Natural Gas Glossary

Balancing Item

Represents differences between the sum of the components of natural gas supply and the sum of the components of natural gas disposition.

These differences may be due to quantities lost or to the effects of data reporting problems. Reporting problems include differences due to the net result of conversions off low data metered at varying temperature and pressure bases and converted to a standard temperature and pressure base; the effect of variations in company accounting and billing practices; differences between billing cycle and calendar period time frames; and imbalances resulting from the merger of data reporting systems that vary in scope, format, definitions, and type of respondents.

Base Gas

The quantity of natural gas needed to maintain adequate reservoir pressures and deliverability rates throughout the withdrawal season. Base gas usually is not withdrawn and remains in the reservoir. All natural gas native to a depleted reservoir is included in the base gas volume.

Bcf

One billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Bcfe

One billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.

Biomass

Organic nonfossil material of biological origin constituting a renewable energy source.

Boe

Barrel of oil (one barrel of oil equals 6,000 cubic feet of natural gas).

Btu (British Thermal Unit)

Btu is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound mass of water by 1° F.

Citygate

A point or measuring station at which a distributing gas utility receives gas from a natural gas pipeline company or transmission system.

Coke Oven Gas

The mixture of permanent gases produced by the carbonization of coal in a coke oven at temperatures in excess of 1,000 degrees Celsius.

Delivered Gas

The physical transfer of natural, synthetic, and/or supplemental gas from facilities operated by the responding company to facilities operated by others or to consumers.

Depleted Storage Field

A sub-surface natural geological reservoir, usually a depleted gas or oil field, used for storing natural gas.

DGE (Diesel Gallon Equivalent)

DGE corresponds to the amount of CNG containing the same energy content as one gallon of diesel. Ultra-low sulfur diesel has slightly less energy than traditional diesel, so 1.35 therms per DGE is commonly cited conversion rate.

Dry Natural Gas Production

The process of producing consumer-grade natural gas. Natural gas withdrawn from reservoirs is reduced by volumes used at the production (lease) site and by processing losses. Volumes used at the production site include (1) the volume returned to reservoirs in cycling, repressuring of oil reservoirs, and conservation operations; and (2) gas vented and flared. Processing losses include (1) nonhydrocarbon gases (e.g., water vapor, carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen sulfide, and nitrogen) removed from the gas stream; and (2) gas converted to liquid form, such as lease condensate and plant liquids. Volumes of dry gas withdrawn from gas storage reservoirs are not considered part of production. Dry natural gas production equals marketed production less extraction loss.

Electric Power Sector

An energy-consuming sector that consists of electricity only and combined heat and power(CHP) plants whose primary business is to sell electricity, or electricity and heat, to the public–i.e., North American Industry Classification System 22 plants.

Electric Utility

A corporation, person, agency, authority, or other legal entity or instrumentality aligned with distribution facilities for delivery of electric energy for use primarily by the public. Included are investor-owned electric utilities, municipal and State utilities, Federal electric utilities, and rural electric cooperatives. A few entities that are tariff based and corporately aligned with companies that own distribution facilities are also included.

Exports

Shipments of goods from within the 50 States and the District of Columbia to U.S. possessions and territories or to foreign countries.

GGE (Gasoline Gallon Equivalent)

GGE corresponds to the amount of CNG containing the same energy content as one gallon of gasoline. The typical conversion rate is 1.25 therms per GGE.

Heating Value

The average number of BTUs per cubic foot of natural gas as determined from tests of fuel samples.

Horizontal Drilling

An advanced form of directional drilling in which the lateral hole is drilled horizontally.

Hydrocarbon

Any of a class of compounds containing only hydrogen and carbon, as an alkane, methane, CH4, an alkene, ethylene, C2H4, an alkyne, acetylene, C2H2, or an aromatic compound, benzene, C6H6.

Imports

Receipts of goods into the 50 States and the District of Columbia from U.S. possessions and territories or from foreign countries.

Inlet or Suction Pressure

Both inlet and suction pressure refer to the incoming pipeline gas pressure that supplies the CNG station. Inlet pressure is one of the main factors that determines the overall flow rate of a CNG station.

LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas)

LNG is natural gas that has been cooled to -259 degrees Fahrenheit (-161 degrees Celsius) and then condensed into a colorless, odorless, non-corrosive and non-toxic liquid. LNG is characterized as a cryogenic liquid.

