Is natural gas a fossil fuel? The answer to this question is a bit complicated. Natural gas is, in fact, a fossil fuel, but it is not the same type of fossil fuel as coal or oil. In simple terms, natural gas forms when organic matter decays over a long period. This happens under intense pressure and heat.
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Pennsylvania's marketed natural gas production, primarily from the Marcellus Shale, reached a record 7.1 trillion cubic feet in 2020, and the state is the nation's second-largest natural gas producer after Texas.
Pennsylvania is the third-largest coal-producing state in the nation after Wyoming and West Virginia, and it is the second-largest coal exporter to foreign markets after West Virginia
Natural gas is a vital component of the world’s supply of energy. It is one of the cleanest, safest, and most useful of all energy sources. Despite its importance, however, there are many misconceptions about natural gas. For instance, the word ‘gas’ itself has a variety of different uses, and meanings. When we fuel our car, we put ‘gas’ in it.
Natural gas provides 29% of our energy and is used to heat about half the homes in the United States. It is also a raw material in a variety of common products, such as paints, fertilizers, plastics, medicines, and antifreeze. Propane, which powers many kitchen stoves and outdoor grills as well as home heating systems, is derived from natural gas. Natural gas is also used to generate 33% of our electricity.
U.S. dry natural gas production in 2020 was about 33.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), an average of about 91.5 billion cubic feet per day and the second-highest annual amount recorded. Most of the production increases since 2005 are the result of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques, notably in shale, sandstone, carbonate, and other tight geologic formations. Natural gas is produced from onshore and offshore natural gas and oil wells and from coal beds. In 2020, U.S. dry natural gas production was about 10% greater than U.S. total natural gas consumption.