Natural gas is a unique product. Wholesale prices of natural gas can differ in hundred times in different parts of the world. There is no such a great difference in price on any other energy product in the world.
However, this is not the last unique feature of gas. The price of this product is determined by two types of competition: types of source supply (“gas-gas” competition) and with other type of energy products (oil, petroleum products, coal). The price of these energy products settles a corridor for natural gas prices.
Another unique feature of gas is that its price is depends on several price setting mechanisms in all regions (except North America). Usually it is not complicated to distinguish which one is the main and subordinate.
The situation in Europe is more ambiguous. European prices of gas are historically connected with long-term agreements with different forms of petroleum products indexation including modification ones. However, an active development of market liquidity of gas hubs during recent years determines spot and forward indicators of price setting as leading mechanisms. And this circumstance should be taken into consideration by exporters and importers of gas.
Natural gas is the most valuable and ecologically clean energy source. Gas extract is increasing every year which is due to the increasing industry production and population.
Natural gas usage. Natural gas is mainly used to heat residential and industrial premises, for cooking, electricity production, as well as in the industrial sector for heat generation.
Currently, the role of natural gas in the world's energy industry, the consumption of which has already exceeded the consumption of coal, as well as in petroleum chemistry, mainly due to its ability to create effective renewable environments.
Gas is also used in the metallurgical, cement, light, food industries as a fuel. Natural gas often replaces conventional fuels such as coal, fuel oil or peat.
The usage of natural gas is more environmentally friendly than coal or oil. It emits about 70% less carbon dioxide during combustion than other fossil fuels.
When used as a fuel, natural gas burns clearer than fuel oil and leaves no products such as ash. Like oil, natural gas is a popular fuel and a major source of energy for many consumers.
ПNatural gas is more profitable because it is in abundance. As usual, natural gas is more economically viable than oil or coal (although coal reserves are larger than gas stocks).
The relative cheapness of gas production plays an important role. If gas is compared with coal, the cost of 1 ton of gas in terms of conventional fuel will be only 10% of the coal cost.
In the metallurgical industry, the gas usage can save coke, which is of high price, increase the productivity of furnaces and improve the quality of the produced metal.
The use of gas in thermal power plants can significantly reduce the expense on fuel transportation, increase boiler operating time, automate power plant control and reduce the number of required workers.
Recently, an important area of gas usage is its use as a fuel for cars. Along with the lower price of gas compared to patrol, its usage can reduce emissions of harmful substances generated during the operation of the car engine by 40-60%.
Nowadays the consumption of gas is allocated in the following way:
- 45% of gas is used in the industry (35% in Ukraine);
- - 35% is applied in thermal power plants (20% in Ukraine);
- - 10% of gas is used to cover needs of housing and utility branch (45% in Ukraine).
Natural gas is a mixture of hydrocarbons, colorless and odorless substance, the most important raw material resource. The basis of natural gas is methane, ethane, propane, butane and some non-hydrocarbon impurities.
Natural gas can exist in the form of gas deposits storing in some rock layers, in the form of gas caps cumulating above oil, as well as in dissolved or crystalized form.
Methane (CH4) is the main part of natural gas composite - from 70 to 98%.
- Self-ignition temperature: 650 °C;
- Explosive concentrations of gas and air mixture from 4.4% to 17% by volume;
- Specific heat of combustion: 28-46 MJ/m³ (6.7-11.0 Mcal/m³) (which is 8-12 Wh/m³).
Pure natural gas has no color or smell. To determine the leakage of gas, a small amount of odorant is added to it - a substances that have a sharp unpleasant smell (rotten cabbage, rotten hay, rotten eggs).
Natural gas is 1.8 times lighter than air, so when it leaks it does not gather in the lowlands but rises.
Natural gas trading is developing steadily, despite number of serious restrictions. The main difficulty of trade is the need for special infrastructure for transportation. Gas can be transported between countries only through gas pipelines or on special gas carriers (methane trucks) by using liquefaction technology. Gas pipelines are laid mostly on land or in the shallow shelf, only a few of them pass through relatively deep sea areas, but over a short length.
Until the mid-1980s, Ukraine was an gas exporter to Europe and the eastern part of the USSR.
Since the beginning of 1990, production level has decreased, gas imports in Ukraine's economy have exceeded 70% of annual consumption…
Unfortunately, we are «smart and beautiful and poor because of this» and forced to follow the «consistent and therefore rich»…