Day 64 – Q 1.Write a short note on the distribution of natural gas across the world. Do you think natural gas can address the challenge of global energy crisis in the long run? Critically examine.
1. Write a short note on the distribution of natural gas across the world. Do you think natural gas can address the challenge of global energy crisis in the long run? Critically examine.
दुनिया भर में प्राकृतिक गैस के वितरण पर एक संक्षिप्त नोट लिखें। क्या आपको लगता है कि प्राकृतिक गैस लंबे समय में वैश्विक ऊर्जा संकट की चुनौती को दूर कर सकती है? समालोचनात्मक जांच करें।
Natural gas is a fossil fuel which is a fossil energy source that formed deep beneath the earth’s surface. Nearly 80% of the world’s total proven natural gas reserves are located in ten countries. Russia tops the list, holding about a quarter of the world’s total gas reserves, followed by Iran and Qatar in the Middle East.
Natural Gas’s distribution is widespread and this distribution can be seen from the following points –
- Natural gas deposits are often found near oil deposits. Deposits of natural gas close to the Earth’s surface are usually dwarfed by nearby oil deposits. Deeper deposits—formed at higher temperatures and under more pressure—have more natural gas than oil. The deepest deposits can be made up of pure natural gas.
- In some places, natural gas moved into large cracks and spaces between layers of overlying rock. The natural gas found in these types of formations is sometimes called conventional natural gas. In other places, natural gas occurs in the tiny pores (spaces) within some formations of shale, sandstone, and other types of sedimentary rock. This natural gas is referred to as shale gas or tight gas, and it is sometimes called unconventional natural gas.
- Natural gas also occurs with deposits of crude oil, and this natural gas is called associated natural gas. Natural gas deposits are found on land, and some are offshore and deep under the ocean floor. A type of natural gas found in coal deposits is called coalbed methane.
- The world’s top six natural gas producers are (2016) – United States (749 bcm), Russia (579 bcm), Iran (202 bcm), Qatar (181 bcm), Canada (152 bcm), China (138 bcm).
Today, natural gas is used in countless ways for industrial, commercial, residential, and transportation purposes. By energy source, natural gas accounts for the largest increase in world primary energy consumption.
- Abundant natural gas resources and robust production contribute to the strong competitive position of natural gas among other resources. Natural gas remains a key fuel in the electric power sector and in the industrial sector.
- In the power sector, natural gas is an attractive choice for new generating plants because of its fuel efficiency. Natural gas also burns cleaner than coal or petroleum products, and as more governments begin implementing national or regional plans to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, they may encourage the use of natural gas to displace more carbon-intensive coal and liquid fuels.
- In residential homes, the most popular use for natural gas is heating and cooking. It can further be used to power home appliances such as stoves, air conditioners, space heaters, outdoor lights, garage heaters, and clothes dryers.
- Natural gas can also be used on a larger scale in commercial settings, such as restaurants and shopping malls, where it is an extremely efficient and economical way to power water heaters, space heaters, dryers, and stoves.
- Natural gas can also be used as an alternative fuel for cars, buses, trucks, and other vehicles. Currently, there are more than 5 million natural gas vehicles (NGV) worldwide. Also, fuels derived from natural gas could help avoid a future oil crisis if they’re poised to effectively compete in the oil-dominated transportation sector
- Methanol could be the most promising option for large-scale market penetration of a natural gas-based fuel for light-duty vehicles because of its low fuel cost and low additional cost relative to powering a vehicle with gasoline.
At the same time, there are multiple challenges with regards to future use of Natural gas on a large scale, some of which are listed below –
- To meet the rising natural gas demand which is projected, the world’s natural gas producers need to increase supplies by nearly 69% from 2012 to 2040.
- Currently there is no globally integrated market for natural gas, and pricing mechanisms vary by regional market.
- As with any extractive activity, drilling for natural gas can lead to leaks. If the drill hits an unexpected high-pressure pocket of natural gas, or the well is damaged or ruptures, the leak can be immediately hazardous. Further, the leaks are an environmental hazard as they also leak mud and oil into the surrounding areas.
- If hydraulic fracturing was used to expand a well, the chemicals from that process can contaminate local aquatic habitats and drinking water with highly radioactive materials. The uncontained methane released in the air can also force people to temporarily evacuate the area.
Natural gas is a win environmentally because it produces less local pollution and less carbon dioxide emissions than traditional petroleum and electricity generated from coal. But it’s also necessary to consider the degree to which natural gas should replace other types of energy sources and the full life-cycle emissions associated with fuels derived from natural gas, which will help usher in a sustainable future for the world in terms of energy.