Pentanes Plus

ST98

This section provides an overview for pentanes plus:

In Alberta, pentanes plus (C5+) is recovered from the raw natural gas stream. Most of the natural gas liquids (NGLs) supply is recovered from the processing of natural gas at gas plants, although some pentanes plus is recovered as condensate at the field level and sold as product. The properties of condensate and pentanes plus are similar, and the terminology is often used interchangeably, since both are marketed in the same way in western Canada.

Field gas processing facilities ensure that natural gas meets the quality specifications of natural gas pipeline systems, which may require removing NGLs to meet pipeline hydrocarbon dew point specifications. Field plants generally recover additional volumes of NGLs—more than what is required to meet pipeline specifications, depending on the plant’s extraction capability—that are sold separately to obtain full value for the NGL components. Generally, the heavier NGLs (pentanes plus) are removed at field plants. Field plants send recovered NGL mix to centralized, large-scale fractionation plants where the mix is fractionated into specification products.

Gas reprocessing plants, often referred to as straddle plants , recover NGL components or NGL mix from marketable gas . They are usually located on main gas transmission pipelines at border delivery points.

The largest use of pentanes plus is as a diluent in the blending of heavy crude oil and bitumen for rail and pipeline transportation.