Moving Energy Efficiently



Home > Glossary > Natural gas

Natural gas

Natural Gas

Natural gas is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane (CH4), but commonly includes varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium. It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years. This fossil fuel is colorless, shapeless, and often odorless in its pure form. It is considered a cleaner alternative to other fossil fuels such as coal and oil because it produces less carbon dioxide per unit of energy when burned.

As a versatile and vital source of energy, it is used for heating, cooking, and electricity production, as well as a fuel for vehicles and as a chemical feedstock in the manufacturing of plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals. Natural gas is usually found in deep underground rock formations or associated with other hydrocarbon reservoirs in coal beds and as methane clathrates. It is extracted by drilling and fracking, and transported via large pipelines and storage facilities to consumers. Given its importance in the global energy mix, natural gas markets are closely monitored by traders, governments, and international agencies.

To learn more about natural gas, please visit the following websites:

1. U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA): The EIA provides a comprehensive overview of natural gas, including information on its origins, uses, and significance within the energy sector, as well as statistical data on production and consumption.

2. International Energy Agency (IEA): The IEA offers in-depth analysis, reports, statistics, and forecasts regarding the natural gas market and its role in the global energy landscape, reflecting its importance in ensuring energy security and in the transition to a cleaner energy system.

This A.I.-generated glossary is intended to provide a convenient means to understand terminology used on this website in the context of physical commodities trading. Some terms may have alternative and/or expanded definitions that may not be relevant here and thus not included. Sources provided are for reference and not intended to be an endorsement of the broader content on that website. Suggestions, questions, or corrections can be provided in the comment box on definition pages.