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Oil & Gas Glossary

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
Acre - A unit of area equivalent to 43,560 square feet.
Actual Production - A federal oil and gas lease is considered in actual production status when it contains one or more wells drilled on a lease or unit or communization agreement basis, which are producing or capable of producing oil or gas in paying quantities.
Acute Hazard - A hazard that can have either an immediate or delayed effect (with short-term or prolonged consequences) due to a single exposure to an accident, such as exposure to a gas explosion, fireball, or a release of an acutely toxic material.
Air Basin - An area with generally similar meteorological and geographic conditions throughout. To the extent possible, air basin boundaries are defined along political boundary lines and include both the source and receptor areas. California is currently divided into 15 air basins. Santa Barbara County is located in the South Central Coast Air Basin, along with San Luis Obispo and Ventura Counties.
Air District - A political body responsible for managing air quality on a regional or county basis. California is currently divided into 35 air districts (See Regulatory Agencies).
Air Pollution - Degradation of air quality resulting from unwanted chemicals or other materials occurring in the air.
Air Pollution Control District (APCD) - The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District regulates local sources of air pollution in accordance with state and federal air pollution control laws for the purposes of attaining all ambient air quality standards and minimizing public exposure to airborne toxins and nuisance odors.
Air Quality Attainment Plan (AQAP) - A comprehensive document required under the California Clean Air Act (Health and Safety Code Section 40910 et. seq.), which details the programs and control measures to be implemented for the purpose of reducing emissions. Emissions ultimately must be reduced to the extent the measured concentrations of pollutants in the air will not exceed California ambient air quality standards.
Ambient Air Quality Standard - Health and welfare-based standards established by the state or federal government for clean outdoor air that identify the maximum acceptable average concentrations of air pollutants during a specified period of time.
American Gas Association (AGA) - The American Gas Association (AGA) represents local natural gas utilities that deliver gas to U.S. homes and businesses. AGA provides services to member natural gas pipelines, marketers, gatherers, international gas companies and industry associates. AGA acts as a clearinghouse for gas energy information and as a catalyst in technical and energy policy matters.
American Petroleum Institute (API) - The primary trade association representing all segments of the petroleum industry from exploration through marketing in the United States. API is the largest association in the petroleum industry and API provides a forum for the oil and natural gas industry to pursue public policy objectives and advance the interests of the industry.
American Society For Testing And Materials (ASTM) - ASTM provides a forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems, and services.
Amine Unit - A natural gas treatment unit for removing contaminants- H2S, COS, CO2 - by the use of amines. Amine units are often skid-mounted so they can be moved to the site of new gas production. Gas containing H2S and other impurities must be cleaned up before it is acceptable to gas transmission pipelines.
Amortization - A process that allows for the eventual termination of a non-conforming use, without compensation, by establishing a time period for the owner to recoup its investment.

Approved Exploration Plan Review Process (AEPRP) - The Minerals Management Service (MMS) Pacific Region established this process in 1994 to review previously approved Exploration Plans (EP's) in the Pacific Region. This process provides the opportunity for MMS and state and local agencies to jointly investigate and propose appropriate mitigation, which could be necessary because of changes to a plan or to the environmental considerations that may have occurred over the intervening years since the original plan was approved. This process implements the MMS regulatory requirement found at 30 CFR 250.33(n)(1) [Code of Federal Regulations] for periodic reviews of approved EP's. The MMS reviews an EP under this process when an operator intends to drill an exploratory well pursuant to an approved EP that is over 2 years old.

Aromatics - Hydrocarbons characterized by unsaturated ring structures of carbon atoms. Commercial petroleum aromatics are benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX).
Artificial Lift - Any method used to raise oil to the surface through a well after reservoir pressure has declined to the point at which the well no longer produces be means of natural energy. Sucker rod pumps, gas lift, hydraulic pumps, and submersible electric pumps are the most common forms of artificial lift.
Asphalt - A solid hydrocarbon found as a natural deposit. Crude oil of high asphaltic content, when subjected to distillation to remove the lighter fractions such as naphtha and kerosene, leaves asphalt as a residue. Asphalt is a cement-like material containing bitumens as the predominant constituent obtained by petroleum processing. It’s dark brown or black in color and at normal temperatures is a solid.
Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) - A unique number assigned by the County Assessor identifying a property for tax assessment purposes only. It does not indicate parcel legality or a valid building site.
Attainment Area - A geographic region, which is in compliance with the National and/or California Ambient Air Quality Standards for a criteria pollutant under the Federal Clean Air Act or California Clean Air Act.
Authority to Construct (ACT) - The ATC permit allows for the construction of a new facility or installation as well as modification of equipment at an existing facility. The ATC ensures that the equipment is designed, constructed, and operated to meet local, state, and federal air quality requirements.
Average Noise Levels Exceeded 10% of Time (L10) - L10 is the noise level exceeded for 10% of the total sample time when noise measurements are conducted.
Average Noise Levels Over Specific Time Period (LEQ) - LEQ is equivalent continuous sound level during a period of sound monitoring and measurement.

Barrel (bbl) - A measure of volume for petroleum products. One barrel is equivalent to 42 U.S. gallons or 0.1589 cubic meters. One cubic meter equals 6.293 barrels.

Barrels Per Calendar Day - The maximum number of barrels of input that can be processed during a 24-hour period after making allowances for the following limitations:

  • The capacity of downstream facilities to absorb the output of crude oil processing facilities of a given refinery,
  • The types and grades of inputs to be processed,
  • The types and grades of products expected to be manufactured,
  • The environmental constraints associated with refinery operations,
  • The reduction of capacity for scheduled downtime such as routine inspection, mechanical problems, maintenance, repairs and turnaround; and the reduction of capacity for unscheduled downtime such as mechanical problems, repairs, and slowdowns.
Barrels Per Day (BPD) - In the United States, a measure of the rate of flow of a well; total amount of oil and other fluids produced, processed, or transported per day.
Barrels Per Stream Day - The amount a unit can process running at full capacity under optimal crude oil and product slate conditions.
Basic Sediment and Water (BS&W) - Impurities and foreign matter contained in oil produced from a well.
Batch - A definite amount of oil, mud, acid, or other liquid in a tank or pipe.
Benzene (C6H6) - An aromatic hydrocarbon present in small proportion in some crude oils and made commercially from petroleum by the catalytic reforming of napthenes in petroleum naptha. Also made from coal in the manufacture of coke. Used as a solvent, in manufacturing detergents, synthetic fibers, and petrochemicals and as a component of high-octane gasoline.
Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Xylene (BTEX) - Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Xylenes (BTEX), and substituted benzyne are the most common aromatic compounds in petroleum, making up to a few percent of the total mass of some crude oils. BTEX are the most soluble and mobile fraction of crude oil. BTEX are also hazardous, carcinogenic, and neuro-toxic compounds subject to hazardous materials regulations.
Best Available Control Technology (BACT) - BACT is a term used to describe up-to-date methods, systems, techniques, and processes applied to new and modified sources of air pollution in order to achieve the most feasible air pollution emission control. BACT is a requirement stipulated in APCD Regulation VIII (New Source Review), in both Rule 802 (Non-attainment Review) and Rule 803 (Prevention of Significant Deterioration). Rule 802 governs the permitting and new and modified stationary sources of air pollution that emit pollutants for which the County has been designated as non-attainment for either the State or federal ambient air quality health standards. Rule 803 governs the permitting of new or modified stationary sources of attainment pollutants. Each of these two rules contains its own emission rate thresholds over which the BACT requirement is triggered. For sources permitted under Rule 802, BACT is the more stringent of:

a) The most effective control device, emission unit, or technique that has been achieved in practice for the type of equipment comprising the stationary source; or
b) The most stringent limitation contained in any State Implementation Plan; or
c) Any other emission control device or technique determined after public hearing to be technologically feasible and cost effective by the Control Officer.

For sources permitted under Rule 803, BACT is an emission limitation based on the maximum degree of reduction for each pollutant that would be emitted from any new or modified stationary source, which on a case-by-case basis, taking into account energy, environment, and economic impacts and other costs, is achievable for such a source or modification through application of production processes or available methods, systems, and techniques, including fuel cleaning or treatment or innovative fuel combustion techniques for control of such a pollutant.

Best Management Practice (BMP) - BMPs are: 1) a practice or combination of practices that are determined to be the most effective and practicable means of controlling point and non-point pollutants at levels compatible with environmental quality goals; and 2) methods, measures or practices selected by an agency to meet pollution control needs. BMPs include structural and non-structural controls, operation, and maintenance procedures.
Billion (B) - (U.S.) denoting a quantity consisting of one thousand million items or units; (Britain) denoting a quantity consisting of one million million items or units [syn: a billion] n 1: (in Britain) the number that is represented as a one followed by 12 zeros [syn: one million million, 1000000000000] 2: (in the United States) the number that is represented as a one followed by 9 zeros [syn: one thousand million, 1000000000]
Bioventing - Bioventing stimulates the naturally occurring soil microorganisms to degrade compounds in soil by providing oxygen. The rate of natural degradation is generally limited by lack of oxygen in soil. In conventional bioventing systems, oxygen is delivered by an electronic blower to subsurface vent wells such that the airflow to provide oxygen to sustain microbial activity. Passive bioventing systems use natural air exchange to deliver oxygen to the subsurface via bioventing wells. A one-way valve is installed on a vent well, which allows air to enter the well when the pressure inside the well is lower than atmospheric pressure.
Bit - The cutting or boring element used in drilling oil and gas wells. The bit consists of a cutting element and a circulating element. The circulating element allows the passage of drilling fluid and employs the hydraulic force of the fluid stream to improve drilling rates. In rotary drilling, several drill collars are joined to the bottom end of the drill pipe, and the bit is attached to the end of the sting of drill collars.
Bleed - To drain off liquid or gas, generally slowly, through a valve called a bleeder. To bleed down, or bleed off, means to release pressure slowly from a well or from pressurized equipment.
Blowdown - 1) The emptying or depressurizing of material in a vessel. 2) The material thus discarded.
Blowout - An uncontrolled flow of gas, oil, or other fluids from a well to the atmosphere. A well may blow out when formation pressure exceeds the pressure overburden of a column of drilling fluid.
Blowout Preventer - One of several valves installed at the wellhead to prevent the escape of pressure either in the annular space between the casing and drill pipe or in the open hole (i.e., hole with no drill present) during drilling completion operations. Blowout preventers on land rigs are located beneath the rig at the land's surface; on jack-up or platforms rigs, at the water's surface; and on floating offshore rigs, on the seafloor.
Board of Supervisors - A county’s legislative body. Board members are elected by popular vote and are responsible for enacting ordinances, imposing taxes, making appropriations, and establishing county policy. The board adopts the general plan, zoning, and subdivision regulations.
Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosions (BLEVEs) - The violent rupture of a container of flammable material and the rapid vaporization of the material, which may result in a large rising fireball with intense thermal radiation and potential "rocketing" of part of the container. BLEVEs generally result from exposure of the container to external source of high heat.
Bonuses - OCS leases in areas thought to contain minerals are awarded through a competitive bidding process. Bonuses represent the cash amount successfully bid to win the rights to a lease.
British Thermal Unit (BTU) - The amount of heat required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
Brown Act - The Ralph M. Brown open Meeting Act (commencing with Government Code Section 54950) requires cities and counties to provide advanced public notice of hearings and meetings of their councils, boards, and other bodies. Meetings and hearings, with some exceptions, must be open to the public.
Buffer Zone - A geographic area between a potential pollution source and areas sensitive to that potential pollution source. Buffer zones are intended to control erosion, filter sediments, filter and absorb pollutants, etc.
Bulk Terminal - A facility used primarily for the storage and/or marketing of petroleum products which has a total bulk storage capacity of 50,000 barrels or more and/or receives petroleum products by tanker, barge or pipeline.

Business, Transportation and Housing Agency - The Business, Transportation & Housing Agency is part of the Executive Branch of California government and its Secretary is a member of the Governor's cabinet. There are 14 departments within the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. The Agency oversees programs that plan, build, and maintain California's transportation systems, that ensure efficient and fair markets for the real estate industry, and that assist state and community efforts to expand the availability of affordable housing. The Agency also regulates managed health care plans as well as the banking, and financial and securities industries, and carries out the Governor's vision for business, transportation and housing in California.

Butane (C4H10) - A normally gaseous, paraffinic hydrocarbon (C4H10) extracted from natural gas or refinery gas streams. It includes isobutane and normal butane, and is used primarily for blending into high-octane gasoline, for residential and commercial heating, and for industrial purposes, especially the manufacture of chemicals and synthetic rubber.
Bypass - 1) A pipe connection around a valve or other control mechanism that is installed to permit passage of fluid through the line while adjustments or repairs are being made on the control. 2) A delivery of gas to a customer's traditional supplier. For example, delivery of gas to an end user directly off a transmission pipeline without moving the gas through the end user's traditional local distribution company supplier.

