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Global Energy Industry Terms Glossary

Enverus Glossary of Energy Industry Terminology

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Energy Industry Terms Glossary A-B

Active solar – using pumps or fans to circulate heat transmission fluids between the solar collector and a building (or storage medium).

Active well – an oil or gas well in good condition for production.

American Petroleum Institute (API) – the US trade association representing the oil and natural gas industry. Members comprise all segments of the E&P sector including Offshore, Onshore, Fracking, Natural Gas, Oil Sands, Oil Shale, Alaska and Arctic exploration and production.

Annubar – a device for measuring gas pipeline flow rate, a key productivity and safety factor for pipeline operators.

Anticline – an arch shaped fold in the earth’s crust, often the location of sizeable oil and gas reserves.

Barrel (or BBL for short) – standard unit of volumetric measure equal to 42 U.S. gallons.

Barrel of Oil Equivalent (BOE) – 5,620 cubic feet of natural gas, the amount of containing the same amount of energy as a barrel of oil.

Biodiesel – liquid fuel made from plant and vegetable oils, animal fats or recycled grease.

Biomass – discarded plant material that can be burned to produce energy, or transformed into another type of fuel.

Block – numbered area of land on a leasing map. Texas E&P companies often begin their search for new oil well sights by examining Permian or Midland basin maps and data.

Blowout – A uncontrolled release of oil, gas or other fluids from a well.

BOP (short for Blowout Preventer) – a mechanical device connected to the wellhead to control pressure and prevent blowouts.

Borehole (aka wellbore) – the uncased open hole created by well drilling.

Common Oil-Gas-Renewable Energy Terms C-G

Casing – steel pipe inserted into an oil or gas well to prevent cave-in and fluid escape.

Chainhand – experienced laborer capable of maintaining most parts of the rig.

Choke – a tool used to slow down the flow of liquid or gas.

Concentrated solar – optical concentration of solar rays through an arrangement of lenses or mirrors to produce a high temperature for the energy transfer fluid.

Condensate – natural gas that has a low vapor pressure, typically from deep wells.

Core sample – a cylindrical vertical section of the earth, extracted for geophysical analysis.

Directional drilling – boring in a non-vertical direction, using steerable tools.

Dome – a hemispherical geological structure where layers of rock fall away symmetrically from a central point, a likely location of oil reserves.

Downstream – oil and gas industry segment that includes refining, petrochemical and plastics production, and distribution including retail outlets.

Drill string – the assembled column of pipe that transmits torque to the drill bit, and is a conduit for sending drilling fluid down the well.

Driller – the crew supervisor on a drilling rig who is also responsible for effectively managing oilfield services operations. 

Dry gas – natural gas not containing any liquid hydrocarbons.

Elevator – a hinged mechanism that closes around the drill pipe, or other tubular components, to enable the string to be lowered  into or lifted out of the well.

ESG – Environment, Social and Governance standards that are important criteria for socially-conscious investors. Many stock market analysts, pension funds and brokerages carefully scrutinize corporate ESG analytics before recommending investments.

Exploration – the process of looking for oil or natural gas – includes geophysical surveying and initial drilling for verification.

Feed-in-Tariff – fee power companies pay consumers for excess electricity generated by renewable energy production.

Flowing well – one that produces oil and gas using reservoir pressure, and does not require pumping or other assistance.

Fracking – hydraulic fracturing, a process where special fluids are pumped into the underground structure to fracture the rock and allow flow of oil and gas.

Geothermal energy – heat from the earth, commonly in volcanic regions but also taking advantage of earth temperature gradient with depth.

Grid – a network of electricity production and transmission systems. Grid load forecasting systems are essential for matching electricity production and transmission with power demand.

Popular Energy Industry Terms Glossary H-M

Heat pump – a system that transfers heat energy via a fluid, using fans or mechanical pumps. Refrigerators and Air Conditioners are good examples of heat pumps.

Hitch – period of time a rig employee works at the well site.

Horner plot – A semi-log plot produced during pressure buildup analysis of a well.

