Natural Gas Uses
Natural gas is used extensively in residential, commercial and industrial applications. It is the dominant energy used for home heating with about 55 percent of American homes using gas. The use of natural gas is also rapidly increasing in electric power generation and cooling, and as a transportation fuel.
About 46 percent of natural gas delivered to U.S. consumers is used in the industrial sector, providing energy for everything from mining minerals to processing food. Generating electricity consumes about 15 percent. Another 15 percent is used in the commercial market -- for heating and cooling office buildings, hospitals and schools, and for cooking in restaurants. Most of the remaining amount -- about 22 percent -- is used in the residential market, providing energy for home heating, hot water, cooking, clothes drying and air conditioning.
Natural gas is delivered to about 175 million American consumers through a 1.3 million-mile network of underground pipe. A total of 288,000 producing natural gas wells, 125 natural gas pipeline companies and more than 1,200 gas distribution companies provide gas service to all 50 states. The United States accounts for about 24 percent of the world's natural gas production each year.