STEM & Natural Gas: How It All Connects

By November 8, 2018Natural Gas
On National STEM Day, Kratos Gas & Power discuses how the natural gas industry fits in.

Kratos would like to wish everyone a happy National S.T.E.M Day. This blog post is dedicated to the educators and students that participate in the STEM program.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is fairly new approach to teaching, where these fields are put at the forefront of education using real world problems in order to foster a stronger community, workforce, and better international ventures. STEM tracks allow students the opportunity to become skillful and proficient for the future.

As a natural gas company, STEM is also particularly important to Kratos Gas & Power. Here is how it can relate to something as small as the energy in your home.

Science & Natural Gas

Science is a very broad area of study; however, as far as natural gas goes, it covers chemistry, physics, and biology. Take for the example the formation of natural gas.  Natural gas came from ancient marine life that set into the mud, silt, and sand. Over millions of years it was then deprived of oxygen. Natural gas at it’s cleanest form, has no color, emits no odor, and is primarily made of methane. One interesting fact about methane, is that, of the all hydrocarbons it is the lightest. Another interesting fact about methane is, it has only one carbon atom surrounded and is surrounded by four hydrogen atoms, together it makes CH4. It’s worth noting also, that methane is extremely flammable. That’s just the surface of how science is used here at Kratos.

Technology & Natural Gas

Technology is used in relation to natural gas to make electricity that runs through your home. It helps keep people and the environment safe, and it helps make our use of natural gas more efficient so that it last longer. Technology is also used to help people find natural gas when digging wells. Computer Assisted Exploration (CAEX) came on the scene about 50 years ago and is still in use today. There are currently three primary types of CAEX that are used: 2-D, 3-D, and fairly new 4-D. Microprocessors assemble seismics information. Even now, technology has progressed quite far in that it is now possible to incorporate the facts gathered from different kinds of tests, examples like logging, production information, and gravimetric testing, which can all be merged into a single visualization of the underground formation. Other technology used in the field of natural gas include CADWorx (software) and AutoCAD Civil 3D (software).

Engineering & Natural Gas

Engineering is the 3rd letter in the acronym STEM. Here are some skills that you would need as an entry-level engineer: CADWorx (software) and AutoCAD Civil 3D (software), you need to know environmental policies, design, how to do estimates, Microsoft software, and be willing to travel to different work sites. As an engineer you would also need to know “how to extract gas and natural gas liquids efficiently from reservoirs taking into account geology, well locations, well type, well performance, injection and production strategies, production history, reservoir characteristics, fluid characteristics, economics and many other factors. This…is coupled with closely related topics such as formation evaluation, reservoir engineering, analytical and numerical simulation methods and reservoir characterization of both conventional and unconventional subsurface resources.” Doesn’t that sound exciting? It does to us!

 

Math & Natural Gas

With natural gas there is a lot of math involved. You have to know how to estimate natural gas use in the present as well as how to calculate potential increases that could happen in the future and the effects they would have on natural gas consumption. It could take years to properly calculate mathematical models to help the operators on a single project. Mathematicians have to be accurate; natural gas can be dangerous and accurate calculations could prevent leaks that could lead to explosions or people getting sick. Math is also used to track how the system that you work with is running and how things mix.

 

It’s incredible what we we are able do now thanks to the progression of STEM fields and laborers, and the future promises to be even brighter.  As you can see from the natural gas sector alone, the fields go hand-in-hand, and there are a plethora of different careers you can pursue with STEM. So on National STEM Day, we encourage you to keep thinking about the ways you can get involved. Head on over to our Facebook and Instagram pages to learn about some of our favorite STEM pioneers.