California Air Resources Board (ARB or CARB) - The State's lead air quality agency consisting of an eleven-member board appointed by the Governor and several hundred employees. CARB is responsible for attainment and maintenance of the state and federal air quality standards, and is fully responsible for motor vehicle pollution control. It oversees county and regional air pollution programs.
California Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) - A legal limit that specifies the maximum level and time of exposure in the outdoor air for a given air pollutant and which is protective of human health and public welfare (Health and Safety Code 39606b). CAAQSs are recommended by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and adopted into regulation by the CARB. CAAQSs are the standards which must be met per the requirements of the California Clean Air Act (State Act).
California Clean Air Act of 1988 - A California law passed in 1988, which provides the basis for air quality planning and regulation independent of federal regulations. A major element of the Act is the requirement that local air districts in violation of the CAAQS must prepare attainment plans which identify air quality problems, causes, trends, and actions to be taken to attain and maintain California's air quality standards by the earliest practicable date.
California Coastal Commission (CCC) - This commission was established by voter initiative in 1972 (Proposition 20) and made permanent by the Legislature in 1976 (the Coastal Act). The primary mission of the Commission, as the lead agency responsible for carrying out California's federally approved coastal management program, is to plan for and regulate land and water uses in the coastal zone consistent with the policies of the Coastal Act.
California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) - This division oversees the drilling, operation, maintenance, and plugging of oil, natural gas, and geothermal wells, emphasizing sound engineering practices that protect the environment, prevent pollution, and ensure public safety.
California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) - This department manages California's diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.
California Department of Fish and Game, Division of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR). OSPR which is housed within the Department Fish and Game is the lead State agency charged with oil spill prevention and response within California's marine environment. The Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act of 1990 established OSPR and provides the OSPR Administrator with substantial authority to direct spill response, cleanup, and natural resource damage assessment activities.
California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) - The Department's mission is to restore, protect and enhance the environment, to ensure public health, environmental quality and economic vitality, by regulating hazardous waste, conducting and overseeing cleanups, and developing and promoting pollution prevention.
California Endangered Species Act (CESA) - The California Endangered Species Act (CESA) (Fish & Game Code §§ 2050, et seq.) generally parallels the main provisions of the Federal Endangered Species Act and is administered by the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG). Under CESA the term "endangered species" is defined as a species of plant, fish, or wildlife which is "in serious danger of becoming extinct throughout all, or a significant portion of its range" and is limited to species or subspecies native to California.
California Energy Commission (CEC) - This commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, the Commission has five major responsibilities: 1) forecasting future energy needs and keeping historical energy data; 2) licensing thermal power plants 50 MW or larger; 3) promoting energy efficiency through appliance and building standards; 4) developing energy technologies and supporting renewable energy; and 5) planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.
California Environmental Projection Agency (Cal/EPA) - This agency is responsible for the restoration, protection, and enhancement of the environment, to ensure public health, environmental quality and economic vitality.
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) - The basic purpose of CEQA is: 1) to inform government decision makers and the public about the potential environmental effects of proposed activities; 2) to identify ways that a proposed project's environmental damage can be avoided or significantly reduced; 3) to prevent significant, avoidable damage by requiring changes in projects, either by the adoption of alternatives or imposition of mitigation measures; and 4) to disclose to the public why a project was approved if that project would have significant environmental effects. California lawmakers enacted CEQA (Public Resources Code, § 21000 et. seq.) in 1970, one year after the federal lawmakers enacted the National Environmental Policy Act. CEQA applies to all governmental agencies at all levels in California, but does not apply to the California legislature. It affects the approval of projects subject to CEQA that may result in one or more significant effects on the environment. "CEQA compels government first to identify the environmental effects of projects, and then to mitigate those adverse effects through the imposition of feasible alternatives." (Sierra Club v. State Board of Forestry, 1994.)
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulates privately owned telecommunications, electric, natural gas, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies.

California Public Utilities Commission (Energy Division) - This Division drafts resolutions for formal consideration by the California Public Utilities Commission. These resolutions generally result from informal utility requests called advice letters that are submitted to request rate and tariff adjustments. The Energy Division through its Federal Policy and Rate-making Section represents the Commission in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and court proceedings. The Energy Division assists the Commission in its regulation of four types of Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs): Electric, Natural Gas, Steam and Petroleum Pipeline Companies. Commission-approved tariffs (official rates and terms of service) for these four types of IOUs are maintained by the Energy Division.

California Resources Agency - This agency is responsible for the conservation, enhancement, and management of California's natural and cultural resources, including land, water, wildlife, parks, minerals, and historic sites. Among its departments, boards, conservancies, commissions and programs, the following play a pre-dominate role in development of offshore oil and gas reserves.
California State Lands Commission (SLC) - This commission was established in 1938 with authority detailed in Division 6 of the California Public Resources Code. The members of the State Lands "Commission" include the Lieutenant Governor, the State Controller and the State Director of Finance.
California State Water Resources Control Board - The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) was created by the Legislature in 1967. The SWRCB ensures the quality for waters of the State, while allocating those waters to achieve the optimum balance of beneficial uses. The joint authority of water allocation and water quality protection enables the SWRCB to provide comprehensive protection for California's waters. The SWRCB consists of five full-time salaried Members, each filling a different specialty position. Board members are appointed to four-year terms by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. There are nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards that develop and enforce water quality objectives and implementation plans which will best protect the beneficial uses of the State's waters, recognizing local differences in climate, topography, geology and hydrology. Each RWQCB has nine part-time Members also appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. RWQCBs develop "basin plans" for their hydrologic areas, govern requirements, issue waste discharge permits, take enforcement action against violators, and monitor water quality. The task of protecting and enforcing the many uses of water, including the needs of industry, agriculture, municipal districts, and the environment is an ongoing challenge for the SWRCB and RWQCBs.
Capacity (idle) - The component of operable capacity that is not in operation and not under active repair, but capable of being placed in operation within 30 days; and capacity not in operation but under active repair that can be completed within 90 days.
Capacity (operable) - The amount of capacity that, at the beginning of the period, is in operation; not in operation and not under active repair, but capable of being placed in operation within 30 days; or not in operation but under active repair that can be completed within 90 days. Operable capacity is the sum of the operating and idle capacity and is measured in barrels per calendar day or barrels per stream day.
Capacity (production) - The maximum amount of product that can be produced from processing facilities.
Capping - A process to close a well to prevent the escape of gas.
Casing - The large-diameter steel pipe placed in an oil and gas well as drilling progresses to prevent the wall of the hole from caving in during drilling, to prevent seepage of fluids, and to provide a means of extracting hydrocarbons if the well is productive.
Casing Head - The top of the casing set in a well; the part of the casing that protrudes above the surface and to which the control valves and flow pipes are attached.
Casing Head Gas - Gas produced from an oil well as distinguished from gas produced from a gas well. The casing head gas is taken off at the top of the well or at the separator.
Cathodic Protection - A method of preventing corrosion by applying a low-voltage electrical charge on a metal pipeline, which causes the pipeline to behave as a cathode
Caustic Soda - Caustic Soda (sodium hydroxide) is a strong, highly poisonous and corrosive alkali
Cellar - A hole dug, usually before drilling of a well, to allow working space for the casing head equipment.
Christmas Tree - The assembly of control valves, pressure gauges, and chokes at the top of a well to control the flow of oil and gas after the well has been drilled and completed.
Clean Air Act (CAA) - A federal law passed in 1970 and amended in 1977 and 1990, which forms the basis for the national pollution control effort. Basic elements of the act include national ambient air quality standards for major air pollutants, air toxicity standards, acid rain control measures, and enforcement provisions.
Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) - Passed by Congress in 1972, CZMA encourages effective management of coastal zone resources. This act established a federal and state coordinated regulatory process known as "consistency review," which grants to coastal states that elect to participate in the CZMA program and whose coastal programs have been federally approved, the ability to regulate federal activities that affect their coastal zones - including Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas activities. The CZMA provides federal funding to support state coastal zone management programs that meet certain CZMA policy objectives. California's Coastal Management Plan was certified in 1978 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, giving the State consistency review over federal activities that affect its coastal zone.
Cogeneration Plant - A coal- or gas-fired plant that generates both steam and electricity for in-plant use or for sale.
Commingled - Mixed. With respect to oil, it is the mixture of oil and gas from different sources into a common stream.
Community Noise Equivalent Level (CNEL) - The CNEL is a calculated noise average over a 24 hour period. It attempts to differentiate the intrusiveness of daytime and nighttime noises by applying a weighting factor to nighttime noise.
Community Plan - Community plans are often used by cities and counties to plan the future of an area at a finer level of detail than that provided in the comprehensive plan. A portion of the comprehensive plan focusing on the issues pertinent to a particular area or community within a city or county. It supplements the policies of the comprehensive plan.

Comprehensive (General) Plan - The local comprehensive plan can be described as a city's or county's "blueprint" for future development. The comprehensive plan and its diagrams and maps have a long-term outlook, identifying the types of development that will be allowed, the spatial relationships among land uses, and the general pattern of future development. State law mandates seven elements in a county's or general law city's comprehensive plan (though other elements may be added as a jurisdiction deems necessary). These seven elements are:

  • Land Use Element - Designates the general location and intensity of housing, business, industry, open space, education, public buildings and grounds, waste disposal facilities, and other land uses.
  • Circulation Element - Identifies the general location and extent of existing and proposed major roads, transportation routes, terminals, and public utilities and facilities. It must be correlated with the land use element.
  • Housing Element - A comprehensive assessment of current and projected housing needs for all economic segments of the community and region. It sets forth local housing policies and programs to implement those policies.
  • Conservation element - Addresses the conservation, development, and use of natural resources including water, forests, soils, rivers, and mineral deposits.
  • Open-space Element - Details plans and measures for preserving open space for natural resources, the managed production of resources, outdoor recreation, public health and safety, and the identification of agricultural land.
  • Noise Element - Identifies and appraises noise problems within the community and forms the basis for distributing new noise-sensitive land uses.
  • Safety Element - Establishes policies and programs to protect the community from risks associated with seismic, geologic, flood, and wildfire hazards.
Condensate - A natural gas liquid with a low vapor pressure, compared with natural gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas. It is produced from a deep well where the temperature and pressure are high. Gas condenses as it rises up the well bore and reaches the surface as condensate. Similarly, condensate separates out naturally in pipelines or in a separation plant by the normal process of condensation.
Condensate (plant) - One of the natural gas liquids, mostly pentanes and heavier hydrocarbons, recovered and separated as liquids at gas inlet separators or scrubbers in processing plants.
Conditional Use Permit (CUP) - Most zoning ordinances identify certain uses that do not precisely fit into existing zones, but which may be allowed upon approval of a conditional use permit. The local zoning ordinance specifies those uses for which a conditional use permit may be requested, which zones they may be requested in, and the public hearing procedure. If the local planning commission or board of supervisors approves the use, it will usually do so subject to certain conditions being met by the permit applicant.
Control Measure - A strategy to reduce the emissions of air pollution caused by a specific activity or related group of activities. An existing control measure is a measure, which is currently being implemented as a rule. A proposed for adoption control measure is a measure that the APCD will be mandated to make into a rule if the plan is approved by the Board. A further study control measure is a measure that has the potential of being proposed for adoption, but warrants further study.
Corrosion Inhibitor - A chemical substance that minimizes or prevents corrosion in metal equipment.
Coupon - A small metal strip which is exposed to corrosive systems for purpose of determining the nature and severity of corrosion.
Crude Oil - An unrefined liquid petroleum consisting of a mixture of hydrocarbons. It ranges in gravity from 9 degrees API to 55 degrees API and in color from yellow to black. Crude oils may be referred to as heavy or light, according to API gravity, with lighter weight oil exhibiting the higher gravity. Viscosity varies with gravity; crude oils with lower gravity are more viscous and oils with higher gravity are less viscous.
Crude Oil (domestic) - Crude oil produced in the United States or from its "outer continental shelf" as defined in 43 USC 1331.
Crude Oil (foreign) - Crude oil produced outside of the United States. Imported Athabasca hydrocarbons (tar sands from Canada) are included.
Crude Oil (Heavy) - Crude oil of 20º API gravity or less. There are perhaps billions of barrels of heavy crude oil still in place in the U.S. that require special production techniques, notably steam injection or steam soak, to extract them from the underground formations.
Crude Oil (Sour) - Oil containing hydrogen sulfide or other acidic gases.
Crude Oil Production - The volume of crude oil produced from oil reservoirs during given periods of time. The amount of such production for a given period is measured as volumes delivered from lease storage tanks (i.e., the pint of custody transfer) to pipelines, trucks, or other media for transport to refineries or terminals with adjustments for (1) net differences between opening and closing lease inventories, and (2) basic sediment and water (BS&W).
Crude Oil Qualities - Refers to two properties of crude oil, the sulfur content and API gravity, which affect refinery processing complexity and product characteristics.
Cubic Foot (cu ft) - The volume of a cube, all edges of which measure 1 foot. Natural gas in the United States is usually measured in cubic feet, with the most common standard cubic foot being measured at 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 14.65 pounds per square inch absolute, although base conditions vary from state to state.
Cultural Resources Management Plan (CRMP) - A CRMP is formulated to preserve and protect cultural resources from project impacts. Cultural resources include, but are not limited to, 1) archaeological materials and sites that are currently located on or beneath the ground surface; 2) standing structures that are over 50 years of age or are important because they represent a major historical theme or era; 3) cultural and natural places, certain natural resources, and sacred objects that have importance for Native Americans; and 4) American folklore traditions and arts. A CRMP must reflect an understanding of the historical, architectural, cultural and landscape characteristics that make a resource eligible for listing on the National Register, and, if not already prepared, provide an inventory of such resources. The CRMP must also justify the removal or alteration of a resource.
Cumulative Effect - The incremental effect(s) of an individual project in connection with the effects of past projects, the effects of other current projects, and the effects of probable future projects (Public Resources Code Section 30105.5).
Cuttings - The fragments of rock dislodged by the bit and brought to the surface in the drilling mud. Washed and dried cuttings samples are analyzed by geologists to obtain information about the formations drilled.

Dead Weight Tons (DWT) - The carrying capacity of a vessel is the total weight of cargo, bunkers, dunnage, provisions, water, stores and spare parts, expressed in tons which a vessel can lift when loaded in salt water to her maximum draft, either winter, summer or tropical load-line, as the case may be.
Decibel (dB) - The decibel (dB) is a unit of a logarithmic scale of power or intensity used to describe the amplitude of sound called the power level or intensity level. The decibel is defined as one tenth of a bel where one bel represents a difference in level between two intensities I1, I0 where one is ten times greater than the other.
Decline Curve - An analysis of established trends of oil and gas production and analogous production data from other sources to project future production.
Dehydrate - To remove water from a substance. Dehydration of crude oil is normally accomplished by treating with emulsion breakers. The water vapor in natural gas must be removed to meet pipeline requirements; a typical maximum allowable water vapor content is 7 pounds per million cubic feet per day.
Department of Commerce (DOC) - A cabinet-level department in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government responsible for promoting a sustainable national economy.
Department of Energy (DOE) - A Cabinet-level department in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government responsible for coordinating a comprehensive and balanced national energy plan.
Department of the Interior (DOI) - A Cabinet-level department in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, responsible for the administration of most of the nationally owned public lands and natural resources.

