How Natural Gas Is Formed
Natural gas is a fossil fuel that can be formed in different ways. The widely held theory of the origin of natural gas is that it is composed of the remnants of decayed plant and animal matter that has been subjected to immense pressure under the earth’s crust over millions of years. This formation of natural gas is referred to as thermogenic methane and it is made in a similar fashion to oil.
Natural gas can only be created under high pressure under the Earth’s crust. Therefore, the lower down the more likely you are to fund natural gas because there will be a greater pressure. Oil and natural gas are often found in similar areas, although natural gas will almost certainly be lower in the ground than oil (usually 1 to 2 miles below the Earth’s surface) at a greater pressure.
A further way in which natural gas can be produced is by microorganisms breaking down organic matter and producing methane in a process known as biogenic methane. Usually this type of natural gas is either lost in the atmosphere or it is found close to the Earth’s surface often as landfill gas due to the decomposition of the waste in the landfill.
Natural gas is made up of a combination of gases, which consists largely of methane (CH4) with lesser amounts of ethane, propane and butane as well as nitrogen, carbon dioxide and traces of some other gases. The individual proportions of each of the components can vary based on where the natural gas has been located.