Marketed Production

Gross withdrawals less gas used for repressuring, quantities vented and flared, and nonhydrocarbon gases removed in treating or processing operations. Includes all quantities of gas used in field and processing plant operations

Methane (CH4)

Commonly known as natural gas, is an abundant, colorless gas that burns efficiently without many byproducts. As methane is naturally odorless, it has a distinctive odor added as a safety measure.

MMBtu

One Million Btu.

Natural Gas Marketed Production

Gross withdrawals of natural gas from production reservoirs, less gas used for reservoir repressuring, nonhydrocarbon gases removed in treating and processing operations, and quantities vented and flared.

Natural Gas Marketer

A company that arranges purchases and sales of natural gas. Unlike pipeline companies or local distribution companies, a marketer does not own physical assets commonly used in the supply of natural gas, such as pipelines or storage fields. A marketer may be an affiliate of another company, such as a local distribution company, natural gas pipeline, or producer, but it operates independently of other segments of the company. In States with residential choice programs, marketers serve as alternative suppliers to residential users of natural gas, which is delivered by a local distribution company.

Natural Gas Utility Demand-Side Management (DSM) program sponsor

A DSM (demand-side management) program sponsored by a natural gas utility that suggests ways to increase the energy efficiency of buildings, to reduce energy costs, to change the usage patterns, or to promote the use of a different energy source.

Nonutility Power Producer

A corporation, person, agency, authority, or other legal entity or instrumentality that owns or operates facilities for electric generation and is not an electric utility. Nonutility power producers include qualifying cogenerators, qualifying small power producers, and other nonutility generators (including independent power producers). Non-utility power producers are without a designated franchised service area and do not file forms listed in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 18, Part 141.

Pipeline

A string of interconnected pipe providing a route for natural gas to travel from the wellhead to market. Without pipelines, natural gas cannot be transported and sold at market to provide royalty payments, clean energy and economic benefits to the community.

Processing

The separation of oil, gas and natural gas liquids and the removal of impurities.

Proved Reserves

The quantity of oil and natural gas estimated to be recoverable from known fields under existing economic and operating conditions. This is determined from drilling results, production and historical trends.

PSI (Pounds per Square Inch)

PSI refers to pressure measured with respect to atmosphere pressure. Pressure gauges are adjusted to read zero at the surrounding atmospheric pressure.

Reservoir

Porous, permeable rock containing oil and natural gas; enclosed or surrounded by layers of less permeable or impervious rock.

SCF (Standard Cubic Foot)

Contains approximately 1,000 BTU.

SCFM (Standard Cubic Feet per Minute)

SCFM is the standard measurement for the flow rate of gas. A CNG station with a flow rate of 125 SCFM equates to 1 GGE per minute.

Shale Gas

Natural gas produced from wells that are open to shale formations. Shale is a fine-grained, sedimentary rock composed of mud from flakes of clay minerals and tiny fragments (silt-sized particles) of other materials. The shale acts as both the source and the reservoir for the natural gas.

Shales

Gas reserves found in unusually nonporous rock, requiring special drilling and completion techniques.

Therm

100,000 British thermal units (BTU). A common measure of gas as sold by utilities.

Unaccounted For (Natural Gas)

Represents differences between the sum of the components of natural gas supply and the sum of components of natural gas disposition. These differences maybe due to quantities lost or to the effects of data reporting problems. Reporting problems include differences due to the net result of conversions of flow data metered at varying temperatures and pressure bases and converted to a standard temperature and pressure base; the effect of variations in company accounting and billing practices; differences between billing cycle and calendar-period time frames; and imbalances resulting from the merger of data reporting systems that vary in scope, format, definitions, and type of respondents

Underground Natural Gas Storage

The use of sub-surface facilities for storing natural gas for use at a later time. The facilities are usually hollowed-out salt domes, geological reservoirs (depleted oil or gas fields) or water-bearing sands (called aquifers) topped by an impermeable cap rock.

Unit Value, Consumption

Total price per specified unit, including all taxes, at the point of consumption.

Vehicle Fuel Consumption

Vehicle fuel consumption is computed as the vehicle miles traveled divided by the fuel efficiency reported in miles per gallon (MPG). Vehicle fuel consumption is derived from the actual vehicle mileage collected and the assigned MPGs obtained from EPA certification files adjusted for on-road driving. The quantity of fuel used by vehicles.

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