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Midstream 101: The dictionary

Staff Reports

In every business there is a laundry list of terms and acronyms that are used daily. Our list in the midstream industry is long. Really long…and unless you work in the industry, they may be confusing.

Below are a few key terms you may have heard before. We’ve added definitions to help it all make more sense:

  • Dehydration: Removal of water vapor from the product
  • Treating: Removal of contaminants from the product; some contaminants include water vapor and carbon dioxide
  • Gathering: A system or portion of a system that receives natural gas from wells and delivers these volumes to gas processing, treating or redelivery facilities
  • Natural Gas Processing: Removal of natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the gas stream (liquids may include ethane, propane, butane and natural gasoline)
  • Fractionation: Separation of natural gas liquids
  • Hydrocarbon: An organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon, e.g., methane
  • Liquified Natural Gas: Natural gas that has been liquified by reducing its temperature to -260 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Rich/Wet Gas: Raw natural gas with relatively high concentration of heavier hydrocarbons
  • Lean/Dry Gas: Raw natural gas with a low concentration of heavier hydrocarbons; dry natural gas or dry gas can also refer gas after it has been processed to remove natural gas liquids
  • Sour Gas: Contains significant quantities of hydrogen sulfide
  • Sweet Gas: Does not contain significant quantities of hydrogen sulfide
  • Acid Gas: Hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide
  • Non-associated Gas: Gas that comes from gas targeted wells
  • Associated Gas: Gas that comes from oil targeted wells

There’s a start to helping you understand our sometimes-complicated language.

You can learn even more at the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) glossary.


Midstream 101 Series

Learn how things work with Midstream 101. Midstream 101 is an educational look at Williams operations. You’ll learn how gas is gathered, to how it’s processed and compressed, along with how […]

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