Natural gas is a combustible mixture of hydrocarbon gases. It consists
mainly of methane (CH4), with varying levels of heavier hydrocarbons and
other gases such as carbon dioxide.
Natural gas is formed by the alteration of organic matter. This can be by
biogenic or thermogenic processes. When accumulated in a subsurface
reservoir that can be readily produced it is known as conventional gas.
Conventional gases (gas) fields can be dry (almost pure methane) or wet
(associated with the “wet gas” components – ethane, propane, butanes and
Dry gas has less energy content than wet gas.
Conventional gas can also be found with oil in oil fields. Natural gas
also occurs in more difficult to extract unconventional deposits, such as
coal beds (coal seam gas), or in shales (shale gas), low quality
reservoirs (tight gas), or as gas hydrates.
Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) is primarily composed of the lightest
hydrocarbons, methane (CH4) and ethane (C2H6); it is a gas at surface
conditions but is cooled and compressed to a liquid for transport in LNG
tankers to export markets.
LNG is natural gas that is cooled to around -160oC until it
forms a liquid, making it easier to transport. Australia has significant
gas resources, with gas being Australia’s third largest energy resource
after coal and uranium. Conventional gas resources are widespread both on
and offshore, occurring in fourteen different basins, but most of the
resource is off the north-west margin in the Bonaparte, Browse and