Oil & Gas Terms

Volume Abbreviations:

Natural Gas

Mcf: One thousand cubic feet of natural gas
Mmcf: One million cubic feet of natural gas
Bcf: one billion cubic feet of natural gas
Tcf: one trillion cubic feet of natural gas
Mmcf/d: millions of cubic feet of gas a day

Energy Equivalents

Boe: barrel of oil (one barrel of oil equals 6,000 cubic feet of natural gas)
Mboe: one thousand barrels of oil equivalent
Mmboe: one million barrels of oil equivalent
Mmcfe: one million cubic feet of natural gas equivalent
Bcfe: one billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent
Tcfe: one trillion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent
BTU: British Thermal Unit The amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water be on Fahrenheit degree. One BTU is equivalent to 252 calories. 0.293 watt-hours or 1,055 joules.
CCF – One hundred Cubic Feet One CCF is one hundred cubic feet of natural gas at standard distribution pressure of 14.73 pounds per square inch and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.



Associated Gas: natural gas that over-lies and contacts crude oil in a reservoir. Where reservoir conditions are such that the production of associated gas does not substantially affect the recovery of crude oil in the reservoir, such gas may also be reclassified as non- associated gas by a regulatory agency. Also called associated free gas.
Barrel: A common unit for measuring petroleum. One barrel contains about 159 liters. Or, there are approximately 6.3 barrels in one cubic meter.
Bitumen: Petroleum that exists in the semisolid or solid phase in natural deposits.
Cable-Tool Rig: A type of drilling device used from the 1850s to the 1930s that employed a heavy chisel-like bit, which was suspended on a cable and dropped repeatedly into the rock at the bottom of the hole.
Christmas Tree: The arrangement of pipes and valves at the wellhead to control the flow of oil or natural gas and to prevent blowouts.
CNG: Compressed Natural Gas
Coal Gas: A mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and methane, produced by distilling coal, that was once used for heating and lighting.
Coal bed methane: natural gas, primarily methane that occurs naturally in the fractures and matrix of coal beds.
Completion: The procedure by which a successful well is readied for production.
Compressor Station: Stations located along natural gas pipelines which re-compress gas to ensure an even flow. Concrete gravity rigid platform rig: a rigid offshore drilling platform built of steel – reinforced concrete and used to drill development wells. The platform is floated to the drilling site in a vertical position. At the site, one of more tall caissons that serve as the foundation of the platform are flooded so that the platform comes to rest on bottom. Because of the enormous weight of the platform, the force of gravity alone keeps it in place.
Conventional Crude Oil: Petroleum found in liquid form, flowing naturally or capable of being pumped without further processing or dilution.
Conventional Resource: Any area where natural gas can be drilled and extracted vertically
Cubic Foot: The amount of natural gas required at room temperature at sea level to fill a volume of one cubic foot
Cuttings: Chips and small fragments of rock cut by a drill bit and brought to the surface by the flow of drilling mud.
Density: The heaviness of crude oil, indicating the proportion of large, carbon-rich molecules, generally measured in kilograms per cubic meter, or degrees on the American Petroleum Institute (API) gravity scale. In Western Canada oil up to 900 kilograms per cubic meter is considered light to medium crude oil above this density is deemed as heavy oil or bitumen.
Derrick/Drilling Rig: A steel structure mounted over the borehole to support the drill pipe and other equipment that is lowered and raised during drilling operations.
Directional Drilling: Intentional deviation of a well-bore from the vertical. Although well-bores are normally drilled vertically, it is sometimes necessary or advantageous to drill at an angle from the vertical. Controlled directional drilling makes it possible to reach subsurface areas laterally remote from the point where the bit enters the earth. It often involves the use of deflection tools.
DOE: Department of Energy A cabinet-level federal agency created in 1977 to replace the Federal Energy Administration. The DOE manages national energy policy, nuclear power and nuclear weapons programs, and the national energy research tables.
Drilling permit: Authorization from a regulatory agency to drill a well.
Drillbit: Tool used in drilling to break up rock mechanically in order to penetrate the subsoil. The bit drills a circular hole.
Drilling Mud: Fluid circulated down the drill pipe and up the annulus during drilling to remove cuttings, cool and lubricate the bit, and maintain desired pressure in the well.
Dry Hole: An unsuccessful well; a well not capable of producing commercial quantities of oil or gas.
EIA: Energy Information Administration An agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. EIA provides energy data, forecasts and analyses.
Established Reserves: Those reserves recoverable under current technology and present and anticipated economic conditions.
