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natural gas
Description A mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons, primarily methane, but generally also including ethane, propane and higher hydrocarbons in much smaller amounts and some non-combustible gases such as nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The majority of natural gas is separated from both "non-associated" gas originating from fields producing hydrocarbons only in gaseous form, and "associated" gas produced in association with crude oil. The separation process produces natural gas by removing or reducing the hydrocarbons other than methane to levels which are acceptable in the marketable gas. The natural gas liquids (NGL) removed in the process are distributed separately. Natural gas also includes methane recovered from coal mines (colliery gas) or from coal seams (coal seam gas) and shale gas. When distributed it may also contain methane from anaerobic fermentation or the methanation of biomass. Natural gas may be liquefied (LNG) by reducing its temperature in order to simplify storage and transportation when production sites are remote from centres of consumption and pipeline transportation is not economically practicable. (15).
Source United Nations, International Recommendations for Energy Statistics. Statistical Papers, Series M, No. 93 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.14.XVII.11).
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