Energy Industry Glossary (J-P)

Jack-Up Rig: A mobile, self-elevating drilling platform that can be used in water depths of 20 to 250 feet.

Jet Fuel (Kerosene-Type): A quality kerosene product with an average gravity of 40.7 degrees API, and a 10% distillation temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. A relatively low freezing-point distillate of the kerosene type, it is used primarily for commercial turbojet and turboprop aircraft engines.

Jet Fuel (Naphtha-Type): A fuel in the heavy naphtha boiling range with an average gravity of 52.8 degrees API and 20 to 90% distillation temperatures of 290 degrees to 470 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of fuel is used for turbojet and turboprop aircraft engines, primarily by the military. Excludes ram-jet and petroleum rocket fuels.

Joule: The meter-kilogram-second unit of work or energy, equal to the work done by a force of one Newton when its point of application moves through a distance of one meter in the direction of the force; equivalent to 107 ergs and one watt-second.

Just-in-Time (JIT) Delivery: Refers to a supply chain practice whereby manufacturers receive components on or just before the time that they are needed on the assembly line, rather than bearing the cost of maintaining several days' or weeks' supply in a warehouse. This adds greatly to the cost-effectiveness of a manufacturing plant and puts the burden of warehousing and timely delivery on the supplier of the components.

Kerogen: See “Oil Shale (Shale Oil).”

Kerosene: Light hydrocarbon distillates in the distillation range of 150 degrees to 280 degrees Centigrade (300 degrees to 550 degrees Fahrenheit). Includes vaporizing oil for use in reciprocating engines (primarily tractors), lamp oil, kerosene and heating oil.

Kilowatt (kW): One thousand watts.

Kilowatthour (kWh): One thousand watt-hours.

Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO): The use of outsourced and/or offshore workers to perform business tasks that require judgment and analysis. Examples include such professional tasks as patent research, legal research, architecture, design, engineering, market research, scientific research, accounting and tax return preparation. Also, see “Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).”

LAC: An acronym for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Landed Cost: Represents the dollar-per-barrel price of crude oil at the port of discharge. Includes charges associated with the purchase, transporting and insuring of cargo from the purchase point to the port of discharge. Does not include charges incurred at the discharge port (e.g., import tariffs or fees, wharfage charges and demurrage).

Landman: A person who negotiates the purchase of leases, generally an agent or an employee of an oil company. LDCs: See “Least Developed Countries (LDCs).”

Lease (Oil and Gas): The exclusive contractual rights to explore for and develop minerals on a property owned by a mineral rights owner.

Least Developed Countries (LDCs): Nations determined by the U.N. Economic and Social Council to be the poorest and weakest members of the international community. There are currently 50 LDCs, of which 34 are in Africa, 15 are in Asia Pacific and the remaining one (Haiti) is in Latin America. The top 10 on the LDC list, in descending order from top to 10th, are Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde and the Central African Republic. Sixteen of the LDCs are also Landlocked Least Developed Countries (LLDCs) which present them with additional difficulties often due to the high cost of transporting trade goods. Eleven of the LDCs are Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which are often at risk of extreme weather phenomenon (hurricanes, typhoons, Tsunami); have fragile ecosystems; are often dependent on foreign energy sources; can have high disease rates for HIV/AIDS and malaria; and can have poor market access and trade terms.

Levelized Cost: The present value of the total cost of building and operating a generating plant over its economic life, converted to equal annual payments. Costs are levelized in real dollars (i.e., adjusted to remove the impact of inflation).

Lifting Costs: Expenses related to lifting oil from a producing reservoir in a well up to the surface.

Lignite: The lowest rank of coal. Lignite is a young coal that is brownish-black in color and has high moisture content, sometimes as high as 45%, and a high ash content. It tends to disintegrate when exposed to the weather. The heat content of lignite is usually less than 5700 Kcal/kg.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG): Natural gas that is liquefied by reducing its temperature to -260 degrees Fahrenheit at atmospheric pressure. The volume of the LNG is 1/600 that of the gas in its vapor state. LNG requires special processing and transportation. First, the natural gas must be chilled in order for it to change into a liquid state. Next, the LNG is put on specially designed ships where extensive insulation and refrigeration maintain the cold temperature. Finally, it is offloaded at special receiving facilities where it is converted, via regasification, into a state suitable for distribution via pipelines.

Liquefied Petroleum Gases (LPG): See “Liquefied Refinery Gases (LRG).”

