Natural gas – an economical, safe and low-emission fuel

Natural gas has been used as an especially economical, safe and low-emission vehicle fuel in Austria and around the world for decades.

Gas storage facility Puchkirchen

Methane, principally from natural sources, biofuel production or converting renewable solar and wind energy, is compressed so that it can be dispensed at filling stations. This standard product, compressed natural gas (CNG), is now available at many filling stations in Austria and Europe.

Because it is gaseous, CNG is dispensed in kilograms rather than litres. One kilogram of CNG produces 130% of the energy and driving performance delivered by one litre of diesel, or 150% of that of a litre of petrol. This means that given the same prices at filling stations, a natural gas vehicle can travel up to twice as far as a vehicle running on liquid fuel (around 290km for EUR 10).

Filling up involves basically the same procedure as with liquid fuels, except that CNG is pumped into the vehicle’s fuel tank via the hose as a gas. Most gas-powered cars are equipped with a bi-fuel drive system, meaning the engine can run on petrol as well as natural gas, and there is a separate fuel tank for petrol. Switching between fuels takes place automatically without the driver even noticing, including while the vehicle is in motion.


RAG’s first self-service natural gas filling station, located next to the Puchkirchen gas storage facility at the company’s site in Gampern, Upper Austria (near Vöcklabruck), has been open to the public 24 hours a day since 2014. More filling stations will be opened in RAG’s exploration and production areas in the coming years, opening up consumer access to environmentally friendly, affordable natural gas as a fuel for vehicles. As a producer of natural gas and operator of gas storage facilities, RAG can guarantee a crisis-proof supply of fuel at stable prices over the long term. RAG is also leading research projects for underground storage of wind and solar energy (www.underground-sun-storage.at / www.underground-sun-conversion.at), which aims to provide renewable gas for use in vehicles.

In addition, we offer custom solutions to commercial and industrial enterprises, utilising our extensive experience in plant engineering and gas plant operations, such as works compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations. In 2015, RAG built its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) production plant. The process involves cooling methane to a very low temperature, so that it is converted into a depressurised liquid state. The volume of the gas shrinks by a factor of 600, but it retains the same amount of energy. LNG is already used in some European countries as a fuel for heavy goods vehicles, and is seen as the fuel of the future due to its many advantages.