Natural Gas Production & Consumption

Natural gas was the nation’s largest source of energy production in the United States in 2016 – 33% of ALL energy produced in our country.

Natural gas is the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels. Natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide now that it is combusted in newer, more efficient, natural gas power plants. Scientists are always developing new ways to use natural gas, as it emits less carbon and sulfur into the air than coal.

In the United States alone there are 32 states that produce natural gas. Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma produce the most. The U.S. has lots of reserves, and scientists predict that at our current rate of consumption, we have enough of our own natural gas to last at least 90 years.

Electric Utilities are the biggest user of natural gas, accounting for about 35 percent of all natural gas consumption. Power plants use gas to generate electricity by creating steam burned with fossil fuels in a boiler. The boiler heats water and produces steam that turns a turbine to generate electricity.

Industrial gas use is second to Electric Power in the industry, using around 33 percent. Natural gas is an ingredient found in many items we use every day, such as fertilizers, glue, paint, and detergents.

Residential is the third largest user of natural gas with 17 percent. At home we use natural gas for fireplaces, outdoor lighting, grilling, cooktops and ovens, and heating our homes and water.

Commercial business is fourth with 12 percent usage. Schools, churches, stores, hospitals, restaurants, and other commercial buildings use natural gas for heating and cooking.

Cars, trucks, and buses that use natural gas as fuel are also available now. Transportation accounts for only 3 percent of all natural gas usage.

Source: U.S. Energy Administraton - U.S. Natural Gas Consumption by sector 2015

How we Use Natural Gas

There are many uses for natural gas from electricity production, industrial, commercial, to everyday use in our homes and school.

At home, natural gas is used to heat water for showers, baths, and dishwashers. We use it to dry our clothes, cook, and heat our homes. Some homes use natural gas in a fireplace. There are even small appliances that use natural gas, like space heaters and outdoor grills.

Can you find ways you use natural gas in your home?