Products & Facilities

NATURAL GAS is a naturally occurring resource formed millions of years ago because of heat and pressure acting on decayed organic material. It is extracted from wells and transported through gathering pipelines to processing facilities. From these facilities, it is transported through transmission pipelines to distribution pipeline systems. The main ingredient in natural gas is methane (approximately 94 percent). Natural gas is odorless, colorless, tasteless and nontoxic in its natural state. An odorant (called mercaptan) is normally added when it is delivered to a distribution system. At ambient temperatures, natural gas remains lighter than air. However, it can be compressed (CNG) under high pressure to make it convenient for use in other applications or liquefied (LNG) under extremely cold temperatures (-260° F) to facilitate transportation.

PETROLEUM GAS is a mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons, primarily propane, butane and ethane. These products are commonly used for cooking, heating and other industrial applications. They are easily liquefied under pressure and are often stored and transported in portable containers labeled as Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG). When transported in transmission pipelines they may also be identified as Highly Volatile Liquids (HVLs) or Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs). Vaporized LPG may also be found in smaller gas distribution systems. Typically, LPG is a tasteless, colorless and odorless gas. When transported via transmission pipelines it normally will not have odorant added. Odorant is added when LPG is offloaded to a distribution pipeline system or transport tanks to facilitate leak detection. Ethylene and propylene do have a faint natural odor like petroleum.

PETROLEUM LIQUIDS is a broad term covering many products, including: crude oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, aviation gasoline, jet fuel, fuel oil, kerosene, naphtha, xylene and other refined products. Crude oil is unrefined petroleum that is extracted from beneath the Earth’s surface through wells. As it comes from the well, crude oil contains a mixture of oil, gas, water and other impurities, such as metallic compounds and sulfur. Refinement of crude oil produces petroleum products that we use every day, such as motor oils and gasoline. Crude oil is transported from wells to refineries through gathering or transmission pipelines. Refined petroleum products are transported in transmission pipelines to rail or truck terminals for distribution to consumers. Odorant is not added to these products because they have a natural odor.

ANHYDROUS AMMONIA is the liquefied form of pure ammonia gas. It is a colorless gas or liquid with an extremely pungent odor. It is normally transported through transmission pipelines and is used primarily as an agricultural fertilizer or industrial refrigerant.

CARBON DIOXIDE is a heavy gas that is normally transported in transmission pipelines as a compressed fluid. It is a naturally occurring, colorless, odorless and tasteless gas used in the petroleum industry. Under normal conditions, carbon dioxide is stable, inert and nontoxic. However, it can act as an asphyxiant.

ETHANOL (also called ethyl alcohol) is a colorless liquid that is widely used as an additive to automotive gasoline. It may be transported in buried transmission pipelines. Ethanol has a natural odor like gasoline and will easily mix with water.

HYDROGEN GAS is commonly produced from the steam reformation of natural gas. It is frequently used near its production site, with the two main uses being petrochemical processing and ammonia production. Hydrogen is a flammable gas that is colorless, odorless and lighter than air. It is nontoxic, but can act as an asphyxiant.

“SOUR” CRUDE OIL AND “SOUR” GAS refer to products containing high concentrations of sulfur and hydrogen sulfide. Products containing little or no sulfur are often referred to as “sweet”. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a toxic, corrosive contaminant found in natural gas and crude oil. It has an odor like the smell of rotten eggs or a burnt match. Exposure to relatively low levels of hydrogen sulfide (500 ppm) can be fatal.