LPG (Propane) Gas Supply Chain

There are a number of steps to the LPG – Propane – supply chain.

But first, a summary of the supply chain, what is LPG and what is it used for?

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What is the LPG Gas Supply-Value Chain?

LPG tankers are an important part of the LPG supply chainThe LPG supply chain starts with production at oil and gas wells and is also referred to as natural gas liquids – NGL.

The unrefined oil and gas is shipped to refineries and gas processing plants.

The LPG is then transported to downstream storage terminals.

Distribution to end users is done with LPG cylinder delivery trucks and bulk LPG tankers.

Consumers are typically residential, commercial or autogas users.

What is LPG (Propane)?

LPG gas bottelsLPG is the acronym for Liquefied Petroleum Gas. 

LPG is a group of flammable hydrocarbon gases that are liquefied through pressurisation and commonly used as fuel.

Propane is LPG but not all LPG is propane.

There are a number of gases that fall under the “LPG” label, including propane, butane and isobutane (i-butane), as well as mixtures of these gases.

LPG is generally stored, as a liquid, in steel vessels ranging from small BBQ gas bottles to larger gas cylinders and storage tanks.

What is LPG Used For?

LPG powers hot air balloonsLPG has hundreds, if not thousands, of uses, including hot air balloons.

The LPG uses most people can name are around the home, in their cars or for their business.

It is used in leisure time activities including caravans, boats, recreational vehicles and camping.

Business and industry use LPG for a multitude of processes including steam boilers, kilns, ovens and LPG forklifts.

Crop and produce drying, heating greenhouses, hot water for dairies, irrigation pumps and heating animal enclosures are just some of the agricultural applications for LPG.

There are also many, many more LPG applications, including power generation and the hospitality industry.

The Seven Steps

45kg gas bottles1. Production – The production process starts with oil and gas wells.

2. Upstream Transportation – The mass quantities are transported by ship, rail and pipeline.

3. Refining & Storage – The refining of the LPG, from oil, takes place at oil refineries.

4. Downstream Transportation – The fully processed LPG is transported to market by ship, rail, truck and pipeline.

5. Bottling & Storage – The LPG is either used to fill LPG gas bottles or is stored in bulk LPG depots.

6. Distribution – LPG cylinder delivery trucks and bulk LPG tankers are used to get the LPG to the end users.

7. LPG End Users – There are many types of LPG end users including residential, commercial and agriculture. 

The 7 steps are shown in this LPG (propane) gas supply chain infographic:

LPG (propane) gas supply chain infographic
Source: WLPGA

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The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.

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