Knowledge Center

What is Natural Gas?

Natural gas is a colourless, odourless fuel that burns cleaner than many other fossil fuels and is used worldwide for heating, cooling, production of electricity and other applications. It has advantages of convenience, reliability, safety, low emissions, efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Source of Natural Gas Supply in Barbados

The responsibility of the production and refining of natural gas lies with BNOCL. BNOCL’s estimated reserves at March 2015 were 4.3 million MCF of natural gas. Given the high demand for natural gas supply the Corporation started the importation of natural gas from the United States of America since February 2016 and this supplements the natural gas produced by BNOCL which is purchased by National Petroleum Corporation (NPC) to be retailed to its customers.

The Corporation’s existing pipeline network is approximately 6 miles of transmission and 314 miles of distribution lines.

Historically natural gas finds in Barbados has been in association with crude oil.

It is rare to find a well which produces only natural gas in Barbados where a typical well is drilled to a depth of 3000 to 5000 feet.


In 2008 NPC embarked on a pilot project in collaboration with Courtesy Garage and Barbados National Oil Company(BNOCL) to introduce natural gas fuelled vehicles to the Barbadian market. The project was successful and highlighted the savings to customers in the areas of vehicle fuel costs and maintenance costs.

In April 2011, the Corporation extended this project with the launch of the islands first fast  fill natural gas station with the objective to

-diversify the customer base of the NPC by offering natural gas as a cleaner and cheaper fuel option for vehicle transportation to the private and public sector.

-facilitate NPC’s requirements for its own natural gas vehicles.

-improve public awareness of the NPC as well as in the use of cleaner fossil fuels.

The station located on the compound of our Wildey Office facilitates the quick re-fueling of NGVs both owned by NPC and the other commercial entities.   Currently, companies with at least one natural gas vehicle in their fleet include NPC, BNOCL, Courtesy Garage, UWI and Sanitation Service Authority.



When compared with conventional electrical units, absorption cooling using natural gas is one of the most viable alternatives with realized cost savings of between 40 to 45%. 


1.  When a liquid is heated it vaporizes and when a gas is cooled it condenses.
2.  Lowering the pressure above a liquid reduces its boiling point
3.  Heat flows from warmer to cooler surfaces. Relies on principle of thermodynamics
4.  Refrigerant (usually ammonia) and absorbent (usually Lithium Bromide) have high affinity for each other i.e. one dissolves in the other
5.  The refrigerant lowers the boiling pressure and temperature of the absorbent
6.  Heat from natural gas combustion drives the change of phase
7.  Using heat of absorption reduces the natural gas requirements and increases efficiency