Natural Gas and Crude Oil
Natural gas and crude oil are simply the differing forms of thermal maturity of an eons-long metamorphosis from sunlight falling on the surface of ancient seas to the fossil energy forms we now recognize.
In fact, although crude oil is much more energy-dense than natural gas, it is generally recognized that 6.3 mcf of natural gas contains approximately as much energy as a single 42-gallon stock tank barrel of intermediate crude oil. For reporting purposes the Internal Revenue Service allows natural gas reserves to be converted to their equivalent in barrels of crude oil (“BOE”) at the rate of 6 mcf/STB.
Since a given volume of natural gas can be converted to crude oil for purposes of tax reporting, it only makes sense that there should be a way to literally convert natural gas to crude oil, or at least to convert natural gas to those products that result from the catalytic cracking, or refining, without which process crude oil would have very limited value. The refining process is where the value and versatility of crude oil are found.