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Glossary

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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z 
Abbreviations

A

Abandoned Well
A well that is not in use because it was drilled as a dry hole or has ceased to produce or for some other reason cannot be operated. (In Canada, Talisman continues to make excellent progress against reclamation and abandonment obligations. The Company spent approximately $7.5 million on site cleanup in Canada in 2001.)

Aggregator
Sometimes referred to as MARKETERS. An independent corporation that buys natural gas from many producers, re-sells it to buyers, and obtains the necessary pipeline transportation capacity and removal/export permits and licences. Aggregators usually sell to buyers that individually require large amounts of natural gas, such as local distribution companies and large industrial customers.

Appraisal Wells
Wells generally drilled in the vicinity of a discovery or wildcat well for the purpose of evaluating the extent and the importance of the find.

Associated Gas
Gas that is produced from the same reservoir in association with crude oil, either as free gas or in solution.

 

B

Barrel
Petroleum industry standard barrel. Equals 0.159 m3.

Bitumen
Petroleum that exists in the semi-solid or solid phase in natural deposits.

Blowout
An uncontrolled flow of gas, oil or other liquids from a well.

Blowout Preventer (BOP)
Equipment that is installed at the wellhead to control pressures and fluids during drilling, completion, workovers and other remedial operations.

British Thermal Unit (Btu)
The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit at or near 39.2F

 

C

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
An inert non-toxic gas produced from decaying materials, respiration of plant and animal life, and combustion of organic matter, including fossil fuels. For many years, this gas had little commercial value except for the production of dry ice but, in recent years, it has become a valuable resource employed in tertiary oil recovery projects.

Carbonate
A sediment formed from the hard parts of marine organisms mainly consisting of calcite, aragonite and dolomite. Rocks formed from such sediments are important oil and gas reservoirs throughout the world.

Casing
A type of pipe that is used for encasing a smaller diameter carrier pipe for installation in a well. Casing is used to send off fluids from the hole or keep a hole from caving in.

Coal Bed Methane (CBM)
Natural gas generated and trapped in coal seams.

Coiled Tubing
A continuous, jointless hollow steel cylinder that is stored on a reel and can be uncoiled or coiled repeatedly as required; coiled tubing is increasingly being used in well completion and servicing instead of traditional tubing, which is made up of joined sections of pipe.

Completed Well
A well where operations have advanced to a stage where it is ready to produce oil or gas.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
Natural gas that has been highly compressed and is stored in high-pressure surface containers. CNG is used as a transportation fuel for automobiles, trucks and buses.

Compressor Station
A facility in which the pressure of natural gas is raised to facilitate its transmission through pipelines.

Condensate
Hydrocarbons liquids of high API gravity, usually produced in association with natural gas and which are liquid at normal pressure and temperature.

Conventional Crude Oil
Petroleum found in liquid form either flowing naturally from its reservoir or capable of being pumped.

Core
A continuous cylinder of rock, usually from five to 10 centimetres in diameter, cut from the bottom of a well-bore. Cores are cut during the drilling of a well and are used in the study of underground formations.

Corporate Governance
Balance of powers between boards of directors, senior management, shareholders and stakeholders of companies.

Corporate Responsibility or CR
Defined by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development as the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as the local community and society at large.

Crown Land
Mineral rights owned by the federal or provincial governments in Canada.

Cubic Foot
The volume of gas that fills one cubic foot of space under standard temperature and pressure conditions. Standard pressure is 14.73 psi and standard temperature is 60F.

 

D

Decommissioning
Taking out of use, ready for dismantling/removal.

Deep Basin Gas
Natural gas that is found at depths greater than the average for a particular area.

Deliverability
The amount of natural gas a well, field, pool, gathering, transmission or distribution system can supply in a given period of time.

Density
The weight of crude oil, indicating the proportion of large, carbon-rich molecules, generally measured in kilograms per cubic metre (kg/m3) or degrees on the American Petroleum Institute (API) gravity scale; in Western Canada, oil up to 900 kg/m3 is considered light to medium crude – oil above this density is deemed as heavy oil or bitumen.

