Natural gas facts
Natural gas is a safe, convenient, reliable and affordable source of energy. We purchase natural gas on behalf of our customers and then distribute it to the communities we serve. We’re committed to delivering safe, reliable energy in an environmentally responsible manner, while complying with the Government of BC’s regulations.
Natural gas properties:
- Clean-burning — It produces the least fine particulates and greenhouse gasses of any conventional fuel (wood, oil, coal) during combustion.
- Nearly sulphur — and nitrogen-free — It produces the least amount of pollution of any fossil fuel.
- Hard to ignite — It's very safe to use and only flammable when the gas-to-air mixture is between five and 15 per cent. Natural gas also has a very high ignition temperature of 649 degrees Celsius (nearly twice as high as that of some other fuels).
- Measured in gigajoules — One gigajoule (GJ) of natural gas is approximately equivalent to 27 litres of fuel oil, 39 litres of propane, 26 litres of gasoline or 277 kilowatt hours of electricity.
- Lighter than air — It dissipates quickly in well-ventilated areas, unless it becomes trapped in an enclosed space.
- Colourless and odourless — We add an odorant that smells like rotten eggs to make it easy to detect small leaks.
- Mostly made up of methane — about 95 per cent by volume. The other five per cent is a mix of ethane, nitrogen, propane and other heavier hydrocarbons.
- Not poisonous — but, it can cause unconsciousness in high concentrations when it displaces air.
Hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking"
Hydraulic fracturing is the process of pumping fluids down a well under high pressure, thousands of metres below ground-level, generating fractures in the rock formations to allow natural gas to be released and recovered.
BC Oil and Gas Commission – Hydraulic Fracturing