What are Oil and Gas Used For?

Petroleum, whether natural gas or oil, plays an important role in our daily lives. Find out more about when and where it is used.

Domestic Uses

  • Cooking

    Cooking with natural gas costs approximately half as much as cooking with electricity. It is quick to heat and the temperature is easy to change.

  • Heating and cooling

    Temperature regulation is one of the most popular applications of natural gas. It is an energy efficient and convenient approach to both heating and cooling, and like cooking it is easy to control the temperature. Natural gas air-conditioners require less maintenance and have lower ongoing costs than other cooling methods.

  • Appliances

    A number of appliances including barbecues, outdoor lights, bar heaters, tumble dryers, pool heaters and fireplaces can be powered safely and efficiently by natural gas.

Commercial Uses

The commercial applications of natural gas are similar to the residential uses. As natural gas is extremely efficient and economical, it is widely used in this sector for heating and cooling and, because it is piped in, it does not need to be stored, simplifying energy logistics. It also produces far less emissions than all other forms of fossil fuel energy.

  • Water heating

    Natural gas boilers can produce high volumes of hot water quickly and can be controlled automatically.

  • Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

    This refers to the simultaneous production of heat and electricity. This is an efficient process that utilises the heat produced in generating energy to fuel other processes. It is a very useful system in large commercial enterprises that require constant volumes of both heat and power.

  • Co-firing

    The process in which natural gas is used in addition to other fuels which may be less efficient or release more emissions, such as coal, wood and biomass energy.

  • Waste treatment and incineration

  • Powers Infrared Heating Units

    An economic method to generate heat in an industrial setting, particularly in in the metals industry.

  • Glass melting

  • Fertilizer

    Other gases including propane and ethane can be extracted from natural gas and used to make fertilizers and pharmaceutical products.

Electricity Generation

Natural gas can be used to generate electricity in a number of ways. Often it can be used in the same way as other fossil fuels as a cleaner alternative.


Natural gas is a viable alternative fuel particularly useful in the transportation sector.

  • Alternative Fuel

    While Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) can take the form of virtually any vehicle including utility vehicles, passenger cars and vans, they are mostly used for fuel intensive fleets, such as taxis and public buses. Natural gas vehicles release far fewer emissions, which means less local air pollution.

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