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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Wood, S.O., Jr.; Fanelli, Leonard L.
Natural gas liquids,   pp. 849-870 PDF (1.9 MB)


Page 849

  849Natural Gas Liquids 
By S. 0. Wood, Jr.' and Leonard L. Fanelli2 
 Production of natural gas liquids from gas-processing plants increased to
an alltinie high of 638.2 million barrels. This production was 20.4 million
barrels more than the 1971 output, an -increase of 3.3%. Natural gas liquids
production was valued at $1,452 million, 4.8% higher than the 1971 value
of $1,386 million. 
 Natural gas liquids are products obtained from the processing of natural
gas at natural gasoline plants, cycling plants, and fractionators. Included
are ethane, the liquefied petroleum gases (LPG—butane, propane, and
butane-propane mixtures), isobutane, mixed gases, natural gasoline, plant
condensate, and finished products including gasoline, special naphthas, jet
fuel, kerosine, distillate fuel oil, and miscellaneous finished products.
 Continued demand for petrochemical feedstock and increased recovery capability
contributed to the 20-million-barrel, 25%, increase in ethane production.
Propane production increased 2.8% to 218.0 million barrels. Total butanes
output increased 1.4% to 122.5 million barrels. Natural gasoline production
was 156.5 million barrels, 2.1% lest than in 1971. Isopentane output increased
30.3% to 7.2 million barrels~ Plant -condensate production decreased 14.5%
to 22.0 million barrels. 
 Record high production contributed to an alitime natural gas liquids stock
inventory of 108.9 million barrels at plants, including underground storage,
in September 1972. The LPG portion of the stock inventory was 97.6 million
barrels, compared with 92.0 million barrels in September 
1971. 
 Earlier than usual cold weather, an unusually wet corn crop, and curtailment
of natural gas deliveries precipitated a propane supply imbalance in some
Midwestern States late in the year. By yearend propane futures for December
1973 delivery were 8 cents per gallon, about 40% higher 
than 4 months earlier. 
 The average unit value of natural gas liquids production was $2.28 per barrel,
an increase of 1.8% from -the comparable 1971 value. Unit values increased
for all naturalgas liquids components except the "Other products" category.
LPG and ethane value increased 3.8% to $1.91 per barreL Natural gasoline
and isopentane value was $3.06 per barrel, an increase of 2.0% over the 1971
average. Plant condensate value increased 0.6% to $3.39 per ' barrel. Finished
gasoline and naphtha unit value increased 7.4% to $4.66 per barrel. Other
products average value declined 1.5% to $258 per barrel. 
 Data presented in this chapter were compiled from operating reports of natural
gasoline plants, cycling plants, and fractionators that process natural gas.
Included are all natural gas liquids except the small volume, considered
to be insignificant in the national and State ' totals, recovered at pipeline
compressor stations and gas dehydration plants. Plant condensate is included
in natural gas liquids; field-separated condensate, however, is included
with crude oil. Ethane and liquefied gases such as butane and propane, recovered
from the crude oil refining operations. are classed as liquefied refinery
gases (LRG) and reported as refinery products. 
 Annual reports were received from all large producers and distributors and
from most of the dealers that sell more than 100,000 gallons of LPG per year.
To reflect total shipments, the sample of dealer shipments was expanded by
Petroleum Administration for Defense (PAD) districts on the basis of domestic
demand in the districts. 
 Components of natural gas liquids used in this chapter are defined as follows:
Butane.—Includes all products covered by NGPA specifications for commercial
buI Petroleum engineer, Division of Fossil Fuels. 
' Survey statistician, Division of Fossil Fuels, 


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