Department of Transportation (Caltrans) - The State of California, Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is responsible for the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of the California State Highway System, as well as that portion of the Interstate Highway System within the state's boundaries. Alone and in partnership with Amtrak, Caltrans is also involved in the support of intercity passenger rail service in California, and is a leader in promoting the use of alternative modes of transportation. The current framework of Caltrans was set down by Assembly Bill 69 in 1972.

Department of Transportation (DOT) - The Department of Transportation touches the public through its mission of ensuring that our various modes of transportation operate safely on an individual basis and together as an inter-linked transportation system.
Department of Water Resources - This department prepares and updates California's Water Plan every five years to reflect changes in water demand and suggest ways of managing demand and augmenting supplies. The Department also maintains the State Water Project, regulates dams, provides flood protection through a Flood Management Program, and assists in emergency management through the emergency response functions established in the California State Emergency Plan and the California Water Code.
Derrick - The tower component of a drilling rig that supports the cables and blocks, which in turn raise and lower the frill stem and bit.
Development Fees - Fees charged to developers or builders as a prerequisite to construction or development approval.
Diluent - Liquid added to dilute or thin a solution; sometimes added to heavy crude oil to aid transportation via pipeline.
Discretionary Action - An action which requires the public agency to exercise judgement in deciding whether to approve or disapprove the particular activity, as distinguished from situations where the public agency merely has to determine whether there has been conformity with applicable ordinances or other laws. Pub. Res. Code § 21080(a).
Dispersant - Dispersants are chemicals that are applied directly to an oil slick. The key components of chemical dispersants are active agents called surfactants (also known as detergents). Chemical dispersants assist with breaking up an oil slick on the surface of water.
Distillate (No. 1) - A petroleum distillate which meets the specification for No. 1 heating or fuel oil as defined in ASTM D 396 and/or the specifications for No. 1 diesel fuel as defined in ASTM Specification D 975.
Distillate (No. 2) - A petroleum distillate which meets the specifications for No. 2 heating or fuel oil as defined in ASTM D 396 and/or the specifications for No. 2 diesel fuel as defined in ASTM Specification D 975.
Distillate (No. 4 ) - A fuel oil for commercial burner installations not equipped with preheating facilities. It is used extensively in industrial plants. This grade is a blend of distillate fuel oil and residual fuel oil stocks that conforms to ASTM Specifications D396 or Federal Specifications VV-F-815C.
Distillate Fuel Oil - A general classification for one of the petroleum fractions produced in conventional distillation operations. It is used primarily for space heating, on-and-off-highway diesel engine fuel (including railroad engine fuel and fuel for agricultural machinery), and electric power generation. Included are products known as No.1, No. 2, and No. 4 diesel fuels. Distillate fuel oil is reported in the following categories: 0.05% sulfur and under, for use in on-highway diesel engines which could be described as meeting EPA regulations; and greater than 0.05% sulfur, for use in all other distillate applications.
Distillation - The process of driving off gas or vapor from liquids or solids usually by heating, and condensing the vapor back to liquid to purify, fractionate, or form new products.
Division of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR). OSPR which is housed within the Department Fish and Game is the lead State agency charged with oil spill prevention and response within California's marine environment. The Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act of 1990 established OSPR and provides the OSPR Administrator with substantial authority to direct spill response, cleanup, and natural resource damage assessment activities.
Division Of Oil, Gas, And Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) - A division of the Department of Conservation that regulates the drilling, operation, maintenance, and plugging of oil, natural gas, and geothermal wells.
Downstream - Refers to facilities or operations performed after those at the point of reference. For example, refining is downstream from production operations; marketing is downstream from refining.
Downzone - This term refers to the rezoning of land to a more restrictive zone district (for example, from multi-family residential to single-family residential).
Drill ship - A ship constructed with a derrick amidships to permit a well to be drilled at an offshore location, often in deep water. A drill ship may have a ship hull, a catamaran hull, or a trimaran hull.
Drilling (directional or extended reach) - Directional drilling is the intentional deviation of a well bore from the vertical. Although well bores are normally drilled vertically, it is sometimes necessary or advantageous to drill at an angle from the vertical. Controlled directional drilling makes it possible to reach subsurface areas laterally remote from the point where the bit enters the earth. It often involves the use of turbo-drills, Dyna-Drills, whipstocks, or other deflecting rods. Extended reach drilling is drilling horizontally from a bore hole that is begun as a vertical bore. By the use of angle-building assemblies, the drill gradually assumes a horizontal attitude and drills laterally the productive formation. Extended reach drilling is used principally on offshore platforms to cover a large area of an outer continental shelf (O.C.S.) lease. As many as 60 wells have been drilled from a large platform. With the advances in angle-building techniques, using mud motors, extended reach drilling has made significant progress. Some operators have plugged close-in wells and used the platform drilling slots for extended reach wells.
Drilling (Horizontal) - A modern directional-drilling technique using mud motors to begin a well, drilling vertically then diverting the bore hole a few degrees from vertical every 50 to 100 feet (angle building) until the well bore is horizontal. The procedure is very effective in producing from thin but porous and permeable formations. To produce from the long axis of a 30 or 60-foot interval is markedly more efficient than vertically across the formation.
Drilling (Slant Hole) - A procedure for drilling at an angle from the vertical by means of special downhole drilling tools to guide the drill assembly in the desired direction. Slant holes are drilled to reach a formation or reservoir under land that cannot be drilled on, such as beneath a town site, a water supply lake, a cemetery, or industrial property wehre direct, on-site drilling would be impractical or unsafe. Slant holes are also drilled to flood a formation with water or mud to kill a wild or burning well.
Drilling Island - A man-made island constructed in water 10 to 50 feet deep by dredging up the lake or bay bottom to make a foundation from which to drill wells. This procedure is used for development drilling, rarely in wildcatting.
Drilling Slots - Positions on an offshore drilling platform for additional wells. When a successful well is drilled offshore, other wells are put down slanted put at an angle from the platform by directional drilling. On large offshore platforms, there may be as many as 40, even 60, wells drilled into the reservoir. If all of the multiple wells are successful and the total daily production warrants, the drilling platform will be converted to a producing platform. Drilling equipment is removed, a manifold of well-control valves is built, and pumping equipment installed to move the crude to a production platform where the oil is separated from the produced water, treated with chemicals (if necessary), measured, and pumped to a shore station. (Note the difference between producing and production installations; they are related but quite different in function.)
Dry Hole - An exploratory or development well found to be incapable of producing either oil or gas in sufficient quantities to justify completion as a production well.

Easement - The right of a person, government agency, or public utility company to use public or private land owned by another for a specific purpose, such as to access power lines.
Economic Limit - The production level at which a producing facility no longer generates sufficient revenue to represent an acceptable rate of return to the owner/operator of that facility.
Economically Recoverable Resource Estimate - An assessment of hydrocarbon potential that takes into account (1) physical and technological constraints on production and (2) the influence of exploration and development costs and market price on industry investment in OCS exploration and production.
Emergency Response Plan (ERP) - The purpose of an ERP is to provide specific emergency operations procedures for various emergency scenarios. The success of this plan is dependent upon individuals' familiarity with the contents of the plan prior to an actual emergency. Preplanning is essential to such a plan's success.
Emergency Shutdown Device (ESD) - Activated during an emergency to instantly or quickly shutdown all or part of a system in order to avoid fire, explosion, or some other undesired outcome. An emergency shutdown device is usually used during a crisis to prevent damage to various components, equipment, or the environment, depending on the function and location of the device
Emission Offsets - A rule-making concept whereby approval of a new or modified stationary source of air pollution is conditional on the reduction of emissions from other existing stationary sources of air pollution. These reductions are required in addition to reductions required by BACT.
Emission Standard - The maximum amount of a pollutant that is allowed to be discharged from a polluting source such as an automobile or smoke stack.
Emulsion - A mixture in which one liquid is uniformly distributed in another liquid. Water-oil emulsion is a typical product of oil wells.
Endangered Species Act (ESA) - The Endangered Species Act of 1973 protects animal and plant species currently in danger of extinction (endangered) and those that may become endangered in the foreseeable future (threatened). It requires the conservation of ecosystems upon which threatened and endangered species of fish, wildlife, and plants depend, both through Federal action and by encouraging the establishment of state programs.
Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) - The introduction of an artificial drive and displacement mechanism into a reservoir to produce oil that is not recoverable by primary recovery methods. The purpose of EOR is to restore formation pressure and fluid flow to a substantial portion of a reservoir by injecting fluids into injection wells located in a rock that has fluid communication with production wells. Water flooding, chemical flooding, gas injection, and thermal recovery represent principal EOR methods. Chemical flooding, most types of gas injection, and thermal methods are often called advanced EOR methods because they not only restore formation pressure but also improve displacement of oil by overcoming forces that keep the oil trapped in rock pores.
Entrained Liquids - Heavier liquid hydrocarbons, often in the form of mist-sized liquid droplets, occurring in a gas stream. Specially designed separators or processing facilities are used to remove the liquid from the gas stream.
Environmental Assessment (EA) - A concise public document that a lead federal agency prepares when a project is not covered by a categorical exclusion, and the lead agency does not know if the impacts will be significant.
Environmental Impact Report (EIR) - CEQA requires a CEQA-lead agency to prepare an EIR whenever it determines that a proposed project subject to CEQA may produce significant environmental effects (Public Resources Code, § 21080 & 21082.2).
Environmental Impact Report (Master EIR) - A master EIR is used as a first step in environmental review for broad-based programs where a series of related actions may occur under one project. The master EIR covers all of the potential environmental impacts that can be feasibly analyzed at the time the overall project plan is designed.
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) - A detailed statement that describes the environmental impacts of a proposed action and its alternatives. The EIS and the procedures surrounding its preparation and review form the cornerstone of NEPA's system of environmental protection.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - A cabinet-level agency in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government responsible for protecting human health by safeguarding the natural environment.
Environmental Quality Assurance Plan (EQAP) - The Environmental Quality Assurance Program (EQAP) entails field-monitoring to enforce compliance with environmentally protective permit conditions, particularly during construction of the major facilities. The EQAP process entails two steps: First, permittees submit Environmental Quality Assurance Programs to the County for approval prior to construction. These programs describe how permittees would ensure compliance with all permit conditions during both the construction and operations phases of the projects. EQAPs also have been required for projects entailing abandonment of oil and gas facilities and sites. Second, the County closely monitors compliance in the field. Aside from ensuring compliance with conditions, such monitoring provides two additional benefits. 1) EQAP monitors are able to anticipate environmental impacts, including some not identified during the environmental review of a project, and recommend measures to avoid or reduce such impacts. 2) Monitoring during construction gives added insight as to the effectiveness of measures designed to mitigate significant adverse effects on the environment.
Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area (ESHA) - Any area in which plant or animal life or their habitats are either rare or especially valuable because of their special nature or role in an ecosystem and which could be easily disturbed or degraded by human activities and developments (Public Resources Code Section 30107.5).
Environmentally Superior Alternative (ESA) - CEQA requires that an EIR shall describe a range of reasonable alternatives to a proposed project, or to the location of the project, which would feasibly attain most of the basic objectives of the project but would avoid or substantially lessen adverse significant effects of the project, and evaluate the comparative merits of the alternatives (CEQA Guidelines Sec. 15126.6(a)). The environmentally superior alternative is, therefore, the project alternative identified in the EIR as feasibly attaining the majority of project's objectives in the least environmentally damaging manner. Should the "no project" alternative meet this definition, then the EIR also must identify an environmentally superior alternative among the remaining alternatives.
Ethane (C2H6) - A normally gaseous straight-chain hydrocarbon. It is a colorless paraffinic gas extracted from natural gas and refinery gas streams.
Exclusion, Categorical - A category of proposed actions, which a federal agency identifies in its NEPA procedures, that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the environment.
Exemption (Categorical) - A categorical exemption is “an exemption from CEQA for a class of projects based on a finding by the Secretary of Resources that the class of projects does not have a significant effect on the environment.” CEQA Guidelines § 15354
Exemption (Statutory) - Statutory exemptions are “exemptions from CEQA granted by the legislature. The exemptions take several forms. Some exemptions are complete exemptions from CEQA. Other exemptions apply to only part of the requirements of CEQA, and still other exemptions apply only to the timing of CEQA compliance.” CEQA Guidelines § 15260
Expansion Loop - A circular loop (360º bend) put in a pipeline to absorb expansion and contraction caused by heating and cooling without exerting a strain on pipe or valve connections.
Exploration - The process of searching for minerals preliminary to development. Fluid mineral exploration include activities such as geophysical surveys, drilling to locate an oil or gas reservoir, and drilling of additional wells to delineate a reservoir.
Exports (petroleum) - Shipments of crude oil and petroleum products from the 50 States and the District of Columbia to foreign countries, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and other U.S. possession and territories.
External Force - A leading cause of pipeline failures that refers to third-party intrusions into the pipeline corridor such as a backhoe, or earth movements such as erosion and scouring, landslides, and seismic events.

