Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Frank Wicks




gas, natural, drilling, becoming, country


This thesis explores how and where natural gas is being utilized in the United States, with the overall purpose of becoming an expert in the field. Natural gas is quickly becoming one of the most important resources in the world. The United States reliance for crude oil from foreign sources has dramatically increased the price and demand for the gas in recent years. As a country we use approximately 23.1 Tcf (trillion cubic feet) of natural gas a year, but that amount still only represents a small portion of the energy consumed by our country per year and is increasing quickly. Due to advancements in modern drilling techniques, such as hydraulic fracture drilling and horizontal drilling, previously unattainable natural gas regions are being drilled. These new techniques have allowed for different shale regions, such as the Marcellus and Haynesville Shale, to be drilled economically, thus decreasing our dependence on other sources. Natural gas is also receiving attention for its use as an alternative fuel source. It is already successfully being used by the NYS Department of Transportation for many of their vehicles. The liquefied form of the gas has also been successfully tested as a fuel source for commercial airliners. In the next few years oil may not be the only primary energy resource of our planet.