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Glossary

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A

Absolute pressure: This is gauge pressure plus atmospheric pressure.

Aggregate: The mineral matter used together with bitumen to make asphalt for road construction.

Ammonia (Ammonia): Made by the direct combination of hydrogen and nitrogen under pressure over a catalyst. Anhydrous ammonia is mainly used for the manufacture of nitrogenous fertilizers.

Anhydrous (Anhydrous): Without water, or dried.

Annealing (Annealing): Thermal treatment that consists of the controlled cooling of a metal after heating it to temperatures below the transformation range (1400°F) in order to increase its ductility and decrease its hardness.

API Gravity (API/ gravity): The scale used by the American Petroleum Institute (API) to express the specific gravity of crude oil, or how heavy or light it is compared to water.

API Systems: Settling equipment for water-oil separation.

Aromatic hydrocarbons: Hydrocarbons with a cyclic structure that generally have a characteristic odor and have good solvent properties.

Aromatics: Hydrocarbons with a ring structure, generally with a distinctive aromatic odor and good solvent properties.

Asphalt: The mixture of bitumen and aggregate used for paving roads.

Associated gas: Natural gas found in association with crude oil in a reservoir, either dissolved in the oil or as a layer on top of it.

Atmospheric pressure: The weight of the atmosphere on the earth’s surface. At sea level, this is approximately 1,013 bars, 101,300 Newtons/m2, 14.7 lbs/in2, or 30 inches of mercury.

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B

Barred tee: Special connection with welded bars in the branch, in number and thickness calculated so that the cleaning tools do not suffer any interruption in the transit of the pipeline.

Barrel (Barrel – bbl): A standard measure for oil and oil products. One barrel = 35 imperial gallons, 42 US gallons, or 159 liters.

Barrel of oil equivalent (Barrel oil equivalent – ??BOE): Unit of energy equivalent to the energy released during the burning of approximately one barrel (42 US gallons or 158.9873 liters) of crude oil

Barrels per day (Barrels per day – bpd or b/d): In terms of production, the number of barrels of oil produced by a well in a 24-hour period, usually taken as an average figure over a long period of time (in terms of refining, the number of barrels received or the production of a refinery during a year, divided by 365 days minus the downtime used for maintenance).

Benzene: The simplest aromatic compound with a ring of carbon atoms and six hydrogen atoms; one of the most important raw materials for the chemical industry.

Bitumen: Extremely heavy semi-solid product of oil refining, composed of heavy hydrocarbons used for road construction and for waterproofing roofs.

Bituminous shale (Oil Shale): Compact sedimentary rock impregnated with organic materials (mainly kerogen) that can produce oil through pyrolysis.

Black Smoke (Carbon black): A carbon product obtained from the liquid load that contains carbon and is used mainly in the tire manufacturing industry.

Block: The subdivision in acres dedicated to exploration and production. Blocks are generally defined in terms of latitude and longitude at intervals of one degree.

Blowout: The uncontrolled escape of oil, gas or water from a well due to the release of pressure in a reservoir or the failure of containment systems.

BMC or BN MC: Billion (109) cubic meters (mc), unit of measure.

Booster station: A platform on a section of a subsea pipeline designed to increase the flow of gas.

BPC or BN PC: Billion (109) cubic feet (pc), unit of measure.

Brent blend: A blend of North Sea crudes used as a marker for international crude oil prices.

British thermal unit (BTU): The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.

BTX: Abbreviation for aromatic hydrocarbons: benzene, toluene and xylene.

Butane (Butane): A hydrocarbon molecule consisting of four carbon atoms and ten hydrogen atoms. It is normally in a gaseous state, but it liquefies easily for transport and storage; It is used in gasoline, and also for cooking and heating. See also LPG.

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C

Carbon (Carbon): A solid element that exists in many forms including diamonds, graphite, coke, and charcoal. Combinations of carbon with hydrogen are known as hydrocarbons and can consist of very large molecules (such as polymers) or very small ones (such as methane).

Carbon Dioxide (CO2): Greenhouse gas generated through the oxidation of carbon-containing compounds.

Catalytic cracking (Cat. Cracker): See cracking.

Cathodic protection: A method used to minimize electrochemical corrosion of structures such as drilling platforms, pipelines, and storage tanks.

Christmas tree: The arrangement of pipes and valves at the wellhead that control the flow of oil and gas and prevent blowouts.

Coking: A thermal cracking process to break large molecules into smaller ones with the generation of petroleum coke.

Combined Cycle: Applied to power generation, it refers to the generation of electricity due to the simultaneous action of two thermodynamic cycles: A gas combustion cycle (Brayton Cycle) and a steam cycle (Rankine Cycle) where the exhaust gases from the first turbine are used to heat steam in a recuperator (boiler) that drives a steam turbine in a closed cycle.

