What is Natural Gas?

Natural Gas is made up of a number of different gases that are naturally found in our atmosphere, and that can be separated and used for a range of purposes.

It is produced by the decomposition of organic materials, in the Irish Sea’s case, first deposited over 320 million years’ ago.

The gases are trapped in a layer of sandstone, capped by a layer of Permian Salt, preventing the gas from escaping or rising further.

The natural gas discovered in the CROGGA Field has been tested and the composition of it is reasonably, though not completely, understood. The natural gas is 90% methane, 4% ethane and 2% propane, and a small fraction (3%) of inert nitrogen.

As the largest percentage of Natural Gas is Methane, it’s worth understanding a little more about the gas. One molecule of Methane is made up of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms and has the chemical formula, CH4. Methane produces less carbon dioxide for each unit of heat released, when compared to other hydrocarbons.

With respect to unwanted gas components, the composition is very positive. There is a very small fraction (0.5%) of  carbon dioxide, and zero % of poisonous hydrogen sulphide (rotten egg gas). There are no hydrocarbon liquids (oil) identified.