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Where Does Propane Come From? Thrifty Propane Truck
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One of propane's unique features is that it is not produced for its own sake, but is a by-product of two other processes: natural gas processing and petroleum refining.

Natural gas plant production of propane primarily involves extracting materials, such as propane and butane, from natural gas to prevent these liquids from condensing and causing operational problems in natural gas pipelines. Similarly, when oil refineries make major products such as motor gasoline and heating oil, some propane is produced as a by-product of those processes. It is important to understand that the by-product nature of propane production means that the volume made available from natural gas processing and oil refining cannot be adjusted when prices and/or demand for propane fluctuate.

In addition to these two processes, propane demand is met by imports and by using stored inventories. Although imports provide the smallest (about 10%) component of U.S. propane supply, they are vital when consumption exceeds available domestic supplies. Propane is imported by land (via pipeline and rail car from Canada) and by sea (in tankers from such countries as Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela, and Norway).

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