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How is natural gas extracted?

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Quick Answer

Natural gas is extracted by drilling into the ground and using water to move the gas to the surface. After the gas rises to the top, it is necessary to separate it from other substances.

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Full Answer

Natural gas extraction involves using hydraulic pressure to make gas rise from deep wells to the surface. This begins with drilling a hole deep into the ground, then using high-pressure fluids to create fractures in the area where gas is present. Once the fractures are complete, fluids move to the surface.

Once the fluids reach the surface, it is necessary to separate the gas from other substances. Such substances include crude oil, condensate, water and sand. A lot of hydrocarbons are present, and although they are the primary molecules found in gas, it is necessary to refine them further to produce natural gas that meets pipeline standards. This usually takes place at a dehydration plant, which aims to ensure the gas has the right dew point.

Natural gas extraction via hydraulic fracturing is a technique that reaches back to the 1980s. Once extracted, it is delivered to its destination using pipelines. The distribution of natural gas across the United States is abundant enough to provide it to most areas in 48 states.

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