Natural gas, as the name implies, is found in gaseous form naturally, underground at varying depths and geographical formations. It is one of the most abundant energy sources in Pakistan, and because it is produced domestically, it is not subject to foreign disruptions of price or supply. Comprised primarily of methane, natural gas is odorless and colorless when it comes out of the ground. After impurities are removed, the natural gas is introduced into the pipeline system where it is transported to the consumers.
Prior to distribution, a harmless odorant is added to the gas so any leakage can be easily detected before an unsafe situation occurs. In addition to this "rotten egg" odor, natural gas has some built-in safety features. It is lighter than air, so it will rise and dissipate into the atmosphere in the event of a leak. And it has a very narrow combustion range, igniting only when mixed with air at a ratio of between 4 and 14 percent. Any mixture higher or lower than that range and natural gas simply won't burn. It also requires a very high degree of heat, at least 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, before it will ignite.
Once combustion occurs, natural gas is one of the cleanest-burning fuels available today. When it is burned properly, the only emissions are carbon dioxide (which is what we exhale when we breathe) and water vapor. Because of its clean-burning properties, natural gas has become the environmental fuel of choice for many residential, commercial and industrial applications. Such applications include: space heating, water heating, cooking, and as a fuel for fireplaces, vehicles, power plants, commercial and industrial boilers, as well as commercial and industrial processing.