- Centrifugal pump
A rotating pump, commonly used for large-volume oil and natural gas pipelines, that takes in fluids near the centre and accelerates them as they move to the outlet on the outer rim.
- Coalbed methane (CBM)
Natural gas generated and trapped in coal seams.
Hydrocarbons, usually produced with natural gas, which are liquid at normal pressure and temperature.
- Conventional crude oil
Petroleum found in liquid form, flowing naturally or capable of being pumped without further processing or dilution.
- Criteria air contaminants (CAC)
Emissions of various air pollutants that affect our health and contribute to air pollution problems such as smog. CACs are tracked by Environment Canada.
- Cumulative effects
Changes to the environment caused by an activity in combination with other past, present and reasonably foreseeable human activities.
- Cumulative production
Production of oil or gas to date.
- Medium crude oil
Liquid petroleum with a density between that of light and heavy crude oil.
The principal constituent of natural gas; the simplest hydrocarbon molecule, containing one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms.
- Middle distillates
Medium-density refined petroleum products, including kerosene, stove oil, jet fuel and light fuel oil.
The processing, storage and transportation sector of the petroleum industry.
- Miscible flooding
An oil recovery process in which a fluid, capable of mixing completely with the oil it contacts, is injected into an oil reservoir to increase recovery.
- Mud (also drilling mud)
Fluid circulated down the drill pipe and up the annulus during drilling to remove cuttings, cool and lubricate the bit, and maintain desired pressure in the well.
- Particulate matter
Refers to microscopic solid or liquid particles that remain suspended in the air for some time.
The capacity of a reservoir rock to transmit fluids; how easily fluids can pass through rock.
A naturally occurring mixture composed predominantly of hydrocarbons in the gaseous, liquid or solid phase.
- Pinnacle reef
A conical formation, higher than it is wide, usually composed of limestone, in which hydrocarbons might be trapped.
A natural underground reservoir containing an accumulation of petroleum.
The volume of spaces within rock that might contain oil and gas (like the amount of water a sponge can hold); the open or void space within rock ・usually expressed as a percentage of the total rock volume. Thus porosity measures the capacity of the rock to hold natural gas, crude oil or water.
- Primary recovery
The production of oil and gas from reservoirs using the natural energy available in the reservoirs and pumping techniques.
Government allocation of demand among pools and wells; pipeline allocation of demand among shippers.
A compacted sedimentary rock composed mainly of quartz or feldspar; a common rock in which oil, natural gas and/or water accumulate.
- Secondary recovery
The extraction of additional crude oil, natural gas and related substances from reservoirs through pressure maintenance techniques such as waterflooding and gas injection.
- Sedimentary basin
A geographical area, such as the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, in which much of the rock is sedimentary (as opposed to igneous or metamorphic) and therefore likely to contain hydrocarbons.
- Seismic Studies
Refers to studies done to gather and record patterns of induced shock wave reflections from underground layers of rock, which are used to create detailed models of the underlying geological structure.
Rock formed from clay.
- Solution gas
Natural gas that is found with crude oil in underground reservoirs. When the oil comes to the surface, the gas expands and comes out of the solution.
- Sour gas
Natural gas at the wellhead may contain hydrogen sulphide (H2S), a toxic compound. Natural gas that contains more than one per cent of H2S is called sour gas. About 30 per cent of Canada's total natural gas production is sour, most of it found in Alberta and northeast British Columbia.
Spills include accidental release of crude oil, produced water or other hydrocarbon products from well sites, batteries or storage tanks. These spills can affect land, vegetation, water bodies and groundwater.
Industry activities often affect surrounding areas and populations. People with an interest in these activities are considered stakeholders. They may include nearby landowners, municipalities, Aboriginal communities, recreational land users, other industries, environmental groups, governments and regulators.
- Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD)
A recovery technique for extraction of heavy oil or bitumen that involves drilling a pair of horizontal wells one above the other; one well is used for steam injection and the other for production.
- Steam injection
An improved recovery technique in which steam is injected into a reservoir to reduce the viscosity of the crude oil.
A yellow mineral extracted from petroleum for making fertilizers, pharmaceuticals and other products.
- Sulphur dioxide
A major component of a group of airborne contaminants termed "acidifying emissions."
- Sulphur recovery
Sour gas is processed at recovery plants to extract sulphur for sale to fertilizer manufacturers and other industries in Canada and overseas. The average rate of sulphur recovery at Alberta's sulphur recovery plants has improved from 97.5 per cent in 1980 to 98.8 per cent in 2000.
- Sweet oil and gas
Petroleum containing little or no hydrogen sulphide.
- Synthetic crude oil
A mixture of hydrocarbons, similar to crude oil, derived by upgrading bitumen from oil sands.