How Is Natural Gas Measured?

Natural gas can be priced in dollars per therm, dollars per MMBtu, or dollars per cubic foot in the United States. 1 To translate these costs from one price basis to another, the heat content of natural gas per physical unit (such as Btu per cubic foot) is required. The annual average heat content of natural gas provided to consumers in the United States in 2020 was around 1,037 Btu per cubic foot. As a result, 100 Ccf of natural gas equals 103,700 Btu, or 1.037 therms. A thousand cubic feet (Mcf) of natural gas equals 1.037 million British thermal units (MBtu), or 10.37 therms.

These calculations can be used to convert natural gas prices from one pricing basis to another (assuming a heat content of 1,037 Btu per cubic foot):

Natural gas heat content varies by location and type of natural gas customer, as well as with time. For information on the heat content of the natural gas they supply to their clients, consumers and analysts should contact natural gas distribution firms or natural gas suppliers. Customers’ invoices may include this information from some natural gas distribution providers or utilities.

1 Natural gas was measured in cubic feet by the US Energy Information Administration from 1964 to 1964 at a pressure of 14.65 psia (poundspersquareinchabsolute) at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Since 1965, the pressurebase has been 14.73 psia at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the measurement unit for natural gas?

At the resource well, natural gas (methane) is measured in volume (cubic meters or cubic feet). At standard temperature and pressure, one cubic foot of natural gas equals the volume of gas contained in one cubic foot. The amount of gas produced from the reserves is usually measured in thousands or millions of cubic feet.

How is the energy of natural gas measured?

Natural gas can be measured in metric or imperial units based on its energy content or volume.

The energy content of natural gas is usually measured in Gigajoules (GJ), a metric energy unit. One million British Thermal Units is the imperial unit of measurement (MMBtu). The heat value of a GJ is roughly 0.948 MMBtus. 27 litres of fuel oil, 39 litres of propane, 26 litres of gasoline, or 277 kilowatt hours of electricity are equivalent to one GJ of natural gas.

Natural gas resources, production, and consumption are generally measured in Trillion Cubic Feet (Tcf), an imperial unit equal to 1,000,000,000,000 cubic feet in Canada (cf). However, cubic metres, a volumetric measure, is the official unit of natural gas volume measurement and customer invoicing in Canada. A cubic meter is roughly equal to 0.038 GJs and roughly represents the size of a normal kitchen range.

At the meter, how is natural gas measured?

The cubic foot is a popular unit of measurement for natural gas, and you’ll be paid in thousands of cubic feet (MCF) or hundreds of cubic feet (CCF). You could also be charged by the therm, which is roughly equivalent to a CCF or 100 cubic feet. The utility sets a meter between the incoming electric power or gas lines and the point of distribution at the house to monitor how much electricity or gas you consume.

The force of moving gas in the pipe drives a gas meter, which turns quicker as the flow increases. The pointer on the next higher value dial advances one number for every complete round of the dial with the lower value.

When reading a gas meter, read and write down the numbers from left to right on the dials (opposite of an electric meter). It’s vital to observe that the hands of adjacent dials on both types of meters turn in opposite directions.

What factors go into determining the price of gas?

  • The price of crude oil is the major determinant of the price we pay at the pump, and it is determined by market forces of supply and demand, not by individual firms. Oil prices have risen to a seven-year high, owing to a continuing global supply shortage, labor shortages, growing geopolitical instability in Eastern Europe, the economic recovery following the pandemic’s early stages, and policy uncertainty in Washington.
  • Choices in policy are important. As supply continues to lag, American producers are attempting to satisfy rising energy demand, but regulatory and legal uncertainty is exacerbating market issues.
  • The administration needs to rethink its energy policies, and Europe serves as a warning example.
  • We only need to look at the situation in Europe to realize what occurs when countries rely on energy production from foreign sources with their own objectives. More might be done by legislators to assure inexpensive and reliable energy, beginning with promoting American manufacturing and energy infrastructure and conveying a clear message that America is open to energy investment.
  • Changes in gasoline prices are based on market forces, not unlawful behavior, according to repeated FTC investigations, and the American people are searching for solutions, not finger pointing. The present price at the pump in the United States is a result of increased demand and trailing supply, as well as geopolitical upheaval caused by Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.
  • Instead of political grandstanding that discourages investment at a time when it is most needed, lawmakers should focus on policies that enhance US supply to help mitigate the situation.

Is the volume of gas measured in gallons?

Truck and car fuels, as we all know, are measured in gallons. The natural gas business sells natural gas in “equivalents” since gallons measure liquids like gasoline or diesel whereas natural gas is sold in feet (or in therms).

Is gas measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh)?

Gas bills show your usage in kilowatt hours, despite the fact that gas meters detect the volume of gas used in hundreds of cubic feet or cubic metres (kWh). The following is the industry standard formula for converting cubic measures to kWh.

  • To figure out how many cubic meters or feet you’ve consumed, subtract your current gas meter reading from your previous reading.
  • Multiply the ‘calorific value’ by the number of calories (find this on your bill, or ask your gas supplier).
  • To calculate the cost of gas used, multiply the kWh value by your pence per kWh rate (found on your statement or inquire with your gas supplier).

What is natural gas with a high BTU value?

The quantity of energy released when a volume of natural gas is burned varies depending on the extent to which gases with higher heat content than methane are contained in supplied gas. In the Natural Gas Monthly, the EIA now publishes the heat content of end-use natural gas by state.

