Basic Facts About Natural Gas

Natural gas is a versatile form of non-polluting fuel. The most common method for transporting it is under high pressure in underground pipelines. Should our pipelines become damaged and natural gas escapes, you should be aware that:

  1. It is colorless and generally odorless, unless it contains a naturally occurring odor or has an odorant added.
  2. It is lighter than air and will rise and dissipate rapidly.
  3. Natural gas is neither toxic nor poisonous, but it can cause suffocation in a confined space because of its ability to displace oxygen in the blood.
  4. Natural gas will burn when mixed with air and ignited. Escaping gas can be ignited from open flames, sparks from electrical switches and motors, mechanical equipment, moving rocks, etc.

Components of Natural Gas (percentages are approximate and will vary)

  • Methane 96.0 percent
  • Nitrogen < 0.3 percent
  • Ethane < 1.5 percent
  • Other hydrocarbons, each less than 0.1 percent to 1.4 percent
  • Propane < 0.3 percent
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