Natural Gas Term of the Week: Gasification

What it means: The process during which liquefied natural gas (LNG) is returned to its vapor or gaseous state through an increase in temperature and a decrease in pressure.

See it in action: While LNG is an excellent method for the storage and transport of natural gas; conventional use requires it to be warmed from its liquid form at -160c (-256f) back to a gas. This physical process involves slowly warming the LNG through a series of pipes and vaporizers. Four NWGA members own and operate their own LNG facilities as a means of providing extra capacity in times of high demand, they are:

  • FortisBC, on Vancouver Island
  • Intermountain Gas, in Nampa, ID
  • NW Natural, in Portland, OR and Newport, OR
  • Williams NW Pipeline in Plymouth, WA

Each facility siphons off a small portion of their gas supply during warmer months to be stored as LNG; once needed, this LNG undergoes gasification and is added to the system to ensure adequate supply for customers.

A Natural Gas Term of the Week is posted each Monday, check back weekly to boost your natural gas IQ.  Follow the NWGA on Twitter @Ben_at_NWGA

Natural Gas Term of the Week: BTU

What it means: British thermal unit, a measure of the energy content of a fuel. The heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit at a specified temperature and pressure. One Btu equals 252 calories, 778 foot pounds, 1,055 joules or .293 watt hours. One cubic foot of natural gas contains about 1,027 Btus.

See it in action: Btus are a useful means of comparing the energy content across the differing units of measurement used for different fuel sources.

A Natural Gas Term of the Week is posted each Monday, check back weekly to boost your natural gas IQ.  Follow the NWGA on Twitter @Ben_at_NWGA

Get To Know Our New Website: The Annual Energy Conference Kindle Contest

The NWGA has a revamped website and we’d like you to have a look around our shiny new digs. If you’re an attendee at our Annual Energy Conference find the answers to the following three questions on our website and email them to Ben Hemson at bhemson@nwga.org by 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 7th. Correct responses will be entered for a chance to win a Kindle Touch.

  1. According to the NWGA’s 2012 Natural Gas Outlook, what is the projected annual growth rate for natural gas consumption in the Northwest? (Hint: you can find the answer on our website and in the demand section of the 2012 Outlook Document).
  2. Summarize the NWGA’s mission in five words, extra points for creativity!
  3. What are the dates of the 2013 Annual Energy Conference? (Hint: Stare at the front page long enough and the answer may come to you).

Again, send your answers to Ben Hemson, bhemson@nwga.org by 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 7th. The winner will be announced during the conference’s closing remarks.

The Ninth Annual Energy Conference Twitter Contest!

Have a great quote, comment, or question you’d like to share from the Ninth Annual Energy Conference? Share it with us on Twitter!

By adding the hashtag: #2012AEC to the end of your tweet you’ll be entered to win our Twitter contest and take home an iPod shuffle (in a natural gas themed blue of course). By including “#2012AEC” in your tweet other conference attendees and our staff will be able to see what you’ve tweeted and most importantly enter you into the drawing for the iPod.

Not sure what the heck Twitter is but still want to participate? You can create an account here. Once you’ve signed up click here to get more information on just what a hash tag is.

Natural Gas Term of the Week: Direct Connect Customers

What it means: Usually very large industrial customers connected directly to an interstate pipeline system. These customers purchase their own gas supplies and contract directly from the pipeline for transportation, thereby bypassing the bundled services typically offered by local distribution companies.

See it in action: What do you do if you want to use natural gas for a large industrial application but you’re miles away from the nearest local distribution company (LDC)? If you’re lucky you can call up one of the pipelines serving the region and buy gas directly from them.

Have a look at our map of the region’s natural gas system to get an idea of where direct connect customers could be located. As you can see LDCs focus on more populous areas, it’s not cost effective to build distribution lines to homes located many miles apart.  Industrial users can consume significant amounts of gas so even if they are located far from the nearest LDC it may make financial sense for them to work directly with a pipeline to secure a clean and cost effective way to power their industrial application.

Natural Gas Terms of the Week are posted each Monday, check back weekly to boost your natural gas IQ.

Follow the NWGA on Twitter: @Ben_at_NWGA

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