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July 9, 2017 Weekly Geology Guest, Natural Gas/Methane

July 9, 2017
Greetings from the Bluff Park Back Porch, way up yonder on Shades Mountain (1,109′) in Alabama:
For the next several weeks we will discuss the Energy/Fuels Minerals mentioned in Nova’s Treasures of the Earth.  These include coal, oil, natural gas, and natural radioactive minerals.  I have added geothermal since it is earth based.
This week we will take a peek at the minerals associated with Natural Gas or Methane.

Remember our energy needs are based on the fuel that is available, cheapest, and most reliable.
Natural Gas or Methane
Methane is a chemical compound with the chemical formula CH4 (one atom of carbon and four atoms of hydrogen). It is a group-14 hydride and the simplest alkane, and is the main constituent of natural gas.

Natural Gas Flame.
Tom Giambroni, The Review

2010, US Energy Information Administration

Natural gas coming out of the ground in Taiwan. 
Chu Huo in Kenting, Taiwan.

2007, Kenting

Natural gas drilling rig in Texas. 
Texas Barnett Shale gas drilling rig
near Alvarado, Texas


David R. Tribble


Natural Gas Processing Plant.
Natural Gas – 2, from Florida Politics. com
Coalbed Methane in Alabama


Yep, since the late 1960’s – 1970’s with US Steel Mining and then with the coalbed methane boom in the late 1980’s into the 1990’s, I was fortunate to be involved with this natural resource development.  It was a good horse to ride.  R
Coalbed Methane Association of Alabama

Did You Know…?

  • Natural Gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel in domestic production
  • A large component of Natural Gas is methane (CH4).
  • Methane is a by-product of the geologic process that turns organic material into coal.
  • 13% of the land in the lower 48 United States has some sort of coal under it, and nearly all of this coal contains methane.
  • Methane gas, a hazard in underground coal mining, is normally wasted into the atmosphere.
  • A process developed during the search for non-conventional fuels permits the extraction of this natural gas from the coal beds.
  • Coalbed methane is produced in 7 counties in Alabama and accounts for about 44% of all natural gas produced in the state.
  • Operators have invested about $3.5 BILLION in Alabama to develop the resource.
  • Almost 10,000 coalbed methane wells have been permitted in Alabama since 1980.  Currently there are 6,100 active wells.
from The Alabama Coalbed Methane Association

Gas Flame
2007. by George Shuklin.
NOVA, Treasures of the Earth
1.    NOVA, Treasures of the Earth, Gems.
2.    NOVA, Treasures of the Earth, Metals.
3.    NOVA, Treasures of the Earth, Power (Fossil Fuels).
>    Search:  iron, iron age, iron ore, iron artifacts.
References include:
–    Wikipedia
Editors Note:  It is the intent of this site to keep this discussion as simple as possible, so as to educate the interested general public and not to discuss with the geology crowd the latest geologic theories and nuances.  Thanks, R
“No copyright infringement intended.
The rights belong to their respective owners”
Copyright Disclaimer: Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
Author’s Request:  If you see any pictures that you know the source and photographer, let me know immediately.  Thanks!  R

Images have been searched by TinEye Reverse Image Search.

Sorry, no detailed pictures this week, fossil fuels are just not that photogenic.  R
Next week I will continue with Fossil Fuels, Nuclear Power from Radioactive Minerals.
Enjoy the adventure!

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