Natural gas is a naturally occuring fuel. It is an invisible
gas that is ready to use when it comes out of a pipeline.
It is different from gasoline, a liquid that is made by refining
Natural gas is a vapour or "gas" that is commonly
used as a fuel for cooking and heating because it is clean
and safe. It heats homes and businesses in the northern communities
of Inuvik and Norman Wells. It is also used as an energy source
to generate electricity and to generate steam used to produce
heavy oil and oil found in the oil sands.
What are Natural Gas Liquids?
Sometimes natural gas liquids (or "NGLs") are found
with the natural gas. These can include butane and pentane.
They are liquids, much like gasoline, and can be used as other
kinds of fuels. For example, propane may be used to heat homes
or barbeques and butane may be used in lighters for campfires.
How is Natural Gas Formed?
Natural gas is formed over millions of years through the
natural breakdown of plant, animal and sea life. Deep in the
earth the natural gas is trapped in the spaces between grains
of rock. Large bodies of rock that contain natural gas are
called resevoirs or natural gas fields. Of the natural gas
fields that have been found in the Mackenzie Delta, Niglintgak,
Taglu and Parsons Lake are the three largest natural gas fields
that will be developed.
How is Natural Gas Moved?
Natural gas is brought to the surface through wells drilled
into the natural gas resevoir. Because natural gas reservoirs
are under pressure deep in the earth, the natural gas rises
through the well without the need for compressors. Once at
the surface, it must be processed to remove water and natural
gas liquids to prevent blocking in the pipeline while the
natural gas is transported. It is then fed into a pipeline,
which moves it to market. Sometimes the natural gas is at
a lower pressure than the pipeline pressure, or sometimes
it loses pressure due to friction as it travels through the
pipeline. In both cases the pressure is increased by compressors.
Measurement of Natural Gas Volume
Natural gas is measured by units that describe volume. Volume
is the amount of material required to fill a three-dimensional
space such as a basketball. The Niglintgak, Taglu and Parsons
Lake natural gas fields together can supply about 800 million
cubic feet per day of natural gas.
here to view the Natural Gas Information Sheet (638 KB
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