Glossary

Since the performance in global projects is about communication to co-ordinate global and local initiatives, it appeared imperative to create this glossary.

You will find words related to technology as well as commercial and contractual terms.

For each word you will find a definition as short and simple as possible and comments to make the best use of it.

With new technologies and new practices, new words or new understandings to come up at any time, feel free to comment. We expect to handle this section as a permanent  interactive learning session.

Many thanks in advance for your contribution

n-Butanol : Definition: n-Butanol stands for normal butanol and may be short named as NBA. n-Butanol is a clear, colorless liquid that is flammable with a characteristic banana-like odor n-Butanol may also be called n-butyl alcohol or 1-Butyl alcohol or Butanolen or Butanol Comments: n-Butanol demonstrates an overall low order of toxicity. Market literature classifies n-butanol as both an oxo-chemical derivative and a plasticizer alcohol for market purposes. The uses of n-butanol vary by geographic area, but in general it is used to make other chemicals, or used as a solvent or an ingredient in formulated products such as cosmetics. - Acrylate esthers and methacrylate esters - Glycol ethers - n-Butyl acetate - Amino resins - n-Butylamines The manufacturing process first generates n-butyraldehyde using propylene, carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen gas (H2) as feedstock. By using low-pressure technology and a triphenylphosphine rhodium hydrocarbonyl catalyst, approximately eight to ten times more n-butyraldehyde is produced than isobutyraldehyde. The n-butyraldehyde is then reacted with H2 to form n-butanol and Isobutanol as a by-product. One of the most important application in using n-Butanol and its derivatives is the water-based coatings formulations of all kinds. Analysts estimate that nearly 70 percent of all exterior architectural paints and as much as 85 percent of interior paints are now water-based. For butanol, butyl acrylate and butyl acetate, become increasingly important in following uses: - Solvent for paints, coatings, varnishes, resins, gums, dyes, camphor, vegetable oils, dyes, fats, waxes, resins, shellac, rubbers, and alkaloids. - Solvent in the purification of polyolefins, Alkyd resin coatings - Intermediate in manufacturing other chemicals, esters of herbicides pharmaceuticals, veterinary medicine - Swelling agent in textiles - Manufacturing safety glass, hydraulic fluids, and detergent formulations. - Formulating brake fluids. - Extractant in manufacturing antibiotics, vitamins, and hormones - Manufacturing garments from polyvinyl butyral-coated fabric, - Cement additive to increase the fineness - Ore floatation agents - Melamine formaldehyde resins
Naphtha : Definition: The Naphtha or Naphtha petroleum is the common name given to the Aliphatic hydrocarbons. Comment: The Naphtha results from the distillation of the oil in the refinery. But since there are hundreds of different petroleum crude oil worldwide with its own unique composition, there are as many Naphtha. Each refinery produces its own Naphtha with their own unique initial and final boiling points and other physical and chemical characteristics. Therefore Naphtha is a generic term. Today the\"Naphtha may also be produced from coal, shale, tar sand, wood distillation or biomass. It is a primary source of raw materials supply for the Petrochemical industry.
Natural gas : Definition: Natural gas in a natural mixture of hydrocarbon gas, mainly methane or ethane plus other hydrocarbon gas and impurities such as sulfides, carbon dioxide and water. Natural gas is a fossil fuel found in natural underground rock formations and mostly in combination with other hydrocarbon resources such as coal or oil. Natural gas is often informally referred to simply as gas, especially when compared to other energy sources such as oil or coal. Comments: Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel with the smallest carbon footprint. It produces less carbon emissions and pollutants than either coal or oil. It is abundant, safe, reliable and efficient. Most natural gas was created over time by two mechanisms: biogenic and thermogenic. Biogenic gas is created by methanogenic organisms in marshes, bogs, landfills and shallow sediments. Deeper in the earth, at greater temperature and pressure, thermogenic gas is created from buried organic material. Before natural gas can be used as a fuel, it must be treated to be cleaned up from impurities including acid gas and water in order to meet the specifications of marketable natural gas. The by-products of the gas processing include ethane, propane, butane, pentane and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulphide (which may be converted into pure sulfur), carbon dioxide, helium and nitrogen. When natural gas is cooled to -260° F (-160° C), in a process called liquefaction, it produces a colorless, non-toxic and non-corrosive liquid called liquefied natural gas, or LNG. Since LNG is just a fraction of the volume of natural gas (1/600), it can then be stored and transported safely and more efficiently over long distances. Once LNG reaches its final destination, it is turned back into a gas and ready to be piped into homes and businesses for use.
NGL : Definition: NGL is the acronym of Natural Gas Liquids. These Natural Gas Liquids are also called Condensates and refer to the non-methane hydrocarbon gas such as Ethane, Propane, Benzene, Butane or Pentane which stand at liquid state within the reservoir at underground pressure. Comments: While being at liquid state in the reservoir, the NGLs turn gaseous at the normal atmospheric pressure. These NGLs are valuable natural gas by-products as they find many applications in the petrochemical industry. That is the purpose of the Natural gas processing plant to perform the NGL fractionation to separate the NGLs from the Natural gas. After that treatment the natural gas becomes available for transportation, that is the so called pipeline quality dry natural gas while the separated NGLs are then called the Condensates. The nature and quantity of the NGLs in the Natural gas depends of the geology, depth and location of the reservoir. If the Natural gas is produced out of a crude oil field it is considered as associated gas, if it comes from a gas field production it is named non-associated gas as reference to the oil still. The Natural gas may also be extracted from coal as coalbed methane, in that case the methane represents about 90% of Natural gas and 10% carbon dioxide .