Compression station: Installation used during the transportation of natural gas. The gas loses pressure when traveling long distances in the pipeline; to ensure a uniform flow it must be recompressed at stations located every 60 to 80 km along the route.

Condensate: This can refer to any mixture of relatively light hydrocarbons that remain liquid at normal temperature and pressure. They will have some amount of dissolved propane and butane in the condensate. Unlike crude oil, they have little or no heavy hydrocarbons that make up heavy fuel oil.

Continental shelf: The edge of a continent that lies in shallow seas (less than 200 meters deep.)

Creep (Yield): -Limit of- Point on the stress-strain curve where the elastic behavior of the material ends, releasing the dislocations to begin the plastic deformation of the material.

Cryogenics (Cryogenics): The process of production, maintenance and use at very low temperatures (below -46°C).

CSF (CIF): Cost, insurance and freight.

Cubic foot(s) (Cubic foot; cubic feet (cf)): The amount of gas required to fill a volume of one cubic foot. Measurement unit applied to the volume of gas produced or consumed.

Cubic meter (Cubic meter (CM)): Unit of measure for gas volume. The amount of gas required to fill the volume of one cubic meter.

CVN (Charpy V-notch testing): Destructive test used to quantify the toughness of a material, usually at low temperatures.

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D

Diablo (Pig): Device used to clean a pipeline line or to separate two liquids transported along the pipeline. It is inserted into the pipeline and is dragged by the flow of oil or gas. A “smart devil” is fitted with sensors that can detect corrosion or defects in the pipeline.

Distillate (Distillates): The condensation products obtained during the fractional distillation process (gaseous fuels, naphtha, gasoline, kerosene).

Distillation: (Fractional distillation), a process based on the difference in boiling points of the liquids in the mixture from which they are to be separated. Through successive vaporization and condensation of the crude oil in a fractionation column, the light products will be separated, leaving a residue of fuel oil or bitumen. The distillation is carried out in such a way as to avoid any disintegration. It is the basic process that takes place in a refinery.

Downstream: Those activities that take place between the loading of crude oil at the transportation terminal and the use of the oil by the end user. This includes the transportation of crude oil across the ocean, supply and marketing, refining, distribution and marketing of oil products.

Drill bit: The part of a drilling tool that cuts through rock.

Drilling mud: A mixture of clays, water and chemicals used in drilling operations to lubricate and cool the bit, to raise the material being cut by the bit to the surface, to prevent the walls from collapsing of the well and to keep the upward flow of oil or gas under control. It is continuously circulated down the drill pipe and up to the surface through the space between the drill pipe and the borehole wall.

Drilling Tower (Derrick): A steel structure mounted above the wellhead to support drill pipe and other equipment that is lowered and raised during drilling operations.

Drop Weight Tear Test (DWTT): Destructive test that allows analyzing the fracture mechanics of a material by quantifying the propagation of a crack in it.

Dry gas: a) The same as producer gas, that is, it does not contain hydrocarbons that will liquefy at room temperature and pressure. b) Gas that does not contain water vapour, that is, “waterless” gas.

Dry gasfield: A reservoir that will produce dry/lean gas and very small amounts of condensate; typically, less than 10 barrels per million cubic feet.

Ductility: Mechanical property that expresses the ability of a material to be plastically deformed without fracturing.

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E

Ethane (Ethane): A hydrocarbon consisting of two carbon atoms and six hydrogen atoms. Normally this gas is present in most cases referring to natural gas.

Ethanol (Ethanol -ethyl alcohol-): A chemical compound formed by fermentation or synthesis; used as a raw material in a wide range of industrial and chemical processes.

Ethylene (Ethylene -ethylene-): An olefin consisting of two carbon atoms and four hydrogen atoms; It is a very important basic chemical in the chemical and plastics industries.

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F

Facilities: Wells, Platforms, Compression Stations, Collection Batteries, Pumping Stations, Gas Processing Centers, Refineries, Petrochemical Complexes, Liquefied Gas Distribution Terminals, Maritime and Storage and Distribution Terminals, Tankers, and Tank Trucks.

Fatigue: Localized plastic deformation process that occurs in a material subjected to cyclic loading at high stress concentrations that initiate cracks that.

FBE (Fusion Bonded Epoxy): Thermo-activated polymer generally applied in powder form to pipeline elements and connections that is applied on a substrate with controlled surface characteristics at temperatures between 180 °C and 250 °C in a similar way to paint, in order to polymerize, dry and cool in a controlled manner to form a barrier for cathodic protection and corrosion.

Fractional distillation: See distillation.

Fractionating column: See distillation.

Fractionation: Generic name of the process of separating a mixture into its components or fractions. See also: absorption, distillation.

Fugitive Emissions: Emissions that escape from a supposedly closed system. When talking about fugitive emissions, those of volatile organic compounds are typically considered.