Liquefied Refinery Gases (LRG): Liquefied petroleum fractionated from refinery or still gases. Through compression and/or refrigeration, they are retained in the liquid state. The reported categories are ethane/ethylene, propane/propylene, normal butane/butylene and isobutene. Excludes still gas used for chemical or rubber manufacture, which is reported as petrochemical feedstock, as well as liquefied petroleum gases intended for blending into gasoline, which are reported as gasoline blending components.

Liquid Collector: A medium-temperature solar thermal collector, employed predominantly in water heating, which uses pumped liquid as the heat-transfer medium.

LNG: See “Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).”

Load (Electric): The amount of electric power delivered or required at any specific point or points on a system. The requirement originates at the energy-consuming equipment of the consumers.

Log (Petroleum): A record of the activities related to the drilling and completion of oil and gas wells.

Logging (Wireline): The lowering of a sensing device into the borehole on the end of an electric cable, which then logs information about the borehole.

LOHAS: Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. A marketing term that refers to consumers who choose to purchase and/or live with items that are natural, organic, less polluting, etc. Such consumers may also prefer products powered by alternative energy, such as hybrid cars.

Low-Temperature Collectors: Metallic or nonmetallic solar thermal collectors that generally operate at temperatures below 110 degrees Fahrenheit and use pumped liquid or air as the heat-transfer medium. They usually contain no glazing and no insulation, and they are often made of plastic or rubber, although some are made of metal.

Lubricants (Greases): Mixtures of lubricating oils that contain substances that reduce their ability to flow.

Lubricants (Lubricating Oils): Substances used to reduce friction between bearing surfaces. Petroleum lubricants may be produced either from distillates or residues. Other substances may be added to impart or improve certain required properties. Lubricants include all grades of lubricating oils from spindle oil to cylinder oil and those used in greases.

M3 (Measurement): Cubic meters.

Major Oil Company: Traditionally refers to the large integrated international companies such as British Petroleum (BP), ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

Marginal Cost: The change in cost associated with a unit change in quantity supplied or produced.

Marketing: Includes all planning and management activities and expenses associated with the promotion of a product or service. Marketing can encompass advertising, customer surveys, public relations and many other disciplines. Marketing is distinct from selling, which is the process of sell-through to the end user.

Mbbl: One thousand barrels.

Mcf: One thousand cubic feet.

Mcfe: One thousand cubic feet of natural gas equivalent, using the ratio of six Mcf of natural gas to one Bbl of crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids.

Medium-Temperature Collectors: Solar thermal collectors designed to operate in the temperature range of 140 degrees to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, but that can also operate at a temperature as low as 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The collector typically consists of a metal frame, metal absorption panels with integral flow channels (attached tubing for liquid collectors or integral ducting for air collectors) and glazing and insulation on the sides and back.

Megawatt (MW): One million watts.

Megawatthour (MWh): One million watt-hours.

MEOR (Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery: A oil field recovery technology, MEOR (microbial enhanced oil recovery), creates microbes that biologically generate CO2 and chemicals with cleaning agents that help flush oil out of rock.

Metallurgical Coke: A strong, hard coke produced mainly for use in the iron and steel industry, where it serves as a chemical agent and source of energy. It is used mainly in blast furnaces to absorb the oxygen contained in iron oxides and provide energy for smelting. A portion of its potential energy is captured in the gases generated in the smelting process, then recycled in the form of blast furnace gas to provide additional energy inside or outside the smelting process. Metallurgical coke is also used to some extent as a domestic fuel and as raw material for the manufacture of gas.

Methane: A colorless, odorless, flammable hydrocarbon gas (CH4); the major component of natural gas. It is also an important source of hydrogen in various industrial processes. Also, see “Coalbed Methane (CBN).”

Methanol: A light, volatile alcohol (CH3OH) eligible for motor gasoline blending. It is also used as a feedstock for synthetic textiles, plastics, paints, adhesives, foam, medicines and more.

Microturbine: A small, scaled-down turbine engine that may be fueled by natural gas, methane or other types of gas.

Mineral Interests: The rights of ownership to gas, oil or other minerals as they naturally occur at or below a tract of land. Also known as “mineral rights.”

Mineral Rights: See “Mineral Interests.”

Mmbtu: One million British thermal units.

Mmcf: One million cubic feet.

Mmcfe: One million cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.

MOX Fuel (Mixed Oxide Fuel): A method of reprocessing spent nuclear material. Surplus plutonium is mixed with uranium to fabricate MOX fuel for use in a commercial nuclear power plant. Traditionally, fuel for commercial nuclear power plants is made of low-enriched uranium. MOX fuel contains 5 percent plutonium. European countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and France have been fabricating MOX fuel for many years. Commercial MOX-fueled light water reactors are used in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium. In the U.S., MOX fuel was fabricated and used in several commercial reactors in the 1970's as part of a development program.

