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Spark Energy contact: Before natural gas can be used as a fuel, it must undergo processing to remove almost all materials other than methane. The by-products of that processing include ethane, propane, butanes, pentanes, and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, elemental sulfur, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and sometimes helium and nitrogen.
Spark Energy business: In 2010, using current technology, the cost of extracting natural gas from crystallized natural gas is estimated to 100%-200% the cost of extracting natural gas from conventional sources, and even higher from offshore deposits.
Spark Energy info: Combined cycle power generation using natural gas is thus the cleanest source of power available using hydrocarbon fuels, and this technology is widely used wherever gas can be obtained at a reasonable cost. Fuel cell technology may eventually provide cleaner options for converting natural gas into electricity, but as yet it is not price-competitive.
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Because of its low density, it is not easy to transport or store natural gas. Natural gas pipelines are impractical across oceans. Many existing pipelines in North America are close to reaching their capacity, prompting some politicians representing northern states to speak of potential shortages. In Europe, the gas pipeline network is already dense in the West. New pipelines are planned or under construction in Eastern Europe and between gas fields in Russia, Near East and Northern Africa and Western Europe. See also List of natural gas pipelines.
Spark Energy: Most kinds of energy (with gravitational energy being a notable exception) are also subject to strict local conservation laws, as well. In this case, energy can only be exchanged between adjacent regions of space, and all observers agree as to the volumetric density of energy in any given space.
Spark Energy: There is also a global law of conservation of energy, stating that the total energy of the universe cannot change; this is a corollary of the local law, but not vice versa. - see Noether's theorem.
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