Farmount: An agreement between oil companies whereby the owner of a lease who is not interested in drilling at the time agrees to assign the lease or a portion of it to another company that will earn a share of the production by undertaking exploration.
Field: The geographical area encompassing a group of one or more underground petroleum pools sharing the same or related infrastructure.
Flaring: Flaring is the burning of natural gas that cannot be processed or sold. Flaring disposes of gas, and it releases emissions into the atmosphere. Today it is an important safety measure at natural gas facilities.
Fracturing or fracing: The pumping of crude oil, diesel, water or chemicals into a reservoir with such force that the reservoir rock is cracked and results in greater flow of oil or gas from the reservoir.
Gas pipeline: a transmission system for natural gas or other gaseous material.
Gas processing plant: A facility which extracts liquefiable hydrocarbons or sulfur from natural gas and/or fractionates a liquid stream.
Gas reservoir: a geological formation containing a single gaseous phase. When produced, the surface equipment may or may not contain condensed liquid, depending on the temperature, pressure, and composition of the single reservoir phase.
Gathering: The process of collecting natural gas flowing from numerous wells and bringing it together into pooling areas where it is received into transmission pipelines.
Gathering lines: Pipelines that move natural gas or petroleum from wells to processing or transmission facilities.
Geochemistry: The science of chemistry applied to rocks and minerals; geo-economists analyze the contents of subsurface rocks for the presence of organic matter associated with oil deposits.
Geologist: A person trained in the study of the Earth’s crust; petroleum geologists search for traps that could contain petroleum and recommend drilling locations.
Geophysics: The science that deals with the relations between the physical features of the Earth and forces that produce them. Geophysics includes the study of seismology and magnetism.
GGE: Gasoline Gallon Equivalent
Heavy Oil: Dense, viscous oil, with a high proportion of bitumen, that is difficult to extract with conventional techniques and is more costly to refine.
Horizontal Drilling: An advanced form of directional drilling in which the lateral hole is drilled horizontally.
Hydrocarbons: A large class of liquid, solid or gaseous organic compounds, containing only carbon and hydrogen that are the basis of almost all petroleum products.
In-situ: In its original place; in position; in-situ recovery refers to various methods used to recover deeply buried bitumen deposits, including steam injection, solvent injection and fire-floods.
Jackup drilling rig: a mobile bottom-supported offshore drilling structure with columnar or open-truss legs that support the deck and hull. When positioned over the drilling site the bottoms of the legs penetrate the seafloor. A jackup rig is towed or propelled to a location with its legs up. Once the legs are firmly positioned on the bottom, the deck and hull height are adjusted and leveled.
Kelly: The first and sturdiest joint of the drill string in conventional rotary drilling rigs. A thick-walled, hollow steel forging with four flat sides that fits into a square hole in the rotary table.
Landman: A member of the exploration team whose primary duties are formulating and carrying out exploration strategies and managing an oil company’s relations with its landowners and partners, including securing and administering oil and gas leases and other agreements.
LDC: Local Distribution Company
Light Crude Oil: Liquid petroleum that has a low density and flows freely at room temperature.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG): a liquid composed chiefly of natural gas (for example, mostly methane). Natural gas is liquefied to make it easy to transport if a pipeline is not feasible (as across a body of water). LNG must be put under low temperature and high pressure or under extremely low (cryogenic) temperature and close to atmospheric pressure to liquefy.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG): Natural gas that has been cooled into a liquid state so that it takes up only 1/600 of the volume of natural gas.
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG): Propane, butane or propane-butane mixtures derived from crude oil refining or natural gas fractionation. For convenience of transportation, these gases are liquefied through pressurization.
Medium Crude Oil: Liquid petroleum with a density between that of light and heavy crude oil.
Mineral interest: An ownership of the minerals beneath a tract of land. If the surface ownership and the mineral ownership are different, the minerals are said to be “Severed”
Mineral Rights: The rights to explore for and produce the resources below the surface.
Natural gas: a naturally occurring mixture of hydrocarbon an non-hydrocarbon gases found in porous rock formations. Its principal component is methane
Natural gas liquids (NGL): A general term for liquid products separated from natural gas in a gas processing plant. These include propane, butane, ethane, and natural gas.
NGV: Natural Gas Vehicle
Oil Sands: A deposit of sand saturated with bitumen.