Fatigue - Failure of a metal under repeated loading.
Fault - A break in subsurface strata. Often strata on one side of the fault line have been displaced (upward, downward, or laterally) relative to their original positions.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) - An independent regulatory agency within the Department of Energy that regulates the transmission and sale of natural gas for resale in interstate commerce; regulates the transmission of oil by pipeline in interstate commerce; regulates the transmission and wholesale sales of electricity in interstate commerce; licenses and inspects private, municipal and state hydroelectric projects; oversees environmental matters related to natural gas, oil, electricity and hydroelectric projects; administers accounting and financial reporting regulations and conduct of jurisdictional companies; and approves abandonment and location of interstate pipeline facilities. The Commission recovers all of its costs from regulated industries through fees and annual charges.
Feedstock - Crude oil (wet or dry) or natural gas input to a processing facility.
Field - A geographical area in which one or more oil or gas wells produce. A field may refer to surface area only or to an underground productive formation. A single field may include several reservoirs separated either horizontally or vertically.
Field, Oil - The surface area overlying an oil reservoir or reservoirs. The term usually includes not only the surface area, but also the reservoir, the wells, and the production equipment.
Field Production - Represents crude oil production on leases, natural gas liquids production at natural gas processing plants, new supply of other hydrocarbons/oxygenates and motor gasoline blending components, and fuel ethanol blended into finished motor gasoline.
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) - A public document that briefly describes why an action that is otherwise not excluded from NEPA will not have any significant environmental effects and will not, therefore, require an EIS. An agency preparing an EA must write a FONSI if it decides not to prepare an EIS.
Fire Protection Plan (FPP) - A document prepared for a specific project or development. It describes ways to minimize and mitigate the fire problems created by the project or development, with the purpose of reducing impact on the community's fire protection delivery system. The plan may utilize components of land use, building construction, vegetation management, and other design techniques and technologies.
First Purchase (of crude oil) - An equity (not custody) transaction involving an arms-length transfer of ownership of crude oil associated with the physical removal of crude oil from a property (lease) for the first time. A first purchase normally occurs at the time and place of ownership transfer where the crude oil volume sold is measured and recorded on a run ticket or other similar physical evidence of purchase. The reported cost is the actual amount paid by the purchaser, allowing for any adjustments (deductions or premiums) passed on to the producer or royalty owner.
Flammable - Term describing material that can be easily ignited. Petroleum products with a flash point of 80ºF or lower are classed as flammable.
Flange - A projecting rim or edge (as on pipe fittings and openings in pumps and vessels), usually drilled with holes to allow bolting to other flanged fittings.
Flaring - A process to dispose of surplus combustible vapors by igniting and burning them in the atmosphere.
Flow Lines - The surface pipes through which oil travels from a well to storage.
Fluid Phases - Refers to the two kinds of fluid - liquids and gases; liquid phase and gaseous phase. Both are capable of flowing, so they are fluids, although gases are commonly not thought of as fluids. Geologists customarily refer to "multiple fluid gases" meaning oil, condensate, and water as well as gases: natural gas (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), and hydrogen sulfide (H2S).
Formation - A rock unit that possesses distinctive characteristics. Formations are often given names as a result of the study of the formation outcrop at the surface or based on fossils found in the formation.
Formation (Monterey) - The Monterey Formation is a vast area of marine deposits rich in fossils. It covers both a large area of California and an extended period of time. This formation is both a reservoir and a source of hydrocarbons.
Formation Breakdown - An event occurring when bore hole pressure is of such magnitude that the exposed formation cannot withstand applied pressure.
Formation Fracturing - A method of stimulating production by opening new flow channels in the rock surrounding a production well. Often called a frac-job. Under extremely high hydraulic pressure, a fluid (such as distillate, diesel fuel, crude oil, dilute hydrochloric acid, water, or kerosene) is pumped downward through production tubing or drill pipe and forced out below a packer or between two packers. The pressure causes cracks to open in the formation, and the fluid penetrates the formation through the cracks. Sand grains, aluminum pellets, walnut shells, or similar materials (propping agents) are carried in suspension by the fluid into the cracks. When the pressure is released at the surface, the fracturing fluid returns to the well. The cracks partially close on the pellets, leaving channels for oil to flow around them into the well.
Free-Water Knockout (FWKO) - A vertical or horizontal vessel into which oil or emulsion is run to allow any water not emulsified with the oil (free water) to drop out.

Gas - Any fluid, either combustible or noncombustible, that has neither independent shape nor volume and tends to expand indefinitely if unconfined. Gas is any substance that exists in a gaseous state at the surface under normal conditions. Gas includes methane (CH4), carbon dioxide, other gaseous hydrocarbons, and nitrogen.
Gas (Acid) - A gas that forms an acid when mixed with water. In petrol production and processing, the most common acid gases are hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide. They both cause corrosion, and hydrogen sulfide is very poisonous.
Gas (Associated) - Gas combined with oil. It provides the drive mechanism needed to force oil to the surface of a well.
Gas (Dry) - Natural gas from the well that is free of liquid hydrocarbons; gas that has been treated to remove all liquids.
Gas (Entrained) - Gas suspended in bubbles in a stream of liquid such as water or oil.
Gas (Inert) - Any one of six gases that, under normal conditions, are not inclined to react with any of the other elements. The inert or inactive gases are neon, helium, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon.
Gas (Liquefied Petroleum) - A gaseous byproduct of petroleum refining that is compressed to a liquefied form for sales. LPG consists of ethane, ethylene, propane, propylene, normal butane, butylene, isobutane, and isobutylene produced at refineries or natural gas processing plants, including plants that fractionate raw natural gas plant liquids
Gas (Natural) - Natural Gas is a mixture of hydrocarbons and small quantities of various non-hydrocarbons existing in the gaseous phase or in solution with crude oil in underground reservoirs. A compressible and expansible mixture of hydrocarbons having a low specific gravity and occurring natural in a gaseous form. Natural gas ordinarily consists principally of methane and heavier entrained hydrocarbons, and may contain appreciable quantities of nitrogen, helium, carbon dioxide, and contaminants such as hydrogen sulfide and water vapor.
Gas (Non-Associated) - Natural gas which is in reservoirs that do not contain significant quantities of crude oil.
Gas (Sour) - Gas containing more than trace amounts of toxic compounds, including hydrogen sulfide and other chemicals.
Gas (Sweet) - Natural gas that does not contain hydrogen sulfide (H2S), or only contains trace amounts of H2S.
Gas (Wet) - Natural gas prior to the removal of water.
Gas lift - The process of raising or lifting fluid from a well by injecting gas down the well through tubing or through the tubing-casing annulus. Injected gas aerates the fluid to make it exert less pressure than the formation does; consequently, the higher formation pressure forces the fluid out of the well bore. Gas may be injected continuously or intermittently, depending on the producing characteristics of the well and the arrangement of the gas-lift equipment.
Gas Oil - A semi-refined petroleum product somewhat heavier than kerosene which may be used directly as a fuel oil or further refined into other products.
Gas Plant - A physical plant through which raw gas is processed to remove heavier hydrocarbons and other chemical components.
Gas Plant Products - Natural gas liquids and other products such as carbon dioxide and sulfur recovered from processing raw gas. Finished natural gas liquids are processed through a fractionation plant. Gas plant products include ethane, propane, normal butane, isobutane, and pentane. They may also include other finished petroleum products such as motor gasoline, aviation gasoline, special naphthas, kerosene, distillate fuel oil, and other miscellaneous products.
Gas/Oil Ratio (GOR) - The measure of the volume of gas produced with oil, expressed in cubic feet per barrel or cubic meters per ton.
Gasohol - A blend of finished motor gasoline and alcohol (generally ethanol but sometimes methanol), limited to 10 percent by volume of alcohol.
Gasoline (motor, finished) - A complex mixture of relatively volatile hydrocarbons, with or without small quantities of additives, that has been blended to form a fuel suitable for use in spark-ignition engines - motor gasoline as given ASTM Specification D-4814 or Federal Specification VV-G-1690C. “Motor gasoline” includes reformulated gasoline, oxygenated gasoline, and other finished gasoline. Blendstock is excluded until blending has been completed.
Gasoline (Natural) - Drip gasoline; a light, volatile liquid hydrocarbon mixture recovered from natural gas. A water-white liquid similar to motor gasoline, but with a lower octane number. Natural gasoline, the product of a compressor plant or gasoline plant, is much more volatile and unstable than commercial gasoline because it still contains many lighter fractions that have not been removed.
Gasoline (oxygenated) - Gasoline formulated for use in motor vehicles that has an oxygen content of 1.8 percent or higher, by weight. Includes gasohol. Excludes reformulated gasoline, oxygenated fuels program reformulated gasoline (OPRG) and reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenate blending (RBOB).
Gasoline (reformulated) - Gasoline formulated for use in motor vehicles, the composition and properties of which meet the requirements of the reformulated gasoline regulations promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Section 211K of the Clean Air Act. Includes oxygenated fuels program for reformulated gasoline (OPRG). Excludes reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenated blending (RBOB).
Gathering Lines - Pipelines and other equipment normally used to transport oil or gas from a well on a lease to a central accumulation point on or near the lease site where production is measured for royalty purposes.
Geographic Information System (GIS) - A computer database designed to display information in graphic form on a geographic base.
Geo-hazard Monitoring Program (GHMP) - The geologic hazards program helps identify where land movement might be a threat to pipeline safety, and implements activities that are designed to prevent failures in these locations.
Geology - The science of the history of the Earth and its life as recorded in rocks.
Geology (Petroleum) - The study of hydrocarbon-bearing rock formations. Petroleum geology addresses the origin, occurrence, movement, and accumulation of hydrocarbon fluids. It is an important branch of geology for the petroleum industry since it concerns itself with the origin, migration, and accumulation of oil and gas deposits in commercial quantities. It involves that application of geochemistry, geophysics, paleontology, structural geology, and stratigraphy to the problems of discovering oil and gas deposits. Petroleum geologists are also intimately involved in the greasy day-to-day work of drilling by advising, identifying, and counseling on handling down-hole problems such as lost circulation, acidizing, setting pipe, and hydro-fracing.
Geomorphology - The science that concerns itself with the general features on the Earth's surface; specifically, the study of the classification, description, origin, and development of present day landforms and their relationship to underlying, subsurface structures.
Geophysics - The application of certain familiar physical principles - magnetic attraction, gravitational pull, speed of sound waves, the behavior of electric currents - to the science of geology.
Global Positioning System (GPS) - The Global Positioning System is used for navigational purposes. This system can be used to determine your exact position on the Earth anytime, in any weather, anywhere. GPS satellites, 24 in all, orbit at 11,000 nautical miles above the Earth. They are continuously monitored from five ground stations worldwide. The satellites transmit signals that are detected by a GPS receiver. Using the receiver, you can determine your location to within about 300 feet. Even greater accuracy, usually within less than three feet, can be obtained with corrections calculated by a GPS receiver at a known fixed location.
Grading - Any activity which involves the physical movement of earth material, including any excavating, filling, stockpiling, movement of material, compaction of soil, creation of borrow pits, land reclamation, surface mining operations exempted from the County’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Ordinance, or combinations thereof. Grading does not include surface mining or quarrying operations (including the extraction and stockpiling of excavated products and the reclamation of mined lands) carried out under a vested rights determination or a permit issued pursuant to the County’s SMARA Ordinance (Sec.14.6 a). (Santa Barbara County Code, Chapter 14, Grading Ordinance No. 4477, June 2003)

Gravity (API) - The standard adopted by the American Petroleum Institute for measuring the density or gravity of liquid petroleum products on the North American Continent, derived from a specific gravity in accordance with the following equation:

API Gravity=

Specific Gravity

A unit of measurement which describes oil characteristics related to viscosity and flow properties. In general, oil with a low gravity is heavier and more viscous than oil with a high gravity.
Gravity (Specific) - Density expressed as the ratio of the weight of a volume of substance to the weight of an equal volume of another standard substance. In the case of liquids and solids, the standard is water. In the case of natural gas or other gas materials, the standard is air.

Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) - HCPs are land use plans that allow nonfederal land owners to obtain an “incidental take permit” for species that are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act in return for conservation commitments. Incidental take permits allow landowners to carry out specified economic activities on their land that destroy habitats or otherwise harm, or “take,” threatened or endangered species. HCPs must be approved by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Commerce. Before this happens, the appropriate Secretary must determine that the landowner’s activities will not reduce the likelihood of species survival and recovery, that the adverse impacts of those activities will be mitigated to the maximum extent practicable, and the landowner has ensured that there will be adequate funding to carry out the HCP.
Hazardous Material - A substance or combination of substances that, because of quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or infections characteristics, may either: 1) cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious, irreversible, or incapacitating illness; or 2) pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or otherwise managed.

Hazards and Operability Study (HAZOPS) - These studies establish the hazardous states or conditions of a system and their effect by means of a methodical examination of the system and its elements. The analysis should be carried out by a team with a broad knowledge of the system and its operation. Prior to the study being carried out agreed checklists containing guide words relevant to the system should be compiled in order to provide a basis for the study. The degree of depth of the checklist should be dependent on the knowledge of the system at the time the study is carried out. This technique can therefore be applied at any stage of the project lifecycle. In order to carry out a HAZOPS a system description is necessary. The HAZOPS can then be used to identify hazards which can subsequently be analyzed further by hazard analysis techniques such as Failure Modes Effects and Criticality Analysis and Fault Tree Analysis.

Header - A large-diameter pipe into which a number of smaller pipes are perpendicularly welded or screwed; a collection point for oil or gas gathering lines.
Heater-Treater - A vessel that heats an emulsion and removes water and gas from the oil to raise it to a quality acceptable for a pipeline or other means of transport. A heater-treater is a combination of a heater, free-water knockout, and oil and gas separator.
Hydrocarbons - Compounds consisting of molecules of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons exist in a variety of compounds because of the strong affinity of the carbon atom for other atoms and for itself. The smallest molecules of hydrocarbons are gaseous while the largest are solids. Both oil and unprocessed "wet" natural gas are mixtures of many hydrocarbons.
Hydrogen - The lightest of all gases, occurring chiefly in combination with oxygen in water; exists also in acids, bases, alcohols, petroleum, and other hydrocarbons.
Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) - A colorless, acidic gas, almost as toxic as hydrogen cyanide. H2S may be present in crude oil and natural gas produced from oil and gas wells. Inhalation of large doses can cause immediate death. Inhalation of smaller doses can cause injury or death.
Hydrostatic Testing - Filling a pipeline or tank with water under pressure to test for tensile strength, its ability to hold a certain pressure without rupturing.

