Dry gas is predominately methane. Wet gas is about 85% methane but also contains ethane, propane, butane. Dry gas can be piped from the well head for sale with some minor processing on site like removal of water. Wet gas must be processed more than can be done on site. Wet gas is first sent to a cryogenic facility like the one Kensington, Oh. Here the gas is cooled which separates out the methane from the natural gas liquids or ngls. At Kensington currently the "dry gas" is not dry enough to put in pipelines for sale to consumers. It is first mixed with other dry gas from another source to bring its percent methane to required mix for use in homes. There is additional equipment to be added I think to improve the percentage of ngls removed. The ngls from Kensington are then sent to Scio Harrison County where ngls are processed. They have an ethane cracker to change ethane to ethylene for plastics industry. Also butane and propane are separated out. To answer your question about same pipeline once you put wet gas in a pipeline with dry gas it all just became wet gas so depending on what you find at well that determines next steps. Wells around us are wet. East of Rt 11 there is some talk that they are dry. Guess we will find out when they begin to pipe the gas out ... for sale or to cryo plant.
This is not my particular area of expertise; but I think that I can intelligently answer your question.
Yours is a question that does not have a single simple answer.
Methane (Dry Gas) is CH4; this is the most basic hydrocarbon (one atom of carbon and four atoms of hydrogen).
Next up comes:
Ethane C2H6; two atoms of carbon and six atoms of hydrogen
Propane (C3H8); three atoms of carbon and eight atoms of hydrogen
Butane (C4H10); four atoms of carbon and ten atoms of hydrogen
Ethane, Propane and Butane are collectively referred to as Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs).
The term Natural Gas Liquid is a bit confusing (OK, more than a bit confusing) as Ethane, Propane and Butane are gases at normal atmospheric pressure ….. but, they are liquids at the pressures found within the rocks in the ground and they are liquids if present in pipelines (at pipeline pressures).
Pentane (C5H12); Pentane and more complex hydrocarbons tend to be liquids at normal atmospheric temperatures. Pentane and Benzene (C6H6) are in the group referred to as Condensates (aka Natural Gasoline).
It is easy to understand what Dry Gas is …. Methane (and perhaps an insignificant quantity of Ethane).
Wet gas is a bit more complex to define …. As there is a spectrum from a little wet to very wet (depending upon which NGLs and what percentage of each NGL is present).
Natural Gas, as it comes from the well, needs some processing before it can go into the utilities pipeline which delivers to customers.
Natural gas is odorless and colorless; the utilities add an odorant, sulfur compounds (Mercaptans) to impart a “Natural Gas Smell” for safety reasons (so that we can detect leaks).
Natural Gas supplied (by utilities) can contain a small amount of NGLs such as Ethane; but only a small amount …. otherwise the gas would burn too hot, resulting in damage to burners and appliances using that gas.
Now, to finally get to your question: “can they run wet gas and dry gas together in the same pipeline or do they separate it at the well head and use two pipelines?”
That depends upon the amount and nature of the “wet” in the Wet Gas.
If it is not too wet; it can all travel in the same pipeline to be processed remotely at a plant; there are limits as to how “wet” it can be …. too wet and the liquid phases can settle out in low spots in the pipeline, impeding flow.
If it is too wet they can locate a separator at the well site and then have these NGLs (and any condensates) trucked off to a plant for processing.
Or, if there end up being a sufficient number of wells in an area; with significant quantities of NGLs (and possibly condensates) then a dedicated pipeline for the liquids might be economically and logistically justified.
Great descriptions Jack..
Where is the oil in this?
I was under the impression 'wet gas' meant a combination of gases and oil.
Oil and condensate and water are what is collected in the tank battery at a well site. It is collected then picked up and hauled away by truck
Google What is condensate? Introducing Americas New Oil Export ..... for an interesting read.
Jack, et al. :
Wondering about the gas being 'stored' in Ohio's underground reservoirs.
Is it 'dry gas' or 'wet gas' ?
It is dry gas for use in residential and commercial heating etc.
they can run them together - 'wet' gas generally refers to the NGL in the gas stream, one of the big issues in the NE is the lack of gas processing capacity. Wet gas does not necessarily contain oil, as the other posters pointed out - the definitions depend on the number of carbon and hydrogen atoms and whether or not the substances is in liquid or gaseous state at atmospheric pressure.
Can you explain how you can run wet gas and dry gas in the same pipeline? And also why you would do that? The definition of dry gas is more than 85% methane? If you mix wet gas and dry gas you now have gas that is all wet gas that must be further processed for sale. You can not run wet gas in a dry gas line for residential use. It must be mostly methane to make it safe for home use. From a well I do not believe that any company would mix dry gas into a wet gas pipeline that goes to say Kensington or New Middletown Cryo plant. It makes no sense to put the dry gas in the pipeline, contaminate it, then process it at the plant. Dry gas wells will be processed at the wellhead and the gas piped to existing points where it can be sold for residential use. Wet gas will be sent via pipeline to cryo facility for processing into dry gas and NGLS. Dry gas will be sold off for residential use (and may still need to be mixed with dryer gas for that purpose like is being done in Kensington right now) and the NGLS will be pushed on to nearest Fractionation Plant like Harrison Scio for further processing into ethylene, butane, propane etc. I believe that the wells in Eastern Columbiana County east of Route 11 are mostly dry gas and that is who no effort yet has been made to bring them online to Kensington where wet gas is processed. Guess we will have to wait and see what happens with these wells. Dry gas is cheap still so no rush. IMHO
I believe that would be two different questions, the answer to the original question as to whether you can run wet and dry gas in the same line is yes. And in fact prior to the boom in wet gas production, the wet Marcellus gas was mixed with dry gas in the system bringing the higher BTU wet gas down into spec. Now that wet gas has vastly over taken dry gas production, and cryo/jt and fractionalization facilities are being built out, the ability to process the gas has increased a materially(although significant infrastructure constraints still exist) and the need to mix down the wet gas has diminished. In any event the answer tot he original question is, Yes you can mix. For instance, if the only infrastructure in the area already has dry gas in it, and there are binding contracts, then you aren't going to shut in your wells - you are going to hook into the system and sell your gas (assuming there is processing inline). See the article from the link below, there is multiple articles referring to the blending of dry and wet gas available on the internet if you are interested.
"If additional blending capacity is required, phase two of Williams’ solution would be to ship a high-Btu mixture on the proposed Keystone Connector pipeline to its Transco interstate pipeline, where the gas would be blended before entering the system. Economically, large-scale blending restricts the return on Marcellus NGLs to the prevailing natural gas price. However, because the cost of blending is expected to be well below the price of proposed pipeline or marine shipment alternatives, it could play a critical role over the short and intermediate terms."
Jeffrey, by definition they can not "run together". If you put wet gas from one well in a pipeline and dry gas from another well you will have gas that is either above 85% methane or below 85% methane. You will have either wet gas or dry gas but NOT both. It could change on a daily basis depending on production at any given well and the addition of new wells on the pipeline. Also where is your pipeline going .... for residential use? You CAN NOT send wet gas to residentail homes. Wet gas must be processed further. This is why people are not getting FREE gas from these wells but in lieu of payments if they have a pad on their property.
Wet gas is separated at a cryo plant not at well head. Dry gas is piped to storage field or compressor station for resdential use. They do not build two pipelines from one well ... the gas is either wet or dry. And that was Katies question what happens at well to wet and dry gas.