refined.
Natural gas has many uses,
residentially, commercially, and industrially. Found in reservoirs
underneath the earth, natural gas is commonly associated with oil
deposits. Production companies search for evidence of these reservoirs
by using sophisticated technology that helps to find the location of
the natural gas, and drill wells in the earth where it is likely to be
found. Once brought from underground, the natural gas is refined to
remove impurities like water, other gases, sand, and other compounds.
Some hydrocarbons are removed and sold separately, including propane
and butane. Other impurities are also removed, like hydrogen sulfide
(the refining of which can produce sulfur, which is then also sold
separately). After refining, the clean natural gas is transmitted
through a network of pipelines, thousands of miles of which exist in
the United States alone. From these pipelines, natural gas is
delivered to its point of use.
Naturally occurring natural gas was
discovered and identified in America as early as 1626, when French
explorers discovered natives igniting gases that were seeping into and
around Lake Erie. The American natural gas industry got its beginnings
in this area. In 1859, Colonel Edwin Drake (a former railroad
conductor who adopted the title 'Colonel' to impress the townspeople)
dug the first well. Drake hit oil and natural gas at 69 feet below the
surface of the earth.
A Reconstruction of 'Colonel'
Drake's First Well in Titusville, Pa
Most in the industry characterize this
well as the beginning of the natural gas industry in America. A
two-inch diameter pipeline was built, running 5 and ½ miles from the
well to the village of Titusville, Pennsylvania. The construction of
this pipeline proved that natural gas could be brought safely and
relatively easily from its underground source to be used for practical
FAQ: A minute amount of odorant
such as t-butyl mercaptan, with a rotting-cabbage-like smell, is added
to the otherwise colorless and almost odorless natural gas, so that
leaks can be detected before a fire or explosion occurs.
www.naturalgas.org for much of
our background information.
has been developing for months. But the actual construction of this
site was begun on February 11, 2009.
The site will be THE
comprehensive site for consumers, showing them the myriad of
ways they can save on their utility expense.
This column will be available to
those wishing to advertise their utility, their product, or
their service. Contact us at:
to arrange for your ad. The site will be substantially completed
within a month, but if you wait until that moment, space may
well be taken. This is the time to strike a deal for a bargain
ad. We have posted the site early for this purpose.