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What is Natural Gas?

Natural gas is a fossil fuel whose primary component is methane. It is actually a petroleum substance made from organic matter produced millions of years ago.

When Natural gas is removed from the ground, it contains a mixture of gases such as methane, ethane, propane, and butane and impurities such as water. This is called 'raw gas'. In order to use natural gas for producing energy it must be processed to remove unwanted components, leaving primarily methane for customer use.

Natural gas is normally odourless and colourless. An odourant called mercaptan is added to the natural gas before it is fed into the distribution system. This odourant smells a little like rotten eggs. Adding this substance is a safety precaution so that a natural gas leak can be detected quickly.