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G

Gas / condensate field: A reservoir containing natural gas and oil, with a greater proportion of gas. Condensate appears when gas is drawn from the well, and its temperature and pressure change enough that some of it turns into liquid oil.

Gas / condensate reservoir: A reservoir in which neither natural gas nor crude oil are the predominant production streams. To increase condensate recovery, the gas must be recirculated during the first few years and produced at a later date.

Gas gathering system: A central collection point for gas from offshore fields with pipelines from a number of fields, often owned by different companies. From there the gas is transported to a central processing system on land.

Gas lift: One of several methods of artificial lift. A mechanical process that uses the continuous or intermittent injection of a gas into tubing or casing to lighten or displace produced fluids. This creates a pressure reduction at the bottom of the well, increasing or supporting the flow of the well.

Gas liquefaction: The process of cooling natural gas to a temperature of -162°C, thereby reducing its volume by a factor of 600, turning it into a liquid. The resulting liquefied natural gas is then transportable in ships designed for that purpose or can be stored in tanks.

Gas turbine: A turbine powered by the combustion gases of a compressed mixture of natural gas and air, used for power generation.

Gasfield: A field or group of hydrocarbon reservoirs containing natural gas and insignificant amounts of oil.

Gauge pressure: The pressure recorded by a normal measuring device. This device measures the pressure in excess of atmospheric pressure.

Greenfield: Often used to refer to the planning of liquefied natural gas facilities which must be built from scratch; without infrastructure.

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H

Heavy metals: They are elements with relatively high density and high toxicity at low concentrations: Arsenic, cadmium, mercury, chromium, lead and thallium are some of these elements.

Hydrocarbon: Any compound or mixture of compounds, solid, liquid, or gas that contains carbon and hydrogen (eg, coal, crude oil, and natural gas).

Hydrogen: The lightest of all gases, present mainly, combined with oxygen, in water. Hydrogen combines with carbon to form an enormous variety of gaseous, liquid, and solid hydrocarbons.

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I

Induction bend: Specialized bend molded by controlled heating from API transmission pipe, in radius of curvature, angle and with specific thickness, designed under the ASME B16.49 code.

Inert gas: A chemically inert gas, which does not undergo chemical reactions with other substances.

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J

Joule: (J) SI unit used to measure work, energy, and heat. It is defined as the amount of work done by a constant force of 1 N in 1 m of length in the same direction as the force. Equivalent to 1 N*m, 0.7375 ft*lb.

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K

Kilowatt-hour (kWh): Unit of measurement in the electrical industry. One kilowatt-hour is equivalent to 0.0949 cubic meters of gas.

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L

Launching / Receiving Trap: Pipeline spools found at the beginning and end of a pipeline line, from which pigs or pigs are sent to clean up.

Light Crude: Crude oil with relatively high proportions of light fractions, and low specific gravity.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG): Natural gas that for ease of transportation has been liquefied by cooling to approximately -161°C at atmospheric pressure.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Liquefied Petroleum Gas – LPG): LPG is composed of propane, butane, or a mixture of the two, which can be totally or partially liquefied under pressure in order to facilitate its transport and storage. LPG can be used for cooking, heating or as automotive fuel.

Liquid trap (Slug catcher): Plant installed in a gas pipeline system to trap liquids.

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M

Marine Production Tubing (Marine Riser): A tube that connects an offshore platform to the head of a subsea well or tubing for drilling or production.

Methane (Methane – CH4): The smallest of the hydrocarbon molecules, with one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms. It is the main component of natural gas, but it is also present in coal layers, and is produced by animals and by the decomposition of vegetables. It is a light gas, colorless, odorless and flammable under normal conditions. Methane is the first member in the alkane (paraffin) series. At atmospheric pressure it liquefies at -162°C.

Methanol (Methanol -methyl alcohol-): An alcohol used as a raw material in a wide range of industrial and chemical processes.

Metric tonne: See tonne.

MMBBL: Million barrels.

MMBTU: Million British Thermal Units.

MMPCS (MMSCF): Millions of standard cubic feet.

MMPCS/D (MMSCF): Millions of standard cubic feet per day.

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N

NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement): North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): its members are currently Canada, Mexico and the United States of America.

Naphtha (Naphta): A range of distillates lighter than kerosene used as feedstock for the production of motor gasoline and for the chemical industry (eg, for making ethylene).

Natural Gas (Natural gas): a). – A mixture of hydrocarbons, generally gaseous, naturally present in underground structures. Natural gas consists primarily of methane (80%) and significant proportions of ethane, propane, and butane. There will always be some amount of condensate and/or oil associated with the gas. b). – The term is also used to designate the treated gas that is supplied to industry and to commercial and domestic users and has a specified quality.