Nitrogen Fertilizer : Definition Nitrogen Fertilizer refers to one of the most common categories of fertilizers produced out of nitrogen (N) chemical combinations. To be considered as an organic fertilizer, the plant nutrient must contain 5% minimum of nitrogen. Comments Nitrogen is an inert gas representing 78% of the earth atmosphere. As inert gas in the form we breath it, nitrogen has no impact on the environment. But in combination with urea and ammonium to produce urea and ammonia nitrate (ammonia) the nitrogen inert gas becomes an active fertilizer. The chemical transformation of nitrogen into ammonia was discovered in two steps by Fritz Haber in 1918 and Carl Bosch in 1931 for which they were rewarded by a Nobel price. The organic fertilizer is providing the plants with additional carbon. This additional carbon activates the microorganisms of the soil to produce more cells. But the microbial activity calls for the need of nitrogen to generate proteins. This connection between the carbon and the nitrogen through the microbial activity means that carbon and nitrogen must respect some ratio for optimal efficiency. If the fertilizer is rich in nitrogen representing more than twenty times the carbon, it will operate efficiently in the soils. On the upper side, if the fertilizer contains too much nitrogen than needed by the plant to grow, the excess of nitrogen will be tied up in the microorganisms in the soils to be converted into ammonium and then rejected at rains falls into the soft water drains. So the use of nitrogen fertilizer may be very efficient to improve crops, but they must be used carefully with the right ratio of carbon over nitrogen in respect with the type of plants to grow and the nature of the soils
NOC : Definition: The NOC acronym means “National Oil Companies” and refers to the local oil producing companies owned by their respective government. Therefore there are nearly as many NOCs as countries in the world, but the most famous ones are: Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, Statoil, Petrochina, Sinopec, Petrobras, ADNOC, Qatar Petroleum, etc…. Comment: Historically the NOCs used to play a limited role in the Chemical, Oil& Gas business as they were most of the time only a financial partner of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) providing the technology to the NOCs, and running the operations. But on the last 10 years the NOCs change profile for a number of reasons. The NOCs belonging to OPEC countries wanted to reduce the uncertainty of their revenues because of the fluctuation of the barrel price and US dollar. So they diversified their investments on the petrochemical side to export more intermediate goods. The development of this downstream industry was also encouraged by the governments to create thousand local jobs and to support high graduated educational programs. To secure their exportations they also had to build alliances abroad with their biggest customers in taking interest in large refineries and petrochemicals complex in Asia, Europe and North America. Regarding the NOCs of the consuming countries, such as China or India, their mission changed for different reasons since the local production could not supply enough resources to feed the local needs. These NOCs were therefore mandated to explore all opportunities to produce more overseas, especially in Africa, South America and Canada. Today most of these NOCs have operations or interests all over the world, they became by fact global companies, as the IOCs, with a very similar size for some of them. But these NOCs are still closely owned and managed by their government, in that respect they are no longer local but still national companies. Having access to the resources and investing in downstream as much as in upstream, the capital expenditures of the NOCs are more than twice bigger than IOCs.
Non-Condensable Gas Co-Injection : Definition Non-Condensable Gas Co-Injection (NCG) belongs to the in-situ exploration and production of oil sands. Non-Condensable Gas Co-Injection refers to the process which is to inject NCG together with the steam in the oil sands reservoir. Comments Canada is the country with the biggest unconventional oil resources called bitumen. This bitumen lies in oil sands reservoirs. Most of these oil sands reservoirs (90%) are too deep in the ground to be developed with mining techniques. Instead, the oil and gas companies invented an in-situ process to extract this bitumen from the oil sands. This in-situ process is combining vertical wells for Cyclic steam injection and horizontal wells pairs for steam injection, called Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD). This SAGD method has proven to be efficient in causing the bitumen to melt under the effect of the steam injected by the upper well and collected by the lower well back to the surface together with the melted bitumen. Anyway this SAGD process meets several limits: - It requires a large quantity of steam, thus water even though a part of it is recovered - Producing steam has a significant costs based on the local energy - Its performances may vary highly from one oil field to another depending on the nature of the surrounding ground of the oil sands. To improve the performances of the SAGD process, the operating companies inject solvents with the steam in order to increase the fluidity of the melted bitumen. These solvents are partly collected back to the surface together with the bitumen and the water, it is treated to be re-injected. But in some cases, solvents are not enough, especially when the oil sands reservoir is embedded in permeable zone. These reservoirs are called unconfined reservoirs and are characterized by low pressure due to the: - Limited caprocks - Gas and water mixture at the top of the resevoir - Important quantity of water at the bottom of the reservoir. That is where the non-condensable gas co-injection is used. These non-condensable gas are in fact natural gas liquids (NGL) such as methane which are injected together with the steam and the solvents. When injected in the reservoir, the non-condensable gas behaves a seal to quench the oil sands containing the bitumen from the gas and water mixture at the top and the water at the bottom. Therefore the non-condensable gas reduces the losses of steam in the permeable zones and the quantity of water collected together with the bitumen. The seal effect of the non-condensable gas has additional vertues: - It applies also to insulate the heat of the steam inside the reservoir, so that the thermal impact can last much longer on the bitumen. - It increases the pressure in the reservoir. If the impact of the non-condensable gas may vary from one reservoir to another, worst is the overburden of the oil sands field, more efficient is the non-condensable gas co-injection together with the steam and solvents. In some cases, like Christina Lake in Alberta, it can reduce the steam consumption by 25%.