Aux Sable's vision is to become a market leader in the midstream gas processing and NGL industry within selected regions of North America where Aux Sable can profitably develop and expand competitive advantages.

Our Industry > Glossary

Butane 
A natural gas liquid, the chemical formula of which is C4H10, used primarily in crude oil and gasoline blending or in the production of iso-octane, an octane enhancer.
 
Chromatograph
An analytical instrument which separates mixtures of substances into identifiable components.
 
Condensate
A hydrocarbon liquid separated from natural gas consisting mostly of pentanes plus.
 
Cryogenic Plant
A gas processing plant that is capable of producing natural gas liquid products including ethane, at a very low operating temperature. 

Debutanizer
A fractionating column in a gas plant in which butane and lighter components are removed.
 
Deethanizer
A unit of equipment for separating ethane, with or without lighter components.

Dehydrator
A unit which dries the incoming gas stream by removing any entrained water.
 
Demethanizer
A unit of equipment for separating methane and more volatile components, as demethanizer overhead from a mixture of hydrocarbons, and leaving a bottoms product which is essentially methane free. 
 
Dense phase gas
Natural gas delivered on the Alliance Pipeline is in a dense phase, which means that the natural gas mixture is somewhere between a liquid and a vapor. The Alliance Pipeline system compresses liquids rich natural gas at high-pressure. The unique ability to increase compression of the rich gas creates a "dense gas", allowing producers to ship more of the energy they produce per unit cost.

Depropanizer
A unit of equipment for separating propane and lighter components.

Distillation
The process of separating two or more components by vaporization and condensation.
 
Edmonton-trading hub
A major natural gas liquids trading and operating center in Alberta, Canada.
 
EP-Mix (ethane-propane mix)
A product consisting of a mixture of essentially ethane and propane. 

Ethane
Ethane is a natural gas liquid with chemical formula C2H6. Ethane is isolated on an industrial scale from natural gas, and as a byproduct of petroleum refining. Its chief use is as a petrochemical feedstock for ethylene production.
 
Ethane Plus
A mixture of hydrocarbons that contain ethane, propane, butanes and pentanes plus. (C2+)
 
Ethylene
An olefinic hydrocarbon recovered from refinery processes or petrochemical processes with chemical formula C2H4. Ethylene is used as a petrochemical feedstock for numerous chemical applications and the production of consumer goods.
 
Frac Spread
Difference in value of NGLs (ethane, propane, butanes and pentanes plus) as pure liquid and as a fuel in natural gas.

Fractionation
The recovered NGL stream is processes through a fractionation train consisting of three distillation towers in a series: a deethanizer, a depropanizer and a debutanizer. The overhead product from the deethanizer is ethane and the bottoms are fed to the depropanizer. The overhead product from the depropanizer is propane and the bottoms are fed to the debutanizer. The overhead product from the debutanizer is a mixture of normal and iso-butane, and the bottoms product is a C5+ mixture. 
 
Gathering Systems
A series of pipelines that aggregate and deliver various types of products from the production area to a storage terminal or a processing facility.
 
Henry Hub
The pricing point for natural gas futures contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). It is a point on the natural gas pipeline system in Erath, Louisiana and is owned by Sabine Pipe Line LLC.

Hydrocarbon
A molecule that contains both carbon and hydrogen atoms.

Isobutane C4H10 or IC4
Isobutane is used as a feedstock in the petrochemical industry, for example in the synthesis of isooctane.
 
Isomerization
A process which alters the fundamental arrangement of atoms in the molecule without adding or removing anything from the original material. At the Channahon facility it is used to convert normal butane into isobutane.

Isomerization Unit
A unit in the plant that converts normal butane to iso butane. 

Lean Gas
A stream of natural gas that contains very few natural gas liquids (NGLs). The residue gas remaining after the recovery of natural gas liquids in a gas processing plant. 
 
Methane
Methane is a chemical compound with the molecular formula CH4. It is the simplest alkane, and the principal component of natural gas. Burning methane in the presence of oxygen produces carbon dioxide and water. The relative abundance of methane and its clean burning process makes it a very attractive fuel. However, because it is a gas at normal temperature and pressure, methane is difficult to transport from its source. In its natural gas form, it is generally transported in bulk by pipeline or LNG carriers; few countries still transport it by truck.
 
Mt. Belvieu, TX
A major natural gas liquids trading and operating center in the US Gulf Coast.
 
Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs)
Short chain, low molecular weight hydrocarbons including: ethane (C2H6), propane (C3H8), normal butane (C4H10), isobutane (C4H10), pentanes (C5H12) and higher molecule weight hydrocarbons. Often found in raw natural gas.
 
Natural Gas Processing Plant.
Facilities designed to recover natural gas liquids from a stream of natural gas that may or may not have passed through lease separators and/or field separation facilities. These facilities control the quality of the natural gas to be marketed.

Odorant
A highly odiferous fluid or gas, usually a light mercaptan, added to a gas or LP-gas to impart to it a distinctive odor for safety precautions and to facilitate detection of leaks.

Pentanes Plus.
A mixture of hydrocarbons, mostly pentanes and heavier, extracted from natural gas. Includes isopentane, natural gasoline, and plant condensate.
 
Propane
A normal gaseous straight-chain hydrocarbon with a chemical formula of C3H8. It is a colorless paraffinic gas that boils at a temperature of -43.67 degrees Fahrenheit. It is extracted from natural gas or refinery gas streams. It is commonly used as a fuel for engines, oxy gas torches, barbeques, portable stoves and residential central heating. When used as vehicle fuel, it is commonly known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or LP-gas), which can be a mixture of propane along with small amounts of propylene, butane and butylene.

Propane plus C3+
A mixture of propane, iso butane, normal butane and natural gasoline.

Rich Gas
Refers to a gas stream which has a high content of natural gas liquids. 

Sarnia-trading hub
A major natural gas liquids trading and operating center in Ontario, Canada.

Straddle plant
A natural gas processing plant within the pipeline transmission system, at which gas is further processed (subsequent to field processing) to remove additional natural gas liquids. The term refers to the fact that the plant "straddles" the main pipeline. In Canada, most ethane is produced at straddle plants, also known as a processing plant.

Turbo expander
Also referred to as an expansion turbine, is a centrifugal or axial flow turbine through which a high pressure gas is expanded to produce work that is often used to drive a compressor.

West Texas Intermediate ("WTI")
This is a light sweet type of crude oil used as a benchmark in oil pricing and the underlying commodity of New York Mercantile Exchange's oil futures contracts. This oil type is often referenced in North American news reports about oil prices.

Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin ("WCSB")
WCSB is one of the major gas-producing areas of North America. It supplies approximately 25% of all gas used by the US and Canada, and 98% of Canadian production.

Y-Grade
An NGL mixture of ethane, propane, butane, and condensate that has not been fractionated into saleable products. 

 

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