Impact (Class I) - A term used in Santa Barbara County environmental reports to identify a significant, unavoidable environmental impact resulting from a proposed project, that cannot be mitigated to a level of insignificance.
Impact (Class II) - A term used in Santa Barbara County environmental reports to identify a significant, but avoidable environmental impact resulting from a proposed project, that can be mitigated to a level of insignificance.
Impact (Class III) - A term used in Santa Barbara County environmental reports to identify an insignificant environmental impact resulting from a proposed project.
Impact Fee (also called a Development Fee) - A fee levied on a developer of a project by a city, county, or other public agency as compensation for otherwise unmitigated impacts the proposed project will produce.
Imports - Receipts of crude oil and petroleum products into the 50 States and the District of Columbia from foreign countries, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and other U.S. possessions and territories.
Independent Producer - 1) A person or corporation that produces oil for the market, having no pipeline system or refinery. 2) An oil-country entrepreneur who secures financial backing and drills his own well.
Infrastructure - A general term describing public and quasi-public utilities and facilities such as roads, bridges, sewers and sewer plants, water lines, power lines, fire stations, etc.
Initial Study (IS) - The preliminary analysis that a CEQA-lead agency prepares to determine and document whether to prepare a negative declaration or an environmental impact statement.
Initiative - A ballot measure placed on the election ballot as a result of voter signatures that addresses a legislative action. The right to initiative is guaranteed by the California Constitution.
Internal Corrosion - Any form of corrosion that occurs on the inside wall of the pipe or internal surfaces of any pipeline component.
Isobutane (C4H10) - A normally gaseous branch-chain hydrocarbon. It is extracted from natural gas or refinery gas streams.
Isohexane (C6H14) - A saturated branch-chain hydrocarbon that is a colorless liquid.

Joint Powers Authority (JPA) - A legal arrangement that enables two or more units of government to share authority in order to carry out a program or set of programs that serves both units.
Joint Review Panel (JRP) - The purpose of a joint review panel is to coordinate multi-agency or multi-jurisdictional review of proposed projects. The JRP includes representatives of those agencies/jurisdictions potentially affected by a proposed project. A JRP is created to avoid duplication in the review process, improve efficiency, and provide for public participation in the review of a project. Upon completion of a project's review, the joint review panel issues recommendations and/or a report with respect to the proposed project which may then be reviewed by the public.
J-Tube - The vertical section of pipe, shaped like the letter J, the connects an offshore production platform's pipeline to a seabed pipeline. The J-Tube is only the guide or mandrel for the seabed pipeline, the end of which is pulled into the curved tube and up to the platform level. This procedure eliminates the need to make underwater connections between the seabed pipeline and the riser pipe. The pipeline is forcibly pulled up through the J-tube to the platform where it can be connected to the platform piping.

Kerosene - A petroleum distillate. Included are the two grades designated in ASTM D3699: No. 1-K and No. 2-K, and all grades of kerosene called range or stove oil. Kerosene is used in space heaters, cook stoves and water heaters and is suitable for use as an illuminant when burned in wick lamps.

Landman - A person whose primary duties are managing an oil company's relations with its landowners. Such duties include securing oil and gas leases, lease amendments, and other agreements. A lease hound.
Lay Barge - A barge used in the construction and placement of underwater pipelines. Joints of pipe are welded together and then lowered off the stern of the barge as it moves ahead.
Lead Agency - The public agency which has the principal responsibility for carrying out or approving a project.
Lease (Producible) - An OCS lease where one well or several wells have discovered hydrocarbons in paying quantities, but for which there is no production during the reporting period.
Lease (Producing) - An OCS lease that is producing oil, gas, or other minerals in quantities sufficient to generate royalties.
Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT) Unit - An automated system for measuring, testing, and transferring oil.
Lease Condensate - A natural gas liquid recovered from gas well gas (associated and non-associated) in lease separators or natural gas field facilities. Lease condensate consists primarily of pentanes and heavier hydrocarbons.
Level of Service (LOS) - Level of Service is a qualitative description of operating efficiency which a government agency or industry identifies as appropriate for various services or facilities. As a tool, "LOS" standards can be applied to public service systems; e.g., municipal water systems, sewer collection and processing systems, students per classroom, acres of park land per unit of population, roadways, etc. LOS is generally represented on a scale with gradations of "A" to "F", much like a student's report card, based on the criteria used to assess the particular service or facility.
Lifting Costs - The costs of producing from a well or a lease.
Local Coastal Program - A plan for coastal development required by the state Coastal Commission before land use permitting power in the coastal zone granted to local governments. The local coastal program is comprised of a local land use plan and implementation plan that complies with the California Coastal Act. The land use plan is based on data collection, research and analysis of existing conditions, coastal resources, the County’s existing development control framework, and public input during the process.
Lot - A unit of land created under the provisions of the Subdivision Map Act or any prior law regulating the division of land or was created prior to the time any local or state law regulated divisions of land or which were not subject to any local or state regulation at the time of its creation.
Lower Flammability Limit (LFL) - The minimum concentration of a vapor or gas in air that will ignite and propagate flame. Also expressed as lower explosive limit (LEL).
Lowest Achievable Emission Rate (LAER) - Under the Federal Clean Air Act, the rate of emissions that reflects (1) the most stringent emission limitation in the State Implementation Plan of any state for a given source unless the owner or operator demonstrates such limitations are not achievable; or (2) the most stringent emissions limitation achieved in practice, whichever is more stringent.

Lubricants - A substance used to reduce friction between bearing surfaces or as process materials either incorporated into other materials used as processing aids in the manufacturing of other products, or as carries of other materials. Petroleum lubricants may be produced either from distillates or residues. Other substances may be added to impart or improve certain required properties. Lubricants do not include byproducts of lubricating oil refining such as aromatic extracts derived from solvent extraction or tars derived from deasphalting. “Lubricants” includes all grades of lubricating oils from spindle oil to cylinder oil and those used in greases. Reporting categories include:

  • Paraffinic – Includes all grades of bright stock and neutrals with a Viscosity Index > 75.
  • Napthenic – Includes all lubricating oil base stocks with a Viscosity Index < 75.

Note: The criterion for categorizing the lubricants is based solely on the Viscosity Index of the stocks and is independent of crude sources and type of processing used to produce the oils.

Exceptions: Lubricating oil base stocks that have been historically classified as napthenic or paraffinic by a refiner may continue to be so categorized irrespective of the Viscosity Index criterion.

Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure (MAOP) - The highest pressure at which a pipeline can be operated, considering design and regulatory factors.
Mercaptans - Chemical compounds containing sulfur, present in certain refined products that impart objectionable odor to the product.
Merchant Oxygenate Plants - Oxygenate production facilities that are not associated with a petroleum refinery. Production from these facilities is sold under contract or on the spot market to refiners or other gasoline blenders.
Migration (Primary) - The movement of hydrocarbons upward from the source beds or source rocks where the oil and gas were formed. The gases and liquids percolate upward to permeable reservoir rocks where they are trapped by impermeable layers, a cap rock. There they remain until discovered by some intrepid wildcatter.
Migration (Secondary) - The movement of hydrocarbons within the porous and permeable reservoir rocks that results in the segregation of the oil and gas in different parts of the formation. Lighter hydrocarbon fractions (gas) break out or separate from the liquids (oil) to form gas caps or gas reservoirs. If the formation pressure is extremely high, the gas may not be able to break out of solution. In this case, the gas remains in solution until the reservoir pressure is reduced by drilling. An example of gas remaining in solution until the pressure is releases is the opening of a carbonated soft drink bottle; the fizzing is the CO2 escaping or breaking out of the solution.
Million (MM) - In Roman numerals; M written with a macron over it, denoting a quantity consisting of 1,000,000 items or units [syn: a million] n : the number that is represented as a one followed by 6 zeros [syn: 1000000, one thousand thousand, meg]
Minerals Management Service (MMS) - A bureau in the U.S. Department of the Interior, is the federal agency that manages the nation's natural gas, oil and other mineral resources on the outer continental shelf (OCS). The agency also collects, accounts for and disburses more than $5 billion per year in revenues from federal offshore mineral leases and from onshore mineral leases on federal and Indian lands.
Minimum Royalty - An annual payment to the federal government, on a per-acre bases, required to maintain the rights to an OCS lease until production exceeds a minimum value. Once annual production exceeds the minimum value, minimum royalty payments are no longer required in that lease year. Not all OCS leases have minimum royalty provisions.
Mitigation Measure - The California Environmental Act requires that when an environmental impact or potential impact is identified as resulting from a proposed project, measures must be proposed that will mitigate (eliminate, avoid, rectify, compensate for, or reduce) those environmental effects. These measures may include actions or project design features that reduce environmental impacts.
Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) - A drilling rig that is used exclusively to drill offshore exploration and development wells and that floats upon the surface of the water when being moved from one drill site to another. It may or may not float once drilling begins. Two basic types of mobile offshore drilling units are used to drill most offshore wildcat wells: bottom-supported drilling rigs and floating drilling rigs.
Motor Gasoline Blending - Mechanical mixing of motor gasoline blending components and oxygenates to produce finished motor gasoline. Mechanical mixing of finished motor gasoline with motor gasoline blending components or oxygenates which results in increased volumes of finished motor gasoline, and/or changes in the classification of finished motor gasoline (e.g., other finished motor gasoline mixed with MTBE to produce oxygenated motor gasoline), is considered motor gasoline blending.
Mud - The liquid circulated through the well bore during rotary drilling and workover operations. In addition to its function of bringing cuttings to the surface, drilling mud cools and lubricates the bit and drill stem, protects against blowouts by holding back subsurface pressure, and deposits a mud cake on the wall of the bore hole to prevent loss of fluids to the formation.
Mud (Drilling) - A specially compounded liquid circulated through the well bore during rotary drilling operations. See mud.
Mud (Oil-Based) - Drilling mud whose liquid component is an oil rather than water, which is the most common fluid used to mix with the various clays to make drilling mud. Oil-based muds are used in very deep wells where the bottom-hole temperatures of 300° to 400°F preclude the use of water-base muds. Also, oil-base muds are often used when drilling through clay formations, which have a tendency to absorb the water from water-base muds and swell to the extent that the drill-pipe becomes stuck.
Muriatic Acid - An acid that causes severe irritation or burns to the skin and eyes. Vapors may irritate the respiratory tract.

Naptha - A volatile, colorless liquid obtained from petroleum distillation used as a solvent in the manufacture of paint, as a dry-cleaning fluid, and for blending with casinghead gasoline in producing motor gasoline.
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) - Standards established by the United States EPA that apply for outdoor air throughout the Country. There are two types of NAAQS. Primary standards set limits to protect public health and secondary standards set limits to protect public welfare.
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) - The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law on January 1, 1970. It applies to all federal agencies and most of the activities they manage, regulate, or fund that affect the environment. It requires all agencies to disclose and consider the environmental implications of their proposed actions.
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) - The NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service recommends ways to rebuild and maintain sustainable fisheries, promote the recovery of protected species, and protect and maintain the health of coastal marine habitats.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - NOAA describes and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, and recommends methods to conserve and manage the Nation's coastal and marine resources.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) - A point source control program under the Clean Water Act.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) - The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in the other modes of transportation - railroad, highway, marine and pipeline - and issuing safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. The rules of the Board are located in Chapter VIII, Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Natural Gas Field Facility - A field facility designed to process natural gas produced from more than one lease for the purpose of recovering condensate from a stream of natural gas; however, some field facilities are designed to recover propane, normal butane, pentanes plus, etc., and to control the quality of natural gas to be marked.
Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) - Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) refer to those hydrocarbons which are liquefied at the surface in field facilities or in gas processing plants, and include liquefied petroleum gases (LPGs) such as propane and butanes, and heavier gas liquids (pentanes and heavier) such as natural gasoline.
Natural Gas Processing Plant - A facility designed (1) to achieve the recovery of natural gas liquids from the stream of natural gas which may or may not have been processed through lease separators and field facilities, and (2) to control the quality of the natural gas to be marketed. Cycling plants are classified as gas processing plants.
Negative Declaration (mitigated) - MND - An CEQA document prepared when a project would have significant environmental effects as originally proposed, but the developer can and will eliminate those effects by changing the project or adopting mitigation measures, meaning that certain steps must be taken but no further environmental review is necessary.
Negative Declaration (ND) - A written analysis by a CEQA-lead agency to describe the reasons that a proposed project subject to CEQA will not have a significant effect on the environment and, therefore, does not require the preparation of an environmental impact report.
New Source Review (NSR) - A program used in development of permits for new or modified industrial facilities which are in a non-attainment area, and which emit non-attainment criteria air pollutants. The two major requirements of the NSR are Best Available Control Technology and Emissions Offsets.
Nitrogen Oxides (Oxides of Nitrogen, NOx) - A general term pertaining to compounds of nitric acid (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and other oxides of nitrogen. Nitrogen oxides are typically created during combustion processes, and are major contributors to smog formation and acid deposition. NO2 is a criteria air pollutant, and may result in numerous adverse health effects; it absorbs blue light, resulting in a brownish-red cast to the atmosphere and reduced visibility.
Non-attainment Area - A geographic area identified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and/or the Air Resources Board as not meeting wither the National Ambient Air Quality Standards or the California Ambient Air Quality Standards for a given pollutant.
Non-Conforming Use - Any use which does not conform to the use regulations of the zoning ordinance for a particular zone district in which the use is located.
Notice of Completion (NOC) - The CEQA-lead agency must file a NOC with California's Office of Planning and Research as soon as it completes a draft EIR for public review. The NOC must contain a brief description of the proposed project, including its location, and it must contain an address(es) where copies of the draft EIR are available for review.
Notice of Determination (NOD) - The CEQA-lead agency shall file a NOD after approving a project for which a ND or EIR was prepared.
Notice of Exemption (NOE) - The CEQA-lead agency may file a NOE when it has decided a proposed project is exempt from CEQA and has further approved or otherwise determined to carry out the project.
Notice of Intent (NOI) - The CEQA-lead agency shall provide a NOI to the public, responsible agencies, trustee agencies, and the county clerk sufficiently prior to adoption of a negative declaration for the purpose of providing a period of review prior to such adoption (CEQA Guidelines § 15072).
Notice of Preparation (NOP) - Upon deciding to prepare an EIR, the CEQA-lead agency sends a NOP to all responsible agencies, trustee agencies, and federal agencies involved in approving or funding a proposed project for purpose of initiating interagency coordination.

