Natural Gas Formation, Uses, Distribution (World & India)

Natural gasNatural gas

  • Natural gas is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium.

  • Formation: It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure supplied by existing under the surface of the Earth over millions of years.

  • The energy that the plants originally obtained from the sun is stored in the form of chemical bonds in the gas.

  • Uses: Natural gas is a fossil fuel used as a source of energy for heating, cooking, and electricity generation.

  • It is also used as fuel for vehicles and as a chemical feedstock in the manufacture of plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals. It is a non-renewable resource.

World Distribution of Natural GasWorld map of Natural gas


  • Russian Federation is the world’s second-largest producer of natural gas.

  • The Russian Federation provides approximately about 25% of natural gas consumed in the European Union; approximately 80% of those exports travel through pipelines across Ukrainian soil prior to arriving in the EU.

  • According to The World Factbook estimate, the country also has the largest proven reserves (48 trillion cubic meters [tcm]).

  • OPEC figures also place Russia first, with an estimated 49 tcm, 24% of the world’s proved reserves.


  • Dutch coast and the North Sea (off the coast of Norway) have proven reserves.

North America

  • The United States has proven natural gas reserves of 273 tcf.

  • Its largest gas field, Hugoton extends through the Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas.

  • Canada has an estimated 62 tcf of proven natural gas reserves.

  • The largest gas field is in Alberta.

  • Much of Mexico‚Äôs natural comes from Gulf of Mexico.


  • Central basin of Algeria and Niger Delta have proven reserves.

Middle East

  • There is an enormous gas potential in the Middle East associated with the major oil fields in the Arabian-Iranian basin.

  • Iran and Qatar have the second and third largest natural gas reserves in the world, behind Russia.


  • The largest gas field in Asia is in the North Sumatra basin of Indonesia.

Distribution of Natural Gas in India
  • The recoverable reserves of natural gas (as on 1st April, 2001) are estimated at 638 billion cubic metres.

  • But this quantity will increase as more and more reserves are discovered at eastern coast namely Krishna, Godavari and Mahanadi basins.

  • Production of natural gas in 2003-04 was about 31 billion cubic metres.

  • Gas Authority of India was established in the year 1984 with an aim for processing, transporting, distributing and marketing of natural gas.

  • The company owns and operates a network of over 5,340 km of natural gas pipeline in the country.Natural gas _ India

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