Development Well
A well generally drilled in or adjacent to a proven part of a pool to optimize petroleum production.

Directional (deviated) Well
A well drilled at an angle from the vertical by using a slanted drilling rig or by deflecting the drillbit. Directional wells can be used to drill multiple wells from a common drilling pad or to reach a subsurface location beneath land where drilling cannot be done.

Discovery Well
An exploratory well that results in the discovery of a new gas or oilfield or pool.

Downstream
A term used most commonly in the petroleum industry to describe post production processes (e.g. refining and marketing sectors of the petroleum industry).

Drill Pipe
The heavy steel pipe used to rotate the drill bit and circulate drilling mud. Drill pipe is generally in sections, approximately 9 metres long, are screwed together to form a continuous pipe and extend from the drilling rig to the drilling bit at the bottom of the hole. Rotation of the drill pipe and bit causes the bit to bore through the rock.

Drill String
The column or "string" made up of connected drill pipe. The drill string carries the mud down to, and rotates, the drillbit.

Drilling Mud
Fluid circulated down the drill pipe and up the annulus during drilling operations to remove cuttings, cool and lubricate the bit and maintain a desired pressure in the well.

Drillstem Test
A method of sampling fluid from a formation by isolating an interval in the wellbore, using a tool attached to the drill string (or “drill stem”). The sample is used to assess the type and volume of fluids in the formation as well as their pressure and rate of flow.

Dry Gas
Natural gas that does not contain dissolved liquid hydrocarbons.

Dry Hole
An unsuccessful well, a well not capable of producing commercial quantities of oil or gas.

 

E

End-User
A person or company who actually consumes natural gas (as opposed to one who sells or resells it).

Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)
Any method that increases oil production by using techniques or materials that are not part of normal pressure maintenance or water flooding operations. Examples include oil recovered through the injection of gas or miscible fluids.

Environmental Audit
Systematic, documented verification process of objectively obtaining and evaluating audit evidence to determine whether specified environmental activities, events, conditions, management systems or information about these matters conform with audit criteria.

Environmental Impact Assessment
A set of activities designed to contribute pertinent environmental information to project or program decision-making.

Established Reserves
Those reserves recoverable under current technology and present and anticipated economic conditions. Also a term commonly used in reference to total proved reserves plus half probable reserves.

Exploration
The act of searching for potential sub-surface reservoirs of gas or oil. Methods include the use of magnetometers, gravity meters, seismic exploration, surface mapping, and the drilling of exploratory test wells (wildcats).

Exploratory Well
A well drilled either in search of new and yet undiscovered accumulations of oil and gas, or in an attempt to significantly extend the limits of a known reservoir.

 

F

Farmout
An arrangement whereby the owner of a lease assigns all or some portion of the lease or licences to another company for undertaking exploration or development activity.

Field
The geographical area encompassing a group of one or more underground hydrocarbon pools that share the same or related infrastructure.

Field Pressure
The pressure of the natural gas as it is found in the underground formations from which it is produced.

Fish
Any object left in the wellbore during drilling or workover operations that must be recovered or drilled around before work can proceed.

Formation
A designated mapable sub-surface layer that is composed of substantially the same kind of rock or rock types.

Fracturing (or fracing)
A process of opening up "channels" in an underground hydrocarbon reservoir by pumping special fluids down the well under high pressure. Fracturing causes the formation to crack open, creating passages for the reservoir fluids to more easily flow into the wellbore.

Futures Market
Market trading in contracts to buy and sell a particular commodity at a fixed price on a certain date.

 

G

Gas Cap
Free gas on top of the oil zone in an underground reservoir.

Gas in Place (GIP)
The volume of gas in a reservoir at any given time, calculated at standard temperature and pressure conditions, that includes both recoverable and non-recoverable gas.

Gas Pool
The term "gas pool" is generally synonymous with the term "gas reservoir".

Gas Processing Plant
A facility which performs one of the following: removing water or moisture from the gas stream (i.e. dehydration), removing liquefiable hydrocarbons from wetgas or casinghead gas (i.e.. gas processing), removing undesirable gaseous and particulate elements from natural gas (i.e. gas treatment).