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O

Olefins (Olefins): Group of hydrocarbons, including ethylene and propylene, of special importance as an input to the chemical industry. See also propylene.

OPEC (OPEC Organization of Petroleum exporting Countries): Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Founded in 1960, its member countries are Algeria, Gabon, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

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P

PC/D: Cubic feet per day.
Petrochemical (Petrochemical): A chemical derived from petroleum or natural gas (eg, benzene, ethylene).

Petroleum (Petroleum): Generic name for hydrocarbons, including crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids. The name is derived from the Latin, oleum, naturally present in rocks, petra.

Pipeline: Pipeline for the transportation of crude oil or natural gas between two points, either inland (Onshore) or outside land (Offshore).

Platform (Platform): Fixed or floating structure, offshore, from which wells are drilled. Drilling rigs can become production rigs once the wells produce.

Polyethylene (Polyethylene): Polymer formed by the union of ethylene molecules; one of the most important plastics. Due to its properties of resistance to abrasion and temperatures up to 185 F, it is used in three-layer systems with FBE for buried pipes and offshore pipes.

Polymer: A complex compound in which individual molecules (monomers) are chemically linked into long chains (eg, plastics).

Polypropylene (Polypropylene): Polymer formed by joining propylene molecules. See also: olefins. Due to its properties of resistance to abrasion and temperatures between 230-285 °F, it is used in three-layer systems with FBE for buried pipes and offshore pipes.

ppm (PPM): Parts per million.

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Q

Quenching (Tempered): Thermal treatment that consists of the rapid cooling of a metal after heating to temperatures above the transformation ranges.

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R

Radial Flow Tee: Special connection composed of a sleeve, assembled inside an oversized tee and two forged rings, whose function is to prevent cleaning tools from deviating in the direction of a line branch.

Refinery: Complex of facilities in which crude oil is separated into light and heavy fractions, which are converted into usable products or inputs.

Reservoir: Accumulation of oil and/or gas in porous rock such as sandstone. An oil field typically contains three fluids (oil, gas, and water) that separate into distinct sections due to their varying gravities. The gas, being the lightest, occupies the upper part of the reservoir, the oil the intermediate part and the water the lower part.

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S

Solvent (Solvent): Generic name of a liquid capable of dissolving or dispersing other substances.

Sour gas: Natural gas that contains significant amounts of Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S).

Specific Gravity: The ratio of the density of a substance at a given temperature to the density of water at 4°C.

Strainer: Filtering element in liquid or steam lines, where a connection (Tee or Wye) is designed with an internal filter element of configuration and material calculated to retain particulate in the line. It is frequently used at the inlet of pumps or compressors, in order to limit the entry of particles in this rotating equipment.

Support (Jacket): The structure used to support a steel structure for production, offshore.

Sweet gas: Natural gas that contains very small amounts of Hydrogen Sulfide and carbon dioxide. The sweet gas reduces sulfur dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

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T

Tar sands: Mixture of sand, water and heavy hydrocarbons; Potential alternative source of hydrocarbons.

Terminal (Terminal): A maritime facility that receives and stores crude oil and offshore production products via pipelines and/or tankers.

Tonne (Tonne): A metric ton is equal to 1000 kg (2205 pounds), a long ton equals 2240 pounds, a short ton equals 2000 pounds.

Transmission pipeline: Pipeline network that distributes natural gas from a land station, via compression stations, to storage centers or distribution points.

Transmission: The transportation of large amounts of gas at high pressures, often through national or regional transmission systems. For the latter, the gas is transferred to local distribution centers to consumers at lower pressures.

Trap: A geological structure in which hydrocarbons accumulate to form an oil or gas field. See also: Structural trap.

Trillion cubic feet (TCF): 1012 cubic feet.

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U

Upstream: Activities related to exploration, production and delivery to a crude oil export terminal.

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V

Viscosity Index: Measurement of the relationship between temperature and viscosity of an oil.

Viscosity: Sticky, that is: the resistance of a liquid to movement or flow; It normally collapses as the temperature rises.

Volatile: A term that describes low molecular weight substances that evaporate at normal atmospheric temperatures and pressures.

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W

Watt (Watt): The basic unit of electrical power, defined as one joule per second.
Well: A hole drilled in the rock from the surface of a reservoir for the purpose of exploring or extracting oil or gas.

Wellhead: Control equipment installed at the top of the well. It consists of outlets, valves, preventers, etc. See also: Christmas tree.

Wet gas: a) The same as rich gas, that is, gas that contains liquefiable hydrocarbons at ambient temperature and pressure. b) Gas that contains water vapour.

Wobbe index: Defined as the calorific value divided by the square root of the specific gravity. This rate is controlled to ensure satisfactory combustion of the gas in the burner. If this specification is not met, the amount of air mixed with the gas will be incorrect.

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