Hydraulic head – the vertical distance between upstream and downstream water levels at a hydroelectric power plant.

Intelligent well – oil or gas well instrumented with electronic monitoring and control equipment that enable automatic or remote operation.

Joint – a length of pipe.

Joint Interest Billing (JIB for short) – an accounting process in the oil and gas business that allocates costs and benefits to multiple parties investing in a project.

Joint Venture Accounting (JVA) – an accounting methodology based on either Equity Accounting or Proportionate Consolidation that apportions the expenses and returns on jointly controlled assets. These ownership structures of exploration projects require oil, gas and minerals joint venture accounting solutions.

Kelly bushing – a square or hexagonal pipe attachment used to turn the drill string while drilling.

Kick – an intrusion of pressurized fluid into the wellbore causing drilling fluid to be displaced. It can be the precursor to a blowout.

Kickoff – planned deviation from vertical, executed at the bottom of the wellbore.

Kill – stopping a well from flowing.

Landman – a person of any gender who manages land leasing for oil and gas companies.

Lease – a contractual agreement between a landowner and a company (or individual) to exploit the land for oil, gas, minerals or other materials in a well-defined location for a given period of time. Effective management of oil land leases is a key to success in the Upstream segment.

Midstream – part of the oil and gas supply chain between producers and consumers. Midstream business optimization is challenging because it includes petroleum processing, transportation, storage and marketing of crude oil and raw natural gas to downstream companies.

Moon pool – open space underneath the drill floor of an offshore drilling rig above the water below.

Motorman – person responsible for maintaining all rig equipment to ensure smooth operation and minimal downtime.

Mouse hole – hole in drilling rig floor where the next joint of pipe to be added to the drill string is placed.

Mud – slang term for drilling fluid, often a proprietary mixture of chemicals designed for optimal fracking results.

Enverus Energy Glossary – Terminology – Slang N-Z

Negative Pressure test – a test performed to determine the integrity of a well.

Nipple – a short length of pipe.

Nipple-up – the act of installing a wellhead and/or B.O.P.

Ocean energy – energy extracted from tides, waves and thermal gradients.

OCS – Outer Continental Shelf, location of many productive oil and natural gas reserves.

Passive solar – electrical, mechanical or heat energy generation without mechanical assistance from fans or pumps.

Photovoltaic (PV for short) – generation of electricity from light, especially the sun. 

Pig – a device placed into a pipeline for cleaning purposes, usually of a diameter just smaller than that of the pipe.

Plugged and abandoned – wells where casings have been removed and the well bore properly plugged.

Pressure core sampler – tool designed to retrieve a sediment core while retaining pressure down the well.

Production – the phase of operations where oil, gas or other saleable products are extracted from the well.

Pugh Clause (aka Freestone Rider) – contractual provision in an oil lease that restricts the property a lessee can use following the lease’s initial expiration date. Beneficial mostly to the lessor.

Pumper – a worker whose job is to monitor and maintain active oil and gas wells.

Reforming – transformation of methane and water into carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

Renewable energy – energy produced without the use of fossil fuels.

Rig Count – a popular metric of the health of the oil and gas industry. Uused by petroleum industry operators, economists, financial analysts and economists to analyze and forecast near-term and future production. Savvy commodities traders, hedge funds and brokerage houses utilize Enverus real-time data and software for energy futures traders to exploit opportunities indicated by petroleum market intelligence. 

Roughneck – member of an oil rig rig-floor drilling crew.

Suspended well – one where drilling operations have been discontinued, but has not yet been plugged.

Toolpusher – person on-site in charge of a drilling rig, working under the drilling superintendent or company that owns the rig.

Upstream involves Exploration and Production management of crude oil and raw gas, the beginning and riskiest segment of the oil and gas supply chain.

Well log – the record of geological structure traversed while drilling the well, very useful in correlating with those of nearby properties to assess the prospective oil well productivity.

Wind Turbine (aka Windmill or Wind Generator) – an electromechanical device that converts the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy (blades make shaft rotate) and then into electricity (rotating armature inside fixed stator). 

Workover – an activity to increase production level of an active well.