Operator: The party responsible for exploration, development or production projects.
Permeability: A measure of the resistance offered by rock to the movement of fluids through it.
Petroleum: A naturally occurring mixture composed predominantly of hydrocarbons in the gaseous, liquid or solid phase.
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.
Plug: A permanent plug, usually cement, set in a borehole to block the flow of fluids, to isolate sections of the well or to permanently plug a dry hole or depleted well.
Pooling: A term frequently used interchangeably with “unitization;” more properly, it refers to the combining of small or irregular tracts into a unit large enough to meet state spacing regulations for drilling permits. “Unitization” is a term used to describe the combined operations of all or some portion of a producing reservoir. Porosity: The open space within a rock, similar to pores in a sponge.
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 on the basis of drilling results, production and historical trends.
Proved Reserves: Hydrocarbons in known reservoirs that can be recovered with a great degree of certainty under existing technological and economic conditions.
Reservoir: Porous, permeable rock containing oil and natural gas; enclosed or surrounded by layers of less permeable or impervious rock.
Rotary Rig: A modern drilling unit capable of drilling a well with a bit attached to a rotating column of steel pipe.
Roughneck: A floor hand in an oil-drilling operation. These workers used to have a reputation for rowdiness.
Royalty: The share of production or proceeds reserved to a mineral owner under the terms of a mineral lease. Normally, royalty interests are free of all costs of production except production taxes and transportation costs. It is established in the lease by reserving a royalty which is usually expressed as a fraction of production.
SCF: Standard Cubic Feet
Seismic: A tool for identifying underground accumulations of oil or natural gas by sending and measuring the return of energy or sound waves. It is a computer-assisted process that maps sedimentary structures to assist in planning drilling programs.
Semisubmersible drilling rig: a floating offshore drilling unit that has pontoons and columns that, when flooded, cause the unit to submerge to a predetermined depth. Living quarters, storage space, and so forth are assembled on the deck. Semi-submersible rigs are self-propelled or towed to a drilling site and anchored or dynamically positioned over the site, or both. In shallow water, some semi-submersible can be ballasted to rest on the seabed. Semi-submersibles are more stable than drill ships and ship-shaped barges and are used extensively to drill wildcat wells in rough waters such as the North Sea. Two types of Semi-submersible rigs are the bottle-type ant the column -stabilized.
Shales: Gas reserves found in unusually nonporous rock, requiring special drilling and completion techniques.
Shallow gas: natural gas deposit located near enough to the surface that a conductor or surface hole will penetrate that gas-bearing formations. Shallow gas is potentially dangerous because, if encountered while drilling, the will usually cannot be shut in to control it. Instead, the flow of gas must be diverted.
Shut In Well: A well which is producing or capable of producing but is not produced. Reasons for wells being shut in may be lack of pipeline access to market or economically unfavorable market prices.
Sound Blanket: A sound blanket or a wall sometimes erected in order to reduce the noise emitted from a drilling rig.
Spacing: The distance between wells allowed by a regulatory body. Spacing is based on what is deemed to be the amount of acreage that can be efficiently and economically drained by a well.
Spud: The commencement of drilling operations.
Sour gas: gas containing an appreciable quantity of hydrogen sulphide.
Sustainable Development: Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (as defined by United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development).
Sweet crude oil: oil containing little or no sulfur, especially little or no hydrogen sulphide.
Synthetic Crude (or Upgraded Crude): A blend of hydrocarbons similar to light crude oil. It is produced by processing bitumen or heavy oil at a facility called an up-grader.
Tank Battery: Tank batteries are part of the production equipment installed after a well is completed. They store the salt water that is returned from a producing well.
Viscosity: The resistance to flow or “stickiness” of a fluid.
Wellbore: A hole drilled or bored into the earth, usually cased with metal pipe, for the production or oil or gas.
Wellhead: The control equipment fitted to the top of the well, consisting of outlets, valves, blowout-prevention equipment, etc.
Wildcat: Traditionally: drilling rigs and wells. Today it is a well drilled on unproven ground (A wildcat well).
Working Interest: The right granted to the lessee of a property to explore for and to produce and own oil, gas or other minerals. The working interest owners bear the exploration, development and operating costs.
Unconventional Resource: Any area (shales, tight sands, fractured carbonates) where natural gas cannot be drilled and extracted vertically.

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