Mud (Drilling Mud): A mixture of one or two liquid phases (water, oil and related emulsions) with clay that circulates during drilling in order to cool and lubricate the bit, remove material from the borehole and bring traces of fluids to the surface. The characteristic qualities of the drilling mud can be engineered to provide specific indicators to surface workers.

NAFTA: See “North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).”

Nanotechnology: The science of designing, building or utilizing unique structures that are smaller than 100 nanometers (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter). This involves microscopic structures that are no larger than the width of some cell membranes.

Natural Gas: A mixture of hydrocarbon compounds, primarily methane and small quantities of various nonhydrocarbons, existing in a gaseous phase or in solution with crude oil in natural underground reservoirs at reservoir conditions.

Natural Gas Field Facility: A field facility designed to process natural gas produced from more than one lease for the purpose of recovering condensate from a stream of natural gas. Some field facilities are designed to recover propane, normal butane, pentanes plus, etc., and to control the quality of natural gas to be marketed.

Natural Gas Liquids: Those hydrocarbons in natural gas that are separated from the gas as liquids through the process of absorption, condensation or other methods in gas processing or cycling plants. Generally such liquids consist of propane and heavier hydrocarbons and are commonly referred to as lease condensate, natural gasoline and liquefied petroleum gases. Natural gas liquids include natural gas plant liquids (primarily ethane, propane, butane and isobutane) and lease condensate (primarily pentanes produced from natural gas at lease separators and field facilities). See “Condensate (Lease).”

Net Generation: Gross generation minus plant use from all electric utility-owned plants. The energy required for pumping at a pumped-storage plant is regarded as plant use and must be deducted from the gross generation.

Net Summer Capability: The steady hourly output that generating equipment is expected to supply to system load exclusive of auxiliary power, as demonstrated by tests at the time of summer peak demand.

Non-Regulated Business: See “Regulated Business (Utility Companies).”

Nonutility Power Producer: A corporation, person, agency, authority or other legal entity or instrumentality that owns electric generating capacity and is not an electric utility.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): A trade agreement signed in December 1992 by U.S. President George H. W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari. The agreement eliminates tariffs on most goods originating in and traveling between the three member countries. It was approved by the legislatures of the three countries and had entered into force by January 1994. When it was created, NAFTA formed one of the largest free-trade areas of its kind in the world.

Nuclear Electric Power Generation: Electricity generated by nuclear reactors of various types, such as heavy water, light water and boiling water. Generation is reported on a net basis and excludes energy that is used by the electric power plant for its own operating purposes and not for commercial use.

Nuclear Fuel: Fissionable materials that have been enriched to such a composition that, when placed in a nuclear reactor, they will support a self-sustaining fission chain reaction, producing heat in a controlled manner for process use.

Nuclear Fusion: An atomic energy-releasing process in which light weight atomic nuclei, which might be hydrogen or deuterium, combine to form heavier nuclei, such as helium. The result is the release of a tremendous amount of energy in the form of heat. As of 2007, nuclear fusion had yet to be made practical as a commercial energy source, but several well-funded efforts are attempting to do so.

Nuclear Power Plant: A facility in which heat produced in a reactor by the fission of nuclear fuel is used to drive a steam turbine.

Nuclear Reactor: An apparatus in which the nuclear fission chain can be initiated, maintained and controlled so that energy is released at a specific rate.

NYMEX: New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX Exchange). The company is a major provider of financial services to the energy and metals industries including the trading of energy futures and options contracts. It is owned by the CME Group.

Octane Rating: A number used to indicate motor gasoline’s antiknock performance in motor vehicle engines. The two recognized laboratory engine test methods for determining the antiknock rating, or octane rating, of gasoline are the research method and the motor method. To provide a single number as guidance to the customer, the antiknock index (R + M)/2, which is the average of the research and motor octane numbers, was developed.

OECD: See “Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).”

Offshoring: The rapidly growing tendency among U.S., Japanese and Western European firms to send knowledgebased and manufacturing work overseas. The intent is to take advantage of lower wages and operating costs in such nations as China, India, Hungary and Russia. The choice of a nation for offshore work may be influenced by such factors as language and education of the local workforce, transportation systems or natural resources. For example, China and India are graduating high numbers of skilled engineers and scientists from their universities. Also, some nations are noted for large numbers of workers skilled in the English language, such as the Philippines and India. Also see “Captive Offshoring” and “Outsourcing.”

