Is natural gas safe?
Natural gas is naturally colorless, odorless and tasteless. Some countries require an odor to be added to gas so that, in the unlikely event of a release, the gas can be detected. Pipeline companies take steps to ensure that health, safety, security and environmental concerns are addressed throughout the planning, construction, and operational phases of pipeline operations. They work to prevent releases of gas by evaluating, inspecting and maintaining pipelines.
When gas is cooled for shipment over longer distances, it turns into a clear, colourless and non-toxic liquid. In its liquid state, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is not explosive and cannot burn. LNG tankers are specially designed with double hulls to protect the cargo systems from damage or leaks.
What is the environmental impact of natural gas?
Natural gas is the cleanest-burning hydrocarbon. Natural gas emits between 45% and 55% lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal when used to generate electricity, according to IEA data. Compared to coal-fired power plants, modern natural gas-fired power plants emit less than one-tenth of the pollutants.
Is methane harmful to the environment?
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. When it is released into the atmosphere it has a much higher global warming impact than CO2. Natural gas consists mainly of methane. Efforts to address climate change therefore require the industry to reduce both deliberate and unintended methane emissions from production to the final consumer. It is important that the gas industry continues to monitor and reduce methane emissions. This includes wider implementation of leak detection and repair programmes which use infrared cameras.