REFINED NATURAL GAS/OIL PRODUCTS

LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS

WHAT IS IT ?
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consists mainly of propane, propylene, butane, and butylene in various mixtures. However, for all fuels in the United States, the mixture is mainly propane. It is produced as a by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining. The components of LPG are gases at normal temperatures and pressures

LPG is a by-product from two sources: natural gas processing and crude oil refining. Most of the LPG used in the United States is produced domestically. When natural gas is produced, it contains methane and other light hydrocarbons that are separated in a gas processing plant. Because propane boils at -44 degrees Fahrenheit and ethane boils at -127 degrees Fahrenheit, separation from methane is accomplished by combining increasing pressure and decreasing temperature.

The natural gas liquid components recovered during processing include butane, ethane and propane as well as heavier hydrocarbons.

Propane and butane, along with other gases, are also produced during crude refining as a by-product of the processes that rearrange and/or break down molecular structure to obtain more desirable petroleum compounds.

HOW IS IT SHIPPED ?
Much of these gas products are shipped by rail. A comprehensive listing of the type rail tank cars used can be found in the book American Car & Foundry by Kaminski.

BUTANE

WHAT IS IT ?
BUTANE is a colorless gas or liquid with a slight hydrocarbon odor. It occurs naturally in the oil/gas fields. It is shipped as a liquified gas under pressure and is extremely flammable and explosive.

ETHANE

WHAT IS IT ?
gaseous paraffinic hydrocarbon (C2H6) present in natural gas and petroleum; used as a fuel, and as a feedstock in petrochemical manufacture.

PROPANE

WHAT IS IT ?
gaseous paraffinic hydrocarbon (C3H8) present in natural gas and crude oil; also termed, along with butane, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

LIQUIFIED NATURAL GAS

WHAT IS IT ?
Commonly known as LNG, is natural gas which has been cooled so that it turns from a gas to a liquid. This cooling process, known as liquefaction, brings natural gas to a temperature of minus 162 degrees Celsius or minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit.By turning the gas into a liquid, its volume is reduced and it becomes more manageable andsafer to transport. During transportation, the LNG is kept in cooled tanks to maintain its liquified state. At an LNG terminal, the liquified natural gas can be stored or converted back into a gas.The liquid gas is slowly warmed to a temperature of five degrees Celsius to turn it back into usable natural gas. This warming process is known as regassification. Once the LNG has been returned to its gaseous state, it becomes lighter than air and will dissipate if released to the atmosphere.

International trade in LNG is more than 30 years old. The two main markets for this productare the Asia Pacific market and the Atlantic/Mediterranean market. The demand for natural gas is expected to rise over the next few years. Natural gas is composed mostly of methane, but may also contain ethane, propane, and heavier hydrocarbons. The gas is produced either from gas wells or in conjunction with crude oil production. To turn natural gas into a market grade product, it is put through the fractionation process which removes the liquids propane and butane. Liquified natural gas tends to be very pure because of the chilling process required to change it from a gaseous state to a liquid.

Until the 20th century, natural gas was considered a nuisance and a by-product of crude oil production. In the 1920s Frank Phillips, founder of Phillips Petroleum, recognized theimportance of natural gas as an energy source. Natural gas is consumed in residential, commercial, industrial, and utility markets. History of Liquified Natural Gas began in 1845, Michael Faraday became the first person to liquify natural gas. The liquefaction method was proven as early as 1917.The first ship transport of LNG began in 1954 on an experimental basis with shipments liquified natural gas marine terminal and multi-purpose pier.

METHANE

WHAT IS IT ?
a light, odorless, flammable gas (CH4); the chief constituent of natural gas
S.A. McCall