Odorant - A chemical compound added to natural gas to produce a detectable, unpleasant odor to alert households should they have even a small leak in the house piping. Odorants are also used in liquids or gases being stored or transported to detect leaks.
Office of Emergency Services (OES) - The Office of Emergency Services (OES) is responsible for assuring the state's readiness to respond to and recover from natural, manmade, and war-caused emergencies, and for assisting local governments in their emergency preparedness, response and recovery efforts.
Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) - This office regulates the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation's pipeline system.
Offshore Lease - An area designated by an authorized agency (MMS or California State Lands Commission) for the exploration and potential development of mineral resources such as oil and gas. Lease are sold by competitive bid processes, and have specific conditions regarding their term and activity required to maintain lease rights. They do not convey an ownership interest in the land itself, and do not include a right to develop.
Oil (Dry) - Crude oil with little or no water content.
Oil (unfinished) - Includes all oils requiring further processing, except those requiring only mechanical blending. Includes napthas and lighter oils, kerosene and light gas oils, heavy gas oils, and residuum.
Oil (Wet) - A mixture of crude oil and water which requires further processing to remove the water.
Oil Patch - A term referring broadly to the oil field, to areas of exploration, production, and pipelining.
Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA90) - OPA90 amended the Clean Water Act to strengthen the nation's ability to prevent and respond to oil spills. It applies to oil-carrying vessels, offshore facilities, onshore facilities, and deepwater ports that could potentially spill oil into U.S. navigable waters or the adjoining shorelines.
Oil Pool - An underground reservoir or trap containing oil. A pool is a single, separate reservoir with its own pressure system so that wells drilled in any part of the pool affect the reservoir pressure throughout the pool. An oil field may contain one or more pools.
Oil Slick - An oil spill on water. A small amount of oil can spread into a sizeable slick.
Oil Spill - A mishap in which oil escapes from a tank, an oil well, an oil tanker, or a pipeline.
Oil Spill Boom - Any of various devices or contraptions to contain and prevent the spread of oil spilled on water until it can be picked up. A curtain-like device deployed around or across the path of a drifting oil spill. The curtain is weighted on the bottom edge to hold it at a foot or two below the surface and has floats on the upper edge to hold the curtain a foot or more above the surface. Once surrounded, the oil is sucked up by a vacuum cleaner-like suction pump.
On Stream - Term use for a processing plant, a refinery, or a pumping station that is operating.
Operating Agreement - A written document between parties holding operating rights with one of the parties normally designated as the operator. The agreement contains detailed provisions for the drilling of a well, the sharing of expenses, and acceptable accounting methods.
Other Finished or Conventional Gasoline - Motor gasoline not included in the oxygenated or reformulated gasoline categories. Excludes reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenate blending (RBOB).
Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) - All submerged lands lying seaward and outside of the area of lands beneath navigable waters commencing three nautical miles seaward of the coastline (or three marine leagues seaward of the coastlines of Texas and western Florida).
Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) of 1953, as amended, 43 U.S.C. 1331 et. seq. - An act that establishes procedures for federal jurisdiction over Outer Continental Shelf lands and authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to issue exploration permits and leases for oil, gas, sulfur, and other mineral resources on those lands.
Override System - A backup system; controls that take over should the primary system of controls fail or be taken out for adjustment or repair; a redundancy built in for safety and operational efficiency.
Oxygenated Fuels Program Reformulated Gasoline (ORPG) - This is reformulated gasoline intended for use in an oxygenated fuels program control area during an oxygenated fuels program control period.
Oxygenates - Any substance which, when added to gasoline, increases the amount of oxygen in that gasoline blend. Through a series of waivers and interpretive rules, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined the allowable limits for oxygenates in unleaded gasoline. The “Substantially Similar” Interpretive Rules (56 FR (February 11, 1991)) allows blends of aliphatic alcohols other than methanol and aliphatic ethers, provided the oxygen content does not exceed 2.7 percent by weight. The “Substantially Similar” Interpretive Rules also provides for blends of methanol up to 0.3 percent by volume exclusive of other oxygenates, and butanol or alcohols of a higher molecular weight up to 2.75 percent by weight. Individual waivers pertaining to the use of oxygenates in unleaded gasoline have been issued by the EPA, including fuel ethanol, methanol and MTBE.
Ozone - A strong smelling, pale blue, reactive toxic chemical gas consisting of three oxygen atoms. It is a product of the photochemical process involving the sun's energy. Ozone exists in the upper atmosphere ozone layer as well as at the earth's surface. Ozone at the earth's surface causes numerous adverse health effects caused and is a criteria air pollutant. It is a major component of smog.
Ozone Precursors - Chemicals such as reactive organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen, occurring either naturally or as a result of human activities, which contribute to the formation of ozone, a major component of smog.

Particulate Matter (PM) - Any material, except pure water, that exists in the solid or liquid state in the atmosphere, such as soot, dust, smoke, fumes, and aerosols. The size of particulate matter can vary from coarse, wind-blown dust particles to fine particle combustion products.
Particulate Matter less than 10 microns (PM10) - A criteria air pollutant consisting of small particles with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to a nominal 10 microns (about 1/7 the diameter of a single human hair). Their small size allows them to make their way to the air sacs deep within the lungs where they may be deposited and result in adverse health effects. PM10 also causes visibility reduction.
Particulate Matter less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) - A major air pollutant consisting of tiny solid or liquid particles, generally soot and aerosols. The size of the particles (2.5 microns or smaller, about .0001 inches or less) allows them to easily enter the air sacks deep in the lungs where the may cause adverse health effects, as noted in several recent studies. PM2.5 also causes visibility reduction.
Parts Per Million (PPM) - A unit of concentration often used when measuring levels of pollutants in air, water, body fluids, etc. One ppm is 1 part in 1,000,000. The common unit mg/liter is equal to ppm. Four drops of ink in a 55-gallon barrel of water would produce an "ink concentration" of 1 ppm.
Pentanes Plus - A mixture of hydrocarbons, mostly pentanes and heavier, extracted from natural gas. Includes isopentane, natural gasoline, and plant condensate.
Perforating - To make holes through the casing opposite the producing formation to allow the oil or gas to flow into the well. Shooting steel bullets through the casing walls with a special downhole "gun" is a common method of perforating.
Performance Bond - A form of guarantee, given by the seller in a contract that the seller will faithfully perform contractual obligations to another party, and that in the event of the terms of the contract not being fulfilled, the buyer will be able to claim compensation in the form of money.
Performance Standards - Regulations that permit uses based on a particular set of standards of operation. Performance standards provide specific criteria limiting noise, air pollution, emissions, odors, vibration, dust, dirt, glare, heat, fire hazards, wastes, traffic impacts, and visual impacts.
Permit to Operate (PTO) - The PTO allows for ongoing operation of the facility in accordance with all permit conditions and local, state, and federal air quality requirements.
Persistent - A term used to describe a substance that will remain in the environment for a long period of time without being broken down into simpler chemicals or reduced to acceptable levels by natural physical or chemical biological processes.
Petrochemical Feedstocks - Chemical feedstocks derived from petroleum principally for the manufacture of chemicals, synthetic rubber, and a variety of plastics.
Petroleum - A naturally occurring complex, liquid hydrocarbon that may contain varying degrees of impurities. Petroleum is obtained from rocks below the surface of the Earth by drilling down into a reservoir rock and piping the minerals to the surface.
Petroleum Administration For Defense (PAD) Districts - Geographic aggregations of the 50 States and the District of Columbia into five districts by the Petroleum Administration for Defense in 1950. These districts were originally defined during World War II for purposes of administering oil allocation.
Petroleum Coke - A residue, the final product of the condensation process in cracking. This product is reported as marketable coke or catalyst coke. The conversion factor is 5 barrels per short ton.
Petroleum Products - Petroleum products are obtained from the processing of crude oil (including lease condensate), natural gas, and other hydrocarbon compounds. Petroleum products include unfinished oils, liquefied petroleum gases, pentanes plus, aviation gasoline, motor gasoline, naptha-type jet fuel, kerosene-type jet fuel, kerosene, distillate fuel oil, residual fuel oil, petrochemical feedstocks, special napthas, lubricants, waxes, petroleum coke, asphalt, road oil, still gas, and miscellaneous products.
Pig - A device designed to move through a pipeline for purposes of cleaning, gathering information, separating products, or batching shipments of the same product. A pig is usually propelled by gas or liquid pressure behind the pig. The name "pig" is said to have originated from the sound the device makes as it moves through the pipeline. (W. Kent Muhlbauer, Pipeline Risk Management Manual, Houston: Gulf Publishing Co., 1996.)
Pig Launcher and Receiver - A facility on a pipeline for inserting and launching a pig, scraper, or batching pig. The launcher essentially is a breech-loading cylinder isolated from the pipeline by a series of gate valves. After the pig is loaded into the launching cylinder like a shell into a shotgun, a hinged plug or cap is closed behind it. Then oil under pressure from the pipeline is admitted to the cylinder behind the pig. The pig is launched; it is pushed into the pipeline and moved along and about 3 or 4 miles an hour by the oil pressure behind it. To receive a pig approaching the station manifold, a valve is opened on the bypass line, permitting the pig to be pushed into the receiving cylinder or trap along with the sludge ahead of it. The valves are closed, isolating the pig, at which time the end cap of the receiver is unlatched. The sludge drains into a sump and the pig is removed for cleaning and reconditioning.
Pipeline (petroleum) - Crude oil and product pipelines used to transport crude oil and petroleum products respectively, (including interstate, intrastate, and intracompany pipelines) within the 50 States and the District of Columbia.
Pipeline (Two-Phase) - Two-phase pipeline is one capable of carrying a liquid and a gas stream simultaneously.
Planning Commission - A group of residents appointed by a city council or board of supervisors to consider land use planning matters. The commission’s duties are established by the city council or board of supervisors.
Platform (Tension-Leg) - A semisubmersible drilling platform held in position by multiple cables anchored to the ocean floor. The constant tension of the cables makes the platform immune to heave, pitch, and roll caused by wave action and conditions that affect conventional submersibles.
Platform Jacket - A supporting structure for an offshore platform consisting of a large-diameter pipe welded together with pipe braces to form a four-legged offshore stool-like structure (stool without a seat). The jacket is secured to the seafloor with pilings driven through the legs. The four-legged offshore platform is then slipped into legs of the jacket and secured with pins and by the weight of the platform and equipment.
Plugged and Abandoned - Wells in which casings have been removed, and the well bore sealed with mechanical or cement plugs.
Pollution (Mobile Source) - A mobile source of pollution such as automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, buses, off-road vehicles, boats and airplanes. (Contrast with stationary source.)
Pollution (Non-point Source) - Pollution that is spatially diffuse and discharged from one or more unidentified sources.
Pollution (Point Source) - Pollution discharged from a fixed, identifiable, location.
Pollution (Stationary Source) - A non-mobile structure, building, facility, equipment installation or operation. Examples include oil production facilities, industrial coating operations, a rock crushing facility, and factories that use large amounts of solvents. A stationary source is classified as having a common production process, located on one or more adjacent properties, and is under the same or common ownership, operation, or control. (Contrast with mobile sources.)
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) - A group of synthetic, organic chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons having various industrial applications. They are highly toxic, poisonous and potentially carcinogenic environmental pollutants known to cause skin diseases. They tend to accumulate in animal tissues and are suspect of causing birth defects and cancer.
Pool - In general, a reservoir. In certain situations a pool may consist of more than one reservoir.
Posted Price - The price an oil purchaser will pay for crude of a certain A.P.I. gravity and from a particular field or area. Once literally posted in the field, the announced price is now published in newspapers.
Pounds Per Square Inch, Absolute (PSIA) - An absolute measure of pressure where zero psia refers to a complete absence of pressure such as one might find in a perfect vacuum of outer space. The 14.7 psi is the atmospheric pressure at sea level is an absolute measurement and is more properly expressed as 14.7 pound per square inch absolute (psia).
Pounds Per Square Inch, Gauge (PSIG) - The most common relative scale of measuring pressure in the United States where zero psig equals an absolute pressure of one standard atmosphere (i.e., 1.0 psig = 14.7 psia) and 1.0 psig equals 15.7 psia.
Pour Point - The temperature at which a liquid ceases to flow or at which it congeals.
Pressure - The force that a fluid (liquid or gas) exerts uniformly in all directions within a vessel, pipe, hole in the ground, and so forth, such as that exerted against the inner wall of a tank or that exerted on the bottom of the well bore by a fluid. Pressure is expressed in terms of force exerted per unit of area, as pounds per square inch, or in kilopascals.
Pressure Gauge - Used on gas or liquid lines to make instantly visible the pressure in the lines. Some gauges have damping devices to protect the delicate mechanisms from the transient pulses of line pressure.
Pressure Relief Valve - Also called a "pop valve" or a "safety valve," this class of mechanical safety device is designed to operate at a predetermined pressure to reduce the internal pressure of a vessel. The valve is often designed to close again when the vessel pressure is again below the set point. (W. Kent Muhlbauer, Pipeline Risk Management Manual, Houston: Gulf Publishing Co., 1996.)
Pressure Vessel - A cylindrical or spherical tank so constructed as to hold a gas or a liquid under pressure. Pressure vessels are used to hold air for air-actuated valves, air starting of engines, and other pneumatic applications. In a refinery or chemical plant, pressure vessels are integral parts of the processing chain where feedstock is subjected to both heat and pressure as part of the refining process.
Primary Production - Primary recovery; production from a reservoir by natural energy (gas cap, solution gas, or water drive) that results in flowing wells, or wells on the pump with the oil flowing freely by gravity to the well bore.

