What is Natural Gas?
• Naturalgas is a combustible mixture of hydrocarbon gases. While natural gas is formedprimarily of methane, it can also include ethane, propane, butane and pentane.
• NaturalGas is a colorless, shapeless, and odorless in its pure form. Unlike otherfossil fuels, natural gas is clean burning and emits lower levels ofpotentially harmful byproducts into the air.
• Thedistinctive rotten egg smell, actually an odorant called Mercaptan is added tonatural gas before it is delivered to the end-user. Mercaptan helps indetecting any leaks.
• Naturalgas is used for heating, cooking, generation of electricity and also used as afuel for air conditioners, boilers, etc. It has also been used as an automotivefuel in the form of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
• Usually,Natural gas is expressed by British thermal units (Btu).
Formation of Natural Gas
Natural gas is essentially, theremains of plants and animals and microorganisms that lived millions andmillions of years ago. Although there are several ways that methane, and thusnatural gas, may be formed, it is usually found underneath the surface of theearth. As natural gas has a low density, once formed it will rise toward thesurface of the earth through loose, shale type rock and other material. Some ofthis methane will simply rise to the surface and dissipate into the air. Theseformations are made up of layers of porous, sedimentary rock (kind of like asponge that soaks up and contains the gas), with a denser, impermeable layer ofrock on top.
op five producers of Natural gasin the world are US, Russia, Canada, Iran and Norway which accounts for 50.7 %of Worlds Natural gas production. US, being the top producer contribute 20%alone. However, Russia is the biggest consumer of Natural gas in the worldfollowed by US.
• Mostof the production of gas comes from the Western offshore area. The on-shorefields in Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat States are other major producers ofgas. Smaller quantities of gas are also produced in Tripura, Tamil Nadu andRajasthan States.
• Indiaconsumption of natural gas stands 51.27 billion cu m in 2010 which makes her15th in the world in terms of Consumption. There has been 23% increase in theconsumption from the 2009 year.
• NaturalGas imports to India are done through three transitional gas pipelines viz.Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) Pipeline Project, Myanmar-Bangladesh-India GasPipeline Project, Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) pipeline.
• InIndia, The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MOP&NG) regulates theallocation and pricing of gas produced by ONGC and OIL by issuingadministrative orders from time to time
• NaturalGas is currently the source of half of the LPG produced in the country.
Natural Gas Futures
On NCDEX, Natural gas futures waslaunched on 21st December 2009. NYMEX which comes under CME Group umbrella hasthe most liquid and traded natural gas contract in the world. Besides basictrading strategies, spark spreads and Frac spreads are very common amongcommercial operators who are into the generation of electricity and productionof propane respectively.
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