Gas Reservoir
Rock that forms a trap for the accumulation of and natural gas and associated liquids.

Gathering System
A system of pipelines, compressor stations and any other related facilities that gather natural gas from a supply region and transports it to the major transmission systems. Generally, pipelines in gathering systems are smaller in diameter and operate at lower pressures (field-gathering systems), although some gathering systems (e.g. the NOVA system in Alberta) also have lines that are comparable to those found in transmission systems.

Geologist
A person trained in the study of the Earth’s crust. Petroleum geologists search for traps (structural or stratigraphic) favourable for the accumulation of hydrocarbons and determine favourable locations for drilling.

Geophysical Survey
The accurate measurement and recording of certain physical quantities of the Earth’s crust geophysical methods (e.g. seismic) to locate probable reservoir structures capable of producing commercial quantities of natural gas and/or crude oil.

Geophysics
The science that deals with the study of the Earth by quantitative physical methods and relations between the physical features of the Earth and forces that produce them; geophysics includes the study of seismology and magnetism.

Global Compact
An initiative by Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, to engage the private sector in helping address common issues of environmental protection, human rights and labour.

Global Reporting Initiative
A multi-stakeholder process and independent institution whose mission is to develop and disseminate globally applicable sustainability reporting guidelines.

 

H

Heavy Oil
A dense, viscous oil with a high proportion of bitumen, which is difficult to extract with conventional techniques and is more costly to refine.

Horizontal Drilling
Drilling a well that deviates from the vertical and travels horizontally through a prospective reservoir.

Hydrocarbons
An organic chemical compound of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons are a large class of liquid, solid or gaseous organic compounds, that are the basis of almost all petroleum products.

Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S)
A naturally occurring, highly toxic gas with the odour of rotten eggs, commonly found in association with natural gas.

 

I

Infill Drilling
Additional wells drilled between established producing wells on a lease in order to increase production from the reservoir.

Injection Well
A well employed for injecting air, steam or fluids into an underground formation.

In-situ
In its original place or position. In-situ recovery refers to various methods used to recover deeply buried bitumen deposits, including steam injection, solvent injection and firefloods.

 

J

-

 

K

Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in Kyoto on December 11, 1997. It contains quantified greenhouse gas (GHG) emission limitation and reduction commitments, expressed in CO2 equivalent, for signatory countries.

 

L

Landman
An employee of an oil company whose primary duties are formulating and carrying out exploration strategies and managing an oil company’s relations with its landowners and partners, including securing and administering oil and gas leases and other agreements.

Lease
A formal agreement between two or more parties where the owner of the land grants another party the right to drill and produce petroleum substances in exchange for payment.

Light Crude Oil
Liquid petroleum characterized by low density that flows freely at room temperature.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
Natural gas that has been supercooled to about 160C for storage as a liquid. LNG occupies 1/640th of its original volume and is, therefore, easier to transport if pipelines cannot be used.

Lost-Time Injuries
Injuries that result in workers being unable to report to their next work shift.

 

M

Medium Crude Oil
Liquid petroleum with a density between that of light and heavy crude oil.

Midstream
Activity involving the processing, storage and transportation sectors of the petroleum industry.

Mineral Rights
Represents the legal rights to explore for and produce the resources below the surface. In the petroleum industry, mineral rights can also be referred to as "land."

Miscible Flooding
An oil-recovery technique or process in which a fluid, capable of mixing completely with the oil it contacts, is injected into an oil reservoir to increase recovery.

Mud
Usually a colloidal suspension of clays in water along with chemical additives that is circulated through the wellbore during rotary drilling.

Multi-Zone Well Completion
Completion of a well such that production is obtained from several different formations.

 

N

National Energy Board (NEB)
A federal regulatory agency in Canada that sets tolls and tariffs for oil and gas pipelines under federal jurisdiction; authorizes oil, natural gas and electricity exports and certifies interprovincial and international pipelines, and designated interprovincial and international power lines.

Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs)
Hydrocarbon liquids obtained during natural gas production and processing; they include ethane, propane, butane and condensate.

Non-Associated Gas
A reservoir where only gas is found (i.e. crude oil is not present).

Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)
Groups with mutual interests and objectives that are non-profit and independent of government.

 

O

Oil Sands
A deposit of sand saturated with bitumen. Canada has some of the largest oil sands deposits in the world (Athabasca tar sands).

Operator
Company appointed by the co-venturers in a licence to manage the exploration for and, if successful, the production of oil/gas on behalf of the co-venturers.

 

P

Pay Zone
The producing portion of a formation.

Permeability
The capacity of a reservoir rock to transmit fluids (i.e. a measure of how easily fluids can pass through the rock).

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

Petroleum
A naturally occurring complex mixture composed predominantly of hydrocarbons in a gaseous, liquid or solid phase.

Pipeline
All parts of a physical facility through which gas is transported, including pipe, valves, and other appendages attached to the pipe, compressor units, metering stations, regulator stations, delivery stations, holders, and fabricated assemblies.

Pool
A natural underground reservoir containing an accumulation of petroleum.

Porosity
Volume of space within a rock that might contain hydrocarbons (like the amount of water a sponge can hold). Represents the open or void space within rock – usually expressed as a percentage of the total rock volume. Porosity measures the capacity of the rock to hold natural gas, crude oil or water.

Precambrian
Formed prior to the Cambrian era (older than approximately 600 million years ago).

Probable Reserves
Hydrocarbon deposits believed to exist with a reasonable certainty on the basis of geological information.

Production Carbon Intensity
The mass of carbon dioxide emissions emitted during the production of each unit of oil and gas. The GHG potentials of other greenhouse gases are included in the calculation.

Production Energy Intensity
Energy consumed in the production of each unit of oil and gas.

Prospect
A geographical area that exploration has shown contains sedimentary rocks and structures that may be favourable for the presence of crude oil or natural gas.

Proved Reserves
Hydrocarbons in known reservoirs that can be recovered with a great degree of certainty under existing technological and economic conditions. Proved reserves represent the category of natural gas reserves that have the highest probability of being produced. Generally, these reserves have been “proved” to exist with drilling evidence. Every authority has a slightly different definition of the exact parameters which define proved reserves.

 

Q

-

 

R

Raw Natural Gas
A mixture containing methane plus all or some of the following: ethane, propane, butane, pentanes, condensates, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, helium, hydrogen, water vapour and minor impurities. Raw natural gas is the gas found naturally in the ground prior to processing. During processing, the volume decreases as impurities and liquids are removed.

Reclamation
The process of converting lands disturbed by oil and gas activities to other productive land uses, involving reshaping areas to a stable configuration, establishment of drainage systems, placement of topsoil or plant growth media and revegetation through planting or seeding.

Recoverable Resources
Total hydrocarbon that can be produced with current technology, including those not economical to produce at present and those not tied into existing production facilities.

Reservoir (pool)
A porous, permeable underground rock formation containing a discrete natural accumulation of crude oil or natural gas, confined by impermeable rock or water barriers, and separate from other reservoirs.

Royalty
The share of production or revenues retained by government or freehold mineral rights holders.

 

S

Sandstone
A compacted sedimentary rock most commonly composed of quartz or feldspar. Sandstones are a common rock in which oil, natural gas and/or water accumulate.

Secondary Recovery
Extraction of incremental crude oil, natural gas and related substances from reservoirs through pressure maintenance techniques, such as waterflooding and gas injection.

Sedimentary Rocks
One of three basic forms of rocks (the other two being igneous and metamorphic) formed by the accumulation of sediment or organic materials. Sedimentary rocks are likely to contain hydrocarbons. Sedimentary rocks generally form from matter deposited by streams, lakes, seas or other bodies of water.

Seismic Surveys
Studies done to gather and record the patterns of induced shock wave reflections from underground layers of rock. Seismic surveys are used to create detailed models of the underlying geological structure used in the exploration and development of hydrocarbons.

Service Rig
A rig (often truck-mounted), usually smaller than a drilling rig, that is brought in to complete a well or to perform maintenance, replace equipment or improve production.