Ohm: The unit of measurement of electrical resistance; the resistance of a circuit in which a potential difference of one volt produces a current of one ampere.

Oil Shale (Shale Oil): Sedimentary rock that contains kerogen, a solid, waxy mixture of hydrocarbon compounds. Heating the rock to very high temperatures will convert the kerogen to a vapor, which can then be condensed to form a slow flowing heavy oil that can later be refined or used for commercial purposes. The United States contains vast amounts of oil shale deposits, but so far it has been considered not economically feasible to produce from them on a large scale.

OPEC: Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Current members are Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. (Ecuador withdrew from OPEC on December 31, 1992, and Gabon withdrew on December 31, 1994.)

Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Cost: Expenses associated with operating a facility (e.g., supervising and engineering expenses) and maintaining it, including labor, materials and other direct and indirect expenses incurred for preserving the operating efficiency or physical condition of utility plants that are used for power production, transmission and distribution of energy.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): A group of 30 countries that are strongly committed to the market economy and democracy. Some of the OECD members include Japan, the U.S., Spain, Germany, Australia, Korea, the U.K., Canada and Mexico. Although not members, Chile, Estonia, Israel, Russia and Slovenia are invited to member talks; and Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa have enhanced engagement policies with the OECD. The Organisation provides statistics, as well as social and economic data; and researches social changes, including patterns in evolving fiscal policy, agriculture, technology, trade, the environment and other areas. It publishes over 250 titles annually; publishes a corporate magazine, the OECD Observer; has radio and TV studios; and has centers in Tokyo, Washington, D.C., Berlin and Mexico City that distributed the Organisation’s work and organizes events.

Outsourcing: The hiring of an outside company to perform a task otherwise performed internally by the company, generally with the goal of lowering costs and/or streamlining work flow. Outsourcing contracts are generally several years in length. Companies that hire outsourced services providers often prefer to focus on their core strengths while sending more routine tasks outside for others to perform. Typical outsourced services include the running of human resources departments, telephone call centers and computer departments. When outsourcing is performed overseas, it may be referred to as offshoring. Also see “Offshoring.”

Ozone: A molecule made up of three atoms of oxygen. It occurs naturally in the stratosphere and provides a protective layer shielding the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation. In the troposphere, it is a chemical oxidant, a greenhouse gas and a major component of photochemical smog.

Ozone-Depleting Substances: Gases containing chlorine that are being controlled because they deplete ozone. They are thought to have some indeterminate impact on greenhouse gases.

Packer: A rubber-like cylinder that is used to seal a well at a given level. A packer is often equipped with a flowmeter, forcing the flow of fluid through a monitoring device providing data to the surface.

Paraffin (Oil): A light-colored, wax-free oil obtained by pressing paraffin distillate.

Paraffin-Base Crude Oil: Crude oil containing little or no asphalt, yielding at the refinery a high percentage of paraffin, lubricating oil and kerosene.

Passive Solar: A system in which solar energy (heat from sunlight) alone is used for the transfer of thermal energy. Heat transfer devices that depend on energy other than solar are not used. A good example is a passive solar water heater on the roof of a building.

Pay: The part of a formation producing or capable of producing oil, gas or another viable product. See “Pay Zone.”

Pay Sand: A sandstone formation that produces gas or oil.

Pay Zone: A vertical measure denoting the portion of a well producing gas or oil.

Peak Watt: A manufacturer's unit indicating the amount of power a photovoltaic cell or module will produce at standard test conditions (normally 1,000 watts per square meter and 25 degrees Celsius).

Pebble-Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR): A nuclear reactor technology that utilizes tiny silicon carbide-coated uranium oxide granules sealed in “pebbles” about the size of oranges, made of graphite. Helium is used as the coolant and energy transfer medium. This containment of the radioactive material in small quantities has the potential to achieve an unprecedented level of safety. This technology may become popular in the development of new nuclear power plants.

Persian Gulf: The countries that comprise the Persian Gulf region are: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Petrochemical Feedstocks: Products from petroleum refineries and natural gas liquids processing plants to be processed further at a petrochemical plant. Includes products primarily in the naphtha range, still gas (refinery gas) and liquefied gases for petrochemical use.

Petroleum: A generic term applied to oil and oil products in all forms, such as crude oil, lease condensate, unfinished oils, refined petroleum products, natural gas plants and liquids, and nonhydrocarbon compounds blended into finished petroleum products.

Petroleum Geologist: A geologist specializing in research and analysis that supports the exploration and production of petroleum resources.

