Condensates are a group of hydrocarbons that don’t fit easily into mainstream product categories. In the blog “Neither Fish Nor Fowl,” we defined condensates as liquid hydrocarbons somewhere between crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs). But now that we are getting into the nitty gritty, this is much too simplistic a definition for our purposes. The reality is that most condensates differ significantly from crude oils. And condensates are not like all NGLs – they are similar only to natural gasoline, the heaviest of the NGLs.
So what makes a condensate a condensate? Here lies the heart of the problem because the term condensate can refer to a number of products made up of somewhat similar hydrocarbon compounds.