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Natural Gas, Distribution Map, Benefits, Uses, Importance, Limitations

Natural Gas

A mixture of hydrocarbon gases that occurs naturally is called natural gas. It consists of methane, other higher alkanes, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and hydrogen sulphide. Natural gas can be found in deep underground rock formations and in coal beds. It is found as methane clathrate or in combination with other hydrocarbon reservoirs. Petroleum is another resource that can be discovered near or with natural gas.

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Natural Gas Processes

There are two main processes that produce most natural gas: thermogenic and biogenic. Methanogenic organisms produce biogenic gas in marshes, bogs, landfills, and shallow sediments. Thermogenic gas is produced from buried organic material at higher temperatures and pressures deeper in the soil. Natural Gas must be processed to eliminate impurities such as water.  This is done to make it marketable before it may be used as fuel. Byproducts of processing include ethane, propane, butane, pentane, hydrogen sulphide, carbon dioxide, water vapour, helium, and nitrogen.

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Global Distribution of Natural Gas

The USA is the largest producer accounting for 23% of the world’s natural gas production in 2019. It is followed by Russia, Iran, and Qatar. Some major oil fields are mentioned below:

Country/Continent Region/Location
Russia West Siberia east of the Gulf of Ob, Urengoy, and Yamburg.
Europe Norway: Troll field


North America USA- Marcellus Shale, Hugoton



Asia Arabian-Iranian basin

Qatar-North Field

Indonesia-North Sumatra

Africa Algeria- Hassi R’Mel
Global Distribution of Natural Gas
Global Distribution of Natural Gas

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Distribution of Natural Gas in India

  • Odisha, Assam, Tripura, the Gulf of Kutch, the Gulf of Khambhat, the Bassein field, the Bombay High, Barmer in Rajasthan, the KG basin, the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, etc. India has 541 BCM (on-shore, in Assam, and Gujarat) of economically feasible natural gas reserves, plus an additional 190 BCM offshore in the Gulf of Cambay and 190 BCM in the Bombay High.
  • A vast deposit of 400 BCM was just found in the Tripura Basin. In addition to these, there is a sizable reserve near the Andaman and Nicobar islands, and 72 BCM is located in the Rava structure. Based on remote sensing data, the reserves in Andaman and Nicobar are projected to be over 1700 BCM. Production has not yet started because it hasn’t been determined whether it would be profitable.
  • This reserve will meet India’s demands for the next 100 years. This could lead to an economic revolution in Eastern India.

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Natural Gas Benefits

Here are the various benefits of Natural Gas described below:

  • It is used for heating, cooking, and power generation.
  • It’s also used as car fuel and a chemical feedstock for making plastics.
  • It burns completely. Hence, it is cleaner as compared to other energy sources.
  • It emits 70% less carbon dioxide when compared to other fossil fuels. It does not create ashes after releasing energy.
  • Natural gas was predominantly employed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries for lighting residential and commercial areas.
  • It now has a far larger range of industrial and home applications.
  • Turbines are turned by it to produce wind and sun energy.
  • It is a domestic fuel as well. It operates heaters, ovens, boilers, and other appliances while heating our homes.
  • For cooking and heating, some families utilise compressed natural gas (CNG), which is gas that has been held under high pressure.
  • For low-load cars that demand excellent fuel economy, CNG is also a reasonably priced and environmentally beneficial transportation fuel.
  • Off-road trucks and trains are powered by LNG or liquefied natural gas.

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Natural Gas Importance

  • Currently, the manufacture of fertilisers consumes the majority of natural gas or roughly 40%.
  • 10% is used for LPG, while about 30% is used to generate electricity. Production of natural gas has increased in tandem with each of these areas. Natural gas production has significantly increased, particularly since 1971.
  • Nearly 10% of India’s electricity came from gas-powered power plants.
  • Gas power plants are not operating because of a lack of feedstock, despite the fact that the nation is experiencing a severe power crisis.
  • Existing facilities are using expensive imported liquefied natural gas at less than full capacity (LNG).
  • India has insufficient oil reserves to meet its rising energy demands, and the problem is made worse by policy inaction that lengthens the project gestation periods.
  • In order to protect ourselves from the worst effects of external shocks, we must diversify our energy supply by using alternative fuels.
  • About 25% of the world’s energy is provided by natural gas. However, it only accounts for 6% of the energy used in India, where coal and crude oil are more prevalent. By 2030, the Indian government intends to increase the proportion of natural gas to 15%.

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Natural Gas Usage Limitations

  • Natural gas is a finite, non-renewable resource. It is found extremely deep within the earth.
  • It is impossible to collect all in-place gas from a producible deposit due to a lack of technology.

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Natural Gas UPSC

Up until 2024, the government will spend over 60 billion dollars on gas infrastructure across the nation, with a goal of raising gas’s proportion in the energy mix to 15% by 2030. Currently, gas makes up 6% of the nation’s overall energy mix. Currently, imports satisfy about half of the world’s demand for natural gas. India is currently the fourth-largest LNG importer. According to the Indian government, natural gas will make up 15% of the nation’s energy mix by 2030.

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Other Indian Geography Topics

Seasons of India Mountains of India
Mangrove Forests in India Important Mountain Passes in India
Monsoon in India
Indus River System
Climate of India
Rivers of India
Tributaries of Ganga
National Parks in India
Important Dams in India
Wildlife Sanctuaries of India
Tiger Reserves in India
Northern Plains of India
Physiography of India
Important Lakes of India
Wetlands in India
Biodiversity in India
Natural Vegetation in India Earthquakes in India
Types of Soil in India
Ramsar Sites in India
Brahmaputra River System
Hydropower Plants in India
Nuclear Power Plants in India
Major Ports in India
Biosphere Reserves in India
Waterfalls in India

Other Fundamental Geography Topics

Solar System Types of Clouds
Structure of the Atmosphere Himalayan Ranges
Component of Environment
El Nino and La Nina
Coral Reef
Continental Drift Theory
Endogenic and Exogenic Forces
Indian Ocean Region
Pacific Ocean
Indian Ocean Dipole
Air Pollution
Environmental Impact Assessment
Tropical Cyclone
Western Disturbances
Types of Rocks

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What is in a natural gas?

Methane makes up the majority of the odourless, gaseous combination of hydrocarbons known as natural gas (CH4).

What are the 4 main natural gases?

They combine to form natural gas when the proper ratios are used. Methane, ethane, butane, and propane are the first four alkanes and collectively known as the "four natural gases".

What is natural gas called?

Natural gas is a colourless, extremely flammable gaseous hydrocarbon that is mostly composed of methane and ethane. It is also known as methane gas or natural methane gas. This particular type of petroleum commonly coexists with crude oil.

How is natural gas made?

Drilling is used to extract natural gas from underground rock formations. Large amounts of shale-derived natural gas are now accessible because of developments in hydraulic fracturing technology.

Is LPG a natural gas?

LPG is propane, but natural gas is methane, therefore they are not the same thing. Processing of natural gas and refining of crude oil result in the production of LPG. LPG is processed and then kept in gas cans or tanks under pressure as a liquid.


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