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Natural Gas

Natural GasGenerally, more than one well is required to produce the recoverable gas from a reservoir. Multiple wells are drilled in a gas field. When natural gas is located, the next step is to install a casing. This is a tubular steel pipe that lines the hole; it prevents water and rock from entering and controls the removal of materials. The casing is sealed to the well with cement being pumped both inside and outside of the casting. The next step in completing a gas well is to perforate the casing so gas can flow into the production tubing. This is done by lowering a perforating gun, a device with many explosive charges that fire metal rods through the casing and into the producing reservoir. A steel production tubing is then installed to remove the gas.

Stimulation may be needed if the natural gas flow is stopping. This can be done either as part of the completion process or later on in the life of the well. Stimulation processes are acidizing or fracturing a well. Acids are pumped into the producing reservoir under pressure to dissolve reservoir rock to increase the number and size of channels carrying gas to the well bore. Fracturing is where fluids such as water or carbon dioxide are pumped into the reservoir at sufficient pressure to break the rock. To prevent the breaks from closing, proppant is then introduced into the reservoir. Proppant includes sand, ceramic beads, or resin coated material that props open the new fractures and enhance gas flow. Natural gas from coal, tight gas sands, gas shales and gas hydrates are often referred to as unconventional gas resources. Methane is the main component of unconventional natural gas, but other parts vary and may have to be removed to produce sales grade natural gas. Unconventional gas is the same as conventional natural gas except it has different reservoir characteristics.



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