How is natural gas formed?


Quick Answer

There are a couple of theories regarding how natural gas may have been formed in the Earth. One theory stipulates that natural gas was formed when prehistoric animals and plants were buried under deep layers of Earth. Another theory states that the Earth's natural gas was created even earlier, when the Earth was first formed more than 4.5 billion years ago.

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Full Answer

The theory that states natural gas was formed by animals and plants buried under layers of earth is quite popular. The theory details that these plants and animals were buried under layers of sediment, including rocks and sand, and that multiple layers of this sediment continued to pile up, increasing the pressure placed on the specimens. This pressure and increased heat resulted in the animal and plant material being compressed into natural gas and oil.

The second theory is also widely accepted, proposing that the natural gas contained under the Earth's surface was created when the Earth was first formed. There are numerous ways to detect the presence of natural gas beneath the Earth's surface, including magnetic measurement, satellite imagery, gravity mapping and seismic reflection. Locating natural gas resources is a valuable process since natural gas can be used as a fuel and power source.

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