Natural Gas Terms

Natural Gas Terms

  • Apollo ID: Six digit number at the of a natural gas invoice.
  • Balancing: The equalizing of a shipper’s gas receipt into a pipeline with withdrawals out of a pipeline system. This can be done daily, monthly or seasonally.
  • Basis Differential: The difference in the market value of natural gas at two separate physical locations at the same point in time.
  • BTU (British Thermal Unit): The quantity of heat that is required to raise one pound of water, one degree Fahrenheit.
  • Buy at Market Order: A buy order at the current market offer price for a specific volume and month. Buy at market orders are executed at the best current market offer obtainable immediately–which gives customer the flexibility to take advantage of current market pricing or s themselves out in real time.
  • Capacity Assignment: An entity that holds the rights and obligations to interstate pipeline capacity. The entity can then transfer those rights and obligations to another entity.
  • CCF: 100 cubic feet.
  • CGA (Cost of Gas Adjustment): The mechanism by which a utility periodically adjusts its prices in order to compensate for changes in the gas acquisition costs.
  • City Gate: Physical location where gas is delivered by an interstate pipeline to a local distribution company.
  • Cogeneration: The sequential production of electricity and useful thermal energy from the same energy source.
  • Cubic Feet: The most common unit of measure of gas volume. One cubic foot is roughly equal to 1,000 Btu’s.
  • Decatherm: 10 therms of 1 million Btu’s. Very roughly: 1 mcf = 1 MMBtu = 1 Dth = 10 ccf.
  • Distribution: Local pipeline delivery of natural gas.
  • Dual-Fuel: The ability of a facility or piece of equipment to use more than one kind of fuel–usually either gas or oil.
  • FERC: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (a government agency).
  • Firm Service: The highest quality sales or service offered to customers–withoutplanned interruptions.
  • Interruptible Service: A gas service that is subject to interruption at the option of the pipeline or LDC. Tariffs for interruptible service are cheaper than firm.
  • Interstate Pipeline: A federally regulated company that transports natural gas across state lines from producing regions to end use markets.
  • LDC: Local Distribution Company
  • Line Loss: A percentage of gas received by a pipeline or LDC that is retained to compensate for lost and unaccounted for gas.
  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG): Natural gas converted to a liquid state–usually for storage purposes–by pressure and severe cooling.
  • Load Factor: The ratio of the average amount of gas a customer takes to the peak amount of gas a customer takes in a given period.
  • MCF: 1,000 cubic feet.
  • New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX): The commodity exchanges based in New York where natural gas futures contracts and other energy futures are traded.
  • Off-Peak: Period of the year when minimum demand for fuel occurs (typically April through October). Costs are generally lower during this period.
  • On-Peak: Period of the year when maximum demand for fuel occurs (typically November through March). Costs are generally higher during this period.
  • Pipeline Capacity: A service provided by a pipeline for a fixed monthly reservation charge which gives a transporter the right to move up to a maximum daily quantity of gas between defined points on the pipeline’s system.
  • Rate Class: Type of billing classification or category.
  • Spot Gas: Interruptible or best efforts gas that is used for specified volumes on a limited (usually monthly) basis.
  • S Loss Order: An above market buy order for a specific price, volume, and month. S loss orders can protect a customer from upside price risk in a rising market. If the NYMEX trades above the s loss level during regular trading hours by at least 1/10 cent, execution is guaranteed. S loss orders may be filled higher in the event of an overnight “gap higher” through the s loss level.
  • Tariff: Compilation of all of the effective rate schedules for a company, along with general terms and conditions.
  • Telemetering: A form of remote metering which is often electronic.
  • Therm: Unit of measure used for heat content, equivalent to 100,000 Btu’s.
  • Transportation Gas: Third party owned gas delivered on the interstate pipeline system to a LDC on behalf of a customer.
  • Trigger Order: A below market buy order for a specific price, volume, and month. Trigger Orders enable customers to take advantage of a falling market. If the NYMEX trades below the trigger level during the regular session by at least 1/10 cent, order execution is guaranteed. However, if trigger levels are not achieved, customers can be vulnerable to substantial upside price risk in a rising market.
  • Unbundling: Separating costs on a pipeline or distribution system and charging customers for each component (commodity, transportation, storage etc).
  • WACOG: Weighted Average Cost of Gas.