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Glossary of Industry Terms

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Packers

Expanding rubber diaphragms used to seal off portions of the wellbore.

 

Paleontologist

A person trained in the study of plant and animal life in the past through the study of fossil plants and animals, their relationship to present-day plants and animals and their environments.

 

Palynologist

A paleontologist specializing in fossil pollens and spores.

 

Particulate Matter

Refers to dust, ash, soot, metals and other solid or liquid particles released into the air. It comes from natural sources ( such as forest fires and volcanoes ) and human sources (such as the burning of fossil fuels, the dust from mining operations, road dust and wood stoves ). Particulate matter can cause eye, nose and throat irritation and other health problems.

 

Pay Zone

The producing part of a petroleum formation.

 

Pentane ( C5H12 )

A hydrocarbon compound consisting of five carbon atoms and 12 hydrogen atoms.

 

Perforate

The process of puncturing holes in the well casing to allow hydrocarbons to flow into the wellbore for production. This is usually done by shooting hardened metal rods powered by explosives through the casing using a perforating gun lowered down the well bore.

 

Perforating Gun

A special tool lowered down the well bore to shoot holes in the well's casing and the producing formation to allow hydrocarbons to flow into the well.

 

Permeability

The capacity of a substance ( such as rock ) to transmit a fluid, such as crude oil, natural gas, or water. The degree of permeability depends on the number, size, and shape of the pores and/or fractures in the rock and their interconnections.  It is measured by the time it takes a fluid of standard viscosity to move a given distance. The unit of measure for permeability is the Darcy.

 

Petrochemicals

Chemicals derived from petroleum, used as feedstock for the manufacture of a variety of plastics and other products such as synthetic rubber.

Petroleum

A naturally occurring mixture composed mainly of hydrocarbons in the gaseous or liquid phase.

 

Photosynthesis

The process by which plants convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and carbohydrates.

 

Pig

A cylindrical device which is inserted into a pipeline and travels its length to inspect the pipe or sweep it clean of water, rust or other foreign matter. These devices are called pigs because early models made a squealing noise as they moved through the pipe. A “smart pig” will find corrosion, cracks or weakness in the welding.

 

Pinnacle Reef

A conical geological formation, higher than it is wide, usually composed of limestone, in which hydrocarbons might be trapped.

 

Pipeline

All parts of the physical plant through which gas is transported. It includes the pipe, valves, and the other equipment attached to the pipe including compressor units, metering stations, regulator stations, delivery stations, holders and fabricated assemblies.

 

Pooling Agreement

When the boundaries of two or more oil or gas leases do not conform to drill spacing units, a pooling agreement is needed between  the lease holders before the regulatory authority will grant a drill permit.

 

Porosity

A measure of a reservoir’s capacity to store fluids. The ratio of the aggregate volume of pore spaces in rock or soil to its total volume, usually stated as a per cent.

 

Potential Resources

The volume of natural gas or crude oil that is thought to exist based on the geology but not proven though geophysical techniques or drilling.

 

Precambrian

Formed prior to the onset of the Cambrian era i.e. betweeen 600 million to 4.5 billion years ago.

 

Pressure Maintenance

The process of injecting water or produced natural gas back into a reservoir to prevent reservoir pressure from decreasing.

 

Primary Recovery

The oil recovered by using either reservoir pressure or simple pumps.

Probable Reserves

Reserves believed to exist with reasonable certainty based on geological information.

 

Production Casing

The last string of casing set in a well; production casing is tubular steel pipe connected by threads and couplings that lines the total length of the wellbore. It ensures safe control of production, it prevents water from getting into  the wellbore and it keeps rock formations from “sloughing” material into the wellbore.

 

Production Tubing

Steel pipe inside the casing that is used to flow the petroleum from the producing zone to the surface.

 

Productive Capacity

The estimated maximum volume which can be produced from known reserves based on reservoir characteristics, economic factors, regulatory limitations and the feasibility of infill drilling or additional production facilities. This also referred to as available supply.

 

Propane ( C3H8 )

A component of natural gas consisting of three carbon atoms and eight hydrogen atoms which condenses into a liquid at relatively low temperature and pressure.

 

Proppant

Sand, ceramic or resin beads pumped into a wellbore at the end of the fracing process to prop open fractures and enhance permeability.

 

Prospect

A geographical area that exploration has shown tp contain sedimentary rocks and structures favorable to the presence of oil or natural gas.

 

Proved Reserves

Reserves that can be economically produced with a large degree of certainty from known reservoirs using existing technology.

 

Public Consultation

The process of involving all affected parties in the design, planning and operation of a seismic program, an oil or gas well, a pipeline, a processing plant or another facility.

 

Public Interest

Usually means the interest of the public vs. the interest of an individual or company.

 

Pumpjack

A pumping device used to bring oil to the surface by raising and lowering a string of rods connected to a downhole pump.