Process Hazards Analysis (PHA) - This study must address the hazards of a process, previous hazardous incidents, engineering and administrative controls, the consequences of the failure of engineering and administrative controls, human factors, and an evaluation of effects of failure of controls on employees. This element requires that the PHA be performed by one or more of the following methods or any other equivalent method:

    • What-if
    • Checklist
    • What-if/Checklist
    • Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) studies
    • Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
    • Fault Tree Analysis

The standard suggests a performance oriented requirement with respect to the PHA so that the facility will have the flexibility to choose the type of analysis that will best address a particular process.

Produced Water - Water, usually salt water or brine, produced with oil in a pumping well. Small amounts of salt water can be separated out at the well site and put in an earthen evaporation pit. Large volumes must be dealt with by pumping it back into disposal wells, which force the super-salt brine into a porous formation isolated by impervious strata above and below.
Product - The resulting components of chemical or physical processes implemented to produce different hydrocarbon fractions. These products may be directly marketable (such as asphalt pitch, fuel oil, propane, etc.), or may be marketed primarily to refineries for further processing (such as gas oil).
Propane (C3H6) - A normally gaseous straight-chain hydrocarbon. It is a colorless paraffinic gas that is extracted from natural gas or refinery gas streams. It includes all products designated in ASTM Specifications D1835 and Gas Processors Association Specifications for commercial propane and HD-5 propane. Propane is used primarily for residential and commercial heating and cooling, and as fuel for transportation. It is used in industry as a petrochemical feedstock.

Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) - Quantitative risk assessment (QRA) is a systematic approach for developing estimated frequencies and/or consequences of accidents for a facility or operation.
Quitclaim - An instrument or document releasing a certain interest in land owned by a grantor at the time the agreement takes effect. The key phrase of a quitclaim is: "... to release, remise, and forever quitclaim all right, title, and interest in the following described land."

Reactive Organic Compound (ROC) - A reactive chemical gas, composed of hydrocarbons, that react with nitrogen oxides and contribute to the formation of ozone. Also known as Volatile Organic Compounds (see VOC), or as Non-Methane Organic Compounds (NMOCs). The APCD considers all volatile compounds containing carbon except the following to be reactive: ethane, methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides or carbonates, ammonium carbonates, methyl chloroform (TCA), methylene chloride (dichloromethane), CFC-11, CFC-12, HCFC-22, FC-23, CFC-113, CFC-114, CFC-115, HCFC-123, HCFC-134a, HCFC-141b, HCFC-142b.
Reasonably Available Control Measures (RACM) - A broadly defined term referring to technologies and other measures that can be used to control pollution. They include Reasonably Available Control Technology and other measures. In the case of PM10, RACM refers to approaches for controlling small or dispersed source categories such as road dust, wood stoves, and open burning.
Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) - Process changes or devices to minimize air pollution from mobile and stationary sources that are cost-effective and readily available.
Reclamation Bond - Reclamation bonds are used to ensure that sites affected by a project are reclaimed (restored) in a manner that returns the affected area to the conditions defined in the reclamation standards at the time the bond is issued.
Referendum - A ballot measure challenging a legislative action by the city council or the county board of supervisors. Referenda petitions must be filed before the action becomes final and may lead to an election on the matter. The California Constitution guarantees the right to referendum.
Refinery - A modern refinery is a large plant of many diverse processes. A refinery receives its charge stock, or crude oil, from the field via pipeline or from a tanker if the plant is located on a waterway. By processes that include heating, fractionating, pressure, vacuum, re-heating in the presence of catalysts, and washing with acids, the crude is divided into hundreds of components: from exotic light gases to volatile liquids down through gasoline, naptha, kerosene, gas oils, and light and heavy lubricating oil stocks to heavy bunker fuel, residual oil, and finally petroleum coke, the bottom of the barrel.
Reformulated Gasoline Blendstock For Oxygenated Blanding (RBOB) - RBOB is a motor gasoline blending component which, when blended with a specified type and percentage of oxygenate, meets the definition of reformulated gasoline.
Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) - Formed by the Dickey Water Pollution Act, these regional boards are responsible for protecting the surface, ground and coastal waters of their regions. Under the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act (1969), the Boards together became the principal state agencies with primary responsibility for the coordination and control of water quality.
Remedial Action Plan - A remedial action plan is a work plan for reducing site contamination to minimize the health risks or negative environmental impact.
Rent - Periodic payments made by the holder of a lease for the right to use the land or resources for purposes established in the lease.
Reserves - Oil and/or natural gas existing in producible quantities within an identified oil field.
Reserves (proved, of crude oil) - Proved reserves of crude oil as of December 31 of a given year are the estimated quantities of all liquids defined as crude oil, which geological and engineering data demonstrated with reasonable certainty to be recoverable in future years from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions. Reservoirs are considered proved if economic producibility is supported by actual production or conclusive formation tests (drill stem or wire line), or if economic producibility is supported by core analyses and/or electric or other log interpretations. The area of an oil reservoir considered proved includes (1) that portion delineated by drilling and defined by gas-oil and/or oil-water contacts, if any; and (2) the immediately adjoining portions not yet drilled, but which can be reasonable judged as economically productive on the basis of available geological and engineering data. In the absence of information on fluid contacts, the lowest known structural occurrence of hydrocarbons is considered to be the lower proved limit of the reservoir. Volumes of crude oil placed in underground storage are not to be considered proved reserves. Reserves of crude oil which can be produced economically through application of improved recovery techniques (such as fluid injection) are included in the “proved” classification when successfully testing by a pilot project, or the operation of an installed program in the reservoir, provides support for the engineering analysis on which the project or program was based. Estimates of proved crude oil reserves do not include the following: (1) oil that may become available from known reservoirs but is reported separately as “indicated additional reserves”; (2) natural gas liquids (including lease condensate); (3) oil, the recovery of which is subject to reasonable doubt because of uncertainty as to geology, reservoir characteristics, or economic factors; (4) oil that may occur in undrilled prospects; and (5) oil that may be recovered from oil shales, coal. gilsonite, and other such sources. It is not necessary that production, gathering or transportation facilities be installed or operative for a reservoir to be considered proved.
Reserves (proved, of natural gas liquids) - Proved reserves of natural gas liquids as of December 31 of a given year are those volumes of natural gas liquids (including lease condensate) demonstrated with reasonable certainty to be separable in the future from proved natural gas reserves, under existing economic and operating conditions.
Reserves (Proven) - As defined by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, reserves that can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be recovered under current economic conditions. Such reserves either must have facilities that are operational at the time of the estimate to process and transport those reserves to market, or a commitment of reasonable expectation to install such facilities in the future.
Reservoir - A subsurface, porous, permeable rock body containing oil, gas, or water. Most reservoir rocks consist individually or collectively of limestone, dolomites, or sandstone.
Residual Fuel Oil - The heavier oils that remain after the distillate fuels oils and lighter hydrocarbons are distilled away in refinery operations and the conform to ASTM Specification D396. Included are No. 5, a residual fuel oil of medium viscosity; Navy Special, for use in steam-powered vessels in government service and in shore power plants; No. 6, which includes Bunker C fuel oil, and is used for commercial and industrial heating, electricity generation and to power ships.
Rig - The derrick and surface equipment of a drilling unit
Rig (Jack-Up) - A mobile bottom-supported offshore drilling structure with columnar or open-truss legs that support the deck and hull. When positioned over the drilling site, the bottoms of the legs rest on the seafloor. A jack-up rig is towed or propelled to a location with its legs up. Once the legs are firmly positioned on the bottom, the deck and hull height are adjusted and leveled. Also called self-elevating drilling unit.
Rig (Platform) - An immobile offshore structure from which development wells are drilled and produced. Platform rigs may be built of steel or concrete and may be either rigid or complaint. Rigid platform rigs, which rest on the seafloor, are the caisson-type platform, the concrete gravity platform, and the steel-jacket platform. Complaint platform rigs, which are used in deeper water and yield to water and wind movements are the guyed-tower platform and the tension-leg platform.
Rig (rotary) - A machine, used for drilling wells, that employs a rotating tube attached to a bit for boring holes through rock.
Right-of-Way - A strip of land occupied or intended to be occupied by a street, crosswalk, railroad, electric transmission line, oil or gas pipeline, water main, sanitary or storm sewer, street trees, or other specific use.
Risk - As applied to hazardous oil and gas facilities, a compound measure of the probability and number of fatalities or serious injuries that is due to a deviation from normal operating conditions.
Road Oil - Any heavy petroleum oil, including residual asphaltic oil used as a dust palliative and surface treatment on roads and highways. It is generally produced in six grades from 0, the most liquid, to 5, the most viscous.
Royalty - Payment, in value (money) or in kind (a volume of the commodity), of a stated proportionate interest in production from mineral deposits by the lessees to the lessor. The royalty may be an established minimum, a step-scale, or a sliding-scale. A step-scale rate increases by steps as the average production on the lease increases. A sliding-scale rate is based on the average production and applies to all production from the lease.

Safety Inspection, Maintenance and Quality Assurance Plan (SIMQAP) - The purpose and scope of the SIMQAP is to identify procedures that will be used during the operation of a facility and to insure that all equipment will function as designed. The SIMQAP identifies items to be inspected, maintained or tested, defines the procedure for such inspection, maintenance or testing, and establishes the frequency of inspection, maintenance or testing.
Sales Value - The proceeds received for the sale of a mineral.
Seismic Survey - An exploratory method in which strong low-frequency sound waves are generated on the surface or in the water to find subsurface rock structures that may contain hydrocarbons. The sound waves travel through the layers of the earth's crust, however, at formation boundaries some of the waves are reflected back to the surface where sensitive detectors pick them up. Reflections from shallow formations arrive at the surface sooner than reflections from deep formations, and since the reflections are recorded, a record of the depth and configuration of the various formations can be generated. Interpretation of the record can reveal possible hydrocarbon-bearing formations.
Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) - A post-combustion technology used in the operation of gas turbines as a means of reducing NOX emissions.

Semi-Submersible - A floating offshore drilling structure that has hulls submerged in the water but not resting on the sea floor.

Separator (oil and gas) - Production equipment used to separate liquid components of the well stream from gaseous elements. Separators are either vertical or horizontal and either cylindrical or spherical in shape. Separation is accomplished primarily by gravity, with the heavier liquids falling to the bottom and the gas rising to the top.
Setback - A minimum distance required by zoning to be maintained between structures, or between structures and property lines.
Single Anchor Leg Mooring (SALM) - In single-anchor-leg mooring (SALM), a ship or other vessel is attached to the seabed at a single point by use of a small jacket structure with a rotating head on the end of an anchor chin or similar device. A very simple SALM consists of a single vertical chain connected to a base. The chain remains tensioned and essentially vertical because of buoyancy forces generated by a tank either atop the chain or attached under the mooring yoke of the vessel.
Slurry - 1) In drilling, a plastic mixture of cement and water that is pumped into a well to harden. There it supports the casing and provides a seal in the well bore to prevent migration of underground fluids. 2) A mixture in which solids are suspended in a liquid.
Societal Risk - Risk to a group of people, expressed in terms of the distributed frequency of events that cause multiple casualties or, when appropriate, the frequency of casualties at a specific location.
Species of Special Concern (SSC) - The terms "Species at Risk" or "Species of Concern" should be considered as terms-of-art that describe the entire realm of taxa whose conservation status may be of concern to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but neither term has official status. (
Specific Plan - Specific plans are often used by cities and counties to plan the future of an area at a finer level of detail than that provided in the comprehensive plan. They describe allowable land uses, identify open space, and detail infrastructure availability and financing for a portion of the community. Specific plans implement, but are not technically a part of the local comprehensive plan. In some jurisdictions, specific plans take the place of zoning. Zoning, subdivision, and public works decisions must be in accordance with the specific plan.
Spot Price - A transaction price concluded “on the spot”, that is, on a one-time, prompt basis to sell or buy one shipment of a commodity, such as crude oil.
Spud Date - Date of first boring of the hole in the drilling of a well.
Spud In - The first boring of the hole in the drilling of a well.
SSRRC Systems Safety and Reliability Review Committee of Santa Barbara County - An organization of representatives from the Air Pollution Control District, Fire Department, Office of Emergency Services, Building and Safety Division, and Energy Division, which has been charged by the Board of Supervisors with the task of mitigating the risk of oil and gas projects
Standard Cubic Feet Per Day (SCFD) - In the United States, a measure of the rate of flow of a well; total amount of natural gas and other constituents produced, processed, or transported per day.
Statement of Overriding Considerations - CEQA requires a decision-making agency to balance the economic, legal, social, technological, or other benefits of a proposed project against its unavoidable environmental impacts when determining whether to approve the project. Thus, a decision-making agency will issue a written statement explaining the specific reasons why it finds a proposed project’s specific economic, legal, social, technological, or other benefits override its environmental impacts, as identified in an EIR, and will therefore be approved.
Steam Injection - A method of recovering very heavy crude oil from underground formations.
Stimulation - Any process undertaken to enlarge old channels or to create new ones in the producing formation of a well (e.g., acidizing or formation fracturing).
Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) - Petroleum stocks maintained by the federal government for use during periods of major interruptions in oil supplies.
Stream - A stream (whether oil, gas, or product) is what is being pumped through a pipeline, moved from one process unit into another.
Stream Day - An operating day on a process unit as opposed to a calendar day. Stream day includes an allowance for regular downtime.
Subdivision - In general, land cannot be divided in California without local approval. Dividing land for sale, lease or financing, is regulated by local ordinances based on the State Subdivision Map Act (commencing with Government Code Section 66410). The local general plan, zoning, subdivision, and other ordinances govern the design of subdivision, size of its lots, and the types of improvements (street construction, sewer lines, drainage facilities, etc.). A city or county may impose a variety of fees upon the subdivision, depending on local and regional needs, such as school impact fees, park dedications, etc. There are basically two types of subdivision: parcel maps, which are limited to divisions resulting in fewer than five lots (with certain exceptions), and final map subdivisions (also called tract maps), which apply to subdivisions resulting in five or more lots.
Subdivision (final map – also called tract map or major subdivision) - Final map subdivisions are land divisions which create five or more lots. They must be consistent with the comprehensive (general) plan and are generally subject to stricter requirements than parcel maps.
Subdivision (parcel map) - Parcel map subdivisions are land divisions that create fewer than five lots. A parcel map may be approved when it meets the requirements of the comprehensive (general) plan, zoning ordinance, and all applicable ordinances and regulations.
Subdivision (tentative map) - A map or drawing illustrating a subdivision proposal. A city or county may approve or deny a proposed subdivision based on the design depicted by the tentative map. A subdivision is not complete until the conditions of approval imposed on the tentative map have been satisfied and a final map has been certified by the city or county and recorded with the county recorder.
Subdivision Map Act - The Subdivision Map Act commences with California’s Government Code Section 66410. This act vests in local legislative bodies the regulation and control of the design and improvement of subdivisions, including the requirement for tentative and final maps.
Sulfur - A pale yellow nonmetallic element occurring widely in nature in several free and combined allotropic forms. It is used in black gunpowder, rubber vulcanization, the manufacture of insecticides and pharmaceuticals, and in the preparation of sulfur compounds such as hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric acid. Atomic number 16; atomic weight 32.066; melting point (rhombic) 112.8°C, (monoclinic) 119.0°C; boiling point 444.6°C; specific gravity (rhombic) 2.07, (monoclinic) 1.957; valence 2, 4, 6.
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) - A strong smelling, colorless gas that is formed by the combustion of fossil fuels. Power plants, which may use coal or oil high in sulfur content, can be major sources of SO2. SO2 and other sulfur oxides contribute to the problem of acid deposition. SO2 is a criteria pollutant.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) - A system to gather information such as pressures and flows from remote field locations and regularly transmit this information to a central facility where the data can be monitored and analyzed. Through this same system, the central facility can often issue commands to the remote sites for actions such as opening and closing valves and starting and stopping pumps. (W. Kent Muhlbauer, Pipeline Risk Management Manual, Houston: Gulf Publishing Co., 1996.)
Surface Water Quality Management Program (SWQMP) - The Clean Water Act requires regulated jurisdictions to address six components of a surface water quality management program to obtain an NPDES permit. These include: (1) public outreach and education; (2) public involvement and participation; (3) illicit discharge detection and elimination; (4) construction site storm-water runoff control; (5) post-construction storm-water management; and (6) pollution prevention, or "good housekeeping," for municipal operations.
Surge Tank - A vessel on a flow-line whose function is to receive and cushion sudden rises or surges in the stream of a liquid.
Suspended Solid - Small solid particles that do not settle of water, bur remain suspended in the water column.
Suspension - A lease temporarily rendered inactive due to forces of nature, environmental impact studies, or other reasons, as defined in the OCSLA. Wells are shut in if both operations and production are suspended, royalty reporting and payments are held in abeyance during this period, and the term of the lease is extended for the period of suspension. If either operations or production (but not both) is suspended, rent and minimum royalty obligations continue.

