Natural Gas Compressors-The Fill Up of the Future (Dated: Jul 2011)

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OES CNG, a division of OES and associated company Oil & Gas Engineers Lincoln Consulting, are currently investing and developing compressed natural gas vehicle systems throughout Australia. We offer for sale and service the following:

  • Compressors, Bowsers and Instrumentation for CNG Service Stations
  • Commercial Fleet CNG Solutions.
  • Home Re-fueling Compressors.
  • CNG Vehicle Conversions.
  • Customer Finance Packages.

CNG Definition

CNG or Compressed Natural Gas is the compressed form of the gas commonly used in homes throughout Australia for domestic cooking and heating appliances. It consists mainly of methane (80 - 95%), a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas. The distinctive smell associated with natural gas is in fact an additive which enables quick detection of leaking gas. Methane is the lightest hydrocarbon having a chemical composition of CH4 and occurs naturally throughout the solar system and universe. Natural gas is not the same as Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) which is made up of a variety of heavy petroleum derived gases, mainly Propane and Butane.

Historically natural gas was manufactured by collecting gas produced by burning coal ("Town gas"). Today natural gas is extracted from underground and subsea deposits often but not always associated with oil and coal deposits. Australia holds very large reserves of natural gas deposits which are expected to meet our energy requirements for hundreds of years to come. Australia exports thousands of tonnes of natural gas to Asia on a daily basis in the form of LNG (Liquid Natural Gas)

A major source of methane around the world is to date largely unharnessed. Instead it is allowed to leak in its raw form into the atmosphere. Methane is a by-product of decomposing organic matter including the rotting of dead plants, the rotting of garbage in tips and dumps, and also livestock manure and sewage treatment plants. This is known as biogas and is likely to be harnessed to a much greater extent in the future. Natural gas is consequently a renewable source of fuel.

History and Global Use

The first natural gas engine was invented in the mid-1800's. Since the 1930's, Italy has been using natural gas as a vehicle fuel and developing its associated technologies. During World War II some cars in Australia were converted to run on "town gas".

The adoption of CNG as a vehicle fuel is now accelerating worldwide. In the last decade, the number of Compressed Natural Gas Vehicles (CNGV's) around the world has jumped by 500% from around 1 million vehicles in 1996 to in excess of 5 million vehicles in 2006.

Currently the leading nations adopting CNG around the world is as follows;

World Standing Country Vehicles Fuelling Stations
1 Argentina 1.5 million 1,400
2 Brazil 1.1 Million 1,200
3 Pakistan 1.0 Million 1,000
4 Italy 0.4 Million 500
5 India 0.25 Million 200
6 USA 130,000 1,300
7 Iran 115,000 140
8 China 97,000 360
9 Ukraine 67,000 150
10 Egypt 63,000 100
11 Colombia 60,000 90
12 Bangladesh 55,000 120
13 Bolivia 45,000 60
14 Venezuela 44,000 150
15 Russia 42,000 210
16 Armenia 38,000 60
17 Germany 33,000 650
18 Japan 25,000 300
19 Canada 20,000 220

The online Newspaper DNA (Daily News and Analysis) states that according to statistics available with the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), the consumption of natural gas in Mumbai, India has risen by a whopping 374% over the past 3 years.

To improve security of energy supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the European Union has set itself an objective to have substituted 20% of all traditional fuels used in the road transport sector (petrol and diesel) with alternative fuels before the year 2020. Three alternative solutions are seen as promising: biofuels, natural gas and hydrogen. By 2020, at least 50% of alternative fuel substitution is expected to be natural gas

Environmental Effect

  • Natural Gas is the Cleanest readily available transport fuel.
  • Natural gas vehicles do not cause respiratory illness and produce far less greenhouse gases.
  • Electric Vehicles are not so green.
  • Ethanol production is not energy efficient and utilises land that could produce food.
  • Natural gas will not destroy surrounding ecosystems should an accident occur.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) in Petroleum products pose a risk to public health and the Ozone.


Natural gas as a fuel for vehicles is far less hazardous than conventional petroleum products such as petrol and LPG.

  • Concentrated natural gas is not flammable.
  • Natural gas dissipates rather than pooling around a leak.
  • Compressed natural gas storage cylinders have a very high factor of safety.
  • Compressed Natural gas equipment and facilities must meet the highest safety standards.


Because of its abundance and reduced processing requirements, the price of natural gas is very low. Currently natural gas is supplied to most metropolitan homes in Australia at prices about 0.85 cents per Megajoule or about 33 cents per cubic meter. Compared to petrol, a vehicle running on CNG using a domestic compressor would be paying about 26 cents for the equivalent of 1 litre of petrol or about 19 cents for the equivalent of 1 litre of LPG which has much less energy per litre than petrol.

LPG prices generally fluctuate in response to world crude oil prices. Presently Australia relies largely on international supplies of crude oil. There is some indication that Australian oil reserves can expect to be severely stretch within the next decade. As a result, Australian petrol prices will fluctuate in response to international political events such as wars, natural disasters and financial market fluctuation. Oil industry experts predict that pump prices for petrol will reach $6/litre by 2020. This would equate to a cost of $360 to fill a 60 litre tank.

Australian natural gas reserves are abundant and increasing. By relying on our national natural gas resources CNG consumers can expect consistent, low fuel prices which are not subject to international fluctuations.


The Worldwide rise of natural gas as a vehicle fuel is not only inevitable, it is already underway. Natural gas offers a range of advantages to Australia over traditional petroleum fuels and alternative fuels.

  • Natural gas is cheap, abundant, high octane, easily combustible, and widely available throughout Australia through an extensive pipeline distribution infrastructure.
  • It is renewable in the form of biogas production. The harnessing of biogas production resulting from human dumping and waste will help reduce the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere from such sources.
  • As a fuel, natural gas offers significant environmental and public health advantages through reduced vehicular greenhouse gases emissions including particulate emissions.
  • Use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel offers Australia independence from oil producing countries and oil market fluctuations resulting from international political and market influences.
  • Natural gas offers a cheaper alternative to any other available vehicle fuel. Most significantly Australian natural gas reserves are not subject to the influences that result in fluctuating oil prices.
  • Natural gas is produced by decomposing organic materials and is a by-product of human waste treatment and dumping. This effectively makes natural gas a renewable fuel and natural gas vehicles 'greenhouse neutral'.
  • Vehicle and Engine manufacturers are increasing production and marketing of natural gas vehicles. These include Honda, Toyota, Isuzu, Volvo, Ford, VW, Mitsubishi, Fiat, Cummins and Mercedes Benz.

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