Natural gas is a form of fossil fuel which primarily constitutes of methane gas. Natural gas is found deep underneath the rock formations adjacent to other hydrocarbons such as coal beds and petroleum. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas which is changed to liquid state for the sake of making transportation and storage easier. LNG only occupies 1/600th of natural gas volume when in gaseous state. Natural gas and LNG are cleaner source of energy as compared to other fossil fuels and they are primarily used in cooking, heating and electricity generation in combination with renewable sources such as solar and wind energy. Natural gas and LNG are also used as a transport fuel and they provide a cleaner alternative to other fossil fuels as it reduces the green gas emissions by about 30%.
In addition to conventional natural gas reserves, many countries also have high volume of unconventional natural gas known as shale gas. Shale gas is found deep under the shale rocks and it is explored through multistage fracking and horizontal drilling process. With increasing demand of natural gas, countries like US and Australia have also started exploring their shale gas reserves due to which their imports have reduced tremendously.
After Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, the demand for natural gas and LNG as an alternative energy resource increased and consequently Japan and Korea have become the major natural gas importing countries, encompassing about 50% of global LNG imports. Currently, the global demand for natural gas and LNG remains to be weak because of increase in supply, cheaper petroleum & coal and pickup in renewable energy sources.
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