Natural gas seeps contribute to global climate change by releasing substantial amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane and other climate-active gases including ethane and propane to the atmosphere. However, methanotrophs, bacteria capable of utilising methane as the sole source of carbon and energy, play a significant role in reducing the emissions of methane from many environments. Methylocella-like facultative methanotrophs are a unique group of bacteria that grow on other components of natural gas (i.e. ethane and propane) in addition to methane but a little is known about the distribution and activity of Methylocella in the environment. The purposes of this study were to identify bacteria involved in cycling methane emitted from natural gas seeps and, most importantly, to investigate if Methylocella-like facultative methanotrophs were active utilisers of natural gas at seep sites.