At standard temperature and pressure, methane, the principal component of natural gas, has a heat content of 1,010 British thermal units per cubic foot (Btu/cf).

The heat content of natural gas in the United States in July 2014 was roughly 1,030 Btu/cf, over 2% more than pure methane, owing to the makeup of the gases in the natural gas stream.

To burn correctly, natural gas has a specific fuel-to-oxygen ratio, hence stoves and other gas-fueled appliances normally require natural gas to be within a set Btu range.

Pipelines have a range of allowable Btu content for natural gas passing through their systems, which varies from pipeline to pipeline.

Natural gas liquids (mainly ethane and some propane) with higher heat content than methane are found in higher concentrations in high-Btu natural gas.

The heat content of pure ethane is 1,770 Btu/cf, while pure propane is 2,516 Btu/cf.

During natural gas processing, liquids are frequently eliminated.

Due to the low price of ethane, many natural gas processors are opting to leave it in the natural gas stream rather than remove it for sale as a separate commodity, a technique known as ethane rejection.

Ethane rejection could be indicated by a significantly high Btu content in a particular condition.

Ethane is also more likely to be rejected in areas with processing restrictions or low ethane demand. The Marcellus Shale play in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio, as well as the Bakken formation in North Dakota, demonstrated this in 2013. In July 2014, the average heat content of natural gas delivered in West Virginia and North Dakota was 6% and 5% higher, respectively, than the national average.

Other factors, such as the presence of carbon dioxide or other nonhydrocarbons that remain in the natural gas stream after processing, state and local regulations, and the presence of straddle plants (or downstream gas processing plants) that remove components from the dry gas stream, can all contribute to variations in the average heat content of natural gas across states.

In natural gas, what does MMBtu stand for?

  • 1,000,000 MMBtu = 1 Bcf. Bcf Billion cubic feet standard unit of measurement for natural gas supply and demand.
  • A British thermal unit (Btu) is a unit of measurement that reflects the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit at or near 39.20 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a vital metric to know when looking at energy costs.
  • Driving Season – The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends is known as driving season.
  • When natural gas containing primarily methane is brought to the surface, it produces little condensable heavier hydrocarbon molecules like propane and butane. Dry gases are ones that include less than 0.1 gallon of condensables per 1,000 cubic feet of generated gas in the United States.
  • The movement of electrons creates electricity, which is a feature of matter. This “movement” is frequently started by a generator powered by a variety of energy sources such as coal, uranium, water (hydropower), or solar radiation directly converted in photovoltaic cells. Electricity is the “carrier” of energy that originates in fossil fuel and renewable energy sources, rather than energy itself.
  • The process of manufacturing electric energy or converting other sources of energy into electric energy is known as electric generation. Watt-hours are also used to measure the amount of electric energy produced or expressed (Wh).
  • Energy is a measure of a person’s ability to work. Energy comes in a variety of forms, some of which are easily convertible into another form that can be used for work. The majority of the world’s converted energy comes from fossil fuels, which are burned to generate heat, which is subsequently transferred to mechanical or other means to complete activities. Heat energy is normally measured in British thermal units, while electrical energy is usually measured in kilowatt-hours (Kwh) (Btu).
  • Exports are goods or services produced in one country and shipped to another for sale or trade. The United States, for example, is now a global supplier of liquefied natural gas.
  • A financial market where financial instruments or commodities are traded for future delivery is known as a forward market.
  • Fuel – Any substance that can be burned to generate heat, as well as materials that can be fissioned to generate heat in a chain reaction.
  • Fuel Consumption The amount of fuel consumed to generate electricity, provide standby power, start up, and/or maintain flame stability.
  • Henry Hub is a natural gas distribution/delivery station in Louisiana that serves as a local and global benchmark for natural gas futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
  • Injections – When actual natural gas is kept underground to be hauled up and used later, this is referred to as underground natural gas storage.
  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is made up of methane and a mixture of ethane that is used to transform natural gas into a liquid form for storage and transportation. It is cooled to about -2560 degrees Fahrenheit so that it can be transferred from areas with abundant natural gas to places where demand exceeds supply.
  • One million British Thermal Units (MMBtu) is the standard unit of measurement for natural gas financial contracts (also equal to 1 dekatherm).
  • 1,000,000 MMBtu = 1 MMcf. MMcf Million cubic feet standard unit of measurement for natural gas supply and demand.
  • Natural gas is a fuel used to generate electricity in boilers and internal combustion engines. Natural, synthetic, and waste gases are among them.
  • The abbreviation NYMEX stands for New York Mercantile Exchange, which trades in energy and other commodity futures.
  • Outer Years/Back End of Curve Typically refers to a five-year curve; the back-end of the curve is the last 2-3 years, depending on curve length.
  • Pipelines are an important mode of transporting natural gas from producing locations to consumers. There are two types of pipelines: interstate and intrastate pipelines, each with its own set of regulations.
  • Natural gas output is measured in million cubic feet per day (MMcf) or billion cubic feet per day (Bcf).
  • Prompt/Front Month or Prompt/Front Year – The contract term with the most recent expiration date.
  • A financial market in which financial instruments or commodities are traded for immediate delivery (sometimes known as “on the spot”).
  • “Spot” delivery – This can relate to delivery the next day or even two days away. Same-day marketplaces are referred to as “cash” markets, as in you must pay cash (no credit).
  • Physical natural gas is kept underground, measured in cubic feet, to be used later.