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Seamless Steel Pipe

Ancient civilizations used natural gas to heat water, and as technology improved, this clean burning fuel has been combined with carbon steel pipe to light street lamps or to power a car. With the help of seamless steel pipe and technology, 24% of the United States' current energy supply is composed of this abundant fuel source.

Natural gas is made primarily of methane, with 20% or less of hydrocarbons, and is either thermogenic or biogenic. Biogenic forms are from methanogenic organisms which are created in shallow sediments such as bogs. Thermogenic gas is found under buried organic material deep in the earth which had been exposed to pressure and high temperatures. Occasionally, scientists will find natural gas with other types of hydrocarbon fuels.

The Processing Process

Experts use specialized drills and carbon steel pipes to extract the gas below the surface of the earth. Once extracted,it is processed into methane. Byproducts of the refining process include carbon dioxide, butane, helium, nitrogen, propane and water vapor. Using corrosion and leak-proof carbon steel pipes, the gas is directed from the processing facilities to the end user.

Natural Gas and Its Importance

In the U.S., natural gas is abundant, which can help the nation reduce dependence on foreign fuel. It is also a clean burning fuel. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that there were 2,587 trillion cubic feet of this fuel beneath U.S. soil as of 2008.

Environmental Effects

When natural gas burns, it produces a mixture of mostly water vapor and carbon dioxide, which is similar to what a person produces when he exhales. Oil and coal, on the other hand, produce environmental toxins such as mercury, nitrogen oxide, sulfur and ash. While small amounts of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide are produced by methane combustion, these amounts are negligible compared to oil and coal. Gasses such as water vapor, nitrogen oxides and methane contribute to global warming. Oil and coal, which are not clean burning, significantly impact global warming and contribute to the greenhouse effect.

Natural gas does contribute to global warming, but its effect is less destructive than oil or coal. It produces 30 percent less carbon dioxide than oil and 45 percent less carbon dioxide than coal. Further, the carbon dioxide produced does not trap heat as well as the emissions produced by oil and coal.

However, there is a concern in the gas and seamless steel pipe debate regarding the environmental effect of methane gas. While a clean burning gas, methane traps heat 21 times better than carbon dioxide. The EIA states that 8.5 percent of the world's greenhouse emissions are from methane, while 1.1 percent of U.S. emissions are.

But natural gas is still a good option. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Gas Research Institute concluded in a 1997 study that its benefits substantially outweigh negative effects. While natural gas and carbon steel pipe is not the ultimate energy solution, it can help bridge the gap between more harmful fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. Creating an infrastructure of seamless steel pipes and increasing the use of this resource can also help reduce carbon emissions and decrease the rate of global warming.


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