Where Does Propane Come From?

Propane, also known as LP gas, is used by millions of us every day for everything from cooking to powering equipment on the farm. Do you ever wonder where it comes from?

Cinch Munson is the director of agriculture business development for the Propane Education and Research Council. He says in the past, about 80% of propane was a byproduct of refined oil. That is changing.

"Today, over 80% of it comes as a co-product of natural gas production. So as they extract natural gas from the ground, propane comes right along with it, it’s a co-product, it’s just kind of a benefit of that whole process," says Munson. "So, the supply equation has grown, and it’s almost kind of flipped itself to where most of it’s just coming naturally."

The northeastern United States has good propane production, so does the central-south. Anywhere you find natural gas or refined oil, you’ll also have propane.  After it’s produced, most North American propane is stored underground in huge salt caverns and aquifers.

Munson says there is plenty of the fuel to go around.

"Natural gas production’s growing, so is propane production. Fact is, right now, we’re a net exporter of propane, which mean ultimately, the price of propane is good," he says. "Another advantage, it’s clean and it’s an American-made fuel. So, it’s a great source of energy and it’s cost-effective as well."

 As electricity prices climb and engines are becoming more complex to meet emissions standards, propane equipment has become very appealing in the ag sector.

Learn all about propane gas