There is no doubt about the fact the in the long list of materials used as fuel, natural gas does rank among the top choices. The reason for this is that natural gas comes with numerous advantages that conventional sources of fuel don’t have. Over the years, its usage has increased because of numerous factors like it being a cleaner fuel than fossil fuels and that it is much easier to transport than them too. Even though in India the most commonly used form of gas is LPG or liquefied petroleum gas, natural gas is making its entry into the market. For the moment, the lion’s share of natural gas is used by the industrial sector and a very tiny amount is used in residential sectors however, the projection is that by 2025 this consumption will increase dramatically. Having said that, it is now time to explore what the advantages and disadvantages of natural gas are.
Advantages of Natural Gas
Some of the most common advantages of natural gas are:
Easy to Deliver
If we look at the current mode of delivery of gas to homes in India, we notice a lot of metal cylinders changing hands. Should natural gas take over as the preferred fuel for cooking, its delivery would be much easier since all that is needed to deliver natural gas is a network of pipes.
Cleaner Than Oil
The uses of natural gas can also extend to fuel for motor vehicles where is has a distinct advantage over oil in the fact that this gas burns in a cleaner way as compared to petrol or diesel which makes it more environmentally friendly.
Safer to Use
A big fear with LPG is that when it leaks it lingers in the air making the area rather unsafe. With natural gas such fears can be put to rest since it’s lighter than air nature will ensure that it dissipates quickly in the event of a leak.
When compared to things like propane gas, natural gas provides more energy when it burns, which makes it much more efficient.
Current estimates of the amount of natural gas available say that it will outlast crude oil and its products.
Disadvantages of Natural Gas
Even though natural gas is a cleaner and more efficient fuel than oil there are some distinct disadvantages to the use of natural gas and some of them are particular to India.
The problem in India is that we don’t have vast reserves of natural gas which means that most of the natural gas that is consumed by us has to be bought from other countries. Such constant purchases can turn into a rather expensive proposition over time.
In a time when we know fuel oil is running out and we are scrambling to find alternate sources of energy, natural gas does not come across as the best option because it too is a non-renewable source of energy.
Since natural gas contains high amounts of methane in it, it is quite combustible and call for extreme care to be taken while handling the gas.
Even though natural gas is easier to store and transport, it has one big disadvantage. Its volume happens to be four times that of petrol which makes it more expensive to store since more needs to be spent on additional storage.
Even though it is lighter than air and can disperse easily, a big danger with natural gas is that since it is colorless, odorless and tasteless, should it start leaking, detection of the leak is very hard. Advantages of Natural Gas
Natural gas is a mixture of a lot of elements including methane. Since methane is the most useful component for combustion, getting natural gas ready for use requires the removal of almost every other component. This process can produce a lot of by-products like helium, sulphur and carbon dioxide which can be dangerous in themselves.
All said and done, it can be considered that natural gas can serve as a viable alternative to other fossil fuels till such time as something more efficient can be found.
News About Advantages and Disadvantages of Natural Gas
Natural Gas Forecast for India Looks Positive
The natural gas forecast for the country is looking increasingly positive with the government undertaking a slew of measures to promote LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) in India.
With the aim of tapping into the 1.25 billion strong market, the government has announced measures such as the development of shale networks as well as sanctioning new shale exploration in the country and a more liberalised gas regime.
These measures are projected to increase India’s natural gas output by almost 60% within the next four years, resulting in a reduction in the burden on localised gas demand.
With LNG being a safer and more environment friendly option to the current gas options, this would positively impact the country’s ecology.
17th June 2016
Mumbai to Start Using Natural Gas for Crematoria
The Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation recently announced that it is planning to convert its 44 wood and electricity based crematoria in the metropolis to piped natural gas based complexes. This novel move will definitely contribute in saving electricity bills in addition to protecting trees and environment. The BMC currently manages 44 crematoria, out of which 11 run on electricity with 14 Muslim and 11 Christian cemeteries at 54 locations across Mumbai. The electric crematoria have to be regularly closed down for maintenance and the new move will change that.
6th July 2016
Russia’s Gazprom PJSC Eyes Bigger Shares in India
Gazprom PJSC, the world’s biggest natural gas producer is increasing supplies to India. Alexey Miller, the chairman of the Gazprom management committee and Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s petroleum Minister discussed the procedure for increasing Gazprom’s gas sales in St. Petersburg last week. They also discussed the various available routes to bring Russian gas to India and cooperation in third countries. Gazprom caters to 30% of Europe’s demand. India and Russia have agreed to collaborate for $5.5 million worth oil and gas projects in the last two years.
22nd June 2016
Japan and South Korea may soon supply India with Liquefied Natural Gas
Demand for power in the Asian continent, primarily in India, is on the rise – and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Speaking to the growing need for LNG across the continent, the Indian Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas told reporters that the most efficient and effective way to rout natural gas through the continent is to form a network between India, Japan, South Korea, and China. This will keep the cost of the LNG cheaper for participating countries, as well as create cooperation and understanding between them.
According to government data, only 8% of India’s energy mix is accounted for by natural gas. Imports of natural gas have increased by a worrying 355%, while local production has only increased by 10%. These imports and the negative effect they have on the GDP is an unavoidable necessity, as we are currently 40 million standard cubic meters per day (mscmd) short of our requirement which is 120 million standard cubic meters per day. Local production only accounts for 80 mscmd.
Talks are being led by the State-owned and run GAIL Ltd., which also directed a similar attempt for the same in 2003.
15th June 2016