Set Casing
The installation of steel pipe or casing in a wellbore. An accompanying operation is the cementing of the casing in place by surrounding it with a wall of cement extending for all or a portion of the depth of the well.

Shale
A sedimentary rock formed from the deposition of clay.

Shut-in Gas Well
A producing well that has been closed down temporarily for repair, clean out, workover, lack of market, etc.

Sour Gas
Natural gas contaminated with chemical impurities (commonly CO2 or H2S).

Spot Market
A market characterized by short-term contracts for specified volumes of gas. Spot market participants may be producers, marketers, brokers, LDCs or end-users.

Spud (a well)
The first or initial act of boring of the hole in drilling of an oil or gas well.

Steam Injection
A thermal recovery method representing improved recovery technique in which steam is injected into a reservoir to reduce the viscosity of the crude oil.

Step Out
A well drilled adjacent to a proven well but located in an unproven area. May represent a well located as a "step out" from proven territory in an effort to determine the boundaries of a producing formation.

Sulphur
A yellow-coloured, natural element commonly extracted from petroleum and used for making fertilizers, pharmaceuticals and other products.

Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)
A highly toxic gas formed by burning hydrogen sulphide.

Surface Casing
The first string of casing put into a well. Surface casing is cemented into bedrock and serves to shut out shallow water formations and as a foundation for well control during drilling operations.

Surface Rights
The legal rights to work on the surface of the land.

Sweet Gas
Raw natural gas characterized by a relatively low concentration of sour compounds, such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide.

Synthetic Crude Oil
A mixture of hydrocarbons, similar to crude oil, derived by upgrading bitumen extracted from oil sands.

 

T

Tertiary Recovery
The third major phase of crude oil recovery and that involves using more sophisticated techniques, such as steam-flooding or injection of chemicals, to increase recovery.

Tripping
The process of removing the drill string from the hole to change the bit and running the drill string and new bit back into the hole.

 

U

Upstream
The sector of the petroleum industry involving exploration and production.

 

V

Viscosity
The measure of resistance to flow or "stickiness" of a fluid.

 

W

Wellbore
A hole drilled or bored into the earth and usually cased with metal pipe for the production of gas or oil.

Wellhead
Equipment used to maintain surface control of a well.

Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB)
Canada’s largest region of sedimentary rocks; the largest source of current oil and gas production. The WCSB covers a large area of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

Wildcat
A well drilled in an area where no oil or gas production exists nearby.

Working Interest
The interest in a mineral property that entitles the owner to a portion of the production from the property. A working interest may entitle the owner to royalty payments.

 

X

-

 

Y

-

 

Z

-

 

ABBREVIATIONS

API American Petroleum Institute
bbls Barrels
bbls/d Barrels per day
bcf Billion cubic feet
boe Barrels of oil equivalent
boe/d Barrels of oil equivalent per day
CAA Commercial Agreement Area
CAGR Compound Annual Growth Rate
CAPP Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
C$ Canadian dollars
CO2E Carbon dioxide equivalent
DBRS Dominion Bond Rating Service
EBITDAX Earnings before interest, preferred security charges, income taxes, depreciation, depletion and amortization, impairment write downs, exploration and dry hole expense
EU European Union
FPSO Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading Vessel
FSO Floating, Storage and Offloading Vessel
GJ 109joules or a billion joules
GT 109tonnes or a billion tonnes
m3 Cubic metres
mboe/d Thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day
mcf Thousand cubic feet
mcf/d Thousand cubic feet per day
MW 106watts or a million watts
mg/L Milligram per litre
mmboe Million barrels of oil equivalent
mmbtu Million British thermal units
mmcf Million cubic feet
mmcf/d Million cubic feet per day
Moody's Moody's Investor Service
NYMEX New York Mercantile Exchange
NYSE New York Stock Exchange
OECD Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development
OPEC Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
PSC Production Sharing Contract
ppm Parts per million
S&P Standard & Poor's Ratings Group
tcf Trillion cubic feet
TSX Toronto Stock Exchange
UDHR Universal Declaration of Human Rights
UK United Kingdom
UN United Nations
US United States
US$ United States dollars
WTI West Texas Intermediate
Pound sterling

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T2P 5C5

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