Natural Gas Liquids

SIC 1321

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This category includes establishments primarily engaged in the production of liquid hydrocarbons from oil and gas field gases. Establishments recovering helium from natural gas and establishments recovering liquefied petroleum gases incidental to petroleum refining or to the manufacturing of chemicals are classified in a range of chemical and allied product manufacturing industries.

Natural gas liquids (NGL) are often found in association with crude oil production. NGL is a reservoir portion of natural gas that is stripped out as a liquid at the surface by special processing facilities. NGL typically contains 35 percent ethane, 30 percent propane, 17 percent natural gasoline, 12 percent butane, and six percent isobutane. NGL should not be confused with natural gas, which is composed primarily of methane. NGL is denser than natural gas and becomes combustible at different concentrations than methane, according to the American Gas Association. NGL is also different than liquefied natural gas, a condensed natural gas that is compact and therefore convenient for overseas shipping.

NGL appears in a gaseous state at normal temperatures and pressures. It is removed from the gas stream at an extraction plant when the gas is processed. With most modern extraction techniques, up to 90 percent of the NGL can be recovered from the gas stream. After the NGL is extracted, it is mixed together and transported to a fractionation center, where it is divided into individual gas products. In 2009, Texas dominated this industry, with 135 (29 percent) of the industry's 465 firms; 3,790 (52 percent) of its 7,321 employees; and $11.16 billion (85 percent) of its $13.18 billion in revenues.

The Clean Air Act of 1990 bolstered butane demand by requiring gasoline composition to include 12 to 15 percent more oxygen. Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), which has a high oxygenate content, has been the most highly regarded oxygenate to be used. MTBE is composed of 75 percent butane. The retail industry accounts for 30 percent of NGL demand. Propane is used for home heating, cooking, and transportation purposes.

The chemical industry accounted for roughly half the total demand for NGL products. NGL is used as feedstock to produce chemicals and plastics. One common product, called ethylene, is composed of 75 percent NGL. Analysts expected worldwide demand for NGL to rise significantly through 2018 although production is heavily dependent on wide-ranging economic, regulatory, and geopolitical factors.

At the end of 2008, the United States had proven reserves of 9.3 billion barrels of NGLs, up 1.4 percent from the previous year. The states with the most reserves were Texas (3.56 billion barrels), Oklahoma (1.03 billion barrels), Wyoming (1.12 billion barrels), New Mexico (804 million barrels), and Colorado (716 million barrels). During 2008, 1.1 billion barrels of NGLs were discovered, down 2.6 percent from the prior year.

The NGL industry generally trended upward during the 2000s. According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration, in 2003, the United States produced 611 million barrels of NGL. Production increased to 629 million barrels, 650 million barrels, and 667 million barrels in 2006, 2007, and 2008, respectively. Dun and Bradstreet reported that the NGL industry took in $13.2 billion in 2009 revenue.

However, according to a 2010 report by Chemical Week, U.S. production, which was expected to grow at a rate slightly slower than in 2008 and 2009, would nonetheless outpace demand and, thus, drive prices downward. NGL producers faced additional complications as the result of geography and the logistics of moving their product to market as many new areas that contain NGLs are far from the areas already developed for natural gas production. For example, NGLs are found in shale in the northeast and in some areas of the northern plain states, which are not close to the petrochemical industry's infrastructure and often far from pipelines. Such locations of new discoveries caused the industry to invest in new infrastructure. For instance, in July 2010, ONEOK Partners, a natural gas company, announced a proposal to spend $450 million to $550 million to build a 525- to 615-mile pipeline to transport unfractionated NGLs from the Williston Basin in North Dakota to the Overland Pass Pipeline. The company also made plans to extend other pipelines and capacities between 2010 and 2013 to expand its NGL capabilities.

© COPYRIGHT 2018 The Gale Group, Inc. This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group. For permission to reuse this article, contact the Copyright Clearance Center.

News and information about Natural Gas Liquids

United States : Honeywell to Provide Natural Gas Liquids Fractionation Plant for Markwests Hopedale Plant
Mena Report; February 13, 2018; 590 words
...60,000 barrels per day of natural gas liquids (NGLs) to MarkWest Energy...natural gasoline from mixed natural gas liquids for use in petrochemical manufacturing...850,000 barrels per day of natural gas liquids extracted from natural gas...
Webinar to Discuss Research on Underground Natural Gas Liquids Storage
US Fed News Service, Including US State News; January 6, 2018; 700+ words
...underground storage potential for natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica...Basin, it is important for the natural gas liquids found in the shale in the Utica...infrastructure, including natural gas liquids storage and pipeline infrastructure...
Research and Markets Adds Report: Refined Products Pipelines and Midstream Services for Gasoline, Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) and Other Refined Petroleum Products Industry (U.S.): Analytics, Extensive Financial Benchmarks, Metrics and Revenue Forecasts to 2021
Manufacturing Close-Up; December 31, 2017; 700+ words
...Midstream Services for Gasoline, Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) and Other Refined...Midstream Services for Gasoline, Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) and Other Refined...Midstream Services for Gasoline, Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) and Other Refined...
Department of Energy Publishes Natural Gas Liquids Primer
States News Service; December 20, 2017; 491 words
...was released by the U.S. Department of Energy: Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) primer that showcases the resource potential of NGLs, specifically in the Appalachian region. This primer...
United States : Producers Midstream Chooses Honeywell Cryogenic Technology to Recover Natural Gas Liquids
Mena Report; November 17, 2017; 524 words
...gas at its gas processing facility in the Delaware Basin in western Texas. Cryogenic units extract high-value natural gas liquids (NGLs) from natural gas streams by refrigeration to extremely low temperatures. These NGLs ethane, propane and...
Safety of Laying Pipeline across State Questioned; Freshly Approved Permits in Hand, SUNOCO Logistics Is Digging Away on Its Mariner East 2 Pipeline -- a Project That Will Quadruple the Volume of Natural Gas Liquids Flowing across Pennsylvania Once the Company Navigates More Than 2,000 Streams, Wetlands, Roads and Railways between Western Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Area. [Derived Headline]
Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; February 26, 2017; 700+ words
...will quadruple the volume of natural gas liquids flowing across Pennsylvania...based Sunoco Logistics carries natural gas liquids from Marcellus and Utica shale...other companies will inject natural gas liquids from trucks into the Mariner...
Wipo Publishes Patent of Brandon Wade Bello and Brian B Ballance for "Method and System for Blending Natural Gas Liquids into Hydrocarbons" (American Inventors)
US Fed News Service, Including US State News; July 16, 2017; 379 words
...the invention: "METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR BLENDING NATURAL GAS LIQUIDS INTO HYDROCARBONS."Applicants: Brandon Wade Bello...Organization: "This invention relates to the blending of natural gas liquids into hydrocarbons. Previously, systems did not...
Natural Gas Liquids Spill in Mckenzie County
US Fed News Service, Including US State News; July 29, 2017; 378 words
...Health issued the following news release:The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) has been notified of a natural gas liquids (NGL) spill in McKenzie County resulting from a third-party impact on a pipeline owned by ONEOK NGL Pipeline...

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