Natural Gas Definitions


BCF: One trillion (1,000,000,000,000) BTU’s

BTU: - The amount of heat required to raise 1 pound of water 1 deg Fahrenheit

CF: A unit of measurement for volume. It represents an area one foot long, by one foot wide, by one foot deep. Natural gas is measured in cubic feet, but the measurements are usually expressed in terms of MCF, BCF, TCF, or Quads.

CCF: 100 cubit feet

DEKATHERM (DK): 10 Therms = 1,000 BTU’s = 1 MMBTU

DELIVERABILITY RATE: a measure of the amount of gas that can be delivered (withdrawn) from a storage facility on a daily basis, typically expressed in terms of millions of cubic feet per day (MMCF/day).

FERC – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: The federal agency that regulates interstate gas pipelines and interstate gas sales under the Natural Gas Act. The FERC is considered an independent regulatory agency responsible primarily to Congress, but it is housed in the Department of Energy.

MCF: 1000 cubic feet

Methane: Methane (CH4) is commonly known as natural gas. It is colorless and burns efficiently without many byproducts. Natural gas has odor added as a safety measure since it is naturally odorless.

MMBTU: A thermal unit of energy equal to 1,000,000 BTUs, that is, the equivalent of 1,000 cubic feet of gas having a heating content of 1,000 BTUs per cubic foot.

Natural Gas: A hydrocarbon gas that is usually obtained from underground sources, often in association with petroleum and coal deposits. Natural gas generally contains a high percentage of methane and inert gases. See Methane.

PEAK USE PERIOD: The period of time when gas use on a particular system is as its maximum. This is the period when gas supply is most likely to be suspended for interruptible service customers. Distributors also employ techniques such as peak shaving to soften the impacts of high demand on the pipelines.

PSI: pounds per square inch.

QUAD: An abbreviation for a quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) BTU. Roughly equivalent to one trillion (1,000,000,000,000) cubic feet, or 1 TCF.

TCF: Equals one QUAD.

Therm (T): 100,000 BTU’s; also the energy equivalent of burning 100 cubic feet (1 CCF).