Petroleum Products: Products obtained from the processing of crude oil, unfinished oils, natural gas liquids and other miscellaneous hydrocarbon compounds. Includes aviation gasoline, motor gasoline, naphtha-type jet fuel, kerosene-type jet fuel, kerosene, distillate fuel oil, residual fuel oil, ethane, liquefied petroleum gases, petrochemical feedstocks, special naphthas, lubricants, paraffin wax, petroleum coke, asphalt and road oil, still gas and other products.

Petroleum Stocks: Primary stocks of crude oil and petroleum products held in storage at (or in) leases, refineries, natural gas processing plants, pipelines, tankfarms and bulk terminals that can store at least 50,000 barrels of petroleum products or that can receive petroleum products by tanker, barge or pipeline.

Photovoltaic (PV) Cell: An electronic device consisting of layers of semiconductor materials fabricated to form a junction (adjacent layers of materials with different electronic characteristics) and electrical contacts, capable of converting incident light directly into electricity (direct current). Photovoltaic technology works by harnessing the movement of electrons between the layers of a solar cell when the sun strikes the material.

Photovoltaic (PV) Module: An integrated assembly of interconnected photovoltaic cells designed to deliver a selected level of working voltage and current at its output terminals, packaged for protection against environment degradation and suited for incorporation in photovoltaic power systems.

Pipeline (Natural Gas): A continuous pipe conduit, complete with such equipment as valves, compressor stations, communications systems and meters, for transporting natural gas and/or supplemental gaseous fuels from one point to another, usually from a point in or beyond the producing field or processing plant to another pipeline or to points of utilization. Also refers to a company operating such facilities.

Pipeline (Petroleum): Crude oil and product pipelines (including interstate, intrastate and intracompany pipelines) used to transport crude oil and petroleum products, respectively, within the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Plugged and Abandoned (P&A): A term describing a dry hole or depleted site that has been fitted with a cement plug to close the well.

Porosimeter: A device used to measure porosity.

Porosity: Percentage of rock or soil that is void of solid material.

Power (Electrical): The rate at which energy is transferred. A volt ampere, an electric measurement unit of power, is equal to the product of one volt and one ampere. This is equivalent to one watt for a direct current system. A unit of apparent power is separated into real and reactive power. Real power is the work-producing part of apparent power that measures the rate of supply of energy and is denoted in kilowatts.

PPP: See “Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) or Point-to- Point Protocol (PPP).”

Primary Recovery: The production of oil from a reservoir into the well under natural occurrences. Oil flows from a reservoir into the well under natural conditions (the first phase in oil production).

Prime Mover: The motive force that drives an electric generator.

Producing Gas-Oil Ratio: A ratio derived from the cubic foot measure of natural gas produced by a well relative to each barrel of oil produced.

Production Casing: The last section of casing to be set in a well, the production casing is the smallest diameter and longest string of tubulars to be installed.

Propane: A normally gaseous straight-chain hydrocarbon (C3H8). Propane is a colorless paraffinic gas that boils at a temperature of –43.67 degrees Fahrenheit. It is extracted from natural gas or refinery gas streams.

Prospect: The hypothetical location of naturally occurring, commercially exploitable oil and gas at a clearly defined underground location.

Proved Reserves (Crude Oil, Natural Gas or Coal): The estimated quantities of all crude oil, natural gas or coal which geological and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty to be recoverable in future years from known reservoirs or seams under existing economic and operating conditions.

Public Utility: An enterprise providing essential public services, such as electric, gas, telephone, water and sewer services, under legally established monopoly conditions.

Public Utility District (PUD): A municipal corporation organized to provide electric service to both incorporated cities and towns and unincorporated rural areas. Public utility districts operate in six states.

Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA): A part of the National Energy Act. PURPA contains measures designed to encourage the conservation of energy, more efficient use of resources and equitable rates. Principal among these were suggested retail rate reforms and new incentives for production of electricity by cogenerators and users of renewable resources.

Publicly Owned Electric Utility: A class of ownership found in the electric power industry. This group includes those utilities operated by municipalities and state and federal power agencies.

Pumped-Storage Hydroelectric Plant: A plant that usually generates electric energy during peak load periods by using water previously pumped into an elevated storage reservoir during off-peak periods, when excess generating capacity is available to do so. When additional generating capacity is needed, the water can be released from the reservoir through a conduit to turbine generators located in a power plant at a lower level.

Purchasing Power Parity (PPP): Currency conversion rates that attempt to reflect the actual purchasing power of a currency in its home market, as opposed to examining price levels and comparing an exchange rate. PPPs are always given in the national currency units per U.S. dollar.

PV: See “Photovoltaic (PV) Cell.” 

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