Tank Bottoms - Oil-water emulsion mixed with free water and other foreign matter that collect in the bottoms of stock tanks and large crude storage tanks. Periodically, tank bottoms are cleaned out by physically removing the material or by the use of chemicals that separate oil from water, permitting both to be pumped out.
Tank Farm - An installation used by gathering and trunk pipeline companies, crude oil producers, and terminal operators (except refineries) to store crude oil.
Tanker and Barge - Vessels that transport crude oil or petroleum products.
Tariff - A schedule of rates or charges permitted a common carrier or utility; pipeline tariffs are the charges made by common carrier pipelines for moving crude oil or products.
Thresholds of Significance - CEQA Guidelines encourage each public agency to develop and publish thresholds of significance that it uses to determine the significance of environmental effects pursuant to its responsibilities under CEQA.
Toluene (C6H5CH3) - Colorless liquid of the aromatic group of petroleum hydrocarbons, made by the catalytic reforming of petroleum napthas containing methyl cyclohexane. A high-octane gasoline-blending agent, solvent, and chemical intermediate, base for TNT.
Total Organic Gases (TOG) - Reactive organic gases plus non-reactive organic gases.
Transmission Lines - Pipelines that transport crude oil, natural gas, or other hydrocarbons from final processing or, when no processing is required, downstream of the Lease Custody Transfer meter to a refinery, gas storage or distribution systems, injection well, or end use.
Tri-Counties - The counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo, located on California's southern central coast.
Two-Phase Flow - The transportation of a liquid or gas by a single pipeline. In some instances, notably in an offshore environment, crude oil and natural gas are moved to shore stations through the same line. In this type of transportation, there can be different flow patterns depending upon a number of parameters, such as flow rates of the two phases, liquid and gaseous, line characteristics, and physical properties of the liquid phase.

Ultrasonic Thickness (UT) - Characterizing material thickness, integrity, or other physical properties by means of high-frequency sound waves.
Undiscovered Recoverable Resources (crude oil and natural gas)  - Those economic resources of crude oil and natural gas, yet undiscovered, that are estimated to exist in favorable geologic settings.
Unfractionated Streams - Mixtures of unsegregated natural gas liquid components excluding those in plant condensate. This product is extracted from natural gas.
United States Coast Guard (USCG) - The U.S. Coast Guard is a military, multi-mission, maritime service. The Coast Guard is charged with a broad scope of regulatory, law-enforcement, humanitarian, and emergency-response duties. The Coast Guard provides a variety of information with respect to the prevention of offshore oil spills and contingency plans that are activated should an offshore oil spill occur.
United States Code (USC) - All federal laws of a general and permanent nature arranged into an official code of laws of the United States.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) - A bureau in the U.S. Department of the Interior that works to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats, with a particular focus on migratory birds, endangered species, certain marine mammals, and freshwater and anadramous fish.

United States Geologic Survey (USGS) - A bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior that provides maps, databases, and descriptions and analyses of the water, energy and minerals, land surface, underlying geologic structure, and dynamic processes of the Earth.
Upper Flammability Limit (UFL) - The maximum concentration of a vapor or gas in air that will ignite and propagate flame. Also expressed as upper explosive limit (UEL).
Upstream - Facilities or operations performed before those at the point of reference. Oil production is upstream from pipeline transportation, and transportation is upstream from refining.

Valve - A device used to control the rate of flow in a line, to open or shut a line, or to serve as an automatic or semiautomatic safety device.
Valve (bleeder) - A small valve on a pipeline, pump, or tank from which samples are drawn or to vent air or oil; sample valve.
Valve (block) - A large heavy-duty valve on a crude oil or products trunk line placed on each side of a pipeline river crossing to isolate possible leaks at the crossing.
Valve (relief) - A valve that is set to open when pressure on a liquid or gas line reaches a predetermined level; a pop-off valve.
Valve (Remotely Operated) - A mechanical device that prevents flow of a product within a pipeline and is designed to operate upon receipt of a signal transmitted from another location.
Vapor - A substance in the gaseous state, capable of being liquefied by compression or cooling.
Vapor Recovery Systems - Mechanical systems that collect and recover chemical vapors resulting from transfer of gasoline from operations such as tank-to-truck systems at refineries, tanker-to-pipeline systems at offshore oil operations, and pump-to-vehicle systems at gasoline stations.
Variance - A variance is a limited waiver of development standards. A city or county may grant a variance in special cases where: (1) application of the zoning regulations would deprive property of the uses enjoyed by nearby, similarly zoned lands; and (2) restrictions have been imposed to ensure that the variance will not constitute a grant of special privilege. A city or county may not grant a variance that would permit a use that is not otherwise allowed in that zone (for example an industrial use could not be approved in a residential zone by variance). Typically, variances are considered when the physical characteristics of the property make it impossible for a landowner to enjoy the same or similar use of the property as other owners of land in the same zone district. Variance requests require a public hearing.
Vertical Integration - Refers to the condition in which a company produces raw material, transports it, refines or processes it, and markets the product, all as one integrated operation. Specifically, an oil company is said to be vertically integrated when it finds and produces oil and gas, transports it in its own pipelines, refines it, and markets its products under its brand name. According to the critics of the industry, this is not in the country's best interest.
Viscosity - A measure of the resistance of a liquid flow. Resistance is brought about by the internal friction resulting from the combined effects of cohesion and adhesion. The viscosity of petroleum products is commonly expressed in terms of the time required for a specific volume to flow through an orifice of a specific size.
Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) - This term is generally used similarly to the term "reactive organic compounds" but excludes ethane, which the federal government does not consider to be reactive. VOCs are hydrocarbon compounds that exist in the ambient air and contribute to the formation of smog and/or may themselves be toxic. VOCs often have an odor, and some examples include gasoline, alcohol, and the solvents used in paints.
Volatility - The tendency of a liquid to assume a gaseous state.

Wall Thickness - The dimension measurement between a point on the inside surface of a pipeline and the closest point on the outside surface. This measurement is the thickness of the pipeline material.
Wax - A solid or semi-solid material consisting of a mixture of hydrocarbons obtained or delivered from petroleum fractions in which the straight chained paraffin wax series predominates. The conversion factor is 280 pounds per 42 U.S. gallons per barrel.
Well - A hole drilled or bored into the Earth, usually cased with metal pipe, for the production of gas or oil. A hole for the injection, under pressure, of water or gas into a subsurface rock formation.
Well (active) - A well in mechanical condition for production or service use.
Well (Completed) - A well that has been mechanically completed for production or service use. There may be more than one completed zone in the well.
Well (Delineation) - A well that is drilled to determine the extent of a reservoir.
Well (development) - A well drilled within the proved area of an oil or gas reservoir to the depth of a stratigraphic horizon known to be productive.
Well (Disposal) - A well through which water is returned to subsurface formations.
Well (Exploratory) - A well drilled in an unexplored area where no oil or gas production exists. Also known as a wildcat well.
Well (Gas Injection) - A well used to introduce gas under high pressure into a formation as part of pressure maintenance, a secondary recovery effort, a recycling operation, or for gas storage.
Well (Gas) - A well completed for production of natural gas from one or more gas zones or reservoirs.
Well (Marginal) - A low-producing well. Profit from continued production may be doubtful.
Well (Oil) - A well completed for the production of crude oil from one or more zones or reservoirs. Oil wells typically produce associated gas.
Well (Service) - A non-producing well used for injecting liquids or gas into the reservoir for enhanced recovery. A service well may also serve as a salt water disposal well or a water supply well.
Well (Shut-in) - A producing well that has been closed for repairs, cleaning, or re-pressuring, or due to a decline in the market. The well has not been plugged with cement and abandoned.
Well (Stripper) - A well nearing depletion that produces a very small amount of oil or gas, usually ten barrels per day or less.
Well Bore - The bore hole or hole made by drilling or boring. A well bore may contain casing, it may be open, or it may have portions that are cased and portions that are open.
Wellhead - The equipment installed at the surface of the well bore. A wellhead includes the casing head and tubing head.
Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) - Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is a non-profit trade association representing petroleum exploration, production, refining, transportation, and marketing companies.
Work Boat - A boat or self-propelled barge used to carry supplies, tools, and equipment to job sites offshore. Work boats have large areas of clear deck space which enable them to carry a variety of loads.

Xylene (C6H4(CH3)2) - Colorless liquid of the aromatic group of hydrocarbons made by the catalytic reforming of certain napthenic petroleum fractions. Used as high-octane motor and aviation gasoline blending agents, solvents, and chemical intermediates. Isomers are metaxylene, orthoxylene, and paraxylene.
Zone - A rock stratum that is different from or distinguished from another stratum.
Zone (Oil) - A formation or horizon of a well from which oil may be produced. The oil zone is usually immediately under the gas zone and on top of the water zone if all three fluids are present and segregated.
Zoning - The purpose of zoning is to implement the policies of the comprehensive (general) plan. Zoning regulates present development through specific standards such as lot size, building setback, and a list of allowable uses. The land uses reflected in the comprehensive plan's diagrams and maps will usually be reflected in local zoning maps as well. Zoning groups various kinds of land uses into general categories or "zones" such as agricultural, residential, commercial, indusrial, etc. Each piece of property in the community is assigned a zone listing the kind of uses that will be allowed on that land and setting standards such as minimum lot size, maximum building height, etc. The distribution of residential, commercial, industrial, and other zones will be based on the pattern of land uses established in the community's comprehensive plan.
Zoning (overlay) - In addition to the zoning applied to each property, many cities and counties use "overlay zones" to further regulate development in areas of special concern. For example, lands in historic districts, downtowns, floodplains, near earthquake faults or on steep slopes are often subject to having additional regulations "overlain" upon the basic zoning requirements. Development of land subject to overlay zoning requires compliance with the regulations of both the base and overlay zones.
Zoning (rezone) - If a landowner or a city or county proposes a change of zone district on a property, such a change must be reviewed by a city council or county planning commission and county board of supervisors and approved by those bodies. The proposed change of zone district must not result in a conflict with the land use patterns outlined in the city or county comprehensive plan. Therefore, such a zoning change must conform to the existing comprehensive plan's specified pattern of land use for an area, or the comprehensive plan must be amended to accomodate such a change if that change is deemed to be warranted.
Zoning Administrator - A planning department staff member responsible for hearing minor zoning permits. Typically, the zoning administrator considers variances and conditional use permits and may interpret the provisions of the zoning ordinance when questions arise. The zoning administrator's decision on a matter may be appealed to the local legislative body.

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