Bbl, Boe, BTU and Mcf: 4 Common Oil and Gas Abbreviations

Stacks of Oil Barrels

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Oil and gas companies and industry publications use several abbreviations for production fluid, including Bbl, Boe, BTU and Mcf.

In this article we’ll define four of the most common and their volume prefixes.

Bbl

The abbreviation Bbl stands for “barrel of oil.” One barrel of oil is 42 gallons.

This abbreviation is typically thought to originate with Standard Oil—the first oil giant in the U.S.

Chart: The Evolution of Standard Oil

Standard used blue barrels to store and transport oil, hence the “bb.”

(“Bbld” stands for “barrels of oil per day.”)

[PICTURE]

BOE

The abbreviation BOE stands for “barrels of oil equivalent.” BOE is an estimation of how much energy is created by burning one barrel of oil.

You may also see this written as “BOED,” which stands for “barrels of oil equivalent per day.”

BTU

BTU is “British Thermal Unit.” BTU is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit under standard conditions of pressure and temperature.

Mcf

The abbreviation Mcf stands for one thousand cubic feet of natural gas.

Volumes

You will often see these abbreviations preceded by a volume.

The abbreviation of M stands for “one thousand.” The M comes from the Latin “mille,” which means “thousand.”

The abbreviation MM stands for “one million.” This is derived from the Roman numeral “M,” which means one thousand; so “MM” = “one thousand one thousands”—or one million.

Common examples:

  • Mbbl: one thousand barrels of oil.
  • MMbbl: one million barrels of oil.
  • MMcf: one million cubic feet of natural gas
  • Mboe: one thousand barrels of oil equivalent
  • MMboe: one million barrels of oil equivalent

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Mike Fick serves as a Product Manager at Kimray, and is responsible for Kimray’s line of liquid level control products and low pressure control valves. He collaborates with Kimray’s engineering, manufacturing, and quality teams to optimize the performance of our products and make a difference for our customers.

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