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Updated June 2023


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Companies recover natural gas liquids (NGLs) mainly from processing natural gas. Natural gas can be produced either directly from a hydrocarbon reservoir as raw gas or mixed with crude oil or bitumen as associated gas.

Field Gas Processing Facilities

Field gas processing facilities, or field plants, process natural gas to meet pipeline quality specifications, often involving removing NGLs. These removed volumes include ethane, propane, butane, and pentanes plus. Companies sell these volumes separately to obtain full value for each NGL component.

Field plants send the recovered NGL mix to centralized, large-scale fractionation plants to be separated into its components (e.g., ethane and propane).

Straddle Plants

Straddle plants are gas reprocessing plants that recover NGL components or NGL mix from marketable gas. They are usually situated on main gas transmission pipelines at border delivery points.